The Elmer Gantries

When it comes to Second Amendment rights groups, I’ve always said “let a thousand flowers bloom”.

You prefer to fight the national fight by proxy?  Send your $35 to the NRA.  Want to get more into the thick of things nationally?  Contribute to the Second Amendment Foundation.

Wanna affect what happens in the Minnesota legislature?  Support GOCRA.  Wanna affect who gets elected to the Legislature?  Support MNGOPAC.  Feel like taking it to the streets?  The Twin Cities Carry Forum is the place to go.

If you want to donate money to an organization that seems to have little tie to Minnesota, that is closely linked to a network of similar organizations that seem to do more harm than good in the legislature in other states (Iowa, Colorado and Mississippi), which probably means it’s a good thing all that Minnesota fundraising has no visible impact in the Legislature itself?

A bipartisan group of pro-Second-Amendment legislators would like to have a word with you about that:

IMG_3368.PNG

This bipartisan group of legislators, most of whom have been key leaders in pushing back the Bloomberg-financed gun grab bills, are urging you not to be fooled.

Now, I’ve written a bit about “Minnesota Gun Rights”, as well as “Iowa Gun Owners” and the “National Association of Gun Rights” in the past year and a half.  And I get two questions about the subject:

  • “Berg, aren’t you connected with GOCRA?  Isn’t this just trying to thin out the competition?”:  I’m “connected” with just about everyone in the Second Amendment movement.  I network like a madman.  Hello – I’m a blogger and talk show host; I go where the info is. And no – “competition” is good, where the goal is “who can be the first to drag Governor Flint-Smith kicking and screaming to the table to sign the legislation we want”.  As I believe I and the sixteen oversigned legislators have established, MGR isn’t really competing on that front.
  • “MGR stands for Constitutional Carry – GOCRA, the NRA and MNGOPAC don’t.  If we pass Constitutional Carry, we won’t need any of the other legislation.  Why waste time?”:  That’s a little like saying I’m swearing off dating until Morena Baccarin returns my calls.  I mean, if I get into a position where Morena Baccarin returns my calls, great – but until I do (and I’m not), what then?    Saying “We’ll accept nothing but Constitutional Carry, and any lesser legislation merely accedes to government’s power to regulate  your God-given right to self-defense”.  Which is true – in a philosophical sense.  The law is not philosophy.  If the Minnesota gun movement had adopted that idea in 1994, we’d still be begging our police chiefs for carry permits, mostly in vain.  And the simple fact is, until we get a pro-Second Amendment governor, and legislatures that are not just mostly pro-Second Amendment (as they are today) but very strongly so, we’re not going to get Constitutional Carry.  Minnesota is not Arizona or Wyoming or Alaska.  By the way, passing Constitutional Carry won’t solve many of the other gun related issues – like reciprocity, the Capitol felony trap, or the right to purchase in non-contiguous states.  It just won’t.
  • “Isn’t ‘Shall Issue’ just a moneymaker for the carry permit instructors that run GOCRA?”:  No more so than fund-raising over a pie-in-the-sky proposal that is years away from passage, assuming everything goes perfectly from an electoral perspective (which Minnesota Gun  Rights is doing absolutely nothing to assure).

More later.

Devalued

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Obama Administration’s Middle East policy is a puzzle, probably because there is no plan, only reaction to crises. Which is a good thing, according to some.

“But amid the confusion, some experts said that there cannot be an overarching American policy in the Middle East at the moment. The best the White House can do, they said, is tailor policies according to individual crises as they flare up. “I would be more concerned if we had some sort of overly rigid policy,” said Barbara Bodine, another former American ambassador to Yemen who is now the director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. “It is messy. It is contradictory. That’s foreign policy.”

Can you imagine being the next guy:

“Hello, Mr. Prime Minister? Hi, I’m the new President of the United States. I’m calling to invite your country to be allies with mine. What’s that you say — lied to and back-stabbed last time? Well, things will be different under my leadership. How long? The next two years for sure. After that, of course, I’ll have to start campaigning for re-election so certain compromises might have to be made, but . . . hello? Hello?”

Joe Doakes

We’re going to be paying for this presidency for generations.

You’ll Have To Answer To The Guns Of NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today, live from Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale for the Shooter Show!

Today on the show,

  • I’ll be talking with a bunch of the good folks at Bill’s
  • I’ll have Andrew Rothman of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance to talk about the mid-session legislative picture for Second Amendment issues

Don’t forget - King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

Hot Gear Friday: The Energizer Machine Gun

Between its partition from the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, and its down-the-river sale at the hands of Neville “Like Obama, Only Just Clueless Rather Than Malevolent” Chamberlain twenty years later, Czechoslovakia actually had a brief vogue as an a-list industrial economy, backstayed by a weapons industry that rivaled Europe’s most legendary names; Brno, Czeskoslovenska Zbrojovka and Skoda were in the same league with Krupps, Enfield, Bofors, Hotchkiss, and Springfield.

They were behind some of the premier weapons of the inter-war era.  The Skoda Model 38 tank was among the best in the world at the beginning of World War II

So superior was it to contemporary German designs that after the annexation, the Wehrmacht took the tank into service; they played a major role in the conquest of France (Rommel’s 7th Panzer, which led the charge to the Channel, led it in Panzer 38s) and the first part of the invasion of Russia.  Outmoded as tanks by 1943, the Germans converted them to self-propelled artillery, anti-aircraft vehicles, and the famous “Hetzer” tank destroyer, which served into the 1970′s in Switzerland.

In the early 1930s, the world’s armies were starting to re-arm; war was clearly imminent, and their stockpiles of World War I-vintage weapons were old and wearing out.

During the war, machine guns were either heavy, water-cooled weapons fed by canvas or metal-link belts, capable of immense sustained fire but weighing 80-150 pounds loaded…:

A British “Vickers” heavy machine gun. Eighty pounds, with a jacket full of water but without ammo loaded. Ammo, and a water condenser can that accompanied the gun in action, not shown.

…or “light” guns extemporized during the war for infantry to haul around more handily.

The French Chauchat light machine gun. With its clunky, complex long-recoil system full of fragile moving parts, and its open-sided magazine practically designed to scoop up the mud that is synonymous with “trench warfare”, it may have been the single least reliable firearm ever issued in numbers.  And it was close to 30 pounds – a heavy “light” gun.

The products of desperation, the “light” guns were rarely especially light, and often frighteningly unreliable, and incapable of much sustained fire before their barrels overheated, stopping them entirely.

The Czech Zbrojovka Brno – “Brno Weapons” –  works developed a light machine gun in the mid-twenties which served as the starting-point for a new line of design.   The “VZ26″ was light enough for an infantryman to haul around…

A VZ26 in Czech service.

…but heavy enough to remain accurate when firing full-automatic, it had one other radical feature; a quick-change barrel.  After a few magazines of sustained fire (interrupted by magazine changes, which slowed the overheating process a bit), the assistant gunner could unlock and (while wearing an asbestos glove) remove the barrel, and replace it with a spare that he carried for the purpose.  If the crew was in heavy action, they could swap the two barrels back and forth, allowing one to cool while the other was firing.

The British Army, looking for a new light machine gun to replace its World War I-era Lewis guns, held trials in the mid-thirties – and the ZB26 swept the field (as it did for armies all over the globe; it still serves, in modified form, in the Paraguayan Army).

The British made two key modifications; they added a handle to the barrel (in case a gunner lost his asbestos glove in the heat of battle), and they rechambered it to their .303 Enfield round – a clunky old round with a rimmed base that necessitated the curved magazine on top.

And, using the peculiar British habit of the day of making new compound words for their weapons, they named it the “Bren” gun – short for “Brno”, where it was designed, and “Enfield”, where it was built in the UK.

The Brits had intended to adopt a rimless round – like the German 7.92 Mauser (which the ZB 26 used) or the American 30.06 – but their staff judged, correctly, that time didn’t permit such a radical change before the war would likely start (they didn’t finally retire the .303 from front line service until 1957).

No matter – the Bren worked just fine with the new round.  They were built in mass lots, and equipped the British Army (and the parts of the Canadian and Australian armies that went into action) by the beginning of the war.

Reliable, relatively simple to manufacture, and ideal for its role – providing covering fire to a squad of 8-12 men as they leapfrogged forward and backward and around enemy positions, the Bren served out the war.

And then, like most “light machine guns”, it was supplanted by the latest military fad.  The German military had dispensed with the separate categories of Heavy and Light machine gun, and generally equipped the Wehrmacht with just one machine gun – the MG34 or, later in the war, the dreaded MG42:

The MG42. Remember the machine gun in “Saving Private Ryan” that fired so fast it sounded like ripping carpet? That’s this one. The post-war German army kept the design, and it serves to this day in the German, Norwegian and (I think) Spanish armies.

That was it. They hung a tripod from the barrel, and issued it to their squads (of 8-12 men) for relatively light close-up covering fire; they’d mount it on a tripod, and issue it to crews of 3 men to haul it and its ammo around as a heavier fire-support weapon for companies of 160 or battalions of 800 men.

The world’s militaries jumped on that bandwagon hard.  When the Brits re-tooled their ammunition and retired the Bren and Vickers guns, they adopted the Belgian FN-MAG as a “General Purpose Machine Gun”…:

The FN-MAG. It serves in most of the western world’s militaries today – including the US, as the M-240, as a company-level support weapon.

…capable of going into the field with a bipod as a squad support gun and a tripod in the weapons platoons of larger units.

The US adopted the M-60, which served from the early sixties into the nineties, but is probably most famous to non-serving Americans of a certain age range…:

Admit it.

…in Sylvester Stallone’s hands.

But along the way, an interesting thing happened.

During and among the world’s various brushfire wars of the sixties and seventies, infantrymen had a word or two with the world’s military theorists; the “light” version of the General Purpose Machine Gun wasn’t all that light when one was hauling it, a load of person gear, and a few belts of ammo through a jungle, or through the backstreets of Belfast.

And quietly, some of the world’s military units that had the clout to do so (or, conversely, the lack of clout that allowed them to get away with it), went back to the past.  The British military – especially the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marines – who depended on foot mobility, and needed something lighter than the clunky MAG for use in their rifle squads, quietly pulled the Brens out of the armories, and re-chambered them for the modern 7.62x51mm NATO caliber (same as the MAG and M60), and built some straight-walled magazines, and re-issued the Bren to elements of the British Army that needed a light, light machine gun:

A British Marine, armed with a rechambered Bren, in action in the Falkland Islands in 1982. An MAG gunner is in the background.

And it served in British reserve units through the 1990s, and in reserve units of the Irish army until 2006.

And that bit of tapdancing to fill a need for lighter, handier, but still reliable and powerful weapon at the squad level led to a wave of design of genuinely *light* machine guns, including the US’ modern “M249 Squad Automatic Weapon” – which is another light machine gun.

“But wait, Mitch”, you may say.  ”Hot Gear Friday is supposed to refer to hot gear – guitars and firearms, mostly – that you’ve personally used, yourself.  What gives?”

Well, you’re right.  But we’ll be fixing that tomorow, with any luck.  Rumor has it that a .303 Bren is among the pieces for rent at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range – where I’ll be tomorrow for the Shooter Show.  And I’ve been putting away a couple bucks a months since last March, getting ready to light up some targets with it, about this time tomorrow.

Converts

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Winter is ending, Minnesota’s other season is beginning. The Wabasha Street bridge will be closed starting April 1st. That’s the route I usually take to work but in the spirit of enlightened progressiveness, I’m considering public transportation as an alternative.

The Metro Transit Trip Planner website says my ordinary route is Dale Street bus to Thomas, switch to Minnehaha bus to 5th and Cedar, then take the Signal Hills bus across the Wabasha Street Bridge to Plato and walk from there.

Cost $4.50 round trip, which is cheap: it’s 10 miles round trip at 57.5 cents IRS rate making the bus fare a buck and a quarter cheaper than what the IRS would allow for mileage in a private vehicle.

Trip time: 45 minutes each way or 90 minutes total, which is three times longer than my normal 30-minute drive time.

Is the extra hour of my time spent sitting on the bus worth more than I’d save by taking public transit instead of driving? Is my time worth more than $1.25 an hour? Barely; but yeah, I’d say so.

But wait . . . that’s before road construction shuts down the Wabasha Street bridge where the Signal Hills bus goes. They’ll have to detour it somewhere, probably Robert Street, and then who knows where it goes. Commute time gets longer. Bus-to-car value ratio goes even lower.

Maybe I should look into getting a bicycle?

Joe Doakes

it’s not the worst idea guy could have.

Although didn’t they just finish the Wabasha Street bridge, like, 25 years ago? It already needs repairs?

There Is No Such Thing As “Too Conservative”

Eleven seconds after Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for President, the left and media (ptr) declared he couldn’t possibly win because he was “too conservative”.

Of course, any conservative – especially the ones that provide a legitimate threat to the Democrats, or are endorsed at any rate – will be labelled “too conservative”.

Sturdevanted:  The mainstream media, and parts of the GOP establishment, and for that matter my moderate-Democrat father – are fond of practicing “Sturdevanting”; thinking that all our nation’s problems would be solved if the GOP became “less extreme” and the Democrat Party remained squirrel!   If we just had a GOP like the good old days – the Gerald Fords and the Dave Jenningses and the Arne Carlsons – who were willing to work with the Gus Halls and Rudy Perpiches and Paul Wellstones (and indulge their most wacked-out “progressive” pipe dreams), all would be just hunky dory.

Of course, there’s method to the madness; so much, in fact, that it’s The Law.

Threat Reduction:  Berg’s Eighth Law to be exact: “The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected”.   (There are a number of corollaries, ending with the Reagan Corollary, which is pretty germane today: “The Media and Left (pardon the redundancy) will try to destroy the conservative they are most afraid of”).

Now, Ted Cruz isn’t my top choice; as I noted the other day, he’s behind Walker, Jindal, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio on my list, so far.

And there may be reasons he can’t win; being “too conservative” isn’t one of them.

And by “too conservative”, I mean in a modern American context; proclaiming oneself king, calling for the re-establishment of the Holy Roman Empire and the re-institution of flogging in the Navy are pretty much off the table, realistically.

But in that American context?

Mitt Romney didn’t lose because he was too conservative; he outpolled Obama among “independent” and “moderate” voters.  No, Mitt lost because 400,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and Colorado stayed home.  400,000 Republicans that had showed up for previous elections, but decided they had better things to do on a Tuesday night.

And they didn’t stay home because Mitt was too conservative.

Kevin Williamson at NRO notes that Sturdevanting, and other violations of Berg’s 11th Law, have a long, storied history:

“Reagan can’t win, Ford says.” That’s the 1976 version. The 1980 New York Times version, with the nearly identical headline: “Ford Declares Reagan Can’t Win.” Ford was really quite sure of himself: “Every place I go, and everything I hear, there is a growing, growing sentiment that Governor Reagan cannot win the election.” New York magazine: “The reason Reagan can’t win. . . . ” “Preposterous,” sociologist Robert Coles wrote about the idea of a Reagan victory. The founder of this magazine worried that Reagan simply could not win in 1980, and several National Review luminaries quietly hoped that George H. W. Bush would be the nominee. There were serious, thoughtful conservatives who thought in 1980 that their best hope was to have Daniel Patrick Moynihan run as a Democrat that year, while many others were looking to ex-Democrat John Connally to carry the conservative banner on the GOP side. Things have a funny way of working out differently than expected. (And then much, much differently.)

And of course, if you’re a conservative, there’s another angle to it:

Will he be the nominee? Good Lord, who knows or cares at this point? It’s a question mainly of interest to Ted Cruz and his rivals, and maybe to their sainted mothers. That we are so fascinated by the possibility is further evidence of the corrosive cult of the presidency — we conservatives should know better than to wait for the anointing of a savior.

Take that, Ron Paul supporters.

Anyway – is there such a thing as “too conservative?”  Maybe. Is anyone to the left of Mike Huckabee the one to tell a conservative/republican/libertarian what that means?

No.  Not at all.

Currency Affairs

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Women’s group wants to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.  Time for more women on the money, and besides, he was Bad because he enforced the Indian Removal law passed by Congress, which modern Liberals claim was genocide but which Conservative scholars claim averted genocide (if the Indians hadn’t been relocated West, they’d have been wiped out by Eastern Whites).

The women recommend Rachel Carson instead, the “a marine biologist who wrote the hugely influential environmental book ‘Silent Spring.’  That was the book that urged the ban on DDT, the most effective way to kill tsetse flies.   Millions of Blacks now suffer from malaria.

Or Margaret Sanger, who opened the first birth control clinic in America because society needed to kill mentally ill and defective babies.  Which tended to come from families that lacked proper nutrition and health care.  Mostly Black.

Or Betty Friedan, who wrote “The Feminine Mystique” to launch the modern feminist movement by ridiculing stay-at-home-motherhood, saying “. . . housewives are mindless and thing-hungry . . . housework is particularly suited to the capabilities of feeble-minded girls.”

Is it just me, or is there a bit of elitism going on here?  The $1 Susan B. and Saca-bucks aren’t large enough denominations, gotta be $20?  Maybe we can bring back the $1,000 after Hilary gets her email account sorted.

Joe Doakes

I’m sure it’s all in the works.

Trulbert! – Part XXXIII: Snap

- 1:45PM, November 7, 2015 – Back of the Press Box, TCF Stadium, the University of Minnesota

“And it looks like it’s gonna be a real donnybrook brewing here”, intoned Buck Jackson.

Under a furious tongue-lashing from Evan Tartabull, who had re-assumed control of the control trailer, a group of production assistants had moved Buck Jackson and Kareen Khalil’s microphones, cameras, computers and associate producers to the back of the press booth, looking out over the plaza.

“That’s right, Buck – the emotions are running high here on the Plaza at The Bank”, Kareen Khalil.

“Right you are, Kareem.  It looks like it’s gonna be a rumble out there”, Jackson added, as an associate producer frantically googled statistics and facts about the Methodist government and the rest of the City of Minneapolis.

“Most definitely, Buck.  When these two sides get together, you can throw away…”

Continue reading

Let’s Make Michael Bloomberg Crap A Cactus

Up there with Easter, Christmas, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, this coming Saturday is one of the most wonderful times of the year.

It’s the Shooter Show at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale.

Shopping for a new gun?  Dozens of manufacturers will be there, showing their wares.  Bring a driver’s license, buy a box of ammo, and you can test fire any of the hundreds of pieces for free.  Prices are coming down from the panic-buying highs of a couple years ago, so it’s a great time to buy!

Plus – door prizes and giveaways (accessories, goodies, and even firearms), charity raffles (ditto), and…

…ahem…

…full-automatic machine gun rentals.  Buy a box of ammo, take your pick, pony up, suit up, and poke more holes in more paper faster than you ever knew possible.  Last year I shot the M1928 Thompson and the KRISS.   This year?  I’m focusing on the Bren, and/or the BAR.

Oh, yeah – I’ll be doing the show from Bill’s, live from 1-3PM on Saturday.  Stop out and say hi.

Why yes – I’ve been looking forward to this all year long.

Priorities In Action

The Minneapolis public school district expects to realize a savings of about $11 million when it completes his layoff of about 100 administrative staff from its headquarters building.

The district’s line is the savings are going to go back to the classroom – including potentially allowing the middle and high schools to add an extra hour onto their curricula.

Those of us who live in the conservative, real world know what this actually means – but i’ll break it down for the rest of the audience:

Now that they’re forced to cut administrators, they can focus more money on education. 

See the priorities?

Minneapolis has been systematically shorting students, their classrooms, and the curricula to keep their administrative payrolls fat and happy. Now that declining enrollments have the district in trouble, the piper needs to be paid.

This has to be at least as much the case in St. Paul, where the district headquarters building, in the Stalinesque fortress at 360 Colborne St., is more stuffed with deadwood than Lake of the Woods after the big windstorm.

Rule Four

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Arrest made in Ferguson cop shootings.  Suspect admitted shooting but not at cops; he shot at other people and missed.

What do we always tell hunters:  Be Aware Of Your Backstop!!

Since he was only charged with assault for shooting a cop in the face, then I guess police lives do NOT matter and we can stop hearing about it.

Also, the news reports say the suspect had an outstanding warrant for receiving stolen property.  That’s “undocumented property,” morons.

Joe Doakes

What?  No trigger warning?

(Ba domp bomp)

Open Letter To Thom Yorke

To:  Thom Yorke; Leader, Radiohead
From: Mhitch Berge, uppity music buff
Re: Marketing Idea

Mr. Yorke,

While I’ve never been a big fan of Radiohead’s music, I’ve always enjoyed your marketing innovations.

You were the first major artist to put all your music online.  You were the first to try a “pay us what you want” pricing model.

Of course, other models have come and gone.  But I’m going to propose something to vault you ahead of everyone else.

Post your master recordings online.

Make the Logic or ProTools masters (or get really radical and export them to GarageBand and Audacity) available for anyone to download, remix, re-record, add their own vocals, or whatever.  Become the first open-source superstars.

Have your people call my people.

That is all.

Berg’ Seventh Law Is Absolute

Last week, when stickers labeling establishments as “exclusively for white people” went up around Austin, Texas, I quietly figured it had to be a “progressive” false flag.

Why?

Because Bergs Seventh Law (“When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds”), that’s why.

So – were those “exclusively for white people” stickers a progressive false flag?

Duh…:

[Austin lawyer] Adam Reposa posted the video on YouTube and made a statement on Facebook saying he was trying promote the issue of gentrification in East Austin. (Warning: The video contains explicit language)
“They’re getting pushed out, and pretty quick. This area of town is turning into white’s only,” Reposa said in the clip. “Not by law like it used to be, and everyone’s going to jump on, ‘that’s racist!’ ‘that’s racist!’ Man, this town, the way **** works is racist! And I knew I could just bait all of y’all into being as stupid as you are.”
Reposa went on to blast people for not getting the message.

“You’re just not smart enough to keep up with my argument!”

I started Berg’s Law as a joke, pretty much, back in 2004. But the more I see, the less funny they seem.

Except, of course, is that I still laugh my butt off at “progressives”.

Szerény Javaslat

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Prime Minister of Hungary gave his State of the Nation address. Love this line:

“And as far as I see it, Hungarian people are by nature politically incorrect – in other words, they have not yet lost their common sense.”

The Republicans should run this guy against Hillary  No, he wasn’t born in this country.  What difference, at this point, does it make?

Joe Doakes

And trying read Hungarian is about the same as trying to read most legal writing…

Trulbert! Part XXXII – Twerking With The Devil

 - 1:26 PM, November 7, 2015 – Washington Avenue, near the Media Entrance, TCF Stadium, University of Minnesota

Dave Os was surprised to hear no noise coming from inside the stadium.

He’d never much cared for professional sports – he regarded pro sports fans as cretins, truth be told – but he’d always imagined the actual games would be loud.

But he heard no noise coming out of TCF Stadium.  Like they’re watching a chess tournament, Os thought – sneering to himself at the commercialization of international chess, longing for its older, purer days.

Continue reading

The Booming Legal Economy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ramsey County doesn’t use District Court Judges to hear Family Law cases, they use Referees who hold hearings, swear witnesses, take testimony, and recommends Findings and Conclusions for final Decree to be signed by the real judge.  Anybody out there interested in spend all day, every day, listening to divorcing couples bicker?  Oh, and you also get to wallow in domestic abuse and listen to excuses from juvenile delinquents.

On the other hand, it pays well.

***

The Second Judicial District has the following job opportunity available:

Referee (2 positions available)

Applications accepted until 4:30 p.m., March 27, 2015

How much worse than “having teenagers” could it be?