George Romero ~ Shuffling Off

George Romero has shuffled off to join the zombie apocalypse. Somebody should have tied his shoe laces together.

Thanks for the all of the great fun Mr. Romero. Your nightmarish visions have inspired millions, and your sight gags have left many of us on the floor gasping for breath.

Well done, sir.

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What does the Golden Mean?

“All successful design must appeal to the eye and mind by meeting some natural, instinctive set of standards. All objects, whether simple tools or fine art, can be a thing of beauty or somehow disturbing, either unified wholes or an assembly of details in conflict with itself. Design is the art of unifying contrasts and making a whole of diversity.” ~ Barry C. Bohnet. Journal of Historical Arms Making Technology*, June 1987 Volume 2.

I first read Mr. Bohnet’s article around 1985 when I started shooting black powder rifles. What kept this article in memory is the excellent explanation of the Golden Mean as it applies to firearm design.

The Golden Mean is an ancient description of proportion in shapes and forms that mimic naturally occurring forms. The most common example is probably the spiral of a snail shell or a chambered nautilus.

Nautilus

That spiral just “looks right” in a pleasing way.

When applied to artifacts, this proportion produces a shape pleasing to the eye, and turning something utilitarian into something beautiful. The same principle can be applied to ornamentation with equally pleasing results. In mathematical terms, the Golden Mean is a ratio of 1.628:1, but the classic craftsman just did it by eye and intuition.

All of this came to mind recently while browsing my local gun store. I happened to notice the guns I was spending the most time admiring, were the older models. Revolvers of course, but also the semi-automatics. The impulse to handle and perhaps purchase was significantly stronger when I was looking at a 1911 regardless of manufacturer, and I was pretty much ignoring the offerings from Glock and Springfield Armory EXCEPT for the Springfield Armory 1911s.

Most people would dismiss this as me buying into the mystique and romance of the 1911, but I felt like this was something else, and I realized it was the lack of curves and flowing lines on the modern pistols that I find unattractive.

Compare these pictures:

1911Glock

The 1911 (top) sure is fancy. Lots of nice engraving and pretty doodads on the stocks.

The Pistols from Glock (middle) and HK (bottom) have a few curves. Just enough to make them fit the human hand, but the 1911 has curves all over it. Why? The purpose of all three objects is identical, and all three guns have excellent reputations for their effectiveness, but the curves makes the 1911 much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Even this old warrior from 1918 still has elegance and charm because of those few extra curves.

wwi_1911

The same thing has happened to revolvers.

We started with the beautiful fluidity of Colt’s 1860 Army, and the curves continued all of the way to the present day. Then Chiappa released the Rhino, and functional but ugly had arrived.

 

 

From everything I have read, the Chiappa Rhino is an excellent firearm that fires the cartridge in the bottom chamber of the cylinder instead on the one at the top. The net effect is the shooter experiences less muzzle flip. One day I hope to get the chance to try one out, but as long as Smith & Wesson are producing beauties like this Performance Center 627, I don’t think I’ll be adding “modern art” to my safe.

 

SW687

 

*Journal of Historical Arms Making Technology is an annual publication by Western Kentucky University and the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association

The Lost Traveler – Stick it to ‘em!

As a martialist, I have been watching the evolution of terrorist tactics and weapons with some intensity considering my love of going walkabout.

One of the greatest challenges for the law abiding citizen of our little green planet is having an effective means to defend oneself and companions close to hand at all times. This one thing alone, and above all others, is why I still live in the U.S. Frankly speaking, I take more grief from troglodytes of “The Swamp” than I have ever taken from any other government, or government official, on the planet. If the dark time should come to pass where my shootin’ irons are outlawed, it will no longer matter where I hang my hat.

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Since most places outside of the U.S. have some pretty severe restrictions on firearm ownership, and outright ban the carry of handguns for visitors, the “best” option in personal protection is off the table. Now that the Brits, and other EUnuchs, have legislated knives out of common use, (Except for the muzzy terrorists of course. We must be tolerant ol’ boy!), we are now back to humankind’s first tool, THE STICK!

I say the “first tool” because sticks and plant stalks are commonly used by the great apes as tools.

Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees “fishing” for termites using sticks.

Modern observation by Josep Call and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany, indicates chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo using a specialized toolkit intended for termite fishing. The apes used one type of strong stick to penetrate above ground termite mounds, and a different type of stick for opening underground nests. These chimps also developed a more efficient fishing pole by chewing one end of the stick to separate the wood fibers creating a “paintbrush” on the end of the stick. This spray of finer fibers allows the termites to get a better grip, so more insects are captured each time the fishing stick goes down the hole.

Other researchers have noted Congolese chimpanzees show a strong preference for specific types of plants to make their fishing kit. They choose specific types of wood and carry it to the termite mound instead of picking stems from plants near the mounds.

Professor William McGrew of the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge, UK, studied chimps living in the Nimba Mountains of Guinea, Africa. He observed a band using stone and wood tools against natural stone outcroppings to smash hard fruits into manageable pieces.

Over the centuries, the stick has remained a primary tool and weapon for people across the planet.

With increased restrictions on the law abiding, and the increased viciousness of those trying to harm those same law abiding people, the stick is coming back as a viable option for self-defense.

The Asian martial arts are well known as sources for training in the use of the staff and cane in combat. Probably the best known are the Philippine arts Kali/Escrima/Arnis (They are really the same art. The names reflect regional differences.) They have a heavy focus on stick fighting that translates well to the walking stick or cane.

Lesser known are the European arts:

H.C. Holt comments on staff fatalities in Robin Hood’s own county:

In the 103 cases of murder and manslaughter presented to the coroners of Nottinhamshire between 1485 and 1558 the staff figured in 53, usually as the sole fatal weapon. The sword, in contrast, accounted for only 9 victims and 1 accidental death.” 1

Organizations like HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) are resurrecting the classic treatises and practical application of the Western masters.

Even Sherlock Holmes got in on the act through the practice of Bartitsu. This was Britain’s modern mixed martial art created by E. W. Barton-Wright. Bartitsu combined techniques from Jiujitsu, Pugilism, Savate, and stick fighting into a comprehensive self-defense system.

 

The walking stick, cane, and umbrella  are common items that attract very little official attention that would prevent a traveler from being armed almost anywhere in the world. Due to the ravages of age and infirmity, it is almost impossible of legislate these items out of existence.

A person with a bit of training and real-life practice can really turn the tables on an assailant armed with a knife or club. Best of all a cane leaves no “fingerprints” to bring trouble to a person who exercises self-defense in places (UK) where forcibly disagreeing with the plans of one’s murderer has negative legal repercussions. Recall the battle cry raised during the London bridge attack: “Run Hide, Tell!”

I’ll bet them muzzy wankers were quaking in their sandals.

For those without easy access to a martial arts school or HEMA chapter, a number of books on cane and stick fighting are available. Make sure to get at least one partner to practice with, and “All Weapon” fencing masks are a MUST!

Broadsword and Singlestick:: With Chapters On Quarter-Staff, Bayonet, Cudgel, Shillelagh, Walking-Stick, Umbrella, and Other Weapons of Self-Defense
Raising Cane – The Unexpected Martial Art

A martialist, regardless of discipline, should also take in the Principles of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper. It frames the issues of self-defense very clearly.

Stay safe out there!

Three Righteous Souls – Part 14

By Michael Morgan

Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

 

— 14 —

 

“What say there Texas?”

Marty spun around looking for the voice. He’d just been cursing himself for a fool for taking advice from the old man at the gas station. Just go down the road a mile, and turn on the dirt road to the end. Now he was who knows where standing in a grove of trees waiting on some stranger to show up, and he had no idea why or what for.

The old man stepped out from behind a tree, and walked over, “Hi, I’m Tom.”

Marty took the offered hand, “Marty. Am I glad to see you? I was beginning to think I was an idiot.”

“Not today.” Tom opened the thermos he was carrying, and offered the cup to Marty “Cold water?”

“That would be great.” Tom poured and Marty drained the cup before handing it back.

Tom refilled it, “I’m sorry about sending you off the beaten path, but I wanted Camille at the gas station to think you’d gone toward Montgomery.”

“Why does that matter?” Marty handed the cup back and waved off the refill, so Tom poured for himself and drank.

“What did she tell you when you talked to her?” Tom capped the thermos, and stood it on the truck’s hood.

Marty looked disgusted, “The bitch wouldn’t sell me no gas. Said it was for official use only. I offered her ten dollars a gallon, and I begged her, but nuthin’ doin’.”

“Don’t be too hard on Camille,” Tom turned to lean his backside against the fender. “Apparently she’s getting orders from the Feds care o’ our local Sheriff. She just told me the same thing, and that I had to get a Sam’s card in order to buy groceries from now on.”

“That’s weird,” Marty too leaned against the truck. “She didn’t say anything about a Sam’s card to me.”

“Because you’re not a local.” Tom craned his neck to look back along the dirt road for a moment at the sound of a car on the highway, “Way I understand it, you have to be a local to get the goodies, and anyone who’s not local is a refugee. Refugees get arrested and turned over to FEMA.”

Marty nodded in understanding, “Which is why we’re standin’ in this nice shady spot talkin’.” At Tom’s nod he continued, “So you have some gas, and want to make some money.”

“I heard money’s no good anymore,” Tom stirred the dirt with the toe of his boot.  “Can’t buy a thing with it. Nor credit cards.”

Marty looked crestfallen, “So what do we do?”

“In times like this we fall back on ancient traditions,” Tom smiled. “And we do a little horse trading.”

“OK,” Marty brightened. “You know what I need. What do you need?”

Tom turned serious, “Information to start with. Not bullshit. Hard facts.”

Marty nodded acceptance.

“Once I have the information, I may ask you to help me out with a chore.” Tom paused, “Still interested?”

“I can’t say until I hear about this chore of yours,” Marty pushed back his ball cap. “I can’t get mixed up in anything illegal.”

Tom nodded, “Fair enough. The information is worth five gallons of gas to me. Can we start there?”

“Ask away,” Marty offered. “I can’t go nowhere without at least that much.”

Tom thought for a moment, “Where are you coming from?”

“Killeen, Texas.”

“They got electricity?

“Naw. The city is dark. Just the Army base has juice.”

“Why are you running?”

“Running? What makes you think I’m running?”

“Nothing in your truck bed but air, and no bags in the cab. You travel awful light for a man who ain’t running”

“I’m going to my folks in Virginia. Dad was a Marine Sergeant Major stationed at Quantico before he retired. Mom liked the area so they stayed.”

“So what made you leave Texas?”

“Shit is breakin’ loose all over down there since the lights went out. Gangs shootin’ everything up. People lootin’. It’s bad.”

“Isn’t the Army doing anything?”

“One o’ my buddies who’s in the Army called me the day after the lights went out. He said the base was on lockdown, and orders had come down to move everything that wasn’t nailed down. He offered to fill my truck if I hurried. I drove over near the base, but I couldn’t find him. When I tried to go home to pack, things were already starting to come apart, so I just drove out with what I had in my pockets.”

“So how did you end up way out here?”

“The radio was still workin’, and Dallas sounded as bad as what I left, so I headed to Tyler to pick up 20 to Shreveport where I ran out of gas the first time.  I worked for a fella for a few days in exchange for some gas, and I got back on the road. Every time I tried to turn north off I-20, it was blocked off, so I kept going east. I ran out of gas the second time near Jackson, and that ol’ boy like to worked me to death for a week fifteen gallons. Now I’m here.” Marty picked up the thermos and eyebrowed for permission. At Tom’s nod, he uncapped and poured.

Tom waited until Marty had finished drinking, “How many places did you pass that had power?”

“Not many. It was hard to tell because I drove mostly durin’ the day. When I was stopped, only folks with generators had power.”

“Did you see any transformer stations?”

“You mean the burned out ones?”

Tom nodded, “You passed ours over by the gas station.”

“Almost every town had some kind of big fires. I could see the smoke from the highway. Some of the stations along the road were burned.” Marty offered the cup to Tom who declined, so he poured the last and sipped it, “That mean something special?”

Tom scratched his nose, “I’m not sure yet. Did the radio say anything about Washington?”

“Just the national emergency declaration and the usual about how FEMA will be chargin’ over the hill any day now. Lost the radio crossin’ into Mississippi, so I don’t know much after that.”

“You said the riots started the day after the lights went out.”

“Yeah, that’s about right.”

“Riots all over, or just in spots?”

“Defensive-Size”… (0.o)!?

On page 64 of the April 2017 issue of American Rifleman Magazine, Editor in Chief Mark A. Keffe IV dropped an interesting new term, “defense-size”, on the shooter’s lexicon. In this case, Mr. Keefe was referring to Colt’s relaunch of their Cobra .38 Special revolver.

colt_Cobra

[Image courtesy of American Rifleman]

I find the term “defense-size” interesting because it implies a purpose defined application much like the dreaded term “assault rifle” that bears little connection to reality, so let’s examine the notion of “Defense-size” revolvers to see if sense can be made of this concept.

Since today’s topic is “Defense-size” revolvers, we will ignore the single-shot muzzle loading pocket pistols that predate Colt’s Paterson revolvers from 1835.

All of the pistols in this photo have been carried and used for defense. This collection is far from complete, but the firearms pictured represent a sufficient sampling for this discussion.

Defense-Sized_Compare

From the top:

Colt’s 1860 Army revolver – A pistol commonly used during the War of Southern Independence, and on the western frontier. This specimen has a 7” barrel. The 1860 Army was an evolution of Colt’s 1851 Navy which was of similar size and also sported a 7” tube.

Starr revolver – The third most common handgun used by Yankee forces, and one of the few double-action revolvers to be procured by the US War Dept. during the 1860s.

Remington 1858 New Army revolver – This revolver was second to the Colt’s 1851 Navy and 1860 Army revolvers in total numbers purchased by the US War Dept. during the 1960s. Originally issued with a 7 1/2” or 8” barrel, this specimen sports a 5 ½” barrel representing a post-war trend toward shorter barrels commonly referred to as a “sheriff’s model”.

Ruger Super Blackhawk – A modern revolver loosely patterned after the Colt’s Single Action Army that served the US military from 1873 until almost 1900. This pistol has a 4 5/8” barrel, a length sold for civilian use, making it quite easy to carry in a belt or shoulder holster.

Many .22 and .32 caliber revolvers were manufactured by Smith & Wesson as their Model 1 and Model 2 respectively during the 19th century. These diminutive revolvers are represented here for scale by the Ruger Bearcat, a lightweight .22 rimfire pistol sporting a 4” barrel.

During first 75 years of the 20th Century, the most common pistol carried by uniformed police officers were revolvers with 4, 5, or 6” barrels. During this same period, 2-3” barrel “snubnose” versions of the standard duty pistols were introduced. The snubnose revolver is represented here by the Ruger SP101 and the S&W J-frame. (Hat tip to my Mrs. for the loan of her Ladies’ Home Companion with the purty pink stocks.) The snubnose fulfilled the role of providing a compact weapon that could be hidden away by the line cop to be used in case he was disarmed by accident or criminal action. Detectives and administrators took to the snubby in droves because it offered convenient concealment, and was more comfortable to wear.

Just for size comparison, I threw in a Kel-Tec P11 compact 9mm that approximates the size of most semi-automatics popular with those who carry concealed handguns today. Just looking at the picture, a definite trend toward smaller weapons is pretty obvious.

Of course, “smaller” can only go just so far when the gun is chambered for a cartridge suitable for defense. On a revolver, the cylinder and frame immediately surrounding the cylinder are pretty much fixed in size by the dimension of the cartridge, so in order to get “smaller” a few design modifications can be made to reduce overall dimensions and weight. First, the grip frame can be rounded in profile and reduced in size and thinner stock panels can be installed. Second, the barrel can be shortened resulting in the classic 2” snubnose style. Third, the diameter of the cylinder can be reduced by lowering the number of chambers.

In the early days, factories churned out models with full size frames and short barrels. The demand for these pistols was so great a specialty industry sprang up to meet the demand.

J.H. Fitzgerald worked for Colt, and he developed a customization package for Colt’s double action revolvers that became known as the Fitz’s Specials.

Fitz_Special

[Image courtesy of American Rifleman]

Fitzgerald also worked as a police trainer, and his book “Shooting” is worth reading.

While any revolver can be made into a snubby simply by installing a barrel less than 3” in length, the best known example of the archetype are Colt’s Detective Special (an ancestor of the Colt’s Cobra pictured above) and Smith & Wesson’s Chief’s Special 

These two guns were the gold standard for snubnose revolvers until the wonder-nines started taking over police holsters in the 1980s, followed by increasingly compact 9mm pistols. Now things may be changing. Much like ladies’ fashions, revolvers are coming back, and from some unexpected sources.

2017 has been graced by the return of Colt’s Cobra.

The big surprise of 2016 was the K6, a new 2” .357 Magnum revolver from Kimber.

Another 2016 surprise were the mid-size “duty” revolvers from Smith & Wesson in .357 and .44 Magnum. In 2017, S&W recently released 3” versions of these classically styled wheelguns. A 3″ barrel is a bit long for a “snubby”, but it definitely makes these guns easier to conceal.

Unfortunately, no matter how great these pistols are, these weapons require effort to properly master them for use in a defense situation. The good news is the number of resources available to help the new owner of a “Defense-size” revolver get the most out of his firearm.

Snubnose.Info contains a variety of articles that discuss the peculiarities of using a snubnose revolver for concealed carry.

Michael DeBethencourt offers snub-specific training classes. The Blog link on his site contains very helpful information that will round out the information on Snubnose.Info.

Reading can NEVER replace profession firearms training. It CAN provide much food for thought the martialist might find helpful:

The Snubby Revolver: The ECQ, Backup, and Concealed Carry Standard by Ed Lovette

From Amazon: “In this book, former CIA operative and Combat Handguns columnist Ed Lovette pays homage to the short-barreled revolver, or snubby, holding it up as the timeless standard in concealed carry, backup and extreme close quarters (ECQ) defensive weapons.”

Grant Cunningham has written a number of books on firearms and revolvers in particular. Mr. Cunningham offers firearms training, and blogs on personal defense issues. His latest offering is:

Protect Yourself With Your Snubnose Revolver by Grant Cunningham

 

If semi-autos can be described as “compact” and “micro”, then we definitely have a place for “defense-size”, but I still think “snubnose” sounds way cooler.

Stay safe out there.

Some Interesting Thoughts on the Nature of Work

One of the best bits of advice I’ve come across related to writing is, READ.

So I have read a number of books and articles on character development, plot theory,  and story pacing. I feel these things have been positive time investments because they have given me a structured way of thinking about my craft.

Combine the structure with plenty of fiction and non-fiction in my preferred genres, and my product starts to come together pretty well except for a nagging doubt regarding my expectations for my personal productivity.

Family, work, and the necessities of life really interfere with my desire to sit and write. Eventually, I found a balance between my writing and all of the “stuff” that bleeds off my time, energy, and creativity.

I recently came across an article by Mark Manson that provides some interesting perspective on the nature of creative work. Manson’s notion that the total number of hours invested can have an inverse relationship to the overall quality of the work produced, is food for thought for us creative types.

Fair warning, Mr. Manson’s style includes adult language.

 

Return of the Haggis! – Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games 2017

Dallas and Fort Worth have a number of well-publicized cultural events the first weekend of May, but my favorite, hands down, is the Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games  held the first weekend of May on the campus of the University of Texas in Arlington.

When they say “Highland Games”, they are serious. We arrived in time for the Heavy Hammer Throw, Sheaf Over Bar, and Cabers.

SCotFest2017_Sheaf

ScotFest2017_Hammer

The music of Seamus Stout was blasting, and the Belhaven Stout was flowing.

ScotFest2017_SeamusStout

Please sample some of the artists from this year and years past

For the more discerning patrons, Mead and Whisky tasting was available.

The usual collection of “fair food” was on hand, but we enjoyed a selection of pies from Heritage Meat Pies, easily one of the best food vendors at this event. I highly recommend the Curried Lamb pie. Top that off with Zemer’s Homemade Rootbeer. Zemer’s is one my family’s faves. They sell you a cup with your choice of cold rootbeer, vanilla ice cream float, or a new rootbeer slushie. Make sure you save your cup because refills are only $1.00. (Even the floats are only a buck.)

Vendors of traditional and modern Scottish apparel and knickknacks abound. We have seen an increasing number of Steampunk garments and Cosplay accessories in the last couple of years.

A Clan Village allows attendees to meet and greet members of their extended, sometimes VERY extended, families and compare genealogical notes, or take in dance competitions while melodies from the pipers fill the air. Our guest this year discovered her Scottish heritage leads to Clan Gordon by way of Aberdeenshire County.

Scots are big on kith and kin, and the Texas Scottish Festival is a very family friendly event. Kids can take advantage of a special area and activities just for them.

Be sure to catch the North Texas Caledonian Pipes & Drums

SCotFest2017_Caledonians

and the Fort Worth Scottish Pipes & Drums.

ScotFest2017_NTPD

Both groups participate in the opening parades and wander the festival grounds keeping toes tapping. Feel free to break into a reel when the spirit moves you. They are also available to entertain at private events like weddings and parties.

 

The 1st Weekend in May is the date to remember.

Just because you wear a kilt don’t mean you can’t cowboy up.

ScotFest2017_Cowboy

Y’all come out and visit!

Malfunction Clearance with Live Ammo – This Crap Makes Me Crazy

Read an article that should be a wake up for everyone who handles semi-auto firearms, and especially people who train others.

The cause of this is obvious to anyone who shoots tube fed rifles. (Ex: Winchester lever action rifles)

In those guns you have to use flat point bullets to prevent the nose of one round from crushing the primer of the round ahead of it as the gun recoils. (.22Lr guns get around this because the nose of the bullet does not rest on a primer.)

These people were doing malfunction training with LIVE ammo, and 9mm ball has such nice sharp points. When the slide was released to create the malfunction, the nose of the top bullet in the magazine slammed into the primer of the round in the chamber and BANG.

We MUST be careful and thoughtful in our actions people.

Please use dummy rounds when training weapon manipulations, and think about every move you make when handling weapons. EVERY accident and EVERY injury. WILL be used against us by those who would see our civil rights taken away.

 

 

Once again we see the total stupidity of Safe/Gun Free Zones.

The Administration at University of Texas, and their snowflake professors have been some of the most vocal critics of the pending Campus Concealed Carry bill passed in Texas.
Here are three prime examples of why lawful concealed carry is not the problem:

Gun Free Zone – “Safe” Place
“Harrison Brown, a freshman at the university, was one of four people stabbed by the suspect — Kendrex J. White — who “calmly walked around” campus with a “bowie-style” hunting knife and randomly stabbed other students, police and witnesses said.

The three others were injured in the attack.” ~ KTLA.com
CHL Friendly – Safer Place
“Two people are dead, including the suspect, after gunfire erupted at a North Texas sports bar.
The shooting happened shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Zona Caliente sports bar in southern Arlington.

Police Lt. Christopher Cook says the shooter entered the restaurant, got into an argument with an employee and shot and killed the worker. A customer who was armed with a licensed concealed handgun confronted the gunman and shot him dead.” ~ ABC News.go.com

 

The press keeps pushing the narrative that Kendrex White at UT had mental issues.
So what? We’re supposed to stand around an hope he doesn’t come after the rest of us?
My mother didn’t raise a child so stupid as that.

The punk in the bar?
It could have been a personal thing just between him and the bar manager, right?
Maybe he had mental issues too.
Who cares?
How would the bar patrons know?
Were they supposed to cower on the floor like those folks at Luby’s in Killeen did back before Texas had CHL laws?
Then there’s the murder suicide at Northlake College in Irving, Texas.
Another case where a Gun Free Zone failed to stop a horrible crime.
Would a person with a concealed weapon have made a difference? By all witness accounts, no. The murder was done and over with too quickly for anyone to react.

Let’s Try To Be Rational About This…

A person with a concealed weapon is NOT the panacea for every situation.
Concealed weapons give a person options. Sometimes the best option is to run away, or hide, or fight.

Isn’t that the mantra now days? Run – Hide – Fight?

If the best choice in a bad situation is to fight, it is certainly nice to have the tools that give you the best chance of coming out on top.

A “GUN FREE ZONE” SIGN ON A WALL WILL NEVER REPLACE OUR INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR INSURING OUR OWN PERSONAL SAFETY – NEVER.

Is This Trip Really Necessary?

During WWII propaganda posters like this appeared all over the UK and America encouraging people to limit their personal travel to free up resources for the war effort.

NeedlessTravel

Lately, several new reason have appeared that encourage folks to address the question “Is my trip really necessary?”

The puppet theatre known as the TSA failed to detect mock weapons and explosives 95% of the time in 2016, so the answer is obvious. Fire the director, and introduce “enhanced” patdown procedures for the agents.

 

Is this “enhancement” likely to make any difference to passenger safety? No, because it is all baloney.

I especially loved the quote from the LATimes.com article:

““The UPD [universal pat-down] lessens the cognitive burden for our officers…”

Translation: We would not want the people charged with maintaining security to actually have to THINK about how they do their jobs.

And there was some question about why they failed to detect bombs and weapons 95% of the time? Are these fine upstanding agents of the almighty State smart enough to read, much less reason based on objective evidence?

The only truly effective airport security is practiced by the Israeli airline, El Al. Of course we absolutely CAN’T employ their methods in the US because they intentionally PROFILE people, and select people those that meet certain criteria known to be related to terrorism for an additional chat.

In Western Europe and Turkey, the bad actors just moved their violence to the unsecured part of the airports. Maybe not quite as dramatic as crashing a plane, but just as many potential victims close by.

Then we get to the main beneficiaries of this sham, the airlines, and they are just as arrogant and abusive as the STASI guarding the doors.

A gent by the name of Dr. Dao has been all over the news lately after United Airlines had him dragged from their aircraft.

Now, we have an American flight attendant who was not having the best day according to the flight attendants’ union, violently acting on his arbitrary decision to move a stroller from an overhead bin to be checked with the regular luggage. In the process of his little attitude spasm, he “accidentally” hits the woman who owns the stroller in the head while she is holding two infants. When another passenger calls him on his poor behavior, the flight attendant puffs out his chest and challenges the passenger to a fight. As much as this asswipe deserved a vigorous slap across the windpipe, the only person who would be punished was the passenger who stood up for the lady.

I’ll give American Airlines credit. They stepped up to address the incident, and apologize immediately, but this should never have happened. United fiddle-farted around for a week, initially blaming the passenger, then realizing this was a PR nuke, they caved and admitted to being violent jerks.

Airlines and their supporting structures have lost sight of the fact that the American public are customers. We have rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and we have choices where we spend our money, so I suggest we starve the beast. If the airlines go down, so does the TSA, and many of the other useless intrusions into our lives.

Business can be conducted 24/7 from anywhere on the planet. Why are we still sending anyone anywhere? Other than pleasure travel, I just do not see the need that justifies the expense. If I want to travel for pleasure and to relive stress, air travel just flat doesn’t make the cut.

America has plenty of National Parks, State Parks, and other places to go on vacation. Sure, it may require a road trip to get there, but is a road trip any more burdensome than losing an entire day to:

  • Being groped and having your children made subjects of State sponsored child porn
  • Sitting cramped in poor seats
  • Overcharged for EVERYTHING
  • Being fed something that you can’t quite identify
  • Still be at risk of being bumped from your flight because the airline INTENTIONALLY sells too many tickets, or can’t get their personnel where they need to be on time?

Then you get to look forward to going through this crap-cycle again on the way home.

If I drive, I can stop and stretch when I need to. Eat food I actually want to eat, instead of something mysterious from a box. Make a detour because I happen to be passing the largest ball of twine in the world. Best of all, once I factor in the cost of airport parking, taxis, and time lost sitting in airports, driving is actually cheaper.

Airlines whine that they can’t make money with all of the union salary packages. The pilots and flight attendants make the same noise.

Screw ‘em! Let them starve until they understand that WE THE PEOPLE are paying their salaries, and they remember what it means to behave like reasonable, responsible, adults.

Let’s ask ourselves the reasonable question: “Is this trip really necessary?” If the answer is “yes”, then let’s get there without flying, and take back a bit of our dignity and freedom.