Mumbai. Reason enough.

If I was the outgoing President of the United States, I would use that bully pulpit to avenge the deaths of Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, a dual Israel-U.S. citizen, and his wife, Israel-born Rivka Holtzberg. The world, and especially the governments and organizations that would sponsor terrorism against American citizens, would remember a long time the price of killing one American Jew and his Israeli wife.

After the Holocaust, the cry was “Never Again”. This is “Again”. Every Jew that is singled out and murdered for their religion is “Again”. And the only way to stop it is to act. Memorials and candlelight vigils are for after the war is over. Now is the time for grim men with weapons to put a stop to this.

If the world had acted to stop the Nazis in 1937 we would never have known how monstrous their actions became, and the heart of European Judaism would not have been snuffed out in the death camps. If we wait too long, those whose mindless hate have brought us to Mumbai will try to finish the job. I join my voice to those who say never again.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
–Edmund Burke


Kim Du Toit has left the Building

I had been a regular reader of Kim’s website for years. Some of his writing is epic. Concise, unafraid and unapologetic. He matured as a writer, and perhaps as a person, as we all do. We, his readers, watched this process as the months and years passed.

I remember this essay very well. The truth rings out of it like a bell. As does this one, on the importance of heroes.

If you have not heard of him, his site is still up as an archive. The discussion forum is closed, and spun off to regroup under a different name. But randomly looking through the pages, the gun pics and range reports, the political commentary, there was no one on the web that wrote so well on so many varied topics.

Kim has quit blogging, he hasn’t died. I expect to read his words again. That will have to be enough for today.

I am a quiet man, a reasonable man, but I am not nor will ever be a slave to the State. I left one country to escape that, and I will not live like that in my adopted one.
–Kim Du Toit

Someone’s list

Some of these have good stories behind them. Maybe I’ll get back to them. I posted this for Thanksgiving, because I am thankful for the opportunities that life has given me, and how much fun and adventure I have had. Things I’ve done are in bold.

1. Started your own blog
Perhaps the only one I can show you proof of
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
As an Marine. There were feathers everywhere when we finished.
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
Not recommended
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
Highly recommended. Particularly on a hot summer night with your girlfriend. It was an adventure.
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
See 46. Did I say not recommended? I would have very much wished to pass out, but I did not.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
Robert Duvall, on the flightline at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, SC.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
She had the baby, I watched. I got the better deal.
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Adventure is worthwhile.
— Aristotle

Rights and Responsibilities

After a series of interesting comments were shared over at Neptunus Lex about firearms purchases in advance of the Change, one of the other commenters raised an issue worth considering.

When you have little or no experience with firearms, and you purchase one, what are your responsibilities?

All of the firearms I know of are sold with information booklets, warnings, some sort of trigger locks, and extra information on safe storage mandated by our state. These should be read, but are only a starting point.

Get some training. Find a range and some experienced shooters, spend some time with them. Almost all the responsible gun owners I know enjoy helping a new shooter get started. Take an NRA sponsored safety class. Practice.

Our club offers a couple of days a year for inexperienced people to come out and shoot various types of firearms under the supervision of NRA range officers. Understand how your firearm works, in detail, so you will know when it is need of professional service. Determine what is the best way to store your firearm. All of this and more is your responsibility as a gun owner.

Guns don’t just “go off”. Someone put their finger on the trigger and pulled. When that happens, everything else is physics. The projectile leaves the barrel and travels until it is stopped by some force. If that barrel was pointed at something you did not intend to shoot, and you pulled the trigger, you were negligent. If you are lucky, you put a hole in the wall, the floor, or the TV. If not, you may have shot yourself, your dog, your child.

Those kinds of mistakes are irrevocable. An unsecured swimming pool, chemicals stored under a sink in a home with a young child, or driving irresponsibly fast on a public road can also lead to a tragedy. All the tears and regrets after the fact cannot unpull a trigger or put a safety cover on the pool.

Freedom always includes responsibility. It cannot be avoided. The right to vote includes the responsibility to be informed about the issues and candidates. The right to free speech includes the responsibility for what you choose to say. The right to bear arms includes the responsibility for what you do with those arms. I believe that all of us, as citizens, have rights. We all have to trust one another with the associated responsibilities. The alternative is giving up those rights and living as subjects of the State.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.

— Josiah Charles Stamp

Breda said it better

I was going to post on this, but Breda already wrote about Sarah Palin and the turkeys . So click the link and go visit Breda.

If you eat turkey on Thanksgiving, and you didn’t lop off it’s head and pluck it yourself, then someone did it for you. If you’re a vegan, and feeling morally superior to all the rest of us, what are you doing at my blog?

All normal people love meat. If I went to a barbeque and there was no meat, I would say ‘Yo Goober! Where’s the meat?’. I’m trying to impress people here Lisa. You don’t win friends with salad.
–Dan Castellaneta