‘I’m so mad I just want to spit’

9:39 pm April 2nd, 2014

My friend Ed was a United States Marine. Some would say he was an “ex-Marine,” but I’m not sure these guys are ever “ex-” Marines.

Ed lived in Connecticut. It’s my birthplace, but a state I left long ago. If I needed to be reminded why, my recent conversation with Ed’s widow would have done it.

“If my husband hadn’t died, I would never have known about this, and I would have become a criminal on January first,” Ann says.

Ed was active in the program of the federal Director of Civilian Marksmanship, back in the 1980s, helping law-abiding citizens acquire surplus government combat rifles “at cost” — a proper role for the federal government, which is required to “arm the militia” (and we’re still waiting for our quad 50s, by the way.)

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It’s better to be thought a fool than to sit down at the typewriter and remove all doubt . . .

8:05 pm March 17th, 2014

I bought a few jazz records over the weekend, as I do whenever the opportunity arises.

One was a 10-inch Mercury LP from 1950, produced by Norman Granz and titled “Charlie Parker with Strings.” The disc was a bit controversial when producer Granz brought it out. Critics wondered whether Bird Parker, who had fought the hard fight over the previous decade to introduce the new melodic and rhythmic approach of small combo be-bop, was “selling out” to produce a more marketable sound. (They needn’t have worried. More mature evaluation has concluded Parker merely refused to stay in a rut, was always willing to try new combinations.)

The second disc I bought was something I normally wouldn’t have given a second look. Not that I wish to say anything negative about “The Moanin’ Sax of Ace Cannon,” 1964, Hi Records number 12014. After all, Cannon played with Bill Black, who was once Elvis Presley’s bass player (so there!), and he indeed has no problem carrying the tune of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” It’s just that there are millions of discs out there in Herb Alpert/Mitch Miller/Andy Williams land, and I believe in leaving most of them — including the “Memphis Soul” sound of Hi Records, whose heyday came a little later in the ’60s when they signed Al Green — to those who will appreciate them more than I.

In fact, I bought the Ace Cannon record for one reason: So that I could share with you, verbatim, the liner notes of one Elton Whisehunt, billed as representing the Memphis Press-Scimitar (a Scripps afternoon daily that closed in 1983 after losing circulation for decades) while also serving as a “Billboard Music Week Correspondent.”

“The true artist will strive . . . to play the music as it is written,” the authoritative Mr. Whisehunt advises us.

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Applause lines and other nonsense

8:51 am March 6th, 2014

Among scores of other promises, some more and some less likely than walking on water, Barack Obama devoted a paragraph in his recent State of the Union address to the age-old Democratic promise of more gun control — vowing he’ll proceed even without the cooperation of Congress.

“I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook,” the lame-duck president intoned.

“Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day,” he continued. “I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say ‘we are not afraid.’”

Could this mean federal indictments are finally to be handed down against the G-men who murdered all those innocent souls at Waco and Ruby Ridge?

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There are two ‘classes,’ you see, the peasants and the elected elite

8:13 pm March 3rd, 2014

NOTE TO READERS: Vin Suprynowicz specifically authorizes & encourages the copying, forwarding and re-posting of this column, with the sole proviso that, as a matter of courtesy, no new material not of his making be interpolated (mixed in) to create the impression he wrote it. Column originally posted at vinsuprynowicz.com

On Tuesday morning, March 4, Kermitt Waters, a Las Vegas attorney whose main job is defending Nevada property owners whose land is being seized by government agencies offering low-ball prices (and who to that end joined with retired Judge Don Chairez to successfully bring us the “PISTOL” property-rights initiative back in 2004-2006) will stand before the full Nevada Supreme Court on the top floor of the leaky boondoggle “Regional Justice Center” in Las Vegas, staging a last-ditch defense of the constitutional right of Nevadans to participate in their own government through the initiative and referendum process, as supposedly guaranteed by the state Constitution.

With the public kept away by limited seating and armed guards operating metal detectors, Mr. Waters will stand alone. He will be there on his own time and at his own expense, with nothing to gain financially. Arrayed against him will be the expensive and fancy lawyers of the Nevada state Legislature, the Nevada Attorney General’s office (defending Nevada’s Secretary of State), the casino industry, the mining industry, and a plethora of other special interests anxious to see that the common citizenry is left with no ability to go to the polls and do end-runs around the state lawmakers who these potentates have bought and paid to do their bidding.

Hardly anyone is paying attention. And because the political appointees who make up Nevada’s high court are political animals, Mr. Waters’ efforts are probably doomed to be tossed out on a number of grounds – “not ripe, no standing,” what have you — without the real issue even being discussed.

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Some interesting new arrivals

7:07 pm February 9th, 2014

As it was never our intention to present here only “gun-related stuff,” and since a number of readers raised their hands when asked not long ago if they’d like to see more “book stuff,” herewith an update of interest primarily to those seeking interesting and hard-to-find titles.

Most of you know The Brunette sells vintage clothes and fabric at the Charleston Antique Mall, next to Arizona Charlie’s casino on Decatur Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas (within a mile of Amber Unicorn and Las Vegas Fine Books — formerly Greyhound’s — which string out to the south along Decatur), and that in between work on the next novel Vin pitches in, stocking a few bays with used and collectible books and records.

A few interesting titles have turned up of late, now available as part of our 1,200-title Online stock at
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sortby=0&vci=51238921 , where the new flatbed scanner even allows us to show pictures!

A selective sampling:

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Gun grabbers continue to shoot themselves in foot

10:43 am February 4th, 2014

Over the objections of a majority of Colorado’s chief law enforcement officers, Democrats pushed three “gun control” bills through the state legislature last year, wringing their hands and ridiculing those who refused to “do something to protect the children” from mass shootings like those at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. and an elementary school in Connecticut.

Republicans predicted the measures — banning new sales of magazines of more than 15 rounds, and requiring background checks on private gun sales — would prove unenforceable and would do nothing to prevent such incidents, both of which were carried out by lunatics.

And they were right.

Even the gun-hating New York Times now acknowledges the “unenforceable” part.

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Often Wrong

2:49 pm January 31st, 2014

Perusing the memoirs of 20th century book dealers and collectors can provide some useful perspective on what’s been collected over the years, as well as an idea of the (often jaw-droppingly low) prices people used to pay for things the average person could hardly dream of stumbling on today – inscribed copies of Dickens and Mark Twain, original hand-written manuscripts by James Joyce or Joseph Conrad, the works.

(You have to correct for inflation, of course. A dollar in the 1930s was made of silver, an ounce of which will cost you $40 today. And a single pre-1933 $20 gold piece can now set you back $1,400 in today’s Washington Monopoly money.)

The reason such literary artifacts are rarely encountered today is that the wealthy American collectors of the teens and ‘20s bought them up, often from England’s threadbare aristocracy, and then sold or donated them en bloc for the tax deduction to institutions – the rare book collections of university libraries, for the most part.

(Thanks, Mister Taxman!)

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Hey, it was just an innocent question

12:56 pm January 6th, 2014

The Brietbart Web site reported Dec. 5 that Barry Greenfield, an elected Selectman in Swampscott, Mass., “is pushing a measure to give police the
authority to conduct home searches to check proper storage of firearms.”

The site reports Greenfield said “State law requires Massachusetts gun owners to keep their firearms locked away or rendered inoperable.” There are “600 registered gun owners in [Swampscott],” and the selectman “wants police to be able to drop in unannounced, enter the homes of each gun owner, and verify compliance.”

The statist Boston Globe had already raced to the selectman’s defense by then, of course, whining on Nov. 13 that the poor fellow was being singled out for abuse by gun nuts after an innocent inquiry.

“A brief discussion during a meeting last week of the Swampscott Board of Selectmen has sparked outrage among gun-rights proponents and turned one selectman into the target of vitriolic e-mails, threatening phone calls, and online petitions from across the nation calling for his resignation,” the Globe reported.

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Reducing crime without more ‘gun control’

1:23 pm December 6th, 2013

By Vin Suprynowicz

It’s the holiday season, when we’re reminded to give thanks. Indeed, we risk going into a tailspin if we concentrate only on our problems, without remembering to be thankful for health, for friends and loved ones, for living in a country where we can stand up for our liberties by speaking and reading and writing pretty much as we please.

I almost said “where we can STILL read and write as we please,” but recall that before 1962 Americans faced jail sentences if they tried to send birth control information through the mail (even to married couples!) or to publish such books as “Ulysses” or the works of Henry Miller, then deemed “filth” but which are now considered among the cornerstones of straight-talking modern literature. (Read a lot of Anthony Trollope, lately?)

So, to start with, let’s give thanks that our sworn enemies for life, the forces of gun confiscation, are still led by such incorrigible idiots.

Mind you, idiots can do a lot of damage if they’re allowed to prey on a populace dumbed down by an institution as destructive as our current government schools, which far from teaching young minds to discern logic from propaganda instead concentrate mostly on DISHING OUT propaganda — see “global warming,” “carbon dioxide as a pollutant,” and “We’d be safer if all guns were seized and melted down.”

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Those nasty guns still causing people to go crazy

8:37 am November 5th, 2013

I see where there have been a couple more “mass shootings,” leading not to questions about why so many black men seem to feel trapped, frustrated, and unneeded in the wonderful new multi-generational welfare state we like to call Obamaland, but rather to the usual recycled, croaking calls for more “gun control.”

For the record, we should always note the death toll of these predictable psychotic explosions among the quasi-literate and otherwise unemployable graduates of our youth propaganda camps, desensitized as they are after years of blow-’em-up video games, remain infinitesimal compared to the purposeful massacres of their unarmed subjects by such champions of socialism as Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

Also, unfortunately for the gun grabbers, the most notable mid-September shootings (the press now ignores all the “routine” weekly massacres of scores of urban minority Americans by scores of other other urban minority Americans, shot while sticking up bodegas and the like, unless the toll of a single incident mounts over half a dozen) occurred in Washington D.C. and Chicago, jurisdictions which have long imposed some of the  most Draconian “gun control” regimes in the nation.

Law-abiding Americans from other parts of the country aren’t even allowed to carry their lawfully owned self-defense weapons INTO Chicago or Washington D&C for their own protection — despite the guarantee of the 14th amendment that none of the states be allowed to deprive “U.S. citizens” of any constitutional right. So if “gun control” worked, surely a child’s park in gun-banning Chicago would be the safest place in the land . . . right?

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