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For Those Interested in My Amazon Wish List….. December 6, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, It's all about the $$$, reading.
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…….here it is.  I created a bogus new account to try it out and it appears yeah my address won’t show.  I haven’t had too many trolls or haters lately, but one never knows.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2FVAKMJZTVUP9/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1

Most things on there are directly blog-related.  There are a few other items I’ve added for other reasons.  I do appreciate the generosity some have expressed, very much so.  Thank you for your kind consideration.

Just like me to wait till the blog has half the readers it did a year ago to now go trolling for swag.

I’m open to suggestions for things to add, as well.  The list really isn’t very long, I don’t think?

You Guys Are Smart – Anyone Know How Amazon Wish Lists Work? December 6, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, reading.
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On a number of occasions in the past, readers have – with great generosity and to my total surprise – indicated they would be happy to give me some kind of remuneration for my efforts at blogging.  I’ve always tended to resist receiving any kind of compensation, for a number of reasons, but I’ve been re-considering for a year or more.  In fact, I keep meaning to bring this subject up by simply haven’t gotten around to it.  I am not looking for cash donations or anything of that kind, but I would be happy to make my Amazon wish list public, as Fr. Z does.

Since most of my Amazon wish list consists of very much blog-related books, most things bought there would serve as a catalyst for future posts and hopefully be mutually beneficial – I’d get a new book and the knowledge that comes therein, and would then share bits and pieces with you as I am able.

My problem is, I still like to keep this blog semi-anonymous, and I’m not sure how Amazon wish lists work. That’s where you come in. Does anyone know if I make my wish list public, will my address show?  Or does Amazon just ship to my default address? It would seem odd to show someone’s address but the thing is, we have used more than one over the years and they have several in their system. If there is more than one address, do they list them?  That’s my only concern.

I am not doing this looking to “get paid,” things are tight for us since the new baby and I can’t afford to buy books – especially some of the more expensive speciality books I’d like – as much as I used to.  I’ve been running a little dry on blog content lately, I feel, and this would help.

Hopefully someone can help me out with this.  Thanks and God bless.

Non Sequitur Post of the Week – NIJ Standards for Body Armor October 12, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, firearms, fun, non squitur, silliness, technology.
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Totally non sequitur, just an FYI for those who have no idea what we’re talking about in some other comment threads, the National Institutes of Justice body armor rating levels.  I wonder if Bishop Farrell would have ever gotten around to impugning those of his flock who make use of passive defense, as he did so often against active defense (firearms)?

Drat, I guess we’ll never know now.  Keep praying for our new bishop, whoever he may be.

BTW, Camper, this list more or less confirms that you are correct, Level IIIA is generally considered proof against most submachine gun rounds, which makes sense, since most subs fire 9 mm, .45, or similar handgun rounds, though at somewhat higher velocity than standard hand guns.  Also remember that all soft body armor is pretty much useless against pointy weapons like knives, swords, battleaxes, broad-point arrows, etc.

NIJ LEVEL I:

This armor protects against .22 caliber Long Rifle Lead Round Nose (LR LRN) bullets with nominal masses of 2.6 g (40 gr) impacting at a minimum velocity of 320 m/s (1050 ft/s) or less and 380 ACP Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 6.2 g (95 gr) impacting at a minimum velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft/s) or less.

NIJ LEVEL IIA:

(Lower Velocity 9mm, .40 S&W). This armor protects against 9mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) impacting at a minimum velocity of 332 m/s (1090 ft/s) or less and .40 S&W caliber Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets with nominal masses of 11.7 g (180 gr) impacting at a minimum velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against Level I threats. Level IIA body armor is well suited for full-time use by police departments, particularly those seeking protection for their officers from lower velocity .40 S&W and 9mm ammunition.

NIJ LEVEL II:

(Higher Velocity 9mm, .357 Magnum). This armor protects against .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 425 m/s (1,395 ft/s) or less and against 9mm full-jacketed bullets with nominal velocities of 358 m/s (1,175 ft/s). It also protects against most other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm as well as the Level I and IIA threats. Level II body armor is heavier and more bulky than either Levels I or IIA. It is worn full time by officers seeking protection against higher velocity .357 Magnum and 9mm ammunition.

NIJ LEVEL IIIA:

(.44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9mm). This armor protects against .44 Magnum, Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets with nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against most handgun threats as well as the Level I, IIA, and II threats. Level IIIA body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor and is generally suitable for routine wear in many situations. However, departments located in hot, humid climates may need to evaluate the use of Level IIIA armor carefully.

NIJ LEVEL III:

(High-powered rifle). This armor, normally of hard or semirigid construction, protects against 7.62mm full-metal jacketed bullets (US military designation M80) with nominal masses of 9.7 g (150 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 838 m/s (2,750 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against threats such as 223 Remington (5.56mm FMJ), 30 Carbine FMJ, and 12-gauge rifled slug, as well as Level I through IIIA threats. Level III body armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.

NIJ LEVEL IV:

(Armor-piercing rifle). This armor protects against .30–06 caliber armor-piercing bullets (US military designation APM2) with nominal masses of 10.8 g (166 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 868 m/s (2,850 ft/s) or less. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Level I through III threats.

Level IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist “armor piercing” bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection since the ceramic tends to break up when struck. As with Level III armor, Level IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.

National Catholic Register Fires Two Writers Nobody Read Anymore August 24, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, blogfoolery, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, pr stunts, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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And this is supposed to be big news?  In reality, I know both writers (Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher)  probably still enjoy followings far larger than mine (not that I care in the slightest), but their influence has steadily shrunk over the last several years, especially among the milieu I am primarily concerned with – orthodox/believing/traditional Catholics, or, just Catholics.

Mark Shea has serious problems. That much has been evident for years for those with eyes to see.  He may have even hassled this blog a bit a couple of years ago, in a stupid and immature manner.  I never read Simcha.  For one thing, mommy blogs bore the daylights out of me. Beyond that, I never found her to have anything interesting to say, nor to be much of a writer (which is sort of a damning condemnation, coming from me), the few times I tried to read her.  Shea, however, was something else. He reminds of someone I know quite well and used to collaborate with, another local blogger, a man possessed of such a volcanic temperament that he would literally turn his beliefs upside down in order to score a rhetorical point, to win an ideological victory.

Having said the above, does this mean anything?  Is EWTN/NCR turning more orthodox or traditional?  I will admit to some skepticism here.  I don’t think either writer was canned for their beliefs, but for their behavior outside of NCR, which was frequently scandalous and sophomoric, especially with regard to Shea, but increasingly with Fisher, too.  I think these two underwent some tragic transformation, for various reasons (though Fisher’s are more obvious than Shea’s).

Some may say using foul language, going totally unhinged in arguments, or dropping gratuitous sexual innuendos or outright statements doesn’t mean anything, that we should all lighten up, but for someone who puts themselves out as a Catholic (something of a model, whether they want or deserve to be, or not, you become something of a model when you have a large following AS A CATHOLIC), someone whose beliefs and even practices should be emulated, it’s not a good thing.  There are times I’m tempted to use foul language on this blog, and I’ve let it slip once or twice in the distant past, but overall I agree that we should expect more from Catholic writers than foul language, gratuitous sex, circular firing squads (oops), constant click-whoring internecine conflicts, blanket condemnation of hundreds of thousands of the most committed, faithful souls in the Church in this country, and the kind of lowbrow, morally problematic conduct we can see on the TV anytime we want, if we still have one.

I think NCR is not leaning Trad.  If they were, they’d have never let Pat Archbold go.  I think they’re just reaffirming their place in the (shrinking?) EWTN/Catholic Answers/post-conciliar conservativish post conciliar Amchurch circle.  They certainly have some solid content, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not going to post/publish anything that undermines that status quo to which they belong, say, penetrating analysis of Guadium Et Spes 12, or the questionable level of doctrinal authority in the various documents of Vatican II, or an analysis of the grave deficiencies, and even dangers, present in the Novus Ordo Missae.  It is what it is.

And Shea and Fisher are what they are, or have chosen to become. I regret their loss of livelihood, while being jealous of the fact that mine is in no way dependent on the Church and good will of bishops and others, with all the compromises that invariably involves. Frankly, I pray for them, for many reasons, but most of all that they can find the peace they, it might be said, need, heroic practice of virtue, and fuller adherence to the Truth Jesus Christ has revealed through His Church and its constant, perennial belief and practice.  I believe ever more strongly that inward rejection of the traditional Catholic understanding of the Faith tends to manifest itself in outward ways.  There were not many Saints who got into virtual daily shouting matches with other people, or who would politically support a rabid pro-abort and completely amoral woman for reasons of material self-interest while posting daily “dick” jokes.

Eponymous Flower was a bit more caustic and to the point, not that I disagree:

Edit: after years of attacking faithful Catholics and clergy, their reign at the Neoconservative news organ, The National Catholic Register, Simcha Fisher and Mark Shea have finally been dealt with.  They’ve been what’s wrong with EWTN for a long while.  We’ve certainly been calling for these people’s ouster for a long time. Now, how about Steve Graydanus.  Has anyone forgot that they fired the Cankerous?

There’s nothing more despicable than these kinds of people who feed off the American Church.

While harsher than I would say, I do not disagree that Shea, in particular, has become extremely destructive in recent years.  He is not helping souls, he is in fact undermining the good of the Church.

There is probably better analysis here by Boniface, but it’s late and I wrote this in a terrible rush.  Forgive me!

Also forgive me for the blogfoolery.  About once a year, apparently, I let one of these fly.  For the most part, for me, however, these people were really nonentities.  I didn’t read their stuff, I didn’t care what they had to say, as I had long ago determined that they simply did not comprehend the Faith in the same manner I do, and had nothing positive to offer me. I have found that most readers of this blog have come to the same conclusion.  I generally try to avoid negatively commenting on those who I perceive as having good will and having a sufficiently shared understanding of the Faith and what it means/how it should be applied, but both of these folks have ceased to be in that camp for a quite some time.  So perhaps this is not blogfoolery/circular firing squad after all, but needed clarity.

More time, and better things, tomorrow, God willing.

Joe Biden NOT a Knight of Columbus August 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, blogfoolery, error.
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A commenter kindly informed me that Joe Biden, in spite of occasional claims to the contrary, has not been a member of the KoC since at least 2008, if he ever has been.  Supreme Knight Carl Andersen made this public in 2008 here. Of course, Biden has made a litany of outrageous claims in his troubling career, so perhaps I should have taken his statements with a grain of salt.

There are other pro-abort or culture of death politicians who are, or have been permitted to remain, Knights in good standing, to the scandal of many, as outlined here.

I apologize for the error and the post in question will be updated/corrected immediately with references to the KoC expunged.

Francis Begins Curial Shifts: Plans Major Liberalization of Curia? July 19, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in blogfoolery, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, self-serving, the struggle for the Church.
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I must stress that what is reported below is not yet substantiated.  It comes from a source of unknown quality to me, a Catholic newspaper in Malaysia (but it was picked up by the German language site kath.net).  I didn’t think Malaysia had much of a Catholic population, but whatevs.  However, if true, it would be most disconcerting, to say the least.  Abolishing the Pontifical Councils for the Laity and the Family and replacing them with a Congregation for “Pastoral Health Care” headed by arch-progressive Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, Francis’ most eager collaborator?  Removing Muller at the CDF and appointing Schoenborn in his stead?  Will we soon be treated to the theological orthodoxy of balloon Masses?

The report via Eponymous Flower might be speculation, but if true, it would constitute a significant advance in the entrenchment of like-minded souls in the hierarchy and the institutionalization of Francis’ progressive agenda.  Perhaps something to pray over, or against:

Accordjng to a report by the Malaysian Catholic weekly “Herald” Pope Francis plans personnel changes within the Curia. This suggests that the former prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (68) will occupy the See if Mainz long since vacated by Cardinal Karl Lehmann. In return, the Viennese Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (71) is to switch to the Vatican and take over there, the management of the CDF, the Journal reported over the weekend, citing “well-informed Vatican sources” on its website. [Schoenborn, if he was ever much good when he was involved in the drafting of the 1990s catechism, has certainly drifted left in the past decade or so.  He has persecuted faithful priests and shown himself very friendly to the sodomite agenda.  His views are not nearly so orthodox as those of Muller’s, which weren’t just perfect to begin with.  Muller and Francis have butted heads on many issues, with Muller directly rebuking several of Francis’ more outrageous claims in the past (there are so many, I know).  I would not be surprised if Muller is moved out, and soon.  Whether he will be replaced by Schoenborn or someone even worse remains to be seen]
There were indications that the pope also plans the appointment of Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko (71), Polish cardinal and President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Archbishop of Krakow. He would assume the office of the 77-year-old Stanislaw Dziwisz, who has already reached the age limit for resignation.
The paper refers to a decree by the Pope, according to which the Council for the Laity and for the Family will be merged on 1 September into a new office. Its statutes were published by the Vatican in early June. According to “Herald” it will be incorporated into an office of pastoral health care. [Could a more worldly and really inappropriate name be chosen?  So we’ll be treated to “pastoral health care reform?”] The new formation will receive the status of a congregation with the decision making power. As head of the new Congregation, the Honduran Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga (73) has been selected, a close confidant of the pope and head of the Cardinal Council for a reform of the Curia.
The words “Maradiaga” and “decision-making power” should never occur in a sentence together, unless it also contains the words “barred from” or something to that effect.
Remember Francis’ recent statements about getting rid of opposition by moving them out or retiring them off?  Indeed.
A couple other good reads, as I have some unexpected time to post:
It falls under the category of blogfoolery, which is something I assiduously strive to avoid, but Steve Skojec has a really good post on the descent of much of the mainstream Catholic blogosphere into an increasingly heterodox and toxic environment.  Mark Shea, Elizabeth Scalia (I remember when I used to like her, when she was sweet and honest, before she started getting jobs in the Church and suddenly became a constant basher of tradition and conservatism), Simcha Fischer, and the rest of the Patheos/Aletia crowd began their severe decline before Francis was elected but either the pressure of his pontificate, or simply the passage of time, have caused them (among many others) to become increasingly antagonistic towards traditional Catholic belief and anything they seem to believe carries the taint of the feared and loathed conservatism.  The post contains some truly incredible statements from some of the above attacking the widely held belief that Maria Goretti is a Saint because she maintained her purity to the point of death.  That, apparently, is a bad, bad thing to believe.  To say such attacks reveal more about the source than those they criticize is a bland understatement.
I’ve had a number of opportunities to make money off of blogging, or to collaborate with others on what were proffered as bigger and better things. I dipped my toe in once or twice, but always found, almost instantly, that there were always strings attached.  “Don’t say that.”  “Do you think we could avoid that topic?” “Can you tone that down a bit?” Et cetera.  It seemed any time money was on the table concerns over saying too much, the wrong thing, or “going too far” immediately surfaced.  No thanks.  I remain a stubbornly independent blogger who seeks no remuneration for his efforts for a reason.  I admire those who can persist in producing high quality work even as they earn a living from it, but their numbers are very limited.  The temptation to play it safe, not make waves, and go along to get along with the culture at large and a badly broken Church are simply too strong.  That’s the main reason I collaborated with Vicki Middleton, she was self-funded and could thus say what she wanted (and did she EVER!), and never imposed even a slight restraint on anything I had to say.  God rest her soul.
Speaking of how money corrupts: an article on the wildly amoral, pro-abort, pro-contracept (and filthy rich) Jeffrey Sachs and his growing influence at the Vatican under Francis.  It appears he even drafted Laudato Si, or that the encyclical drew heavily from his own writings.  Sachs is the number one influence guiding Francis’ wholehearted support for the incredibly amoral UN Global Sustainable Goals and other atrocious elements of the sexular pagan agenda.  It’s an important read.

Just to show how far down in the weeds I’ve been for 5 months now….. June 29, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in blogfoolery, disconcerting, General Catholic, Interior Life, sadness, scandals, sexual depravity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Virtue, Voris.
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……only today did I learn, thanks to longtime reader and appreciated commenter TG, that Michael Voris made a rather significant announcement regarding his past life on April 21 of this year.

My commentary here is not, then, exactly news.  And, frankly, I don’t have much to say about Voris’ “revelation” (I say revelation in quotes, because he had already made clear he had numerous sins in his past of a sexual and likely perverse nature), but I do have some things to say about how this revelation was treated by some of Voris’ critics in the media.

I saw, to my disgust if not surprise, that a number of “mainstream” (if by mainstream you mean left-leaning to out and out leftist) Catholic commentators expressing glee at Voris’ past shame.  These commentators, almost to a man, inextricably linked Voris’ very strong stand against the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah that he has taken since his reversion and over the course of his apostolate to self hatred, an inability to “live with himself” as he “really is.”

Does anyone not see the incredibly nasty trap that is planted here?  It’s the same trap we see opponents of Christianity make all the time, pretending that because Christians are not perfectly sinless, they are perfect hypocrites when they comment on social ills and sins sweeping through the culture.

But the trap is particularly invidious when it comes to certain cultural causes of the left, like so-called homosexuality.  What the commentators are saying, is that Voris, in refusing to allow himself to sink into his past sins, by having true contrition for them and seeking God’s absolution and relying on the Grace that flows from it to avoid them in future, he is really in denial and all his efforts to encourage others to follow the path he himself has taken is just an exercise in self-hatred.  Thus true conversion is a lie and one can only be an “honest” and “forthright” Christian through the embrace of the sins the Left commands embracing. Convenient, that.

I was not surprised to see such commentary from pagans in the sexular pagan culture.  But to hear it, to see it from a number of self-described Catholics is simply horrifying.

These people apparently have absolutely no trust or belief in sanctifying Grace.  Apparently, in their mindset, once someone adopts a sin, they literally become that sin, and can never escape from it, in perfect alignment with pro-sodomite propaganda and the kind of “catechesis” that has flowed from lost and often sexually perverse priests and religious within the Church herself (awesome piece, BTW, read it all).  This is the lie of “born that way” writ large, which a) has never even come close to being proven (in fact, most of the evidence lies in the other direction), and b)  completely rejects the idea of conversion through Grace and true amendment of life.

Revelations of sin should always be painful for any Catholic to see.  Movements that celebrate and try to elevate sin to virtue should always be something we find deplorable and oppose with all our strength.  But some would apparently rather see those movements succeed, and good men brought very low indeed in suffering and shame, because their true “god” is their political/social ideology.  In a tragedy beyond measure, such people have had near total power in the Church for decades now.  The results are plain to see.

Of course, I’m not really surprised at the vituperative hatred revealed in the reaction of some to Voris’ April 21 Vortex.  It is part and parcel with their ideology, which cares none for the good of souls but solely for the triumph of the sexular pagan ideology’s grab for total power.

As for me, I’ve been there, though not to the same degree, thank God. There but for the Grace of God go I, that much I know.  I had a mental parting of the ways with the crew at CMTV a year or so ago and frankly don’t keep up with what they do very much (as this post reveals, coming two months after the fact), but I will always be thankful to them all for their work and the good they have done, which is substantial.

I guess I might close with one final question, though: did CMTV ever produce any evidence of the plot by the Archdiocese of New York to reveal Voris past, as he claimed?  Because that’s a very serious claim……..

Saying dumb things January 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, foolishness, silliness.
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Sometimes I say dumb things. It is almost impossible (for me) to crank out a thousand-plus posts a year and not have some clunkers.  Or, at least, that’s how I like to rationalize my mistakes.

So, I had two that I felt had gone astray as I considered them over the weekend.  One in particular was dumb, regarding the new foot-washing regime. I even prefaced, as a sort of warning, in that post that I was about to say something ill-advised.  But, I should not have given into the temptation to write that.  It was a pointless jab born of excessive scandal and mounting frustration.  The post has been amended.

Look, I study a bit of history, and I am just about convinced the Church has not been afflicted with such a destructive pontiff (and with this one, the destructiveness seems to have some deliberation behind it) since the Renaissance princes of the 16th century (yes, I know….Paul VI.  But give the man time).  My scandal reached a peak of pique last week, so while that’s not an excuse for saying dumb things, consider that as part of the background that encouraged them.

The other post I felt I did not write well was nothing to give scandal, it was just an opinion I got a bit carried away with.  I wrote a post about manhood and the difficulty of instilling masculinity into adult males.  I asked whether such was even possible.  Upon reconsideration, I went too far.  I’m not entirely certain what prompted me to say that, it seemed to make sense at the time, but as I tried to reconstruct my reasoning later I felt I had gone too far.  What I should have said is that it is very difficult to instill a sense of masculinity of men who do not receive the basic tenets in childhood, not that it is impossible.

My hope in saying that was to encourage fathers to really be engaged with their children, especially their sons (but daughters need a proper appreciation of masculine behavior, as well), stressing the importance of inculcating a sense of manliness/masculinity at a young age.  But due to various distractions I never got around to actually saying that till the comments.

Anyhoo…….don’t mean for this to be a long post of self-justification, but when I make a goof, I try to own up to it.

 

You guys are smart…….anyone recommend a new AK in the $7-800 range? January 15, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, fun, silliness.
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I have two SKS, one of which is a Chinese-made SKS-M built at the factory to take AK mags.  They’re nice guns, though I’ve been having persistent minor, but annoying problems with the -M for a while now that I can’t seem to get permanently fixed.

As such, I’ve been looking at buying a proper AK-47 type in 7.62×39.  I’ve been reading about the various makes, and there seems to be a wide discrepancy in opinion on many of them.  For instance, some people advise to steer far clear of a WASR or Zastava (N-PAP), and go with a more expensive model.  I’ll tell you, I’ve handled a few of the cheaper ($5-600) models from Century and they felt like junk (sloppy action, loose fitting stock, splintery wood, etc).  But if you don’t go with Century, it seems like there is a huge price jump to a brand like Arsenal or similar that puts you in the $1000 price range, which is really higher than I want to go.  On the other hand, others say that new WASRs (that are actually available) are much improved and shouldn’t be a problem (and there are “better” types from Century that cost a bit more but may have a lot higher quality).

I should add that I’d like to buy new, I’ve bought some used guns and my experience has been mixed.  That’s another complication, it seems a lot of places are sold out of new AKs of any type (thanks, Obama).

I have read that the Century C39, which is entirely US-made, is pretty good and I have seen them in my price range.

Anyone have experience with different AK types and feels competent to make a recommendation?  I’m not a great expert in the type, there is a huge variety and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the many different makes and models available.

And, yes, I like Russian guns.  Always have.  I don’t have anything against ARs I just don’t want one.  I guess it’s my latent commie sympathy showing through, or something.

It’s also a way to respond positively to my bishop’s very negative rant.  See, I’m helping keep some Serbian or Bulgarian in a job!

What I did on my Christmas Vacation January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, blogfoolery, fun, General Catholic, Liturgical Year, non squitur, reading, sickness, silliness, Society.
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What I did on my Christmas Vacation

2nd Grade  Miss Bailey

By Tantumblogo

Well folks, sorry for the inordinately long break.  I had meant to post at least a few times during what I knew was going to be a long vacation, but because of some technical issues and just being too busy all around I never got to it.  Sorry about that, if it was annoying.  It was a bit for me, but it was also really good to be almost totally unplugged for a few weeks. I appreciated the holiday much more, certainly.

I did a lot over the break.  I split some of the most hellishly knotted, unbreakable live oak I’ve ever encountered.  It may be a bit hard to tell from the photo below, but I got a hold of some wood that was like one continuous spiral knot from branch to trunk.  I don’t know what the heck was up with that wood, but I finally managed just chunking over half of it.  I spent 15, 20, even 30 minutes painstakingly splitting even medium size pieces with an axe, wedge, and sledge (no head injuries, thank you).  Has anyone ever seen live oak grow like this before?  It came from a neighbor’s tree.

20151231_221602

Like I said, it’s like a rope of spiraling knots.  Weird

But mostly I spent time with my family.  I had a lot of fun. Hopefully they did, too.  I read a lot. I finished several books, much faster than I normally read.  One I very much recommend. I will do a specific post on this book sometime later this week, perhaps tomorrow, but I really enjoyed reading The Collaborator by blog reader and co-parishioner Mitchell Hadley.  I’m not a big fiction reader, but this book, I felt, really helped me understand this pontificate a lot better.  Hadley juxtaposed the materialist, left-wing outlook of Pope Francis with that of the constant belief and practice of the Church without turning it into a screed, or even mentioning Pope Francis by name.  The book bears a lot of similarities with Windswept House and other Malachi Martin novels, but without the oppressive sense of doom.  I strongly recommend it.  I think many people would benefit from reading this book.

I should make clear, however, contra Malachi Martin, Mr. Hadley does not claim to have any special inside knowledge of affairs in this pontificate or the Vatican, he simply took the trajectory of this papacy and the known background of Pope Francis and extrapolated a bit.  The book reads quite prophetically, however, and I suspect there is a great deal of truth in the main arc of the story, even if not intended.  I should also make clear that while the Pope in the book is never stated as being Pope Francis, specifically, I think anyone can discern just who it is he’s describing.

I also saw the new Star Wars movie.  I’d say I was quite wary going in.  I so hate the prequels.  Man I hate them.  My son begged me to watch Episode 3 a few days before we went to see the new movie.  My goodness is it awful.  The story makes no freaking sense, and the characterization makes Walker, Texas Ranger look like Hamlet.  I also read some “manosphere” blogs occasionally, and some of them were very down on the female protagonist in the movie.

Having said that……I really liked it. At least, I really liked it after seeing it once.  I did feel some serious deja vu more than once, however, where the close derivation of the movie from “A New Hope” became just too obvious at times.  But I thought the histrionics over the Rey (female lead) character way overwrought, I actually thought they handled her development pretty well. I really liked the new Darth Vader, he was made more unstable and vulnerable…….more human.  The action scenes were generally pretty awesome.  Overall, I was quite sucked in.  I wouldn’t mind seeing it again, though I fear some of the movie’s MacGuffins…….why call it “The Resistance,” why is the Republic ignoring this grave threat from the “First Order,” etc., may eventually grate on me to the point where I’ll come to regard it, if not quite abject hatred like the prequels, at least benign indifference like Return of the Jedi.  Thank God there were no Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks.  Even when I saw Return as an 11 year old, I found the idea that Ewoks could kill Stormtroopers by dropping rocks on them too much to take.  Screw you, George Lucas.

I think the way the movie left off, however, opened up some really exciting avenues for future development.  Just don’t let there be an ice planet battle in the next movie.  If there is, I’m out…….

Other than that…….I availed myself of the Sacraments a great deal.  I spent too much money.  My youngest daughter (well, for now), who just has me wrapped around her finger, has a birthday coming up and I went a bit overboard with that.  I reconstituted a 30 year old compound bow I’ve had forever.  I got some new gadgets for one of my guns.  I read a book about Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun.  That was good.  He grew up about 15 miles from my mom.  I pretty well blew up my 4 month diet and exercise program.

Sooo……..what did you do?