Sunday
Feb142010

LET’S JUST TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER, SHALL WE?

The snow is melting away as I write this. It began melting yesterday. On Friday, Northeast Georgia got hit with the odd snowstorm. I use the word “odd” because, in most years, we never see snow. This year we’ve seen a dusting or two and that couple of inches that is just melting off. It’s been an unusually wet winter. Actually, fall and summer were pretty wet, too. Georgia has gone from water shortages and drought to floods and ground so saturated even relatively minor rainfalls are causes for flash flood warnings and rivers and streams rising to or above flood stage. This is all in less than a year. Sharon was just checking the forecast and we may wind up with another inch or two of snowfall starting tonight and into tomorrow. I’m no meteorologist, but I’ve always been interested in weather, read books and articles about meteorology, done some serious research in association with our writing. And, the climate is changing.

But, that is normal. Earth’s climate is not static. Go driving in Wisconsin sometime and check out the terrain. You’ll see things called “terminal moraines,” little ridges and hills that were formed where the advancing glaciers of the last true Ice Age stopped. We used to live in Chicago, in the suburb of Oak Park. We checked a map showing the southernmost boundary of the Ice Age “Lake Chicago,” a sort of Lake Michigan on steroids. If we’d lived in Oak Park in those days, we could have walked to the beach which was only about a mile away, according to that map.

When the Earth warmed up after that last great Ice Age, it wasn’t because there were too many cars emitting too much pollution, nor were those great factories that didn’t exist belching too much smoke into the atmosphere. No, it was just because the climate of our planet is cyclical. Why? I have no idea. Maybe God just wanted it that way, or maybe the very cycles of our planet’s climate keep it from ever getting so hot or so cold that it would be uninhabitable. Solar cycles have to do with Earth’s climate, of course, and I’d really love for one of the “mankind is destroying the planet” fanatics to explain exactly how we are affecting the Sun.

What man does on the surface of the Earth certainly has some effect. If we are in a cycle of global warming, our greenhouse gas emissions may well be hastening it along – but, cycles are still natural and I’m becoming more and more convinced that a suspicion I’ve harbored for quite some time is proving out.

As I say in our forthcoming book, SURVIVE! THE DISASTER, CRISIS AND EMERGENCY HANDBOOK, “With the melt-off of cubic mile after cubic mile of fresh-water Arctic Sea ice and Greenland glacier comes the very real potential for radical cooling of the British Isles and much of Western Europe, due to a slowdown or shutdown of the Gulf Stream.

“The Gulf Stream is actually a two-way ‘street,’ part of which is called the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – NAMOC, for short. The Gulf Stream brings warm waters up from the Caribbean, which allows England, Scotland, Wales, the Irelands and Western Europe to have temperate climates. This two way-street, however, can be closed for repairs when the temperature and salinity of the interchange location in the North Atlantic are altered. For the Gulf Stream to work and the warm current to come north, a returning current of salt water must travel back. An oversimplification, perhaps, but if traffic in one direction is reduced or stopped, traffic in both directions are affected. If the circulation is seriously altered, the British Isles and Western Europe will have drastically colder winters at best. At worst, the Northern Hemisphere could experience a return to glaciation and a new Ice Age – minus the cute animated animals. The ultimate irony would be that global warming – whatever the cause and extent – causes global cooling.”

In the light of Climategate and faked or unsubstantiated research being used as the basis for much of the “fact” proving the profound effect humanity is having on global warming, perhaps those climate authorities who are warning that we are entering into a period of global cooling and a possible mini-Ice Age will be given more credence.

It is not a bad idea to study the Earth’s weather systems, certainly. But, spending money to study something called “global warming” is rather like measuring a man for a pine box before putting him on trial for a hanging offense – outcome is assumed to be assured. People like the guy who lives in The White House and his minions and the world government crowd at the United Nations want to “prove” that mankind is ruining the planet, this as justification for more regulation, more taxes, more restrictions and fewer freedoms. If the facts don’t agree with the hoped for outcome, it matters not at all. Can you say, “Ulterior motive?”

Tuesday
Feb022010

A DANGEROUS GAMBLE

The guy who was stupidly sent off to live in the White House may be taking the biggest gamble not only in our nation’s history, but the history of the world. Sharon and I were married in 1968 and bought a television set – a little black and white portable that was a floor model – in time to see man’s first steps on the moon in 1969. And, yes, I really believe we did put a man on the moon. I had hoped that we would again. Now, however, fearless leader and his team of leftist social planners are chopping replacements for the obsolescent Shuttle fleet out of the budget. Just to get astronauts up to the space station, we’ll have to hitch rides with the Russians, for which they are charging us up the ying-yang, as they have a right to do, of course. The Russians continuing their endeavors in manned space flight is the problem.

If you recall, the reason John F. Kennedy pushed for racing to the moon was to beat the Russians to it. In those days, when the kindly Russians were the nasty Soviets, we and other western nations were worried that, if the Russians got to the moon first and built a base there, missiles could be installed and a veritable “sword of Damocles” would hang over our heads and the Russians could have their way with the world.

Well, guess what, leftists! Unless the Russians have changed their mind, it is their express intent to return to the moon and establish a permanent presence there. Both the European Space Agency and the Japanese have plans for manned lunar bases. I’m sure the Chinese have similar interests. What happens when not only countries that like us, but countries that don’t, have lunar facilities and The United States does not?

And, lest we forget, our planet is in what is often called a cosmic shooting gallery, Near Earth Objects (NEOs) of wide ranging size – maybe twenty-five percent of the bigger one’s catalogued – zipping around us all the time. It is commonly believed that the Gulf of Mexico was formed when one of these larger NEOs struck Earth and wiped out the majority of species on the planet. Eventually, what is called a “Planet Killer” will come again. Hey, maybe we’ll be able to divert or destroy it. But, what if we can’t? Mankind’s destiny is among the stars, lest some NEO, some terrible pandemic or some other cataclysm obliterate the species on this planet. It would be nice to think, if that should someday happen, that survivors of the human race might carry with them the principles of freedom and justice which have been the hallmark of The United States. Thanks to the short-sightedness of leftist social planners, America may one day be only a vague memory lost in the corridors of time. Administration plans cancelling development of manned space flight vehicles and a return to the moon are egregiously stupid.

Tuesday
Jan122010

WHY DON’T WE REALLY TRY CAPITALISM?

At lunch today, Sharon and I were discussing our usual mixture of personal, business and political “stuff.” Ever since the disastrous 2008 Presidential Election, we’ve been talking politics more and more. This morning, when I fired up the computers, FOX News and AP were both proclaiming that the guy living in The White House and his minions were planning to levy some additional taxes on the institutions which received an infusion of bailout funds. It seems like the current administration and its Congressional cronies can’t do anything without including a new tax or tax hike. And, we were talking about a friend who’s not very well off and had just undergone major surgery, in its aftermath experiencing some startling revelations about the extent to which his caregivers would be compensated — not very well, considering the heroic measures undertaken to save our friend’s life. He and I got in to discussing – and not resolving, by any means – what moral obligation there might or might not be for a governmental entity to pay for someone’s health care – sort of a microcosm of the macrocosm, as it were, with the Leftists in Washington trying to kidnap the nation’s health care industry.

To help people who cannot afford health care and the extent to which this is done is a complex moral question, to be sure. But, neither Sharon nor I see any moral or philosophical questions relevant to the proposed health care bills in Congress. What is proposed is theft, pure and simple. Stealing businesses, money and choice from the American people is not one of the powers granted to Congress in The United States Constitution. A lot of folks in both Houses of Congress seem to have missed that concept.

But, yet, certain things have to be paid for by governments. Not all the silly crap and pork barrel spending, but worthwhile expenditures such as national defense, the interstate highway system, the space program, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Weather Service and its related organizations, etc.

How do you do this without stealing greater and greater sums of money from businesses and individuals? Margaret Thatcher once said, “The trouble with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.” What if you took other peoples’ money out of the equation? Gradually, of course. The United States Government tossed fortunes into a number of companies lately, most notably, perhaps, General Motors and Chrysler Corporation. Why not use this as the basis for a new start?

The problem in The United States as relates to government spending is we – individuals, small businesses, large corporations, banks, etc. – all function as Capitalists and that’s the way it should be, because Capitalism is the finest economic system ever created. The “rub,” however, is that the government runs not like anything having to do with Capitalism, but Socialism, instead.

During the American Civil War, an income tax was imposed in the North for a brief period. This was in 1862 and ended in 1872. In the 1890s, there was another experiment in income tax. In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was passed, saying, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” By fiscal year 1918, the government had scored its first cool billion in income tax revenues. Who’d give up on swag like that? Withholding taxes were first begun in 1943, thus cutting out the middle man — you.

Why not gradually use the government’s investments of our money in private businesses as the start of various government owned – meaning, citizen owned – businesses. Let’s say the government has a mighty share in GM and Chrysler. As those companies hopefully become profitable again, just like any shareholders, the American citizenry gets dividends and those dividends get put into the Federal Budget. We get our people in Congress – and, if they won’t co-operate, we use recalls and regular elections to dump them and get trustworthy replacements – to mandate through legislation that citizen oversight boards make certain that partially government owned GM and Chrysler aren’t competing unfairly with non-government owned Ford and the import based brands. Free market economy!

Take this idea many steps further. You can choose to shop at Kroger or Jewel Tea or wherever else or at “U.S. Government Grocers,” and the government has to actually compete for your business and pay profits into the general revenue fund. Want to buy a new handgun? Maybe you’d pick up on a Glock or SIG or Smith & Wesson. Or, maybe, you check out the models available from “U.S. Government Firearms Manufacturing.” All the profits made, after expenses, go toward meeting the nation’s expenses, then eradicating the huge debt we owe to China and others, while parts of the profits from “U.S. Government Dairies” and “U.S. Government Airways” and “Uncle Sam’s U.S. Government Hamburgers, Under The Golden Sign Of The Dollar,” go into replacing the almost countless self-destructing bridges and roads that are part of our nation’s gradually crumbling infrastructure.

In the far distant future, when all government debt is paid and more money is coming in through these investments made on behalf of American citizens, the government can do like the state government of Alaska has done with oil revenue profits – send every citizen a check each year.

Let’s try Capitalism, because it’s a cinch that what the government is doing now certainly isn’t working! Let me know what you think, if you care to.

Saturday
Dec262009

JASPER SCHURINGA — HERO

If everything is as it appears on Saturday, December 26, 2009, according to Fox News, we have a true Hero to thank for keeping Christmas 2009 from becoming “12-25-09″ in our memories. A cowardly crackpot religious zealot terrorist homicidal maniac cretan apparently tried killing around 300 people on a Delta/Northwest flight about to land in Detroit. It seems that this worthless excuse for a living organism wanted to be some kind of “hero” in the afterlife, the kind who gets waited on hand and foot by a bunch of fawning mindless virgins as a reward for comitting senseless slaughter in this life. As the blithering fool was getting his weapon into action, a Dutch film director named Jasper Schuringa smelled smoke, heard a popping sound, bounded over four fellow passengers and discovered an infernal device hidden beneath a blanket and between the dirtbag’s legs. Flames were rising. The Hero Schuringa grabbed the weapon, started beating out the flames by hand and was soon joined by flight crew personnel. Then, the Hero subdued the villain. The aircraft landed and the forces of evil had lost their latest despicable gambit, no innocent lives taken on the day the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus. We should all line up to shake the Hero Schuringa’s hand and hope he wins every Best Director award from now on — but a Congressional Medal of Honor might be more appropriate. As to the villain of the piece, let’s waterboard him or skateboard him or snowboard him until we recover every scintilla of useful information about the global terrorist network from his warped brain, then give him a fair trial — something his vile masters would not understand. If he’s convicted, kill him mercifully and be done with him. Enough of guys like him; never enough of guys like the Hero Schuringa.

Saturday
Dec122009

I SPILLED CATSUP ON MY HOMEWORK!

 

I SPILLED CATSUP ON MY HOMEWORK – HONEST!!!

Well, that’s not really true.  I apologize for being away from the website for so long, but Sharon and I were up against the wall with two large projects that had serious deadlines and a number of installments of our monthly columns in DILLON BLUE PRESS and GUN WORLD, the column on swords in the bi-monthly KNIVES ILLUSTRATED and a new column which will appear once each month in GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE.  The January 4th issue of GUN DIGEST THE MAGAZINE is just out, with that first installment, as this is written.

Also, by way of explaining my absence here, I must admit that I take a while to warm to technology – things like working within a website.  But, I’m trying!

One of the projects which we just completed is something fans of John Rourke, “THE SURVIVALIST,” should appreciate, a book liberals who believe the government can protect them from all harm will thoroughly dislike.  We wrote this for Krause/Gun Digest Books, but it’s not a gun book.    The title isSURVIVE! THE DISASTER, CRISIS AND EMERGENCY HANDBOOK and it will be in your bookstores and available in all the usual on-line places in March of 2010.  As the expression goes, the book is “profusely illustrated” with Sharon’s original photography and a goodly number of public domain photos, as well.  There is one segment on firearms, but even your non-gun-owning friends or readers where firearms ownership is essentially prohibited can still benefit from the rest of SURVIVE! since the book addresses preparing as best as possible for both natural and man-made disasters with some – we hope — good, common sense advice that will help to get you through to the other side of whatever disaster may befall.  Spencer likes it that I call myself “professionally paranoid.”  Well, read this book!       

I’m going to try to gang together some responses to e-mails we’ve gotten and will endeavor to do more personalized responses with things a little less backed-up.  We’ve had a question from Sean about THE TAKERSnovels and several other people have asked about books in “THE SURVIVALIST” series.  The questions have related to availability.  We have been absent from the E-Books market for a time since the firm handling our novels as E-Books sold and we will be selling the books through one new master source which supplies various other sources.  It’s not as confusing as it sounds.  Simply put, in another few months – once we thrash out some confusion with ISBN Numbers (the bar codes) – sixty some of our books will be available as down-loadables once again.  That said, I don’t know if we’ll get into Kindle or not.  Time will tell on that.  Someone write that last sentence down; it sounds very quotable!

The nice folks at Graphic Audio are still releasing more and more of their full-tilt audio dramatizations of “THE SURVIVALIST,” and these must be selling pretty well since they keep sending us checks!

As to actual book- books, Sharon and I are well aware of the fact that some books in “THE SURVIVALIST” series sell for extraordinarily high prices.  As mentioned, we’re going to have a “yard sale” on the internet to hopefully make some titles available.  Yard sales are best held in the Spring, so look for more information about this then.

Speaking of books, Sharon and I just completed our most recent novel, the current title WRITTEN IN TIME, a science fiction/time travel/semi-autobiographical/sort-of western/techno-thriller. We’re doing a final edit on it and the book should be out sometime in late 2010 or early 2011.  We’ll keep you posted.

A number of people have contacted us concerning holsters.  As many of you know, we had a holster business for several years and we have been away from that business for seven years or so.  There is a company which may be producing some of the designs, but is so swamped with its own designs that when I wanted a Pocket Natural for my Crimson Trace LaserGripped Guardian .380, it took about ninety days and I had to wet-mold the holster myself.  This firm might also produce the flap holster some of you have asked about.  At the moment, there’s not much more I can tell you.  If they get the production going, you’ll learn about it here.

Greg Neal, whose name you’ve seen here in our debate concerning “The Prisoner,” has asked me who I think of as a good spokesperson for Constitutional conservatism from among the Republicans.  That’s a loaded question.  The best answer I could think of right now would be Sarah Palin, whose conservatism seems to truly come from the heart and the head.  But, for my money, I’d be very happy seeing Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney or Newt Gingrich in the top spot on a ticket and Sarah as a V.P. candidate who would be allowed to speak her mind.  I really don’t care if telling the truth about the Democrats offends someone – so long as it’s the truth.  For what it’s worth, as soon as Sharon and I figure out who we think has the best chance to unseat the guy living in the White House and his buddy, trust me – we’ll be shouting that name to the housetops and from the housetops.  We have to remember that the reason #44 is who he is has a lot to do with how early on the Democrats started vulturing their way toward the 2008 election.  If we want to take America back from the leftists – and, by God, we need to, we have to – then we need to learn from what the Forces of Darkness did in terms of timing, and get ourselves a candidate we can all get behind and support as quickly as possible. 

Speaking of President #44, Sharon and I have had printed a bumper sticker and a business card explaining it.  The bumper sticker – available soon from us – reads “86-44-12.”  The back of the matching business card reads, “86 is a term dating back at least to the 1930s and means to discard or dump something… 44 refers to the current person serving as President of The United States… and ’12 is short for 2012, the year of the next Presidential Election, when we will have the opportunity to 86 Number 44.”   And, that’s what we’ve got to do at the ballot box, 86 that guy and, in 2010, 86 as many leftists in Congress as possible.  I’ve never met #44 and wouldn’t want to.  From all accounts, he seems to be a good husband and father.  He’s a terrible President because he wants to change America to conform to his Secular Progressive Leftist vision.   He and his pals may want that; the rest of us don’t.   I’ll be happy to see him enjoy a long and happy time on pension after being a one-termer in The White House.  Let’s get our brains and consciences in gear and help #44 to get going on that pension!

GOD BLESS AMERICA and MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH and there’s no such thing as a “holiday tree” or “winter vacation” or any of the rest of that leftist revisionist politically correct stupidity!  If you believe in the God of Jews and Christians, don’t be afraid to say it and say it loudly!  Respect other religious beliefs; but, respect your own, as well.