Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Software Company with a sense of humor

Fugawi

Looking for a great mapping and marine charting product, try Fugawi. That's Fugawi, as in, "Where the ..."

Friday, April 29, 2005

Teenage gang beats man to death

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online A group of teens attack a shopkeeper in England.
Mi Gao Huangchen, 41, lived in north Manchester but ran the Superb Hut takeaway in the Scholes area of Wigan, close to the town centre.

He was battered unconscious by more than 20 teenagers armed with piping, planks, a spade and a hoe in an attack that lasted up to 15 minutes. The attack on Saturday night left him with such serious head injuries that he died in Hope Hospital on Thursday.
None of the attackers had guns; they didn't need them to kill this man.

Police said they have had an "increased presence" in this crime-filled shopping district, but that also had no impact.
[It] is a run-down part of town. Shopkeepers and residents in the area have complained in recent months about a small army of marauding teenagers.
Making England a gun-free-zone has also made it a defenseless-victim-zone.

Dame Ellen MacArthur

B&QTelegraph | Sport | Nothing in the world like this sailing dame Ellen MacArthur, who recently set an around-the-world, single-handed sailing record received her damehood this week from the Queen of England. Ellen is viewed as a cross between, "Joan of Arc and Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson," in England.

After sailing for 71 days, 14 hours and 18 minutes in her record-setting race, she will sail a much shorter race this week - only 280 miles.

Conservative Gays Called Self-Loathing

Calling gay conservatives "self-loathing"--the "default" reaction of all too many on the left GayPatriot covers something that all too often comes up on the left. Anyone from a minoritiy - sexual, racial, religious - who disagrees with the socialist bent of the democratic party is mentally ill or a race-traitor or what you will.

I see this is as part and parcel of the left's effort to silence all views that do not match their own. From attacks on Secretary of State Rice, to throwing pies at Ann Coulter or other conservative speakers, the left is desparate to silence all opposition. This is especially true for anyone from one of the "groups" the left claims is dependent on them.

That I might think individual freedom and individual responsibility are important, or that I believe in small government isn't important to the left. That I believe strongly that people have a moral right to defend themselves, and that parents have a moral obligation to defend their offspring upsets the left, especially when I point out that for the weak to defend themselves against the strong, the old against the young, and for the few to defend themselves from the many, firearms are the best choice.

Firefighters should save people not pets

I'm not going to save your dog (El Borak's Myopia) Craziness. O2 masks for pets.
But I can tell you that if I come to your burning house, I'm not going to put a mask on your dog. Sorry. Maybe the chief has to say we take care of families and their pets; it's his job to be politic.

It's my job to save people. You can get a new dog.
At least someone has priorities straight.

'Extinct' Woodpecker sighted

The Globe and Mail: 'Extinct' woodpecker appears after 61 years Has anyone out there read "The Company" series by Kage Baker? Saving 'extinct' species is one of the jobs of Dr. Zeus Inc. File this under life imitates art.

'Force With Force' Already Law In Kentucky

WAVE 3 TV Louisville, KY :: Florida Passes Controversial 'Force With Force' Law Already On Books In Ky. Florida had to pass a new Castle Doctrine law, but legislation isn't needed in Kentucky.
But there's no need to do that in Kentucky, because there's already a law on the books. And it goes even further than Florida's statute, according Ray Yeager, a concealed carry instructor at Sportshooters Indoor Shooting Range in Louisville.

In this state, you can use deadly force not only to protect yourself, but also to keep someone from burning down your house.
So anyone who wants to predict a return to the "wild west" will need to explain why Kentucky isn't the scene of gunfights.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Florida Castle Doctrine and the Duty to retreat

Bush OKs gun law as dueling continues Here is the point that the gun-fearing crowd doesn't want you to hear:
[T]he law brings Florida into line with other states, fewer than a dozen of which have "duty to retreat" laws on the books.
The "duty to retreat" is NOT something that is standard in other states.

I am surprised that the Palm Beach Post let this quote go by without attacking it. (It was made by Dennis Baxley, a Republican.) You know that if they could attack it, they would -- look at the Headline of their article. (Do you detect some anti-gun bias in the media?) Hat tip to Keep and Bear Arms


Update 5/12/05 TFS Magnum Coverage of the Castle Doctrine


Washington State has no "Duty to Retreat," doesn't resemble wild west

'Force With Force' Already Law In Kentucky

Marion Hammer Explains the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

Florida Senate Restores Castle Doctrine

Both Florida Houses Pass Same Castle Doctrine legislation

Florida Castle Doctrine Insanity

Even More Insanity About Florida's Castle Doctrine

Some sanity on the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Jeb Bush signs Castle Doctrine Law

Florida's new gun law signed into law - (United Press International). We still have to wait for Oct 1 for the changes to go into affect. Why the delay?

The New York Times *spit* goes right to attacking the removal of the duty to retreat. It doesn't mention the fact that there were changes to Castle Doctrine - specifically that if an intruder is in my house, I will no longer need to guage their "intent." I will be able to assume that an intruder in my house at 3 A.M. poses a threat of death or grave bodily harm. But then the NYT isn't really interested in reporting the news

The NYT is interested in giving a platform to Sarah Brady and that is exactly what they do.

But they are not alone. Florida Today and Boca Raton News are trotting out the tired prediction of "Wild West" shootouts.

Restraining Order, Police advice do nothing; Woman is dead

Man gets 40 years for stabbing girlfriend to death In yet another example of a restraining order failing to protect an abused woman, we have this tragic case in Maryland.
In this case, the victim took the advice of police officers after an earlier fight with Diaz turned violent. She changed the locks on her apartment door and obtained a protective order through a District Court Commissioner.

But despite the protections, Diaz broke into the apartment and stabbed Menefee multiple times in the chest with a large kitchen knife.
The murder occurred just hours after Diaz was released from jail. He used patio furniture to smash a sliding glass door and gain entrance to the home.

Deputy State's Attorney John McCarthy said that police need better technology and more creative means to protect victims. What police and the criminal justice system need to do is own up to the fact that they cannot protect everyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and try to get potential victims to protect themseleves, in whatever way seems best to them. Dialing 911 is not something to bet your life on.

I would much rather read a story about how an abused woman shot and killed an abuser after he broke into her house, than read a story like this.

The criminal justice system cannot protect you, and in fact has no duty to protect you. (See Dial 911 and Die for legal descriptions of your state.) And no, this is NOT vigilante justice. If an abusive person - or any stranger - breaks into your home, you have the moral right to defend yourself. The law my usurp your rights in some states, but then it is better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6.

The mutant was sentenced to 40 years.

Carnival of the Vanities - Blogger Refugee Edition

Ravings of John C. A. Bambenek: Carnival of the Vanities #136 - Blogger Refugee Edition. Go take a look!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Pile On - Best Buy seems to be making folks mad

It all started when Geek with a .45 had a run in with an obnoxious Best Buy store manager. Message to Best Buy - you don't need a phone number for a cash purchase, or a credit card purchase either, actually. You might ask someone at Radio Shack if this policy is a good idea. Anyway, the Geek got a better price on his satellite radio than BB was offering anyway. Their "gift card" has some problems - go read it you will see - but they made him a little angry. (He doesn't usually use four letter words, really).

So this reminded Kim du Toit about an experience he had with similar policies. He suggests giving them their own phone number. They never seem to catch on.

Then Lileks has a run in with Best Buy. Apparently he needed a DVD player when his died. The experience was less than stellar.

Vodka Pundit noticed and recounted the Lileks episode, and the comments at VP went on and on about people who hate BB and their "what is your phone number" policy. (Now disguised as an offer for a free magazine subscription.)

I have purchased stuff from Best Buy, but only rarely. I don't find their staff helpful or their prices that good. The last 3 times I wanted to purchase a piece of consumer electronics BB came up short on any number of issues. I did buy a cheap printer from them. It was discounted since it was an old model and they wanted it gone. Since I needed it in hurry - same as the DVD the Lileks bought - the internet was not an option. Still after these horror stories, it isn't likely I will go back. (Most of the electronics I will buy in the next 2 years will be boat-related anyway.)

And don't forget the ever popular... Best Buy has man arrested for using 2 dollar bills. This was in protest over a billing foul-up. Of course I think the arresting officers are as much or more to blame, than BB. Apparently 2 dollar bills are still available from you local bank. What happened to the new dollar coin?

Washington Post on the Florida Castle Doctrine

Fla. Gun Law to Expand Leeway for Self-Defense. Actually, I find it hard to believe that this is still making news. But I guess the WaPo couldn't pass up a chance to give Sarah Brady and the gun-fearing crowd around her a platform to air their positions.

Of course there is quote from Sarah, and one from Wayne LaPierre to start, but then the WaPo jumps into deep water. The vote for this legislation was unanimous in the Florida Senate, and 94 to 20 in the Florida House? Why? Not because it stops prosecutors from prosecuting the victims of crime. No. It passed because of "fear of the NRA."

There is a provision in the current law - as a result of case law - that says if an intruder is in my house in the middle of the night, I must make some estimate of his "intent." Marion Hammer quotes legendary Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes:
"Detached reflection," Holmes said in one of his most oft-quoted pronouncements, "cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife."
The new law eliminates the need to guage intent, and allows me to assume an intruder in my house presents a threat of death or grave bodily injury.

Basically the position of the Washington Post is quote Brady without comment, and attack every quote from Marion Hammer they bother to print. No surprise here.

TFS Magnum Coverage of the Castle Doctrine

Florida Senate Restores Castle Doctrine

Both Florida Houses Pass Same Castle Doctrine legislation

Florida Castle Doctrine Insanity

Even More Insanity About Florida's Castle Doctrine

Some sanity on the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

Women and Concealed Carry in Florida

Florida Today has an interesting article, Sticking to their guns, a factually accurate, positive article about women concealed weapons permit holders in the state of Florida. It does manage to be condescending.... "Pistol Packing Mama" is not a term I have heard since the 70's or 80's. Still positive articles on gun ownership are few and far between.

I am always distressed that more women don't carry concealed weapons. It is the best way for someone lacking upper body strength to fight off an attack.
There are 341,974 current licenses in the state. About 15 percent of those are carried by women.
That works out to roughly 50,000 Florida women carrying concealed weapons. Still, that number isn't zero.

I like this statement:
"Ninety-nine percent of women turn out to be better shooters because they take direction better," says Elizabeth Beckley, an Air Force firearm instructor for 13 years and part-time range master at the shooting range where Speed-Isom practices.

Beckley, with her perfectly French-manicured nails, does not appear to be the typical firearm instructor.

"I get the stares, I get the looks," Beckley says. "You have to stand your ground."
Many women appreciate having a woman instructor, if only because it proves you don't need testosterone to shoot well.

On the whole, I am pleased to say that Florida Today had a nice look at concealed carry in the state of Florida. [hat tip NRA-ILA]

Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias Always good, and this week is very good. (But then I love Day By Day).

Police confiscating legally owned firearms

DesMoinesRegister.com: Rifle confiscated from teen's home (Fourth Story on Page)

Police in Iowa have confiscated a legally purchased long gun from a young man, who did not threaten anyone, who did not take the gun to school. The gun was transported in the teen's car. (This "teen" is 18 years old and is legally entitled to purchase and transport long guns.)
Sgt. Todd Dykstra said Younk did not take the weapon to school or threaten anyone. The gun was shown to Younk's friends at a tennis court in the 4600 block of Observatory Road on March 5. Younk was not arrested or charged with a crime, police said.

Dykstra said police confiscated the gun because "we just didn't want to take any chances."
Isn't there supposed to be due process? This sounds more like the People's Republic of Kalifornia than Iowa.

History of weapons focus of museum

Lexington Herald-Leader | 04/24/2005 | Collection a look back at history of weapons Arms through 1000 years of history in Europe and America are the focus of a new museum in Lexington, Kentucky.
"This is not just some old guy's collection," said Walter "Chip" Karcheski, curator of the Frazier Historical Arms Museum. "What you're seeing here is a slice of America's past, using firearms as a lens to look at history, and arms and armor from England that date to the Middle Ages."
This is the only US museum to host arms from the British Royale Armouries. And more than just a collection, it uses the arms to describe the state of the civilization that used them.

I really appreciate the fact that they are educating people about what Teddy Roosevelt meant when he said to carry a "Big Stick." He was talking about his 1909 Holland & Holland double rifle, chambered in .500/.450 Nitro Express. (Recoil said to cause nose bleeds.)

Sounds like I may have to detour on my next trip to Ohio...
[hat tip KABA]

Monday, April 25, 2005

Best of Me Symphony: Marshall McLuhan Edition

The Owner's Manual: #74 Best of Me Symphony The Medium is the Message. Or something like that. Anyway, go check it out. The Symphony is always worth a look.

Day By Day and self-defense

Apr 25, 2005 Day by Day

When a top-notch cartoonist champions self-defense, you have to take notice.
Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

New Upgraded Alliance Blogroll

Instapundo Delenda Est!The Alliance: Yay! Update your Blogs with the new blog roll, all you members of the Alliance of Free Blogs.


Instapundo Delenda Est!

Officers Having their guns taken away by suspects

This seems to be a tragic set of events. Does this kind of thing happen all the time and we are only hearing about it now because the events in Atlanta have made the media sensitive to the subject? Or is just that I haven't been paying attention?

Big Cities, small towns, USA, overseas, ... this particular tragedy seems to strike everywhere.

ATLANTA, April 7 -- Brian Nichols steals a gun from the deputy guarding him and kills several people in an Atlanta court house. "[T]he department's policy is to allow one deputy to escort up to four inmates at a time."

SPRING VALLEY, Ill. -- "A man under arrest inside a police station wrested away an officer's gun Saturday, beat the officer over the head with it and was later found dead of a gunshot wound in the building." Suspect was handcuffed to a chair.

Melborn, Australia -- "Senior Constable Tony Clarke, 37, stopped a motorist for a breath test at Launching Place, east of Melbourne when the man grabbed his service revolver and shot him." Suspect later found dead of a self-inflicted wound.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Detective Sergeant James Allen was killed Sunday [Apr 17,] after a suspect he was questioning allegedly grabbed the detective's gun and shot him with it.

So-called Assault Weapons Ban had no effect

Kansas City Star | 04/24/2005 | Weapons ban lapses with little effect Well, considering that the ban, banned no weapons, and that nearly exact replicas continued to be manufactured (and that the guns were never used much in crimes), it isn't that surprising that there has been no great increase in gun crime since it expired.
Despite predictions that cities would be awash in military-style guns, the expiration of the assault weapons ban has not caused a sustained surge in sales, gunmakers and sellers say.

It also has not caused any noticeable rise in gun crime in the past seven months, according to several metropolitan police departments.
Even the NYTimes ran an article - full of spin for the left - about the end of "the ban," but even they couldn't get around the fact that it had no impact on crime.
"People might think it looks less evil," [Carlton S. Chen, vice president and general counsel for Colt] said, "but it's the same weapon. It was a hoax, a Congressional hoax, to ban all these different features."
The left hasn't given up and is still trying to reintroduce the ban. Dianne Feinstein insists it was working.

Retailer From Hell

Geek with a .45 tries to buy a radio and has the retail experience from hell.

Lessons learned: Don't buy gift cards. Don't shop at Best Buy. (As they say, read the whole thing.)

Update Apr 25, 2005: Check the comments that Geek's post has generated. It seems a lot of people have had trouble with Best Buy.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Another Restraining Order does nothing

New York Post Online Edition: reports on the Husband from Hell. [Archive Link - original like has been deleted]

Continuously violating restraining orders, abusing and threatening to kill his wife, her family and himself. He has been arrested 7 times for contempt - i.e. violating the order - and still he was out on bail.

Finally he is being held, and will probably be sentenced to 2 years... maybe a bit more. (Before the most recent arrest he was to be sentenced to 30 days by way of a plea bargin.) In 2 years he will get out and be very pissed, and the system will still do nothing.

This woman needs to defend herself, since it is clear that the criminal justice system has done a very poor job of defending her. I would recommend the use of a firearm. (Is that even possible in New York? She is planning to move out of the state.)

Restraining Order Does Nothing - woman ends up dead

Why did Jennifer die?: Mother asks why restraining order, calls to police couldn't stop killing. A restraining order - calls to the court appointed counselor, calls to the police did nothing. The police were not able to defend her. But then that isn't the job of the police.

Two restraining orders, one arrest, one death. The arrest came about 2 weeks before the murder - for abuse and destruction of property. Only one arrest because he would leave the scene prior to the arrival of the police.

The mother of the victim learned the painful lesson:
"Why would I even waste my time to go and get a restraining order now?" Debbie said. "To me a restraining order is a piece of paper."
In too many cases restraining orders keep victims from defending themselves, because they think "the system" is doing something. It isn't.

Sandra Froman: ABC News Person of the Week

ABC News: Person of the Week: Sandra Froman While not a completely wonderful portrait of Sandra Froman, ABC news at least does select her. Actually it is a bit amazing to me that they even picked her as "Person of the Week." Maybe they figured it was the best way of staging an attack. Of course there are attacks, but we will get to that.

In the typical MSM way they get the facts wrong. Whoever wrote the headline thinks she is, "First Woman Elected President of the National Rifle Association." She isn't, Marion Hammer was the first. But what is more to the point, the author of the story gets it right, identifying her as the 2nd woman president. So whoever writes the headlines, didn't bother to read the story. So they both get the facts wrong and right. [Update 4/27/2005 they changed the subtitle to remove the error.]

The MSM couldn't let a story on the NRA go by without complaining about the fact that the so-called Assault Weapons Ban expired. And they whine about it in good form.

And they have to get in a dig over the Minnesota school shooting. This is a straight-forward attack on Ms. Froman. God forbid anyone should say anything about the fact that so-called gun-free zones are also "defenseless victim zones." (See the Ohioans For Concealed Carry website for numerous stories on this subject.) Or that school shooters are usually stopped - whenever they are stopped - by other people with guns. (But these are just more of those pesky facts.)

They do end with a money quote though.
"I believe there is evil in the world," Froman said. "And I think that good people need to protect themselves from harm, from criminals who seek to deprive them of their life or their liberty."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Lance Cpl. Joshua Butler - American Hero

LCpl J ButlerVillainous Company: Hearts Of Fire Well I have seen several reports on the actions of LCpl. J Butler, and how he helped to foil a truck bomb attack on a marine base in Iraq, but I have to say that I think Cassandra has the best and most complete treatment.

Of course LCpl Butler had help.
Pfc. Charles Young, 21, also of Altoona, Pa., hit the fire engine with a grenade launcher, slowing its progress and giving Butler time to recover.
...
Cpl. Anthony Fink of Columbus, Ohio, 21, fired a grenade launcher that the Marine unit says killed 11 insurgents.
Cpl Anthony Fink said he had never seen anything like this attack.

Several Americans were injured in this attack, but not seriously. 21 insurgents dead, 15 wounded.

Violent Crime still on the rise in UK

BBC NEWS | Election 2005 | Election 2005 | Violent crime 'rise' sparks row 4th quarter results are in for the UK and Wales.

Overall Crime was down 5%
Violent Crime was up 9%
Gun Crime - in gun free England? - was up 10%

The Labour government is going on about the British Crime Survey - a separate study, that shows crime down and violent crime down. The problem is that both police reporting and BCS are so problem ridden that the true number of crimes may be 2 or 3 times the number reported in either system.
Even on the most cautious assumptions, at least another 11.3 million crimes should be added to the 13 million acknowledged crimes originally found by the BCS in 2001/02, a total of 24.3 million. According to another Home Office research study, The Economic and Social Costs of Crime, in 2000 there were at least 60 million crimes. On these estimates, the real figure lies somewhere between 24.3 million and 60 million.
The government is claiming crime is under control. If the estimates for one year range from 11.3 million to 60 million, how do you know if it is under control or not? You don't even know how big the problem is.

And in what sounds like a Propaganda Machine out of the old Soviet Union:
The underlying problem is that many, if not all, statistical reports are still being submitted to ministers for approval of their content and the timing of their release. In an open society, there is no justification for the involvement of party politicians in regulating public access to information. Inevitably they use their control of the flow of facts to gain advantage over their opponents.
Britain has statistical reports cleaned by politicians. Canada has publishing bans on things that are inconvenient for the ruling party. Are there any free countries in the world anymore? [Hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Keeping Parolees out of trouble with the law

Scaring ex-cons 'seems to be working' Amazing statistic, if it holds true.

Only 4% of parolees given stern warnings about the punishments they would get if they carry a gun have been re-arrested. As compared to 22% of those who did not attend the sessions.
In Project Safe Neighborhoods forums, parolees sit down in hourlong sessions with officials with the Chicago Police Department, U.S. attorney's office, Cook County state's attorney's office, state Department of Corrections and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

They're warned that federal and state prosecutors regularly meet about gun cases to decide which system will provide a harsher prison sentence for a repeat gun offender. And they're told that if they wind up in the federal system, they will likely go to an out-of-state prison.
A simple solution - giving people information about penalties - seems to be lowering crime. This is a big deal.
The study pointed out that the average monthly homicide rate in the Harrison and Austin police districts dropped about 40 percent since the Project Safe Neighborhoods forums started there in January 2003 -- more than any other high-crime area of the city. [My emphasis, ZDeb]
In a city that has been one of the worst in terms of murder rates, a 40% decrease, even in just a few neighborhoods can make a big impact.

There is more going on than just these forums, job skills classes and drug treatment efforts are being run out of several churches, and there are several state programs aimed at getting these people back in society. Still, the results are amazing. Reducing crime is a good thing.

Too bad Congress didn't include funding for Project Safe Neighborhoods in the budget.
Linked to Outside the Beltway traffic jam

Local NBC station calls a criminal a "victim"

nbc4i.com - News - Police: Security Guard Shoots Gunman Outside Nightclub Apparently the Ohio press doesn't know the innocent from the guilty.

A man shows up at a night club - from which he has just been evicted - with a gun and starts threatening people and shooting the gun. When an armed security guard shoots him, the press calls this criminal a victim, a victim of gun violence no doubt.

The silly thinking on the left now cannot distinguish between criminals and victims. If I shoot you in self-defense, you are not the victim, you are still the criminal. The lefty knuckleheads don't understand that. "If you are shot, you must be a victim." Sickening

Self-defense shooting in New York

WKBW.com: Local News - Pizza delivery man fatally shoots robbery suspect I didn't think anything like was possible in New York with their Draconian gun laws.
Niagara Falls Police tell us two suspects with a gun, attempted to rob a pizza delivery man on Pierce Avenue about 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The delivery man pulled out a gun and fatally shot one of the suspects at point blank range.
Even though it appears to be a clear-cut case of self-defense, the police are still hoping to arrest the victim, errr.. that is they are still investigating it as if it were a homocide.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Soldiers Angels need your help

MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Soldiers Angels need your help

Soldiers Angles
Thank you so much for the great support of our troops. We were able to help tens of thousands of heroes last year and have done so well that the third deployment, over 10,000 of which in the last three months, have applied to be adopted or sent in requests for supplies.

Our resources are waning and we truly need your support. Please consider adopting another hero or donating here http://soldiersangels.org/, or sending in a check so we can continue to help heroes.
Click on the image - this is a worthy cause.

Liberal Talk Radio a Bust

Why the Liberals Can't Keep Air America From Spiraling In: "New York Democratic Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey has proposed reviving the Fairness Doctrine"
Cry Baby Democrat
Well, "If you can't beat 'em, rig the game in your favor," seems to be the Democratic mantra. But isn't Air America expanding all over the place? Hardly, and look at the ratings...
look at Air America's ratings: They're pitifully weak, even in places where you would think they'd be strong. WLIB, its flagship in New York City, has sunk to 24th in the metro area Arbitron ratings — worse than the all-Caribbean format it replaced.
Also doing lousy in San Francisco and LA.

So what's the problem? Well, the Democrats will never admit they are the problem, so of course the problem is people who listen to talk radio - they just must be stupid. Except of course...
Industry surveys show that talk-radio fans vote in greater percentages than the general public, tend to be college-educated and read more magazines and newspapers than the average American.
The voting statistic just makes the stakes too high. They can't ignore talk radio.

So since they can't compete in the arena of talk radio, they now propose to outlaw it by instituting "the fairness doctrine." Which isn't quite censorship, until you really look at it. It would reserve half of all broadcast air time for liberal programs, programs that can't make any money. (See the NRA-ILA for a quick way to Write your Representatives.) The effect would be censorship. They can't win the game, or even play to compete, so they want to make the game illegal. So much for our right to choose - what radio programs we listen to anyway.

But then the left is not in favor of freedom of speech. The physical attacks on conservative speakers go a long way toward proving that. They left wants you to only think thoughts that they have authorized in advance.
[Hat Tip Cut on the Bias]

Watcher of Weasels Competition now up.

Watcher of Weasels: Submitted for Your Approval. The Watcher's Council posts and non-Council posts selected for the weekly competition are always worth a look.

135th Edition of the Carnival of the Vanities

Conservative Dialysis: 135th Edition of the Carnival of the Vanities. Well the new COTV is up, and the selection of posts is quite large. I am glad to see the screw-up hosted by Dr. Zen didn't set things back. Lots of good stuff.

The New Pope - liberals distressed

The coverage of the election of Benedict XVI - in both the MSM and the blogsphere is fascinating.

Jane Galt has a great perspective on the whole thing.
I'm pretty sure that we're going to see a lot of articles bemoaning the choice of Ratzinger (who is very conservative) and claiming that the Catholic Church is going to implode without ordination of married and female clergy, relaxed standards on birth control and divorce, and so forth. I don't think I buy this. Protestant denominations like the Anglican Communion have been liberalising like mad, and with each decline in membership, they decide that what they need is to liberalise some more.
Did people really expect a liberal Pope?

With Shades of Gray (Umbrae Canarum): The BIG News we get a glimpse of CNN coverage.
First, there was a quick interview with a fellow from Time online (I think he was the World Editor). In the short Q&A (lasting no more than about two or so minutes), the editor managed to fit in the word "conservative" numerous times, along with "hard-line" (if memory serves) and the like. The anchorwoman, ever so helpfully, asked about whether some US Catholics would be disappointed by the choice. Our editor was happy to answer - why yes, says he, because with Ratzinger, a conservative, re-evaluating the issues (conservative) of things like women's ordination, abortion, and birth control just won't happen (conservative).
Llama Butchers have had some interesting observations and MSM quotes.
The caterwauling from the libs is unbelievable. Mort Kondrake on the roundtable portion of Brit Hume's show on Fox all but popped a blood vessel.
I thought the Stripes joke was over the top, but
UPDATE: If Cokie Roberts is already calling him an "extremely controversial" Pope, you know it's a time for celebration.
The Chicago Sun Times provides a quote that nicely sums up the treatment by newspapers.
While the election of Pope Benedict XVI clearly enthralled many conservatives, it left many liberals devastated and drew mixed reactions from the great moderate middle of Roman Catholicism's more than 1 billion practitioners worldwide.
I'm not sure who the middle is, since in most 3rd world countries, the church is very conservative (Oh, of course the average American is the average person....)

ABC news gives us this
"We consider the election of Ratzinger as a catastrophe," said Bernd Goehring of German ecumenical group Kirche von Unten. "It is very disappointing, even if it was predictable. We can expect no reform from him in the coming years."
Actually, I'm surprised at how much the views of non-Catholics are being reported. What difference does this make outside the Catholic Church? But then I don't know why I find the whole thing fascinating.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Alphecca's Weekly Check

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias is up and ready to go. He has some great coverate of the NRA convention in addition to the regular stuff. Worth taking a look, as always.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I love "Best of the Web"

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today

Whatever You Do, Don't Open the Can!

"Battle Against Spam Shifts to Containment"--headline, Associated Press, April 15

Tell Them We Have a Five and Five Singles
"U.S. Catholics Want Change"--headline, CBS News Web site, April 17

That's Gotta Hurt

"Police Hold Woman Over Deadly Paris Hotel Fire"--headline, Reuters, April 18

Gas Prices adjusted for inflation


2005 Gas Prices Adjusted for Inflation

Doesn't look so bad, does it. Thanks to AlphaPatriot

Pirate Attack On Two Yachts Off Yemen

Noonsite: Violent Pirate Attack On Two Yachts Off Yemen Well I missed this one. Thanks to the Geek for pointing it out. Was a time I followed piracy fairly closely, but since I am still working on the boat, I have slacked off.

Anyway 2 yachts, Gandalf and Mahadi were attacked by a well coordinated group of pirates in 2 power boats. Armed with automatic weapons, the pirates didn't stop to ask questions, but opened fire on the vessels' cockpits. Gandalf disabled one boat by ramming it and causing it to capsize. The Captain of Mahadi, Rodney, J. Nowlin, USN Retired, was able to disable the other with a 12 guage. Nowlin also shot several of the pirates with 00 buckshot.

Calls for help on frequencies that should have been monitored by various governments (including the US Navy in the region) went unanswered. They were eventually able to hook up with a comercial cargo ship which shawdowed them for a while to make sure they were not pursued.

If you go out on the high seas, you are pretty much on your own. And there are some nasty people out there who would kill you for the food you have on board. [via Geek with a 45]

Classical World Finds New Writing

Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world

High tech photographic methods are enabling classical scholars at Oxford University to read texts long though lost.
In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia.
This may not mean a lot to you, but the ancient world gave us so much: democracy, history, science, philosophy. The PC police will complain that they are just a bunch of dead white men, but our ideas of Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Liberty, Equality and Justice find their foundations in the ancient Greeks. The scientific method, lots of Geometery, and on and on... [Hat Tip Classical Values]

Best of Me Symphony #73

The Owner's Manual: #73 Best of Me Symphony As usual, it is fun to take a look back. Best of Me Symphony is a collection of posts at least 60 days old.

A filthy lie: Evil Glenn Evicted from Vatican City

AllianceEvil Glenn was seen today being thrown out of Vatican city by a contingent of the Swiss Guard. He was reported to have been wearing a poor imitation of Cardinal's Robes and a red hat. A box of electronic equipment was thrown at him, and the Swiss Guards were heard to say, "and stay out!" Vatican sources declined to comment.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman speaks - you should listen

The Jackson Sun News - Economical wisdom - Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman talks economics

I just love the works of Milton "There aint no such thing as a Free Lunch" Friedman.
Question: Over the next 10 years what would you say is the greatest threat to the U.S. economy?

Answer: Excessive government spending.

Q: In any particular area?

A: Government spending can be in any area, but the particular area that we are most concerned with are in the areas of entitlements.
He goes on to call the Social Security system a Ponzi scheme, and calls for it to be eliminated.

TANSTAAFL is actually from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert A Heinlein, but Friedman made it famous in economics. [Via Art of the Blog]

A Message from the Spirit of Gen G. Patton

What a message it is. [Via Queen of All Evil]

Watcher's Council Roundup

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.

70 ft. wave damages ship

Massive wave damages cruise ship Nature is still bigger than we are.

How much does the MSM just make up?

There are two stories that caught my eye today. Both have to do with reporters for Mainstream media outlets reporting on events that did not take place. Providing details of things that did not happen. In other words, writing fiction and presenting it as fact. Both being in the print media: One in the Boston Globe, the other in the Detroit Free Press.

The first story comes to us via Posse Incitatius, and actually happened April 3, or so, when we were all busy with other media stories. Mitch Albom wrote a column for the Detroit Free Press. Nothing surprising here, but he wrote the column on Friday describing things that happened on Saturday for the Sunday paper. Except they didn't happen. Albom wrote about a meeting of 2 ex-college basketball stars, and although he did talk to them to get quotes, he describes a meeting - in much detail - that never took place. They intended to meet, but were in the end unable to do so. The piece reported in the Detroit Free Press was fiction.

Via Emperor Darth Misha we find the story of a Boston Globe "reporter" also writing fiction. In this case we are treated to a description of the yearly baby harp seal hunt in Canada this past Tuesday. The only problem is the hunt did not start on Tuesday, it started on Friday - delayed due to weather. Furthermore, Barbara Stewart, the "reporter" (aspiring novelist, no doubt), gave first-hand details of an event that didn't take place in Nova Scotia, when she herself was anywhere but the frigid north.

Two "reputable" mainstream media outlets report two pieces of fiction as if they were fact. If the two athletes in Albom's story had met, the report would still be fiction, since it would still have been imagined on Friday, not witnessed on Saturday. Would we have found out it was fiction? Would the words "fake but accurate" apply? The Canadian government is waging a PR battle over the seal hunt. Their position is that it is more humane to allow the hunt to continue, than it would be to permit large numbers of the seal herd to die of starvation - as was happening before the hunt was reinstated. Would we have found out this report was fiction, if not for the Canadian government. If the hunt had begun on Tuesday as planned, would we have found out Stewart's story was fiction? If schedules hadn't changed, would these two stories have been exposed as lies?

How often did Albom and Stewart write stories about events that had yet to take place? How much fiction was printed in the Detroit Free Press, as if was fact? How much was printed in the Boston Globe? Jayson Blair at the New York Times went on for some time writing fiction. Janet Cooke quit the Washington Post and gave back a Pulitzer Prize over a fabrication. Stephan Glass - formerly of The New Republic - made stuff up. Patricia Smith also made things up for the Boston Globe. Jay Forman of Slate got caught "embellishing" the truth.

How much fiction occurs in the mainstream press, and never gets exposed? How many Rathergate-style memos where published, but never refuted? How can anyone take the mainstream media seriously anymore?

Public healthcare nightmare

Telegraph | News | 'My father served Britain. He gave his best years. But who will speak for him and those like him?'

Want a look at socialized medicine? Look at England. You can't leave a British hospital without a doctor's OK, even to go to a better hospital. And in this case, the doctor was "too busy" with a younger patient to sign a form.
My father lay on the stretcher, gasping for breath. I stood next to him, swabbing out his mouth so that he would not choke on his saliva. No nurse came. I moistened a sponge and put it to his lips. I did this for hours, raw with rage at the NHS, which did not care if this old man lived or died. It had laid him out in a way that would make it convenient to take him off to the morgue.
Public healthcare looks more like public transportation every day.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Law Enforcement takes 10,340 ciminals off the street

Operation Falcon: Nationwide Dragnet US Marshals, Federal Agencies, State, County and Local Police joined forces to arrest 10,340 felons.

Gunscribe calls attention to an interesting fact. Only 243 firearms were confiscated as part of these arrests. That's less than 2% of the criminals had guns when apprehended - and that number assumes one weapon per arrest. More than that, and the percentage of criminals with guns falls.

A big "Thank You!" to all those folks in Law Enforcement working to make America safer.
[Hat TipFrom the Heartland]

NRA Viewed Favorably by 6 of 10 Americans

NRA Viewed Favorably by Most Americans When you consider that not a small number of Gun owners don't like the NRA, this is an interesting poll.

graph

Not surprising, but those who are more likely to own guns, are more likely to view the NRA in a positive light. [h/t NRA-ILA]

Jacksonville Great Grandmother Shoots Armed Robber

CBS News | Great Granny Guns Would-Be Thief | April 15, 2005Bad Guy shoots the wall twice. Good Girl shoots the Bad Guy once, and he runs away. He was arrested later at a local hospital.
My life was at stake. I thought he was going to kill me.
That is enough reason to defend yourself surely. Someone has already shot a gun. You shoot back.

Janet Grammer (the Grandmother) has 10 children, 32 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. She was only working in the store because regular clerk couldn't make it in that day.
[hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Friday, April 15, 2005

Finally some sanity on the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

'Retreat' not really a Florida habit Finally someone has something sensible to say about the "duty to retreat" currently in Florida Law - about to be changed via the law now on the desk of Gov. Bush.
Thanks to SB 436, a bill passed last week, we here in Florida have governmental permission to stand our ground when attacked in public. This action alters the previous state of affairs in which residents were bound by what is "commonly known" as the "duty to retreat."

Those quoted parts are from the newspaper, which is appropriate because they were news to me.
Most people didn't know that you were required to retreat, even if it wasn't really safe to do so.

As the Jake Vest goes on to say, this law won't really change anyone's behavior. If you can safely get away, you will. If you can't safely get away, you won't be prosecuted later for defending yourself. But no one's behavior is really going to change.
[B]efore you quit your day job and start selling dueling pistols on eBay, let's look at the effect SB 436 probably will have on behavior.

That would be somewhere between negligible and none whatsoever.
People opposed to self-defense will run away, or try to. People who believe in self-defense will defend themselves, or try to... there are no guarantees in life after all.

So much for restraining orders

Ex-boyfriend accused of causing miscarriage Another case in which a restraining order proved it was nothing more than a piece of paper.
Gregorio M. Garcia, 23, of Green Springs, Ohio, is accused of forcing his way into the 25-year-old woman's Bancroft Street apartment on Monday, punching her several times in the stomach, and sexually assaulting her.

As a result of the attack, detectives said, the woman suffered a miscarriage of her 10-week-old fetus.
A temporary restraining order was in place.

They have arraigned this mutant on several charges including murder and sexual assault. I hope they throw the book at him.
[Hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The non-intellectuals on the left

LibertyYahoo! News - IT'S ONLY FUNNY UNTIL SOMEONE LOSES A PIE Ann Coulter takes a look at what happened (nothing) to the 2 men who assaulted her - yes, throwing something at a person does amount to assault.
Last October, two liberals responded to my speech at the University of Arizona -- during question and answer, no less -- by charging the stage and throwing two pies at me from a few yards away. Fortunately for me, liberals not only argue like liberals, they also throw like girls.
Or maybe that is attempted assault, since they missed.
Then on March 19, all charges were dismissed against the "Deliverance" boys -- including a felony charge for $3,000 worth of damage to school property.
Democrat (surprise) Barbara "Tough on Crime" LaWall, the Pima County attorney allowed the liberal debate champions to walk. In the weeks immediately after that we have:
  • March 29, a pie was thrown at William Kristol at Earlham College (a religion major threw this pie)
  • March 31, salad dressing was thrown at Pat Buchanan at Western Michigan University
  • April 6, a pie was thrown at David Horowitz at Butler University
It sure is a good thing that liberals are intellectual. I would hate to see what happened if they gave up their "fact-filled debate," and resorted to violence to silence anyone with opposing ideas. Yes, violence - pie throwing IS assault. But apparently not when liberals attack conservatives.
If there had been that many attacks on Muslims in the weeks following the 9/11 attack, we'd still be watching Showtime specials about it
Liberals love to pretend that they are oh so much smarter than conservatives, but why then are they reduced to silencing debate? If your ideas can stand up, let's hear them, let's talk. But talk is exactly what these attacks are made to stop. They fear - at least those throwing the pies and their apologists - debate. They are afraid of anyone hearing a point of view they don't approve. So they throw pies.

To be fair, I am sure that some on left are opposed these attacks. But apparently the attorney in one county (a Democrat - what a surprise) saw fit to let criminals off the hook. If you commit a crime in front of an auditorium full of people, I think the state could prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Where is the outcry from the left? Why haven't they insisted that these criminals be brought to justice? Could it be that they approve of these attacks?

These are attacks on the freedom of speech and the freedom of thought. Make no mistake. Disagree with the left and you will be silenced. I think it is only a matter of time before one of 2 things happen: Universities stop hosting conservative speakers, or someone gets seriously injured by one of these attackers. In either case the debates and appearances will stop. Speech will silenced, and thoughts regulated to fit into the dogma of the left.
[hat tip: My Side of the Couch]

Update Apr 16, 2005: From Individ, we get a few definitions. (These cleared up some confusion I had, so I thought I would share them.)
[I]n most jurisdictions, assault is considered simply as an attempt to do harm, (coupled with apparent ability), or even just a threat to do so. Hence, the term "assault and battery", where the "battery" indicates actual contact. If you throw something at someone, and miss, that is assault. If you hit them with it, that's battery.
Depending on what force is used in the assault, it can grow to Assault with a Deadly Weapon, or Assault with Intent to Kill.

Alternate Carnival of the Vanities #134 - Avignon Edition

This Blog Is Full Of Crap: Carnival of the Vanities #134 - Avignon Edition: Since so many people decided Dr Zen (no link from me) did such an awful job with COTV this week, This blog is Full of Crap redid the carnival.

Update: Smallest Minority has more to say on the subject of Dr. Zen and his so-called COTV.

CSI vs. Reality

Cut on the Bias asks Priority: Crime investigation or ... other stuff?. So the real world doesn't work the way CSI does. What a surprise! DNA evidence isn't ready tommorrow (or later today) but in six months.

What's worse, states are giving up on some of the forensic sciences due to budget cuts.
in my judgment, basic government functions include things like good roads, security and a good criminal justice system. We've fallen down on the job in Alabama. I wonder how many museum exhibits or cultural activities it took to suck out the money we should be spending on crime investigation.
When the federal govenment is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and governments are spending millions of dollars on sports Halls of Fame, and basic criminal justice services are dying off, something is wrong.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Student Assaulted, School Doesn't Call Police

local6.com - News - Witnesses: Disabled Girl Punched In Face, Forced To Perform Sex Acts But did the school call police? No, because they are worried about negative media attention.
An assistant principal cautioned the girl's father against calling 911 to avoid media attention, the statements said. The girl's father called police.
There was more than one school official involved in this coverup, one will be fired, the others reassigned.

I can't decide what should happen to these officials, let alone these attackers. Why would you not call the police when a student has been sexually assaulted? Why would you tell the father not to call police? If this was truly the fault of one person, then the management structure of the schools is part of the problem. Someone should have picked up the phone and dialed 911, regardless of what the principal thought.

Government schools - at least in Columbus - now care more about their PR than they do about the safety and well-being of the children they have in their care all day long.
[Hat Tip to Les Jones]

There's more than one way to skin a cat

CNN.com - Wisconsin takes step to OK wild cat hunts - Apr 12, 2005. Appears feral cats are taking a toll on the songbird puopulation. Can't have that.
The proposal would allow licensed hunters to kill free-roaming cats, including any domestic cat that isn't under the owner's direct control or any cat without a collar, just like skunks or gophers.
And it really is a big problem
Every year in Wisconsin alone, an estimated 2 million wild cats kill 47 million to 139 million songbirds, according to state officials.
The Humane Society is up in arms of course. I wonder if sales of 101 Uses for a Dead Cat will increase? [Hat tip Llama Butchers]

No Link for Carnival of the Vanities

Not from me anyway. This weeks host, Dr. Zen, takes issue with my feeling that Americans should be able to defend themselves when attacked. He hoped that the old man would be prosecuted for murder. You are free to disagree, but don't expect me to link to you if you are insulting

His response to assault - give them what they want.

It is clear to me that Dr. Zen has never faced a rapist, or a gay basher. What should I do, Dr. Zen, if faced with a rapist? Give him what he wants? Sorry, but I would rather give him what he deserves - a couple of hollow point slugs carefully aimed. And if you were confronted by a gay-basher (or a Klan member, or any other person bent solely on injuring you), then what would you do, Dr. Zen?

Then of course there are times when even giving attackers what they want won't save you, even if all they ask for is money. This is illustrated by the recent case in Georgia where robbers opened fire because the store owner was not giving them the money "fast enough."

Dr. Zen is a typical liberal twit. No use of force is justified in his mind. I really wonder what his answer to the rapist/gay basher question will be. I expect his answer will be to ignore the question. (I will post his answer if he has the brass to answer.)

Update: It seems Classical Values is also taking issue with Dr. Zen.

More Florida Castle Doctrine Insanity

Wild West making a comeback in Sunshine State: South Florida Sun-Sentinel. More on the Wild West coming to Florida. Howard Goodman is convinced that this law - allowing Floridians to stand their ground if attacked - will lead to Wild West shoot-outs, such as happened in Tombstone. He actually references HBO's Deadwood as the model for where our society will go. (Just because it is a piece of fiction doesn't mean it is over dramatized.)

Goodman also likes the Dirty Harry movies, it would seem. " It's great to see the state of Florida getting in touch with its inner Dirty Harry."

He seems rather fixated on fiction. He also references Unforgiven. I hate to break to Mr. Goodman, but life rarely imitates art. (Especially when that art is a western or an action movie.)

While there is quote from Wayne La Pierre, President of the NRA, his position is belittled. Arthur Hayoe, executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, has his quote amplified. (Predictions about the future are treated as statements of fact: this will happen, that will happen.) But then you already knew which position Goodman favored.

No doubt, Mr. Goodman would prefer we turn Florida in a gun-free haven, like Chicago, or Washington, DC, or England.


Update 5/12/05 TFS Magnum Coverage of the Castle Doctrine


Washington State has no "Duty to Retreat," doesn't resemble wild west

'Force With Force' Already Law In Kentucky

Marion Hammer Explains the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

Florida Senate Restores Castle Doctrine

Both Florida Houses Pass Same Castle Doctrine legislation

Even More Insanity About Florida's Castle Doctrine

Some sanity on the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

Unitarian Jihad

Believe whatever you want, so long as you blow something up over it.

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Howitzer of Moderation.

Get yours.

Thanks to Llama Butchers

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Aarons Buy a Gun Day Festivities

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAaron.cc: Buy A Gun Day III - April 15, 2005. Aaron was the person who came up with the idea of driving the left crazy every tax day.

Festivities for the week:

Monday - Movies for gun lovers. I really like Pale Rider.

Tuesday - 2A Heros and Zeros. The Poodle gets my vote for Zero.

More later....

Dead Pheasant Headgear

The LLama Butchers: WTF? or, "Woman, don't you know someone done shot that there game fowl on your head?". I was tempted to post, but I knew someone would say something. I mean, be fair, Camilla has a chicken on her head.

(I still think the Daily Star had the best headline: Boring Old Gits to Wed.)

Bonfire of the Vanities - the Sadistic Edition

MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy � Bonfire of the Vanities #93 This weeks worst posts, by good bloggers.

Clinton-era Police Program COPS called into question.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comJustice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services program, or COPS, is not only an expensive program at 10 Billion spent, it has mis-spent hundreds of millions of dollars, and there is little evidence it did anything to reduce crime.

Police-hiring program scrutinized
Federal audits of just 3 percent of all COPS grants have alleged that $277 million was misspent. Tens of thousands of jobs funded by the grants never were filled, or weren't filled for long,
Several cities are under investigation and facing legal action as a result of the audit.

Oklahoma City making huge strides without COPS
Police Chief William Citty says his department never seriously considered pursuing the federal money.
...
As it turned out, Oklahoma City enjoyed the same downturn in crime rates that spread across much of the nation during the past decade.
So a government program spent billions of dollars. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on stuff not approved under the program. The program was probably not very effective in the long run at reducing crime anyway.

Can we please stop legislating based on sound-bites? Can the federal government stop passing laws about local issues? Probably not.

Canadian Corruption

Small Dead Animals: The Road Kill Diaries is a great place to keep up on the Crisis of Corruption in Canada. Gomery: Open A Window is the latest offering. It details the exodus of MPs from the ruling party. Some are heading to the Conservatives, some going independent.

I don't know why I find the Candian situation so facinating. It really has very little direct impact on me. The publications ban was interesting - another western country that has given up on free speech and freedom of the press. Still, it seems to be government corruption in the grand old form. Kickbacks and bribes reaching to highest office in the land.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Your Tax dollars at work

spottedhorse: More Fun with PBS and our Tax dollars. Spotted Horse was spending some time with his kids when he noticed that Amtrack was sponsoring a kids program about trains on PBS.
Now I know that makes some sense Trains supporting Trains. But then I started to wonder "What is one bankrupt bastard stepchild of the Federal government doing sponsoring another bastard stepchild of the Federal government"? Isn't that just shifting money from one division of government to another.
Makes you wish the people in Washington would do the work they are supposed to do - like manage the budget - instead of all the crap they manage to spend time on. [Via the New Blog Showcase]

Homeowners Defend Their Families

Gun Owners continue to show that guns save lives and stop crimes. Here are 2 stories

Hempfield homeowner wounds intruder.
A Greensburg man broke into a house in Hempfield early Saturday morning, but the handgun-wielding homeowner put the kibosh on his burglary plans.
Gregory Powell ended the night by being shot in the legs by the homeowner. He charged the homeowner after 2 warning shots were fired. Once hit, he tried to escape, but was caught by police. Home at the time of the break-in, "a couple in their 30s and their two young daughters."

Resident shoots masked intruder inside home
A man shot an armed intruder at his east Charlotte home Saturday night, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said, sending the masked man to the hospital.
...
The resident shot the intruder multiple times, [Capt. Earl] Mathis said. The intruder, whose identity police did not release, was rushed to a hospital for surgery. He was expected to recover.
"Three adults and two children were home at the time," the break-in occurred.

Please note that neither of these cases is vigilante justice. This is self-defense, and defense of family.
[Hat tip to Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog]

Watcher's Council

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.

Percision Guided Humor: The Al Gore Network

Image hosted by Photobucket.comNew Precision Guided Humor Assignment: Al Gore's Network, Current

No, gentle readers, this will not be "All Al Gore, All the time." But that might be better. Here is a sample of the planned programming for Current:
Many exciting programs will be aired in the hopes that they will further the Democrats political success, that is the programs will give a fair and balanced view of the wonderful Democratic party and evil Repulican party.

Michael Moore will be allowed to spew his propoganda present his unique point of view on a weekly program.

Bill Clinton will be given a program of his own in the hope that it will keep him from sucking the life-blood out of every Democratic PR campaign by writing a new book.

The glories of the Peoples Republics of the world will be extolled, and the evils of capitalism and free markets will be harped on presented at every opportunity.
I can't wait...</sarcasm>

Best of Me Symphony: Hollywood Edition

The Owner's Manual: #72 Best of Me Symphony is up and ready for your review. It is always fun to see what we were thinking 60 days ago.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

More Kvetching About Florida's Castle Doctrine Law

Well the MSM can't let go of the new Florida Castle Doctrine law. Tired of the same old quotes from the same old gun grabbers, they have now turned digging for quotes from law enforcement types who have something negative to say. ("Most Florida law enforcement lobbying groups along with members of the Florida Senate supported the bill.")

The St. Pete Times can't let go of this story. Yesterday, they went out of their way to find law enforcement types who don't like the law. Or did they? First they start with some positive and neutral statements:
The Florida Sheriff's Association and Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, both opposed to early drafts of the legislation, have taken a neutral stance on the final version.

"We think by and large they have come away with a good product," said Buddy Jacobs, general counsel for the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

Pinellas Park police Capt. John Green, a board member of the Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association, said the group has not taken an official stance on the deadly force bill.
So while they start out with actual quotes, they end with the "sources say" - unnamed sources of course - statement that "some officers" are worried about the impact of the law. Was there not one they could get a quote from? But they are sure that these officers are everywhere, so why bother to get an actual quote? Or is it that they couldn't get a quote, and were not willing to admit that?

The Hernando Today launches a slightly more direct attack on the bill. The only person they could find to say something positive about the bill is Randie Rickert, president of the Hernando Sportsman's Club. (Are they trying to paint Mr. Rickert as a "gun nut?")

But Brooksville Police Chief Ed Tincher was happy to give them their negative sound bite. (What is it when it's in print? It's surely not a sound bite.) While Chief Tincher is undecided about the law, he "worries" that it may encourage "vigilante justice." (I just knew vigilante justice was going to come into this somewhere.) Of course in all of the many stories in all of the many MSM outlets that bring up the specter of vigilantism, not once do they seem to remember to point out that defending yourself from an imminent threat of death or grave bodily injury has nothing to do with vigilante justice. Vigilante Justice would involve hunting down the person who attacked you after the fact. But why clutter the issue with facts? The threat of vigilante justice is a much more dramatic way to slant the story against the law you don't like.

Update 5/3/05 TFS Magnum Coverage of the Castle Doctrine


Marion Hammer Explains the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

Florida Senate Restores Castle Doctrine

Both Florida Houses Pass Same Castle Doctrine legislation

Florida Castle Doctrine Insanity

Even More Insanity About Florida's Castle Doctrine

Some sanity on the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

Update 5/7/05:

Washington State has no "Duty to Retreat," doesn't resemble wild west

'Force With Force' Already Law In Kentucky

Evil Glenn's TV program - a filthy lie

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThere has been much buzz in the blogsphere regarding an upcoming TV show hosted by Evil Glenn, but it is wrong to characterize it as Reality-based TV show. The show in fact is more of an infomercial for several products currently under development by the puppy blender. (Some people claim that getting the studio audience to participate will be reminiscent of Fear Factor.)

The first product is, of course, a Puppy Blender - or more specifically a high-powered large-size blender capable of blending even very large puppies. We understand that later in the season Evil Glenn will introduce a 12-volt, small size blender to enable customers to enjoy puppy blending on-the-go.

It is whispered that several other products are under development by Evil Empire, Inc. - the evil development and manufacturing company - but security is very tight. It is however clear that Glenn will not be selling home versions of his weather control machine. An anonymous source said, "He has to keep some evil for himself."

After a year of concealed carry, no problems in Ohio

The Cincinnati Post - Gun law marks its first year. As anyone who has studied the experiences of states which have enacted concealed carry could have predicted, there have been no "Wild West" shootouts. (The left always predicts these shootouts, even though they can't point to a single state that has had the problem.)
Concerns that Ohio's law would spark more bloodshed in the Buckeye State have proved unfounded.
Of course the article contains the 2 obligatory anti-CCW quotes: One from a gun grabber who - even though his predicted shoot-outs didn't occur - is still unhappy with the law. A bureaucrat who is also concerned that problems will occur in the future (even though these problems haven't materialized in any of the states - is it 47 now? You can't count Hawaii - that have some form of concealed carry).

Still the article contains a statement that Kentucky has had concealed carry for nine years with no problems. It lists the number of licenses at 50,000 - less than anticipated, but respectable given the required amount of training required, and given that permit holders names have been frequently printed in the papers. The article states that there have been no problems in the state of Ohio. That bureaucracy imposed in Hamilton County has not stopped people from getting permits, since they can go to a neighboring county. In general, this was about as fair an article one could expect from the Cincinnati Post.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Don't try to rob an establishment where all the employees and most of the customers are armed.

Lest Darkness Fall: Darwin Award: Attempted Robbery of Gun Store. I have never been in gun store where all of the employees haven't been armed. One place I go - a range as well as store - one guy has an FN 5.7 strapped to his hip.

So this reciepient of the Darwin Award - he successfully removed himself from the gene pool - walked past a marked police car and attempted to hold up a gun store in Renton, Washington..50 vs .44
Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up, and fired a few wild shots from a .22 target pistol. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, the police officer with a 9mm Glock 17, the clerk with a .50 Desert Eagle, assisted by several customers who also drew their guns, several of whom also fired.

The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics. Crime scene investigators located 47 expended cartridge cases in the shop. The subsequent autopsy revealed 23 gunshot wounds. Ballistics identified rounds from 7 different weapons.
.50 Action Express Desert Eagle is a tremendous round from a LARGE gun. The .50 AE dwarfs the .44 magum of Dirty Harry fame. (see photo) What was this guy thinking?

Social Security Reform

A Stitch in Haste Treasury Acknowledges Social Security "Trust Fund" is Meaningless. Most of us who have studied the matter, know that the Social Security Trust Fund is a bit of smoke and mirrors to convince the man-in-the-street that "all is well" with Socical Security.

A Stich in Haste has a great debunking of this "Trust Fund." Notes to financial statements indicate that the trust fund is a meaningless accounting entry.
In other words, the only reason the Treasury Department calls the Social Security "trust fund" a "trust fund" is because Congress ordered them to.
Smoke and Mirrors.... Wonder if reform will ever take place? [Hat tip Right Side of the Rainbow]

Best news I've heard all week

TSA slated for dismantling - washingtonpost.com Highlights - MSNBC.com. Whoever thought a govenment program would be able to ensure security? I bet if they declassified the results of the security tests (they are so bad, they can't tell us what they are) this would have been done months ago.
The Transportation Security Administration, once the flagship agency in the nation's $20 billion effort to protect air travelers, is now slated for dismantling.
Perhaps the program for arming pilots can be put on better footing now. [Hat tip to It comes in pints?]

Friday, April 08, 2005

Man won't be charged for defending himself

Prosecutor says man won't be charged in fatal shooting | The Janesville Gazette | Janesville, Wisconsin, USA. Well, I was wrong about the Wisconsin powers-that-be. Or at least wrong about the prosecutor in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Karen Loebel said Wednesday that, based on the evidence, she would not be able to disprove a claim that the man from Arkansas was acting in self-defense.
Based on the descriptions of the incident I have seen, this 64 year-old man was certainly acting in self-defense. (The 4 people who attacked him were beating him with his own cane.)

I suppose there is some hope for Wisconsin after all.... (Now if they can only get their vote fraud problem straightened out.)[hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Arizona Combating Zero Tolerance Insanity

Bill OK'd to allow firearms course. Arizona is moving to combat the "guns are evil," Zero Tolerance insanity that is plaguing our schools.
[T]he bill would allow school districts and charter schools to offer a one-semester course in firearms marksmanship.

Under the bill, the course would have to include instruction on gun safety, the basic operation of firearms, the history of firearms and marksmanship, "the role of firearms in preserving peace and freedom" and the "constitutional roots of the right to keep and bear arms."
It is too much to hope that this will spread to other states. And of course, the districts have to want to offer the class. Still, it is a start.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wisconsin liberals would rather this 64 year old man was dead

The Journal Times Online. A 64 year old man was attacked by four youths. At least one of them had a gun. They beat him with his own cane. Not ready to die, he pulled out his own gun and killed one of his attackers.

Of course it isn't legal to have a pistol in your car in Wisconsin. You are supposed to "run away" or whatever the left thinks is better than defending yourself. (And for a 64 year old man faced with 4 young attackers, there is only one defense, firearms.) He was arrested. "A proposal to allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons passed the state Legislature in 2003 but was vetoed by Gov. Jim Doyle." Mr. Doyle, what should this old man have done?

But then it is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
[hat tip to Keep and Bear Arms]

OK, now both Florida chambers have passed the same bill on Castle Doctrine

State: Legislature say's let the force be with you. Still the left has not let up in predicting - what else? - Wild West shoot-outs. (Is anybody else as tired of hearing this refrain as I am?)

The first thing this bill does is to restore the castle doctrine - I can meet intruders in my house with deadly force. Previously there was the issue of "intent" if someone was in my house. At 3 o'clock in the morning, I can now assume that the intent of a stranger in my house is to do me and mine harm, and I can react accordingly. (How are you supposed to determine an intruders intent in the middle of the night?)

This bill also removes my "duty to retreat" if attacked on the street. As NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said,
To suggest that you can't defend yourself against a rapist who's trying to drag you into an alley or against a carjacker who's trying to drag you out of your car is nonsense. The ability to protect yourself, your children, or your spouse is important, no matter where you are.
Jeb Bush has said he will sign this bill.

UPDATE: This is an interesting note:
Most Florida law enforcement lobbying groups along with members of the Florida Senate supported the bill.
With law-enforcement supporting the bill, you wonder how the detractors can say it will cause lawlessness with a straight face.

Buy a Gun Day - April 15

Liberty Belles - Buy a Gun April 15. More people are getting in on BAG day 2005
Probably the easiest way for Second Amendment supporters to make their presence known to Congress is to keep buying firearms. The continued purchase of firearms and firearm accessories sends a clear message to our legislators that: a) firearm owners exist in great numbers; b) they are actively engaged in exercising their rights; and c) any further anti-gun legislation would most certainly lead to unemployment, or worse yet, a real job, for our Senators and Representatives.
Aaron would like to be recognized as the day's founder. Hats off to you for a great idea!

Some folks getting in on the action:Remember to obey the ever increasing, and often incomprehensible gun laws when making this purchase.

Poll: Rejection of Gun Bans as Terrorism Solution

U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Zogby Poll Shows Overwhelming Rejection of Gun Bans as Terrorism Solution". Second Amendment Foundation commissioned a poll about guns and terror. The numbers speak for themselves.
Asked whether they agreed or disagreed that banning guns would reduce the threat from terrorists, respondents to the poll disagreed by a margin of 75 percent. Only one in five respondents supported the notion, and five percent were not sure. Zobgy polled 1,009 likely voters chosen at random nationwide with a margin error of plus/minus 3.2 percent. Polling occurred between March 30 and April 1.
Let's look at that again:

Of likely voters:

75% voters reject gun bans
20% embrace gun bans
5% aren't sure

[hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Shoot or Stun?

Taser Ends Stand-off. More Taser news.... Faced with an armed mental patient, police would clearly have been justified in shooting. But they had a choice to deploy a less-than-lethal alternative. (Hardly the torture weapon AI claims it is, this deviced saved this man's life today.)

Amnesty International's Claim on Stun Guns

PE.com | Inland Southern California | Local News reports on the International Police Chiefs call for stun gun rules. One thing they included that seems to be missing from other reports is the debunking of AI's claims of "Stun Gun Deaths." There were none.
Stun guns did not cause any of the 72 deaths cited by Amnesty International in a 2004 report on stun-gun use, the [Potomac Institute for Policy Studies] found, although the stun guns could not be ruled out as a contributing factor.

Obesity, excessive drug ingestion, and the use of batons or wrestling maneuvers also could have led to the deaths, the institute found. The police chiefs' report notes that no independent studies have been done on the safety of the devices for people under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The odds of the use of stun guns contributing to death are, at worst, one in 1,000, according to the Potomac Institute. The ratio of lives saved to lives lost exceeds 70 to 1. By comparison, the ratio for air bags in automobiles is 50 to 1, according to the institute.
Not surprising AI is against law enforcement. Minus stun guns, most police have only batons and firearms to subdue suspects.