Friday, October 30, 2009

Stand Your Ground in Florida

The family of the guy who was shot isn't happy.Pasco won't prosecute in 'Stand Your Ground' case

The guy who got shot shows up at someone's home and tries to enter. Is told to leave by comes back and tries to enter again. This time the armed homeowner told him to leave. He made a move toward the homeowner and was shot, but not killed.
[Assistant State Attorney Manny] Garcia said [the-guy-who-got-shot's] blood-alcohol level was more than 0.30 percent. Drivers are presumed intoxicated at 0.08 percent.
That is a few cocktails.

The family, as I said, doesn't like the law. Go figure.
Pasco County Sheriff's Office deputies initially arrested Stewart on an aggravated battery charge, but prosecutors with the Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney's office have declined to prosecute him.

Assistant State Attorney Manny Garcia said the investigation determined that Stewart shot Kuch because he believed Kuch presented an imminent danger to him and his family.
You make a threatening move toward me you are a threat. I don't care if you are big or small. (The family says he was smaller than the homeowner.... I be Bruce Lee was smaller than the homeowner too...)

Anyway, sanity ensued and the case has been dropped. Because self-defense is your legal right in Florida.

Do You Even Need to Ask the Question?

Is Obama being played? The Guardian is not usually considered to part of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." I could be mistaken.
Watching the Obama administration launch its "new era of engagement" over the last 10 months, most seasoned observers have pondered two questions: first, if engagement fails, will the Obama team ever acknowledge that it has failed? And what then?
This is followed by a long discussion of Iran and Russia.

Putin couldn't be bothered to meet with Clinton when she was in Moscow. He was in Siberia for most of the time, and then in China. While in China he called the idea of sanctions against Iran "premature."

Add to this the kerfuffle over the Arctic Sea, the ship that may or may not have been shipping missiles from Russia to Iran, and the answer to Mr. Kagan's question becomes even clearer.
The freighter was recovered by Russian forces off the Cape Verde Islands in August and had been under Russian Navy control until it was handed over to its Finnish owners off Malta this afternoon.

Mystery has surrounded the Russian-crewed ship, with international media saying it might have been carrying radioactive material or weapons. Both Russia and the Finnish owners denied the reports, insisting it is only carrying timber.
Tests show no radioactive material, but that isn't what Iran needs right now. (They have their own enrichment program, or have you forgotten.) What Iran needs is long-range missiles. Those wouldn't be radioactive.

But probably none of this matters, because talking is all that counts.
Many of us worry that, for Obama, engagement is an end in itself, not a means to an end. We worry that every time Iran rejects one proposal, the president will simply resume negotiations on another proposal and that this will continue right up until the day Iran finally tests its first nuclear weapon, at which point the president will simply begin negotiations again to try to persuade Iran to put its nuclear genie back in the bottle. Russia, meanwhile, will continue to be accommodated as a partner in this effort, on the perpetually untested theory that if Obama ever did decide to get tough with Iran, Moscow would join in. Russia thus reaps all the rewards of engagement without ever having to make a difficult decision.
Talk is cheap. It is only meaningful if both (all?) parties are negotiating in good faith. Even then it can be impossible to agree. Before you sit down to any negotiation you are supposed to define what you will and will not take, and what your "best alternative to a negotiated solution" might be. Because - at least outside the world of Beltway politics - negotiating is not an end in itself.

Self-defense is Legal in North Carolina

I thought it probably would be. No charges for man, 80, who shot, killed burglar
Haithcock was inside his apartment on 1125 Walnut St. before dawn that morning when Medley, 19, broke in through a window carrying a weapon. Haithcock shot Medley with a handgun while Medley was inside the residence. Medley later died at Moses Cone Hospital.

““The law says that Mr. Haithcock had the right to use deadly force against an intruder that’s in his home when he believes that his own life is in risk, which that belief is pretty reasonable,” said Assistant District Attorney Howard Neumann.
Even unarmed he could have posed a threat to the 80-year-old man.

Self-defense is a human right. And in North Carolina - in your home anyway - it is your legal right.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Home Invader - Armed Homeowner - Expected Result

The Daily News Online > Area News > Toledo homeowner shoots, kills intruder
A 45-year-old man was shot and killed by a Toledo homeowner, who woke up to find the man inside his house Tuesday night, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
So what would you do if you woke up to the sound of someone trying to break into your home? And then heard someone coming up the stairs in your home?
The homeowner, whose name was withheld, told detectives he ordered the intruder to “freeze,” but the man continued to approach, according to the sheriff’s office. He said he shouted “freeze” again, but the other man kept coming closer. The homeowner said he then fired to stop the man from advancing.
The investigation continues, but it sounds pretty straight forward to me.

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

So What Are We Getting for the Stimulus Dollar?

Junk. Probably. Stimulus dollars going to accused contractors 30 companies with horrible histories have received 1.2 billion in stimulus funds.
Government records show that as a group, these contractors have sold defective products, manufactured safety tests, submitted false travel claims and padded contracts with fraudulent fees.
And refresh my memory... weren't 'no bid' contracts a problem when Bush was in office?
Obama explicitly warned against awarding contracts without competitive bidding in a memo released to agency heads weeks after he signed the act, saying they create "a risk that taxpayer funds will be spent on contracts that are wasteful, inefficient, subject to misuse." (So far, half of the $16 billion awarded under the stimulus has gone to contractors that did not have to compete for the work.)
What's 16 billion between friends?

Actually, I don't blame Obama. (How much input did provide to the stimulus bill, really?) No, the blame for all of this lands at the feet of Congress. And the American public that believes government can solve all of their problems.

New Hybrid car - Fisker Karma

I wonder if they get a government bailout?
Fisker To Retool Former GM Plant To Make Electric Cars - WSJ.com
Electric-car start-up Fisker Automotive said Tuesday it will invest nearly $200 million to buy and retool a former General Motors plant in Wilmington, Del., facing off against Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and other big manufacturers in the nascent market for electric vehicles.
Not bad-looking for under 40 grand.

So, are we better off in the long run with GM and Chrysler still in "business" or would we be better off if we let those plants go to folks like Fisker? Short term, the folks who work there are better off. But why is everything always about the short-term?

Things that make you go... WTF?

Minnesota man charged with drunk driving motorized La-Z-Boy chair

It may be a Lazy-Z-Boy, but you still can't drink and drive.
Police in Proctor Minnesota couldn't believe what they saw, but acted accordingly when they pulled over Dennis LeRoy Anderson, 62, for drunk driving. Not in itself something to attract the media, only Mr. Anderson wasn't in his car - he was driving a motorized La-Z-Boy chair.
It was complete with headlights, side mirror and cup holder.

Bay Bridge

I really didn't want to write about this, but it keeps popping up everywhere. Bay Bridge will remain closed for 'a few days' -- latimes.com

So let me see if I have this straight. They made a temporary repair - just over a month ago - that failed and dropped a 5000 pound beam onto rush hour traffic. (They are so lucky this didn't end up like the incident in Boston's Big Dig a few years back were some thousand pounds of concrete fell on a car.) Now engineers are saying that the repair had no chance of standing up to the daily loads of wind and cars. And they should fix any other area that was repaired in the same fashion.

And yes, this is your tax dollars at work.

Oh, and the new bridge they are building... will that fix all the problems? Probably not. You see, Some Bay Bridge concrete may be substandard (it's cheaper after all to use substandard concrete.)
Caltrans tests have revealed that some 50 percent of the required rock in concrete poured into parts of the Bay Bridge's new western approach viaducts a year ago were actually chunks of old, ground-up concrete, an agency official said Tuesday.

The testing stems from the discovery by a Caltrans inspector in July 2005 that a cement mixer was delivering "soupy" concrete, which he then flushed with water to discover chunks of crushed, recycled concrete.
But never fear. This won't make the new bridge unsafe, it will just need to be replaced even sooner. More of your tax dollars at work. (Or your kids' tax dollars.) So is there any quality control happening on this new bridge? Doesn't sound like it.

California is so screwed.

I can't even imagine what the closure of the Bay Bridge is doing to traffic and commuting - already a nightmare in SF.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

“And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country&rdquo

Chicago PD, Chicago Schools and the Juvenile Courts are meeting. I don't think they will accomplish much. Officials talk Chicago youth violence

Since that kid was beaten to death on video, Chicago has been wringing its hands (collectively) about what to do. Various groups have been meeting, but I haven't seen anything come of it yet.

Actually, I'm not sure what can be done. The problems are not only in the schools, though they certainly have problems. The problem is more complicated than can be solved by schools, or community organizations.

Don't Give a Cop a Parking Ticket...

You might be arrested. Arrest for ticketing cop's car nets traffic aide more than $1 million

Apparently the cop in question (four cops were named in the civil-rights-violation-lawsuit along with the City of Chicago) didn't think the parking laws applied to him.
She was a supervisor for the Traffic Management Authority under the city of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications on May 18, 2006, when she was arrested after she refused to rescind a parking ticket issued by one of her subordinates on Officer Reid’s private car, the release said. She was injured during the arrest and was held at the police station.
Arrested, but never charged. (Can you say "intimidation?")

The issues were "false arrest, false imprisonment, battery, civil conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress."

So why is it that cops don't think the laws apply to them? And how often do they A) get the tickets "fixed" and B) get away with abusing their authority?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

“maybe this'll give him a little message”

Man Shoots Alleged Armed Robber That message would be, "Crime can be hazardous to your health."
Police said they do not expect to file charges against a 75-year-old man after he shot a teenager who tried to rob him at gunpoint.

The shooting occurred Monday morning while Richard Maiden was taking his dog for a walk.

Maiden said a teenager approached him and asked questions about his companion, Vinny.

"He asked me what kind of dog it was and I told him," Maiden said. "And about that time he pulled the gun, put it in my face."
This "kid" ended up with a bullet wound in his leg. (The "teenager" is 18 years old, and when he is charged, will be charged as an adult. Language is funny thing.)

The would-be-robber collapsed about a half-mile away and picked up by police. They also recovered a gun and the victim's wallet.

Self-defense works. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Are You Sure You Will Only Need a 10 Round Magazine?

Shippensburg Home Invasion Involved Up To 16 People They assaulted 2 residents and stole a cell-phone.

Some folks (The Brady Bunch, et al) like to say that no one would ever need more than a ten-round magazine in their firearm. So, criminals will never travel in groups larger than what? And I'm not John Wayne; I can't be sure every single shot will stop one threat. I mean I might miss one or two in the adrenalin rush. [via Uncle]

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bad Stuff Can Happen Anywhere Anytime

First hand account of attempted mugging/carjacking. Don’t bring a knife to a coffee fight � Gun Nuts Media

In broad daylight he was approached by "a member of the Indianapolis Choir Boy School of Good Men Who are Only Down on Their Luck."

He had a hot cup of coffee in his hand, and gun in his pocket. So when said "alter boy" asked for wallet and keys, he made a counter offer.
I politely demurred by hurling a cup of hot Starbucks at him while fishing my Beretta Jetfire out of the stupid pocket holster it was riding in. After taking a face full of Columbia’s most popular legal export and confronted with a counter offer of bullets to his previous barter exchange concept, the young gentlemen decided that discretion was the better part of valor and made all due haste in a westerly direction. For my part, I locked myself in my office, called 911 and waited for the cops to arrive to take my report.
Read the whole thing, it isn't that long, and is interesting.
The moral of the story for me anyway is twofold: keep your head up. ... Secondly, as pdb is fond of saying, “carry your f***ing guns, people!”
I usually carry something. Step one in my practice is to fling that something at the most immediate threat. A hot cup of coffee is going to really distract someone, while you draw your own weapon. [via Uncle]

Water And Food

Things we take for granted. Food will never be so cheap again - Telegraph

Price of corn is half what it was in 2008. Wheat had fallen 70 percent. Given the diesel it takes to run tractors hasn't fallen suit, fewer acres are being farmed.
The world's grain stocks have dropped from four to 2.6 months cover since 2000, despite two bumper harvests in North America. China's inventories are at a 30-year low. Asian rice stocks are near danger level.
Then there is water. Aside from the North American Midwest, most agriculture is based on irrigation.
Water supply from Himalayan glaciers is ebbing. The Yellow River has been reduced to "an agonising trickle". It no longer reaches the sea for 200 days a year.

Farmers are draining the aquifers. Environmentalist Ma Jun says in China's Water Crisis that they are drilling as deep as 1,000 metres into non-replenishable reserves. The grain region of the Hai River Basin relies on groundwater for 70pc of irrigation.

China's water troubles are not unique. North India lives off Himalayan snows as well. Nor can we take fertiliser supply for granted any longer since "peak phosphates" threatens.
Things are going to bad in parts of the world, and our diverting a large portion of our corn crop to make fuel isn't helping.

Yields could improve. But don't expect to see any changes until after things are bad.

40 Minutes for a 911 Response

The guy in question was pronounced dead when paramedics finally arrived. Coroner now probing whether EMS-delay death is tied to Toronto strike - Posted Toronto

For whatever reason, the paramedics were waiting on police. No police were available to come to the scene. It isn't clear why they were needed. The guy was found on the floor with a cut on his head, and he passed away while neighbors - waiting for paramedics - performed CPR.

Apparently there was some work-rule related action going on (the "strike"), but you might just as well blame homophobic prejudice - you can't prove that either.
Mr. Hearst, 59, collapsed and died on the ground floor of his apartment building at 40 Alexander St., near Church Street in Toronto's gay village on the night of June 25, just three days into the civic strike. Bystanders say they found Mr. Hearst at 11 p.m. lying on the floor with a cut on his head, mumbling and trying to stand up. He soon became unconscious, stopped breathing and started to turn blue. Despite three 911 calls and a pair of paramedics waiting in an ambulance around the corner, rescuers did not arrive until nearly 40 minutes later, at which point Mr. Hearst was pronounced dead.
At least someone understood CPR. Do you? Do the people around you? What happens if you're the one who falls and needs help. Will you be the one who dies waiting for the professionals to come? Are you really betting your life - or the lives of those you love - on this system?

There is no guarantee this guy would have lived if the paramedics had arrived. But his chances would have been much better had he been rushed to a hospital. 40 minutes seems like an very long time to wait.

Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0

I love a story with a happy ending. Suspects in home invasion charged

3 guys invade a home and attack a homeowner. He manages to get his gun and shoot one of them, after which the run like rabbits.
All three suspects were arrested near the Ohio-Indiana border with the assistance of the Richmond Police Department and the Ohio Highway Patrol.
The guy who got shot was airlifted to a local hospital. The other two guy are charged with 3 felonies.

The homeowner had lacerations to his head, and was taken to a different hospital.

Self-defense is a human right, and it does work. Nothing is perfect of course, but that is nature of life. ("Nothing is certain but death and next winter's snows.")

Call 911, Get Shot

The cops say that it was his own damn fault, of course. Portland man calls 911, gets shot by Metro Police
A man who called Louisville Police for help ended up needing help from doctors in the ER. A Portland man had his house burglarized Saturday night, and when police showed-up one officer shot the homeowner.
But don't worry, the cops are going to carry out an investigation. I'm sure that it won't be a whitewash of the incident. (That never happens, does it?)

The guy says there are witnesses. He told the 911 operator that the bad guys were gone. I'm sure the cops will conclude it was all his fault.

The cop in question is on vacation paid leave.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Iran's Deadline Was Yesterday

They missed it. Blow to Barack Obama's strategy as Iranian lawmaker attacks UN nuclear deal - Telegraph What are the odds that the Useless Nitwits at the UN will give them a new deadline (that they will also miss)?
A powerful Iranian lawmaker has joined criticism of United Nations plans for Tehran to ship uranium abroad for enrichment in a new blow to Barack Obama's diplomatic approach.

The senior legislator's comments came a day after Iran missed a deadline to respond to the International Atomic Energy Agency on a deal backed by the US, European powers and Russia - bringing President Barack Obama's policy of diplomatic engagement with Tehran close to collapse.
We (or the Liberal Left part of "we" anyway) think talking is always a good thing because it can lead somewhere.

But that is only true if both parties are negotiating in good faith. My belief is that the Iranians only see these talks as a delaying tactic. The US won't attack them if they are talking. And maybe the US will sit on Israel at the same time. (What are the odds of that?)
The government has now said that it will respond to the proposals by the middle of the week. But the regime's intransigence is an increasing embarrassment to President Obama.
Only because he painted himself into this corner.

Oh, I know he said something like "non-compliance will result in sanctions," and then he threw the Poles and Czechs under the bus (vis a vie the missile shield*) to get the Russians to go along with sanctions. How did that work? Putin couldn't be bothered to meet with Sec. Clinton when she was in Moscow (he was in Siberia). And when Putin was in China, he threw a wet blanket on the idea that Russia would go along with sanctioning Iran.

Iran will face no penalties (really) if they refuse to go along with the UN. And they don't want to go along with the UN. Do you think the will go along with this plan?

So, let me see if I have this straight. Obama abrogated a treaty, unilaterally, with a good friend - Poland - in the hopes that Russia would do something opposed to its own best interest, on the hopes that the threat of Russia opposing its best interest (and helping American status) would get the Iranian regime to do something it clearly doesn't want to do. He must be smarter than me because I can't see how that could possibly work. But then it isn't working, so...

I can see why he has so much time to build enemies lists. I wonder if I'm on the list.

* On the subject of missile shields: The Poles, et al will get to be involved with the the naval version of the missile shield which should be available in 2018. Hope the Iranians don't get those long-range ballistic missiles going before then. And is Biden really the guy to go mend fences?

They Are "Shocked" to Discover They Live in the Real World ™

They thought they lived in Pleasantville. They were wrong. Violent death of local priest rattles small, upscale Chatham
The violent death of Rev. Edward Hinds, found dead Friday in the kitchen of the rectory of St. Patrick's Church in Chatham, has shocked local residents in this upscale bedroom community that attracts Manhattan commuters and young parents looking for good schools and a tight-knit community.
Yes, it may be safer on average than other locales. It is not perfectly safe.

If you are within the sound of my voice can read this, then you live in the Real World™, and in the real world, there is violent crime. It isn't something that only happens in "other kinds of places;" it can happen anywhere. Which is why all of NJ's insane gun laws are insane.
They don't stop crime, or keep crime at bay.

(If you could wave a magic wand and eliminate all guns in the world, do you think there would be no crime in the morning? Neither do I.)

So New Jersey sticks their collective head in the sand.
"People move here because it's very safe," said Jo Shent, a 20-year Chatham resident. "People don't get bludgeoned to death while making coffee in the rectory."
Actually, at least one person did get bludgeoned to death.

But that's OK. People "feel" safe. They have no idea whether they actually are safe or not, but feeling safe is what's important, right?

Now even if NJ had sane gun laws, would this priest have been able to defend himself? Who knows? Having a plan for your defense does not guarantee your safety. (Add saying about "death and taxes" here.) But doing everything you can to disarm everyone doesn't bring about safety.

Maritime Piracy Seems to Have Dropped Off the Radar

Of the major news organizations that is. (Is it that Americans have the attention span of a flea, or is it just the news organization?)

VOA News - Rise in Somali Piracy Contributes to Increase Worldwide We have passed the worldwide total for 2008, with two more months of good weather left.
The International Maritime Bureau of the International Chamber of Commerce, reports 306 piracy incidents have been reported in the first three quarters of 2009 compared to 293 reported in all of 2008.
Now while the number of attacks are up, the number of successful hijackings are down. People are learning.

But there was another hijacking off Somalia on Thursday.
Pirates attacked two ships off the eastern Africa coast Thursday, only one of which successfully fended off their assailants. On Monday, a Chinese bulk carrier was hijacked and is being held for ransom.
The attacks are changing too. Global pirate attacks more frequent, more violent: IMB

And while the area around Somalia is mostly the area in the news, it isn't the only place where piracy is a problem. Still it does account for the majority of attacks.

So why is no one interested?

Great-grandmother Protects Her Family

I love a story with a happy ending. Great-grandmother who shot robber says 'God was with me' | The Columbus Dispatch
When an armed robber barged into a North Side motel room Wednesday night and ordered the six people there to the floor, he put a 70-year-old woman closer to her handgun.

The great-grandmother knelt between the beds, reached into her purse on the floor and pulled out her .357 Magnum pistol.

She fired one shot at the robber, who staggered from the room, collapsed in the parking lot and died.
They were in town for an event and the door was open so they could keep tabs on the kids, who were in the next room.

The 70-year-old was described by her son as "the worst shot in the world." She said she couldn't have done it without God's help.

Police say she isn't likely to be charged. (They don't make those decisions.)

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

Friday, October 23, 2009

People for the Eating of Tasty Animals

"Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living." Yes, it is about global warming. Pet dogs as bad for planet as driving 4x4s, book claims - Telegraph

The Title of This Piece Says It All

Be a Good Victim That is the message of the government.

In a land where the law-abiding are disarmed, it turns out that the police are useless.

Go read it; It isn't that long. [Hat tip NRA-ILA]

Burglars Still Haven't Learned Texans Are Armed

You would think the message would get through. North-side homeowner shoots unsuspecting burglars
According to police, the suspects first tried the front door, but it was locked. So instead, the two went through a window and came face to face with the homeowner and his gun.
One shot was fired. No one is in custody. The homeowner was shaken up and didn't get a description of the getaway car.

But none of the good guys got injured. And that is the important thing.

Self-defense is a human right.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Does This Qualify as Martial Law?

Armed officers placed on routine foot patrol for first time - Telegraph [*** Please note: I fixed the quote ***] This isn't arming the cops on the beat - like we do in the US. This is sending in heavily armed patrols. Heavily. Armed.
A hand-picked team from CO19, the Metropolitan Police's elite firearms unit, will walk the beat in gun crime hotspots where armed gangs have turned entire estates into "no go" zones.

Local politicians and anti-gun campaigners have reacted with anger at the news that the officers will carry Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns – capable of firing up to 800 rounds-per-minute – and Glock semi-automatic pistols.
From one extreme to the other?

Unarmed cops never made much sense to me. Cops with military-grade weapons also doesn't make much sense to me. Cops with machine guns going on foot patrols in the UK sounds like something out of a B movie.

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Or, You can't run away from your problems. Bedroom community blues: foreclosure crisis creating suburban slums | Washington Examiner

Cry some crocodile tears for the snooty bedroom "planned communities" with their gates and homeowners' associations. They are finding life in the Real World ™ tough to deal with.
As in Georgetown South, many once single-family, owner-occupied homes are now being converted into rental properties. Tales are now pouring in from nearly every bedroom community about overcrowding, housingcode violations, blight and petty crime -- the kind of problems those suburbs were created to escape.

"It's a huge black eye," Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay, D-Lee, whose district is littered with hundreds of boarded-up McMansions. "They're infecting entire neighborhoods. That's the tip of the iceberg, I think."
This seems to recall to mind a bible verse about building your house on a foundation of sand. Not sure why.

"You can't lose money in Real Estate." Will anyone ever say that again?
Between 2007 and 2008, property values in Washington's outer suburbs dropped by nearly $111,000 per home, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments reported.

"That's the market telling you something," Leinberger said. "When the market value is less than replacement, there's no incentive to put the next dollar into a house. That's the definition of a slum."
So the planned communities were created to make sure everyone painted their houses acceptable colors are now dealing with vacant properties being turned into drug houses.

Don't look to the city for help, they are fighting with a budget shortfall caused by the drop in property taxes.

People are leaving their homes because they are upside down wrt their loans, with little hope of recouping anything. Will people leave even more homes because they don't want to live in a depressed area (and are upside down on their home loans...)

Like I said the other day... buckle up boys and girls, it gets bumpy from here.

Don't Bring a BB Gun to a Gunfight

Armed homeowner meets home invader - hard to call him armed. San Marcos homeowner shoots intruder three times
According to San Marcos Police, a 21-year old male, armed with a BB gun, broke into home where he was shot by the homeowner three times. As of Thursday night, police had not released the name of the suspect, but said he was still in an Austin hospital.
It is the 2nd time in two months that a home invasion ran into an armed homeowner in that town. (In the one last month, the homeowner shot 3 of the 4 invaders. 2 of those he shot, died.) You might think that message would filter down to the masses.

If you break into enough homes, sooner or later you will meet an armed homeowner who will object - with extreme prejudice - to your presence in his home. That will happen sooner, if you are unlucky, or as the case here, you are in Texas.

Self-defense is a human right. In a lot of places, like Texas, it is also your legal right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Mistakes are one thing...

Cost cutting isn't about mistakes Doctors told boy who died of meningitis 'it's migraine'

OK, at first it was a mistake. They just thought his headache was a migraine. They treated the mother pretty poorly though.
Cheryl Cressey, 48, told how she pleaded to have her son admitted to hospital. She said: “I kept going back and asking for somebody to look at him, but nobody would come. They rolled their eyes at me, they tutted at me, they turned their backs on me.”
Crazy mother turned out to be not that crazy.
But he had barely been home an hour when he started convulsing violently and was taken back to the hospital. This time, the doctor on the ward decided to inject William, who by this point was in severe pain, with antibiotics. However, a consultant told the doctor not to give him the drugs.
That consultant is the National Health System's cost controlling bureaucrat. The government intervening to limit health care.
William became distraught, said Mrs Cressey. “William got hold of his hand and said, 'Please help me, if you don’t help me I’m going to die.’ But he just walked away.”

Antibiotics were eventually administered intravenously but William died.
And everyone on the Left just loves the fact that Britain has the "single-payer" health care system.

Didn't work too good for this family. But hey, they didn't do any unnecessary tests. They didn't do any necessary tests either, but you can't have everything.

Three Men Try to Break Into a Woman's Apartment

She handled it exactly the way I would have. Eastpointe police: Intruder shot in attempted home invasion
Eastpointe Police Inspector John Calabrese said around 10:30 a.m. today, the Eastpointe woman fired one shot at the group of men who broke a back window to gain access to her home near Nine Mile and Gratiot Avenue in what police say was an attempted home invasion.
What would you have done?

All 3 goblins were arrested in the area. One guy was shot, and he was taken to a local hospital.

Self-defense is a human-right. Without some means to effectively defend one's self, a single woman would be at the mercy of multiple attackers. Thankfully that isn't the case here.

Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Armed Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

Typical story of a thug breaking into the wrong home, but with a twist. Man Shot By Homeowner While Trying To Break In House

The homeowner actually stopped a crime spree. (Probably) The injured guy is a suspect in a break-in at a bank. As police were searching around the bank, another crime was occurring.
[Lt. A.J. Randell of the Hawkins Police Department] said the elderly homeowner was watching television in his living room when he and saw a man trying to enter through a window. The man grabbed a shotgun and shot through the window, Randell said.
The goblin was found across the street with a gunshot wound from a 410 shotgun.

The homeowner had been a victim in the past, so he keeps a gun handy. It came in handy this day.

The injured guy will face charges when he gets out of the hospital. (A shotgun blast to the left shoulder... he will probably be in there for a while.)

Self-defense is a human right.

Monday, October 19, 2009

So You Thought the Economy Was Getting Better

That's wishful thinking. U.S. Foreclosure Filings Jump 23% to Record in Third Quarter - Bloomberg.com
A total of 937,840 homes received a default or auction notice or were repossessed by banks, a 23 percent increase from a year earlier, the Irvine, California-based seller of default data said today in a report. One out of every 136 U.S. households received a filing, the highest quarterly rate in records dating to January 2005.
No longer the sub-prime domain's problem, foreclosures are now the problem of the prime loan crowd.
The delinquency rate for prime loans rose to 6.41 percent in the second quarter from 6.06 percent, the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association said Aug. 20. The share of prime loans in foreclosure increased to 3 percent from 2.49 percent
With an increasing rate, the problem is not going to end anytime soon.

Speaking of rising rates...
Foreclosure filings rose 5 percent nationally in the third quarter to the highest three-month rate in almost five years, RealtyTrac Inc., of Irvine, Calif., reported yesterday. [Ref.]
Not all states are impacted equally. Some were crazier than others.
In both Arizona and California, one in 53 households received filings. They were followed by Florida, at one in 56, and Idaho, at one in 97. Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado and Illinois rounded out the top 10 highest rates. [Ref.]
Buckel up boys and girls, it gets bumpy from here.

The government's only power over the economy is to screw it up. Higher taxes. The promise of higher costs via the health-care takeover. Not to mention the sinking dollar... you can't print money forever; sooner or later people will mover off the dollar to the Euro or something else.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Is anyone - aside from the rapist - to blame?

Evidence sat, was not acted on. Victims were not followed. Leads not investigated. The result? 2 teens raped as evidence sat -- chicagotribune.com

I want to blame the Chicago police, but I know they are struggling with antiquated systems, manpower shortages, etc. There is probably some apathy as well. (Do you know the story of Sisyphus? I'm sure they feel like they are rolling the same bolder up the same mountain every day.) There are probably other problems I don't know about.

But when there was a lot of the information on hand, one of the victims provided six digits of a license plate in 2006. Yet they were never acted on, until two rapes later.

"The System" has problems. But it shouldn't have these many problems. I'm just not sure that you can lay the blame for all this with anyone in CPD. Except maybe the people who make policy. (Should they spend more money on "red light" cameras, or on solving old rapes?)

At least the monster is finally behind bars. Still awaiting trial, but with a lot of evidence against him.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just In Time For the Holidays


How did I miss this?

First Lady toy story: Michelle Obama, joins Barack, gets action figure

Why Am I Not Surprised That Racism is Alive in Louisiana?

I can't find too many people denouncing this. Today's Wake-up Call: JP won't sign license for interracial couples - On Deadline - USATODAY.com Jindal has called for investigation. And the ACLU and NAACP have issued statements.

Has anyone in Washington taken notice and I just can't find it? (The quip from the White House was appropriate, given that the President is biracial.) Or have they finally decided not to jump in feet first into every local story? Learning from your past mistakes is a good thing, after all.

Any bets on how long this guy will retain his Justice of the Peace license? How about before he faces a federal trial on denial of civil rights?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another Octogenarian Defends Himself

Proximity to the police precinct is no protection. Police: 80-Year-Old Shot And Killed Intruder Near Police Precinct
Greensboro police say an 80-year-old man shot and killed a break-in suspect early Wednesday morning.

Police responded to the home on Walnut Street, which is near Summit Avenue.

When officers arrived, they found 19-year-old Michael L. Medley, Jr. dead from a gunshot wound. Investigators say Charles Haithcock, 80, shot Medley after the 19-year-old broke into his home.
He was in barricaded in a back room, and shot through the door, according to a neighbor.

The investigation continues, but Mr Haithcock has not been charged.

Self-defense is a human right.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

If You Break Into Enough Houses...

You will eventually find an armed homeowner. Orange County homeowner shoots, kills burglar - MiamiHerald.com
nvestigators with the sheriff's office have released few details Wednesday morning. But reports say the residents of the home returned Tuesday night to find several burglars inside.

There was an exchange of gunfire and authorities say the homeowners shot and killed at least one suspect. Reports show a second suspect was also injured.
No word on the condition of the critically injured guy.

Self-defense is a human right, and in Florida, it is also your legal right.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Guess is this guy will get no money

Swat team turns wrong house upside down Busted windows. Tear gas residue. Broken doors. Broken cabinets.

They won't even have to say that they're sorry for the inconvenience.

How Should an 81-year-old Man Deal with a Home Invader?

81-year-old man shoots Escambia County masked home invader to death Yeah, that's what I thought he should do.
[Escambia County Sheriff Grover] Smith declined to identify the homeowner, the man and his wife were in bed in their home along U.S. 31 north of town about 3 a.m. when the intruder kicked in the door to the home and entered their bedroom, demanding money.

Smith said the homeowner managed to retrieve a pistol from the bedside table and pointed it at the robber, who told the homeowner to drop the weapon.

Instead, Smith said, the homeowner fired the gun, striking the intruder in the forehead, killing him instantly.
The dead guy got out of a Nebraska jail two days ago.

Sheriff Smith sees this as self-defense.

Without a firearm to aid them, the elderly or the infirm would be at the mercy of the young and the violent. The few would be at the mercy of gangs of thugs. The small would be at the mercy of the large. Humans use tools in situations like that to compensate for weaknesses. ("Fear no man, no matter what his size; call on me and I shall equalize" Col. Colt)

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

How Long Should You Wait After Calling 911?

Should you wait more than an hour? 911 Response Time Called into Question
She told FOX 5 she woke up at 5:49 a.m. to find her home trashed and burglarized, and she called 911—but help didn't arrive until 7:09 a.m.
There could have been someone in the home still. They could have been coming back.

The call was held. No reason given. An excuse - they are not standing behind it - is that a shift-change was going on. (OK mister home invader, hold on a minute, day shift will start in 10 minutes.)

A car was dispatched at 6:54, more than an hour after the initial call.

They are "reviewing protocol" and checking systems and doing the basic bureaucratic CYA dance.

In the understatement of the year...
Captain Starks says there appears to have been a breakdown in communication.
Gee, ya think?

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do in an emergency. They can dispatch fire trucks, and SWAT teams. They can also leave you on your own for an hour or more. You should have some plan of what you are going to do in those minutes between the call and the response. Use a fire extinguisher. Exit the building. Fort up in the bedroom. Whatever makes sense.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do. I don't think you can assume that it will solve all of your problems in a timely fashion. I think you have to assume you will be on your own for at least a short while.

Is this really the kind of thing that after-school programs can fix?

Another story of violence in Chicago involving students. When giving back makes you want to give up

Lured by tax breaks, a cop moves his family from Hyde Park (sort of the Obama's neighborhood) to a disadvantaged area of the city. Regret ensues. A female bully started in on one of the sons.
"She was bullying, pushing him, knocking his papers out of his hands," the mother said.

"It went so far that she even spit in his food."

Last Tuesday, the bullying came to a head.
'He is going to require plastic surgery'

On his way home from school, the teen was attacked by a 17-year-old boy he didn't know.

The attacker allegedly acted at the command of the female bully.

"She got a group of kids to follow my sons as they walked home from school," the mother said.

"She whispered something to one of them, and the boy immediately ran up to my son and punched him in his face."
The actual attacker - who is not a student, and has a criminal record - hit him so hard it broke the kid's nose and eye socket.

The mother says the kids need after school programs.
"I don't know how young kids can be so hateful and malicious."

This mother describes the mood in her neighborhood as "angry."
Sure, after school programs would be good, but it goes much deeper than that. The hatred of success (the brothers in this story were described as smart and nerdy) is not going to be fixed by basketball or basket-weaving. That is a cultural issue that I don't think government can touch. Except in a negative way.

Anyway, the cops - even though the victim was a cop's son - were ready to blow this incident off as no big deal. (Assault so severe corrective surgery is required is apparently a common occurrence in Chicago.) The kid's mom - knowing the system since she's a cop's wife - struggled to get charges brought against both the girl-bully and the attacker. Both are charged as adults.

Could the average parent negotiate the bureaucracy? Would the cops listen? I doubt it.

So can government do anything constructive? After decades of "helping out" and monetary incentives that encourage all kinds of things not envisioned, the streets of Chicago are beginning to resemble a lawless third-world country. Even Obama's popularity hasn't changed that.

A Review of Some Recent Chicgo Police Antics

I can't add anything to this... City of Chicago Caught with its Pants Down...Again? : DUIAttorney.com

Some video you probably saw last year, and some other stuff.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Continuing to do the same thing, and expecting a different result....

That's one definition of insanity. Which of course leads us to Gun control.

Gun control in the UK isn't working. So of course they want more of it. (The ruling class - in this case the Lord Chief Justice - wants it anyway.)
If you discount the use of air-guns and only count real firearms, the use of firearms in violent crimes has continued to increase in the UK despite them being illegal (as reported by the Home Office Statistical Report on Firearms Offenses, pg 34). In a knee jerk reaction to horrific crimes committed in the past, the government is now controlling people instead of allowing them to protect themselves. Although it may be more difficult for criminals to get guns many will still get them. The problem is that the biggest deterrent against gun crime is no longer available.
That biggest deterrent is an armed, law-abiding populace.

Draconian. Police-state. These are terms that can rightly describe the UK today. Controlling the law-abiding is cheaper and easier than putting criminals in prison. Besides the prisons are full. Just give those burglars a warning. Other crimes? Rapists go free with such regularity, that the reporting statistics are now suspect. (Why bother, if the conviction rate is less than 10 percent? It may be less than 5 percent for the crimes eventually brought to trial.) So what to do? Pass more laws controlling the law-abiding population's access to defensive weapons.

Armed Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

Simple case of self-defense. Man Shot & Killed By Homeowner During Home Invasion
According to deputies, Jeremy McCall broke into a home on Highway 31, north of Brewton, around 3:00 a.m. He burst into the couple's bedroom and pointed a gun at them. The husband grabbed his gun and fired at McCall, killing him.
No charges have been filed against the homeowner.

Self-defense is a human right.

Two Lessons

It will "feel weird" and don't (always) listen to the dispatcher. Homeowner: I shot intruder who was kicking my bedroom door

The dispatcher told him to put his weapon down, assuring him the people in his home were the police.
“Go and put your gun down because if you hear anything, it’s going to be the deputies,” the 911 dispatcher insisted.

Then, moments later, the sound of gunfire can be heard. Guzman said he fired shots because the intruder was trying to kick down the door to his bedroom.

“As soon as he put his foot there, that’s when I shot, because he had a big tattoo on his face and when the lady was telling me that’s the sheriff’s department, when he came into that door I said that’s not the sheriff’s department,” Guzman said.
Dispatchers have told people "help is on the way" keeping people from running when they had the chance. Dispatchers told this guy to disarm himself in the face of a violent intruder.

The guy with the tattoo, and the woman driving the getaway car were both arrested.

This guy didn't want to shoot anyone. (He had barricaded himself in a back bedroom and call 911.) But he did what he had to do to defend himself.
“It’s a weird feeling,” said Jorge Guzman while walking through his bullet-riddled Lima Drive home. “I don’t care who it is or who they think they are, when you’re in that position, it’s totally different.”
I hope I never have to face that situation.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Being aware of his environment, enabled this guy to be ready for trouble. Deputies: Victim shoots gunman after attempted robbery in Polk
About 6 p.m. Sunday, Johnny Preston was getting his cargo van ready for the coming week's work in front of his Lakeland house and noticed a red Mazda slowly cruising his street, the sheriff's office said.

Suspicious, Preston put his .38-caliber revolver in the back of the van after seeing the car return and two men inside stare at him.

Shortly later, both men walked toward Preston with T-shirts tied over their faces and one armed with a shotgun, sheriff's office said. They demanded his wallet, but Preston, who was holding his pistol at his side, grabbed the shotgun barrel to push it away and shot the armed man in the torso, the sheriff's office said.
One guy was found right away hiding under a car. The guy who got shot was arrested at a local hospital. Both are charged with armed robbery.

Self-defense works, and it is a human right.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Concealed Carry Stops Armed Robbery

Actually it stopped a crime spree. Would-be robber shot dead by victim | 6abc.com - 10/11/09 - Philadelphia News - 6abc.com
Police say it was the man's third robbery of the night. He forced the victim up against a vehicle along the street and demanded money. That's when shots rang out - but not from the alleged robber.
Concealed carry works.
As it turns out, the man who was being robbed had a license to carry a firearm, and shot the alleged robber.
Police expect no charges to be filed against the shooter, because self-defense is not just a human right; it is also your legal right.

Now carrying a concealed weapon does not make you invincible. It does alter the odds in your favor. Just like wearing a seat-belt while riding in a car. You can still be killed, but your chances are better. Being prepared for bad things, does not mean you will always prevail over those bad things. But if you don't plan or prepare, you won't have any chance.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Armed robbers meet armed homeowner. Homeowner wins. WBIR.com | Knoxville, TN | Teenager shot by homeowner is arrested

In a case the Brady Bunch will report as a "teen tragically shot," the gun wielding teen got what he deserved.
Stevens told officers that he heard his dogs barking and went outside with his pistol to check the property.

When he reached the driveway, Stevens said the teenager pointed a gun at him and fired one round.

Stevens told officers he fired his gun twice at the suspect and hit him in the chest and lower body.
Police found the kid across the street with 2 gunshot wounds. He was treated at a local hospital and arrested.

A second teen was found hiding a nearby woods and was also arrested.
Both are charged with attempted aggravated robbery.
If you tangle with enough homeowners, sooner or later you will find an armed homeowner. As in this case, he may be a better shot than you are.

Self-defense is a human right.

Another Video Contradicts Officers' Story

It isn't usual for them to actually be charged. 3 LAPD officers charged with lying in drug case - San Jose Mercury News They are charged with conspiracy and perjury.
At a trial last year, Amio and Samuel testified that they chased Guillermo Alarcon Jr., 29, into his Hollywood apartment building in 2007 and saw him throw away a black object. Ortiz testified about the case at a preliminary hearing.

They said one of the officers picked up the object a few feet from Alarcon and found $260 worth of powder and crack cocaine inside.

But Alarcon's attorney had a 37-minute video from the apartment building's surveillance camera. The tape shows the officers took longer than 20 minutes to find the drugs and that other officers, including Ortiz, helped in the search.
The case was thrown out. (Some folks are saying "frame".)

The FBI is involved to see if civil rights were violated.

And to think it was only a few short months ago that the LAPD got out from under federal oversight.

The Cop in the Latest Beating Video...

He's in jail on a rape charge. Dolton cop caught on camera in student's beating is in jail on rape charge -- chicagotribune.com If you haven't seen the video, click through. He puts a special-needs-student to the ground for not having his shirt tucked in.

He is currently in jail in Lake county, Indiana on a rape charge. (and other charges)
Christopher Lloyd was arrested last month and charged with sexually assaulting a woman he knew at her home in Hammond, his father said.

According to Lake County, Ind., court documents, he held a pillow over the woman's face while sexually assaulting her Sept. 14 and had previously threatened her with a knife.

Lloyd, who's being held in lieu of $110,000 bail, faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted of rape, criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement and sexual battery, said Diane Poulton, spokeswoman for Lake County's prosecutor.
He previously shot his ex-wife's new husband. He shot the guy 24 times and said it was self-defense, which the Chicago Police Department never questioned. (The details of that CPD "investigation" could not be found.)

Some Good News on the Hostage Front

Can you imagine our civilian leadership authorizing something like this? Pakistan commandos rescue 39 hostages, three killed - Yahoo! News
"It has been decided, the civilian leadership has decided ... the operation is imminent," Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Reuters in an interview in Singapore.
Because things don't always work out perfectly.
Three hostages, two commandos and four of the gunmen were killed in the pre-dawn rescue operation, said army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas. One wounded gunman was captured and Abbas said he was the ringleader.
Our crew would be putting together teams of lawyers to negotiate a peaceful settlement. And then watching as the terrorists set off the bombs.

They Suffered a Failure of the Victim Selection Process

You could file this under "Poetic Justice" Thugs attack two men in dresses... who turn out to be cage fighters | Mail Online The 2 guys in drag were cage fighters in costumes.
But the other cage fighter, wearing a sparkling black dress and matching long wig, sprang to his friend's help, delivering two lightning-quick punches to the two stunned yobs.

The cage fighters were then seen teetering away in their high heels, stopping only to pick up a clutch bag they dropped during the melee.
You might think that was enough in the way of justice, but the Brits didn't think so. The 2 hooligans/would-be-gay-bashers were picked up by police, charged, fined prosecution costs (85 pounds), and give a 7PM to 7AM curfew - enforced by electronic monitoring - for 4 months.

Hate crimes are serious in the UK. (Burglars wouldn't be sentenced that harshly.) Hat tip to commenter, Timmeehh

We've Heard This Before

You could file this under the heading "Talk is Cheap."Obama vows to end restrictions on gays in military - Yahoo! News
Lane Hudson, a blogger and activist who attended the Human Rights Campaign event, said while Obama's speech was well-received, it probably would not erase doubts about his commitment to fulfilling his campaign promises.

"It was the kind of feel-good speech we are used to from the president," Hudson said. "It lacked any specific details on fulfilling his promises and he failed to say anything new at all."
And if he doesn't get to it in this term, well then just vote for him in 2012 and he is SURE to get to in the next.

Campaign promises are worth squat. Politicians will say whatever the people in front of them want to hear. He made promises last year. He made promises yesterday.

The Huffington Post Says, "Obama Is Gays' Best Friend -- To Say Otherwise is Shortsighted, Insulting and Just Plain Dumb." No action on Employment Non-discrimination. No action on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. No action on Defense of Marriage Act. No action on Hate Crimes.

With friends like this...

Friday, October 09, 2009

We Interupt This Regularly Scheduled Blog...

due to Real Life™ circumstances beyond our control...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

We Don't Need Transparency

That would stop the government from doing shady things. Congressional leaders fight against posting bills online | Washington Examiner (Just to be clear... it's the Democratic leadership today, but the Republicans did the same thing when they were in power.)
At town hall meetings across the country this past summer, the main topic was health care, but there was a strong undercurrent of anger over the way Congress rushed through passage of the stimulus, global warming and bank bailout bills without seeming to understand the consequences. The stimulus bill, for example, was 1,100 pages long and made available to Congress and the public just 13 hours before lawmakers voted on it. The bill has failed to provide the promised help to the job market, and there was outrage when it was discovered that the legislation included an amendment allowing American International Group, a bailout recipient, to give out millions in employee bonuses.
As I said, this is not a Democratic issue, it is a Washington politician issue.
the Democratic leadership is unwilling to cede control over when bills are brought to the floor for votes and are discouraging their rank and file from signing the petition. Senate Democrats voted down a similar measure last week for the health care bill.

The reluctance to implement a three-day rule is not unique to the Democrats.

The Republican majority rushed through the controversial Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as well as a massive Medicare prescription drug bill in 2003 that added hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit.
The reason? If people knew what was in the bills, few would pass. That and they spend so much time on junk, it is a crime.

Do you think the system will get fixed? I don't. Washington will continue to spend money it doesn't have, pass laws with lots of "unintended consequences" because actually thinking, actually exercising judgment doesn't win reelection.

Now That's What You Call Ironic

Unions killing businesses: Not Ironic. Unions killing businesses that support unions: Not surprising. The Associated Press: Unions could hold key to fate of Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times is in bankruptcy. There is one offer on the table. It looks like the unions will kill it.
A hometown investor has offered the unions at the Chicago Sun-Times a take-it-or-leave-it proposal to buy the company in bankruptcy court, and the unions just might leave it — snuffing out what could be the best hope for survival of the city's oldest continuously published daily.
The deal is, the unions need to accept a permanent 15 percent pay-cut. (It is currently temporary.) Else Jim Tyree will walk away.

Now there's plenty of blame to go around. Rupert Murdoch owned the paper for a while. Top writers - like Mike Royko - left. Other owners have "siphoned" money away.

But the issue today is, "Do the unions accept a 15 percent pay cut, or a 100 percent pay cut?" Which would you choose?

So, it seems that the unions are going to kill the Chicago newspaper that traditionally supported unions.

What if You Got a DUI, Even if You Hadn't Been Drinking

In Chicago actually being drunk isn't necessary. They have to make DUI arrests. Lawsuit accuses cop of fake DUI arrests - abc7chicago.com

Here is one example:
In the video, the driver is told to walk a straight line and next, to touch his finger to his nose with eyes closed. Finally, he's told to stand on one leg for 30 seconds, eyes closed.

"I've been doing DUIs since 1992, and I've never seen a subject do the one-leg stand this well," said Jon Erickson, the attorney for plaintiffs.
He was still charged with DUI.
"I feel like I was targeted because I was walking out of a bar, and he needed to make a DUI arrest," Faezell said.

"And then, he goes, 'Oh wow, two strikes. You're black and you're a [expletive]' and told me, basically, my life was going to be ruined because of this DUI," Leaks told ABC7 Chicago.
No racial prejudice in the CPD!

Then there is the case of the deaf woman who does some lip reading.
A grand jury has been hearing from witnesses like Susan Kolinek, who is deaf and says Fiorito ignored her requests for a sign language interpreter. Nonetheless, he still ordered her to perform field sobriety tests.

"Close my eyes, tilt my head back and listen to verbal commentary. And I told him, 'I'm deaf. I can't do that.' And he laughed," Kolinek said. "Later, he said, 'You're not deaf. You're just drunk.'"
Her case was dismissed, but it goes to the way he did business.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving gave this idiot an award for writing the most DUI tickets in the state.

So even if you are legally sober, you can be with a DUI. What a lovely city Chicago is.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Several Shots From a Shotgun Will Ruin Your Day

Burglar hiding from homeowner, jumps out of closet. Did I mention it was an armed homeowner? Homeowner fatally shoots suspected intruder in northwest Houston
The homeowner came home around 9:30 this morning to discover an intruder had broken in to his home on Norton near Bingle. Police say the homeowner armed himself with a shotgun and searched the house. When the homeowner tried to open a closet door, police say the suspect jumped out at him.
The burglar was pronounced dead at the scene.

Self-defense is a human right.

Burglar Meets Armed Homeowner

The results were what you would expect. SW Harris Co. homeowner shoots suspected burglar | Houston Chronicle
Around 2:30 a.m., a homeowner in the 13000 block of Lima near Beechnut in southwest Houston called 911 to report an intruder. The burglar, possibly hearing something coming from the bedroom, opened the door and was shot in the arm, deputies said.
The guy who got shot was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening wounds. A woman driving the get-away car was also arrested.

If you break into homes, sooner or later you will meet an armed homeowner. If you are really unlucky, that will happen on the first time.

Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Chicago Eliminated in 1st Round of 2016 Olympic Voting

This is really the best thing for Chicago.

And I have to admit to a bit of schadenfreude at the poke in the eye to Obama, and Oprah. So sure that they were going to be successful.

How much jet fuel did they burn? Aside from Air Force 1, there is always a plane that goes in advance - our Presidents ride around in our limousines. A few million of your tax dollars at work. I hope they bought some carbon credits.

And some talking head on Fox has pointed out that Obama spent more time talking to the IOC, than he has talking to his commanders in Afghanistan. Priorities seem to be a bit skewed in Washington these days. But then he seems really good at campaigning. It is the leading bit that needs some work.

Your Tax Dollars Pay For Their Mistakes

Are they mistakes? I couldn't think of another word that wasn't inflammatory. Portland Police claims cost taxpayers $3 million The 3 million figure covers 5 years in Portland, Oregon. It includes the latest decision.
On March 17, 2007, Clay and two other men were in downtown Portland celebrating Clay's birthday and St. Patrick's Day. The men headed for a parking garage at SW 3rd Ave. and Alder Street at nearly 3 a.m. when Clay decided to find a slice of pizza.

He says two officers began to follow him.
He described a feeling of being stalked by predators.
“As the officers approached the car my brother pulled out his gun permit, his license and registration, hands it to him and he just said, 'They're carrying!'" said Booth. “After he said that, next thing you know we were drew down on pistols to our heads."

Despite a legal permit to carry a concealed weapon the three were taken to the ground and handcuffed.
These three guys had broken no law. They were not causing a disturbance. What they were, was black.

No arrests were made, and the three were eventually released. They sued. And were awarded a paltry 175,000 bucks. Of course the Portland police defend these three. They only did what they did to "keep the public safe." Right.

This reminds me of the case in Tennessee a while back, when COLTCCO was body-slammed at a Wal-Mart by the local constabulary for breaking no laws. While he got an apology, I don't know if he got any money.

That case got a lot of attention. (Law abiding white-guy rousted by ignorant cop.) Of course it helped that he was firearms instructor, salesman and friend of some medium-to-high-profile bloggers.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Death of an American Brand

No, not Saturn and not GM.

I have been trying for a few days to get my father's cable TV account upgraded to digital cable. The flashy brochures that said it would be simple/easy/no cost turned out to be missing a few key bits of info.

Since there is more than one television in the home - who doesn't have more than one these days? - there is a splitter. No where in the information provided did it mention that the old splitters won't work with digital. After an hour on the phone with 2nd level technical support, someone finally realized that I needed to replace the splitter. (They know they account has more than one TV connected based on the equipment I ordered) But they gave me slightly wrong information about what splitter I needed.

So, I did what any child of the 1970s would do... I went to Radio Shack. What a complete waste of time.

Not only could the sales person not talk to my questions, she tried to sell me exactly the same splitter I was trying to replace. The one I finally decided I needed was priced at more than 20 dollars. I left.

So I stopped at Wal-Mart on my way back to my Dad's on another errand, and took a look in the electronics section. The splitter I needed was less than 10 bucks. It was clearly marked.

Once upon a time, Radio Shack was the place to go when you had questions. Today, it is just another cell phone store. And while they can probably answer all your questions about the Blackberry versus the iPhone they don't know squat about the bandwidth requirements of digital cable systems. And it would be one thing if they were priced competitively, but their price on what I needed was more than double the cost at the discounter. But I won't pay more for service, if I can't get any better service.

So Glad We Gave All That Money to GM

The huge taxpayer investment in Government Motors hasn't had the desired effect. Saturn Falls Along With Penske Deal - washingtonpost.com
General Motors is closing its Saturn business, ending the once-ballyhooed effort to build "a different kind of car company," as the implosion of auto sales that started last year continues to ravage the industry.

The decision Wednesday to abandon Saturn came after negotiations broke down to sell the brand to Penske Automotive.
Penske wasn't going to save all of Saturn. He was only interested in the dealer network. He was trying to find a foreign manufacturer to build the cars. (More on that in a minute.) He couldn't reach a deal in time to salvage the deal with GM.

When Saturn was new, the cars looked very different from GM's standard offerings. (Though a few were too small for people over 5 ft. 10 in.) When Saturn was new, the workforce looked very different from Detroit: Flexible work rules. 401Ks instead of defined-benefit pensions. Pay for performance.

It didn't last.
Over the years, though, the models became less distinct from other GM brands, and consumer interest faded. Some blamed GM's expansive bureaucracy for homogenizing Saturn's cars.
An example of how their vision changed...
Early on, Saturns were known for plastic doors that could bounce back from dings (Saturn later switched to steel).
I don't know why they switched. Perhaps there was actually some problem with plastic doors... though they use plastic bumpers (or plastic covered, anyway.) But Saturn went from being something different, to being GM South.

And that hasn't proved to be a good thing.

According the Detroit Free Press, Saturn sales are down 59.2% this year (through August) compared to last year. "no doubt, hurt by the brand's uncertainty."

I can't find numbers on how many billion dollars, of the bailout money we gave to GM, went to Saturn. I'm sure that information is out there. That money was a bad bet on an company that is out of touch with its market.

And I still won't buy a car from Government Motors.