Thursday, September 25, 2008

Odds & Ends (Sep 25)

Thanks to the fox that has been making the rounds on my property.

Last year we were overrun by rabbits, this year, not a rabbit to be seen....

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Federal value packs were under $20 on my last visit to Walmart. The Winchester value pack was $21 something, and Remington still on the high side, over $24.

Of the three, I like the Remington's as it's a nice clean shooting shell, but if buying on price...

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Obama and the ammunition tax.

I see a large number of searches on the subject.

Nothing that I have ever read has seen Obama associated with any talk or proposal for an added tax on ammunition.

Sorry to disappoint!

The Lost Target website has an entire section dedicated to Obama & Guns.

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Remington 1100.

I just made a purchase of Magazine Springs and Action Springs for replacement in two guns.

The action spring should be replaced every 10,000 rounds, but I've settled on replacing it every two years. Under $5 for a spring, so cheap insurance.

The spring is located in the stock, reached via the butt plate. If you've been shooting an 1100 forever and have never replaced the spring, and all of a sudden your gun stops ejecting shells, this may be the fix.

Just an added thought, and I've talked of it before. Clean the trigger once or twice per year. A few years back I almost replaced everything on the gun and could not get it to cycle properly. It was suggested I clean the trigger. I did a simple cleaning and the gun started working like a charm.

I use BreakFree and shoot the gun dry...

Today, Heide shot 100 targets in sporting clays, using her 1100 and reloads, no problems. The gun is at least 40 years old.

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The price of lead has been dropping. More and more shooters are seeing it for under $35 per bag. I've seen $32 mentioned more than a few times.

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Shooting one gun at a skeet shoot on Saturday.

Looks like rain.

A two gun shoot, but we have a long day on Sunday, as a three hour drive to attend a sporting clays shoot. So just shooting the one gun to support the shoot.

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I see the conservatives in both the house and senate will not support the bailout.

If I believe what I read, they were not even consulted. One of the reasons the Republican party has been having problems for the past few years, ignoring the conservative base.

Good for them for not supporting the bailout, as it seemed the good old boys were bailing each other out and leaving us (the taxpayers) holding the bag.

Kind of ironic the conservative have McCain to rally around, as in the past he has poked a finger in there eye from time to time.

I think a deal, even if only delayed by 24 hours, will be a much better deal for taxpayers.

In any case, the liberals are not happy, and if there not happy, that means I'm happy!

Sunbuster Shooting Glasses (Part 3)

I've had a set of SunBuster shooting glasses since the the later part of July.

The five lenses that come with the package should meet almost anyone's need in regard to lens choices. If not, a number of colors are offered at a very reasonable price.

The optional Extreme Green lens seems to relax the eyes on very sunny days. A dark lens that does not make everything look dark. I think my favorite lens color when the sun is blazing.

The glasses are light weight, but sturdy. I've pretty much manhandled them when changing lenses and not a problem.

I hiked up a mountain side in Vermont when attending a sporting clays shoot. Having the ability to change lens colors was a plus, as at times I was shooting with tree backgrounds and at other times in open areas. I also was experiencing constantly changing light conditions.

I didn't experience fogging of lenses at any shoot.

A word on changing lenses. Impossible to change a lens without getting your finger prints on the lens. Make sure you have your eyeglass cleaning cloth with you and probable a good idea to have the cleaning fluid also. Just throw the case that comes with the glasses in your shoot-bag and your set to go.

The lens inserts have a small foot print, but not noticeable when shooting.

If you require the prescription lens inserts, but have excessive downward head tilt when mounting a shotgun you may have problems. I did!

I had to send the lens inserts back to have them remounted (at no cost), as when I mounted my shotgun everything went blurry. I was looking out of the top portion of the inserts and could not see targets at distance.

My eyes are such, that without glasses I cannot see at distance or to read, so I imagine most would not have this problem, especially if you don't have excessive head tilt.

Overall, a nice package and easy on the wallet...

SunBuster Shooting Glasses (Part 2)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2008 World FITASC Cyprus

Thanks to Canadian shooter Pierre Dubois who is in Cyprus attending the 2008 World FITASC championships and has been passing along photos from time to time.

Pierre Dubois

Shoot Photos

Webmasters, feel free to grab what you want for your own website if you see photos of shooters from your country or club.

The shoot ends September 28, 2008.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gator announces this winters Olympic Bunker Trap Schedule


The Gator Skeet and Trap Club has announced it's winter Olympic Bunker schedule.

Dec 5-7, 2008 -State Shoot Flyer

Jan 23-26, 2009 -Florida Cup Shoot Flyer

Feb 27-Mar 2, 2009 - Southeastern Regional Shoot Flyer

The club is located next to the airport in Gainesville, Florida.

The only Olympic Bunker in Florida.

Tom Baber says the club is in the process of updating the clubs website to allow for on-line registration. A test of on-line registration will be the December shoot.

The January shoot was planned for the weekend after the 2009 Shot Show that is being held in Orlando from Jan 15-18, 2009 and might very well fit into a number of shooters travel plans.

From past experience, the club always welcomes visiting Bunker Shooters on the days the bunker is open, no matter the experience level.

For just messing around, any shotgun will do as long as you can fire two shells. 1 1/8 loads are allowed. You can shoot the game with a single shot, but two shots at a target is the game. As in regular trap, shooters don't wish to have ejected shells bouncing off of them or there shotgun.

If your not interested in Olympic Bunker, the club will be host to the ATA Florida Chain from February 17-22, 2009.

If you have never shot bunker but you think it might be fun and attending the chain shoot, the club will have the bunker open for practice.

Monday, September 22, 2008

US Customs at Highgate Springs Vermont blows it. The entire shift requires ATF Form 6NIA training

Interstate 89 at the Border, Highgate Springs, Vermont

Warning to all Canadian travelers with firearms!

This past Friday (Sep 19. 2008) a Canadian was held up at the Vermont I-89 crossing for one hour because three U.S. agents on duty had no idea what the procedure was in regard to ATF Form 6NIA.

The Canadian declared his shotgun, where he was going, and showed his ATF Form 6NIA (the form pre-approved by ATF for Canadians to temporarily bring a firearm and ammunition into the states).

The approval process for the ATF Form 6NIA can take six weeks or longer!

First, they wanted to see an ATF Form 6? The form used for permanent import of a firearm.

Second, when told this was a temporary import and a ATF Form 6 was not required, they asked for the original ATF Form 6NIA, as the FAX copy in the shooters possession was not acceptable. He patently explained he had been crossing for years and this is the form he receives each year from the ATF via FAX, and has been accepted at all crossings in the past. (Note: a FAX copy is legal)

They then questioned his crossing with a hunting license, as he was not going hunting. Once again, the shooter explained that using a hunting license for attending target shoots was acceptable and approved by ATF. (Note: This is legal and acceptable)

He was also questioned on why his Canadian Firearms license number was on the ATF Form 6NIA. The shooter replied it was part of the ATF permit process for Canadian travelers.

When the firearm inspection was conducted (shotgun) they had him step back from the case. After some time, they then had to ask him where the serial number was as they could not find it.

When it was all said in done, the shooter said he had a flyer for the shoot if they wished to see it. After seeing the flyer they let him proceed. As if the shoot flyer made all the difference...

I asked the Canadian to call ATF and make a formal complaint, but I think most are weary of the possibility of having there name placed in a computer and being labeled as a trouble maker and will most likely not place the call.

Earlier this year at a different Vermont crossing, a US Customs agent dropped a shotgun barrel and it was damaged.

Quebec Stockmaker/Gunsmith, Klaus Hiptmayer was able to repair the barrel.

Automated External Defibrillator for Shooting Clubs

We were talking at the shoot about heart attacks.

I asked what the club would do if a shooter had one during a shoot or at practice?

Those at the club have only minutes to save a shooter with a full blown attack.

During the first ten minutes, saving the shooter is on the shoulders of those present. Medical response will be en route, but most clubs would be lucky to see a 15 minute EMT response, and that is only if a phone is available or the club has cell phone coverage.

Every club should have a Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

There is know reason to not have one...

Defibrillation is the only effective way to resuscitate a victim of ventricular fibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation is dangerous because it cuts off blood supply to the brain and other vital organs.

EMT they will tell you your chances of saving a shooter in ventricular fibrillation are slim, unless you use an Automated External Defibrillator.

Unless defibrillation can be performed within the first few minutes after the onset of ventricular fibrillation, the chances for reviving the person (resuscitation) are very poor.

For every minute that goes by that a person remains in ventricular fibrillation and defibrillation is not provided, the chances of resuscitation drop by almost 10 percent. After 10 minutes, the chances of resuscitating a victim of cardiac arrest are near zero.

A quick price check shows the Defibtech Lifeline™ AED goes for $1,245 and it comes with a five year battery.

Higher price AED are available and as you can see, not all at unreasonable cost. If a club made it a goal to make such a purchase a priority, and made the need known to the general membership, I imagine an AED would be purchased within the year.

I've posted on the subject in the past and put up a page with information links on the subject, to include a link that shows the various laws in each state in regard to the use of an AED.

Automated External Defibrillator for Shooting Clubs

If you do nothing else, at least bring the subject up at the next club meeting...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Canadian clubs to see fewer American shooters in 2009

As of June 1, 2009, Americans will either need a passport or State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License to return to the United States when driving. Not the minimum of a drivers license and birth certificate, as is the present requirement.

I suspect when the June 1, 2009 travel requirements for Americans is implemented, the number of American shooters who might be enticed to visit Canada to attend a shoot will have a larger negative impact on cross border shoot attendance than the impact the Canadian firearm registration requirements had when they were implemented.

It's hard enough convince Americans to pay the $25 to temporarily register firearms in Canada for 60 days, especially when it's for only one shoot. Now they will have the added expense of either an Enhanced Drivers License or Passport.

Granted those who live along the border would have a greater chance of having an Enhanced Drivers License (if available), but those living only 100 miles from the border will most likely have neither a Passport or Enhanced Drivers License.

And, if not already planning on visiting Canada for other reasons...

Yes, many hunters each year fly into Canada and return via flight and have a Passport, but I think that is comparing apples to oranges.

The old days of inviting fellow shooters on short notice to attend a shoot in Canada has just become 99% harder, as it is now like planning a fall hunting trip to Canada, and just not for everyone.

As for the Canadian traveler. I see no impact, as Canadians have already decided they will continue to visit the United States, no matter what the requirements, as seen from the number of Canadian shooters attending major shoots, shoots held near the border, and Canadians who snowbird each winter. Many I have contact with, maybe all, already have a passport, as Canadians for whatever reason, visit the states in huge numbers each year.

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U.S. Citizens.

On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.

WHTI-Compliant Travel Documents for U.S. citizen travel via land or sea, as of January 31, 2008:

- Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
- State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available)
- Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
- U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
- Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
- Form I-872 American Indian Card

* When flying into the US, Passport required.

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Canadians.

As of June 1, 2009, Canadian citizens will be required to present one of the following documents when travelling to, through or from the United States by land or sea:

- a valid passport; or
- a NEXUS card; or
- a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card; or
- an enhanced driver’s licence (EDL) (in provinces and territories where U.S.-approved EDL programs are implemented).

Canadian citizens 15 years of age and under will only require proof of citizenship, such as an original or a copy of a birth certificate, or a Canadian citizenship card. Canadian citizens 18 years of age and under who are travelling with a school or other organized group, under adult supervision with parental/guardian consent, may also present proof of citizenship alone.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Northeast Florida ATA Chain Shoots, 2009

A busy February in regard to ATA trap in northeast Florida, as with the addition of Flagler, three clubs in the region are now taken part in the Florida chain.

Feb 4--8
Flagler

Feb 11--15
Jacksonville

Feb 17--22
Gator

All three clubs are north of Orlando, with Flagler the closest to Daytona Beach.

I've shot all three clubs.

A good bunch at each club running the trap program.

Jacksonville and Gator have a track record of handling a large influx of shooters, with Flagler yet to be tested, as this will be there first Chain Shoot participation, but they did have a test run last February.

Flagler has put great efforts into preparation, to include building new (and rebuilding) fields and adding bathroom facilities. If they meet the expectations of the RV shooters, all should be well!

Jacksonville weather can be on the cool side at that time of the year, but last winter the weather for the shoot was almost perfect. Shooters living south of Orlando have a tough time if it does not hit 75, and those visiting from the north for the fist time expect it to be 80's in all parts of Florida. It may or may not be in the 70's for the shoot, so pack smart and bring your shooting jacket and sweater along and you should have an enjoyable shoot.

Gator has been putting more than a few dollars into it's facilities over the past few years. Gator has the added bonus of having the only Olympic Bunker Trap (15 machines) in Florida and it's open to all who wish to give it a try. I know at the February shoot this year it was open on Saturday at the end of the day for all to enjoy.

Hopefully, all three club's keep the traditional system of shooting 100 targets, one box per 25, as I've seen in the past at the clubs and don't force the nonsense of shooting 10 targets per post that is becoming popular at various clubs.

For those not into attending chain shoots, but just want to shoot for practice, all the clubs welcome visitors at any time they are open, but be warned, the non-member rates at some clubs may seem punitive to shooters visiting and not living in the region.

Usually, during shoots visitors shoot at member rates...

Other clubs in the region. The Palatka Skeet Club has re-opened it's lone trap field, Amelia Shotgun Sports offers trap shooting, and just outside Daytona Beach, the Volusia County Skeet & Trap Club also offers trap.

Update: The club now has a web site.

Northeast Florida Clay Target Clubs

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Obama: 'Lipstick on a Pig, still a Pig'

Obama latest comments on the Republican candidates and the Hockey Mom running for Vice President...

'You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig, But It's Still a Pig'

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's ad lib during her vice presidential nomination acceptance speech last week, "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."

Monday, September 08, 2008

Gun Talk Boards, don't sit out the election!

Aware of any GUN or OUTDOOR talk boards trying to limit discussion on the upcoming election?

Is Obama and Palin off limits?

Can't be mixing politics with guns, hunting, and fishing can we?

We might upset the LEFT...

I imagine those who complain of political postings in support of pro-gun and pro-hunting candidates or postings that point out candidates who are not, our not members of the NRA or Gun Owners of America. They also believe the Humane Society just runs dog pounds and not involved in the battle to end hunting and fishing.

As long as they don't take my gun or limit my fishing and hunting...

Governor Palin has ignited a passion in some not seen since Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher. The LEFT and those who "just want to get along" (moderates) don't want the passion to spread.

The Women the Left is Scared of!

By any stretch of the imagination, do you think judicially nominees made by a PRESIDENT Obama too the Supreme Court or Federal Nominees in general, will be PRO-GUN or not siding with animal right activists?

Do sites with a LIBERAL bent limit or ban discussion of Governor Palin?

The anti-gun sites don't and if the national papers are any indication, the more trash the better.

Limiting the discussion on pro-gun, hunting, and fishing sites is what the LEFT wants. as it leaves the field open for them to define the candidates.

We will also be shooting ourselves in the foot...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Gun Owners for Obama, why the silence on Palin?

Gun Owners, Hunters, and Fisherman supporting Obama and Biden.

Why the silence on Sarah Palin; certified Life Member of the NRA, Gun Owner, Hunter, Fisherman, and know to take part in a charity sporting clays event.


Do you really think she is going to take any garbage from the left in regard to hunting, fishing, and gun rights?

By the way, is it O.K. to wear fur as long as you killed the animal yourself?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Speed-Up Trap, I don't like it!

At many clubs registered trap shooting is now an endurance race!

I don't care for it...

I don't like shooting ten (10) targets per post.

Nor shooting five (5) targets per post, but have to place the second box near your starting pad, as not to slow the shoot. Bend and scoop the second box!

Yea, I know, just carry the second box...

No one at the shoot complaining, because real men don't complain. They may not be complaining at the shoot, but...

God forbid if someone wants a two minute break, especially on a hot and humid day.

No reason to bring water on the field, as your not given time to drink it!

You find yourself almost wishing for a machine breakdown or gun breakage...

Shoot management seems to care less if it's a short squad or not a sold out shoot.

The rules of the shoot are the rules that all squads will follow, no matter the circumstances or the weather.

Not fun when the squad is less than five shooters.

Does anyone practice four rounds of trap using the Speed-Up trap concept?

If they did, they would be hard placed to find anyone whom would shoot with them, and non-registered shooters watching would think they were nuts, as they are in the game to have fun!

From the clubs perspective I know why it's done, but...

Are we killing the growth of the sport because clubs are not willing to turn away shooters when overbooked?

FITASC, Skeet, and Sporting Clays don't have a problem with pre-registering and limiting numbers of shooters, with deposit required when deemed necessary.

I'm shooting sporting clays this Sunday and yes, pre-registration is required!

The economy may not be the only reason that attendance is down at many trap shoots...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin hits home run, Obama & Biden might pursue criminal charges against Bush



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Obama might pursue criminal charges against Bush



Biden says criminal violations will be pursued

· Democrats have issued subpoenas to Bush aides
· 3 staffers have been held in contempt of Congress

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November.

Biden's comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

But his statements represent the Democrats' strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years.

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC.

"[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution," he added, "out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."

Obama sounded a similar note in April, vowing that if elected, he would ask his attorney general to initiate a prompt review of Bush-era actions to distinguish between possible "genuine crimes" and "really bad policies".

"[I]f crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News. "You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve."

Congressional Democrats have issued a flurry of subpoenas this year to senior Bush administration aides as part of a broad inquiry into the authorisation of torturous interrogation tactics used at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Three veterans of the Bush White House have been held in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to subpoenas: former counsel Harriet Miers, former political adviser Karl Rove, and current chief of staff Josh Bolten. The contempt battle is currently before a federal court.

Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Florida Clay Target News, Volusia County & Flagler

Update: The club now has a web site.

Volusia County Skeet & Trap Club

Operation Hours as Of 9/1/08

Wednesday and Sunday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Saturday 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Address:
4031 Pioneer Trail
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

Phone: 386-679-7386

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Jack from the Flagler club had this to say.

Friday 8-29-08

Flagler completed the instillation on the roof of 5th trap field.

Saturday 8-30 we reinstalled the trap machine in the upgraded field 4 and we have 4 fields operational. Flagler will have the 5th field operational before the end of September.

The bathrooms are complete and working.

We are working on electric and water upgrades.

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As a side note. Flagler will for the first time be part of the Florida ATA Chain shoot in 2009.

If you visit the club, it's a morning club in regards to skeet and trap.

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As I posted previously, the Palatka club is replacing the high house outside steps on a number of fields.

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Not official, but it was posted to a talk board that Jacksonville has replaced the coin operated system on the skeet and trap fields. They went with a different company.

I noted early this year they were having problems with the the newly installed system when I visited, but was assured a fix was coming.

If the posting on the talk board was not correct, I'm sure I will be quickly corrected.

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The 2009 schedule for trap and sporting clays is posted to the Florida State Association websites.

Bradford will once again repeat as host of the Florida State Sporting Clays Championships. If you want to see good targets, the club to visit. A very friendly bunch. The club also has two five stands, one elevated. From day one, we felt welcomed...

Nothing on skeet for 2009 on the Florida Association website. I would think something would be up in the next month, as the new year starts on November 1.

Problems on their website at the moment, but I'm sure they will get it all worked out.

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Before I start receiving emails in regard to Florida clay target shooting, I'm most familiar with clubs north of Daytona Beach. If you drop me an email I will be more than happy to try to answer your questions. Most clubs have websites.

A web page I put up.

Northeast Florida Clay Target Clubs

The non-member rate at clubs in Florida can be punitive, so ask before you shoot.

Gator does offer a snow bird membership for those down for the winter.

Gator has the only Olympic Bunker (15 machines) in Florida. For bunker practice, you can shoot any gauge and 1 1/8.

My first visit to the Gator club a few years back did not go well. One of the worst experiences I had at a club. The manager I dealt with back then is long gone and the club has invested more than a few dollars in it's operation. I took part in the trap chain shoot hosted by the club this year and had a good time. I also attended a benefit skeet/bunker fun shoot.

They don't have a Lost Target type website in the region and it's tough to get a handle on fun shoots being held unless you visit each clubs website individually. Rare to see a flyer posted at a sister club. My site is always available for such things, but...

I don't list the St. Augustine club, as they are a private club. They are located near the airport. I've shot practice at the club, but to be honest I don't have a handle on the clubs visitor policy and don't know if they want every skeet shooter visiting Florida to drop in unannounced. A beautiful club...

Monday, September 01, 2008

NRA Member Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama

Governor Palin on energy....



Obama on energy....



Governor Palin is a leader in every sense of the word. A life member of the NRA, a hunter, fisherman, Christian, a mom with all that brings, and a hard working husband who is a card carrying union member and commercial fisherman.

Not to mention her Integrity, a word not often used when describing a politician.

*Integrity is the concept of basing of one's actions on an internally consistent framework of principles.

And Obama?

This article puts it in perspective when making comparisons between two people, one who goes out and gets it done and the other who talks a good game...

Governor Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama

From Gerard Baker - Real Clear Politics

Democrats, between sniggers of derision and snorts of disgust, contend that Sarah Palin, John McCain's vice-presidential pick is ridiculously unqualified to be president.

It's a reasonable objection on its face except for this small objection: it surely needs to be weighed against the Democrats' claim that their own candidate for president is self-evidently ready to assume the role of most powerful person on the planet.

At first blush, here's what we know about the relative experience of the two candidates. Both are in their mid-forties and have held statewide elective office for less than four years. Both have admitted to taking illegal drugs in their youth.

So much for the similarities. How about the differences?


Political experience

Obama: Worked his way to the top by cultivating, pandering to and stroking the most powerful interest groups in the all-pervasive Chicago political machine, ensuring his views were aligned with the power brokers there.

Palin: Worked her way to the top by challenging, attacking and actively undermining the Republican party establishment in her native Alaska. She ran against incumbent Republicans as a candidate willing and able to clean the Augean Stables of her state's government.


Political Biography

Obama: A classic, if unusually talented, greasy-pole climber. Held a succession of jobs that constitute the standard route to the top in his party's internal politics: "community organizer", law professor, state senator.

Palin: A woman with a wide range of interests in a well-variegated life. Held a succession of jobs - sports journalist, commercial fisherwoman, state oil and gas commissioner, before entering local politics. A resume that suggests something other than burning political ambition from the cradle but rather the sort of experience that enables her to understand the concerns of most Americans..


Political history

Obama: Elected to statewide office only after a disastrous first run for a congressional seat and after his Republican opponent was exposed in a sexual scandal. Won seat eventually in contest against a candidate who didn't even live in the state.


Palin: Elected to statewide office by challenging a long-serving Republican incumbent governor despite intense opposition from the party.


Appeal

Obama: A very attractive speaker whose celebrity has been compared to that of Britney Spears and who sends thrills up Chris Matthews' leg

Palin: A very attractive woman, much better-looking than Britney Spears who speaks rather well too. She sends thrills up the leg of Rush Limbaugh (and me).


Executive experience

Obama: Makes executive decisions every day that affect the lives of his campaign staff and a vast crowd of traveling journalists

Palin: Makes executive decisions every day that affect the lives of 500,000 people in her state, and that impact crucial issues of national economic interest such as the supply and cost of energy to the United States.


Religious influences

Obama: Regards people who "cling" to religion and guns as "bitter" . Spent 20 years being mentored and led spiritually by a man who proclaimed "God damn America" from his pulpit. Mysteriously, this mentor completely disappeared from public sight about four months ago.

Palin: Head of her high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes and for many years a member of the Assemblies of God congregation whose preachers have never been known to accuse the United States of deliberately spreading the AIDS virus. They remain in full public sight and can be seen every Sunday in churches across Alaska. A proud gun owner who has been known to cling only to the carcasses of dead caribou felled by her own aim.


Record of bipartisan achievement

Obama: Speaks movingly of the bipartisanship needed to end the destructive politics of "Red America" and "Blue America", but votes in the Senate as a down-the-line Democrat, with one of the most liberal voting records in congress.

Palin: Ridiculed by liberals such as John Kerry as a crazed, barely human, Dick Cheney-type conservative but worked wit Democrats in the state legislature to secure landmark anti-corruption legislation.

Former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz - a Democrat - said. "Gov. Palin has made her name fighting corruption within her own party, and I was honored when she stepped across party lines and asked me to co-author her ethics white paper."


On Human Life

Obama: Devoutly pro-choice. Voted against a bill in the Illinois state senate that would have required doctors to save the lives of babies who survived abortion procedures. The implication of this position is that babies born prematurely during abortions would be left alone, unnourished and unmedicated, until they died.

Palin: Devoutly pro-life. Exercised the choice proclaimed by liberals to bring to full term a baby that had been diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome.

Now it's true there are other crucial differences. Sen Obama has appeared on Meet The Press every other week for the last four years. He has been the subject of hundreds of adoring articles in papers and newsweeklies and TV shows and has written two Emmy-award winning books.

Gov Palin has never appeared on Meet the Press, never been on the cover of Newsweek. She presumably feels that, as a mother of five children married to a snowmobile champion, who also happens to be the first woman and the youngest person ever to be elected governor of her state, she has not really done enough yet to merit an autobiography.

Then again, I'm willing to bet that if she had authored The Grapes of Wrath, sung like Edith Piaf and composed La Traviata , she still wouldn't have won an Emmy.

Fortunately, it will be up to the American people and not their self-appointed leaders in Hollywood and New York to determine who really has the better experience to be president.

Gerard Baker is US Editor and Assistant Editor of The Times of London. Email: gerard.baker@thetimes.co.uk

Sarah Palin NRA Life Member, Fisherman & Hunter