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December 26, 2007

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Brain Food for the Holidays

Here are three books I hope you found under your Christmas tree. The first two are reprints, and while they are not gun-related, they are will cause you to lose track of time. Both are in print, and pretty widely available. The third book is brand spanking new.

The Forgotten Soldier, by Guy Sajer (a pen name) is the story of an Alsatian teenager who was drafted into the Wehrmacht and sent to fight in the Soviet Union. He managed to survive that disaster as well as the retreat to Germany. By a series of miracles he made it home, where he was presumed dead. Doubts have been raised about the book's authenticity, but the U.S. Army War College has it on their reading list, and that's good enough for me.

The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz (his real name). The story of a Polish cavalry officer who was captured by the Soviet Army in 1940, taken for a spy, sent to Moscow and subjected to a year's fun and games with the NKVD. Shipped to a prison camp in Siberia, Rawicz and six fellow prisoners escaped in the dead of winter and, over two years, walked from Siberia, across the Gobi Desert, over the Himalayas, and into India, where they were rescued ed by the British Army.

If you'd like to find out just how much men can endure without going mad or giving up and dying, these two books are good sources.

The Field & Stream Hunting Optics Handbook, by Thomas McIntyre
It's hard to make the subject of optics comprehensible, much less interesting, so imagine a book on the subject that is actually entertaining. Tom Mcintyre, whose immense, hyper-educated brain is packed with all sorts of odd information (and who has done one hell of a lot of hunting), has managed to combine loads of useful knowledge and all kinds of weird but fascinating intel on optics-related subjects.

An example: At the massacre at Wounded Knee, the bodies of the Sioux were searched by 7th Cavalry troopers, and on one of the dead warriors was found the binoculars carried by Lt/Col George Armstrong Custer at The Colossal Miscalculation at the Little Bighorn. In 2005, these glasses were auctioned for $56,625, working out, as Tom puts it, to slightly less than $100 per life, counting both the Greasy Grass and Wounded Knee. If you can resist stuff like this you have a heart of stone, and maybe a brain of stone, too.
The book is $20. wwwLyonsPress.com


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Clay Cooper

Don’t believe me then call 1-800-282-2882

Clay Cooper

My 2005 ¾ ton Silverado is not getting any better fuel mileage and power than the ¾ ton Chevy I owned 30 years ago !


What gets me is that my wife's and my Geo Metro's got better gas mileage then almost all of these new Hybrid cars. When a little 3 cylinder 1 litter engine can crank out 45 to 50 miles per gallon, and still hold 4 people and a body in the trunk yet. Most of the advertisements for these new hybrids is only 30 to 35 miles per gallon. I miss only spending $12 to $15 to fill the tank. But by todays prices it would be $20 to $25. I seen the new Mit Romney complain ads for Michigan tonight it just makes me sick to think about the elections next year. To bad GoHome is not in her final year in office. Ah well only 2 more years.

Clay Cooper

Alex my Grandson still wants to go hunting! OK! My 12mpg 4x4 6 pack 3/4 ton Silverado can handle it!


How is that Marlin, a company with such an excellent product, gets acquired by Remington? (nothing against Remington)
Were things really that bad? They're always ranked in Best of the Year lists. i.e. Shooting Industry.com
I hope their products only get better from this decision. My fingers are crossed for them.

Don Adams

Clay Cooper. Well said. Thank you.


Clay Cooper:
I agree completely. Good job. (Jasonj Hinkle
Man, what planet you been at when all of this happened!)

Jasonj Hinkle:
Shame on you for taking God's name in vain. In case you don't know what that means, it's cussing with God's name or using his name lightly.
I read this column to learn things, not to see your juvenile rants. You couldn't be further off base on the military. Shame on the rest of you for not taking him to task about his potty mouth.
Brady - 15 year Navy Veteran

Dr. Ralph

Amen Coop...

Clay Cooper

I got to honest here when someone comes on line and falls short of telling all the truth. That’s the same to me as telling a flat out lie. Reminds me of Law Enforcement Officers omitting evidence that will acquit or convict a person of a crime. Congratulations Wife of a Soldier that died in action and here is a free million dollar scholarship for your child and aren’t you glad! What’s that? You say it doesn’t pay the bills; it doesn’t cloth and feed your children?? Folks this is not about me; it’s about those who I really care for and about, making a stand for them here at home!!! The real battle is no longer in Iraq or anyplace else, it’s here and it has turned politically ugly and there are those that say that they are soldiers too like Sen. John Murtha fragging our Marines, giving aid and comfort to the enemy. To the enemy, time is not a factor, just setback, wait just watching the United States self implode!

Truce means, I’ll get you later when you have your guard down and the enemy is more prepared to attack!

tom warner

Hinkle is dead right. The most amazing thing is the number of deluded people in our country, who will believe any lies our sorry government tells them. They are the folks that should "wake-up". They are the folks that sport bumper stickers that say"America, love it or leave it."


I can see the Gun Nuts Christmas truce has expired.


If only it were so simple to blame the Democratic party (more specifically Clinton) for all the ills in the USA. Though I have tended to vote Republican, I do it with more than just a little chagrin. It was Republican presidents (Ford and Reagan) who issued executive orders against the US assassinating foreign leaders (which could have solved the Saddam problem long ago). (See http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21037.pdf for an interesting discussion of this.) If Nixon had used his power and foresight during the OPEC oil embargo of the early 1970s maybe we'd be further down the road to cleaner, alternative fuels - and the Muslim countries financing the terrorists that threaten us would not be rich with our money. While Bush inherited a bad situation that became worse with 9/11, he has done little to improve the nation, let alone the nation's standing in the world.

Hinkle makes points we should heed.

Jasonj Hinkle

Any American who supports breaking our laws for crooks are crooks themselves. Business people that evade taxes and help screw the tax-payers by stealing benefits for their buddy crooks. They NEVER intended to obey our laws. Their objective is to take over America and turn into a mexican country. They not only said so themselves...(are they lying?) but they have been quickly and silently laying the foundation of mexican government with Mexican consulates and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce all over the country. Have Americans went so long without a war that they don't recognize a passive-aggressive attack on our country? What better way to conquer a people than a blood-less coup. If the Americans helping these criminals break our laws, what other laws are they breaking? They are accomplices to crime and should be jailed themselves.

Chev. Jim

I read "The Forgotten Soldier" about 10 - 12 years ago and was quite impressed by it. If it wasn't written by a former Wehrmacht soldier, then the author must have done a hell of a lot of research! I talked with former Wehrmacht soldiers when I was stationed in Germany. Many of them still think the Fuhrer was right. The barber who cut my hair was a former prisoner of the Russians. He had his right leg amputated before he was captured by the Russians and sent to a POW camp in Siberia. He and some of his Wehrmacht buddies escaped and made their way across Russia just in time to rejoin German forces for the Battle of Kursk. You know this guy had to be one tough old bird to do that. He must have thought all the American soldiers were tough, too, because his straight razor had jagged edges and he'd pull the hair from the back of your neck rather than shave it. He used shaving cream, but never used water. He probably dry-shaved himself every morning. Another old German soldier I knew told me about killing a Russian soldier with a shovel. He was a "medic," so he didn't carry a weapon. I suspect that he and his wife were members of the Nazi Party. I can remember going to Munich in 1995 during Oktoberfest, and being denied entry into a Gasthaus that was supposedly "full," but which had many empty tables and seats. There are a lot of very nice Germans, though, although their government has yet to fully support us or NATO. My own personal feeling is that we should withdraw all forces from Germany and use them where they are needed. Our presence is Germany is neither necessary nor desired by the German people.

Clay Cooper

I often wonder why does a multimillionaire go for a job spending millions to get elicited as a senator that only pays as much in a year than they make in a month?


Clay Cooper:
I think its an ego trip. They asked a girl out in High School, got shot down, went out and made a lot of money, still got shot down. Now they'll really show them women! They must have experienced rejection at some level and now their going to get the adulation that they deserve. I could be dead wrong but when I see how much some of these people spend to win, and wonder how many people could have been hired had that money been spent on a new factory, how much ecological restoration could be accomplished if that money went towards the environment, how much good that money could have done had it been donated to the Salvation Army or St. Vinnies.

Clay Cooper

From AIDS to Global Warming, I truly believe that there is a vaccine and a cure for AIDS and Global Warming; I find it interesting that no evidence of greenhouse gases that comes into the United States to the ratio of green house gases leaving. Al Gore is making a killing on this and why end the free Government Grants to make them rich!!! I believe that everything that will benefit mankind has been suppressed and denied to exist so others can benefit on our shortcomings. Once again I bring up what I said before, there is a level of death and carnage to those to advance their own personnel agenda!

Clay Cooper

Brain Food for the Holidays?
Mr. David E. Petzal, I have one book for you to read and it’s called Hatchers Notebook!
Funny thing about the TV series Myth Busters, They too can learn something from it. They tried to hit a target under water at close range with a 50BMG FMJ round and the bullet blew up on impact with the water! You can find the answer is to why in Hatchers Notebook!!!


Clay Cooper
I would have a very hard time believing that a cure for HIV is available, but suppressed. There are so many institutions working in Biomedical Research, not only in America, but Worldwide. All of the scientists read their respective journals to keep up with new techniques and probably many correspond with each other and meet at professional functions. Also, scientists, in general, are motivated by something more than money. They tend to research things, more for the sake of research, than the possibility of wealth. If they have personal motivation, its probably to see their name in print, along with some breakthrough. As such, I think it would be next to impossible for that group to be censored somehow.

As for Global Warming, not only is the jury still out, they've never gone in yet. That issue is so large that anytime I hear a defintive statement with regard to Global Warming, I want to barf. Think about it. We've had thermometers, widely distributed for maybe 100 years. We've been around for about 5,000 years. That means we've sampled the Earth's temperature for about 2 per cent of our existence. We don't know the factors that caused heat waves and cool periods in the past. We are told that we spew some number of tons of pollutants into the atmosphere and then we find out that some volcano put twenty times that number into that same atmosphere. I know that pollution is bad and should be controlled. I also know that, if I can conserve energy, I will save money, which will add to my profits at year end. However, I described my experience with the hybrid truck. I doubt that I'll save any money, but boy I look good!

This country undertook two major endeavors in the last one hundred years. WWII and the Space Program. In both cases, scientists and engineers were charged with 1)Find something that works and 2) Develope these systems so that they can be used to reach the end goal. In both cases we succeeded. In the present, I believe our goal shoud first be "Is man made Global Warming a reality" Then we can pursue answers to that problem.

Gordon Hutchinson

I really enjoy your blog--I've been visiting it for a while now, and noticed you review books as you did here. I searched for a way to e-mail a little more personally, but this is the only method I have found--forgive my assumptions by doing it this way, sometimes it is almost impossible to sift through the information on the internet to find a way to contact someone such as yourself.

Like most folks, I had no idea what was happening to our civil liberties and 2nd Amendment rights in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Of course, the national media didn't report about gun confiscations, because the national media wasn't outraged by the actions of the police.

I didn't know we were going to write a book until April 18, 2006, when I covered an NRA "Town Hall" meeting in New Orleans for Louisiana Sportsman magazine. At that meeting, survivors of Katrina stepped up to the microphones. They were absolutely seething with rage at the police and governmental authorities that harassed, abused, threatened, and beat them because they stayed behind to protect their property. These folks told tales of being more afraid of the cops than the thugs and looters--the cops took their guns, leaving them defenseless in the face of anarchy.

I knew that night it was a book we would have to write--it took over a year-and-a-half of hard work, chasing down leads, and spending interminable numbers of weekends in New Orleans conducting interviews with victims of theft by armed police.

But we think the effort was worth it. And we need to get the message out that for the first time in the history of the U.S. an entire municipality made a determined and organized effort to physically disarm its populace. Only by telling this story can we insure such will never occur again.

I also led the team of experts in to inventory and record the guns stored by NOPD in an uninsulated truck body where they are rusting into oblivion after being illegally confiscated by the police and National Guard units.

It took over a year-and-a-half of legal wrangling in the federal courts before Dan Holliday, the Louisiana attorney fighting the good fight for the NRA and SAF, was finally able to secure orders from the court. Judge Barbier finally forced New Orleans to allow us to see the guns that were turned in of the thousands they stole from law-abiding citizens. And make no mistake--thousands of guns disappeared, never to be seen again.

I'd love to have our publishing company send you a review copy of "The Great New Orleans Gun Grab" if you are interested in seeing it. If you would send me an address by return e-mail, I assure you it will be sent quickly.


Gordon Hutchinson, co-author (with Todd Masson)of "The Great New Orleans Gun Grab--Descent Into Anarchy."

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