23 October 2008

The Hatter Grins

The first semi-auto I shot when I lived in FL was a Glock. Friend and coworker owned it. 'Twas a Glock 19, and I think between the two of us, we easily burned through 300 rounds of ammo.

Fun gun to shoot, but not one I would seriously consider owning if I had other alternatives.

Xavier seems to echo some of my reservations against this very popular brand of autoloader, especially in the lack-of-a-manual-safety department. This tends to be among the top three complaints against Glocks (the other two being their plastic frames, and the fact they are not a ).

However, he puts an angle on it that I really hadn't thought of before:
I dislike the safety on the trigger. The whole idea seems silly to me. A gun ought not go off unless the trigger is pulled. So to make the gun safer through a mechanical means, it only follows that the mechanical safety be independent of the trigger.
Sagely observation, if I do say so myself.

I will echo his respect for the firearm, though. They are reliable, and their modularity allows you to exchange certain parts between them if one breaks. And if a person shoots well with a Glock, more power to them.

But otherwise, nothing beats a H&K.

11 October 2008

Pius XII up for beatification

Read it while perusing Der Spiegel yesterday.

Go ahead and read the article. It's in English.

Some of the regular readers (who have probably dropped off after I had pretty much fallen off the blogging scene) are probably wondering "what's with all the foreign newspapers?"

I can read them (along with Spanish and French...working on Dutch this winter), and sometimes you get a different perspective than what is found in the US media.

Take Sarah Palin's nomination as VP running mate, for example. I went through several Norwegian, German, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, and French online newspapers a good part of that day. Whereas the U.S. leftist propaganda machine was pretty quick to try to find dirt on something that took attention from their anointed one

Most of the European press looked on with what I would describe as "positive curiosity." Interestingly enough, as much as our propaganda machine likes to look at "world opinion," they didn't seem all that hot on sharing in the relatively positive attitude the Euro newspapers I looked at had.

But anyway, getting back to the story at hand...

Pius XII was the Pope during WWII. He is currently up for "beatification," which is the Catholics' way of putting someone on the track toward sainthood.

I'm not all that familiar with the process, and my own theological proclivities find it to be something of a waste of time and energy, but regardless of which side of the confessional fence you stand on, beatification pretty much points out a Catholic personality of note.

Whether or not you were a Jew during this time, "note" might bear some pretty negative connotations. A fair amount of people are not terribly thrilled with Benedict XVI's motion to go on with the beatification process, partially out of speculation that Pius XII (né Eugenio Pacelli) did not do nearly enough to help save persecuted Jews during the Holocaust.

My interest in this matter comes from the research I did on the topic of the Churches during the Holocaust when I was in grad school. By virtue of that research, I'm something of an expert on the topic.

Those of you interested in reading my master's thesis can email me or find it yourself at UT's library or obtain it through interlibrary loan. Here's the pertinent information:

Hatfield, Jeremy Todd, 1969-
An overview of the two faces of the church in German Holocaust literature : passivity and opposition / Jeremy Todd Hatfield.
vi, 66 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

Call number Thesis95.H38

The conclusions that I drew from the Vaticans' dealings during this time are mixed--on the one hand, the Church was very much interested in its own survival, and did factor in the Nazis in consideration of the rise of Communism that was also going on at the time. In this, it limited itself in official, high-profile actions against the Nazis.

On the other hand, there were a handful of notable priests, f. eks. von Galen, Lichtenberg (ditto on his beatification in 1996), and Maximilian Kolbe (canonized in 1982), who did not just stand idly by, but largely acted outside the Church's directives in its dealings with the Nazis.

Despite this, von Galen was beatified in 2005; Lichtenberg in 1996. Kolbe was canonized in 1982. Despite my views on Catholic sainthood, I can stand behind the elections of these individuals to there revered statuses. But Pacelli himself? That's a hard call to make, especially having the luxury of looking back 60 years after the fact.

Anyway, it pushed my history button, and I wound up buying two books on Half.com. One was "Hitler's Pope," and the other a rebutting work called "The Myth of Hitler's Pope." I'll reserve judgement until I have read both of these.

80s Music Quiz

Taken from today's online edition of Aftenposten.

It's in Norwegian, but all the tunes are from the U.S. of A. Simply start the quiz by clicking on the arrow, and you have a few seconds to recognize who wrote the song playing.

I got 96 out of 100. But that's no surprise. I grew up with '80s music.

10 October 2008

Chavez Strikes again

And this time, he hopes to undermine America's Capitalist stranglehold on his revolutionary domain...

By attacking McDonald's.

More to read about it here (in German, from Der Spiegel)

And for those of you who only ready English, here's another news agency's take on it.

Boo-frickin' hoo.

Socialist medicine leaves us with a mess like Canada.
Socialist government leaves us with a wreck like the former East Bloc Countries
Socialist food services will starve the people out.

I don't think Chavez would be able to placate Venezuelans with state-approved Bolivar Burritos.

Whatever Happened to Ex-Post Facto?

h/t Xavier Thoughts

Orange County, PRC, is in the process of revoking some 146 CCW permits it had already issued.

The reason comes in a letter the revokees will receive:
"The Department has determined that your identified risk does not meet the good cause threshold as required under the new CCW policy based upon the information you provided. As a result of this determination, the Department's present intention is to revoke your CCW license."
Now, what caught my attention was "under the new CCW policy."

Fischig. Now, I am not entirely certain what all getting an Orange County CCW permit entails, or if they can be revoked so easily. But my limited legal understanding remembers something called "ex-post facto," which means that if a standard changes, it should not violate another's right, even if it were acquired under an older set of standards.

Take, for instance, speed limits. If Alaska should invoke a strict 55 mph statewide highway speed limit today, it could not revoke my license for having driven 65 mph on its highways for the last few years.

But yet, the new Sherriff of Orange County seems to be doing exactly this sort of thing for legally-acquired CCW permits.

At any rate, I went ahead and read the original article, to see what on earth is going on over there, and found out something that pissed me off even more.

Turns out that Mike Carona, the former Sherriff of Orange County, and who I remember appearing on Full Disclosure about 3 years ago debating L.A. Sherriff Lee Baca over the CCW issue, was indicted on some sort of corruption charge fairly recently. Seems that he showed a little bit of favoritism in handing out permits.

Well, hell. As if an Arschlecker like Lee Baca is any cleaner. He's reknowned for exactly the same sort of behavior, only catering to his county's elite.

But, you see, Baca knows who's in power over in the PRC, and bends over for them like a good...*cough* *cough*. Trying to keep it clean here.

He keeps his position (take that as a double-entendre if you want), while Carona (more favorable to the federal interpretation of 2A--unpopular with the so-called elite) gets canned. Someone else more faithful to the PRC's party line moves in, and the disease keeps spreading.

Thank God I am NOT a subject of the PRC.