Really, Yamaha? You’re going to make a bike that is a solid-gold, guaranteed hit with the younger motorcyclist crowd — Ducati Scrambler, anyone? — and then you exclude the largest market in the world?
Wake the hell up, Yamaha, and get this to the United States. Why am I not buying this thing, right now!?!
In case you’ve not seen it:
Pure sex. Take an FZ-07, make it look less like a bug and more like a motorcycle. 70hp and 50 ft-lbs of torque put it in the same general category at the Scrambler and the Triumph Thruxton, but with a six-speed and 410 lbs… and water cooling (shut up, purists!)
You can read more about it over at Cycle World.
Over on The Federalist, Tom Nichols has an fantastic article on the nature of the political class these days titled The New Totalitarians Are Here. One feature of Progressivism is the reformist fervor, something it borrowed from the Second Great American Awakening — a period of explosive religious expression in the mid-1800s — and the abolitionist groups, be it slavery, alcohol, drugs, or “bad” foods. This was combined with the elitist culture of American universities — many of these people trained at German and British universities, where they were exposed to the authoritarian, socialist musings of other rich, educated types. These “experts” desperately wanted to be considered important, have political influence, and be overly-compensated for the privilege.
The movement has always seen people outside of the political or academic class as lesser examples of humankind, a mass of people to be educated, directed, managed, and molded into some perfect form. The problem is that people have a tendency to be — if not unique, at least different enough not to conveniently fit in some categorization scheme. They are often obstinate,can be violent, and many don’t take well to being told what to do. People are messy. This is naturally frustrating to the mind that desires order, obedience, and adulation, and their tendency is to force people to do as they say.
These are authoritarians. However, there is a stripe of authoritarian that is much, much worse…
Simply put, authoritarians merely want obedience, while totalitarians, whose rule is rooted in an ideology, want obedience and conversion. Authoritarians are a dime a dozen; totalitarians are rare. The authoritarians are the guys in charge who want to stay in charge, and don’t much care about you, or what you’re doing, so long as you stay out of their way…[t]otalitarians are a different breed. These are the people who have a plan, who think they see the future more clearly than you or who are convinced they grasp reality in a way that you do not. They don’t serve themselves—or, they don’t serve themselves exclusively—they serve History, or The People, or The Idea, or some other ideological totem that justifies their actions…[t]hey want obedience, of course. But even more, they want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining.
In yet another example of why Progressives are such truly awful people, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D, WI) informs us that
Certainly the First Amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that. . . . [I]n this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.
Actually, she didn’t say that. The transcript from MSNBC conveniently cuts out an “uh” every other word. Watching the video is like watching a victim of brain trauma try to manufacture a thought.
This elitist puke — and of course, she’s from Wisconsin, home of Progressivism — seems to think that religious protects only apply to institutiions…see, you have no right to religious expression. That would be the exact opposite of the intent of the amendment as specified by its authors, as shown in The Federalist Papers or repeated legal findings from the lowest courts to the Supreme Court. But that doesn’t matter to Progressives — they don’t like you expressing or living by standards that aren’t set by politicians and their “expert” advisors.
Let’s have another look at the First Amendment and see how ambiguous the writing is…
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Damn that’s some hard reading. (Emphasis mine.) Take a gander at the spot Progressives and atheists always miss — or the free expression thereof…the state cannot establish or favor a religion (sorry, Bible-thumpers and Allah-grovellers!), but it also cannot stop you from exercising it. That means wearing garb or a symbol of your faith; that means speaking of your faith; that means live by those precepts as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.
That’s what we call “tolerance”, folks who claim to be tolerant… Here’s the dictionary definition, if you are confused:
the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.
Here’s the natural evolution of this sort of thinking. The First Amendment is not an individual right for religious expression. If it’s not an individual right, then the rest of the law is also not an individual right….that means not right to free expression of any kind, nor the ability to redress the government for its many transgressions. And since one of the Bill of Rights isn’t a individual right, aren’t they all — by extension — reserved to the People. They’re a gift from a benevolent state that will revoke them when they don’t like what you are doing, saying, or thinking.
Which is exactly what people like this awful example of human being, Baldwin, are after: not just obedience, but by curtailing your speech and thought, they hope to make you believe. All they need is a Room 101.
The Firearm Blog had a nice post and video on the “top 5 most historically significant pistols.” They use the very specific term “pistol” to mean semi-automatic pistols, not revolvers — a fairly modern distinction, as most handguns were referred to as pistols for much of history. Even so, some of their choices are intriguing…
The Mauser M1896 Broomhandle is hard to argue with, although you could make a good case that the Borchardt pistol, from which both the Mauser and the Luger draw from, would be a more important pistol for the purposes of innovation, if not longevity.
The Luger 9mm, of course, is an excellent choice. It brought us the most popular cartridge in the world, the action was simple and robust, and it remained popular well past the point when it had been overtaken by better weapons.
The FM M1900 is another excellent choice — it’s the first iteration of the Browning pistols and led to the likes of the 1911A1 and the Browning High Power. Almost every semi-automatic pistol is based on this venerable design. It was the most popular “pocket pistol” in the world until the 1950s. The .32 round was a popular cartridge with police in Europe and is still in use today.
The 1911A1 is, in many ways, a refinement of the M1900. It served the US military for about 75 years as a standard issue sidearm, and still sees use in police and military units worldwide because of its robust and reliable design.
The H&K VP70Z is innovative in that it set the stage for the arrival of Glock and other polymer-framed, striker-fired autos.
From Reason Magazine:
Here’s a nice companion piece for the South Carolina nonsense…
Kalashnikov is releasing a new 9mm pistol called the Lebedev —
Note, US gun manufacturers, the fully ambidextrous controls. That’s right, gun companies, there are these strange aberrations in humankind called “lefties” — sometimes they’re fully left-handed, sometimes they shoot left handed because they’re left eye dominant. And strangely, it’s much easier for them to use your product when the safety and slide catch levers are on the right side of the pistol. Added bonus is you put the magazine release there, as well.
But — that’s expensive! Not if you design your new guns to be fully ambi, period.
Even old designs like the 1911 can easily be made ambi, at least for the slide stop and slide catch. So just do it for every gun and you have an economy of scale. It’s cheaper than knocking out the occasional ambi gun for “those people”.
And ho are you calling “those people”, anyway!
Stop if you’ve heard this one: Some racist turdbag walks into a black church and shoots it up. Naturally, the gun is at fault…
If the church shooting, which is certainly a horrific crime, but would a kid this filled with hatred have committed murder had he not gained access to a gun? A pickup truck (it’s South Carolina…stereotype much, Scott?) is a good weapon — three tons of plastic and metal kills really effectively, even when your target’s in another vehicle. Knives seem pretty damned effective, as one who has been stabbed. Ever had someone drum on your skull with a baseball bat or claw hammer? You’d wish it had been a gun. (By the way, up until very recently, most murders in the United States were committed with the good ol’ Louisville Slugger, according to the FBI crime stats.)
So, do we address the kid that committed the act? Nope — time to have yet another “national debate” on guns from Progressives who want to disarm folks so they can’t say “no” to whatever lunacy the political class wants to foist on us. You know…the debate they’ve lost repeatedly since the Second Amendment was penned to keep the political class from running roughshod over the people. Like passing disastrous health care laws that enrich insurance companies and bankrupt middle class Americans.
But this time, we get to see how the political class pulls together on things like this. Enter infamous gasbag Karl Rove — mastermind of a couple of useless wars and “compassionate conservatism” (catchy!) — a conservative repackaging of Progressive ideas with a bit of God thrown in.
There’s been a lot of gnashing of teeth on the conservative (and libertarian) wing of the Republican party concerning John Boehner and the establishment’s willingness to accede to policies that might be considered progressive. That’s because the average American does not understand that both parties are steeped in Progressivism, and have been since Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency. modern conservatism simply retains the Christian reformist streak that was so prevalent in progressivism before being an atheist and lightweight socialist became hip in Democratic circles in the 1930s.
More than their ideology, however, is that all of these people, in both party leadership — both elected and appointed — are from the same class of people: kids of academics or government functionaries, educated in the Ivy League, mingling at the same social and country clubs, marrying into each other’s families, sitting on the same boards of think tanks and companies. They view you simply as something to be milked for cash and obedience. And lately, the American people have been a bit restive and uncooperative when they’ve wanted to start a new war (Syria), let bankers off the hook for what is economic terrorism, then tax them more for the opportunity (Tea Parties, at the beginning), wreck their health care (ACA), give their money to illegal aliens, and then try to disarm them.
But it’s been a few news cycles since the standoff at the Bundy Ranch nearly caused civil war in the American Southwest, and there’s been a few murders with guns. LEt’s try that last bit again. If we get their guns, they can’t fight back! This time, however, the progressives might finally have some allies — tied of being bucked by the People — on the conservative side.