Random Thoughts from the Lab
When searching for my AR-15 last spring, I considered several different models as I was a novice in the AR world. After reading several websites and magazines over the period of a couple months, I went to the gun stores to check different models out. It was then I first heard about how many gun companies are under the same ownership. I found out that Remington, Bushmaster, DPMS, H&R, Marlin, and several other famous firearm companies are owned by a holding company called Freedom Group, which in turn is owned by Cerberus Capital Management (the very same Cerberus who owned Chrysler prior to the bailout). Since then, they have acquired ammunition companies and are rumoured to be looking into a powder company.
After reading a little about Freedom Group, I noticed a rumour was spread that George Soros actually owned it and had nefarious plans to circumvent the 2nd amendment by shutting everything down. This led to the NRA investigating and coming out strongly saying that the Soros story was nothing more than an internet hoax and he has nothing to do with Freedom Group. Cerberus also seems to be pretty ruthless when it comes to making money and they have said they started acquiring these companies because guns and ammo was an area hedge funds have ignored and they seen the opportunity to make millions, so there is no risk of any of nefarious intentions (at least while these companies are profitable).
I still am leary about all these names under one roof. Consolidation has already somewhat happened when the old Bushmaster factory was shut down to move it closer to Freedom Group's base of operations (luckily, the former owner of Bushmaster and many former employees formed Windham Weaponry and started producing their own AR's). Having all these names under what is basically a hedge fund can lead to pushes for efficiency (think outsourcing), less innovation, and poor quality control. Plus, we seen how well Cerberus ran Chrysler with major outsourcing happening during their tenure as owner.
Personally, I think I will continue to purchase firearms who are still owned and ran by gun guys. And in case you are wondering, my choice of AR was a Ruger SR556. It seems many gun owners on this site already have quite the collection, but if you are in the market, would the consolidation of these companies under a hedge fund affect your decision on a purchase?
No two social issues create as strong feelings and cause people to dig their heels into the sand as gun control and abortion. In general, (and I realize there are many exceptions out there before I get hammered too hard for making a blanket statement ), those who lean to the left support gun control and oppose any restrictions on abortion while those on the right oppose abortion and any (more) restrictions on obtaining guns and ammo. The funny thing, it seems that neither side can see they make the same arguments on one issue as the other side on the other issue. What comes to mind is the slippery-slope argument. Any attempt to restrict abortions from the right (such as the abhorrent practice of partial-birth abortions and late term abortions where the mother's or baby's life is in danger) is usually met with the argument that doing so is only the first step to banning all abortions (which many on the right want). Any attempt to restrict gun ownership with "reasonable gun laws" is met with the argument on the right that any laws limiting access to guns is the first step to banning all guns (which many on the left want). Neither side, it seems, can acknowledge that their arguments echo each other.
I offer a compromise... a test, if you will, of how strongly you believe in each issue. Every restriction on one issue should earn a restriction on the other. Ban partial-birth and third trimester abortions (except mother's life in danger), ban all high-capacity magazines. Make abortion available only for rape, incest, and mother's life in danger, ban all semi-automatic weapons or handguns. Abortion available for mother's life in danger only, you can only own a bolt action rifle and a pump shotgun. I am those who read this can see my bias of where I lean, not to mention my comment history speaks to my beliefs on these issues (gun-nut, anti-abortion). I would hate giving them up, but I think I would be willing to give up everything but my bolt-action 30.06 and 12 gauge pump shotgun if abortion were limited to mother's life in danger only (I say that now, but I wonder how I would really feel in the parallel universe where this would actually happen).
I appreciate any thoughts, and although at times it is hard to do so with these two issues, please try to remain civil.
I have seen in many publications in the last three years those on the left call the Republican party "The Party of No," referring to the GOP being against many of President Obama's proposals (even though over half the country may be against them). Yesterday, Obama's budget was voted down 99-0 in the Senate, which was earlier voted down 414-0 in the House. Also voted on in the Senate was the House passed Ryan budget which balances the budget b 2040 (a little too long in my book, but at least it works in the right direction) which went down 41-58 and Sen. Toomey's (balances the budget in 7 years) which went down 42-57. In both cases, all Democrats (plus 5 and 4 respectively Republicans) voted NO. Two other budget plans fell with about an 80% no rate. Looking at this information, it appears that the Republicans had a solution and the Democrats were the "Party of No." One can also see that Obama is in way over his head when he cannot get a single Representative or Senator to vote for his budget plan.
There was once this girl, lets call her Mizz, who thought she received horrible treatment from her circle of acquaintances, the most notorious we will call Tex and Kan. You see, Mizz was a little slow, rather obese without even a pretty face, and promiscious. She wanted to leave her so called tormentors for acquaintances who appreciated her, so she offered herself to who she thought were her equals. Unfortunately for her, they took one look at her and decided to persue her hot sister from Lincoln who ran to them with open arms. Rejected, Mizz tried to rebuild her bridge with her so-called tormentors and promised solidarity with them. When it looked as though her tormentors would be broken up and have to fend for theirselves, she tried to put a nail in their coffin by begging those who took her hot sister to take her also. They looked at Mizz with disdain, so again, she went trolling. A new set of acquaintances, fortunatily for her, were drunk enough to decide that they could use a fat, easy, 2 AM booty call. She ran to them, arms and legs spread wide open. Her tormentors quickly replaced her with a prettier version of her and were happy to see her fat behind go.
Howdy. I know there are several of you who post on this site who own several guns who know far more about them than me. Although I have a couple semi-auto pistols, I am wanting to add a revolver to my collection and for my shooting fun. Without even knowing about the passionate debate about these two guns, I narrowed it down to the S&W 686 and Ruger GP100. I plan on purchasing either the 2.5" or 3" barrel gun on whichever one I decide. So far, I like the looks of the S&W, but the Ruger is more friendly on the wallet. I have also read online about how Rugers are built like a tank. I have yet to hold either firearm, and doing so will play into my decision. I guess what I am asking: do any of you out there have a strong opinion either way about the better of these two firearms and what made you form this opinion? Has anyone out there shot both, and which one did you like better and why?
I know several of you are avid gun owners and I would love to hear your opinion either way. I know you won't let me down.
A real American celebrates the Fourth of July by driving their Hyundai (Made in Korea 1) to Wal-Mart to purchase patriotic decorations and American flags (Made in China 2), a patriotic shirt (made in Pakistan 3), and an American flag hat (made in Cambodia 4). It is then time to go to the food isle and pick up hamburger meat and tomatoes (slaughtered and picked by illegal immigrants). Next, a real American gets back in their Hyundai and goes to the fireworks stand to purchase massive amounts of small explosives (again, all Made in China). They then go home to cook out on their Char-Broil (5) grill, listen to Lee Greenwood on their new stereo system (who knows where that was produced), and then set off their small explosives that end up landing in their neighbor's yard and scaring their pets. They go to bed and wake the next day, turn on cable news, and blame either the government, or big business when the pundits talk about unemployment.
1 South Korea still refuses import our beef while thousands protest against the United States. Hyundai has also invested billions in North Korea's Kaesong district and uses North Korean labor in some of their manufacturing.
2 China holds trillions in US debt, and uses cheap labor to entice manufacturing away from other nations. China's constantly devalues it currency to keep their goods cheap. Their military is consistently developing weapons to challenge the United States such as the carrier killer missile and anti-satellite technology. China also holds a vast majority of rare earth metal mining, needed for electronics (without rare earth metals, we go back to the 1940's in technology), and is slowly stopping exports as they would have a world monopoly on electronics and technology.
3 Pakistan basically harbored Osama bin Laden for over half a decade in relative luxury. Although the United States gives them billions in aid, Pakistan is very slow in helping with intelligence against the Taliban and al Qaeda.
4 Cambodia is the sweatshop to the world. Conditions are so bad in many of these plants that many women would rather go into the sex trade than work there.
5 Char-Broil closed its last American plant in 2006 and now builds all their grills in China. Same with all Kenmore grills. Some Webers and Huningtons are made in USA.
What would happen if you or I went up to our employer and asked for a raise, reason being we recklessly and stupidly spent ourselves into massive debt... and we refuse to make more than token changes to our lifestyle? What would our employer say?
My wife and I often have an argument on what to call the center light of a stoplight. She almost becomes irate when I call it an orange light, because she contends that everyone else in the world calls it a yellow light. I tell her that I have heard people call it an orange light most of my life, and ask her what color the light is closest to...a banana, or an ORANGE.
So commenters and bloggers of the LJWorld, what is your take on this very important issue?
What a depressing end to a depressing season. Although not expecting much, I still expected better than 2-14. I cannot even get angry anymore as depression over the Chiefs have taken over. The remotes are safe. They used to get thrown when the Chiefs had a chance for the playoffs or lost in the playoffs. Now I consider that the good old days. At least there are some silver linings, and there is always hope for next year. The first good sign happened a couple weeks ago when Clark Hunt forced King Carl Peterson out. Although I would like to see Coach Herm Edwards follow him out the door, I can see the wisdom of letting the next GM decide his fate. Personally, I would make it a litmus test in the hiring of the GM (Are you going to keep Herm? You are. It was good meeting with you and I will let you know. Don't call me, I will call you.). Jay Glazer on the FOX pregame show this morning said that Hunt met with Marty Schottenheimer with the possibility of Marty taking on a Bill Parcells with the Dolphins type role with the team. This could possibly help lure in Bill Cowher as head coach. Not everyone should go though. I loved what Chan Gailey did with the offense this year to fit it to his player's talents, especially quarterback Tyler Thigpin. He should definately stay on as offensive coordinator. Thigpin has shown promise. Shore-up the right side of the offensive line and the offense could really score some points. I would also like to give Gunther Cunningham another year as defensive coordinator. He has been teethered to Edward's Tampa-2 philosophy and had not been allowed to do what he does best...design blitz packages. Herm wanted to react to the play...Gunther likes to force the outcome of the play. The new front office needs to give him a defensive line to work with. He already has two potential Pro-Bowl Cornerbacks in Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr along with Maruice Legget showing promise as the third CB. Sign a good pass rusher, and with Gunther's philosophy the defense should be set. What killed the Chiefs in many close games this year was the inability for coaching to make adjustments at halftime as well as keep the team motivated for the second half. This is the head coach's fault and for that, Herm needs to be shown the door. Also in need of having the door hit his ass on the way out is running back Larry Johnson. He has been nothing but a cancer to the team since receiving his big contract prior to last year. Now that he has taken to spitting into female bar patron's faces, he shows time and again that he does not possess the character to be a team leader. Stepping up into the team leadership position would be the next natural step for quarterback Tyler Thigpin. He has shown much promise while making many, stupid rookie mistakes. Given another year, he could become an elite quarterback. He shows that he can recognize blitzes and make audibles. He has started to look off receivers and has the athleticism that no Chiefs QB has possessed for many years. He shows flashes of trying to spread the ball around but will need to find someone other than Tony Gonzalez to trust. As the class act of the team, Gonzalez has one more year in his storied career (as he told the KCStar that he will retire after next year). One more year of his guidance should steer the young offense in the right direction.