People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No Match For the Big Dogs

Cocked, locked, and ready to rock.

What you see above is what I used to call my "groundhog rifle." It's a .22-250 caliber Remington 700 ADL bolt action rifle with a 12 power Weaver scope and Harris bipod. (There is also a leather shoulder strap dragging the ground). I had removed the "iron" sights from the barrel because they were unnecessary for the kind of shooting I did back then. With this little hummer I could "drill nails," as they say.

On the right day, under the right conditions, and with a bit of luck, I was pretty good at hitting my target, even out to 200 to 250 yards. I could say that I was even a reasonable marksman with this rifle out to 400 yards, but I'd be stretching the truth. Shots that far out were more luck than anything else.

As any Marine sniper will tell you, putting the crosshairs on the target is a small part of achieving pinpoint accuracy. On long-distance shots, before one pulls the trigger, one needs to take into account such things as windage, elevation, and bullet weight (I used a 55 grain Remington bullet with standard factory loads) (the heavier the bullet, the more it drops).

Estimating windage (the amount of drift that occurs between the muzzle and point of impact as a direct result of air currents) comes with experience. Calculating elevation (or trajectory) doesn't have to. It's done for you. I used to carry a small sliding-scale chart that I used to figure how high I needed to aim based upon that bullet weight and the distance to the target. For example, if I was 250 yards away from the target, knowing that I had my rifle "sighted in" at 200 yards, I might calculate that I needed to aim 3 inches above the point of intended impact in order to hit that which I was aiming at. (The purist will say that barrel length makes an appreciable difference as well, and that's fine.)

All that said, I considered myself to be a pretty decent shot, in the day.

But I don't hold a candle to the big boys. The big "boys" being the men and women in the armed forces who are trained to do that which I did for fun and relaxation.

400 yards involved, for me, a whole lotta luck.

For them, it's little more than a stone's throw.

The record? In Afghanistan it stands at 2,657 yards. But we aren't talking groundhogs.

Here's the amazing video of a sniper team in the mountains of Afghanistan in action. Truly amazing.*

Imagine trying to hit a target a mile away - or more. How is it even possible?

I watch that and I know I'm out of my league. I'll stick to throwing snowballs.

These guys rock.

* I'm told they are using .50 caliber rifles but I have no way of knowing that.

Way Over The Top

The Roanoke Times editorial page looks more and more these days like a detached and subservient mouthpiece for MoveOn.org. And nothing more. I must say, my jaw drops in shock and dismay when I read some of the flagrant abuses of the truth that come out of that rag on a regular basis.

Take today's editorial, "Foster diversity at Virginia Tech." Does this pass the smell test?

In some circles, "diversity" is an obscene word, especially when uttered on a university campus. Virginia Tech found that out the hard way when its leaders dared to recognize that a diverse campus enriches the Hokie experience.

The dispute started a while back as Tech considered adopting diversity policies that would have affected hiring and other faculty decisions. Before officials had hashed out all of the details, the National Association of Scholars and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education caught wind of the plan.

NAS and FIRE are conservative groups that oppose campus diversity efforts across the country.
"In some circles, diversity is an obscene word"? Would they be able to source that?

"NAS and FIRE are conservative groups that oppose campus diversity efforts"? Really? Or do they oppose "affirmative action" efforts that reward certain approved minority groups at the expense of others? (why aren't Asians ever protected?)

According to the NAS website, that group "is an independent membership association of academics working to foster intellectual freedom and to sustain the tradition of reasoned scholarship and civil debate in America’s colleges and universities."

Where do they betray that mission statement and portray themselves as being opposed to diversity?

Ditto FIRE:

"The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America's colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of consciencethe essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE's core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them."

Can a sane person read that and come away thinking, "Boy, these guys are racist bigots opposed to diversity"?

Of course, as Bill Clinton might put it, it depends on what the word diversity means. The Times:

"Having people from different backgrounds with diverse views come to campus strengthens the educational mission, especially in Southwest Virginia."

Without doubt.

But "diverse views" are not what the "diversity" effort at Virginia Tech has ever been about. It's always been about skin color and lesbians. Thus, Madam Mediocrity - Nikki Giovanni - has become the poster child of the Tech way of life. Such as it is.

So the Times doesn't really care about diverse views (as doesn't Virginia Tech). The intellectuals there simply want diverse skin pigmentations. But how does that "strengthen the educational mission" exactly? Well, we are never told that. We're just to believe it's a good thing and it therefore must be mandated.

I'm getting a little tired of it too. You'd think a bunch of guys who pride themselves on their noetic capabilities would be able to speak - or write - the truth instead of spouting this tripe.

The Nancy Pelosi of Virginia Politics

I wasn't going to comment on Senator (and potential Governor) Creigh Deeds's rear-ending of a vehicle over in Louisa County on Saturday that sent two innocent souls to the hospital. It happens to all of us at some point in time.

Well, it happens at least to those of us who are drunk, strung out on meth, sexting our girlfriend, or who aren't paying attention as we are driving down the road.

But then I saw Deeds's lame excuse for having caused the multiple-injury accident and found myself having to respond:

Maj. Donnie Lowe of the sheriff's office said that Deeds was not speeding or talking on his cellphone and that alcohol was not involved. Lowe said that work had recently been done on the brakes of Deeds's high-mileage sport-utility vehicle and that he reported they felt "squishy" as he attempted to slow.

"It appears to be more of a mechanical error than anything else," Lowe said.

Yeah. Right.

This guy who wants us to elect him to be our next governor is driving around with unsafe brakes? What does that say about his ability to get behind the wheel of the SUV of state? Should we all run for our lives?

Or would Deeds like to take back his bullshit excuse for having caused that accident and just admit that his attention was elsewhere and he wasn't keeping an eye on the vehicle in front of him as he was hurtling down the highway?

Give it some thought, Creigh. The metaphors abound.


It is said that Adolf Hitler had a soft spot in his heart for animals.

He charmed friends and foes alike with the tenderness that he showed the planet's lesser creatures.

The warmth.

The compassion.

The empathy.

Obama Makes Empathy a Requirement for Court

For ... the ... love ... of ... God.

Click on the image of Hitler with his dog, Blondi, to enlarge it.

Quote of the Day

Todd J. Zywicki:

The rule of law, not of men -- an ideal tracing back to the ancient Greeks and well-known to our Founding Fathers -- is the animating principle of the American experiment. While the rest of the world in 1787 was governed by the whims of kings and dukes, the U.S. Constitution was established to circumscribe arbitrary government power. It would do so by establishing clear rules, equally applied to the powerful and the weak.

Fleecing lenders to pay off politically powerful interests, or governmental threats to reputation and business from a failure to toe a political line? We might expect this behavior from a Hugo Chávez. But it would never happen here, right?

Until Chrysler.

"Chrysler and the Rule of Law," Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2009

On Those 'Green" Jobs

Just exactly how many other jobs are you willing to sacrifice to create them?

Investor's Business Daily:
The Green Wind Of Destruction

To say we're skeptical of the administration's claim that green jobs will bolster economic recovery is putting it mildly. It's much easier to believe that needless environmental rules will cause widespread job losses.

The White House has promised to create 5 million green-collar jobs over the next decade using the tax code to stimulate clean-energy programs. It's a proposal that has mass appeal, a hip idea from a cool president. Which should tell us a lot about its substance — or lack thereof.

It's unfortunate but likely that carbon emissions will eventually be restricted in this country. It could happen through a cap-and-trade bill, which isn't even vaguely understood by 76% of the public, according to a Rasmussen poll, or carbon-tax legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president. Or it could simply be regulated through rules written by unelected functionaries at the Environmental Protection Agency.

In any event, there will be painful economic consequences, including the ruin of many a livelihood. Across the next two decades, annual job losses due to restrictions on CO2 emissions will exceed 800,000 in at least two years. Losses for most years will be more than 500,000.

Taking a big hit, says the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, are manufacturers. [link]
We still have manufacturers in this country, believe it or not. Perhaps, though, not for long.

So we're going to destroy millions of Americans' careers in the pipedreamy attempt to create windmill manufacturing jobs and curlicue lightbulb sales jobs.

I sometimes wonder if we even have a clue as to what we are doing to ourselves.

The Signs Abound

He was just a little boy, on a week's first day.

Wandering home from Bible school, and dawdling on the way.

He scuffed his shoes into the grass; he even found a caterpillar.

He found a fluffy milkweed pod, and blew out all the 'filler.'

A bird's nest in a tree overhead so wisely placed up so high

Was just another wonder that caught his eager eye.

A neighbor watched his zigzag course and hailed him from the lawn

And asked him where he'd been that day and what was going on.

'I've been to Bible school,' he said and turned a piece of sod.

He picked up a wiggly worm replying, 'I've learned a lot about God.'

'Tis very fine,' the neighbor said, 'for a boy to spend his time.'

'If you'll tell me where God is, I'll give you a brand new dime.'

Quick as a flash the answer came!

Nor were his accents faint.

'I'll give you a dollar, Mister, if you can tell me where God ain't.'

Author unknown.

I Could Get To Liking This Woman

This is going to confuse the crap out of the left:
Oprah: It’s Great to Have a Private Jet
By Robert Frank, Wall Street Journal

The private-jet industry may have finally found its savior.

During a speech to Duke University’s graduating class, Oprah talked about the secrets and joys of success. Among them: owning a mansion and a jet.

“It’s great to have a nice home. It’s great to have nice homes! It’s great to have a nice home that just escaped the fire in Santa Barbara,” she told the students. “It’s great to have a private jet. Anyone that tells you that having your own private jet isn’t great is lying to you.”

She went on to explain that “you haven’t completed the circle of success until you help someone else move to a higher ground and get to a better place.” [link]
Is it fair to say this woman is a capitalist?

I have to tell you, I've always wanted to see someone give a college commencement address like this. Whereas students (who just shelled out a quarter million dollars to get their degrees) usually have to sit through droning and uninspired calls for them to give of themselves to others after graduation by joining the Peace Corps or by volunteering full time in a homeless shelter (the rewards! the fulfillment!), Oprah gave these graduates sound advice: Prosper! Succeed! Earn! Win! Bring others along for the ride!

More sound advice was never passed along. My hat goes off to her.

And He Gets Away With It

Glenn Reynolds:

"BANKERS PARTYING IN LAS VEGAS: BAD. Obama partying in Las Vegas: Good."

You wanted him ...