Archive for month: November, 2013

Deal Alert

14 Nov
November 14, 2013

For those of you who are fans of Larry Corriea and have Audible, the Hard Magic is on special today for $5.95.

Metal Tuesday – Disillusion – Fall

12 Nov
November 12, 2013

The first of The Brother’s Choice entries:

Disillusion’s Back to the Times of Splendor is my favorite album of all time. The album is catchy and complex, swinging between melodic calm and frenetic rage. It just sings to me and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

This track is probably the most accessible of the album (and one of the shortest as well).

If you dig this, I would also suggest the previous Three Neuron Kings and The Porter EPs. The follow-up album, Gloria, has hints of Back to the Times of Splendor but is a major departure from the previous albums.

Lyrics:

Deep it must have been
The thorn that spread a veil of constancy
Times in stalemate, times of certitude
Again and again this wound
It’s these moments
When the comfort of the bygone
And the light of long gone days
Enchant me with their hollow songs
And grasp for me with their stone-cold hands.

A new morning
Another past coming along
struggling on way too close, way too far
today I do remember
the bitter tears of fall we shed on a day like this

And both we know that you knew
pain would grow through you
But we pretended soils would flourish
from the time we turn our backs.

Saw your eyes in amber leaves
Heard your weeping in repose
Drank your tears with the water
followed your footmarks in the moss.
It’s these moments
When the comfort of the bygone
And the light of long gone days
Enchant me with their hollow songs
befool me with a sham appeal

And both we know that you knew
pain would grow through you
But we pretended soils would flourish
from the time we turn our backs.

Rest of November’s Metal Tuesdays Are The Brother’s Choice

12 Nov
November 12, 2013

My brother is a metal aficionado. He can rattle off band members, where they went, and side projects as quickly as I can rattle off gun history or economic theory. He’s also where I tend to get most of my music. That said, his taste in metal is more varied than mine, and tends to run darker than to what I like to listen. So, I asked, and he’s provided Metal Tuesday entries for the rest of November.

Monday Fiction – Badmoon Rising – Chapter 21 – Things Become Clearer….I Think.

11 Nov
November 11, 2013

“How the hell are you here?” I asked, keeping the HK45 trained on Bradon. I was pretty sure it was Bradon. The elegantly cut dark suit and calm demeanor was definitely Bradon’s style, but I’d been fooled before.

“A simple question that covers a lot of complex territory,” Bradon said. “Ranger, could you please put that pistol down? I used to wonder if you could shoot me, but you proved that. I’d rather you not prove it again. I don’t want to see all of my work destroyed. Neither do you, unless you’d rather see Tampa and the surrounding counties in Lothos’s control.”

“None of which answers the question,” I said, keeping the glowing green dot on Bradon’s forehead.

“Ranger put the gun down,” Nick said, appearing out of the doorway. I looked back at my friend and back to the vampire. Neither Bradon nor Nicky were surprised by the others presence, which meant that these two were working together. Betrayal and rage flared through me before I clamped down on my emotions. I almost shot Nick right there, but I knew there was more going on. Read more →

“Hell, We Just Got Here.”

11 Nov
November 11, 2013

Happy, slightly belated, birthday to the USMC! Semper Fi!

For the explanation of the title, go here.

Fun Times At The Range

09 Nov
November 9, 2013

So, a friend of mine and her husband asked if they could go shooting with me. Not a problem. It’s not like I hate going to the range.

Of course, it’s a Saturday. I expect it to be busy. Upon arrival, I find out that a local rock station is running a women and guns program today. Okay, I’m not real fond of the station, and I despise their flagship host, but I still think it’s cool.

I did okay today.

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That was a three mags from my M&P at 5 yards.

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And that was my M&P 9c with the 12 and two 17s at five yards. Okay, but a little wider than I wanted. Still, I am getting better at working the reset.

And I even wore my Black Man With A Gun shirt!

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Friday Quote – 11/8/13

08 Nov
November 8, 2013

I think I can say, and say with pride, that we have legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world.

Mark Twain, author and satirist

And it remains true over a century later.

H/t reader David

For Those of You Who Thought “Stop and Frisk” Only Harassed Bad People

05 Nov
November 5, 2013

It looks like some of the State Attorneys hostile to gun rights have figured out a way to use “stop-and-frisk” to hassle concealed carriers, as well as get them a felony arrest record. More from Florida Carry:

The recent decision in Mackey v. State is being hailed by police and state attorneys, especially those who are anti-gun.

Don’t believe it? Take this gem from the Office of the State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit (Dave Aronberg, NRA F-rated candidate 2008):

“The Court found that the permit is an affirmative defense to be raised by the defendant after his arrest; it is not element of the crime to be disproved by the officer prior to effecting the CCF arrest.”

That’s right, having a concealed weapon firearm license (CWFL) does not keep you from being arrested, you can explain that to the judge at first appearance, after you spend a night in jail and get a felony arrest record. Mr Aronberg’s office has taken an inch from the Supreme Court and become a ruler. Do not think that other anti-gun state attorneys, sheriffs and police chiefs won’t do the same. This is the same type of discriminatory, unjustified harassment that was recently struck down in a challenge to Mayor Bloomberg’s illegal stop-and-frisk law, in New York City.

Given the history of Florida’s gun laws which were written to “disarm[] the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security,” it is no stretch to say this new policy will likely be applied primarily in low-income neighborhoods and against minorities. This especially true considering the Mackey court’s opinion, which allows officers to reduce the level of constitutional rights in high crime neighborhoods by using the type of neighborhood as an additional factor to justify stops of lawful gun owners.
Until the passage of the 1987 concealed carry law, which in every way conceivable liberalized Florida’s carry laws, the fact that a person did not have a firearm license was a necessary element before arrest, that had to be proven by the State in order to convict a firearm owner. The Court relied solely on the fact that the licensing was in a subsequent paragraph rather than a prepositional phrase as it was previously, to determine that while everything else about the 1987 concealed weapons was intended to give more rights to gun owners, this one factor was changed to allow harassment of gun owners.

Florida Carry believes that it was only due to its Amicus brief , which at least one justice quoted at oral argument, that Regalado is still good law. While some pro-gun individuals and groups, including some attorneys, believe that the Supreme Court’s ruling was not that bad, Florida Carry sounded the alarm in its Amicus brief on Mackey as well as when the decision came out. Florida Carry warned in its Amicus brief that a bad decision in Mackey would open the door for harassment of law abiding gun owners including the ability to detain a gun owner anytime an officer suspected they were carrying a firearm. Florida Carry also warned that finding that having CWFL was only an affirmative defense would lead to officers having the right to arrest licensee’s and give them a felony arrest record and a night in jail for exercising their rights, and taking away any recourse to challenge the arrest.

It did not take long for the full impact of this terrible decision to become obvious. In addition to the quote above, Mr. Aronberg’s office ignored other important points from the Mackey decision, that were meant to give some continued protection to law abiding gun owners. For example, even thought the Supreme Court stated that Regalado was still good law and that something besides possession of a firearm was necessary to conduct a Terry stop, Aronberg advises that the Mackey decision is inconsistent with Regalado’s and that officers do not need any evidence that the firearm is illegally possessed before conducting a stop and an arrest.

Despite the fact that the Legislature prescribed that the sole penalty for not having your CWFL with you when carrying was only a civil infraction, like a traffic ticket, with a $25 fine. The Mackey decision means almost certain arrest if you forget your CWFL and the real potential for arrest even if you have it with you. It really is up to the officer’s discretion. And don’t rely on the Judge to save you. This is the same circuit where Judge Krista Marx of the “Stand-Your-Ground Task Force” presides. At one of the hearings she criticized Florida Carry’s lead counsel for daring to suggest that unlawfully prosecuted law abiding citizens should be compensated for the costs of defending themselves, and should actually have the immunity granted by the Legislature.

It is time to demand that the Legislature correct the Court and state once an for all that a CWFL is much more than an affirmative defense.

Looks like it’s time to contact my state reps again.

Metal Tuesday – Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

05 Nov
November 5, 2013

This week’s Metal Tuesday is Judas Priest’s classic “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.”

Lyrics:

One life I’m gonna live it up
I’m takin’ flight said I’ll never get enough.
Stand tall I’m young and kinda proud
I’m on top as long as the music’s loud.
If you think I’ll sit around as the world goes by
You’re thinkin’ like a fool ’cause it’s a case of do or die.
Out there is a fortune waitin’ to be had
If you think I’ll let it go you’re mad
You’ve got another thing comin’.

That’s right here’s where the talkin’ ends
Well listen this night there’ll be some action spent.
Drive hard I’m callin’ all the shots
I got an ace card comin’ down on the rocks.

If you think I’ll sit around while you chip away my brain
Listen I ain’t foolin’ and you’d better think again.
Out there is a fortune waitin’ to be had
If you think I’ll let it go you’re mad
You’ve got another thing comin’.
In this world we’re livin’ in we have our share of sorrow
Answer now is don’t give in aim for a new tomorrow.

Oh so hot no time to take a rest yeah
Act tough ain’t room for second best.
Real strong got me some security
Hey I’m a big smash I’m goin’ for infinity yeah.

Monday Fiction – Avalon Book 1 Chapter 5

04 Nov
November 4, 2013

Anne

Samantha and Veronica leapt to their feet as Erik collapsed to the ground with a grunt of pain. Kurt kept Anne restrained in the chair, but loosened his grip. She looked up at the fair-haired German, who just gave her that charming smile. Damn, why were all the pretty ones trouble?

Samantha and Veronica helped Erik into another chair. Veronica was a study in professionalism, with some heavy-duty respect laid on. Samantha, on the other hand, wore an expression of genuine concern. There was something there. Samantha guessed an unrequited affection. She could always smell one of her own. Erik’s long coat was removed. Anne saw the unmistakable black-stained hole from a gunshot in the shirt, but there was no blood. Samantha tore off the shirt to reveal some kind of bulletproof vest. It was slimmer than the one she normally wore, and looked like it was more flexible.

“Samantha, relax,” Erik said, fending off the woman’s attempt to remove the vest. “It didn’t penetrate. The orc did a wonderful job of slowing the bullet down. Veronica?” The Indian woman stood back and looked at Erik’s chest like she could see through the vest.

“Cracked ribs, some organ trauma, and blood leakage,” Veronica said, “Not nearly as bad as it should have been. Hold on a second.” Veronica closed her eyes and murmured unfamiliar words. Anne’s eyes grew wide as Veronica’s hands glowed a warm red. The dark woman placed her hands on Erik’s chest and the man let out a pained yelp. Then, he fell back into the chair, looking exhausted. Veronica examined Erik critically.

“You should be fine tomorrow,” Veronica told Erik, “If you don’t do anything stupid and push yourself. Your body will need a chance to recover.” Erik waved her off and looked at Anne. He gave her a tired smile.

“I think it’s time we explained ourselves to Detective Hearst,” Erik said, “Kurt, you can let her go. She’s too curious to leave without her questions answered.” The German’s arms vanished. Anne shot up from her chair, drew her pistol, and walked back to hall. None of them looked particularly frightened about having a gun pointed at them.

“Who and what are you people?” Anne demanded.

“We are officers of the Avalonian Imperial Security Service,” Samantha answered, “Well, except for Kurt. He’s kind of our local guide. As to what we are, well that needs some background?”

“Avalon? Where the fairies come from?” Anne asked, skeptical.

“That’s where the name comes from, but we haven’t seen any of the Sidhe courts that the stories talk about,” Samantha answered. “Anne, could you please lower your pistol. We will answer your questions, but I’d rather not chance a mistake happening.” Samantha cocked her head as if listening to a radio, and then turned to Kurt.

“Kurt, stand over in the corner and put your weapons on the table. Anne has a healthy fear of what you can do.” What the hell? Those were the thoughts that had just run through Anne’s mind. Kurt walked over the table and deposited a pair of pistols before walking over to the corner like a child being disciplined.

Yes, I can hear your thoughts. Samantha’s voice erupted in Anne’s head, Or at least, your surface thoughts. Please put your gun down. Please, sit.

“What the hell are you?” Anne asked Samantha, as she lowered her Glock.

“Humans, but with a bit of power that this world hasn’t seen in millennia,” Samantha answered, “In our case, Erik and I are psychics, but with different gifts. Veronica is a sorceress.”

“That’s impossible. Those things aren’t real,” Anne said, reflexively. Although, she had to admit to herself that she was no longer sure after what she had just seen.

“They aren’t real on this side of the gate,” Samantha said, “They are very real in Avalon. As are those monsters that you and Erik fought earlier tonight.” Anne took a deep breath. This was beyond bizarre. Damn it, why was she trusting these people? Why did it feel so natural to trust them?

“What is the gate?” Anne asked.

“It’s how we come to your world from ours,” Erik answered, “Do you remember that hole in the air the orcs and Arem appeared out of back at the warehouse?” Anne nodded. “That’s a gate. Ours is at a fixed and stable point so that we can have regular trade and diplomatic relations with the nations of this world. Well, some of them, at least.”

“Your world? Like another planet?” Anne asked. “Are you aliens?”

“We don’t think we inhabit the same universe as this world,” Veronica answered, “The laws of physics are mostly the same, but there are some noticeable differences. Such as a much stronger presence of wild magic.”

“Why don’t we start at the beginning?” Erik suggested.

“Here is what we know,” Samantha started, “On our world, there were four main sentient races. The elves, dwarves, those we call fae, and a race only known as Cairen. The elves and dwarves inhabit another continent across an ocean similar to your Atlantic. Maybe three thousand years ago, a war happened between the fae and Cairen. No one knows if the fae created the Dark Towers and their monsters before the war started or during the war. What we do know is that the fae had nearly conquered the Cairen before that race vanished and erected some kind of mystical barrier around their remaining lands. No one could enter the last of the Cairen lands. At least, not until the first humans starting to show up about five hundred years ago.”

“What do you mean, starting to show up?” Anne asked.

“As in disappearing from this world and appearing in the Cairen lands,” Samantha answered, “Uncontrolled gates appeared on this world and swallowed or sucked humans between the two worlds. Strangely, only certain groups of humans were taken. Particularly, those of Germanic or Nordic ancestry. And no, we don’t know why. We also don’t know why it started with English people.”

“What about her?” Anne asked nodding at Veronica.

“Wherever the British went, they spread their blood. Somewhere back in my line, my family got a splash of British blood,” Veronica answered neutrally. From the look on the woman’s face, it wasn’t something she liked to discuss.

“I’m sorry,” Anne said. Veronica waved it away and gave the detective a warm smile. “So, the people just started appearing. How did you survive against those monsters?”

“They weren’t there when the humans started showing up. Nothing sentient could come through the barrier,” Erik answered, “Most of the humans, when they arrived, started making their way to Avalon City.”

“Why? Were they drawn there?” Anne asked.

“Sort of. It was the biggest thing any of them could see,” Erik said, “Have you been to New York City?” Anne nodded. “Take Manhattan. Then take another island and place it on top about a kilometer up. With giant supports more massive than any skyscraper. Then ring the lower level with a wall of metal some three hundred feet high. And inside, are magical devices that provide light, water, heat, even food. Bizarre food, but still food.”

“So the humans banded together in Avalon City and formed the Avalonian Kingdom. They even sent out patrols to bring any stray humans into the city. By 1632, there was nearly 100,000 people in the kingdom. That was when the first cases of psychics and magic-wielders started showing up among the native-born humans.”

“Which was a good thing, because the barrier came down in 1635 and our war with the Dark Towers started,” Erik said ominously.

That was when front door of the house slammed open and armed men charged in.