Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Today's Leftist dialogue doesn't agree with what he said when he reminded America of how "Our modern celebration of Thanksgiving can be traced back to the early 17th century. Upon arriving in Plymouth, at the culmination of months of testing travel that resulted in death and disease, the Pilgrims continued to face great challenges. An indigenous people, the Wampanoag, helped them adjust to their new home, teaching them critical survival techniques and important crop cultivation methods. After securing a bountiful harvest, the settlers and Wampanoag joined in fellowship for a shared dinner to celebrate powerful traditions that are still observed at Thanksgiving today: lifting one another up, enjoying time with those around us, and appreciating all that we have."
So really, when the Left says they want to rename Thanksgiving and call it "National Day of Mourning," are they talking about what the federal government did -- or what the tribes did to each other? And as for teaching all of history, both sides, before and after arrival, sadly the history lessons taught in most universities are pathetically political and don't reflect the truth of what took place.
As for the Left's disdain for America, their latest attack on Thanksgiving? It has gotten old. As a friend recently said, if we were to say that something "never gets old" then we are talking about something in an extremely encouraging, energizing, something very positive in nature. In contrast, the Left's constant attacks on America have gotten boring, monotonous, extremely tedious. Frankly, the same old attacks that Democrats come up with are always the same old saw of how they hate us.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
'Emigrants Leave Ireland,' engraving by Henry Doyle (1827–1892),
from Mary Frances Cusack's Illustrated History of Ireland, 1868
Of course, from 1570 to 1845, no one could have imagined how the potato would be responsible for a disaster that would devastate the Irish economy, kill at least a million people, and create the Irish Diaspora of the 1800s -- a period when the Irish people would be scattered around the globe. In fact, by 1890, 40 percent of Irish-born people lived somewhere other than in Ireland. And by 1911, Ireland's population had dropped to half of what it was in 1845.
Monday, November 8, 2021
The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.
On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date, many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them, it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.
The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence, the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it, we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.
John A. Lejeune,
Major General, Commandant
Sunday, November 7, 2021
This dialogue was punctuated by a pithy tweet from Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez who describes herself as a Progressive Latina Democrat, "F*ck Elon Musk."
At that time, we had no idea how much that tweet… and attitude… would cost us.
Elon Musk threatened to leave the state. The Governor was dismissive, saying "Elon Musk isn't leaving California anytime soon."
Six months later, Elon Musk has left California. He has sold (or is in process of selling) all his personal real estate in the state. He is now a resident of the state of Texas. He has moved his philanthropic foundation to Texas. One of his companies, Space X, is based in Texas and Tesla is building a new plant outside of Austin, TX.
Consider the unfathomable irony of progressive democrats forcing Elon Musk to give up on California. Musk came to this state as an immigrant and proceeded to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through Solar City and Tesla than all the "progressive" politicians in the state combined. Anyone can make a proclamation or talk about climate change. Musk didn’t talk about it. He simply brought products to market that benefitted the consumer, the environment, and his shareholders. He should have been the "poster boy" for the green agenda, but instead, they turned on him because he refused to buckle to arbitrary regulations based on flimsy medical data. (By the way, automobile manufacturing is now deemed “essential” in CA.)
There is no way to know for sure what Mr. Musk will pay in California state tax this year, but it would surprise no one if he paid the most of any individual resident. Next year, he will be a resident of another state.
The damage goes much deeper than the tax revenue of one person. Musk didn't just leave the state. He "turned" on the state. It is now his mission to get other innovators to leave as well. According to the Governor of Texas, he is on the phone with Musk once a week, strategizing about how to get other CA companies to relocate to Texas. In the last few weeks, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Oracle have moth announced they are moving their HQs to Texas, with other potential moves in the pipeline.
That is not to say this was all caused by one tweet. Plenty of other factors are in play:
- Companies are realizing they don’t need a highly centralized HQ, with their employees being productive from wherever they choose to live.
- The high cost of living in the bay area.
- Government's inability to deal with highly visible issues like homelessness. Executives have grown tired of stepping over syringes and feces in the streets of San Francisco.
Half the tax in this state is paid by the top 1%, and many in that category are realizing they can make their living from anywhere. Try to add up the lost tax revenues of having the second wealthiest man in the world and the executive teams of great companies like HP and Oracle depart the state. We’re talking billions of dollars in lost revenue. Not to mention the philanthropy, which is gone too.
Any Progressive agenda only has value if someone can pay for it.
The next time the state raises your taxes to make up for the taxpayers who have left CA, try not to use the language employed by Ms. Gonzalez. But no one would blame you if you did.
Kelly has a BBA and MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He also did post-graduate work at the London School of Business and earned his Certified Financial Planner designation, as well as holding multiple security and insurance licenses.
Kelly is a lifelong resident of Sacramento. He and his wife Augusta have four children and live in Carmichael. Kelly’s passion is helping KCRA viewers "make sense" of global markets and their own personal financial planning."
Thursday, November 4, 2021
My friend showed me his .50 caliber Umarex Hammer air rifle. And no, the Umarex Hammer is not just another air rifle. It is high-tech, ingenious, and has a very large .510 caliber barrel. But, unlike firearms that use gunpowder, its use of compressed air puts out 3,000 psi behind its projectiles. This innovative, patent-pending system has the capability to propel a .510 caliber 550-grain lead slug at a muzzle velocity of 760 feet per second and a 250-grain slug at over 1,000 feet per second.
|The 1780 Girandoni Air Rifle|
Using fairly large calibers, pneumatic weapons are said to have been used in Europe by the very wealthy to hunt large game such as wild boar, deer, and even bear back in the 1700s. By 1780, an Austrian gunsmith named Bartolomeo Girandoni developed a revolutionary air rifle in .46 caliber.
The butt of the Girandoni air rifle was an iron flask that could be detached, pumped full of air, and then reattached to the weapon. Each rifle was issued three air reservoirs, was four feet long and weighed 10 pounds. That meant the Girandoni air rifle was about the same length and weight as a musket of the times. Of course, unlike a conventional musket, the Girandoni air rifle had advanced features that muskets and rifles would not see for decades.
Those features were why the Girandoni air rifle was adopted by the Austrian military. One feature is the use of a tubular magazine. In fact, it was one of the first rifles to use a tubular magazine. And with that, it was able to be loaded with 22 lead rifle balls that were propelled out of the weapon individually by controlling each burst of compressed air.
So yes, believe it or not, the Girandoni air rifle is considered one of the first "repeating rifles" invented. It was used in the Austrian military from the 1780s to 1810. And that makes it the first "repeating rifle" used in military service. With the 22 lead rifle balls fed into a tubular magazine built alongside the barrel of the weapon, these rifle balls were loaded into the weapon individually by a simple steel block. The block slid back and forth at the base of the breach. As a shooter held the muzzle of the weapon upright as the bullets rolled down toward the breach, the rifle balls were fed into the breach using gravity. This also meant that a shooter could actually lie on the ground and simply hold the weapon up vertically to reload. No, he didn't have to stand.
And think about this, during a period when a contemporary musket was considered accurate to only about 50 yards, the Girandoni air rifle and its muzzle velocity of 1,000 feet per second could put a lead ball through a one-inch pine board at 100 yards. And remember, since it was a "repeater," its full tubular magazine could be completely fired in less than 30 seconds.
There is something else. Unlike muskets that produced a great deal of smoke, the Girandoni air rifle shots produced no dense smoke. That means the rifle used on the battlefield would not lend to the gunpowder fog that obscured battlefields of the time. And also, since it was an air rifle and did not have the explosive report of a musket, the position of a soldier using the Girandoni air rifle was not exposed to enemy fire. Of course, one of the features that endeared the rifle to shooters was the fact that the rifle was also limited by rain. After all, let's remember that rain makes gunpowder ineffective when using a musket.
Sounds great? Well, even with all of those positives, believe it or not, it was not the perfect weapon because of what it took to operate. Let's remember, those were the days when it took about 1,500 strokes of a hand-operated air pump to fill each air canister. As for its military use, this meant that wheeled air pump carts were placed behind the lines. Along with this, specially trained gunsmiths were a necessity. In fact, I read where the military needed one gunsmith for every 100 riflemen equipped with the Girandoni air rifle just to keep those rifles in operation. And since they needed specialized spare parts such as mainsprings, replacement seals, and extra air flasks, they became a pain to maintain.
Think about this. In a time with soldiers were mostly uneducated peasants who couldn't read nevertheless have an understanding of technology, they were responsible for keeping the Girandoni air rifles in working order. And yes, it's said they were very difficult to keep in operation. Mechanical problems and seal leaks plagued the air rifles and the troops at the time were not capable of fixing them. So all in all, it is said that despite the deadly accuracy and firepower provided by the Girandoni air rifle, it proved to be technological that was too far ahead of its time. Because of problems pertaining to maintaining them, by 1810, the Girandoni air rifle had been entirely phased out of the Austrian military.
What did the Austrian military do with all of their surplus Girandoni air rifles? Well, it is said that a few were saved as museum pieces. Many were sold to civilians by the Austrian government. The military gave some to militias. Many were lost or destroyed. And then there is that one that history tells us made it across the Atlantic Ocean to a brand new country known as the United States of America.
Of course, when most of us think about Mountain Men and expeditions to explore America, we don't usually think of air rifles. We might think about Kentucky and Pennsylvania long rifles, but the Girandoni air rifle is not what usually comes to mind. And no, it's surely not the .46 caliber Girandoni air rifle that Lewis and Clark took along with them on their 1803 expedition. Yes, even if most believe that it was in effect the secret weapon that enabled the Lewis and Clark expedition to accomplish its mission.As most know, the Lewis and Clark Expedition took place from 1804 to 1806. It was the first overland expedition from the East of the United States to the Pacific coast and back. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Its official mission, the expedition was to explore and to map the newly acquired territory, to find a practical route across the western half of the continent, and to establish an American presence in this territory before European powers attempted to establish claims in the region.
For that Girandoni air rifle, it came into its own whenever a new tribe was encountered. In fact, it's said that Lewis and Clark would stage an extravagant entrance all meant to impress the local tribe. And if you don't think it was extravagant, think again. All of the party were said to have "donned their most colorful military uniforms." With their frock coats, shined swords, formal headgear, polished muskets, and gleaming bayonets, all with flags blowing in the wind while fifes played, they would march boldly into each meeting with a new tribe. The explorers greeted the assembled tribesmen with formal gravity and then proceeded to hand out gifts such as bolts of colored cloth, beads, and commemorative medallions.
If you think that such pomp and ceremony would help to dissuade potentially hostile actions by a tribe, that was what they were betting on while trying to do their utmost to impress the tribesmen. Of course, it was during this time that Capt. Lewis would produce and confidently demonstrate the remarkable power of his Girandoni air rifle.
One member of the Lewis and Clark party was Private Joseph Whitehouse. In his journal, the Private described how Capt. Lewis demonstrated his rifle. That took place on August 30, 1803, at a Yankton Sioux village located along the Calumet Bluffs of the Missouri River.
Pvt. Whitehouse wrote, "Captain Lewis took his Air Gun and shot her off, and by the Interpreter, told them that there was medicine in her, and that she could do very great execution. They all stood amazed at this curiosity; Captain Lewis discharged was done the Air Gun several times, and the Indians ran hastily to see the holes that the Balls had made which was discharged from it. At finding the Balls had entered the Tree, they shouted aloud at the sight and the Execution that surprised them exceedingly.”
During the expedition, Capt. Lewis repeated this demonstration for every tribe the group encountered. And yes, there are 39 separate entries in the expedition's journals noting the Girandoni air rifle leaving all there amazed at the power that those men possessed.
Capt. Lewis' Girandoni air rifle played a major role in what can be considered a pivotal period of American history. And while that rifle was initially thought lost to history, it was discovered and today is on display at the Pentagon.