Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Your Very Own Dictatorship

The following essay was Posted by an online acquaintance. I didn't write it. But I agree with it.


Your very own dictatorship.

Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge.

That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.

The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this. The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.

What do sure odds of the Democrats rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win. It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections.

That’s a civil war.

There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.

This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement. You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.

Your very own dictatorship.

The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to Democrats, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate. The Democrats lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats. Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the civil war.

Our system of government is based on the constitution, but that’s not the system that runs this country. The Democrat's system is that any part of government that it runs gets total and unlimited power over the country.

If the Democrats are in the White House, then the president can do anything. And I mean anything. He can have his own amnesty for illegal aliens. He can fine you for not having health insurance. His power is unlimited. He’s a dictator.

But when Republicans get into the White House, suddenly the President can’t do anything. He isn’t even allowed to undo the illegal alien amnesty that his predecessor illegally invented. A Democrat in the White House has “discretion” to completely decide every aspect of immigration policy. A Republican doesn’t even have the “discretion” to reverse him. That’s how the game is played. That’s how our country is run. Sad but true, although the left hasn’t yet won that particular fight.

When a Democrat is in the White House, states aren’t even allowed to enforce immigration law. But when a Republican is in the White House, states can create their own immigration laws. Under Obama, a state wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom without asking permission. But under Trump, Jerry Brown can go around saying that California is an independent republic and sign treaties with other countries. The Constitution has something to say about that.

Whether it’s Federal or State, Executive, Legislative or Judiciary, the left moves power around to run the country. If it controls an institution, then that institution is suddenly the supreme power in the land. This is what I call a moving dictatorship.

Donald Trump has caused the Shadow Government to come out of hiding: Professional government is a guild. Like medieval guilds. You can’t serve in if you’re not a member. If you haven’t been indoctrinated into its arcane rituals. If you aren’t in the club. And Trump isn’t in the club. He brought in a bunch of people who aren’t in the club with him.

Now we’re seeing what the pros do when amateurs try to walk in on them - They spy on them, they investigate them and they send them to jail. They use the tools of power to bring them down.

That’s not a free country.

It’s not a free country when FBI agents who support Hillary take out an “insurance policy” against Trump winning the election. It’s not a free country when Obama officials engage in massive unmasking of the opposition. It’s not a free country when the media responds to the other guy winning by trying to ban the conservative media that supported him from social media. It’s not a free country when all of the above collude together to overturn an election because the guy who wasn’t supposed to win won.

Have no doubt, we’re in a civil war between conservative volunteer government and a leftist professional government.

That is how WARS START from within.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Made a Stropping Block

Today one of my friends on Facebook posted a link to an article on the A.G. Russell Knives website,
How to Make a Finishing Paddle.

Coincidentally, yesterday I put together my first stropping block/finishing paddle with a piece of leather glued to a piece of wood. Even though I've been sharpening knives for close to four decades, I only started using a strop in the last couple of weeks. I immediately noticed a difference in my knife edges.

That's been a real oversight on my part, because a strop can help you get a really sharp edge on a knife, and polish the bevel, which has a couple benefits. First, it reduces drag in the cut, and second, it makes the edge a little more corrosion-resistant because the smooth surface is less prone to retaining moisture.

Some pictures. First, the stropping block before I applied any compound.



Second, after applying the green compound from Eastwood. As you can see, it didn't go on evenly. I should probably have sanded the block to ensure it was as level as possible, and then sanded the leather also. Oh well, it's a learning process.



Finally, what it looks like after a little use. The dark spots are where it removed metal from the knife.




It may not look like much but it helped get a few of my knives really sharp. E.g., my Cold Steel Bushman feels like a razor now.

I made this one from some cowhide I had laying around that was about 1/8" thick, and a piece of a scrap 2x4. The thick base helps provide clearance so you don't hit your knuckles on your workbench.

I may go back and tweak it by scraping off most of the compound, adding some mineral oil to the leather, slightly roughing the leather so it takes the compound better, and then reapplying the compound.

My brother requested that I make him one and I'll use the lessons learned with this one in doing so.

If you don't have the materials for making one yourself laying around like I did, and want to try using a stropping block, you can get one off Amazon, here.



Sunday, July 08, 2018

Camillus TL-29 Electrician's Knife

I picked up this old Camillus electrician's knife off eBay for a whopping $11.50 shipped.



Generations of American servicemen have known this style of knife as the "TL-29." They were typically paired with a set of linesman's pliers and leather belt pouch to hold both items. Below is a picture I found on Pinterest, apparently scanned from a US military manual.



Used TL-29s can be found on eBay for little money and newly-made ones are available from Klein and other manufacturers.

According to the tang stamp guide found here, the knife was made between 1960 and the late 1970s.

It showed signs of use and some neglect, but no outright abuse. E.g., it was dull, dirty, and had some rust which I removed by an overnight soak in Evaporust. The blades snap into position nicely with positive half-stops and no side-to-side wiggle. The brass liner lock positively keeps the screwdriver in the open position.

As I received the knife it was very dull but now it's shaving sharp. It took about an hour's worth of work on my DMT fine diamond bench stone and Worksharp Field Sharpener combined to put a good edge on it.

I plan to keep the edge on the screwdriver blade relatively dull for use as a scraper; it was originally intended as such and as a wire stripper. I expect it to throw sparks from a ferro rod rather well.

Worksharp Field Sharpener

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been on a cutlery buying binge. I received a nice Amazon gift card for my birthday at the end of May, and among the items I bought was a Work Sharp Field Sharpener.

The Worksharp Field Sharpener is an impressive little piece of gear for maintaining knives in the field or at home. It comes with coarse and fine diamond plates, a ceramic stick for honing, a small ceramic stick for working on serrations, and a leather strop. Built into the unit are guides to help you set the correct angle when using all of the sharpening bits.

Since receiving the Worksharp I’ve used it to touch up several pocketknives both old and new, and it’s enabled me to put shaving-sharp edges on them while sitting in my recliner.

The overall length is a bit under 7 inches, so it’s best used on smaller knives. Of course, you can use it on larger blades but you’ll need to work on shorter sections of the edge at a time. For scale, here it is next to an old Camillus TL-29 electrician's knife:



I plan to take the Worksharp with me on camping trips as my field edge maintenance solution. I might even get a second one to leave in my camping toolbox.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Day at the Range

I've been off all week and despite the crappy weather forecasts, made it to the range yesterday and today. This post has pics from today.



Today I shot my Cimarron Firearms 1873 Sporting Rifle in .44-40 WCF with two types of handloads. The first target was shot with loads containing a 200 grain soft cast bullet from Desperado Cowboy Bullets on top of 8.5 grains of Alliant Unique powder, sparked by a Federal large pistol primer, in Starline brass.




The second group was loaded with home cast 219 grain bullets from an Accurate Molds 43-215C mold. I used a 1:20 tin:lead alloy, so they are pretty soft. Powder charge was 35 grains of Swiss 3Fg black powder, with the same brass and primers.




I managed to capture the smoke cloud from one of the black powder rounds. It was hot, humid, and with little to no wind, so the smoke just hung around.





After cleaning the 1873, I also spent some time banging the 25 yard plate rack with my CZ P09 Duty and my 9mm reloads (mixed brass, 115 grain Berry's plated bullets, 4.5 grains of Hodgdon Universal Clays powder, and CCI small pistol primers). No pics of that, however.

It sure beats working.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Turning Components Into Ammo

Over the past few weekends I have been busy turning components into ammunition. I dipped into my stash of empty .38 Special brass and loaded up several different varieties:


  • 50 rounds of 178 Keith semiwadcutters (SWC) on top of 3.8 grains of Unique.
  • 50 rounds of 178 Keith SWCs on top of 5.0 of Unique.
  • 100 rounds of 195 grain lead round nose bullets (LRNs) on top of a 5.0 grains of Unique.
  • 100 rounds of 148 grain Lee tumble lube wadcutters on top of a 2.7 grains of Bullseye.
  • 100 rounds of 148 grain Hornady hollow base wadcutters (HBWC) on top of 2.7 grains of Bullseye.
  • 100 rounds of Speer 158 grain lead SWC hollow points on top of a 4.5 grains of Universal Clays.


DO NOT USE ANY OF THE ABOVE LOADING DATA WITHOUT VERIFYING IT IN ONE OR MORE LOADING MANUALS!!! I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT OCCURS TO YOU OR YOUR GUNS IF YOU RELY ON IT.

The Keith SWCs, 195 grain LRNs, and Lee TL WCs came from Matt's Bullets. I ordered 100 count sample packs of each and was impressed with the projectiles. They are sized to .359 and loaded with Carnauba Red lube, except for the 148 TL WCs, which appear to be lubed with Lee Liquid Alox.

I was quite pleased with the service from Matt's Bullets, BTW. My order shipped in about a day and a half and was sent in a USPS flat-rate box. I received 2 days after I got the shipping notice. The bullets all looked good.

The Hornady 148 grain HBWCs have been laying around since I bought 1250 of them at the end of 2016. I've had the 500 count box of the Speer LSWCHPs for years.

So what prompted this binge reloading? First, the weather has been nice and it has been neither too hot nor too cold to work out in my backyard shop. Second, my gun interests go in phases and  something rekindled my interest in revolvers. It's been too long since I shot one of my K-Frames, S&W Model 28, or 50th Anniversary Ruger Blackhawk.

And frankly, the state of the political left in this country is really starting to worry me. As far as I'm concerned, they've been acting completely batshit crazy since Trump's election. I want to get in some more practice in case the left decides to take their attempt at a soft coup hot.

I was pleasantly surprised that the .38s loaded with the Keith SWCs feed well in my Rossi 92 .357 carbine. I'd figured the SWCs might hang up during feeding, but they seem to be held at just the right angle to slip right into the chamber. (Testing was done with 3 dummy rounds, not live ammo.)

I got the 195 grain bullets because I thought it would be neat to try and duplicate the old .38 Special Super Police load, which had a 200 grain LRN at mild velocity. I wound up loading them over enough Unique, though, that they will only be shot in my .357s. If nothing else, they should make steel plates jump around nicely.

The Speer 158 LSWCHP loads should run about 850 FPS from a 4" barrel, very similar to the old FBI load. I can bump the powder charge up a little to get over 900 FPS but at +P pressures. These would be good for defense from any of my K-Frames, and should also work well in my J-Frame S&W Model 640.

To measure the powder charges I used both my Redding Model 3 measure and my RCBS Little Dandy. I don't like how Unique meters in the Redding, although it seems to meter a little more smoothly in the Little Dandy. In contrast, Universal Clays seems to meter very nicely in the Little Dandy -- smooth and extremely consistent. I haven't tried it yet in the Redding but I expect it to behave similarly.

Of course, the proof will be in the shooting of this ammo. I'm hoping to get to the range in the next week or two to dirty up some wheelguns.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

New Personal MacBook Pro

Last weekend I broke down and finally did my income taxes. I used Turbo Tax on my old mid-2009 MacBook Pro. When I installed the software, it warned that unless I upgrade to macOS High Sierra, I won't be able to use it again next year. That Mac is too old to be upgraded beyond Sierra. I've been thinking of getting a new personal laptop and this pushed me to finally do so.

Therefore, on the way home from work last night I stopped in the Apple Store in King of Prussia and bought a 2017-model 15" MBP (MacBookPro14,3). The specs are impressive:


  • CPU: 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 with 4 cores
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • SSD: 512 GB (I was running low on space on the old machine's 256 GB SSD.)
  • Graphics: Onboard Intel HD Graphics 630 1536 MB AND a 4G AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPU.


It has the Touch Bar (yawn) and 4 Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C 3.1 ports and a headphone jack.

I got it in silver to clearly differentiate it from the work-provided Space Grey 15" MBP.

Since I use Google Drive and Dropbox for documents, migrating them over was as simple as installing the clients and letting them sync. To move over my videos, pictures, and music, I went old school and sneaker-netted them using a 64 GB SanDisk USB stick with both USB-A and USB-C connectors.

This machine is very similar to my company-provided work laptop so I knew what I was getting. To partially reiterate from my post last Spring after I got that one:


  • Replacing the MagSafe 2 power connector with USB-C sucks.
  • On the other hand, with the right cable I should be able to charge the battery from something like a cell phone power bank or my Harbor Freight jump pack/12V power source.
  • I am underwhelmed with the Touch Bar. At work I rarely use it because 90% of the time the lid is closed while the machine is connected to an external keyboard, mouse, and dual displays. Since I use the machine at home as a laptop, I expect the Touch Bar will see more use.
  • It's fast as hell.
  • The screen is great.
  • Battery life is good.
  • The keyboard is OK.
  • For me, macOS 10.13 High Sierra has been very stable. I expect the new machine to be even more so, because it won't have corporate IT management crap like the Eracent agent installed.


Since last night I've installed the following software:


  • MS Office 2016.
  • TextWrangler (in which I'm writing this.)
  • Truecrypt 7.1a, which requires some tweaking to install.
  • ZOC 7 for telnet and SSH. I don't use it much at home but at work for managing Linux servers or network devices, it's awesome.
  • LibreOffice for some old OpenOffice files I have. Even on this machine, LibreOffice is a bloated, slow POS. Amazing.
  • 1Password.
  • Mozilla Thunderbird.
  • Google Chrome.

I still need to install a few ham radio apps, including Fldigi, CHIRP, and WSJT. Using them with my radios will require a Thunderbolt 3 to USB-A adapter, and maybe an external sound card.

One thing I need to pick up is a 1 TB Thunderbolt 3-compatible hard disk, to use for Time Machine backups. MicroCenter appears to have several suitable models in stock.

My employer has a purchase plan negotiated with Apple which saved me a couple hundred bucks on the laptop and AppleCare. It still came out to about $3,100 after tax. That's a ton of money but it's worth it to me to have a top-quality machine that I fully expect to be able to use for nearly a decade.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Levergun Weekend

Saturday afternoon I loaded up 150 rounds of .38-40 with a 180 bullet on top of about 8.5 grains of Unique. After dinner, I loaded 100 rounds of .44-40 with a 200 grain bullet on top of the same powder charge. Bullets for both calibers were soft cast from Desperado Cowboy bullets. I mostly shoot black powder in .44-40 but still had a bunch of the DCB 200 grainers, which don't carry enough lube for BP in a rifle, so smokeless it was.

Sunday morning was my club's lever action rifle match. Even though it was Easter Sunday, we had 9 shooters. We had a couple Rossi 92s, a Cimarron 1873, a Henry Big Boy, a Marlin 1894 CB, and even a Winchester 1894 in .44 Magnum loaded with .44 Specials. I shot my Cimarron 1860 Henry with .44 Henry-equivalent black powder loads, and got some ribbing from the other guys about second hand smoke.

We started out at 10 - 12 yards, then moved back to 50. The targets were ~8" square steel plates.

I shot well, coming in 4th. I missed only one target but of course I was slower than the guys shooting mouse-fart level .38s. Also, the Henry has more drop in the stock than my 1873, which slowed me down compared to last month.

I put 55 rounds through the 1860 Henry. The .44 rimfire-level loads foul noticeably less than full-power .44 WCFs. It took only about a half dozen patches wet with moose milk to clean the bore.

The rifle's developing a nice patina on the brass receiver now.

We were done pretty early so in the afternoon I decided to replenish my supply of bullets suitable for shooting on top of black powder. So, I topped off my Lyman lead pot with some 1:20 alloy that I got from Roto Metals, and ran off a few hundred bullets in my Accurate Molds 43-215C. Hopefully, I'll be able to lube and size them this week after work.