Article – Austrians Need Constitutional Right to Pay in Cash

Austrians should have the constitutional right to use cash to protect their privacy, Deputy Economy Minister Harald Mahrer said, as the European Union considers curbing the use of banknotes and coins.

“We don’t want someone to be able to track digitally what we buy, eat and drink, what books we read and what movies we watch,” Mahrer said on Austrian public radio station Oe1. “We will fight everywhere against rules” including caps on cash purchases, he said.

Signs of the times. It’s bloody convenient to just swipe a card or bump your cellphone to pay for something. And there is a degree of safety that comes from not risking carrying around large amounts of cash. But…safety and convenience aren’t compelling reasons to sacrifice privacy.

‘Cashless society’ is a society where people who you don’t even know have access to knowing what you bought, how much of it, when you bought it, where you bought it, and how much you spent on it. It isn’t hard to imagine that in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’ your several thousand dollar purchase from BobsAmmoEmporium.com will be flagged. Heck, the .gov already drops in onfolks who buy too many guns at once.

cashpaymentThe Austrians have the right idea. Although the right to privacy shouldn’t need to be enumerated somewhere, the encroachments upon it may make it necessary. And I’d rather have an enumeration of the obvious than not have it at all.

In the meantime, cash is always the best way to buy your survival goodies. If not cash, then those prepaid debit cards work well as long as you exercise good security measures and destroy them immediately after use.

Keep watching the news…you’ll see more and more folks in ties and pantsuits standing in front of microphones urging that ‘something’ be done to create ‘common sense’ legislation to restrict large cash purchases … all in the name of fighting terrorism. Ironic, since heavyhanded government intrusion like this is the sorta thing that makes rebels out of citizens to begin with.

Article – State of Jefferson secessionists

The fight to create Jefferson is the longest of long shots, a Hail Mary pass made by folks who are sick of being underrepresented in the state legislature and ignored by California’s urban centers. Cut off from the seats of power by geography, alienated by the state’s left-leaning politics and tendency toward regulation, enduring stubbornly high unemployment, facing the decimation of traditional industries such as logging, and harboring few prospects for economic growth, these disaffected citizens — overwhelmingly white and mostly conservative — share many of the concerns about central state overreach as the militia members who recently took control of a wildlife refuge in Oregon. They, however, are committed to a political solution rather than an armed rebellion.

Every so often, various states talk about seceding and forming their own independent little countries. Usually, it’s Texas or Alaska or a handful of other states. However, it isn’t often theres talk of seceding to form a new state and remain within the union. (A little history from wiki)

Each state in our glorious little union is, essentially, it’s own country. Each one agrees to operate under an agreed upon framework and cede some authority to that collective government, but still retain a degree of autonomy. This is why something that is illegal in California can be perfectly legal in Montana. Once in a while some folks agitate to leave this happy  little family and are forced at gunpoint to stay in the pot with the rest of us lobsters. (See the War Of Southern Overconfidence for an example of this). The practical upshot of this is that if you don’t like the rules/taxes/laws/politics of where you live, you have around 49 other places to try and see if you like better. (Of course, those federal laws and regs are a different matter.) [Tangentially, it seems to me that the Union should be like any other club..high standards to get in, and an open door policy if you want to leave

The notion of seceding from a state, though…that’s a path that hasn’t been trod nearly as much as the one of seceding from the union.

There is probably a huge degree of merit to the claims being made….California is a big state and it’s ludicrous to think that the guys living in the hills of northern California should have to bend knee to the polices coming outta Sacramento that are written for the mostly urban southern regions of the state. Kinda like how the folks up in Albany shouldnt subject the rest of the state to the laws meant for NYC.

As a ‘rugged individualist’-type, I like the idea of a bunch of like-minded folks staking out a piece of land and setting up their own system of rules. Of course, thats as long as those are rules that I like. But, as I said, there’s 49 other states I can try out if the .gov in this state gets too heavy handed for me. But…pulling up and heading for greener pastures is only an option after youve tried fixing the situation at home first.

Nothing will become of the state of Jefferson. It’ll be a nice little novelty show, but it would set a precedent for things like East and West Colorado, North and South New York, Upper Michigan and LowerMichigan, etc, etc. Ain’t gonna happen…not officially, anyway. There are plenty of ‘invisible borders’ and boundaries in various states..making them official is just not in the cards, methinks.

But…I salute the spirit of the Jeffersonians, in a very ‘Moon Is A Harsh Mistress’ kind of way.

The view, politics, Otterbox Defender

Living in Montana isn’t always sunshine n’ stun grenades. There’s seven months of winter, jobs are hard to come by, there’s some narrow-mindedness, and its damn expensive to fly anywhere from here. But….when you can drive ten minutes out of town and be knee-deep in things like this…well, then it’s almost worth it.

20160206_130910Nice, right?

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In other news, I haven’t mentioned that silver is heading towards $15/oz. so it might be time to give the Metals Pimp a holler and get while the getting is good. Speaking of the Pimp, I saw him today and he palmed a pair of silver rounds and told me they were a gift from one of you crazy paranoid survivalists who was a loyal reader. So..whomever that mysterious benefactor is, thank you…I will sing your praises as I use that silver to barter for food and skimpy clothing for the desperate-yet-still-hot college coeds that come to me seeking shelter as the Aryan blood gangs and rogue military units storm across the post-apocalyptic landscape scavenging for supplies.

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Watching the political news is an exercise in disbelief. Young, impressionable, college-age kids are drawn to a out-n-proud socialist, while the closet socialist is clamoring that you should vote for her because she’s a woman, rather than on her merits. On the other side of the fence, everyone’s loud uncle is leading the pack and the also-rans are all trying to catch up.

It seems like every year since 1988 we’ve been saying “This will be the most important election ever”…until the next one. Then that one becomes ‘the most important’.

Oy vey.

Well, at least I have beautiful scenery to bask in as Rome burns.

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Had a little ‘oops’ with my celphone a few weeks back. Specifically, several ‘oopsies’ as my phone was run over repeatedly by traffic. The screen was destroyed, but I was able to get it replaced for $125. The rest of the phone worked fine..in fact it started ringing even as I was examining the amazingly shattered screen. Why’d it survive? Otterbox Defender, baby. Yes, it will make your phone a bit bulkier….boo hoo. I routinely drop my phone and have it land on a hard surface on one of its corners. And it survives just fine. When i stand in line at the post office I see plenty of people with iPhones with cracked screens and they all have those little thin rubber sleeves on their phones that offer virtually no protection. Get the Otterbox Defender and, yeah, your phone will be a bit bulkier in your pocket, but it is going to survive next time you drop it, sit on it, or watch it bounce down a fligh of stairs. Zero recommends!

 

Article – U.S. eyes ways to toughen fight against domestic extremists

Here’s a civil liberties can-of-worms waiting to happen:

But federal prosecutors tackling domestic extremists still lack an important legal tool they have used extensively in dozens of prosecutions against Islamic State-inspired suspects: a law that prohibits supporting designated terrorist groups.

While foreign groups can be classified as ‘terrorist groups’ and any support given to them be considered criminal, it hasn’t applied to US groups.

So..who is to say what a domestic terrorist group is? The Klan? The Black Panthers? Greenpeace? Earth First? The JDL? The NRA?

This sort of thing will run smack into the wall of Amendment One, but by the time that makes it way to the Supreme Court there’ll be plenty of folks cooling their heels in a federal cell somewhere.

It’s a slippery slope to try and say whats a terrorist group and what isn’t. The easy definition would be any group that goes beyond theory and gets into practice. Or, put another way, when the talkers become doers. But…that ol’ bugaboo of ‘conspiracy’ comes into play. Get three guys sitting around a table who drink a few beers and talk about how they’d ‘straighten out those guys’ and -whammo- conspiracy. Nevermind that they couldn’t get past the warm-up levels in Call Of Duty.

Certainly, this sort of demonization fits into the current practice of marginalizing particular groups to make their persecution, usually through the legal system, more palatable to the rest of us.

This is definitely something to keep an eye on.

 

Link – NJT: Time Travel

If you ever peruse the brochures and advertisements that urge you to invest your money in stocks or gold or pork bellies, there is always the caveat that “past performance does not guarantee future performance”. In short, yes, the stock we’re trying to sell you did awesome for the last five years…but thats no promise the next five years will be as good.

Keep that little grain of salt at the tip of your tongue as you read this insightful piece:

If you could time travel, say, back to the time between the wars.  And live a life starting then.  You wouldn’t need to get a rifle.  You KNOW what happenned from 1916 – 2016.  And no emergency happens that require minute man type action except in very small, local, and specific situations for a very short time. 

Pistols, on the other hand… Get a pistol and spare.  For everything else, shotgun and a spare.  A thutty thutty might do you just fine for that.

If I pause and fire a few synapses, I do believe that in the almost fifty years I have been trodding the Earth I have never had an episode where I needed an AR more than I needed a handgun. And, as the poster points out, in the last hundred years, Joe Sixpack hasn’t really needed one either except for some small localized issues. (Of course, just because there was no big national call-to-arms episode doesn’t devalue the localized issues that made having an AR handy.)

I suppose the argument is that, historically, a pistol has proven to be more useful and necessary than a rifle for defense. (Outside of actually going to war, of course.)

However….in the last fifty years I haven’t needed life insurance either because, well, I haven’t died. But that doesn’t mean that not having it is a good idea. So I’ll continue to acquire those evil rifles as I can, but perhaps I should appreciate the pistols a tad more.

And just to make sure there is no doubt about my thinking…”need” is not a criteria for owning a gun of any kind. Need it or  not, I should be able to own as many darn thundertoys as my skinny wallet can afford.

Mag speculating

Remember when the stewardess gives you the speech about when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling you’re supposed to put yours on first and then assist small children and others? Why is that? The answer is simple: if you put your mask on first, then you’re in a position to help more people.

Same thing applies with this post. Before you go buying magazines to resell to the unprepared masses, make sure you have your own needs more than taken care of.

For those of you who may not remember the great Assault Weapons ban of ’94-’04, you were limited to 10 round magazines unless your magazine was made before 1994. As a result, much like the ’86 machine gun ban, the prices of those items went up, up, and up as time went on and their availability went down, down, down. $600 (in 1999 money), was not unheard of for a Betamag. Glock mags were in the $75-100 range, AR  mags could be around $30-40, and exotic stuff like Valmets, SIG, and HK were easily over a hundred bucks a mag. In short, it was like everyone was selling at Cheaper Than Dirt panic-prices.

Don’t believe me? Let me dial up the Wayback Machine and, lo:

images

That’s $119.00, in 1999 money, for a Glock happystick. And $80 for just a ‘regular capacity’ G17 mag. You thought you were the luckiest man on the planet if you found one for fifty bucks!

Who made money? Guys who were sitting on a bunch of magazines. I remember being able to buy M1 carbine mags from J&G Sales for $0.86 each in 1990-1991. Four years later those were $20+ magazines. Colt manufactured 20-rd AR mags were about $4-5 in 1989. Wasn’t long before they were almost $50 ea.

images2

$45 for a Colt 20-rd mag. Even a Thermelt was going for twenty bucks.

.Is it going to happen again? I think so. Maybe not this election cycle, maybe not on a national level, but I do think it’s going to happen. I’d be thrilled to spend $100 for 30 G3 mags right now and sell them ‘afterwards’ for enough to pick myself up an ICOM-7200 or other expensive toy.

images3

Here’s perspective: CTD was selling these HK mags for $0.97 a few years ago. At these prices, my stash of mags goes from being worth $600 to $30,000.

What would I buy to take advantage of the panicked masses yearning to be armed? Well, the smart thing to do is appeal to the most common denominator. Yeah, the Valmet mag you pay $45 for today is going to be worth $100 but by the time you sell it you could have sold a hundred AR or Glock mags. ‘Boutique’ and ‘niche’ stuff like the exotics will sell, and it will sell at a great price, but it won’t sell nearly as often.

What the most common rifle in this country for guys like you and me? AK-pattern and AR-style rifles. Sure there are guys with FALs, AUGs, HK93s, and the like out there…and those mags are worth a lot and will be worth even more…but you’ll sell a lot more of the common stuff. AR and AK mags are where I’d put my money for rifle mags. Magpul Pmags and known-brand GI aluminum mags (Okay, CProducts, etc) would be my choice. While you might get a good deal on Lancers and other stuff, they’re small enough people won’t recognize them and no one wants to buy the ‘off brand’ if they don’t have to.

For pistol mags its Glock, XD, and M&P. Beretta mags might be a good choice but there will be a lot of military ones floating around. Again, stick with the OEM stuff if you can. (Although I’ll probably go with the Magpul Glock mags). The 9 and 40 mags will be the most common and those would be where I’d focus.

In .22 magazines all you need to know is that Ruger 10/22 mags will outsell every other .22 rifle magazine combined. I’ve posted about them before…get the Butler Creek mags (or even the Eagle mags) and buy as many as you can. You’ll never regret a drum full of those things.

Interestingly, while pump action shotguns usually (though not always) skate around ‘assault weapons’ bans, there may be some forward-thinking statists who will want to see your 870 limited to five rounds or some such. While I wouldn’t go very deep on them, a handful of factory extended mag tubes and springs might turn a tidy profit later.

Of course, if a future ban doesn’t occur (and I wouuld be thrilled to be proven wrong) you still wind up with a nice amount of mags to last you the rest of your life…and you’ve traded opportunity cost against inflation in terms of what you might have to pay for the mags in the future. Win – win. But, as I said, you really want to make sure you have your own needs taken care of before you start ‘speculating’ in magazine futures.

Interestingly, as I was typing this up, this little jewel from MGE Wholesale landed in my mailbox:

MPMAG546-BLK(5)Go figure.

Snow day

There’s some pretty nice snow coming down at the moment. When I first moved to Montana I assumed that we’d get three or four feet of snow every time it snowed. Nope. Turned out I had moved to the warmest part of the state. The snowfall in this region is absolutely pathetic. But…once in a while Ma Nature decides to remind us who wears the meteorological pants in this region.

I have fuel, generator, food, blankets, four-wheel drive, and communications. I’m…unconcerned. Which, naturally, frees my mind to wander in other directions.

I am ready for this political season to come to an end. Sorta. Part of me says we should elect Bernie Sanders, skip the foreplay, and just head right into the revolution. On the other hand, I can use the next nine months to get more mags and stripped lowers put back. Given the ‘screw freedom, gimme safety’ mentality of some of the candidates, it might not be a bad idea to start laying back unregistered drones, pay-as-you-go cellphones, laptops and phones bought at a distance second-hand for anonymous communications, etc, etc.

Personally, I’m throwing what meager resources I have into gun stuff. It’s a field I’m very intimate with and have enough connections to get good deals. AR and Glock mags are where I’d put my resources. While some of the exotic stuff will command more in the next ban, it makes more sense to play to the commonly available stuff. For every $300 Valmet magazine I’ll sell, I could move a hundred AR mags or a hundred 9/40 Glock mags. Or 10/22 mags.

Ammo score

There’s a shop near mine that takes in used guns and, on occasion, ammo. That is to say, when someone comes in and wants to sell a gun they often throw in a few boxes of ammo as well. After all, they get a few bucks more on the deal and since htey’re selling the gun they no longer have a use for it. But, more often than not, the boxes are ‘broken’…they are partials. A box of 50 with only 48 still in it. That sort of thing. Can’t really put it on the shelf so, so I make stupid lowball offers on it. Picked up these today:

wp-1454020038050.jpgThere’s two rounds missing from each of the  .357, and none from the .45. But, for $7.50 a box, who wouldn’t?

Also picked up some .44 Special ammo, which is ironic. I used to have a very nice .44 Special, and someday I will again, but the ammo will remind me of it.

 

 

Magpul magazine followup

Hmmm…MGE Wholesale is showing the Magpul Glock mags at $11.53, and the OEM Glocks are showing at CDNN for $19.99. Now, I really hate to get into math but thats..uh..around 40% cheaper. Or, put another way, for five Glock mags you could get eight Magpuls and darn close to nine if you had an extra couple ‘a ones in your pocket.

But..if they’re not reliable then they’re no bargain even if free…so I still need to go shoot them a bit. But the economics is pretty promising. I’m very much looking forward to the Magpul happysticks for the Glock. Those will sell amazingly well, I think.

Glock 9mm mags

There was a local gun show this weekend, and it seemed like a decent opportunity to go ahead and pick up a Magpul Glock mag or two to try out.

I have reservations about all-pastic mags for a couple reasons…I’m concerned about the mag body swelling when loaded to capacity and therefore not dropping free, and I’m worried about plastic feedlips losing their rigidity/tension. (Interestingly, this is the same qualms I have with plastic AR mags. However, virtually every aluminum AR mag I’ve ever met has been cheaper than a Pmag, so I have no problem sticking with aluminum AR mags.)

The Magpul mags are going for about $15 which puts them at least five bucks below OEM Glock mags. They do advertise themselves as being easier to disassemble than the Glock-made mags and, yup, the baseplates come off much easier. High visibility follower is a nice touch. Only one witness hole though…

Stuffing a buncha 9mm into one and sliding it in and outt my G19 showed that, for now, the loaded mag seems to drop free just fine. The empty mag locks the slide back like it’s supposed to as well. I need to grab a couple hundred rounds of ammo and head to the range and see how the mag performs. It’d be nice if there were a just-as-good Golck mag out there that was 25% cheaper. We’ll see.

I’ll let you know how it goes after I fire a buncha rounds from it.