Friday, December 30, 2005

A Pack of Angry Chihuahuas?

Image hosted by Photobucket.comPack of angry Chihuahuas attack officer in Fremont Not something out of a bad movie.
A pack of angry Chihuahuas attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home following a traffic stop, authorities said.

The officer suffered minor injuries including bites to his ankle on Thursday when the five Chihuahuas escaped the 17-year-old boy's home and rushed the officer in the doorway
Picture stolen shamelessly from Professor Bainbridge.

This is Just WRONG

Tropical Storm ZETA Public Advisory: Not again... in December - late December?
AT 5 PM AST...2100Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ZETA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 25.3 NORTH... LONGITUDE 37.3 WEST OR ABOUT 1065 MILES...1715 KM... SOUTHWEST OF THE AZORES.
I can't take it anymore!

it all depends on what you mean by "reality."

New tests of Einstein's 'spooky' reality - International Herald Tribune A fun article on the current debate around quantum mechanics.

Is the universe inherently random as Bohrs and the quantum team supposed, or more ordered as Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen wanted to believe? Is science concerned with ultimate reality or only with the results of experiments?

The spooky result leads to a dissolution of our idea of locality or separateness.
Many who care to think about these issues (and many prefer not to) have concluded that Einstein's presumption of locality - the idea that physically separated objects are really separate - is wrong.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." [h/t Kobayashi Maru]

WMF Stands for Windows Major F$@#-UP

Updated - See below
Workaround, Protections Emerge for WMF Exploit Windows Meta File vulnerabilities... what a surprise. This one appears to be fairly bad. But you can put a stop to it for now by means of these instructions
First, you can unregister the specific DLL that implements the vulnerable code from the system using a command line program. To disable the DLL click Start, then Run, then enter the following command:
regsvr32 /u shimgvw.dll
To re-enable the same DLL, click Start, then Run, then enter the following command:
regsvr32 shimgvw.dll
This will impact some Windows abilities to display thumbnails, but that seems a small price to pay for not being invaded with spyware, and the like.

Now that I use Mozilla for browsing and email, and I use Open Office (which is great!) for word processing, spreadsheets etc. I am really wondering why I shouldn't switch to Linux.

UPDATE: Be aware that the registry edits being proposed on various sites DO NOT work. The solution above is (was?) the official Microsoft work-around. It works.

Update 12/31/2005: If you really need the ability to browse by Thumbnails, I recommend IrfanView

Wyoming May Join "No Retreat" States

Rocky Mountain News: Wyoming lawmakers push 'no retreat' Wyoming Lawmakers to push version of self-defense law that passed in Florida last year. If you are attacked, you would have no duty to retreat.
In addition to specifying that Wyoming residents have no duty to try to escape before using deadly force against an assailant, the bill also would specify that people have a right to assume that anyone breaking into their home poses a deadly threat.

Watt said he's sponsoring the measure because he believes people have a fundamental right to protect themselves.
The Left of course has got their knickers in a knot over this, and the Rocky Mountain News gets in line with quotes from lefty-professors about how bad this will be. Of course, while they mention that other states have "no retreat laws" they do not talk about the lack of problems these states have. [h/t NRA-ILA]

Good Guys 8, Bad Guys 0

It was a bad day for robbers, because self-defense works.

First Coast News | Local News - Homeowner Shoots Suspect in Home Invasion A Florida homeowner shot an armed robber in his home Thursday morning. The robbers, Richard Munoz and his 17-year-old brother, cut the power and phone to the home. The homeowner, Jody Paul Thrift, noticed there was a problem when he got up for some water and his was the only house without power. Mr. Thrift retrieved his firearm and waited in the bedroom with his wife Sabrina. He fired as Munoz came through the bedroom door.

Richard Munoz is in the hospital and his brother in custody. The elder Munoz was trying to reach for his gun, even as police arrested him.

NBC 17 - News - Would-Be Robbery Victim Fights Back Two are in custody after attempted robbery.
Powell wasn't about to become a victim. He knocked the gun out of the teen's hand and ran to his car to get his own gun, police said.

He and the would-be robbers then exchanged gunfire in the apartment complex parking lot, and Powell apparently wounded one of them as they fled, police said.
Cesar Solorzano, 18, was arrested when he appeared at a local hospital with a gunshot wound in the shoulder. Antoine Sanders, also 18, was arrested as well. They are charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Cedar Creek Pilot: Man shoots burglar at residence The Cedar Creek Pilot doesn't know how to tell the criminals from the victims - if you are shot in self-defense while committing a crime, you are a criminal not a victim.
[Ray] Reed attempted to hold [Myles Edward Petty, 19,] at gunpoint while his wife called 911. Petty lunged at Reed and was shot in the chest with a .38 caliber pistol. During the scuffle the second intruder fled on foot.
Petty was airlifted to East Texas Medical Center. David Faught was arrested later.

al.com: NewsFlash - Gas station clerk shoots, kills robbery suspect An armed gunman demands cash. The clerk shoots and kills the armed gunman, holds his unarmed accomplice at gunpoint until the police arrive.
"Due to the obvious self-defense issues, the clerk is not being charged with any crime," [Lt. Loyd Baker, commander of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit] said.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Call to 911 does not protect

Click2Houston.com - News - Pregnant Woman Shot To Death While Calling 911 I am told that in an emergency I should dial 911 and wait for help to arrive. That didn't work for Sherry Arnold fo Houston, TX.
Police said Sherry Arnold was in the house in the 9900 block of Sageroyal at Blackhawk Boulevard when she apparently called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. Dispatchers heard a gunshot on the call before the line went dead and sent deputies.
Being able to defend herself may not have saved Ms. Arnold, but a call to 911 took more time than she had - then consider the time required for deputies to arrive.

Calling 911 and hoping to be rescued is not a strategy I wish to bet my life on.

Self-defense in Wisconsin

JS Online: Police treating shooting at club as self-defense (second story on page) The DA has the final say, but police feel it was a justified shooting.
The bar owner was trying to clear the bar when [LaCharles Hester, 27,] pulled out a gun, fired into the ceiling and pointed the gun at the bartender and other people in the bar, [police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz] said. The bartender, 36, who was not identified, drew a gun from his holster and shot Hester in the back of the head, she said.
Another man was injured when he tried to take the gun from the bartender. [via KABA]

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Will Dems Try to Reinvent Themselves

Checking in with the Second Amendment Even with Kerry's failure to convince people he was a friend of the 2nd Amendment, the Dems will probably be out for photo ops for the coming elections, hoping we will forget their love of gun control.
The swamps, fields and shooting ranges of our great country will be crowded the next few years with pink-cheeked politicians swinging around brand-new shotguns, chafing in new boots and generally trying to appear as if they know which end of the duck call to blow. We beg concerned hunters and shooters to remember: even if something quacks like a duck, it isn't necessarily a duck.

It might be a lying weasel.
Don't believe it. [via NRA-ILA]

1966 was a very strange year

Mary Katherine Ham, in her article, My Rocky Relationship With Kwanzaa, points out that Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by Maulana Ron Karenga. (Not familiar with Karenga? See the referenced article!)

Festivus, while made famous by the Seinfeld TV show episode number 166, also traces a bit of its modern origin to 1966
The Festivus idea came to the show through writer Dan O'Keefe. His father, Daniel O'Keefe, had discovered the Festivus holiday in a book that outlined obscure (mostly European) holidays published in 1966
Coincidence, or Cosmic conspiracy?

Art News from Iraq

Image hosted by Photobucket.comChanging faces: statue honors fallen heroes Kalat, a sculptor once forced to make images of Saddam, has melted down some of those statues and created a memorial to fallen American military personnel.
Kalat ... reshaped the chunks of bronze into a likeness of an American Soldier. A small girl comforts the Soldier as he mourns a fallen comrade.
It's no surprise that this is not being reported in the MSM. A google news search turned up exactly 1 story about an artist named Kalat in the Albany Democrat Herald out of Oregon, and that wasn't really an article - it was a letter to the editor. [hat tip Xavier]
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

More progress in Iraq

Reporting from Iraq: Iraqi battalion takes the reins The 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Division of the Iraqi army has assumed military control of a section of northern Iraq.
“Effective today the third battalion assumes control of the battle zone here in the Mahkmur region,” announced U.S. Army Major Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of the Multinational Force Northwest and Task Force Freedom.

A handful of transfers like these have taken place in southern and central Iraq, but this is the first Iraqi battalion to assume command of battle space in the northern region.
The picture painted of the Iraqi commander of the 3rd Battalion, who goes by the name of Hogar, is interesting. Hogar wanted to go home and run his tile factories, but he stepped up to fill the needs of Iraq.

Anyway, go take a look at the whole thing.

Competition for GPS

GalileoGalileo: Europe's Biggest Infrastructure Project | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 28.12.2005 And it's about time.

The Global Positioning System is run by the US military. As such it is subject to what the military wants to do. The military does "interference testing" all the time at various locations. The result is that GPS can be unavailable for large areas (or sometimes small areas) for days or weeks at a time. (2005 schedule with some 2006 dates) The military, as the article about Galileo mentions, can shut GPS off for large regions.
This happened, for instance, during the war in Kosovo when the U.S. restricted European use of the GPS. That lack of reliability has made GPS unfeasible for applications where a slight inaccuracy could result in deaths, like air traffic control.
Also, it turns out that "global" is a bit of misnomer where GPS in concerned. GPS coverage is limited to what the US military considers important.
In northern Norway, for example, where there is no possibility of accessing global navigation systems because the current satellite network does not cover the region, a combination of Galileo and special mobile phones will enable people to determine their exact position, down to the very meter, free of charge.
More accuracy will be available for a fee (about a 3 inch radius of error).

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAs a recreational sailor, I care about this. I use GPS regularly, but I am trying not to lose my coastal navigation skills. (Tampa Bay has highly accurate GPS - augmented by land-based transmitters - due to the amount of shipping that takes place from the Port of Tampa, and the Port of Manatee.) Once you get outside of the US, charts can become a bit less accurate. It does me no good to know my position to within 3 inches, if the charts I am using are only accurate to within a mile. Many Caribbean Charts were essentially produced by the British, using sextants, and have not been updated.

Still GPS is important in emergencies. Whether communicating by radio or using automated position reporting beacons, rescuers can only find you if they know where to look. (It is a big ocean after all.)

Monday, December 26, 2005

“Saving Iraq—one cup of chai at a time,”

Reporting from Iraq: The healing power of chai It seems some of the 172 Stryker brigade has developed a real taste for the local tea in Iraq.

The Thomas Sowell Edition of the Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #109 Best of Me Symphony BOMS is a collection of posts at least 60 days old.
People used to say, "Ignorance is no excuse." Today, ignorance is no problem. After all, you have "a right to your own opinion" -- and self-esteem to boot.”

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I'm sick to death of this mythical “War on Christmas”

Photobucket.com - idiotsThere is no war on Christmas. There is a war on every non-Christian Winter Solstice celebration. It is a war that has been waged for centuries.

The Solstice was originally on December 25. This date was then selected by the Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus in order to stamp out all the other religious observances. When that didn't work, the Catholic church changed the calendar so that Solstice no longer fell on the 25th - further divorcing the real reason for the celebration from the date December 25. What is the real reason for the celebration? Winter Solstice. This has been celebrated in every corner of the world for millenia - even in the European tradition. (Burning a Yule Log and decorating evergreens to celebrate Solstice are older than Christianity.)

When I was a kid, the Christmas season started the day after Thanksgiving. So if you weren't into that holiday, you had one month to bear it. Now Christmas starts in early October, with the Santas showing up in the malls in time to get photos of the kids so that the Christmas Cards made up in plenty of time. (I expect that someday soon people will be wishing me "Merry Christmas" in July.)

Given all of this (and more) it is absurd to claim there is a war on Christmas. In fact you would be hard pressed to find any public recognition of any non-Christian holiday that even comes close to the public recognition given Christmas. How many other religious holidays are also federal holidays?

I have nothing against people celebrating Christmas, but get over this persecution complex of “the war on Christmas.” You could recognize that everyone you meet on the street is not Christian, and that they don't want to be wished a Merry Christmas. If you just say "Happy Holidays" that is more like good manners than most things you could say. It is not a denunciation of your own faith, just a bit of tolerance. Just because you celebrate Christmas, doesn't mean I do.

Someone will of course tell me that this country was founded by Christians. Well Thomas Jefferson edited his bible to remove all references to the supernatural. George Washington was a Mason, and although I don't hold an opinion about whether this is compatible with Christianity or not, I know several Christians who have very strong feelings on the subject. And regardless of what their own religions were, they did not create a Constitution designed to shove Christianity down everyone's throat.

At least it is almost over for another year.

Oh, Those Weapons of Mass Destruction

Man who supplied Saddam's chemicals guilty of war crime - World - Times Online If Saddam didn't have any WMD, how come this guy was just found guilty of providing Saddam with Weapons of Mass Destruction?
A DUTCH businessman was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to 15 years in prison yesterday for helping Saddam Hussein to acquire the chemical weapons that he used to kill thousands of Kurdish civilians in the Iran-Iraq war.
...
The court found Frans van Anraat guilty of multiple counts of war crimes, violating the laws and customs of war and causing death and serious bodily harm to the whole or entire Kurdish population, but not guilty of genocide.
Call me crazy, but if this guy was guilty of supplying Saddam with WMD, doesn't that mean that Saddam had WMD? [h/t Capt'n Ed]

Cops (and DA's) have all the best drugs

KESQ NewsChannel 3 Palm Springs, CA: Santa Clara County prosecutor faces marijuana charge. In this case it seems to be true.
SAN JOSE, Calif. A veteran Santa Clara County prosecutor faces a misdemeanor charge for marijuana possession, but remains on the job.
San Jose police found less than an ounce of marijuana at the home of Deputy District Attorney Ed Fernandez after an anonymous caller reported that a front door had been left open.
Glad to see that the people on the front lines of the War on Drugs have their priorities straight.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Hanukkah Song (Parts 1 & 2)

Image hosted by Photobucket.com - DreeidelsHanukkah Dreidels Menorahs, Chanukah Plastic Dreidels, Chocolate Gelt: Chanuka.com In case you are needing a fix of Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song, Part 1 and Part 2 - both live versions - well here you go.

Friday, December 23, 2005

stop the war on christmas

stop the war on christmas Foamy the Squirrel is definitely not safe for work, but funny as hell. (If the F-word offends you, don't click the link!) [via It Comes in Pints?]
[UPDATE 12/25: I should say that while I do like Foamy the Squirrel and his rants, I don't particularly agree with this particular rant.]

Hunters Feed People

What other group will donate hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh meat to feed the hungry? Here are but a few stories about hunters... some organizations have modest goals, some larger goals.

Hunters helping out Katrina Relief Project (phillyBurbs.com) | Dale Machesic
What McBrien and some area butchers have started is a collection of donated venison that will be shipped to the Bay St. Louis/Waveland area in Mississippi. Their goal is to collect a minimum of 2,000 pounds of donated venison from area hunters and have it shipped to cold storage facilities in Hancock County and distributed to needy families ravaged by the hurricane.
AP Wire | 12/22/2005 | Hunters donate 18,000 pounds of venison to help feed Georgia's poor
- Georgia hunters have donated 733 deer this year to a program that provides thousands of pounds of venison to the Atlanta Community Food Bank for distribution to needy families throughout the state
NewsAdvance.com | Venison donations needed to reach goal
This year [Hunters for the Hungry] has already provided nearly 180,000 pounds of deer meat to organizations and food banks in the Lynchburg area.
...
The group’s goal this year is to process and distribute at least 350,000 pounds said Newell-Furniss, which would surpass last year’s record of 333,536 pounds.

Citizens Hold Bank Robber

WKYT 27 NEWSFIRST & WYMT Mountain News - Citizens Help Catch Bank Robber. Do I need to mention that Kentucky has a concealed weapons law?
When police arrived at the Home Federal Bank, two citizens were holding the suspect at gunpoint.
A handgun and what appears to be an explosive device were recovered. [via KABA]

Robert Davis

Xavier Thoughts: Hooligans on Bourbon Street. Xavier has nice post on the Robert Davis incident in New Orleans. Mr. Davis appears to be a true gentleman. I hope gets justice in the courts.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

“NUTS!”

"NUTS!" This was General Anthony McAuliffe's reply to the German demand for surrender at Bastogne, in the Ardennes Offensive, often called The Battle of the Bulge. The date was December 22, 1944. The 101st Airborne was in Bastogne, and it was surrounded and cut off.

The 101st wasn't there by mistake.
The town of Bastogne is strategically located at the center of the road network of the Ardennes. The Germans referred to it as a "road octopus" since the majority of roads in that region of the Ardennes pass through the town. The town's strategic location made it vitally important to the outcome of the offensive. The Allies realized its importance and General Eisenhower dispatched the 101st Airborne Division to hold the town at all costs.
The Germans delivered a surrender ultimatum on December 22.
The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.
The demand went on to say a lot of things including that one German Artillery Corps, and six anti-aircraft batteries were prepared to "annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne" if the Americans did not surrender.

The reply of General McAuliffe was "Nuts!" That was his first reaction to the German letter, and his staff said that was the best thing to send. When Col. Harper delivered the message to the German courier, he had this to say.
If you don't know what 'Nuts' means, in plain English it is the same as 'Go to Hell'. And I'll tell you something else, if you continue to attack we will kill every goddam German that tries to break into this city.
The Allies began a counter-offensive on the 23rd, and were able to air-drop supplies to 101st - thanks to improved weather. A team of surgeons even flew in by glider to operate on the wounded.

Can you imagine what the MSM of today would have said about the Ardennes Offensive? 78,000 US casualties, which included 8,607 dead, 21,144 missing, 23,500 prisoners, 47,139 wounded, all in the space of about six weeks. I can hear calls of "quagmire" and calls for total surrender by the press-corps of today. Of course that isn't what was heard in 1945. Though not all of the reporting was flattering. Time questioned Ike's "strategic judgement" even as they made him Man of the Year in December of '44. The war in Europe was over shortly after this German offensive was defeated.

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Image hosted by Photobucket.com - dollar signView From The Porch: Politics: School's in Session.. Tam slaps down S. P. Fjestad, of The Blue Book of Gun Values over some simple issues of supply and demand.
Joe Blow bids up a 90% Remington Rand to $925 in an auction, he's not "paying more than it's worth", he's paying exactly what it's worth... to him. Everyone else can look at that auction, note where the other bidders dropped out, and adjust the price tags on their 90% Remington Rands accordingly, and if this upsets the old boys who've been passing them back and forth for decades at $500, then tough. That's how the free market works. Buy a helmet.
And the same applies to everyone who was complaining about the recent surge in gas prices.
When you stick the fuel nozzle in your Lincoln Landmass and punch the "Pay Outside" button at $5/gal, you have just announced to the world that that is how much that gasoline is worth to you; you have helped set the price.
When people decided to drive less when the price was 3 bucks (less demand), the supply went up and the price went down. Funny how that works.

Shoot First in Indiana

TheIndyChannel.com - News - Trooper's Shooting Of Burglary Suspect Spotlights Self-Defense Law Indiana self-defense law is pretty good. It does not require that you warn an intruder - giving them the first shot.
"You don't have to put yourself at risk. You don't have to say, 'Oh, by the way, I'm here,' and give (the burglar) the first shot. You don't have to give the burglar the first shot," [Indiana University law professor Henry] Karlson said.
This is all being highlighted by the shooting of burglar by an off-duty state police trooper. [via KABA]

Robber Shot And Killed

CBS 2 / KCAL 9: Would-Be Robber Shot And Killed In Paramount Crime doesn't pay... not for this guy.

After demanding money from the clerk behind the counter he was backing away when a 2nd employee emerged from the back of the store.
As the man turned to look at the other employee, the one behind the register grabbed a gun and shot the intruder, who stumbled out into the parking lot before collapsing.
His name has not been released. He died in hospital as result of gunshot wounds.

I didn't think this kind of thing was even possible in California. [hat tip KABA]

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

“Bush Lied. People Dyed. Their Fingers”

Iraq vote leaves Dems looking like the losers I don't usually like the Chicago Sun Times, but this piece by Mark Steyn is classic snark - amied straight at the Democratic party.

George Clooney wants to reclaim the word liberal. But the Dems will attack anything, even democracy, if they think it might make the Republicans look good.
Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers. That's what this is about: Millions of Kurds, Shia and Sunnis beaming as they emerge from polling stations and hold up their purple fingers after the freest, fairest election ever held in the Arab world. "Liberal" in the American sense is a dirty word because it's come to stand for a shriveled parochial obsolescent irrelevance, of which ''Good Night, and Good Luck,'' Clooney's dreary little retread of the McCarthy years, is merely the latest example. (Clooney says he wants more journalists to "speak truth to power," which is why I'm insulting his movie.)
Or
The best way to reclaim "liberal" for the angels is to get on the right side of history -- the side the Iraqi people are on. The word "liberal" has no meaning if those who wear the label refuse to celebrate the birth of a new democracy after 40 years of tyranny.
Go read the whole thing. [via Attila Girl]

A Bad Day to Break the Law in Jackson, Miss.

A Bad Day for Bad Guys! One in the hospital with gunshot wound to the leg. One in the morgue. Four (including the gunshot wound) arrested and charged with felonies.

TheJacksonChannel.com - News - Four Teens Arrested, One Shot During Alleged Burglary Four teens stage a breakin.
A homeowner on Clubview Drive said he found two of the teens in his home and confronted them, before firing at least one shot.

Police said all four teens could be charged as adults.
The Brady Bunch of Gun Grabbers will count this as "a child shot." Forget that police expect to prosecute them as adults. Forget that they were breaking the law, and he was shot in self-defense. Those are mere details that don't interest the Brady Bunch.

Then there is the case of Timothy Darby. TheJacksonChannel.com - News - Man Dies After Attempted Break-In
35-year-old Timothy Darby died Saturday during an attempted break-in.

Investigators say Darby was trying to break-in to a vehicle at Livingston Towing when the owner shot him in the shoulder.
Police don't expect to press charges against the shooter.

More on New York and the refusal to fight crime

New York Daily News - Home - Bill Hammond: Justice can't be blind to past crimes. If NY City wants to fight crime, they need to start by locking up known bad guys when they get the chance.
Here's a little known but dismaying fact about the slaying of NYPD Officer Daniel Enchautegui: The accused triggerman, Steven Armento, should have been sitting in jail instead of stalking the streets of Pelham Bay with a loaded .357.

Armento had pleaded guilty to assault and animal cruelty charges only a few months before, admitting that he had sicced his pit bull on a Yonkers neighbor's dog, then punched the neighbor for trying to pull the dogs apart.
New York needs to get tough on crime, specifically it needs to send repeat offenders away for as long as possible, if it wants to reduce crime. Recycling offenders onto the street reinforces the idea that there are no penalties. This is not an isolated case. New York's Criminal Justice System refuses to hold people accountable. The result is a crime problem. [h/t NRA-ILA]

Carnival of the Vanities

RU|Carnival of the Vanities 170: The holiday edition of the Carnival of the Vanities is ready for your review.

Happy Holidays from the Cotillion

Common Sense Runs Wild: IT'S A HOLIDAY COTILLION Enjoy the Cotillion and enjoy your holiday.

Also posted on the Cotillion's main site at Cotillion: It's A Holiday Cotillion

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Holiday Cheer - mostly

DirtCrashr at Anthroblogogy supports the Right to Arm Bears. The picture is worth a 1000 words. (Click to open the expanded view of the photo!)

Xavier (a nurse with a gun) has been doing a series on Cool Toys from Christmas Past. Mostly guns and "ray guns" from the 50's.

Jane Gault of Asymmetrical Information has been in Dell hell. They lost an order, and then canceled the replacement 5 days before Christmas. No PC under the tree (yet).

Robert has a nice post The LLama Butchers: Merry Christmas From The Llama Butchers! on the old Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

Tamara from View From The Porch has something to say about A slumping economy? Not!

Monday, December 19, 2005

More Gun Control Statistics - Do Bans Work?

New York Post Online Edition: SILVER'S 'CONTROLS' DON'T WORK A great piece of writing.

If anyone could ban guns, you would figure the UK could, being basically an island nation.
The British government banned handguns in January 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the seven years from 1996 to 2003. Since '96, the rate of serious violent crime has soared by 88 percent: armed robberies by 101 percent, rapes by 105 percent and homicide by 24 percent.

Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50 percent from 1993 to 1997 — but as soon as handguns were banned, the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to 1993 levels. The crooks still had guns, but not their victims.
Australia has had a similar experience.
Australia's 1996 gun-control regulations banned many types of guns and the immediate aftermath was similar. Crime rates averaged 32 percent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than in 1995. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed an increase of 74 percent, reversing a previous decline.
Yet NY thinks it can do what islands cannot. Or is it that they really don't care about crime - see my post on NYC attitude toward gun crime - and that they are really just interested in controlling the general public? [via NRA-ILA]

Even the Chefs Are Warriors

Soldier Stories: Chef gets Bronze Star for convoy rescue. This is an incredible story of a Chef, who rescued a group of 5 soldiers from an ambush on August 7, 2003.

Chief Warrant Officer David J. Longstaff, manager of the US Army Culinary Team, was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor.
It was early afternoon with temperatures reaching 113 degrees fahrenheit. During his first five months in Iraq, Longstaff had participated in more than 150 convoys into Baghdad. This particular mission had proceeded as normal, but while driving through a shopping district along the route back to camp, he spotted a burning Humvee in the center medium.
He was able to lay down covering fire, get the vehicles in his convoy to provide security, and generally assist the ambushed soldiers to get out of the area.

Longstaff said, “we are warriors first, and that’s important.”
[hat tip triticale - the wheat/rye guy]

New York Refuses to Attack Gun Crime

Image hosted by Photobucket.com - JusticeNew York Post Online Edition: GUN-SHY JUSTICE. [The original article has been archived.]

If you drive the cost of something up, you get less of it. If you keep the cost low, you will get more of it.

This is apparently a lesson not learned by the Criminal Justice System in the City of New York.
A thug who is busted for wielding a loaded handgun in New York City has an astonishing 77 percent chance of ducking jail, a Post analysis of state arrest stats revealed.

And even if the gunslinger does go to the slammer, he's not likely to stay long.

Of those who got jail time last year, more than two-thirds went away for a year or less, despite facing up to 15 years in prison, as state laws allow, the stats show.
Look at those stats more closely. 92% of criminals busted for using a gun during a crime will spend either no time in jail or less than one year in jail. Would it surprise anyone to learn that NYC has a gun crime problem?
As anger grows over the spread of guns into the city, critics claim the stats are an embarrassment to prosecutors, who often accept plea deals on weapons charges and let suspects go with probation, a fine or conditional discharge.
But who do they want to blame? Not the criminals and not the criminal "justice" system, but the guns. (There are many statistics in this article - almost too many for me. Certainly there are too many to summarize, and wholesale quoting is a violation of the fair use doctrine of copyright law. In other words, go read the whole thing.)
[hat tip to Keep and Bear Arms]

Police View of Concealed Carry

The Capital Times: (Letter) Adrian Alan: Training to carry concealed guns will create new first responders A letter from a police officer on the subject of concealed carry.
Dear Editor: Many ordinary citizens know CPR, first aid, or how to use a fire extinguisher. Their actions during the first moments of a crisis are often the difference between life and death.

The same holds true for concealed weapons permit holders. As a police officer, I know we simply cannot be everywhere, nor would the public want us to be. The training individuals will receive to obtain a concealed weapons permit under the concealed carry bill will make them qualified first responders. Like those certified in first aid, we won't expect them to perform major surgery, but it will be adequate for stabilizing a bad situation until the professionals arrive.
read the whole thing. [h/t KABA]

Civil Partnerships in the UK

Image hosted by Photobucket.com - Gay FlagTelegraph | News | First gay newlyweds face protestors The first same-sex civil-partnership ceremony has taken place in the UK. Belfast has a shorter waiting time. Ceremonies will start to take place in England on the 21st.
Shannon Sickles and Grainne Close stepped out of a black taxi in the back courtyard of Belfast City Hall into the full glare of the waiting media.
Protesters were there of course, but they did not disrupt the three ceremonies that took place. 700 more will take place in England and Wales on the 21st.

Can all the arch conservatives who maintained that such ceremonies would "destroy marriage" feel their marriages collapsing? Or could it be that these ceremonies don't affect them at all? Could it be that civil partnerships really only impact the people involved in each partnership? Are they impacted by the gay marriages in Massachusetts? I'm just asking.

Varifrank has Some Thoughts on Time's People of the Year

Varifrank: Congratulations Time Magazine so many missed opportunities. Some other choices might have been...
The People of the State of Texas for welcoming with open arms 100,000 refugees (whoops! I used that awful word! I mean to say “evacuees”) into their state and integrating them into their economy, so successfully that most of them don’t want to go home (The ingrates!).
...
Howard Dean for consistently and repeatedly reminding us of how important the role of chemical anti-depressants are in the daily regimen of the marginally insane.
But how can any of these (or his more serious examples) compete with the choices of Time?

The Suzanne Fields Edition of the Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #108 Best of Me Symphony BOMS is a collection of posts at least 60 days old. This week's guest conductor is Suzanne Fields.
[Liberals] hang out with like-minded politically correct dogmatists, rarely bumping against anyone who doesn't look and sound just like themselves.
Go take a look.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ex-boyfriend Dead

TheCabin.net : Dramatic shoot-out injures 2 policeman, intruder killed. [BugMeNot.com is your friend!] What is it about ex-boyfriends?

Michael Tindoll, 27, was shot and killed by his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend after he broke into her house, and shot 2 police officers.

After getting in a fist-fight with John Sides at Melissa Weber's house, Tindoll left to collect a shotgun. Sides and Weber were warned of this and called police.

Tindoll ignored warnings and orders by police, who were at the house when he got back with his shotgun.
The deputies fired two less-lethal rounds that hit Tindoll in the torso, but he still did not drop the shotgun, [Lt. Jack Pike, spokesman for the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office,] said. Instead, he allegedly fired one shotgun blast, hitting both deputies with pellets. Bell returned fire, hitting Tindoll in the side.

Tindoll turned and started down the hall toward Weber's bedroom. Sides, who was in the bedroom, fired one shot from his own gun, hitting Tindoll in the chest, Pike said.
The police officers are fine - no life-threatening injuries. Mr. Sides will not face any charges for defending himself.

So what was Tindoll thinking? Was this one of the "if I can't have her, no one can" things? Why did he break into his ex-girlfriend's home? What would it have taken for him to realize "It's over," short of being shot and (or) killed? What would have happened if John Sides hadn't been armed?

Some Statistics on Gun Bans

OakBay News: Gun owners dismiss prime minister’s plan. Finally someone in the Canadian Press - not the big names mind you - is looking into other gun bans.
countries with a total ban on weapons - for example Holland and the Philippines - have higher handgun death rates than Canada.

The Philippines leads that category with 42 deaths per 100,000 people, with the Netherlands around 9.5 and Canada at 5.5 per 100,000.

In the United Kingdom, studies estimate the criminal use of firearms has increased by 40 per cent since the British government enacted a firearms ban in 1997.
Doing the same thing and expecting to see different results is one definition of insanity.

Teach By Example

Reporting from Iraq: A woman in the ranks. I think I am going to like this blog by Alaskan journalist Margaret Friedenauer. She is embedded with the 172 Stryker Brigade, the Acrtic Wolves, also from Alaska.

In this posting she discusses meeting some Iraqi girls while covering the election.
But it’s always fun to see kids and many women point and sometimes smile when they see me. Women are not allowed in the Iraqi Army and keep a fairly low profile. Seeing me hoofing it along side U.S. soldiers is an unusual [sight].
Iraq is changing and will continue to change.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Canada Has a Problem

CBC - Canada Votes 2005 - Analysis and Commentary - Election Roundtable. The liberal government isn't interested in fighting crime. Not really. That's why the gun ban smoke screen was launched.

If they truly wanted to fight crime, they would.
We could start by making it illegal to shoot people.

What the heck - since I'm being silly today, let's make it illegal to injure people in general.

A bold and edgy proposal, I know. But, when the penalty for killing or maiming another human being with malice and forethought can be as low as a period of house arrest, when repeat violent offenders are recycled into society with the frequency of beer bottles, when "youth" offenders who confess to hundreds of property crimes serve not so much as an hour in punitive custody - the kind of human trash that commits murder in the name of gang colours and territory, that includes "deadly force" in his list of weekend entertainment choices, isn't likely to give pause because his weapon of preference isn't stamped with the justice minister's seal of approval.
If you make something more expensive, you get less of it. Drive the cost down, you get more of it. The cost of crime in Canada is fairly low, given that Canadians are kept from defending themselves - being denied effective means of defense is the same as denying defense - and the criminals are not punished even when caught. The result is a crime problem.

So what's a politician to do? Blame the US and blame guns. (That's much easier than fighting crime.)

Chicago dropped its murder rate 25% without one new bit of gun-control legislation. (Though Richie Daley - with his detail of 30 armed officers who protect his family 24 hours a day - will tell you that guns aren't needed for the common man - just the bosses need guns.) Crime in the US is at 30 or 40 year lows, while gun ownership is at all time highs. But the Canadian liberals still believe that guns cause crime. [Thanks to Small Dead Animals]

Oh, that media bias

Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist... 12/14/2005 OK so media bias isn't exactly breaking news, but the level of bias is amazing.
"I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are."

"Overall, the major media outlets are quite moderate compared to members of Congress, but even so, there is a quantifiable and significant bias in that nearly all of them lean to the left," said co‑author Jeffrey Milyo, University of Missouri economist and public policy scholar.
And even this
The news pages of The Wall Street Journal scored a little to the left of the average American Democrat [lawmaker]
Only 2 news organizations scored to the right of the average voter - Fox News' "Special Report with Brit Hume" and the Washington Times. And the Fox News show was the "fourth most centrist" news outlet. About as biased as the ABC's "World News Tonight" and NBC's "Nightly News." (They were of course to the left.) [via Tapscott's Copy Desk]

NYC Gun Ring Run By Gang Members

NYC Gun Ring Blown Away: Top News Stories at Officer.com So illegal guns in the Bronx are the result of the work of gangs, not the fault of the gun industry.
The 11-month Operation Double Trouble dragnet led to the arrest of 16 thugs — many of whom are members of the notorious Bloods street gang — and prompted the seizure of some 50 weapons, which the gangsters planned to sell on the streets, authorities said.
What's more, solid work by local law enforcement and federal agents were able to break this ring with existing gun laws. No additional gun control was required.

Don't expect to see this reported in the liberal media. [via Alphecca]

The religion of peace

Telegraph | News | Taliban execute teacher in front of his pupils for educating girls Why am I not surprised?
Pupils at the school said two armed men arrived by motorcycle. "They dragged the teacher from the classroom and shot him at the school gate," said Abdul Rahman Sabir, Helmand's police chief.
What will the Left say about this? Will they claim this is just "a cultural difference," and we should not judge? Islamic-fascists are as evil as any other type.

Friday, December 16, 2005

How Cool is This?

Thus spracht ME: Visit from overseas. Get to teach NRA Classes on Company time? Cool! [via Smallest Minority]

22nd History Carnival

The 22nd History Carnival is hosted by Frog in a Well - The Korea History Group Blog. I had a post on WT Sherman accepted for the Carnival this time around. December 21 marks the anniversary of the fall of Savanah Georgia and end of "Sherman's March to the Sea." Well not quite, because he turned north and headed into South Carolina. Anyway go have a look.

Build Your Vocabulary

The Vocabulary Word for this week is .
Gun Control:

The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

The Real Story in Boston

Fear lives here. I'm actually surprised to see this printed in the Boston Globe
The information that reaches City Hall and the public is often vague or out-of-date. For example, much has been said by police of late about the flow of weapons from New Hampshire gun dealers to criminals in Boston. But police now believe that home burglaries of licensed weapons may be responsible for the flood of guns.
So while the politicians look to blame everyone but themselves, and call for the restriction of rights, the real problem originates in their own back yard.

But does Boston's mayor want to "get tough on crime?" No.
Mayor Menino told Boston business leaders that the city's budget could not absorb an increase in the police patrol force from the current 1,300 officers to the 1,500 on duty five years ago.
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of Boston's budget and what percent gets spent on police, and how much the Mayor's office spends. The mayor does of course mention that taxes might have to be raised. Cutting spedning in another part of the budget is clearly impossible.

There is much study, but little action.
Former prisoners who return to old haunts are often cited as the drivers of the new crime wave. But now the blame shifts to young men with little or no time served who reach for weapons at the slightest provocation. There are endless statistical compilations by police of hot spots of violent crime. But no similar effort is underway to prevent the violence.
It is much easier to point his finger across the state line, than admit his own city is at fault. But then that wouldn't permit him to rant about gun control and see his name in national papers. [via KABA]

Armed Citizen Stops Robbery

WFTV.com - Man Pulls Gun On Armed Robbers In Hotel Parking Lot. Armed citizen defends himself against 2 robbers.
Angellow Ortiz, 37, was walking to his car Tuesday afternoon at the Marriott Fairfield Inn on Vineland Road near Universal [Orlando]. Suddenly, two men with guns tried to rob him.

Ortiz quickly pulled out his own handgun and fired to scare them off
Police caught the 2 nearby.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wish List

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
[Click the Image for VERY large view.]
Stoeger Coach Gun in Nickel-plate with black furniture.

I fell in love with this gun the first time I saw Cowboy Action Shooting Match. I have no real reason to buy this gun. I just love the way it looks.

Living Abroad Makes Journalist into Patriot

OpinionJournal - Mightier Than the Pen MATT POTTINGER: "Why I gave up journalism to join the Marines." Just read it! (He spent the last 3 months in Officer Candidate School, and gets his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant Friday.) [via Best of the Web]

Blanco Cancels New Orleans Elections

Tammy Bruce: LA Gov Blanco Cancels New Orleans Elections. As Tammy Bruce says, "Absolutely outrageous."

Iraqi Elections

Michelle Malkin: THE IRAQI ELECTIONS AND THE UNHINGED LEFT A round up of the elections in Iraq

Michelle Malkin: WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA? PT. 9,999 and a review of how the MSM treats politicians on the left and on the right when they are doing the same thing.

Ex-boyfriends and Death

Police suspect ex-boyfriend in triple killings - The Olympian. Two murders, one suicide.
[Peter Zornes] apparently escorted [Louissa A. Thompson] to her home after they finished their shifts at a ShopKo store because she was frightened of [Trevor] Saunders, her former boyfriend, Oakesdale Mayor Russell Rickett said Monday.

“Unfortunately, it looks like he was playing the good Samaritan role and was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Rickett told the Lewiston Tribune.
Fear is a good thing, but by itself it won't keep you safe.

The Signa: Single Mother Shot, Killed by Ex-boyfriendl Restraining order fails to restrain
[Michelle Romprey,] the victim, had a temporary restraining order against [Maurice] Hunt, [a former boyfriend] who had lived with Romprey for four years. Romprey, a single mother, had gone to court again last week to obtain a three-year restraining order against Hunt
After shooting Romprey, Hunt shot himself.

So why is it that men kill women they claim to love?

Another Domestic Violence Tragedy

reviewjournal.com -- News - Woman slain after fight The system failed to protect, not because it didn't work - it can't work. The police did everything they legally could do. It wasn't enough.
"She put her faith in the law," [the victim's sister] said. "Metro came and Metro left, and my sister is dead."
The system cannot protect you.

The police, and her sister, did urge the victim to leave and go to a shelter or to some relative's home, but the victim feared the mutant in this case "would steal some of her possessions."

The system can only do so much. After that it is up to you to look out for your own safety. The police did all they could do, and made reasonable suggestions for what steps the victim could have taken to protect herself. The police cannot ensure your safety. Take steps on your own to ensure your safety.

“Reporting from Iraq” - An Embed Reports the Real Story

M. FriedenauerReporting from Iraq : The view from on the ground. This is an amazing post, and I hope it turns into an amazing blog, by Fairbanks, Alaska News-Miner reporter Margaret Friedenauer. She is embedded with 172nd Stryker Brigade in Iraq. I think maybe she gets it.
I’ve listened to the soldiers and [Lt. Col. Gregg] Parrish about the missing pieces of the puzzles that don’t reach home. My selfish, journalistic drive immediately thinks “Perfect. A story that hasn’t been told. Let me at it.”

But I have a slight hesitation; I need to keep balanced. I can’t be a cheerleader, even if I have a soft spot for the hometown troops, especially after the welcome they’ve shown me. I still need to be truthful and walk the centerline and report the good or bad.

But then I realize it’s not a conflict of interest. If I am truly unbiased, then I need to get used to this one simple fact; that the untold story, might in fact, be a positive one.
A reporter who gets that "only reporting the bad news from Iraq" is certainly biased.

Much thanks to the Vodkapundit for pointing out this post and this blog!

Australia's Race War Becomes a Religious War

The Australian: Now churches are targeted [December 15, 2005]
FOUR churches in Sydney's southwest have been attacked in 24 hours as the city's riots spread from race to religion.

Armed Homeowner Stops Home Invasion

KGBT 4 - TV Harlingen, TX: Home Invasion Another armed civilian stops a crime.
The homeowner reportedly heard a loud noise early this morning and found that two men had knocked down his front door.

That's when he shot at them -- hitting one.
San Francisco residents thinks this guy should have been the victim - in the truest sense of the word - of this crime.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Let Me Get this straight...

Captain's Quarters The Dutch won't send their troops to Afghanistan unless the US provides security.
Does the Netherlands have such a weak fighting force that they cannot deploy without having someone else do the firing for them when challenged? Apparently they do -- but that doesn't keep them from telling us how to wage war, it seems.
Tell me again why we need "international" military support. If we have to provide security for the armed forces of a NATO country - yes, I understand we did this for the entire cold war - why don't we execute the mission they were going to do while we're there?

That Christmas Spirit

Christmas domestic violence warning. Carols, Shopping, Gifts, Domestic Violence.
Police gearing up for the "casualties of Christmas violence" say money pressures and alcohol can wreck the spirit of the season for many families.
...
Christmas was the busiest time of year for agencies dealing with the casualties of domestic violence.
Happy Holidays

17-year-old burglar dead after struggle for gun

Local News | The Pensacola News Journal Allen Ambrose, 63, found Eduard Richardson hiding in a closet after an alarm sensor indicated an opened door. Mr. Ambrose held Richardson at gunpoint waiting for
Sheriff's Sgt. Mark James to return from a search of the neighborhood.

When the officer arrived at the house, a struggle for the gun, a ".357 caliber revolver," began. Ambrose was shot in the hand. Richardson was shot in the torso.
Assistant State Attorney Harmon Massey said Tuesday he has reviewed the case, and it does not warrant criminal prosecution.

"It's an unfortunate taking of someone else's life but justifiable under the circumstances," Massey said.
As it should be. Self-defense is a human right.

Universities Not Protecting Students

WAVY.COM - Violence On Virginia's College Campuses Outlined In Crime Commission Report. Most Universities disarm students and staff. (I am sure there are some who don't, but I can't think of one off-hand.) But after disarming the victims, they fail to do much to even try to protect them.
The report shows that many campus police departments are so understaffed and underfunded they don't have the equipment needed to protect the students. That's just one of the problems.
And of course while students and staff are barred from having weapons, the criminals are free to do as they please.
At least four students at Old Dominion University have been mugged in the last couple of weeks, on and off campus. One of the victims was pistol whipped.

Crime against students is not exclusive to ODU. The College of William and Mary has been rocked by a string of rapes and sexual assaults.
We have to stop disarming the victims. It does not protect anyone except the criminals.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

73-year-old shoots burglar

Macon Telegraph | 12/13/2005 | Macon homeowner fatally shoots man in attempted burglary. A 73-year-old man came home and surprised 2 burglars. One jumped out the window. He shot the other burglar, Randolph Randy Baker, in the head. Baker died later a medical center.

7 Meme

I got tagged quite a while ago by Tam over at View from the Porch with this meme. The results, as always are at Log of Zendo, posted as Seven.

More on the Death Penalty

Image hosted by Photobucket.com - justiceCaptain's Quarters: A Prosecutor's Rebuttal. This post, basically penned by a CQ reader in the Criminal Justice system, may make me rethink my opposition to the death penalty.

I would still like to see it used a bit less than it is and rely on a slightly higher standard of justice than incarceration. I am not sure what that standard would be.

One of the many people posting about the death penalty, and the Cantu case in Texas, mentioned that there is either an Old Testament or Talmudic edict that capital punishment must rely on more than one witness, while incarceration may rely on a single witness. A higher burden of proof for the taking of life. (Sorry, but I don't remember where I read that.)

I am still reluctant to give this much power to the state, but I see the point about impacting the behavior of career criminals.

Why Are Taxpayers Paying for WaPo Reporters' Flights?

Oh, for a Flight Without Wings. You know if the WaPo and the "elite media" doesn't like flying at taxpayer expense, then they can charter their own damn planes.

Enough! They don't like the service - I don't like paying for their travel. Let the WaPo foot the bill.

As Michelle Malkin says, "Robin Wright has one of the snottiest, narcissistic pieces I've read this year. It's a 977-word whine about journalists and State Department bureaucrats who don't like the food served on Air Force 2."

Why are the US taxpayers supporting the travel budget of the WaPo? Do we get anything out of it? The WaPo isn't as blatantly anti-American as the NY Slimes, but they aren't exactly rooting for us to win the War on Terror.

I would say that if we have to provide travel, we could let them eat all the surplus MREs, but we gave them to the hurricane victims this year.

Michael Yon Gets Some Recognition

via the dreaded Instapundit, we find that one Michael Yon's photographs is in the running for the best photo of the year at Time Magazine's website.

The photo selected was Michael Yon's picture of Major Beiger, of the Deuce Four, cradleing a mortally wounded Iraqi child in his arms after a terrorist set off a car bomb in the middle of group of children. Time chose the title "In His Arms" for the photo.

You can also buy prints of this photo to help support Mr. Yon's efforts.

Go Take a Look and participate in the voting.

Tookie Williams and the Death Penalty

Image hosted by Photobucket.com - JusticeI haven't said anything about the Tookie Williams case because it is impossible to hear anything over the circus this case has become. Michelle Malkin called it a Freak Show, and that is probably the best description one could hope for. "It's a zoo outside San Quentin prison."

My opposition to the death penalty is spelled out elsewhere. In short, I don't trust the government enough to give it this much power. I have no moral or religious objection to the death penalty. I just think the government is too screwed up to be trusted with it.

Captain Ed comes to the same position from different starting point. He does have religious objections. I really like his summary of the situation.
If the celebrities want to do something about the death penalty, I'd suggest trying to convince Californians that [Life Without Parole] means no release, ever, under any circumstances except innocence. They could start by ending their peculiar practice of promoting the murderers as heroes and ignoring their victims. Once the public no longer has to listen to ridiculous arguments about the brilliance and courage of people who shoot helpless victims in the back and can focus on the issues of the death penalty itself, then perhaps we can convince people that we can live without executions and all the lunacy they entail.
But as long as high profile cases are treated like circus, no real debate will be possible. The idea that housing Tookie for the rest of his life (statring immediately after his conviction) is more expensive than 20 or 25 years of legal disputes is not realistic. (Minus the "Club Fed" treatment of course.)

There is too much to go into everything.

The Anchoress compares the treatmet of "St. Tookie" with the vilification of Cardinal Ratzinger on his elevation to Pope. (And she has an interesting biblical quote about calling good evil, and evil good.)

Baldilocks wants people to visit her South LA neighborhood to see all the "good" that Tookie and other members of the Crips have wrought over the years.

Rick at Right Wing Nut House believes the death penalty is neccessary for society to rid itself of diseased "parts."

Cotillion Christmas Countdown

amomandherblog.com | Leading Up To A Cotillion Christmas…: Tammy of A Mom and Her Blog hosts this week's Cotillion Carnival. Even with the hectic holiday season, some of us found time to write. Also posted at Cotillion: Leading Up To A Cotillion Christmas

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Completely Positive Story About Guns in the San Francisco Chronicle

HOME ON THE RANGE
Firearms are instructor’s business
SHE'S GOT GUNS, SHE'S GOT GAME
Hunters, housewives, cops learn gun skills from Il Ling New
.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comFirst the NYTimes runs a mostly positive story about guns, and I thought I had seen everything. Now the SF Chronicle runs a COMPLETELY positive story about guns (and the Gunsite training academy in Arizona).

Il Ling New is the first female instructor at Gunsite Academy, "the top firearms training school in America," and she also freelances as a hunting guide and instructor. The description of New is surprising for the MSM.
Her smile could melt steel, yet New, a petite 5-foot-4, with a miniature handgun in her palm, can pop two shots in three seconds at 100 yards into an 8-inch pie plate -- or your head.
The description of Gunsite is equally glowing.
Gunsite Academy is north of Prescott, Ariz., set on a ranch-like property that covers 2,000 acres of desert and foothills at an elevation of 4,900 feet, sprinkled with juniper, pinon pine and sagebrush. Some 25 classes are taught there, including pistol defense, precision rifle, and for military or law enforcement personnel, anti-terrorist defense.
This article describes how New, a San Francisco Native, got involved with hunting and self-defense. The clientèle of Gunsite is described in terms that make them sound like ordinary people.
Her students include a housewife, engineer, investment executive, helicopter test pilot, accountant, and rancher, among others.
They actually get a quote from the housewife.

Gun safety is covered, because "Having a gun in your hands is a tremendous responsibility. Recognize and accept that responsibility in each moment." The rules of "situational awareness" for self-defense are covered. A complete treatment of the subject. The only thing missing is the phone number for Gunsite Academy.

Not one mention of gun banning, gun fearing weenies is made through the whole article. The only explanation I have is that the temperature in Hell must have been impacted by the high cost of heating oil.

Update: And the SF Chronicle has a follow-up article with some more on New - still all positive.

Australia's Race War

PM refuses to use racist tag - Sideney Morning Hearld Attacks on people of middle-eastern decent, counter attacks (reprisals). The PM is going on about it being fueled by alcohol. I think that is wishful thinking. Racism on both sides of the divide seems to have reared its head.

Sydney's racist mob violence spreads from The Age is a fairly good description of how it progressed over the weekend. The politicians are still arguing about what started it.

Io Saturnalia - or why Christmas is NOT at risk

Image hosted by Photobucket.comNanovirus: The war on Winter Solstice. When I was a kid, Christmas celebrations started after Thanksgiving. Not that long ago it was traditional to put up Christmas trees on Christmas Eve after the kids had gone to bed.

Today Christmas decorations appear before Halloween - I guess retail never figured out how to make money on Samhain or Turkey Day. And yet everywhere you turn you hear about the "War on Christmas." Actually there seems to be a war on all non-Christian Solstice Celebrations.

What happened to the idea of tolerance?
For example, while it remained customary for one Christian to say Merry Christmas to another, to a stranger it was considered more thoughtful to say "Season's Greetings," or "Happy Holidays." Such was the beauty of tolerance: all faiths were able to be true to their origins while respecting their fellow humans' right to do the same.
Do you doubt there is a war on non-Christian holidays? The war is long-standing. Consider the date.
The Romans honored Saturn, the ancient god of agriculture, each year beginning on December 17 in a festival called the Saturnalia. This festival lasted for seven days and included the winter solstice, which at that time fell on December 25 (today, following calendar reform, it falls on December 21).
Was the Roman census taken in the winter? Doubtful. It was easier to usurp the going holiday than it was to suppress it. Trees that do not die decorated to celebrate the return of the sun, switched so that they are used in celebrations by a group of people who await the the return of "the Son."

Today companies that want their employees to say "Happy Holidays" in deference to the idea that not all of their customers are Christian, are crucified. They are forced to pander to the majority and kept from showing respect and tolerance to minority.

Protection Order Fails to Protect

two gunsHometownAnnapolis.com, Top Stories - Man to get 25 year term for raping his estranged wife. Once again we see the recommended course of action fails to prevent a woman from being kidnapped and raped. (The names are withheld to protect her anonymity.)
The man's wife had gotten a protective order against him just a week before the attack.
...
"She tried to call 911 on her cell phone, but the defendant took the phone away from her," [Assistant State's Attorney Laura] Kiessling said.
Get a restraining order. Call 911 in an emergency. Neither of these strategies kept this woman from harm.

A gun may not have enabled her to defend herself, but the strategy of relying on the system was a complete failure. This woman endured kidnapping, rape, and being held prisoner for several hours, while the police were outside.

The Tammy Bruce edition of Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #107 Best of Me Symphony
I'm the same pro-choice feminist I always was. So why were some who knew me so ready to presume I had been abducted by aliens and transformed into the dreaded conservative?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Alcohol, Tobbacco, Gambling and War

The VICE FUND. Sounds like a money maker to me... or as The Unrepentant Individual says, "These are few of my favorite things." Well, besides the war part.

William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman December 21st will mark the anniversary of Sherman's conquest of Savanah. This marked the end of Sherman's March to the sea.

While you're busy with presents and holiday parties, think about the Christmas those people had all those years ago.
If the question was asked, "Who was and still is the most hated and despised man in the history of Georgia" the response would be William Tecumseh Sherman.
Sherman waged total war.

His position was that the South should have surrendered once Atlanta fell. When the Confederacy did not surrender, Sherman evacuated civilians from the city and set fire to military and industrial facilities. The fire spread throughout Atlanta. His forces left Atlanta on November 15, 1864, and his army set out for Savannah. He captured Savannah on December 21, of that year. On his march to the sea, he is usually credited with destroying everything in his path.
Sherman's advance through Georgia and the Carolinas was characterized by widespread destruction of civilian supplies and infrastructure, and sometimes accompanied by looting; although officially forbidden, historians disagree as to how well enforced this position was. This was, indeed, the point—to destroy the will and ability of the South to make war.
He didn't level every town, but he did destroy buildings whenever his forces met resistance.

His goal was to demoralize the enemy.
He practiced psychological warfare; he believed that by marching an army across the state he would demonstrate to the world that the Union had a power the Confederacy could not resist.
His position is summed up nicely in the following quote. "War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want."

Especially effective was the method of destroying railroads. By burning the railroad ties, heating the rails and twisting them around trees - in what became known as Sherman's Neckties - his army of 66,000 troops destroyed the South's ability to move men and material by rail. The South simply did not the industrial capacity to replace the rails.

For shear quotability, it is hard to beat Sherman.
I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.
I often think of this quote when I read the MSM "accounts" of what is happening with the war on terror. In 150 years, nothing has changed.

Sherman set out to destroy the South's ability to make war. He did that, and issued in the era of modern warfare, warfare against industrial infrastructure and civilian targets, which was to play a great part in World War II. [also referenced - not every link above is unique. I tried to keep references with the quotes, and the source data]

Do the Math

Telegraph | Opinion | Do the sums, then compare US and Communist crimes from the Cold War. It seems Harold Pinter is still living in the '70s.

Did the US do some bad stuff during the cold war? Certainly. We were at war. We supported dictators who would help us win that war. How did those things done by the US compare to things done by the various Communists Countries?
By comparison, the lowest estimate for the number of people who were killed on political grounds in the last seven years of Stalin's life is five million, and the camps of the gulag - which only a fraud or a fool would liken to American prisons today - kept on killing long after his death. In their new biography, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday reckon Mao was responsible for anything up to 70 million deaths in China. The number of people killed or starved by the North Korean regime may be in the region of 1.6 million. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed between 1.5 and 2 million people.
One of the reasons I am convinced that American public schools no longer teach history - and instead teach a watered-down subject known as Civics - is that history is VERY inconvenient for the Left. The Communists killed millions in the Ukraine before Hitler got started on the Holocaust in Germany, but the news reports from the Soviet Union to the West were mostly sanitized.
Journalists were warned they would be shut out of the trial [of six British engineers working in the Soviet Union who were arrested and charged with sabotage, espionage and bribery] completely if they wrote news stories about the famine. Most of the foreign press corp yielded to the Soviet demand and either didn't cover the famine or wrote stories sympathetic to the official Soviet propaganda line that it didn't exist.
So much for the duty of a free press to inform the public.

The Left is also adverse to talking about "Good and Evil" because if starving 7 million people to death for a political agenda is not evil, then almost nothing is. And the Left (perhaps in the 1930s more than now) could not bear to call the Soviet Union Evil.

So did the US do things and support people I wish we hadn't? Yes. But I am not sorry that we won the Cold War. Harold Pinter may be.

The Final Carnival of Cordite for 2005

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #41. What with holidays and law-school finals, this will be the last Carnival of Cordite for 2005.

As always, there is lots of good writing on a variety of topics - all related to guns of course. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

45 years for stabbing ex-girlfriend

PJStar.com - Journal Star News. This is the tragedy of another boyfriend who doesn't understand that a relationship is over.

Chad J. Genovese, 28, plead guilty in October to murdering Rachel Klatt, his ex-girlfriend, on April 30, 2004. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Illinois law requires that murderers serve 100% of their sentence, so he will be in jail until he is 73. This won't bring Rachel Klatt back to her daughter (2-years-old) or her family.

'Dykes on Bikes' Wins Trademark Appeal

Trademark office OKs 'Dykes on Bikes' / Motorcycle group's name on its way to becoming registered. In case you were wondering if government bureaucrats were thinking impaired, I think this just about proves it.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office twice rejected the group's application on the grounds the term "dyke" was offensive and derogatory. The office reversed itself after the group's lawyers appealed, submitting hundreds of pages of additional material that they said showed the slang word does not disparage lesbians.
Just for clarification, this is not a new organization.
Dykes On Bikes began in 1976 with a small contingent of women riding in the SF Pride Parade. It was disorganized and delightful. But as the group of women grew and the Pride Parade grew, the need for an organized group became apparent to all those involved in the Parade.
So that will be Dykes on Bikes™ to you. [via Boing Boing]

Humbug!

I'm afraid I am not one for the Christmas spirit. Crowding and shoving at malls, drinking and driving after Christmas parties, and other aspects of The Holidays leave me cold (not because of the weather of course - should be 72° today).
"If I could work my will," said Scrooge, indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boilded with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!" [from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens]
Of course if you are going to play Scrooge for the holidays, it helps to know all of the good lines!

Muslim Miss England

Hammasa KohistaniTelegraph | News | Muslim Miss England takes on the world. Hammasa Kohistani, an 18-year-old refugee from the Taliban, is the first Muslim to represent the England in the final of the Miss World competition.

Of course the Islamo-fascists take exception to anything modern.
However, the brunette, currently Miss England, claims her participation in the contest has drawn death threats from Islamic extremists who believe showing off her naked flesh is wrong.
But who would expect anything else? And for those who think these contests are silly, remember that anything that tweaks the noses of the fascists can't be all bad.

Tax Cuts Lead to Higher Revenues Again

The Treasury announced tax revenues hit an all time high.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
[click image for a better view]

Friday, December 09, 2005

Support the Iraq Mission - Fight Movon.org

LiberyThe Indepundit: A CALL TO ARMS The Left is trying to urge Congress to Cut and Run.
THE ENEMY [Moveon.org] is circulating a petition, urging the Congress to withdraw our troops from Iraq. They plan to deliver copies of this petition to Congressional offices across the nation next Wednesday, December 14.
There are several things you can do.
  • Call you Representatives. The toll-free number for the U.S. Capitol Switchboard is 1-888-818-6641.
  • Make this known on Talk Radio
  • Write your Representatives
  • Write a Letter to the Editor of your Local Paper
OK, Let's get started!

Man Shot as He Violates Court Order

The Beaumont Enterprise - News - 12/08/2005 - Man shot at wife's home in fair shape. A protective order (court order or restraining order) did not keep Olin James Washington from showing up at his estranged wife's home.

After threatening her and her children, he was shot once with a handgun. He will face criminal charges once he gets out of the hospital.

Another ex-boyfriend in jail

Man arrested after shots at woman, baby - Concord Monitor Online - Concord, NH 03301. No one was hit. No one was injured. The guy who doesn't seem to understand that the relationship is over is in jail facing 15 years in prison - if convicted.
The police say Morgan threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend in a series of phone calls Tuesday. That night at about 9:30, Morgan went to Crestwood mobile home park with a handgun, the police said.

Morgan first confronted his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend on a road inside the park, the police said.

When the boyfriend realized Morgan was armed, he ran away. Just then, Morgan's ex-girlfriend drove up, with her sixth-month old son in the car.

Morgan, who is the baby's father, walked toward the car, reached out the handgun and fired twice.
He missed the car and later turned himself into police.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Restraining Orders Offer No Protection - Again

JusticeTimesDispatch.com | UR student killed by ex-boyfriend Another Ex-Boyfriend who can't recognize when a relationship is over. This one at least did have a history of mental illness to justify his behavior. Unfortunately, his behavior is not all that odd. See the FBI 2004 Crime Report data on murder.

After calling the police, after obtaining an order of protection, De'Nora Hil is dead in a murder/suicide.
[The victim's mother stated] "And all these court orders, protective orders - yes, it's all well and good on paper, but it really doesn't protect you."
That weeks of escalating violence lead to death should surprise no one. Did anyone even counsel her about self-defense? North Carolina passed a law mandating that anyone getting a restraining order would also get information on obtaining an emergency concealed carry license. This of course sent the left into hysterics... ask a woman to defend herself? Who else is going to?

Women in particular and society in general have to wake up to the fact that abusive relationships often turn deadly. The only one who has a chance to protect you in those few moments of peril is yourself. Even if you can and do call 911, the police are long minutes away. A gun may not have saved Ms. Hill, but the efforts of "the system" did next to nothing to protect her.

Armed Robber Shot by Armed Citizen

Armed girl wounded in botched heist at video store Whoever writes the headlines at AZ Central must be member of the Brady Bunch. They will count this as a "child shot," even though this young woman was committing armed robbery at the time. She had the misfortune to point her gun at an armed citizen. I would usually title this post "Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0," but I want to emphasize the fact that although she is a minor, she was (alleged to be) behaving like a vicious criminal. That of course won't impact the various gun-control groups and their ability to count the number of "children" shot. They won't even change their count if she is tried as an adult.

Her name is not being released because of her age. But she is charged with trying to rob a Hollywood Video franchise.
Witnesses told police that one of the customers, who had a concealed-weapons permit, fired several rounds when the girl pointed a gun at him. She was struck twice and fled the store.
She was eventually taken to a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds, and she is in the jail ward of the hospital. She is being held "on suspicion of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault." [h/t KABA]

Legal Gun Ownership and Youth Crime

Urban Delinquency and Substance Abuse: Initial Findings (application/pdf Object). From the US Department of Justice (via the National Criminal Justice Reference Service) we get a fascinating fact about youth crime and gun ownership.
Figure 13 shows a very strong relationship between owning illegal guns and delinquency and drug use. Seventy-four percent of the illegal gunowners commit street crimes, 24 percent commit gun crimes, and 41 percent use drugs. Boys who own legal firearms, however, have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use and are even slightly less delinquent than nonowners of guns.
Figure 13, Urban Delinquency
[Click image for a better view]
What the authors concluded is that juveniles with strong family relationships, consistent discipline, and a peer group of similar individuals were less likely to be delinquent. Juveniles who are involved in legal, organized shooting sports do so with family involvement. Discipline is of course very important in the shooting sports. [KABA]

Another DOJ report, Gun Use by Male Juveniles: Research and Prevention, (also a PDF!) from 2001, notes that juvinle gun crime is more a local problem, than a national problem.
Research also consistently finds that illegal firearm use among juveniles is a relatively small and localized problem. For example, as noted recently, “one in four reported murders of juveniles in 1997 occurred in just 5 of the Nation’s more than 3,000 counties” (Snyder and Sickmund, 1999:21). Similarly, research in Boston and other cities suggests that within specific cities or counties, very specific neighborhoods harbor most of the juvenile illegal firearm problem. Furthermore, survey data from the Rochester study show that relatively small percentages of youth within that urban area are responsible for the majority of illegal gun carrying and gun crime.
Let's say that again: 25% of juvinile murders occur in just 0.17% of counties, and there is evidence that this really limited to specific neighborhoods and even certain individuals within those neighborhoods.

A policy of identifying those individuals and combatting crime locally would seem to be the best way to fight this kind of crime. Demonizing guns does not address the real issue - violent crime.

That's gonna leave a mark

Jonah Goldberg vs. Barbra Streisand on National Review Online. Goldberg bitch-slaps Streisand about a letter to the LA Times.

Streisand is distressed it seems that Robert Scheer is out and Jonah is in. She doesn't think that this will result in Angelinos being "exposed to views that stretch them beyond their own paradigms." But let's let Jonah speak for himself:
So, taking Streisand seriously, we must ask: Is she on crack?

Robert Scheer may be the greatest writer since homo sapiens first scribbled on cave walls, but no serious person can believe that his views test the elasticity of Streisand's "paradigms." He reinforces them, he ladles concrete on them. Scheer confirms all of her biases and reaffirms all of her ill-considered views. Put aside the fact that both Scheer and Streisand are committed leftists who share almost identical views on most major issues.
Like most leftists, Streisand isn't concerned that her "paradigms" won't be streched. She just doesn't want conservative views to sullen the pages of the LASlimes. The Left is not in favor of free and open debate. They will try to label everyone who disagrees with them as a purveyor of "hate speech." Go read the whole thing; it's worth it. [via Vodkapundit]