Tuesday, November 30, 2004

25 Year Anniversary of Pink Floyd's "The Wall"

In case you weren't feeling old... Thanks A Small Victory.
Did you see the frightened ones?
Did you hear the falling bombs?
Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the
promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue
sky?
"And the worms ate into his brain."

Labor Unrest in China

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Unrest threatens China's cheap labor. Hmm, a communist people, disgusted with the "official union" (which is really a part of management), stage work disruptions and other labor actions to gain benefits and freedom. Sounds like Poland in 1980.

Maybe free trade really does breed other freedoms. Solidarity anyone?

Big Brother wants to watch students

The New York Times > Education > Federal Plan to Keep Data on Students Worries Some "A proposal by the federal government to create a vast new database of enrollment records on all college and university students is raising concerns that the move will erode the privacy rights of students."

The good news is that Congress would have to pass a law voiding some privacy protections. This is a bad idea - if you agree write your representatives and voice your opinion. [Thanks KABA]

P.S. Check out the Linkfest over at Outside the Beltway.

Where do Criminals Get Firearms?

Justice Department Study Shows 79 Percent of Criminals Obtained Firearms From Illegal Sources " The DOJ study refutes the conventional wisdom that guns used in criminal acts are purchased at retail stores or gun shows."

Of course "coventional wisdom" is propogated by the anti-gunners.
Inmates serving time in state prisons said they obtained their guns from the following sources in percentages:

Purchased from a retail store 8.3%
Purchased at a pawn shop 3.8%
Purchased at a flea market 1.0%
Purchased at a gun show 0.7%
Obtained from friends or family 39.6%
Obtained on the street/illegal source 39.2%

The percentage of inmates who bought their guns from a retail store fell from 21 percent in 1991, when the last such survey was conducted to 14 percent. At the same time the percentage who obtained their firearms from family or friends rose from 34 percent in 1991 to 40 percent.

Sources: US Department of Justice, National Security Institute, National Association of Chiefs of Police
And although the article doesn't cover this, at least some of the weapons purchased in retail establishements would have been purchased legaly - before the inmate had a criminal record. [Thanks KABA]

Dear Abby meets the cold hard truth

Serenity's Journal: She Get's Paid for This? Serenity's Journal offers some hard truth to Dear Abby writers.
Don’t you mean STUPID in Virginia?

What parent allows their 16 year old daughter to attend a frat party where there are college aged boys and kegs of beer? And please stop playing the victim role and pushover because all you’re doing is teaching your daughter to do the same...which is why she ended up at a frat party getting so loaded she didn’t have enough sense to fricken leave.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Brit arrested for carrying a Swiss Army knife

The London Telegraph Reports on more British insanity. The policeman found my penknife. 'You're going down, mate,' he said. "As I lifted the lid I pointed out to them a Victorinox Swiss multi-tool, contained in a small webbing case," and his troubles began. I hate to think what a terrorist could do with a corkscrwew!
The community support officers reacted immediately. They behaved as if they had never seen a penknife before, pulling out the bottle-opener, the corkscrew, the thing that gets stones out of horses' hooves. "This device has a locking blade," said the constable. My goodwill towards the police began to give way to alarm. I reached for my mobile to call the lawyers and explain that I was going to be late but the constable stopped me. "Turn that phone off," he said. "You're about to be arrested for possessing offensive weapons and carrying a bladed instrument in public. You'll be allowed one call when we get you to Charing Cross police station."
If this is the way the police are spending their time, it is no wonder that crime in Britain is out of control. [Thanks to KABA]

Quote of the Day

Patrick Henry“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”



Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

Those Wascully Weasels are at it again

Winter WeaselAs you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council (at Watcher of Weasels) hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around...

Last week I submitted Voters Matter - why we need a populist approach to equality (I didn't win, of course). I did really like the non-council winning post, Rules of Engagement.

Per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Man stabbed 2 relatives with carving knives

Boston.com: Man stabbed 2 relatives with carving knives, police say. I think we need turkey control.
When Frank Palacios used his fingers to grab a piece of Thanksgiving turkey, Worcester police said, a nephew piped up to correct his table manners: ''Uncle Frank, can you please use your utensils?"

Palacios did, police said, but he used two carving knives to stab two family members.

Hate Crimes: What happened to Equal Before the Law?

gay flagJustice Shouldn't Be Tilted by 'Hate Crimes' a thoughtful article in the LA Times (of all places) discusses the murder of Mathew Shepard, and "the notion that anyone is safer, freer, wiser or more generous in spirit because some murders might be defined as worse than murder, some victims considered special, and some perpetrators punished more harshly — all on the basis of something as measureless as hate."

Drugs and alcohol were heavily involved and one of the attackers beat up someone else in almost the same way he beat up Shepard on the way to burgle Shepard's apartment. Was it a hate crime, or just a vicious crime? Does it matter?

Assault and murder are both horrible acts, both illegal, and both deserving of punishment. They are not more horrible when a gay dies, they should not be subject to different penalties.

The inequities that are the result of this kind of separating of victims are illustrated by another case in the same locale.
A third awful occurrence in Laramie should have drawn bright circles around the inequities of that kind of treatment. In January 1999, Henderson's [one of the attackers] mother, Cindy Dixon, was found dead. She had been raped and struck and left in the snow to die. No powerful advocates spoke for her. She was likely to come to a bad end, people said, what with the drinking and the men, and then her son….

Nobody took the measure of hate. By the time the Dixon case was wrapped up, they weren't even talking murder. A man pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and the same judge who sent Dixon's son to prison forever sentenced her killer to four to nine years. He got out last year.
If some murders are to be seen as worse than others, then some people will be killed at a discount. Where is the Justice in that? [Thanks to Right Side of the Rainbow.]

Friday, November 26, 2004

Christmas Wish List

Remington title
Remington 700 BDL

If only it were in the budget for this year.... Chambered in 300 Remington Ultra Mag, with high quaility scope for 1000 bucks or less. Of course I would also need a case, and reloading equipment, and a chronograph, and ....

Of course if I am going to make a wish, I should go for broke. Lazzeroni chambered in 7.82 (308) Warbird, or 8.59 (338) Titan.

Lazzeroni Header
Lazzeroni
Oh well, I can wish....

The Voices of Moderate Islam

FrontPage magazine.com :: Moderate Muslims and Arabs Emerge from the Shadows by Cinnamon Stillwell.

LibertyFrontPage has a series of articles about moderate Muslims, real and imagined. The referenced article discusses several individuals and two orgnizations of note: the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terror, and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Both of these organizations, "are shaking the foundations of the American Islamic establishment. Not only do these groups renounce Islamic terrorism and the ideology that fuels it, they also express unconditional support for their country – America, that is."

These organizations deserve attention and support.

As Daniel Pipes points out, these are Muslims
who wish to live modern lives, unencumbered by burqas, fatwas and violent visions of jihad - are on the defensive and atomized. However eloquent, their individual voices cannot compete with the roar of militant Islam's determination, money (much of it from overseas) and violence. As a result, militant Islam, with its West-phobia and goal of world hegemony, dominates Islam in the West and appears to many to be the only kind of Islam.

But anti-Islamist Muslims not only exist; in the two years since 9/11, they have increasingly found their voice. They are a varied lot, sharing neither a single approach nor one agenda. Some are pious, some not, and others are freethinkers or atheists. Some are conservative, others liberal. They share only a hostility to the Wahhabi, Khomeini and other forms of militant Islam.

They are starting to produce books that challenge the Islamists' totalitarian vision. Abdelwahab Meddeb of the Sorbonne wrote the evocatively titled Malady of Islam, in which he compares militant Islam to Nazism. Akbar Ahmed of American University wrote Islam Under Siege, calling for Muslims to respect non-Muslims.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Pink Pistols: Armed Gays Don't Get Bashed

Pink Pistols
Pink Pistols was formed to make Gay Bashing dangerous, and hence increase the cost and risk to potential bashers.
Thirty-one states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible"

--Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000
Hate crimes laws are ineffective, and I think wrong, since they criminalize thought and not actions. Assault is already against the law. Assault because I think you are gay, (or Jewish, etc.) should carry no different penalty. But the real point is that they are ineffective. Actions speak louder than words.
"I thought I was about to die," says Austin; but he is alive, and that is because his companion reached into the truck and whipped out a pistol from under the seat, leveled it at the gay-bashers and fired a single shot over their heads. All at once, their courage deserted them. They ran back to their car and drove away.
As this story illustrates, gay bashers are inherently cowardly. They are usually armed hunting unarmed victims, they like to stack the odds in their favor, and when confronted with force, they turn and run away.

People in America need to own up to their responsibilities. One of these is to defend themselves and their families against attack. But the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender community is most in need of this, both because they are more likely to be targeted, and because they have been more unlikely to defend themselves.

A Filthy Lie: Evil Glenn and the Complete BS news team

I have it on good authority that an upcoming C-BS "We Make it up as we go long" news magazine segment will be a report on the pre-opening inspection tour of a "Red-state re-education camp." Evil Glenn has been spending time since the election as a consultant to the camps designers, and was interviewed for the segment. (This too will no doubt be dubbed "fake, but accurate.")

"We believe that there are just a few things that caused the Red-staters to vote Republican, and we believe re-education is possible," said Evil Glenn.

One of the variables discovered is that the red-staters eat red meat, while many blue staters are vegitarians. So while in the camp, red-staters will have a diet of granola, tofu and sprouts. "You know just what the average Californian eats," said Glenn, "we did offer them some faux Gras, but most of them turned it down." The camps will of course be smoke free, alchohol free (except that nice California Merlot will be offered at dinner), and salt free, but Cilantro will be available with every meal.

Music seems to also be a factor, so residents of the camp will be subjected to 23 hours of Enya and Yani, with one hour of Linda Ronstadt every day. Evil Glenn hopes this will cure them of their liking for country and western music.

For those residents of the camps not interested in music, a special TV channel that runs Michael Moore documentaries all day will be available. Evil Glenn: "We have heard that if you repeat lies over and over eventually some people will believe you."

When asked if these camps didn't seem just a bit fascist, Evil Glenn replied, "we aren't fascist, we just want to remake the country so that every one thinks like we do."

Instapundo Delenda Est!
++++++++
What exaggerations, distortions or outright lies will the Legacy Media promulgate as fact in the closing days of 2004? This is the Alliance's Precision Guided Humor assignment for this week.

You can't handle the truth!

Times Online: Finally a major newspaper carries a positive perspecive on the war in Iraq. I guess I'm not surprised by the fact it is not an Amernican newspaper.
The injustice Nicholson laments is not that we expect a noble minority to pay the blood price for our security — it was ever thus — but that we demand the right to tell them how to do it. Shackled by laws, norms and protocol concocted by legalists, the US Armed Forces — who have done more for freedom of the press than all the world’s journalists combined — are put in an impossible position. It is nauseating enough that they are now casually disparaged as “hicks” and “rednecks” by do-nothing civilians, without the supposedly objective media joining in.
Hat tip to the Rottweiler Empire

Blame The Shooter

madison.com: Blame The Shooter, Not The Gun Or Hmong, In Deaths: "Six people from the Rice Lake area are dead and two are wounded, and police believe it's because a St. Paul, Minn., deer hunter took umbrage when told he was trespassing on private land."

The conclusion of this article is the correct one: Blame the Shooter, Not the Gun and Not a whole race of people.

The gun did not cause Vang (the shooter) to chase after people and shoot them in the back. The gun did not lure Vang onto private property or into someone else's tree stand. The gun is not responsible for these acts; it is an inanimate piece of machinery. These are the acts of an individual.

The entire Hmong immigrant population is not to blame. Trying to do so is the worst type of prejudice. Judging an entire race of people by the actions of one member is wrong.
But there is one factor that is relevant, I think. It's that, in St. Paul, Vang previously caused a gun disturbance. Police say he brandished a handgun during a family dispute three years ago and that he was involved in other family disturbance calls. No charges were filed in connection with the incidents.

Yet he had a rifle and he had a valid hunting license.
I don't know if the incident in question justified restricting Vang's 2nd Amendment rights or not, but I do know that he is to blame, and no one or nothing else is at fault. (Yeah, I know, innocent until proven guilty...)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What were we thinking?

Interior Desecrators: Horrible Homes from the Brass Age of American Design.

I wouldn't have thought that interior design would make me laugh out-loud, but this did. The 70's were really an awful time. Or as Lieks says, "Sweet smokin’ Judas, what were they thinking?"

And I really needed a laugh today. Thank you Hold the Mayo.

Declaration of Independence Banned in CA School

School Bars Declaration Of Independence - November 24, 2004 (via Drudge) A California school district has banned the Declaration of Independence, and any other documents from our history that reference God or Providence.
NOVEMBER 24--A California teacher who teaches his fifth-grade students with the aid of primary source documents like the Declaration of Independence has been ordered by school administrators to stop using such artifacts of American history because the material contains references to God.
This is not teaching religion in school, this is teaching history. The lefties over on the left coast may not like it, but this country was founded by people of faith. Oh, and there were no women signing the Declaration in 1776.

These are historic facts. You may not like them, or the reasons behind them, but they are facts. The left is not interested in education, they are interested only in indoctrination.

Not only the Declaration is on the black list,
various state constitutions, George Washington's journal, John Adams's diary, and writings by William Penn. Williams alleges that the San Francisco-area school's principal, Patricia Vidmar, banned the use of these handouts because "many original source documents from the founding era contain references to God and Christianity."

Dr. Sanity: The Pirates of the U.N.

Dr. Sanity: The Pirates of the U.N. "The Gilbert and Sullivanesque take on the UN Oil For Food Scandal."

The best take on Oil-For-Food I have seen. Take a look. (HT to WoW)

2004 WeblogAwards Nominations

Awards Logo

2004 WeblogAwards are underway.

I would ask for a nomination but there are too many good blogs that started in 2004 to bother. But go nominate your favorites.

Ink Well: the rewriting of history in Maryland

Independent Women's Forum Blog reports on the insanity in Maryland schools. Teaching about the Pilgrims without discussing god. Political Correctness run amok.
When teachers in the state of Maryland inform their pupils about Thanksgiving, they aren’t allowed to mention the fact that it has something to do with thanking God.

Nope, God is off the turkey table in Maryland schools, where students are free to thank just about anyone except the deity in celebrating Thanksgiving.
Whatever you think of the Pilgrims - and they did some fairly awful things - they were in North America because of religious persecution. This is traditionally the opening to discuss religious freedom, which is a cornerstone of American society. But the schools in Maryland don't need to talk about religious freedom - after all, then they would have to talk about religion. And the well-meaning lefties don't want any religion discussed.

I wonder what they do if they teach about the conflict in Ireland, or the conflict in Bosnia, or the Inquisition, or the Pogroms, or the Holocaust, or the conflict in Israel, or the events of 9/11? Do they leave religion out of it?

Religion informs society. It always has and it probably always will. (The things we go on vacation to see, are typically things built by religions, things like pyramids, and cathedrals.) Trying to expunge any mention of religion from public life - and especially from a history class - strikes me as more than just stupid.

Was it "1984" or a "Brave New World" that had the Ministry of Truth, which rewrote history? And which are we living in Maryland?

UN: 150 Sex Abuse Charges in Congo

Yahoo! News - UN: 150 Sex Abuse Charges in Congo Peacekeeping: Of course, the fight at the basketball game was much more important than this story. Who can blame anyone for overlooking it.
The accusations include pedophilia, rape and prostitution, said Jane Holl Lute, an assistant secretary-general in the peacekeeping department.

Lute, an American, said there was photographic and video evidence for some of the allegations and most of the charges came to light since the spring.
And the UN wants to disarm everyone except governments (like Sadam's) and the UN. It would make us all helpless in the face of this horror. [Thanks to LGF]

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

School raffles gun, since "Bake sales are a thing of the past."

Rifle Raffle Raises Money For School Safety: A parent-teacher organization in the Texas Hill Country is raffling off a deer rifle.

The goal is to raise $15,000 to fence in a portion of a junior high school, where strangers have accosted students during gym class.

"Bake sales are a thing of the past," said one of the organizers.

Seems a shame the drawing wasn't held before the start of deer season, but at least the school district is not so politically correct they won't raffle a gun.

Alphecca's weekly check on media bias takes to the airwaves

Alphecca: It's All About Me... has a 15 minute weekly segment on satellite radio covering some of the weekly bias.

Wish him luck.

November 12: International Dead Terrorist Day

Harvey, over at the Alliance of Free Blogs (Instapundo Delenda Est), has decided that since Arafat died on the 11th and was buried on the 12th (and seeing how the 11th is already a holiday), that Nov. 12th should be designated "International Dead Terrorist Day." Here's my suggestion as to how to celebrate.
  1. Have an old-fashioned pig-roast. My grandfather and his cronies did this to celebrate. Roast the whole pig. (Apple in the mouth is optional.) Not only is it good, it is forbidden by the Koran.
  2. Drink large quantities of beer. Also forbidden by the Koran.
  3. Consume large amounts of potato salad. As far as I know, this is not forbidden by the Koran, but I love potato salad (the kind with the mustard is best!).
How will you celebrate?

Europe - Appeasement Capital of the World

Europe - Thy Name is Cowardice. Davids Medienkritik has a posting on one of my favorite topics: Appeasement and why it never works. Moral Cowardice! I like it.
Matthias Döpfner, Chief Executive of German publisher Axel Springer AG, has written a blistering attack in the daily WELT against the cowardice of Europe in the face of the Islamic threat. Hartmut Lau translated the article for us.
Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to agreements. Appeasement stabilized communism in the Soviet Union and East Germany in that part of Europe where inhuman, suppressive governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities. Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo and we Europeans debated and debated until the Americans came in and did our work for us. Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians. Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore 300,000 victims of Saddam’s torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, to issue bad grades to George Bush. A particularly grotesque form of appeasement is reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere by suggesting that we should really have a Muslim holiday in Germany.

Appeasement, still the vogue of the peacnik movement at home and abroad, has never stopped suffering or death. It has only delayed the day when the suffering and death was replaced with something better. I really don't know why this is so difficult a proposition for some people. Thanks to TTLB daiy news.

Sex criminal's spree ended by .38 Special

Sex criminal 'excised' - PittsburghLIVE.com: A sex offender convicted of 35 crimes including rape, and assault was sentenced to 85 to 196 years.
Wesley's rampage ended Oct. 10, 2002, when University of Pittsburgh security guard Charmaine Dunbar, now 44, shot him twice in the stomach with a .38-caliber pistol as he attempted to attack her in Homewood.[ed note - they say .38 caliber, but I am betting they mean .38 special, which is NOT .38 caliber]
When the defense attorney asked for leniency based on abuse this monster received as a child, "Deputy District Attorney Janet Necessary countered that the victims were not responsible for his bad childhood."

Two points: First, armed defense against rape is the best defense. Second, mosters need to be off the streets regardless of their personal history. [Third, thanks to KABA.]

New Zealanders stand by as cop is beaten

Scoop: Allow Us To Help Ourselves: Does anyone remember the opening scene of Clint Eastwood's "High Plains Drifter?" The sheriff of a small town is horsewhipped to death while the good citizens, too afraid to get involved, just stand by. This seems to be the situation in New Zealand. (Except I don't think a mythical figure will ride in from the wilderness to set things straight.)
"Can they really expect the public to get into a fight on behalf of a police officer when police bosses are constantly warning the public to leave any fighting to them, not to take the law into their own hands, and not to be a hero. What do they think will happen when there is a constant message that even the police won't intervene to save others if it puts them at risk," [ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks] said.
...

"What do they think will be the culture when a Rotorua woman who used a knife to drive off a would-be rapist spent days awaiting the police decision whether to charge her for use of an offensive weapon?"
This last part makes me angry; why should someone who just suffered the trauma of an attempted rape have to worry about being charged with a crime for defending herself? Does the government of NZ really think the world would be a better place if she had allowed herself to be raped?

This is the mindset of gun grabbers the world over. These people would rather see a woman raped, her life damaged (if not ruined), rather than see her be able to defend herself. And the British Commonwealth - England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand - seems to be unwilling to stop at guns and is now busy outlawing knives.[Thanks to KABA.]

The House Gun

GP100
Nothing says home protection like .357 Magnum, semi-jacketed, hollow-point bullets (they even look nasty). My Ruger GP-141 with a 4 inch barrel, as in the photo.

In the middle of the night, I want something simple and effective. That's a wheelgun with stopping power. The .357 has something like 90% single shot stopping record, and the revolver is a very simple machine. No feed problems, ejector jams, or other problems. With a speed-loader on hand, reloading is fast and easy.

Chrenkoff has the Good News from Iraq

Chrenkoff has the good news from Iraq. Too much to try and excerpt. There is good news, and struggles. January and promised elections are just around the corner. [via The Kommentariat]

Monday, November 22, 2004

We're so bloody polite

Telegraph | Opinion | They're so bloody polite: If New York is "quaintly courteous" I guess I am glad I don't live in London.
Even New Yorkers, who pride themselves on being the rudest people in America, seem quaintly courteous by British standards. They do things that, in London, might get them beaten up: they smile at each other on the street, start conversations with strangers in lifts, call each other 'Ma'am' and 'Sir' without irony. This is a much easier city to live in than London, largely because the social wheels are so liberally oiled by politeness.
Another reason to be glad I'm not in London is Charles and the class situation. After the memo, he is trying to become kinder, gentler royal.... I guess I don't understand why a 17th Century form of government is still in existence in an industrialized country.

Filthy Lies, Carnivals, and other Linky Stuff

Alliance of Free Blogs
Filthy lies will soon be the order of the day. Long live the Alliance of Free Blogs. Down with Evil Glenn

Instapundo Delenda Est

'Cowboy Action Shooter' Airs Tonight

Single Action Shooting comes to Outdoor Life TV. "The idea behind the Single Action Shooting Society's sport is simple and all-American."

I have written about SASS. Now you can see for yourself.
Guns and dress must be typical of the period from the 1860s to 1899 or from Hollywood's golden age of B Westerns.

Shooters adopt a character and an alias and put together an outfit as authentic as their desire and budget allow.

"Cowboy Action Shooter" airs at 6 p.m. Sundays and repeats at 7:30 p.m. Mondays on the Outdoor Life Network.
Thanks to KABA

Prespective on the War in Iraq

The Glittering Eye offers some perspective on the War in Iraq.
American deaths in World War I126,000
American participation in war in days585
Deaths per day215

But the real reason that America entered The Great War was that it was the right thing to do and, as a member of the world community, sometimes you just have to do the right thing.


I think it is important to remember that the War in Iraq is really a military miracle. [thanks to Watcher's Council]

Medic Mom's Firearms Resources

Medic Mom has pulled together a collection of pro-second amendment sites.
Organizations and Pro Gun
National Rifle Association
Keep And Bear Arms
Second Amendment Sisters
Gun Owners Of America
Second Amendment Foundation
Guned.com
Armed Citizen
Armed Females of America
Woman Against Gun Control
Gun Owners Alliance
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Liberty Belles
Mothers Arms
A Human Right
Gun Cite
Ted Nugent & United Sportsmen of America
Guns and Shooting
Sportshooter.com
Legal Community Against Violence (gun laws)

There is much more... go take a look!

Hat tip to SayUncle

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Video of French Soldiers Firing on Civilians

Warning: Very Graphic Video of French soldiers firing on civilians in the Ivory Coast. And I do mean graphic! One shot appears to be someone with their head literally blown off. (What happens when you shoot someone in the head with a 7.62x51 mm NATO round at close range?) It's a 10 minute video clip, so the download takes a while.
ABIDJAN, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast's government said on Thursday that soldiers from former colonial power France had shot dead 63 people and injured more than 1,300 during several days of unrest in the world's top cocoa grower.
A spokesman for the French military declined to comment.

These aren't insurgents, as you can see if you have the stomach for the video.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Where should I be allowed to carry?

2 gunsWhenever the subject of concealed carry comes up, the left always wants to restrict where and how people can carry.

One of the groups I believe benefit the most from concealed carry - or they would benefit if they took advantage of the laws - are women being stalked by ex-husbands, and ex-boyfriends. Abusive relationships often turn lethal after the woman tries to end the relationship.

Where do these women need to be able to carry? Where they are known to be. A set schedule, traveling to and from a known location, presents the most risk. These situations are:
  1. To and from work,
  2. Picking up and dropping off kids at school or day care,
  3. to and from religious services.
Yet these are just the places where carry is usually resisted, by employers or by the left, and in many cases restricted.

Other odd restrictions should also be lifted. Why does the US postal service have the power to infringe on my right to keep and bear arms any more than any other business? Why does the US park system have this power? (Am I free from risk in National Parks - no predators of 2 or 4 footed varieties?)

Watching the Weasels

The Watcher's Council over at Watcher of Weasels has a weekly round-up of blogs which is always worth a look.

This week's Watcher' Council (and non-Council) posts contain some good work. (The voting is here.)

This week's winning Council post comes from Aaron's Rantblog, and covers the vast amount of nonsense Islam forces women to deal with - from dress code to driving (or not driving) to honor killings. Take a look, and then tell me I only being "culturally insensitive" when I say this stuff has to change.

Iowahawk has a funny slam against blue-state culture, that is also worth a look.

This weeks non-Council winner is a hilarious slap at the whining left from Cold Fury. It details all of their worst and most ludicrous fears for four more years of Bush & Co, and the insistence that they don't really believe any of it.
Because if you did, you wouldn’t be talking about it. You wouldn’t be writing whiny letters to the editor; you wouldn’t be fearfully mincing down to the Canadian Consulate to half-seriously inquire about moving; you wouldn’t be sitting in coffee houses denouncing the moronic inhabitants of Jesusland with your fellow smug, self-satisfied pseudo-hip doofuses. You’d be gearing up and arming yourselves for the fight of your lives. And much to your surprise, you’d have a lot of us over here on the right offering to help load mags.
Or as Cold Fury asks, "Watcha Gonna Do?" Definitely worth the time.
Molon Lave
Molon Lave - Come and Get Them: (What the Spartan Commander at Thermopylae said when ordered to lay down his arms)

1,000,000 Persians lost 20,000 and yet failed to disarm 300 Spartans. 80,000,000 Lawful Americans would resist even harder.

Courtesy of A Human Right and Oleg Volk

Voters Matter - why we need a populist approach to equality

Newsday.com - Opinion "Take issues to the people, not courts: Progressives need to abandon their over-dependence on lawsuits to reach their goals and concentrate on swaying voters"

The progressive movement in this country is not populist. Indeed, judging by the reaction to the recent election, that movement is anti-populist. But no political movement can endure in a democracy without the support of the people. So unless progressives are prepared to take up arms in a revolution (unlikely given their stand on gun control), they are in for some rough years.
Over time, though, voters matter - just as they mattered on Nov. 2, when liberalism took another beating - and gay marriage was rejected in 11 out of 11 state elections.

Whatever you feel about the rights that have been gained through the courts, it is easy to see that dependence on judges has damaged the progressive movement and its causes. Liberals "became lazy at some point," says Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who has worked for groups as diverse as the Christian Coalition and the Democratic Leadership Council. "By relying on the judiciary, their political muscles have atrophied."
The left has no idea how to win over the mainstream in this country. They think that promises of government spending, and the exhortations of various "beautiful people" should be enough, with perhaps the ranting of Michael Moore thrown in for good measure. They don't know how to talk to people, they are unwilling to compromise, or grant the validity of even part of the opposing point-of-view. (Disagree with the left and you are stupid, uneducated or a fascist. If you were as smart as they are, you would see things their way after all. It is not possible they are mistaken in anything.)
Gay conservative writer Andrew Sullivan, who has worked persuasively for a decade to build public support for the cause of "marriage equality," wrote recently that the judicial strategy might be counterproductive. "Court-imposed mandates rub people the wrong way, even those who support including gay couples within the family structure," he observed. "Extra-legal tactics like Gavin Newsom's particularly rankle."
Might be counterproductive? I would say that the legal strategy - or in the case of Newsom, the extra-legal strategy - has set equality back 50 years, or more.

So if we want equality, what do we need to do?

Learn to talk to people. Recognize that just because I disagree with you, does not make me stupid or evil.

Give up on the idea of hate speech. Freedom of speech - a foundation of a free society - means we must be free to insult one another. Nothing will make a ranting lunatic look bad more than responding to them in a calm and reasoned way. Driving them underground, will not make them go away. Drag them out in the light and expose their ideas for what they are. Be calm and reasoned, not loud and insulting. Otherwise you have dropped to their level, and in a shouting match we cannot win.

Plenty of religious and spiritual people are on our side. Use their arguments to speak to religious people who oppose us. The New Testament has plenty of passages about not being judgmental. Learn what they are and quote them to people. The Old Testament contains lots of laws - Kosher dietary laws for example - that are in the same books as are the statements about gays. Why do they cling to one law, and reject the next? (Should we outlaw the hamburger and milkshake, or a cheeseburger and fries because of the Old Testament?) Speaking the language of religion to religious people will not win over everyone; insulting them and their religion will win over no one.

Equality before the law is not an economic goal. It has nothing to do with health care, tax cuts, or foreign policy. This is a capitalist society, not a socialist one. Stick to the topic at hand: equality before the law. And remind people that Liberty, Equality and Justice are moral issues.

Friday, November 19, 2004

If only we had national health care

The Sun Newspaper Online - Toothache boy nearly died. Tell me again why national health care is so good? So I can put my life in the hands of government agency? No thanks.
Peter Owen, 19, was in agony for a week as he tried SIX times to have a tooth out.

He was eventually rushed to hospital after an abcess on the tooth swelled so much that it blocked his windpipe.

Peter had an emergency tracheotomy — where a breathing tube is inserted through a hole in the throat — and was on life support for two days.
Thanks to Sir George at the Rottweiler Empire.

Europe Gets Immigration Wake-up Call

AP Wire | 11/19/2004 | Dutch Lawmaker Urges Halting Immigration The murder of Theo Van Gogh was a turning point for the most tolerant nation in Europe. Geert Wilders wants the Dutch to wake up and take action against the threat of radical Islamic fascism:
"The Netherlands has been too tolerant to intolerant people for too long," he said. "We should not import a retarded political Islamic society to our country. There is nothing to be ashamed of to say this. It's not Islam. I speak out against the facts."
***
"If in a mosque there is recruitment for jihad, it's not a house of prayer, it's a house of war. If it's not a house of prayer, it should be closed down,"
It's too early to see if he will be silenced - can't have "hate speech." Have to silence everyone who says anything that might be upsetting. (Listen to the muzak, and become peaceful, think happy thoughts, while the Titanic crew rearranges the deck chairs for your safety ...)

Exit Polls Do Not Imply Fraud

The New Republic has an article debunking election fraud theories based on exit polls. Exit polls always favor the Democrats. This isn't fraud, it is bad polling.

Year

Exit Poll
Results

Exit Poll
Dem Lead

Election Actual
Dem Result

1988

Dukakis: 50.3%
Bush: 49.7%

+0.6%

-7.7%

1992

Clinton: 46%
Bush: 33.2%

+12.8%

+5.6%

1996

Clinton: 52.2%
Dole: 37.5%

+14.7%

+8.5%

2000

Gore: 48.5%
Bush: 46.2%

+2.3%

+0.5%

The fraud is using polling methods that have been wrong since 1988, and reporting the results as if you expected them to be actual fact.

Republicans voting either early morning, or on their way home from work, are to my mind less likely to fill out an exit poll. I know I wouldn't. (Or I might follow Mike Royko's advice, and lie.)

So you can believe that the whole exit polling apparatus is flawed,
Or, you can believe that a massive secret conspiracy somehow shifted roughly 2% of the vote from Kerry to Bush in every battleground state, a conspiracy that fooled everyone but the exit pollsters - and then only for a few hours - after which they deliberately suppressed evidence of the fraud and damaged their own reputations by blaming the discrepancies on weaknesses in their data.
[Hat tip to Right Side of the Rainbow]

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A sober look at election statistics

Independent Gay Forum: 'The Religious Revival, Gay Marriage, and Federalism.'

While I don't agree with all of conclusions drawn in this article, I do appreciate that the stats have been viewed from a more sober point of view.
First, don't panic. The evidence for an anti-gay religious landslide in the 2004 election is actually quite slim. Yes, 22 percent of voters rated “moral values” as the top issue. But 78 percent did not. And Kerry voters comprised almost one-fifth of that 22 percent, so the pro-Bush morality voters were about 17 percent of the total. Some minority of these people support gay equality or think of “moral values” as being mainly about abortion or a candidate's personal integrity. So probably no more than 15 percent of all voters were driven to the polls primarily by a hellfire-and-brimstone opposition to gays.
That bears repeating. 85% of voters were thinking of something other than gay marriage on 11/02. Something like 23% of gays voted for Bush, after all.

And while religious zeal may be on the rise, I believe - and the statistics bear this out - that Iraq and the war on terror were the number 1 issue. Kerry's "I have plan" refrain wore thin. Most people looked at his record, and decided that his plan probably consisted of appeasement. This is only my belief, of course. As I have said elsewhere; appeasement didn't work with Hitler, it didn't work in Spain (pulling out of Iraq did not stop bomb making) and I don't see it working in any part of the world. Appeasement doesn't work. (If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want a glass of milk.)

That leaves the strategy for achieving gay equality:
We will have to do the hard and time-consuming work of persuading our fellow citizens in the states that they have nothing to fear from encouraging commitment among gay couples.
And although my friends don't like to hear it, the in-your-face strategy - which today is almost a lifestyle - will have to change as well. News coverage of some of the things that happen in the large cities doesn't play well in Peoria. I am not advocating going back in the closet, but if we want to just be "the couple next door," then that is what we will have to be.

Quote of the Day - redux

William Tecumseh Sherman

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.

- General William Tecumseh Sherman

With all of the knee-jerk reporting of "war crimes" in Fallujah, I thought it was appropriate to revisit this quote.

How I learned to love firearms.

Slate magazine has a good article about learning to handle firearms. Guinea Get Your Gun - How I learned to love firearms. By Emily Yoffe:
Two weeks ago I was so ignorant about firearms that I thought shotguns discharged bullets and I didn't know the difference between a revolver and a semiautomatic.
We could have hoped for more, but as she was plainly hoping to stay clear of politics, Ms. Yoffe did a nice job of keeping the article positive. I think it helped that she actually had a good time learning to shoot.

She stated that it was not easy find an instructor, but then she said she found someone on the NRA website. The NRA site is confusing (especially if you start with NRA.org not NRAHQ.org Google turns up the NRA.org as the first choice. Anyone at the NRA, can you fix this?) Still, it should not be difficult to find training. In DC where there are no gun stores, with people who might know, it is probably harder than in most areas. But if someone out there wants to learn, it should be easy to find someone who is both willing and qualified to teach.

UPDATE: Listen to the NPR report (No, really, it's OK to listen to NPR, and this is a good report.)

Gun suits tossed by IL supreme court

Chicago Tribune | Chicago gun suits tossed:
The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed two lawsuits that accused gunmakers of knowingly letting their weapons fall into the hands of criminals, ruling there was no legal basis for holding the manufacturers responsible.

The lawsuits, filed by the city of Chicago and victims of gun violence, accused the gunmakers of creating a public nuisance by pouring guns into the Chicago area
I wonder when Chicago will realize that with its draconian gun laws, it has one of the highest murder rates in the country, and that it needs to stop looking to place blame on others, and look to itself.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Government Funding of Medical Research Sucks

First we have the CDC telling us that Pellet Guns, and Paintball Guns Can be dangerous. (And I thought the Painball guys wore helmets and face masks to look cool.) The CDC also told us the dog bites cause injuries.

Now the National Institute of Health has funded a study that says lack of exercise leads to obesity. It doesn't take an MD/Ph.D to figure this out. And if it did, it wouldn't take my tax dollars to fund it. Fat people - me included - are fat because they eat too much and don't exercise enough. We don't need a federally funded research program to figure this out.

Can we all write to our Representatives and Senators and demand that this type of stupid research be stopped. If we want to fund medical research, let's at least make sure that it is research that needs doing.

Only in America

Caution: Trains are dangerous. She should be in line for a Darwin award, but instead she files a law suit against the railroad. FOXNews.com - Foxlife - Out There - Caution: Do Not Walk on Tracks
A Pennsylvania woman who was struck by a train has sued the rail company — for failing to warn her that trains travel on railroad tracks.
Man Bites Dog, and Cop Too: hard to know what else to say.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police say a man bit an officer and his dog Friday after trying to stiff a cab driver on an early morning fare.
Thanks to the Other Point of View

You can run, but you can't hide

The London Times Online has a story on the use of reconnaissance drones to hunt and kill terrorists in Fallujah.
[The terrorists] stumbled out into the street, formed a ragged line and started off on the marathon to postpone their deaths, the drone dogging their every step.
I was most struck by a section on an American sniper:
[I]ncreasingly, as they run they are coming into the crosshairs of American snipers, crackshots such as Sergeant Marc Veen and his long-barrelled rifle, Lucille. Yesterday morning he spotted a black- clad man with an AK47 assault rifle peering round a corner 500 yards from the villa where Cougar Company of the Seventh Cavalry has set up a forward base.

He shot the man in the stomach: he fell, but kept crawling, so Sergeant Veen shot him again in the shoulder. Still the man tried to move away, so the sergeant blasted him with his 50-calibre machinegun.

“There’s pretty much no feeling,” the 24-year-old from Chicago explained, perched on the parapet of the house, the shell of the killer bullet tucked as a trophy into his flak jacket. “If I didn’t get that guy, that guy would get one of my buddies some time later.”
Hat tip to the Smallest Minority.

Attacks on Dr. Rice from the left turn nasty

The left has never liked Dr. Rice, and with her nomination as Secretary of State the attacks on her have turned vicious. (I have noted elsewhere what happens when a minority steps out of role allocated by the left - that role is usually victim.)

Several Cartoons have been posted that are insulting - not so bad in its own right, the left is insulting everyone on the right these days (I can't decide if I am "gay hating" or "self-loathing" - I'm sure Michael Moore-on will explain it too me). But several of the attacks are racist. One in particular, by Jeff Danziger, is very offensive - granted this is not the most current cartoon, but it is probably the most offensive.


Since there was no outcry from the left with Danzinger's attack, the current batch will probably go by without comment. I wonder what the MSM would be doing if the shoe were on the other foot and it was Dem being attacked?

It has to really make the left angry. The President that they hate - even more than they hated Reagan it seems - is the first to appoint an African-American Secretary of State, and now the first to appoint an African-American woman as Secretary of State. Clinton didn't .... and yet Bush is the racist.

Update: Check out the Democracy Project for a complete list of offensive cartoons. Thanks to QOAE

Quote of the Day - Churchill

When asked how long it would take to win the war, he replied....

"If we manage it well," Churchill answered with a smile, "it will only take half as long as if we manage it badly."

Winds of Change
adds, "And to those who wonder when we'll be done in Iraq, I'll propose the same answer."

Free Speech means Freedom to be Insulting

Beautiful Atrocities and the SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF BELGIUM: Freedom is under attack in Europe, and from a surprising quarter.
In a shocking bureaucratic coup d'etat, a court of socialist commissars in Brussels outlawed Belgium's largest conservative political party, the Vlaams Blok, declaring it a criminal organization guilty of politically incorrect thought crimes. The ruling effectively ends democracy in EU paradise Belgium, & is a boost for Islamists, since the Vlaams Blok was the only party addressing Belgium's immigration nightmare.
This is only the most recent occurrence of this type. Free speech is under attack all over Europe - under the guise of political correctness. It is better to give up rights than to have arguments we are told.
The court ruled that VB texts - including official statistics on crime rates, welfare expenditures, & a paper on the position of women in Islam - carried 'an intention to contribute to a campaign of hatred.' Under Belgium's tyranny of political correctness, any party member could now be hauled before the court & fined or imprisoned.
Of course this standard isn't applied to the oppressed minorities - in this case Isalmo-fascists.
No action was taken against Belgium's Arab-European League, whose leader Dyab Abou Jahjah recently declared that the death of every Dutch soldier in Iraq was a victory, whose party calls assimilation cultural rape, & demands Islamic schools, bilingual Arab education, & hiring quotas.
This doesn't qualify as hate speech? Europe needs to wake up to the fact that freedom of speech means that I am free to insult you and you are free to insult me. ('Sticks and Stones' remember?) [Thanks to Watcher of Weasels]

Set Phasers on Stun? Almost - IDF non-leathal weapons

The London Telegraph reports that Israel to stun rioters into submission with 'shouting' gun. Developed for use in populated areas, and a replacement for the sometimes lethal rubber bullet, the Shout is the new crowd control weapon of choice.
"'The Shout produces an intolerable sound, which either completely neutralises the subject or drives the person to escape the scene,' said an official from the IDF, which has just withdrawn its forces from Gaza after a two-week effort to stop rocket attacks on Israeli settlers"
Whenever new technology is introduced, some group will wring their collective hands and claim that this will lead to the end of civilization as we know it. (Look at the writing that accompanied the adoption of the table fork.)Is this a good thing? (Non-lethal weapons for dispersing rioters) Or a bad thing? (weapons that can be used on protesters indiscriminately) Neither - tools are not good or bad in and of themselves. Only our use of the tools has value. Use your car to drive you kids to school - good thing. Use your car to run over and kill your cheating spouse - bad thing. It is not the car that's going to jail.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Buy Ammo

ammo day
Buy ammo any time this week to support Buy Ammo Day/Week.
November 19 is National Ammo Day.

It is a nationwide BUYcott of ammunition. You buy ammunition. 100 Rounds a person.

The goals of Ammo Day:

The goal of National Ammo Day is to empty the ammunition from the shelves of your local gun store, sporting goods, or hardware store and put that ammunition in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Make your support of the Second Amendment known--by voting with your dollars!

There are an estimated 75 MILLION gun owners in the United States of America. If each gun owner or Second Amendment supporter buys 100 rounds of ammunition, that's 7.5 BILLION rounds in the hands of law-abiding citizens!

Let the politicians, the gun-grabbers, and the international community know that America is proud of its Right to Bear Arms and we will not be disarmed.

The gun/ammunition manufacturers have been taking the brunt of all the frivolous lawsuits brought by the gun-grabbers. These gun-grabbers are trying to put these folks out of business. Well, not if we can help it! And we CAN help it by buying ammunition on November 19!

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Shooting Sports: Cowboy Action Shooting

coltThe Single Action Shooting Society: The closest you will get to the old west without a time machine.

(Since the MSM never seems to cover all of the shooting sports, I thought I would from time to time cover one of them.)

Whenever I run into the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), I am always struck by how much fun these people are having. Period costumes, period firearms, good food, and serious competiton. What else could you look for in a weekend sporting event?

The first time I ran across the SASS, was at the Guns of August in Ohio, a few years ago. This is the mid-west regional championship. My then-girlfriend and I went to see what was going on. They didn't know us, and since we weren't in 19th century costumes, we obviously didn't belong. That didn't stop them from inviting us to join in a birthday celebration for one of the members. What a great group of people.

The competition is on stages - these are a bit hard to explain to someone who has never seen one - that include targets for six-shooters, double-barrel shotgun and lever-action rifle. Shooters are timed, and accuracy counts. Stages may include swinging saloon doors, for the wild west feeling. Some are elaborate, some less so. The competition is always tough, and safety always comes first.

Guns are representative of what was actually used in the old west. Six-guns are single action, and shotguns don't have shell ejectors. The lever-guns are state-of-the-art, 1870.

Check the SASS website for shoot near you. (I think it is always good to have hearing protection if you go to a shooting event.)

Is the Fat Lady Singing in Fallujah?

US commander says Fallujah is 100 per cent secure. 16/11/2004. ABC News Online That's Australian Broadcasting Corp...
Fat Lady Singing
United States troops have secured control over the whole of rebellious Fallujah with more than 1,000 insurgents taken prisoner.

Colonel Michael Regner, operations officer for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Fallujah, says "somewhere over 1,000" insurgents have been killed in the offensive that began on November 8.

"A 100 per cent of the city is secure," he said, but added that Marines were still involved in fighting in portions of the city and were sweeping house to house.
There will no doubt be fighting for weeks, but the bulk of the work seems to be done.

Alpheca's weekly review of the press

Alpheca has once again posted a review of the treatment of guns in the press. Go look at it, as always it is top drawer. One story on a program in Wisconsin to donate meat to food shelters caught my eye:
Each deer typically provides 40-45 pounds of ground meat. In the first four years of the DNR-sponsored program, pantries distributed more than 1 million pounds of ground venison.
You won't see many positive treatments of hunting in the MSM. (Seems a shame to grind it all - nothing beats a venison roast!

The good news from Afghanistan

OpinionJournal - Extra has a long piece on the good things happening in Afghanistan by Arthur Chrenkoff. As Captian's Quarters says, the MSM is not covering this - must be too boring (i.e. peaceful). Take a look.

The Sunday Telegraph Letters cover home defense

The Sunday Telegraph Letters contain a couple of letters dealing with the issue of home defense. The first is a proposed change to the law. I prefer the second, by John Dawson, which is an attack on the standard government-employee-think that seems to have taken over UK police departments. Here it is in part:
I would like to congratulate Paul Stephenson, the Chief Constable of Lancashire, on probably the most crass remark to emanate from a senior police officer so far this century when he said of your ICM opinion poll: 'We will consider the survey to establish how its findings can help us to understand people's fear of crime.'

Perhaps someone could point out to him that it is not his job to understand the fear of the victims but to catch the criminals. Better he should spend his time (generously paid for by us) considering how to achieve this end.

The Shooting Sports

The New York Times has a positive article on the shooting sports? A Blood Sport Skips the Blood but Scales Up the Bang is a very nice treatment of the shooting sports in general and of sporting clays in particular. Why they put it in the business section is anyone's guess. (They do talk about cost, but it should still be somewhere else.)
IT may come as a rude shock to fans of traditional country club sports, but more Americans take part in sports involving guns than play tennis and golf combined.

...

According to organizations that track sports popularity, more than 40 million Americans participate at least once a year in hunting or recreational shooting. By comparison, 26 million people play golf and 9.6 million people play tennis at least once a year. Gary Mehalik, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said that 23 million people are target shooters and estimates that 9 million of them take part in sporting clays.
The other shooting sports include hunting, of course, and skeet and trap, and cowboy action shooting - none of which they cover. Do you think the NYT has seen the light, or is it just trying to change its image? Thanks to KABA.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Ironic America

Victor David Hansen and The Ironies Ahead
Most Americans — in the movies they watch, the TV shows they view, the radio they hear, the abortions they receive, the sexual practices they choose, and the fashion and entertainment they enjoy — do not feel they are straight-jacketed by a Christian fundamentalist society. And yet we are told that the new jihadists are not Islamists, but our own Christians who are implementing a continental-wide red-state Jesusland.

At its richest, most populous stage in its history, the United States, after reeling from a devastating blow to its financial and military nerve centers, in less than three years toppled the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, implemented elections in Afghanistan and scheduled them in Iraq, prevented another 9/11-like attack — and so far has tragically lost about 1,100 in combat in a war against a virulent fascism that is antithetical to every aspect of Western liberty. Our grandfathers would have considered all this a miraculous military achievement. We call it a quagmire, deride our leaders as liars and traitors, and often doubted that our Marines — the greatest street-fighting besiegers in the history of warfare, who stormed Manila, Seoul, Hue, and Panama City — could take Fallujah last April.
There is nothing to add to what VDH has already said. Thanks to Cassandra at I Love Jet Noise

Red & Blue Divide

Othodox & Hetrodox in Red State, Blue State, Me State, You State has an interesting take on the Red/Blue divide and talk of secession.

If they do split away, I think those of us in the Red states should agree to some ground rules.
  1. We won't take your gargbage - fill in a city park, and start doing a better job of recycling.
  2. We won't build anymore power plants to power your cities, and the cost of electricy is going up to cover the true cost to the communities where the plants are located.
  3. We have to sell you food - but since I hope you fall to the bottom of the "least favored nations" list, I hope the tarrifs are high.
  4. If central and eastern California stay with the Red, I think the central valley should charge LA a great deal for any water that gets through.
And I hope either Mexico or Canada builds an LA-size port to handle freight, since we have a free trade agreement with them, (and you hate free trade) and we will need to replace our use of LA with non-blue port facilities.

Also check out Iowahawk's report on a distrubing trend among blue-state youth. (Finsh your beverage first.)

Crime Statistics: Or why is self-defense an issue?

The next time someone tells you that the ability to defend yourself is not an important issue, tell them it is not a pointless issue to the vicitms of crime.

National Crime Victimization survey, 2003:
  • 198,850 rapes/sexual assaults
  • 1,101,110 Agravated Assualts
  • 3,505,630 Simple Assaults
  • 16,420 murders
During 2003, 76% of all violent crime incidents were committed by an UNarmed offender; 14% of crime was committed by an armed offender using something other than a firearm, while 7% was committed by an offender with a firearm. (And people still claim that guns cause crime.)

We live in a violent society, and I have the right to defend myself. But if you take away effective means, then you have taken away that right.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

We need to help one another

Clayton Cramer is reminded of the Kitty Genovese murder by this report from Fox News
CORONA, Calif. — Two men were caught on a mall's security camera as they chased a woman through a parking structure, then grabbed and stuffed her into the trunk of a car.

Nearby shoppers seemed to notice the apparent abduction, but none attempted to stop it.
We need to overcome this attitude of "I can't do anything," or "I don't want to get involved," if we are to survive. All someone needed to do would have been to call 911 on a cell phone or take down a license plate number. At least the police would have a chance of knowing what happened. As it is, there are no leads.

Is your rush to get back to office more important than someone's life? Wouldn't you want someone to do something if was you attacked at random (as Kitty Genovese was)?

If you aren't familiar with the Genovese story, see the link above - 38 people stood by and did nothing while a woman was killed. If one person had called the police, it might have made the difference. If 2 people had gone outside with baseball bats it would have made a difference. (Guns being mostly illegal in NY, only the criminals have them.)

Staying out of it, not getting involved is NOT a way to stay safe. It only encourages more crime. I believe that civilizations exist mostly to protect the weak from the strong - to combat the might=right doctrine. And while we have employed police forces to do the heavy lifting in this area, they cannot be everywhere. They cannot be on every street corner where a mugging may occur, or in every parking structure where a kidnapping may take place. Those of us who are there have to do something - as simple as call 911 - if we want to live in relative safety.

Value Neutral Democracy

With all the talk recently about moral values, there is a discussion going on around the blogsphere about values in a democracy. It started over on the Belmont Club, and I found it through Shades of Gray.

The push for value neutral democracy would have horrified the Founding Fathers. The Preamble to the Constitutions says that this was formed, in part "to secure blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." This doesn't sound value-neutral to me.

The US was founded on the philosophy of the Enlightenment. This held that values like Liberty, Equality before the law, Justice were not relative, but could be absolutely determined through rational examination of the human condition. "Six Great Ideas" by Adler is good introduction. The six ideas are Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Liberty, Equality and Justice.

Democracy without an informing value system becomes just the rule of the mob. This is why Plato said in "The Republic" that tyranny arises from democracy. It has happened often enough - Weimar Germany, post revolution France, Athens, etc.

Chicago Tribune has a pro-gun article?

It has been a long time since I read the Trib regularly, so maybe this isn't really much of a surprise. Chicago Tribune | Aiming to change image is a fairly positive article on gun ownership and concealed carry, detailing the celebration of the tenth anniversary of Arizona's law.
Only five states, Illinois among them, prohibit private citizens from carrying concealed weapons. In 11 others, police may deny permits based on their discretion. The other 34 states, like Arizona, allow any law-abiding citizen to obtain permission to carry a concealed weapon, although usually a background check and a gun-safety course are required. Pro-gun activists would like to see concealed weapons allowed without restriction nationwide.

Proponents contend that concealed weapons make communities safer by introducing the element of doubt: Criminals never know whether a potential victim might have a pistol up his sleeve. The laws also empower private citizens to protect themselves and others from harm. And the required training impresses upon gun owners just how carefully they must decide whether to draw their weapons.
They did include a comment from some gun-control group, but overall the piece was very positive. Good job Tribune.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Gun control not in exit polls

Gun control issue got short shrift: South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
Why was gun control not an issue in the exit polls? After all the work done to demonize the NRA, Kerry's pandering to the gun vote, it get's left off the exit poll. Maybe they would rather no know.
Did you notice the absence of 'gun control' from the list of issues that separated voters in their choice of who will be their president? With 80 million citizens (29 percent of Americans) owning guns, 4 million belonging to the National Rifle Association, and only 25 percent of Americans polled admitting that they trust their government, 'gun control' was not a major factor in their choice for president?

The corporate-owned news media has shown their agenda -- with their deadly silence on this issue.

Mercury News still not over the assault weapons ban

No need for overkill when buying a gun:
They just can't resist a dig
GRAYLING, Mich. - (KRT) - A couple of weeks ago a national outdoors chain store had a sale on hunting rifles. One offering was a $99 Chinese copy of a Russian AK-47, complete with bayonet, the latter apparently a last line of defense if you are charged by a man-eating deer.
Of course they know that an AK-47 or a copy would not be used for hunting, but would be used in target shooting, or simply for home defense. Hey, Mercury News, Grow the F___ up!

Boys will be Boys

Scotsman.com News reports Playing with guns is 'good for boys'
Confirming what many guilty parents long suspected, Penny Holland says boys will indulge in gunplay regardless of attempts by schools, nurseries and guardians to stop them.

Holland, who claims boys have fallen victim to politically correct dogma, claims that suppressing their need for boisterous play may be counter-productive.

Holland, senior lecturer in early childhood studies at London Metropolitan University, believes that boys who have been banned from playing at soldiers, pirates, or superheroes, become disruptive and live up to a "bad boy" image.
The gun banners were a bit upset with this, as it goes against their "guns cause crime" theory. Guns cause crime the way flies cause garbage. Thanks to KABA

Happy Birthday Kalashnikov - the man not the rifle



The New York Times reports, "Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, the creator of the world's most widely distributed firearm, turned 85 on Wednesday."
In 1947, one of his prototypes won a state competition and was selected for mass production. It was given a mundane designation: AK-47, an abbreviation for "automatic by Kalashnikov," followed by the year of its selection.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Other Magnum


Magnum Research Baby Eagle 9MM. The Other Mangum that Zendo Deb uses is from Magnum Research. (Well it is not really a magnum)

These firearms are actually made by Israeli Military Industries and assembled in this country. A great little firearm, I have put hundreds of rounds through it between cleanings and have only had 1 jam - and the thing really needed cleaning.

This pistol is the little sister to the Desert Eagle - this was made popular by Agent Smith in The Matrix movies, amoung others.

No duty to protect the individual

The Smallest Minority has an entry in the latest Carnival of the Vanities. His take on the recent ruling about restraining orders is good.
The 10th Circuit thinks (6-5) that citizens should be told when a polity isn't going to enforce a restraining order? Getting the government to admit this fact, baldly, in plain English, is in my humble opinion a pipe-dream. The government isn't going to admit anything.
I think just the opposite will happen. Any police department with adequate legal support will make it a policy to notify EVERY petitioner that the restraining will not be enforced. The burden of notification discharged, the police are off the hook. In other words, status quo. Really good departments will have legal notices in their local paper telling all current holders of such orders to wake up to reality.

Having the police tell people that their restraining order is nothing more than a piece of paper is a good thing. (I've been telling people that for years but no one listens.) Telling them that the police CANNOT protect them is a good thing. At least some of them will decide to protect themselves.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Where would you shoot?

Yes, Virgina, you do have the right to defend yourself.
[H]e’s not proud of what he did, but he’s not ashamed either. It’s something he had to do, he said, "a decision I didn’t want to ever have to make and hope to never have to make again."

A stranger, 6 feet 2 inches tall and 330 pounds, shows up at your house in the darkness of 1:30 in the morning. He pounds on your door, forces his way inside and then refuses to leave. He is screaming and yelling incoherently. You yell, "Go away, please leave," but he keeps coming. You flee to your bedroom where you keep your gun. The man keeps coming, breaking down your bedroom door. Six-foot-2, 330 pounds. Screaming incoherently.

Four times you yell back, "Stop or I will shoot." The stranger doesn’t listen. Then you fire your weapon. Where do you aim?
What would you do? What would you do if he went after your kids?

Theo Van Gogh's Film

See the film that got Theo Van Gogh killed. And show the Islamo-facists that attempts at silencing a voice, just make sure that voice is heard the world over. (Don't be worried by the opening song, and the subtitles, the film is in English.) Thanks to Andrew Sullivan and thanks to IFilm.

UPDATE: "The script was written by Ayan Hirsi Ali, a Somali woman who escaped a forced marriage herself and is now a member of the Dutch parliament." WSJ

Self-defense

self defense is bad
Image by A Human Right.

Whether you wait for husband, lover, or officer friendly, women are just supposed to scream for help (or dial 911 - the modern day equivalent). Never mind that in the time it takes to make a cell phone call, a lot of bad things can happen. And who protects you when you need protection from that stalker you used to love?

Better Off Dead

Flash Bunny offers this short about gun control. It isn't new, but it sums up my feeling about gun control. If you take away effective means, you take away my ability to defend myself, you might as well declare open season on law-abiding citizens. (This the problem they are fighting with in England.)

The final image in that flash production comes from Oleg Vlok at A Human Right.

The Statrix: In Defense of Voter Apathy

The Statrix has an interesting take on Voter Apathy:
I view voter apathy as a healthy sign that most Americans, whether they articulate it or not, see the sham for what it is. Regardless of which party has held office for the past 80 years (.xls file), federal spending has steadily increased. The two major parties do not disagree on whether to loot the populace, only on how to divide their plunder.
I view voter apathy as stemming from the lack of choice you get in most elections. Some congressmen run unopposed, but even when there is a choice it is offen between two evils. Why should I vote if there is no real choice?

The recent election did not suffer so much from apathy, getting good turnout across the country. I believe this stems from there being a real choice between the 2 parties this year. I am not sure I know anyone without strong opinions regarding Kerry and Bush. Most saw real choice, and the result was good voter turn out. But a lot of people still stayed home on election day, and with absentee and early voting, it was easier than ever to participate.

As the Satrix points out, "[I]f we do not vote at all, we have consented to the outcome of the process whatever it may be."

Credit Where Credit is Due

This is off topic, but how often do you get excellent service from a government agency?

The National Vessel Documentation Center - run by the United States Coast Guard - has the most helpful bunch of people I have ever had to deal with over the phone. They know what needs to be done, you can talk to a real person if you need to without being on hold all day long, and their voice mail system isn't hell, if you have a standard request.

For you non-boaters (or small boaters) you get federal documentation on a boat if you ever expect to sail out of US waters. It is sort-of a vehicle title, done at the national level.

Big Brother is Watching You

AutoWeek gives us a disturbing look at how much we are tracked as we drive. On Star and other systems collect a bit more information that you may be aware of. (thanks to KABA)

A GPS tracking system, a vehicle monitoring system and some control of electronics are wrapped into these packages. And with the units themselves taking on the aspect of black boxes, just how much privacy are we giving up?
So far, California is at the forefront of black-box regulation. In July the state approved a wide-ranging [Event Data Recorder (EDR)] law requiring manufacturer notification to buyers and specifying that EDR data is the property of the vehicle owner or lessee, and can only be downloaded with the owner’s permission or through a court order.
Data collected by the vendor companies is less secure. "[T]he ACLU notes that under the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act, among the information the FBI can demand—without judicial oversight—are records of an individual’s travel patterns." Businesses, insurance companies, and others are also going to want that data.
“In a free society with free people, you should only have to give out information to those you want it to go to,” says Don Harkins, editor of The Idaho Observer, a conservative newspaper in Spirit Lake, Idaho. “It should not be collected and collated by people you don’t know. It’s none of their damn business.”

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Knife Control - it's no longer a joke - comes to Scotland

New laws aim to ban shops from selling knives - Evening Times

It was bound to happen. The chilling bit of news is that, "a proposal to give police random stop and search powers is being considered." To me, this sounds a bit too much like a police state.

Women Fight Back

Women urged to fight attackers: "to live free of fear means the willingness to literally fight back." Thanks to KABA.

This generally a good article, but the organization, profiled, "Girls Fight Back" - has a target audience of college students - has a rather limited view of what constitutes defense. (I am not just talking about guns. I always tell tell people don't get a gun unless you are sure you can use it.) There are plenty of martial arts schools that will teach self-defense, not just tournament fighting. And pepper spray or mace is better than nothing.

Even so, I think their hearts are in the right place.
Society's answer to protecting women, Weed said, has always been to restrict women's freedoms: Stay home; never expose yourself to the outside world; hide; be meek.

"Who can live with that?" Weed asked. "Who would want to?"
Victims would be blamed if they strayed (why were you there? what were you wearing?) from these restrictions. And the best piece of advice:
Among the most critical of those rules, she said, is to never allow one's self to be taken to another location if accosted.

If you go, she said, you go to a remote location, where no one can hear you scream.

Freedom squelches terrorist violence

Harvard Gazette: Freedom squelches terrorist violence: "A John F. Kennedy School of Government [Harvard U.] researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation's level of political freedom." (Or lack thereof.... Freedom will bring an end to terrorism.)

via Les Jones

Monday, November 08, 2004

Why vote for Bush? Honesty is a Moral Value.

Well I was unsuccessful in staying away from the political fallout from the left. So this is my response - I hope it is my only response. (given that it is in 3 parts)

Honesty is a Moral Value

Kerry lied about many things. Simple things. About owning SUVs (he did in Detroit in front of union auto workers, he didn't in CA in front of environmentalists). He was not telling the truth in at least one instance.

Was he or was he not in Cambodia for Christmas? Did he or did he not throw away his medals (or were they ribbons or did they belong to someone else)?

He voted for the Patriot Act, but was against it.

He was for the war in Iraq before he was against it. I believe he was always against the war, but he knew he couldn't be more of an anti-war candidate than Dean. So he voted for the war to distance himself from Dean, and get the nomination. He supported the legislation because he would do or say anything to get elected. This isn't the person I want in the White House.

I don't know if the Swift Boat Vets and POWs were right or wrong, I wasn't there, but given Kerry lied about so many other things, I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. Honesty is a virtue he has not demonstrated to me.

Why Vote for Bush? "It's Terrorism Stupid"

With a hat tip to Bill Clinton, "It's Terrorism, Stupid!" Will George Bush make this country safe from terrorism? Has he made it safe from terrorism? I think so, and a lot of people who voted for him, think so.

When OBL wanted to impact the Spanish elections, he bombed the Madrid rail system. When he wanted to impact the US election, he sent a video tape.

Oh, and after the Spanish caved and pulled out of Iraq, there were more bombs planted. Appeasement didn't work in the 1930's when Chamberlain pronounced peace with Hitler's Germany. It didn't work in 2004 in Spain. Why do you think it will work anywhere?

One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

I believe that the only way to eliminate terrorism is to confront it. Otherwise we will all be in the position of Theo Van Gogh; we will be executed for expressing our thoughts. I believe that the Bush administration has confronted terrorism, and I believe that a hypothetical Kerry administration would have tried appeasment.

Why Vote for Bush? "It's Terroism, Stupid."

With a hat tip to Bill Clinton, "It's Terrorism, Stupid!" Will George Bush make this country safe from terrorism? Has he made it safe from terrorism? I think so, and a lot of people who voted for him, think so.

When OBL wanted to impact the Spanish elections, he bombed the Madrid rail system. When he wanted to impact the US election, he sent a video tape.

Oh, and after the Spanish caved and pulled out of Iraq, there were more bombs planted. Appeasement didn't work in the 1930's when Chamberlain pronounced peace with Hitler's Germany. It didn't work in 2004 in Spain. Why do you think it will work anywhere?

One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

I believe that the only way to eliminate terrorism is to confront it. Otherwise we will all be in the position of Theo Van Gogh; we will be executed for expressing our thoughts. I believe that the Bush administration has confronted terrorism, and I believe that a hypothetical Kerry administration would have tried appeasment.