Thursday, March 31, 2005

Molon Lave

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

This same sentiment should apply to our First Amendment rights as well. (The 2nd Amendment exists to protect the whole of the constitution.)

The end of free speech

US bloggers get set for election rules: ZDNet Australia: News: CommunicationsThis statement sums it up.
"What we're arguing about is how much freedom people are going to lose on the Internet," said FEC Commissioner David Mason, a Republican. "If we do it right, they won't lose much freedom."
Want to take a bet on whether they get it right?

But why is the FEC in a position where they are arguing about limiting my rights under the First Amendment to the constitution? This must be stopped.

Write your representatives (so-called) in Washington and voice your displeasure. See the NRA Institute for Legislative Action for a quick email link to all of your reps. [hat tip to Day by Day for sending me looking for this story.]

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Death and the Cemetery Association

The Dawn Patrol gives us this story of Death embezzling from a cemetery association.
It's Death. Donald Death. That's Mr. Death, to you.
As Dawn says, maybe he just needs to take a holiday. (Even the AP shows a sense of humor with the headline, "Who would steal from a cemetery? Mr. Death, of course!")

Burglars stopped in their tracks

Would-Be Burglars Met with Homeowner's GunTwo more bad guys off the street. No shots fired.
Shandy stopped them in their tracks, called 911, and held the two at gunpoint until officers arrived. Both suspects were arrested.
Don't think a baseball bat would have had the same authority that the 9mm gave to Mr. Shandy.

Best of Me Symphony #70

The Owner's Manual: #70 Best of Me Symphony I'm a bit behind on links. But here is this weeks Best of Me, always a fun look at what we were thinking 60 days ago.

Right-To-Carry defended

Right-To-Carry Law Is The Way To Go - John R. Lott Jr.. Philadelphia has a problem.
While murder rates have been falling or have been flat for years in the rest of the country, Philadelphia's rate has been rising. Last year's murder rate was the highest since 1993, and Philadelphia replaced Chicago, the perennial leader, as the top 10 largest city with the highest murder rate. With 85 murders in the first 88 days of 2005, the city's murder rate is well ahead of even last year's.
Like all good statists, the mayor wants to blame people with concealed carry permits.
No reporters seem to have asked Street or Rendell the obvious question: If permit-holders are the problem, how many of those 85 murders were caused by a person with a permitted concealed handgun? When I asked, the city police and mayor's office were unable or unwilling to answer that question, but my guess is zero.
But I am sure that John Street, Richie Daley, and other opponents of my right to defend myself will not let a little thing like the facts get in their way.

Government Schools - British style

Telegraph | News | Five-year-olds assert their 'human right' to be violent and unruly at school, says union. Who's to blame? Why junk food of course. It has nothing to do with parents not instilling discipline in their children. Including recognized students with behavior disorders in the mainstream classrooms is "partly" to blame. (What did the government think was going to happen?)

This quote bothers me:
Lack of respect for older people and authority means pupils are less easy to shame into contrition, say teachers.
Maybe Pink Floyd new more about the state of British schools than I thought. Shaming children as a government policy doesn't seem right.

Seal Hunting

Res Ipsa Loquitur: But They're So Cute. Rita asks whether you would want to see baby seals starve to death, or have them killed quickly. There is no 3rd choice. (Nature can deal with overpopulation, or we can.) This is exactly why the hunt was reinstated.
[But They're So Cute] sufferers ignore the fact that wild animals are, you know, wild. They don't want to snuggle with you. They usually view you in one of three ways: 1) something harmless to be ignored; 2) a food source; 3) a threat. And the latter two are much more likely than the first. (Actually there's a fourth option, as a breeding partner. But I'd rather not discuss that.)

Nature is not cute and cuddly. In fact, it's rather brutal. Especially in the way it deals with overpopulation. Since we're partly to blame for certain animals' overbreeding, I think it's only right that we deal with the results. When the only choice is slow starvation or a quick death by a sharp blow to the head, well, that's not a tough decision.

Batter up.
It isn't just seal hunting that runs up against the But They're So Cute brigade. Dear Hunters are accused of shooting Bambi - never mind that the deer population is so large, sickness is epidemic. (The BTSO folk's solution, dump large quantities of contraceptive into the environment to control deer reproduction. If a corporation suggested something like this, these same people would sue.)

I wonder where I can get some roast venison.

Update 4:45 PM - Animal interactions with vehicles

Rise in populations means rise in problems.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported last year that there were more than 1.5 million animal/vehicle collisions that caused $1.5 billion in damage. About 350 people died in those crashes, and thousands were injured.
Actually, not all collisions get reported to insurance companies, so this estimate may be low. "A Wisconsin official said nearly twice as many deer are collected along roadways than are listed in accident reports."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Buy a Gun Day = April 15

American Drumslinger is in on the act, with "Dianne Feinstein Heart Attack Special. Yugoslavian Model 59/66 SKS, which sports a pointy bayonet, a grenade launcher, and flip-up night sights."

SKS

Some other folks in on the action:To name a few... Others listed elsewhere

Remember to obey the ever increasing, and often incomprehensible gun laws when making this purchase.

UPDATE: Did I miss you? Are you buying a gun to piss off the left? Or for any other valid and legal reason? Let me know: zendodeb - at - netscape.net

Weekly Check on Media Bias

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias Sarah Brady leads off with more lies in this weeks Check on the Bias.

Eugenics in California

FreedomSight has this unbelievable story of Eugenics in California. Sterilizing obesse men,
who, by clinical diagnosis, have been deemed genetically inferior to the normalized median of homo sapien development, such a gene line would effectively be eliminated.
I guess it isn't surprising that this is going on in the land of the beautiful people. (It's funny, but I thought the beautiful people considered being obesse a moral failing, now I find out they think it's a genetic problem.)

Maybe we really are living in Weimar America - or post-Weimar America.

An Unlikely Alliance

Strib has this to say: The unlikely ACLU-gun-nut alliance. Of course being the Strib, they have to take a dig at gun owners. (Not sure who the Strib is referring to, but The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not a bunch of nuts!)

Anyway the Patriot Act is up for renewal, and a whole bunch of it should NOT be renewed. This much the Strib got right.
Section 802 defines terrorism so broadly it could be used to criminalize ordinary political activity and subject citizens who are exercising protected political rights to secret surveillance and their political organizations to police infiltration.

Section 215 allows the government to rummage through citizens' medical, library and gun-purchase records without probable cause and without informing the subject of the snooping. Section 213 allows secret searches of homes and businesses - "creep and peep," in opponents' shorthand. Gag orders keep even legal challenges to parts of the act secret, a truly Orwellian scenario.
So, exercise your rights under the Constitution of the USA and write to your Senators and Representative to voice your opinion on this measure. You can do that via the NRA-ILA site.

We shouldn't have to give up freedoms in America to foster freedom abroad. [h/t KABA]

Monday, March 28, 2005

Airport Security - still some problems

Gun sighting shuts airport. So they let someone go and then noticed that they had a gun in their bag? Aren't they supposed to look at the pictures on the X-ray before they say you can leave?

Comair cancelled 15% of their flights, passengers were delayed by 2 hours, and in the end nothing was found. How many missed connections, how much lost luggage, how many wasted hours did this cause? We will never know.

Will anyone be held accountable? (i.e., get fired) Probably not. (It is the government after all)

April 15th is Buy a Gun Day

Buy a Gun April 15 is "Buy a Gun Day." (What else where you going to do with that refund anyway?) This is a good way to support the firearms industry, an industry increasingly under attack.

Be sure to pick something that will drive the gun banners crazy. An FN 5.7 perhaps, or something they consider an assault rifle would be a good choice.

Counter Top Chronicles
is leading the way on publicity. SayUncle, and FreedomSight are also involved. Probably more are involved now.

Remember to obey the ever increasing, and often incomprehensible gun laws when making this purchase.

Ambassador Nancy Powell undercuts hunt for Bin Laden

How a Lone Diplomat Compromised the Hunt for Bin Laden. It should not have taken 2 years for this to be resolved.
Ambassador Nancy Powell, America’s representative in Pakistan, refused to allow the distribution in Pakistan of wanted posters, matchbooks, and other items advertising America’s $25 million reward for information leading to the capture of Mr. bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders.
She was removed as ambassador in November, 2004. And the reward for Ossama was recently upped to $50 million. [hat tip Sundries Shack]

Irish still trying to get rights for victims

The Irish Examiner: Maybe, if we’re lucky, they’ll put the law on side of innocent victims. Like the English, the Irish are mostly helpless in the face of assault.
[Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny] wants the law changed to protect victims of burglary, and it seems there are quite a lot of them given that there were 25,000 burglaries last year.
In Ireland,
the law, as currently applied, obliged a person whose home was being robbed to retreat or find a method of retreating.
You can do nothing legally to defend yourself even in your own home.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Police afraid of citizens lawfully exercising their rights

Police question actions of gun-toting Royal Oak minister. The minister carries concealed and urges everyone to do the same. This scares the local police. "I certainly question the need to do something like this," said Royal Oak Police Chief Ted Quisenberry.

What could be scarier than a bunch of church-going, law-abiding people exercising their rights under the 2nd Amendment?

Tardis lands again at BBC

Telegraph: Doctor Who arrives in modern times. And it works. I always - well mostly - liked the low-tech antics of this science fiction hero. But then I was a sucker for anything science fiction (except Blake's 7). And although the women Dr Who had as his assistants were usually just there to be the damsel in distress, it wasn't always the case. Anyway, I don't expect I'll get to see much of this new series in any case.

Kentucky Guard Unit fights off terrorists

BLACKFIVE: After Action Report - Raven 42 Ambushed! A report of -to me at least - stunning engagement between some National Gurard soldiers and a group of 40 or so terrorists.
on the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad, 40 to 50 heavily-armed Iraqi insurgents attacked a convoy of 30 civilian tractor trailer trucks that were moving supplies for the coalition forces, along an Alternate Supply Route.
The Guard troops rushed into the ambush, drawing fire away from the trucks and opening fire on the terrorists.

The whole thing is worth a look.

Blackfive mentioned that this would be in the regular news, and so I did a search and found some positive stories about the event. The usual suspects - NYTimes, WaPo, etc. - of course seem to be silent on this issue. At least I couldn't turn up anything.

[hat tip Anti-idiotarian Rottweiler]

Friday, March 25, 2005

Roadblock to Saint Louis CCW permits may be removed


Refusal to give gun permits may end
. Of course the refusal was never really about money - the rest of the state is issuing permits OK - but the excuse has been money. So the state is taking away that excuse.
The original law said the sheriff's revolving fund, which was supposed to pay for issuing the permits, could be used only for training and equipping law enforcement officers. The city and county said that without using those funds, they could not afford to issue permits.

The new bill, sponsored by state Rep. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, would allow the money to be used for issuing permits as well as training.
Without their financial roadblock, I wonder what other roadblocks the good leaders of the county of Saint Louis will devise.

But then it is less of an issue than some city officials hoped.
Some say the change may come too late. Since Missouri passed the law, hundreds and possibly thousands of people from the greater St. Louis area have received concealed-carry permits from other states, such as Utah, Pennsylvania and Florida. Those permits are honored in Missouri.
And of course, there have been no "Wild West" gunfights in Misouri, even though 16,000 residents have gotten concealed carry permits.

Don't bring a knife to gunfight

Illinois Man Tries to Steal Gun to 'Rescue Schiavo'. Thanks to Jeff at Alphecca we get this story of a man who brought a knife to a gunfight.
Michael W. Mitchell, of Rockford, Ill., entered Randall's Firearms Inc. in Seminole just before 6 p.m. Thursday with a box cutter and tried to steal a gun.
Of course the owner of the gun store was armed, and pulled his own weapon - not a box cutter. The suspect fled out of the store when police arrived, but was caught and is in jail.

Why Schiavo's Parents Didn't Have a Case

Why Schiavo's Parents Didn't Have a Case: I don't usually agree with the LATimes, but in this case they have legal argumrnt down.
[The Parents] were asking the federal courts to declare that their constitutional rights had been violated by the Florida state court rulings in the case. They were arguing, in other words, thanks in part to their custom-made congressional legislation, that the federal Constitution gave them the right as losers in state court to get a new, full-blown trial in federal court.
If this were true, the state courts could be disolved. Everyone who lost, would seek review in the federal courts.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Irish join Brits in calling for more rights for victims.

Politics.ie - Balance of Law should favour Home Owners - Kenny. A farmer in County Mayo has been arrested on murder charges because he killed someone who had invaded his home.
When faced with an intruder carrying a baseball bat, the requirement to use reasonable force would seem to require me to use no more potent a weapon than a baseball bat. How practical is that when faced with an intruder in the dark hours of the night?
Restore the Castle Doctrine - at least a home should be your castle. The London Telegraph was spearheading a campaign to get more help for Brits trying to defend themselves. The British government is not likely to give power to the citizens. Maybe the Irish will have better luck.

Quote of the Day

The frightening thing is not dying,
The frightening thing is not living.
T-bone Burnett, "Primitives" from
The Criminal Under My Own Hat

Florida Senate restores "Castle Doctrine"

Self-Defense Bill Gets Early Senate OK Despite a bunch of hysteria on the left - will they ever stop warning about the "wild west" implications of letting people defend themselves? Anyway, despite the hysteria, the Florida senate has approved a bill that eliminates the need to retreat if attacked by force.
Marion Hammer, a lobbyist for the NRA, defended the legislation.

"The bill removes the duty to retreat if you're outside your home or in a public place," Hammer said. "It only allows you to stand your ground and meet force with force, if you reasonably believe that force is necessary to defend yourself against death or great bodily harm."

Hammer said the bill made sense because the state already licenses residents to carry firearms to defend themselves.
Turning your back on a threat is the wrong thing to do, unless you are damn sure you can outrun them. I know I cannot outrun many healthy people - I have problems with my feet. Retreat, is not an option, nor do I believe that it should be required.

Update: April 11, 2005

Florida House passes same bill as Florida Senate does on Castle Doctrine

Mainstream Media Continues to Complain about Castle Doctrine

I hate Spring Break

Can I just say that I hate Spring Break? And note that not all of the "spring breakers" are young kids. Traffic, restaurants are crowded to point of being ridiculous, and the traffic. It isn't even really the amount of traffic, but the stupidity of the drivers. Do you leave your brains at home when you go on vacation?

A few vacation driving tips.
  • If you are in the left lane of a four lane highway, (8 lanes total) and you see that you are about to pass your exit, don't zip across all 4 lanes without looking.

  • Some streets really are one-way; look before you turn. If you find yourself on a one-way street going the wrong way, don't try to go around the block.

  • You really shouldn't try to turn left from the right hand lane, even if your hotel is down that street. Go around the block.
I won't even start in on the pedestrians. Let me just say that, yes, walk/don't walk signs do apply to you even if you are on vacation.

Refinery Explosion

ABC News: Oil Refinery Blast in Texas Kills 14. I grew up in a town that was home to two oil refineries. Fires and explosions were a common occurrence. On at least 2 occasions, a large gasoline or oil container caught fire. 10's of thousands of gallons of fuel burning for several days is quite a sight. One one occasion, the large, mult-story pressure vessel exploded at the base and took off like a rocket, killing several people. An explosion in an oil refinery is no reason to think terrorism.

What I really don't understand, is that reports state the price of oil is rising. Gasoline, and refined products may be in shorter supply; this was the 3rd largest refinery in the US. So those prices may rise. But refineries use oil, they don't produce it. This should have no impact on the price of crude. Well, actually, with this refinery off-line, there should be that much less demand for crude, so inventories should rise more than they are.

I guess this just goes to show - again - that markets are not 100% logical (or efficient as the economists say.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I've got the next round.

Log of Zendo: Drinks are on the house!

Interesting little quiz on your knowlege of drinks, (mixed drinks, wine, beer & ale, etc.) I scored mostly above 95% - I am Bacardi 151.

Don't mind the rum scale score, but I don't care much for Bacardi. Try some Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum with a splash of Ginger Ale; you'll like it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A question

disarm

Oleg Volk and a Human Right

Just how would rendering me defenseless protect you from violent criminals?

Iraqis have had enough - take the fight to the terrorists

Always under the gun, some Iraqis fire back: Aint it grand that they can own the means to defend themselves.
As the gunmen emerged from their cars, Dhiya and his young relatives shouldered their own AK-47s and opened fire, the police and witnesses said. In the fierce gun battle that followed, three of the insurgents were killed, and the rest fled just after the police arrived.
Concrete proof that the ability to defend yourself can limit terrorists ability to attack your country.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Have we lost our minds?

Kyrgyzstan opposition has siezed a 2nd city in protest of stolen elections. (Shades of Ukraine?)

Yemeni detainees currently held at Guantanamo face the possibility of torture and unfair trials on their return home, says their lawyer. [h/t Armies of Liberation]

Sex crimes by the UN in the Congo (and elsewhere).

All this and more is going on the world, and everyone seems to be focused on one - granted it is tragic - case about 1 person. We have all lost our minds.

Best of Me Symphony #69

The Owner's Manual: Best of Me Symphony #69 The Best of Me Symphony, featuring the best British columnist you never heard of, Julie Burchill, is up.

Best of Me is a Carnival devoted to posts at least 60 days old. Go take a look - it is always fun.

Captain Ed asks "Why do we let the UN continue to perform these functions?"

Captain's Quarters. As more and more comes to light regarding the abuse of young girls in the Congo by the *spit* UN Peacekeepers *spit* the question of why are we supporting this organization is raised again.

When the Washington Post is reporting on the problems, you know this is NOT a fabrication of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy.

Officials Acknowledge 'Swamp' of Problems and Pledge Fixes Amid New Allegations in Africa, Haiti
The United Nations is facing new allegations of sexual misconduct by U.N. personnel in Burundi, Haiti, Liberia and elsewhere, which is complicating the organization's efforts to contain a sexual abuse scandal that has tarnished its Nobel Prize-winning peacekeepers in Congo.
...
Some U.N. officials and outside observers say there have been cases of abuse in almost every U.N. mission, including operations in Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Kosovo.
Shunned Teens, Many Raped by Militiamen, Sell Sex to Peacekeepers
The United Nations is investigating 150 instances in which 50 peacekeeping troops or civilians in the Congo mission are suspected of having sexually abused or exploited women and girls, some as young as 12.
Given the criminal nature of this organization, why are we still involved? Why do we offer any type of support at all? Even if the organization were effective in preventing war, this could not justify these actions. But the organization is not effective.
Capt. Ed: In the meantime, their primary mission of keeping peace usually only lasts until the first bullet rings out, at which time these troops abandon the people they've exploited to the warring factions that the blue-helmeted presence was supposed to separate. In the past ten years of UN peacekeeping, no single engagement has shown any political progress; the best result the UN can achieve is an interminable stalemate.
This organization needs to be denounced, and kicked out of the country.

One Australian's view of the US

The Australian: American dreams and nightmares [March 21, 2005] You have to love the opening of this article.
DRIVING in to Austin, Texas, in late 2000 I asked the taxi driver – a jaunty man originally from New York – which parts of town to avoid after dark. Don't worry, he advised, Austin is a safe place. After all, "everyone carries a gun in Texas".

Not quite the answer I'd been looking for, but strangely reassuring.
After spending 4 years in America, Roy Eccleston is heading home to Australia, and stops to review his impressions of America. It is worth taking a look, since those on the outside often see you more clearly than you can see yourself.
[Via Keep and Bear Arms]

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The war no one hears about

Anti-French protests in Ivory Coast peaceful. Ivory Coast has been a war zone since 2002.
West Africa's former economic powerhouse has been divided in two since a civil war erupted out of a failed coup in September 2002. There are 4,000 French and 6,240 U.N. troops policing a buffer zone which splits the former French colony.
And of course the French went in (it was an old colony) without UN approval (they got it later.)

Anyway, I can't find out how many "thousands" participated in these protests. After all, it isn't nearly as interesting as anti-American protests. (Who would want to protest the French? Everybody loves the French.)
Ivory Coast's government accused French soldiers of killing 63 protestors. France said its troops killed about 20 protestors during the rioting but were acting in self-defence.
There was video, but the page is gone. Didn't look too much like a riot to me - that is before the French opened fire - then it looked like mayhem.

Democracy from an Iraqi perspective

LibertyDemocracy in Iraq. Have 2 years of the Iraq war been worth it? Here is an answer from Iraq. (Husayn has more right to answer than most, I would say.)
Now I answer you, I answer you on behalf of myself, and my countrymen. I dont care what your news tells you, what your television and newspapers say, this is how we feel. Despite all that has happened. Despite all the hurt, the pain, blood, sweat and tears. These two years have given us hope we never had.
Read the whole thing. It is worth it.

He reminds us that - Michael Moore notwithstanding - what the Iraqi people "enjoyed" before the invasion was not peace. It was Hell on Earth.

[hat tip On the Third Hand]

Shooting Sports: African Big Game Hunting

The LLama Butchers: Anyone Want To Hunt A Rhino? Kathy at Llama Butchers ran across an article about hunting and is amused by the tone the author, Debra A. Klein, takes - being surprised that African game can do a lot of damage to crops, to homes, and can even kill people - which happens regularly.

[Update: 3/30/2005 Debra A. Klein - said author of said article - would like you all to know that she is not shocked that African game can cause damage to crops, livestock and people. That was the impression I got from LLama Butchers, but there you go.]

Opponents of hunting often say how bad it is for the species being hunted. But if you can get past your disdain for hunting, you might see that hunting provides a lot of benefits. (Never understood this disdain - well I understand it coming from vegitarians, but not for people who eat meat. "You have to kill it, before you can grill it.")

By making the species - and the welfare of the species - into a business, greed becomes focused on saving the species and improving the numbers.
[I]t is precisely because the rarer animals do have a high value that the ranchers - and the governments which sell them the concessions and issue the hunters' licences - take great care to ensure they are conserved. As a result of such policies, which have reduced poaching and led to a revival in many species (including elephant, which were once seriously threatened), Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe have been allowed to resume controlled exports of ivory by CITES.

In Zimbabwe more than 500 of around 4,000 ranches derive all or part of their income from wildlife. Through CAMPFIRE (the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources), established in 1989, the industry has expanded rapidly. In 1989 only two rural districts applied to implement the programme, but now more than 25 are involved. The proportion of revenue going to local villagers has also steadily increased, giving them a real incentive to conserve wildlife. By 1993 four-fifths of wildlife revenues produced by CAMPFIRE was going to local communities.
Yes greed and self-interest are now focused on improving the situation for these species and it is working. Money paid by hunters goes to the hiring of game wardens to ensure that poaching is fought, and poachers prosecuted. Locals who have livestock killed by big cats, or who have crops damaged are compensated out the money brought into the country by hunters. They therefore feel no incentive to kill the beasts causing the trouble. Without compensation, they would face real hardship as a result of the wild animals and would have an incentive to kill them - to the point of extinction - which is what they did in the past.

Contrast this with states that have outlawed hunting:
Large game animals such as elephants will only survive if the value they create for those with the power to protect them exceeds the costs they impose. Since Kenya banned hunting in 1976, it has lost 85 per cent of its elephants. Property rights over wildlife should be vested with those who have the greatest incentive to protect the resource. [My emphasis, ZDeb]
With no income from hunting, there is no money to support game wardens, there is no way to stop poaching, there is no compensation to local farmers. There is in fact, no incentive to preserve the wildlife at all, and some incentive to see it gone.

Don't underestimate the income generated by hunters. A weeks hunt can be anywhere from $5000 to $15,000, or more depending on what you are hunting. (plus airfare, plus tips, plus, plus, plus.)

And don't underestimate hunters.
Ninety per cent of the income earned by the CAMPFIRE programme in Zimbabwe comes from trophy shooters. In contrast to popular myth, trophy hunters are keen conservationists who want to bag an impressive specimen, not to shoot as many as possible. As Bill Bedford of Ingwe Safaris has pointed out: "They come to us because they know we can provide the goods, but also because their money is going into supporting conservation."
Hunters are conservationists.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

A good use of officers time?

Math Exercise Ends With Girl's Arrest In St. Petersburg This is the sort of idiocy I expect from government schools. A 5-yr. old throws a tanturm, and ends up cuffed - hands and feet - in the back of a squad car. (I suppose they had to cuff her ankles because she posed such a threat to the officers.) This was all over jelly beans, and a 5-yr old child acting up.

School officials are "sorry," but not so sorry as the mother - sorry she ever sent her child to those idiots. Her child won't be going back to that school.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this story. Is it that the school adminstrators are that idiotic, or have we taken away all options from them? No physical punishments are allowed. Do they allow "time out" anymore, or has that been deemed cruel and unusual? Maybe it is that we have made it so that when they cannot control a child, their only option is to call the police. On the other hand, maybe they are just a bunch of idiots, with no sense of proportion.

World's Smallest Political Quiz

quiz gifOK so it's a odd little quiz, and it's no mistake that the results come out the way they do. (Libertarian - and no, I didn't score 100% on both dimensions of the quiz)

But do you want freedom, or government control of you life. 'Cause that's what it comes down to.

The student who cried "wolf"... er, "gun"

Two Watsonville, CA schools were locked down because students cried wolf. In one case they accused a homeowner of threatening them with a gun because they were yelled at for being on his property. In another case they said men in a vehicle threatened them. No vehicle was found
"Each time we questioned the kids, the story changed," Ross said. "I think what happened is that after students were yelled at for being on someone's property they came up with a story about a gun."
Want to to get out of today's Algebra test? Cry "gun," and watch the adults roll into action. And if you preface your statement with, "I think I saw," who's to say you are lying?

I wonder how long it will be before someone the students don't like - the mean old man down the end of the block, say - is accused and arrested on nothing but their say-so? Sort of like our own version of the Salem Witch-hunts. But then I wouldn't be surprised if this has already happened.

Friday, March 18, 2005

TSA keeps returning military on plane

KCBS.com reporter
Margie Shafer learned that soldiers fighting the war on terror were not allowed to disembark this week, because of security concerns.

The soldiers landed on a chartered ATA aircraft, but were forced to remain on the plane for three hours, while it refueled.

"There are some security issues involved here. They have weapons," said Ed Gomez with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
No really, the military gives people weapons? Whodathunkit?

As Ken from It Comes in Pints? says, Can we just get rid of the TSA? (or at least get rid of the waste of space Ed Gomez?)

Somehow I don't think that plane-load of military personnel just back from Afghanistan are going to run amok and cause a terrorist incident. Especially since they would probably leave their weapons on the plane. Can this Ed Gomez guy be transferred somewhere his lack of brain cells won't hurt us? Or at least someplace unpleasant? I mean, if there was a security problem at the airport, authorities would probably call in the military - like they did right after 9/11. But I guess Ed Gomez would remind them that weapons aren't allowed in their carry-on luggage.

TSA needs to apologize to these soldiers, and assure them that this will not happen again.

Taking the Pledge

Hold The Mayo: Taking the Pledge: It is actually easy to take this pledge
If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.

Ohio gun law might undergo revision

Gun law might undergo revision As I noted earlier, Ohio has had concealed carry for about a year. There are some problems. The big 2 are
  1. Drivers must either lock their guns up, or have them "visible to others in the car and to officers who approach the car." Makes it difficult to have a weapon while driving. And repeated handling in a situation like that can only lead to accidental discharges.

  2. The press said that they needed access to the list of permit holders so they could verify that no felon got a permit. What they have done is repeatedly publish the list of permit holders. (The list was not made available to the general public due to security concerns.)
Anyway what it really surprising about this article is that it not only comes from the Cincinnati Enquirer, but that it is completely unbaised. A statement of what the facts are, what the complaints are and what Bill's originall sponsor has to say. They didn't even include the required quote from some anti-gun group. (The Cincinnati Enquirer is not - or has not been - the most objective of news sources about guns.)

Gun Violence Falls 63% - Justice Department

Jim Kouri, CPP: Justice Department: Gun Violence Falls 63%. This is good news, and I would hope we see this from all of the news media, but the very fact that it is good news, coupled with the fact that it doesn't help the gun banners, makes me believe that we won't see too much of this. (There is the Michael J. trail to report on after all.)
Estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey indicate that between 1993 and 2001 approximately 26% of the average annual 8.9 million violent victimizations were committed by offenders armed with a weapon. About 10%, or 846,950 victimizations each year, involved a firearm.
  • For nonfatal violent crimes, offenders were more likely to have a firearm than a knife or club. From 1993 to 2001 the rate of firearm violence fell 63%
  • Approximately half of all robberies, about a quarter of all assaults, and roughly a twelfth of all rapes/sexual assaults involved an armed assailant. About 90% of homicide victims were killed with a weapon. [Weapon does NOT equal firearm, ZDeb]
Many more stats on violent crime are in the article. [Hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

LibertyAn Editorial from the Yuma Sun, is the first editorial I have seen out of the MSM that recognizes a "suspect" is innocent until proven guilty.
The key operative word here is "suspect." The people are suspected because they are on the government's watch list. Under our system of law, a suspect is not assumed to be guilty. In other words, a terror suspect is not automatically a terrorist and it is wrong to treat such a person as if they were.
Every other MSM outlet has taken FBI Director Robert Mueller's statement that "terror suspects" can buy guns as a jumping-off-point for calling for more gun control.

Innocent until proven guilty is one of the cornerstones of our legal system. I would hate to see us remove people's rights based on innuendo, and rumor. (What does one have to do to get on a watch list, besides having a name similar to a known terrorist?).

(I'm surprised our supremes haven't overturned this provision of the constitution in favor of the British Guilty until proven otherwise - they so love to keep us in line with European thinking.)

Questionable Logic at the Washington Post

John Achenbach has a blog entry about how the demise of the Potomac River canal system (The Great National Project) proves that going into space is a waste of time and money. His logic is a little fuzzy. Because one technology failed, or is too expensive, we should call into question the goal. (At least that seems to be what he is saying.)

He misses several points - even though he touches on them.
  1. The demise of this one canal did not spell the end of canals in general. The St Lawrence Seaway is very much alive today, as is the Chicago Shipping Canal and the lock system on the upper Mississippi River. One economic failure did not kill off canals.
  2. Technology offered other options for achieving the goal of reaching inland from Washington, D.C. Rail, Cars, and canals by other routes made the Great National Project redundant, but did not eliminate the goal.
Achenbach finishes with this statement that seems to imply that the economic problems with rockets mean the goal of exploring space is wrong.
The people who believe in space, who say that our destiny lies there, who think that it is part of our nature to break the bonds of earth and explore the heavens, have to prove that they are not lashed to last century's paradigm. They must prove that rocketships aren't canals.
Rocket ships almost certainly are canals. The Space Elevator which doesn't look as much like science fiction as it did when Arthur C. Clarke first proposed it in Fountains of Paradise has a real chance to make rockets obsolete for getting into orbit. But whether or not rockets are obsolete, doesn't impact the goal. Rockets are the means, not the ends. Technology will improve, and the economics of rockets will be replaced by the economics of something else - just as rail, automobiles and airliners replaced travel by canal.

There are virtually unlimited resources and a whole lot of free solar power in space. The only thing really standing in the way is the cost of reaching orbit. If the cost comes down substantially, exploitation of those resources will go up.

But then maybe Achenbach would have been content to stay in Portugal and believe the world is flat. (Does the fact that we don't use wooden sailing vessels to move cargo today prove that it was wrong to search for the New World?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

More conversations on women and writing

The conversation started by Kevin Drum when he went looking for women bloggers hasn't really let up, and seems to be gaining more steam. Susan Estrich has fanned the flames by accusing the LATimes of discriminating against women. (Or at least against women she agrees with. Do you honestly think that the one-time campaign manager of Michael Dukakis would be happy to see Ann Coulter with a regular column in the Times?)

Here's a look at some the discussion (with my 2 cents thrown in as well.) [h/t Instapundit]

Ann Applebaum takes issue with Susan Estrich (who doesn't?), for complaining about the lack of women writers on Op-ed pages, takes issue with the imposition of quotas in the Harvard Law Review, and in general talks about the state of women in newspapers.

Quotas are not good for anyone. They make those outside the quota feel like they got screwed. (That should have been my place.) They cast doubts on anyone in the favored group. (She only got in because of the quota) A better way is to ensure the criteria are objective.

Chris Nolan, tired of being referred to as "him," states for the record, "I am not a man. Even though I live in San Francisco, I have no plans to become one." She notes that market forces may force women into certain jobs, even certain writing jobs, and it may have less to do with "innate ability" than some would have you believe.

I would have loved to stay in academia and pursue a PhD., well at least a part of me would have. But it was not a very welcoming environment. (Not that Information Technology was welcoming exactly, but it paid so much better, for a while. And it was definitely less hostile than academia.)

LaShawn Barber weighs in with a discussion of why men are "assertive" and assertive women are "shrews."

Working in I/T, it was often tough to make myself heard. When I would catch people talking about me, I would usually remind them that, "it was witch, with a capital "B." A friend in engineering actually had a button made up that said, "That's 'Ms. Bitch' to you." Men are described as having a forceful personality. Women are said to be castrating.

Best of Me Symphony #67

The Owner's Manual is hostingThe Best of Me Symphony #67. Always worth a look.

Amnesia or Hypocrisy

Dr. Sanity: AMNESIA vs HYPOCRISY Which word describes democrats who opposed filibustering of nominations under Clinton, and are doing it themselves under Bush? A set of statements from the likes of Kennedy and Boxer about obstructing judicial appointments...go take a look.

Alphecca's Weekly Check on Medi Bias

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias. As always, worth while. A long and winding review of the lies spread by the mainstream media, and the Brady Bunch - who is quoted endlessly without any fact-checking.

Rabid fears of anti-gunners did not come to pass in Ohio

2 gunsBeacon Journal | 03/15/2005 | Concealed carry has little effect. Well after nearly a year, and 45,000 concealed carry permits, even the MSM is having to admit that concealed cary in Ohio has not caused their fears to come to pass.
Last April, when Ohio became the 46th state to permit law-abiding citizens to carry guns, some in law enforcement worried that routine traffic stops and road rage incidents would turn violent.

That hasn't happened.

``Knock on wood, so far it has been uneventful,'' said Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley.
Just like in every other state, concealed carry has NOT resulted in a "wild west" society, it has not lead to any problems really. I am sure there are isolated incidents, but the fear-mongering prior to the introduction of concealed carry in Ohio was based on wide-scale problems.

Concealed carry legislation has just been introduced in Illinois. The good mayor of Chicago, is already trotting out the same set of tired fears to scare the people of Illinois. But then Daley is a really horrible mayor. Under his "leadership" the city has been murder capital of America nearly evey other year.

Marion Hammer inducted into Florida Women's Hall of Fame

State: Famed, decried for work on guns. The local NOW people are just beside themselves that a conservative is going to be inducted into the women's hall of fame. Clarice Pickwell, president of Florida NOW, said that Hammer hasn't done anything to help women. I disagree. The best thing done in the state of Ohio was the passage of the "shall issue" style of concealed handgun permit. Marion Hammer worked to ensure that the women in Florida are able to defend themselves. I think that is worth honoring.

Women getting concealed carry permits surprising to some

The Port Clinton News Herald (Ohio) finds Number of women registered to carry guns surprising. 11% of the total number of permits have been issued to women. They are surprised that the number is so high. I am surprised that the number is so low. [via KABA]

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Arming of pilots is moving slowly

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - Washington, D.C.: Pilots: Gun certification moving slowly.

So not only is ground security still a bit of a problem (it is definitely unfriendly and its effectiveness is now classified), the Washington powers-that-be are still doing everything to keep pilots unarmed.

The program to arm pilots, which reintroduces guns into the cockpit (once upon a time, any pilot flying a plane that carried US mail had to be armed by law), is moving at a snail's pace thanks to the wonderful TSA.
Pilots who monitor the program estimate that between 4,000 and 4,500 have been trained and deputized to carry guns since the Federal Flight Deck Officer program began in April 2003. That total is about three times as many as a year ago, yet a fraction of the 95,000 pilots who fly for U.S. airlines.
Part of the problem is that the government moved the training center - almost as soon as the 1st center became operational. Also, they refuse to allow independent contractors to offer the training. So, three and one half years after 9/11 we still don't have very many armed pilots.

Congress tried - and failed - to fix this mess last year. Maybe the absence of an election will let them take some action this year. [hat tip NRA-ILA]

Monday, March 14, 2005

Winning the argument on gun control

Posse Incitatus: Gun madness in Oz An intersting take on how to win arguments about gun control. Go read it, you don't need me to tell you what it means.

Refuse To Be A Victim

RTBAVA word about Refuse To Be A Victim is in order. The most important thing you can do to prevent or survive a criminal attack is to have a plan on how to do that. It is an old project management aphorism: "Fail to plan, and you plan to fail." In a stressful situation, you will do you have practiced, planned, thought about. If you have practiced nothing, then nothing is what you will do.

Make a plan, you can live with. (Some people carry guns; some could never use a firearm and so should not carry one.) Take reasonable precautions, and live your life. If the worst happens, you will know you did the best you could.

This is the basic philosophy - as I understand it, I am not an instructor - behind the Refuse to be a Victim class. It covers many things, from home security, to internet security, and of course personal security. Firearms are not a part of this class, though they are mentioned at the end. (That mention - one statement - is enough to keep this course out of a lot of organizations that promote victimhood. Gag rules are bad when it comes to things like abortion, and good when it comes to things like guns.)

Who would you be in 1400?

OK Cupid has a test to show who you would be in the year 1400. A bit fun. Thanks to Absinthe & Cookies My results make the Harlequin which is posted at my other home.

Can a Women's Hall of Fame Honor a 2A advocate?

Gun rights champion's hall of fame nomination ignites furor. The usual cast of charaters (NOW for example) is "outraged" that a woman who supports gun rights could possibly be included in a Women's Hall of Fame.

Marion Hammer, the first woman president of the National Rifle Association, and instrumental in the creation of the concealed carry law in Florida in the late '80s (she holds license number 1), is causing a stir because Jeb Bush has nominated her to the Women's Hall of Fame.
Gun control advocates and women's rights groups are outraged at the selection of Hammer, one of three women Gov. Jeb Bush tapped this year to join writer Zora Neale Hurston, tennis star Chris Evert, former state Education Commissioner Betty Castor and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings among others "who have made significant improvement of life for women and for all citizens of Florida," according to the Hall of Fame's Web site.
But the Political Correctness Police are beside themselves.

The Palm Beach makes a strange comment comparing the .357 Ms. Hammer sometimes carries to "Dirty Harry." Yes, I know and you know that Dirty Harry carried the .44 Magnum, but the Palm Beach Post doesn't know that - and is too lazy to even check Wikipedia to find the correct information. I guess that they just want to make Ms. Hammer look like she is somehow less of a woman for using a big gun. (Heavens, all us little ladies had better stick to .22s and leave those nasty big .357's to you men-folk....)

The usual suspects are really bent out of shape that Ms. Hammer - in her role as lobbyist - is currently working on a bill to eliminate the need to retreat if attacked in your home or on the street in Florida. [hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The death of Free Speech

LibertyWatcher of Weasels: Stop the Insanity!. McCain-Feingold and the FEC. The government is about to regulate what you can and can't put in your blog that is political in nature. Don't you dare link to candidate's web site - not even to dis them.
This is madness, any way you slice it... which is why a group of bloggers from across the political spectrum have come together to organize a petition against it. I urge everyone reading this, bloggers and non-boggers alike, to sign their petition and to help spread the word about it so others can do the same.
'nuf said. Thanks to the Watcher for this.

UPDATE: Don't believe this is a problem, take a look at the video (via Wizbang). Transcript is also available under the same link.

Violent crime soars 11% in "gun free" UK

Telegraph | News | Violent crime soars but Labour puts gloss on it. "There was a 14 per cent rise in offences of violence against the person."
Sexual offences, another component of violent crime, rose by 18 per cent, while robbery, the other major component, fell by 15 per cent.

Overall, recorded violent crime rose by 11 per cent year on year, from 273,100 offences in April to June last year to 303,500 in the second quarter of this year.
By disarming the population, and making self-defense illegal, the Labour government in England has essentially allowed criminals to declare "open season" on the people. While at the same time outlawing fox hunting; that will certainly make England a better place to live.

Outlawing foxhunting - and diverting police resources to enforce that silly ban - while experiencing an 18% rise in sex offenses strikes me as rearranging deck chairs after the ship has hit the iceberg.

Nottinghamshire (UK) police in longstanding crisis

Telegraph | News | Police chief: we cannot cope with violent crime. This guy sounds frustrated. A cop trying to do a job, is forced to keep his people off the street doing clerical work. Why? Because of Labour party reforms.
Steve Green, the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire, said that among the principal causes of the crisis were Government reforms that compelled him to use officers for clerical tasks instead of front-line duties.
So the folk's in London are dictating everything about the way this local police department must be run. What a surprise that those dictates are causing problems. (Doesn't the central government always know what is best?)

This isn't petty crime they're dealing with. Mr. Green says that there are a number of murders his detectives cannot get to.
Nottinghamshire residents are also three times more likely than the national average to have their car broken into, four times as likely to be burgled, almost five times as likely to be robbed, and twice as likely to suffer sexual attack. Nottinghamshire was also among the bottom four of under-performing forces in official figures last year.
Of course this problem is not limited to one area.

Why do I care? Because this is the type of thing that happens when the people in the central government try to control everything. Washington is doing the same type of thing that London is doing in this example, but Washington is doing it with the public schools. (Find a public school teacher, buy them lunch and ask them to talk about "No Child Left Behind." Even if you discount half of what they say, it is still bad for all concerned.)

Politicians will never admit it, but the people need to understand that smaller government is generally better government, and then hold the politicians to it.

Watching Weasels

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... 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, March 12, 2005

Day by Day at the UN

Chris Muir has an interesting take on the UN

Day by Day 3/12/05

(Click on the image for a larger view)

Of course my feelings about the United Nations Useless Nitwits are available here, here, and here - for starters.

Don't miss Chris Muir's insights; check Day by Day for his current offering.

Women who defend themselves

Bravo to women who defend themselves Well I guess if article like this came out of California, it would have had to come out of Orange County.
With the all-too-frequent incidence of rape-murders, it is hard to believe there are women who would voluntarily disarm themselves - the Million Mom March, Sarah Brady, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the San Francisco anti-gun crusaders.

These horrendous crimes against women continue. The police learn of the crimes only after the victims' bodies are found, often long after. The number of victims mounts while the rapists, unidentified, continue their grisly deeds.
I never understood the need of some people to disarm themselves and every honest person around them. (Of course the criminals are not disarmed by the gun control laws - as the UK proves.)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Are Newspapers on their way out?

Prudential, in Major Study, Notes Steep Declines in 'Quality' Circulation. While quality circulation declines, Newspaper publishers play fast and loose with the numbers. "Quality" being someone who actually bought the paper, or has home delivery as opposed to someone getting the paper for free or at VERY reduced rates. The smoke and mirrors applied to the numbers include eliminating days counted, giving away more free papers, etc.
The Globe omitted 27 days of weak circ during the covered period, and the Times nixed 20 days, "compared to an average of 2 days omitted" at other papers, the reported said.
You can certainly improve your average if eliminate the bottom 5% from your calculations.

Instapundit reports that he is getting the LA Times for free - even after he said he did NOT want a free subscription. More smoke in the circulation figures no doubt accounts for this. [he gets a hat tip for this.]

I would say my experience with newspapers is typical. When I graduated from college, I read 2 papers a day: The San Jose Mercury News (then my local paper), and The Wall Street Journal. This quickly became too much of a time drain and I had to drop the Journal everyday. As I moved around the country, the local papers interested me less and less, until the out-and-out bias of the Saint Petersburg Times turned me away from papers all together. Of course I now have access to the vast resources of the net for my daily news fix - which is probably as much as it was reading 2 papers a day.

But are newspapers the buggy whip industry of the 21st Century? Bloggers, for all we like to pat ourselves on the back, are still completely - or nearly - dependent on the regular press. How many blog posts are reactions to what was published in a newspaper, magazine or television news broadcast? We haven't taken up the task of reporting all news. Newspapers need circulation to drive advertising to pay reporters. And we need reporters - if only to fisk their stories.

I guess it will be interesting to see what finally comes of the downsizing of newspapers and their circulation.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Gun "near" school leads to lockdown

Pedestrian with gun near schools results in lockdown. Don't quite know what to make of this. On the one hand, I understand the need to keep schools safe, but on the other hand panic is not what is called for in any event. Apparently someone was walking down the street taking a .22 rifle in to be worked on somewhere. Panic ensued.

The thing that really bothers me is this statement from the police.
Pellegrini said the YPD officers who found him stressed that he shouldn’t walk down the street holding a rifle near a school and the young man agreed and said he wouldn’t do that again.
So he should refrain from acting legally - note that he did nothing wrong - because there are people who panic at the sight of a gun. What does everybody else think?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Instapundo Delenda Est!

To anyone out there who isn't familiar with The Alliance of Free Blogs, here is a brief introduction. (from the duties and responsibilities page):
The goal of the Alliance is to replace Instapundit as the biggest thing in the blogosphere by means of links, hits, and humor, thereby helping Alliance members evolve upward through the Ecosystem .
To help accomplish this, various members of the Alliance attempt to promote traffic and links to other members, through various exercises and blogrolls. Down the right side of this blog, you can see the now rather huge Alliance blogroll -- these are all other blogs that are participating.

Two times a week, on Wednesday & Friday nights, the home page of the Alliance is updated with new assignments. Once it is the "Filthy Lie," and the other day it is the "Precision Guided Humor." Filthy Lies have to do with the dreaded Instapundit (or Evil Glenn). Percision Guided Humor takes shots at everybody.

So, if you want to have some fun, join a fun group of bloggers, and have more subjects to write about (keeps that writer's block at bay pretty well), head on over to the Alliance and read about How To Join. If you have other questions, see the FAQ page [Stolen shamelessly from Ogre's Politics and Views.]

Revenge Of The Neocons

OPINION: Revenge Of The Neocons Don't quite believe this. A San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece about conservatives that actually has something positive to say.
But the dyed-in-the-wool Bush bashers and neocon haters seem determined to disregard all the heartening news and persist in their antiwar narrative. As a result, they are missing out on the biggest story of a generation: the unfolding of democracy in the Muslim world. It's little wonder, for, all along, they have maintained an oddly colonial point of view in which inhabitants of the Middle East are deemed incapable of democracy. Either that, or they hold up the specter of Islamic theocracy as written in stone.

Indeed, these days it's the Left that seems to promote realpolitik pragmatism over the apparently radical idea that people all over the world not only deserve freedom but also are capable of controlling their own destinies. Meanwhile, Bush is sneered at for giving an inaugural address that's "too lofty," and the neocons are viewed as a sinister cabal forcing democracy on the unwilling natives of the world.
I don't know if writing like this will get through to anyone who is determined to hold on to the notion that the war against terror and the war in Iraq were doomed to failure from the beginning. There are still people who refuse to believe that Reagan's actions had any impact on the fall of the Soviet Union. (Of course while he was acting, they were mostly convinced he was going to start WW III.) So I have no doubt, there will always be people who insist that the changes we see in the Middle East are due to the actions of France.

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

Protection Order No Protection

Image hosted by Photobucket.comNo-contest plea in attack on ex-wife: Threats sufficient to obtain a restraining order, and repeated violations of that restaining order, and the dirtbag is still on the street and free to attack his wife. Sounds typical of what an order of protection can do for you.
She had obtained a personal protection order in Detroit against her former husband because he had been threatening her over the divorce, the victim testified.

According to court and Detroit police records, Memminger had threatened his wife numerous times with a handgun and had been arrested more than once in Detroit for violating the personal protection order.
The woman is lucky her ex-husband doesn't shoot to well. No thanks to the police that she is alive.

Weekly check on the bias has international flavor

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias This week the prime focus is on the incident in Canada of four Mounties being killed, and a look at the gun registry that failed. As always, it is worth a look.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

PETA's priorities

Gruesome chimp attack doesn't surprise experts. One thing about this article jumped out at me - the statement from PETA. Aside from the fact that it has almost nothing to do with the rest of the article, this statement from PETA is even more insane than usual.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to ban private ownership of exotic animals in California, citing the increasing popularity of keeping such animals as pets. The group said there have been more than 90 reported dangerous incidents nationwide involving primates since 1990.
90 incidents in 15 years. This is an epidemic of primate incidents - or so PETA would have you believe.

Compare this number to the CDC's report about dogs.
Each year, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites; half of these are children. Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency department and about a dozen die. The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and the rate decreases as children age. Almost two thirds of injuries among children ages four years and younger are to the head or neck region. Injury rates in children are significantly higher for boys than for girls.
I think PETA (as usual) has their priorities screwed up. (Can I say that I think they are, "barking up the wrong tree?" I didn't think so.) 90 versus 800,000. Which would you worry about?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Wapsi Square

A word about Wapsi Square

Wapsi Square Feb 24 2005

Well, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I think this says it all. Gotta love a cartoon that has concealed carry in a positive light. (Click on the image for a larger version)

Write Your Reps in Washington

The NRA Institute for Legislative Action makes it very easy to make your opinions known in Washington. This page will allow you to look up your representatives in Washington, your state capital, and even locally - including the President and your governor. One letter/email can easily be sent to eveyone in Washington.

Take time to make your opinions known on such things as limiting bloggers right to criticize elected government officials during a campaign season, curtailing our rights under the second amendment, and in general acting more like the old Soviet Union the USA.

More Weasels

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

Best of Me Symphony - John Steinbeck

The new Best of Me Symphony, featuring the author of
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, is up at Owner's Manual. Go take a look.

North Carolina neighborhood gives up on police, hires private security

StarNewsOnline.com reports that Drug trade has neighborhood hiring private security force. Apparently the problem is so severe in this neighborhood in Wilmington, that residents feel it is worth 250 bucks a month - above what they already pay in taxes - to feel safer.

The Chief of Police, Ralph Evangelous, while accepting the help seems to have a very strange idea of his responsibility.
His officers have increased patrols and are working in a number of ways to address the social issues that breed illegal activity.
Here's a thought: How about the police worry about arresting criminals, and fighting crime, and we'll leave "addressing the social issue" to the social services department? The best thing the police can do is enforce the law - arrest those people in the drug trade. [hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Berkeley Daily Planet confused about self-defense

The Berkeley Daily Planet calls Patrick McCullough a vigilante because he defended himself from attack by a bunch of neighborhood thugs in Oakland, shooting one of them in the arm.

The Berkeley Daily Planet would be well served to invest in a dictionary.
Vigilante

n. Someone who ties to punish another person without any legal authority by taking the law into his/her own hands. Groups of vigilantes in the 1800s doled out their own "frontier justice" by conducting trials of accused horsethieves, rustlers and shooters, and hung the accused if "convicted." A mother who shoots and alleged molester of her child is a vigilante.

Self-Defense

n. Using logical force to protect oneself or family members from bodily harm from an aggressor’s attack, if the defender believes that he/she/they is/are in imminent danger. [This definition is actually very long, but this is meat - go see the rest if you are interested.]
You are a not a vigilante if you defend yourself or your family from attack. If you go out later and hunt down your attacker and kill them, then you are a vigilante.

But the Berkeley Daily Planet knows that. By calling Mr. McCullough a vigilante, the Planet tries to make him look the same as his attacker. They are more interested in soiling the name a a good man, who appears to be singled out by the thugs because he stood up to them as part of the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council, and singled out by the Daily Planet because he owns a gun, and because - in the views of the Berkeley press - he usurped the power that only police should have.

The Daily Planet goes on to insist that the police should not trust a known member of the community anymore than they trust a thug. After all, individuals are not important, it is only our membership in a group - whatever group the Daily Planet decides you should be a part of no doubt - that is important. Individuals who can defend themselves (and think for themselves) will not blindly accept whatever the government wants to do. Individual judgments, individual actions, are all bad in the eyes of the Daily Planet.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Power and Responsibility

Critical Mastiff: The Gun Thing A year in Israel, surrounded by people armed to the teeth changed Mastif's opinion of the place of guns in society. It also formed the basis for good thoughts on self defense.

Guns give one power. The power in itself is neither good nor evil; what you choose to do with that power is what has moral weight.
Possessing power means that first, you are capable in theory of confronting opposing power and defeating it. Second, it means that you now have the responsibility of deciding when to use force. This means grappling with the thorniest moral problems that we face, and making clear decisions on what is right and what is wrong. Third, because you have power, you have a reciprocal responsibility to use your power for the good of others. By carrying a weapon, you are accepting an obligation to protect those around you.
Abandoning that power, you deny the claim that others have on you to defend the society against evil. "Cops should carry guns; citizens should just call for help." This is the plea of those who do not want to take responsibility for themselves, and who are threatened by those of us willing to do so.

[Via the 128th Carnival of the Vanities at Belief Seeking Understanding]

The one thing I hate about Lord of the Rings

Don't get me wrong, I love LotR! I have 2 copies of the books, (paperback editions that I read again and again, and the good hardback I've only read once - looked great on a bookshelf before I moved aboard my boat - now those books are in storage). I have the complete unabriged recording by Recorded Books - this is great for cross-country car trips, as it is somthing like 20 hours of recordings. I haven't bought the DVD's yet, but I have seen them multiple times. It is a great story.

But the women in The Lord of the Rings, for the most part, are delicate flowers.

One exception of course is Galadriel. She is portrayed as a powerful sorceress, loved by some, feared by many. She's an elf, after all, and not actually human.

But the exception that really bothers me is Eowyn, Shieldmadien of Rohan. She is portrayed as a tortured creature looking for the release of death in battle. Along the way, she does some amazing things, but as soon as her wounded heart is healed, she gives up the fight, decides to become a healer, and makes plans to become a wife and mother. In other words, she steps back into her rightful place.

Two of the main female characters can only be veiwed as strong if they are shown to be outside the range of normal for women. One is portrayed as non-human, the other as insane.

The set of changes made in the movie that I really liked were the changes to both the Lady Arwen, and Eowyn. Arwen is the classic delicate flower in the book, she never gets to do anything except have dinner and get married. Yet Arwen gets to show some real heart in the movie riding against the Black Riders of Mordor. In the movie, Eowyn is driven to accompany her brother and uncle into battle, but it isn't so much to seek death, as it is to fulfill her duty. Both get to be strong women without being thrown too far outside of normal.

A book that is very similar to Lord of the Rings is The Deed of Paksenarrion. Originally published as three books Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold this epic follows Pakesenarion Dorthansdotter from her father's farm, to being a respected warrior, to becoming an agent of "The High Lord" righting wrongs, and ending with a great quest to save the world (or a small part of it anyway) from evil. Complete with elves, dwarves, magic swords and magic horses, I have come to like this tale at almost as much as LotR. It was written by Elizabeth Moon, a veteran of the USMC. The fact she was a Marine actually helped get it published - since the feeling that a woman could not possiblly write good battle scenes was common in the day. The Deed isn't perfect, what book of 1200 or so pages could be, but it is fun, it is sad, it is well written, and it is filled with strong women characters.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Georgia Store Shooting ruled to be justified

AP Wire | 03/01/2005 | GBI: Store owners who killed teens acted in self defense

The January 24 shooting of two robbers in a Georgia store has been ruled to be justified.
In a statement, Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Bob Lavender, said the investigation is closed and no action will be taken in the case.

"After discussing victim and witness accounts, crime scene documentation and forensic evidence submitted to and examined at the GBI Crime Lab, authorities have concluded that the manner of the deaths were the result of justifiable homicide," Lavender said.
Not sure why it took a month or more to make this determination, but at least it was made. The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly, but at least they grind true.

At least one of these deaths will be counted by the Brady Bunch as "child killed by guns." The fact that the shooting was legally justified doesn't impact the bean counters on the left at all.

More reporting hysteria over Tyler, Texas shooting

Don't get me wrong; what happened in Tyler, Texas was a tragedy. Mark Wilson is a hero. The elder Mr. Arroyo is a monster. But the news media can't get over their fixation on the gun, or in this case, the ammunition.

KLTV 7 Tyler-Longview-Jacksonville, TX: Investigators Find Another Gun, Overwhelming Amount Of Ammunition In Arroyo's Truck.

A separate bolt-action rifle loaded with 5 rounds was found in Arroyo's truck.
Police also found two loaded 30 round magazines.

It was in boxes that police discovered 180 rounds and 10 loose rounds.
So 250 rounds is an overwhelming amount of ammo, even when 180 is still in boxes. The two 30-round magazines could have caused trouble if he had been able to use them.

When I buy ammo, I usually buy a case of 1000 rounds. I do this because it is (usually) cheaper to buy a case than it is to buy boxes of 50 rounds. Shooting a couple of hundred rounds at the range is not hard to do. If you shoot .22 long rifle cartridges, you can buy a box of 550 rounds - it about the size of a single-serving milk container - at your local Big Box discount store for less than 10 bucks. Would this be an overwhelming amount?

Results of a search of Arroyo's home will be released today. I wonder what these reporters will have to say, if Mr. Arroyo loads his own ammunition? Probably that he has an "ammunition factory" in his home. (Most people who have the space do their own loading or reloading as it's called - it is both much cheaper to make handloads, and you can get much more accurate ammunition if you load your own cartridges.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Weekly check on reporting bias

Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias is up. As you might imagine Jeff spends a lot time covering the events in Tyler, Texas. It seems that most of the press is not interested in giving Mr. Wilson the credit due a hero, and instead are focusing on the gun.

As always, a top notch look at the state of reporting on all things 2nd Amendment related.

Bonfire of the Vanities #87

Zero Boss is hosting Bonfire of Vanities #87. Bad posts by good bloggers. Go take a look.

The Shooting Sports: Single Action Shooting Society

coltsI have talked about Cowboy Action Shooting in the past. This month Women & Guns main article is about the Single Action Shooting Society's Family Reunion. SASS is the primary organization dedicated to Cowboy Action Shooting.

OK, so they spend almost as much ink talking about creating costumes as they do talking about shooting. It is true that one of the main things you will notice if you ever go to an SASS event is the quality of the costumes. But you'ld think that they would spend more on the actual shooting. (You can't have everything.)

The truth is that Cowboy Action Shooting is good sport, that offers something for the whole family. (Did I mention that the food is usually pretty good too?)

Really fast wheelgunner

First of all, where do I get an 8 shot revolver? Or is this a .22 caliber? (I know they come in 10 shots.)

Anyway, this video is incredible. I had to use the dreaded IE *spit* to get it to work. I thought I had the windows movie files working under Mozilla, but... anyway the scene where he shoots 6 shots, reloads and shoots 6 more shots in under 3 seconds was unbelievable.

I would love to tell you who lead me to this video, but I think I was surfing via blogexplosion, and it hides the URLs you visit...