I've ignored this beast for too long

It's well reviewed by anyone who picks one up or fires it, in spite of its looks and its all-plastic construction.

It's damned light, a minimalist approach to a utility carbine.

It's got the wrong caliber but maybe that can be corrected. Either Grendelization or conversion to a TCU caliber could get me interested.

It's no service rifle but wasn't meant to be. In the Charlie model, the SU-16 looks like a contender.

Alternatives to PayPal?

Who's using what? Who's got critical mass? Is critical mass even necessary for web-transacted minipayments? Is it safe to keep accounts at more than one of them? What features are better than others? I'm leery about having one directly access my bank account, less leery about credit card access. I guess it's a discussion of what I want it for, isn't it? Ease, anonymity, disconnection from credit card, disconnection from social security number, disconnection spender from earner?

Kurt's Kustom Firearms is using YowCow. Never heard of them until looking up alternatives to the AR-15's direct-impingement gas system---Kurt offers one, BTW.

And this, in a nutshell, is why I want something other than PayPal---it's none of their business what I buy using their service. If they want to restrict what I can buy, I won't use them. I still get their emails, and my emailed complaints about that policy go unanswered.

BitPass looks good, eGold looks even better but it's not really meant for micropayments. For cryptanarcholibertarians, eGold must be the shizzle.

Time again for BOD ballots

The ballots arrived again this year for NRA Board of Directors, and this year because of Neal Knox's untimely passing away, we have to evaluate the nominees without his advice.

So I'd like your help in setting criteria for who should receive gunbloggers' votes for the NRA BOD. This is especially so for fellow gunbloggers who have been disappointed (outraged?) with the NRA lately. They aren't the only game in town or even the best, but they still have pull and it's worth it to try to influence them in this new bloggy era of openness and instant communication.

  • Should we eschew police officers as members, and support elected sheriffs?
  • Should current or past elected office matter?
  • Should Hollywood celebrity matter? John Milius and Tom Selleck are both nominees.
  • Should nomination by NRA's nominating committee be a plus, a minus, or irrelevant?
  • I'm embarrassed to even ask this one: do we know or can we get access to the past voting records of existing Directors up for reelection? I don't know that answer and I ought to. No finding it on NRA's website, I can't even find the friggin' bylaws there. So much for blognost.
  • Should political party matter? Would you rather have a blue-dog Democrat trying to soften the irrational Dem gun control stance, or a lukewarm GOPer? That's an entire other policy debate but its ripples propagate to this issue.

Though it's way too late to seriously consider it for this year, it might be time to write-in nominate an überblogger or two to the BOD. I'd be really cool with Glenn Reynolds or Eugene Volokh. Not so cool with Hugh Hewitt.

Update: After some consideration, I think I want Glenn and Eugene right where they are, free to reason and to blog without any appearance of influence over them. Besides, we'd need different skillsets in an NRA director. What are those skillsets?


We've already been here

Strategy Page's Attrition column observes:
The Department of Defense wants a change in the regulations that govern how often reservists can be called when the nation is at war, and war has not officially been declared. Why not just declare war? There are political and practical problems with that. For one thing, there's no country to declare war against.

(Link is not permanent;  scroll if necessary to 19 January 05)

I might be reading a different US Constitution than this person, but mine does not stipulate that only a nation-state may be the recipient of US warmaking. I just don't see this as a problem. Declare it and get on with it.


Quote for the day

Shannon Love at ChicagoBoyz:

Too many people believe that revolutions can and do occur without somebody making a decision to use force if necessary.

Bring out your dead

Arnold Kling at TechCentralStation discusses some policy implications of American health-care quality and the underestimation of American longevity.
I hold up one cautionary finger and intone: all of that will be thrown into the bucket, temporarily, by one strong influenza epidemic. For which we are overdue.