Trigger Time 1

Tomorrow afternoon, Mr. FM and I will be off to Royal Bisley or somewhere to shoot some guns. For my stay, my generous host has reached deep into his gun safe(s) and made available to me the following:

From the top, they are

  • Blaser R93 in 6.5x55mm Swede (my favorite medium cartridge of all time) — Mr. FM even put a wooden stock back onto the piece for me, such is his hospitality — and yes, that’s a Swarovski 4-12x scope resting on it.
  • GMK Kestrel in 20ga. I cannot wait to put this little beauty through her paces, but she’ll have to wait till we get to a sporting clay facility.
  • Norwegian Army surplus K98 “Sniper” in 7.62x51mm NATO — ooooh, baby, come to Papa. (I may try to buy this one from Mr. FM, but I fear his hospitality does have some limits, damn it.)

There will also be some .300 WinMag frivolity — apparently, Combat Controller left his Scotland Deer Slayer rifle and a few hundred rounds of “test” ammo behind, and wants me to make sure his rifle still functions properly after an accident the last time he was Over Here. Well, who can resist the request of a friend, right?

No doubt my shoulder will be owie after all that fun, but a few pints of 6X / gin should take care of it.

Feel free to vent feelings of jealous rage, etc. in Comments.


Now I don’t want you folks to think that staying at Free Market Towers is all Wadworth 6X, Full English Breakfasts and flogging of servants. Oh no. There are several downsides to all of this which burden the soul of your Humble Narrator. Here’s one.

Lying carelessly scattered upon a coffee table is the John Rigby gun catalogue, which features many a fine piece of weaponry. Now Rigby & Co. are not known for shoddy workmanship and never have been, and their prices reflect this. Here’s one such product that made my trigger-finger itch, and a low moan escaped my mouth. It’s the Rigby Rising Bite Double Rifle, chambered in the famous .416 Rigby caliber, and the Nitro Express (magnum) .450/400, .470, .500, .577, and .600:

…and here’s a close-up of the breech:

That was the cause of the itch.

Now here’s the cause of the moan: the reason there’s the word “Bite” in the description is because of what the purchase thereof will do to your wallet. You see, this gorgeous piece will set you back around $110,000.

Worse yet, there’s a three-year waiting list.

And next to the Rigby catalogue is the one from James Purdey & Sons, which I have not yet had the strength to open.

I don’t know if I can endure such hardship.

Too Many White Men

Apparently, some shitheads are getting upset because the new WWII movie Dunkirk features too many White men. I don’t know the exact racial composition of the actual event, of course, but I’m pretty sure that 99.99% of the participants (on both sides) were White.

Here’s another example of White Male Privilege, taken from an earlier conflict:

And yes, I know that there were hundreds of thousands of non-White combatants in WWI: Indians, Senegalese and various other colonial soldiers. But that doesn’t matter, in the grand scheme of things, because the overwhelming amount of suffering fell on the shoulders of White men, and indeed on the society which produced them.

Western European society was forever changed by those wars. The same cannot be said of the societies which participated, but were not.


Back in the U.S., I normally play the lottery each week (shuddup, it’s my retirement plan and it’s only a couple bucks “investment” each time), mostly when the payout is respectable.

So this past Tuesday, I bought a Euromillions lottery ticket because the payout is €70 million ($79 million). The tax on that $79 mill works out to about $32 million — except that all over Europe and the U.K., Euromillions lottery winnings are not taxed. This is not the case in the U.S., of course, where the godless fiends of the IRS will swoop down and take Uncle Sam’s 40% (pound of flesh) share at gunpoint.

Which leads to an interesting thought.

$79 million is an awful lot of “fuck you” money — a lot more than the post-tax $47 million. Needless to say, U.S. citizens are forbidden to have overseas bank accounts without disclosing such accounts and their contents to the IR fucking S, so that Uncle Sam, in this case, could collect the aforementioned 32 million pounds of flesh.

But the lottery is paid out Over Here, not in the U.S.

What would stop the winner from saying a simple “fuck you!” to the IRS, give up his U.S. citizenship, refuse to pay them their “goodbye” tax (“fuck you again”) and take up residence somewhere like Monaco, Liechtenstein, or one of the several tax havens scattered around this part of the world? (Believe me: show up at one of those countries’ embassy or consulate with $79 million cash and ask for “asylum”, and they’d get into fistfights to get you to pick their country over the others.)

In other words, at what point does one say that citizenship isn’t worth the price one has to pay for it — especially when all the USGov will do with your money is piss it away on the usual government wastage like Solyndra subsidies or welfare for illegal aliens?

I know I probably sound like some liberal asshole who doesn’t want their tax dollars to go to military spending, but in my case it’s the exact reverse sentiment: if I could pay my “windfall” lottery taxes direct to the Pentagon, specifically earmarked towards a new aircraft carrier, F-35 or couple of M1 Abrams tanks, I’d do it in a moment, without hesitation. But you can’t do that, can you? Tax dollars go into the “General Fund”, and are then siphoned off by the usual suspects into subsidies for objectionable art projects or even worse, to federal funding for Oberlin College, while the Pentagon gets fractions of a penny from the tax dollar, literally.

I’m making something of a joke about this situation because I’d never do it — my citizenship is too precious to me, I’d feel like I’d betrayed my adopted homeland, and I could not face never being able to visit my kids, family and friends back in the U.S. for the rest of my life.

But I have to tell you, I wouldn’t attack someone who made the opposite decision. Which should tell you how far our beloved government has fallen in public esteem — because if I, one of our country’s proudest and most grateful adopted citizens can even be tempted to thinking about this option, how badly have they screwed things up?

So come on, all you loyal Americans out there: what would you do with $79 million sitting in Europe, waiting to be given to you? Stay over there forever, living in luxury, or pay the taxes and live here in 40% less luxury?

And just to put this thing into perspective: assuming you dedicate 10% of your new non-taxed fortune to housing (and that’s not a bad principle), what you could get for your money in the Principality is the top floor of this little thing:

Not Since 1971

Last night was the cricket match between the local team (for which Mr. FM’s Son&Heir plays) and a team from one of the neighboring villages.

The previous night had seen the rain bucketing down and more was forecast for the evening, so I quite expected the match to be called off. Not so; these lads from Hardy Country are, well, hardy, and the match started promptly at 6:15pm — shortened because the light was terrible (low, ominous black clouds), and they only expected to get a couple of hours’ play in, even without any rain.

I expected to find a dodgy little field with bumps and lumps all over the place; instead was a pitch I’d have happily played on myself, on the outskirts of the town — and in fact, it had won a prize for “Best in County”. Here’s the clubhouse (complete with advertising hoardings, alas, but someone has to pay the bills, I suppose):

The visitors took the field, clad in traditional white

…and the game began:

I’m not going to go into a ball-by-ball account of the game, because it will be largely incomprehensible to the majority of my Loyal Readers and in any event, I need to get that second cup of coffee into me. One incident, however, had me in stitches of laughter.

One of our lads, a strapping fellow named Stan, hit a towering six (home run equivalent) clear over the road and over one of the neighboring houses, as marked:

Someone among the spectators wasn’t watching, and when the cry of “Six! Six!” went up, he asked, “Where did it go?”

“Over the house where the Angry People live!” came the response, and I fell over laughing, because I knew exactly what they were referring to.

You see, the people living in said house were among those tools who move into a place where some activity is going on, and then proceed to complain about said activity (e.g. people who move into a house in an airport’s flight landing path, and then complain about the jet noise). And thus it was with this bunch. They’d bought a house next to a cricket pitch, and then were somehow surprised when cricket balls began raining into their front lawn during a cricket match. (To be honest, it’s a hell of a distance — the pic has foreshortened the distance between pitch and house — so it’s never actually raining cricket balls, but over the years, I guess it does add up.)

The irate home owners had once even called the police to complain. (The rozzers showed up, looked at the pitch and the cricketers, said, “Nice shot,” and left, no doubt after telling the Angry People to stop being dickheads, very politely of course.)

Anyway, our lads won in a nail-biter — the match was decided on the very last ball — and so the inevitable celebration followed at the local pub (both visitors and home team drinking their pints together in utterly convivial fashion). Here was my contribution, one of several:

Mr. Free Market himself was unable to attend — some capitalist stuff about making money and grinding the working classes underfoot — but I kept him abreast of the match via text. So I sent him the final score (along with his Son&Heir’s contribution, a doughty 27 not out — i.e. he was still batting when play was called), and then after telling him that our lads had won, I sent an afterthought:

Actually, cricket won.”

Complete sportsmanship, applause for good play regardless of which team performed them, and only one fielding error in nearly three hours’ cricket.

As the somewhat cryptic title of this post states, I hadn’t watched a live cricket match since 1971 — a Test match between South Africa and Australia — but I’ll be at the next village match on Wednesday evening, and two days later I’ll be at Lord’s to watch South Africa play England.

“Happiness” does not begin to describe how I feel.

Living Conditions

A couple of people have written to me, asking under what conditions I am being forced to live, here at Free Market Towers. While Mr. FM of course insists on a reasonable degree of privacy, Mrs. FM did okay these shots of their “little place in the country” [sic]. Here’s the front aspect:

Over on the left of the picture is the Annex, in which are tucked my mean quarters:

Pure hell, I tell you. This morning I had to wait for at least fifteen minutes after ringing down for coffee. I’d speak to Mrs. FM about it, but I think there have been enough staff floggings of late. We’ll see how they do tomorrow. Here’s the Guest Library, which lies just underneath my bedroom:

Absolute squalor; but I’m only a guest from the Colonies, so I can’t complain too much.

In the meantime, I’m off to lunch, pie and sausage roll again, washed down with 6X, lovely stuff. Tonight, if the rain holds off (a dubious prospect; it’s pissing down as I write this), I’m going to watch Mr. FM’s Son&Heir play cricket for the village team — it gets dark here at about ten p.m., so there’s lots of time. Afterwards will be spent in the local pub either celebrating their victory or consoling them in defeat. Or if play is washed out, we’ll just go to the pub anyway. Whatever happens, there will be 6X involved.

Thank goodness for the time difference, which enables me to sleep off my hangovers before posting.