Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Quote of the Day

From Harry, at Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry, we get this gem.
That’s what life is like, my friends. You’re born, and everyone is pleased to see you. Then 52 years later no one is pleased to see you. You’re all alone, your teeth have fallen out, and you’re standing in the street, nuts. I expect I’ll end up like that one day.

The Cost to Rebuild New Orleans

SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Nation -- 'Engineering nightmare': Water keeps rising in New Orleans

Eventually they will stop the water pouring into New Orleans (if for no other reason than the level will rise to match Lake Pontchartrain). Then they will drop enough cement in the gaps to repair the levees.

But then what?

Governor Blanco says, "we will rebuild." But who will pay? I expect to see any number of insurance companies fold, so will the US taxpayer pay? And if they do rebuild, New Orleans will still be 80% below sea level. So the whole thing will be waiting to happen again.

Maybe the best thing we could do is pay everyone the money would pay them to rebuild, but insist that they only get the money if the rebuild somewhere else. (Somewhere above sea level at least.) Do we really want to see this happen again in 2 or 5 or 50 years? When the Mississippi River overflowed its banks some years ago, several communities that had been destroyed were basically relocated to higher ground.

In American Prospect Online - Thinking Big About Hurricanes: It's time to get serious about saving New Orleans, an article written in May of this year, Chris Mooney discusses what we knew in advance about a hurricane hitting the Crescent City.
[T]he levees of New Orleans, which only protect against a hybrid Category 2 or Category 3 storm (with winds up to about 110 miles per hour and a storm surge up to 12 feet). Soon the geographical "bowl" of the Crescent City would fill up with the waters of the lake, leaving those unable to evacuate with little option but to cluster on rooftops
The Big One - Part 1: Joe Allbaugh commissioned a study, shortly after he was confirmed as FEMA Director in February of 2001. It talks about a lot things: what the buildings can withstand, the likelihood of mosquito born disease, and the problem of pumping the water out.
"If one goes to construction equipment rental firms, you can rent pumps with a capacity of 6,000 to 8,000 gallons a minute, but that's just not enough capacity," [Jay Combe, a coastal hydraulic engineer] said. "After Betsy the corps employed six dredges with a combined capacity of 243,000 gallons per minute. It would take 44 hours to drain a half-inch of water from the New Orleans metro area that way."
This isn't going to be over anytime soon.

Update: Ilyka Damen disagrees.
This idea that New Orleans is impractical and not cost effective and therefore should not be rebuilt: Neither's New York. Should we get rid of it?
No I don't think we should get rid of it. But if it got removed from the face of the earth - as it appears New Orleans has done - would I want to pay to rebuild it, rent control and all? No. And if we do rebuild New Orleans, I hope we make damn sure that we don't have to rebuild it again in 10 years time.

Watcher of Weasels weekly competition

Watcher of Weasels: Submitted for Your Approval As always, there is some good stuff in this week's Watcher's Council.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ted Nugent and Bears in Manitoba

The Brandon Sun: Online Edition - Nugent offers to help with bears in Manitoba after man mauled to death I love this guy!
The American rocker and avid hunter extended his condolences yesterday to the family of a man killed by a bear last week. And he said he’s willing to come to Manitoba to shoot problem bears to protect Manitobans.
And on the subject of animal rights
Nugent told the Winnipeg crowd that animal rights activists are misguided and “retarded” for opposing hunting.

“Animals have rights to garlic and butter and to be singed on two sides,” he told his delighted audience.
His latest book is Kill it and Grill it.

Finally a media outlet that knows the definition of victim

WSAV.com - Savannah / Hilton Head | Police: Victim Shot Burglar

As I have said over and over again, when a criminal is shot while committing a crime, that does not make him a victim. He is still a criminal.
A Savannah woman says she was a burglary victim twice before she turned the tables and shot the man she says was trying to rob her for a third time.
...
He’s been charged with burglary, but as of Monday night was still being treated at the hospital.
She is the victim; he is the criminal.

Billboards You Will Never See


Daisy Air Rifles: Keeping Kids Off Your Lawn Since 1886

30 people die in 1 apartment complex

FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Governor: Evacuate New Orleans Governments love to issue evacuation orders, but when a class 5 hurricane is bearing down on you, it might be a good idea to listen to them.
The biggest known cluster of deaths was at the Quiet Water Beach apartments in Biloxi, a red-brick beachfront complex of about 100 units. Harrison County, Miss., emergency operations center spokesman Jim Pollard said about 30 people died there.
The building is gone. Some people escaped when it started to collapse; others did not.

In other Katrina news:

80% of New Orleans is under water, and the levees are not yet repaired.

The Superdome is filling with water, and the people who were evacuated there need to be evacuated someplace else.

4 years for murder is not justice

Image hosted by Photobucket.comTransgender woman's killer will be free in four years - World & National - The Empty Closet Crime of Passion and "Gay Panic" arguments don't hold much weight with me. If someone surprises you (you find your wife in bed with another man, say) but is not a threat, and your first reaction is to kill that person, you should not get credit for "a crime of passion." If your first reaction is to kill someone who is not a threat, you are a vicious murderer and should be sentenced accordingly.

The "gay panic" defense is used a lot when the victim is transgender. In this case the judge bought the argument and handed down a ridiculous sentence. There are those who are claiming this is why we need hate-crime legislation. To them I say, no, this is why we need minimum sentencing laws.

It is the act that should be punished. What the mutant thought about the victim is irrelevant. Basing the sentence for the crime on what the criminal thought at the time is to enact thought crimes. Are we living in a Brave New World?

Restraing Order Does Nothing - one dead, one injured.

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah Another Man who loved his ex-wife so much he had to kill her. Could it be that the fact that she was going to be married Friday - that she was moving on with her life - was what drove him to it?

David Drommond, 29, shot and killed his ex-wife in front of their 2 sons. He then shot her father, and tried to kill himself. He is charged with murder.

The Military and Respect for Religious Minorities

The Air Force and the Navy are both struggling with the question of how to respect differing religious views. It doesn't seem that they are being very successful.

Part of the problem is that there are so many different religious groups in the country and in the military today. In 1945 there were 10 organizations that "endorsed" chaplains for the military. Today there are 240. That wouldn't be a problem if people respected each others beliefs, but of course that isn't happening.

The Air Force discourages public prayer at mandatory meetings (staff meetings, promotion ceremonies, etc.) that reference or promote a particular religion. But even so, there have been accusations of anti-Semetism at the Air Force Academy.
An Air Force task force concluded that some students and staff at the school have the perception that the academy favors evangelical Christians and is intolerant of those who do not share their faith.
Incidents such as "the head football coach [telling] players that he expected to see them in church," are not helping. (No Jews, no Muslims, no Wiccans, etc. allowed on the football team coach? Or is it just that you feel you have the right to impose your beliefs on others based on your position?) This is clearly unacceptable in a government institution. Let him go coach for Notre Dame or Southern Methodist University or some other private university of his choice.

The problems are not limited to the Air Force; their problems are just mostly in the news, due to the problems at the acadmey. The Navy is also struggling though they are making chaplains just as unhappy as the serving personnel. (One chaplain is alleging that he was overly restricted in his ability to preach his faith.)

Certainly people going into battle deserve to be able to pray according to their beliefs, and even receive religious counseling. But if they are ridiculed, or their beliefs discounted or insulted in public ceremonies, does that help anyone? What impact on "unit cohesion" or morale? Will we as country founded on religious freedoms see religious minorities driven out of the service? I hope not. But I don't see tolerance for other faiths being high on the priority of many faiths these days, and I would hope we could get beyond tolerance to respect.

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 results of the vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

Monday, August 29, 2005

New Jersey has a problem

Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/28/2005 | Bears on comeback throughout the state And it isn't just the bear hunt...

1400 reported incidents involving bears (up from 900 a year ago). Mothers having to "rescue" their children from bears. Farmers whose berry crops are being destroyed. And the good people are not sure if there should be a hunt or not.

OK, that's their call. But when a woman is cornered in her basement by a bear, when children are menaced in their yards, I think the situation has reached a point where the citizens should be allowed to go armed.

But maybe that is just me. PETA would say that the life of the child is not worth more than the life of the bear, but then PETA are a bunch of ignorant bastards.

Cotillion And Hurricane Katrina

Cotillion: Okay, Everyone, I Am Fine

American Princess: Okay, Everyone, I Am Fine

The Cotillion was nearly called off due to Hurricane Katrina. But thanks to the American Princess, the show did go on.

The State of California wants to control everything in your life

Sunday Times: Food firms sued over deep-fried potatoes Smoking, drinking, speech, and now food.
FAST-FOOD chains including McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC are to be sued by the state of California for not warning consumers about a potentially cancer-causing agent produced when potatoes are deep fried.
And here I thought French Fries qualified as health food.

How long will be it be before CA outlaws deep frying? (Does anyone remember the movie Demolition Man, with Stalone?)

Now coffee is actually good for you

Image hosted by Photobucket.comCoffee is number one source of antioxidants I love being able to justify my addiction to coffee!
"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close," says study leader Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at the university. Although fruits and vegetables are generally promoted as good sources of antioxidants, the new finding is surprising because it represents the first time that coffee has been shown to be the primary source from which most Americans get their antioxidants, Vinson says. Both caffeinated and decaf versions appear to provide similar antioxidant levels, he adds.
Time for another cup.

A voice of reason

Other Voices: Gay unions pose no threat to traditional marriage I have had many discussions with (so-called) religious people in the past few months about same sex unions. I have yet to have anyone explain to me what they are afraid will happen.
Worried about same-sex marriage causing the end to your traditional union?

My wife and I will soon celebrate 27 years of "traditional marriage" to each other. We have two young adult children. Like all marriages, we faced various challenges, but never once was our union jeopardized by knowing that in our community lived gay couples, who like us were essentially married and raising children.
The most I can get out most of people ardently opposed to gay marriage seems to be a deep-seated fear that if they give up their opposition to gay marriage, people will think that they are gay.

Gay marriage is now legal in Massachusetts, and is likely to stay that way. What impact does it have on you? (Unless you are gay and married in MA of course.) It impacts you not in the least - or not very much.

People then fall back on the "it is an assault on their values" defense. If your values cannot stand up to a little opposition, then I submit you don't hold them very strongly. Jews have been persecuted for centuries for holding different beliefs than the Christian societies in which they have lived. Yet they still hold those beliefs, even in the face of death and torture - the Spanish Inquisition, the Pogroms, etc. If you can't resist efforts of the masses to change your values and beliefs, then I submit you don't have a very storng hold on those beliefs.

This is not a minor problem

Powerful Storm Threatens Havoc Along Gulf Coast - New York Times Katrina, now a category five storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale is packing sustained winds of 160 MPH. It is taking aim directly at the city of New Orleans.

This is a particular problem, because much of New Orleans is below sea level. 15 inches of rain and a storm surge of 20 feet or more will topple the city's flood prevention levees.

Add to the problem the people - many tourists - who are stranded and cannot evacuate, and this is makings of first class disaster.

Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said. "This is not a minor problem."

Update 2:30 AM 8/29/05: Just took a look at the National Hurricane Center's 4 hour satellite loop for Katrina. It is currently on track heading directly for New Orleans, though the eye-wall (which is incredible on the infrared satellite images) is hours away from the city.

Michelle, at A Small Victory has a few choice words for the people of New Orleans who are not evacuating - especially a group of college kids planning a party.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Handgun Ballistics: Comparing Stopping Power

357 MagnumMany people come to this site looking for information on the stopping power of the .357 magnum handgun. So I thought I should oblige by providing some info and a link to where you can find more.

[Visit Amazon.com for Books on Handgun Stopping Power]

I selected the Remington ammunition ballistics table (it is a PDF - You are warned!) because I shoot a lot of Remington ammo. (I also shoot Winchester and Federal and others, but Remington's info was easy to find, and organized nicely.) Also, all of the manufacturers sell several variations of each of the popular handgun cartridges. Different primers, different bullets and bullet weights, different powder loads all combine to influence stopping power, which is recorded as foot pounds of energy delivered down-range.

Just for a comparison, lets look at one typical load for a .357 magnum and compare to a similar load for 9mm Luger and one for .45 ACP. (All of this ballistic data is for specific Remington cartridges, and is just meant to be representative of the differences between these cartridges.)

1911-AA 125 grain Semi-jacketed hollow-point bullet loaded for .357 magnum can deliver 427 foot pounds of energy at 50 yards, while a 124 grain jacketed hollow-point bullet loaded in 9mm Luger can deliver 291 foot pounds at 50 yards. A 185 grain jacketed hollow-point bullet loaded in .45 ACP can deliver 372 foot pounds at 50 yards. (Though people tell me that many 1911s won't feed hollow-points, I use this bullet for comparison to keep everything equal. I also don't know if that is true, but I am sure some 1911 expert will set the record straight in the comments.)

Note: A grain is a unit of measure for weight (mass actually) used for measuring bullets and gunpowder. There are exactly 7000 grains in one pound. (thanks to Boomershoot for the definition)

Update - Sept. 5, 2005: Like everything else in life, your mileage may vary. I am told that the .45 hollow-point issue is a function of which gun and which ammo. "Try it and see" is the message, and you can probably find a hollow-point that will work.

A story with a happy ending

Thunder .380 Tampabay: Husband arrested in his wife's kidnapping No thanks to the restraining order his wife had obtained.

Roy Kinard III kidnapped his wife (who had seperated from him and obtained the court order). He then fired 5 shots from a Bersa Thunder .380 semiautomatic handgun at a police officer, but missed both the officer and his car.
Kinard was charged with multiple crimes, including kidnapping, attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, felon in possession of a firearm, five counts of shooting within an occupied vehicle, aggravated fleeing and eluding, reckless driving and violation of a domestic violence injunction
So as someone once said, "All's well that ends well," but the restraining order had no protective value.

Remind me why Israel withdrew from Gaza?

Telegraph | News | Twenty wounded in Israel suicide bombing I thought it as supposed to be a step toward bring peace.
A Palestinian suicide bomber has blown himself up in southern Israel, injuring at least 20 people.
I guess that message hasn't reached everyone.

Don't bring a knife to gunfight

Salt Lake Tribune - Taylorsville man shoots brother
A 24-year-old Taylorsville man, who shot his sword-wielding younger brother during a fight Thursday morning, was questioned by authorities and released after it was determined the man acted in self-defense.
The one shot is in serious condition after being flown to a hospital.

A Patron Saint for Handgunners

The St. Gabriel Possenti Society I think this is an interesting idea.
The St. Gabriel Possenti Society promotes the public recognition of St. Gabriel Possenti, including his Vatican designation as Patron Saint of Handgunners.
I didn't know there were patron saints for such things as handgunners....

Saturday, August 27, 2005

You can bring down a helicopter with that thing

BREITBART.COM - Just The News: Rocks Thrown at Border Patrol Chopper What we need is reasonable rock control.
Illegal immigrants threw rocks at a Border Patrol helicopter, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing when one of the rocks damaged the rotor, the agency said.
These are obviously terrorist weapons, and the thought that they are available to anyone - even children - should give anyone pause. We need to get all of these rocks off our streets! (especially the assault rocks) </sarcasm>

Friday, August 26, 2005

Bystander Stops Stabbing at Wal-Mart

Wal Mart shooter likely saved life. [The orignial story seems to have been archived or deleted, try this from the LA Monitor, or this story in the Free New Mexican. Frontpage has similar info.]

A woman was being stabbed by her ex-husband in a Wal-Mart as part of a domestic dispute, when another shopper, 72-year-old Due Moore, - who was carrying a legal concealed weapon - came to her aid, and shot the bastard.
“It’s probably a very good thing he (Moore) was there,” says APD Sgt. Trish Hoffman. “Ms. Cordova may not be here today if it had not been for him.”
1911-A1Statements from witnesses imply the shooting was justified.

Joyce Cordova is in stable but critical condition at the University of New Mexico hospital. She had a restraining order in place against her ex-husband, Felix Vigil, but that did nothing. Witnesses say Moore shot Vigil 3 times. Vigil was pronounced dead at the scene.

The group Ohioans for Concealed Carry notes that Wal-Mart has always supported legal concealed carry. In this case it appears to have saved a woman's life.

It is also important to note that legal concealed carry saved this woman's life, even though she was not the one carrying a weapon. Legal concealed carry by the good citizens of this country makes us all safer.

Carnival of Cordite for August 26, 2005

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #28 Good as always. And this weeks discussion is, "What role should firearms play in the life of the modern woman?" Go participate!

Gunfight Rules

Argghhh! Gunfight Rulez. Just a few of my favorites, but it is worth looking at them all. Most apply to any self-defense situation you may encounter.
USMC Rules For Gunfighting During War

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.
...
12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.
...
16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.
...
21. Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
Rule 24 is the old saw about handguns that are smaller than .45 caliber (or rather always use a gun that has a caliber starting with .4). For the military - limited to FMJ (that's Full Metal Jacket for you non-gunnies) by the Hague Accords of 1899 and 1907 - this rule probably makes sense. For those of us who can use semi-jacketed hollow-points, somewhat smaller calibers can be very effective. [h/t Alphecca]

Shooting Sports: Cowboy Mounted Shooting

The News-Bulletin: Shoot 'em up cowboys - Cowboy Action Shooting has been in the news lately. Mounted shooting is a variation on the Single Action Shooting for horse lovers.

Using black-powder blanks to shoot balloons while on horseback, Cowboy Mounted Shooting attempts to recapture some of the old west.
"It's not easy hitting a target while on a moving horse," [Kay Rivers] said. "You have to keep your arm straight and look right down the arm to aim. If you bend your elbow, or take your eye off the balloon, you're going to miss."
And you need a horse that won't be bothered by gunfire.

The format is that of a modified barrel race, which is not easy in its own right. Speed and accuracy determine the score.

Falwell backs basic rights for gays

Southern Voice Online: Falwell hints gay rights support - Conservative leader calls housing, employment for gays 'basic rights'

Not special rights, but common rights; housing, employment are the ones he mentioned.
"Civil rights for all Americans, black, white, red, yellow, the rich, poor, young, old, gay, straight, et cetera, is not a liberal or conservative value," Falwell went on to say. "It's an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on."
Specifically he said:
FALWELL: Well, housing and employment are not special rights. I think—I think the right to live somewhere and to live where you please or to work where you please, as long as you‘re not bothering anybody else, is a basic right, not a—not a special right.
Has it started snowing in Hell yet? [Hat tip to Ace at The Pryhills]

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

The Lafayette Daily Advertiser - St. Mary man killed after break-in "Anthony Sparrow died from multiple gunshot wounds he sustained" after breaking into his ex-wife's home. He was confronted by her new new boyfriend. After an exchange of gunfire, Sparrow drove away, to be found dead behind the wheel of his car a short while later.
[Sheriff] Naquin said the case is still under investigation but that "it certainly appears that the gentleman that was inside the house acted in self defense. I don't think there's a whole lot of question about that."
I don't feel bad he is dead. He went to his ex-wife's home, armed with a gun, and forced entry. He wasn't there for any good reason, and now he will never inflict violence on his ex-wife again.

Stupid Criminals

Dateline Alabama: Man armed with fork subdued by clerk with baseball bat Attempting to rob a store with a fork, Derrick Dwayne Franklin, 24, was beaten repeatedly by a clerk who took a bat from behind the counter. Franklin will be charged with attempted armed robbery.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Hits National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Katrina WFOR: Killer Katrina Flattens Dolphin X-Way Overpass Click the image for a larger view.

The one group in the whole country who would probably welcome a hurricane gets a visit from the eye wall. What are the chances of that?
The storm surprised forecasters by taking a turn south when it moved over land, slicing across Miami-dade County. In a bit of irony, the storm's eye pased over the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade.
And yes, they did run outside to see the eye.

Collapsing an overpass on the Dolphin Expressway in Miami will cause some major problems with commuting.

Two people have been killed by falling trees. Although sustained winds are in the 75 to 80 mph range, gusts of up to 100 mph have been recorded. 400,000 people in Dade and Broward counties are without power.
[Miami] is hosting celebrities and partygoers in town for the MTV Video Music Awards. MTV called off its pre-awards festivities Thursday and Friday.
Why anyone would schedule outdoor events in Miami in hurricane season is beyond me. They must be from California. (Even if there is no named storm, there is sure to be rain and heat and humidity.)

Fred Phelps strikes again

Swedish Royal family consult lawyers over comments Insulting foreign leaders and their children.
[Phelps] started a new website, called 'God hates Sweden', after a pastor was convicted under hate crimes legislation for a sermon on homosexuality. As well as insulting Princesses Madeleine and Victoria and Prince Carl Philip on his anti-Sweden website, the preacher implies that King Carl Gustaf is gay.
Personal attacks that would get him banned on most blogs, will probably win points with his supporters.

If you don't like the idea of censorship, attack the law. I guess that is too reasonable for Phelps.

Jury accepts self-defense

Click2Houston.com - Verdict Reached For Mother Who Blamed Son For Crime A woman, threatened by a "boyfriend" retrieves a gun and defends herself. (Her son was present....)
On Monday, the 10-year-old boy calmly testified that he saw Martinez, 27, grab his mother's hair, force her head into a door and slam her body to the floor.

The boy testified that his mother ran to the bedroom and grabbed a gun. Martinez followed her toward a patio door, where Martinez told Ruiz to give him the gun, the boy said. When the man continued advancing, she shot him once in the head and he fell to the floor, according to the boy.
She originally lied to police and said her son did the shooting, so she may face charges over that lie.

But self-defense is not murder.

The Back-to-school Edition of The Carnival Of Education

The Education Wonks: The Carnival Of Education: Week 29: Thoughts And Ideas Freely Exchanged All sorts of posts on education.

Carnival of the Vanities

The Big Picture - Carnival of the Vanities #153 Big Picture drops the ratings that made everyone mad last week.

Alphecca's Weekly Check on Guns and the Media

Alphecca: Weekly Media Check on Guns Main story this week is the about the ATF going completely overboard at a gun show. Lots of good stuff.

Tuesday's Cotillion

The American Princess: Fast Cars and Hot Conservative Women

Villainous Company: What Is It About Boots?

Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho - It's Cotillion Time...and I'm a Host!

The Bad Hair Blog: The women are back, and they're in the Cotillion

Also posted at the Cotillion

Cotillion: The women are back, and they're in the Cotillion

Cotillion: Fast Cars and Hot Conservative Women

Cotillion: What Is It About Boots?

Cotillion: It's Time for the Cotillion - Military Style!

Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #91 Best of Me Symphony This week's Symphony is guest-conducted by Robert Novak.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Politics and Science

Adam Smith Institute Blog - Reality check #2: Are Americans the world's greatest polluters?
water in the US is significantly less polluted than the worldwide average. In fact, levels of these pollutants in UK rivers and lakes are approximately three times those in the US, which also boasts cleaner water than countries like Denmark, Switzerland, Japan, France and the Netherlands, to name just a few.
...
With regard to air pollution, the US ranks 114th in the world (first being the worst) with respect to urban sulphur dioxide concentration (the UK figure is about 33% higher), 63rd in ozone-depleting CFC consumption, 45th in urban NO2 concentration, and 13th in NOx emissions per unit of populated land area (the UK value is more than twice as high).
Even in CO2 the US isn't worst.

Funny you never see that reported by the MSM.

Carnival of Cordite - half a year and going strong

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #27 The Carnival is going strong after half a year (or more now). This week's carnival has a good collection of posts on guns, shooting and the 2nd Amendment.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Quote of the Day

Our tax system siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power [and] reduces the financial incentives for personal effort, investment and risk taking.
--John Fitzgerald Kennedy
[Hat tip The Cigar Intelligence Agency]

Shooting Sports: Cowboy Action Shooting

SASS ColtThe Johnson County Sun: Powder Creek Cowboys get blast from the past A nice article about a chapter of the Single Action Shooting Society.
Shooters use single action revolvers, pistol caliber lever action rifles, and shotguns circa 1860 to 1898. Weapons can be chambered in any caliber that was used in the Old West, from .32 to .45. Some shooters use authentic weapons but most use modern reproductions.
...
Matches are scored based on elapsed shooting time and penalty points for missed targets, procedural violations and minor safety infractions.
And the article mentions that Cowboy Action Shooting is becoming a very popular shooting sport.
According to the Single Action Shooting Society, cowboy action shooting is the fastest growing shooting sport in the world, and currently there are more than 60,000 participants worldwide. The Powder Creek Cowboys have about 50 members and the group is one of six SASS-affiliated clubs in Kansas, there are also six in Missouri.

Outside the United States, there are clubs in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
The article did list web sites for both the local chapter (Powder Creek Cowboys) and the national organization, as well as the address of the range. On the whole, a very positive articel. [Hat tip KABA]

Military Humor

Zaphriel’s Blog: Military Humor Friday afternoon jokes.
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."
- General MacArthur

You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3."
- Paul F. Crickmore (test pilot)

"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death ... I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."
- At the entrance to the old SR-71 operating base Kadena,
Japan

Never Underestimate the Power of Human Stupidity

In Jefferson, snake bites the hand that tries to save it OK, I understand the urge to make sure an animal doesn't get hit by a car. But to pick up a snake you are unfamiliar with is just plain stupid.
"It was a good thing to do, but the wrong way to do it. I wouldn't recommend anyone touch a venomous snake unless they know what they are doing," [Joe Abene, venomous snake expert at the Bronx Zoo] said. "What the heck was he thinking?"
A bite from any number other speicies would have been fatal.

Too much like like Timothy Treadwell, the man who thought Grizzly Bears were missunderstood. Turns out he was the one who misunderstood. He was killed by a Grizzly, because they are killers when threatened. (Video tape shows his girlfriend - also killed - very close to a mother and her cub.)

Also brings to mind the recent shark attacks in Florida. Rare, but you should be aware of where they are. (There are always sharks.) Or the case of the boy swimming in a place known to have aligators. He died too.

The universe is a dangerous place. It's best to be careful.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Organizations Upset with NC Law

newsobserver.com | Gun bill irks victims' advocates Of course it irks them. The measure seeks to get people to stop being victims.

For those not paying attention to this, the NC law says people getting restraining orders are to be given information on how to apply for emergency concealed weapons permits - good while they do the background check for the regular permit.
Representatives of both groups say the bill sends the wrong messages: that victims are responsible for protecting themselves -- and that carrying a handgun is a wise idea.
OK people will argue about concealed carry - of course those opposed never seem to want to talk about statistics. (How often does a CCW permit get revoked? What percentage of CCW permit-holders ever commit a crime? etc.)

But the real reason that these victimization groups are upset is that bit about responsibility. They believe that we should all turn responsibility for our security over to the state. There is just one problem. The state cannot guarantee our safety. They can't even come close.

A recent study showed that restraining orders are only effective 80% of the time. Eighty percent may sound like a lot, but would you drive your car if your breaks only worked 80% of the time?

Women who are depending on restraining orders and calls to 911 to keep them safe, die with disturbing regularity. But asking people to take responsibility for their own safety is against everything these groups stand for. I believe that if enough women armed and defended themselves, these organizations very existence would be in danger. Why do I need a victims' rights organization if I refuse to be victim? That's why I call them victimization organizations.

And the people on the other side of this issue?
"We felt there was more needed to be done to protect these women and empower them to be able to protect themselves," [Rep. Mark] Hilton said.
Empowerment does not lead to victimization.

Update 11/18/2005: Original link has gone missing, see WAVY.COM - North Carolina law encourages gun access for domestic violence victims

[More on the NC law]

More MSM confusion about Victims

The Highlander News: Man fatally shot in Horseshoe Bay After trying repeatedly a man breaks into the apartment of his ex-wife. Her boyfriend and son are also in the apartment. He threatens them and the boyfriend shoots him. In the eyes of the MSM that makes him a victim.

Breaking and Entering, Menacing, probably Assault and he is a victim? I don't think so. He is a violent criminal. It doesn't make the person doing the shooting a criminal if he is defending himself or his family. The fact that this mutant died at the hands of someone defending themselves doesn't make him a victim.

Intuition: Emotional or Scientific?

Another test. My results are over at Log of Zendo (I'm more emotionally intuitive) I was happy that I answered most of the questions right.

Thanks to Cassandra for this one.

Ohio governor to plead no contest

USATODAY.com - Ohio governor to plead no contest to ethics charges I don't live in Ohio, but I know Bob Taft is no friend to the 2nd Amendment. Would love to see a real Republican win the governorship in Ohio.

Update: Bloomberg.com: US: Ohio Taft Fined $4,000 for Violating State Ethics Law not enough

Disarmed by Public Policy - Beaten by Local Thugs

Windy City Times: Gay Man Attacked in Uptown Chicago disarms everyone (except the criminals of course). But in this case, the thugs relyed on blunt objects and overwhelming numbers. The odds were stacked 10 or 15 to one.

How do you defend yourself against 10 people with clubs (or whatever)? Richie Daley doesn't have to worry as he gets a police escort, but the citizens of Chicago are on their own.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Some Religious Freedom Still Exists

JusticeThe Associated Press: Appeals Court Tosses Judge's Wiccan Order A judge in Indiana ruled that divorcing parents could not teach their son Wicca. Both parents are Wiccan, and neither had brought up religion in the court proceedings. But this bigot decided he knew what was best and said that they could not teach their beliefs to their son.

His decision was overturned on appeal.

(Hey, he can restrict your rights under the second amendment, why not your rights under the first?)

[Hat tip A Stitch in Haste]

Clinton and Terror: the do-nothing President

baldilocks: Acting Instead of Fronting* Baldilocks has a great post on Bill Clinton's repeated failures to do anything about OBL even though the State Department was warning him of trouble to come. It is worth a look.

True stories from the files of 'The Armed Citizen'

The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News - 17-Aug-05 - True stories from the files of 'The Armed Citizen' 6 tales of self-defense.

Home Schoolers & the Education Monopoly

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: Home Schoolers Are Challenging the Education Monopoly by Nathan Tabor

Home schoolers are beginning to put a real dent in the monopoly of the socialist, government funded, union controlled education system in this country. If teaching is a profession, why can a bunch of amateurs do so well?
On nationally normed standardized achievement tests, the average score for all public school students is 50 in all areas. For all home schooled students taking the same tests, the average score for the complete battery of tests was 87, a whopping difference of 37 percentile points. For example: Total Reading, 87; Total Math, 82; Social Studies, 85. In every category, the home-schooled kids out-performed their public school peers.
A 37 percentile point move up from the norm is a significant move.

And I don't think you can say this is all due to income. Rich families, in rich towns still have above average public schools, or have access to good private schools. The simple fact is that the school system in America today is not dedicated toward teaching; it is instead devoted to indoctrination.

Having lost the argument on quality of education, the education monopoly clings to the issue of "socialization." (Aptly named) But even there they come up empty.
Frankly, the whole socialization argument is bogus, too. Fully 98 percent of home-schooled kids are involved in two or more extracurricular activities with other kids outside the home. These just happen to be of a more wholesome type, like field trips (84 percent), Sunday School classes (77 percent), group sports (48 percent), music classes (47 percent), and volunteer work (33 percent).
Not to mention the stuff they don't get at school that their parents might want them to miss: drugs, gangs, socialism as an ideal, anti-Americanism, etc.

One of the defenders of socialization actually said it was a bad thing that kids might actually pick up their parents' values, instead of those being forced on them by the state.

Hat tip Grizzly Mama, who is home schooling her 2 girls.

John Dewey (1859-1952), a "reformer" of American Education had this to say
You can’t make Socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.
Is this a system we want for America? What we have is an education system that is structured so that kids will not learn to think for themselves

In the days before Starbucks

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThere was a time, a long time ago, but not that far away when you could not find a Starbucks on every corner. Frappuccinos were unknown. Going out for coffee meant you would be drinking coffee, or the occasional espresso or cappuccino. Coffee houses had poetry slams, and folk singers. Many places roasted their own beans. Life was good.

During this time in the Coffee Houses of Chicago, a publication called Strong Coffee was often found. And in that publication was a comic strip "Baba Java and the Path to Coffee Consciousness." The main character of this strip would perform some caffeinated ritual (say drinking 7 double espressos in 15 minutes) and be visited by Baba Java, the spirit of Coffee Consciousness, who would comment on the events of the day.

Too Much Coffee Man was born in this time. An anti-Hero, he would drink too much coffee and become endowed with some powers - and his head would change into the shape of a coffee mug. Usually he also had something to say about the events of the day as well, or observations about life.

Life was good. Coffee was good. Starbucks was a novelty. They put a Starbucks in the Atlanta airport. I think this was mostly a ploy by Delta to get more people to fly through their hub instead of going non-stop. If so, it worked. They roasted little coffee, and it was good.

But times change. I can’t remember the last time I was to a poetry slam, or sat drinking coffee listening to a bad guitar player. Baba Java (as far as I can tell) is no more, and Too Much Coffee Man lives on the web, not in coffee houses. Even the coffee is not as good as it was.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Overcoming Stereotypes and Promoting Self-defense

Herald.com | 08/16/2005 | Group packs heat to fight hate crimes
And if some redneck decides he's going to harass or harm me, he'll be thinking twice about it pretty quickly
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
I have written about the Pink Pistols before. Just earlier this week I wrote about them. They are a group dedicated to ending violence through legal self-defense. Making it more risky to engage in Gay Bashing, will reduce the frequency of the attacks.

This article profiles the efforts to start a Fort Lauderdale chapter.
Last week, Jackson hosted the group's first meeting at his home, drawing six people. The Pistols will gather in early September, he said, at the shooting range at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World off Griffin Road.

Pink Pistols members don't have to register or pay fees. "Some people don't want it out there that they're gay," said Jackson. "Or, that they own firearms."
There are also stereotypes to overcome, not just in the general population, but in the gay community itself.
When I ask them, "Why haven't you considered getting a gun?" they just say, "Well, because I'm gay!"

"It's a ridiculous stereotype," he said. "That we're too queeny or that guns scare us. I don't have to be straight to have good aim."
Hate crimes are on the rise in Florida, at least against the GLTB community (I don't have stats for other targeted groups). Advocacy for self-defense covers many minority communities.
There are other gun-owner' groups for minority populations whose members believe that the law fails to protect them from bigots: Jews for the Preservation of Firearms; the Second Amendment Sisters, which caters to women of all backgrounds; and the Tenth Cavalry Gun Club, named after the U.S. Army Civil War regiment of black soldiers.
The Second Amendment exists, in part, to enable citizens to protect themselves from violent attack, which is especially important for groups more likely to be attacked. The Pink Pistols exists to overcome that violence.

[Via Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias. There is more good stuff over there, so go take a look.]

It's Cotillion time again

Cotillion New LogoThe Cotillion is a coalition of Conservative Women Bloggers, dedicated mostly to having fun. As always, this week's festivities are in four parts. Each hostess, has compiled posts from one quarter of the members.

Enjoy the dance

MaryKatherine at C-Log (The Conservative Web Log) is excited to be hosting this weeks Cotillion

Stacy, at Not a Desperate Housewife has some information on getting prepared. (This is where my entry may be found.)

Tammy at A Mom and Her Blog has the Cotillion Hurricane

RightGirl of Girl on the Right Presents Jail House Rock

MSM Bias against hunting

Pike County community divided over deer hunt An election is held and a local deer hunt is approved by 58 to 42 percent vote, and the MSM reports that the community is divided.

If the vote had gone the other way by a similar margin, who wants to bet they would be talking about "landsides" and "decisive victories?"

And it isn't even a public hunt. Animal control officers are the only ones going to be permitted to take deer. At least all of the venison will be donated to local food banks.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Freedom, Tolerance and Justice

Varifrank: Freedom, Tolerance and Justice Go take a look at this post about the end of World War II.

When asked about his reaction to the signing of the surrender,
[Ambassador Kase of Japan] said, “Here is the victor announcing the verdict to prostrate the enemy. He can impose a humiliating penalty if he so desires. Yet he pleads only for freedom, tolerance and justice ... I was thrilled beyond words."
Freedom, Tolerance and Justice. Isn't that what America's ideals are?

Patrick McCullough Stands On Principle

Besieged homeowner sticks it out Patrick McCullough has been attacked in the media for exercising his right to defend himself. He has been called a vigilante, when he is just a law-abiding member of the community.
It's been nearly six months since Oakland homeowner Patrick McCullough faced down a group of young men outside his home, wounding one of them during a scuffle, and he is still dealing with the fallout.
With the help of the police department, he has upgraded the security of his home.
the Oakland Police Department outfitted his home with a high-tech surveillance camera that sweeps the neighborhood constantly. The machine is fitted with a zoom lens and can be accessed by local law enforcement as easily as signing onto the Internet. It's a 24-7-365 eye in the sky.
This man did nothing but report criminal activity to the police (Bakari Olatunji, the president of Uhuru House, seems to feel that this makes Mr. McCullough a race-traitor or something) and defend himself when attacked by a group of thugs. I applaud Mr. McCullough's bravery in the face of all of this.

The Pink Pistols: an Answer to Gay Bashing

Pink Pistols ("Pick on Someone Your Own Caliber") is an interesting organization. It can trace its origins back to a single idea.
Thirty-one states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible.

--Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine,
March 13, 2000
And so that is what happened. 35 US chapters, and one Canadian chapter, meeting at least once a month for range time and socializing.

Oleg Volk discusses this in his essay on why different groups are opposed to gun control [Image from A-Human Right. The black triangle was the badge assigned to lesbians in the Nazi death camps during WWII. Click on the image for a larger view]
Gay-bashing has become a hazardous undertaking lately: Pink Pistols chapters have opened nation-wide. Originally formed for training GLBT folks in self-defense skills, they have expanded to include many hetero members.

Traditionally, homosexuals have been perceived as weak, easily intimidated, in short, as ideal targets. The realization that attempted gay-bashing would likely be stopped at gunpoint ought to keep bigots from even trying. [from What is "gun control?" by Oleg Volk]
The Politically Correct are horrified by this. They claim that we should just call 911 and wait to be rescued. Of course most of them have never had to scrape a friend up off the sidewalk after they have been bashed and take them to the hospital. And I am damn sure very few have ever dealt with hostile police.

Even if you can expect help from the police, they are minutes away. And the GLTB community has not always been able count on the police to be of assistance. Pink Pistols advocates solving both of these problems through lawful concealed carry.

Update August 16, 2005 Pink Pistols in the News

NC to provide concealed carry info with restraining orders

The Daily Dispatch carries a story about a law, passed by the general assembly but not yet signed by the governor to provide information on temporary concealed carry permits to people who get restraining orders.
The pending law would require local clerks of court to provide information to domestic violence victims on how to obtain temporary concealed weapons permits. The bill was approved by the Senate on a 43-4 vote, and also adds protective orders to the evidence a sheriff can consider when determining whether to issue a 90-day permit for a concealed weapon.
The paper is "concerned" that some people will not be "psychologically prepared" for the responsibility of owning and carrying a firearm. It sounds to me like they want to institute psych tests prior to issuing licenses.

Then again, it could just be good old-fashion sexism.
Should the government really be requiring clerks to notify every domestic violence victim of her right to pack a hidden gun, when common sense tells us that many of these women aren't well-suited to carry concealed weapons?
What part of common sense tells us this? The part that went out of vogue in the 1950's that said a women's place is in the home? Why exactly are the not suited? Is it because - according to that 1950's mentality - that women are helpless and should not, no cannot be expected to take care of themselves?

The Daily Dispatch is not holding that the permits are a bad thing, or that they are not needed.
There is no doubt these women - and the occasional man - need protection from their assailant. There's also little doubt that law enforcement can't always be there to provide that protection. And there certainly are known cases in which women have saved their own lives and possibly the lives of others, including their children, by wielding or even discharging a firearm when in danger.
They are also concerned that the "domestic violence prevention" organizations did not seek this legislation. Of course they didn't. These organizations are not interested in eliminating victim-hood; it is their life-blood.

This law appears to be a good thing, requiring the state to notify people who are eligible for concealed carry licenses, that they are eligible, and perhaps they should consider getting one. The editorial on this law is insane. It seems to be mired, as I said, in a past that considers guns something not suitable for southern ladies. Ridiculous.

Update August 19, 2005: The Reactions of "victims rights" organizations are predictable.

The horror of life without venti double mocha skim latte

iowahawk: Bush Country Faces Grim Shortages of Latte, Galleries Iowahawk has been a roll, and several of his recent offerings are great. But this one, which covers life in Crawford, Texas, is a classic.
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post described a common experience of the visiting press. "When I arrived in Crawford, I had a sudden craving for a quick brioche and mineral water, and set out in search of a decent Belgian patisserie," he recalled. "Two hours later, the horrible truth dawned on me. In Crawford, there are no decent Belgian patisseries."

Panic stricken, Dionne said he began asking for help from local passers-by.

"I kept asking them, 'where can I get a brioche? Where can I get a brioche?', only to see blank stares," he recalled. "Finally, one man in a pickup truck said he hadn't heard of that brand of beer, but offered me a Shiner Bock."
Iowahawks report on the Ingmar Bergman film Hazardous Dukes is also worth a look.

Best of Me Symphony No. 90

The Owner's Manual: #90 Best of Me Symphony This week's Symphony is guest-conducted by Rita Rudner.

Watcher's Instructions

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.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Operation Million Cup


You shouldn't have to drink bad coffee just because you are serving your country.
Boca Java has been supporting our troops for almost two years by sending coffee abroad to our troops. They are doing a great job for us and we want to provide them with a little taste of home!
Via Greatest Jeneration

Talk is Cheap

Telegraph | Iran 'kept EU talking' while it finished nuclear plant

Lots of people believe negotiations are everything. We shouldn't make a move as long as the people on the other side of the table are willing to talk. The problem is Iran (just to name one party) has figured out that to keep the west in check all they have to do is talk.

But they don't have to negotiate in good faith.
An Iranian foreign policy official has boasted that the regime bought extra time over its stalled negotiations with Europe to complete a uranium conversion plant.

In comments that will infuriate EU diplomats, Hosein Musavian said that Teheran took advantage of the nine months of talks, which collapsed last week, to finish work at its Isfahan enrichment facility.
The IAEA and everyone else at the Useless Nitwits United Nations - not to mention the EU - let Iran continue work on nuclear weapons.
Mr Musavian also claimed that work on nuclear centrifuges at a plant at Natanz, which was kept secret until Iran's exiled opposition revealed its existence in 2002, progressed during the negotiations.
Centrifuges are not used in a nuclear energy program.

So when you couple a UN that seems to be incapable of making anyone do anything, together with the US government's complete lack of border control, I believe it is only a matter of time before a nuclear bomb is smuggled in to the country. A few years is all it will take. I hope I don't live in a target city.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A whole bunch of filthy lies

Well, fake quotes, attributed to Glenn R. (Instapundo Delenda Est!)

Glenn Reynolds Says (About Zendo Deb)
"Any woman that heavily armed scares the crap outa me!"

A-C, D-H, I-M, N-R, S-Z, and those quotes missed the 1st time around.

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Don't expect the system to protect you

JusticeNew York Newsday: Indictment in panic-button death case This tragedy points out how impossible it is for the "system," that is the courts and the police, to protect you.

She had a restraining order. She had a police-issued panic-button - dialing 911 was not needed. Everyone knew she was in danger.
Police said [Marlon] Fann killed Merline Port-Louis, 23, of New Cassel, in June, just two months after completing a prison sentence for stabbing her three years earlier.
Fann had previously stabbed her, and yet served only 3 years in jail. He called Port-Louis's mother both before and after the crime to torment her as well.

Because of the insane NY gun laws, the criminal had a weapon, and the victim was unarmed. Even though she had an alarm that connected directly to the police she is dead. She was shot dead moments after pressing that panic-button. [OK, maybe she didn't want a firearm. My point is that in NY, it would be nearly impossible for her to get a firearm, let alone a license to carry concealed.]

The court could not lock him up forever. The court-order meant nothing to him. Gun control laws meant nothing to the criminal either. She was left helpless. [Hat tip to a commenter who remains anonymous]

Shooting Sports: Trap and Skeet

Syracuse.com: Aw, Shoot! A positive story about the shooting sports coming out of NY State. Whodathunkit? I thought they were trying to outlaw anything that looked like a gun. Maybe that is Massachusetts.

Anyway this is a nice piece on youth shooting in the Trap and Skeet arena. Safe, fun and not too expensive are how these sports are described. [hat tip KABA]

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Victim turns tables on would-be robbers, killing one One bad guy is dead. One bad guy is in jail.
Two men armed with a pistol attempted to rob a St. Paul man late Wednesday, apparently not expecting their victim to resist, police said.

The would-be victim's response proved fatal to one man, and helped put the other behind bars.
And all of this was done without concealed carry... he took the gun away from a bad guy.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Beer and pretzels anyone?

ProfessorBainbridge.com: This is just wrong in so many ways ... but it is funny

The Carnival of Cordite

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #26 is up with some good stuff as always.

A nice mention for the TTLB Communities

The Blogometer: 8/11: Who You Gonna BlogCall? And the Cotillion too. Also some interesting stuff elsewhere in this blog.... go take a look.

More whining about restraining orders

The Telegraph Online: Court’s ruling on restraining order bizarre Sarah Buel has not stopped whining about the SCOTUS ruling in the Castle Rock case since it was made. This article is a case in point.

Castle Rock (for anyone who has been asleep) says that you can't sue the police department if they fail to enforce a restraining order. It doesn't say that the police don't have to enforce it just that you cannot sue.

You cannot sue the fire department if they fail to save your house. You cannot sue the police department if fail to respond to your 911 call. In general you cannot sue the city over services like this.

But Sarah Buel's real problem is that it calls into question the collective action she has promoted for 30 years.
How can we begin to take matters into our own hands? Perhaps we need a Web site where women could post the names of unresponsive officers.

Unfair, you think? But what else can we do if the court won’t stand up for us?
Well we can start taking matters into our own hands, by standing up for ourselves and not relying on the police. Learn self-defense and formulate some type of plan. Purchase a firearm and learn how to use it. In short we can take personal responsibility for own security and the security of our families. Relying on police to protect us from violence (whether domestic abuse or street crime) is wishful thinking. Police are usually called to a scene after a crime has occurred.

2008 Presidential Humor

Can't wait for 2008 If the campaigns are going start early, it's only right to have the humor out early too.

This, as Jib-Jab's This Land did the last time out, makes fun of both parties (all parties.)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Guns as Art: Westley Richards redux

double gun Most guns have the beauty of function. Many single-action six-guns are wonderful and even a no-nonsense 12 gauge pump action has certain appeal. But some weapons are true works of art.

One of the makers whose work routinely falls into this category is Westley Richards.
Today the English company builds just 50 new firearms a year. Each "bespoke gun" is made to order for an individual customer, who may wait two years or more to receive his prize.

A new shotgun sells for $80,000, a new double rifle for $90,000. The engraving alone may cost $30,000 to $40,000 when inlaid with three colors of gold.
I never get tired of looking at these guns... Too bad they are out of my price range. Current set of 2nd hand models available on the Westley Richards website run from about 7 grand (for a plain-Jane edition) to 36 thousand dollars. (Check out the Engraving!)

God's Law - why not follow all of it?

Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys.. sticks it to Phred Phelps...

The Christian right likes to call on the bible when condeming gays and lesbians, but seems to be a bit selective in following the laws. And so we have "an email a local Kansas City resident sent the Reverend, seeking guidance..."
Dear Mr Fred Phelps:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them:

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not to Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states that he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that, even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there "degrees" of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev. 24:10-16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Armed Kidnapper Shot

commercialappeal.com - No permit, no crime, no charge, Killing at bank lot was an act of self-defense [use BugMeNot.com to get a password for this story.]

After being kidnapped by 2 men and forced to drive to a bank to withdraw money, Jacob Evans, a sanitation worker, pulled a .357 magnum from under the seat of the car and killed one kidnapper while the other was in the bank.

Evans' gun - for which he paid $75 - jammed when the 2nd guy came back. These same guys had robbed him of $465 the week before, and he purchased the gun from a friend. He only regrets he didn't get the 2nd guy. But for $75 he was happy. "Well, it took care of me yesterday," he said.

He had no permit to carry the weapon, but will not be charged with anything. (Justifiable self-defense trumps the need for permit in Tennessee.) In fact, he said that the police were treating him "like a king."

I would say "Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0" except for the one that got away.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Armed Crooks Getting Shot by Armed Citizens

TimesDispatch.com | More Richmonders acting in self-defense Self-defense is resulting in crooks getting shot.
Since March, there have been at least three fatal shootings of armed suspects by armed victims. In at least two of those cases, Richmond prosecutors say it was in self-defense.
At least they aren't confused about who is and who is not a victim.

2 out of 3 cases are clearly self-defense. The 3rd is under review awaiting toxicology results.

This is how self-defense is supposed to be. Law-abiding citizens defending themselves from violent attack by criminals.

This is also how journalism should be and so rarely is these days. Just the facts are presented. No editorial comments about gun control or crime. And it is well written and a pleasure to read. Congrats to the Times Dispatch.

Independent Women's Forum

sisu: Refuting the "feminista canard" An alternative to the women-as-victim brand of radical feminism, In other words, a breath of fresh air.

I particularly like the Ink Well, which has had good things to say about the Cotillion.
Thanks to The Anchoress, we’re now alert to The Cotillion, a must-bookmark blog-ring run by and for smart conservative women.

Iran, nuclear weapons and the UN

Captain's Quarters: 4000 Centrifuges Later In a discussion about Iran and its plans for nuclear weapons, the subject of the Useless Nitwits United Nations Security Council came up. As Capt. Ed states, at some point the great debating society will address the issue and pass some number (probably less than 50) of resolutions and end by taking no action whatsoever.
Will either the EU-3 or the IAEA ever refer this situation to the UNSC? No one has any illusions about that body's willingness to do much except bloviate, but at least it will show some progress in the process of enforcement. The fact that neither will even go that far shows how little courage the West has in confronting rogue regimes, especially those with whom they have significant trade interests.
So if we are going to rely on the "international community" to keep nukes out of the hands a radical regieme, I guess we should look forward to nuclear terrorism.

Backyard bombshelters anyone?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Manolo, He Says to Show the Respect

Manolo's Shoe Blog: Shoes, Fashion, Celebrity, and Manolo!: Would you wear Flip Flops to a meeting with the President?
Yes, the Manolo he is most happy we live in the age of democratic informality, when the humble need not bow and scrape before the mighty, when free peoples may greet each other in the spirit of amity and concord as equals. Yet, at the same of the time, he cannot help but think that we have gone too far in this process of the levelling.

To the mind of the Manolo, the somewhat exaggerated politeness and more formal dress of the previous era gave the dignity and proper sense of self to even the most humble. To put on the suit and tie and shined shoes, to wear the dress and stockings and pumps, these things they recalled one to correct behavior, and demanded of others the respect.

Now, we wear the flip-flops and the shirts of the Hawaiians to the church, and to the funerals, and to meet the Mr. President in the House of Whiteness, and we think that this it is fine, but this it is only because we have forgotten the pleasures and social benefits to be had in dressing properly.
I think this would be super fantastic, to show respect in the House of the President [Hat tip Cotillion]

PETA needs to buy a clue

New Haven Register - News - 08/09/2005 - Outrage on the green They may think comparing animals to human suffering is a good idea, but apparently they are getting the message that the rest of us think that they are a bunch of loons. (No, not the birds)
"You can’t compare me to a freaking cow," shouted John Darryl Thompson, 46, of New Haven, inches from Carr’s face. "We don’t care about PETA. You are playing a dangerous game."
Blacks, Jews, Native Americans (with the women's rights movement thrown in for good measure) were all insulted - and many took exception to the display.

I know PETA is serious, but sometimes it seems like they are a parody of themselves.

Cotillion XI

The Cotillion for August 9, 2005 - in 4 parts and also at the Cotillion main site

baldilocks: Cotillion also here

small dead animals: Cotillion also here

MaxedOutMama: The Cotillion Edition XI also here

Darleen's Place: Cotillion Ball XI -- Disco Divas also here

Is it OK to use racist/sexist insults against conservatives?

Villainous Company: Racism, Sexism On The Left That seems to be the lesson of the day - it is OK to insult anyone on the right using any form of attack. Cassandra has been following the attacks on Michelle Malkin - they are both racist and sexist. (Malkin's blog is too good to be written by a mere woman, and so must have been written by her husband.... according to one lefty site.)

The attacks on Michelle Malkin, the racist cartoons about Dr. Rice, and attacks on other conservative minorities and gays and lesbians all start on the left. I thought the left valued diversity, but apparently they do only if there is no diversity of ideas.

Anyway, the whole thing is worth the time - go take a look.

Man, 71, shoots burglar

Kansas City Star | Man, 71, says he shot burglar Someone breaks in and is shot. Sounds right to me.

The reporter in this story, Robert Cronkleton, thinks just charging the burglar isn't enough.
Prosecutors could also consider charges against the homeowner, Kitchens said, although the decision to use deadly force could be justified if the suspect was committing an aggravated burglary.
A good prosecutor might consider this for a minute, and then conclude it was justified.

Oil-for-Food Exec Pleads Guilty

Chicago Tribune | Ex-UN aide admits acts of bribery In the first of what is should be many cases, a Useless Nitwits United Nations OFF executive pleads guilty to taking bribes.
Secretary General Kofi Annan waived diplomatic immunity for Alexander Yakovlev, a senior procurement officer, so that he could be prosecuted in U.S. courts. Yakovlev pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering, offenses that could bring 20 years each.
Apologists for Annan are worried that Volker and Co. are not sensitive to Annan’s reputation and position.
But some UN officials say they are concerned that the panel's comprehensive report--due days before a landmark UN summit of world leaders--would weaken Annan, especially if it says he lied to investigators.
They aren't worried that he actually lied to investigators, just that this might be exposed in the press.

The Tribune goes out of its way to reinforce the idea "that there was no evidence that Annan influenced the awarding of the contract to Cotecna," where his son worked. But I am not one for believing in coincidence, not when the nature of the coincidence is suspect, as it is in this case.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Who is Rebecca West?

The Owner's Manual: #89 Best of Me Symphony Who is Rebecca West? She is the guest conductor of this week's symphony.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Problems with Profiling

London Telegraph on the recent terror bombings in the UK The UK is thinking long and hard about how to stop more terrorist bombings. One of the things they are thinking about is profiling.

While I believe some level of profiling must be done, racial profiling is not what is called for, and it will in fact not make us safer.
It is sensible for the police to concentrate their searches on men under 35, but even then the net needs to be cast widely. Although all of the July 7 bombers were British Muslims, three were Asian, and one was black. Three of the four suspected July 21 bombers were black men who came to Britain as child refugees from the Horn of Africa. Richard Reid, the attempted 2001 shoe-bomber, was of mixed race. A prospective British suicide bomber, therefore - based solely on the incidents that have occurred so far - could well be Asian, black, or of mixed race (a category which, to the casual observer, could easily include almost anyone a couple of shades darker than the averagely translucent Celt). Nor is there anything to rule out the unhappy possibility that, in the future, an Islamist suicide-bomber might spring from the ranks of the many thousands of white British converts to Islam.
We need to understand how to best apply our limited resources. Racial profiling is not the best way to proceed. Some things are good guides. (The elderly don't seem to be involved in suicide bombing.
There was a mild fuss last week when Ian Johnston, the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, revealed that his officers would not be searching "little old white ladies" for suicide bombs in their stop-and-search procedures. In fact, Mr Johnston might safely have added that they need not bother searching little old brown or black ladies either, or elderly gentlemen of any hue: it is one of the abiding ironies of old age that the less of life one can reasonably expect to enjoy, the more anxious one is to preserve it.
I know the case can be made for completely random searches - with a completely random search, there is no way to get outside the search parameters and sneak through. But for the time being I am convinced that some type of profile (though I don't know what that would be) is better than no profile. (I freely admit that I could be mistaken in this....)

Is the Euro Cracking?

Non of the countries seems to be meeting the financial targets, and now Italy is publicly unhappy. The London Telegraph brings us 'Italy despairs of euro' - in normal times, it would be front page news

The Italians always solved their economic problems with devaluation of the currency. That's why everything price in Lira was in 10's of thousands of Lira. (or nearly everything.) Some politicos are calling for a referendum to return to the Lira.
[L]ast week the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, endorsed his position, calling the euro a "disaster".
The Italian economy is in trouble. Unit labor costs are way up, especially when compared to Germany or the UK. Only 55 precent of the labor force is employed. Anyway things are generally a mess, and not likely to get better soon.

Maybe the Brits were smart to stay out of the Euro.

Carnival of Cordite

Restistance is Futile!: Carnival of Cordite #25 This weeks Carnival of Cordite is up and running. Go take a look.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Still the Best Kept Secret in Sports

IWFL National Championship: Atlanta to face off against Sacramento
AtlanataSacramento
The only difference between IWFL and the NFL (besides the salaries) is that the ball is bit smaller. But no one knows about this. The Championship game is August 6, 2005.

Just another day at the diner

The Eagle: 24 HR Eat Gas Now Cafe is a hunter's sanctuary Just what ever diner needs, a resident hunting club.

Finish your beverage first!
"Most of them can stay. Just get your buddies out of here," she ordered.

I looked over at the boys in the large, round corner booth. Things seemed normal to me. "Why?"

"Look what they're doing."

I examined them more closely. Doc was cleaning a disassembled shotgun. Youngster had a fly vise attached to the table and was tying what looked like a Wooly Bugger. Wrong Willie poured a stream of sugar into his coffee while at the same time reading a book on U.S. history. Beside him, Woodrow carefully examined the contents of his beard in a mirror. Jerry Wayne and the Cap'n were in a heated discussion about how to untangle the serious backlash in a level wind reel. It lay on the table, still attached to a seven and a half-foot rod.
Sounds OK to me.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Woman refuses to be a victim

2theAdvocate: Addis, LA, man critical after being shot by ex-girlfriend. This story is definitely worth celebrating! An innocent life was defended from what I can only characterize as a deranged lunatic.

Too often, I read stories of women killed by ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands. Men who say they love the women so much they are driven to abuse and kill them. (I don't understand their warped minds, but this seems to be their position.) But today we have the story of a woman who refused to be a victim, and stopped this man in his tracks.
Dedrick Broussard, 35, was shot on the shoulder and is in critical condition. Chief Ricky Anderson of the Addis Police Department said it was a case of a bitter break-up that led to frequent threats. Anderson said the woman had bought the gun recently because she feared for her safety.

According to police, Broussard sat on his ex-girlfriend's front doorstep, talking to her on a cell phone. She wouldn't let him inside, so he broke the door down. That's when shots were fired, and neighbor Angel Dix called 911.
She overcame the idea that the system would protect her, and took action to defend herself; she purchased a weapon. (Do waiting periods make sense for this woman?)
Self-defense
[Image by Oleg Volk, of A-Human-Right]

Once Broussard gets out of the hospital, he will be prosecuted "for breaking into the home and for stalking." Maybe he will learn the lesson and stay away from her, or maybe not. Some mutants are slow learning what "No!" means, even when it is punctuated with hot lead.

Self-defense is a Human Right.

Carnival of the Vanities

Riding Sun: 150th Carnival of the Vanities Surprised (but pleased) to see an entry from me in the Carnival.

Some good stuff over there... go take a look.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Teflon-coated BS

The Ink Well: Teflon-Coated Baloney Now Dupont is being sued over Teflon to the tune of 5 Billion dollars.

Of course there is no proof that Teflon causes cancer. And the ingredient in Teflon that does (when administered in huge amounts to rats) is destroyed in the manufacturing process.
But that hasn’t stopped the lawyers from suing. "DuPont has known for over 20 years that the Teflon product and the PFOA chemical it contains causes cancer in laboratory animals," one of them told the Associated Press. "I don’t have to prove that it causes cancer. I only have to prove that DuPont lied in a massive attempt to continue selling their product."

Don’t have to "prove" that Teflon causes cancer in humans? That’s the way class-action lawsuits go these days: The game-plan isn’t to take your case to trial, where the rules actually do require you to "prove" that the defendant actually injured your client, but to wring a huge settlement out of a big corporation via the threat of bad publicity. As science-sanity maven Michael Fumento writes: "They’ve cooked up a scary story, adding a dollop of hyperbole for good measure. Unfortunately, they left out common sense and science."
Lack of proof of harm was added to legal system to enable the states to extort money from the tobacco companies. Now everyone and everything is at risk.