Hanging out in my man cave, cleaning and fixing guns. It's very therapeutic.
Got a 1944 "Last Ditch" Japanese Arisaka rifle which needed some minor fixes to the wood stock. Produced at roughly the same time as my M1 Garand, the Arisaka betrays the plight facing Japan then, particularly when compared to the M1. The Arisaka, normally a very fine rifle, by 1944 had become rather rough: the wood cheap and poorly finished, the butt plate crudely nailed on, and the metal components showing that they got rushed out the door with a minimum of the fine Japanese craftsmanship we expect on manufactured items. That said, however, it seems to work well. By the way, the Imperial chrysanthemum (the "Mum") is partially scratched off. The story on that is not entirely clear. I have read from reputable sources that the Palace ordered the "Mums" ground off before the rifles were surrendered to the occupying US forces. Another source says, no, that happened at the insistence of General MacArthur. Who knows? I don't, and can't find any good paper trail to support either version. Either way, I have half a Mum, so somebody didn't do a thorough job.
Also spent some time replacing the recoil spring on an old Spanish "Star" 9mm. It proved a bear to disassemble as, clearly, nothing had been done to it in a long, long time. Cleaned it up, replaced the recoil spring assembly and promptly had the slide, now feeling rejuvenated, bite my hand. Blood, curses. We'll see how it does at the range. Likewise, I inherited my father's handguns, one an S&W .357 "Highway Patrol" Special, which when he bought it in the 1950s was probably the most powerful commercially manufactured handgun you could get. Beautiful gun. Works great. I took it with me all around the world. His S&W Model 39-2, needed quite a bit of cleaning but looks like it will be fine.
Enough of the fun stuff.
Still struggling with a range of health issues--off to the MRI machine this afternoon--and with the overwhelming feeling of being pissed off at what is happening to our country and to the West. I can't imagine what sort of a place we leave our children and grandchildren. It apparently will be one in which they must feel shame, deep, deep shame, for their nationality and must repeatedly assert that "whiteness" is a unique form of evil. Joy and entertainment are to be banned and replaced with a ceaseless propaganda stream misrepresenting, ignoring, deforming, and deriding the vast accomplishments of Western Civilization--aka, European people: the BEST civilization ever to emerge on the planet Earth. Millions upon millions of people all over that planet risk their fortunes and their lives to live under that Civilization. Yes, it seems that "people of color" (What a stupid phrase!) want to live under the brutal rule of white patriarchy. Our own southern border serves as a vivid testament to that fact. Strange how that happens, no?
Our foreign policy looks hopeless.
The so-called Biden administration has destroyed the deal reached with Mexico and Central America on immigration, and the border, as a consequence, is now a hot violent mess. The Middle East is falling apart again, as the so-called Biden administration seeks to kiss the butts of the Palestinian Authority and the Mad Ayatollahs of Iran. The former Senator from Delaware's meeting with Putin? A bad, bad joke with America the punchline and punching bag. What genius came up with the idea of the former Senator giving Putin a list of areas in which we would not accept Russian hacking? So anything NOT on the list is OK? Will we now negotiate what exactly is meant by any particular category? Does anybody remember the story of how after WWII we listed the areas of interest to the US and failed to list the Korean Peninsula? Stalin noticed, and guess what?
OK, we now have June 19 as a federal holiday. The Republicans should seize the moment to remind people what June 19, 1865 actually meant. It meant word, by way of the Union army, had gotten to the most remote corner of the Confederacy, Galveston, Texas, that slavery "in the states under rebellion" was forbidden. Guess what? It was a Republican President who did that. Guess who were the slave owners? Democrats, but you knew that.
More depressing thoughts later.