Friday, August 31, 2007

It Isn't a Small Problem

In Va., many killings domestic - inRich.com Domestic violence is a bigger problem in this country than most people recognize.
In Virginia, nearly a third of all homicides involve domestic violence, according to a new report by the Virginia Department of Health
That is a pretty big piece of the puzzle.

They saw the gun and ran like rabbits

Store clerk with shotgun scares off robbers One of them actually crawled away.
An Ypsilanti Township convenience store clerk grabbed a shotgun and scared off two would-be robbers, including one who crawled out the store on his hands and knees to escape, police said.
One shot was fired - by the store clerk - but it doesn't appear that he hit anyone.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why Isn't She Charged with Attempted Murder?

STLtoday - Law & Order: Woman shot ex-husband in shower, charges say She shot him, NOT in self-defense, but while he was in the shower.
A woman accused of shooting her former husband as he showered at his south St. Louis County home was charged Wednesday with first-degree domestic assault and armed criminal action.
Assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder should be enough. But our elected officials can't leave well enough alone. They have to invent all sorts of laws and crimes to justify their positions.

She shot him (or is at least accused of doing so) while he was not a threat. This doesn't require some BS law about domestic assault - it is plain old assault, or assault with intent to kill, or something that has been around for eons.

Simpler would be better.

Shooting Sports: Sporting Clays

Sports: Sport a hit even with shooters who miss Actually I wanted to include my "hell frozen over sign" because I never expect to see a pro-gun article in the St Petersburg Times.

It isn't really clear from the article if this is trapshooting, skeet or really sporting clays, but for beginners I would expect trapshooting. Still, it is a nice article about a local club having womens and children's clinics.

There isn't one hostile word said about gun. No quotes from the Brady Bunch about how shooting is going to turn the kids profiled in the gang-bangers. In short, no insanity is included. [NRA-ILA]

The Most Intelligent Response to Larry Craig I've Seen

I have avoided the subject of Larry Craig and his run in with the law, because I think that both sides (all sides?) are completely out of control. But this, as crazy as it may seem, is the first thing I've seen that actually comes close to making any sense of the situation.

Do a Good Deed, Get Fired.

Man Says Home Depot Fired Workers For Catching Thieves Apparently Home Depot doesn't want its employees to do anything to stop shoplifting.
A former Home Depot employee said the company fired him and three other workers because they helped police catch several suspected shoplifters in May.
The local Home Depots stopped carrying anything I need a while back. Once upon a time they carried marine-grade plywood, 3M's 5200 (THE boating adhesive) at reasonable prices, a decent grade of varnish, etc. No more. Even stainless steel hardware I've purchased from them is of questionable quality.

But if I was still shopping there, I think this just might convince me to stop giving them any business.
Stewart and the others were fired because "he pursued and assisted in the apprehension of suspected shoplifters."
Now that this policy is out in the open, I am sure all of the shoplifters in the world will descend upon Home Depots all over the country. I wish them all the best of each other.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Who Says You Can't Lose Money in Real Estate?

Boom of condo crash loudest in Miami Speculation never works in the long run.
Just how many other speculators face the same dilemma in the nation's most glutted condo market will become clear during the next two years. That is when 25,000 new condo units, most of them rising in or near Miami's downtown, will flood an area already saturated with 23,000 condos listed for sale. An additional 40,000 units have been approved, but analysts doubt the majority will break ground.
That is an awful lot of condos....

While the frenzy lasted, you could make money - the difference between the pre-construction price, and what you could sell for when the unit was finished. That didn't last. The result?
Now, foreclosure filings are up by 30 percent in greater Miami over last year.
So when the Left is all excited about the eeeevil banks foreclosing on the poor, downtrodden homeowner, remember that a lot of them are speculators who weren't smart enough to pull out before the end came.

People who aren't used to investing, almost never look at the downside. What if your wonderful investment doesn't work out? What is the potential cost? Real Estate speculators in the Florida condo market never expected to have to get a mortgage and actually own the units. In some cases they signed contracts for units they really couldn't afford to own. They expected things to work out for the best, and never made a contingency plan. They never considered the downside risk.

Now there will a cry to protect the poor and the downtrodden for the eeeevil bankers and the foreclosure process.

New Orleans, Two Years On

Katrina and the aftermath aren't over yet. Well Katrina is, but the pain lingers on.

When the people who were convinced the phoenix would rise from the ashes (or the swamps in this case) decide to leave, I wonder how much should be done.

Eve Troeh - who was covering New Orleans for NPR is pulling out. Crime has gotten to be too much. A friend was murdered, others mugged, she was attacked. Time to go.
I just hauled my things out of New Orleans in a big truck. I am still in love with the city, but it's hard to trust it. Maybe we'll both heal, and the relationship will rekindle. I don't know what - or how long - that might take.
My favorite source for crime statistics, the FBI, is letting me down. The Preliminary 2006 Uniform Crime Report lists 2255 violent crimes in New Orleans. There is however some disagreement on the population of the city. The FBI says there were a bit more than 431,000 people in the city in 2006. That would produce a violent crime rate of 523 per 100,000. Other sources have other numbers.
City leaders say fear of crime ranks up there with fear of another Katrina as reasons only about 60 percent of the pre-storm population of nearly half a million has returned.
That figure yields a violent crime rate of about 750 per 100,000.

No matter which number you use, things are not getting better.
Earlier this month, police released figures showing that violent crime overall was up 12 percent for the first half of 2007, compared to the same period for 2006.
One result of the rising crime is rising interest in self-defense.
Crime is a constant topic of conversation in New Orleans, where many say they are arming themselves for the first time.
Aside from the crime issues, you have to ask the question, "Can we protect NOLA from a major storm?"
Is it feasible to realize such levels of flood protection around New Orleans? Yes, if we re-engineer with natural defenses in mind. How much will it cost? Probably in excess of $100 billion. How long will it take? Probably 50 years or more. Is it worth it? [my emphasis, Z-Deb]
The author of this article says "yes." I am not so sure. NOLA is a major seaport, but aside from that - which is mostly back in business today, what is the economic value of the rest of the city to the rest of the country? The French Quarter is back in business - but then most of it didn't flood.

The portion of the city behind levees is 13 or so feet below sea level, and sinking. Move to higher ground.

Living in certain parts of the country comes with certain risks. Earthquakes, fires and mudslides out west, tornadoes in plains states, hurricanes in Florida, the Gulf, and parts of the South. If you choose to live in a place that is known to be at risk, and choose to live there after everything is wiped out, why should I (or anyone else) support your choice, when moving a small distance would mitigate a large portion of that risk? Some risks can be insured against. Some risks, like hurricanes and earthquakes are getting harder to insure. That is life.

In the part of the Midwest where I grew up, building on floodplains was heavily regulated, sometimes forbidden, and usually too expensive to be practical.

When the disastrous Mississippi flood of 1993 destroyed whole towns, the federal government tried to get people to relocate away from the river.
To keep Valmeyer alive, the mayor needed to find a safe haven. Fortunately, he did not need to look far. A five hundred-acre site became available on this bluff, three hundred feet above the Mississippi, and just a mile and a half away from old Valmeyer. To support the relocation, the mayor had to negotiate his way through a maze of twenty-two state and federal agencies. His ultimate success demonstrated how far the federal government was willing to go to remove people from the banks of the Mississippi.
Why should it be any different now?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Anti-gun Bias in the Media? Say it Ain't So!

�--�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper If you watch the network news, you would think that no one ever defends themselves with a firearm.
From Jan. 1 to August 2007, ABC, NBC and CBS ran a total of 650 murder stories. During the same period, self defense cropped up once on ABC, once on NBC and was absent on CBS. ABC's John Stossel referred to two cases of armed self defense on the May 4 edition of "20/20," and NBC's "Today Show" on April 23 featured former Miss America Venus Ramey, 82, who wielded a shotgun to chase off an intruder.
Not representative of the number of times self-defense works.

But then Liberals don't like independent citizens to have guns. They like subjects who are completely dependent on the state for their safety (even though the state can't and won't guarantee safety), just like they want people dependent on the state for everything. Medical care, retirement, schooling, etc.

Could Someone Finally Be Showing Some Backbone?

Immigration raids Koch Foods Ohio chicken plant - Yahoo! News So they arrest 160, tell another 180 that they are under further investigation and the company isn't clear either.
Koch Foods was being investigated for federal crimes including encouraging, inducing or harboring illegal aliens.
I find the timing curious, when compared to couple of high-profile resignations in the Bush Administration.

But either way, I'm glad someone has made some kind of a start. And if the company is guilty I hope they throw a very heavy book at all of the senior officers.

No Surprise this isn't covered in the US media

Americans Say New Gun Laws Unnecessary: Angus Reid Global Monitor 66% of respondents to a Zogby poll think we don't need any more gun laws.

The US media is ignoring this, of course.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Self-defense works

Dead Robber Identified in Self-Defense Case Police are saying this is a clear case of self-defense.
Officers say 27-year-old Alexander Mies entered Salyer's Pharmacy at 10:47am with a bandage over part of his face, exposing just one eye. He asked to pick up a prescription under an alias name. Mies then pulled out a handgun and pointed at the clerk.

At that point, a 58-year-old employee shot Mies once in head with a shotgun.
Ouch.

Self-defense works even when it appears the other guy has an advantage.

Cooperation Does Nothing

NBC2 News Online - Sheriff blames rap music for shootings & robberies The Left loves the idea that if you cooperate with violent criminals they will stop being violent.
LEE COUNTY: For the second time in three days a convenience store clerk has been shot despite following the demands of robbers.
The sheriff blames rap music. I blame the criminals who did the shooting.
"You can see it on the video. He's just lying on the ground and he shot him anyway. He shot him in the back right through the stomach, came out the front. The doctor said it's unbelievable. It missed all the vital organs," said [the brother of the guy who got shot.]
The sheriff blames the music, and culture probably plays a role. But the people are responsible. Not the guns, not the music, but the people who pull the triggers are responsible.

Violent criminals were violent before they attack you and will violent after they leave. Whether or not you cooperate with them will not change their behavior.

The three guys who were apparently involved in the shooting eluded police on foot after abandoning their vehicle.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Green Man?

The Burning Man Project is trying to go "Green" when it meets this week. Good luck. I wonder if they are going to ban Satan's Calliope from the festivities?
Any sounds coming out of Satan's Calliope that resemble Western music are an unfortunate accident.
So says the creator/performer Steve Hoskings.

Burning Man go Green? Is there no room for Dragon's Breath?

MSNBC, parody and racism

I keep going over in my mind how MSNBC reporter Alex Johnson mistook a parody for reality.

What if a Republican politician had confused parody with reality? Would the Left and the MSM accept a simple correction that said, "Oh, we got taken in by a hoax. Those nasty pranksters!" Or would they be howling about racism?

Now I don't particularly like Al Sharpton, but it was pretty clear that even he wouldn't say anything as stupid as what was on that parody site. So what does this whole thing say about the real attitudes of the reporters and editors at MSNBC? I'm just asking.

Wounded Clerk Responsible for Arrests of 3 Goblins

Georgia - Wounded Clerk Treated, Released After Robbery A clerk confronted with armed robbers defended himself, but was wounded in the exchange of gunfire.
[The clerk] was treated and released yesterday afternoon. Three Henry County teenagers are being held in the Spalding County Jail in connection with the robbery.
The 3 are all 17-years-old, and are being charged as adults in this armed robbery.

This little fact will be lost on the Brady Bunch (and other gun grabbers) as they count a "teen tragically shot." The three were arrested when they showed up at a local hospital; one has a gunshot wound to the hand.

It would be nice to think they will go away for a long time, since the streets would probably be safer without them.

Self-defense is a basic human right.

The Economy Looks Good

LexisNexis News - Durable-goods orders surge 5.9% in July Maybe the sky isn't falling.
Orders for U.S.-made durable goods jumped 5.9% in July on higher demand for airplanes, vehicles, computers, machinery, steel and most other kinds of long-lasting manufactured goods, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Excluding the 10.8% increase in transportation goods, orders rose 3.7%, the fastest gain in two years.
Go figure, and here all the MSM is talking about is how the sub-prime mortgages are going to kill to economy. (Or are they just hoping for more bad news?)

65-year-old homeowner defends himeself

Orlando Sentinel - Orange homeowner shoots burglary suspect by Orlando Sentinel Criminal Justice Editor John Cutter How does a 65-year-old man defend himself from a 22-year-old urban goblin without a firearm? I wish the Left would answer that.
A 65-year-old Orange County homeowner shot a man late Friday as he was breaking into his home. ...

[The goblin] was shot in the right arm and taken to a hospital for treatment.
Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Canada Moves Toward a Police State

[Update: It's funny isn't it that the "protesters" and the riot police buy their boots from the same company. A bad novelist would know better than to send people on a covert op wearing standard issue gear. But then the police today, never expect to be "caught" being underhanded.]

The Freeholder: Protest at your own risk. What would you call it when police - masked and armed with rocks - pose as protesters, apparently in the hope of inciting a riot so the that riot-gear-equipped police (standing right there) can move in? That is what happened in Quebec during the recent conclave of the "Three Amigos." Faced with video evidence on YouTube, the Quebec police admit the "protesters" were cops, but claim they did nothing wrong.

Go see the Freeholder for the whole story and the video. And remember that Canada is one of the gun-controlling utopias that the Left is always saying is such a wonderful place.

British Gun Control

British gun control has done nothing but leave the population helpless and usher in an increase in gun crime. Victims and offenders get younger - Telegraph 20 years ago Britain outlawed semi-automatic center-fire rifles. In 1996 they banned handguns. The result has been an increase in crime.
In 1996, there were 14,000 recorded offences in which firearms were reported to have been used. In 2005/6, the last period for which figures are available, there were 21,500.
That's a 54% increase in the number of crimes. And while I'm sure the population has increased since 1996, I doubt it has increased anywhere near 50%. The number of gun crimes has gone up. The rate of gun crimes has gone up. And this doesn't even consider violent crime in general. Over the same period (1996 - 2005) there was a 17% decrease in the number of violent crimes reported in the US. (The gun data is split between many tables, if you are interested that link to the FBI site for the Uniform Crime Report will let you determine the change in gun crime.)

But the British government won't admit that gun control doesn't work. They will enact more of it, and restrict the ability of the average British citizen to defend themselves even more.

For a view of the history of gun control in the UK, take a look at this article: Reason Magazine - Gun Control's Twisted Outcome In 2000, Dan Rather - NOT a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy - said that England had worse crime than the US. And except for rapes and murders he was right. Things have gotten better in the US and worse in the UK since then.
In 1999 The Boston Globe reported that the American murder rate, which had fluctuated by about 20 percent between 1974 and 1991, was "in startling free-fall." We have had nine consecutive years of sharply declining violent crime. As a result the English and American murder rates are converging. In 1981 the American rate was 8.7 times the English rate, in 1995 it was 5.7 times the English rate, and the latest study puts it at 3.5 times. [note: this Reason article is from 2002. Z-Deb]
Gun Control doesn't work to control crime. It isn't working in Britain. It isn't working in Washington, D.C. But that won't stop the Left for maintaining that we just need a little more.

One Teen Dead, Two in Custody Over Apparent Home Invasion

Pine Bluff Commercial - TEEN SHOT AND KILLED IN ALLEGED HOME INVASION So, what would you do if 3 teenagers (at least one armed) kicked in the door of your home?
[Police spokesman Sgt. Greg] Holland said [the dead teen] was armed with a handgun when he kicked in the door of the house, and was confronted by the home owner, ... who also had a gun.

[The homeowner] reportedly fired at [the teen], striking him in the abdomen, and Holland said investigators located a weapon allegedly carried by [the dead guy] inside the house, as well as evidence that the gun had been fired in the residence.
So the Left would maintain that the world would better with no guns, but if there were no guns involved in this case, and the bad guys had knives or baseball bats, there is a good chance the homeowner would be dead. He was able to defend himself - legally defend himself - because he had a gun.

The two other teens were "taken into custody." The homeowner was released since the evidence supports a claim of self-defense.

The Brady Bunch will count a "teen tragically shot" because the fact that this teen was shot in lawful self-defense is not important to them.

Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0

Friday, August 24, 2007

First they were upset about sub-prime mortgages

Now they are upset about the lack of sub-prime mortgages. Mortgages much harder to get | Dallas Morning News What will the be upset about next?

Oh, it is a tear-jerker of a story about a disabled man who wants to downsize his home, but can't come up with the new down-payment required for loans today.

The message from the paper - those eeeevil bankers just want to keep the proletariat down.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Education is the Key

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle

There are all too many instances of a lack of simple training about gun safety leading to a tragedy. Consider this story. A kid playing with a .45, drops the magazine, puts the gun under his chin and pulls the trigger. No one ever told him about safe gun handling. No one ever told him that when you drop the magazine on a semi-automatic pistol or rifle, there is a pretty good chance that there is one cartridge left in the chamber. He never learned that lesson because when he pulled the trigger he blew the top of his head off. [hat tip to A Keyboard and a .45]

A Former UK Detective on Gun Bans

Former detective: It is a gangland culture - Telegraph Britain is a small island nation. You would think if anyone could ban guns it would be them. That wouldn't appear to be the case.
Fire arms can be obtained very cheaply and after they have been used criminals can dispose of them because they are so cheap - a handgun can be bought for about £25 a time.
£25 is about $50 at today's exchange rate. If the ban had chocked off supply, the price would go up. That is basic economics. The supply is good, the price is low, and they are easy to come by.
The legislation that came in after the Dunblane shooting in 1996 has been utterly and totally ineffective. It was a waste of space.
All this did was arrange things so that the criminals have guns, and no one else does, because not even the police on the beat are armed. These arms are coming to Britain from Eastern Europe, and from all the conflict zones around the world.

The only downside to this article is nature of the whole thing. (Give the poor man some cheese with that whine.)
Like other areas of Liverpool, Croxteth has become increasingly more difficult to police over the years due to the gang type culture and the reluctance of people living in the area either to come forward and give either evidence or information about those involved in the gang culture, drugs and crime groups.
When the police are unable to offer any protection, when the good citizen is the denied protection of a personal firearm, of course people are going to keep their heads down. Especially when even if criminals are jailed it isn't for long.

On the subject of police protection, consider a recent case. Two men seriously injured in street shooting - Telegraph:
Armed officers raced to the scene of the attack near Letchworth Garden City station at around 11am this morning.
The cop on the beat can't respond to a shooting because he is unarmed. You wonder how many people were put at risk of traffic fatality by those "racing" policemen. If the police have to travel to your location for some central armory, do you really think they will get there in time to save you? They might be able to take you to hospital if you haven't died by the time they get there.

In short the gun ban hasn't worked. It hasn't removed guns from the streets of Britain, it hasn't lowered crime, it hasn't done any of the things that were promised. Self-defense is a human right, but it requires effective means or that right has been abridged. All the gun ban did was leave the average citizen defenseless in the face of violent confrontations.

Britain's Continuing Push to End Freedom

Britain's rising levels of gun crime - Telegraph This article comes after a high-profile shooting of an eleven-year-old who had been on his way home from playing what the Brits call football. (That would soccer to anyone on this side of the pond.)

Some of the things they police state is considering. Making it a crime not come forward as a witness, regardless of the risk that would put you in. (No mention of witness-protection.)

But the real kicker is constant stopping and searching of suspects (their term).
His officers are also instructed to stop and search suspects regularly. The chief constable, who attended a gun crime summit at Downing Street in February, said such initiatives were leading the way in stamping out the problem.
It isn't that people have to submit to searches as part of probation. They only need to be suspects. But in a police state, everyone is a suspect.

You would think the Brits would wake up before it is too late, but I think it already is too late for the UK.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Myth: Gun Control Stops Crime

[Updated and moved to the top. It seems someone is busy picking nits about the graphic in Stossel's video, so I went and looked at the raw data. It is all in the comments.

Update 2 - I created the graphs that should have been in Stossel's video - they are below.]

John Stossel debunks Gun Control

via John Lott

And speaking of John Lott, here's some of what he had to say regarding the National Academy of Sciences report on gun control (which John Stossel mentions) when it came out. Anti-Gun Academics by John R. Lott, Jr.
The big news is that the academy’s panel couldn’t identify any benefits of the decades-long effort to reduce crime and injury by restricting gun ownership.
...
From the assault-weapons ban to the Brady Act to one-gun-a-month restrictions to gun locks, nothing worked.
Update: The images below are what should have been in Stossel's video. Click the images for a better view




Washington, DC Data
National Data

The DC gun ban was enacted in 1976. The whole point of what was said in the video is that the gun ban reduced neither the violent crime rate in DC, nor the murder rate in DC. If it had any impact, that impact was to increase the rate of violent crime. (I love living in the information age!)

If Guns Cause Crime, Why Aren't All Communities Affected?

Townhall.com::Liberal Views, Black Victims::By Walter E. Williams This is a great article (from a great website) but - as usual - one of the statistics just jumped off the page at me.

Blacks are 13 percent of the population, but suffer most of the crime. 46 percent of murder victims are black. Other violent crimes have similar racial impacts.

But the Left says easy access to guns causes crime.
Liberals and their political allies say the problem is the easy accessibility of guns and greater gun control is the solution. That has to be nonsense. Guns do not commit crimes; people do.

Up through 1979, the FBI reported homicide arrests sorted by racial breakdowns that included Japanese. Between 1976 and 1978, 21 of 48,695 arrests for murder and non-negligent manslaughter were Japanese-Americans. That translates to an annual murder rate of 1 per 100,000 of the Japanese-American population. Would anyone advance the argument that the reason why homicide is virtually nonexistent among Japanese-Americans is because they can't find guns?
It isn't about easy access to guns. It wasn't in 1978 and it isn't today. It is about what society will and won't put up with. So far, we seem willing to put up with a lot.
One of our basic rights is the right to defend oneself against predators. If the government can't or won't protect people, people have a right to protect themselves.

You say, "Hey, Williams, you're not talking about vigilantism, are you?" Yes, I am. Webster's Dictionary defines vigilantism as: a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate.
If we want to reduce crime, we have to make the perpetrators, or predators, pay a higher price.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Columbus, Georgia: Homeowner Shoots Burglar Self-defense is a wonderful thing.
Around 9:30 Wednesday morning police say a man armed with a gun entered a home on Patch drive.

Authorities say the homeowner pulled his own gun to defend himself. Sergeant Harvey Hatcher with the Columbus Police Department tells News Three this was a clear case of self defense. Hatcher says "right now the preliminary investigation shows the homeowner who lives here was confronted by a subject with a gun. The homeowner was able to retrieve his own weapon and fired shots at the suspect".
The goblin ran, but was caught a block away with a gunshot wound to the arm.

If you break into enough homes, eventually you will find an armed homeowner. And "enough" may be one.

Self-defense is a human right.

Tax Exemption or Political Activism

One but not both. WorldNetDaily: Church's pro-life advocacy earns IRS audit You can say abortion is bad. If you tell people who to vote for, and what propositions to support, then you give up your tax exempt status.

This isn't persecution. You have the right to free speech. Say anything you want. But political organizations pay taxes. Churches don't. Take your pick. And if you really truly believe in what you are saying. Good. Pay your taxes the way Gun Owners of America, The National Rifle Foundation, NARAL (which no longer uses the long form of its name) and all the other advocacy groups in America who 'really believe' in what they are saying.

This comes to us via iFeminists, who say,
Ouch! It hurts to come down on the side of the IRS

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Do You Really Need this Warning?

Police warn: violent street robberies are up - FOX23 News I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
(TULSA, Okla.) August 21 - They've been shot, shot at, and pistol-whipped right in front of their homes! Tulsa police are now warning it could happen to any of us. [my emphasis Z-Deb.]
Here is a clue. If you are reading this, you live in the real world. And in the Real World™ there is violent crime. Unless you are spending all of your time in a bank vault (or a bomb shelter) you are at risk for violent crime.

They do at least make one reasonable recommendation.
The best thing you can do is just be aware of your surroundings.
But don't suggest that anyone in the public be armed for self-defense.

Because People Shouldn't Have to Understand Contracts Before Signing

ContraCostaTimes.com - California consumer advocates urge moratorium on foreclosures This is so stupid, it just had to come out of California.
Consumer advocates on Tuesday called for a moratorium on home foreclosures, warning that California is facing a tidal wave of foreclosures over the next year as more homeowners are hit with payment increases brought on by subprime loans and risky mortgages.
No, duh.

So people signed up for mortgages they can't afford, but that isn't their fault, so the state should step in and protect the poor helpless citizen from those eeeevil bankers.

If you can't afford the house you're in with a 15-year standard mortgage, then I don't think you can afford your home. Once you have decided what you can afford, there ARE reasons for using different financing.

But buying the biggest house you can afford based on an interest only loan, or a 30 year loan, or a variable interest rate mortgage with negative amortization (which based on the teaser rate is guaranteed to increase in cost) is NOT a good idea. And if you don't understand what any of this means, you shouldn't be signing a mortgage document without a lawyer explaining it to you.

I blame the Real Estate industry. The banks were just plain stupid. The Real Estate agents knew what they were doing. This isn't the first time that things like variable rate mortgages have been popular. This isn't the first time that people have faced balloon payments they can't afford. In, short, this isn't the first time that real estate agents have sold people houses they can't afford.

If you don't understand contracts, don't sign them.

If you don't understand lending, don't borrow.

If you don't understand anything, move to California; they will recognize your right to be an idiot.

Congress Approval Rating: Historical Trend?

Congress Approval Rating Matches Historical Low Americans' approval of Congress has just matched a record low of 18%, as measured by Gallop. While it would be nice to put this at the feet of the current bunch of yahoos in DC, I'm not sure it would be right. Disapproval of Congress didn't start in January of 07.

Congressional approval rose during middle and late 90s to around 50%. There was an aberration in the numbers after 9/11 when approval went into the 80% range. It quickly came back down to 50%. But then, in mid 2003, about the time the Republican Congress was getting ready to send its second budget to a Republican President, the numbers started to fall. From 50% approval in June of 2003 approval of Congress fell to 21% in December of 2006. There was brief period of euphoria (on the part of the Democrats) in January 2007, where approval rose to 35% and rose again to 37% in February 2007 and then it fell back quite quickly as everyone realized nothing had changed.

The January 2007 numbers are interesting, because by the survey period (Jan. 15 to 18) Congress hadn't done much.

Is it all just related to the economy? Congress was popular in the 90s because the economy was good, and not so in the early part of this decade because the economy is not so good? Is the economy really that bad? Was it that bad last year and the year before and the year before that? Or is there something more going on? If it is all about economics, were the Democrats having that much better of a year than Republicans and Independents? The April approval ratings for Congress by party affiliation of survey respondents were as follows: Democrats - 43%, Republicans - 28%, Independents 27%. Were the Democrats having a really good second quarter, or were they happy about things unrelated to the economy?

With the low approval rating (18%) and the high disapproval rating (76%) probably mean problems for the Democrats, though I don't see how the Republicans can claim it is good for them. The sad thing is, even with these ratings, my guess is that most incumbents will be re-elected next year. [via Capt. Ed]

Betamax All Over Again

2 studios bet HD DVD will be a hit - Los Angeles Times "Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it." But you would think Sony wouldn't be ignorant, since they went through this last time - in almost exactly the same fashion.
Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said Monday that they would offer movies exclusively in the HD DVD format
The big difference is that with Betamax, Sony wasn't a movie studio. Why ANY of Sony's competition would offer movies on Sony's format is really beyond me. With the price of HD-DVD players expected to fall to about 200 bucks, I would say that the "experts" who declared the race to be over, don't know what they are saying.

So of course, since there is no clear winner, I won't be buying a player or any DVDs.
The DVD format battle is reminiscent of the videocassette fracas in the 1980s, won by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.'s VHS technology over Sony Corp.'s Betamax. Many consumers are holding back on hi-def DVD purchases for fear of ending up like Betamax purchasers who bet on the losing format.

Although lower prices will help spur sales of high-definition movie players, consumers will still hold off because they don't want to be stuck with an obsolete machine that won't be able to play new movies from the winning format a year from now, said Chris Roden, an analyst at Parks Associates in Dallas.
Betamax was CLEARLY a better format than VHS. That didn't help it win in the long run. Betamax - if memory serves - was also ahead of VHS in the market, when cheap VHS recorders were introduced and blew Betamax right out of the water.

"It's deja vu, all over again."

Monday, August 20, 2007

How Times Change

Independent Gay Forum - Thompson Makes Three! If Phred Phelps were dead, he would be rolling in his grave.
Of the four leading Republican presidential contenders, three—Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and the all-but-declared Thompson—oppose what only three years ago was the Republicans' most prized cultural wedged issue. Recall that in 2004 all but five Senate Republicans voted for the amendment. Now it's amendment-supporting (and exquisitely inconsistent) Mitt Romney who's the odd one out.
Hmmmmm....

Do you favor Federalism, or Central Government control of everything? Or does it depend on how the states are voting on "your" issues?

If you are interested in the Dems views on the subject, this is a fine review.
The truth is, in contrast to the Republicans, there’s nothing in the Democratic ethos circa 2007 that justifies opposing gay marriage. The leading contenders oppose it only because it’s politically necessary. When the political calculus changes so will they, but not a moment sooner. But it’s hard to blame them for not committing political suicide.
I actually liked the bit on Hillary.
Clinton said she opposed gay marriage for “personal reasons,” which tells us nothing except that she is a careful politician.
But the review covers all of the contenders.

Whatever else it is, it will probably be an interesting election. Even if it is already way too long.

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

cbs11tv.com - Euless Police Investigate Fatal Shooting This is a case of underestimating your "bad ass quotient."
Here's what police say happened: The [dead guy], had been arguing with a woman when a neighbor asked the woman if she was okay. [the dead guy], who was armed with a knife, then walked into that neighbor's apartment. That is when [dead guy] was shot.
"How dare someone try to come to this woman's aid. I'll just grab a knife and go teach them a lesson." Oops.

Of course, as the police say, "We don't really know what happened." At this point they are investigating. A grand jury will likely decide if this was self-defense.

Well, we do know that the guy with the knife died of a gunshot wound. [Hat tip to Pete at Cramer's Place]

Cooperation Did Not Lead to Safety

3 Arrested in Turkey Hill Robbery - CBS 21 This is another case of a store clerk following the Left's (and the cops) tired advice of, "Cooperate with criminals for your safety." It didn't work last week. It didn't work this week.
According to police the men robbed the Turkey Hill store in Manheim Township early Monday morning.

After taking off with cash and cigarettes, one of the men shot out the front window using a rifle and then fired more shots as the trio ran across the street.
The police are confused. They think that violent criminals will stop being violent because you are nice.
"There was absolutely no reason to be shooting at the clerk. The clerk wasn't resisting, wasn't arguing. The clerk was doing a really good job of letting them do what they needed to do and for whatever reason they decided to open fire with a big gun," says Sgt. Tom Rudzinski, Manheim Township Police Department.
The only good news it that the police caught up with these three goblins, and they are behind bars. At least one will be charged with attempted murder.

So I guess we can say... Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0.

More on the British Culture of Crime

Gangs, alas, are offering what boys need | Harriet Sergeant - Times Online This is an interesting article about the gang culture in Britain. It is written by a statist, so it is lamenting the lack of even more government control of the lives of British citizens. Kevin, over at Smallest Minority, has a great review of the article and everything that is wrong with it. But what caught my attention was the insight into British crime statistics.

One of the many odd things about the British home office and their reliance on the British Crime Survey over the actual count of reported crimes is that the BCS doesn't count crimes against people under 16.
The Home Office admits that young men aged 16-24 are most at risk of being a victim of violent crime. But only at the beginning of this year did a Freedom of Information request to each of the 43 police forces reveal that four out of 10 muggings are committed by children under 16 — and that is only the ones reported.
Look at that again. According to the BCS the most victimized group is 16-24 year olds, but then the BCS doesn't count any victims under 16. Do you think the 15-year-olds enjoy a crime-free existence? Neither do I. So how many crimes is the British Home Office (and the British Crime Survey) sweeping under rug? It is really hard to say.

Consider this story, The teenage terror list - Independent Online Edition > Crime from March of 2006.
25+ PER CENT OF all rapes recorded by the police are committed against children under 16 years of age
If the BCS is ignoring 25% (or more) of the rapes because they happen to victims under 16 years, what does that say? That these crimes are not important? Or that the Home Office wants - desperately - to paint a picture of a safe and secure Britain when it really doesn't exist. Rape is a serious crime, and to be leaving 25 percent of rapes out of your crime stats is also a serious crime, of another nature.

How many assaults happen to those under 16? I can't find the answer this morning. Shouldn't it be part of the Home Office reporting?

So what is the real state of Great Britain with regard to crime? I don't think anyone knows, or I don't think anyone outside the Home Office knows. What we do know is that the situation is much worse than the British Home Office wants everyone to think when the publish the British Crime Survey each year.

[This post is an attempt to update/magnify the statistics on British Crime, from a previous post on US crime rates versus British Crime Rates, and the effect of the games played by the UK Home Office on the reported rates.]

The Means to Defend Yourself

Self-defense is a human right, but without effective means it can be difficult to defend yourself successfully. Can a 120 pound woman fight off a 220 pound attacker? Can one person fight off 3 assailants?

This is a 10 minute video on truth about concealed carry, produced by the NRA. It is worth it when you have the time.

The video talks about the campaign against concealed carry in Wisconsin. The Gun-fearing weenies are talking about "wild west shoot-outs." They didn't happen in Florida, Virgina, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota or any of the 38 states that have "shall issue" laws, but they are predicting them in Wisconsin - just like they predicted them in those other 38 states.

"Shall issue" means that if you meet the requirements for carrying concealed weapons, the state "shall issue" you a permit. In other words, you don't have to convince some bureaucrat that you have the right to defend yourself. Those requirements are typically pass a background test showing you have no felony record, and be of sound mind, etc. Then you need to take and pass a safety class. Things that law-abiding people can and will do, and criminals will not do.

"When seconds count, police are minutes away." Concealed carry enables people to defend themselves effectively. [Hat tip to Xavier]

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Bitches are Back

The Bitch Girls :: Well, That Was a Short Break… Bitter Bitch has a new blogging partner, Legal Bitch. I'm sure they will keep up the high bitchy standards.

Restraining Order Does Nothing

Wife remains living in fear: 'You call this protection?' : CHICAGO SUN-TIMES This woman has had acid thrown at her, had the train she works on shot at twice, had so many broken windows and doors and vandalism done to her car that her insurance has been canceled. The most ridiculous thing is that her employer, METRA (a government transit agency in Chicago) moved her to a job where her problems wouldn't impact their riders - a good thing - and cut her pay $30,000 per year - a very bad thing. She is trying to sell the house, for several reasons, but at least in part because at the moment she can no longer afford it.

And since she doesn't want to put her friends and family in harms way, she has reduced contact with everyone close to her.

All of this because of an idiot ex-husband who won't let go. And a justice system that seems unable to produce any justice. The police can't find him. The courts let him out of jail and he "disappeared."

This being Chicago, Illinois, a law-abiding citizen can't even own a hand gun for protection against this kind of terrorism. Of course that law has not stopped the goof-ball husband from acting.

Restraining orders are interesting legal documents, but as this case details, they aren't bullet-proof vests.
Brown's story shows just how little orders of protection actually help domestic violence victims, and how much this kind of domestic terrorism can cost the victim.
I wish someone on Left would leave a comment and explain to me how the world is a better place because this woman is left helpless in the face of an ex-husband who is clearly a threat to her. He knows where she lives. He knows where she works. He has attacked her both at home and at work and the police are helpless to stop it. I'm afraid that one day I will read a story about Ms. Brown being killed at the hands of that goblin. The Left doesn't have a problem with that apparently. They are happy to see Americans like Andrea Brown disarmed in the face of violent attack.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Safety Recomendations from Someone Who Knows

2 gunsWhen danger comes knocking, there's no substitute for a loaded gun Clear enough?
Having been a police officer for 20 years, I give all due credit to the first responders. You must be reminded, however, that paramedics, firemen and law enforcement cannot immediately resolve your emergency or protect you from a violent criminal because it takes time to proceed from Point A to Point B, even when the 911 caller provided crystal clear directions, which seldom occurs.
Police cannot get from where they are to where you are in zero seconds. If fact, it will take them many minutes unless you want to put more people in danger. (How fast should they drive through a residential neighborhood? 50 or 100 MPH?)

He was armed on the job, and kept a loaded gun at home.
I can hear the grannies, male and female, now: "Eeek! A loaded gun! I'm afraid of guns and don't want one near me!" That is an illogical and emotional response comparable to being afraid of your spare tire. The philosophy that supports the possession and use of a defensive weapon is precisely the same as that which supports the spare tire in your vehicle: It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Read the whole thing. [via SayUncle]

Future Drill Sergeant(s) of America

Foxholes and Dogtags - risawn.com Off to Drill Sergeant school for Riswan (also of Incoherent Ramblings). Unfortunately, the permalinks on her mil-blog seem to be SNAFU, so I can't send you to individual entries.

Here is what she said just before she headed out for this training.
I am an army reservist, and therefore don't always have a lot to say about the army that makes posting to this blog worthwhile. I am about to enter Active Duty, not under deployment, but under military training to become a Drill Sergeant that I suspect some would be curious about. I know I would be.
If I remember correctly, she spent a tour of duty in Kosovo (you remember Kosovo, W.J. Clinton got us involved, and I think we are still there. Funny there hasn't been a vote on getting our troops out. How many years have we been there?) Anyway after that tour, she signed up for Drill Sergeant training.

I wish her the best of luck, and thank her for her service to our country.

Glad this isn't headed my way

[click the image for full size]
Hurricane Dean

The island with the line drawn down the middle just north of the storm is Hispaniola; it is divided into Haiti and The Dominican Republic. The island just to the west-northwest of the storm (directly in its path) is Jamaica. Wouldn't want to be there today.

Suffrage or "This Day in History"

LibertyThe Nineteenth Amendment August 18, 1920 was the day Tennessee ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. For those of you who are a bit weak on Constitutional history, the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote.
Nineteenth Amendment
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919.
Ratified August 18, 1920.

Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2: Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
This constitutional amendment was first proposed in 1878. (That's 41 years to get it enacted.)

Cops Behaving Badly

Narcotics chief faces battery charge 2nd time in 3 years this goof-ball has been charged with domestic violence.
On Wednesday, a domestic violence hearing officer in state District Court in Albuquerque issued a yearlong restraining order against Sgt. Michael LeBlanc, 34, that requires him to stay away from his estranged wife.
Of course most people under the control of a restraining order can't carry firearms, but that doesn't apply to police, though they can "only" carry their government-issue firearm. There is that "two sets of rules" again, which usually means there is a police state somewhere.

The Fourth Estate or a Fifth Column

American Thinker: It's Not Just Scott Beauchamp When the press is caught with its hand in the cookie jar again and again and again, you have to wonder what they are about.

Mostly it seems they are about writing fiction. How long did this go on before the Internet allowed people to catch them at it? How many more times do they lie to us and not get caught?

The referenced article catalogs some of the folks like Scott Beauchamp, and Jason Blair, and Mitch Albom and Barbara Stewart and others who made stuff up. And of course "fake but accurate" Dan Rather (or should that be Rather?) and his supposed military memos. Then there are all the instances of plagiarism, and other ethical lapses.

It is interesting to have it all captured in one place. Go take a look.

Is 45 Minutes too Long to Wait for 911 Response?

CLINTON: Town police secure more back-up If you are calling and praying to be rescued, 45 minutes is probably too long.
Town Manager Jim Rhodes said most of the necessary action would take place after midnight. He said response time to Clinton for state police or Kennebec County Sheriff's deputies sometimes can be 45 minutes, depending on where those units are when a call comes in.
That is the current status. They are trying to make things better, but even if they reduce the wait time by two thirds, that would still leave 15 minutes. And they haven't done it yet.

How much can go wrong in 45 minutes? How much can go wrong in 15 minutes? How much can go wrong in 5 minutes. And of course that assumes you can make the call to 911 before the crime happens.

Sure you need to call police, and they need to get there as soon as possible, but you need to be prepared to wait for that 45 minutes as well.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another Cooperating Clerk Shot

Hotel Clerk Shot In Overnight Robbery - News Story - KCCI Des Moines The previous story was a gas station clerk. This is a hotel clerk. Both shot in the leg. Both cooperated with the thieves.
Police said a robber walked into the hotel lobby and demanded money.

The clerk working the overnight shift told police that the man was wearing a ski mask and was carrying a "long gun."

The desk clerk handed over the money, and that's when the suspect shot him in the leg.
Sing the refrain with me.... Violent criminals will not become nonviolent in response to your cooperation.

I Guess These Guys Don't Know They Aren't Suppose to Shoot if You Cooperate

Lancaster Online.com: News : $10,000 reward in Hess clerk shooting So once again we have a story of a store clerk cooperating with robbers only to be shot anyway.
Two bandits came into the Hess store Sunday and demanded money from the clerk, investigators said. The clerk obeyed, but one of the men still opened fire, police said.
They shot a 70-year-old man in the leg with a rifle. Why? Because they are violent scum that's why. Violent criminals do not become nonviolent saints just because you cooperate.

The Left (and the police) love to say that if you cooperate with violent criminals you are less likely to be injured, but they show no statistics to back that up, and ignore the statistics that point to exactly the opposite conclusion.

These urban goblins shot this man for no reason than they wanted to. Did they think a 70-year-old man was going to run after them? They did shoot him in the leg. They wore masks during the robbery so he couldn't identify them. Why shoot him?

Sometimes cooperation with criminals is the smart thing to do. Sometimes not. But the Left (and the cops) usually make it sound like it is the best way to go. It isn't.
New information reveals the old assumptions were found to be largely attributable to confusion concerning the sequence of self protective actions and injury. In crimes where both occurred, injury followed self protection in only 10 percent of the incidents. Combined with the fact that injuries following resistance are almost always relatively minor, victim resistance appears to be generally a wise course of action.
There are no guarantees in this life, and cooperating with violent criminals offers no guarantee of safety, and in fact, has a poorer statistical showing regarding injury.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It Appears Self-defense is Legal in Pittsburgh

JusticeThe Sentinel Online : DA clears Pittsburgh gas station clerk in fatal robber shooting And after only a month. That's not bad Pittsburgh.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said Wednesday that Walter C. Wetzel Jr., 58, of Pittsburgh, will not be charged with a crime in the July 14 shooting at the BP gas station in the city's Beechview section.

Video surveillance and a witness supported Wetzel's version of the shooting, Zappala said. Raymond Crawford, 30, of Pittsburgh, aimed a .357-caliber revolver at Wetzel that night after robbing two other stores earlier in the evening, Zappala said.
A month isn't bad for a DA to decide he can't prosecute self-defense. I wonder if Philadelphia would have reached a different conclusion?

Of course the DA wants us to cooperate. He doesn't offer any proof that leads to safety, just his prejudice.

Good Guys are still up 1 to 0 in this case.

Seems Mexico Doesn't Like Illegal Aliens

BBC NEWS | Americas | Mexico deports stranded migrants Not when they are in Mexico illegally that is. Funny how stuff like that looks different from the other side.
Up to 7,000 people - mostly from Guatemala and Honduras - got stuck in southern Mexico when a rail link to the US ceased operating.

US train operators Genesee & Wyoming Inc (GWI) closed the line because of damage caused by a hurricane in 2005.

The authorities said that around 350 people had been deported so far.
With more to come. (Or is that more to go?)

So why is that we are supposed to let anyone and everyone in from Mexico, but Mexico gets to play by a different set of rules? Just asking. [via John Lott]

Restraining Order Didn't Stop Kidnapping & Assault

Man arrested in kidnapping from library | News | CW2 Colorado | KWGN-TV He is charged with violating a restraining order.... it did not restrain him.
Joseph Ruiz, Jr., 38, from Brighton, now sits in jail on four charges stemming from a suspected kidnapping.

Ruiz is accused of kidnapping his common-law wife of ten years.
This story ended with the woman OK and the guy in jail. It could have ended much worse.

The moral of the story is that restraining orders do not always work. If you really believe you need a restraining order, then you need a plan for your personal safety as well.

Monday, August 13, 2007

All the Cash in the Register Wasn't Enough

Grocery Store Robber Shot To Death By Clerk - News Story - KCRA Sacramento File this under cooperation will not guarantee your safety.
Investigators said the clerk first turned over the cash in the register. But the clerk opened fire when Saling returned demanding more money.
The Left loves the refrain, "Cooperate with criminals to be safe." That's what this clerk did. It wasn't worth anyone's life over the few dollars in the cash register. Until the knucklehead returned and wanted more money, money the clerk didn't have.

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

Self-defense is a human right - even if you are a college student

LibertyStudents push for guns on campus - The Washington Times The anti-gun crowd didn't manage to stop the Virginia Tech killings with their "no guns allowed" policies. Students now realize that if anyone is going to stop a madman, it is going to be the people under attack. To that end, they are organizing to have their rights respected.
"There's no way to know what could have happened, but the students at Tech, they really should have had a chance," Mr. Dysart said of the April 16 shootings in which gunman Seung-hui Cho killed 32 persons, then fatally shot himself. "They should have had the chance to defend themselves if it came down to that."

Virginia law lets schools decide whether to allow students with concealed-weapons permits to carry their guns on campus. One state school, Blue Ridge Community College, gave permission. Schools cannot prohibit nonstudents or other outsiders from carrying weapons onto campuses if they have legal permits.
This is about students in Virginia, but I can see it spreading to other states as well.

These are students, who according to Virginia law can carry concealed anywhere save on campus. Why is that? Are college campuses in Virginia immune to crime? Are they never the location of mass shootings? Or is it just that they are the hot-bed of liberal group-think?

Raven of And Rightly So! is looking forward to the debate.
Will those who think they know what’s best (the anti gun crowd) explain to these young people that they have no right to self defense?
Probably something along those lines.

The Problem of Gangs and Gun Violence in the UK

Gangs, guns and justice for Jessie - Times Online This is the story of a young man, little more than a child at 15-years-old, who died in a gang shooting. He was probably killed because he refused to join a gang, and could not get away from the neighborhood he lived in.

It is a story of witness intimidation, and a mother's grief, and for those reasons (and more) it is worth a look.

But what caught my attention were the statistics about violence in the UK.
Even staying at home is not safe. In February a pair of 15-year-olds, Michael Dosunmu and Billy Cox, were separately shot dead in their bedrooms in south London – accounting for just two out of 3,500 gun crimes in London over the past 12 months.

Though considerably smaller than London, Manchester has seen more than 3,000 firearms incidents in the 15 months up to May – equivalent to seven gun crimes a day.
This is in a small island nation that has virtually outlawed handguns and all but outlawed long-guns. Has gun-control worked to do anything but leave the population at the mercy of the gangs?

It is a good thing concealed carry is outlawed in churches

STLtoday - Gunman opens fire at a church in Neosho Someone might have gotten hurt. Oh, wait... people did get hurt.
A gunman opened fire inside a church Sunday afternoon in southwest Missouri, killing three people and wounding four to six others, authorities said.
I wonder if he had "prior approval" for having a weapon on church property? The law in Missouri states that you have to have prior approval from the powers-that-be before you can bring a weapon onto church property.

And why would someone bent on murder and mayhem not respect the law? Oh, wait...

This story is a tragedy, and I don't mean to cast aspersions on anyone except the legislators in the great state of Missouri who believe that gun-free-zones will stop criminals. They only stop law-abiding people from being able to defend themselves.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cleanup in Aisle 5

Attempted robbery in Pembroke Pines lands suspect in hospital -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com One guy is in the hospital (awaiting jail) and another is in jail.
An armed robbery suspect is in the hospital after a convenience store clerk shot him in self-defense earlier today, police said.

Bruce Flanders, 54, fired at the suspect after the alleged robber and another male walked into the Super Stop Food Store at 6460 Pines Blvd. at around 12:30 p.m., with a shotgun and demanded cash, said Sgt. John Jacob. The 21-year-old armed suspect had racked the shotgun before the men demanded money and pointed the weapon at Flanders after the store clerk showed his gun, Jacob said.
Self-defense is a human right, and it works. Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Armed Citizen Goes to Cops Defense

Officer Wounded, 3 Dead In Interstate Shootout - News - MSNBC.com Police are under fire at the scene of a car crash. Several people had stopped to help before the shooting started.
Several passersby who had stopped to help told police that they, too, were fired on when they tried to approach the car. As bullets continued to fly, one of those passing motorists went to his car, grabbed a gun and began returning fire.
The goblin who initiated the firefight ended by killing himself. [hat tip to Front Sight]

Ellen Goodman is a Complaining Little Witch

Ellen Goodman, Helpless Little Girl | MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy I was going to write about this, but Beth is all over it.
Oh, looky here. A poor helpless widdle girl is asking where all the female political bloggers are again, and why The Man™ is keeping us down.
The last time someone with this much media attention asked this question it was a man. A bunch of women got together and started The Cotillion as an answer. I have since parted ways with that group, but to think that after all this time someone is dopey enough to raise the same question all over again.

The truth is Ellen G. comes across as the most technologically illiterate to have access to the MSM since Dan Rather tried to pass a Microsoft Word document off as a type-written letter from the 60's or whenever.

Anyway, Beth does a fine job of demolishing Goodman. Go take a look.

Update: Goodman's email is available for all to see. Send her a link to your favorite woman-run political blog.

Update: Captain Ed Also has a few choice words on the subject of dear Ms. Ellen.

But Canadians Don't Need Guns...

FOXNews.com - Man Pulls 12-Year-Old's Head From Cougar's Jaws - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News A kid on a camping trip in British Columbia is attacked by a cougar.
Patterson's quick action was credited with saving Colton Reeb who was on a camping trip near Clinton, northwest of Kamloops, when he was attacked by the mountain lion on Wednesday.

The cougar pounced on Reeb while he was walking to a bathroom close to the Kelly Lake Vacation Lodge. Patterson, who owns the lodge, jumped in to rescue the 12-year-old boy, a family friend.
He kicked, hit, and eventually growled at the cat before it took off. Too bad he didn't have a weapon.

The cat was eventually killed by the authorities.

No, you don't need firearms to defend yourself or others from attacks by wild beasts, not in Canada. It is like living in Narnia. </sarcasm> [Hat Tip]

One of the Great Thinkers Has an Unpopular Thought

Edge: HERETICAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SCIENCE AND SOCIETY By Freeman Dyson Freeman Dyson is one of the great thinkers of our time. He postulated the creation of a Dyson Sphere (made briefly famous due to an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation). He doesn't think much of global warming.
My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do.
The models do some things well. They do some things poorly
The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.
But then he always has been willing to speak his mind. [Hat Tip]

Crime in Florida

Statistics show crime rate down in Florida, Walton County So the cry-babies in the Brady Bunch, and other gun-grabbing groups, predicted that the Castle Doctrine, or "Stand Your Ground" would result in bloodshed across the state. Wrong again.
According to the recently released Uniform Crime Report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the statewide crime rate from last year was the lowest it has been since 1971.

Since 1996, the statewide crime rate index has decreased 38 percent and the violent crime rate has been cut a respectable 33 percent. Domestic violence has also decreased nearly five percent since 2005.
The Left will of course point out that the violent crime rate did increase marginally (flat statistically?) from 702.2 to 705.8 per one hundred thousand. But their predictions of wild-west shootouts have proven inaccurate.

Good Thing the UK Outlaws Self-defense

Couple Attacked At Home By Knifeman - UK News Headlines Couldn't possibly let law-abiding seniors have a firearm to defend themselves against a knife-wielding thug, someone might get hurt.

When I see stories about effectively helpless seniors killed by the urban goblins of the world, I get so upset with the gun-controllers. A 60-year-old woman is dead. Her 61-year-old husband is in the hospital. They were attacked in their home with a knife. The gun-control laws left them helpless. The knife-control laws failed to stop their assailant. What should they have done?

Had they been armed there is no guarantee that they would be safe. But disarming them, and discouraging self-defense, left them helpless victims in their own home. Self-defense is a human right, but when you deny the old and the infirm the tools to defend themselves you abridge that right. You make them easy prey to the monsters among us.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another look at 911 response time

Dial 911 and let the system come to your rescue. That is the advice given by the Left time and again. Is it reasonable to trust your safety to the police? Consider these stories.

City needs wake-up call over slow 911 response :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Commentary
Scottsdale residents have every reason to be furious over the lame response to Saturday's 911 call from Durkin Park. It took an appalling 26 minutes for dispatchers to direct police to a bloody brawl. The melee left a 16-year-old boy in a coma and eight other people in the hospital after a teenager drove an SUV into a crowd. Officials said the response time on top-priority calls like this should be 2 to 3 minutes.
UpdateFlorida: Sheriff's office investigates slow 911 response in Jax child abuse case
24 minutes after the first 911 call, deputies arrived on the scene. They found the child naked in her room, covered in welts and bruises, whimpering and shivering according to the arrest report.
3 calls to 911 - during which people were told not to interfere and where police were 2 miles away and 5 miles away, it still took this long.

And if you are on a cell phone - it really is more like dial-a-prayer. KOMU.com - 911 System Not Cell-Ready - Improve Your View
There's a greater than 2 out of 3 chance that emergency responders can not find you if you are calling 911 from a cell phone in Missouri. Emergency responders throughout the state say response time is hindered significantly for those calling in on a cell phone.
Think the police are going to save you from that rapist? They can't even find you. Do you have time to give them detailed directions? I doubt it.

You are free to trust the system. You are free to believe that the police can get to you before you become a victim of a violent crime. You are free to believe in the Easter Bunny too, just don't expect me to share in your delusions.

Police are not called before a crime happens. (You are thinking of the movie Minority Report, but it really was fiction.) Police are called after something bad has happened. That isn't a slam against police; it is just the way things are.

Given all of that, I will put some effort into planning of for my own safety. That will offer no guarantee of my safety, but is should help. Self-defense is a human right.

Makes Me Wish I Was in Ohio

Six GunsGuns of August Home Page The Single Action Shooting Society is always having fun. This weekend is the regional shoot in Middletown, Ohio - between Cincinnati and Dayton.

Speaking of 911 Response Times

Getting territorial: Who ya gonna call? | Latest News | WFAA.com What if you called 911 and no one came?
On Thursday night, Cory Bounds swerved to avoid another driver and crashed his car into a utility pole. Unfortunately for him, part of the intersection is in Keller; part of it is in Fort Worth; and part of it is in neither city.
He waited 45 minutes before anyone showed up on the scene to determine if he was OK. He could have been seriously injured in this crash and died while the bureaucrats argued about who should bother to save his life. Luckily he wasn't injured that bad.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Local News: Alleged robber shot down | police, store, landon - Appeal-Democrat.com Police aren't saying much, but here's what we know.

A man with a firearm and cash from a convenience store died in the parking lot of the store. The store is known to keep weapons for the employees.
Deputy Police Chief Rob Landon said the suspect robbed the market, but never left the premises.

“He made it to the other side of the parking lot and expired,” Landon said.
Names have not been released.

The Religion of Peace is the Religion of Brutality

Honor Killings in Turkey Claimed Lives of Mother, Daughter It is funny that they don't mention the ethnic/religious background of the people involved in this story. That wouldn't be politically correct.
A woman (47) deserted her husband in Kars, in eastern Turkey, and moved in with her divorced daughter (27), mother of three. They were located by the husband/father and his son who came yesterday to the women's home in Kocaeli, where the 19 year old son brutally killed his mother and his sister by beating them on the head with a bat, with his three young nephews watching.

Upon his arrest the 19 year old said that he had killed the women to clean the honor of his family.
And Turkey is supposed to be an "enlightened" nation.

How to Stop a Charging Pit Bull

KTUU.com | Alaska's news and information source | Homeowner wounds charging pit bull What would you do if a neighbor's pit bull tried to crash through your screen door?
Police say the dog tried jumping through the neighbor's screen door last week. When it tried again, police say the homeowner shot it.
As for shooting the dog...
Police say while discharging a firearm is against a city ordinance, the homeowner was well within his rights in trying to defend himself and his home from the dangerous dog.
Imagine this interaction without firearms.... The headline might read "Homeowner mauled by neighbor's dog."

Friday, August 10, 2007

15 minutes = as fast as possible

2 attacks near pier startle Shady Side community - South County - (HometownAnnapolis.com) While this story isn't about life and death, it does point up one problem with the Left's favorite strategy of "call 911 and wait to be rescued." That problem is response time. How long does it take police to arrive (always assuming you can call them BEFORE the crime is committed)?

While discussing police response times...
Capt. [Pam] Davis Capt[, commander of the county's southern district,] noted that there is a substation at Solomons Island Road and Route 258. She added that substations only allow officers to do paperwork closer to their posts - they don't bring any additional officers to the area.

"In general, they are probably going to be out on the road," she said, acknowledging that sometimes it might take an officer 15 minutes to respond to a call. [My emphasis, Z-Deb]
A lot can happen in 15 seconds, let alone 15 minutes.

And before you say that this is an aberration, consider this data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. (it is a PDF, You have been warned!) that says - as of 2005 - while in about 56 percent of violent crimes, police responded in 10 minutes or less, that still leaves 34% of violent crimes where the response time is much higher. In some cases very high. Property crimes of course have a longer response time, having a lower priority.

An awful lot can happen in a few seconds of a violent attack. And as someone or another has said, "When seconds count, the police are minutes away." The sad truth is that police show up after the fact, take statements, collect evidence and try to find out "who did it." "It" has already been done by the time they show up.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sheriff - More Guns = Less Crime

Tri-City Herald: more concealed gun permits would boost public safety
MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - The sheriff of a north-central Idaho county where a shooting rampage left four dead and three wounded last May wants more people to obtain concealed weapons permits and carry guns, including on the University of Idaho campus, to improve public safety.

"In my opinion, if there were more students with (concealed weapons permits), the world would be safer," Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch told the Lewiston Tribune on Tuesday. "Just because we (law enforcement officers) are charged with protecting the public, doesn't mean the public shouldn't be able to protect itself."
All the usual suspects - including the press - are on the other side. [NRA-ILA]

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Heading for the Exits in the UK

Daily Express: 4,000 people a week trying to leave UK People seem to want to leave.
The country’s biggest foreign visa consultancy firm has revealed that applications have soared in the last seven months by 80 per cent to almost 4,000 a week. Ten years ago the figure was just 300 a week.
Heading for Australia, Canada, South Africa,... the Commonwealth. (And where English will serve.)

Mostly 20 to 40 year old professionals and skilled workers are leaving. Driven away by crime, and high taxes.
And many cite their reason for wanting to quit as immigration to these shores – and the burden it is placing on their communities and local authorities. The dearth of good schools, spiralling house prices, rising crime and tax increases are also driving people away.
The end of an era, or the end of a country? This doesn't bode well for the UK. [h/t Tam]

Cops Behaving Badly and Chicago Backing Them Up

Deaths put Chicago police under pressure - Yahoo! News Mayor Dumbbell Daley has a crisis in Chicago. The police keep killing people and beating people and sometimes end up on video doing it.

The most recent case, cops say a man threatened them with a gun. Just one problem, he was shot in the back.
police shot and killed an 18-year-old man who they say flashed a gun at them and ran away.

The latest shooting prompted an angry crowd of more than 100 people to gather near the scene where the Cook County medical examiner's office said Aaron Harrison was killed by a gunshot wound to the back.
Even though the investigation is not finished, police have already decreed that all is well. The cops acted properly - or at least according how that is defined in Chicago.
Adding to the department's troubles are recent incidents caught on tape.

In one video, a tavern's security camera captured 12-year police veteran Anthony Abbate pummeling a woman bartender half his size, allegedly after she refused to serve him. Abbate eventually was charged with aggravated battery.

More bar security-camera video appears to show several off-duty Chicago police officers scuffling with four businessmen in a Dec. 15 incident that has spawned criminal charges and a civil lawsuit. Like Abbate, the officers have pleaded not guilty.
Da Mayor Jr. has taken control of the office that investigates complaints. And since we all know how honest and above-board the Mayor of Chicago's office is, we can rest assured that nothing will be swept under the rug. [via KABA]

Drinking and Drugs Are Bad for Your Health

KCBD - Toxicology Reports Released for Texas Tech Student Shot and Killed in Tech Terrace Get stoned and drunk and wander into the wrong house and there is a chance you will be treated like the intruder you are.
Toxicology reports now show Baker had a blood alcohol level of .165, which is more than twice the legal limit. There was also evidence of marijuana in his system.
While I will bend far enough to admit this is a tragedy, I feel the homeowner was justified in defending himself against an intruder.

This drunk and stoned college kid entered the home "in the early morning hours." What was that? 3 AM? What would you have done?

Texas is in a gray area. The law has been passed and signed, but doesn't take effect until September first of this year. (Why is that?) Still I believe that if someone breaks into your home in the middle of the night, you are justified in defending yourself.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

More Home Security

Safe and secure: TCPalm It appears that home invasions are on the rise. This is another article about what to do to improve security of your home.

I like the landscaping tips. Use plants that would discourage a burglar, such as a large cactus or something else with thorns under the windows.

See also my previous thoughts on the subject.

Reporter Takes Gun Class

LJWorld.com / In the line of fire Last month, Chad Lawhorn, bought a cheap gun, as the first part of a series about getting a concealed carry permit in the great state of Kansas.

He apparently got a lot of grief over his choice.

Anyway, this month he reports on his class. And it is a pretty good report. Not completely pro-gun yet not a propaganda piece for the Brady Bunch either. To be fair, in a concealed carry permit class you do have to discuss some pretty disturbing things: how (or where) to shoot an attacker, how many times to shoot, the fact that every bullet comes with a lawyer attached, etc.

I think I would like Max Miller, the instructor who taught the class. He makes an excellent point about not giving up if you are injured.
This next part was even more uncomfortable. Miller turned the tables on us. He was no longer talking about shooting a man. He was talking about us getting shot.

After all, if you are having to shoot a man, it may very well be because he has a gun, too. The main message is this: Don’t let a bullet stop you from fighting on and protecting yourself.

“Remember, if it hurts, you’re still alive,” Miller said. “Just because you’re hurt and hurt really bad, that’s not a reason to give up.”

Then he delivered the line that I can just imagine Knute Rockne giving to a bunch of sad-sacks.

“Don’t get demoralized and die when you don’t have to.”
There is more, go take a look.

I'm not sure how many more articles will be in this series; I expect there will be one more anyway. I find I am actually looking forward to it.

Oh No! The Sky is Falling!

I never cease to be amazed at the hysteria of the press. Headlines like, "Oil Prices Plummet!" are everywhere. www.kansascity.com | 08/07/2007 | Crude oil prices continue to decline Oil did drop about 3 dollars. That is in part because everyone underestimated the effect of price elasticity of demand.

The price of oil and gasoline went up. So people are driving less. Some states are worried about falling gas tax revenue, since cars are also getting more efficient. So the run-up to $78 per barrel for crude oil was all speculation, and fear-mongering over the limited supply. Turns out those fears were misplaced.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is still above $70. The market has NOT collapsed. The sky is not falling. But what would editors do if they weren't writing hysterical headlines - first about the horrible rise in oil prices, then about the horrible drop in oil prices? I mean be reasonable; you can't have hysterical headlines about the price of oil remaining steady now can you?

Update: It was just last week that everyone was predicting $100 per barrel - all because 1 contract (or one set of contracts) in the oil futures market was sold. People, if the people who run the markets could predict the future, they would have retired years ago. And, of course, the hysteria was rampant. Hysteria when the price of oil goes up, I actually understand. Since the US consumes more oil than we produce, a price increase is bad for us. Hysteria when the price goes down makes no sense at all.

If You or I Did This, We Would Not Be on "Administrative Leave"

14 WFIE, The Tri-State's News Leader: OK: Cop shoots child We would be in custody.

A cop, shooting at a snake in a tree misses. And forgetting about the rules of safe gun handling, completely ignores the question of what was beyond his target. Turns out there was a five-year-old boy fishing with his grandfather. The boy was struck in the head by that wayward bullet and killed.

You or I would be in jail charged with negligent homicide at the very least. In some parts of the country, the charge would be much more severe. But a cop gets placed on administrative leave.

There are rules for safe gun handling and safe shooting. They apply - or they should apply - to everyone including the police. Apparently they don't.

Catching Up - part 2

Stephen of Hold the Mayo, one of the first bloggers I read regularly, nominated me for this award. I am honored, even if it has taken way to long to get to work on passing it along.

Since I just nominated a bunch of my favorite women bloggers in part 1, I thought I would limit myself to the guys (mostly - See the Llamas new hires).

Robbo and Steve-O of The Llamabutchers. Disguised with a lot of comedy and many photos of Melissa, these guys have a lot of insightful posts. (They have some new additions to the crew, but I am less familiar with them.)

Eric of Classical Values, who I almost always agree with.

Paul of Right Side of the Rainbow, who is a fellow gay-gun-blogger. He would be a man after my own heart, if either of us went in for that kind of thing.

Finally, The Pro-Gun Progressive. He reminds me that real discourse is still possible, and that I don't have to agree with everything someone says, to respect them and their opinions.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Catching Up - part 1

A while back, Monica, from A Grizzly Momma, tagged me with a mine for "rocking girl bloggers." She probably thought I was ignoring her, or that I didn't see the link. But I did. (but "girl" still puts my back up a tad...(sound of cat hissing....) Oh well... here goes.)

So my nominations are:

Attila Girl, From Little Miss Attila. Just the right amount of snark, to start your day.

Beth from My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. She's in a bit a "blue period" right now, but she was a major driving force behind the Cotillion.

Bitter, of the Bitch Girls. When Beth's snark isn't enough.

Caltech Girl of Not Exactly Rocket Science. She's smart, insightful, but I doubt she will ever see this.

Of course Tam, at A View From the Porch for the mockery of things that deserve being mocked.

Finally, Michele at A Big Victory, who got me started in this whole blog thing, by example. And anyone who loves Killer Klowns for Outer Space can't be all bad.