Simple Solution

This is being reported as a thing:

Protests descended into violent chaos yet again in Portland over the weekend, as protesters targeted the federal courthouse and reportedly hurled Molotov cocktails toward federal officers.

There’s no “reportedly” about it:  the Pantifas are trying to set the cops on fire.  The question is:  what should we do about it?  Here’s my humble suggestion:

(That’s a Swiss police sniper, but you get the idea.  If all the cool kids — and especially the ever-neutral Swiss — are doing it…)

There’s probably no need to go Full Mosul on the thing, but whatever.

And the rules of engagement (ROE) should be quite simple:  the second the bomb leaves the thrower’s hand — establishing a prima facie  offensive action — open fire.  Ditto the little shits letting off commercial fireworks (rockets) aimed at the cops.

I’m done being all patient and indulgent.  Let’s see how the rioters’ nail-studded plywood shields stand up to a .308 bullet.

Nope, Nope, Nope And Nope

John Hawkins loves him some new offering from SIG:

In a world full of consumers seeking out pocket pistols, sub-compact daily carriers, and snub-nose revolvers built with a minimalist design, the Emperor Scorpion stands out as an ode to one of the most iconic, full-sized guns ever made. And thanks to Sig Sauer, the Emperor Scorpion not only captures, but actually surpasses, all the wonder and awe you and I felt when we shot the 1911s our grandpas owned.
One more point: The Emperor Scorpion is made in the U.S.A.

Well, allow me to retort.  [/Jules Winnfield]

Things that put Kim off from buying a new-style 1911:

  • front-slide serrations:  never needed them, never will, and they wear on leather holsters
  • ditto serrations on the front of the grip:  chafes the hand after about 100 rounds, and I don’t suffer from sweaty hands anyway
  • raised nubbin on the grip safety:  these are for people who aren’t holding their guns tightly enough
  • camo-Barbie color:  ’nuff said.

Oh, and lookie here:

Finally:  I’ve always made fun of SIG, S&W and Glock for their impenetrable model-numbering systems (in SIG’s case, 225, 226, 229, 232 etc.) but that does not give them an excuse to make their latest 1911 sound like a character from The Lord Of The Rings.  “Emperor Scorpion”?

Call that the fifth “nope”.  If I’m going to shell out over $1,300 for a 1911, it has to have more class.  Kinda like this one:

‘Nuff said.  And it too is made in the U.S.A.

No doubt some teenager running SIG’s marketing department would write me off as just another old asshole who’s going to die soon anyway — it’s far sexier to chase after the “youth” market, after all.

Except for one thing:  I have probably another two, even three more 1911 purchases left to me before I shuffle off this mortal coil, and yet another one as a present for the Son&Heir, maybe as soon as his next birthday, even.  None of those will be this Chief Insect 1911, though.

Irrelevant Institution

Over at the awful Forbes magazine, writer Stephen McBride opines thus:

Here’s some great news: one of America’s most broken industries is finally being exposed as a sham.  And make no mistake, the end of college as we know it is a great thing.
It’s great for families, who’ll save money and take on less debt putting kids through school.  It’s great for kids, who’ll no longer be lured into the socialist indoctrination centers that many American campuses have become.

He goes on to talk about the savings to be made and the investment opportunities (in companies which will rush to fill the void), but that’s not central to the theme of this post, other than to note that as college costs have ballooned, the return on investment has decreased while its concomitant debt has increased.  Simply put:  for a huge number of kids, college tuition is not only a gamble, but a bad one.

While I don’t quibble at all with the writer’s perspective on universities as propaganda outfits rather than places of learning, I have a somewhat different take on the whole thing.

I’ve written before on the wisdom of young people learning a trade prior to (or even instead of) going off to college, so I’m not going to repeat that thought.  Rather (and this is my difference with the above Forbes article), I think that colleges and universities have become less relevant to people’s education.  Other than careers which require intensive knowledge (engineering, medicine, bio-mechanics etc.), there’s very little a college degree can teach you that could not be equally imparted through a lengthy apprenticeship in that field.

And if any good has come of the Chinkvirus pandemic and its related effect on our lives, it’s that realization of how little a truly motivated person needs classroom instruction.  (As an aside, if the would-be student isn’t motivated to learn, college is absolutely the worst place for them to be, not only for the cost but also for the array of distractions extant.)

I can hear it now:  “Oh,” stupid parents will moan, “my little Jimmy / Susie / Jamaal / Shaniqua won’t learn anything from an online course because they’ll just play their online games instead.”

I’ve got news for you, O Stupid Parents:  your undisciplined and ineducable kids are already doing that, only they’re doing it in the lecture room.

The late, great and much-missed columnist Mike Royko once said (and I paraphrase because I’m speaking from memory) something like:  most people shouldn’t go to college;  they should become butchers or janitors.  Worse yet, he added, the problem with giving butchers and janitors college degrees is that they then go into business with the same intelligence level, only now they’ll be woefully under-qualified to be managers, because they should have been butchers or janitors.

Or, as Daughter so eloquently put it after her first semester at college:  “Most of these idiots belong in the grease pit at Jiffylube.”   After two years, she expanded that thought to include the professors.  (Lest we forget, this was a girl who taught herself Japanese at home while being homeschooled.)

And this is the problem with most college graduates these days:  they had no business going to college in the first place because they were either stupid or ineducable.  Now they can be found in the outside world suitably “qualified” by their degrees:  at best, they’re busy screwing up some enterprise in a middle-management position;  at worst, they can be found among the ranks of the rioters in Portland and Seattle.

So yes, I agree with McBride that most colleges will disappear, and good riddance.  The ones that survive should get a wake-up call, and realize that in business, nothing is truly irreplaceable — and yes, their beloved ivory towers are indeed just a business.

All I can hope for is that parents will point their kids at careers and activities that will not only be valuable as income streams, but that the kids will actually enjoy doing because they’ve discovered the psychological value of a job well done.

For the rest, there’s the grease pit at Jiffylube.  Good luck to them as they compete with hungry Third-World immigrants.

Change Of Pace

It occurs to me that of late this here back porch of mine has been too preoccupied with political shit such as rioters in Portland / Seattle, asshole politicians [redundancy alert] , the Chinkvirus and in general, the looming end of the world that is 2020.

So today I’m going to ignore all that, and put up some posts that are so trivial, so inconsequential and of so little lasting value that you, O my Readers, may be excused if you leave immediately for Breitbart, Insty or whatever, shaking your heads in sorrow while saying, “The old fart’s gone Biden on us.”


Crying Shame

We’re all familiar with my overriding (and much-mocked) criterion that a car shouldn’t just perform;  it should be beautiful as well.  And yes, I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder:  while some may drool over some 1960s-era muscle car, I feel vaguely nauseated every time I see one because there’s a great deal of difference between muscular and muscle-bound.  It’s the reason I’d prefer a 1964 Mercedes 230SL

…over an AC Cobra of similar vintage:

However, there is one other car that I would take over just about any other open-topped sports car.  But of course, nothing in my life is ever easy when it comes to affairs of the heart, and this no exception.

It’s the 1957 Maserati 150 GT Spyder, and Maserati only made one of them.  (Needless to say, the last time it sold, it brought a price of $3 million.)  But, but, but:

Here’s its story, and some more pics for those who are interested.

For my money, the only car which ever came close was the 1957 (what was it about that year?) BMW 507 Cabrio:

If someone put a gun to my head and said, “Pick a sports car from the 1950s…” I’d grab the Mazza with both hands, and if denied that, then the little Beemer.

No, I wouldn’t take a Mercedes 300SL Roadster over either.

Too muscle-bound by comparison.

Go ahead, mock me.  You know you want to.