Tag: safety

Member Post

 

I just stumbled onto a deal for a table saw and I’m wondering if I’ll be satisfied with it.  I currently have a Grizzly 10″, 3HP cabinet saw.  I’ve used it for 15 years and am quite satisfied with its performance. Safety is another matter.  Despite being a slow learner, I have figured out that […]

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Pay Attention to What You’re Paying Attention To

 

shutterstock_216207001There’s been a tremendous increase in firearms ownership in America in the past few years. From concern over the availability of firearms under this political climate to the threat of active shooters, Americans are arming themselves more and more as of late.

Arming yourself with a gun, however, is an optional checkpoint on the road to personal security. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A firearm is not a talisman against evil, it requires a skilled and determined operator to be effective. If you’ve decided that a gun should be a part of your personal security inside and outside the home, get the training you need to safely own and/or carry your gun, and then get some more. After all, no one ever survived a gunfight thinking “Wow, did I ever overtrain for that!”

Before buying a gun, however, consider all the other things in your lifestyle that might be points of vulnerability in your life. Using a firearm to defend your life should be, in the words of Massad Ayoob, only in the gravest extreme*. If it’s possible to avoid a situation where a gun is needed, do so first, last, and foremost.

Lessons from Paris

 

shutterstock_207060784“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”Vegetius

As the world recoils in horror from the atrocities carried out on the streets of Paris Friday night, we’re beginning to realize that this is a calamity we’ve seen before: The attacks on the theater, nightclub, soccer stadium, and shopping mall are almost exact copies of earlier attacks in Mumbai and Nairobi, and we’ve seen smaller versions of these kind of attacks on American soil at Fort Hood and in Garland, TX; Ottawa, Canada; and during the Boston Marathon. There is no such thing as “rules of engagement” for radical Islamic militants: In this global war on terror, we are all behind enemy lines. We have met the enemy, and they are among us.

There are two possible responses to the dispersed threat of Islamic terrorism: Increased surveillance and security in the hopes that you’ll catch terrorists in the same net you use to corral regular citizens, or an empowered, aware citizenry that can stop an attack dead in its tracks. I prefer the second option myself, not only because it works, but it errs on the side of freedom, and that’s always a good thing.

Member Post

 

I read a story in the LA Times (I don’t know how I got there) arguing the case of the electric car, and saying it would be a bad idea to spend lots of money on high speed mass transit (correct) because the autonomous vehicle will be everywhere before they could be completed (wrong). It’s […]

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It Don’t Mean a Thing When the Kids Want to Swing

 

Then there was the time when a bunch of us kids tied a rope around the back tire of a bicycle, and tried to pull it to the top of the tall metal slide on the school playground. School was out for the summer, which left the playground open to neighborhood kids (and those, like me, who spent their days at neighborhood daycare in a private home). The slide was a steep, narrow, imposing structure to us, and wouldn’t it be mad fun, we thought, if we could ride a bike down the thing, do a wheelie at the bottom and, who knows, maybe even survive!

I volunteered to make the maiden trip because I was bright like that, leaving only the single problem of hauling that bike up to the peak. We’d tug the thing about halfway up, and then it would flop sideways off the slide and just swing from the rope, like it had been executed. Then, one of our number had the idea of pushing the bike up the slide on one end while the rest of us continued tugging on the rope to pull it up from the other end. He slipped (a metal slide is very slick), and fell down the slide but not before instinctively grabbing onto the bike and pulling it down on top of him. It was a spectacular crash, and we all congratulated him and said we wished we could watch the masterpiece again in slow motion. I think he was proud of his accomplishment. We were happy for him. You’d think that would’ve been enough of a day’s work for us, but we had not yet exhausted our imaginations.

Member Post

 

Since getting rid of my internet connection at home two weeks ago, I’ve been far more productive. My house is cleaner, and I’ve been exercising regularly. In the past six days I’ve walked/jogged over 20 miles after work. It feels really good to be doing so much more.  But last night was different. I was […]

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Globalization, Competition and My Wet Basement

 

In New England, a dehumidifier is pretty much a required appliance in spring and summer. That goes double in my neighborhood, which was built on swampland in the 1950s.

Last spring, I received a notice that my dehumidifier – U.S.-branded, but manufactured in China – was subject to a safety recall. Apparently there were some instances of similar units catching fire. By shipping back certain parts, I was entitled to a gift card and discount coupon towards a new one. Grumbling, I removed the parts, sent them back, and waited for my coupon. After it came, I shlepped out to the store, shopped for a new dehumidifier, and shlepped the new unit home.