September 21, 2007

Political Musings from an ex-Junkie

Category: News — Ira @ 6:19 pm


“Swear allegiance to the flag
Whatever flag they offer
Never hint at what you really feel
Teach the children quietly
For some day sons and daughters
Will rise up and fight while we stood still.”
—Mike and the Mechanics, Lyrics: “Can you hear me?”

Since the 2006 elections, when the Republicans were unceremoniously booted from the majorities of both the House and the Senate, I have pretty much tuned out of all things political. This from a man who, in the forty-day standoff of the 2000 Presidential elections, almost lost his mind from lack of sleep and worry and stress. After the 2006 debacle, I decided it’s simply not worth being so keyed up, so strident, so emotional about the outcomes of political events. I quit watching all news and political shows (Good-bye, O’Reilly); it’s just so much blather anyway. But now the 2008 Presidential race is rumbling along in full force, coming right at us like a steam train. The outcome will affect everyone, everywhere around the world. What is an ex-junkie to do?

Well, I plan to vote. For who, I don’t know. Maybe the Libertarian. Maybe the Constitu-tional candidate, if they can field one. Or maybe the Republican if my vote is needed to beat the Democrat. And maybe not. The Republicans have irritated me almost beyond endurance these last few years. Spending like drunken sailors. Can you say “Pork?” They sliced it, diced it, spread it everywhere, including the infamous “bridge to no-where” in Alaska. No fiscal responsibility whatsoever. Personal freedoms flushed away. We’ll soon need a passport to get into Canada. The only thing they really stood for was Bush’s tax cuts, which was great.

I think the Democrat candidate, as it stands today, has a very excellent chance of winning. Newt Gingerich, a commentator I highly respect (and would vote for if he runs) thinks it’s 80/20 for the Dems. It could be Hillary. It could be Obama. Or a combination of both. The Bret Girl, John Edwards, is smarmily angling for another vice-presidential slot, with his fake southern drawl and populist talk about the “poor.” What if they win? What then? Will society collapse? Will we need to head for the hills, or otherwise go underground to preserve what we hold dear, our religious freedoms? Naw.

We could hyperventilate at length about all the doom and disaster that would follow. But if either of them (Hillary or Obama), or a combination of both, wins, life will go on. The sun will still come up, unless AlGore-hyped global warming causes it to implode, in which case we’ll all be dead anyway. Gas prices will skyrocket; no drilling anywhere in this country or off-shore. Taxes will likely go up drastically, but so what? They take almost half now. What’s a few more percentage points? “Free” medical care for everyone, and thus no quality care for anyone, but take more vitamins so you won’t need to see the doctor. (Superfood would be a good start.) Under socialized medicine in England, a man is now being refused treatment for a broken ankle until he quits smoking. Total control. Do what they want you to do. Or else. It’s coming. Right here. To this country.

Maybe I’ll get a new bumper sticker on my truck, “She’s not my President.” I’m sure they’ll sprout up like weeds the day after Hillary wins, if she does. The only real change for me will be that I won’t be watching the State of the Union Address each year, as I have faithfully done since the first days of the Bill Clinton Presidency. As much as I despised him, I always watched the SU Address because he was the President. But somehow I just can’t stomach the thought of listening to Hillary screeching at me for an hour and a half. Obama would be much more palatable to listen to, but I think his policies would be more damaging than Hillary’s. He’s a sixties liberal wacko, policy-wise.

The country will get the leadership it wants and deserves. And lately, on domestic issues, the Dems seem to have a leg up. I can’t imagine why. But it’s so. Free this, free that, it’s all BS. It can’t work and it won’t stand, but we’ll likely have to go through the experience to learn that. Baby Boomers are a selfish lot. They demand services, cradle to grave care, a government program for everything, including government programs. So expect further erosion into socialism sometime down the road, whether the President is Democrat or Republican. Bush’s prescription drug fiasco is a prime example.

While Rush Limbaugh (and I’m still a huge fan of his) claims otherwise, there’s really less than a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats, long term. Before you break your fingers on the keyboard pounding out a reactionary comment, note that I said LONG TERM. I’m not comparing party platfoms as stated; the Demo-crats are just pure evil, as far as I’m concerned. The party of abortion, the party of death, the party of elitism and all kinds of other vile snobbery. But the current long term policies of both parties lead to one thing: socialism. And there ain’t no way you can dispute that.

Both parties are corrupt beyond belief, and seek power for its own sake, not for the good of others, as they like to claim. Next time you hear a politician wax eloquent about “service,” slap him. Or her. Pure, raw power and the ability to impose their vision of utopia is what they really want. The Democrats will accelerate the downward spiral onto the road of secularism a bit sooner, but the Republicans won’t be far behind. Years ago, in the mid-90s, Attorney Jim Clymer, whose firm I worked for in Lancaster, and who has labored in obscurity for decades for the Constitutional Party, told me that less damage gets done to the country with a Democrat president than with a Republican. I thought Jim was crazy. I’ve observed closely since. He’s right. Under Clinton, Republicans were united in opposition. Under Bush, not so. The result: much more domestic policy damage under Bush.

In foreign policy, Republicans have a slight edge. The war is unpopular, and Demo-crats are beating the drums of defeat every day. Should the US have gone into Iraq? At the time, I thought so, but since then, I’m much less sure. Now that we’re there, we need to stay until the situation is stabilized enough for us to leave. But overall, why do we need to send our troops everywhere around the world, at such stupendous cost in lives and treasure? Why not let things develop as they will and protect our own country and our own shores? We can’t police the world and shouldn’t try.

That doesn’t mean I agree with the current crop of anti-war lunatics. I despise them with a passion. They hate the country and President Bush so deeply that they’d rather see a total collapse before victory in Iraq. They would love to see America humbled and defeated. I think they would rather have terrorists rule over us instead of living with a Bush Presidency. The modern liberals as defined by are devoid of decency and filled with bitterness, bile and vitriol. Despicable, hateful people. And not patriots, regardless of their semantics.

Long term, I think our entire system will have to collapse, then rebuilt from the ashes. I mean all of it, all the bureaucracy, all the programs, all the services, all the silliness about global warming, all the hysteria against tobacco and about health in general, all the crackpot environmentalism, the public education sink-hole. Taxes drastically lowered so a man can keep the fruit of his own labors. Property rights re-established. The gold standard for our currency. When a man can sit on his porch and watch the sunset, sip a real Scotch and smoke a real cigar without being scolded by anyone but church people. You expect that from church people. Not from your government. I don’t expect to be alive to see it all come down. But the generation now entering life will see it. So teach your children quietly, as the song says. Someday they will rise up and fight where we stood still. Invest in some land. Buy a bit of gold. Get a few guns. Engage in trade and commerce, but be ready to hunker down at a moment’s notice. You’ll need the stuff, one way or another, regardless of who wins in 2008.

September 11th came and went, and I had intended to write a few thoughts. Not many, as the day has been memorialized ad infinitum. I’m sure we all remember where we were when we heard the news. The brutal and frightening days that followed. I give President Bush all the credit in the world that we have not been attacked here at home since. No one would have taken a bet at the time that such a thing could even be possible.

For about a year after that date, I would often be drifting off to sleep at night, and just like that, I’d see that plane crashing into the tower, and snap up wide awake. A horrible, unimaginable image. There were people in that plane. I’d think it just cannot be true. But with time, the image has faded and no longer causes any lack of sleep. The next attack, whatever and whenever it happens, and it will, will likely replace the image and cause more nightmares.

We had a very successful Open House at Graber on Sept. 8th. We fed pork sandwiches and fixins to around 450 people. A very nice crowd. I was so busy showing around a number of my buyers/builders that the day was over almost before I knew it. But it was fun.




Well, my Braves seem to have collapsed while rounding third base, and for the first time since 1991, will not make the playoffs. Amazingly, the Phillies are still alive and scrapping, although I expect them to fall just short, as usual. My prediction: the Mets and the Red Sox for the World Series. Red Sox win. The Jets are off to a less than stellar start as well at 0-2. Same as the thug Eagles. Of couse, the vile Bill Belichek of New England was caught red-handed taping the Jets’ defensive signals and using that info against them in the game. As if the Patriots needed that. With Randy Moss on his best behavior and playing in top form this season, New England will be unstoppable.


Finally, I especially appreciate all comments from last week’s blog. When I posted, I thought to myself that I wouldn’t be surprised if there were no comments at all. The story has been in my head for years; all of a sudden it just surfaced and would not subside until it was told. For those who wonder if it was actually that bad, I stand behind every word I wrote. Immersing myself into those memories deeply enough to accurately describe them was difficult and draining. That account was one of the most grueling things I’ve ever written.



(No Comments)

  1. It’s good to hear you’re recovering as a political junkie.

    Comment by Reuben Wagler — September 21, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

  2. I accidently posted before I was done.

    I remember years ago we were watching the news with you at John’s house. You asked me if I was registered to vote, then looked at me in shock and utter disbelief when I confessed to not being registered to vote. You told me, “VOTE!! GO VOTE!!” I asked “What if I don’t know who to vote for?” You said, “Just vote Republican. Straight Republican.”

    I never did take it quite that far, but you did inspire me to pay attention and get more involved. I have lost some interest in recent years, but nothing still matches the thrill of a scandal-ridden presidential election.

    Comment by Reuben Wagler — September 21, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

  3. Ah, yes, but first a small correction. John Edwards was born & raised the 1st 10 yrs or so, right here in upstate S.C. on a dirt poor mill hill. [Wahallia,I think]. Then he moved north, to NC, got educated and got to be a smooth talking big bucks lawyer [What other kind is there?]. So he is southern and was born poor, maybe he’ll remember that, maybe not. [as VP]

    A few hasty predictions here. The Republicans will be toast, are toast now, and richly deserve it. You worded it well why. Maybe they could win by getting Jeb Bush [the smart Bush brother] to change his surname to something else, maybe his wife’s name, she’s Spanish, I think. He could win in a walk.

    Pres. Bush’s approval rate is not high now, but remember, that could all change in the blink of an eye if there is a really big attack in the next 12 mo. or so. The Dems. are deathly afraid of that. The GOP could put up a donkey & win then.

    And some advice..If you have an enemy, and that enemy looks at you like Pres. Bush looks at his enemies, turn & run-run-run, you haven’t much time.

    Comment by good grampa jess — September 21, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

  4. I give you half-hearted applause on the Jets’ first and one of their few wins of the season. As for the Eagles, you may need to consider a sick day for tomorrow. Go Chiefs; go Colts!

    Ira’ response: That’s “thug” Eagles. I won’t be at work tomorrow, but not because of that. And the Chiefs will be worthless as long as Herm Edwards is the coach.

    Comment by Reuben Wagler — September 23, 2007 @ 7:10 pm

  5. Ira, I remember your incredulity when you read my letter to the editor, published in the Lancaster New Era on the Friday after Pres. Bush’s St. Patrick’s day speech of 2003. I told you, yes, I was serious, when I said that God’s blessing cannot rest on such an military action when it was not legal. There was no legal Congressional Declaration of War. And the Chief Executive’s appeal solely to UN Resolution 1441 (or -2, now I’ve forgotten) is not a legal basis because the UN has no jursidiction (not anywhere, and not even if countries pretend to give it authority by ceding their own God-constitued ones).

    I have an essay that’s been posted quite awhile on the issue – posted when the war action was popular (because of being “anti-terrorist”), unlike now. It “supports our troops,” while thinking realistically, legally, and long-term

    Ira, the key issues you point to are just the stands Ron Paul is taking publicly. He is libertarian in terms of Federal laws for personal affairs and economics, and strictly Constitutional in terms of the limits of government. There is a great half hour interview of him, one which includes a more realistic and effective way to target terrorists. Hear it at

    And subscribe to Pastor Chuck’s free email columns for some incisive political commentary, twice weekly, for those who want to “pay attention and get more involved.” Chuck has a great page covering the Presidential candidates, regularly updated.

    Comment by LeRoy Whitman — September 24, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

  6. Belated comment on the Nicholas story. I am planning on reading the Nicholas story to my kids. I know MY kids would never act like that… but every once in a while I like to give them a little talking to on the subject of bullying just the same. It is one of my secret fears- what DO they do behind my back? Hopefully nothing quite like that, but kids are kids and we adults need to remember that.

    Comment to uncle Jess- if Bush is so tough on his enemies, when are we going to have bin Laden’s head on a platter? Nothing against Bush, you understand, but how can that man stay at large?

    Comment by jason yutzy — September 25, 2007 @ 5:06 pm

  7. Confident that those who read your blog have to be thoughtful people to stay with you, and in your own interest (expressed) in some political musings, I’ll post my essay here. The link above (comment 5) no longer takes you there; perhaps Louis P. has dropped his Keystone Review page. You can always remove this if it is too long.

    The Iraq War: A Different View
    By L. Whitman
    Posted August 2005

    In regard to “A Citizen’s First Duty & The War In Iraq”, Mr. Parks admirably reminds us of the importance of morale.

    For people to rally, we must have a clear standard and a defined enemy. To maintain that morale, we must know that those who have grabbed the flag are leading in a direction that truly strengthens and defends our country. The most perceptive reflection I have yet seen comes from someone else who waves the same American flag, not someone from the Left who burns it. In the July 11, 2005 edition of The New American, in an article entitled “The ‘Global Democratic Revolution’,” William Norman Griggs makes the point concisely:


    We should certainly support our country and our troops. We support them because we do not want American boys (and now girls) to lose their lives. We shun anti-U.S. rhetoric, so as not to strengthen the enemies of freedom. But global governance that overrides our Constitution means the death of Western civil freedom. “Constitutions” in other countries based on the precepts of the atheistic communist-crafted UN Charter [like that of Iraq!, since “we” helped them] does not help forward a freedom that only comes from Judeo-Christian underpinnings. (Neither will Islamic values ever bring a people to civil liberty; but that is the work of the Church in changing hearts over time – armed power does not affect that result.)

    It is global governance that is being forwarded. Though we may need now to continue in Iraq until there is some resolution, we should not miss that we need a change in policy, a change in the Left-Right administrations of our government that dialectically moves Internationalists forward.

    Has no one noticed that for decades now the actions of both sides, in both parties, continually leaves true conservatives and Constitutionalists grasping to restrain only the latest trampling of our own freedoms, while the Internationalist ball moves forward, as the players trample over sovereign countries’ borders and laws without restraint or legal justification? This is just as true of the attack against law in our own land in the Supreme Court Kelo case meddling in local property rights as it is true in the undeclared multilateral military action in Iraq.

    Jurisdictions are overridden because those who wish to rule the world by power recognize no law but that of the jungle: power. There was a day when freedom-loving Americans understood we always walk a narrow trail of self-restraint and accountability of leaders, that maintaining the rule of law meant hard thought and debate about Principle, and that the price of freedom was eternal vigilance of the same.

    Besides, the 9-11 bombers were not Iraqis, nor was there a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Mssrs. Cheney and Rumsfeld were petitioning then-President Clinton to war against Iraq as far back as 1998 (for documentation, see “PNAC Neo-con Connection” [missing link] where you will also see that “neo-conservative” Republicans are Trotskyites who believe in perpetual revolution as the means to “progress”). The 9-11 bombers were Saudi Arabians, as shown in official reports [missing link] of the cursory FBI debriefs of 160 Saudis, including bin Laden family members, who fled the U.S. soon after the downing of the Twin Towers.

    In any case, the undeclared “wars” that have lately been fought have be done by and for the UN and its goals, not the U.S. We grant that military attacks were part of valid and necessary response to the attacks on our soil. This does not mean we pretend that the floodgates are wide open, that law no longer reigns, that counsel, wisdom, and restraint is no longer necessary.

    So how is it “unpatriotic” to voice an opposition to goals that forward the UN agenda for world governance, though they may throw a collateral bone to U.S. defense? I support true American government, and the troops that should be serving it. But what must we think of those who maneuvering those troops to ends that strengthen structures and goals whose ends ultimately subvert the rule of law in general and the Constitution of the United States, even to the point of trodding on the precedents of English Common Law rights that have been with us and developing since 1215?

    If the use of American troops were justified and fully justifiable, the case and evidence would have been laid out before Congress. Or should have been. There may well have been just cause, yet the circumvention of lawful means serves as a blow at the rule of true law. Congress was given the war power, like the other powers with which it was lawfully vested, so that there would be accountability of those Representatives through the vote of the people, who are answerable to the God who governs nations.

    Yet these fundamental points are pooh-poohed as merely esoteric and Luddite-headed by even many “conservative-wing-of-the-Republican-Party” leaders. (I know, because I had this conversation in e-mails with Rod Martin [of The Vanguard], who started writing through office assistants when we got too close to these critical points. The conversation was dropped when they started ‘shouting,’ associating me with groups I hadn’t before heard of, and slandering true conservative leaders.)

    With no Congressional declaration of war, our Representatives can disclaim responsibility; and any President can get away with murder because he’s been given a blank check with no one to prosecute forgeries. Consider the reality: American soldiers are even put under foreign and UN commanders on the field, and there is the push to bring foreign troops here to police our cities. We had better think here. (And, no, a draft is not the only solution. What naturally builds morale is a key point here; it cannot be simply talked up, as if the emperor really had fine clothes.) The true Luddite breakers-of-machinery are those Internationalists who are breaking down the previously successful American system of separated, enumerated powers. Once accomplished, how many generations will it take to build it back? Just Runnymeade to Philadelphia was half a millennium in the leavening, and much suffering of saints was in the recipe.

    It is hard to swallow that voicing clear-cut opposition to actions that are subversive to the U.S. continuing to be governed by the U.S. Constitution are unpatriotic, treasonous, or contrary to “duty.” We must support our troops, yes. And our troops must be sent by an elected government ruled by our laws, not by “administrations” which stealthily forward UN nation-building. (In case you missed it, Pres. Bush’s sole stated basis for acting against Iraq was to uphold a UN Resolution, which he stated on television, St. Patrick’s day 2003. In that speech, he studiously avoided any mention of the U.S. Congress.) To miss this is to fulfill Khrushchev’s prophecies that we will be buried, after funding our own demise and digging our own grave.

    The Founders were not so easily deceived, and they left us a Constitution that would restrain fear-mongering dictatorships at home and weakening entanglements abroad. We were not bequeathed a “democracy,” so we should not be seeking to spread democracy (tyranny of the majority) elsewhere. It always devolves into a dictatorship, and our Founders feared it more than a king.

    We need to be strong, not scattered; to have reach when needed, not continually meddle. We were given a law-bound “…Republic,” as Franklin quipped, “if you can keep it.” If we voluntarily relinquish it chasing someone else’s pipe dreams, seeking empire, true believers will have no one to blame but ourselves.

    The first step in the civil arena at this point is to vote only for those who will uphold their oath to the U.S. Constitution, and to vote out all those who have proved by their actions that they consider it outdated. That means we will need a lot of candidates for office, and likely from outside the business-as-usual party organizations. To maintain morale among Americans, we must know that those who have taken off with the flag are leading in a direction that truly strengthens and defends our country. If not, we need those of eagle eye and manly courage who will attempt to bring it back and keep it held high where it belongs.

    Men of strong opinion may differ on many things, but if we wish to remain one country, we’d better draw the line that defines America soon.

    Comment by LeRoy Whitman — September 25, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

  8. Investigative reporter William Norman Grigg’s point did not post above; he said:

    Although the Bush administration’s global crusade is commonly perceived to be an outgrowth of the post-9/11 “war on terror,” it actually represents a continuation of the globalist foreign policy of the Clinton and Bush I administrations. And as with these earlier campaigns, the Bush administration’s crusade is helping strengthen institutions of global governance.

    [Just as the SPP and North American Community / Union, another current issue since Grigg wrote]

    Comment by LeRoy Whitman — September 25, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

  9. We just got our copy of Alan Greenspan’s book, ‘The Age Of Turbulence’. A very heavy Read, must say. I’m only at pg. 80 now. The author has got to be the ugliest person ever seen by a camera, though he seems quite smart and lived a lot of history. Even Castro was waving a copy at his last news conference. A must read for all.

    On the Election front, I recently dug out footage from the Nixon-JFK debates of 1960, off the net. I had never watched any of it before, and am surprised to note how very good a speaker JFK really was, a very quick thinker, able to address the issues quickly and well, at the debates. On the other hand, Nixon did not look or do well at all. I have to wonder why that election was as close as it was. JFK deserved to win that one, too bad he didn’t have more time.

    Comment by good grampa jess — September 26, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

  10. Looks pretty bleak for conservatives in the good old U.S.A. All the more reason to be anchored in Jesus. Couldn’t vote for a baby butcher like Rudy G., even if he’s running against Hillary.

    Gideon Yutzy Rexford Mt.

    Comment by Gideon Yutzy — October 2, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

  11. Ira,

    The career change that I referred to in my last post has happened. I have just spent 28 years as a building controls repairer, installer, estimator, designer and programmer. I have just spent 1-1/2 years designing the USDA Consolidated Lab in Ames, IA. It is the largest control job ever done in Iowa, the largest ever done by Siemens (Powers Regulator) and one of the ten largest ever done in the United States. After this, I see no more challenges in this business. I am moving to an engineering consulting company. I will be their senior mechanical engineer and I am supposed to bring fresh ideas into the company, give them a control design expertise that they have lacked and to encourage the engineers to move in the direction of more standard design practices (cat herder).

    I was visiting Titus and Ruth Ann in August. Titus encouraged me to write about some of his guns and how they came to him. So, here is a little writing on guns.

    I have known Titus well since several months after he was injured in 1982. I knew that Titus had enjoyed hunting before his injury, and I wanted to help give him a connection to his life before quadriplegia. In 1983 or 84, I decided to buy him a Remington 1100 LT 20 gage. The 1100 is a gas operated semi-automatic shotgun. In Iowa, we must use shotguns or muzzleloaders to hunt deer during gun season. The standard 1100 is heavy, almost nine pounds. The LT is little less than 7-1/2 pounds, lighter but not ultalight. Gas operated semi-auto fire arms reload themselves by tapping some gas from the barrel and using it to push a piston that opens the breach, ejects the fired cartridge or shot shell then loads a new round into the breach and closes into battery. This reverse action (the piston is pushing towards the back of the firearm) cuts down on the recoil of the gun by recoiling in the opposite direction. The 7-1/2 pound weight is heavy for a 20-gage and that helps more to reduce the felt recoil by spreading it out, more towards a shove then a blow. A 20-gage shotgun is less powerful than a 12-gage, using less powder and less shot or a smaller slug (5/8 oz versus 1+ oz for a 12 gage). Of course, this also helps reduce felt recoil by causing less actual recoil in the first place. I then had a gunsmith smooth the trigger to sear engagement so the trigger was easier to pull, removing the grittiness from the action. This smoothing is safe if done by a knowledgeable gunsmith. The key is to polish the two surfaces, not remove metal. The engagement surface remains the same area so the pull across the surface is smoother but there is no hair trigger. Hack gunsmiths will stone away metal to reduce pull and make a dangerous trigger. One test to try to find this dangerous hack work is to take the unloaded rifle or shotgun, cock the action, set the safety, pull the trigger very hard, let go of the trigger then switch off the safety. If the hammer or firing pin drops when the safety is released, do not use that gun at all until someone who knows what they are doing has repaired the trigger group. Titus and Ruth Ann have used the 1100 several times over the years. Recently, Titus had it thoroughly cleaned. My own 12-gage 1100 was built in 1971 and in the late 80’s, I had a very good shotgun gunsmith put a factory upgrade kit in it. This put an improved gas seal ring and several stainless steel parts in the recoil train. Anyone with an older 1100 should consider reconditioning their shotgun by having it professionally disassembled and cleaned in a dunk tank, the upgrade kit installed and the recoil spring in the stock removed and carefully checked for rust. Actually, replacing that spring may be part of the kit.

    Titus and Ruth Ann got married 7 June 1984 and I was thinking of an interesting wedding gift. I thought that Titus might want a .22 rifle to go with the shotgun. I bought a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic then had Chris Hageman (He is now the foreman at Cylinder and Slide in Fremont, NE. In the gun world, this makes him one of the nation’s premier gunsmiths but in 1984 he was paying his dues, working for a snake) smooth the trigger group to give it a light but safe pull. I like to put scopes on my rifles. All of my rifles and one of my handguns have scopes. I purchased a Leupold 4X scope that was equivalent to today’s FX-III and more expensive than the rifle.

    A good rule of thumb for buying scopes is to make sure you spend more for the scope than for the rifle. This tends to put good glass on top that has resolution and can take some knocks. This means that a $300 Savage 110 (superb rifles that are today’s best value and have the best out of the box accuracy of any medium or large scale production rifle) should wear a high end Burris, Weaver or Bushnell. A $900 Browning or Remington should wear a high end Leupold, Zeiss or Schmidt and Bender. I have a $650 range compensating Shepard scope on a $400 Ruger 77/22 .22 bolt-action rifle.

    A very good guide today would be to forget the Ruger, Remington, Browning, Lazeroni, Dakota, Cooper, etc. center fire rifle, buy a Savage 110 with a laminated wood stock, chamber it in .30-06 or 300 Winchester Magnum, take advantage of that wonderful Accu-Trigger and put a $500 to $700 piece of glass on top with a set of $100 steel rings. If you want a shooting machine that will last for generations without too much care (maybe one that needs to sit in an obscure place for a few years as the owner waits for a new common sense to break out in the body politic), send that Savage and the rings to Robar in Arizona and have them apply the Rogard / NP3 finish. When it returns, the rifle will be far more corrosion resistant than any stainless steel firearm. I have two rifles protected such. If the rifle does need to sit in obscurity, keep water away from it. The metal parts will do fine but even a laminated wood stock will break down if kept warm and moist. A Kevlar or fiberglass stock takes care of the water problem. I have a H-S Precision composite stock on one of my Robar protected rifles (it is a semi-custom left handed (correct handed) bolt action chambered in 7MM Remington Magnum). If the thought is towards the possibility of the rifle needing to sit in obscurity, call Brownells (800.741-0015) and buy a Triple Tough Premium Storage Bag for rifles (set of 3), buy Break Free lubricant, buy a Gunwrap 4”x36” strips trial kit and buy a gun cleaning kit with a copper solvent (Sweet’s 7.62, Barnes CR10) set up for .30 caliber. When ready to retire the rifle into obsurity, scrub the bore with the solvent until it is bright and the wet patches do not come out blue anymore then soak the bore with the Break Free using several wet patches. Wrap the rifle with the Gunwrap so it looks like a mummy, put the rifle and cleaning kit in the bag, and heat seal the bag with the supplied tape and an iron (follow directions). For added protection to the bag, place it inside a cheap gun case then put it away. When ready to take the rifle out of storage, open the bag and it is ready to go, even 15 to 20 years later. A powerful argument for the 30-06 cartridge is that its range of bullet weights (110 to 250 grains) allows it to be used from heavy varmints to grizzly bears (Alaskan guides will allow their clients to use bear appropriate loads in this cartridge as that they are more likely to hit the bear correctly with the 30-06’s manageable recoil rounds than when they are flinching and closing their eyes trying to shoot some incredible magnum that they have maybe shot ten times before the hunt), that billions of rounds have been loaded since 1906 and it still is the most popular rifle cartridge to reload. When ammunition is scarce, it is much easier to find 30-06 and 30-30 in some tiny hardware store than 338 Remington Ultra Magnum.

    Once I bought that scope for the 10/22, I shipped it to Leupold and asked them to change the focus distance (parallax correction) from 150 yards to 50 yards. They did this as warranty work. This means that they unsealed the scope tube, adjusted the focus of the front lens and resealed the tube. Enough of us sent in scopes in the 1980’s for parallax correction that Leupold now sells a fixed power and a variable power scope with 50-yard focus distance to mount on .22 rimfire rifles. A scope with more than 1X magnification must be focused for some distance. American scopes place their recticle (cross hairs) at the second focal plane inside the scope tube. When the scope is aimed at something that is at the focus distance, that image and the recticle are exactly matched and both appear sharp and distinct. When the target is not close to the focus distance, it does not appear as sharp. When the target is much closer than the focus distance, the recticle appears to move relative to the target (parallax error) as the eye moves relative to the scope’s exit lens. The centerfire scope’s focus distance of 150 yards is a compromise that renders distant targets still reasonably sharp while not having too much parallax error for targets as close as 50 yards. Since .22 rimfires are often times shot at small targets (rabbit, squirrel) at less than 25 yards, the parallax error of a centerfire scope with a 150-yard focus distance is enough to miss the target. The scope on Titus’s 10/22 is centerfire quality (often rimfire scopes are very cheap) with optics adjusted for rimfire distances.

    All this work for the 10/22 was finished in time to allow me to shoot it then bring it to the wedding. I did not deliver the rifle to the wedding but rather presented it the day after. Firearms and weddings are not unusual for me. When I was courting Jean, I gave her a serger (specialized four needle sewing machine) and a Beretta AL 391 Urika youth model 20-gage shotgun. She gave me a Norinco reproduction of a Winchester Model 97 12-gage trench gun for a wedding present. Titus’s rifle is still very accurate. As long as it is protected from rust, it and its scope will serve over 100 years.

    Comment by Mark Hersch — October 3, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

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