Monday, March 31, 2008

When Political Correctness Runs Amok

CFP: So What if I’m Racist? If you oppose immigration - unbridled and illegal - you will be labeled a racist. The substance of your argument will be dismissed.

This is the view of an environmentalist struggling with the issue in Canada.
I’m an environmentalist and I have chosen to make a lot of noise about immigration. In doing so, as one could predict, I am just about as popular as flatulence in an elevator. I talk loudly about the ugly “I” word because I would rather be right than politically correct. I know that if we grow our population by 18% we can’t expect to cut our GHG emissions by 3%. It can’t be done. I know that if we have covered 20% of our Class 1 farmland in sprawl with this kind of growth that we haven’t a hope of feeding ourselves when the oil runs out if immigration rates persist.
Green house gas targets connected to population? (The Left would never look at GDP created for those gas emissions.)

Political Correctness is all about silencing speech. You are not allowed to say anything that isn't government approved. Soon you will only think the approved thoughts.

He was shot even though he cooperated

UPDATE: Greenville Clerk Shot In Early Morning Convenience Store Robbery The Left loves the refrain, "Cooperate with criminals and you will be safe." They never seem to mention rape, just robbery, but even so. That claim to safety is a lie.
Officers say a man, wearing all black with a banadana covering his face is seen with a semi-automatic handgun. Detectives say the suspect demanded money from the clerk, 58 year old John Stowell. Officers say Stowell complied and was shot anyway as the gunman tried to get away.
The simple fact is that violent criminals are violent, and even if you cooperate, they will remain violent.

Of course having a plan for your defense will not guarantee your safety either. There are no guarantees in this life. But it is better to recognize that and plan accordingly than trust to advice that is plainly not true.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"my freedom is much more important than your faith"

More demands from Islam Just take 5 minutes (or so) go see it.

Pat Condell is the British guy who loves to stick it to radical Islam. [Hat tip to friend, Rich, who sent this via email]

Reality Sets In, People React Accordingly

Gun sales on the rise: Series of York County shootings, robberies have been impetus for increase The Left loves to say that you should call police and cooperate with criminals to be safe. The problem is that those strategies don't work.
On Jan. 28, a gunman demanded money at Rock Hill's Saltwater Seafood Market. Ping Chen, 40, handed over $300 but was shot in the right shoulder and left hand. Chen has since returned to work.

On Feb. 5, a clerk at John Boy's Valero in Fort Mill was shot in the stomach after handing over money to a gunman. The triggerman also shot a customer, former Fort Mill Mayor Charlie Powers, in the face.
There are more examples.

The fact is that violent criminals don't stop being violent because you are nice to them.

People realize this and the fact that when seconds count, police are minutes away. The result has been expected: gun sales are up about 25% in the region covered by this story, and concealed carry permit classes are booked for months in advance.

This story even shines a light on the Left's list of expected horrors of concealed carry ("wild west shootouts" and the rest).
"The litany of horrors has not happened, and it's not surprising," said Lance Stell, an authority on gun topics related to Constitutional law, ethics and self-defense. "The evidence has proven that since the legal permission has spread across the country, the prediction that it would be a very bad thing and increase violence is proven not correct."
And while they can find one prosecutor who doesn't like self-defense, they also found a sheriff who supports people with concealed carry.
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant supports those who legally carry handguns.

"People have a right to carry a firearm for the purpose of protecting themselves and their family," Bryant said. "I support that Constitutional right.

"We very rarely have any conflicts with the people who go through the training," Bryant added. "They're not the ones out there violating the law."
The quote by the prosecutor is subtle, and if his attitude is common, I hope South Carolina has a good Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law.

Self-defense is a human right. The police cannot protect you every minute of every day. If you do meet a violent criminal, in the few seconds to few minutes that are going to count, you will be on your own with only the resources you carry with you.

Another Reporter Learns to Shoot

It's all about feeling safe and protecting yourself: Reporter pursues concealed weapons permit I take issue with the headline - it is about BEING safe - but that is really the only problem.

A nice description of what it is like to shoot a gun for the first time.

Toya Graham decided to get a concealed carry permit (see the video) because she sometimes has to report on stories late at night, in bad neighborhoods. She decided it was necessary for her safety to have something besides her keys to defend herself.

They do not include any quotes from the gun-fearing weenies. This is refreshing in itself.

There is also video
!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

You Will Hear a Lot about Geert Wilders' film

Updated and bumped to the top to reflect the fact the LiveLink removed the video. We shall have to see how long this one lasts. If you can spare 15 minutes, and can stomach the images, it really is worth seeing this film, if only because it will probably be gone in no time. (Free speech is not much valued today.)

Fitna is about Islam, and it isn't flattering. Translated passages from the Koran, together with images of the atrocities committed all over the world. Film of Islamic leaders stating their intent. You should see it.

Be warned! There are some pretty disturbing images in this film.

Free speech has to include the right to say things that upset some people, or it isn't free.

You apparently can't embed this video, but for the time being it can still be found on YouTube!.

Also on Google Video, but harder to see.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Updated: see below

Radio Iowa: Pizza delivery driver shoots man who tried to rob him Armed self-defense does work.
The unidentified delivery man was taking a pizza to the second floor of an apartment building about 10:40 last night when he says a man with a gun tried to rob him.

The delivery man told police he pulled his own gun and fired, hitting the would-be robber.
The goblin was taken to the hospital and will be charged with first degree robbery. The goblin's girlfriend will be charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

The pizza delivery guy was not charged. I don't know what form of the Castle Doctrine they have in Iowa, but I would be surprised if he were charged with anything. Self-defense is a human right.

Update via John Lott: It seems the bad guys may have scored one point after all. But Pizza Hut doesn't like self-defense. Pizza Hut, the pizza company in question, doesn't like their drivers to defend themselves. Update: Arrest made in pizza shooting | The Des Moines Register Pizza Hut is happier when every one of their employees is a defenseless victim. They have suspended the guy from his job.
Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut, said:

“We have policy against carrying weapons. We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.”
Yeah, it makes the thieves very safe.

Time to let Pizza Hut know you won't be buying any more pizzas from them.

What Happens When Politicians Ignore Market Forces?

Primary Health Care Needs Fixing Before Universal Care Can Work - WSJ.com Politicians promise universal health care, but do everything they can to force doctors out of primary care.... the specialty that would provide that universal health care.
Low payments to primary care doctors are discouraging those of us in practice and are dissuading new doctors from entering the field. Medicare's proposed 0.5% fee increase to family doctors like me for the remainder of 2008 is well below inflation. None of my office expenses will rise less than 0.5% this year.
I guess it really is true that Socialists don't understand market forces.

Take the People's Republic of Massachusetts for example.
Massachusetts, the state with mandated insurance coverage most like Sen. Hillary Clinton's health plan, has suffered a painful shortage of family doctors the last two years. More people signed up than predicted and higher costs have led to premium increases.
Of course that shortage of doctors remains a problem. You can't give people free medical care if there are no doctors to provide the care.

Home Invader Meets Another Armed Homeowner

Homeowner Kills Intruder During Hickory Hill Home Invasion - Memphis In an area plagued by burglaries and car theft, a miscreant picked the wrong home.
Investigators say a man who had been breaking into cars on Hyacinth forced his way into a home around 2:30 a.m. Friday, March 28, 2008.

Once inside, the crook got into a gunfight with the homeowner. The intruder was killed and the homeowner was rushed to The Med with a gun shot wound. He is in non-critical condition and preparing to give police a statement.
Self-defense is a human right.

Monday Morning Quarterbacks Love to Judge Self-defense

Local News: No Charges For Gas Station Shooter | charges, rapids, grand - wwmt.com The relatives of the guy who got shot are not happy, but self-defense under the Castle Doctrine is a call left to the man facing the situation.
after watching the surveillance video and investigating the case, Kent Co. Prosecutors agreed that Rodriguez' actions could have been interpreted as life-threatening.

"As you're watching (the surveillance video), this happens in an instant," said Kent Co. Prosecutor Bill Forsyth. "We could sit here and Monday-morning-quarterback this, and say well, 'He could have closed the door to his truck and gotten in and driven away. (Tett) could have stepped back, he could have waited to see what it was he was swinging at him, it might have changed things,' but that's not the way the law is written."
Faced with a hostile threat - a "wait and see" attitude can get you injured or killed.

Now I don't know what happened, and neither do you - neither of us were there, but the Castle Doctrine allows the person facing the danger to make the call. The prosecutor sounds sorry he can't bring charges, and that is exactly why the Castle Doctrine is in place. And in this case the surveillance tape backs him up.

I Suppose This Explains Why I Am Awake at 3:30 a.m.

The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?

Gratuitous Movie Review

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - 1967 was a very different year. The subject of interracial couples was shocking, and actually it was illegal in some states for interracial couples to marry. It was in 1967 that the Supreme Court ruled on the issue in Loving v. Virginia, concluding that Virginia’s miscegenation laws were unconstitutional.

In that movie, Dr. John Wade Prentice (played by Sydney Poitier), falls in love with, and decides to marry Joanna (Joey) Drayton (played by Kathrine Houghton - Kathrine Hepburn's niece). With Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy playing the parents, it is pretty predictable, but wonderful nonetheless. (It was Spencer Tracy's last film.) Seeing three Academy Award Winners together is great. Seeing the racial tension and divide of 1967 is fascinating.

There is a line where Sydney Poitier talking to Spencer Tracy says Joanna believes that their children could grow up to be President of the United States, but that he would settle for Secretary of State. It was meant to be ironic. Funny how times change, isn't it?

There are some wonderful moments in this film, both funny and moving, but it is worth seeing for the 8 minute monologue Spencer Tracy delivers at the end of the film on the subject of love. (OK, it isn't quite a monologue - 2 characters get short lines in the 8 minutes.) I haven't seen the farcical remake they did a few years ago, and I don't want to. The original is a classic. Hepburn and Tracy don't disappoint, and Poitier is superb. You should see it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

File this under "neighbors are shocked"

Coyotes walk on the wild side (and they always will) Usually I write about how people who live in "nice" neighborhoods are shocked to discover that crime has invaded their idyllic little communities. They thought they lived in Andy and Barnie's Mayberry, but they really live in the real world.

This story is similar. It is about how people who move to suburban areas are shocked to discover how wild animals are different from their pets. In fact they often see their pets as food.

The "shocked neighbor" in this story was surprised that a coyote could jump a five foot fence.
Live long enough in the country and you're going to lose a cat or three to owls and coyotes, maybe even a rattlesnake or a neighbor with a .22 standing guard over a bird feeder.

We have gray foxes out here (I saw one just last week, right by the house) and I'm sure even they could gang up on a cat and kill it.

That's life. Unpleasant as it is, it's just life.

But it's real life. And despite all our suburban dreams of some kind of neo-pastoral bliss shared among all God's creatures — coyotes, bobcats, foxes, diamondbacks and black widows don't think that way.
It gets better from here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Meredith Emerson

A lot of people have something to say about the fate of this woman, but I think LawDog says it best. The LawDog Files: "She was doing everything she was supposed to do to stay alive"
In a just and sane world, Meredith Emerson would have been told from early girl-hood that she was expected to defend herself from unlawful force.

In a just and sane world, Meredith Emerson would have been taught not to fear firearms, but to accept them as tools for her defence.

In a just and sane world, Meredith Emerson would have grown up in a culture that supported her right to self-defence and a culture that promoted such.
But then we don't live in a just and sane world. We live in a world where the media parrots the propaganda of the Brady Bunch, and Girl Scouts won't let you mention guns anywhere near their fragile charges, and governments would rather a woman be raped and murdered than that she have access to firearms for her own defense.

To be fair, she did defend herself, and disarmed her attacker, but she did not disable him and he was eventually able to subdue her.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This kind of thing is the result of not following the rules of safety

Flight Gunfire No Sure Disaster Recipe - The Associated Press Accidental discharge? Hardly... negligent discharge is more likely. [UPDATE! Apparently it was caused by the insane policies of our federal government - set the bottom of the post!]
The pilot of a US Airways plane may have been mishandling a firearm when it went off in flight, piercing the cockpit wall before the jet landed safely, a federal air marshal said Tuesday.
Don't know why they force everyone to use the same weapon, an H&K USP in .40-caliber.

They might as well dictate that everyone has to wear size 9 shoes.

The good news, of course is that the plane was never in danger of crashing. People get worked up about Hollywood, but it rarely manages to portray the truth about any issue.

Update: Via Jed in the comments we have Gun Accident In U.S. Airways Airliner Cockpit Was TSA Engineered!
The insane procedures required by the TSA demands that our pilots to lock and then un-lock their .40 side arms was and is a solid recipe for disaster. Did the TSA deliberately create this bizarre and unconventional Rube Goldberg firearm retention system hoping for this result? The sordid history of the FAA and TSA’s total resistance to the concept of arming pilots to protect Americans is in itself a scandal.
As many people have noted, the TSA and all federal agencies were very much against arming pilots in the first place.

A Burglary and an Altercation with an Armed Homeowner

Man shot dead in horse country confrontation - 03/25/2008 - MiamiHerald.com Police responding to a 911 call of a burglary in progress arrive to find a 38-year-old man, dead from a gunshot wound.
The home's owner had been involved in some sort of altercation with that man, ''which resulted in the subject being fatally wounded,'' Miami-Dade police said.
Burglaries are apparently common in that area, and the homeowner in this case has had a lot of equipment stolen.

Police are being closed-mouthed, but in Florida you have the right to defend yourself. Self-defense is a human right, after all.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gun Crime, Gun Ownership, Crime Prevention

News: Gun statistics you seldom see - OCRegister.com The story of a man defending his family is used to highlight some statistics about guns.

A goblin wanted for rape, is being chased by police, he breaks into the home of an armed citizen.
The homeowner didn't shoot the alleged rapist, although legally he almost certainly could have. If someone breaks into your home, and you have a justifiable fear that he might kill or harm you or someone else, you have a right to defend yourself with lethal force.

But as I said, the homeowner – for security reasons, he declined to be interviewed or identified by name – didn't shoot. Instead, he shouted at the suspect to stop, at which point the guy ran out of the house. Shortly thereafter he was caught and arrested by the police.
The rape and the breaking and entering will be recorded, but will anything else be? Did the homeowner prevent another assault on his family? The goblin was no boy scout, but it is hard to say.

But if the homeowner had used lethal force, that would have been recorded.
And ironically, if the homeowner had justifiably shot and killed the intruder it still would have been listed in the overall statistics as a gun-related homicide – the same statistics that anti-gun activists use to promote stricter so-called "gun control" laws to keep firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.
And those statistics?
Of course, whenever gun ownership rights are debated, anti-gun activists like to point out that about 30,000 people are killed by guns in America every year -- although they seldom note that about 60 percent of those deaths are suicides, or that the firearm murder rate has dropped by 40 percent in the past 15 years, or that far more people are killed by motor vehicles or medical malpractice every year than are killed by guns.

And they never mention how many crimes have been prevented by citizens bearing arms.
The story mentions both the government 80,000 per year number and the 2 million per year number for the answer to the "crimes prevented" question.

As to the suicide issue - is it suicides in general that are a problem, or only gun-related suicides? Take a look at Canada's experience if you are confused. (They have more suicide, but less gun-related suicide.)

On the whole a very nice article.

Friday, March 21, 2008

How to Stage the Invasion of Omaha Beach with 3 guys


Via IndyMogul

From the production notes of the BBC's Timewatch series.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Elderly Tucker man had struggled with burglar | ajc.com How does an 81-year-old homeowner defend himself and his wife from attack if the anti-gun idiots have their way? Good thing they haven't had their way.
It was about 11 p.m. when 81-year-old Robert Jenkins heard a noise in the kitchen of his Tucker home.

"He got out of bed, got the gun out of the closet and went into the kitchen," his wife Peggy, 77, recalled Friday. "The next thing I knew, there was a struggle and I heard two shots. I knew someone was dead."
Dead is a 25-year-old goblin who invaded the home and then rushed the old man.

I love stories with a happy ending. Self-defense is a human right. [via Bruce]

We live in the Bizarro universe

Or maybe it's the one with that bearded Spock. Otherwise, I think I woke up in the Twilight Zone this morning.

The Washington Post has an column slamming Obama, Charles Krauthammer - The Speech: A Brilliant Fraud - washingtonpost.com.

The Washington Times, meanwhile, has a column praising the speech. Obama words help soothe wounds of division�-�-�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

Somebody needs to send me a new scorecard. I no longer know which papers are part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and which are part of the Reality Based Community. Or have they just merged as Bush Derangement Syndrome became McCain Derangement Syndrome?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blogging vs Real Life

Real life usually wins out in that contest. Things will be just a bit quiet around here.

People seem to think that the SCOTUS hearing on the DC Gun Ban is a big case. You can't tell anything from the hearing, the big news will be when the decision is published.

The big story is Obama's speech as he tries to disassociate himself from the views of his pastor for 20 years.

A must-read post on the subject comes from Juliette Ochieng (Baldilocks). She has all of the coverage in one spot

Beth has some great coverage over at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. GO take a look. (And not just at the Obama stuff!)

The idea that it is OK to associate with a racists seems to be lost on the American people. Obama's lead over Clinton narrows: Reuters poll - Yahoo! News But the big piece of that story is the following.
McCain leads 46 percent to 40 percent in a hypothetical matchup against Obama in the November presidential election, according to the poll.

That is a sharp turnaround from the Reuters/Zogby poll from last month, which showed in a head-to-head matchup that Obama would beat McCain 47 percent to 40 percent.

"The last couple of weeks have taken a toll on Obama and in a general election match-up, on both Democrats," said pollster John Zogby.

Matched up against Clinton, McCain leads 48 percent to 40 percent, narrower than his 50 to 38 percent advantage over her in February.
So enjoy the spectacle of this year's campaign season.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Example of Cops Getting Special Treatment?

Off-duty SDPD officer identified in alleged road rage shooting : North County Times - Californian This one appears to be a pretty clear example of special treatment.
OCEANSIDE -- Police weren't saying much Monday about a suspected road rage incident Saturday night in which an off-duty San Diego police officer shot and wounded a Camp Pendleton woman and her 8-year-old son.

The off-duty officer, Franklin "Frank" White of Oceanside, fired an undisclosed number of shots during the incident, which happened at about 9:30 p.m. in a shopping center parking lot off Old Grove Road, said Oceanside police Sgt. Kelan Poorman.
Frank White is on vacation paid administrative leave. If anyone except a cop did this, I think there is a better than even chance they would be cooling their heals in jail. It looks like the boys and girls in blue have closed ranks to shield one of their own.

Do you think the 8-year-old boy posed a threat to officer White, or did he fire his weapon negligently? Just asking.

OK, the facts are not all in (or police haven't released them). "Innocent until proved guilty" and all that... Let's see how things stand when the other shoe drops. But then I don't believe he will ever face a jury of his peers. I think an internal investigation will conclude that he acted appropriately. But then I am completely cynical.

Tesla Roadster Finally Ready for Prime Time

Tesla RoadsterTesla Motors gets rolling with Roadster production - San Jose Mercury News They haven't got all the bugs worked out - the owners who take delivery will be able to get the transmissions replaced later. The electric motor has so much torque at low RPM that it is literally shattering the transmissions. Electric motors can supply maximum torque at minimum RPM.

Tesla Roadster another view

Do Police Get Special Treatment?

Fisher: Many readers aren't buying sheriff's story - San Jose Mercury News It seems a lot of folks in California think so.
No matter how steadfastly Sheriff Laurie Smith insists that her deputy didn't receive special treatment after he drove his patrol car into three cyclists last week, many of you sure aren't buying it.

I know a lot of people don't like cops, but the voluminous, vociferous response to my Wednesday column that raised questions about whether Deputy James Council received special treatment reveals a level of anger and mistrust that's pretty disturbing.
He drove his cruiser into 3 cyclists and killed two of them.

Now I don't know what happened, but the reaction is interesting. There seems to be a lot of smoke; is there a fire someplace?

Rainbow Iceberg

Rainbow Iceberg
Rainbow iceberg in the Antarctic - Telegraph I was going say "Iceberg gets its Pride on," but ....
While most icebergs are white due to tiny bubbles trapped inside, which scatter the light in every direction, some pick up a multitude of colours due to various natural phenomena.

Green stripes are the result of algae growing in the ice, while brown, black and yellow lines form as the ice sheets from which bergs are formed pick up layers of sediment.

Deep blue lines can also appear when the air bubbles are squeezed out due to rapid melting and re-freezing of the ice.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Armed Homeowner Defends Family

delawareonline - Homeowner fires back at robbers Two or three miscreants break into a home at 2 AM.
The intruders were confronted by the homeowner, at which time one of the intruders fired a gun at him.

The homeowner returned fire at the suspects using a handgun, [state police spokesman Cpl. John W. Barnett Jr.] said.

After several shots were fired the intruders fled without taking anything from the home.
The homeowner was shot once in the leg, but it was a minor injury and he was treated at the scene.
A 22-year-old woman and two children, ages two and 11, were also home during the incident. They were not injured.
Self-defense is a human right.

A Not So Typical Small-town Hate Crime

www.whec.com - Hate crime victim talks about the attack In some ways it was completely typical. The bastard in question wouldn't take on two men, he waited until one left the room and attacked the single gay man left. Can you spell "cowardice?"
He and his boyfriend went to Snuggery's Bar in Spencerport last Friday night. He told police while they were there someone started yelling gay slurs at them. When Lance's boyfriend left the bar room Lance was attacked.

“I have fractures in my face, and skull, it's a lot of pain,” Lance said.
They beat him until he was unconscious. He was punched and had his head slammed repeatedly into the floor.

In another way it wasn't so typical. www.whec.com - Arrest made in Spencerport hate crime Not only did they arrest someone fairly soon after the attack, they knew who he was from the outset and he turned himself in.

My guess is that it will now revert to "usual" and the "punishment" handed out will be a joke. Something along the lines of community service is my guess, even with the hate-crime rider. The picture with the article doesn't show much, but the attack was clearly vicious, given the two men were minding their own business.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Intruder Shot During A Frightening Home Invasion Shot and arrested for his trouble.
A man, who police have identified as 18-year-old, Daniel Glen Larson, allegedly kicked in the apartment door and shattered the door frame.

The woman immediately alerted her boyfriend, who was also in the apartment and began calling 911.

Just as she was dialing the numbers into her phone, Larson allegedly grabbed the woman and began attacking her.

Seconds later, the woman’s boyfriend retrieved his loaded handgun and shot Larson in the abdomen.
He crashed through a plate glass window, was nearly hit by cars dodging through traffic, and was caught by police a short while later.

Self-defense stops a vicious criminal. [via Keep and Bear Arms]

The Coalition of the Willing

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

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

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Old Boyfriend Stabs New Boyfriend

SignOnSanDiego.com -- SoCal man held after alleged boyfriend stabbing, police standoff In another example of a restraining order failing to restrain anything, we have the case of man, who doesn't understand "it's over" and suffering from the "how dare you live without me" attitude, wreaking havoc.
[The goof-ball] apparently climbed a fire escape to reach the second-floor unit of his girlfriend at the Sea Sprite Motel and Apartments, where the new boyfriend was stabbed several times in the chest and neck, [Officer Robert] Higgins said.
Actually the story only says that a restraining order was obtained 4 days before the attack, but it had not been served on the goof-ball, so legally it offers no recourse.

After stabbing the new boyfriend, the old boyfriend wanted cops to kill him.
The man indicated he wanted to commit “suicide by cop,” Higgins said.

“He was telling the officers to shoot him,” he said.
When cops arrived on the scene, he closed the door to the apartment. Police responded by cordoning off the neighborhood.
The man closed the door to the apartment. SWAT teams from Hermosa Beach and neighboring Hawthorne were called and cordoned off the block, evacuating 30 to 40 people, Higgins said.
A stand-off ensued which lasted 5 hours.

When seconds count, police are only minutes away. And when a violent ex shows up, you are most likely on your own. If you feel the need for a restraining order, you also need a personal safety plan. I like the defense afforded by firearms, you are free to choose a different method, but you should choose something besides calling 911 and hoping for the best. Of course having a gun will not guarantee your safety, just as wearing seatbelts does not guarantee your safety in your car. There are no guarantees in this life. But calling 911, expecting police to protect you isn't an optimum strategy either.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Conway apartment shooting kills 2 Two miscreants were apparently overpowered and shot with their own guns, proving once again that attitude matters.
“Two people came to that apartment and apparently brought weapons with them,” [Lt. D. Moody, spokesman for the Conway Police Department] said in an interview. “The four inside the apartment” struggled with them “and took the weapons away from those two.” Moody said that, from what he understood, Calvin and Doss were killed with their own guns. He did not know the types of guns used.
The anti-self-defense crowd will cry that someone should be charged with a crime, but I feel that this is just self-defense. (Did the bad guys run away when confronted?)

For a disturbing view of the 'justice system' consider this.
Dina Tyler, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction, said .... Calvin entered prison on a six-year sentence on Jan. 10, 2006, for a drug conviction and for second-degree escape. In November 2006, he was released on parole but was sent back to prison for failure to report to his parole officers. He got out twice more, the last time Feb. 21 of this year.
So much for keeping dangerous criminals off the street.

I would say that the people in that apartment had the attitude where they refused to be victims. That attitude matters.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More on the Volvo ReCharge

How It Works: Tomorrow's Hybrid | Popular Science A hybrid that could get 160 miles per gallon. Are you interested in that?
The ReCharge, Volvo’s concept plug-in hybrid, could squeeze 160 miles from a gallon of gas by tossing out the power-wasting transmission. It packs a small electric motor inside each wheel, so that no power is lost in the drivetrain. Here’s a look at the next generation of fuel-efficiency
Computer control of the motors is VERY critical. If one spins faster than the others, you could lose control.

Others are working on similar ideas, and given that the efficiency is astounding, and you can still get decent performance, I expect that something like this will be the standard drivetrain in 10 years, maybe less if the price of oil keeps going up.

Currently my vehicle gets a bit more than 20 miles per gallon. At 160 miles per gallon that would impact my budget like seeing gas at 40 cents a gallon. Yeah, that would make a difference.

The Hate Crime You Didn't Hear About

Gay FlagMatthew Shepard and Laurence King you have heard of, but my guess is that you haven't heard of Ryan Keith Skipper. Loved ones say young man's killing reflects difficult life gays face in Polk -- OrlandoSentinel.com
In the after-midnight darkness of March 14, 2007, the blood of 25-year-old Ryan Keith Skipper soaked into the soft dirt as his killers drove away in his new Chevy Aveo.
. . .
Skipper's car was found 12 miles from his body on a boat ramp to Lake Pansy in Winter Haven, abandoned and partially burned. The two young men later arrested in his murder were charged with committing a hate crime because they told witnesses Skipper was targeted for being a homosexual.
Targeted because of who he was.

Now since Florida is a death penalty state, I am not sure what more they can do besides seek the death penalty, but then given the SCOTUS take on the death penalty maybe the hate crime aspect is needed to put the case into the death-penalty category. (Not every murder can result in a death penalty case, it must be "special" in some way, according to my understanding of some SCOTUS ruling.)

The sheriff, Grady Judd, in this case libeled/slandered the dead man, accused him of being on drugs and cruising for anonymous sex. When it turned out he was wrong, he refused to apologize to anyone.
A Sheriff's Office spokesman later said there was no indication Skipper was involved in any illegal activity, but the sheriff has refused to meet with the family or respond to their requests for an apology.
Why should he feel bad about talking trash about a gay man after all?

The general feeling in that area is as long as gays hide they are OK, come out into the open, and you basically deserve whatever happens.
[R]esidents say gays are generally accepted in Polk County as long as they don't rub it in anyone's face.

"Just as long as you're hiding, you're OK. You learn that's what you have to do," said Kristy Alexander, a lesbian who lives in Polk County.

Skipper didn't hide well enough. His friends and roommates say Skipper was harassed for years leading up to his killing. On several occasions, he was called derogatory names, pelted with oranges and beaten up because he was gay.
The Right, the Republicans, love to claim that gays and lesbians want "special rights." That is bullshit, plain and simple. Living your life without being attacked for who you are isn't a special right. Being open about friends and loved ones, isn't a special right. How many of you have photos of your wives, husbands, girlfriends or boyfriends at work, in your wallet, wherever. If a gay did that they would be "flaunting" their sexuality, but when a straight does it, it is just a celebration of life and love. Funny how the double standard works, isn't it? It isn't about special rights. It has never been about special rights. That is the line the Right uses to mask their bigotry. After all, who wouldn't be opposed to "special rights?"

The issue is tolerance. Acceptance would be nice, and I get that from a lot of people, but it would be nice if the rest of you, the ones who can't accept us, would tolerate us - that means don't attack us. Of course if you attack me, you might get a bit of a surprise when you see my response. But it really shouldn't be the issue that it is in the gay community.

But then no one ever said all parts of the Right were very tolerant. Polk county certainly appears to rank high on the intolerant scale.

Texas Criminals Still Haven't Learned

They haven't learned that a lot of Texan homeowners are armed. North Richland Hills homeowner shoots intruder
The 30-year-old homeowner heard some noises outside and confronted the person in his backyard. The homeowner told the suspect to stay put, but the man advanced, police said. The 27-year-old intruder was shot in the shoulder and taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, Sgt. Trickey said.
The police don't decide if charges will be filed, so the DA should decide today. Given that Texas has extremely law-abiding-citizen-friendly self-defense laws, I would guess that the only one charged will be the guy in the hospital.

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

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A New Shooter

Writer tries his hand at shooting guns for the first time - Pretty good article about going to the range for the very first time.

Facts About Semi-automatic Weapons

I find myself saying the same thing over and over and over again, so here is the bulk of the information about what the Left loves to call "assault rifles."

This first video was produced by a San Jose, California police officer to try and address some of the confusion and out-right lies propagated by the media, and the anti-gun crowd concerning semi-automatic weapons.



10 minutes to clear up the confusion. Here are some highlights:

The BATFE (toward the end) in testimony to Congress couldn't define "assault rifle" separate from fully automatic. Fully automatic firearms have been heavily controlled since the Firearms Act of 1934, and virtually outlawed for private citizens since 1987.

The LA gang crime unit (Det. Trahin) in testimony stated that the LA street gang unit had NEVER discovered a semi-automatic firearm that had been converted to fully automatic. They are different technologies, and to do so would require virtually rebuilding the weapon from scratch.

On another topic - The Clinton gun ban, banned no guns. It outlawed the manufacture of NEW weapons that had certain cosmetic features. (A folding stock, a bayonet mount, etc.) The millions of weapons already manufactured were always legal for sale.

Post Ban AR-15Here is the photo of an AR-15 "post ban" rifle. It was legally manufactured during the Clinton ban, because it lacks those cosmetic features. (No bayonet mount for example. Were bayonets used in a large number of crimes, and I just missed reading about that?)

Can you tell that it isn't an "assault rifle?"

In many states these guns are not legal for deer hunting because they ARE NOT POWERFUL ENOUGH to stop a deer cleanly and humanely. (for you shooters - you can disagree with that statement, but that is why they are outlawed.) But the press makes them sound like they are the ultimate terror weapon. They aren't.

It has been said that there is no reason to own such a weapon. Aside from the fact that people (a large number of people) use these weapons every week in sporting events (the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in high-powered rifle matches, triple-gun matches, and few other competitions), if I owned property of 5 acres or more, something like this would probably be my favored home defense weapon, backed up with a shotgun and pistols for closer range defense. It is lightweight, rugged, accurate, ammunition is readily available, etc.

The video on Babes with Bullets shows how they are used in competition, even if the reporter repeats the propaganda of the Left. - the pistol grip is NOT for shooting from the hip - it is a good piece. You have to page down to see the video. But it was surprising that a national news organization could produce something this positive about guns. Bias is everywhere in the media. (Pistol grips are there to improve accuracy.)

The largest single mass murder committed in the US was committed using 60 cents worth of gasoline. The "Happy Land Arson" - March 25th 1990 - killed 87 people in a fire that was certainly arson. Do you want to draw conclusions about all people who buy gasoline from this one incident?

Now that Spitzer is History...

Take a look at the new governor of New York. Client Number 9's Troubling Number 2 by Mar Sheppard To say that you should use a firearm as a non-lethal weapon is ridiculous, but the new governor of New York, feels exactly that way.
After all, rule two of the universal laws of gun safety warns "never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy." Any instructor worth his or her salt quickly instills in students that a muzzle should never be directed at anything you don’t want a hole in, or anyone you are not willing to kill.
If you want to use non-lethal force, use a Taser or something, but not a firearm.

Best wishes to New York. I think things are about to get even crazier than usual.

Do Hate Crime Laws Prevent Hate Crimes?

Not hardly. B. Daniel Blatt of GayPatriot (and Pajamas Media, has a reasoned article on that question. Pink Pistols: Can Guns Protect Gays?

The discussion centers around an attack on a gay bar in Boston.
Just over two years ago, Jacob Robida, a troubled 18-year-old who lived in a room filled with weapons, Nazi flags, and anti-Semitic writings, walked into Puzzles Lounge, a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts. After presenting a fake ID to the bartender and finishing off a drink, he asked if it was a gay bar.

Upon learning that it was, he ordered a second drink. Then he went to the back of the bar and started swinging a hatchet at bar patrons, striking two. When others tried to wrestle him to the ground, he pulled out a gun and shot one person in the face, another in the head (twice), and a third person in the abdomen.
In the aftermath of this attack, the usual suspects called for the federal hate crimes bill to be passed. But what difference would that have made?
HRC President Joe Solmonese claimed the attack in New Beford was a reminder of the need for a federal hate crimes law. What he didn’t mention was that Massachusetts, the state where the attack occurred, already has hate crimes legislation on the books.

Indeed, according to the Massachusetts Department of Education, “Hate Violence Should Be Charged Under At Least 3 Statutes,” with the state’s Hate Crimes Penalties Act providing penalties for those who assault a person because of his sexual orientation (among other qualifiers). If those laws didn’t deter Robida, it’s highly unlikely that a federal law would have.
It is at best, "feel good legislation." At worst, well, we will get there later.

Having more penalties after-the-fact, will never be as effective as letting potential victims defend themselves. Of course this example highlights another issue. In most states, concealed carry is forbidden in bars, regardless of whether you are the designated driver or not. So gay bars are for the most part defenseless victim zones.

Pink Pistols is the only organization advocating self-defense for the gay community. All the rest of the organizations are in strict lockstep with the orthodoxy of the Left. (i.e., "guns are bad!") But if 3 laws didn't stop an attack on gays in Boston, why does the Left think that the 4th will magically solve the problem?

Self-defense is a human right.

Woman Gets Silver Star for Duty in Afghanistan

Monica Lin Brown 1st woman to get Silver Star in Afghanistan :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Nation Army Specialist Monica Brown will receive the Silver Star. This is the second time a woman has received the Silver Star since World War II.
Army Spec. Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province in April 2007, the military said.

After the explosion, which wounded five soldiers in her unit, Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away, the military said.
Well done Spc. Brown. [Via Firehand]

The last time a woman received the Silver Star was in 2005 in Iraq. Sgt Leigh Ann Hester received the Silver Star for her actions defending a convoy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

David Mamet Writes Better Than You Do

And better than I do. village voice > news > David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal' by David Mamet A favorite author of mine; he's a playwright actually.

He asks the question, "Can you change your mind?"
John Maynard Keynes was twitted with changing his mind. He replied, "When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?"
He changed his mind.
I recognized that I held those two views of America (politics, government, corporations, the military). One was of a state where everything was magically wrong and must be immediately corrected at any cost; and the other—the world in which I actually functioned day to day—was made up of people, most of whom were reasonably trying to maximize their comfort by getting along with each other (in the workplace, the marketplace, the jury room, on the freeway, even at the school-board meeting).

And I realized that the time had come for me to avow my participation in that America in which I chose to live, and that that country was not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace.
Just go read it. [Via Rachel]

Armed Homeowner Stops Home Invasion

Victim's Wife Shoots at Home Invaders Why do people in Texas still try to invade homes?
According to "Michelle," two masked men pulled into the driveway with guns in hand, demanding drugs and money.

She tells us, "He said, 'I don't have anything. I don't know what you're talking about. I just have children and my wife inside. Y'all need to leave.'"

The men reportedly tried to force "Michelle's" husband to open the door to his home. But the former security guard fought back.

"Michelle" says she was watching it all from inside her home.

She tells us, "I reached for the gun. It was up here. Then I got some shells from in here."
A shotgun blast convinced the two intruders to flee. They must be smarter than I thought they were.

30 Day Suspension is Not Enough

Bailiff Suspended After Leaving Woman In Cell For Four Days A woman was left in a holding cell for four days without food, water or access to a bathroom.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office says a bailiff who left a woman in a small holding cell at a county courthouse for four days without food, water or access to a bathroom will be suspended for 30 days without pay.
What a shame. He shouldn't be suspended. He shouldn't be fired. He should be charged - with negligence if nothing else.

Oh, "he forgot." I'm sorry, but that sounds like an old Steve Martin/Saturday Night Live sketch. And while it was funny on SNL, it isn't funny in this case.

Just another example of how the system can do anything to you it wants to do, and no one - aside from you - will pay.

This isn't just an immigration issue. This is just the Justice System (sic) acting with impunity (and immunity).

My Kind of Sheriff, My Kind of Reporter

Hidden guns - Sheriff wants more concealed carry Criminals don't like armed citizens, but prefer defenseless victims. El Paso County (Colorado) Sheriff Terry Maketa understands that.
"Offenders in the jail system tell me they avoid crimes against people because they know there is a very high concealed-carry rate," Maketa told The Gazette.
And the newspaper agrees with him. At one point they highlight the county with the highest per capita concealed carry permit holders - a rural county.
People in Hinsdale County have no delusional expectations that police will race to the scene and save them from animal or criminal attacks. The false sense of security provided by 911 isn't in play out there.
But is the situation any better in the city?
Unfortunately, the urban residents of El Paso County have little more third-party protection than the folks in Hinsdale County have. They just think they do. On a good day, police can arrive on the scene of a crime in eight minutes - about seven minutes and 55 seconds too late to save lives from a rampage killer.

If you're a responsible, law-abiding citizen, give Sheriff Maketa his wish. Get trained, get licensed, and carry concealed. Make El Paso County a criminal's least-favorite place.
I doubt you will see this coming from any major news outlet. [via Uncle]

This is a Test of Your Knowledge of America:
History and Fundamental Thought

You could call this "The Sad State of Education Today."

OK, there is a Social Science literacy test... How did I do?
You answered 54 out of 60 correctly — 90.00 %
Average score for this quiz during March: 71.0%
Average score since September 18, 2007: 71.0%
Not too bad, since US history post WWII never interested me much. That and as Gunscribe said, it has been a long time since I studied any of this.

The findings of the survey, are pretty discouraging.
College Seniors Failed a Basic Test on America’s History and Institutions.

College seniors know astoundingly little about America’s history, political thought, market economy and international relations.

The overall average score for the approximately 7,000 seniors who took the American civic literacy exam was 54.2%, an “F.” That is consistent with the overall average of 53.2% posted by seniors last year. Not one college surveyed can boast that its seniors scored, on average, even a “C” in American civic knowledge.

Harvard seniors scored highest, but their overall average was 69.6%, a “D+.” That is almost identical to the 69.7% earned by Harvard seniors last year. Yale and Princeton seniors averaged only 65.9% and 61.9%, respectively. At 18 colleges, the average senior scored less than 50%.
What are we teaching people today?

Apparently history, economics, and the history of political thought doesn't pass the Political Correctness test these days. Too many "old white men" wrote all those books for us to read them today. (Hume and Locke and Hobbes et al were only the people who inspired Jefferson and Adams and Paine when they were creating this country.)
THE AVERAGE SENIOR FAILED ALL FOUR SUBJECTS, AGAIN
Test Section Senior Mean (2006) Senior Mean (2005)
Overall 54.2% 53.2%
American History 58.8% 58.5%
American Political Thought 55.2% 51.4%
America and the World 50.8% 51.5%
The Market Economy 51.1% 50.5%
I guess it is no surprise that they aren't taught about economics. They might grow up to favor free enterprise.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

That's Interesting

Gwen AraujoSuddenly I am getting all of these page hits on a post from late last year about Gwen Araujo, a transgendered teen murdered by four men. Of the last 40 web hits, 39 were for this page.

The weird thing is that they aren't all coming from a link in a blog or a forum or a news story, they are mostly coming from search engines, not all of which are Google, Ask.com and AOL seem to be big players today. It is in the first 10 posting on Google, but you have to page down to see it, and the position on other searches is similar.

So why the sudden interest in Gwen? I did a news search, and that didn't turn up much. She was mentioned in a couple of articles dealing with Sanesha Stewart, another transgendered person also murdered brutally. (Sanesha Stewart was also libeled in the press, but that is typical when transgendered minorities are murdered.) But that was last month.

I never understand the intarw3bs.

Which is More of a Threat to The USA, Gays or Terrorism?

dustbury.com: Threat assessment Well it seems that at least one Republican in Congress, Rep. Sally Kern (R-OKC), and I would bet good money that it is more than one, thinks gays are more of a threat. Right.

First I have to say that I love it when people ignorant of history make statements they consider to be fact.
Studies show, no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades.
Here's a clue about history: The Ottoman Empire lasted for several centuries. (From the late 13th Century to the early 20th Century) During most of that time, homosexuality was accepted as part of life. That didn't change until the early 19th Century when Turkey started to take on Western Europe's values. Now I think that is more than "a few decades." But then bigots like to ignore facts that disagree with their prejudice.

Go take a look at a slap-down.

With Republicans like this in Congress the party, I am more tempted every day to vote for some other party. [via Tam] Update... it seems they haven't sent her to Washington, but are keeping her in the state... my bad.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Great Story About Learning to Shoot

Fenton Press columnist learns how to shoot a gun Julia Zaher took the very basic NRA pistol class, First Steps Pistol. This is a class for someone who has never shot a gun before.

This is a great article. After explaining that most fear comes from a lack of knowledge, she notes that driving would be scary without some training.
Before I go any further, let me just dislodge any preconceived notions you may have of the National Rifle Association. In recent years many have come to think of the NRA as a political organization.

The group does fight to protect the rights of gun owners.

But the backbone of the NRA is its gun safety and shooting courses. So if you're one of those people who flinch when the NRA is mentioned, think of them as driver's safety instructors.
Not a single gun-fearing weenie quote. Like I said, it is a great article.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Homeowner Shoots Suspected Burglar; Another Suspect On The Loose An armed homeowner stops a string of burglaries, and sends one of the miscreants to the hospital.
The sheriff says a man who lives on Old Lair Road came home to find two burglars on his property.

The owner shot one of the men, Thomas Terysian, 25, while the other suspect got away.
Two other homes were broken into, and burglars tried to break in, but failed, at two other houses. This was all in the same neighborhood.

The homeowner won't be charged.

Self-defense on Campus

RGJ.com: Nevada, other states eye guns on campus Both sides are working the issue. Gun-control weenies want more gun control. Self-defense advocates want people to be able to defend themselves.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus
is growing pretty quickly right now.
Since the Feb. 14 shooting at Northern Illinois, where a former graduate student killed five people before taking his own life, SCCC membership has swelled from 11,000 to about 20,000 at about 500 colleges and universities in just three weeks, [Kristin Guttormsen, a director with Students for Concealed Carry on Campus,] said.
Gun bans have been shown over and over and over again to do nothing but disarm the law-abiding leaving a free field of action for anyone bent on violence. Putting up "No Crime Allowed" signs really doesn't have a chance of preventing crime.

Personally I think it would be good if SCCC was a major force on every campus in every state. [NRA-ILA]

Another Electric Car - Not a Sports Car This Time

This Mini Cooper has electric motors in each wheel, and a very small generator in the back. With the generator, the range is 900 miles.



They estimate 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. (It can go just as fast in reverse.) It hasn't hit the test track yet.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Restraining Order Fails to Stop Murder/Suicide

Daily Herald | Former boyfriend kills real estate agent in murder-suicide Another victim of the "How dare you live without me" attitude.
Bischof had an order of protection against Giroux, according to a media report. Arlington Heights and Elmhurst police declined to comment.
Illinois doesn't allow any of its citizens the means to defend themselves. He was armed (they were both shot) but she was a law-abiding citizen, and so was unarmed.

Now if she had been armed, there is no guarantee that it would have saved her. There are no guarantees in this life. Relying on a court order (just a piece of paper) and the police, however, left her dead. Even the best police force cannot be all places at all times. In those seconds when danger strikes you are on your own. If you are in Illinois, you are also disarmed.

Why is it all about the illusion of safety?

ABC News: Students Feel Less Safe on Campus So there have been some high-profile "incidents" at colleges lately, which leads ABC to pen the following:
Reported crime on college campuses has increased in recent years and despite improved security measures since last April's massacre at Virginia Tech, students and experts say the illusion of colleges being safe havens is eroding. [my emphasis, Z-Deb]
The truth is that colleges exist in the real world, where there are rapes and muggings and insane people who want to do you harm.

Instead of worrying about "feelings" and "illusions," maybe we should concentrate on what might actually work.
There were about 42,000 burglaries, 3,700 forcible sex offenses, 7,000 aggravated assaults and 48 murders reported on college campuses in 2003, the most recent year for which data are available, according to U.S. Department of Education statistics.
That is a lot of crime. Given that campuses are defenseless victim zones, is that so surprising?
"When you go to go college, you're no longer living at home," [a campus security guy] said. "Colleges and universities need to make sure students have a plan, that they are trained and they are practiced to make sure they do everything to keep themselves safe."
Everything, except be allowed the means of effective self-defense.

As Oleg Volk pointed out, we have two choices: we can turn colleges in maximum security prisons, or we can allow self-defense. Anything else is worrying about appearances and illusions. Eventually reality will win that game. (You may feel safe, but that doesn't mean you are safe.)

Self-defense is a human right.

Yet Another Electric Car (Actually a Hybrid)

Just sell the damn thing already

Fisker Karma

Delivery in 2009
the hybrid will go 50 miles on an electric charge before a small engine kicks in. But that's old news. Autoblog reports that this thing has some decent power: roughly the same as a V-8-powered sports sedan, going from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds and hitting 125 mph "consistently."
It's a plug-in hybrid. Electric motor runs the car, a generator for extended range.

Don't Like Electric Cars? Here's a Hydrogen Model

Another entry in the suddenly crowded green sports car market

LifeCar

Can't touch the electrics in acceleration, those electric motors have too much torque at low RPMs. This one does 0 to 60 in 7 seconds, and top speed is less than 100 MPH.

You can buy a conventional gas-powered version (well related model) of this car with a BMW engine.

Another Electric Sports Car

Wraps Come Off 700-HP Electric Lightning GT

Lightning GT
With a price tag of around $300,000.00, I don't think you will see too many of these on the road. More photos here.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sweet Home Chicago

Chicago SkylineChicago city guide - Telegraph

A Brit's guide to traveling in Chicago - good for all.
The skyscraper is Chicago’s gift to the world. See some of the finest examples from the Observatory on the 94th floor of “Big John”, the John Hancock Centre (875 North Michigan Avenue, 312 751 3681, www.hancock-observatory.com; £6). You can’t miss the 110-storey Sears Tower, the tallest building in the world until 1998. Below, the grid system of the city stretches north-south, with Lake Michigan to the east and suburbs marching out to the west.

For a different perspective, take the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s narrated 90-minute river cruise (312 902 1500, www.architecture.org; £14). Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the giants of 20th-century architecture, made his name in Chicago. Learn more at his home in Oak Park, 25 minutes from downtown on the L’s Green Line (708 848 1976, www.wrightplus.org; £6).
The Art Institute, the Museums, and even one of my favorite Blues spots, Buddy Guy's get mentioned. And the river cruise is worth it on a nice day, since a lot of the buildings actually face the river.

But as for where to eat... they missed a few connections. Mama Desta's Red Sea Restaurant - Ethiopian. Greek Islands - authentic Greek (can't believe Diana's Oppa closed!) Giordano's deep dish pizza is better than Pizzeria Uno in my humble opinion. (Spinach soufflé is really a good Pizza - sometimes listed as Popeye's special.) Cajun in Chicago? Sure - Heaven on Seven. Thai - Star of Siam.

And ribs, you really do need to have ribs if you go to Chicago. (Robinson's Ribs in Oak Park is nice diversion if you go to the Frank Lloyd Wright museum. It isn't fancy. And it is a bit of a walk.) I mean they made a M*A*S*H episode about ribs from Chicago. Carson's is the place downtown - well, River North - for ribs. (Leon's will do if you have no choice.)

OK, now I'm hungry!

No mention at all of theater. There is quite a bit in Chicago. From Broadway-style productions to experimental stuff. And how could they not mention Second City? Mature! Current review is "Between Barack and a ..." "A free improvisation set follows the last performance every night but Friday." That is usually worth the price of admission aside from the regular review!

That was some shot



Sniper ONE shot - video powered by Metacafe


How to disarm a guy threatening to kill himself? Shoot the gun out of his hand.

My Life is Out of Balance


But at least the music is good.

It's a bit windy

When you are seasick while tied to the dock, it is time to stop typing on the computer. Have great day.

A Politician Telling a Lie?

Nobel winner: Hillary Clinton's 'silly' Irish peace claims - Telegraph
Hillary Clinton had no direct role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and is a "wee bit silly" for exaggerating the part she played, according to Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province.
I suppose she has to say that whenever she traveled with Bill Clinton, she was "involved" if she wants to assert (pretend?) that she has foreign relations credentials.
Mrs Clinton has made Northern Ireland key to her claims of having extensive foreign policy experience, which helped her defeat Barack Obama in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday after she presented herself as being ready to tackle foreign policy crises at 3am.

"I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland," she told CNN on Wednesday. But negotiators from the parties that helped broker the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 told The Daily Telegraph that her role was peripheral and that she played no part in the gruelling political talks over the years.
Of course she is still that much ahead of Obama.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Why Do Women Own Guns?

For all kinds of reasons. Creative Loafing Atlanta | Arts | Nancy gets her gun An interesting collection of interviews about women owning guns. [via Tam]

Can You Wait 12 Minutes?

Waiting game: WVC needs to improve police response times - Salt Lake Tribune That is the average response time for one area for police response to "Serious Crimes in Progress," not their total average response.
By serious crimes, we mean shootings, burglaries, domestic violence with a weapon and other Priority One calls, defined as crime-in-progress calls that require immediate attention. And by response time, we mean the elapsed time from the receipt of the call at a dispatch center until an officer arrives on the scene.
A lot of bad things can happen in 12 minutes, and some people will be waiting longer than that.

The Left loves to champion the idea that we can just call 911 and wait for the police to save us, but that is patently false. When seconds count, police are minutes - sometimes many minutes - away. When confronted with a violent goof-ball, you are going to be on your own for a good long time. Do you have plan of how to react?

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Homeowner Shoots, Injures Suspect In Home Invasion | WKRN.COM 3 home invaders. 1 armed homeowner.
the suspects and the homeowner got into a gunfight.

It's not clear how many shots were fired, but one suspect was shot.

"The suspect that was shot here at the scene, went a short distance, before he stopped, and was taken into custody," said Captain Randy Hickerson, Metro police.
The other two ran away.

Self-defense is a human right.

More on Biofuels

Rush for biofuels threatens starvation on a global scale - Times Online If you use corn - or other crops - to produce fuel, you are not producing food. Is that such a surprise?
The rush towards biofuels is theatening world food production and the lives of billions of people.
I wonder if the people pushing biofuels are upset about those people?

Current generation of biofuels cannot save the planet - Times Online If you don't use current agricultural land for fuel crops, you need to put new land under the plow, but that most likely involves losing forest land - including rain forests.

Then of course the initial projections were made wearing rose-colored glasses.
Biofuels have been put forward as a means of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions pumped out by fossil fuels but recent studies have questioned their impact when all factors, such as the use of fertilisers on the crops, are taken into account. Critics have been angered by the loss of tropical rainforests, which have been cleared to allow farmers to grow biofuel crops.

Deforestation has been calculated to account for about 18 per cent of world greenhouse gas emissions and Professor Beddington said that to destroy rainforests in order to grow biofuel crops was “insane”.
Water will also be an issue, since a lot is needed by agriculture.

But the governments of the UK and Europe - and the US too - have signed up for biofuels, so this discussion is probably moot. But then that's what happens when government tries to dictate the economy.

Teen Defends His Family

FresnoBee.com: Updates: Visalia teen killed man in self-defense, DA says A 13-year-old shot a man who "waved a gun at boy's mother, uncle and several onlookers." The police are calling it self-defense.
[Assistant District Attorney Don] Gallian said prosecutors agreed with police reports that stated the boy acted in self-defense and in the defense of others.
He did what was necessary, and if you follow domestic violence stories as much as I do, you know there is a pretty good chance he saved at least one life.

Cop Selling Stolen Guns

Tulsa policeman charged with selling stolen guns resigns | NewsOK.com Why did he think that the rules didn't apply to him?
Visser, who has been assigned to the department's firearms training facility and range, was accused by Robert T. Raley, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, of selling at least eight stolen firearms and multiple cases of ammunition.
17 ½ years on the force done.

It isn't the first time he has been in trouble. He was fired for excessive use of force in 2000, but reinstated by an arbitrator. I don't think the union will back him this time.

This is why the Castle Doctrine is needed

Judge dismisses burglar’s lawsuit So a guy breaks into your home while you and your family are sleeping and after ignoring your instructions to leave, he heads toward the part of the house where your children are sleeping. What do you do?

The homeowner in question, Dr. Michael Rainiero, shot the goblin in the back. The police said it was completely justified as he was protecting his family. (Original story here.)

But the goof-ball in question decides to sue, and he finds a scum-bag lawyer to file the claim. The judge in the case wasn't buying any of it and dismissed the case.
“There is no doubt that the jury would find for the defendant,” Judge James Welker wrote in his memorandum decision. “In fact, it is likely that the jury would prefer the option of throwing the plaintiff down the steps of the courthouse.”
This case, as the judge noted, was "devoid of merit."

The goof-ball in question is serving 8 years in prison plus four years of "supervision" for burglary and felony criminal damage.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It Is Just a Piece of Paper

WLBT 3 - Jackson, MS: Stabbing Victim Rebounding One Year After Attack He stabbed here 30 times, and tried to light her on fire with gasoline.
She filed a restraining order against him and thought that was enough, but it wasn't. She believes victims of domestic violence should work even closer with law enforcement to keep themselves safe.
But not one word about self-defense. When seconds count, police are minutes away. The best response by police would not have prevented this attack. (He attacked her as she stepped out of a store.) A gun might have enabled her to defend herself, of course there are no guarantees in this life. But more reliance on police is a waste of time. They cannot save you.

Welcome to My World

Last month, there were numerous blog postings about "How I will never vote for John McCain." Most of these focused on how the "Republican Party has abandoned me," or some other perceived grievance. Let me find my tiny violin.

I supported the Republican Party through the 90s as the party of small government, balanced budgets, and gun rights. But the party didn't so much abandon me as it hated me from the beginning.

What is the Republican position on Gay Marriage? Why? Prejudice. Oh, they talk a good game, but if you look up the arguments used to justify the laws forbidding miscegenation of the races, they are same arguments.

What is the Republican position on gays in the military? Why? Prejudice. That junk about "unit cohesion" is EXACTLY the same argument used to justify segregation in the ranks before Truman's decision.

Let's consider religion for a moment.

There is a plank in the Texas state Republican platform stating that the US is or should be a Christian country. Really? I realize that the term "the wall between church and state" doesn't exist in the Constitution, but do you realize that phrase was written by Thomas Jefferson talking about the formation of the Constitution? So you want judges to consider "original intent" - or is that only about issues where you agree with the "original intent?" So the rest of us who aren't Christian, or the even larger number who aren't "your brand" of Christian, we can just go pound sand? Nice.

Why is it that on George W. Bush's watch, the Veteran's Administration refused to recognize a particular religion, namely Wicca, and allow grave markers of Wiccan veterans to be marked appropriately? Why was that? Isn't "Freedom of Religion" a cornerstone of this country? Or is that only for religions that you like? The truth is that this Republican administration is prejudiced against non-Christians. Not so much against the mainstream, but they showed nothing but contempt for Wicca. (See this story for a look at how widows of fallen servicemen are treated - if they happen to be Wiccan. And no I'm not Wiccan, but they are probably the most persecuted religion in America today - at least by the government.)

Part of me laughed at all those people so pissed that the Republicans didn't select a candidate that they liked. They jumped up on their high horses and proclaimed, in typical holier-than-thou fashion, about how they would never vote for the lesser of two evils. Good for you. But I have been forced to vote for the lesser of two evils in almost every Presidential Campaign I ever voted in.

It has been funny to watch the Right morph into a perfect mirror of the deranged Left we were treated to after George W. Bush was elected. McCain derangement syndrome? Maybe. No compromise - not just on first principles, but on anything. If everybody felt that way, George W. Bush would not have been elected either time.

Anyway, I've had enough. The Democrats are totalitarian in their efforts to take care of everyone. The Republicans are totalitarian in their efforts to control morality. I will probably vote for one of the two of them - the Libertarian party is mostly insane, Nader is a Communist joke - but I won't be happy about it.

But I'm done with the Right. Almost in exactly the same way as I broke with the Left years ago, They are a bunch of sanctimonious pricks who want to tell me how much better than me they are because they won't "compromise their principles." But then are we really talking at those extremes? Fine - but be prepared for the consequences.

Either Clinton or Obama will work to institute more gun control, starting with registration and microstamping, and everything else, probably including a new "assault weapons" ban. But the holier-than-thou folks will say "it isn't my fault" for voting for "brand X" candidate. They will be very happy to proclaim how they didn't compromise. Not just on their first principles, but they didn't compromise on anything. Of course politics is compromise, but they don't care. They just want to proclaim their righteousness.

Of course if that was the way we all felt, the 25% of the gays who voted for Republican Candidates in the past would have turned to the Dems - or some other party. And neither Bush would have been elected. The Jews who voted for Republicans would have taken a look at that plank in the Texas party platform, decided they weren't interested in a party that doesn't think they have a place in America and gone searching for another party.

So go ahead, stay up on your high horse, refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils and lets see how you like living under the greater evil.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Homeowner Kills Home Invader

Homeowner Kills Suspect In Home Invasion Another home invader selects the wrong house, the home of an armed citizen.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Authorities say a homeowner who apparently was targeted in a home invasion Sunday night exchanged gunfire with a suspect who was killed.

Randy Christian, a Jefferson County sheriff's spokesman, said the shooting death of 23-year-old Eric Moore of Birmingham appeared to be justified.
Since he showed up in a mask and kicked in the front door, you might say it was justified.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Cowboy Action Shooting: A Family Affair

Women & Guns: Rootin' Tootin Shootin' Cowboy Action Family An entire family of Cowboy Action Shooters. A nice story, and it looks like they are all having fun too.