Monday, October 12, 2015
Update from FCA
OK, most of that isn't true, but that is a Dos Equis in my hand. Photo taken Sunday evening, the day after Le Grizz. I will be posting a Le Grizz report and photos later, along with a short bit on Angus Deaton's Economics Nobel (main comment, "well, at least it's someone I have heard of"). Also in the works, reporting on the upcoming Bad Apple Ultra!
I have a bust work and travel schedule ahead so I may be slow in blogging some of this. But stay tuned!
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Quick Le Grizz note
Thursday, October 08, 2015
Le Grizz! 2015
That's unfortunate, as I had provided a gripping, hair-raising account of the trip here to Montana's Flathead Valley, one that would have the Nobel committee second guessing their award of the literature prize today. Or perhaps not. Suffice it to say we're here in Hungry Horse, tired, excited, and rarin' to go Saturday.
I also commented on the award of the prize to Svetlana Alexievich (I'm rather positive about it), as well as despot-in-chief Barry Hussein's planned visit to Roseburg to try to drum up hatred against gunowner (I predict that at best he'll mostly drum up hatred against himself, richly deserved, too). And I took the opportunity for further speculation on possible candidates for the Nobel peace prize (all of it mercilessly mocking the committee).
Alas! all of this has been lost, off to the cyberspheric limbo where it no doubt rests with Hillary's wiped emails. Only the FBI knows what I actually said.
Oh well, in the face of such unforeseen contingencies, we always simply keep moving forward.
The race is Saturday. Expect updates.
Saturday, October 03, 2015
Shooting fun! and blogging update
Meanwhile, last week I fired, for my first time, a handgun in .454 Casull, a round designed for stopping big game up to the one ton range. More about this shortly. But first, a blogging update.
I'm trying to blog a bit more often, and have a couple of subjects upcoming. I am sure the world will be waiting breathlessly:
Nobel Prizes... I suppose I should make predictions now. For Economics, I predict the award will go to William Baumol and Israel Kirzner for their studies of entrepreneurship. Why not? Nothing would make me happier. Last year they were at the top of the Reuters prediction list, and my theory is that these predictions tend to come true, but with a lag. For Peace, there are so many worthy candidates. One obvious choice is Barack Obama, for solving the Iranian nuclear problem forever. I suppose this would be shared with Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, who is preparing his country for peaceful relations with all the world. But it might be a little embarrassing when during his speech about how Israel will be eliminated soon, Khamenei begins shrieking "Death to America." Even worse, they'd probably have to include John Kerry as well, and no one wants to hear him try to speak. There are many other worthy candidates, of course -- Vladimir Putin and his
Le Grizz... Every second Saturday of October, I return to Montana's Flathead and environs to run the Le Grizz 50 Mile Ultramarathon. This year we return to the 2013 "Government Shutdown Course," most likely on a permanent basis. (The new race management is Polebridge Mercantile, conveniently located at the race start and finish, along with a log saloon, for all our coffee, pastry, and beer needs!) I think I am better trained than I've been in a few years. Expect a race report.
OK, finally, shooting... I was with a friend, Chris P. and we had a target set at 50 yards and fired both a fair .45 Long Colt and .454 Casull ammunition through a Ruger Super Blackhawk (for those who don't know, the .454 is a lengthened version of the .45LC, so the revolver will chamber either one of them). At 50 yards I had no trouble hitting the target with the .454; the .45LC has a less flat trajectory and I had some trouble connecting with it. But what I really noticed was the difference in recoil, as expected. I dislike recoil in a rifle, but I enjoy it in a handgun -- and boy, was this fun!
Two videos illustrate. One round with each cartridge, placed in cylinder so I wouldn't know when it would go off (a great exercise for overcoming flinch and similar problems). On another part of the range, someone else was shooting, so in the first video my second hammer drop coincides perfectly with one of their shots, making it look like I don't budge at all! Here's the fun:
One round, .45 Long Colt
Friday, October 02, 2015
More Immigration Nuttiness from FEE
No, it doesn't. That's remarkably stupid. It's unbelievably stupid. How could anyone ever argue such a crazy thing? Apparently even Professor Kukathas realized this for a moment, because at one point he claims he is not drawing an equivalence between apartheid and controlling borders -- but then he goes ahead and does just that. I commented (see below) but how is one to take seriously an argument that stopping perhaps one million refugees from swarming across a border into one's country is equivalent to monitoring every citizen internally, in every aspect of their lives? The illogic of Professor Kukathas' piece is mind-boggling. And the consequences of the mass immigration Europe is now "enjoying" will be highly destructive for liberty.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
The Inevitability of Nuclear War, Part 2
Part 2: The Middle East
Since writing Part 1, I've assembled quite a collection of material on Iran's nuclear program, Iranian intentions, and how the rest of the Middle East regards this. With the completion of Obama's deal with the Iranians, much of this now seems to me beside the point. The deal to end sanctions on Iran is the greatest foreign policy catastrophe of my lifetime. It might well prove to be the greatest such disaster in human history, because it holds the seeds of nuclear war on a massive scale. Rather than make a lengthy argument, consider this. The treaty with Iran (a treaty that most of Congress decided to pretend is not a treaty for reasons of political expediency) ends sanctions and releases up to $150 billion in frozen assets to the Iranian government. It also provides that Iran can challenge and effectively block any inspection of nuclear sites, and even that Iran conduct its own inspections on sensitive military sites. It provides a grandfather clause that protects investments in the unlikely event sanctions are ever re-imposed; in other words, Iran is guaranteed its economic trade remains intact. The predicted time frame for Iran to develop sufficient material for a fission bomb is less than the time frame for getting inspections, international dithering over noncompliance, and eventual "snapback" of sanctions. The deal is preposterous. Good grief, it evens provides that the United States will protect the Iranian nuclear program from Israel! It sets Iran free of any serious restriction on its nuclear programs and provides Iran capital for nuclear development, as well as for funding Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran's military adventure in Yemen, its ballistic missile program and other trouble-making.
That's an interesting point: Iran has a ballistic missile program, it is not part of the deal and now faces no restrictions. What is the purpose? Iran appears to be developing ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and space launched re-entry vehicles, devices specially designed for delivering nuclear warheads.
There's only one reasonable conclusion: Iran is being set free to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to Western Europe and the United States. That's certainly the conclusion that Iran's neighbors -- namely Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt -- are drawing. Hence Saudi Arabia is considering options to acquire nuclear weapons, either developing themselves, or buying them. This 2013 BBC article refers to a Saudi policy document in which they state they would accept a nuclear free Middle east, but failing that, would either purchase or develop one, say from Pakistan or North Korea. Egypt has now begun a nuclear program and Turkey has one that clearly includes a weapons component.
Here are the fundamental points:
- Iran has been set free to develop nuclear weapons.
- Iran is developing weapons designed for striking targets on other continents with nuclear bombs.
- Iran is governed by a theocrats who believe and teach an apocalyptic vision in which Armageddon ushers in the Second Coming and Allah's triumph on Earth. In addition, their leader has repeatedly asserted that Israel will be eliminated within 25 years.
- Iran's neighbors have now entered a nuclear arms race.
- Israel already has, most likely (I hope), a substantial nuclear arsenal including ICBMs and submarine launched nuclear cruise missiles
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Race rears its head
I had promised to give reports on a few races from this past summer...Running Lungs 5K and Elkhorn 50K. Here is the Running Lungs report. Elkhorn was successful, but that story will wait.
Running Lungs: back in June, I highlighted this race, a fundraiser put on by my friend Linda Wortman to raise funds for lung cancer research. My report... on race day, Julie, Chaos and I got up early. As is my SOP before a 5K, I stretched and drank black coffee and water -- consuming nothing nothing else --a nd did a short warmup run with Chaos. The three of us then drove in Bozeman to the race start. The 10K start was 15 minutes before the 5K, and we arrived in plenty of time to watch it. I said hi to Linda and her husband Jerry, who was working like a maniac behind the scenes to help make everything go smoothly. We watched the 10 K start, and then, with the 5K start imminent, I took Chaos back to the car. There's no way to run an all-out 5K with Chaos roped to my waist. After locking Chaos in the car (she has a comfortable bed and water, and it was coll day, windows open, I started back to the finish line. And then I heard it -- a plaintive, longing, cry: "how can you be doing this? Why am I left out." I turned and looked, and...well, good question. So Chaos and I roped up and returned to the starting line.
"Bang" went the starting gun... OK, so it wasn't a gun, it was more of a starting shout, but we started out. Chaos and I stayed back so as not to interfere with people trying to run fast, and tended to run to the side off the trail. Julie was a bit behind us. We had a fair number of people ahead of us, but most of the fast runners had entered the 10K, so as the field sorted out Chaos and I found ourselves in the upper 50% (certainly not front of the pack, though). As we ran, we began picking off the occasional runner and slowly moving through the pack, and the race was starting to look like a race for us.
Chaos absolutely loves running with a group, and this isn't the first race we have run together. Chaos also loves meeting new dogs, and the second and third miles of Running Lungs goes along Bozeman's Peet's Hill trail, where dogs off leash are welcome. Hence our run included a few stops to meet with the occasional dog...not my choice, but rope teams move as a team. I think this added a bit to our overall time.
Out finish through Lindley Park was really strong. Chaos realized we were near the finish and took off. When she stops dawdling with smelling this and that, greeting human and canine passersby, etc., and sets herself to it, she's extremely fast. We covered the last quarter mile at breakneck speed.
Results? Well, I was #1 in my age group. Chaos was #1 dog (and yes, there were others). Julie was a ways behind us, but she finished #1 in her age group. Three victories! More importantly, a successful fundraiser and great fun.
The field of runners was interesting. There were a some elite runners, including Nikki Kimball, a world class ultra runner. We spent a good bit of time talking with Nikki and her dog (who did not run) post race. But there was also a substantial turnout from people who rarely if ever race, who were there just because of the cause, to help raise funds. The post-race festivities were fun, and it was a very successful endeavor all around. Julie, Chaos, and I look forward to next year's run.