Let Africa Sink

As my Let Africa Sink essay from 2002(!) is going to feature in my Monday post, I thought I’d take the opportunity to re-publish it below, pretty much un-edited except for a few typos which somehow survived to the present day.  Read more

Brutes

I know that in days past, I expressed my love for the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which delivers over 500hp from a 2.9-liter V6. This list, however (via Insty) seems to take the whole thing over the top. Cases in point:

— Does anyone think that Dodge can make a car which can handle well enough to push out over 700hp without killing the driver and everyone else within a quarter-mile of its crash?
— Will anyone who wants to tow a boat even look at the BMW X5 (567hp, $100k+) as the horse?
— A 640hp Cadillac? What are these guys smoking?
— I make no comment about the Shelby Mustang, Camaro or Corvette because their owners, like those of the Dodge Hellcat, are probably not long for this world anyway.

I know, I know: we’re a nation founded on power and excess and all that good stuff. But at some point, someone at a car manufacturer has to ask the question: “Why?” (And listen to Jeremy Clarkson — the world’s foremost “POWAAAAHHHH!!!” speed freak; even he has admitted on occasion that a car can be too powerful.)

Most people can barely handle 150hp in their cars, let alone more than 500hp — use your favorite search engine to look up “Bugatti Veyron crash” for a simple flavor, and this in a million-dollar-plus car which has far less than 500hp and handles like a dream — which makes me think that these powerhouses should probably come with a mandatory driving course entitled: “When your IQ is less than a sixth of your car’s horsepower.”

I once watched a guy trying to reverse his McLaren F1 out of a parking space at Eatzi’s in Plano. It took him several minutes, multiple tries and half a dozen near-collisions with other parked cars because he had no idea how to handle the F1’s power for what is, after all, the most mundane of tasks we ask of a car.

My only consolation from all this is that the consumer market for the above will be refreshingly small, kept that way by cost, commonsense and, sadly, attrition.

I still want the Quadrifoglio, of course, because a.) it’s beautiful and b.) it’s an Alfa Romeo, but I’d still want it even if it had half the stated horsepower. How many of the other cars on that list would remain as desirable under that criterion, I wonder.

Crossing America – 2017

Time to play this game again.

The Challenge: You have the opportunity to go back in time, arriving on the east coast of North America circa 1650, and your goal is to cross the North American continent, taking as much time as you need. When/if you reach the Pacific coastline, you’ll be transported back to the present day. Your equipment for this journey will be as follows (taken back in the time capsule with you):

— enough provisions for the first five days’ travel
— a backpack containing some clothing essentials
— a winter coat, raincoat and boots
— waterproof sleeping bag
— an axe, and a small sharpening stone
— a box of 1,000 “strike anywhere” waterproof matches
— a portable water filtration system
— a topographic map of North America
— binoculars and a compass
— a current U.S. Army First Aid kit
— ONE long gun, shotgun or rifle (and 800 rounds, but no scope; and no interchangeable-barrel rifles like a Thompson Center Encore or Blaser; drillings are acceptable, but you still only get 800 rounds of ammo, total)
— ONE handgun (and 1,000 rounds)
— and TWO knives (can include multi-tool knives like Leatherman).

Once there, you’ll be given a horse, a mule and a dog — but apart from that, you’re on your own. Remember you’ll be traveling through deep woods, open prairie, desert and mountains. You may encounter hostile Indian tribes and dangerous animals en route, which should be considered when you answer the following questions (and only these):

1. What long gun would you take back in time with you?
2. What handgun?
3. What knives?

Unlike previous surveys, I’m not going to tabulate the answers; just have at it in Comments. Feel free to add any supporting arguments. I’ll post my choices over the weekend as an update below the fold.

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Not Myself

I’m not normally a melancholy person, and apart from the obvious reason, I really have no idea why I feel that way now: the house sale closes on Monday, Daughter got a new job (yay!), the other kids are doing fine, and I have two trips, one local and one international to look forward to in June.

Yet there it is: today feels like an “empty” day, I feel crappy and unmotivated, and I shouldn’t be.

It doesn’t help that Doc Russia is away for the next week or so, slaughtering dangerous game in his annual African safari (see below); this means that I’m denied my usual “beer, scantily-clad women, loud music and friendly company” remedy for whatever is bringing me down. I’d love to have a few cocktails, but I can’t and never could drink by myself. This is a new thing for me; in the past, I was perfectly happy to be all by myself, and was seldom if ever depressed. Now, I hate being without companionship, and I feel lonely without it. Fuck.

I think I’ll head down to the DFW range for most of the day, and give several of my guns a workout, followed by a thorough cleaning.

Normal blogging service should resume tomorrow. Sorry about that, but I don’t think I’m quite done dealing with this bloody bereavement thing yet.

Killing Time

This cheerful little pic arrived in my Inbox at 5am today:

 

Yes, that’s Doc Russia on the right, the PH on the left. The skull will eventually decorate his office wall. (Mr. Free Market got his buff on Monday.)

I have to tell you, in all the hunting I ever did in Africa, I never went after Cape buffalo, because I simply didn’t have the guts. (Also, the money for the license fee, but that’s not an excuse.)

Kudos to them both.

Breaking Promises

Okay, it seems like the Left is trying to push the meme that President Trump is a failure because he didn’t do much in his first (artificial deadline of) 100 days in office.

I agree. In fact, I’m holding Trump accountable for breaking some of his electoral promises, to whit:

  1. There have been no mass roundups of homosexuals and shuttling them off to concentration camps in cattle cars.
  2. There have been no reports of mass roundups of illegal Central- and South American aliens, and shuttling them off to Babi Yar-style killing pits for summary execution.
  3. Ditto university professors and -administrators.
  4. Not one woman’s uterus has burst explosively because she was denied a pregnancy termination under the new Trump anti-abortion laws.
  5. You still can’t buy a full-auto assault rifle in Aisle 17 at Wal-Mart without a background check.
  6. It’s still illegal to shoot transsexuals in the street on sight. (Bruce or Shirley Jenner — or whatever xie calls xumself these days — can breathe a sigh of relief.)
  7. Madonna is still at large, unmolested by the newly-created Trump Secret Police force. Ditto Whoopi Goldberg and [300,000-strong list omitted].
  8. Journalists have still not been flogged in the public square according to Trump’s new laws, either.

Now the cynics among my Readers — and there are one or two — may point out that as attractive as some of the above situations might seem to us Deplorables, Trump never promised any of them in his campaign speeches.

All I can say is that during the 2016 presidential campaign, you obviously didn’t read the New York Times or watch MSNBC, then, because they assured us that he did.