Thursday, December 31, 2009

Don't Have a Seizure Near Police - Could Be Bad For Your Health

I really need to create a "Cops Behaving Stupidly" category. Cop Went Wild With Taser, Diabetic Says In case any LEOs are reading this, when someone is having a seizure, they have no voluntary control of their body. They can't comply with your directives, and they may move their arms or legs unexpectedly. Use some sense.
A suburban Chicago police officer Tasered a man 11 times while he was having a diabetic seizure, and the 56 seconds of needlessly inflicted electric shock, "inflicted ... while he was lying unresponsive on the floor of his bedroom, permanently scarred [him] and caused him neurological damage that has not abated," the man claims in Chicago Federal Court.
What a moron.

BTW, the cop was called to the apartment - along with EMTs - because of a report that a man was having a diabetic seizure. He should have had some idea about what to expect, or he should have asked what to expect. (I know you send cops to violent crimes, why was a cop at the scene of a seizure? Besides to cause problems, that is.)

Using a Taser, or any type of force, on a person who is essentially unconscious, is beyond stupid and beyond cruel.

This reminds me of the cops who tasered the kid with the broken back because he wouldn't get up when they told him to. (The fact that he couldn't get up, well the chief said they tasered him for his own good.) And it is as bad as throwing a person in a wheelchair on the floor, because they can't stand up when you tell them to. It doesn't have the pure irony of beating up an autistic kid - for acting like an autistic kid - during Autism Awareness Month, but it is every bit as serious.

Now maybe you can argue that these are rare events, but none of these incidents should have happened. Each of these incidents happened because a cop was pissed-off someone wasn't doing exactly what he or she wanted them to do, regardless of their ability to comply. Or in one case someone - not doing anything wrong - but not acting the way cops "expected" them to act. (This last one isn't just about autism, cops routinely demand that everyone's reactions be exactly the same, or what they expect, even if they are from radically different cultures.)

And rare or not, these are PR disasters for all police everywhere. It reinforces the worst stereotypes of cops as unthinking bullies in uniform. Most cops are decent enough, but not all of them are. Some are criminal, and others are just criminally stupid.

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

A tragedy, all too commonplace. Mother shot by former partner in custody dispute dies in hospital - Telegraph
A woman, Julie Harrison, has died in hospital after being shot by her former partner in a domestic dispute, during which he killed their four-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself.
Why can't they just shoot themselves? Why do they always have to kill everybody else first? Selfish bastards.

Appearances...
Neighbours said [the dead guy], understood to be a builder, and his former partner had appeared to be a “loving family” until their recent split.
Oh, and anyone thinking that a shooting in gun-free England is impossible should read closely. The cops are investigating to see if the gun was owned legally; that means it has to be a long-gun.

Now What Brought This to Mind?

I can't imagine.
He belonged to that army known as invincible in peace, invisible in war.
William Tecumseh Sherman is one of the most quotable of generals.

Things That Make You Go... W. T. F?

OK, I thought that the Conservative Church of England was all upset with the American Episcopalians because they are getting away from fundamental doctrine. So what the hell do you call this?

Priest in England says its OKAY TO STEAL! As long as you only steal from the man "large national chain stores." Must be some of that "liberation theology." Of course the idiot Rev. Tim Jones was smacked down in short order.

OK, so you want to debate whether a starving man can steal a loaf of bread, first I want to find a starving man anywhere in the UK, and then I want to ask him why he isn't on assistance. (Don't they call it "the Dole" over there?)

Next we can debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

This is why I prefer Zen. (Not that I am a practitioner.) When you say "Thou Shall Not Kill," then you get to spend 3 or 4 thousand years arguing about the meaning of a just war, and is self-defense OK, etc. (Actually I guess it helps that after "Thou shall not kill," you get instructions to go to the neighboring country over and kill all the men.) In place of the 10 commandments, there are the 5 moral precepts (like so many things, it depends on who is counting, and in some traditions students get an extra 5 rules.) Depending on who is doing the translation, they usually phrase it, "Refrain from killing."

Even the Dali Llama has endorsed the idea of self-defense.

Instead of "Thou shall not steal," Zen has, "Refrain from taking that which is not given."

Didn't some senior cleric in the COE endorse the idea of Sharia law in parts of Britain a few years back? It must be something in the water over there - they are going insane.

So anyway, I wonder what wacky stuff the Church of England will come up with next.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

He Shot Himself in the Foot

Stupid criminals... Athens police: Would-be robber shot himself in foot | ajc.com
Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman says 19-year-old Michael Anthony Randall Jr. of Athens shot himself above the ankle with a sawed-off shotgun when he tried to pull it out from his coveralls as he approached the store Sunday night.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports Holeman says the blast caused extensive damage, and doctors do not think they will be able to save Randall's foot.
Once he gets out of the hospital, he will be charged with attempted armed robbery.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Finally, a Statement from Dear Leader

Obama blames 'human and systemic failures' in Detroit incident Ya Think?

It couldn't be that we have relaxed, could it? I mean we aren't at war anymore, it is just a series of crimes to prosecuted. (So with this guy be tried in Detroit or New York?) It couldn't be that no one believes there will be any repercussions. Is the Nobel Peace Prize winner going to bomb training camps in Yemen?

Oh, and security theater is back in vogue. I heard today on one of the radio news broadcasts that "Police and security personnel would be more visible at O'Hare." Oh, yeah. More people standing around doing nothing. Why don't we have National Guard troops stand around and do nothing as well, as they did in 2001.

North Texas Snow? I Blame Global Warming!

Or is it climate change? I forget. Snowy weather to revisit Dallas-Fort Worth Tuesday | Star-Telegram.com
North Texans are still talking about the Christmas Eve storm, which created blizzard-like conditions and buried Tarrant County under 2 to 4 inches of snow, marking the first time in more than 80 years that North Texans had a true white Christmas.
More snow for Tuesday, though not as much.

So we had snow for the Global Warming conference, which was cut short when the American contingent had to get home to miss a major snow storm. Then we had a system that covered more than half the lower 48 in snow including the first snow for Christmas in Dallas in 80 years, with more on the way.

Are we still worried about global warming? Just asking.

Of course I had heard that the new issue is the Nitrogen Cycle. (Which actually is a problem in some locations.)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why are you listening to a crazy computer?

These things don't navigate well in the city, you are going to follow their advice in the country? Couple in Oregon stranded in snow thanks to GPS

Three days these folks were stuck in the snow. They asked their GPS for the "shortest route." It wasn't quite what they counted on.
It will give you options to pick the shortest route. You certainly get the shortest route. But it may not be a safe route."
I would say that this is unbelievable, but it is all too believable.

So, how far out in the wilderness would you drive, before you decided your GPS was wrong?

Is the Sanctity of Your Marriage Draining Away?

Maybe not. Gay marriage in Argentina is 1st in Latin America - Yahoo! News An important distinction.
[S]ame-sex civil unions have been legalized in Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and some states in Mexico and Brazil. Marriage generally carries more exclusive rights such as adopting children, inheriting wealth and enabling a partner to gain citizenship.
It also matters when traveling internationally. (Actually it can matter traveling domestically too.)

So, has this news impacted you or your relationship in any way? I didn't think so.

Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

They call him a burglar, but if the residence was occupied, he was more than that. Las Cruces Resident Shoots, Kills Burglar - News Story - KFOX El Paso
Police said early reports indicate that two men broke into an apartment on the 1400 block of Telshor Drive at 8 a.m. Sunday. The resident was awoken by the break-in, then grabbed a nearby handgun and opened fire.

A man only described as Hispanic and in this 20s was shot and killed by the resident. The other man is still on the loose and was apparently not struck.
If you break into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident. (If you are really unlucky, that will happen on the first home.) Results in that case are fairly predicable. Just what happened here.

The paper says the police haven't said if the resident will be charged for defending himself. I don't know anything about the state of the Castle Doctrine in New Mexico, but this seems like self-defense to me.

Self-defense is a human right.

Why Is Anyone Surprised?

I can sort of understand that people believed we were immune to terrorism before Sept. 11, 2001. It was naive to think we were immune, but I can understand the thinking.

But why is anyone surprised A) that another attack was launched, B) that government functionaries (of whatever government) are NOT going to do a perfect job of ensuring security, or C) that the Obama Administration hasn't taken terrorism seriously?

Even the Washington Post is disturbed about the Administration's response to the situation. Unconnected dots, yet again, on a terror attempt - washingtonpost.com
To that initial list, we would add a fourth [cause for alarm]: the disturbingly defensive reaction of the Obama administration.
They have modified their views somewhat, now that Napalitano has had her "mea culpa" moment on the morning talk shows. (Actually, she didn't say sorry, as much as she tried to say it is the eeeevil journalists taking her words out-of-context.) But a few things are clear to me.

No one in the Obama administration had ever considered that another terror attack would happen. No statements prepared, not outline available. No game plan. Hence no response - not counting the statement that "the system worked." So, no coherent statement.

This isn't surprising, given that they hadn't seemed to have any notion of what options might be needed in Afghanistan.

I wonder if they have thought about what they will do when a major hurricane hits a US city.

I also wonder if anyone has considered what they will do when Iran tests a nuclear weapon - assuming they do test - or if they attack Israel. The new missile Iran tested can hit Europe. What will the Obama administration do if a NATO country is attacked? (Good thing they acquiesced to the Russians and killed the missile defense planned for Poland, huh.)

It is hard to say that they have been concentrating on health care, because right up until the end, health care was entirely in the hands of Congress-critters. Still is, mostly.

I guess all their attention has been on how to nationalize the rest of the US economy. (Now that auto manufacturing, banking and health care are taken care of...)

UPDATE: Given that another terrorist has turned out to be a rich kid (as someone said), will Obama and the Left abandon the lie that poverty breeds terrorism? This guy was a rich kid.

The New Threats

I think people are worried about the wrong things. First case of highly drug-resistant TB found in US - Yahoo! News Sure, we have to be afraid of people blowing up planes, and we have to make sure that system works. But it isn't the only threat.

First there was multi-drug resistant TB. (MDR-TB) Then there was extensively drug resistant TB. (XDR-TB) Now we have extremely drug resistant TB. (XXDR-TB)

For the long story, read the article. The short story is that a kid from Peru came to the US to study English. He had XXDR-TB. It cost $500,000. to treat him over 2 years - he was in an honest-to-gods sanitarium (that is a facility for dealing with TB) from most of that time.

I think it was money well spent.

Once upon a time, doctors thought that TB had been conquered. They were sadly mistaken. TB by itself, isn't a problem. It only costs about 100 bucks to cure it. It does take 6 months, and if treatment is stopped - hey he was feeling better! - for any reason, then the disease is likely to mutate and become drug resistant.

The WHO estimates every MDR-TB patient will infect 10 to 15 people. Think about how fast that could spread. It is an airborne disease.

TB kills a lot of people every year, mostly in poor countries, but also in rich ones. It will get worse before it gets better.

So if he had been in this country illegally - he was legal - do you think we would spend that money? Do you think we would have a choice? And were does most of the TB in America come from, anyway?
About 60 million people visit the U.S. every year, and most are not screened for TB before arrival. Only refugees and those coming as immigrants are checked. The top category of multidrug-resistant patients in the U.S. — 82 percent of the cases identified in 2007 — was foreign-born patients, according to the CDC.

The results are startling among those tested, said Dr. Angel Contreras, who screens Dominicans seeking to enter the U.S. on immigrant visas. The high rate of MDR-TB in the Dominican Republic coupled with high HIV rates in neighboring Haiti are a health crisis in the making, he said.

"They're perfect ingredients for a disaster," he said.

Juarez's homeland, Peru, is also a hotspot for multidrug-resistant TB. DNA fingerprinting linked his disease to similar strains found there and in China, but none with the same level of resistance.
No stats on how many of those "foreign-born patients" are here legally versus how many are here illegally.

Is Socialized Medicine More Efficient?

Or does any bureaucracy get bigger over time? Spending on NHS bureaucracy up 50 per cent - Telegraph
The increases include a 43 per cent rise in the costs of managers, while spending on clerical staff rose by 78 per cent at Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), which decide how NHS funds should be used. Meanwhile, their expenditure on management consultants and temporary staff more than doubled.
The number of doctors hasn't gone up by 43 percent.

Typical political posturing on both sides.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Even in New York, Self-defense Works.

Not many people have a concealed carry permit in NY, but self defense is still possible. Woman fatally knifes thug in subway attack, then flees on F train
The harassment, which may have included unwanted sexual advances toward the woman and grabbing, continued as she entered the subway station.

The woman broke free from the men and frantically ran down to the platform and hopped on an F train, with the thugs right behind.

"They tried to physically drag her off the train, but she fights back," one cop said.

The struggle continued as the group pulled her off the train and dragged her up the stairs to the mezzanine level.

At one point, the woman stabbed one of her attackers - identified by family as Thomas Winston, 29 - multiple times in the chest.
Of course no one went to her aid - this is New York, after all. Don't want to get involved. Or something.

Anyway, after she stabbed the guy she got away and ran - with the thugs behind her - and she made it to another train, and got away.

She has not come forward to police. Who can blame her.
One police source said investigators suspect the woman was acting in self-defense
As Jeff said, "Gee, Ya' think?"

I am sure the police would love to charge her with something.

Better Hope You Have Enough Money

You can't cooperate with a robber if you have no money. Bayonne man shot in finger during robbery attempt in Jersey City | Hudson County Now - - NJ.com
Called to Kennedy Boulevard and Danforth Avenue at 10:51 p.m., police met the Avenue C resident who told them a man walked up to him, grabbed his wrist and demanded money, reports said.

When the victim said he didn't have any money, the robber pulled out a handgun and shot him once in the finger, reports said. The victim was taken to Jersey City Medical Center for treatment.
Violent criminals are going to be violent if things don't go their way.

Of course cooperation does not guarantee safety either.

He Picked the Wrong Store

Missed some stories over the holidays. Here is one I like. Buncombe gas station clerk shoots would-be robber | Asheville Citizen-Times
The suspect entered the store and approached the clerk to make a purchase, Dillingham said. When the clerk went to open the register, the man leaned over the register and reached at his waist for what the clerk thought was a gun.

The clerk was able to draw a gun, a .357 Magnum, and fire one round at the suspect, Dillingham said. The clerk saw the suspect get into his vehicle and drive south on Hendersonville Road.
The guy hasn't been arrested, because he is in the hospital.

No charges are expected against the clerk, who was merely defending himself.

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

Even in the People's Republic of Illinois, Self-defense Works

This kind of thing must piss Mayor Dumbbell Daley off. Guns doing good? Suburban homeowner shoots 2 home invasion suspects - Chicago Breaking News
Two masked males had pushed their way into the home and would not leave after repeated demands and physical altercations with the two homeowners, police said.

One of the homeowners shot both suspects, who were found wounded in front of the home when police arrived on the scene, according to a Wauconda police news release.
Both wounded thugs were taken to a local hospital. No word on their conditions.

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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Crime Really Does Hit the Low-income Groups Harder

Interesting review of home invasions in Indianapolis. Home invasions target the have-nots | The Indianapolis Star
But it isn't the big houses on North Meridian Street with lots of jewelry, antiques and electronics that are getting hit. Just the opposite. An Indianapolis Star analysis of crime data over the past 21/2 years found that the poorer the neighborhood, the more likely a home is to be the target of an armed break-in. And if a neighborhood is heavily Hispanic, home invasions are even more frequent.

"They aren't going into affluent neighborhoods and picking houses at random; we don't see that," said Robert Holt, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's North District commander. "Most of the time they know something about the person living there or what's inside."
I don't know if the more affluent areas are better protected or not - most people live behind 30 dollar locks that wouldn't keep out anyone determined to get in. But it is clear that in most cases, the bad guys are not hunting in the wealthy neighborhoods.
The Star studied 1,533 home invasions from January 2007 to June 2009 and tracked an additional 129 in the following five months. The largest concentration of home invasions occurred on the Near Northside, the Near Eastside and the Near Southside.

The analysis also showed that houses in which the average annual income is less than $33,000 were more than four times as likely to be robbed by armed intruders as households making more than $66,000. As the income of a neighborhood increases, home invasions decrease
Neither the FBI nor most other police departments keep track of this info, so it is impossible to say if Indianapolis is representative or not. But I would guess more departments are keeping this data - or at least the geographic info about the crime, so it might be possible for other news organizations to do a similar analysis.

This is important to understand because even as most violent crime is decreasing, home invasions have held steady or increased.

Ohio Hunters Donate 95,000 Pounds of Venison

I wonder if the anti-gun crowd feed the hungry? Deer donations provide 382,000 meals | lancastereaglegazette.com | Lancaster Eagle Gazette

That is only in the state of Ohio.
COLUMBUS — Ohio deer hunters have donated more than 95,500 pounds of venison to local food banks so far this deer season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
There was one more weekend of gun hunting and 8 weeks of archery hunting left after this article was published.

This is up from 54,800 pounds during the prior year.

That is a lot of hungry people getting a high-protein, low-fat meal. Don't know how the venison is processed, but it is one of my favorite meals.

15 Minutes Is a Long Time to Wait After Calling for Help

So when you call 911, how long do you expect to have to wait? Frantic 911 cell call gets no action for 15 minutes as three die in house fire : City & Region : The Buffalo News

Bureaucrats love technology. They can blame it for everything.
The original call, made to 911 at 2:56 a.m., was routed to Buffalo, then Depew and finally to Cheektowaga because of the way that cell phone calls are handled, police said. The first patrol car reached the scene at 3:13 a.m.
The reason? An outdated cell-phone system couldn't get the information to them fast enough.

No one was to blame. The system doesn't work. No one gets blamed and the bureaucrats get a budget increase. Nice.

No one can say if the three people who died might have lived had the police gotten their earlier. (The woman was pleading for help, but apparently didn't mention a fire, so police were dispatched.)

The point is, 15 minutes is a long time to wait after you call 911 if you are faced with a violent criminal. 15 minutes that you would be on your own. (Assuming of course that you could call for help before the crime.) You should have a plan for how you are going to spend that 15 minutes.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Green Energy

And I thought Minnesota was a "progressive" state. kare11.com | Twin Cities, MN | Minn. agency rejects New Ulm wind energy project

New wind energy project is not needed. So says the energy bureaucracy.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has rejected a permit for New Ulm's proposed wind-power project.
Farmers want to the land to be used for farms.

What?

I assume that the land in question doesn't belong to the farmers. So why do they care? Oh, I know, they will have some reason about land values, and preserving a way of life, or something. But really. Can't we have some green energy?

Criminals Still Don't Realize Texans Are Armed

You break into enough homes, and you will find an armed homeowner. Teen shot dead during break-in
Authorities arrived around noon at a home in the 2800 block of Von Braun Drive in Kirby to find a teenager and a man shot inside. An unidentified homeowner, who was at the residence during the incident, fired several shots at the pair after they broke into his home, police said.
The teen died at a local hospital, the other guy's wounds were not life-threatening.

A third guy drove away from the scene but was arrested later at his home.

Self-defense is a human right.

A Festivus for the Rest of Us

Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Io Saturnalia!

December 17th (by the new calendar) marked the beginning of Saturnalia and a host of other Solstice celebrations.

Originally, the winter solstice fell on December 25th. (Special day, isn't it) But when the Roman Catholic Church re-engineered the calendar in 1582, one of the many things they did was move the solstice away from the the 25th, separating Christmas from all of the other Solstice celebrations.

Anyway, Saturnalia - the principle celebration of the Roman Empire would run for the 17th to the 23rd. "Io Saturnalia!" was the primary season's greeting.

Various celebrations:

Saturnalia - by our current calendar it is usually listed as December 17 through December 23. Originally - by the old Calendar - covered the 25th. Besides honoring Saturn, the goddess Ops, goddess of abundance, was celebrated via gifts and feasts - probably on December 19th.

Mithras - Mithra was a Roman god, who was a resurrected god, who was worshiped at Saturnalia, He was supposed to have been born on December 25th. Apparently very popular in the Roman Legion.

Solstice - December 21 by our current calendar, fell on December 25th in the old calendar. Celebrated the return of the light - the end of the shortening of the days, and the beginning of the lengthening of the days.

Yule - Norse and Germanic Solstice celebrations. Usually listed as the official name of Wiccan Solstice celebrations.

And of Course ...

Festivus - December 23, which dates to at least 1966, and is definitely not an invention of the Seinfeld Show, though many of the "traditions" are from that show.

And of course, all these competing holidays have caused confusion for some time... Take a look at the ancient document.
"What's this empire coming to? Now they want us to stop greeting people with "Io, Saturnalia"! "We have all these different cultures in Rome", they tell us. "We shouldn't offend anyone", they tell us. "We should be inclusive."

"We've got the barbarians from the north with their tree decorations and their fire rituals. And the weirdos from Gaul, cutting mistletoe with a golden sickle. And the Mithraists, the Zoroastrians, the Isis cults, and, of course, those characters who hang out in the catacombs. "Hail, Winter!" we're supposed to say. I ask you, what next: we lose the feast? We stop the Solstice parties? No more honoring Ops, goddess of abundance?

"I was buying some candles and greenery down by the Forum the other day, and there's old Macrobius with some Visigoth chick, and she goes, "Gut Jule". So I go, "Hey! In this country, we say, "Io, Saturnalia! Maybe you should go back to where you came from." Then Macrobius goes, "She can't, she's a slave".
BTW - whenever I hear of the "war on Christmas" I find it hard to take it seriously. Christmas was set on the Solstice - December 25th in the old calendar - as a way to stamp out all the competing celebrations. When that didn't work, the calendar was changed and the Solstice was moved to the 21st. So, what exactly is "the reason for the season?" Oh, yeah. Solstice. Mithras. Saturnalia. etc.

Crime Rates Fall in First Six Months This Year

Violent Crime was down 4.4 percent and property crime down 6.1 percent. FBI — Crime Stats - CRIME RATES FALL In the First Half of 2009 (Click the image for a larger view.)

It isn't often there is good news. (Of course I don't think you will see too much of this in the news.)
For the third year in a row, our Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report shows that violent crime, property crime, and arson have decreased. The latest report compares January-June 2009 figures with the same time period in 2008.
All regions of the country saw decreases, but there was some bad news. While major cities saw decreased crime, crime increased in smaller cities.

Still the news is good.
Individual crimes are also decreasing across the board:

* Murder (down 10.0 percent);
* Forcible rape (down 3.3 percent);
* Robbery (down 6.5 percent);
* Aggravated assault (down 3.2 percent);
* Burglary (down 2.5 percent);
* Larceny-theft (down 5.3 percent); and
* Motor vehicle theft (down 18.7 percent).
Given that we buy about 4.5 million of the 8 million guns manufactured every year, that has to give lie to the 'more guns cause more crime' mantra. Or it would if rationality had anything to do with politics.

While We're Distracted By Global Warming,...

There are real environmental disasters being ignored. Asian carp: Michigan asks Supreme Court to shut 2 corridors to Great Lakes -- chicagotribune.com

Asian carp is an incredibly destructive, invasive species. It is already nearly into the Great Lakes. The people who could stop it, aren't interested. The people who should be looking into it are regulating carbon dioxide.

But then the Asian carp can't be used to institute a global regime to control industry.
The fight to keep invasive Asian carp from the Great Lakes reached the nation's highest court Monday as Michigan's attorney general sued Illinois, asking for the closing of two shipping locks near Chicago in perhaps a last-ditch effort to save the region's $7 billion fishing industry.
I doubt any action will be in time to save the great lakes. There isn't enough money in it. There isn't any leverage for grand global conventions.

It will still be an environmental disaster.

.223 Isn't the Caliber... It's His Blood Alcohol Level

That is a few cocktails. Cop accused of fatal DUI was 3 times legal limit - Chicago Breaking News

I guess he was drinking alone, because surely someone would have noticed a guy that drunk getting behind the wheel of a car.
Edward Stapinski, 34, had a blood alcohol level of .223, Assistant State's Attorney John Carroll said at a bond hearing in the Bridgeview courthouse today.

Stapinski declined to take a Breathalyzer test at the scene of the Sunday night crash but was given a blood test at the hospital, Carroll said. Police officers at the scene described Stapinski as having "bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong smell of alcohol."
"Reckless" doesn't begin to cover this behavior.

Classic Foamy the Sqirrel - No Christmas for You!

Classic Foamy Christmas messages.


As always, Foamy is NOT safe for work.

I Thought Cooperation Was Supposed to Ensure Safety?

Another violent criminal didn't get that memo. Clerk shot during robbery
A clerk at a popular game store was Monday even after he gave up the money.
But he gave up the money and a game or two. But he still got shot.

This quote caught my eye.
"There was no real reason to shoot but he did anyway,” said Lt. Eddie Appleby from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The reason is that violent criminals don't stop being violent criminals because you act like a sheep. Apparently the police don't realize that.

Cooperation is a strategy. It is not a guarantee of safety. Resistance is also a strategy. There are no guarantees. So will you act like a sheep, or defend yourself?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cops Don't Have to Obey the Law, Do They?

And not those silly drunk driving laws, certainly. Off-duty Lockport cop charged in fatal Stevenson crash - Chicago Breaking News

Seriously, when a cop is the victim of crime, the standards of punishment are higher. So what about when a cop is committing a crime?
Cook County prosecutors this evening announced drunk driving and reckless homicide charges against a veteran Lockport police officer who was involved in an accident on the Stevenson Expressway Sunday that killed an immigrant from Vietnam driving home from his second job.

Ed Stapinski, 34, was charged with one count of reckless homicide and one county of aggravated driving under the influence, said Andrew Conklin, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.
Man K. Wong was killed when Stapinski's car crossed the median on an interstate highway and veered into oncoming traffic.

Everyone deserves their day in court, but if he is guilty, should that fact that he is supposed to enforce the DUI laws be an issue?

Not the Best Standard of Care

Women with signs of breast cancer wait months as Labour breaks manifesto pledge - Telegraph These aren't small waits, they are waiting so long, that their health is threatened.
Anna Beckingham, aged 40, from Norwich, visited her GP practice three times because of concerns about a pea-sized lump and pains in her right breast.

The mother of two was first told that the changes were "probably hormonal," and related to recent breast feeding. Discharge was dismissed as likely to be caused by an infection. On a third visit, to a different doctor at the practice, she was given a "non-urgent" referral to hospital, but it was not until March 2007 – 14 months after she first saw her GP – that she was finally diagnosed with cancer.

By then, she had no option but to have a full mastectomy, to remove a growth which was now five centimetres in diameter, followed by reconstruction surgery.
She has training as a physiotherapist, so she is not ignorant when it comes to medical issues. But her concerns were discounted.

Are there targets for how few times a GP sends someone to a specialist? Or do the doctors just not care?

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK.
Latest quarterly figures show that of more than 9,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer, almost half had not been given an urgent referral by their GP.
What's so urgent?

I can't wait for Obama to give us socialized medicine.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

The suffered a breakdown of the victim selection process. Roane homeowner kills burglar; second suspect charged>> Knoxville News Sentinel
A homeowner fatally shot a 19-year-old Rockwood man during a burglary, and authorities have charged an alleged accomplice in the break-in.
The first guy went in through a window. The 2nd guy waited outside.

The first guy was shot. The second guy was caught by police.

If you break-into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident. I find it hard to feel sorry for anyone aside from the man forced to defend himself. Self-defense is a human right.

Armed Homeowner Stops Home Invasion

He only stopped in for a minute, but it was long enough. Registered Gun Carrier Shoots Home Invader
While at home, he said he heard someone enter his residence. He was met by two armed men who told him to give them his money.
He shot at both of them.

One of the would-be-thieves showed up later at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Police are looking for the other guy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chicago PD - Things Are Going to Get Worse

Chicago's Thick Blue Wall - Reason Magazine The subtitle is "The Windy City's notoriously aggressive police department fights for less accountability." The sad thing is, they will probably win this fight.

The CPD is taking steps to ensure that no one will even try to report rogue cops. Not really surprising given the amount of money the city spends every year settling claims. If no one reports any cop, problem solved.

I can't really say anything more than is the article. It covers current problems, historic cases, etc. It covers the fact that it is legal to photograph and video officers (with a few exceptions like at nuclear power stations) doing their work. (Even though people are routinely arrested for doing so.) Go take a look.

(More) Drug Testing Comes to NYPD

Union objected. Court Upholds Hair-Drug Tests for NYPD | NBC New York

Union wanted to negotiate.

The fact that hair testing finds drugs for 90 days - instead of 3 for urine testing - had nothing to do with it. All about collective bargaining.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

London Braces for Terror Attack

Mostly it seems they aren't sure what to do. Police expect Mumbai-style terror attack on City of London - Times Online

The average citizen can't be armed, so there is little chance of self-defense. And little chance the Brits are up to it.

So Much for the Magic Touch

Barack Obama’s climate deal unravels at last moment - Times Online
After a stormy session in Copenhagen, in which a vociferous anti-American minority brought the talks close to collapse, most countries agreed simply to “take note” of a watered-down agreement brokered by President Barack Obama and supported by Britain.
So the agreement - was specified next to nothing - was not actually "agreed to" by the conference.

Obama should have egg on his face, but the US media won't report the facts. At least the British press seems to be willing to report the facts.

Trifecta of Shame

Or would that be a hat-trick? Police officers charged: Three Riviera Beach police officers charged in separate cases -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
Three veteran city police officers were charged Thursday in Circuit Court with separate crimes ranging from accessory to murder to forgery and official misconduct.
The forgeries have put about 70 cases at risk. Some of them are incredibly serious.

News You Can Use

Some drinks 'do cause worse hangovers than others' - Telegraph It is good to see the Brits spending their tax dollars on really important research.
Wine, whisky and beer cause more problems for drinkers the next day than beverages like vodka, a new study suggests.
The key apparently is clear alcohol, like vodka, versus the stuff that has some coloration, like bourbon. (You have to wonder why they didn't use Scotch.)

No word on rum - which comes in various colors. And I don't even want to think about tequila or mescal. (Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.)

The Result of Brits Depending Only on Cops

Cops don't do such a good job over there. Police 'failed' murdered mum - News - Manchester Evening News

Apparently they have no database of past calls to consider when they are dealing with repeat offenders.
In total they were alerted 11 times in the 16 months before Katie's death in calls that 'fell into the criteria [for] domestic violence', the report found. Five of the alerts were in the week Katie was killed.

But Greater Manchester Police failed to link various incidents – instead handling the complaints 'in isolation'.
So, Brits are disarmed by their government - for their own good of course. They are forbidden to do almost anything in self-defense. Relying on the police - the system - to save them is a pointless waste of effort. At least in this case, it accomplished nothing.
Katie Boardman was stabbed 82 times by Brian Taylor in an horrific booze and drug fuelled attack.
He probably won't spend 20 years in prison. (Life in prison is a bit different in the UK.)

Will The Brits Embrace Self-defense?

I don't think they have the spine anymore. Too politically correct. Tories back new rights to help home owners protect themselves from burglars - Telegraph
Currently – in the wake of Mr Straw's intervention – the law on self defence only allows householders to use "reasonable" force against burglars without the fear of prosecution. Campaigners for change, including the Conservatives, want the definition to permit them to use anything other than "grossly disproportionate" force.
Because what is "reasonable" if someone is in your home at 3 AM? Should a prosecutor - more interested in won/lost records than justice - second guess you weeks later? Would it be different if you had minor children at home?

But never fear... they won't be allowed guns. That would be icky. Or something.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Speaking of Climategate...

Met Office 'manipulated climate change figures' say Russian think tank | Mail Online Deleting the raw data was only the start. Ignoring data they didn't like was Standard Operating Procedure.
The Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) claimed the Hadley Centre used statistics from weather stations in Russian and Siberia that fitted its theory of global warming, while often ignoring those that did not.
What a surprise that they lied to us. Not

The US Media May Love Him, But the Brits Tell the Truth

If the Guardian hates it, then I'm happy. Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure | Environment | guardian.co.uk

He had to have a "success." So he got one. That it was completely meaningless will be missed by all the people who worship Obama.

After weeks of discussing large documents, the final "agreement" didn't reach to 3 full pages.

Thank the gods for the Chinese and their refusal to sign on to stupidity.

By next year, Climategate will be impossible to ignore.

Won't stop MSNBC and their ilk from proclaiming a brave new Obama-world order.

How Long Should You Wait?

Calling 911 is a fine thing if anyone responds. Ballard bars, restaurants calling for more police presence | Ballard News-Tribune
Just before 11 p.m. on Oct. 10, James Imonti, owner of The Matador on Market Street, engaged in a verbal altercation with an individual at the bar and was stabbed in the back.

After the 911 call was placed, it took police 25 minutes to arrive at The Matador, Imonti said.
That wasn't the worst time.
Ward said it took police 40 minutes to arrive in response to the fight at the BalMar this fall.
You want police to show up and arrest the bad guys, but even more, in a lot of places if the cops don't show, the paramedics won't either... not to a violent crime.

A lot of bad things can happen in 40 minutes, or 25 minutes,

Calling 911 is a fine thing, but it shouldn't be your only action.

Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

Expect results ensue. Home invasion suspect who was fatally shot identified | The Courier-Journal

This guy was well known to police and was in lock-up until the 7th.
He had an extensive criminal history, Arnold said, including several charges of burglary, assault of police, trafficking and possession of cocaine.

Spratley had been in Metro Corrections for two weeks on charges of possession of a controlled substance, criminal mischief and fleeing and evading police before being released on Dec. 7
They got a call about a shooting at a home, and found this guy with a single gunshot wound to the chest. He died at the hospital.

If you break in to enough homes, you will eventually find an armed resident.

The homeowner was treated for a minor (?) injury.

The DA will get all the info, but no one expects the "shooter" (i.e. the victim) to face charges, because self-defense is a human right.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Thought Cooperation Was Supposed to Ensure Safety?

I guess this guy didn't get the memo. </sarcasm> Man cooperated with robber but was shot anyway - STLtoday.com
ST. LOUIS -- Police said a man, 67, arriving at work at the Smiley Urgent Care Center, 5535 Delmar Boulevard, handed his wallet and car keys to a gunman on the parking lot about 5:13 a.m. Wednesday but was shot anyway.
Violent criminals don't stop being violent criminals because you are singing Kumbaya.

Resistance also doesn't guarantee safety. There are no guarantees in this life. But a lot of people preach cooperation as the only way. Life isn't that simple.

So you go ahead and cooperate - I hope you never meet a rapist, or a pedophile after your kids - just don't expect me to share in your delusions.

So How's All That Gun Control Working Out for You?

Not so good. The City of Chicago has draconian gun laws. Doesn't help. Violent week in Chicago despite weather - RedEye
Fourteen homicides were recorded in Chicago in the last week despite the cold weather, conditions that historically see fewer violent crimes.

Fatal shootings were recorded in Auburn Gresham, Brighton Park, Chatham, Fuller Park, Humboldt Park, New City, South Shore, Washington Park and West Garfield Park, according to a RedEye analysis of preliminary police data.
Even the bad guys don't want to go out in a Chicago winter, and though it is early days yet, the weather is winter.

So for all of its gun laws, and stupid restrictions (when I visit family in Illinois, I can't buy ammunition; I have to drive the 45 minutes to Indiana and pay 2 tolls) they have a huge amount of crime.

Perhaps they should stop worrying about gun control, and start worrying about criminal control.

An Example of Safe Gun Handling? Not Quite

I am sure someone somewhere had said only cops have the training to handle guns safely. Cop accidentally shoots himself at West Side police station :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State
The officer was holstering his weapon at 9:10 p.m.at the Harrison District police station, 3151 W. Harrison St., when it accidentally discharged, according to police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer.
Can't find any info on what is Chicago's standard issue.

I really need to start a "Cops Behaving Stupidly" category.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

He Didn't Get Jail, But He Did Get Fired

Of course my guess is that the union will appeal. Chicago Police Board fires cop in bartender attack

Anthony Abbate was the Chicago police officer who was caught on video beating up a woman bartender half his size because she was following the law and wouldn't give him another drink. The crooked courts in Chicago didn't see fit to send his ass to jail for assault - no justice there - but at least he has been fired.
Anthony Abbate was formally fired Tuesday, nearly three years after his off-duty pummeling of a female bartender was caught on video and blasted around the world, tarnishing the image of Chicago police.
The courts were no use at all, handing out less than a slap on the wrist.
Abbate was convicted of felony aggravated battery for the February 2007 attack on Obrycka, but he was spared prison and sentenced to two years' probation. A civil lawsuit is still pending against Abbate, who had been suspended without pay since April 2007
The video of the beating can be found at this link.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

You could also say, "Don't bring a handgun to a shotgun fight." St. Rose homeowner shoots, kills burglar, injures second
“Cockerham allegedly kicked down the victim’s rear door to his residence while armed with a semi automatic hand gun,” said spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes.

The homeowner reportedly saw a “laser light” from a weapon shine through the entrance; he then fired a single shot, hitting Cockerham, police said.
That first guy was found dead in near-by yard when police arrived.

The second guy was injured by that shotgun blast; he was arrested later..
Aaron Vinnett, 20, of St. Rose, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder during a crime and aggravated burglary, said Yoes.
Self-defense is a human-right

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not Everyone Can Run Away

So what is a man in a wheelchair supposed to do when two thugs get into his home? Homeowner kills home invasion suspect
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says 62-year-old Gary A. Wroblewski, who uses a wheelchair, answered a knock at the door of his home in the Silver Springs Shores area. The man at the door asked for some help with his car and when Wroblewski declined assistance the second suspect came through the door, wearing a mask and attacked him. Wroblewski had a handgun and fired at the men killing the second suspect.
Police are still looking for the other guy.

Not everyone can safely retreat fast enough to do any good. And cooperating with criminals is no guarantee of safety. So, if not for a firearm, what should this guy have done?

Self-defense is a human right.

Classic Foamy the Sqirrel - Summoning Santa


As always, Foamy the Squirrel is NOT safe for work.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Because 0-to-60 in 3.9 Seconds Wasn't Good Enough for an Electric Car

The new Tesla Sport is even faster. AutoWeek: Electric Chic Gets Quicker (application/pdf Object)

OK it isn't a lot faster. (What do you want a rocket ship?) 0-to-60 in 3.7 seconds should be good enough for the green crowd.

They Suffered A Failure of the Victim-Selection Process

They tried to rob an armed citizen. Sheriff: Man shoots and kills would-be robber

All he was trying to do was walk from his driveway to his front door. They wanted to rob him.
[Sheriff Newell] Normand said a couple was walking to their home when three men approached them and attempted to rob them. The man, who was also armed, shot the suspect, who was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

The other two suspects fled on foot.
What's that you say? They ran like rabbits?

Self-defense is a human right.

Self-defense Still Not Legal in the UK

Don't defend your family from a brutal home invasion... You won't like the outcome. Homeowner Munir Hussain jailed for 30 months for fighting off burglars

The bad guy was give 2 years of supervision (parole) while the guy who was the real victim was sentenced to 30 months.

Oh, the government says it was for the "brutal" treatment he handed out when he caught the guy, but it still seems that any high-profile case results in punishing the victim.

Crime in the UK - Ridiculous Attitudes about Rape

Rape hasn't really been treated very seriously by cops in the UK. "She was asking for it," and "I was drunk," remain excepted excuses in what passes for a justice system. Drunk women are not 'fair game' for sex, says rape review peer Baroness Stern That is a civilized country?

That attitude leads to most rapes being unreported, since the chances that anything will happen to the attacker is just about nil.
Miss Harman [Equalities Minister] quoted figures claiming that only one in 20 of more than 13,000 cases a year reported to the police end with a conviction. The most recent figures show a 6.5 per cent success rate. More than 80 per cent of cases do not progress further than the initial account.
I mean look at that statement again. Only one-in-twenty rapes - of those reported to police, (recent survey says 6.5 percent) - achieve anything. OK, maybe not all those reported are real, but my guess is that most of them are. So much for justice.

And the attitude is neanderthal.
She insisted that there was “no grey” area with alcohol and that a man should no longer be able to claim that his judgment was blurred by drink.

“Being drunk is voluntary and people who become drunk are responsible for their actions,” she said. “It is not the alcohol that commits the rape. It is not an excuse. It used to be regarded as such, but it is not an excuse. It is an aggravating factor.”
Drunk is an excuse? Great. Is it an excuse for anything? Great. Just have a drink and go on a crime spree.

So tell me again how the UK is a peaceable law-abiding country and the US is hell-hole. Certainly we have problems, but we don't dismiss charges of rape "prematurely" as happens all too often in Britain.

Update: Here is what I was looking for earlier... A report from the UK Home Office. Rape and sexual assault of women: the extent and nature of the problem (It is a PDF, though they aren't the problem they once were.)
Eighteen per cent of incidents of sexual victimisation reported to the survey came to the attention of the police; the police came to know about 20 per cent of rapes.
Less than 20 percent of the incidents a fairly serious crime are ever made known to police.

And I can't find a definitive source, but memory tells me that the BCS doesn't count crimes against people under the age of 16.

So how much crime is there in the UK? I don't think anyone knows.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Please Don't Feed the Animals

People, they aren't cute and cuddly. Man who claimed bear attack facing charges - St. Petersburg Times

He wasn't attacked when he opened the door. We was attacked when he was feeding them.
Officials said they found bear tracks on Stamm's property north of Orlando — and food containers strewn about.

"It possibly looked like chicken containers, like rotisserie chicken," said Lt. Ben Eason, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
He faces misdemeanor charges related to this idiocy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So How Much Did We Spend to Stimulate the Housing Market?

Doesn't matter how much. Didn't do a damn bit of good. U.S. Foreclosures to Reach 3.9 Million in Second Record Year - BusinessWeek That is up from the previous record (set in 2008) of 3.2 million foreclosures.
"We are a long way from a recovery," John Quigley, economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said in an interview. "You can't start to see improvement in the housing market until after unemployment peaks."
Yah think?

In Florida, the situation is even worse than elsewhere. (With the exception of California.)
After trending downward for the last six months, foreclosures in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties shot back to a level not seen since July.
Florida retook 2nd place in the Foreclosure derby behind California (on a per capita basis).
McCabe, one of the first real estate consultants to warn of the housing bust, has been predicting for months about a second wave set to flood the market starting in the late months of this year.

Feeding the new wave, experts say, will be homes held up by banks who have not wanted to take possession to avoid maintenance costs or have them on their balance sheets. Lenders also have been modifying mortgages to help a struggling homeowner but not writing down the bloated principal amount, leaving the borrower to default once again.
Short sales are difficult and frustrating so that even cash buyers don't want to see them.

I wonder how many people who ran out to buy a home for an 8000 credit (that they will have to pay back) will end up in foreclosure.

And just because the President was humming "Happy Days Are Here Again" when the unemployment rate DROPPED to 10 percent, doesn't mean that happy days are here again.

Transcript of 911 Call of Self-defense Shooting

Interesting to see this in a NY City media outlet. Audio: Police OK Woman's Killing Of Intruder - wcbstv.com

It is interesting because you can't read this transcript without feeling she was completely justified. What will the New Yorkers think? Will they come to believe that self-defense can work?

Anyway, go take a look. It is a bit disturbing, but it comes out all right in the end.

How NOT to Respond to Cold Weather

Committing a major crime is not a good way to beat the snow. Prosecutors: Teen carjacked cop when it was too cold to walk - Chicago Breaking News
"I was walking home and it was very cold, and I saw this lady by her car," he said, according to the police report. "[I] pushed her down to the ground and then I got her keys and drove off."

Floyd is being charged with vehicle hijacking, aggravated battery of a police officer and fleeing police.
I got nothing to add to that!

Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

If you break into enough homes, eventually you will find an armed homeowner. Apparent robber fatally shot by S. Ind. homeowner -- chicagotribune.com
The homeowner told investigators that a man knocked on the door asking to use the telephone. As that man came inside, another man wearing a mask entered as well. The homeowner said he retrieved a gun and shot the first man.
2nd guy is being sought by police.

Don't invite a stranger in to use the phone. Didn't anyone every see the movie "A Clockwork Orange?"

Self-defense is a human right.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Interesting Speech

I hadn't head this. Maybe I am just out of touch.

The State of Health Care in the UK

Turns out socialized medicine doesn't work so good. (Michael Moore was wrong?) Britain has among worst cancer survival rates in developed world - Telegraph

It turns out to be the case that several old communist countries - I'm not talking Russia, but the poor members of the old Warsaw Pact - have better health care. At least in terms of cancer.
Britain came in second bottom of its bowel cancer survival league table, with only patients in the Czech Republic less likely to be alive five years after diagnosis. The survival rate in Britain was 51.6 per cent, compared with an OECD average of 57.4 per cent and 65.5 per cent in the US.

Britain also languishes near the bottom of the breast cancer league table, with a survival rate of 78.5 per cent. The OECD-wide average is 81.2 per cent.

Heart attack victims in Britain are also more likely to die after entering hospital than in most other developed nations.
Well, the problems aren't limited to cancer.

And it isn't about spending. Countries with better results spend half what the UK spends.

The bureaucrats spin? Things are getting better. Great. Just don't get sick for another 10 years or so, and you should be good.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Drug Rationing in the UK

You can't have the drugs until you are MUCH worse. Osteoporosis treatments denied unless condition worsens - Telegraph

When the government is in charge of what drugs you can have, and cost-cutting is their goal, you better not get too sick.

25% of people with osteoporosis don't respond to the standard drug, alendronate, or they have side effects. In this country (today anyway) you would get one of the alternate treatments. Which are unfortunately more expensive. Not so in the UK.
The guidance says that these patients cannot have alternative treatments, strontium ranelate, zoledronic acid or etidronate, unless their condition worsens and they have other aggravating factors.
Ah the blissful state of health care in the UK.

I can't wait until we have socialized medicine.

Stupid Criminals Never Learn

Gun shops and Pawn shops are often staffed by armed people. Pawn shop owner in Ruskin turns tables on robber
According to the sheriff's office, the two suspects entered Ruskin Pawn Shop, 2 Dickman Drive S.E., around 3:38 p.m. One of the suspects pointed a gun at the owner, who fired his handgun in the direction of the suspects, who then fled.
Apparently he missed hitting anyone.

But at least no good-guys were injured.

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

Monday, December 07, 2009

Quote of the Day

It is always a bad thing when political matters are allowed to affect . . . the planning of operations.
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel - 1943 C.E

The only way I know this is that David Weber uses this quote in The Shadow of Saganami (The Saganami Island) [Oops... not Shadow of S., but Field of Dishonor (Honor Harrington) - not sure how I messed that up!]


Rommel was speaking from the perspective of one who lost a war.

Is this is what is happening in Afghanistan?

Friday, December 04, 2009

State of the Auto Industry

Tam has a few choice words about Ford's idea of a car that is 'customizable.'
I noticed that Ford's banner ads for the new 2010 Mustangs on the intarw3bz are calling it "The most customizable Mustang ever," apparently because you can get all different kinds of tape & decal packages on it.

In 1968, however, you could choose between four different transmissions, six different engines, nine final drive ratios, and a partridge in a pear tree.
So I thought I would look at what these marketing geniuses had created.
You get the idea.

The Era of Green Cars?

Lots of hybrid technology on the West Coast. The L.A. Auto Show is greening up -- latimes.com

Not all are uninteresting - like the Chevy Volt.

There is the BMW Vision. (See the photo at left and at link below)
First up is a slick 356-horsepower all-wheel-drive plug-in diesel-hybrid concept that BMW claims accelerates like an M3, sips gas like a Toyota Prius and can go 31 miles on battery power alone. It’s called the Vision Efficientdynamics Concept, and we’ll see it later this month at the Frankfurt auto show.
The Vision is a concept, and if you don't like concepts, I understand. the Volt concept was great, the LA Times describes the production version in pretty poor terms.
The concept version of the Volt released a couple of years ago looked like the Batmobile. The one on display at the auto show, which is much closer to the actual production model slated to arrive in November, looks more like the love child of a Toyota Prius and a Buick LaCrosse.
So, non-concept hybrids on display include the Fisker Karma. (see the photo at left.) This is a plug-in hybrid, with a battery-only range of 50 miles (about like the Chevy Volt) and then it runs as a regular hybrid. But it looks good. (More photos at link below.)

Overall, the Honda P-NUT has to be the oddest looking vehicle, and the Jeep Lower Forty (another concept) the best looking SUV.

See some of the best cars thanks to the Telegraph.

Don't Resist - Get Shot Anyway

Certain folks in the anti-gun crowd love to claim cooperation with criminals will ensure safety. Not really true. Gas attendant shot in head in Old Greenwich armed robbery - Greenwich Time
The employee did not resist the demand, handing over the cash immediately, police said, but the suspect shot him. Police said the attack was unprovoked.
Violent criminals don't stop being violent criminals because you are singing Kumbaya. These guys didn't want to leave a witness. So they shot him.

Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

What would you do if someone smashed a door in your home at 12:45 AM? Tulsa World: Lincoln County woman shoots, kills intruder
Donna Jackson, 57, was asleep when she heard Billy Dean Riley pounding on her back door about 12:45 a.m., Sheriff Chuck Mangion said.

While on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, Jackson went to investigate and Riley tossed a patio table through the glass door before coming inside. She fired one blast from a 16-gauge shotgun, hitting him in the chest, Mangion said.
No charges against the homeowner, because she acted in her own defense.

The guy who was shot was dead by the time police arrived.

So, how should a single woman react to a man breaking into her home if not with the use of a firearm? This guy may have been drunk, but he was certainly violent. So what would you do? What would you advise your wife/mother/sister/daughter to do?

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

Call 911 and You Hope Standard Procedures Get Followed

Of course humans make mistakes, so standard procedures don't always get followed.The Daily Citizen, Dalton, GA - nvestigation into 911’s handling of fatal shooting indicates dispatcher didn’t follow procedures

An ex-boyfriend is calling and stating he wants to talk to his ex. Police are called, and told he is on the way and they are given an address. 911 sends units to a different address.

It took police 20 minutes to get to the aid of people calling for help. One of the people at that address was shot.

So, calling 911 is a good thing. But if you think it will automatically solve your problems, you are mistaken. In this case, help wasn't even sent when it could have done some good.

Is the person responsible going to be held accountable in any way?
It’s still too early to tell what disciplinary action will be taken as a result of the findings, said 911 Director Patricia Smith.

“At this time we have not taken any action, yet. We will take disciplinary action,” Smith said.
Likely outcome? Suspension. Possible dismissal, but the unions will have something to say about that.

For some number of minutes after you call 911 you are on your own. (It does take police time to reach you, or is there a cop in your driveway right now?) Depending on a lot of circumstances, that time may be quite long. It may be the rest of your life. I think you should have a plan for how you will spend that time. I have such a plan.

Quote of the Day

The idea of putting a time limit on a fight seems odd to me. I think I know why.

If you believe in your cause, you put no limits on the fight.
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
Winston Churchill said this after the evacuation of Dunkirk.

He didn't say we would do our best for 18 months and then re-evaluate our position.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Self-defense Ends Crime Spree

The bad guys had other stolen property, as well as warrants and parole violations. Homeowner Holds Burglars at Gunpoint

He had been burglarized several times recently.
Sheriff's investigators said when the homeowner saw his lights on Tuesday evening, he knew the thieves were back. "When he went in, he saw one of the suspects going through his property in the living room," said Fresno County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Chris Curtice.

Investigators said the homeowner pulled out a gun and fired a warning shot after Archie Dews took a step toward him. Shortly after that, both Archie Dews and the second suspect, Clarence Dews, were on the ground, where they stayed until deputies arrived and arrested them.
Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0. Self-defense is a human right.

Quote of the Day

"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum" which comes the Epitoma rei militaris, written about 390 CE by Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus. Usually misquoted as "Si vis pacem, para bellum."

The entire passage goes something like this....
Therefore, he who wishes peace, should prepare war; he who desires victory, should carefully train his soldiers; he who wants favorable results, should fight relying on skill, not on chance.
You probably shouldn't set time limits.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Self-defense Works. Community Leaders Don't Like It

Threatened the wrong guy. Clerk Kills Fresno Robbery Suspect
Sunday night police say two men went to the U-Save Liquor Store in Southeast Fresno and demanded money. One of the robbers had a gun. Police say the clerk shot and killed him, while the second robber ran away.
Pretty straight forward, effective use of a firearm for self-defense. Not everyone is pleased.

The community leaders don't like it. No guns for store owners, community leaders say You shouldn't defend yourself. That is bad. Have no cash and use video. Of course that is no guarantee of safety.

Self-defense is a human right.

Just Another Business?

Piracy starts to act like one. Pirate stock exchange helps fund hijackings
In Somalia's main pirate lair of Haradheere, the sea gangs have set up a cooperative to fund their hijackings offshore, a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate.
Multi-million dollar paydays where bound to have some impact.

I expect the situation to get really bad.
It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations -- and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments.

One wealthy former pirate named Mohammed took Reuters around the small facility and said it had proved to be an important way for the pirates to win support from the local community for their operations, despite the dangers involved.
The exchange has grown from covering 15 companies to covering 72 in a year. A growth industry. [via LibertyIdeals]

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Are You Not Stimulated?

Shovel ready? The Stimulus: What Was It Good For?

Highway construction companies are falling on hard times.
The month the stimulus passed, February of this year, 6,593,000 Americans were employed in construction; in the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,966,000 Americans were employed in that field. In other words, while all of this stimulus-based construction was going on, the profession lost 627,000 jobs.
Yeah, this was a good idea. [Title stolen shamelessly from Ace. He had even less shame!]

Some Justice

One of the killers of Ryan Skipper will be in jail a long time. Defendant to serve 2 life terms in killing of gay Polk County man

He showed no remorse, laughing while being fingerprinted after the sentence was handed down.

If you never heard of Ryan Skipper, you aren't alone. His death received little of the publicity that the murder of A. Shepard or Lawrence King had. You can find a description of the crime at this link.

Simply Spending More on Schools Doesn't Make them Better

Labour’s £30 billion annual spending on schools fails to boost standards - Times Online
Billions of pounds channelled into schools under Labour have failed to produce a corresponding improvement in standards, the Government’s statistics agency said yesterday.

Although spending has increased by more than £30 billion a year, value for money from schools has fallen steadily and is no better than in the final years under the Conservatives, it said.
It isn't about money. It is about something a little more esoteric. Desire of students to learn.

On either side of the pond, just throwing money at the problem doesn't work. (Won't keep politicos from throwing money.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Microsoft's Operating System has problems. Who'd a thunk it? Microsoft Windows 7 problem 'could affect millions' - Telegraph

Stupid Burglar

You try to get in the front door. You're told to leave. You try to get in the back door. Same response. When the man with a gun says leave, you might consider a tactical retreat. Shooting apparently self-defense, cops say

Instead of leaving when told to do so, this idiot apparently lunged at a man with gun. A man on his own property.
Asked if detectives at this point considered the shooting an act of self-defense, Chavez said, “On its face, that’s where we’re at at this point.” He noted, however, that the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office will make the final determination on whether to file charges.
Self-defense is a human right.

Obama and the Law of Gravity

So, has the apology tour done any good for America? Does the world like us now that Obama has said he doesn't like us? Fouad Ajami: The Arabs Have Stopped Applauding Obama

The Pew Global Attitudes survey for 2009 doesn't show that the world likes us. In some places, they dislike us even more than they did.
In Pakistan, a place of great consequence for American power, our standing has deteriorated: The unfavorables rose from 63% in 2008 to 68% this year.
So what did we get for all the negativity from our own President? Not much.

Of course he bit off more than he could chew. He said as Candidate Obama that he would address the issue of Kashmir. Too bad he forgot to check with India before he said that.
In truth India had no interest in an international adjudication of Kashmir. What was settled during the partition in 1947 was there to stay. In recent days, Mr. Obama walked away from earlier ambitions. "Obviously, there are historic conflicts between India and Pakistan," he said. "It's not the place of the United States to try to, from the outside, resolve those conflicts."
Gee, you mean people won't do whatever the US tells them too? Even our allies? I thought we were the "American Empire" throwing our weight around all over the world. Guess we forgot to tell that to those darn foreigners.

As Mr. Ajami says, we are beyond the stage where what is needed is a stirring speech. We need real action. Real diplomacy. And a real backbone. Like Carter before him, Obama doesn't seem to understand the whole backbone thing.

Anyway, go read the whole thing. It is worth your time.