Sunday, March 31, 2013

Game of Thrones In One Chart

With the start of the latest season of Game of Thrones, you may need to catch up on the characters and how they relate to each other. Here's pretty much everything you need to know in one chart.

Time to gird your loins.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bostic/Sanford Debate Highlights, Guns, and Easter

I didn't follow this debate last night for several reasons. First, I was doing something actually enjoyable - watching the Gamecock Baseball team come from behind to beat the Aggies 3-2. Second, I don't watch debates between people who I'm not eligible to vote for. Third, debates are pretty boring. I'd almost always rather watch Olympic women's curling. (The Swedish women aren't bad.)

In any event, if you're interested in the Sanford/Bostic race, check it out. If you're not interested in politics, you can enjoy some chicks with guns here.

Happy Easter

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Best "Cold War" Movies

I was inspired by a comment someone made over on Brad's Blog that ALL the Rocky sequels were "awful". First of all, that's an incorrect statement. Only Rocky V was actually "awful", but I digress.

Anyway, I was thinking about how Rocky IV was a classic "Cold War" movie. It was made in 1985, at the end of the Cold War (although we didn't really know it at the time) and has a great dynamic between the Soviets and the Americans in the context of boxing and how it bleeds over into the political and the personal.

So what are my other top "Cold War" movies? In no particular order:

1. Rocky IV (1985): Great battles in the ring between Ivan Drago, Apollo Creed, and Balboa. Culminates in my favorite Rocky "training" scene when he goes to the Russian countryside to train.

2. Red Dawn (1984). The Soviets invade Texas to start WWIII, but Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, and Jennifer Grey fight back in guerrilla style combat. I hate that they tried to remake this movie.

3. War Games (1983). Matthew Broderick and a computer almost bring the Soviets and the Americans to a nuclear exchange by accident. Great ending with teaching the computer that nuclear war isn't really "winnable".

4. Miracle (2004). Again, made well after the Cold War, but set in 1980, which was a very low point for the USA in terms of the morale of the American people. If the locker-room speech before the game doesn't get you going, not much will.

5. The Hunt for Red October (1990). Although it was made after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the movie is set in 1984, and is one of Connery's best roles outside of the Bond series. It's probably the coolest submarine movie ever made, and it's extremely quotable: I would liked to have seen Montana.

Once more, we play our dangerous game, a game of chess against our old adversary - The American Navy. For forty years, your fathers before you and your older brothers played this game and played it well. But today the game is different. We have the advantage.
 Red October is probably my favorite of the bunch.

This Day In History (Victoria Cross Award)

The Victoria Cross is Britain's version of the Medal of Honor. The Victoria Cross is the highest award that Britain can award to a member of the military for "valor in the face of the enemy". It ranks higher than all other decorations or medals, and is traditionally presented by the monarch.

On this day in WWII (March 26, 1943) action took place that led to the the Victoria Cross being awarded to a native of New Zealand, 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu.

Lt. Ngarimu was a Marori, which is the name for the indigenous people of New ZealandBasically, this would be analogous to a Native American Indian winning the Medal of Honor. Lt. Ngarimu's citiation for the Victoria Cross is as follows:

During the action at the Tebaga Gap on 26 March 1943, 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu commanded a platoon in an attack upon the vital hill feature, Point 209. He was given the task of attacking and capturing an under-feature forward of Point 209 itself and held in considerable strength by the enemy. He led his men with great determination straight up the face of the hill, undeterred by the intense mortar and machine-gun fire, which caused considerable casualties.
Displaying courage and leadership of the highest order, he was himself first on the hill crest, personally annihilating at least two enemy machine-gun posts. In the face of such a determined attack the remainder of the enemy fled, but further advance was impossible as the reverse slope was swept by machine-gun fire from Point 209 itself.
Under cover of a most intense mortar barrage the enemy counter-attacked, and 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu ordered his men to stand to and engage the enemy man on man. This they did with such good effect that the attackers were virtually mown down, 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu personally killing several. He was twice wounded, once by rifle fire in the shoulder and later by shrapnel in the leg, and though urged by both his company and battalion commanders to go out, he refused to do so, saying that he would stay a little while with his men. He stayed until he met his death the following morning.
Darkness found this officer and his depleted platoon lying on the rock face of the forward slope of the hill feature, with the enemy in a similar position on the reverse slope about twenty yards distant. Throughout the night the enemy repeatedly launched fierce attacks in an attempt to dislodge 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu and his men, but each counter-attack was beaten off by 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu’s inspired leadership. During one of these counter-attacks the enemy, using hand grenades, succeeded in piercing a certain part of the line. Without hesitation this officer rushed to the threatened area, and those of the enemy he did not kill he drove back with stones and with his tommy-gun.
During another determined counter-attack by the enemy, part of his line broke. Yelling orders and encouragement, he rallied his men and led them in a fierce onslaught back into their old positions. All through the night, between attacks, he and his men were heavily harassed by machine-gun and mortar fire, but 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu watched his line very carefully, cheering his men on and inspiring them by his personal conduct.
Morning found him still in possession of the hill feature but only he and two unwounded other ranks remained. Reinforcements were sent up to him. In the morning the enemy again counter-attacked and it was during this attack that 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu was killed. He was killed on his feet defiantly facing the enemy with his tommy-gun at his hip. As he fell he came to rest almost on top of those of the enemy who had fallen, the number of whom survived testified to his outstanding courage and fortitude.
2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu
Wow. The acts of heroism and valor in WWII are simply to numerous to count.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Content - Ain't Nobody Got Time For That

Yeah, today's pretty light on content here at the ol' Permanent Press homestead.


 Content. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Create McDonald's Food at Home

I know this is exactly what some of y'all have been dreaming of. McDonald's tasting food coming from your own kitchen. It's really detailed and worth a glance.

Note, all of these recipes are from the methods of the 1950s - 70s. All I can say is that you're going to need a lot of lard.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend Open Thread - Break the Rules

The weekend is upon us. Don't feel constrained by the man and his rules that keep you down.

Friday Morning News 3-22-13

Happy Friday, y'all.

In the news today, the temporary tax on New York's high-earners has become permanent. Is anyone really surprised?

Also, Colt is making noises about possibly leaving CT due to the anti-gun climate up there. It would be awesome if they relocated to South Carolina. However, I bet the workers at Colt are probably really great, and I would feel bad for them if a few knuckle-heads forced a long-standing company to pull up it's roots and move.

Apparently, people on food stamps don't want to be told what they can and can't buy with them. It seems that Nikki Haley, Mayor Bloomberg, and Michelle Obama all agree that regulating what people eat is a good idea. As I type this, I'm eating a big ol' piece of bacon. So there.

That's all I got for today. Enjoy your Friday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Can Government Solve the Stay-At-Home-Mom Debate?

This piece from The New Republic (via Althouse) explores the phenomenon of highly educated, high-powered women who opt to be stay-at-home-moms, rather than push ever higher in their professional lives. It also offers a solution.
To understand why female lawyers, doctors, bankers, academics, high-tech executives and other, often expensively pedigreed, professionals quit work to stay home, you need not search their souls for ambivalence or nostalgia....
I'm not sure I entirely agree with that. I think that many high-powered, professional women are somewhat conflicted or ambivalent about it. I know that they are at least afraid of being judged by women who are in the other camp.

Specifically, stay-at-home-moms are afraid of being judged as not ambitious by the women who pursue successful careers. On the flip side of the coin, I think that some professional women are afraid of being judged as not being as child oriented as they could be. It certainly takes long hours to climb the ladder in certain professions.
To reject a high-flying career, as this man did and so many women have done, is not to reject aspiration; it is to refuse to succumb to a kind of madness.
I certainly agree with this. The old feminist mantra was that as a woman, you could "have it all". That's just not possible, especially if you're in a profession where you have extreme demands on your time if you want to beat everyone else out for advancement.

Achieving professional success is admirable, but what's the point of making all that money if you don't have a life? I think it's a question of what each person finds to be most fulfilling. That will be different for everyone, and it doesn't mean that either choice is better in the abstract. The bottom line is that life is full of trade-offs. You can't have it all. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a fool or is selling something.

The problem with this piece is the solution it proposes. The proposed solution is to have the government come in and mandate maximum working hours for professionals. Everyone will be barred from working long hours, so the folks who want to spend more time with their families don't have to compete with those who sacrifice family time to achieve professional success.
The main reason white-collar workers can be driven to work 80-hour-or-so weeks is that very few of them have government protections. Most of them are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, which mandates the 40-hour-week and overtime pay. American managers aren’t allowed to join unions. Other countries have laws that protect against overwork even for professionals, such as standard or maximum number of hours anyone can work in a week.
This would never work here in America, and it's a horrible idea. Can you imagine a law that mandated the maximum hours lawyers could work in a week? The bell rings at 5:00PM and all the lawyers go home for the day? Oh, you had an issue that needed some extra attention on Friday? Sorry. We'll get to it on Monday.

Or for doctors? Oh, you went into labor at 6:30PM on a Friday? I guess we'll just keep you in a holding pattern until Monday morning. The doctor has already done her government mandated time. We could just let a nurse do the delivery for you, though.

A fundamental part of the American ethos is hard work. Hard work separates the great achievers from the slackers or those who choose not to work. Everyone isn't equal, and you can't just tell the folks who want to sacrifice their home life for their careers that they have to go home now. Different people have different priorities.

Wow, talk about a restriction on choice, too. This sounds like a prohibition on ambition. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not taking sides in the stay-at-home vs. career mom debate, but the government can't simply solve this problem by requiring that people only work 40 hours a week.

Hey! You can't work so hard and go the extra mile because there are others out there who choose other priorities, and it wouldn't be fair to make them have to compete with you.

Life is full of choices. Be a grown-up. Make your choices and live with them. The government isn't here to make everyone the same.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Garden & Gun Southern Food Bracket

I'm not filling out a bracket for squeaky-hoops, like our President and millions of other folks. Instead, I just filled out the Garden and Gun Southern Food Bracket. You should do this as well, because we can't let Fritos beat Palmetto Cheese.

Just looking at the bracket, I'm going to predict a Coca-Cola vs. Krispy Kreme final.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SEC Football Teams as Game of Thrones Characters

A law-school friend of mine found a CBS piece that compared all the NCAA Basketball teams to characters in Game of Thrones. I don't watch bouncy-hoops, so I decided to do the same thing for something that everyone actually likes - SEC Football. If you don't watch Game of Thrones, or know anything about it don't bother reading any further. Go back to watching whatever girly show you watch. Even though it's not actively football season, Game of Thrones will be starting Season Three at the end of this month.

Here's how I would align characters with SEC Teams:

SEC West

AlabamaTywin Lannister. This was the easiest character to do. The Elder lannister lord is calculating, ruthless, and controlling. Just like The Tide. They have a huge army, and their color is red. No one outside of their house likes them very much.

Auburn -Jaime Lannister. Auburn wishes that it could be Alabama, and Jamie wishes that he could be his father Tywin. Auburn has had brief moments of victory, much like the Jaime “the Kingslayer” Lannister, both Auburn and Jamie are overconfident, impulsive, and without morals. They both relish their image, and there’s incest going on.

LSU Daenerys Targaryen. The more I think about this one, the more it makes sense. Daenerys is a survivor and can manipulate some super-dangerous dragons with magic. Likewise, LSU brings live, dangerous beasts out on the field during games, and Les Miles certainly has some magic in that ol’ hat of his. He conjures fire and somehow always walks away from what should be certain death. Neither is to be underestimated. The followers they both have are really fanatically crazy.

Arkansas - Petyr Baelish a/k/a LittleFinger. Baelish is sneaky, underhanded, and mainly exists with the aid of his spies. He’s always looked down on by the tougher other houses (Alabama, LSU). Arkansas is always ready to fight, but they do it with their own style of play that will beat a lesser opponent before the eventual beat down that comes at the hands of skilled fighters.

Texas A&M - Robb Stark. Robb is the new heir to the Northern Kingdom after his father is executed, and he immediately runs out and attacks (with success) the strongest army in the land. TAMU has done the same thing with Johnny Football at the helm. They are new to the power and they’ve really stung the traditional power (Alabama/Tywin Lannister). It remains to be seen if they can keep the victories in the field of battle going.

Ole Miss - Bran Stark. He’s the youngest of the [one of the younger] Stark children, and he can’t really fight. He’s great at entertaining himself by climbing walls, but he gets pushed off the wall by Jamie Lannistser, and almost dies. He’s then attacked again, and almost dies. He’s now suffering from crazy dreams, which is not unlike what happens to you after an afternoon in the Grove. Ole Miss just keeps getting beat up by the bigger kids. They aren’t ready to fight yet.

Mississippi State - Arya Stark. She’s learning to defend herself a little bit – in a cutesy sort of way. Every once in awhile she’ll hurt someone, and everyone cheers for her. The cowbells at Mississippi State are kind of a similar subtle threat. We all pat them on the head and say “that’s cute, they’re ringing bells” in the same way a little girl with a sword is cute.

SEC East

Florida - Joffrey Baratheon. Really crazy and really into hurting people. Brandon Spikes anyone? All the Florida players seem to now just really enjoy beating the hell out of their opponents physically, because the offense can’t seem to get it in gear, kind of like how Joffrey beats the prostitutes rather than sleeping with them. Both are dangerous and unstable.

Georgia - Stannis Baratheon. Stannis is a brooding, humorless man, and Georgia fans are a brooding bunch. They are high nobility from times past, but they’ve fallen on unlucky times recently. They keep looking to their new running backs as saviors; every Georgia fan thinks the next running back is “the next Hershel”, just like Stannis commits himself to the new high priestess of fire. Ultimately, the Bulldogs end up almost always losing to Florida, in a similar fashion to the battle of King’s Landing.

South CarolinaTyrion Lannister. You can’t help but love all the one-liners from Tyrion or Spurrier. Both Tyrion and the Gamecocks are looked down on as poor fighters, and both still enjoy partying, and drinking despite poor showings on the field. However, both Tyrion and the Gamecocks want to prove themselves worthy of being in their house (the SEC East) and have moments of great defense (Clowney is the Wild Fire that Tyrion uses to utterly destroy Stannis’ fleet).

Tennessee - Cersei Lannister. Both UT and Cersei are evil, manipulative, and cruel. The Volunteers still think of themselves as nobility, but they are simply clinging to the past victories just like Cersei is only really important because she used to be married to the former king. Both now spend their time plotting their return to power, although everyone knows that it will end badly for them both.

Kentucky - Sansa Stark. She’s just stuck waiting for events around her to take their course. She waits for a marriage, then it doesn’t work out. She’s totally at the mercy of everyone else. Kind of like the Kentucky football program.

Vanderbilt - Jon Snow. Everyone kind of cheers for Jon Snow. He’s the nice guy who always finishes last, but he’s starting to toughen up in the Night’s Watch, just like Vanderbilt is that loveable loser that is starting to actually build a solid fundamental program. All the nobles make fun of him, but he’s confident that he’ll eventually take his place in the world, just like Vandy grads know they’ll eventually be asking Alabama grads for super-size fries.

Missouri - Bron. The guy comes from nothing, and is new to the scene, but he works his way up fast. He's a good-natured guy, but is also ruthless. If you turn your back on him he'll surprise you.

Assault Weapons Ban Shot Down By Democrats

When we last left the senior senator from California, she was being ruthlessly overwhelmed by a simple legal question from the junior senator from Texas, which left her sputtering and unable to respond in any logical, relevant manner.

Now, it appears that her own party has abandoned her. (After seeing her performance, can you really blame them?) The senate majority leader has decided not to include Feinstein's assault weapons ban in the gun control package that he will bring to the floor for discussion.
After a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday, a frustrated Feinstein said she learned that the bill she sponsored — which bans 157 different models of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — wouldn’t be part of a Democratic gun bill to be offered on the Senate floor. Instead, it can be offered as an amendment. But its exclusion from the package makes what was already an uphill battle an almost certain defeat.
We can expect lots of whining from the gun control crowd, and I'm sure they'll be very upset about all this. Just so you don't think I'm all heartless, I've got a "cheer you up" picture below the "Read More" jump for any person who's having a bad day. Senator Feinstien, you're welcome to click as well.

Monday, March 18, 2013

SC's Spring Turkey Season

After shooting quail and pheasant (and thousands of clay targets) I'm going to try my hand at shooting something big this spring - a turkey. South Carolina's turkey season is in the spring to coincide with the turkey's mating season. So, from April 1 - May 1, South Carolina hunters have the opportunity to bag a gobbler.

However, just because the turkey is walking around in the woods doesn't make him easy too shoot. Turkey's have a very keen sense of sight, so they can spot the smallest detail that you don't have camouflaged. That means in addition to camouflage pants and shirt, you have to cover your face and hands as well.

Also, turkeys move through the woods with a purpose in the springtime - they're looking to mate. Accordingly, to attract the dominant male turkey, you have to sound like a hot female turkey looking to get it on. I've been driving Mrs. Permanent Press crazy with the turkey call that I have. Pretty much the only place that I can practice is in the car. This is the sound I'm trying to imitate.

I've done a little preliminary scouting, and it's been enjoyable to just walk through the woods and try to figure out where the turkeys are. I actually got a turkey to call back to me on my last scouting trip. It was amazing to be interacting with a wild animal like that.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get a gobbler in my sights this season. I'll keep you updated on the progress. Any tips, hints, or advice is always welcome.

Cyprus Banks to Stay Shut Until Thursday

The EU just decided to take money from everyone who had a savings account in Cyprus. Oh, you want to get your money out of the bank? Too bad, the banks will be closed until Thursday.

This is not going to end well. There are going to be some nervous folks in Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal right now. Would you keep your money in a bank in one of those countries?

Archduke Franz-Ferdinand could not be reached for comment.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day! [Musical Interlude]

Whether you're going to Five Points, running in the race, or just enjoying your Saturday, have a happy St. Patrick's Day. Here's some music.

Friday, March 15, 2013

"Luca" the Cool Medic Dog

This is “Luca” with the 4th Stryker BCT.

He's the coolest dog on the planet right now.

Sanford Is Leading (If You Believe the Polls)

Is former Governor Mark Sanford really going to get elected? If you believe the polls, it looks like he will. Come on people of the low country, pull yourselves together.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ted Cruz vs. Dianne Feinstein

I post this not to discuss gun control, but if you want to, that's fine. I post this to bring up the fact that I hear this type of response all the time.

I'm a young lawyer. But you probably already knew that. When I have an opposing counsel who's on the other side of a case I sometimes (not always) hear some version of this argument: I've been a lawyer for longer than you've been alive. I've never had someone (take that position, file that motion, assert that claim) in all my years. Don't you know who I am?

My response to that? Blech. If your response to my motion, position, letter, claim is to tell me how you've been a lawyer for sooooo loooong.....guess've lost the argument. I know who you are. Guess what. I don't care. The law doesn't care.

The Best Sweater in the World

Greg Maddux is cooler than you are. And he has the best sweater in the world.

None of the clothes that you have are as awesome as this sweater.

Should Cops Chase Criminals?

Apparently, Warren Bolton over at The State is against police officers chasing bad guys who flee - because it's just too gosh darn dangerous. His column is based on the story of a driver who fled from the Cayce police department back in December.

The basic facts are that a Cayce police officer attempted to make a nighttime traffic stop on a vehicle driving without headlights. The driver decided to flee, and a high-speed pursuit began. The pursuit ended when the suspect's vehicle crashed into an innocent person's vehicle. Unfortunately, the innocent third-party driver died as a result of the collision.

From these facts, Mr. Bolton draws the conclusion that Cayce police officers should adopt a policy of not pursuing people for "routine traffic violations".
Not all chases are wise chases; most aren’t. Frankly, there rarely is a justifiable reason for officers to engage in a high-speed chase. It’s the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with innocent bystanders’ lives.
The only time a chase is absolutely warranted is when it involves a violent suspect — a murderer on the run or someone firing shots from a car — who is clearly endangering the public.
This is a pretty restrictive rule. If this is your rule for chasing, that means a drunk guy weaving all over the road shouldn't be pursued by the police when he decides not to stop. This means that anyone with expired tags shouldn't be pursued if they decide not to stop. Speeding? Heck, they shouldn't be chasing you for that anymore, either. If you're already driving fast, just drive a little faster if you see the blue lights. As long as you're not a "violent suspect" I guess you're fine. Rob a bank? Hey, as long as you didn't shoot anyone, just keep on driving. The police won't chase you.

Now obviously, high-speed chases are dangerous. But if the suspect is already fleeing at a high rate of speed, they're already causing a dangerous situation. I'm not really concerned about the police following them because my assumption is that the police are pretty safe drivers, comparatively. They've trained for this. My guess is that if you look at the statistics about high-speed chases, it's the people fleeing who cause the problems, not the police. Yes, accidents will happen. But there's a cost-benefit analysis here. As cold as it sounds, I'm fine with the risk associated with most high-speed chases because criminals know that they can't run. Also, in this day and age, police have lots of resources at their disposal. They can call ahead to other units, use GPS, and in larger jurisdictions there are helicopters available.

Running from the cops should be like kidnapping. You just really can't get away with it anymore.

Mr. Bolton believes that not only is statewide standard is needed, but that officers now need to get permission to chase someone. That's silly.
Let’s not only establish a statewide minimum standard for police chases, but let’s require that officers be well-versed and well-trained on the policy and that they get authorization from a superior before initiating a chase.
Police Officer Do-Right is driving down the street on a nice sunny Spring day. All of a sudden, a car runs a red light right in front of him going 80 miles an hour. Officer Do-Right turns on his lights/siren and turns to follow. He quickly realizes that he'll need to go faster to keep up.

Officer Do-Right: Dispatch, this is Officer Do-Right, I'm in pursuit of a black ford on Knox Abbot. Is it ok if I chase him?
Dispatch: What did the suspect do?
Officer Do-Right: He drove through a red light at 80 miles an hour right in front of me, and now he's going even faster to get away. Can I follow him? He's getting away!
Dispatch: Let me see if I can find a supervisor. Please wait.

[30 seconds go by]

Lieutenant Big-Time: Hey officer Do-Right, this is Lieutenant Big-Time, what's happening?
Officer Do-Right: I'm requesting permission to chase a guy who blew through a red light at 80 miles an hour right in front of me.
Lieutenant Big-Time: Did he have a gun? Was he a murderer?
Officer Do-Right: I don't know, he was going really fast and ran a red light, that's all I know!
Lieutenant Big-Time: Well how do we know that he's really dangerous? Did he shoot at you?
Officer Do-Right: No! He's way ahead of me now.
Lieutenant Big-Time:  Hmmmm....seems speculative.
Officer Do-Right: Oh nevermind, he's already gotten away. I don't know where he is anymore.
Lieutenant Big-Time: Ok, well...good job officer. I'm glad you called to get permission before you did something reckless like chase someone. I'm glad you called to check before you used your initiative. We can't have officers using their initiative; that wouldjust bee too dangerous. Carry on patrolling.

That sounds like a great policy to me. Amirite?

Read more here:

As you can see from the first scene in my upcoming movie Stop....or I'll Say Stop Again, the police can't have the policy of "We won't chase you unless you're a murderer or shooting at us". That's just an invitation to disregard the police.

I would actually go the other way. If you flee from the cops, they're going to chase you down, catch you, and then you're going to be prosecuted for it. And make that sentence a tough one. We live is a society that has laws. We're either going to follow the law, or we're going to be lawless. Fleeing from the police is a crime in and of itself. I guess Mr. Bolton doesn't really care about enforcing that law, though.

Read more here:

A Turkey Hunter's First Shot

This story is from last turkey season, but in a way, it's timeless.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Joe McCulloch Gets Breathalyzer Results Tossed

Looks like Joe McCulloch is out there keeping the system honest.
Columbia Municipal Judge Steedley Bogan issued an order Friday saying the breath test results could not be used as evidence when the case goes to trial, because the officer told the suspect to “blow hard” when he was giving instructions on the test.
If you're going to use breathalyzers on people, seems to reason that you've got to use them the right way. If you give an order to use the machine that is directly contrary to the operating instructions, you've got a problem.

Read more here:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Palmetto Compress Building Remains (For Now)

The big brouhaha over what to do with the Palmetto Compress Building is going to continue, since apparently, the preservationists have run the business developers away. Nice job, y'all. Way to run those Yankees off who are looking to invest money in a business here in Columbia.

For those of you who don't know, the Palmetto Compress Building is this building:

Palmetto Compress & Warehouse (Via The State)
The Compress & Warehouse sits at Devine and Pulaski, in downtown Columbia. Back in the day (the very early 1900's), it used to be a short term warehouse for bales of cotton on their way to textile mills. Once the textile mills went under, the warehouse kinda lost it's usefulness.

The real estate that this building sits on is some pretty good real estate for commercial development. It's located near the University of South Carolina's campus and is near a major thoroughfare (Blossom and Huger). The problem is that storing things in an old warehouse isn't exactly a great way to make money. I'm sure the property taxes on this real estate alone are pretty significant. Accordingly, the folks who own this building are thinking about getting out of the warehouse business and into something more profitable. As you may have guessed, that will likely require knocking down the building.

So, what's the problem? Well, there's a contingent of folks who want to preserve the warehouse. I guess they're nostalgic for the old textile mill days of Columbia, or they like brick buildings with little windows, or maybe they just like warehouses. In any event, there's a group of folks who don't want the building to go anywhere.

I kind of get that. It's a quaint old building, and it's a reminder of Columbia's past. That's cool. The other side of me thinks that it would be cool to get some new stuff in Columbia. Charleston and Greenville keep growing, expanding, renovating, and developing. What's Columbia done recently? I guess we've gotten a Whole Foods and....yeah, that's about it.

You may not have noticed, but the banks aren't exactly giving money out for speculative projects these days. And make no mistake, it would cost a boatload of money to "restore" this old building to a point where it would be fit for some sort of development if you want to keep the structure intact.

I know there are lots of people who want to save the building, but I don't see a whole lot of ideas on what do to with it. The people on the preservationist side seem stuck on the "This is a historic building so we must save it...because it is historic". argument. Look, y'all: It's an old warehouse that used to store cotton. It's not like George Washington used it as his headquarters.

Don't get me wrong. The best solution is to develop it in a way that makes money for the owners and preserves the building. However, the push to keep it because it's old isn't a very good argument. If you want to save the building, try and figure out how to make that profitable for everyone.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Open Thread

Happy Friday.

Enjoy your weekend.

Is This an Economic "Recovery"?

Everyone is talking about how great the economy is doing now. However, I see that we have a record high number of people "not in the labor force". That's not what an actual recovery looks like.
The number of Americans designated as "not in the labor force" in February was 89,304,000, a record high, up from 89,008,000 in January, according to the Department of Labor. This means that the number of Americans not in the labor force increased 296,000 between January and February.
I don't see how a record high number of people not in the labor force is a sign of a strong economy. In a strong economy (one that produces valuable goods and services) you have people participating. This seems like the opposite.

[h/t to Instapundit]

Springfield Armory XD(s) Review

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I would be doing a review of my new Springfield Armory XD(s). Someone finally reminded me that I hadn't done my review yet, so here ya go, campers.

The Springfield Armory XD(s) is a subcompact .45 ACP semi-automatic handgun. As soon as you take it out of the box, you can tell the XD(s) is clearly intended to be used as a concealed carry gun. At it's widest point, it's only one inch thick, and it fits very nicely into the palm of your hand, and it's fairly light. When you wear it on your hip and throw on a jacket, it simply disappears.

However, all of this compactness and conceal-ability requires you to make some compromises. In a similarly sized Glock 19 (ok, maybe the Glock 19 is a little bigger) you get a 15 round magazine. However, you're getting 15 rounds of 9mm in the Glock, whereas the XD(s) is giving you .45 ACP. Unfortunately, you're only going to get a magazine capacity of 5 rounds of the .45 ACP in the standard mags. Springfield does make a 7 round magazine for the Xd(s), but good luck actually finding one. I'm not sure if you've heard, but there's a little bit of a run on magazines and ammo these days.

In any event, the point is that you're going to be sacrificing magazine capacity for conceal-ability. But that's why God created spare magazines, and he said "let them be plentiful".

As for function, the little XD(s) is great. The first 50 rounds that I put through it were made in Hungary under the label "RWS". Yeah, I bought some Hungarian-made ammo. It's really hard to find ammo these days. Anyway, here's what I bought:

So, I go out to the range and put a box of this Hungarian ammo through the little XD(s). There were seven of what I would call "light-strikes". That means I pulled the trigger, and the gun went click. That's bad, because it's supposed to go BANG! 

I ejected the round (after waiting the safe time) and looked at it. The bottom of the round (where the striker hits the cartridge to ignite the primer) had a small dimple in it, like it's supposed to. However, it didn't go off. Strange, right? I put the same round back in the chamber and then fired it again. Every time the round fired on the second attempt. Very strange.

At first, I chalked it up to the Hungarian ammo. I mean, what do they know about making ammo in Hungary, right? However, I did a little research and it turns out that Springfield ships the XD(s) in a condition where they are not really ready-to-go out of the box. They put a bunch of grease and stuff down in the channel where the striker is, and it kind of gums up the works. So, I did a detail strip of the gun, pulled the striker out and examined it. There was more gunk and grease on there than I would have expected, so I cleaned it off real well, cleaned the whole gun, and lubricated all the rails and other areas that needed to be lubed.

After that, I've put about 250 rounds through it of various types of ammo, and it's been 100%. I haven't had any failures of any kind whatsoever. All I can tell you is that if you're thinking about getting an XD(s), don't  be scared of the stories you hear about the "light strikes". The gun just needs to have a little cleaning before you take it shooting. It also likes to be well lubricated because all the parts fit together so tightly. (That's what she said.)

Overall, it's a great gun. I'm not as accurate with it as I am with a full-size 1911, but that's not totally unexpected. The overall length is only 6.3", so you're not dealing with much. (That's what she said.)

However, probably my biggest flaw in my shooting technique is my tendency to pull the trigger too hard. This causes my shots to go low and left about five inches at 10 yards. With the XD(s) being such a small gun, this error shows up very clearly. With a larger, heavier 1911, my same problem is lessened by the fact that the 1911 is heavier and bigger, so I'm not moving the gun as much. I still have the same flaw, but it's more obvious with the XD(s). However, in a critical self-defense situation at 10 yards being off by five inches isn't going to make me miss center mass. Having said that, I'm going to work on my shooting technique.

Other Features: There's no thumb-safety on the XD(s). However, there is a grip-safety, in the same style of the 1911. You can see the grip safety in the picture above. It's that little tab on the back of the grip. To me, the XD(s) seems like the folks at Springfield Armory tried to make their version of the Glock. It has that same safe-trigger deal like a Glock, and it's simple - like a Glock. Take down is actually easier (to me) than with a Glock. The sight picture is nice, and Springfield even gives you options for changing out the front sight if you don't like the red bead.

Overall, theXD(s) is a great carry gun if you want something chambered in .45 ACP. If you're looking for a range gun to just do precision paper shooting, this isn't your gun. This gun is intended to be carried all the time, and to pack a punch when you need it to. Although I'm a fan of 9mm, you really can't go wrong with .45 ACP.

Take care of lubricating and cleaning this little gun, and it will take care of you. Permanent Press officially endorses the Springfield Armory XD(s).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bloomberg Focuses on Ear Buds

First they came for the salt, and I said nothing. Next they came for the big gulp, and I said nothing, and then they came for the ear buds on my iPod, and I said nothing. (I don't live in New York, so it's not really my place to say.)

Seriously, he's concerned that New Yorkers are listening to loud music via little ear buds.

It's like the mayor of New York City has never walked the streets of New York City. It seems like over half of the people wear ear buds as they go from place to place. I'm going to be extremely amused if NYC becomes the first city to outlaw ear buds.

If you outlaw ear buds, only outlaws will have ear buds!
You can have my ear buds when you pry them from my cold, dead ears!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guy's Night

Mrs. Permanent Press is going to the ATL for the next 24 hours. Looks like Permanent Press, Jr. and I will be on our own. That means it's time to relax and have a guy's night.
The ladies are gone? Good, I'm going to take a nap.

Clemson Sets Sights on BCS Title

“Our goal is to compete for the national championship,” Swinney said.

Read more here:

Limitations. A man's got to know them.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

White House Cancels Tours - Blames Sequester

The peasants will no longer be allowed to tour the king's castle. Why? Apparently sequester has forced "staffing reductions" to the White House.

Oh, you would like a list of the people who were let go? No problem. They are:

That's the complete list we have so far.

SC Considers Repeal of CWP Law

Happy Tuesday.

So of course right after I take my CWP class, the SC legislature is considering the repeal of the CWP law and allowing concealed carry without a permit and/or open carry.

If you know me, you know that I'm about as pro-gun as it gets. However, I'm not sure that I am in favor of repealing the CWP law and going to to Constitutional Carry. The main element of the current CWP law is the training requirement.

The way that I see it, the training requirement is kind of a gatekeeper for people. If you feel strongly about carrying, you'll take the class and get your permit. However, if you just wake up one day and causally want to carry and don't really know much about guns, the CWP training requirement stops you.

In essence, it separates the people who really want to carry from the people who want to do it on a whim. Now, that may or may not be a legal basis to do so, but I like the idea that you have to commit at least eight hours of your life before you walk around with lethal force on your hip.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Latest Video from the "Golf Boys" - 2.Oh

I tweeted this out earlier today, but this video is too good not to be it's own independent post. So this is for all y'all who don't follow me on Twitter (You can fix that by clicking on the button to the right).

The best line is clearly: "Kevin Naaaaa".

NCAA Baseball to Change Baseballs?

Did you know that the baseball used in NCAA is not the same type of baseball used in Major League Baseball? I knew the bats were different, but I just figured that all baseballs are the same.

Apparently, not. Although there may be a push to have the NCAA go with the same ball that the pros use.
Leggett has an idea that he believes could find a happy medium for the game. Leggett is pushing for a change in the ball that is used in the college game. He wants to switch to the ball used in professional baseball.
Did you have any idea the ball was different?
“They’re not going to change the bats,” Leggett said, “so I think going to the minor-league baseball, a little bit harder ball with lower seams and a little bit more carry on the ball, you’ve got a more exciting game.”
I think that Leggett actually has a good idea here. The more you can make the NCAA game like the MLB game, it will be easier for the the players to try and make the jump to the minor leagues (and hopefully) the majors.

Clemson. They actually have a good idea.

Readmore here: