Monday, July 31, 2006

What we need is reasonable dumbell control

Two Tampa men charged with beating men with bat, dumbbells - Tampa Bay's 10 Perhaps a limit to buying one dumbell per month.
Police say [the goblins] beat two men in Temple Terrace late Saturday afternoon with a baseball bat, dumbbells and a two-by-four.
Or those pesky two-by-fours... Do you know you can by all the two-by-fours you want to without even having to give your name, let alone pass a background check? And this is not the first time I have reported on the mayhem caused by unregistered baseball bats.

Actually it is quite serious as the victims are in serious condition in Tampa General.

Tolkien Conducts the Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #139 Best of Me Symphony
It needs but one foe to breed a war, and those who have not swords can still die upon them.
That is one of my favorite lines from The Lord of the Rings

BOMS is a collection of posts at least 60 days old.

Watcher's Council Results

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, July 30, 2006

Man Attacks Wife, Then Commits Suicide

WISH-TV - Indianapolis News and Weather - Domestic Violence in Carmel Example of an Indiana Problem So much for restraining orders. She had one, it did nothing.
Carmel police say 43-year-old April Jones' estranged husband was shooting at her from a pickup truck as she was driving into work at 96th Street and College Avenue. She reportedly made the call while she was driving and 59-year-old Jay Richard Jones was shooting. She was not hurt, but one bullet hit her car.
She is lucky he was a bad shot. After police showed up, he killed himself.

Say it again.
Authorities said Jones actually had a restraining order against her husband...

"Sometimes that doesn't mean anything to a person and that woman should be able to kind of feel that out and if she does, she needs to seek immediate help," [Carlene Richardson of the Julian Center] said.
Look what good it did in this case. What percentage of the time should restraining orders work, before I trust my life to them?

Government: Some Religions Are Still More Equal Than Others

pentacleFallen Wiccan soldier is denied an honor | IndyStar.com This has been going on a very long time. It is disgrace to a country that believes in freedom and is founded on the idea of freedom of religion.
WASHINGTON -- At the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in the small town of Fernley, Nev., there is a wall of brass plaques for local heroes. But one space is blank. There is no memorial for Sgt. Patrick Stewart.

That's because Stewart was a Wiccan, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has refused to allow a symbol of the Wicca religion -- a five-pointed star within a circle, called a pentacle -- to be inscribed on U.S. military memorials or grave markers.

The department has approved the symbols of 38 other faiths; about half of are versions of the Christian cross. It also allows the Jewish Star of David, the Muslim crescent, the Buddhist wheel, the Mormon angel, the nine-pointed star of Bahai and something that looks like an atomic symbol for atheists.
But Wiccans are still 2nd-class-citizens as far as the Pentagon is concerned.

This issue has been around for 9 years. The Pentagon - or the VA anyway - doesn't want to recognize Wiccans. They do allow it to be entered in service records and it was recorded on Sgt. Stewart's dog-tags. The Pentagon - as the result of a court order, not out the kindness of their hearts - allows Wiccan ceremonies on military bases in the same manner that other religions are allowed to hold ceremonies on base.

Some statistics:
  • Wicca has increased 17 times from about 9000 adherents in 1990, to 134,000 adherents in 2001
  • 1800 Wiccans are on active duty with the armed forces
It comes down to prejudice in the end.
Wiccans still suffer, however, from the misconception that they are devil worshippers. Some Wiccans call themselves witches, pagans or neopagans. Most of their rituals revolve around the cycles of nature, such as equinoxes and phases of the moon.
Wicca had been excluded because the VA required groups wanting recognition to provide a headquarter address, or central authority. Wicca lacks either of these. But that requirement was dropped last year, and still Wicca is excluded.

Some religions are respected. Some are not. The First Amendment says that no religion shall be respected above any other. I guess the VA didn't read that far. Now if I was cynical, I might agree with Retired Army Chaplain William Chrystal; he says it is all about conservative politics.
I think the powers that be are afraid they'll alienate conservative Christians if they approve a symbol that connotes witches and warlocks casting spells and brewing potions.
It basically comes down to a simple question. Do you believe in freedom of religion? Or do you believe that only you have the right to determine what is and isn't a religion? Plenty of people fall into the 2nd category, which basically says, "I believe in religious freedom for people who believe the way I do."
"I don't see how anything that supports witchcraft and satanism can legitimately be called a religion," one reader wrote to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

If Your Brother Committed a Crime, What Would You Do?

The right thing to do would be to turn him in. Very few people have that much integrity.

In a brutal domestic violence case, Woman Set Afire in Landover, one man had the character to do what was right, given that what his brother had done was so wrong.
Louis Willoughby called his brother on his cellphone.

"He said, 'I didn't do nothing,' " Louis Willoughby said. "I said to him, 'Just turn yourself in.' "

Louis Willoughby said that he called police and told them where his brother was and that officers quickly picked him up. He said he will not visit his brother in jail or help him financially. "You have to face what you do," he said
The brother, Anthony Willoughby, 40, doused his girlfriend with gasoline and set her on fire.

Which Gun?

Manga girl with gun

At first I thought this looked like the Jericho 941... Anybody have a guess? Anime/Manga is usually pretty good about depictions of guns... unless they are just outlandish.

Gwen Araujo

Gwen AraujoShould someone die for being different? Is it OK to kill someone because they aren't who you thought they were? Houston Voice: Gay Panic Defense. Some lawyers seem to think so.
Prosecutors said they want to limit the use of “gay panic” defenses — where defendants claim their crimes were justified because of fear or anger over their victims’ sexual orientation.
Some states are starting to do something about it.
California’s bill also would instruct juries that gay panic defenses are inconsistent with state laws protecting gays and transgender people from discrimination. It was prompted by the murder of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo, a transgender teenager who was beaten and strangled in 2002 after two men with whom she’d had anal sex learned she was biologically male.
I love this paragraph from a report on conference convened to discuss this "defense." (ebar.com | DA convenes 'panic' conference)
Attorneys and investigators who referred to transgender murder victim Gwen Araujo as "he" sometimes found themselves corrected by a roomful of strangers, and the rules of sexual intimacy sometimes took center stage during discussions of how to defend and honor a victim of violent crime who may also have been promiscuous or perceived to have made some dangerous decisions.
People make bad decisions all the time. They take chances they shouldn't. This does not absolve others of their responsibilities under the law - or under morality. (If I cut you off in traffic and you assault me, perhaps you can say I shouldn't have cut you off, but you are still guilty of assault and should be punished accordingly.) Would you want to live in a world where anyone considered to have "made bad choices," or was "expendable" for other reasons, could be killed with impunity? Think Nazi Germany, or Stalin's Russia. Think about the Hutu/Tutsi genocide. Remember Srebrenica.

The whole "gay panic" defense is another attempt, in a long line of legal attempts, to say that people are not responsible for their own actions. They panicked. They freaked-out. Circumstances conspired to rob them of their free will. The devil made them do it. Sorry, no. Unless you are legally insane, you are responsible for every one of your actions. You may not like that, but being an adult is a bitch.

And don't dismiss this as only a gay issue. Read what happened to Cindy Dixon (end of the post) and talk to me about justice. (Unless it is justice denied, you have an up-hill battle.) Some people's lives are worth life in prison without parole. Apparently - in the eyes of our legal system (or at least the lawyers) - other people's lives aren't worth that much. [Actually in fairness I should point out that 2 of the men who killed Gwen Araujo were convicted of Second Degree Murder, the third pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter.]

Republicans or Socialists? It's Hard to Tell

Minimum Wage Hike Passed By House The minimum wage raised from $5.15 to $7.25 in 3 years. That's a 41% increase in wages, plus a corresponding increase in Social Insecurity. I wonder how many people will be put out of work by this law?

Meanwhile the Estate Tax - or Death Tax - was "cut." Not eliminated, but cut. Democrats are incensed becuase they feel that money belongs to them, not those dirty "rich" people who built businesses, and provided jobs.

I wish this country would elect some fiscal conservatives. The Republicans surely don't fill that void. Perhaps it is time to vote Libertarian?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lots of Guns at the Carnival

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #67 Lots of guns a neat video of a machine gun shoot - at which quite a few things blow up.

Lots of lies in the media, in the mouths of politicos...

No Guns Required for Triple Murder

local6.com - Local News - Police: Man Walks Into Police Station, Confesses To Fatal Stabbings The three bodies of elderly murder victims were a mystery. No more.

They were stabbed with a knife and a screwdriver. (Note to the British Labour Government, after you are done outlawing knives you will need to start in on screwdrivers.)
Originally, investigators said they thought that the three were shot but it turns out there was no gun involved, DeForest said.
Central Florida has a major drug problem, and a major crime problem to go along with it. These people were killed because they refused to give the murderer money for drugs.

The guy has injuries indicating his victims fought back. Too bad they didn't have a firearm.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Two Military Installations for the Price of One

UN and Hizbollah Flags Well, well, well... Is this a UN observation post or a Hizbollah stronghold? Looks at it's both.

So before Kofi A. gets his knickers in a twist, maybe he should look to see how often the UN and Hizbollah are shacked up.

Lay down with dogs, and the IDF is likely to shoot your ass.
[Stolen shamelessly from A Tangled Web]

Life in a War Zone... the War on Drugs that is.

Some doubts were raised about an earlier story.... Most of the problems we have with police killing innocents stem from the war on drugs. SWAT teams and military tactics make this a war in truth. Civilians die in war, which is why it needs to be clear that war is fought for a reason. The reason for the war on drugs seems to have become, "Because that's the way we've always done things." In a war there are 2 sides. The police are one side, and more and more it appears that everyone else is on the other side.

Prohibition didn't work in the 1920s with alcohol. It doesn't work today. It won't work next week. "Continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results is one definition of insanity." Has the "war on drugs" even reduced drug usage in this country? As long as we keep doing the same things, we will live with (or die with) the same results.

Pedro Oregon Navarro: Police officers "enter" his home with NO warrant. Shoot him multiple times. Enter is a euphemism for kicking in his door. He was not involved in anything criminal. The police were in his house - without a warrant - because a lying, drunk "informer" hoped to reduce his own problems by turning over someone else. A few hours of investigation would have shown this to be the case. So, if they had followed the dictates of the Constitution, Pedro Oregon Navarro would not have died that day... not at the hands of police anyway. So much for the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

Donald Scott: Killed during a drug raid. The police lied to obtain the search warrant because they were hoping to seize a multi-million dollar ranch. No drugs were found. The guy didn't even smoke.

Alberto Sepulveda: Boy's death ruled accidental - 11 year old shot in the back during a drug raid. I guess he posed a threat.

Annie Rae Dixon: An 84-year-old who was bedridden shot in a drug raid. "Accidentally" shot. Most gunnies would say this was a negligent discharge. (Officer negligently fired his gun after kicking in the bedroom door and slipping and bumping into the door frame. So much for the rules of safe gun handling. But then the rules don't appear to apply to police.)

Mario Paz: 65-year-old man fatally shot in the back - another drug raid. Not only was there NO evidence this guy was involved in anything,
El Monte Assistant Police Chief Bill Ankeny said he was unsure if his department's narcotics unit even knew whether the family was living at the Compton home when it was raided by the SWAT team.
Just in the wrong place I guess.

The Economic News is Still Good

Durable goods orders surge in June. June durable goods orders were up 3.1 percent. Excluding transportation - civilian aircraft up 8.8% and military aircraft up 12.9% - durable good orders rose 1%. Also the May numbers were revised from a decline of 0.2% to a rise of 0.3%

So much for a "slowing economy" that the Left and the usual suspects have been declaring. Now of course the economy is going to slow down - it grew 5.3% in the first quarter of this year... that is NOT sustainable. A slowing economy under these conditions is expected. But there has been talk of a recession... I think this is wishful thinking on the part of the Democrats. What other hope do they have but a recession to take back the House and Senate. (Can't they blame tax cuts for something?)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Another Story of Cops Out of Control

CITIZEN-TIMES.com: Law officers need training on use of deadly force Or "Death by Cop." Story that ended with no one being shot, but the cops feeling that they "could have shot you when you first exited your house."

First the author reviews some past disasters. This one I remember, though I don't think I blogged about it at the time.
In another instance, a young 17-year-old was, according to his mother, subdued and disarmed when a sheriff’s deputy kicked him repeatedly and shot him in the chest.

The mother had called worrying about her son’s threat of suicide, and the officers removed that worry from her mind — they did the job for him.
No one was to blame... as far as the police were concerned. Glad we could help you with your suicidal boy, lady.

Cops today feel that they can shoot anyone and get away with it. Maybe they can.
My point is this: You don’t send in the Marines to weed your garden. The average home in Buncombe County has no less than four guns, according to the sheriff. Guns are a part of life here, and given the average police response times in the county, anyone who isn’t prepared to defend themselves is courting disaster. The presence of a gun should not trigger an automatic response of deadly force.

Officers have a right to defend themselves with deadly force when their lives are genuinely threatened. They do not have a right to assassinate anyone who frightens them
If the power is out and the phones are dead, and police show up can they shoot everyone? No one is answering the phones (they are out because the power is out), but all of the cars in the driveway are registered to the homeowner. (Gee, we didn't check that.) Should the police shoot anyone they find at home? This is what they *almost* did. What was that he said again? "I could have shot you when you first exited your house." You could be shot for the horrble crime of exiting your home because they have your son on the ground in his own backyard with .45 caliber semi-automatics aimed at his head. What should you do, stay inside and watch them execute your son for NO REASON?

Oh, uh, sorry, it was all a mistake.

Unfortunately, we live in times that would make the Founders cringe.

Everybody's Favorite Government Agency Now Trampling on the First Amendment

2theadvocate.com | Opinion | Our Views: FEMA’s actions are scandalous This is ridiculous, and must be stopped.
Government authorities telling private citizens that they can’t speak with journalists — then threatening to have those journalists arrested — is typical for despotic regimes in foreign capitals.

Incredibly, this also occurred here on American soil when security guards employed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency prevented residents of FEMA trailer parks from talking to the press.
They told people they had no right to talk to reporters, ORDERED them to return to their trailers (I wasn't aware that they were under arrest), and told the reporters that residents of FEMA's parks did not have the PRIVILGE of speaking to reporters.

If like me, you want to let your elected officials know how you feel about this issue, you can write to them at this link. [hat tip No Quarters]

More Smoke from the Left on Replia Guns

New Jersey Herald For some time now the Left has been creating a tempest in a teapot regarding Airsoft and other pellet guns that look like real weapons.
People create a serious problem for police when they carry fake guns that look authentic, especially in the dark, he said. The danger to the public or police is unclear in those situations, and armed officers are faced with the difficult choice of whether force is necessary.
There is no more or less of a problem than when police encounter anyone. If you are holding something that looks like a gun, and you are acting in a way that constitutes a reasonable threat, law enforcement - or your average armed citizen - is fully justified in shooting you.

In that instant when decisions have to be made, decisions are made based on the available data. If you are holding an Airsoft pistol that looks like a Glock, a reasonable person is going to assume that you are holding the real deal. In issues of life and death - especially my life, or my death - I am not going to give you the benefit of the doubt. (That is a good way for me to end up dead.)

So the onus is on the person buying and carrying these so-called "replica guns" to act with some thought for the consequences of their actions. Parents need to exercise some control of their offspring in this regard.

In a funny note, the incident that they are talking about in the referenced article took place in the parking lot of Dunkin' Donuts shop.
If you want to find all the cops
They're hanging out in the donut shop
They sing and dance (oh whey oh)
[They] Spin the clubs cruise down the block
Walk Like an Egyptian

The Second Amendment Should Cover This

Reuters AlertNet - U.S. House backs disaster area gun possession. But in this day of stupid court rulings, and law enforcement acting like the jack-booted thugs of a police state, I suppose I am happy it is working its way through Congress.
WASHINGTON, July 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill barring federal law enforcement officers from confiscating legally owned guns after a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.

The vote on the legislation strongly backed by the influential National Rifle Association gun lobby was 322-99, with half the Democrats joining the majority Republicans in voting for it.
The Brady Bunch and the extreme Left are, of course, upset.

Big Dig Problems More Widespread

Local News Updates - Romney: More problem bolts in Big Dig -The Boston Globe Like most people, this sort of fell off my radar with everything else going on in the world. More bolt problems in more areas of the Big Dig.

Why don't they just get rid of these concrete panels? They are only cosmetic for goodness sake. Problems securing the fans is another issue, of course.

14 billion dollars of your tax money (nearly... since the federal government footed most of the bill) and it still isn't right.

UM Coach Should Stick to Football

UM's Coker to discuss gun ownership with players This is beyond the scope of his job, and he should keep his nose out of other people's business.

Guns are prohibited from universities and stadiums by Florida law. Students that live off-campus have full civil rights... including the right to defend themselves. [KABA]

A Fairly Large Weekly Check on the Bias

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias Jeff has a lot of good things. Concealed carry in Nebraska (and Lincoln in particular) Judges in PA not putting violent criminals in jail, and a really good discussion of the 2nd Amendment and the Bill of Rights (by way of a smack-down on a stupid op-ed). Go take a look.

Jeff says this will be the last Weekly Check.

A Bad Week For Cat Lovers

Two bloggers of note lost cats in the past week (or so). Smoke on the Water: Sackcloth and Ashes speaks of the loss of Ariel, a companion of 11 years.

Grizzly Mama: Contemplating the Possibility of a Dead Cat. Monica and her two girls were sad over the loss of their elderly Miss Kitty. The dream is interesting considering that they found and rescued a kitten 4 days later. (Some people would say this is weird, but nothing surprises me anymore.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Self-defense Calls for Maximum Response

Right Side of the Rainbow: “By definition, proportionality means perpetual war” The Left is calling on Israel to keep to "proportionate" response to the missile attacks. Paul's post is a pretty clear refutation of that position.

When I perceive an imminent threat or am engaged in a fight for my safety, I do not act proportionately. I jump right to the head of the line with a .357 magnum response. Fists - .357. Knife - .357.

Paul has some great quotes over at Right Side of the Rainbow, you shouldn't miss them. I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite Generals, William Tecumseh Sherman:
War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.
Israel did not go to war only because a soldier was kidnapped. Rockets had been raining down on Haifa and Galilee for months.

Calls to 911, Running Away - 2 things the Left Recommends

KGMB9 - Crash Survivor's Desperate Calls to 911 In this case calls to 911 and an attempt to flee ends in the deaths of two women.
She told the operator she and two other women in their Honda sedan, Pua Santa Isabel and Casey Swain, were racing to escape her ex-boyfriend, 41-year-old Vernon Costa. Then, their car was smashed from behind.
Seven miles later the cars crashed. Pua Santa Isabel and Casey Swain were ejected from the car, and showed no life signs at the scene. They were both pronounced dead at the hospital.

In theory, Hawaii is a "May Issue" state. In practice, there are virtually no concealed carry permits issued in the state. Citizens are supposed to call 911 and rely on police. Witness the result in this case.
"We need somebody," Nardin screamed. "He banged us in the back. He banged us in the back. Please, he's going to kill us. Please."

The operator then asked Nardin if she knew who was chasing them.

"Vernon Costa. Vernon Costa," she shouted. "We need help. Please, please." Ref.
What the hell difference did it make who was chasing them? Why take the time to ask a question? I guess it made sense to someone.

If one of the 3 women in the car that night had been armed, would they have had to risk a high-speed run for their lives? If any law-abiding citizen at the gathering they were attending prior to the chase had been able to come to their assistance would these to women be dead? We will never know the answer to those questions. We only know what happened in a state that disarms women in violent relationships.

The goblin is in custody, charged with all manner of things. Cold comfort to the families of the victims.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

KCBD - NewsChannel 11 / Lubbock, TX: A Man Is Dead After an Overnight Shooting Jealous ex-boyfrind dead after break-in
23-year-old Ronald McNabb was gunned down by the homeowner after McNabb forced his way into the house.

Police say a man living in the house came out of his bedroom and witnessed someone assaulting his friend. He went into his room, grabbed a gun, and shot the suspect at least two times in the chest.
McNabb was the ex-boyfriend of the homeowner's (the guy being assaulted) girlfriend. McNabb died in hospital. [actually the story isn't clear on who's girlfriend was who's... but I am assuming that the guy he was assaulting was the guy he had the beef with...]

Lincoln Nebraska Gets Concealed Carry

JournalStar.com: Council rejects gun ban. While there was some debate about whether Lincoln even had the ability to opt out of the state's new law, the point is moot.
The Lincoln City Council on Monday shot down Mayor Coleen Seng’s proposal to ban concealed weapons in the city once a new state law takes effect next year.
The losers (excuse me, the mayor and the police chief) are "shocked." [NRA-ILA]

Why Won't California Build More Power Plants?

California heat wave may trigger blackouts - Yahoo! News Peak electricity demand set Monday was 11% higher than the previous record set last year. The obviously need more power.

Or would that be just too ecologically unsound?
With temperatures topping 110 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the state, there were reports of more than two dozen deaths due to the heat.
I guess the Greens don't think that is important.

WaPo Thinks Your View of a Biased Media is all in Your Head

Two Views of the Same News Find Opposite Biases The Washington Post tries to explain away bias as a matter of perception. Of course our perceptions do color what we see, but that doesn't eliminate bias in the media.
The experiment, of course, did not address whether news reports were in fact biased -- who would decide? -- or how the media ought to cover conflicts.
Who would decide?

So it isn't media bias when the MSM print "statements" from the likes of the Brady Bunch without bothering to check if they are true.

It isn't media bias when they print - either in the editorial pages, or quotes from the Brady Bunch in the "news" section (or both) - predictions of Wild West Shootouts, and Vigilante Justice, every time another state attempts to pass concealed carry or Castle Doctrine laws. Printing these predictions (over and over and over again), when there are many states who have these laws and don't have these problems is not bias.

It isn't bias when no mention is ever made of the defensive use of guns, or if they do mention a positive/defensive use of a gun, they follow it up with 50 or 100 mentions of the "horrors of guns."

It isn't bias when they print "statistics" from the Brady Bunch that count 19-year-olds as "children" killed by guns, and fail to mention that a fair number of those "children" are engaged in drug deals, gang wars, or are killed in self-defense. (If some of these people were arrested, they would have been tried as adults... not as children, but that doesn't make it bias.)

(Or my favorite) It isn't bias when the MSM - the Boson Globe and Detroit Free Press in this case - printed as fact, stories of events that never happened. (Fiction in the "news" section? Whoda thunkit?) [Actually, the Freep story was just stupid... the B-Globe story was pure bias... a story about something they didn't like, so they didn't bother to check the facts. The "facts" of the story fit with their bias.]

</sarcasm>

If none of this is bias, what is it? If "fake but accurate" isn't bias, what is? If the New York Times rushing to expose every program we have in the war on terror isn't bias, what is it? (Well in that last case, you could make a good argument that it's treason.)

Update: Ace has a story that also doesn't meet the bias criteria of the MSM.
Violence, murder, and political assassination [are] only "cute" when suggested by leftwing bastards and twats.
Cute maybe, but it isn't bias.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Great Interview with Mary Cheney

Pajamas Media: Vanderleun Interviews Cheney This is a good interview. It does cover the new book, Now It's My Turn  It also covers her views on various topics outside the book, where she was on 9/11/01, and how she manages to keep a relationship alive after 14 years.

More Disturbing Stories of Muslims Raping Women in Europe

Hell’s Handmaiden - What is crime? And the authorities doing damn little about it.

Too many to go into here. Go read the whole thing.

What's Worse Than a Hollywood Interpretation of the Bard?

Nothing on God's Green earth!

The LLama Butchers: Gratuitous Llama Netflix Movie Review Now I didn't see the Hollywood version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, but I'm betting it can't be worse than the version of Romeo and Juliet that came out a few years back staring Claire Daines and what's his name... (you know, that annoying skinny guy from Titanic.) One of Shakespeare's best set to a high-volume rock sound track. Trust me when I tell you, there was nothing like it.

Although Robbo of the Llama Butchers seems to feel that AMND was right up there...
Well, all I can really say is that if you'll buy Calista Flockhart's treatment of the Bard, you'll buy anything. Also, sooper-sekret note to Shakesperian movie makers (yes, I'm talking to you, too, Branagh): THE RUDE MECHANICALS ARE THERE FOR CHEAP LAFFS, NOT AUDIENCE EDIFICATION ABOUT THE LIFE OF THE LITTLE GUY, DAMMIT. Thank you.
Can't wait to see that Mel Gibson version of Hamlet

Iranians Fighting for Hezbollah

War Dead Flown to Iran - July 24, 2006 - The New York Sun Not a surprise really.
Israeli and Egyptian security officials confirmed the news, which follows a report that first appeared in The New York Sun, that Iranian forces posted to southern Lebanon have been aiding Hezbollah terrorists in their attacks against Israel, including helping to fire rockets into Israeli population centers.
Why is the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon? To take care of the long-range and high-tech missles they got from China. [h/t DirtCrashr]

Self-defense in Michigan

WWMT - Fatal shooting apparently in self-defense, police say Battle Creek turned into a battle zone, for short period.
Detectives say the 58-year-old homeowner, whose name is not being released, told them Bailey had come to the house with a hammer, looking for money. Neighbors say Bailey attacked the resident with the hammer and a struggle ensued. The resident then shot Bailey in the chest with a .50 caliber muzzle loading rifle.
A .50 caliber ball from a muzzle-loader at close range... this would really ruin anybody's day. Though I guess it could have been a sabotted slug. If so, that was probably hollow-point, or something similar for hunting. Yikes!

38-year-old David Bailey was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyway the police believe the homeowner, but it will be up to the DA to determine if charges will be filed. I think (if memory serves) that Michigan just passed the Castle Doctrine, so maybe no charges will be filed.

Suicide Bomber Stopped

Calhoun Times: Calhoun Marine has close call in Iraq. You always hear about the bombers that succeed in killing people. This is the story of a US Marine, who stopped a bomber.
Lance Cpl. Lawrence F. Hiller, a 24-year-old Marine machine gunner, who was on post that morning when he fired his M249 G machine gun at the suicide bomber’s truck as it sped towards the Marines’ post.

Hiller, 24, from Austin, Texas, spotted the truck on a major highway in Karabilah, another border city in western Al Anbar Province, where Marines and Iraqi soldiers maintain one of several security checkpoints.

The truck’s license plates matched a list of suspected insurgents, said Hiller. An Iraqi soldier manning the security checkpoint along the road stopped the truck to investigate. When the truck made a sudden dash towards the Marines’ position, Hiller was ready behind his machine gun.

“I couldn’t believe the guy in the truck was actually thinking about attacking a Marine base,” said Hiller, a machine gunner with the Twenty-nine Palms, Calif.-based 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. “It didn’t take long to realize what was going on and I knew what I had to do.”
What he had to do was open fire on the truck. He did, setting off the bomb early. Way to go Marine!

One of his buddies had a close call as a result of the explosion.
Thanks to the protection from his body armor Lance Cpl. Christopher G. West survived a car bomb attack in this Iraqi-Syrian border city of about 30,000.

The protective plate insert inside the 40-pound body armor vest was strong enough to stop a sharp, foot-long piece of metal from wounding West, after a suicide bomber detonated prematurely just inside the barrier of the Marines outpost, July 13, 2006.
Do you think the MSM will pick up this story? [hat tip Toys in the Attic Cpl. West is J's nephew.]

It Seems Labor Unions Are Not Above the Law

Ken over at It Comes in Pints? has the story of a labor union sued for libel: Good. The Left apparently has the view the unions should be able to say anything with no consequences... that they should be above the law.

They aren't. The hospital doing the suing was awarded 17.2 million bucks in damages.

Don't Borrow Trouble

TheMilwaukeeChannel.com - News - Police Say Neighbor Dies Chasing Burglar This tragedy resulted from bringing a knife bat to a gunfight, and also from trying to confront a criminal when there was no threat to life or safety.

A few days ago, a man confronted a knife wielding maniac who was chasing someone around the parking lot. He confronted said maniac with a 9mm firearm. The situation ended. There was a visible threat to life and limb.

In this story there was a burglar in someone's house. Otherwise the house was empty of people. The police had been called, and there was just no reason to confront anyone. There was really no reason to confront anyone with a baseball bat. Since criminals tend to carry firearms, you can bet you will be met with superior firepower.

I am prepared to confront a criminal in my own home - if we are both here at the same time he is a reasonable threat to my safety. But I will not put myself at risk for material possessions. I would like to hope that I have the courage to go to the aid of a fellow citizen, as the guy in the knife-attack story did, but I have never found myself in that situation so I honestly don't know.

James Thurber Conducts...

The Owner's Manual: #138 Best of Me Symphony Thurber had a unique view of the human condition.
The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody's guess.
BOMS is a collection of posts at least 60 days old.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I Think the State of Louisiana is Trying to Shift the Blame

La. Doctors Outraged at Murder Accusation - Forbes.com The State of Louisiana is trying to blame 4 deaths from the aftermath of Katrina on some doctors and nurses. Medical professionals who spent 4 days taking care of people - sick people - that the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana had abandoned, because first they did nothing (not even follow their own evacuation plan), then they blamed Washington, then they spent all of their time evacuating able-bodied people from the Superdome - since those people decided that they had no responsibility (as responsible adults do) to take care of themselves.

The proof that people in the hospital were killed? They had sedatives and painkillers in their system. The last time I was in the hospital for an extended stay, I was their mostly to get painkillers at a level I could not take at home.... And who would need a sedative in the middle of a disater, when the temperature in the hospital was over 100 degrees, and the plumbing didn't work?

Could it be that the powers that be in the State of LA and City of New Orleans are trying to get out from under the blame of not doing anything? No, since no one is blaming them for what happened last year.... there is too much happening this year.

ABC News: Murders Down, Arrests Up in New Orleans. Brining in the National Guard to patrol the streets have improved things - instead of 20 murders per month, there are now about 10 per month. This hardly makes NOLA a place in which I would want to spend my vacation.

So what's a bureaucrat - who may or may not be facing election in the fall - to do? Change the subject.

Britian Adopts "Dial a Prayer" for Domestic Violence

Phone Lifeline For Victims Of Violence (from This Is Wiltshire) British Police are lending mobile phones to victims of domestic violence.

So assuming that they can call police before the crime occurrs, and that the police can get to them before they are injured or killed then this will be a good thing.

I think it would be better if they gave victims of domestic violence the ability to defend themselves, but the authorities in Britian don't want to deal with empowered citizens. They are happy to have unarmed subjects.

The insane process of buying a gun in New Jersey

Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/23/2006 | Monica Yant Kinney | Taking a shot at a gun permit This is so much worse than I thought it was.... depressing.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The anti-gun crowd is predicting "vigilante justice" in Michigan

libertySelf-defense shooters protected Don't they ever get tired of predicting the same thing over and over - especially since they have been proved to be wrong 100% of the time.
Armed citizens who shoot in self-defense would gain legal protection from civil lawsuits and criminal charges under six bills signed Thursday by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
The six bills amount to the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground changes being enacted all over the country to give the advantage to law-abiding citizens, not violent criminals.

Two Stories of the (not so) Old West

six gunsWith weapons a'blazing, modern cowboys face the West's wild, wild past The first story is from the San Francisco Chronicle of all places.
The match began with a scenario straight from a Louis L'Amour novel or a spaghetti Western -- or a mix of the two.
Without a quote from any anti-gun organization, this is a wonderful write up of Cowboy Action Shooting. I thought the following paragraph was indicative of the entire article.
Weekend events resemble a Renaissance Faire with people dressed in authentic Western wear, from the spurs, vests and cowboy hats for the guys to hoop skirts and bustiers for the ladies. The weekend competitions also draw a host of craftspeople and other concessionaires that sell period clothing, leather gun belts, holsters and the accessories of the day.
You know how the left loves Renaissance Faires.

The other story comes from the People's Republic of Illinois. The Southern Illinoisan - Cowboys taking their shots: Upcoming Randolph County Ruckus emulates the golden era of the cowboy No surprise that the story is not of Chicago.
SPARTA - If the Randolph County Ruckus had a soundtrack, you'd expect to hear Johnny Cash singing "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" or Marty Robbins' classic "El Paso."

The Ruckus is the Prairie State Cowboy Action Shooters Association's Illinois State Championship. It will be held at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta July 26-30.
They talk about fun and competition. What more are you looking for?

If you are interested in Cowboy Action Shooting, the best place to start looking for information is the Single Action Shooting Society.

A Tale of Two Invasions

It seems how the UN reacts to one country invading another is really dependent on whether or not Jews are involved.

ABC Asia Pacific - News - UN chief calls for Middle East ceasefire
Mr Annan has told the UN Security Council that the hostilities must end immediately.
While bombing is going on, the invasion, though being readied, has not started yet.

Worldandnation: Somali sheik calls for holy war Now consider the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. This invasion is underway, by all reports Ethiopian troops are well inside Somalia. What does Mr. Annan have to say?
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed concerns about the increased tensions near Baidoa and urged dialogue.
Seems to be a bit of a double standard, considering that as far as I know, forces inside Somalia were not shooting missiles at Ethiopia.

But then you knew that.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mr. Completely Hosts the Carnival of Cordite

Mr. Completely: Carnival of Cordite #66 Some good stff, some disturbing stuff. Worth a look.

Knife Attack Stopped by Witness with a Gun

FOXNews.com - Employee in Custody After Stabbing 8 Grocery Store Co-Workers This guy wasn't carrying concealed, but had to get his gun out of his truck, he still stopped the guy cold.
The attacker, chasing one victim into the store's parking lot, was subdued by Chris Cope, manager of a financial services office in the same small shopping center, Higgins said.

Cope said he grabbed a 9mm semiautomatic pistol from his pickup truck when he saw the attacker chasing the victim "like something in a serial killer movie."

"When he turned around and saw my pistol, he threw the knife away, put his hands up and got on the ground," Cope told The Associated Press. "He saw my gun and that was pretty much it."
The threat of force stopped the attack. No shots were fired.

The goblin was arrested by police a few minutes later.
Five victims, one in critical condition, were admitted to the Regional Medical Center, the main trauma hospital for the Memphis area. Three others were less badly hurt and treated at another hospital.
I wonder if the official store policy of the place where all eight victims and the attacker worked excludes guns from the workplace. What would the outcome have been if one or more of the employees had been able to defend themselves? We will never know.

The best defense against crime is an armed populace. [Hat tip to NRA-ILA]

“I showed them no mercy”

BBC NEWS | UK | England | London | Husband jailed for triple murder 36 years for the murder of his wife, and her two children. He was sentenced to "life," but in the UK life doesn't always mean life.

He had convinced himeself that she was having an afair, but no one is sure why he killed his step-children. The title is a quote, something he said to his brother.

Still 36 years is longer than I thought the Brits would give him. No doubt some judge will say that sentence violates his human rights and let him out much earlier.

Musical Geography Question of the Day

This one is either very easy (it is from a VERY well known group) or very hard (a lesser known song).

Where are if you are warned about the following?
  • Beware the pool.
  • Don't let the chlorine in your eyes blind you.
  • Beware the gate.
Get out of that state your in.

Update: Blogagog correctly identified the B-52s Private Idaho... "You're Living in your own private Idaho." The bottomless blue blue pool.... see the comments for the complete lyric.

UK Street Crime Up 8%

Telegraph | News | Rise in muggings embarrasses Reid So much for Labour getting crime under control.
The latest crime figures showed an eight per cent increase in muggings, in particular in the towns and cities targeted just a few years ago by Tony Blair's 'street crime initiative'.

In the 12 months to March this year, police recorded 98,200 robberies, compared to 90,700 in 2004-05. This included a 10 per cent increase in muggings at gunpoint.
I thought guns were banned in the UK. How can gun crime be getting worse?

If you use the British Crime Survey as a data source the picture is much worse.
It shows a 22 per cent rise in robberies.
As I noted before, the British don't believe anything will be done, so they do not report many crimes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

News Flash: People Scared of Crime Look to Security

Serial crimes spur gun sales, security safeguards Does this really count as news? People scared by a serial shooter, and general crime problems are buying guns, pepper spray and alarm systems.
During most weeks, Armor Security will receive 50 to 60 inquiries for alarm systems, Willis said, but during the last two weeks, the company has received 75 to 80 inquiries per week.

Half that increase came from women who live alone, the majority of whom reside in south Scottsdale, Willis said.
Women being stalked are finally begining to realize that they can take action to defend themselves.
Yadira Martinez of south Phoenix said she was going to buy a 9 mm Smith & Wesson last Friday night at Arizona Tactical because of the recent serial shootings and because a man has been stalking her for the last two months.
With luck the goblin stalking her will read this and think twice about what he is doing. Failing that she is in a position to blow his brains out should he attack her.

I still feel this isn't quite a news article. Maybe to the Left it is surprising that people who feel threatened can do something besides call 911 and pray.

Restraining Orders Don't Stop Death by Beating

Two restraining orders fail to stop two deaths.

Hot Springs Woman Beaten To Death
Thirty-eight-year-old Julie Doncheske, a mother and grandmother, was found beaten to death at her home.
Police are looking for her ex-boyfriend, Shannon Fast Horse. Doncheske had broken up with Fast Horse about a week prior to her death and obtained a restraining order. Fast Horse is only a "person of interest" at this point.

Suspect in beating death had restraining order Anthony Sandoval is accused of beating 40-year-old David Conti to death for the crime of walking Sandoval's ex-girlfriend to her car early Sunday morning. Conti died of brain injuries from having his head pounded on the ground.

Of course I have to point out that no weapons were used. No firearms. No sharp objects. What will the nannies ban after guns and knives? Hard pavement? Bare hands? People bent on destruction and mayhem will probably always be with us. No one will know what the outcome of either of these confrontations would have been had anyone at the scene been armed. We only know what happened when the victims were unarmed.

A Better Boston-based Story of Women and the Shooting Sports

cbs4boston.com - Boston Women Empowered By Pulling The Trigger Yesterday I reported on a story in the Boston Globe about women and shooting that was damn near insulting. Today there is another story about women and shooting in the Boston area that is much better.

This story is a profile of a local chapter of Second Amendment Sisters that meet regularly in the Boston area for shooting.
(CBS4) BOSTON When it comes to gun ownership, women are a growing market. You don't have to look any further than Boston to find out why.

It's the fourth Friday of the month, and as gunshots ring out, members of the Second Amendment Sisters are practicing at the Boston Gun and Rifle Association. They're target shooting with handguns. Why? "It's fun, it's empowering," says Jacqueline Scott.
On the whole it is a very positive article. They list a few very logical reasons for participating in the shooting sports.
  • Fun - was mentioned right away
  • Women living alone want protection
  • Relaxation - you have to concentrate on what you are doing
  • Camaraderie
They do include the obligatory anti-gun comment, but this is at the end and half-hearted. The problem of course is that comment is false, yet it is presented as truth. Both gun accidents and gun crime are down substantially since 1998, and there are a lot more - millions more - guns in America since then. The statistics can be found here. You can contact CBS4 here if you wish to.

More On Trusting the Authorities (or Not)

Evidence Chicago police tortured suspects - Yahoo! News Now this happened in the 70s and 80s, and one would HOPE that things are better now, but we never thought that this kind of thing should have been going on in the 70s or the 80s.
CHICAGO - Special prosecutors investigating allegations that police tortured nearly 150 black suspects in the 1970s and '80s said Wednesday they found evidence of abuse, but any crimes are now too old to prosecute.

In three of the cases, the prosecutors said the evidence was strong enough to have warranted indictments and convictions.

"It is our judgment that the evidence in those cases would be sufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," Robert D. Boyle and Edward J. Egan wrote.
There were other cases where the evidence was not so clear as in the three mentioned here.

The problem is that the statute of limitations has expired, so these criminals in uniform will not face justice. Justice delayed is justice denied.

This wasn't just a small group of police.
The report released Wednesday also faulted procedures followed by the Cook County State's Attorney's office and the police department at the time of the alleged abuse, saying they were "inadequate in some respects" but had since improved.
The real issue is do you trust the police? I haven't witnessed torture, but I have seen police ignore calls for help because they didn't like who needed them.

Most police are decent people. But there are idiots, biggots and criminals in police forces all over the country. There are just enough of them that turning police forces into paramilitary standing armies - as is happening all over this country - worries me.

How many LEOs from how many jurisdictions were willing to confiscate legally owned firearms in violation of the Second Amendment in New Orleans? How many were perfectly happy to enforce the idea that only police were going to have firearms? In short, how many were perfectly willing to trample on the cornerstone of our freedom? Apparently no one remembers what started the war in Lexington/Concord. (Hint, the British were going to disarm law-abiding citizens.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Have a Piece of Toast, You'll Feel Better"

Toast, It's not just for breakfast anymore: I oppose gay marriage
I oppose gay marriage for exactly the same reason that I oppose regular marriage. Did you know that 100% of all divorces begin with marriage? There has to be a connection.

Slavery Alive in Europe

Telegraph | 'Slaves' freed from Italian farms
A hundred Poles who had been living in virtual slavery in "labour camps" servicing Italian farms were freed by police yesterday in raids targeting a major human trafficking network operating between the two countries.
And it isn't limited to farm work or Italy.

Telegraph | How the new Fagins are bringing child slavery to Britain Where kids have been found in all manner of places from restaurants to brothels.

The problem isn't small. Telegraph | Hundreds of child slaves sold into UK every year.

Truth In Advertising

Brady Bunch sign
It seems some folks have been updating the signs the Brady Bunch planted around Florida last year to reflect Florida's falling crime rate. [hat tip Tam]

An Article on Women and Shooting That Tries to Discredit

Annie, get your Glock - The Boston Globe Figures it would be in the Boston Globe. A typical remark follows.
Thanks largely to the popular Ladies Night promotion, women now represent about a quarter of the Firing Line's business, says owner Jim McLoud -- a veritable coup for the testosterone-driven gun range, where the only woman on a staff of six full-time and five part-time employees is a back-office accountant.
I wonder if the Boston Globe has printed a similar comment about "Ladies Nights" held at night clubs? Or is it just that they hate guns?

PPKThey get a few things just plain wrong as well - denigrating the lethal aspects of a .22 long rifle gun, calling protective earmuffs "earphones" and making assumptions about the NRA. The most incredible thing that they get wrong is a comparison of the Walther P22 and PPK.
Jeni Benos of Chelmsford, who arrives later that evening with her father and her Walther P22 , a model similar to the Walther PPK made famous in the James Bond films, is not one of the skeptics.
P22OK the P22 shoots .22 long rifle, while the PPK is chambered for .380 ACP. They don't even look similar. So the fact that they are both made by Walther makes them "similar?" Then this reporter must think a Mustang and an F150 pickup truck are similar, since both are manufactured by Ford. (Images of both guns are provided so you can make your own determination. Clicking on the images will provide a larger view of each firearm.)

Even with a Boston-Globe-required quote from the Brady Bunch, and a few digs at the NRA, the article doesn't really manage to be completely negative. It does quote people as having fun.

Ship Lists, Passengers Hurt

I just have to say something about this, because once again, American journalists have demonstrated that they don't give a damn about proper use of the English Language.

What happened to the Crown Princess does qualify as minor emergency, and it is sad that so many people were injured on their cruise vacation. It may even be called a tragedy given there are serious injuries. I don't mean to make light of this. I do mean to take the media to task for not correctly using the language. (That's their job isn't it?)

This Miami Herald article is a good example: MiamiHerald.com | 07/19/2006 | Cruise ship rolls; dozens are hurt The ship did not "roll." The Ship listed.

If a ship rolls, that implies that it has gone completely over - 360° of roll. Capsize is 180° of roll. Pitch pole, means a ship - though it happens to smaller boats, I don't know if it happens to large ships - has gone end over end. None of these things is pleasant. A ship is said to list when it leans over.

Listing is what happened to the Crown Princess cruise ship. This was a serious list, and could have resulted in some of other problems - like sinking or capsize - if enough water had been taken aboard. But it did not roll.

Why do I care? It annoys me to no end when reporters and editors ignore the language. They routinely call vicious criminals (who are killed by law-abiding citizens in self-defense) victims. It is almost as if they don't care about the language. I believe the real issue is really in two parts: Ignorance in some cases, and pushing propaganda in others. We are doing such a poor job of teaching people to be literate that even those who make their living off the written word don't have a clue, and we have produced generations of journalists who believe telling lies to the public is OK as long as it is the right lie. (Or maybe that should be the Left's lie.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

I have said it time and again... be careful which house you decide to break into. TheDenverChannel.com - News - Homeowner Shoots, Kills Alleged Intruder
"The intruder used a window that was partially opened with an air-conditioning unit to gain entry into the home and climbed inside," said Detective Bob Friel. "At that point he was confronted by the homeowner and the intruder was shot one time with a shotgun."
He died in the hospital. The 12-gauge shotgun is fine home defensive weapon.

Even though Colorado has a version of the Castle Doctrine - known as the "Make My Day" Law - the prosecutors are still hoping to be able to prosecute somebody - namely the homeowner who defended himself.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Women and the Shooting Sports: Getting Started

Female-only groups help women get started with guns A nice article from Arizona about getting started. Two groups and one state program are mentioned for people in that area.

Stresses the idea that learning about safety is important, that everyone should select their own weapon, and that you can have some fun along the way.
It's increasingly rare, but there are still gun shops with clerks who cop an ultra-macho, condescending attitude with those who know less about firearms than they do. Happily, there's no need to put up with that when there are plenty of customer-friendly shops out there with staff members who are happy to answer your questions.
Actually, this is more common than this paragraph leads one to believe. But they are right, you can refuse to do business with the worst offenders.

So You Trust the Authorities, Do You?

Keep and Bear Arms brings us stories everyday of police abusing their power. Certainly most police officers are decent people, but some are crooks, and some are bigots. Having the unfortunate experience of meeting several bigots in uniform, I no longer explicitly trust our public servants.

Retired cop to try drunk-and-crazy defense
The retired cop from New Springville accused of killing a hero Port Authority police officer in a barrage of bullets three months ago plans to claim he was drunk and insane at the time.
So I can get away with anything if I plead that I was drunk? I would like to believe that this "defense" will meet the fate it deserves, but I don't trust juries today that much.

Journal Gazette | 07/15/2006 | Suit alleges ex-officer falsely arrested, held resident
The latest suit against Thomas and the city of Fort Wayne was filed Thursday in Allen Superior Court and alleges that Thomas wrongfully arrested Printess Fomby on Aug. 19, 2005, and did not properly release him when an individual said Fomby was not the right man. Fomby said he was walking to his McKinnie Street home when Thomas stopped him, drew his service pistol and yelled at him that he was under arrest, stating, “You had got away – why’d you come back, you dumb (expletive)?” according to the suit.
I mean, be reasonable, why should a little thing like eye-witness testimony keep a police officer from holding someone?

Rogue ex-trooper voices remorse
An undercover State Police trooper turned drug dealer, Hernandez, 39, was convicted April 27 of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, witness tampering, official misconduct, money laundering and racketeering conspiracy.
Now all of these people have been caught and are off the street. But they don't represent 100% of the problem....

George Santayana Conducts the Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #138 Best of Me Symphony
We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

This Week's Carnival of Cordite

Hillary Haaawww!!!! Hillary Haaawww!!!! - Spank Zone - Carnival of Cordite #65 Lots of good stuff.... unless you are a gun-fearing weenie that is.

Son Defends His Mother

cbs2.com - Son Shoots Man Holding Gun To His Mother's Head What would you do if someone was threatening your mother?
OS ANGELES A man shot a suspected robber who held a gun to his mother's head outside her South Los Angeles home.
The wounded goblin and two others fled.

I wonder what Sarah Brady would have done? Made an appeal to the better nature of the goblins, perhaps.

Restraining Order Fails, Teen Dies

Sex offender stalks, kills teen, then self, police say Tragic story that shows the utter uselessness of restraining orders in the face of violent offenders.

Being 17, the victim was "too young" to have a concealed carry permit. She wasn't too young to need one.

The temporary restraining order was issued last week.
"But that's just a piece of paper," [the victim's guardian] said Saturday. "Toilet paper."

Gay Games Kick Off in Chicago

gay flagWhy a Gay Games? | Chicago Tribune With opening ceremonies at Soldier Field, and closing ceremonies scheduled for Wrigley Field the Gaymes come to Chicago.

And of course, somebody asks - many somebodies no doubt -
Why do gay people need their own Olympic-style competition?
Because being out is important to people.
For Sandra Urquiaga, they mean she can play a competitive game of women's flag football without worrying about sideways glances from teammates while her partner cheers her on.
Hiding who you are constantly is more hurtful than most people can appreciate.

I think the most powerful statement comes from Esera Tuaolo who spent 9 years in the NFL.
"Every time the topic of homosexuality came up, I saw hate and rage," he said. "Calling someone a `fag' is the worst thing you can do in football."
Straights often say something about gays wanting to "flaunt" their sexuality. But is it flaunting to have a picture of your beloved on your desk at work, or to have pictures of your kids, or your last vacation in you office? It isn't "flaunting," it is life. Of course straights do all of that and more, but that isn't flaunting either, at least not in their minds.

Controversy follows the games of course.
As the suburb of Crystal Lake wrestled over whether to allow the rowing competition to take place there, an emotional debate erupted in which critics of homosexuality spoke freely.
The Gaymes are so much better PR than the Pride celebrations. Pride can be a bit "flamboyant." The Gay Games are a bit more down-to-earth.

25% of French Take Psychoactive Drugs

Telegraph | Les Bleus drive a quarter of French to the pill bottle I find this interesting, because they are always telling us how to live.
The depth of despair to which France has descended is revealed in a new study into the use of mood-altering medication. It found that doctors prescribed an unprecedented 120 million boxes of mood-altering drugs, known as psychotropes, including anti-depressants, sleeping tablets and tranquillisers.
In a study, patients got perscriptions 82% of the time, even though the doctors spend only an average of 8 minutes with patients. None of these doctors - GPs - had psychiatric training.

Not only is this costing the French health service 1 billion euros annually, it doesn't seem to be helping the population.
Medical experts question the efficacy of such drugs, since France also has one of the highest suicide rates in Europe. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's latest figures for 1999 show 17.5 out of every 100,000 French take their own lives every year, compared with 10.4 Americans, 7.1 Italians and 7.5 Britons.
The researcher who conducted the study has the best observation:
"I was shocked to discover how we are such big users of these medicines," said Prof B├ęgaud.

"I think the level of use of these drugs is an indication of the malaise in our civilisation. If I was a politician I would look at these figures and say there is something really wrong in France."
One thing wrong - which is NOT limited to France - is the way these drugs are pushed through the medical profession. Doctors who are spending an average of 8 minutes with patients should not be prescribing psychoactive drugs to people.

But the other problem is with the people themselves. When did it become the case that everyone was supposed to be happy all the time? Life is hard, and at times very hard. While I don't doubt that some people with long-term depression can be helped with drugs, someone who is in a job they hate, having relationship troubles, just lost a loved one, etc. is probably not going to be happy until they get a new job (or come to terms with why they are in this job - to support a family or whatever...), work on their relationships, work through their grief, etc. I find it hard to believe that 25% of the population needs chemical support to get through the day. A magic pill is not going to make all of their problems go away. People no longer want to do the hard work that life requires. Life is full of beauty and joy and wonder. It also hurts a lot of the time. People want to live in the TV universe, where all problems are fixed in 54 minutes - before the final commercial break.

Although this study focuses on France, I do not believe that the problem is uniquely French. Of course I don't think this study will change anything in France or anywhere else... I especially don't think it will cause France to stop telling the rest of the world how to live, even though it doesn't look like they have the grasp on "the good life" that they like to pretend they do.

Not Every Police Officer is Your Friend

Belleville News-Democrat | 07/16/2006 | Police sergeant in Illinois college town charged While there are a lot of good police in the world, not all of them are on the right side of the law.
Jeffrey Scott Pelo faces two counts of home invasion and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault just two days after he was indicted on charges of stalking a woman who said she found him lurking outside her home late at night.
If the charges are true (innocent until proven guilty...) he deserves the worst the Criminal Justice system can dish out.
Assistant State's Attorney Mark Messman said in court that two of the rape victims had positively identified Pelo as their attacker in a photographic lineup and had identified his voice. He also said investigators found a mask, pry bar and other items in his home that appeared to have been used in at least one of the assaults.
When police are attacked, the attackers are held to a higher standard of justice. What happens when the police themselves cross the line?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Tucker Carlson of MSNBC Slams Brady Rep. For Lack of Information

'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for July 6 - Tucker - MSNBC.com You need to scroll down (or repeat a find on "Elizabeth Haile" until you come that section of the transcript) where they discuss the changes to CCW licensing in Indiana. (Instead of a 4-year permit, the permit is now life-long, provided you remain eligible.)

Ms. Haile is of course opposed to this change. What Tucker Carlson took her to task for is that she had no information on the section of the population that is permit holders in Indiana.

Not the kind of smack-down the Brady Bunch usually experiences with Big Media. They usually get to say whatever they want, with no challenge, regardless of the lies or the complete lack of logic.

A nice bit of journalism here by Mr. Carlson. [hat tip to Packing.org where several people are surprised that "rational thinking" seems to be coming back into style... me included.]

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's Interesting How News is Reported, or Not Reported

Inside the Beltway - Call to arms The Washington Times reports on the low crime rate in Florida. I wonder why the NY Times and the Washington Post haven't seen their way clear to mentioning it. Could be bad for their anti-gun bias I guess.

Microsoft Strikes Again

Security Fix - Unpatched Powerpoint Flaw Exploited Or is that "strikes out?"
Online criminals are taking advantage of an unpatched security hole in Microsoft's Office products again. Security experts say they've spotted a flaw in the Powerpoint slide-presentation program being exploited in the wild.

This undocumented flaw does not appear to have been addressed in any of the 13 security updates Microsoft shipped this week to mend a variety of problems in Office software.
All too many companies use PowerPoint for too much communication. (Things are NOT clearer when done with pretty graphics people.)
And if all of this Office craziness has you spooked, you might consider switching over to OpenOffice, an open-source and free alternative. It looks and feels a lot like MS Office, and can do pretty much everything Microsoft's products can. If you're interested and would like a primer on OpenOffice, check out this writeup.
MS has gotten the last red cent from me they will ever see. I still use Windows, but since my main uses of the PC are Internet browsing (and blogging) and writing with an occasional spreadsheet, OpenOffice, Mozilla and the new Linux (with the GNOME desktop) will work just fine. Or perhaps a Mac, since the new video tools Apple has put together look very interesting.

Every product that comes from Microsoft seems to be filled with problems. IE and Outlook are famous for problems and hacks. Now Office is a problem. These issues come down to poor design. If the problem was in the execution - poorly written code - this would have been fixed years ago. Bad design is much harder to get rid of.

Of course I also believe that they just don't care. Why should they when so many people contiune to buy the junk they produce, complete with all the problems.

Armed Citizens Foil Robberies

FOX19.com Cincinnati - Robber Shot By Clerk During Attempted Robbery
Police say that two people attempted a robbery at Don's Deli on Latham and Beech Streets in Price Hill. After attempting the robbery police say that a gunfight ensued between the two and a clerk at the store. Police say that they don't know who fired first but say that one of the suspects was hit in the eye by a bullet and a clerk suffered minor wounds as a result of the gunfight.
The injured goblin is in the hospital; the other is on the run.

News 14 Carolina - Durham store owner breaks up robbery to save friend A jewelry-store owner sees a friend being held up in the parking lot.
"As they were approaching him," David Lineberry explained, "I see a weapon being produced. I immediately grabbed my weapon and proceeded outside."

Lineberry fired three shots at the suspect, who he says had pointed his gun at him. The suspect ran. Soon after, Durham Police, with the help of a K-9 named Sherlock, tracked down Rashad Rogers in a nearby apartment complex.
The Shreveport Times: Details of Werner Park shooting revealed A business owner is contacted by his alarm company. There is movement in his place of business.
[The business owner] took his pistol, a Rossi .44 Special revolver, and went over to his business, where he discovered a small side window opened.

[The police] said [the goblin] was not armed, but "had taken some weapons from the business and put them in a pile, so the business owner did not know if he was armed or not."
Defending himself, the business owner shot and killed the robber. [Hat tip Civilian Gun Self-defense Blog]

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Firearms Statistics

Some folks have been showing up at this site searching on firearms related statistics. You know I love the numbers! But the stuff I have is from last year, so I thought I would see what is available that is more current.

Turns out that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) just compiled a list of the current stats from various sources.

This table comes from the NSSF:

U.S. Statistics Source Last Year* Trend
* Most recent year for which statistics have been compiled; may be 2005, 2004 or earlier

Who's bright idea was it to glue 3 ton slabs to the roof?

TheBostonChannel.com - Tunnel To Remain Closed Pending Investigation. They are saying as many as 230 places show signs of defects.

How about just removing the concrete slabs? It sounds like they are only for decoration.

mAass Backward has all the latest.

Still Time To Stop This Insult

Proposed Flight 93 MemorialThe proposed "Red Crescent" for the memorial for United Flight 93 is unchanged.

But there is still a chance to impact the design.... they are accepting comments.

I don't intend to stop there, but I intend to write (again) to my representatives in Congress and to the President. I urge you to do the same, whether you agree or disagree with the proposed design.

Musical Geography Question of the Day

Where are you if...
  • Good people are turning their heads
  • The Goal is to capture all you want
???

OK another hint: Make her move so fast she hasn't got time to make you a wife.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Reality Strikes the Wealthy Neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.

Robberies On Mall A Trend, Chief Says the subtitle is telling...
Holdups Occurring In D.C. Areas Once Considered Safe
Is it just me or does anyone else find this surprising?
"This is a big difference from what we've seen in years past," Ramsey said, noting that criminals tended to stick within a mile of their homes when setting out for a night of robbery or burglary. "And it's a pattern that we've been tracking."
Some of the reactions are also interesting. When the [Cherry] Ride (for example) discusses DC: Our Nation's Crime Emergency, the thought that Georgetown has been violated is greeted with astonishment.
People have been mugged and assaulted on the National Mall for [f$&#'s] sake (how the hell does THAT happen??) and some guy got his throat slit in the driveway of a mansion --in Georgetown!
I find it difficult to believe that these areas were safe for so long. Were they safe, or was it only the perception that they were safe. I guess if you believe the Chief of Police...

When my uncle went big-game hunting, he went to were there was big game. When my dad took me fishing, we went to were the fishing was good. (This included one trip to Canada, and several to the Ozarks - but then my dad is serious about fish.) I guess I am giving too much credit to your average urban goblin.

I wonder how long the residents of Georgetown will be willing to remain unarmed victims? But then if they are true-believers in the anti-gun message, perhaps they are happy with the state of affairs - namely, that law-abiding are disarmed, and lawless are armed and bent on mayhem.

I also wonder how long people will play at being the "target in the arcade" when the Mall is no longer safe?

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Man shot during confrontation with neighbor
BROWNSVILLE-- Enrique Cavazos heard a noise near his Southmost home early this morning. When he checked it out, he was confronted by Cosme Sanchez. Witnesses say Sanchez had a gun and pointed it at Cavazos.
Cavazos fires two warning shots from his own gun. When his univited guest still does not leave, he shoots him once, shattering his knee.

Police are not planning to press charges because Cavazos was clearly acting to defend himself. (If someone pointed a gun at me, I wouldn't shoot 2 warning shots.)

A Comparison: Two Approaches to Crime

LibertyBush: Florida crime rate down to lowest level since '71 When Florida passed the updated Castle Doctrine law, also called Stand Your Ground, the usual suspects predicted doom and gloom and "Wild West Shootouts." (Don't they get tired of predicting the Wild West?)

[OK that Palm Beach Post article is history... try the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement instead.]

Well, of course, the reality turns out to be a little bit different than the predictions of mayhem.
The crime rate, compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, decreased 3.7 percent from 4,855 crimes per 100,000 people in 2004 to 4,677 crimes per 100,000 people last year. The total included 881 murders, 12,230 rapes and 75,204 vehicle thefts.
While it is true that the number of violent crimes rose slightly, the rate of violent crime per 100,000 people fell slightly.

The Brady Bunch, et al, also predicted more death based on the fact that Florida does not outlaw so-called "assault weapons" or high-capacity magazines.
In 2005, the state's law enforcement agencies reported 838,063 crimes compared to 850,490 in 2004, a 1.5 percent decrease.
What did the Brady Bunch have to say about the latest set of statistics? [Yes, that is the sound of crickets chirping.]
A telephone message left for comment after hours with the The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. was not immediately returned.
Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, that bastion of gun-control mania, the following story was published. Police Chief Declares D.C. Crime Emergency.
Thirteen people have been killed since July 1 in the District, and police are being pressured to take action by residents at community meetings and vigils to honor the dead. The victims included a popular store owner slain at closing time, a community activist killed in a park and a British citizen whose throat was slit in Georgetown.
Declaring a "crime emergency" lets the chief of police work officers overtime without paying for it. But is that enough?
"The question becomes: Is this good policing?" said Officer Kristopher Baumann, chairman of the D.C. police labor committee for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1. "What we need is intelligent, comprehensive crime-fighting strategy rather than reactionary policing."
How is Boston - that other gun-control area? Glad you asked. Take a look at this story in the Boston Herald Shootings rise, with a bullet
There have been 214 shootings in Boston as of July 2, including 25 that left the victim dead, statistics show. That represents a 75 percent increase in shootings compared to the same six-month period a year ago, when the city recorded 122 eruptions of gunfire.
Let's say that again. Boston, for all its gun-control mania, saw a 75% increase in shootings. For all of their concentration on gun buy-backs, and restricting the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, they seem to be headed in the wrong direction.

So, is it better to let people defend themselves, or to disarm the law-abiding citizens in the face of violent crime? Well, you can judge my answer by the fact that I live in Florida, not Boston or DC. [Hat tip to SayUncle for the Florida/DC stats.]

Update, July 13, 2006: The FDLE statistics on crime in the state of Florida are here, in PDF form.

Florida Not the Wild West

Jacksonville.com: Metro: Story: Deadly-force law has an effect, but Florida hasn't become the Wild West 07/10/06 Well what a surprise... a lawyer who predicted that the sky would fall, now admits he was wrong.
"We expected the larger impact to be in trials, with people jumping into court because of shootings and lots of shouting from the rooftops. That's not happening," said Jacksonville lawyer Russell Smith, president-elect of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "The real impact has been that it's making filing decisions difficult for prosecutors. It's causing cases to not be filed at all or to be filed with reduced charges."
People who were upset about this law always ignored 2 things. It was never a "shoot first" law in the sense that you could shoot anyone at anytime for any reason - like the Brady Bunch claimed. You still needed to face a reasonable threat of death or grave bodily injury. What changed was what prosecutors could do. They could not arrest you, bring you to trial without some solid evidence. (Yes, they were doing this before.) It also changed the lawyers ability to sue. Even if I defended myself legally, I could still face a civil suit. No longer.

The other big change was in my home or vehicle - in my case, my boat (a vehicle) is my home. Someone breaking in is legally assumed to be here for purposes of committing a violent crime and I can defend myself. What this means is that at 3 o'clock in the morning, I don't have to try and figure out why this goblin is in my home. I just have to aim carefully.

Don't expect all the Big Media outlets that claimed Florida was going to erupt in violence to write stories like this one... It might undermine their anti-gun bias.

US Economy Doing Fine, Government Collecting More in Taxes

OpinionJournal - Soaking the Rich Once again tax cuts - correctly applied - have spurred both economic growth and tax revenues.

Growth in the economy is good for everyone.
Tax RevenueIn the 12 quarters--three full years--since the tax cut passed, growth has averaged a remarkable 4%. Monetary policy has also fueled this expansion, but the tax cuts were perfectly targeted to improve the incentives to take risks among businesses shell-shocked by the dot-com collapse, 9/11 and Sarbanes-Oxley.

This growth in turn has produced a record flood of tax revenues, just as the most ebullient supply-siders predicted. In the first nine months of fiscal 2006, tax revenues have climbed by $206 billion, or nearly 13%. As the Congressional Budget Office recently noted, "That increase represents the second-highest rate of growth for that nine-month period in the past 25 years"--exceeded only by the year before. For all of fiscal 2005, revenues rose by $274 billion, or 15%. We should add that CBO itself failed to anticipate this revenue boom, as the nearby table shows. Maybe its economists should rethink their models.
Democrats are complaining that this means a "windfall for the rich." As the WSJ says, some people are never happy. Look for a lot of Dems to worry about long-term obligations now.... especially since they refused to do anything about reforming those long-term obligations. (Social Security Reform, anyone?)