Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gran Torino

It's likely all of you have seen this movie, but if not, Gran Torino is well worth the time. Where do you stand when your job, your health, your family, your faith, and your country have all gone AWOL? I think this is one of the finest movies of the last 20 years. Cameo appearances by an M-1 Garand and a 1911 handled relatively realistically by Clint Eastwood is a bonus.

About Obama's search for a "strategy"

Clint Eastwood sure called this.


Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen - Hot Rod Lincoln

I'm headed in to the ATL today to go to the High Museum of Art which has an exhibit of concept cars - 1950s ones that look like space ships, that sort of thing.  The art of the car, as it were.  I'm expecting some hot wheels.


Ten Lessons for Competitive Shooters

Tony's Bullseye Blog posted an excerpt from an article published in the Summer 2013 CMP coaches newsletter On The Mark. It's an article titled Ten Lessons for Competitive Shooters.

I don't shoot Bullseye, but I follow Tony's blog. He did a good job of summarizing the full article, but I recommend, as he did, that you read the whole thing. It starts on page 4 here. It doesn't matter what kind of shooting sport you are involved in, this is good advice.

 Here's a quote. The bolded emphasis is mine.
LESSON 10—YOU NEVER SHOT YOUR BEST SCORE -- This lesson has to do with a mindset that real sports champions all seem to develop. It has to do with whether a record score is a mountain peak or a stepping stone on the way up to a mountain peak that one never quite reaches. It encompasses the idea that no matter how good a winning score or new record was, there are still ways to make that score even better. This was a lesson I unintentionally started to use early in my competition career. However, I didn’t understand it until much later. From the very beginning, I kept careful records in my “shooting diary.” As I recorded my scores I added pages in the back of the diary to list personal records in both practice and matches. This meant that every time I shot, I engaged in personal contests to improve those records. Of course there were practice sessions where I shifted the emphasis to experiments or work on a particular aspect of my technique or positions, but almost every training day included a competition with my personal records. Later when I was shooting with the Army International Team, the same coach who insisted that I analyze my bad shots also began to insist that I find things I could do better even after I won a big match or shot a new record. Yes, even when there was a new world record, there had to be things I could do better.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Perspective

You may not want to be in a bar fight, but when that guy decides he want to be a bar fight with you, guess what. Once he's circling and throwing punches, you had better get your head in the game. Because if you don't, the outcome will be completely up to him.

All that as perspective on the news that the U.S. has announced it's not at war with ISIS.

Government is what we choose to do together. Like ignoring mass child rape.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.
- Thomas Jefferson
If you want to understand the rise of the so-called neo-fascist parties in Europe - Marine Le Pen and the Front National, Jorg Haider, or the British National Party - all you need to do is look at what happened in Rotherham (and seemingly many other boroughs in Her Majesty’s Scepter'd Isle).  An elite who keeps itself safe from the predations seen in Rotherham (where hundreds of children were gang raped over the course of a decade or two) refused to take any action to stop the predations.

Whether this was from an excess of political indoctrination or a class-based contempt of poorer UK natives is an interesting discussion.  And entirely irrelevant.

You simply cannot look at Marine Le Pen, or Jorg Heider, or John Tyndall of the BNP, or Nikolaos Michaloliakos of Golden Dawn without understanding that Rotherham has been happening for a long, long time all over Europe.  There's your "rape culture".

But these are political parties, waxing in strength without doubt but engaged in discussion, not direct action. Anders Behring Breivik shows that there is a part of Europe that is done waiting for that debate to show results.  Indeed, Breivik targeted the children of the ruling elite - a look at the normalization of the rape of native European children in Rotherham tells you everything that you need to know to viscerally understand Breivik's mind set and his choice of targets.

And so the pyre is ignited.  The flames lick the foundations of civilization - but really, just what sort of civilization is it that will not stop institutionalized child rape?  Enoch Powell was right - a river of blood is in Europe's future.  America has prevented that for the last 70 years, but as American influence has receded there, the old decadent European elite has assumed the mantle of governance.

Remember, government is what we choose to do together:
Rotherham council's chief executive, Martin Kimber, said he accepted the report and the recommendations made and apologised to the victims of abuse.

He said: "The report does not make comfortable reading in its account of the horrific experiences of some young people in the past, and I would like to reiterate our sincere apology to those who were let down when they needed help.
There - he said he was sincerely sorry for a decade or more of many hundreds of gang raped children.  Saying sorry is what you're supposed to do, right?

Butt nobody is being fired.  And that is all you need to know to understand the exploding popularity of the Front National, or Golden Dawn.  The Left should be invested in good governance, not because they're the party of Big Government, but because they are sowing the whirlwind.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.
- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pink Floyd - Dogs

A rant is coming tomorrow.  In the meantime this song is prophetic.
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You'll get the chance to put the knife in


Shopping at Kroger




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Government as a Unicorn

This is pretty insightful:
When I am discussing the State with my colleagues at Duke, it's not long before I realize that, for them, almost without exception, the State is a unicorn. I come from the Public Choice tradition, which tends to emphasize consequentialist arguments more than natural rights, and so the distinction is particularly important for me. My friends generally dislike politicians, find democracy messy and distasteful, and object to the brutality and coercive excesses of foreign wars, the war on drugs, and the spying of the NSA.
But their solution is, without exception, to expand the power of "the State." That seems literally insane to me—a non sequitur of such monstrous proportions that I had trouble taking it seriously.
Then I realized that they want a kind of unicorn, a State that has the properties, motivations, knowledge, and abilities that they can imagine for it. When I finally realized that we were talking past each other, I felt kind of dumb. Because essentially this very realization—that people who favor expansion of government imagine a State different from the one possible in the physical world—has been a core part of the argument made by classical liberals for at least 300 years.
What I like about this is that it gives a credible framework to have an actual non-shouting discussion with both traditional progressives and traditional conservatives.

It's what you do instead of doing something

Bluegrass Bruce finds some idiocy in New York City:
New York City lawmakers are calling for a public database of gun offenders modeled on the national sex offender registry.  The proposal would create a website listing the name, address and conviction of “gun criminals” in New York City.

Supporters of this effort argue that it will increase public safety by educating the general public as to the whereabouts of dangerous criminals.

“It will make our communities more aware of who is in our neighborhood and what actions they have taken,” said New York City Councilman Costa Constantinides, who sponsored a bill in support of this effort. “Part of public safety is knowing who is on the field.”
I know, you're as shocked as I am to find idiocy in NYC, especially around gun laws.  I would point out to Councilman Constantinides that his statute will last until someone points out the disproportionate race impact of the names on the list ...

How much is $100 worth?

No, this isn't a trick question.  The answer depends on what State you live in:
A new map released by the Tax Foundation shows exactly how far $100 would go in all 50 states.

Using recently released data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Tax Foundation was able to show exactly how the varying prices of goods, housing and income taxes in each state can impact consumers’ purchasing power.
Southerners and Midwesterners have a serious edge over those along the East and West Coasts. A hundred bucks goes the furthest in Mississippi, where $100 will buy you what would cost $115.74 in another state that's closer to the national average. As the Tax Foundation puts it, Missippians are about 15% richer than their nominal incomes suggest. The next low-price states are Arkansas ($114.16), Missouri ($113.51), and Alabama ($113.51). Meanwhile, $100 would only be worth $84.60 in the District of Columbia, the priciest state, $85.32 in Hawaii, $86.66 in New York and $87.64 in nearby New Jersey.
Blue States are expensive to live in and reduce your standard of living?  This is my shocked face ...


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Motorcycle vs. Jet Plane

Of course, it was a jet powered motorcycle.




Zero to over 200 MPH in 14 seconds.  [blink] [blink]

At $180,000 I guess I don't have to worry what I'd do on this beast ...

Range Accident

The accident happened at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona. A 9 year old was with an instructor. She was being shown how to shoot a full auto Uzi. It got away from her.
The instructor was pronounced dead after being airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas.

Opinions being what they are, along with just how perfect hindsight can be, I can say that letting a 9 year old any inexperienced person hold an automatic with a full magazine is an extra level of risk. A sad event for everyone involved.

Rape culture

It's real: Revealed: How fear of being seen as racist stopped social workers saving up to 1,400 children from sexual exploitation at the hands of Asian men in just ONE TOWN

I would describe the state of Progressive Intellectuals as "frivolous" but that really does not capture the situation at all.  The cowardly way that these people stood by when they knew of the abuse, combined with the smug arrogance that assumes that they're smarter, nicer, and more noble than you and me - "frivolous" is not at all le mot juste. There is a word for this but I try to keep the language here at the PG level.

And the same people who think exactly the same way as the Rotherham town council are bleating on about "rape culture" at American Universities. 

OK, gentle readers - should I do "Kilted To Kick Cancer"?

It was Prostate cancer that took Dad, and so I have a motivation.  Plus I'm told that I have particularly good legs, and so this would be a public service for my Lady Readers.  But it's a good cause, with a good sense of humor, which I find attractive.

But some things cannot be unseen.  And so, my question to you: should I spring for the kilt and put my dignity on the line, for a good cause?  Discuss in the comments section.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In Other News

Sales of noise cancelling headphones is poised to skyrocket.

Stay Cats - Foggy Moutain Breakdown

Pretty darn good, actually.


What does government planning do to people's homes?

It shrinks them:
Ever since the British parliament passed the Town & Country Planning Act in 1947, housing in that nation has gotten less and less affordable. As a result, the average size of new homes today is only 925 square feet, down 44 percent from the average size in 1920. Meanwhile, the average size of new home in the United States in 2013 was 2,598 square feet, up 56 percent from 1,660 square feet forty years before.

Eric Pickles, Britain’s community secretary, blames the problem on “Labour policy, which decreed that at least 30 homes had to be built on every hectare of land” (about 12 per acre). But we know the problems go back well before the previous government, and the Tories had plenty of chances to reverse the policies in the Town & Country Planning Act.
As the post points out, this isn't a party issue - both major parties are essentially identical on this, just as both major US parties are identical on the issue of immigration.

Instead, this is an issue of class war waged by a self-anointed "elite" against a middle class they hold in contempt.

The Irony Strikes Home

The student-run newspaper at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia is changing its name. Since Fredericksburg was the site of several battles during the Civil War and has a lot of historical connections to that time in American history and there the double meaning of the word (think "bullet points" in a presentation), the university newspaper was called The Bullet. It has had the name since 1922.

Terrible, terrible thing to call a university newspaper, the name has violent connotations.  It also has connections, one supposes to the Civil War. Here's what the current editor in chief had to say:
Alison Thoet, the paper’s editor-in-chief, told Campus Reform in an interview that the editorial board felt the old name was “a little outdated” and was more representative of the Fredericksburg, Va., community’s ties to the Civil War and not the school as a whole.
In this day and age, no one really cares about the Civil War. We wanted something that was updated,” Thoet said. (bolded for emphasis)
No one really cares about the Civil War in this day and age. Okay, I'm going to accept that at face value. There's just one more thing I want to share about this story. Obviously they have picked a new name for the student paper. They decided to name it The Blue & Grey Press.

Sonet 66

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, thou most worthy judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee.
- Book of Common Prayer
When it is time for me to bid fare thee well to this mortal coil, I should like Brigid to send my soul Bound For Glory.  If she is unavailable, I shall have to settle for second best (say, the Bard of Avon).  Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.

It's hardest for those left behind when Eternity comes as a bolt from a clear blue sky.  Our prayers go out to SciFiChick, and even more to her family, grappling with the dream turned suddenly to dust.


Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam;
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Amen.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale - Pipeline

This has everything: Stevie Ray, THE Dick Dale, Annette Funicello, Gilligan and the Skipper, big '80s hair, pink suits and Wayfarers, and screaming guitars.  This is why we beat the Commie Bastards.



You're welcome.

Bacon. Now even more awesome.


The Hitler Diaries v2.0

I call fake:

First Superman comic is expected to fetch millions on eBay

The copy of Action Comics #1 is said to be in the best condition of any copy currently in existence.

...

According to Cnet, the copy soon to be auctioned on eBay was rated by the Certified Guaranty Company, a well-known comic book quality rating company, as having a condition of 9.0 out of 10, the highest quality rating a copy of Action Comics #1 has ever received. The colors are said to be vibrant, and it even has white pages where most existing copies have long since yellowed.
These were printed on pulp paper, the cheapest available at the time (well, maybe newsprint was a little cheaper, but not much).  There was a ton of acid residue left over in the paper, which is why these things would yellow over time.  This is why when you have a particularly nice piece of art framed that you use "acid free" matting.

This is a hoax, just like the Diaries.  And for precisely the same reason. But this does highlight the first rule of eBay: "A [blank] and his [blank] are soon [blank]."  There will be a short quiz at the end of the day.

Things A-10 Pilots don't say

Entirely safe for work.  Like I said, it's things they don't say ...



(via)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My view yesterday from the motorcycle




Ah, whatever cools you off.  Hiding out at the bank's ATM works pretty well when it's covered.

What I love about living in Hotlanta

You can say to someone "Hey, remember that time it snowed?" and they will know exactly which day you're talking about.

More manipulating climate data

Oh hum, same old boring scientists-are-changing-the-climate-data story.  What's different is that now it's starting to be reported in the news media, Down Under at least:
One of the most extreme examples is a thermometer station in Amberley, Queensland where a cooling trend in minima of 1C per century has been homogenized and become a warming trend of 2.5C per century. This is a station at an airforce base that has no recorded move since 1941, nor had a change in instrumentation. It is a well-maintained site near a perimeter fence, yet the homogenisation process produces a remarkable transformation of the original records, and rather begs the question of how accurately we know Australian trends at all when the thermometers are seemingly so bad at recording the real temperature of an area. Ken Stewart was the first to notice this anomaly and many others when he compared the raw data to the new, adjusted ACORN data set.  Jennifer Marohasy picked it up, and investigated it and 30 or so other stations. In Rutherglen in Victoria, a cooling trend of -0.35C became a warming trend  of +1.73C. She raised her concerns (repeatedly) with Minister Greg Hunt.

Now the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been forced to try to explain the large adjustments. Australians may finally gain a better understanding of what “record” temperatures mean, and the certainty ascribed to national trends. There is both a feature and a news piece today in The Weekend Australian. – Jo Nova The heat is on. Bureau of Meteorology ‘altering climate figures’ — The Australian
Here's what "peer-reviewed climate science" looks like:

In other the-data-are-bad news, the National Climate Data Center's feed of record temperatures has gone missing.  Is it a regular government screw up, or is it because cold records outnumber warm records by three to one this summer?  The World wonders,  But don't you dare question the white lab coat Priests of the Great Warming, prole.  Pay no attention to the crummy data everywhere.  Know your place. 

Hat tip: Rick, via email.

Picture

I'll echo Borepatch, not much to say today, regular blogging to resume later in the week. Meanwhile, here's a picture I took a couple of days ago.

The content-less blog

While it might be an exaggeration to things this way, I've been so busy lately that I haven't been posting on my regular schedule or with as much thoughtful analysis as usual (there's a scary thought, that my posts had thoughtful analysis).  What's unusual is why I've been so busy - I've been much more social the last week and a half or so.  It's been very nice indeed to hang out with friends, rather than on the 'net.  And that's looking to continue for today, too.

And so as an apology to my gentle readers, all blog posts shall be entirely free for the rest of the weekend.