Thursday, November 16, 2006

Saying Goodbye To Milton Friedman

The libertarian and free market movements have lost one of the great icons today. Milton Friedman has departed the world at the age of 94. All of us who believe in the free market owe him a great debt, one which we shall never be able to repay other than by carrying on in his stead and fighting for a true free market on our way to a world without masters.

The statement from the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation sums it up much better than I ever could.

America has lost a true visionary and advocate for human freedom. And I have lost a great friend.

Milton’s passion for freedom and liberty has influenced more lives than he ever could possibly know. His writings and ideas have transformed the minds of U.S. Presidents, world leaders, entrepreneurs and freshmen economic majors alike. The loss of his passion, incisive mind and dedication to freedom are all national treasures that we mourn for today.

Milton never chose to slow down; even at 94 he kept fighting to bring educational equality to all of America’s children. And it’s this vision, this drive for educational liberty that the Friedman Foundation will continue to bring to families throughout America.

His impact on my life over the last 33 years was significant. His impact on the world was momentous. Without a doubt, few people have done more to advance civil and economic liberties throughout the world during their lifetime than Dr. Milton Friedman.

The light of liberty has just grown a bit more dim with this loss. It just means that the rest of us have to work harder now, to realise the dream of Milton and Adam Smith. Mr. Friedman's Foundation work has been on my mind of late, as I have once again been fiddling with the idea of a new system of education. While he advocated a system of reform and choice I have been looking for a new system entirely. Now, just as I seem to be on the right track one of the people who was an inspiration to me in this area has left us.

Goodbye and Bon Voyage, Mr. Friedman. We'll miss you.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Say Hello To My Little Friend...

Well, I finally broke down two weeks ago and joined the semi-auto crowd at last. After years of being a devout revolver carrier I decided to find and purchase semi-auto. After months of research I took the decision to go with the Taurus Millennium Pro PT145 in stainless. I decided on the Mill-Pro for a number of reasons, top amongst them being that the pistol is light, concealable, fits my hand well and it has a lifetime warranty. I already own one Taurus revolver in .357 magnum so I had no qualms about the quality of the firearm I was purchasing. It was a good deal, too. I paid $100 under MSRP and got not just the firearm, but also received an extra magazine, cleaning brush, loading tool, receiver locking keys and manual. There's also a deal with Taurus to give away a 1 year membership in the NRA with every purchase of a Taurus firearm. Fortunately, I have no intentions of exercising that particular bonus, not being a fan of the NRA in any way shape or form. Maybe someone can convince them to offer up a GOA membership instead?

So, I went to my local gun show and picked up my newest friend, along with ammo and a new holster. This weekend I spent a cold morning at the range getting used to the vagaries of this newest addition. I was really surprised that the recoil on this pistol was nowhere near what I thought it was going to be. I think the recoil was less than I usually experience with my .44 Special. It's a joy to shoot. The only truly disconcerting thing was that every so often the Mill-Pro ejects a casing straight up and back, popping you in the head. If I hadn't been wearing my ball cap I might well have got a hot one to the head. Other than that this pistol fires well and puts rounds about where I want them to go, (misses were my fault).

I wasn't thrilled with the ammo I bought, tho. Speer Lawman rounds. More than once these rounds jammed on me. Grrr....while the price might have been right the quality leaves a great deal to be desired. My next purchase will be some old reliables like Winchesters or Remington's.

I think I'm going to like this pistol a lot. It'll probably even get me out to the range more often, too and that's a good thing!

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