Saturday, June 30, 2007

Quote of the Day

This above all, to refuse to be a victim.
The things one finds searching through old posts.

Has anyone read this? A comment from quite a long time ago on one of my early domestic violence posts recommended this. It looks promising, but the excerpt available on Amazon seems to have some prejudice against guns. (Gun related deaths are higher in countries with high gun ownership rates, but what is the total death rate? Murder rate? Suicide rate? Canada has a lower rate of gun-related suicides, but a higher rate of suicide with hanging being the top method. Do they need rope control?)

Refuse to Be a VictimThe quote above is the first thing in chapter one of this book. And it seems to be predicated on the idea that if you think there is something wrong, there is probably something wrong. Trust your intuition; you have it for a reason.

Click the image of RTBAV for the NRA program by that name.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Portland man, 71, wounds intruder - OregonLive.com 71-year-old defends himself and his wife with a firearm.
Janice Hudson called 9-1-1 to report an intruder. Leroy Hudson opened the back door of the house and found a man standing in front of him. He demanded to know what the man was doing, hoping to scare him off.

But the man said nothing. Instead, he walked toward Leroy Hudson, and Hudson raised the gun and shot him. Police arrived soon after.
How is a 71-year-old to defend himself from a 26-year-old thug without a firearm? That doesn't seem to be a concern to the police. Brian Schmautz, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman, said keeping a gun at home could be dangerous. Hey Schmutz, having an intruder in your home and being UNARMED is dangerous.

Environmental Economics

Love Uranium - Forbes.com
If you're 40 or older, you're going to spend the rest of your life powered by carbon or uranium. Take your pick. Forget about "none of the above" or "less of both." For the next several decades at least, alternative energy sources aren't serious choices; they are pork barrels, delusions, demonstration plants and daydreams.
You can say what you like, but you can't change the laws of physics.

Even the upcoming "hydrogen revolution" won't do anything except let coal and uranium substitute more readily for oil in transportation. Hydrogen will produced by "breaking" the water molecule with electricity. The energy to do that will come from the electric power grid - which in this country is mostly coal and uranium powered.

Conservation and efficiency are always supported, and they are probably a good thing overall. But reducing the cost of your daily commute via better gas mileage has impacts on behavior.
. Efficiency attracts a lot of money, too. But with all the money they save on fuel, consumers then buy still more fuel-consuming hardware--big cars, computers and refrigerators, and more trips to Aruba. So efficiency and consumption rise hand in hand, year after year.
Higher prices haven't changed our demand for gasoline for example. We adjust, save money in other places and move on. The number of miles we drive continues to go up even given higher prices.

Anyway, see the whole article at Forbes (at top) for an interesting read. [Hat tip Individ]

Friday, June 29, 2007

Get Assaulted, Then Get Arrested

Democrat & Chronicle: Cops seek suspects let go in alleged hate crime This happened at the beginning of the month. A group of gays and lesbians (and a few straight friends) were attacked. Someone called the cops, when they got there, they sent the goblins on their way, insulted the victims, and then arrested a couple of the victims who dared to argue with them.
At least one responding police officer used a gay slur, according to people who were there. Three of the alleged victims were arrested for various infractions after arguing with officers.
The police can't find the attackers - they didn't even bother to get their names. The victims are facing charges. The cops involved are still on patrol.

Yeah - that's justice.

Now the politicos are getting involved because of the bad press.
One man said his toe was cut by a police officer’s knife, requiring three stitches, and he was slammed to the ground and then put into a police cruiser. One of the lesbian victims alleged that she had been repeatedly called a “drunken dyke” by a police officer.

At the June 12 press conference, Chief Moore said, “I am 100 percent committed to getting to the bottom of this situation. There is compelling evidence that a hate crime took place. We owe it to the community and to the officers to make sure we have diligent investigation. I want to make sure I do my part. I have put tremendous resources into the investigation.”
Can you say "white wash?"

One of the city councilmen had this to say:
I have confidence that the Rochester Police Department’s investigation will uncover the facts. Obviously something went wrong, and the investigation will determine if there were inappropriate actions by police officers; if so, I believe appropriate steps will be taken.
I am confident that the Rochester Police Dept. contains an above-average amount of hate, and that nothing will come of this. This is the type of thing that happens all too frequently.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Legal Concealed Carry Stops Armed Robbery

JusticeGood Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Customer who police say shot Plantation robbers a "Clint Eastwood-type," friend says: South Florida Sun-Sentinel Two gunmen tried to rob a Subway sandwich shop. They also tried to rob a 71-year-old, concealed-weapon-permit-holder who also happens to be an ex-Marine. (Is there such a thing as an EX-Marine?) They lost that argument.
PLANTATION -- One gunman is dead and another is in critical condition after they tried to rob a sandwich store and were shot by an armed customer Wednesday night, authorities said.

Donicio Arrindell, 22, of North Lauderdale, and Fredrick Gadson, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, entered a Subway restaurant ... and demanded money at gunpoint about 11:17 p.m., said Detective Robert Rettig, a police spokesman.

They then attempted to rob the lone customer, John Lovell, 71, of Plantation, by forcing him into the restroom, but Lovell, who was legally armed, pulled his gun and fired, police said.
Police say it seems to be a clear case of self-defense and do not expect Lovell to face any charges.

I really love the description of John Lovell made by a friend of 19 years.
[Wesley White of Yulee in north Florida] described him as a "quiet Clint Eastwood-type you don't want to mess with."
...
Lovell is a former Marine who was a member of the helicopter detail that transported Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. ...

"He's also one heck of a shot," White, 50, said.
Self-defense is a human right. In Florida, it is also your legal right.

Talk is cheap

China says safety of exports guaranteed | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle It is easy to say things are safe. It is less easy to actually be safe.

Aside from all of the pets that were killed or made sick by tainted pet food, there have been any number of problems with Chinese products.
Since then, U.S. authorities have turned away or recalled toxic fish, juice containing unsafe color additives and popular toy trains decorated with lead paint.

Chinese-made toothpaste also has been banned by numerous countries in North and South America and Asia for containing diethylene glycol, or DEG, a chemical often found in antifreeze. It is also a low-cost — and sometimes deadly — substitute for glycerin, a sweetener in many drugs.

On Wednesday, three Japanese importers recalled millions of Chinese-made travel toothpaste sets, many sold to inns and hotels, after they were found to contain as much as 6.2 percent of diethylene glycol.
Diethylene glycol is "sometimes deadly" because it is highly toxic. The Chinese think it is safe at less than 15% concentration. 900,000 tubes of Chinese toothpaste - containing DEG - have been distributed in the US - some to hospitals.

One of the big problems with always looking for the low-cost provider is that you will usually find the low-quality provider as well. At some point the quality will hit a level that will impact you in ways you never dreamed of: kids playing with toys covered in lead-based paint, poison toothpaste, poison food coloring. I wonder how many things we haven't found yet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

British Crime Statistics

Three million crimes 'omitted from statistics' | Uk News | News | Telegraph Once again we find that the British Home Office is "cooking the books" when it comes to reporting the state of crime in the UK.
More than three million crimes - many of them violent assaults - are omitted from official statistics because repeat victims are excluded from the figures, a study has revealed.

Research by criminologists suggests that the public is being misled about the true extent of offending, particularly violent offending, as measured by the British Crime Survey (BCS).
So are things better or worse in Britain? I don't think we know.
When they recalculated the most recent BCS figures without the arbitrary cap of five crimes, they found that more than three million crimes were omitted.

Two million of these were violent or ''personal'' crimes, such as assaults and robberies, which rose from 4.1 million to 6.2 million, a difference of more than 50 per cent.

Household crime, such as burglaries and vandalism, went up from 6.7 million to 7.8 million, a 15 per cent rise.
The government is unmoved by these facts and are sticking to their statements that crime is under control.

He would be a shoe-in for the Darwin Awards, except

He didn't die. Alligator Bites Golfer Retrieving Ball at Florida Course Pond.
A 50-year-old golfer was bitten by an alligator as he tried to retrieve his ball from a pond at a Florida course.

The 11-foot-long (3.35-meter) alligator latched onto the right arm of [this idiot], from ... Tennessee, and pulled him in the pond on the sixth hole of Lake Venice Golf Club in Venice, Florida, said Henry Cabbage, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. [Ed Note: I don't mean to imply everyone from TN is an idiot. This one happens to be from there, but idiots are, unfortunately, everywhere.]
The water hazard was marked with a sign: Beware of Alligator. I would bet good money that he will sue, because, of course, it is anyone's fault he was injured, except his own.

Yesterday I was saying people need to exercise common sense around wild animals And here we have what was nearly a tragedy - completely preventable.

A quick search of the Internet reveals that a dozen golf balls can be had for anywhere from around $10 up to around $40. I have no doubt that you can find them for less, and I would not be a bit surprised that people pay more for the top-shelf brands. At any price, is it worth your arm? If a sign says "Beware of alligator," the hazzard many not be limited to the water. And there may not be a sign for every alligator in the state.

Folks from up north (and if you live in Florida, Tennessee is north) routinely underestimate the damage a gator can do. Of course locals ignore the danger as well.
Most alligator attacks in the U.S. seem to be on swimmers, waders, or fishermen. During the period 1948-2003, there were 326 alligator attacks resulting in 13 deaths in Florida.
But I think that those numbers hide a bit of the truth. The first "confirmed death" isn't until 1973.

More people on more land (swamp land in many areas - or what used to be swamp) means more interaction between people and gators.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

People Need to Exercise Common Sense

Lamar Ledger - Rabies confirmed in coyote attack They had a gun, but were trying to "shoo" the coyote away. The husband shot only after the wife was attacked.
She said he was going to shoot the coyote, but they tried to shoo the animal away. As she was trying to wave off the coyote, it bit her on her hand and on both legs.
Now she is undergoing rabies shots. Not the ordeal it was in years past, but still not pleasant.

Are we so far removed from reality that when we see an animal with no fur, acting crazy, we don't immediately think of the possibility of hydrophobia?

This case is not unique. Earlier in the month there was a story about a girl who was bitten by a bat in 2004, and not taken to the hospital. She developed rabies, and was one of the few cases to have survived.

A Really Good Question

THE MADMAN RAVES: Sh*t Disturber How do we "upgrade" the image of gun owners that is out there in the American public? Or at least the Lefty-side of the American public?

Answers at the Mad Man Raves Please! This is his question!

My answer: Point out (as reasonably as I can, I tend to get a bit animated) with stats, the impact of guns in our lives. Guns that save lives, gun-bans that do nothing but help the criminals, a Criminal Justice system that cannot protect the average citizen - not via restraining orders or what have you.

[For the rest of my answer, see the Mad Man's site.]

Monday, June 25, 2007

OK, This is Insane

Bill seeks to save pets from abuse in disputes | ScrippsNews I know everybody loves their pets, but more restraining orders? They don't keep the people safe. Shouldn't we worry about keeping the people safe BEFORE we worry about keeping the pets safe? (Is PETA behind this?)
Man biting dog?

To keep that from happening, pets soon may be eligible for restraining orders to keep a human away.

Proposed California legislation is targeting a twisted form of domestic violence in which abusers attack loved ones by hurting or killing their pets.
OK, if you kill or injure my pet, that is probably against the law from a cruelty to animals standpoint and is definitely against the law from a destruction of personal property standpoint. Why do we need this?

Do we really need to burden the courts with even more stuff? Shouldn't we worry about keeping the people safe first? (See this link for the long list of posts on domestic violence, and restraining orders.)

No surprise that this is in California, the land where they can't tell what should be protected under law and what should not be protected.

Looking Out for His Brother

PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas - Tables turned on armed robber Working late-night in a gas station is dangerous business.
Working in pairs for protection, the two brothers were operating the Gulfway Drive store around 10 p.m. Sunday, when an armed suspect entered the business demanding money, Port Arthur Police detective Rodney Harrision said in a phone interview Monday.

“One of the clerks was in a parked car right by the front door when he saw the robbery and went to put a stop to it.” Harrison said.
Putting a stop to it included shooting the goblin multiple times with his own firearm.

The injured man is not expected to survive. If he does survive, he will face aggravated robbery charges.

The brothers were unharmed, but the DA still has to decide if charges will be filed. Unharmed, but not unaffected.
The two brothers were not injured during Sunday’s incident, but suffered from the shock of being forced to use deadly force, Harrison said.
I suppose turning things over to the DA may be SOP, because this police officer seems to believe in self-defense. And who would not defend a brother, sister, mother, father, child, etc?

Self-defense (or defense of family) is a human right.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Kiwis Make it Even All in the America's Cup

The Sports Network - Kiwis rally to even America's Cup That's one I wish I had seen.

I happen to like freedom of speech

Bad news for free speech, religious liberty | IndyStar.com It isn't often I agree with George Will, but when he is right, he is right. (Or is that correct? No pun intended.)

Anyway the circus that is the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has put the big kibosh on free speech.
Marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values. That sentence is inflammatory, perhaps even a hate crime.
Now you may or may not disagree with a statement, but freedom of speech is a cornerstone of our republic. Outlawing statements that the government deems "offensive" strikes me as a very bad idea. I think they tried that in the old Soviet Union, the current People's Republic of China, Cuba, the Taliban's reign of terror in Afghanistan, and any number of other places I wouldn't want to live.

But then the Left in this country isn't interested in freedom. They want to force everyone to live according to their dictates. (Of course there are plenty on the right who feel exactly the same way, they just have a different set of dictates.)

Self-defense works

LibertyMan in critical condition after botched robbery - Nashville, Tennessee - Saturday, 06/23/07 - Tennessean.com Two robbers come into a convenience story. They are armed with a rifle. The clerk and his pregnant wife are in the store at the time, and without waiting for conversation, the clerk fires at the two miscreants.

One goblin is on the run. The other is in hospital with life-threatening injuries. The store clerk and his wife are safe.

Nashville is a tough place to be a goblin these days.
The botched robbery was the second in two days in east Nashville. Friday a man planning to rob Alvin’s Garage at 901 Gallatin Avenue, was shot in the leg with his own gun after two employees wrestled with him.
Self-defense is a human right, and it works.

When is self-defense murder? When it is reported by the MSM

MyFox Tampa Bay | Home invasion leaves suspect dead The Lefty media has it wrong again. But this is worse than the usual confusion of victims and criminals. In this case they actually refer to legal self-defense as murder.

The police are pretty clear about what happened.
Investigators say when the two entered the home, they demanded jewelry and money. Several people were in the house at the time. As the suspects entered the bedroom, a man pulled a gun, fatally shooting [goblin number 1].

"Obviously, the victims were in fear for their lives as they should have been and they did what they had to do to protect themselves," said [Chief W.J.] Martin [of the Lakeland Police Department].
But the reporter looks at legal self-defense and sees murder.
Some residents expressed frustration that another murder had occurred in their neighborhood.
Is that a quote from a resident? None of the actual quotes uses that term. Are the residents frustrated by crime? No doubt. Are they distraught that a criminal is dead? That is less clear, since one resident that is quoted talks of "cleaning up the neighborhood." Another is "scared," but whether he is scared about the shooting, or the home invasion that started this whole thing is not clear. I believe this is the reporter's (and editor's) bias - gun owners are no better than murderers.

Goblin number 1, described as "nice person" has a history with police that included robbery and aggravated battery. Goblin number 2, who was arrested later, was a registered sex offender who had outstanding arrest warrants before this home invasion.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0. Self-defense is both a moral and a legal right. (At least it is in Florida.)

If you would like to point to these journalism professionals (sic) that their bias is showing, you can do that here.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

International Sports Oldest Competition Gets Underway

Alinghi and EmiratesAlinghi take upper hand | Yachting | Other Sports | Sport | Telegraph For anyone who cares, the 32nd America's Cup (named for the winner of the first event - Schooner America) got underway in Spain. The defenders - last time winners - Swiss' boat Alinghi beat the New Zealand challenger, Emirates, by 35 seconds.

The America's Cup is a best-of-nine series of match races between the challenger - who has to win a series of match races known as the Louis Vuitton Cup - and the defending champions. Spain was chosen as a venue because this is a salt-water race and Switzerland is lacking in a sea coast.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Burglar shot in Crowley The title of the piece says it all
Cops say when the homeowners realized the house was being robbed; they tried to fight off the burglar. When that didn't work he shot him.
Police don't expect the homeowner to face charges, but it is up to the DA.

New Orleans - What a mess

JusticePost-Katrina New Orleans turns into crime haven The Washington Times Crime described as the one part of society that is back to work in NOLA. So what are people doing? Asking for more federal money.

A few items...
  • Crime up 107% so far this year
  • Murder rate 20% higher than any other US city
  • 1 conviction and 160 murders last year
  • 3000 criminal cases dismissed due to waiting too long
Veteran cops have left the force, since conditions are horrible.
Anthony Cannatella, deputy superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, described how a lack of juvenile detention facilities resulted in the nearly immediate release of a 14-year-old girl who had robbed a tourist at gunpoint.
Who would want to live or work in an environment like that? [NRA-ILA]

And nobody helps

globeandmail.com: Subway assault prompts security review "Security Guards" (so called) could not do anything but call police - job standard procedures - while a passenger was beaten by an assailant. None of the "good citizens" (sic) of Quebec bothered to help either.
Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis has asked for a review of security procedures in Montreal's subway after a woman was allegedly beaten by an assailant while Métro guards stood by, arguing it was not their job to help.
And of course the anti-everything crowd has made it impossible (or nearly so) for the average Canadian woman to defend herself from assault by the average Canadian man.

Canada is fast approaching the "Natural State" as described by Hobbes.
and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.
Civilization was founded to keep the strong from preying on the week, and it did this long before there were 911 dispatch systems by relying on EVERYONE to aid one another. Apparently, we are sinking back to that state, which Hobbes called a state of war.
where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them
Disarmed victims, aren't even allowed the use of modern tools for defense. [h/t Wonder Woman]

Getting the Iragis to Fight Their Own War

Al Qaeda fight to death in Iraq bastion: U.S. - Yahoo! News This makes sense to me.
Bednarek said the fight against al Qaeda in Diyala also involved local Sunni Arabs who opposed the United States but who wanted to end al Qaeda domination of their communities.

He said this included fighters from the 1920 Revolution Brigade, a large Sunni Arab insurgent group that has fallen out with al Qaeda over its indiscriminate killing of civilians.
Sunni civilians that is.

Give them the support they need - including weapons - to police their own communities.

The Marriage Debate in New York

Gay Pride
The New York Assembly passes a Gay Marriage Bill that is declared "Dead on Arrival" in the New York Senate. But one interesting note. A Cornell University survey found that 52% of New Yorkers oppose Gay Marriage. Not exactly a super majority. Another poll finds 70% support some type of union if not marriage. Wait another 20 years and that number will go the way of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell numbers from 1994. While I don't think you can really legislate social change (or demand it from the Courts), you also can't really stand in the way of social change. (The Israelites had to wander through the desert for 40 years, so that all of the old farts would die off before they could enter the "promised land," and those old farts live longer today.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Two Out of Three (sort of)

JusticeHomeowner Shoots, Kills Home Invader - Central Florida News 13 One home invader is dead. Two are on the run, but reports are that one of the two has been stabbed. Neighbors are shocked.

Three goblins invade a house and fire shots. The residents scatter.
Authorities said one of the victims got into a bedroom and picked up a rifle and when one of the intruders tried to enter the bedroom, the man inside shot through a closet door, hitting the intruder in the chest, killing him.
And congrats to News 13 for being able to tell who is, and who is not, a victim.

The neighbors?
"It just blows my mind to think this goes on in Orlando. This stuff's happening everywhere today. But the way the world is, you just really got to be on the defense it seems like nowadays," said Bob Whalen, a neighbor.
I grant you that Disney, Universal, et al do a lot to try and convince you otherwise, but Orlando does in fact reside in the real world. (In the words of Bugs Bunny, "what a maroon.")

It Appears that Nothing Brings People Together Like Hate

Gay Pride
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Arrests at Jerusalem gay parade Not a suicide bomber, just a plain-old bomber.
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man was arrested for planning to bomb the [Jerusalem, Gay-Pride] parade, Israeli police said.
The prevailing view is that civil rights don't apply in Jerusalem.
More than 1,000 firefighters went on strike last week, refusing to grant a licence to the parade's organisers, forcing them to cancel a rally at the end of the march.
2 years ago, 3 people were stabbed by a maniac someone who disagreed with the rights of gays.

But then religious violence is not a new thing (or limited to only one sect.) It seems the Christians, Jews and Muslims can all agree on hate.
The event, held in Jerusalem since 2001, has been denounced in the past by conservative Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups which share a view that homosexuality is an abomination.
Gays in Israel: Doing more to promote inter-denominational hating unity.

Tel Aviv's parade went off without a hitch earlier this month. About 20,000 people attended.

Where the "War on Drugs" is a War in Truth

Border Police Chief Only Latest Casualty In Mexico Drug War Isn't Mexico supposed to be a gun-free zone?
MEXICO CITY -- Nobody wanted the job of police chief in Nuevo Laredo, a city on the U.S.-Mexico border plagued by drug gangs and violence. Finally, Alejandro Dominguez, 52, a businessman and father of three, volunteered to take the post to help his besieged city. Last Wednesday, hours after being sworn in, Dominguez was assassinated by men firing assault rifles from a convoy of Chevrolet Suburbans.
That is only one incident.

And as for relying on the "authorities"
Over the past decade, numerous federal and state police officers, as well as soldiers, have also been implicated in drug trafficking.
Much more information at the Chicago Boyz [hat tip Hell in a Handbasket]

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Gay Pride
In honor of Pride Week....

Some Dems have gotten together in Congress and introduced legislation to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell. You might call this "election year posturing," and you may be right. There are, however, some good reasons for getting rid of this stupid law.
In the 13 years of the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy that has banned gays and lesbians from service in the armed forces, more than 11,000 gays have been discharged, including 58 Arabic linguists and other needed specialists, at a cost of more than $300 million.
Retired Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has dropped his opposition to gays serving in the military. Retired Gen. Colin Powell who worked to draft DADT may be softening his stance. (He is a politician these days, so it is hard to be sure what he means.)

The current excuse for not changing DADT is about not making changes during war time. Then tell me why the Navy's end of discrimination during WWII went so well. (Not that there weren't problems, but the Navy still kicked ass and took names after Truman ordered an end to segregation.)

When an ex-Georgia Congressman (conservative) says it should go, it probably will.
“When you get Bob Barr with you on a lesbian/gay issue, you’re come a long, long way,” said Steve Ralls, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a Washington-based advocacy group pushing for the legislation. [Ref.]
The public also seems to be coming around. There has been
a substantial change in public attitudes on several gay rights questions over the past decade. According to the Pew Research Center, 52 percent of Americans favored allowing gays to serve openly in the military in 1994, while 45 percent opposed it. By 2006, that majority had grown to 60 percent, while 32 percent opposed the idea. [Ref.]
Even if you think Pew (are they an unbiased organization? No really) is skewing the numbers, they probably aren't making it up out of whole cloth. There has been a shift in public attitudes.

Piracy - A Real Problem on the High Seas

In the past when I've written about piracy, people are put off by the fact that pirates don't match their Hollywood image. They use small boats and are simple murderers, thieves and rapists. But the truth is, that is what pirates are.

The International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau has just upped the risk level for Somali Waters (Horn of Africa), as the pirates get more daring. IMB Warns of Horn of Africa Piracy Perils; Lloyd's Reaction
"Heavily armed pirates are subjecting vessels to violent attacks while in international waters," said a bulletin on the IMB web site - http://www.icc-ccs.org. The bulletin warned that the "Eastern and North-eastern coasts [of Somalia] are high-risk areas for attacks and hijackings. Ships not making scheduled calls to ports in Somalia should keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast, ideally, more than 200 nautical miles."
The US Navy's Office a Naval Intelligence [this site contains the current reports on Maritime Safety] is also getting into the act. The current report is a Word Document.
MARITIME SECURITY (PIRACY) POLICY: On 14 Jun, the Office of the White House
Press Secretary released a memorandum from the President approving a Policy for the
Repression of Piracy and Other Criminal Acts of Violence at Sea (Piracy Policy) for immediate
implementation, consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
The policy shall be appended to the National Strategy for Maritime Security as Annex B. The
policy responds to the emergence of high-risk maritime areas that threaten U.S. interests. Recent
instances of piracy have highlighted the need for this policy in order to coordinate U.S.
Government response and to promote international solutions.
And as for the boats they are using....
ONI assesses pirates are likely utilizing a larger merchant vessel as a
mother-ship to support their small-boat attacks. If so, this would extend their attack range
beyond 200 NM and increase the number of attack groups (typical 3 vessel configuration of one
9 meter center console support skiff and two 6 meter out-board-motor attack/boarding skiffs with
10 to 15 pirates per group) as well as increase their time on station. The International Maritime
Bureau (IMB) has increased their recommended transit distance from 75 NM to 200 NM for
vessels not calling on Somali ports. ONI further advises vessels stay at least 75 NM away from
the position 01:37N 049:36E until the mother-ship threat can be evaluated.
They are certainly acting like they have a larger ship.

As I think I have mentioned before, the world is not a safe place. Not even your corner of suburbia is safe from all threats. Pretending that it is doesn't make it so.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Unintended Consequences

Spate of New Reactor Plans Gives EU an Atomic Jolt Do you the Greens thought that getting Europe to adopt Kyoto would have resulted in more nuclear power? I don't think so.

After Chernobyl, most people hated Nukes.
Yet the mood appears to be shifting, prompted at least in part by European pledges to cut carbon emissions and slow global warming. Especially eager to jump aboard the pro-nukes bandwagon are ex-Soviet countries, whose rapid growth and long-standing dependence on Russian natural gas makes them extra-keen to take control of their energy markets.
Interesting how actions often have unintended consequences.

The Stonewall Inn

Gay Pride Here we are in the middle of Pride Week (as it is usually called) and I haven't said anything about the origin of the gay rights movement.

June 27, 1969, a group of 8 New York police raided the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar. While these types of raids were fairly common at the time, on this day, no one was having any of it. There are many possible reasons given. From the fact that a legal victory had been won the previous month, to the fact that people were in fact mourning the death of Judy Garland. Whatever the reason, this raid sparked 3 days of riots, and marked the beginning of the modern Gay Rights Movement. It wasn't the beginning of the struggle for gay rights, that had started long before, but this rebellion against the status quo is what is celebrated around the world in Gay Pride events in June.

Teen Defends His Mother

Nation & World | Louisiana Teen shoots would-be carjacker | Seattle Times Newspaper
METAIRIE, La. — A 17-year-old boy foiled an attempted carjacking, wresting a gun from a would-be robber and shooting him after the man grabbed his mother, authorities said.

[The goblin], wounded in the head and torso, will face armed-robbery charges once he is released from East Jefferson General Hospital, Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said Monday
He saw an opportunity and started fighting for the gun. It went off once. When he got the gun away from the goblin, he shot multiple times.

The police are all about cooperation. And in some respects I agree - it isn't worth getting shot over a car. But this goof-ball grabbed the kid's mother and was pulling her out of the car. That is a bit beyond the point where I start fighting back.

Anyway, all of the good guys are safe, and the bad guy is in the hospital waiting to go to jail.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

How do you say "Cojones" in French?

French bank raid hostages released | International News | News | Telegraph Who'd a thunkit?
French police have stormed a bank in a south Paris suburb where two armed men were holding at least six people hostage.
It is a sad day when you have admit that the French have more backbone than the British.

The police got all of the hostages out, unharmed, and they arrested the two miscreants to boot.

Good Guys Deux, Bad Guys Zéro.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Homemade Weapons, Part 2

book cover photoA few days ago I was having a "discussion" with a Lefty friend about people making their own weapons. Since he didn't believe me, I was forced to do some research. [Homemade Weapons (part 1) was a collection of photos of guns seized in Russia]

Since I wanted "How to" info, I thought books would be a good starting place. Amazon of course is the easiest place to research books, so I put together a selection of titles like "Do-It-Yourself Submachinegun" and "The .50-Caliber Rifle Construction Manual" to the "Gunpowder Cookbook."

I can't be sure, since I don't own any of these titles, but my guess is they truly are low tech. So I went a little farther afield and found that there appears to be at least a few people who are serious about this. One of them is Bill Web, who put together a 2 DVD course on how to build a rifling machine. Almost makes me want to learn a little bit about machine-shop techniques. Almost.

Of course all of these books are for "information purposes only" since it is illegal to build your own firearm unless you are a licensed firearms manufacturer.
[Update: according to a commenter, some of these weapons might be legal. Some clearly are not under the auspices of the BATF.]

Sounds Justified to Me

Local News - Shooting May Have Been Justified Somebody makes threats to kill you - to the point that you file a police report about it. Then that person shows up at your house screaming?
A man, who police say was terrorizing his girlfriend, was shot and killed on the porch of a house in Murray Hill. It all started Sunday afternoon after a man and woman, believed to be boyfriend and girlfriend, got into an argument.
That argument escalated.

When the boyfriend showed up at a home where the girlfriend was, things went bad for him. He was screaming and cursing, and he ended up shot and killed.
At this time, police believe [the homeowner] was acting in self defense. They have not made any arrests and have not said if any charges will be filed.
Domestic violence (click on the link below) is nothing to take lightly. It results in all too many murders in this country every year.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Man Shot After Breaking Into Officer's Home - News Story - WRC | Washington
DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. -- Police in Prince George's County said a homeowner in District Heights, Md., shot a man who allegedly broke into his home early Tuesday morning.
The wounded goblin is in the hospital. He will be transfered to the jail once he recovers a bit.

You would think they were talking about the weather

Rockets fall on northern Israel Rain is in the forecast for tonight; More rockets are forecast for later this week....

Does CNN attribute those rockets to anyone?
Hezbollah quickly denied responsibility for the attack, Lebanese security sources said.
Well OK then. Hey if that is good enough for CNN, it should be good enough for the rest of the Lefty media.
A Lebanese security source told the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, that suspected Palestinian gunmen carried out the attack.
Shouldn't that be "Palestinian Rocket Men?" (With apologies to Elton John.) How about just calling them terrorists?

Seriously though, does sugar coating the players who are at war with Israel constitute reporting the news? I guess they had to say something since they have video documentation of the aftermath. (Destroyed car, etc.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tax Revenue Post Tax Cuts

US Tax RevenueInvestor's Business Daily: The Tax Story Media Invariably Bury SayUncle blames Tax Cuts for the Rich. [the chart at right is brought to us by IBD.]

Don't look to see your local (or national) branch of the Lefty media to report this. Good news while a Republican is in office? Fat chance.
Bush lowered taxes in both 2001 and 2003. During the debate for both rounds of reductions, it was repeatedly asserted that tax cuts would lead to lower revenues and not pay off with higher economic growth.

Wrong on both counts.

A cursory look at the data — and that's really all it takes, so shame on the media for misreporting — show tax revenues have surged since the tax cuts went into effect. And this is the case whether you you count them on a nominal basis, an inflation-adjusted basis or as a share of GDP.
Dollar SignIBD makes a few points on the tax cuts and taxes, I only want to highlight one.
A few points need to be made here. First, those with incomes less than $40,000 a year pay, on average, no federal income tax. None.
And of course history is a great teacher.
As we've noted repeatedly on these pages, tax cuts by President Coolidge in the 1920s, President Kennedy in the 1960s, President Reagan in the 1980s and, now, President Bush in the 2000s all show the same thing: Lower taxes mean faster economic growth.
But then none of that fits with the media's agenda.

And of course the Democrats want to raise the taxes (or "let the tax cuts lapse - is that double-speak or what?) because they object to free markets and people having (and investing) their own money. Click over to IBD and take a look at the numbers on capital gains taxes and then let's talk about whether or not the cuts should end.

Another Story of Cops Behaving Badly

JusticeAre you surprised that it is in New Orleans? I didn't think so.... Witnesses say police stormed their quiet neighborhood bar and brutally attacked the owner, but he had done nothing wrong- NOLA.com

So you get beaten up and arrested even though MANY witnesses will swear you did nothing wrong. What a surprise.

Cops enter a bar looking for fleeing subjects. All the witnesses in the bar say they are not there. One cop starts yanking on a locked door trying to get into a store room. The owner of the bar offers to open the locked door, since he doesn't want his property destroyed.
When the officer resumed yanking on the door, Elloie turned to him and said: "If you need the door open, I can open it." According to Elloie, the officer said: "I don't care who you are. You're going to jail."

Elloie said, "For what?" The officer said, "Because you hit me." Indeed, a citation filed later in municipal court offered a scant description of the allegation, saying only that Elloie "struck officer in the chest." Witnesses said Elloie had not touched an officer.
The charges were later dropped - 16 witnesses would have been a bit to overcome.

And NOLA has cleared the officers of all wrong-doing.
Schwartzmann said the incident at the Sportsman's Corner illustrates why some citizens are distrustful of law enforcement.

"The Police Department is begging the citizenry to come forward and assist them in fighting crime," she said. "But in this case, 16 people in the community did come forward, only to have the police turn a deaf ear to their complaints."
Police in this country are in a world of hurt from a PR perspective. I'm sure most cops are decent people - most of the ones I know are. But not all of them are, and in places like New Orleans, I'm not sure that most of them are. When NOLA cops took part in the looting after Katrina, when they acted like jack-booted thugs after Katrina, when stuff like this happens, it makes all of them suspect.

Homemade Weapons

English Russia � Chechen Self-Made Weapons Guns are not rocket science. A set of interesting photos of home made guns.

[Update: see also Homemade Weapons, Part 2 for some books on making your own]

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cops are not everyone's friends

Chicagoan claims police beat him because he's gay :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State This is only the latest in a string of complaints against "Chicago's finest" (sic). They are all too often thugs in uniform. (And yes, I did live in Chicago at one point in my life.)

The Left says "call 911." The Left says "police are there to protect us." Are they? What happens when calling 911 just brings more of the people causing the problem?

I don't know what happened that night in Chicago. Neither do you (unless you are one of the 3 people involved). But not everyone can count on police for protection, (See Dr. Rice's thoughts on this) and some people view the police as a real threat. The sad thing is, that most cops are decent people, but the ones that are not, give the whole group problems. And the ratio isn't 99 good to 1 bad.... which is another problem.

Not Even a Panic Button is a Help

icNewcastle - Spurned husband killed his ex-wife This guy was a problem. So much so that police installed a panic button in the ex-wife's home. That it failed and the restraining order failed are a tragedy but not a surprise.
Margaret, 57, pushed the panic button police had installed at her home and tried to flee, but Iley stabbed her 12 times.
She didn't have to find a phone and dial 999 (the British 911), she didn't wait on hold, and still she didn't have enough time. And people will still tell you that you don't need a gun to protect yourself.

The lead-in paragraph was telling:
A violent husband who subjected his ex-wife to a life of misery stabbed her to death in cold blood after she finally spurned him, as neighbours looked on in horror.
"Looked on and did nothing" would be a better quote. But the British have been conditioned that they can't get involved. So they didn't.

It may not have helped. Indeed, in these situations it may not be possible to save yourself or anyone else. But if anything was going to save this woman it would have been a weapon in the hands of a law-abiding citizen, either herself or a neighbor. As things stand, she was defenseless. The result is all too common.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Global Planning? Sounds Like Communism

Freedom, not climate, is at risk Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, has something to say about the Global Warming hysteria. Is it hysteria? Or is it propaganda?
Rational and freedom-loving people have to respond. The dictates of political correctness are strict and only one permitted truth, not for the first time in human history, is imposed on us. Everything else is denounced.
That actually sounds a lot like religious dogma.
As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.

The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.
Go read the whole thing. It IS worth your time. [Hat tip to Beth]

Domestic Dispute Ends in Death

Investigators: Domestic dispute led to crash through house, fatal shot I didn't write about this bizarre story the other day, because it just made no sense. It makes more sense today. (Or at least it is part of a common pattern.)

After driving aimlessly through an area with his wife, Ravi Batuk Vora, 39, became a threat to his wife. To the point she feared for her life.
Vora tried to get his wife to go with him into an orchard but the woman ran, fearing for her life.

She flagged down a passing motorist, who drove her to a mini-market to dial 9-1-1.
Vora, not knowing where his wife had fled, starts following a random motorist - who he thought had something to do with his wife.
When the driver, Robinson, stopped in his driveway, he told Vora that the woman was not in his home. Vora left but then returned, demanding to be allowed in the home. Robinson refused to let him in, telling him he was calling 9-1-1.

Vora left and returned yet again, pounding on the door and demanding to be allowed inside the house. Robinson, who was home with his 58-year-old wife, armed himself and dialed 911 at 8:48 p.m.

Vora retreated, got into his car and rammed it headlong into the home.
One shot to the upper body and Ravi Vora was dead. The result of his behavior and at the hands of a law-abiding citizen defending himself and his family.

I said this was part of a common pattern. Abusive spouses acting irrationally. They threaten, hit and sometimes - all too often - kill people they claim to "love." That isn't the way I define love. Was he planning a murder/suicide in that orchard? No one knows. What we do know is that if the homeowner hadn't had the means to defend himself, he probably would have been injured, as Vora was not doing all of this for friendly reasons.

Self-defense is a human right.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Self-defense on Campus

Ex-Marine at GMU Presses to Let Students Have Guns - washingtonpost.com
Soon after Virginia Tech's mass shooting, some George Mason University students formed a group to do something about guns on campus: They want the right to carry them.
Should 21 year old students have the same right to defend themselves on campus that they have off campus? If not, why not?

The Return of Inspiration

Michelle at A Small Victory, was one of my favorite writers when I first started this insanity. Now she is back, but with a big victory.

Smoked Goblin? Aisle 5

Police: Clerk Wrestles, Fatally Shoots Armed Robber - News Story - KXAS | Dallas It can work even when the goblin is armed and you aren't,
BALCH SPRINGS, Texas -- A convenience store clerk wrestled a shotgun away from a would-be robber and then shot and killed him, police said.
Police do not expect to file charges against the store clerk.

Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

The Conservatives Will Have Kittens

Gay FlagBid to Ban Gay Marriage Fails in Massachusetts - New York Times You must all feel the "sanctity" seeping out of your marriages. Or not.
Same-sex marriage will remain legal in Massachusetts, as its proponents today won a pitched months-long battle to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
...
About 8,500 gay and lesbian couples have been married in Massachusetts since the unions became legal in May 2004.
I bet you can all feel the impact that each and every one of those marriages has had on your own relationships. Or could it be that they don't impact you - except for igniting your prejudice - at all?

Why you shouldn't use gun locks

The Lockdown: Gun locks - unsafe at any caliber - Engadget What you should do is invest in a good safe. If you want access to a defensive weapon in the middle of the night, there are small handgun safes that can literally be opened in seconds.

At least watch the video of an eleven-year-old defeating some of the standard locks in a few seconds.

If you want your guns to be safe, you should put them in a safe. [Hat tip to Tam at View from the Porch]

13-year-old Shoots Intruder to Defend Dad and Self

Vindy.com - An ax, gun and vest, part II: Suspect lied A convoluted story of a home invasion. Ended with a gunshot from made by the son of the homeowner.
In the hallway, Harman opened a closet and, while searching inside, lowered his weapon. Adams grabbed the gun and yelled for his son to go downstairs as he slammed the suspect into the wall. During the struggle, Harman fired one shot before falling down the stairs, hitting his head on the bannister and dropping the gun.
The son retrieved the gun and shot the intruder while he struggled with his father.

Police accept the story of the homeowner.

The goblin in this case is "a violent felon paroled from prison seven months ago." Hopefully he will be back in prison for a good long time.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0. Self-defense (or defense of family) is a human right.

Quake Hits Guatemala

Strong Earthquake Rocks Guatemala
A powerful earthquake shook Guatemala and parts of neighboring nations Wednesday, sending some capital residents rushing into the streets for safety. Officials said there were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage.

The 6.8 magnitude quake struck at 1:29 p.m. and was centered 70 miles southwest of Guatemala City off the Pacific coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
I'm sure this is either caused by global warming or Bush's fault. Perhaps it is both.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

NBC2 News Online - After shootout, neighbors rally behind store owner The Brady Bunch will call this "two teenagers shot." And they were. What the Brady's won't worry about is that the 2 teens fired first, and that they were in the process of committing armed robbery. That last will be an unimportant detail as far as the gun grabbers are concerned.
Police say Manager David Hutto shot back at two robbers only after they shot at him.
One is dead. The other is in hospital in fair condition.

Self-defense is a human right.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Homeowner Kills Home Invasion Suspect Why would you argue with an armed homeowner after breaking into his home?
Police say the homeowner confronted a man who broke into his home around 3:45 Saturday morning ... .

The homeowner allegedly asked the man to leave several times before shooting the suspect in the stomach.
Self-defense is a human right.

Friday, June 08, 2007

New Zealand Waking Up to Reality

EDITORIAL: Court ordeal over pistol undeserved A gun shop owner shot a would-be robber who was threatening staff with a machete. The police immediately arrested him. Can't have citizens defend themselves as they might decide to think for themselves generally.
However, the decision by the two JPs to throw out the charge of illegal possession of a pistol against Greg Carvell - they ruled the Crown failed to prove a prima facie case - does reaffirm the right to use reasonable force in self defence. And Mr Carvell's defence would have seemed unimpeachable.
I would say so.

The alternative would be to hand guns over to a criminal. That doesn't sound like a good idea.
The court of public opinion would have come out firmly on the side of Mr Carvell: That shooting an armed robber wanting access to firearms was not only "lawful and proper" but also essential in the interests of public safety, and that while such events need to be tested, the decision to prosecute was petty and unnecessary.
But that is how I view all too many prosecutors - petty if not unnecessary. Concerned with only 1 thing: advancing their careers by appearing to be tough-on-crime, even if they need to ignore the real problems to cultivate that appearance. And any question of Justice is beyond the scope of their thoughts.
Increasingly, the wisdom of repeated advice - that one should always co-operate when threatened - is being questioned. Police should wonder why there is public acclaim each time criminal intent is foiled by successful resistance. If the risk of being caught and penalised can't deter robbers, then individual initiative to crime may be the only useful response that's left.
The "wisdom" (sic) of that advice is always given by men talking about robbers. They never want to discuss what a woman should do if confronted by a rapist. And in any event, there is no guarantee that cooperation will ensure your safety. All too many incidents that feature cooperation end in violence anyway. In short, that advice is wishful thinking, not based on a statistical view of the data.

Self-defense is a human right.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

But if you live in NJ You Don't Need a Gun

Mother Bear Killed Outside N.J. Home With Cubs Nearby - News Story - WNBC | New York Just pray that the "authorities" will get there in time.
A bear was shot dead in New Jersey on Thursday after a homeowner said the animal was breaking into a home.
Growing bear population; disarmed (mostly) human population. But they don't need guns, and they certainly don't need a bear-hunting season to control the numbers of bears.
After years of dwindling numbers, the black bear population has skyrocketed in New Jersey. The bruins have been spotted in every county in the state, but are concentrated in northern Jersey where bears are a common sight.
I suppose it is just a matter of time before someone is killed by a bear in New Jersey.

Self-defense Works

Unicoi man shot, killed after forcible entry into home Someone forces entry into your home, and then pulls a gun on you. What do you do?
Gouge [the homeowner] reacted by knocking Hyder’s gun to the side and drawing his own gun (the one he had put in his pocket on the way to the door).
Gouge reportedly fired his gun at Hyder, with the sheriff stating that he didn’t even have time to aim. The round from Gouge’s .357 magnum caught Hyder in the head. Hyder fell to the floor in the Gouges’ living room.
A .357 magnum to the head is all she wrote for Mr. Hyder. He was dead when police and paramedics arrived on the scene, 13 minutes later.

"The sheriff said Hyder was heavily intoxicated and on medication for his nerves."

However this started, it ended as a tragedy. But the homeowner simply defended himself.
[Unicoi County Sheriff Kent] Harris said all the evidence and facts of the case make sense with their stories and that he doesn’t anticipate charges for them.

“At this point, we believe it to be a justifiable shooting (of) self protection,” he said. “It’s a tragic event either way you look at it, but homeowners definitely have a right to protect (themselves).”
Self-defense is a human right.

Justification for Self-defense

Not that it is needed, but when the gun-grabbers ask you why you feel the need to defend yourself, point them to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, and the Crime Clock. (The 2006 report won't be out until the fall of 2007.)
FBI Crime Clock 2005

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Did He Think He Was Above the Law?

Memphis cop dies after he busts in on ex-girlfriend, another man - Nashville, Tennessee In what is (to me anyway) a clear-cut case of self-defense, a jealous ex-boyfriend was killed when he broke into his ex-girlfriend's home and threatened her. The wrinkle in this case is that the dead guy was a cop, and the ex-girlfriend is also a cop.
Off-duty police officer Jeremy Kyle, 27, kicked in the door of his ex-girlfriend's house east of Memphis near Cordova, said Steve Shular, spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

Teresita Watson, also 27 and a Memphis police officer, told detectives that Kyle walked into her bedroom and pointed a gun at her and another man that was with her.
Watson was treated and released - a shot grazed her stomach. The guy who shot the dead cop? He is not a cop, and he has not been charged.

You would think this guy knew he was breaking the law. He was a cop; he must have been on domestic violence cases at some point. And he had to have known there were guns in the residence. Another cop lived there after all. I guess that rationality doesn't matter to abusive, jealous people who can't get on with their lives.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Here's a Clue - You Live in the Real World

Most middle-class folks think they live in Pleasantville. They don't believe that bad things happen in their neighborhoods, to the people they know, to people like them. Well I have bad news. If you are reading this, you live in the real world.

ABC30.com: Neighbors Shocked Over Abuse Allegations
The boy's own mother is in jail for attempted murder and the boy is at Children's Hospital, clinging to life.
Neighbors React To Pipe Bomb Arrest - Central Florida News 13
People in one Orange City neighborhood say they're shocked to hear news of one of their neighbors arrested on charges of planting pipe bombs.
Rocky Mountain News - Neighbors shocked by two deaths
Police today were searching an apartment where two bodies were found last night, but had released little information on the deaths.
Parents React To Neighbors Alleged Strip Club - WTOV
Some local parents expressed their shock after hearing police arrested their neighbor for allegedly running a strip club from his home, and using underage girls as exotic dancers.
The world is not a safe place. One of the things you need to do is recognize that. You should probably also teach that to your children if you have any. Pretending the world is a safe place, or that your little corner of the world is not like those "other places" may let you feel safe, but it won't actually make you safe.

I don't mean to make light of these stories. They are truly tragedies and I recognize that. But I DO mean to cast aspersions on the idiots in suburbia with blinders on. The people who won't learn self-defense, or even consider what to do if attacked, because they believe that kind of thing doesn't happen where they live. Home invasions, domestic violence, etc. only happen to "other kinds" of people, not to them. They are truly idiots. Whenever reality rears its ugly head, they are "shocked" to discover that they do, in fact, live in the real world.

I Thought Mexico Was a Gun-free Zone

People's Daily Online -- Six people shot dead in Mexico City, Jalisco I guess it is only the law-abiding that are disarmed.
Six people have been murdered in Mexico in the last few hours, including two deaths outside Gayosso, an upscale [suburb south of] Mexico City, said police on Monday.

Monday, June 04, 2007

And Another Restraining Order...

A restraining order doesn't keep you safe - OregonLive.com This is another tragic story. A man killed by a jealous girlfriend, but the story is familiar in that people killing someone they "love" (or think they do anyway) happens all to frequently.
when the restraining order form, filed May 21, asked whether he was concerned about Fielder having access to a weapon, he checked "no."

Wednesday, Fielder fatally shot Kellermann five times in the chest as he left his Lents home at 5:30 a.m.
...
Statistics also show that a restraining order -- even when it comes with threat of arrest -- is sometimes just a mere piece of paper, a physical representation of an option during a rock-paper-scissors game of chance. It can put the victim in greater danger.
Statistics show that restraining orders work about 85 percent of the time or less. That sounds good until you consider that 15 percent of the time they fail. (If your brakes on your car only stopped at 85% of all stop signs, how would you feel about driving?)

What can you do?
So, if someone you know is involved with an abusive person, the best thing you can advise is a comprehensive safety plan, which includes more than just a restraining order.
I recommend firearms, the great equalizer. They are no guarantee (what is guaranteed in this life?), but they are the best defense available.

Another Restraining Order Fails to Restrain

WAVE 3 TV Louisville, KY :: Murder-suicide suspect violated EPO They are interesting legal documents, but all too often they don't mean a damn thing.
By May 29th, an official domestic violence order took effect ordering him to stay 600 feet away from the property -- and his girlfriend -- for the next three years.

But police now believe he ignored the order, returning to the house Friday evening and shooting the two women before killing himself.
So much for the protection which can be offered by the system.

He hit her, pulled phones from the wall in 3 rooms and threatened to kill her. He was arrested for that and for intimidating witnesses. It doesn't say how long he was in jail.

I don't know what could have saved this woman from death at the hands of someone who, no doubt, claimed he loved her. But I do know that relying only on restraining orders is often a mistake. The system cannot protect you, not from someone bent on violence. Your only hope is protect yourself.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hillary's Health Care Plan

[Don't know why this never got published... Well here it is.]

Hillary Clinton Unveils Plan For Reducing Health Care Costs I think it would be great if health care could be cheaper in America, but I cringe when Democrats start talking about it.
1. Focus on prevention: wellness not sickness.
Sounds good and there are examples of "incentives" that reduce health care costs. But she also talks about obesity as a major problem. Now, I agree that it is. Exactly how is the government going to correct the problem? Outlaw French fries? Outlaw sweet roles? Dictate what I have for breakfast? Increase my taxes for every pound overweight I am? What incentive can the government use?
2. Use more computer technology: to increase security and accessibility of records, reduce costs and errors, and share research.
You cannot both increase access and security at the same time. Fewer errors would be nice, since medical errors kill a lot of people. (It isn't always mistakes by an individual, but mistakes by the profession.) But a mad-rush to computerize is guaranteed to cause problems.
3. Co-ordinate and streamline the care of chronically ill patients.
Who does the coordinating? A government bureaucrat? Coordinated care is a good thing, anyone not insisting on it is in for world of hurt. How is the government going to mandate it?
4. Offer individuals and small businesses market access to larger insurance pools. ... prohibiting insurance companies from carving out benefits or charging higher rates to people with health problems.
This last bit means that healthy people will pay more for insurance. I am not sure this is a bad thing - anyone can end up in the "high risk" category with their next doctor's appointment. But what she is talking about is dictating of the insurance business model by government. (More government intervention than we have today.)
5. Improve the quality of care to help drive down costs:
This statement means nothing. It is like saying she is in favor of Apple Pie. Imagine a statement that is just the opposite. "Ruin the quality of care to help drive up costs." I am all for driving bad doctors out of health care, but by and large I think she is saying "spend more government money" but not saying where - exactly - it will be spent or where - exactly - it will come from.
6 Get prescription drug costs under control.
OK, I am all for that. But then consider the statement, "Drive prescription drug costs out of control." I am in favor of baseball, hot dogs, and cheap gas too. This statement is not very meaningful. Oh, but it is easy - government control of the prices charged by drug companies.
7. Reform medical malpractice:
Excuse me, but isn't tort reform a GOP issue? Smart work that - get on the side of one conservative issue to make things appear balanced.

Now, there are probably ways to save money in health care. I would like someone to explain what - if any - impact is had by all of the CURRENT laws on prices. Everything from patent monopolies to reporting requirements already on doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. The net impact of the government on this market today is not zero. What is it? But I am pretty sure I don't want to write a blank-check for a bunch of Leftist bureaucrats to control a huge section of the economy. That didn't work out too well for the Soviet Union, and cracks are showing in parts of Western Europe as well.

This is a thinly-veiled attempt to gain government control over a large part of the economy, by someone who doesn't like free markets.

Watching Weasels

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.