Saturday, May 31, 2008

Environmentalism is the New Communism

Townhall.com::Environmentalists Pick Up Where Communists Left Off::By Charles Krauthammer Global control of everything - your life included - in the name of the Proletariat the environment. It's the same song, just a different tune.
"The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity," warns Czech President Vaclav Klaus, "is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism."
Now there is evidence of global warming. As far as that goes, there is evidence of global warming on Jupiter over the last 300 years or so. Is that caused by human action?

At Least This Makes Sense

Verenium starts up demonstration cellulosic facility | Cleantech.com Use waste to make ethanol instead of food crops. That should make the ethanol cheaper and make the food cheaper.
Verenium said the 1.4 million gallon per year plant uses specialty enzymes to convert non-food biomass into ethanol.
OK so it is a prototype plant.

And they do have hopes of building a 30 million gallon per year plant. That sounds good until you look at some numbers. 30 million gallons is only 714,300 barrels a year. (There are 42 gallons in a barrel) The US consumes 20,687,000 barrels per day. And when you add in the fact that there is more energy stored in a barrel of oil than in a barrel of ethanol, well you can see it will be a while before we replace oil with biofuels.

Turning food into fuel, doesn't make sense. Turning what is currently waste into fuel makes sense. I just doubt it would be enough in the long run to replace our dependence on oil.

Armed Homeowner Stops Home Invasion

Armed homeowner foils invasion- PennLive.com What happens when a home invader encounters an armed homeowner? Well, in this case the goof-ball got off easy; he ran like a rabbit.
Eugene Johnson reacted in a flash when his wife heard someone kick in the back door of their Carlisle home at 2:30 a.m. Friday.

Johnson, 75, a retired Army sergeant first class who fought in the Korean War, grabbed his pistol. He was ready when a silhouette of a man appeared in the darkened doorway of his bedroom.

"He said, 'Don't move, I have a gun,'" Johnson recalled. "I said, 'Buddy, I've got a gun, too, and it's [aimed] right on you.
This is the kind of case the Brady Bunch and all of the anti-gun weenies don't want you to see. No one was shot. The good guys came out on top ONLY because they had access to a handgun.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0... except that with a lack of description the bad guy (no one knows if he was alone) got away. At least the good guys are safe.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Safety Police Strike Again

In an effort to make life completely safe, officials at Cambridge University have decided to tell students not to throw mortar boards due to a safety risk.

You see after about 400 years (more really) of graduations at Cambridge, someone was finally injured by a falling mortar board. (Well the tradition started in 1912 at the US Naval Academy, but you get the idea.)

“Sleepwalking into a surveillance society”

‘Big Brother’ database for phones and e-mails - Times Online Privacy is such an outdated concept.
A massive government database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public is being planned as part of the fight against crime and terrorism.
It isn't a popular idea in all quarters, and some doubt the government's ability to manage the data.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

America's Views of Gays

Gay FlagTHOMAS L. STEIGER: America solidly divided on issue of gay marriage Times are changing. Too fast for some, not fast enough for others, but they are changing.

Some results from various polls.
  • 89% believe gays and lesbians should have equal rights in job opportunities. (Up from 56% in 1977)
  • 68% say gays should be included in federal hate crimes legislation.
  • 79% think gays and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the military.
  • 57% believe gays and lesbians should be able to adopt.
It is around the question of gay marriage that things get more complicated. But if you ask people should gays/lesbians be allowed to legally marry, or should there be civil unions, or should there be no recognition, only 40% say there should be no recognition.

Age - not surprisingly - is the main divide on the issue of gay marriage/civil unions. Young people are more accepting than the old.

So change will occur. Current efforts to change state constitutions may slow that change, but Equality is a great idea, and it is hard to kill an idea.

Are People Waking Up to the Threat of Piracy?

I don't mean the illegal copying of music or videos, I mean real piracy. The Associated Press: Pirates seize ship off coast of Somalia This is only the latest incident.

Piracy - maritime piracy - is out of control in Somalia, and it appears Nigeria is getting into the act too. Of course it is profitable, because people do pay the ransoms and very little ever happens to the bad guys. That may be starting to change.
In a rare case of naval intervention, French commandos in April freed hostages on a French tourist yacht seized last month off the Somali coast, and then chased the pirates on land and arrested them.
Viva Le France.

Burglar Meets Armed Homeowner

With the expected results. Fort Lauderdale: Police: Would-be burglar thwarted by homeowner
[The goof-ball] is accused of ripping open a porch screen to try to get into the Southwest 31st Avenue home of David Hadden, 50, then charging at Hadden when the owner confronted him, Sousa said.
Hadden, the homeowner, fired several shots hitting the goblin in the leg.
He was taken to Broward General Medical Center and released into police custody shortly afterward.
Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0. Self-defense is a human right.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Women and Guns - New York Style



Via Breda, Slate takes a look at the shooting sports and women. (And in Manhattan, they truly do it in style.)

This has to be the stupidest bunch of bureaucrats I've heard of

KELOLAND.COM - Reaction To Moody County Shooting I expected better from South Dakota.

OK, a guy who is the subject of a PERMANENT restraining order, shows up at his ex-wife's home, and starts firing a gun.
investigators say it's still not clear exactly why he showed up at that home, which he was ordered to stay away from.
It's perfectly clear to me. He was there to do her harm, just like so many violent ex-husbands and ex-wives and ex-whatevers do. Why the big mystery?
Investigators say he fired a gun three times before someone in the home returned fire, killing him.
The goblin was killed with one shot from a rifle.

They are investigating to see if they can charge any of the survivors with a crime. But of course. The "criminal justice system" is only worried about their won/loss record, not Justice. "Criminal" is often the right adjective to use on the "Justice System."

Domestic violence is not a mystery. I read about these kinds of cases every week, except that usually, the ex-wife (or her new husband/boyfriend) ends up dead. Why the authorities in SD are confused about this, is beyond me.

Tesla on Pajamas Media



I love the Tesla. I wish I could afford one.

Another UN Peacekeeper Sex Scandal

BBC NEWS | Special Reports | Peacekeepers 'abusing children'
Children as young as six are being sexually abused by peacekeepers and aid workers, says a leading UK charity.
This is - unfortunately - standard operating procedure for UN peacekeepers.


Tam has the best commentary
. I have nothing to add, except that I wish we would stop funding this criminal organization.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Domestic Violence Hits All Age Groups

Ex-husband confesses to killing his 65-year-old ex-wife She divorced him 2 years ago, and had a restraining order. It did nothing to save her.

He was arrested for accused of violating the order once before. Was he arrested? Given firm slap on the wrist? Whatever it was it didn't stop him.
The man was found standing over the body of Elisabeth K. Witte with a 5-inch knife. He was taken into custody and remained there without bail on Monday.
He was waiting for her after a Milwaukee Symphony performance that he knew she would be attending. (She was big with the Symphonic Chorus.)

Police arrived in time to do nothing arrest the guilty. They are incapable of protecting the innocent. A 911 call was made before the crime was committed, but when seconds count, police are minutes away. That isn't a dig against police. Response time for a 911 call will never be zero minutes.

He apparently had the "How dare you live without me" attitude. She left him and he couldn't stand it - that loss of control. He didn't love her. You don't murder (brutally) people that you love.

Anyone who as obtained a restraining order against someone needs more than a piece of paper; they need a plan for their personal security. I can hear the snobs, "But who expects to be attacked at the Symphony?" Of course the answer is that you can be attacked anywhere and should be prepared, but you are most at risk when you are at a known location on a known schedule. He knew she would be at that performance, and he knew when the performance would be over. Violent crime is NOT something that happens to other kinds of people in other kinds of places.

Must be all those SUVs

Jupiter's Three Red Spots
Jupiter's recent outbreak of red spots is likely related to large scale climate change as the gas giant planet is getting warmer near the equator.
Climate getting warmer? It MUST be related to driving SUVs, burning fossil fuels, and all the other things us humans those Jovians do.

Or as Catfish said,
You can imagine how shocked I was when I tuned into my daily astronomical image only to discover that big oil has somehow managed to exploit Jupiter's oil and gas deposits.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Man shoots would-be robber dead | KHOU.com A goblin approaches this law-abiding citizen with a gun in his hand. Things didn't work out as he planned.
But when the suspect approached, the worker pulled his own handgun and shot the would-be robber dead.
Legal concealed carry works. Police don't expect any charges to be filed, since self-defense is a human right.

It took about 1 week in the Midwest

before I became completely sick. Allergies were bad enough, but now I have an upper respiratory infection. No, I'm not a doctor, and I don't play one on television, but I have had more than my share of sinus infections. Everything they used to prescribe - except the antibiotics, and I don't think they routinely prescribe those anymore - is available over-the-counter.

I should be back up and running in a few days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Religious Prejudice in America?

FLDS mom, 18, says state wanted her baby - CNN.com Now I don't particularly like FLDS, but the state of Texas has acted like jack-booted thugs.

Based on the scanty evidence of a prank call, they pulled 400 some kids (the state had a real hard time coming up with a hard number the first few days) away from families. They did this with virtually no evidence the kids were abused, based mostly on the dislike of the religion.

Now as I said, I don't like FLDS, but I do like freedom of religion. I wish we had more of it - freedom that is - in this country. Unfortunately, the record of respect for religious freedom in this country is a bit spotty at best.

FLDS isn't the only religion that has been persecuted lately in America. Wicca has been treated horribly by the government for years, and snubbed personally by President Bush. Then there are the things that were done to Native Americans by the US Government in the name of forcing them to assimilate.

So, do you believe in freedom of religion, or not? Or is it only for the religions you like? (Or are government approved?)

If there is evidence of abuse, then act. But do you want the government to act without evidence, basing their action on prejudice?

Can you wait 15 minutes after calling 911?

WAVE 3 TV Louisville, KY | Bullitt County leaders reverse 911 decision Every 3rd call - no matter the problem or severity - got sent to the state police.

Calling because that rapist is about to kick in your door? 1 in 3 chance that he will have 15 to 90 minutes before help for you arrives. Yeah, that sounds like a system I want to bet my safety on.

Now the bureaucrats are running for cover, and changing the policy. But this was all a part of budget cutbacks, and the only information provided says response times for deputies in the county is 5 to 10 minutes. Still a long time to spend alone with a rapist.

You are free to believe that calling 911 will result in the calvary riding over the hill in time to save you. Me, and my friends, Mr Strum and Mr Ruger, will see to personal safety while the police are en route.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Staring at the Corporate Naval

So I went to Chipotle for lunch today. (I know, but for my sins I have been exiled to a suburban existence, no good Chinese take-out, no Thai food, no decent Mexican - not even a bad Cuban restaurant.) And I realized that it was decorated with pictures of other Chipotle restaurants.

The only thing missing was a picture of a Chipotle restaurant that contained a picture of a Chipotle restaurant.

Self-reference is not always a good thing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Love Unintended Consequences

Bloomberg.com: Oil And there always are unintended consequences for every decision. But when you insist that the problems are simple - and the solutions are simple - the unintended consequences tend to be enormous. Why spend time researching the obvious answer to the obvious question?
The U.S. Postal Service purchased more than 30,000 ethanol-capable trucks and minivans from 1999 to 2005, making it the biggest American buyer of alternative-fuel vehicles. Gasoline consumption jumped by more than 1.5 million gallons as a result.
They used ethanol in 1000 of those 30,000 trucks. They had bigger, less efficient engines than the trucks they replaced.

So a move to save money cost money, and move to conserve oil, burned more oil. Wonderful.

They also mention the 40% rise in food prices which can be tied - in small part - to the use of food for fuel.
The experience shows how the U.S. push for crop-based fuels, already contributing to the highest rate of food inflation in 17 years, may not be achieving its goal of reducing gasoline consumption.
Unintended consequences indeed.

The world is not a simple place, and the answers to what problems we face are not simple. Indeed, the problems themselves are difficult to quantify in many instances. But if you insist that the issues are simple and the solutions to complex problems must be simple, you will end up shooting yourself in the foot, the way the USPS has done in its effort to be green. (Wanna bet the guy who bought those gas-guzzling trucks got a raise or a bonus for a promotion for innovative thinking?) [via Kate]

It Hasn't Worked, It Doesn't Work, Let's Do it Some More

Shooting spotlights gun sales problem - LA Daily News This is a story about how a parolee, subject to a restraining order, got a gun in California.
Despite some of the country's toughest gun laws, California's violent ex-cons, like Fernando Diaz Jr., 33, have no problem arming themselves.
The black market will provide guns to criminals who want them. But there are calls for even more laws that the criminals won't obey.

Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is one definition of insanity.

LA Police confiscated 6000 illegal firearms last year. Does that sound like making law-abiding citizens jump through hoops is working in any way?

Operation Exile remains the only program shown to reduce gun crime. No new laws are needed since it is just an organized enforcement of existing laws. But they won't call for that. Not enough splash for an election year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Drug-deal That Wasn't

Jury: Ex-cop lied about 92-year-old's shooting - CNN.com The cops said an "informant" bought drugs at the address. The informant said he was never at that address. The result of the lie was a search warrant (no knock of course.) The result of the search warrant was a dead grandmother.
Tesler testified that he went along with a cover-up because he felt threatened by his fellow officers. He said he was instructed by two other officers after the shooting to memorize a cover-up story that they had witnessed an informant buying drugs at Johnston's home.
Which begs the question, how often does this kind of thing happen in Atlanta?

So are we winning the war on (some) drugs, or are we losing our rights?

Armed 64-year-old Versus 17-year-old Burglar

cbs11tv.com - Dallas Homeowner Shoots Teenage Burglar Predictable results ensue.
The homeowner confronted Aguilar, who then allegedly charged at him and threw a backpack at him. The homeowner shot him in the arm and held him until police arrived.
Dallas police say the homeowner won't face any charges. Self-defense, they say, is your right in Texas.

The bad guy had several outstanding warrants. His injuries were not life-threatening.

The End of the Best Technology Ever Lately

Study Says Carbon Nanotubes as Dangerous as Asbestos: Scientific American They will no doubt try to get the use of nanotubes killed. (Has anyone ever been around agricultural pesticides?) Everything has some risk, but carbon nano-fibers have a tremendous amount of promise.

But you can see it coming. Nantubes = Asbestos. They will be killed.

Once we learn how to make them longer, they will be even more useful. (Anybody ever heard of the Space Elevator?) But that won't matter - or all of the other things they make possible, like batteries that will last a LOT longer. The lawyers will do everything they can to kill them off.

Maybe We Need to Enact Molotov Cocktail Control

(If you don't know how to make a Molotov Cocktail, I am not going to tell you.) Pittsburg man arrested in Molotov cocktail attack - San Jose Mercury News Or maybe people just need to give up the idea of killing and injuring the people they once loved.

This was a domestic violence attack.
"When we arrived ... we noted the back door from this unit to the balcony had a rope tied to the balcony support, preventing anyone inside from opening the door," Pittsburg police Lt. Brian Addington said. "The front door also had a small rope attached to it."
The woman are her 10-year-old daughter escaped from the fire without being injured.

Another example of the "How dare you live without me" attitude. People just need to get over it and get on with their lives. I'd like to say this guy is off the streets and no longer a threat, but this isn't the first time he has been arrested on domestic violence charges. He was arrested in March, but no charges were filed.... since District Attorneys often feel domestic violence isn't important enough to bother with. This time he is charged with attempted murder and arson, so something will probably be done - those crimes are "sexy" enough to help a DA further his career.

Monday, May 19, 2008

This is an amazing story

Abducted woman rescued from Ypsilanti Twp. home- mlive.com Usually stories like this end badly. This one ended well.
[D]eputies responded to the home after receiving a 911 call from the victim at about 2 a.m., said sheriff's Cmdr. Dave Egeler. She said her hands and legs were duct taped, but she managed to knock a phone off a table to call for help.

Upon arrival, the deputies looked in a window and saw the woman tied up, lying on floor near the back door in a laundry room, Egeler said. After backup arrived, 10 deputies forced open the door and pulled her out safely.
A man and woman asleep in the residence were arrested. A pit-bull was shot and killed.

The woman knew the man - who approached her in a public place and punched her in the face. Not sure how they knew one another.

All too often, when I read a story like this, the police only arrive in time to gather evidence in a murder. It is nice to read a story with a happy ending.

Philadelphia Beating - Fire the scapegoats

FOXNews.com - Philadelphia Police to Fire 4 Officers Over Videotaped Beating I didn't cover this story when it was new for 2 reasons: 1) it got enough coverage on its own I figured most people new about it, and 2) real life was being uncooperative for posting in general.

Anyway it looks like the City of Philadelphia may be trying to do the right thing and fire these guys. I expect the union will put up a good fight.

If you haven't seen anything about this, you can watch the video here.

Burglar Meets Armed Homeowner

Nashville, Tennessee - Homeowner Shoots and Kills Intruder Predictable results.
The homeowner said he received a phone call from his daughter about a strange man in the neighborhood banging on windows.

The homeowner returned to find Cook coming out of his house. When the homeowner confronted Cook, the intruder reached for his gun, but the homeowner shot first - killing Cook.
The sheriff says the homeowner was within his rights.

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

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chicago Cop Arrested

Chicago cop faces charges in beating :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State Another Chicago cop gets caught breaking the law.
Niles police said Saturday night that Callahan had attacked a 61-year-old Morton Grove man and a 50-year-old Niles woman.

"According to ... witnesses, Callahan attacked the two victims for no apparent reason," Niles police Sgt. Tom Davis said.
Callahan left the scene and was found nearby and arrested by Niles police.

There are a couple of issues in this officer's past, but he was never let go. Today he is on suspension pending a Chicago PD internal investigation. He is out of jail on bond in relation to the incident in Niles, IL.

Forewarned Was not Forearmed

Coyote attacks wear on nerves | The Journal Gazette So you move into a home and get a WARNING from a neighbor, about coyotes and a recommendation to "watch your pets." Apparently you don't believe it.
A few days ago, as far as Sell is concerned, the presence of coyotes near her home was confirmed. She came home from work one evening and let her dogs, two small dachshunds and a young Doberman, into the backyard.

It wasn’t long before two of the dogs had returned to the back door. As Sell was letting them in, she heard her other dachshund screaming and snarling, obviously in a fight of some kind. Sell called the dog’s name and ran to help it. When she got to her dog, it was covered in blood.

Sell and her husband took the dog inside and started to clean it up when they noticed their other dachshund. Its entire neck and back were torn open.
Why would you ignore a warning?

But then what would you do? Can you fire a gun in this area, even in defense of yourself or your property?

More surprise at encounters with animals

CapeCodTimes.com - Close encounter of the coyote kind Coyotes are a problem in more of the country. People seem shocked that making a little noise won't always scare a predator away. But they are mostly shocked that they might, someday, come face to face with a wild predator.

Mother Nature Has No Respect for You

Child Attacked By Wild Animal - Albuquerque News Story - KOAT Albuquerque People are shocked that if you wander around in wilderness (or even in not-so-wilderness today) you might come in contact with wild animals. Not all of them will be fluffy bunnies.

This is the latest tragedy about a kid injured by wild animals.
“The animal had the kid and was dragging him down the side of the hill. When the father jumped over there, the animal ran off,” said Ross Morgan, who works for the Department of Game and Fish.
Not clear what kind of animal was involved. What is clear is the extent of the injuries. The kid is in intensive care.

People are "shocked" about this reality.
“It’s shocking and kind of scary,” [a guy who spends time there] said. “We’re making sure we're keeping track of where everyone is and looking around.”
OK, you weren't doing this before? You shouldn't be in the wilderness.

People will still argue about whether or not you should go armed into the wilderness. Fine don't. But don't be shocked, when wild animals view you, your kids, your pets as food, when you venture into their world, or (as is happening more and more) they venture into your world. They are not fluffy bunnies, not all of them. Some of them will be dangerous. Some of them will be diseased. Humans use tools to keep these threats as bay. Don't do that, and you might become food.

You have to have respect for Mother Nature, because she has no respect for you.

Political Correctness Run Amok

The dangers we all face when police are too terrified to think for themselves | the Daily Mail Christian ministers can't get help with vandals. Muslims get response from high-level officers with a single call.

People told not to press the complaint, told this by the police, because it will invite more violence.

Property damage ignored. People prosecuted for yelling at their kids.
There are numerous causes of this sorry situation, but two stand out.

First is the behaviour of central government, which for more than a decade has stripped its police officers of autonomy, preferring to believe its university-educated advisers know better than themen and women paid to do the job.

This has left police forces terrified to take independent action, believing - wrongly - that judgment and discretion play no part in their job.

Second is a national culture of political correctness that elevates concerns for equality above those of ordinary policing. On both counts, the micro management and the politicisation - a poisonous mixture - New Labour has been the greatest culprit.
Before you line up to castigate Labour, you should note that the political control of police started under the conservatives in the 1990s. It just got worse.

Britain is no longer great.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Speaking of Government Screw-ups

State falsely accuses 3,000 of child abuse This is the kind of thing that can ruin your life. Illinois is careless it seems.
11,473 people have appealed to strike their names from the state record. The list has a 27 percent error rate of parents falsely accused of abuse. Once on the list, people are required to remain there for a minimum of five years.
27% errors? That is ridiculous.

Every time someone passes a law, they put more power in the hands of government bureaucrats, who really don't care if they get things right or not. [via ifeminists.com]

Do You Trust the "Justice System?"

Cleared by DNA, man tries to reclaim his life - CNN.com Why? It is just another government system.

This is the story of an innocent man who spent 27 years in prison.
When he went off to prison, Ronald Reagan was president, gas was cheap, AIDS was barely on the radar and no one had a cell phone or a personal computer.
He was convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend. He was eventually cleared by DNA evidence, but there was other evidence that was suppressed by the "system" in this case.
The jury believed Woodard was the last person seen with the victim. But according to court records, there were two other men that were with her. Police never followed up on the lead and prosecutors never shared the information with defense attorneys, even though they were legally obligated to do so. [my emphasis: Z-Deb]

Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins is on a mission to right the wrongs of the past. He's suggesting that it's time to start prosecuting the prosecutors to keep innocent people like James Woodard from going to prison.
So the "system" - that would be the police and the prosecutors - basically decided that obeying the law themselves would be inconvenient. Or they decided he was guilty, and didn't need to bother with a fair trial.

With that other evidence, that jury may have found there was reasonable doubt. But we won't know, because this man was denied his rights by the "Justice System." He lost 27 years of his life - more since as he says, he hasn't got his life back yet.

Armed Store Owner Foils Robbery

Ohio.com - Store workers take aim at robbers Armed robbers threaten clerk. The store owner appears from the back and fires several shots, and the goblins run like rabbits.

Police grudgingly admit that self-defense and defense of others is legal. They believe you should cooperate.
In most cases, [Police Lt. Rick Edwards] said, store clerks facing an armed robber have the legal right to defend themselves or others if they fear for their safety.

"You have a right to defend yourself, but we're not encouraging anyone to fire shots at people," Edwards said.
Two of three suspects were arrested about 10 minutes after this attempted robbery at a local hospital - one guy had been shot. The 3rd guy is being sought.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fewer Gun-free Zones in Georgia

Perdue signs law allowing guns in restaurants | ajc.com In other words, there are more places where law-abiding citizens can legally defend themselves with firearms, and fewer places where criminals and/or nut-jobs can kill people knowing they will be unopposed.
Georgians with carry licenses can tote their concealed guns on public transportation, in restaurants that serve alcohol and in state parks under legislation signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue Wednesday.
Restaurants are not happy, even though people who are carrying cannot drink alcohol. Can't please some people. [via NRA-ILA]

Shot for no reason

North County Journal | Overland robbery part of 'very unusual night' He demanded money. The clerk opened the cash drawer and stepped back.
“For no apparent reason, the suspect shot the clerk,” [Police Chief Jim] Herron said.
The goblin would have shot the clerk at least one more time, but his gun malfunctioned.

"For no apparent reason." How about because violent criminals are violent, and aren't interested in singing Kumbaya, just because you are cooperating. The Left - and a lot police chiefs - doesn't seem to understand that.

Gay Marriage in California

California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban -- -- chicagotribune.com A surprise that this actually took so long in California given similar rulings in places like New Jersey.

The religious right is trying - and will probably succeed - in getting an initiative on the ballot for November to change the California state constitution.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bet Your Life on 911? They Don't Care What Happens to You

911 Operator: 'I Don't Give a S***t' - Nashville, Tennesse The exact quote was, "I really just don't give a s**t what happens to you." This was basically told to a woman who over several hours had pleaded for help with 911 because an ex-boyfriend-turned-stalker was in her yard.

The employee with that attitude was let go, but do you think other people don't feel a little bit like that? Look here, if you do.

You are free to bet your life on calling 911, just don't expect me to make that bet on my life. It is just another government department - think department of motor vehicles.

I am sure there are a lot of people involved in 911 call centers that care about people, but the system as a whole, has serious problems, and even when it works as advertised, police are minutes away. [Via Uncle]

Why you might need to defend yourself

Fredericksburg.com - Rabid fox attacks Spotsy woman The story is about an attack by a rabid fox. This woman was attacked in her yard while mowing the lawn.
Burhenn was bitten repeatedly while wrestling with the fox. A neighbor came to her aid and killed the animal with a shovel.
What if it had been a coyote? A mountain lion? And the Left will say, firearms aren't needed.

FM radio is the new AM radio

It has been a long time since I drove across the US - or a big portion of it anyway - and I am shocked at the changes in the radio spectrum.

Talk shows, religious preachers, Christian rock (which is mostly horrible), Country, and Oldies (or classic rock to some). I heard "Proud Mary" and "On the Road Again" more in the last 2 days than I have in the past few years.

All I can say is CDs saved my sanity.

When did AM talk radio become FM talk radio? Do we really need Rush in stereo? Not that I'm complaining (much), I would rather listen to him than to the preachers who are either telling me how they want to save my soul or are busy condemning me to hell. (Couldn't really listen to this, though when you are scanning the spectrum, they are everywhere.)

Not sure if blogging will be light or not from here on in, but I hope to do at least a little every day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earthquakes, Volcanos and Cyclones, Oh My

And let's not forget tornadoes.

I suppose that the Global Warming crowd will blame global warming (and Bush, of course) for the volcano in Chile - that is a great photo! - and the earthquake in China.

As far as the cyclone goes, the junta in Burma is still being stupid about international aid.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Tough 77-year-old

Tampa Bay Newspapers : Elderly Seminole man holds off would-be burglar She apparently thought the home of an elderly couple would be easy to rob. She thought wrong.
According to a report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Walter Funk, 77, of ... Seminole, defended himself and held down Nicole Mason-Suares, 22, until police could arrive.
He tackled her, then was able to get a wrench. She pulled a knife, but he took that away from her.

She was taken to the hospital and is now held in Pinellas County jail.

Attitude is everything in life. This guy had a great attitude.

Weird Story of the Day

Unprecedented Collision with Pelican Sends Woman to Hospital Pelican dived on her, while the bird was fishing. 20 stitches to her face. The bird died.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hand Over the Money, Then Get Shot

digtriad.com | Gas Station Clerk Shot After Handing Over Money But how can this be? The Left (and a lot of police chiefs) say "just cooperate and you will be safe." Too bad it isn't true.
Greensboro Police say the gunman entered the Kangaroo Express on Yanceyville Street at 1:00 am Friday morning, demanding money. The clerk handed over the cash and the gunman shot him in the stomach. The clerk was taken to Moses Cone Hospital where he had surgery for the wound.
Cooperating with violent criminals will not stop them from being violent criminals. Having the means and plan for your own defense will not, of course, offer any guarantee, but the idea that cooperation will ensure your safety is a dangerous lie.

Real Life is Calling

In a shrill, unpleasant voice. I will not be blogging much - or at all - for a few days or most of next week.

Unfounded Fear of Video Games

Video games don't create killers, new book says - Yahoo! News There has of course been a lot of worry over video games. Just as there was worry over TV and the movies and comic books. Do they cause violence in kids? Not hardly.
"What I hope people realize is that there is no data to support the simple-minded concerns that video games cause violence," Kutner told Reuters.
As if kids don't understand media, TV or the difference between the real world and a video game.

I think this is at the center the same idea that "guns cause violence" which is patently false. People fear what they don't understand.

Man Helps His Neighbor, Stops Criminal

cbs11tv.com - Fort Worth Donut Shop Robber Shot & Killed A robber breaks into a donut shop at 1:30 in the morning to rob the place, armed with what appeared to be a rifle - turned out it was a BB gun.
54-year-old Stanley Livingston, heard the commotion next door, grabbed his shotgun and ran over to help. That's when [Richard] Lane allegedly pointed his gun at Livingston, who fired one shot killing the robber.
Police say it is unlikely Livingston will be charged, since he was defending himself.
State records indicate Lane had an extensive criminal history, including aggravated assault and aggravated robbery.
The woman who runs the donut shop? She is back at work, since she has "orders that have to be delivered."

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Burglar meets armed resident

Teen killed breaking into home | ajc.com Break into enough homes and you will find someone armed on the other side of the door. If you are really unlucky, "enough" may be just 1. In any case an armed resident met a burglar/home invader with the expected results.
A 24-year-old man shot and killed a teenage intruder Friday after the youth and some other juveniles tried to break into the his northwest Atlanta home, police said.
The Brady Bunch and others on the Left will count this as a teen "tragically" killed by guns. The fact that the shooting appears justified isn't interesting to those who hate or fear guns.
[Lt. Keith Meadows, commander of the Atlanta Police Department homicide unit] said it appears that the man acted in self defense. His home had been burglarized two other times this week, and detectives were trying to determine if all the burglaries are linked.
Self-defense is a human right.

Friday, May 09, 2008

What is on their minds?

Myanmar cyclone: Burma junta seizes aid shipments - Telegraph Apparently the Burmese junta doesn't care if a few hundred thousand people die of disease or starvation, as they block shipments of aid to the impacted areas. About 1.5 million people have been displaced by the cyclone. (Some pictures of the aftermath can be found here.)

They probably believe that accepting aid makes them look weak. They apparently don't care that not accepting it makes them look foolish. And as the problems of starvation and disease get going, they will look like monsters.
A doctor said that increasing numbers of people were succumbing to fever and diarrhea.
The police are pulling out of some areas to avoid getting caught in the epidemics that are about to start.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Strange Site of the Day

This is almost as good as Go Fug Yourself. Any site that beats up on the fashion industry can't be all bad.

PhotoshopDisasters: Elizabeth Arden: Introducing Catherine Zeta Beckham
Stylefrizz beats up on Elizabeth Arden for inexplicably hiring Catherine Zeta Jones and then transforming her into something that is almost - but not quite - entirely unlike Catherine Zeta Jones.


Apparently they wanted to hire C. Z-J, but didn't like her hair, her eyes, her nose or her cheekbones, or her smile.

On the subject of the economy....

Hartford Business It seems gun sales in Connecticut are way above last year's sales volume.
n the first three months of 2007, 16,651 guns were sold statewide. In the first quarter of 2008, that number jumped to 20,101. More guns were sold in the first three weeks of April than in the entire month last year.

The monthly reports of gun sales from the state Department of Public Safety show a spike in gun purchases beginning early last fall. That was just weeks after two parolees invaded the Petit family home in Cheshire, killed three and burned the house to the ground.

From May to September in 2007, statewide gun sales had reached 5,000 only once.

From October to March, the lowest total was 6,185 in February. And that figure for February was 25 percent higher than a year earlier.
A 25% increase? Imagine what sales would be if the country wasn't in recession. (Or is it in recession?)

And in Connecticut, you can't just run down to the corner store and buy a handgun on a whim. You have to take a class and get a permit. One store-owner interviewed has doubled the number of permit classes he offers and still has a waiting list - of first-time buyers.

Now in my economics classes, we usually discussed "guns versus butter" (i.e. security versus the flavor in your life). So are guns part of your disposable income, or not? In my case, I view some level of security as a requirement. So I guess it depends on the firearm (a slim-line GLOCK in 45ACP versus a 308 Palma. They probably fall into different categories.)

If the economy is in recession, why are we spending so much on video games?

Game Over for GameStop's Stock? - Barron's Online The news is full of the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, and how it broke all kinds of sales records. Unfortunately I can only find global figures for GTA IV, not US figures.

Still it is clear we are spending a lot of money on games.
Demand for these machines and new games fueled U.S. retail sales of almost $18 billion in 2007, a 44% leap since 2006, according to NPD Group, a New York-based market research firm.
The referenced article is about 1 game seller - Game Stop - but the message is clear, games are big business and getting bigger.

But if the economy is in recession, where is all this disposable income coming from?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Is the Democratic Primary Season Over Yet?

I am so tired of both of them, it's true, but I am even more tired of the news coverage.

How long has this Presidential campaign been going on anyway?

A Gun Free Zone? Only Because the Good Guys Had Guns

Deputy shoots, kills man in lobby of courthouse in St. Petersburg - St. Petersburg Times A local story, and I didn't even know about it. Appears a man returning documents to the courthouse in St Petersburg, for a divorce case, pulled a gun at the metal detector and and started firing. He was shot by sheriff's deputies and died at a St Pete hospital.

One of the bailiffs was injured.
The two deputies, B.J. Lyons, 58; and Marvin Glover, 57; returned fire, killing the man. The Sheriff's Office says a bullet the man fired struck the radio microphone that Lyons was wearing, and grazed his shoulder.
According to Forbes, he was treated and released.

Training helped, but luck was certainly with B.J. Lyons today. Without that radio, he would probably have been seriously injured. (I don't know if they are required to wear protective vests or not.)

You have to do more to create a gun free zone than just put up a sign, and even then you can have problems where the metal detectors are set up.

911 "mistake" leads to 35 minute delay

Dispatcher faulted for response to beating of elderly man - BostonHerald.com This is a violent attack and the 76-year-old man was bleeding from the head.
Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll says the dispatcher assigned a low priority to the April 20 call because the assailant had already fled the scene. She says the call-taker "misjudged the gravity of the situation."

Driscoll says the dispatcher will be retrained and could face discipline.
Translated: the dispatcher will attend a 1 day (or 3 day or whatever) class - perhaps at reduced pay, but still being paid - and "could" (but probably won't) face discipline.

One more time, I would like to hear how all of my problems will be solved by a call to 911. If this guy had been injured more severely, he could have died in 35 minutes.

The cops are minutes - sometimes many minutes - away. Whether or not you get help depends on an overworked, underpaid government functionary who is in no danger of losing their job, even if they screw up. Yeah, that sounds like the system I want to bet my life on.

Ah, Peaceful Gun Free California

Meeting set for Wednesday on Berkeley crime spree - Inside Bay Area I thought California, and Berkley in particular, was the home of peace and fluffy bunnies. (Oakland has its problems.) Turns out there are two separate crime sprees - which authorities are quick to point out are not related.

A group (can't we just call them a gang?) has been robbing restaurants. 8 so far - but they did arrest one 16-year-old. Somehow that doesn't sound like a group to me.

Separately, a lone, masked gunman has been perpetrating "takeover-style" robberies of businesses and their customers.

The police are having meetings to address the situation. This doesn't even consider the usual state of crime in Berkley and Oakland.
Moore said tensions are running high in Berkeley due to a seasonal spike in vehicle and home burglaries, drug activity, vandalism and the robberies.
Lovely time of year in California, the robbery, burglary and vandalism season.

Maybe they should encourage patrons of businesses to carry walking sticks? No, they wouldn't do that. These predators only have two feet.

I really do wonder what they will say? Do they need more laws making robbery or armed robbery a crime? Someone will suggest one I am sure. What they won't do is say it is time to give the people of California the right (and the tools) do defend themselves.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Police Think They Get Special Rules

Police sued for $10 million over suicide of officer's daughter - SalemNews.com, Salem, MA Instead of following the rules - turning a suicidal kid over to hospital authorities - they called the kid's father, who just happened to be a police officer in that city. He took her home where she did commit suicide.

So in this case, thinking they know better than the rules, thinking fellow cops get a special "break" cost a girl's life. Everyone in sight is being sued for failure to follow procedure - essentially acting in a negligent fashion.

This is a tragedy for all concerned, but the point it illustrates is that cops - a very large number of cops - don't believe that the rules apply to cops. If that father had been an insurance salesman, do you think the cops would have violated the rules? They thought it would be better to let to cop handle his kid - less bad press or something. I hope those "friends" are tormented every night by the thought that they are responsible for that girl's death, but I don't believe that they are.

The idea that cops get special breaks, is exactly the idea that cops are above the law. It is an idea that needs to be shown for what it is - wrong.

Shooting is Fun

Julia Zaher: Columnist's NRA gun instruction continues - The Flint Journal About two months ago Julia Zaher wrote an article about taking the NRA's First Steps Pistol course. Now she is getting involved in the other fun things you can do.

This is about a trip to an IDPA match - though I don't think she competed. Go take a look. [h/t Kevin]

Restraining order didn't stop attempted murder/suicide

Restraining order didn't deter Aventura attack - 05/06/2008 - MiamiHerald.com He managed to kill himself, but he didn't manage to kill her.
Less than a week after a judge barred him from getting near his ex-girlfriend, a salesman gunned her down and took his own life outside Macy's at Aventura Mall.

Olga Fernandez, 44, a part-time cosmetics worker at Macy's, survived but not before she took bullets to the neck and shoulder.
Restraining orders are not enough. If you have problems with a stalker, you need a plan for your personal protection. Calling 911 doesn't amount to much of a plan.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Winners and Losers in the Newspaper Game

Timber! Newspaper Circulation Falls Again - Forbes.com I love statistics. They don't often tell you the whole story, and complicated statistics can be manipulated. But a simple set of statistics often tells a clear story. (I know this is a week old, but this got drowned out in all the Rev. Wright stuff last week.)

Big, national and regional newspapers that are liberal, are in trouble. Smaller regional papers that are not so liberal - some of them anyway - are in less trouble.

My three least favorite papers - the NY Times, the LA Times, and the Boston Globe - are big losers in the current circulation numbers. This is part of an industry-wide decline in numbers. Overall, daily circulation is down, 3.57% and Sunday circulation is down 4.59%. That can't be good when costs for paper and transportation are increasing.

Here is a look at some of the numbers.

NewspaperChange in Daily CirculationChange in Sunday Circulation
 New York Times -3.85% -9.3%
 Los Angeles Times -5.1% -6.1%
 Philadelphia Inquirer -5.1% -6.3%
 Boston Globe -8.5% not reported
 Wall Street Journal +0.35% not applicable
 USA Today +0.27% not applicable
 San Jose Mercury News +1.7% not reported
 Cincinnati Enquirer +2.9% not reported

No data on the Washington Post.

One of my local papers, the St. Petersburg Times (which is slightly to left of Chairman Mao) is also down, though not as much. The SP Times is completely liberal. (They never met a tax they didn't like, or so it seems to me.) The Cincinnati Enquirer isn't exactly conservative, but they can't be too far out in left-field given what greater Cincinnati is like. (It is a VERY conservative city.) Although I haven't read it in years, I always liked the San Jose Mercury News, they had great business coverage of Silicon Valley and the high tech industry when most papers didn't seem to understand technology.

Mountain Lions Spotted - Authorities Recommend a Walking Stick

Mountain Lions Spotted In Park - Local News Story - KNSD | San Diego Oh, that's right. Can't recommend that people carry firearms - they aren't allowed.

So if you meet these two mountain lions, just beat them off with a stick. That'll work!
Officials have advised walkers and hikers to take precautions. They suggest people avoid taking outings alone, especially between dusk and dawn, and carry a walking stick. If you encounter a mountain lion, experts recommend you stay calm and face the animal. Do not run -- that could trigger the lion's instinct to attack. And try to appear as large as possible by standing very straight and making noise. If attacked, they urge people to fight back.
Too bad they don't have access to something that would really let them fight back effectively.

What would you shoot a mountain lion with? Me, I would use whatever I had available.

And it is too bad that the authorities can't see that the "fight back" suggestion applies to the two-footed predators as well as the four-footed.

What's Wrong with this picture?

A left-handed Mauser 66 would be worth a lot of money, if they actually made any.

Clinton Gun Pamphlet

Or as Mary Katherine Ham says, Democrats don't even know what guns look like.

Taser Didn't Stop Him, But the Gun Did

Store clerk shoots would-be robber | Mesa Arizona News The store clerk didn't even get a chance to cooperate. The bad guy started hitting him with a pipe and demanding money. When the Taser failed, the clerk grabbed a gun.
The 30-year-old suspect, shot several times by a clerk at Mesa Mart, 1510 S. Country Club Drive, was listed in critical condition at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn, police spokeswoman Detective Chris Arvayo said.
...
The clerk most likely will not face any criminal charges.

“He’s got the right to defend himself,” Arvayo said.
The clerk did not require much medical attention.

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

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Hours for Police to Respond to 911 Call

Call 'made my skin crawl': 911 dispatcher System failure indeed. Because a phone system was down, 911 calls were routed to another center. The 911 call came in at 3:06 AM. Officers arrived at the home at 4:27, but did not enter the home until 7:45. That is 4 hours and 39 minutes between the call and when police took action, for the arithmetically challenged. How many people bled to death in that time. (This was a murder/suicide via knife, after all.)

So tell me again how 911 is the answer to all my problems. Tell me how if I just call 911, the police will race (4 hours and 39 minutes?) to my rescue. Oh, and they didn't have to go far, but there were other calls in front of this one even when it got routed to the correct force. And then they arrived on scene. And then they waited 3 hours and 18 minutes to do anything that might have been remotely useful.

911 can do a lot of things for you. It can't protect you against a violent maniac. Maybe nothing can, but you have a better chance if you are prepared to defend yourself. (Image © Oleg Volk - click the image for a larger view.)

Police Can't Respond Fast Enough

Mom shot to death in front of children during 911 call The Left loves 911 calls and waiting to be rescued. There is only one problem with that advise. It doesn't really work.

A violent encounter is likely to be over very quickly. The police are minutes away - even assuming you can call before the crime occurs.
Police say a woman was shot to death in front of her two children in east Kansas City.

Police found the woman's body early Saturday morning when responding to a 911 hang-up call.

Police said a man who was with her was also shot and suffered life-threatening wounds.
Talking to a 911 operator is a good thing, and getting police to the scene of a crime as fast as possible is a good thing. They don't guarantee your safety however. Now having a gun will not guarantee your safety either. There are no guarantees in this life save for death and taxes. For my part, I will take an active part in my own defense whenever possible.

911 and Police Fail to Stop Murder

Released 911 call reveals woman's plight - UPI.com She was apparently shot in the parking lot of a police station while on the phone with 911.

Having a gun may not have saved this woman, but following the advise of the Left, didn't work one bit.

What if you called 911 and they hung up?

FOXNews.com - Police: Slain Wisconsin Student Apparently Dialed 911; Help Not Sent The Left loves the mantra of just call 911 and the police will rescue you in no time.

Kind of hard for the police to rescue you, if they never get notified of your call.
MADISON, Wis. — A college student apparently called 911 from her cell phone shortly before she was killed but a dispatcher hung up, failed to call back and never sent police to investigate, authorities said Thursday.
The dispatcher in question will surely be hit firmly on the knuckles with a large ruler, and be sent back to work answering - or not, as the case may be - more 911 calls. Or maybe not even hit with a ruler. The director of the 911 call center had this to say.
I don't think there's anything to apologize for at this time.
You are free to believe that calling 911 - assuming you have the time - will result in your being saved. You are free to believe in the Easter Bunny. Don't expect me to share your beliefs. [h/t Uncle]

Update: Of course this isn't the only problem, just the most public. 2004 report warned of 911 Center problems.
County officials were warned in 2004 to increase staffing, change procedures and put in place a stronger oversight board.
The meeting of the oversight board was canceled, since that 911 call center director, Rich McVicar, said there was nothing worth discussing. Some oversight.

Anime - a guilty pleasure

Bleach is an interesting anime series. Fairly violent, even as anime goes, as it is mostly a samurai-style fighting show. Lots of swordplay, lots of blood.

Bleach: Ichigo and Rukia

No one is really sure why it is called "Bleach" except that the main character has orange hair. It is his natural color, but when Japanese try to bleach their hair blond, they often end up with orange.

Louisiana and Concealed Carry on Campus

House committee approves college firearms bill- NOLA.com A law to eliminate one class of defenseless victim zones is moving through the Louisiana legislature.
All college students 21 or older who have qualified for concealed handgun permits would be able to carry firearms to class and other parts of campus under a bill approved 11-3 by a House committee Thursday.
The reporter goes on about whether people "feel safe" instead of actually discussing whether or not they are safe.

Also mentioned is the fact that similar laws were introduced in 17 states and shot down - this year - in 15. (Indiana is still considering)

Absent is any mention of where concealed carry is allowed on colleges (there are a few places) and the fact that there haven't been any problems. Facts? In a story on guns? Better stick to feelings. [NRA-ILA]

Saturday, May 03, 2008

More Problems for Obama Regarding Rev. Wright

Rasmussen Reports™: 58% Say Obama Denounced Wright for Political Convenience, not Outrage That's not good for "Don't Say My Middle Name" Obama.

Not only don't Americans in general believe that he denounced him from a real sense of outrage, we think he probably shares at least some of those views.
Fifty-six percent (56%) say it’s at least somewhat likely that Obama “shares some of Pastor Wright’s controversial views about the United States.” That figure includes 26% who say it’s Very Likely Obama holds such views. At the other end of the spectrum 24% say it’s Not Very Likely that Obama shares such views. Just 11% say it’s Not at All Likely.
Rev. Wright also doesn't speak for as large a section of the African American community as I bet he thinks he does.
Just 7% of the nation’s voters agree with Wright’s views of the United States. African-American voters, by a 64% to 12% margin, disagree with Wright. Eighty-one percent (81%) of all voters are following the story somewhat or very closely.
Even 48% of Democrats think Obama shares Wright's views. (Not sure what that says about those in the 48%. Are they Hillary C. supporters, or they just don't care?)

So Wright is an issue. Voters don't believe Obama is truly outraged, but is following a political script. How is this different from any other politician shading the truth to get elected? Is this the change we were hoping for? [via My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy]

Update: A bit more on the political theater... Townhall.com::Obama's Changing Moral Equivalence::By Charles Krauthammer

A Bit More Info on Ayers and the Weather Underground

Fire in the Night by John M. Murtagh, City Journal 30 April 2008 The subtitle of this piece is, "The Weathermen tried to kill my family."

The story is a first hand account of what it is like to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound - and feeling - of explosions. Bombs were set by the Weatherman to kill a judge and his family. John Murtagh was 8-years-old the night the Weatherman tried to murder him.
I still recall, as though it were a dream, thinking that someone was lifting and dropping my bed as the explosions jolted me awake, and I remember my mother’s pulling me from the tangle of sheets and running to the kitchen where my father stood. Through the large windows overlooking the yard, all we could see was the bright glow of flames below. We didn’t leave our burning house for fear of who might be waiting outside.
That is the kind of things the "liberals" did in the sixties and seventies.

How does Ayers feel about it today?
But listen to Ayers interviewed in the New York Times on September 11, 2001, of all days: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” Translation: “We meant to kill that judge and his family, not just damage the porch.” When asked by the Times if he would do it all again, Ayers responded: “I don’t want to discount the possibility.”
The judge in question was ruling a case the Weatherman felt strongly about. Strongly enough to try and commit murder.

Now I don't believe that Barack "Don't Say My Middle Name" Obama holds with blowing up judges, but he does hang out with people who do. That has to say something about something. [via My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy]

Update: more on the Weather Couple and Obama's connection to same.... Dems 2008: Elizabeth Wurtzel on Barack Obama's other friends, the "Weathercouple"

Has Survivalism Gone Mainstream? Probably

And who can blame us?

OK, Y2K wasn't the end of the world, but 9/11 looked like it might be the beginning, and Katrina proved that government is mostly a waste of time and money. Add in the New York and Memphis power outages, and you get stories like BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Do you need to stock up the bunker? and TCS Daily - We're All Soldiers of Fortune Now

The Department of Homeland Security wants us to be ready. Costco is selling survival food packs with 275 servings of freeze-dried vegetarian meals. People are generally getting ready to be on their own for a few days.
Barton M Biggs is about as far as you can get from the old John Rambo-style survivalist. Forget long, unkempt hair and a sweat-stained vest. Mr Biggs is a former chief global strategist for Morgan Stanley, who now runs the hedge fund Traxis Partners in New York.

Yet in his latest book, Wealth, War and Wisdom, he suggests that all right-minded people should "assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure".
He lobbies the well to do to invest a portion of their wealth in a retreat, such as a small farm.
"I'm just suggesting," says Mr Biggs, "that if you can afford it you should invest in a bolthole. A farm, perhaps, where you could live for a month and survive."

"I am talking Swiss Family Robinson," he says, referring to the famous 1812 novel about a Swiss family that survives after being shipwrecked in the East Indies. "You should have food, water, medicine, clothes. And possibly AK47s to fire over the heads of any guys, depending on how bad things become."
The recommendation for being armed is surprising - in that the BBC actually printed it. But he is probably correct.

Being able to get there is a problem. Getting out of a location after disaster strikes may be a problem, and even with warning - like a hurricane - it can be difficult to leave, given traffic congestion. And in a true regional or national disaster, will your farm be occupied by squatters when you get there?

Still, giving some thought to what you would do if Katrina - and the associated Jack-booted Thugs - came to your town, is a worthwhile exercise. Who can walk and who can't. Where would go if you could drive? If you had to walk?

All this is via Instapundit who has several more links on the subject.

I like the Zombie Squad, since they teach about disaster preparedness but have a good sense of humor. Like this video on the Bug-out Bag. Or as they say, "if you can handle zombies, you can handle anything. What's worse than your friends and family trying to eat your face?"

Bill Cosby Still Pissing People Off

Cosby brings ´blunt´ message to community leaders Why? Because he wants people to "stop looking for somebody to blame," and fix the problems in their lives.
"You´ve got these idiots who´ve got these degrees and some of them are ordained ministers and they say, `Bill, you´re picking on the poor,´" [Cosby] said.
I wonder who he could mean.

He also doesn't have very nice things to say about the music and the radio business. "Pro murder" and "anti-woman" are two things he did say about hip hop in general, though he is releasing a hip hop album that should be a little more inspiring.

Talk about speaking truth to power. It is just that the powers don't want to listen.

Nichole Kidman as Dusty Springfield?

I suppose it could work.

Nichole and Dusty

I doubt they will give Springfield's bisexuality the proper treatment. Either they will use it just to sell tickets, or ignore it for a PG rating. [via After Ellen]

The sad thing is that there doesn't seem to be a good recording of the duet of Mockingbird she did with Jimi Hendrix on TV show. (Was this her TV show?) This is close, but without Hendrix' style.

Shot and Killed With His Own Gun

Gunman shot at Inver Grove Heights liquor store had been in prison He tried to rob a liquor store, but the manager had other ideas.
Dwayne A. Curry, 42, died a few hours after the liquor store manager shot him at Trail Liquors on Thursday morning. Curry demanded cash, the manager grabbed the gun and the two scuffled, authorities said.

The manager, Matt Huerta, also was shot. He was reported in good condition Friday morning.
No doubt some will say ("some" being the Left) that if the manager had only cooperated with this criminal, all would be safe, but the truth is cooperation with violent criminals is no guarantee of safety.
State records show Curry has served prison time for nine burglary and theft-related felonies since 1986. He served six years for a 1994 armed robbery in Washington County and was released in 2000, records show. He was booked last fall in connection with burglary and stolen property in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Police say that is looks to be self-defense, but the DA will review the case.

Self-defense is a human right, and as this case shows, attitude helps.

The Alarm Didn't Stop Him; The Gun Did

Suspect in St. Paul break-in caught by homeowner He broke in and set off the alarm. That didn't stop him from coming in.
"I grabbed our gun, which we keep for protection," [Jon Sokol, the homeowner] said.

"As I stepped around the corner, he hit me ... right between the eyes," Sokol said. "And I fired the gun.

"Down on the ground he went and I insisted, in a not very nice way, that he not move," he said. "I held him at gunpoint until the police arrived."
The bad guy will be charged with 2 counts of felony burglary for this dust-up. (The bad guy wasn't injured.) He was convicted as recently as last year of theft and burglary. No word on whether he finished his sentence or if he was on parole.

The homeowner suffered a cut on his forehead.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Women Are Waking Up to the Benefits of Concealed Carry

KTNV ABC - Girls & Guns: Why So Many Valley Women Are Packing Heat Or at least in Southern Nevada, where as this story says thousands of women are carrying concealed.
Some women in the Valley are taking aim because they say they are tired of running scared in a city where violent crime happens anywhere and at anytime.
911 calls require time for the police to respond. You must be able to defend yourself.

There is a quote from a "guns are bad" point-of-view, but it is pretty weak. Go take a look.

He was for it, before he was against it. Or something

Don't Worry, Obama's Still Flip-Flopping on Policy, Too Does he take positions on cases before the Supreme court? He does and he doesn't. Go take a look - it is quick. [Via Bitter]