Trail Mixers Say: Macho Guns Worthless

Dave “Mudcat” Saunders mudcatsays:

The NRA is stacking their membership numbers, and in reality, is a shadow of what they used to be. Most of the real gun nuts like me have split for one reason or another.

On the assault weapons ban, as an advocate of the second amendment and a hunter, I would never buy a .223 AR-15 with a 100-round clip for defense or offense. The damned things are worthless, and the only reason people buy them is they look bad. I can only guess the reason they sell is wusses buy ‘em, cuddle ‘em, feel powerful, and get an erection or something.

If somebody is after me, I ain’t grabbing an AR-15. I’m grabbing my shotgun. Here’s an example. An AR-15 with a 100-round clip is a rifle that fires 100 .22 caliber bullets one at a time. With Number 4 buckshot, self-defense shotguns (which hold up to eight 3 inch shells) fires 41 bullets each time you pull the trigger, and everyone is larger than the AR-15′s. 4 buck is .24 caliber. In other words, a shotgun can fire 328 .24 caliber bullets in the same time the AR-15 can fire eight .22 caliber bullets.

I guess what I’m saying is this…I don’t like macho guns and could care less if they were only available through a special permitting process for target shooters and collectors. Selling those things over the counter to a culture that likes “bad-looking” guns, instead of effective guns, does in no way help preserve my second amendment rights.

I’ll quote Forrest Gump on assault rifles: “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Dave “Mudcat” Saunders

119 thoughts on “Trail Mixers Say: Macho Guns Worthless”

  1. The NRA after criticizing violent video games has now come out with one that teaches people to shoot — I guess they will be using the rifle used to kill Dr. King on gun appreciation day

    And of course the reporting leaves a lot to be desired….and now from the coca cola people the same people who eliminated the 6oz bottle are now trying to pretend they are a health conscious company. And the media is falling for it.

    The soda companies have decided ads are better then having to fight sugar taxes and the stupid media just talks about how wonderful coke is for getting on the anti-obesity wagon.

  2. I am really worried about this gun fight we have going on and where it might lead. The other day I talked with one of the most reasonable people I used to work with. She’s educated, medical prof, not into guns or hunting. I felt 100 percent sure she would support an assault weapon and mega capacity magazine ban but she didn’t. She made some comment about needing to have at least as much firepower as someone coming after you has. I felt relatively sure she and her husband didn’t but I didn’t inquire. I was too shocked at her response.

    That arguement just doesn’t make sense to me. If it is the government, who some seem to fear, we will never have a fair balance of firepower. If it is some intruder, our Bushie would most likely be locked up and we’d be minced meat before we could get to it. The only way an assault weapon would maybe be of any use would be if whoever’s coming to get us made an sppointment.

  3. Cenk had Alex Jones on his show last night. Alex still hadn’t figured out that he needs to tone it down if he hopes to have a particle of cred. Alex went after both Glen Beck and Jon Stewart. Both were criticizing Jones. You’ve definitely lost the war if both Glen and Jon are shooting at ya. How much more in the middle of two extremes can one get?

  4. “What’s the point of gumbo without filé?”

    XR, I don’t use the stuff in my gumbo. One purpose of filé is to thicken and the okra and roux will do enough of that.

  5. Was great to see Mudcat’s post this morning.
    Hope he stops by more often.
    A voice we need to hear more rather than less. 😉

  6. Oh, and Chloe pointed out to me yesterday that you had removed our blog off the Trailmix Blogroll. We still consider ourselves trail hands and we still have a blog, even if ever so humble it is. Mostly just a few of us girls…who want to have fun.

  7. Great post today from someone who knows so much about guns (’cause I sure don’t).

    Thanks Mudcat!

    Ha, Carol?
    I didn’t say he removed it, but that he had started a new list with the new site. I just emailed him from the link below asking him if he’d add it.

  8. [Repost alert]
    Mudcat, I love it when informed gun nuts like yourself disabuse uninformed gun nuts of their mistaken and ridiculously wrong assumptions. (Don’t you have to take the plug or whatever they call it out of the shotgun to load more than 3 shell into it? And isn’t that — illegal — in most states? SHHH, I won’t tell anyone.)

    Gotta go with CT on the gumbo thing. Have had it with and without filé, and have loved it both ways. How bad can Gumbo be anyway? Grew up with okra gumbo, but truth be told the best I think I ever had was at Emeril’s NOLA restaurant – and it is a filé version, but the Great Chef makes it with filé, with okra and with both, and it’s hard to get bad Cajun from Emeril.

  9. Pogo, I’ve tasted many a bad gumbo but I’m real picky. After a gut full of beer, which many folks around here always have before eating gumbo, all of them taste pretty good.

  10. Carol, I hear ya. Eat enough of anything, made by enough people, and you can get bad food. I’ve had bad flounder and filet after all – and that’s not normally a bad surf and turf combo. I meant as a concept, how bad can chicken, andouille and crawfish be if it’s spiced just right and served over rice?

  11. Mud’s EXACTLY right on the shotgun thing. The one gun that I carried in my neighborhood for defense of life and property for several weeks after Hurricane Katrina blew through, and there was gunfire every day and night in my neighborhood from looting, was a shotgun. I also noticed that whenever we would go to a large gathering of the public to get FEMA supplies or to an open store for supplies, all of the police officials and military officials on site for security purposes were carrying shotguns. Like Mud said, there was a reason for that…

  12. She made some comment about needing to have at least as much firepower as someone coming after you has.

    So Carol, did you ask just what kind of criminal enterprise she was into? You know the kind that would have multiple strangers breaking through the door fully armed with those kind of weapons.
    I think most days people just don’t think.


  13. Billy

    You just gave one of the few reasons for the need of defensive weapons, At times when regular order is broken either due to civil unrest or natural disaster.
    There is where we need our militia. Not as an extension of the military as the National Guard, but as an extension of the local police. It would be a great community organising tool. You just have to be aware of the Zimmermans among you.


  14. all of the police officials and military officials on site for security purposes were carrying shotguns.

    The great thing about a shotgun in such situations is that it makes a large statement without ever having to threaten anybody. If you can’t protect yourself with a shot gun then you are in a war and you need to join the army of your choice.


  15. Have to love Mudcat. The son and I were discussing the whole gun issue and the 20 year Army vet and current military contractor and frequent shooting range visitor said, “Around the house the only gun you really need if you must have a gun, is a shotgun.” Probably some kindred spirit thing going on here.

  16. CT,

    HAHAHA. I wouldn’t use filé either. It was banned for commercial use in the sixties because it contains miniscule amounts of toxic chemicals.

    Okra and roux are plenty good enough for thickening gumbo. One problem around Chez Xrepublican is that Sweetie hates gumbo. Fact. Who can explain such a strange thing ?

  17. Jack, I think she was explaining why others felt they needed the assault rifles. I’d really be shocked if she or her husband had one. They are pretty gentle but “conservative” people. I’ve learned the hard way that NO amount of debating people with certain attitudes in my neck of the woods will get me anywhere.

    I did tell her that I was just so distressed about all those innocent children being slaughtered and I wanted something/anything done to prevent that from happening again. Her response was how can we be concerned about that when so many of us weren’t concerned about all the abortions. I then realized it was time for me to STFU.

  18. crackers – Hey, the NRA forgot to go after soft drinks & junk food. They do, after all, change your brain chemistry & mood.

  19. Craig, It’s a good thing that recipe makes a lot of Burgoo, so you can have leftovers if they have to re-swear Obama in, again.

    I have no culinary, inauguration tradition. Last time, I just remember crying a lot (I suspect others did for a different reason), and just when I thought it was all good, the Obama’s danced to, “At Last.”

  20. I must disagree with Mr. Sanders on the topic of .22 caliber weapons.

    My first murder case (July 1967) involved a .22 handgun. The client fired a single shot at one of two men who were assaulting him. The assaultor died instantly.

    The dead man was a professional weight lifter who on weekends would prowl used car lots, get chummy with shoppers, and then bet them that he could lift the rear, sometimes the front, of an automobile. That is what he did for a modest living – it paid for rent, informal clothes, burgers, and beer.

    Based on six identical eye witness (allegedly) accounts, the client was charged with Murder in the 1st Degree.

    Now, if a single .22 bullet can kill a man instantly, who could lift the rear end of Mustang or the front end of a Corvair off the ground, I don’t want to discount them.

    Also, the M-16 was a .223 weapon that killed at least 250,000 Viet Cong and NVA, even after discounting for the wild inflation of westmoreland.

    The extra 3/1000ths of an inch that the .223 has over a .22 is not significant. However, the propellant for the .223 gives it either greater hitting power, or a greater range and flatter trajectory. In Viet Nam, we found that the typical distance between Grunts and targets was less than 100yards. Therefore in similar combats situations, the trajectory and range of .22 would be adequate in the great majority of instances.

    The weakness of the .22 is the failure to penetrate modern body armor. That is a failure shared by the other calibers also, unless the rounds have sabots and/or are specially shaped and polished, and coated with teflon. These are the so-called cop driller or cop killer bullets.

    I haven’t seen teflon or sabot enhanced .22s. However, Sabots are available in .223 caliber and therefore AR-15s can be useful against lightly armored infantry men and even some light APCs. There are 100 round box magazines that sort-of easily attach to AR-15s, and there are automatic trigger pullers available also. The bits of easily obtained equipment can turn the lowly AR-15 into a small caliber, submachine gun that can fire 250-400 cop killer bullets per minute.

    Now you have a formidable, if heavy and clumsy, weapon.

  21. This whole “shotgun-as-the-thinking-man’s-people-killing-device” concession is ridiculous. They put holes in you, just the same. The 2nd amendment doesn’t say: “A well-protected flat-screen TV being necessary to the security of a free McMansion, the right to bear shotguns shall not be infringed”. It just doesn’t.

    “At times when regular order is broken either due to civil unrest or natural disaster.
    There is where we need our militia.” -Jack

    …and I’ll agree that logic works on paper, Jack, but we saw during Katrina and Sandy it doesn’t work so well in practice.

  22. The problem with un-uniformed irregulars fighting to overthrow the government is that the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply, and Crimes Against Humanity laws are never brought against the Great Powers anymore. Therefore, one can eliminate a mob of insurrectionists easily and with impunity using old-fashioned mustard gas, against which even .45 caliber, sabot enhanced, fully-automatic machine guns mounted as quads (four weapons working together as one) are useless.

    Then there is the problem of M-61s and GAU8s (rapid-fire cannons), landmines, napalm, aircraft, drones, short range missiles, and the starlight and infra-red scopes and flying and creeping sensors that can direct fire with nearly pin-point accuracy. Against such weapons in the hands of a real dictator, the firearms beloved by the nra are puny.

  23. and I’ll agree that logic works on paper, Jack, but we saw during Katrina and Sandy it doesn’t work so well in practice.

    Hate to state the obvious here(really I don’t)

    It has never been done in practice or any other way.

    Just a few unorganised individuals guarding their block.


  24. BTW

    Do you really want to stand on the “My toys are more important than little children being blown to bits?”

  25. Such weapons as I enumerated @ 1:31 pm, in the hands of a power-mad and blood-thirsty hitleresque dictator, such as the nra posits, cannot be overthrown by small arms in the hands of dis-organized, paranoid and out-of-shape anarchists, who have trouble with any authority that presumes to give them directions.

  26. Do you really want to stand on the “My toys are more important than little children being blown to bits?”

    We ain’t saving any lives with our blog-posts, Jack. The right to bear arms is constitutionally-protected. I didn’t write it.

    Any feel-good, “we did something today” legislation is most likely not going to reduce to the total number of outstanding guns appreciably, I think we can agree on that. Gun laws are already pretty tough: you get caught fucking around with a gun, you’re probably going to jail for at least 6 months. The problem is, anyone venturing to murder probably isn’t considering the legality of it. If you want to completely get rid of guns, I support it, but please get them off the criminals first.

    As far as “little children being blown to bits” (a horrible prospect, even to type) are concerned, there have been two school shootings since the Connecticut tragedy, while all these high-minded arguments have been conducted. You want school security, INCREASE school security. Holy shit.

    I’d bet good money that every school in the nation has already reviewed and revised their security measures, without waiting for popular consensus, to their credit. School-kids to whom I spoke, over the holiday, told me they are barely allowed to take a piss in school these days. The days of sneaking out for a smoke or making out with your girl under the guise of a bathroom break are long gone.

  27. OK, I promise I’m bowing out of this ridiculous debate, not just today, but for a long while. I’d venture that supporters of an assault-weapons ban will get one. Further impediments to the procurement of firearms by law-abiding citizens will probably be enacted. That’s about it. Time will tell what effect that has towards preventing mass-shootings, like the one that compelled the current discourse, and as cynical as I am, hopefully they do help prevent such occurrences.

  28. I hope my fellow Trail Hands will forgive me for my bandwidth rudeness.

    I meant no disrespect.

  29. I hope my fellow Trail Hands will forgive me for my bandwidth rudeness.

    I’d argue with some of your points, but refrain out of similar concerns. I’ve been enjoying your posts, despite the occasional quibble. I even gave you a thumb on your “.223″ post! Nice work.

  30. “The problem is, anyone venturing to murder probably isn’t considering the legality of it.” – IxC @ 2:11pm.

    Either it doesn’t occur to them in the heat of the moment, or they dismiss it.

  31. Thank you, IxC. I appreciate your generosity toward me.

    Your arguments, somewhat like mine, tend to look at the practicality of gun bans.

    Neither of us consider likely the self-enrollment in these schemes by owners of the weapons.

  32. Mudcat makes alot of the same observations that I did earlier on this blog. A well handled shotgun is much effective for both defense and offense in confined spaces and criowded environments.

    His argument that weapons with overly large clips being difficult to handle and prone to jamming is also correct and renders them significantly more ineffective.

    The assault weapon with a moderate clip is both easier to handle and more effective at multiple ranges which is why its is carried by soldiers as they never know what environment they will find themselves in.

    As I’ve said before…contrary to popular belief these weapons are not designed as weapons of mass destruction….but instead are designed for use in multi-range environments when the handlers cannot predict where they will be needed.

    There are much better options at both short and long range applications.

  33. With hat tips to my excellent fellow advocates, especially Messers Saunders, Whskyjack, Flatus, Jaxtrader, Woerlee, and Champ, who have striven grimly with the complex concepts, data, and issues, involved in dis-firearming America, I now cede the remainder of my time to anyone else who desires it.

    I am well and truly ranted out on this topic.

  34. I appreciate your generosity toward me.

    Oh, don’t mention it. I got all these thumbs, what else am I going to do with them?

    Wait. Don’t answer that.

  35. Jax makes a good point about the M16 (and rifles or carbines of its ilk) – it is a multiple environment design – which is why it is nothing like the most suitable weapon for home defense (a pistol or shotgun makes much more sense to me) where the threat is in the room or in your face. Unless of course the owner has only one weapon to use for home defense and hunting. Then it is no more or less useful than any relatively compact rifle. (I speak about this as if I have more personal experience than I have.:-)

    BTW, wasn’t Bobby Kennedy killed with a .22?

  36. Chloe, “Sorry, but try as I may, there is NO way I can picture that group coming together for anything (and you really want Palin there??). Thinking about it is almost humorous.

    If you can’t conceive of it, and Chloe, you are a very clever and reasonable woman, then it won’t happen because other folks like yourself cannot see it. The NRA win and in a couple of years we will be beating the breasts over yet another massacre.

    It takes a big idea and brave political leadership.

  37. Bobby Kennedy killed with a .22?

    I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure OBL was. Like xrep said, it’s not so much the size of the round as the powder charge behind it, and where it makes impact. I was always taught that your average .22 long-rifle is an impractical self-defense tool due to the lack of “stopping power”. I’m just responding to a post, here, not participating in what I termed a “ridiculous debate”, as per my aforementioned promise.

  38. “then it won’t happen because other folks like yourself cannot see it… brave political leadership”-Bill

    You see, Bill, when I make a snotty “this ain’t Oz” type post in response to you, It’s due to what I perceive to be a fundamental misconception about America and its political processes. We don’t have “brave” political leadership, we have “opportune” political leadership. Cuomo, for example, isn’t as concerned about the safety of children as he is with becoming President someday, as I imagine everyone in his life has told him is his destiny.

    Not the ideal situation, just the way it is.

  39. I keep reading and hearing comments about insurrections and bad times yada yada yada Militia and hence the need to bear arms. The Militia Act of 1792 seems to be very clear on what constitutes a “A well regulated militia”.

    I believe the last insurrection in the US was the secession of Key West, Florida from the United States on 23 April 1982. I believe “A well regulated militia” beat off the armed might of the oppressor with bread and conch shells. They didn’t need guns to succeed.

    Another insurrection was the secession of Dade County in Georgia, first from Georgia and then the US in 1860. This peace loving nation rejoined the US in 1945. It’s succession is memorialised on the Georgia 1999 dollar coin.

    And then there was the Republic of Franklin in whose loving arms Davy Crocket was born rather than Tennessee as the song likes to tell us.

    None of these insurrections were defended by guns but they certainly were sustained by ideas and courage.

    So what was the raison d’être for guns? None as far as I can see. They are powerful arguments that the pen is mightier than the sword.

  40. IxC, I hear ya about the stopping power (lack thereof) of a .22 long rifle.

    Yep according to the font of all knowledge RFK was shot 3 times from a .22 revolver – it took him 26 hours to die.

  41. Ignoble exChamp, “this ain’t Oz”.

    Mate, we’re used to this pompous crap. Like we say, “you can tell an American anywhere but you can’t tell an American anything.”

    We can all run these very unhelpful community slurs if it makes you feel good. But it takes you no where. You close your ears at your own peril.

    However, you seem to have the idea that our coming together of the national and state leadership groups was a natural thing. It wasn’t. We faced all the same pressures you do now from a myriad of extremist groups all screaming for their moment in the sun.

    The difference is we had a leader who was willing to put his political career on the line for this issue. He reached out across the political divide and was joined by another leader whose party and personality he had trashed only weeks before in a bruising political battle. For the sake of a clear national objective, the two forces joined and through gouging and arm twisting brought their respective movements along with them – especially the recalcitrant states who proclaimed an anti-Canberra stance and all the crap that went with it from the get go.

    So yeah, we have a really good idea as to how difficult the process is and how much political capital needs to be expended to make something like this happen. If you want to trivialise this process with nationalistic slurs then you need to realise that you are seriously part of the problem as to why no movement is occurring on gun control in the US. Close your mind to the outcome and no outcome will occur.

    Simple as that mate.

  42. Maybe we can’t make a difference guys but I think that most of us here care deeply about this serious problem and would do what we could to help. We really can’t be so sure that making changes in our laws will have absolutely no effect. Like Obama said…if we could do something to save just one child would you think that it was worth it? I would.

    I still think of the Trail as my connection with caring people across this country(you guys) and around the big old world. We hooked up with Billy boy didn’t we. His country made progress with this problem. Are his peeps there better than our peeps here? Do they care about their children more than we do?

    I want to thank you very much Craig for your efforts. It’s not a pleasant subject to dwell on but I see you as a significant member of the political world. I think that your blog is monitored by people who are involved in creating new policies. “They” are monitoring social media sites to determine public interest. Since there is, lawmakers are continuing their efforts to try to make changes.

    If nothing changes we can all sleep better at night thinking…we really did care and we tried.

  43. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will unveil on Wednesday a series of “concrete proposals” to counter gun violence that will include a push for an assault weapons ban and measures to strengthen background checks for gun buyers. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who led a task force that developed recommendations on the issue, would present the package of legislative and executive measures at a White House event at 11:45 a.m. EST.

  44. Simple as that mate.

    …not really.

    …and I didn’t make any “nationalistic slurs”. Quote them, if you disagree.

  45. In most cases, closing the road to the liquor and/or grocery store will bring the secessionist wannabee to his senses.

    Roughing it when you’re out of potato chips, budweiser, and Jack Daniels is way too heroic.

  46. By mistake I paused on an opinion page of this morning’s Journal.

    Colin Powell is on the hot seat for what he said on MtP Sunday morning. God, what a Cad!

    And there’s a new book out! Dinner With Churchill by Cita Stelzer, Pegasus.

    The review, by Henrik Bering, shows the author to be a true fan of the PM and his appetite and ability to be satisfied with the tables presented for his sustenance even when prepared following the edicts of wartime rationing.

    The review presents examples of anecdotes that I’ve not heard or read elsewhere.

    At $26.95, it’s selling at just under ten cents a page counting tax.

    The remaining two op-eds have boxed embedded snippets that didn’t encourage me to explore any further:
    –“Sandy wrecked our house, but bureaucrats are keeping it broken.” and,
    –“The first lady can help kids by encouraging marriage the way she has by encouraging exercise.”
    The first of the two was written by Roger Kimball, and the second by Abby W. Schachter

  47. Bill Woerlee, as our TM Australian Envoy I hereby task you to keep watch on something I heard today in a long chat with a progressive think tank pal, who says the U.S. and Australia are engaged in a massive secret plan to establish your country as our major base of operations for a possible war against China. This guy is not a nut case, believe me, and he presented a convincing case that this is really happening.

  48. … this is a 2011 article, but…

    A U.S. Marine Base for Australia Irritates China
    “The United States portrays itself as responding to a new Chinese assertiveness in the region that has alarmed core American allies. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote a recent article in Foreign Policy laying out an expansive case for American involvement in Asia, and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta characterized China’s military development as lacking transparency and criticized its assertiveness in the regional waters.

    “Dr James Curran, senior lecturer in history at Sydney University, said this new deployment would help to assuage some of the US allies in the region about China’s increasing power.”

    “This is a very strong statement that the US is in the region to stay,” he said.”

  49. My favorite American secession attempt was King Strange’s. Following the murder of Joseph Smith, Strange set up a Mormon kingdom for himself (and God) on Beaver Island in the northern part of Lake Michigan. Once they discovered Strange’s rebellion, the US Navy set course for Beaver Island. Strange he was able to withstand the might of the US Navy for as many minutes as it took the tiny landing party to find him, and carry him off.

  50. maybe Flatus but this guy says its WAY bigger than anything made public so far — stealths, drones, troops, the works — as he put it, Australia has signed on as a client state agreeing to everything we ask

  51. Craig,


    contingency operating area is way larger than anything made public.

    Understand this. There are two things we need to mount a sustained operation in a distant location:
    –a runway, and

    Everything else can be flown in initially until water transport is established.

  52. was told the progressive experts on China in our country fear we are deliberately antagonizing them to waste money on defense and undermine their economy, based on the theory that it worked with the Soviet Union. heck, I know nothing about who’s right or wrong on this and can prove it, but apparently that’s what is going on

  53. Craig

    Have you been keeping an eye on China’s belligerence in the south China sea.

    Japan and China have been playing tag too.
    While everyones attention is focused on the middle east and SW Asia China has been testing to see how far it can push it’s neighbors.


  54. war against China

    Hey, how’s that Trail Mix bunker coming along? Will I make it past the “velvet rope”? I have numerous skills that could prove valuable in a bunker-setting, just so you know.

    Also, I have really been enjoying your blog, lately, and you looked really handsome the last time I saw you on TV.

  55. by the way for something completely different and kinda fun I came across this while doing some family research today … my great Uncle John Lair and the Coon Creek Girls, proud to say I’m related


  56. Craig, if you have her genuine name, do a search in her local paper. The last time she posted (I think) was on the morning of Dec 31st. Just a normal conversation. I’m quite concerned.

  57. we’d need somebody to piss us off

    How dare you. Wait. How dare you? Wait. How dare you! Wait. Et tu, Brute? Hmm.

  58. Best wishes concerning absent participants. I don’t really want to hear any bad news, and I’m a big fan of hers.

  59. Just a thought for regulars here, please provide more contact info in your profile and keep your email addy up to date so that we can track you down when you go missing. Just hover your cursor at the “Howdy” right top of this screen and click “Edit My Profile”

  60. “… I heard today in a long chat with a progressive think tank pal, who says the U.S. and Australia are engaged in a massive secret plan to establish your country as our major base of operations for a possible war against China. This guy is not a nut case, believe me, and he presented a convincing case that this is really happening.”

    Craig, I’ve been thinking about what you said in the above paragraph and feel it is the closest to ‘real news’ that I’ve heard in a long time. Investigative Reporting.

    The fact that you are in the middle of it all, right there in DC… where it’s all happening makes your reporting more important than almost everyone elses.

    That’s a real commodity you’ve got there. You’re probably the closest thing to a real journalist (the type I thought only existed in the past) than I’ve ever had the pleasure to come in contact with.

    It’s too bad that piece of information you got today cannot be headlined across the nation. Craig Crawford: according to a credible, anonymous source.

    You can’t imagine how it made me feel, how much it peaked my imagination and how many questions I have about what you said. Especially after you said this “progressive experts on China in our country fear we are deliberately antagonizing them to waste money on defense and undermine their economy, based on the theory that it worked with the Soviet Union.”

    The why’s and when’s, etc. It’s been a long time since I felt like this. Informed instead of manipulated.

  61. Craig
    Thanks for checking on patd…I hope we hear something soon.

  62. I know, Craig. I knew it was off the record.

    Maybe it just felt good to feel like I was doing a little eaves dropping. In DC!

    We don’t get to hear about those private conversations very often

    … I hope we hear from Pat soon, too

  63. Craig,

    The regulars who are comfortable doing so might send you phone numbers as well. Hope we hear from Patd soon.

  64. Not sure we’ve seen two super rivals like U.S. and China at odds since Rome and Carthage duked it out in the Punic Wars, which lasted what, a century or so? The Soviets were low hangin fruit compared to China. Fasten your seat belts. just sayin …

  65. For all those who need a weapon for defense against the government, please see the following link.
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    A perfect dual purpose weapon as at home in a defensive posture as it in an all out assault, with a history of carnage and casualties rarely equaled in the history of firearms. Good rate of fire and some serious stopping power.
    The only assault rifle that any one should be legally allowed to own. A must have for all those wishing to stand up to tyranny.
    Still readily available, order while supplies are good. Some discounts available on orders of a dozen or more.
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    Mention the NRA when you call and receive the official militia hat at no charge.

  66. The persuasive value of a shotgun should never be underestimated.

    How many a lad has gone from being a carefree shameless young man to a fine son-in-law and father with just the click of a hammer? 😉

  67. “The Soviets were low hangin fruit compared to China.” Craig@10:28

    Goodness, where did you pick-up that fiction? When you talk about the Soviet Union, you not only had Russia and its fourteen republics, but the entire ‘affiliated’ Warsaw Pact.

    China is just now starting to stretch its wings; Japan is unwilling to let it become dominant. Nor are we.

    We have legitimate Pacific interests that we will protect with our treaty partners.

  68. Flatus, I get ya but think the Soviets were dumb drunken brutes compared to China. Did it ever occur to them to buy up a trillion dollars of our debt and hold us hostage? China could wreck our economy with a mouse click.

  69. Look, we can FedEx them five platinum trillion dollar Bush wranglers, and our score is settled. Besides, the stealth bombers are safely in bed in Knob Noster, Mo. Ah, bed, that’s where I’m going. :)

  70. my man, DaveB, posts on Globes:

    “I’ve decided the Golden Globes are the real crescendo of the Awards season – the Oscars, with their boring, prime-time awards for things like sound and make-up, are now second in my book.”

    lookin forward to our gal Jamie’s take: Blank & White on Film

  71. don’t mean to disturb your sleep Flatus, but I’m told stealth bombers — and a whole bunch of other stuff — are being stationed from Guam to Australia and all over the Pacific. Is the ME just a head fake for the really big war, the Pacific Theater? Taking an extra baby aspirin tonight.

  72. A copy of Listen Up, Mr President arrived from Amazon today. Way too easy to do your shopping through the Trail Mix page. *Support our Advertisers*

  73. sjwny, you warm my heart — not for the money, ’cause there ‘aint much, but because I love that book, loved writing it, had high hopes, and darn it all if not for Helen’s miserable screwup destroying sales and severing relations with the publisher more folks would be reading it

  74. In the past 20 years, Pine Island Glacier’s grounding line, the location where the glacier leaves bedrock and meets the ocean, has retreated at a rate of more than 1 kilometer a year. The glacier itself has thinned at a rate of 5 feet (1.5 meters) a year since the 1990s, and its flow rate has accelerated by 30 percent in the past 10 years. ………… “We can show that the present grounding-line retreat is really exceptional over a longer time scale, over the last 10,000 years,” he said. “In the previous 10,000 years, the grounding line retreated by just about 90 kilometers (56 miles), but in the last 20 years, it retreated by 25 kilometers (15 miles).”

    Rapid retreat of Antarctica glacier is called ‘unprecedented’

  75. I just have one question CBob. You do a great job scaring us to death about effects of climate change, but what do we do about it? We get it, pal. How about mixing in some positive suggestions with the doomsday factoids.

  76. I mean, really, all you’ve been telling us is that we’re all going to die a slow hot death. If that’s all you’ve got to say, fine. But can we do something about it? I’d really like to know if you think we can, what that might be, and how we get cracking on it.

  77. Yikes, I remember that unfortunate incident. Too bad for the book.

    CBob, my daffodils are popping up. January 16th. Saw an interesting report about how Great Lake levels are down as much as 2ft. That is scary,very scary.

  78. Craig,how strong is the coal lobby? I know about oil money influence, but how influential is coal money?

  79. China smog hid factory fire for 3 hours
    This event has covered the entire country for a week . Like the fires on Ohio rivers, and the London killer smog, this will change their country.

  80. CBob all i’m asking is for you to focus on helping us understand what can be done, like sjwny’s coal inquiry. I don’t know anything about this stuff. You know more about it than anybody I know, and I want to know from you what can be done. You’ve scared us already, enough with that. Inspire us mister!

  81. The no votes on Sandy relief tonight need to be made note of , so that when hell comes to breakfast in their towns , we can all say , ” No soup for you!”

  82. This sounds silly, but I think about how soapstone absorbs heat easily and acts like a heater afterwards. Our ancestors were more practical in building than we are today. They knew thick (!) stone walls kept them cool in the summer,a bit warmer in the winter. And face your windows correctly to maximize the sun’s heating/light properties. Simple stuff helps.

  83. The no votes on Sandy relief tonight need to be made note of , a failed amendment to the bill would have cut funding to the Weather Service.

    As if we didn’t know she was coming, she wouldn’t have hit.

  84. Yep we’re drilling a rock on Mars. OK. Bob I’m asking you to start giving us information about solutions to climate change instead of the litany of problems. Not especially now but going forward. Please?

  85. We are about to drill a rock on Mars, and old people are dropping like flies in China, because their air has turned into cinder blocks.

  86. I remember odd/even days at the gas stations. Bad political PR, but it made sense when fuel was rationed. And putting on a sweater was practical advice. We should help make commonsense chic again.

  87. Bob I stayed up waiting for you to do my level best to shift your considerable energy from identifying problems to naming solutions. I truly admire your knowledge about climate change issues, and want your contributions here to help us figure out how to make a difference. Let’s sleep on it. I’m going to now.

  88. SJ, I’ve got my heat set on 64 degrees right now, not exactly comfortable but not intolerable with enough blankets. Still, think I could do more to reduce my carbon foot print. Good night!

  89. Good night – I keep my thermostat at 54. I wear the long johns. Vanity be damned! (Though they are a pretty lavender.)

  90. I watched “Bullitt” the other night on TCM. I was struck by the scene where photos are coming in from Chicago, over that old modem. (Where the phone gets crammed into a giant box on the top of the machine.)

    That was 1968, from the same year ……

    I’m doing things that haven’t got a name yet;……. Jefferson Airplane Wild Time Lyrics


  91. Bob I stayed up waiting for you to do my level best to shift your considerable energy from identifying problems to naming solutions.

    There are no solutions , the cake is well and truly baked, nothing in the record has ever occurred like this . No creature has ever dug up 2 trillion tons of carbon, and placed it back in the system in just 150 years. Nothing in nature has ever done that either.
    My guess is we shed 3 or 4 Billion people in the next 10 years. Then it will get really bad.

  92. OK Bob if that’s what you think you’re no help at all. I’d appreciate it if you’d stop filling threads with doomsday stats if you have nothing positive to offer — which I suspect you could do. OK I tried, must sleep.

  93. Chloe, watching The Daily Show on the 14th I learned that CNN has eliminated their investigative news dept. A prof media analysist, Brad Atgate, said that investigative journalism is not profitable, is too costly. The news media would rather waste their money on crap to entertain and mislead us. This investigative journalist who used to work for CNN now works for some fictitious news show on some cable network.

    Sad that I learn more from a 30 minute comedy news shows than from the real ones. Go figure.

  94. Craig, thanks for your note about the briefing. I have a whole raft of mixed feelings about it. I suspect there is much aspiration attached to the comments rather than reality. My understanding is that the initial deployment in Darwin will be a Marine company which is planed to expand to a Brigade. And that is it. Australians are nervous about this as it stands.

    We have a strong relationship and friendship with both China and America so we have no wish to upset this situation. Our economic boom is “Made in China” and our economic exchange with China has brought us immense wealth. At the moment we have China leaning on us in a most ham fisted manner so it has got our dander up. No Chinese government is going to tell us what to do. The last time they tried interfering in our politics we cut off their main steel company from buying into West Australian iron ore with a $30bn deal. They were pretty crappy with us and pouted for a bit but they soon got over it and began trading again. In repayment, they imprisoned a top mining executive on charges of spying – getting economic data from TV. The case is still ongoing. It is on the back of this Chinese blunder that America finds a reasonable reception. It is only a slight and small window. If China shows that it can behave well over a period of time, the window will go.

    We tend to see America as an over-committed and spent force at the moment. Two stupid wars, an empty treasury and taxpayers reluctant to shoulder their burden. This perception will remain while the American political house is not in order. The fiscal cliff, the debt issue, the gun debate and all these things indicate that America is not ready to be a world leader just yet.

    Reality is most Australians are against this deployment and it may not survive the initial stages. One drunk American soldier on a rampage and the gig will be up. No one will tolerate that behaviour. We see the soured relations with Japan over the Okinawa bases and the problems with US servicemen no facing the consequences of their behaviour and so those soldiers who do come here on rotation will be very much in the full public glare of the Australian media who will be looking to find any hint of scandal or bad behaviour which will give the negative forces their cause to dance about on the stage.

    Sadly for your fellow countrymen, I am not very much in favour of this deployment myself. I think it is a strategic error for both the US and Australia. With Diego Garcia just up the road, this is a more appropriate place to base the sort of forces the US would like to deploy.

    So to get back to your briefing, treat the content as an aspirational shopping list based upon a premise of a green light. Take the caveat as this deployment always verging on the disastrous because most Australians are ambivalent without the troops there but will make up their minds when one marine stuffs up big time. And that is a guarantee. It is inevitable that a 20 year old marine will get a skin full of local licka and end up killing someone – if it is a rape and murder then it is game over within minutes – and this will cause real harm to the deployment with the whole project on notice. Next time and the gig is up. Bear this in mind when hearing the story. You are dealing with a very proud people who value their independence way too much to be anyone’s toady or lackey.

    A couple things that won’t happen. No nukes of any description will be stored nor will any delivery platforms be allowed to use the base. Stealth bombers are out. Indeed, apart from resupply flights from Guam, forget any USAF involvement. It just won’t happen. No Australian would stand for that. We might stand shoulder to shoulder with you in conflicts but this is our home and we are really keen on keeping it that way. The feeling would be the same if we set up military bases in the US. Most Americans would be up in arms – forget the allied status – this is an attack on sovereignty. And whatever Americans feel about foreign troops being based upon their soil, you can believe that Australians share that same sentiment. Just not going to happen.

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