Guest Contributor – TomD – Hand Gun Training

Got my first .22 when I was single digits old, was raised hunting, Marine Corps, and now life long competitive shooter with shotguns and rifles, so I know a little. I reload all my ammunition too.

I never start someone off with a full power pistol, trying to learn the basics of shooting while dealing with very loud muzzle blasts and recoil is a bit much. I always try to teach the basics with a .22 pistol before going to full power weapons.

The Browning below is one of my 22’s but it’s just 1 of a zillion perfectly good 22 pistols available. You learn to shoot, the ammo is cheap, not loud, just enough recoil to learn to expect it. If your first shot ever is from the 357 revolver below, you just may be intimidated enough to not really want to repeat the experience.

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

Disturbed Deputy on Handgun Choices

At my request the Disturbed Deputy has kindly posted a primer on handguns.  For non-gun-experts such as myself I thought this would be good information to have and interesting too.  Take a look and ask any questions you have in his comments section.  I’m looking for practical information about a home defense weapon for Camera Girl.  Of course while I’m in the compound nothing smaller than a Tyrannosaurus rex will require anything more deadly than a can opener because of my preternatural strength and reflexes but while she is home alone I’d like her to have an option to protect herself.  Of course she is a bloodthirsty wench and I am taking my chances that she won’t turn all film noir on me.  But what’s life without risk?

Handgun Choices

 

 

 

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Safety Over Freedom, A Dissenting Opinion

(This opinion was a comment to a statement by the ZMan that people will choose safety over freedom – photog)

 

Not everyone chooses safety over freedom. People defying mask and social distancing orders are choosing freedom over what the elite says is safety (masks are little more than a placebo). Even more importantly, brave humans still man the wall in our military and police and firefighting forces.

Of my tribe, there are the Chief Mountain Hotshots, a Blackfoot force of para-jumping firefighters who fight wildfires in forests. They owe no fealty to the federal or state government and the overwhelming majority of the fires they fight are not on the reservation.

The police are still working, even in areas where sissy politicians are trying to defund them. They are still responding to assist citizens even in areas where they are supposedly forbidden to go by protesters.

There are things going on in our military that seldom if ever see the light of day. We have exceptionally brave and skilled people doing almost impossible things to protect us every day. Heck, just working on the most dangerous four-and-a-half acres in the world, an aircraft carrier flight deck, is hazardous even in peacetime. We lose more GIs to training accidents than to enemy action these days. They chose to protect freedom for others, almost all of them who they will never meet and in many cases would not like, over their own personal safety.

When you put your own body between home and the war’s desolation, you prove your fitness to be a citizen. Soldiers do not fight because they hate what is in front of them, but because they love what is behind them. To place your own frail body between home and danger is the ultimate test of citizenship. No sunshine patriots, these GIs and cops and firefighters. They are patriots to the bone.

I do not believe most conservatives fantasize over a civil war. It’s more of a nightmare. It will be pretty damned bloody and Americans killing Americans is not what any conservative wishes, even if we are willing to do it when push comes to shove. When aroused, Americans are insensate fighters. To awaken the berserker spirit within us is not a good idea. Ask the Japanese of the Pacific theater in WWII. There is a reason our civil war was our bloodiest in history. With well over 20 million veterans among the citizenry there are enough trained people to make even a foreign enemy think twice let alone a domestic enemy. That is why a civil war in the US is any true patriot’s worse nightmare.

CrissCross – A Portly Politico/OCF Cultural Exchange

To put the lie to all this talk of inter-generational warfare my friend at The Portly Politico, Tyler and I have decided to reach across the generational abyss and sponsor an exchange of posts.  He has posted an essay here at OCF and I have posted one of my reviews at his site (see link below).

Guest Contributor – photog – “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” – A Science Fiction Movie Review

Seriously we thought it would be fun for his readers and mine to get some slightly different material for a change.  I think injecting some other points of view on the site is a big plus.

photog

 

Guest Contributor – The Portly Politico – The Concerns of a 35-Year Old Man in 2020

[Update] – I saw what a nice intro Tyler gave to my post over at his site so I decided I should try to follow suit.  As part of a cross-posting agreement, Tyler from over at the Portly Politico has kindly agreed to talk about what it’s like for the millennial generation to try to follow in the footsteps of their parents’ lifestyle.  I think it will be valuable for Boomers, Xers and Millennials alike.  Highly recommended.

photog

 

By Tyler James Cook, The Portly Politico (https://www.theportlypolitico.com)

When photog proposed swapping blog posts in the comment section of The Fat Man’s “Cityscape at Night,” I was intrigued, and quite enthusiastic.  That was before I succumbed to a gnarly head cold and worked a thirteen-hour day.  But that sickly plight leads nicely into photog’s suggested topic:  what are the major concerns of a young American today?

At thirty-five, I don’t know how “young,” I am, but it’s one of those ages where older people tut-tut when you suggest you’re aging.  I suppose their advanced years have taught them otherwise, and that they’d much rather be a slightly creaky thirty-five than a croaky eighty-five.

Surprisingly, I am considered part of that great, reviled generation, the Millennials.  I certainly don’t feel like one, what with my love of tradition, Christianity, and President Trump.  I was born in a time when Internet usage was limited to college campuses and obscure Bulletin Board Systems, when we weren’t handed a Star Trek communicator with access to all the world’s knowledge—and it’s basest, filthiest indulgences—when we were five.

But we had Nintendo and cable TV, and all manner of luxuries and gadgets our parents could only dream of (although my parents apparently played Pong while dating).  Suburbia was kind to my generation—too kind, as we grew up spoiled and allergic to hard work.

That said, not all Millennial whining is unjustified.  Our parents—the latter Boomers and the early Gen-Xers—could support a family of four or five on blue-collar salaries.  They also didn’t pay a fortune for college, and their college education taught them something useful, rather than Derridaean deconstruction of everything good and decent.  That degree was also their ticket to the middle class.

We grew up being assured that if we followed the same path, we’d end up with similar outcomes; indeed, we’d be better off than our parents.  For many Millennials, that was true:  both of my brothers, for example, make very good livings in academia and the law.  Access to the credentialed classes was greater than it had ever been in American history for my generation.

But one of the problems is that we could no long sustain a family on a working man’s family.  Indeed, the girls we grew up claimed they didn’t want that.  They wanted careers and academic accomplishments; the highest accolades of their chosen fields.  Never mind that most of them finished out college with a useless B.A. in Psychology (the go-to degree for girls who don’t know what they want to study) and loads of debt; that just began their long 20s, that period in which they could explore and “find themselves.”  Or they got married straight out of college after all.

The problem is that with excessive credentialing, degrees have become increasingly worthless.  For example, I hold a B.A. and M.A. in History.  That M.A. paid off in that it gained me a small initial boost in my teaching salary, and it made it possible for me to adjunct at a local technical college (never mind that I’m teaching the same material—often at a slower pace—to the college classes than to the high school students; the State wants to see that M.A.).  Otherwise, it’s been largely an ornament, something my school can tout in its statistics about faculty qualifications.

I’ve managed to carve out a decent living for myself in rural South Carolina, but it’s required constant hustling and budgeting.  To sustain myself (and sock away money for retirement), I work full-time at the high school; adjunct one or two classes online each semester; teach multiple private music lessons after school; organize and book my own shows to bring in revenue (mainly through merch sales); teach summer classes and camps; and, until this summer, work maintenance at school.  For all of that effort, I scrape together around $50,000 to $55,000 a year (although I came close to $60,000 one year).

Self-employment taxes eat away at a good chunk of my private lessons business, which The Virus temporarily shattered (along with live gigs).  I do fine for myself—I managed to buy a used car with earnings from music lessons in 2019—but if I had a stay-at-home wife and kids, there would be no way we could make it work.

For one, my health insurance would outrageous if I didn’t game the Affordable Care Act.  In order to avoid paying $400 a month in premiums for a plan with a $6750 deductible (you read that right), I max out 403(b), traditional IRA, and HSA contributions, which gets deducted, for the purpose of ACA subsidies, from my gross income.  That modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI, is low enough that the ACA considers me sufficiently destitute to pay out subsidies, so my $400 a month premium drops to around $1 a month.

Again, for a single man at thirty-five, it’s not a bad deal.  I’m in relatively good health (and am dropping some extra fat) and have managed to squirrel away enough in my emergency fund to reach my deductible without touching my HSA contributions (I’m treating my HSA as an investment vehicle, with my contributions invested in various mutual funds).  But if I were married with kids, it would be a whole different story.

I’m also blessed to have made it through college and graduate school debt free, and to have never had a car payment.  That is a luxury—really, the result of extremely generous gifts from my parents and grandparents—that has enabled me to pursue a life of financial asceticism.  If I had student loans and car payments, like many of my peers, it would be far more difficult to save and invest.

As it is, I feel like I work constantly just to provide a good life for Future Portly.  The cost in the here and now, though, is palpable.  Not only have I sacrificed energy, I’ve sacrificed some of the enjoyment of life.  Those are necessary sacrifices to avoid becoming a ward of the State in my dotage, but the price seems very high—and one that it seems I must now bear alone.

To be clear, I don’t mean to complain.  I am blessed to live a good life, and to own a house, free-and-clear.  I enjoy a degree of financial autonomy that strikes awe in my peers.

But I don’t know if it’s sustainable with a family—what I want more than anything.  The debased nature of modern dating—the topic for another guest post, perhaps?—puts a man with a traditional worldview and sound financial sense in a precarious situation.  Having built my legacy, I don’t want to squander it on some Tinder harridan with a butterfly tattoo and blue hair.  But the inflated nature of the modern dating marketplace makes even the greasiest of girls believe their beauty queens with only redeeming qualities.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Apologia for Giant Space Amoebas

(Editor’s Note: This essay addresses my diatribe against giant space amoebas.)

Gently, gently. Remember when those shows aired. It was the late 60s. We were shooting for the moon (and made it). Nothing seemed impossible to us. Back then a transistor radio the size of the palm of my hand was the latest and greatest portable music. 8 track tapes were all the rage for your car. Technology by today’s standards was Neolithic. Cars were not fuel efficient; their cubic inches were only surpassed by their horsepower ratings. Personal/corporate jets were becoming more popular. Most television programming was still in B&W, although prime time went all color in 1966. Color TVs did not outsell B&W televisions until about 1970. CB radios were just becoming the thing. Still mostly as trucker toys until the mid-seventies. Cars did not have cellular phones, they had radiophones and they were so expensive only the wealthy had them. Seat belts? Just beginning to attract notice. GPS? A dream someone in DARPA had. Night vision? First generation Starlight Scopes. Lasers? Sci-fi. Bell labs was doing some laser research but as a weapon, or as a range finder, or as a thermometer or as a pointer? That was genuine Star Trek stuff. Lost in Space had its first season in B&W. A self-aware robot? Laser pistols? FTL travel in a flying saucer? Golden aliens? Remember the sci-fi movies of the 50s and 60s. Godzilla, a mutant lizard so huge he would collapse under his own weight in the real world. Rodan, another impossibly huge reptile who incidentally could exceed the speed of sound without flapping his wings. The Giant Claw, an antimatter bird from another galaxy, here to lay eggs and destroy our world. Robot Monster, a movie with the villain as a man in a gorilla suit with a space helmet for a head. War of the Worlds with Gene Barry. A lot of eye candy in there, but science? Nah. When Worlds Collide, where we as a species land on an interloper planet when our world is destroyed and it just so happens to have a breathable atmosphere and earth-tolerant temperature.

 

All entertainment and even world events led us to suspend belief. For the USA, nothing was impossible. Colonize Luna (the Moon), then Mars. Mine the asteroid belt. Surely FTL ships would be along before our grandchildren passed away. It was a time of unbounded enthusiasm. Science fiction was mostly fiction and was pure escapism, entertainment.

 

Yet, many things have come true. Kirk’s communicator was our flip phone. His tricorder our Tablet PC. We have remote monitoring of body functions as McCoy had in sick bay. Our machines talk to us and are voice-programmable. Ever talk to Siri or Alexa? We can compress enough data on a postage stamp sized SD card (like Spock’s data discs) that would have taken three buildings filled with machinery and magnetic tape storage in the 60s. We can stream live events and movies in excellent resolution and stereo sound to our hand-held smart phones. We have access to most of the world’s information at out fingertips. We can shoot down planes and missiles with lasers.

 

Roddenberry didn’t dream big enough. My maternal grandfather was born in the nineteenth century. He told me of how things were when he was a child. He was literally born in the horse and buggy era. He remembers the big hooraw over the Wright Brother’s first flight, and he lived to see men walk on the moon. I in turn tell my grandson what it was like when I was a child. I also add in the parts about walking to the school bus drawn by a team of muskox in minus 40-degree weather through snow three feet deep and fending off dire wolves who were trying to get my school lunch made from mammoth tenderloins. Just for fun. But remember back in your childhood, photog. Compare it to today. You and me both listened to 45 RPM records. Technology is advancing faster all the time. My first airliner ride was in a Super Constellation, a prop-driven airliner. My first helicopter ride was in a Sikorsky H-34, the type Fernando Lamas piloted in The Lost World, with Michael Rennie.

 

We’ve come a long way pretty fast. Back then it took less suspension of disbelief than it does now.