Sunday, January 13, 2008

Charles Cotton is Running

Not every election is about getting a nice government office. One important election every year involves the Board of Directors for the NRA. every year 25 of the 75 Director slots come up for election. Now I'm not a huge fan of the NRA, but Charles is a leader in getting aggressive towards advancing our rights and anyone who has ever met him understands he is not one to settle for half of a right. Although he is supportive of the NRA and TSRA of their candidate rating system, I believe he will make his voice heard in ensuring Libertarians are treated more fairly in the future.

Charles is involved in the TSRA the NRA's Texas legislative branch. Because of Charles the TSRA is one of the most influential state lobbyist organizations in the country. Every year since 1995 Texas has improved the rights of gun owners in Texas. In 1995 The Texas Legislature passed the Texas Concealed carry law. John Cotton had a lot to do with this, he tells a story of how he celebrated when he got his piece of plastic known as the CHL.
When my first CHL came in the mail (early 1996), I was working late at the office after having been in court all day for several days. When I got home, I opened the envelope, stared at the CHL for several seconds, changed into my jeans, and put my gun on. I put a coat over it (it wasn't cold at all), then headed out the front door.

My wife asked where I was going and I told her I was going to stand in the middle of the street. She looked at me like I was crazy and asked why. I said, "because I can, for the first time in over 120 years!" At that time, it had been a 16 year fight for me and I felt I had earned those 60 seconds in the street. Sometimes a little self-indulgence is understandable.
I know of several CHLers who have repeated whats now known as the "Cotton Stand" Maybe it sounds silly on the 4th of July ever since I heard him tell the story I too will stand in the middle of my cul d'sac, and consider the progress we've made.

Charles didn't stop after his victory in 1995, he has continued to push for better and fairer treatment for gun owners, he has authored and pushed through many of laws and and protected us from losing ground.

Charles isn't just a lobbiest, he is a instructor of the highest caliber, his devotion to safety and the right to defend ones self drives Charles, his energy seems unending. Anyone who is fortunate enough to been through one of Charles class has learned from the very best. Charles has spent a lot of effort in getting women involved in arming themselves and learning to protect themselves.
Charles is a tireless worker and is pushing the cause. Some of the national things he is personally involved with is to allow state laws to determine carry status in Federal Parks, Charles is also active in the Supreme Court Heller vs D.C case, Charles is a winner and I predict good things in the next few Months. But Charles is concerned.
Gun owners have enjoyed tremendous success at the polls for several years, but the 2008 Presidential Election has correctly been described as the "most wide-open in over 50 years." The very real prospect of returning an anti-gun Clinton to the White House has implications even more ominous than the 1994 passage of the Clinton gun-ban, also known as the "assault weapons" ban. Added to this threat is the Democratic Party's control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Clearly, the battle to defend our Second Amendments rights is far from over. Since suffering stunning defeats at the polls in 2000 and 2004, anti-freedom groups like the Violence Policy Center, Sara Brady and their ilk have focused on state legislatures. They are hardly content to accept the demise of the so-called "assault weapons" ban and are introducing even more menacing legislation in several states. These same forces are also working hard to elect Senator Hillary Clinton, confident that she will remember them as her "friends." Under President Bush's direction, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton lead a successful fight against anti-gun forces within the United Nations and against George Soros' puppet Rebecca Peters, all of whom were trying to do with a UN treaty what the anti-gun forces have been unable to do in the Legislature. Unfortunately, the U.N. small arms treaty is like a summer cold, it always seems to come back. If Hillary is in the White House and Democrats like Senators Schumer and Feinstein continue to enjoy a majority in the Senate, a devastating U.N. smalls arms treaty is a very real possibility.
Charles makes a painful point, and a strong tough NRA is needed more than ever. Charles is the man they need, he knows how to win. Those who have the opportunity to vote this February should remember Charles Cotton. Charles isn't about settling for anything less the the full right of Americans to keep and bare arms. Those who vote should remember that 1 or 2 selections is a more powerful vote than to select the 25 that you are entitled to.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Losing a Friend

The Simon family lost a good friend this week. We know the fuzzy one will be missed.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Building a Vacuum Tube at Home

Fabrication d'une lampe triode

French amatuer Radio Operator, Builds a Triode Vacuum tube. In this fascinating video, Claude Paillard takes us step by step in the process of hand fabricating a vacuum tube.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

DVD Wars are Over

The choice has been Blu-Ray or HD DVD. The winner is not to be determined by what the consumer wants, but rather what providers wish to offer. Decisions by the studios are more to do with ego and pride more than economics and technology. The consumer has not been persuaded to buy into one or the the other until there is a a clear market leader. Conventional wisdom says there can be only one surviver.

Time Warner announced this week that they instead of producing in both formats as they have been doing, in the future they will only produce in Blu-Ray format. This is huge, and should be enough to convince other studios and consumers that the choice is clear.
This Christmas, consumers were lobbied hard by both sides as dirt-cheap Toshiba HD-DVD players were advertised heavily by Wal-Mart for $98.87 (and $15 HD movies...) while the higher priced Blu-ray players were also discounted by electronics retailers though not nearly as much. "The addition of WB brings exclusively Blu-ray marketshare to 70%. For Universal and Paramount/DreamWorks, any continued (non-contractual) support for HD-DVD exclusively is about corporate and executive ego and NOT the consumer or the marketplace." For a long time, Hollywood was lopsided in favor of Blu-ray: 7 of the 8 major movie studios (Disney, Fox, Warner, Paramount, Sony, Lionsgate and MGM) supported Blu-ray, and 5 of them (Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate and MGM) release their movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format. Only Universal was exclusively HD-DVD. Now that is rapidly changing what with HD DVD exclusive converts Paramout and DreamWorks Animation, and Warner Bros now for Blu-ray.
I'm not sure, but I think the consumer is the ultimate winner of all of this. I hate seeing Sony coming out on top, but maybe I hold a grudge a little bit to long.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

District 22 Republican Candidates

The Republican Slate for District 22 looks pretty full with 1o candidate wannabees as
compiled by the Galveston Daily News:
This is the District that Tom Delay had left in ruins as he ran off to Virginia in shame. Lampson will be running unopposed in the Democratic Primary. If I were to bet on the winner on this one it would be on Shelly Although we will be pulling for Talton we will be wishing thing them all good luck.

A Poor Decision

Banjo Jones predicts a "bit of a shitstorm". Ron Paul probably won't come out of it smelling so good.

There is a Lot of Poking around Going On

Aparently the FBI is interested in some of the goings on in Harris County, The Harris County Sports Authority, and the City Houston itself. Wayne Dolcefino has a report in which he tells of a discussion with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett

Tonight we learn the city hall subpoenas involve Hermes Firm and design work it may have done on a fire training academy. The subpoena also asks about expense records for a trip McGilbra took to Los Angeles. Add to this the ongoing controversy swirling around the District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal and you get why the county judge was waiting for the next shoe to drop. Now it's dropped.

"It's like a spider with eight legs, shoes keep dropping here," Emmett said.

Michael Surface has refused to talk with us for weeks as we've begun to spread our investigation to the sports corporation and the Reliant Stadium. And once again emails are in the mix. The sports corporation lawyer told us Surface deleted emails involving sports corporation business written on his Keystone company computer.

"I think that's probably troublesome," Emmett told us.

We know the feds are examining the deals for the city's emergency dispatch center and at least two Houston fire facilities. But it's the names of the contractors under scrutiny and their millions of dollars in government contracts that may lead to lots of questions in the coming weeks for lots of elected officials.

Now we don't pretend to know where this all is heading, but it certainly has the potential to to be very big.

Tip of the Hat to BlogHouston


Friday, January 04, 2008

Strange, I thought the English Are a Free People

I thought that free speech was an English tradition. I suppose there must be some sacrifices in the name of political correctness.
And now the first British blogger is about to face the Multicultural perp-walk.

Lionheart is a well-known patriotic blogger in England, and is on our blogroll. He is currently outside the UK, and has been informed that he will be arrested for stirring up racial hatred as soon as he returns home.
At issue is Lionheart's blog, he writes about he perceives as a Moslem threat to his civilized world.
The cultural weapon in the hands of the modern Jihad within Great Britain, silencing the opposition using our own laws against us - The Dumb Filthy Kaffir's as the Moslem would say to his children behind closed doors.

What has become of my homeland, the land my forefathers fought and died for on the battlefields of the world when one of their children is forced into the position of facing years in prison for standing up for what is right and just within British society.

At least my words of truth have obviously now reached people's eyes and ears, with the powers that be now intent on silencing me - Third World Tyranny in a supposed 21st Century democracy!

I wonder if the Moslem peer Lord Ahmed was one of the people behind trying to silence me, I did wonder about why he crashed his car and nearly killed himself over Christmas, let that be a lesson to you - 1 Chronicles 16:22 Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.”

How dare any Moslem try and silence the truth from being told by an Englishman about the Islamic enemy in our midst within the British homeland.

Although I do understand tha his rhetoric is a bit on the extreme side. He has a valid point about the Moslems helping destroy freedom of speech, at least in this instance.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Lessons on Losing Support

One of the basic tenants of politics is that one needs to understand who your core supporters are and to understand why they are supporters.

Chuck Rosenthal got elected as the the Harris District Attorney, he took over as Republican to replace Johnny Holmes. The guy has been a loser by almost anyones account and has alienated anyone who might have supported him in the past.

His most famous case involved 2 gay who were whooping it up yelling and screaming. The cops thought someone was getting killed. So the cops drag them into jail to try to sort it all out. Drop it into Chuck Rosenthals lap. Now Chuck could have just dropped it and hoped that the men involved would have learned a little something about discretion. He could have charged them with disturbing the peace. Maybe a little much but it wou;d drive home a point. But no neither of these choices were good enough for Chucky, he was going to go all the way by pressing a sodomy charge.No one seemed to remember when the last time anyone dragged a sodemy charge in Texas. They hadn't for good reason, it would never stand up to a constitutional test. Chuck so in In 2002, he argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in Lawrence v. Texas that laws against sodomy are constitutional. The Court disagreed with him, holding 6-3 that prosecutions for private sexual conduct violate the United States Constitution. He lost at great expense to the taxpayer. Because he got it tossed out he lost a tool for law enforcement officers. Even though any inteligent Police officer or prosecuter knew the law was bogus and wouldn't hold up, it was often used as a bargaining chip when dealing with rape charges and prosecution. The ACLU discovered Chuck is the enemy, law enforcement agencies got to identify Chuck as some kind of nut.

Chuck seems to have an affinity about going after the black politically connected. He has been accused of contributing to feeding the racially charged flames in Harris. As recorded in Wiki.

Rosenthal started off his term as District Attorney trying to make a name for himself going after various elected officials including Former Police Chief C.O. Bradford and Former Justice of the Peace Mark T. Fury. Most the elected officials Rosenthal investigated where African-American and in response Rosenthal went after Mark T. Fury, a caucasian Justice of the Peace. It has been suggested that Rosenthal went after Fury to ease concerns in the black community that he was a racist.
This didn't help him broaden support. Yet it gets worse.

Harris County is divided are moderate Democrats and and conservative Republicans, most Texans from either party in Harris county will quickly inform outsiders that the the right to bear arms is not only a constitutional right but a god given one. So far might be able to gather support from law and order types, the social conservatives But Chucks still not done with screwin' the Pooch.

In 2005 the Texas State legislature passed HB823, Governor Perry signed it. The law had universal support from the ACLU and gun owners. Rosenthal didn't like it. Grits for Breakfast explains:
With the passage of HB 823 (Keel/Hinojosa) into law September 1, legislators and the National Rifle Association believed they'd finally resolved a longstanding dispute that for years turned thousands of legal gun owners into law enforcement targets. Texas law lets drivers carry a weapon in their car when they're "traveling," but the definition of traveling has never been legally settled.

So the Legislature passed HB 823 creating a "presumption" that the driver is "traveling" unless one of five things is true:
(a) the weapon is in plain view, (b) the defendant is a convicted felon, (c) it's a public, not a personal vehicle, (d) the defendant committed a Class B misdemeanor or worse, or (e) the defendant is a gang-banger. (Conflict alert: I testified at the hearings in both chambers in favor of the bill on behalf of ACLU of Texas.)

The new law seemed pretty straight forward. If the gun is legal, you're not a crook, you're driving your own car, and if the gun is stowed (i.e., you're not driving around with it laying on the passenger seat like an idiot), then you can carry a gun in your car when you're driving. At least, that's what legislators thought they'd passed.

Nearly immediately, though, prosecutors and police began to say they wouldn't enforce the new law, or, rather, would continue to enforce the old one. Harris County DA Chuck Rosenthal led the charge, announcing instructions to officers to continue to make arrests for UCW (unlawfully carrying a weapon just like they always had.
This of course created a lot of confusion in Houston and Harris county. The state passes a law and the man that is elected to enforce these laws is telling his officers to go ahead and ignore the these laws. So he has taken on the ACLU again, Texas Gun owners, and anyone who believes that DAs are to enforce the law, not create them. In 2007 HB1815 was championed by the TSRA and the ACLU was passed by the lege, signed by the Governor. The new law is considered pretty bulletproof but would have been unnecessary if it were not for Chucky's belief that he is above the law.

So Chuck gets himself sued over some allegations that he ordered some one to get beat up. His email gets get made public, and lo and behold he is caught messing around with one of his staff. Whoa is his wife gonna be pissed. The Republican party wasn't to happy either and suggest to Chuck that maybe he should step down. Ole Chucky responds with something like "Hell, you guys ain't never done nothing for me anyway." He upset at least one Precinct chair.

So your argument is that we didn't do much for you in 2000 or 2004. That's funny, I did literature drops for you. I put up signs. I called voters on your behalf. Glad to know that you don't consider that to be significant, s I won't make the mistake of doing it again.

But this also clarifies something quite important. You don't belong don't he GOP primary ballot, and you don't merit the GOP nomination. After all, the leadership of the Harris County GOP has made it clear that the Party does not want you. You have made it clear that you don't need us. That sounds like the grounds for an amicable divorce, which would take the form of you withdrawing from the primary and running as an independent.

So lots take an inventory of who is going to help to help Old Chuck Rosenthal.

  • Democrats: Well they sort of don't like voting for Democrats.
  • Republicans. Whoops He alienated them pretty good by not acknowledging they ever gave a hand. Ungratefulness is not a flattering trait
  • Libertarians, Well there his tendancy to want to write laws his own way.
  • Gun Owners. Now theres a fat chance
  • Law and Order Types. There is that making his laws thing.
  • Gay and Lesbian Community. Whoops not his fanclub.
  • Conservatives. Well there is that family values thing.
  • His Wife. Has she foiund a good lawyer yet?
Truth is exept maybe for a few gullible friends Chucky doesn't have any supporters. Today Chuckie decided to give up the ghost and not run in 2008. The Republicans will anoint another candidate or two for nomination into the primary process. Its going to prove interesting over the next several months.
Update: 1/3/2008
Maybe there is more to Chucky's sudden retreat than we realized.


Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a Good Christmas, and we looking forward to a Great New Year. Intesting to note that Kevin Whited finds that despite Houston's lack of a World class celebration everyone had a pretty good time anyway.
We do suspect that, even without a world-class "annual" event like a New Year's Eve Rising Star, most Houstonians will have a fine time tonight. Somehow, Houstonians always seem manage to muddle along just fine, even if our leaders occasionally have "world-class" envy.
Greg is making predictions for the following year and Banjo Jones will be looking for Ron Paul to goi independent. Looks like Laurence has already screwed up his New Years Resolution. I haven't made any this year, but I've managed somewhat to keep last years and gave up cigars. It's not a complete break, I still enjoy a quality cigar on a very rare occasion. I will still keep the number down to less than a handful a year.

Meanwhile Martha Griffin is looking forward to the Democrats taking back Texas State House this year. I wish her a great year, but not in this dream of hers. You have to love an optimist though no mater how crazy they sound.

Jack Kluth promises kinder and gentler blogging.
The depths of my convictions haven’t changed, but I’m feeling the need to be more magnanimous and more tolerant of those unenlightened souls not fortunate enough to think as I do. I know that I don’t have all the answers. Like anyone else, I have my blind spots. While the targets of my rants will likely remain unchanged, I’m going to make every effort to be more tolerant and kinder in my writing.
We wish the best for him.

I'm sure Markus will find some good fishing out in West Bay in 2008. To all I wish a wonderful 2008.

Beretta 92FS Review

Ever since I first saw one, I wanted the Beretta 92FS. This is the same sidearm as the M9, the handgun that our armed forces carry today. Several weeks ago I got a message from a friend on Texas CHL Forum with an ad for them at $399.00

They are back!! One day only. This Saturday September 1st, 9am untl 1pm. Brand new, in the box Beretta Model 92FS 9mm, with 3 Hi-Cap mags, box, papers and gun lock $ 399 !!! First come, first served, Ty's Gun Shop, inside Cowboy Polaris on Hwy 69 in Nederland (formerly Southeast Texas Powersports) They will not last long. No early birds please. Sale starts Saturday at 9am. These are brand new guns, not used and not reconditioned. New New guns. If you missed out last time, don't miss this time.

I made the 100 mile drive down to Nederland and plunked down my 400 bucks and got the police special, 3 mags manual the obligatory Berettta bicycle lock, and a 92fs 9mm handgun in a cardboard box. Yup, it was a cheap corrugated cardboard box. 3 magazines though, I could load up almost a whole box of ammo into those 15 rounders. Magazines for the Berretta though are easily available, I can pick up 15 rounders at the surplus store for $10.00 and Academy has them for $18.00

The first thing I did was after studying the manual was to disassemble the gun, wiped out the grease, ran a patch down the barrel, and lightly oiled. the workings and slide. The Beretta comes apart easily and intuitively. There is no critical lining up or trigger pull involved. Push the takedown button and flip the lever slide forward and the slide is separated from the frame. There are some plastic parts. The trigger, and the hammer are plastic, although one can't really notice with casual observation . The guide rod is plastic and looks particularly flimsy although I haven't noticed anyone having issues with it on the net, supposedly it is just as reliable as the older style metal rod. The wide open chamber makes it easy to inspect even in poor light conditions. There really isn't much opportunity for spent brass to jam up, and is a help in keeping this gun ambidextrous.

Shooting her is very pleasant. The Beretta is a natural pointer. To point is to have the 3 dots line right up on the target. The recoil is gentle even with stout personal defense loads. Recovery seems automatic and almost instantaneous. The trigger in double action is long but smooth, in single action the pull is very short and light. I've put about 1,000 rounds through her so far, and there hasn't been a single problem. Its 5” barrel provides a nice sight radius. Line the sights up squeeze the trigger. An X ring hole is an almost guaranteed result. Darn gun almost aims itself.

This thing is pretty big though and it's not the ideal conceal carry piece. I normally carry my Ruger 95. in a Don Hume JIT Outside the waistband holster. I haven't made much of an effort to find a suitable holster because as far as I'm concerned its not suitable for every day carry. I do carry it on occasion though. I have a cheap Uncle mikes and will carry it if I am wearing a large cover garment, or in the waist hipside or at at the small of the back. Its comfortable enough for walking around, but its a literal pain in the butt to carry in a car. I know of some people that do carry a 92FS on a regular basis. Most seem to prefer 'small of the back' carry also.

If one wants a nice handgun right out of the box, thats not going to cost an arm and a leg. This might be the gun for you. This is one of the more trustworthy handguns made, afterall, it is built for military performance. It is pretty, it works, its effective, very nice to shoot but its not small.