Thursday, November 04, 2010

On My Way To My Father's Death Bed

We have already said goodbye, but this will be the end - or we are pretty sure of it.

Not sure if I will make it in time.

May come back to the blog after that. May not.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This All Seems Mostly Pointless

The Left wants to paint everyone on the Right as insane (Juan Williams told to consult his therapist), xenophobic (if anyone happens to mention that everyone on 9/11/01 who was involved in the flying of airliners was of a certain demographic) or just plain stupid (if we were all smart, we would be Leftists).

The Right is painting everyone on the Left as a Communist (they want big government to destroy our rights) or Socialist (they hate the idea of free enterprise) and godless (they want to destroy all religion).

The truth is there are horrible, stupid people on both the Right and the Left. But painting everyone with a broad brush, not seeing that the extremes are not the average doesn't move us anywhere. Not that people should compromise with what they view as wrong, but no one is listening to anyone so how can the compromise on anything?

And the politicians are slinging mud at each other.

The fact that anyone would take anything they hear in an advertisement seriously, let alone a political ad, is a sad commentary on the state of the county.
Which brings me to a political theory I have been developing for a while now:
Jane's Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.
And I'm not sure who is in power and who isn't, because they are all insane.

The Democrats know people are pissed about health care reform and trying (and in some cases succeeding) to run away from their support of it.

The Republicans are trying to convince everyone one they didn't mean it when they enacted some of the biggest entitlement programs in history under Bush 2. Give them another chance and they will really be fiscally conservative this time.

Since no one is listening to anyone, it's too much to assume they are listening to me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wow



Via Kate at Small Dead Animals

In Memory of Benoît Mandelbrot

A very unique thinker.

First, a look at the set named in his honor.


See Beno�t Mandelbrot: from cauliflowers to cosmic secrets - Telegraph for some background on his life.

And for fun, the Mandelbox, an outgrowth of his work.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

If you break into homes, eventually you will find an armed homeowner. Midwest City woman says she shot and killed man who broke into her home, wounded second person - KFSM
Police Chief Brandon Clabes says the 30-year-old woman told investigators she and her children were in the home Thursday when she heard a loud noise about 8 a.m. Clabes says the woman told investigators she first thought it was an earthquake before finding the man and a young male in the home.

She then grabbed a gun and opened fire.
One guy was found dead at the scene, the other wounded about a block away.

No details about who was shot have been released except that the injured guy is fair condition in a local hospital.

Self-defense is a human right, and I believe parents have a responsibility to defend their children.

Don't Drive Chevy Volt in the Mountains

You could be in for a surprise - and not a good one. One More Chevy Volt Trick: Reduced Power - Automobile Magazine

While the Volt is certainly designed to be a commuter car, with its 50-mile-range on battery only, it does have a gas generator to take over when the battery runs low.
But stay on the throttle long enough or find a large enough hill and you'll hit GM's true floor for the battery charge, around 15 percent, that's there to prevent permanent damage to the pack. In this situation, the maximum power is limited to the amount of power that can be transferred directly from the generator to the traction motor. That's 74 hp. To move a 3700-pound car.
So find a long, multi-mile grade (say through the mountains) and you will be limited to 74 hp and about 55 MPH, according to says chief powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher.

And the Volt looks more like the Prius than the Nissan Leaf. Chevy Volt Surprise - Automobile Magazine THAT surprise is that a transmission connects the "generator" motor to the front drive wheels.

If all that is to make the thing more efficient, why can it be stuck going 55 miles per hour? Why not lose the automatic transmission and boost the size of the generator?

Throw in the 41,000 dollar price tag, and even with the 'tax incentive' this is an expensive car. All in all... very disappointing.

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For what that's worth. (Gee, a whole month?) They will hold candlelight vigils, and marches, and talk about restraining orders and do a whole lot of things. But the mainstream organizations won't talk too much about self-defense (you can't rely on yourself, rely on "the system") and none of them will use the "F-word:" firearm. You know, that means of self-defense that would let a 120 pound woman defend herself from attack by a 200 pound man. Can't have that. (Most shelters won't even run "Refuse To Be A Victim" that only mentions firearms in the last 5 minutes - as a choice, and something explore further. That and the fact it is a seminar offered by the NRA.

Domestic violence is a big problem in this country. Solving the Problem of Domestic Violence | Eyewitness News 9
More than half of all women murdered in the US will be killed by an ex-lover. Domestic violence is a growing problem across the country.
That is an amazing statistic. Half the women who are murdered will be killed by someone who thinks they are in love. What crap.

And it isn't only a problem for married women. Teen dating violence seminar - KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |
Young women between 16-and-24 are more likely than any other group to experience intimate partner violence. One-in-three young women will experience some form of dating violence in their relationships.
I don't know if it has always been this way, or because today no one talks to kids about right and wrong, or how to settle differences like civilized folks.

Restraining orders are almost always in the news. I got tired of reading about how they fail to do much restraining, but if you read the posts under the domestic violence category there are plenty of examples of how they fail. Restraining orders are interesting legal documents; they are not bullet-proof vests. If you truly need a restraining order or order of protection because a violent ex, you need a plan for your personal safety as well. I believe in the self-defense value of firearms, but you can plan differently. But you should plan something aside from calling 911 and waiting to be rescued.

And even if the cops respond to a call for help - they always (or mostly) do - that doesn't mean the rest of the system will step up. All too often, charges are not filed, and the abuser spends little, if any, time in jail. Consider the following: City College murder victim sought help from Family Justice Center.
Three weeks before her murder, Gonzalez filed the police report alleging Armando Perez kidnapped her from a parking lot near City College, choked her to unconsciousness, and sexually assaulted her in motel rooms over a three day period.

Police arrested Perez September 24, but the district attorney's office declined to file charges citing insufficient evidence. Perez walked out of jail five days later.
There are numerous examples of people being arrested multiple times for violation of restraining orders, and never charged or held, until they escalate to murder or attempted murder.

But the month is almost over, so in a week or so, folks can drop the awareness and go back to ignoring the people around them struggling, and in some cases dying, because of domestic violence.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Isn't Cooperation Supposed to Ensure Safety?

Those who hate the idea of self-defense are always saying that if we give criminals what they want, we will be safe. Too bad that isn't true. Clerk killed in store robbery
Security video shows the suspect wandering through the store, then walking out. He returned a few seconds later with a black revolver in his hand and demanded money. The clerk complied, and the suspect shot the victim once in the chest, then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash
Violent criminals don't stop being violent because you are acting like a sheep. Of course I don't even know if any form of defense is legal in the People's Republic of California.

Cooperating with criminals is a strategy, though not a particularly good. It is not a guarantee. You go ahead and act like a sheep. Just don't expect me to share in your delusions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Death From Lack of Training

He thought the gun was unloaded. It was loaded. It's also clear he had no training in safe gun handling. Teen thought gun was unloaded before firing fatal self-inflicted shot, police say
Eighteen-year-old Preston William Walsh fired the fatal shot while his friends watched.

Walsh pointed his .380-caliber handgun at himself and fired while at a party.
A little bit of training would go a long way in cases like this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FCKH8.com

This is classic. It also contains a whole lot of F-bombs. Definitely Not Safe For Work.


Update: I suppose I should include a link to FCKH8.com.

Mildred Jefferson, First Black Woman to Graduate from Harvard Med Dies at 84

Sounds like she was an amazing person. Mildred Jefferson, 84, Anti-Abortion Activist, Is Dead

Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0

The Brady Bunch Campaign will call this "teens tragically shot." That it was justified, isn't of interest to them. Why clutter the issue with facts? Flint homeowner describes killing teen he says tried to rob him in driveway | abc12.com
"He slid over the hood of the car with a mask on his face a gun in hand and he said, 'Mother******, give it up,'" the homeowner said.

"I bend down, go into my pocket, pull my gun out. He shoots. I shoot."

The homeowner, who we are not identifying, says he fired 12 times because that's how many bullets his gun had in it.
He fired 3 times at the guy with the gun. The other shots were divided between the other two guy who were robbing the homeowner. Both of them were injured.

The guy with the gun died later. The other two - both teenagers - are being charged as adults.

Self-defense is a human right.

The Boys Were Left to Terrorize the Neighbors, Now the Parents Are Shocked

The Brady Bunch Campaign would call this a teen tragically shot. The fact that he is charged with aggravated assault for what he was doing when his intended-victim defended herself, is beside the point (to them). Why clutter the issue with facts? Mom: Boy in psychiatric care after being shot by woman
A 12-year-old boy who was shot by an elderly South Shore homeowner after he allegedly threw bricks at her is in psychiatric care, recovering from the trauma of being shot, his mother said Tuesday.
What about the trauma of having bricks thrown at you?
The boys had terrorized the woman and the neighborhood for months before she finally snapped and shot the boy, neighbors said at the time.
Snapped? Media bias much? How about the boys had terrorized the neighborhood until they escalated to the point where self-defense was called for? No, that wouldn't be painting the gun-owner with a brush of disdain.

Margaret Mathews, 68, has not been charged with any crime, because even in the City of Chicago, self-defense is a human-right.

She Sleeps With a Gun Under her Pillow

I am too restless for this method. Woman shoots, kills home intruder
Toni Hanes, 50, told police she was awakened by the sound of her bedroom door being kicked in around 3:30 a.m. in the 4800 block of Castle Path Drive, according to a police incident report.

She grabbed a handgun from under her pillow, shot once and, as the intruder fled, she continued to shoot at him, the incident report states. At one point, he said, “It's OK, it's OK. They're already calling police,” she told investigators.
This guy got what he deserved. He wasn't there to rob her.
Hanes told police Valenzuela had entered her house without warning a few days earlier and kissed her on the cheek, despite her commands for him to leave, the incident report states. She was not expected to face charges, police said.
This guy was 28-years-old.

Self-defense is a human-right. Good Guys (and Gals) 1, Bad Guys 0.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sintel

Not often you see short, independent films of this quality. (Pixar makes some, but then they have a lot of resources.) Thanks to stormydragon for letting me know about it. (15 minutes)



This can stand to be played in a larger window, but I'm limited to what I can show here. Try this link for the larger/HD version. And a pop-out screen is in order as well.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another News Organization Confused About Who Is a Victim

If you get shot while I am legally defending myself from you, you are no victim. One wounded in Darlington burglary attempt | SCNOW

He called 911 to report a burglary in progress at 4:20AM. (What did you think the criminal wanted at 4:20?) Fearing that the criminal would gain entry, he shot through the door, injuring the goblin in the abdomen.

They refer to the guy who got shot as a victim. Not even specifically a gunshot victim. Here I thought he was the perpetrator.
"When and if Mr. Smith is released from the hospital, we will have accommodations waiting on him." Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd said.
No charges will be brought against the homeowner, because self-defense is a legal right in South Carolina.

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

Irony or Defiance?

Wasps built a nest attached to the bottom of my can of wasp-spray. That is either the most ironic thing I have seen in a while, or an expression of pure defiance.

It didn't help them in the long-run; I bought another can of spray.

People Don't Need to Be Armed on College Campuses, Because Crimes Never Happen There

Or do they? Woman kidnap Orlando: Police: Man forced woman into car, threatened her with pen - OrlandoSentinel.com
Police say Neil Ramroop, 28, approached a woman he knew on the Valencia Community College west campus about 9:25 p.m. Wednesday night. The woman told investigators Ramroop took her purse and books, put his arm around her neck and threatened to stab her with a pen if she didn't follow him to his car.
And for the thought of a restraining order...
Police say Ramroop continued to threaten his victim: "You think a restraining order will stop me? I'll find you, I'll kill off your family one by one."
A restraining order? No, but a .357 might stop you.

So tell me again why colleges are disarmed-victim-zones?

Not Understanding the Meaning of "It's Over!"

Some people just don't understand, and they create tragedy. Police: Ex-boyfriend fatally shoots current boyfriend | 6abc.com
Police say a 35-year-old man was visiting his girlfriend when the woman's ex-boyfriend gained entrance to the home and confronted the man in the kitchen.
The shooter was arrested later.

Does Pennsylvania have the death penalty? Does this rise to the level of a death-penalty case? (I never understand the current legal dictates on what can and cannot be a capital case.)

And so we have a tragedy because some guy can't understand the he is the "EX" boyfriend.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gotta Love Those Unintended Consequences

Chicago's Mayor Daley sold the parking meter franchise to a firm that promptly raised parking rates astronomically. Keeping people away from the meters, from the city generally. Now we have this.... Twenty 200-pound parking meter boxes stolen :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: City HallRevenues have recovered somewhat, but the anger they generate is ongoing.
Motorists were initially so incensed by the rate hikes tied to the deal, they vandalized and boycotted meters, leading to a dramatic drop in on-street parking.
And while the revenues are back, the number of people parking is down. This is another way that Daley and the Chicago Dems have found to drive people away from businesses.

The Usual Suspects Have Their Panties in a Twirl Over "Stand Your Ground"

The St Petersburg Times is one of the most far-left papers I have every seen. Five years since Florida enacted "stand-your-ground" law, justifiable homicides are up - St. Petersburg Times

You see they are all bent out of shape over the fact that justifiable homicides are up in St. Petersburg.

They won't report on crimes that happen in that fair city - it might scare the tourists, don't you know.

Is Florida's Stand Your Ground law perfect? Is anything created by flawed human beings perfect?

But it is better than when cops just arrested (and DAs prosecuted) every person who defended themselves or family. Even with the law, some in the "Criminal Justice System" still want to arrest everyone.
Take the case of Jimmy Hair.

In 2007, he shot a man who attacked him outside a Tallahassee nightclub. Meggs' office accused him of murder. Hair spent two years in jail awaiting trial before an appeals court dismissed the charge.
Lot's of quotes from folks like Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Defending Yourself is Legal in Georgia

You knew it would be. Suspect Shot In Overnight DeKalb Home Invasion - Atlanta News Story - WGCL Atlanta
The homeowner caught the two intruders in the act, police said. The robbers and the man who lives in the house exchanged gunfire. One of the invaders was struck. Both burglars ran, police said, but one collapsed in a neighbor’s yard. An emergency crew rushed him to the hospital. Police place him under arrest.
The homeowner was unharmed. The guy who got shot is in stable condition. The guy who got away is still on the run.

The neighbors were not shocked, as they usually are. The response seems to be along the lines of, "he got what he deserved."

The homeowner will not face any charges, because self-defense is not just a human-right, in Georgia, it is your legal right as well.

Why is a Rise in Jobless Claims Always “Unexpected?”

At least it always seems to be. (Is anyone really surprised that things aren't getting better?) U.S. Trade Gap Grows, Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise - Bloomberg
The number of Americans filing claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly climbed by 13,000 to 462,000 last week, according to the Labor Department.
Of course what Bloomberg doesn't emphasize is that last weeks numbers were revised up to 449,000 new claims. See Instant view: Jobless claims, producer prices, trade | Reuters.

And the number that really means something is the 4-week moving average anyway, and it is going up as well.
The four-week average of first-time jobless benefits, which economists prefer because it smoothes out weekly fluctuations, rose 2,250 to 459,000.
So you think the economy is getting better. Guess we will see.

A Conscious Decision to Lie to the American People

Barney Frank didn't think telling the truth was a good idea. Frank haunted by stance on Fannie, Freddie - The Boston Globe

In 2003 he said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were both fine. He was mistaken, but it was an honest mistake - everyone makes them. And politicians seem to have an awful time understanding economics - especially the ones who have been in Washington so long (15 terms?).

But he lied to the American people in 2008.
In July 2008, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson called Frank and told him the government would need to spend “billions of taxpayer dollars to backstop the institutions from catastrophic failure,” according to Paulson’s recent book. Frank, despite that conversation, appeared on national television two days later and said the companies were “fundamentally sound, not in danger of going under.”

Unlike 2003 — when, Frank said, he didn’t realize what was going on — this time, he was deliberately trying to reassure the public, he said.

“It was part of a conscious strategy to say to people, ‘Hey, look, we think we can handle this,’ ” he said.
Deliberately reassuring lying to the taxpayer.

Some Truth About the Tea Party

Media bias gets highlighted by the Washington Post? A sign of the apocalypse not doubt. Few signs at tea party rally expressed racially charged anti-Obama themes Or perhaps the WaPo isn't as horrible as I had believed.
A new analysis of political signs displayed at a tea party rally in Washington last month reveals that the vast majority of activists expressed narrow concerns about the government's economic and spending policies and steered clear of the racially charged anti-Obama messages that have helped define some media coverage of such events.
Sure there are idiots in every crowd, but the Tea Party isn't the racist organization the MSNBC would have you believe it is.
Ekins's conclusion is not that the racially charged messages are unimportant but that media coverage of tea party rallies over the past year have focused so heavily on the more controversial signs that it has contributed to the perception that such content dominates the tea party movement more than it actually does.
In other words, the coverage has been biased.

A Look At Why Government Doesn't Work

Social Contract | This American Life

Act 1: Mister Fix-it. Covers the insanity that is New York State politics. One thing that surprised me (it shouldn't have) is that the states don't abide by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. And they are all (or a lot) are playing games to "balance" their budgets on a single year. (Like selling their capital buildings and then leasing them back - generates some quick cash and signs up for an unending stream of payments.)

Quote of the Day - Political Division

Heh. Barack Obama and the Chamber of Secrets - Reason Magazine
"Stealing democracy," as you may know, loosely translated, means: Holy crap, Republicans are going to win an election.
So the Dems have got their panties in a twist because the Chamber of Commerce gets some money overseas.

Well, so do the unions. Where is the outrage that they are using foreign money to buy campaign ads?
Money is fungible. So it will be interesting to hear how Democrats defend their support of government funding for, say, Planned Parenthood, which, one could point out, is also using fungible government dollars to regularly fund abortions. I believe that's illegal, as well.
And do you really want to pick on the Chamber of Commerce? Really?
If the United States Chamber of Commerce—composed of some of the most moderate, milquetoast, government-friendly saps in the country—is now on the enemies list, who exactly does the president think is reasonable? If the crony capitalists aren't good enough for Barack Obama, who is?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's That? Illinois Not Following Voting Law?

Who'd a thunk it? Vote fraud in IL. Military ballots may not count in Illinois

Could it be that they think a lot of military people might vote Republican?

These Are Strangely Hypnotic

I haven't seem them all, but most are really funny. Best Viral Campaign Ads of 2010 - TIME

And You Thought the Greek Financial Crisis Was Over

Certainly a lot of the media has stopped paying attention. (Trapped miners are much more interesting news, even though that story doesn't impact you in any way save emotionally.) Germany Opposes Extending Greek Repayment Schedule - BusinessWeek

It seems Greece doesn't want to live up to the commitments it made oh so very recently when it got bailed out by the EU. (Mostly by Germany.)
Germany moved to stifle suggestions that Greece could get more time to repay a bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

“We are not in favor of extending the repayments schedule” for Greece, German Finance Ministry spokesman Bertrand Benoit said in a telephone interview today. Any such move would be “premature,” he said.
This isn't over yet, and Greece is only the first act. Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland are waiting in the wings. And Britain isn't in great shape either - though it isn't part of the Euro-zone.

This Kind of Thing Isn't Supposed to Happen in Wisconsin

In Florida, sure. But Wisconsin? The Land of Cheese.... Alligator Spotted, Shot in Northern Wis.
Wisconsin has some pretty unique wildlife, but this is something you don't see everyday.

An alligator was spotted in Washburn County in the northern part of the state.
They don't make cute and cuddly pets people.

The off-duty sheriff's deputy that found the thing - while walking with his grandkids - shot the gator, because he feared it might hurt someone.

I hope he got a belt out of it. (Probably too small for a pair of boots.)

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

A bit of luck and a helping of concealed-carry kept the good guys safe. Two charged in Surry thefts | JournalNow.com
Hill was arrested Sept. 21 after he was shot during a robbery attempt at the Neighbor’s Fuel Center on U.S. 52.

During that robbery, he pointed a gun at the clerk and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not discharge.

A customer — the clerk’s husband — then pulled out a gun and shot Hill in the left arm, right leg and right hip, authorities said.
Robinson was waiting in a car for Hill. Both were arrested. (Hill was arrested after treatment at a local hospital.)

They were both charged with other robberies in the area, as well as charges for this bungled attempt.

Self-defense, or defense of family, is a human-right.

Hell of a Way to Start a New Job - By Shooting an Intruder

It was a good thing she was armed. Store clerk kills intruder on first day at new job
Police say the man jumped through the front window. The woman told detectives she didn’t know if he intended to rob, rape, or kill her. She had no where to run or hide, so she pulled out her gun and shot him.
What would you have done? What do the "we shouldn't carry guns" crowd think should have happened? Do they want women to be robbed, raped or killed?

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

I Think This Guy Has a Problem With Rejection

He fired a shotgun at both his ex-wife and a female co-worker's home. Shooting suspect arrested in Baton Rouge - CBS 19
On Tuesday, October 12, 2010 Tyler Police responded to a 9-1-1 call around 5:30 a.m. from a female victim who stated her ex-husband came to Tyler and threatened to kill her and her son who is a college student in another city in Texas.
They didn't say why he was trying to kill her. (Probably because he "loved" her, in his mind anyway.) He chased her vehicle and fired a shotgun blast at it, but she was not injured.

In an other incident....
The homeowner had heard her dog barking and looked out a window in time to observe Hail exiting his vehicle with a shotgun. She immediately retrieved her telephone, dialed 9-1-1 and then hid her son and herself in a closet as Hail shot into her residence. The dispatcher at the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office that took that 9-1-1 call was able to hear gunshots being fired at the time the call was taken. Mr. Hail then fled the scene prior to deputies arrival.
The homeowner had filed a complaint of harassment against Hail about a month previously.

He apparently doesn't understand "No" or "It's over!"

So now he is in prison in Louisiana awaiting extradition to Texas. What the hell was this guy thinking? That they deserved to die for rejecting him?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why is Maritime Piracy No Longer in the News?

The problem hasn't gone away. Pirates seize Taiwanese boat: report
Pirates have seized a Taiwanese fishing boat with 14 crew from Vietnam, China, Indonesia and Taiwan in the most southerly and ambitious raid by Somali pirates yet, European naval forces said yesterday.
The pirates seem to be moving farther off-shore to avoid the naval forces arrayed against them. (Those forces have done some good, after all, just not enough good.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Racist Past of Marijuana Prohibition

An interesting story, even if I don't know whether or not it has been fact-checked. 10-10-10: The Marijuana Conspiracy - Over The Limit Entertainment

Seems that Hearst of "Citizen Kane" fame, had a thing against pot, and wasn't above lying to see his way enacted into law.
Hearst’s stories portray[ed] “negroes” and Mexicans as frenzied beasts who, under the influence of marijuana would play anti-white “voodoo-satanic” music ( jazz ) and heap disrespect and “viciousness” upon the predominantly white readership. Other such offenses resulting from this drug-induced “crime wave” included: stepping on white men’s shadows, looking white people directly in the eye for three seconds or more, looking at a white woman twice, laughing at a white person … For such “crimes,” hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and blacks spent, in aggregate, millions of years in jails, prisons and on chain gangs, under brutal segregation laws that remained in effect throughout the U.S. until the 1950s and ’60s.
Prohibition didn't work with liquor. It isn't working today with pot (or other drugs), so why are we still following the failed policies of a racist newspaperman?

Fed Destroys the Dollar

What would you call a policy that leads to a 15-year-low? WORLD FOREX: US Dollar Pressure Continues, Hits New 15-Year Low Against Yen - WSJ.com
The U.S. dollar has been under pressure for weeks as market watchers continue to ratchet up their expectations the Fed will use quantitative easing to add more monetary stimulus to the U.S. economy

With little of that changed Monday, there has been more selling of the U.S. dollar, which hit another 15-year low against the yen and traded near an eight-month low against the euro.
And don't look too favorably at that Euro statement. Greece isn't over, and Portugal, Spain and Ireland are right behind them.

Friday, October 08, 2010

8 Years in Jail Because Cops Lied

JusticeEvidence pointed to Maurice Patterson being innocent, so they lied about it. Man convicted of murder goes free - UPI.com
A bloody knife found near the scene of the killing had Head's DNA mixed with that of another person but not Patterson's.

"The prosecution, however, falsely told Patterson's judge and jury that the knife did not have the victim's DNA on it and was not connected to the murder," Warden said.

A police officer backed up that statement on the witness stand.
So what will happen to those "public servants" who lied, and stole 8 years from a man's life? Probably nothing, given that 8 years have passed. (And this is Chicago.)

The "Criminal Justice System:" More criminal than concerned with Justice. Because they get rewarded for "solving" cases and getting convictions. Why worry about the Truth?

So Why Did They Release Him? Because He Was a Cop?

At least they seem to want to do the right thing once they identified him. Lynwood cop stopped, released on day of shooting spree :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: News
Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas said investigators were eager to arrest Dorian, regardless of his job as a cop.

“You cross the line, there ain’t no camaraderie,” Kaupas said.
Meanwhile, the suburbanites are shocked to discover they live in the Real World™.
Lynwood Mayor Eugene Williams said, “it’s hard to believe that anyone I know would be capable of something like this.”
No doubt because he thought "that kind of thing" happens in "other kinds of places" and to "other kinds of people." Idiots.

He Didn't Understand the Meaning of “It's Over!“

So he lost the ability to learn anything. Neighbors Rescue Woman From Ex-Boyfriend By Shooting Him [This is an update of the story from yesterday, where the reporters got the relationships wrong.]
A Chattanooga man who rescued a family friend yesterday says he didn't hesitate to shoot her former boyfriend -- who was wielding a shotgun.

But the good samaritan wants it known that he is not "the new boyfriend."
The guy doing the shooting was a combat engineer home from Iraq (Marine Reserve).

The guy who got shot, got shot in the hand. He drove himself to the hospital. He has been charged with aggravated assault.

And the reporter hasn't got a clue. In one paragraph he talks about a handgun, and in the other a .30-06. Not a handgun caliber generally, though I suppose someone like Thomson/Center might make one. (I wouldn't want to shoot it!)

And They Ran Like Rabbits

A rifle isn't my choice of middle-of-the-night home-defense, but it got the job done. Oriental homeowner fires shot in overnight break-in | Eyewitness News 9
Oriental Police tell us that around 3:30 this morning Jesse Cahoon was asleep at his home on South Avenue Street in Oriental when he heard the door being kicked in.

Police say Cahoon grabbed his rifle and loaded it.
The three men ran away. It doesn't say if the description of the three includes soiled drawers.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Some People Just Don't Underdstand “It's Over!”

This guy got shot for his lack of ability to take a hint. 10/6/2010 - New Boyfriend Shoots Ex-Boyfriend On Robin Drive - Breaking News - Chattanoogan.com

So the ex-boyfriend shows up with a shotgun, and was "acting strange." The new boyfriend shows up, and the ex beats a hasty retreat. But he doesn't stay gone.
When the new boyfriend pulled up at the home, the suspect pulled off but quickly returned and pulled the shotgun again on his ex and her new boyfriend.

The new boyfriend then fired at the old boyfriend striking him. The man who was shot fled the scene and later showed up at Parkridge Hospital.
He thought he loved her so much that he was going to shoot her with a shotgun. Funny, but I don't see the love in that act.

And so he met someone willing to defend himself, and he gave that someone all the reason in the world to defend himself. Pointing a shotgun at someone constitutes a reasonable threat of death or grave bodily injury in my book.

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

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Quote of the Day

What if she was a Wiccan and it was revealed that she had dabbled in Christianity? Would anyone care? Somehow, I doubt it.

All the focus would be on her current religion.
Religion overshadows candidate’s actions : The Rebel Yell

Funny how that double standard works. And it's sad how people don't believe the the freedom of religion.

(If you aren't sure who is being discussed in this quote, you are living in a cave, with no TV. I'm not sure how you are on the internet.)

Monday, October 04, 2010

And It's About Damn Time He Quit

Freaking idiot. Wis. prosecutor quits after 'sexting' abuse victim - U.S. news - msnbc.com

First the Powers-that-be wanted to whitewash this idiot's sexting of a domestic-violence-abuse-victim to start a relationship. But that didn't work once his actions came to light.
The Office of Lawyer Regulation, which oversees lawyer conduct, office quietly closed the case against Kratz in March without a formal review, saying his behavior was inappropriate but didn't appear to be an ethical violation.

The office reoponed the case last month, though, bowing to intense public pressure following the AP's stories.
In case anyone doesn't realize, relationships at work are a bad idea. This is the king of bad ideas.

Can you spell, "questionable judgment?"

Good Thing This Cop Can't Shoot Straight

Sheriff's deputy mistakenly shoots at West Hollywood liquor store clerk | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times There is a rule of safe gun handling that talks about being sure of what (or who) you are shooting at. Apparently that wasn't covered in the police academy.
A sheriff's deputy fired eight shots early Sunday morning at a man he believed had just robbed a West Hollywood liquor store, only to learn that his target was the clerk who had been held up, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
If you or I did this, we would be charged with reckless endangerment, or something similar, but this guy won't even be sentenced to spending more time at the range.

So, should this be filed as "Cops behaving badly", or "cops behaving stupidly?"

Relying on Governments to End Piracy Hasn't Worked

Que private-enterprise. UK Insurance Firms Plan Private Navy to Prevent Piracy | TTKN News
Insurance firms in the UK are considering forming a private navy to tackle the problem of piracy.

The £10m proposal will be funded by insurers and shipping companies in return for a reduction of anti-piracy insurance premiums.
I wonder if Letters of Marque will be involved.

Still, as long as piracy results in multi-million dollar paydays - courtesy of corporations and insurance companies - there will be people "sailing on the account."

Self-defense is Legal in Colorado

You knew it would be. Liquor store clerk won't be charged in shooting - Aurora Sentinel: Hp Metro
A liquor store clerk shot Marcel McMichael, 34, and Henry James, 37, on Sept. 22 when the pair — their faces covered and one of them brandishing a gun — stormed a liquor store near East Mississippi Avenue and South Tower Road, said Aurora police spokeswoman Detective Shannon Lucy.

McMichael was shot in the arm and released from the hospital to county jail Thursday, police said. James remained hospitalized Friday but police said he is expected to survive. When he is released from the hospital, he will be taken to jail.
No charges will be filed against the clerk, because in Colorado, self-defense is not only a human-right, it is also your legal right.

Or how would you react to two masked, armed individuals in your place of business?

Self-defense Works

Not a good day for this guy. Would-be robber has fingers shot off in Tulsa
Police say Larry Ryan told officers two armed men kicked in the door to his home about 7 a.m. Saturday and demanded money. The Tulsa World reported that Ryan said he grabbed for one of the weapons and during the fight the gun fired and two of the would-be robber's fingers were shot off.
The 2nd guy and a getaway driver escaped.

The injured guy was treated, and the arrested for "assault, robbery, burglary and concealing stolen property."

Self-defense is a human-right.

Friday, October 01, 2010

I Still Won't Buy From Government Motors

The September car sales numbers were just released. Better than I expected. Car sales news: good to great and Chrysler, Ford, GM auto sales gains in U.S. market in Sept.

 Company  Percent Change Volume
 Toyota Up 16.8% 147,162 
 NissanUp 34%74,205 
 HondaUp 26.1%97,361 
 FordUp 46%160,873 
 ChryslerUp 61%100,077 
 HyundaiUp 47.7%46,556 
 GMUp 10.5%173,155 
[Note: Toyota includes both the Toyota brand (130,214) and Lexus (16,948).]

Chrysler mainly looks good this year because last year - 62,197 - was so bad. And Hundai/Kia had such a small base to begin with, but they are making some real progress.

So, does a rising tide really raise all boats? Sure looks that way.

US Unemployment Trend

[via Tammy Bruce]

Not that the GOP gets a slide on the increased spending. GW Bush was a big spender.

Police Still Don't Like Self-defense

Not all police, but some certainly hate it. Family finds knife-wielding intruder in home - KFOR
While his wife was on the phone with 911, the husband stormed in and grabbed his pistol when he saw a man standing at his back door.

He shot the knife-wielding visitor twice before the man took off out the back door.
Later it sounds more like "he shot at" than actually shot, but who expects journalists to write clearly?
Midwest City Chief Brandon Clabes said, "The best thing to do is call 911 and stay a safe distance away and observe. That's what we need you to do."
So what they need you to do is act like a frightened sheep, cower (at a safe distance) and call for help. Of course that doesn't always work out too well.

Self-defense is a human right. (And if the guy did get shot...) Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0. (Also, don't bring a knife to a gunfight.)

This Guy Will Probably Be Fired By Pizza Hut

Because Yum Brands doesn't like their delivery drivers to be anything but defenseless victims. Charlotte victims fight back with deadly force - CharlotteObserver.com
The delivery driver for Pizza Hut started carrying a gun to work, he says, after being robbed twice in two years.

He says the fact that he had his Glock 22 under his shirt on Monday saved his life when two armed would-be robbers attacked him at the restaurant.

The driver, who asked that his name not be used out of fear for his safety, shot and killed the two men. They were identified as Gregory James Hardy and Dauntrae Wallace, both 21 and both convicted felons.
[Note: GLOCK 22 is chambered in .40 S&W. And GLOCK is misspelled if it isn't capitalized.]

Pizza Hut routinely fires people who defend themselves legally. Which is one of the reasons I don't like to patronize any of the Yum Brands restaurants (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's).
It's the third Charlotte-area case in two weeks in which an apparent robbery target used deadly force against a would-be assailant.
Better armed, better informed citizens have apparently given up on the delusion that the police can keep them safe.

Self-defense is a human right, and in North Carolina it is your legal right. Too bad Pizza Hut doesn't think its employees have that right.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Destroying Peoples' Lives is Apparently Funny to Some

It seems a Rutgers University student thought it was funny to destroy a young man's life. Victim of Secret Dorm Sex Tape Commits Suicide - ABC News
A Rutgers University freshman posted a goodbye message on his Facebook page before jumping to his death after his roommate secretly filmed him during a "sexual encounter" in his dorm room and posted it live on the Internet.
So what possesses someone to destroy another person's life because he thinks it's funny?
A Twitter page that appears to have been operated by Ravi but has since been taken offline shows messages in which the accused student takes credit for the alleged videotaping of Clementi.

On Sept. 19, [Dharun] Ravi appears to tweet, "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay."
This guy is so far charged with two counts of "invasion of privacy." Some are calling it a hate crime, and I have to agree.

The sad thing is that this guy is going to get a slap on the wrist, unless this can be raised it illegal wiretap, and then he will graduate from college, and suffer little if any fallout for the rest of his life. Justice for a dead gay man? Right.

Self-defense is Legal in Missouri (I Suspected it Was)

Prosecutor won't file charges against Missouri homeowner who killed intruder - kspr.com
No charges will be filed against a southeast Missouri homeowner who shot and killed a teenager who was allegedly burglarizing his home.

The Daily Dunklin Democrat in Kennett reports that an investigation by prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff and police determined there was no wrongdoing in the death of 17-year-old Bradford Hill Jr.
Self-defense is a human-right, and in Missouri it is your legal right.

Protection Order Can't Guarantee Safety

That's a quote. Police: Woman Violated Order of Protection Five Times in One Month - kspr.com So if she violated a court order 3 times in one month, or 4 times, or even 1 time, why was there no punishment?
Greene County Assistant Prosecutor Jill Patterson says protection orders are useful tools for domestic violence and stalking victims but says it can't guarantee safety.
They speed up police response some, and specify "mandatory" arrests, but do they really accomplish anything?
Patterson says protection orders can also cause mandatory arrests for violators. The man, who didn't want us to reveal his identity, says Eddington was arrested each time she violated his protection order but was back out after about two hours.
And why can't people just come to terms with, "It's over!" and move on with their lives?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Blissful State of Health Care in the UK

I've missed some of the news from the UK. Here are a couple of highlights.

Government orders action on 'chemical cosh' which kills thousands - Telegraph
Last year a major report found that 180,000 patients are prescribed the treatments each year, despite the fact they do not benefit three quarters of those given them, and can cause death, or major side effects, such as strokes.
So much for "First, do no harm."

I bet the drug companies love the income and the staff in care facilities like the quiet patients.

Surgeons 'lack professionalism': Lancet medical journal - Telegraph Just another bunch of government employees?
A recent independent report found concerns over inadequately equipped operating theatres and a lack of anaesthetists and emergency care.

There was a statutory obligation to participate in the audit yet only half of centres actually did.
I wonder what the penalty is for not following that law? I wonder the UK would do if half the taxpayers decided not to follow other "statutory obligations?"

Good News on the Terror Front

Terror plot against Britain thwarted by drone strike - Telegraph A Mumbai-style firearm-based assault was planned against London and a few other European cities. Not so much after 21 drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
The CIA launched a series of attacks against militants in the area using unmanned Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles
The comments on this story would be funny under other circumstances. The Brits (some of them anyway) don't believe that after the success of the Mumbai attack that similar attacks would be planned elsewhere.

Now That is What you Call Ironic

This should make some on of the faithful blow a gasket or two. Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

The thing is, the questions were not that arcane.
A majority of Protestants, for instance, couldn't identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.

Atheists and agnostics — those who believe there is no God or who aren't sure — were more likely to answer the survey's questions correctly. Jews and Mormons ranked just below them in the survey's measurement of religious knowledge — so close as to be statistically tied.
If you profess to believe in something, shouldn't you know what that something is?

And it is nice to see someone who actually understands statistical calculations.
Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists were included in the survey, but their numbers were too small to be broken out as statistically significant groups
Small numbers are always misleading, but that never stops people from building arguments (or even government policy) based on them.

But then these results are not surprising when you consider the abysmal state of Americans' knowledge of any subject.
For comparison purposes, the survey also asked some questions about general knowledge, which yielded the scariest finding: 4% of Americans believe that Stephen King, not Herman Melville, wrote "Moby Dick."
That's just sad.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Putting on a Mask, and Breaking Into a House is Not a “simple lapse in judgement”

I feel sorry that this mother's son was shot, but sugar coating the truth doesn't help anyone. Polk family remembers teen burglary suspect
Polk County investigators say Rubio and three other friends were trying to break into a Davenport home on Tuesday when the homeowner shot and killed him.
By 15, you have a basic concept of right and wrong. These guys were armed. They broke into a house wearing masks to avoid being identified.

But they suffered a breakdown of the victim-selection process; picked a home that contained a homeowner.

Now I can believe that those four didn't think that they would get shot, and no one who is 15 years old believes they are going to die, but this was a bit more than a lapse in judgment. They committed a deliberate act of aggression on another human being. This kid picked up a gun, and broke into a locked house.

And the real point is that the homeowner didn't know this was a 15-year-old kid, he only knew that an armed masked man broke into his house. He defended himself from attack.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Reason I Wish I Was In San Francisco This Weekend

Paxton Quigley is speaking at the Gun Rights Policy Conference. Self-defense expert promotes guns for women | San Francisco Examiner
Paxton Quigley, the New York City-based authority on women’s self-defense, will be speaking about the importance of women owning guns at the 25th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference taking place at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport hotel this weekend.
Her 1993 book, Armed and Femalewas the first book on self-defense which had been written by a woman that I had read. The anti-gun crowd was still arguing that women were too stupid to understand guns, or gun advertising. They were upset that gun manufacturers were building firearms specifically for women and advertising to women. It took them some to realize that they were being incredibly insulting. ("Women and Guns" was only first published in 1989 and only made it to the newsstand in 1991, the same year Thelma and Louise was released.)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Speaking of Automakers and Bailouts...

What an awful investment. Watchdog: Taxpayers won't be repaid until GM shares hit $133
The federal government would have to sell its General Motors stock for $133.78 a share -- or $40 more a share than the highest stock price the automaker ever achieved for its old stock -- in order for taxpayers to get back the money they sank into the automaker, a federal watchdog says.
Are you kidding me? $133 per share? GM closed at 75 cents today. I think it is going to be a bit of a stretch to imagine we will ever get any of that money back.

And no, I still won't buy a car from Government Motors.

Must Be Nice to Drink and Smoke Dope on the Job

We spent billions of dollars so that all those UAW/Auto jobs wouldn't be lost. Really? Video: Chrysler's UAW Jeep workers taped drinking, smoking pot - Drive On: A conversation about the cars and trucks we drive - USATODAY.com So these jobs are just so important to the US economy, that people can be drunk and/or stoned and do the work.

So Obama pays a visit to a Chrysler plant. I would say it is a campaign visit, because that is all he knows how to do.
The investigation started five days after the president's visit. The cameras caught workers leaving on their half-hour lunch break to head to the liquor store, and take off to a nearby park. The cameras even followed them into the liquor store to confirm the bottles in the bags were actually alcohol.

When the reporter approached the workers, asking them about their lunchtime partying, they dashed into their cars and drove away.
USA Today cites a book from the late 90s to say "this is nothing new." People are drunk on the job all the time.

And people wonder why I still won't buy a car from Government Motors. (And no, that doesn't only include General Motors.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bill Clinton: Still Managing to Suck the Oxygen Out of Politics

Just this time it happens to be Middle East politics. Bill Clinton: Russian immigrants are obstacle to peace - Telegraph
Bill Clinton has caused anger in Israel by describing Russian-speaking immigrants to the Jewish state as a significant obstacle to a peace deal with the Palestinians.
You know, all those people who escaped the old Soviet Union. They don't know what is good for them. (But old Bill is going to straighten them out!)

The Cold War May Be Heating Up Again

Yet I heard more news about Katy Perry and Lady Gaga today. North and South Korea on the brink of war, Russian diplomat warns - Telegraph
"Tensions on the Korean Peninsula could not be any higher. The only next step is a conflict," [Russian deputy foreign minister Alexei Borodavkin] told foreign policy experts at a round table on the subject in Moscow.
Borodavkin described the situation on the Korean Peninsula as a "hangover from the Cold War." Probably accurate.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

These guys seem to be in the wrong line of work. Suspects in 2 liquor store robberies shot, arrested Liquor store employees in Denver seem to be very well armed.

They tried to rob two stores. In both cases the clerks pulled guns. In the first instance, the two would-be-robbers got away. In the second instance, they both got shot.

At the first liquor store they tried, they fired shots as they ran for the exit.
Less than 10 minutes later, men matching the same description showed up at another liquor store at Mississippi Avenue and Tower Road. The clerk at the second store also pulled out a handgun, but he fired multiple shots at the suspects. The two men once again fled without carrying out the robbery.

Officers responding to the scene found one of the apparent suspects near the second attempted robbery location. He was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The other suspect was found about three miles away in the 14200 block of Montana Circle, when someone called police about a man suffering from gunshot wounds.
Police think the 2nd guy was involved in 2 hit-and-run crashes. Both idiots are under arrest.

Self-defense works.

Felony Murder Charges Possible for Teen Burglars

This is a continuation for a story of yesterday. Murder charges possible for teen burglary suspects

Four teens tried to burglarize a home, not realizing that the owner was at home, and that he was armed. Two of the teens got shot, one is in critical condition.
The sheriff says if Rubio dies, Clements, Garcia, and Murphy could be charged with murder.
It's tough when you make bad decisions, especially at a young age, but that's how the law works.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Break Into Enough Homes and You Will Find an Armed Homeowner

Some will ignore the fact that they were masked and breaking into someone's home, and call this "teens tragically shot." I don't see it that way. Polk homeowner shoots two teens reportedly breaking in
DAVENPORT - She heard the sound of her bedroom window breaking. Then she saw a masked intruder pushing through the open window.

Yahaira Cintron-Rivera woke up her husband, Jose Luis Oyola-Aponte, who armed himself with a handgun. As the masked man and a second suspect pushed the curtain open, Oyola-Aponte shot the masked intruder in the head and the other suspect in the abdomen just before noon Tuesday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
I guess they figured no one was home.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he didn't know whether the teenagers were armed.

"You have the right to be safe and secure in your home," Judd said. "And if somebody chooses to break into your home, wearing a mask, you can defend yourself."
In addition to the 2 who got shot, 2 more got arrested.

Self-defense is a human right.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Self-defense Works Even Against an Armed Intruder

What would you do, if you arrived home with your two-year-old daughter and found two armed, masked intruders in your home? Alleged intruder shot by victim - The Herald Dispatch
Criminal complaints charge one of the intruders, Jason Matthew Hall, 28, popped up from behind a counter wearing a blue ski mask as the male resident, Casey Bartram, entered the house.

The two men faced off with separate handguns -- Hall holding a .38 caliber and Bartram with a 9 mm. Bartram was ordered to the ground and then both men, still armed, entangled themselves in an altercation. Bartram then fired one shot, striking Hall just above the left eye.
The second burglar then revealed his identity to his intended victim, complaining that his cousin had just been shot. (This was very stupid since the homeowner and the burglar know each other.)

So one armed intruder is dead, and the other in police custody. And a family is safe.
"It's a good Second Amendment case," [Wayne County Sheriff Greg] Farley said. "A man was able to defend his girlfriend, child and home ... As it stands, we're not going to charge him for defending himself in his home."
That's because self-defense is not only a human-right, in most sane locales it is also your legal-right. Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Lot of Bad Things Can Happen in 10 Minutes

And given that this is describing a fairly rural area, that is pretty good response time. Will County: Sheriff's office says call time among best - The Daily Journal
Residents of unincorporated areas of eastern Will County could wait, on average, more than 13 minutes for sheriff's police to respond to a call for help.

The average response time for emergency calls was 11.88 minutes and nonemergency responses averaged 13.47 minutes, according to Will County sheriff's spokesman Pat Barry.
Some people will wait longer than 12 minutes.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but given the nature of response times, even if you can call before a serious crime is committed, you will be on your own for a long time. Maybe you will be on your own for the rest of your life.

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

And if you do, don't "lunge" at the guy with the gun. Homeowner shoots accused burglar in East Knox County
[The homeowner] told officers when he went to the back of the barn, he saw a gate open. As he headed in the barn, he said Bible lunged at him so he shot him one time.

Investigators says Bible threw a knife under a machine as he fell. It was later recovered by officers.
Self-defense is a human-right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Texans Are Still Armed. Bad Guys Still Don't Realize It

When I was going to night clubs in Chicago, parking illegally was just about a guarantee of a tow.* This guy was mad his got towed. HPD: Homeowner shoots man angry over towed car - Houston Chronicle
A Montrose homeowner shot an enraged man who broke into his house early Friday after he learned his illegally parked car had been towed, authorities said.
Being upset your car got towed is a normal reaction. Breaking into someone's home, and threatening them is not a normal reaction.

After he broke a window and tried to enter the home, he got shot in the leg. He is lucky he didn't get shot in the head.

*Towing in Chicago was so nefarious, they made a song about it: The Lincoln Park Pirates.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Self-defense Works

These guys came into the store shooting rifles. One died; the other ran like a rabbit. Tulsa police say a would-be robber shot and killed inside a convenience store by armed clerk - KFSM
Tulsa police say an attempted robbery of a convenience store by two masked gunmen ended with a teenage would-be robber shot to death by the store clerk.
Some in the anti-gun crowd will call this a "teenager tragically shot." The fact that the 14-year-old was masked and committing armed robbery at the time just isn't of interest to them. Nor will the fact that he was likely shot as an act of legal self-defense be mentioned. (Why clutter the issue with facts?) So much easier to demonize guns and gun-owners.

Faced with 2 armed criminals, the clerk picked up a firearm and defended himself. Self-defense is a human-right.

How is a 91-year-old Supposed to Defend Himself Without a Firearm?

I really wish that someone in the anti-gun crowd would explain this. Police: 91-year-old Houston homeowner shoots, kills man during struggle
Investigators said the homeowner, who is known for being generous in the community, had given the victim money just a few days prior to the shooting.

Police believed the young man came back looking for more money, but the homeowner refused.
Could this be the "entitlement mentality" in action? The thug apparently believed he was entitled to the old man's money.

Anyway, it didn't work out very well for the 30-year-old.
Police said the homeowner kept a number of weapons inside the house. The younger man went for one of the weapons and the two men struggled. That’s when the homeowner shot the man in the head.
No word on if charges will be filed, but I doubt they will be in Texas, where self-defense is a legal right.

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

Antietam - The Bloodiest Day in US Military History

September 17, 1862 -
The bloodiest day in U.S. military history as Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Armies are stopped at Antietam in Maryland by McClellan and numerically superior Union forces. By nightfall 26,000 men are dead, wounded, or missing. Lee then withdraws to Virginia.
This was in about 12 hours of fighting.

Of course the fact that McClellan was in charge of Union forces meant not all the troops were committed. And after a day of burying the dead and dealing with wounded, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was allowed to retreat into Virginia, ending Lee's first invasion of the North.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Don't Bring a Toy to a Gunfight

Does this guy qualify for the Darwin Award? No, he would have had to die for that. Intruder Shot By Homeowner Was Carrying Toy Gun - Gothamist
After being woken by loud noises in his Mill Basin, Brooklyn home around 2 a.m. yesterday morning, 62-year-old Larry Goldstein took his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver to investigate what was happening. He discovered two intruders in his kitchen, and since they appeared to be armed, Goldstein fired, hitting one of the men three times while the other fled. And it turned out the intruders were carrying a toy pistol and toy machine gun. A police official told the Wall Street Journal the toys "were very realistic looking... If someone pointed them at you, you would light them up too."
Stupid criminals

Exercise Your Constitutional Rights, Get Added to a Terror List

Lawsuit planned after protesters put on terror list - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Be a group of peaceful protesters and you too can be added to the terror lists.

A 25 ft inflatable pig, used at protests about government waste was one of the things being monitored. The guy who owns the pig is a bit outraged.

One of the things being protested is natural gas drilling using the fracking method of breaking the limestone bedrock. People believe it can cause contamination of ground water. (I make no claims on that for or against). So by showing up at meetings on the subject - public meetings - and expressing an opinion, this group was apparently added to a terror watch list compiled by some non-profit outfit with a contract with the state. (See, if there are no threats, the contract is not worth anything, so there must be "threats" even if they are bogus.)
Drilling industry opponents said they pose no danger. Barbara Pribila, 45, a founder of the anti-drilling Lincoln Place Action Group, said she never considered herself a rebel — and certainly not a threat to homeland security.

"I thought this was a free country and I was allowed to have my own opinion," Pribila said. "Now what, you're going to watch me and every move I make? That's not right."
More and more like a police state all the time.

(I forget. Is natural gas a green fuel, or not?)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Even in New York, Self-defense Works

Brooklyn Man Shoots Home Invader � CBS New York
It was a scary night for a Brooklyn homeowner. He was awakened by the sound of an intruder and, as CBS 2′d Jay Dow reports, he did what he had to do to defend his family.

It wasn’t the largest or grandest home on East 64th Street in the Mill Basin Section of Brooklyn, but just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, it certainly drew the most attention from neighbors and police.
A retired teacher in Brooklyn, NY was able to defend himself.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Green Side of Crime

Buy solar panels, support organized crime. Mafia arrests reveal mob was 'going green' - Telegraph
"It's no surprise that the Sicilian Mafia was infiltrating profitable areas like wind and solar energy," Palermo magistrate Francesco Messineo told a news conference.
Heh.

This Might Piss You Off, But It Is NOT Self-defense

Self-defense is not about stuff. It is about life. Police: Man shot while taking wheel rims | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
A homeowner and his cousin shot and killed a man while he tried to remove wheel rims from the homeowner's car early Monday morning at a home in north Harris County.
No word on what charges will be filed, but I would bet there would be some. Shooting someone over something is not a good place to be.

Things can be replaced.

A Policeman That Understands

Armed, law-abiding citizens are not a problem. Armed to protect When Sgt. Russ Edwards with the Lake County Sheriff's Office was told there were more than 16,000 people in his country with concealed carry permits, he had this to say.
"I wish there were 32,000 permits," Edwards said Friday from the sheriff's firearms safety range. From a law enforcement perspective, that means those people went through a class and the necessary paperwork and are more likely to be safe users of guns, he said
And on the subject of gun control...
"The bad people are gonna have them anyway," Edwards said, whether you put more controls on gun ownership or not.
Armed, law abiding citizens are not the people cops need to worry about.Certain mayors around the country could listen to Sgt. Edwards. [Via NRA-ILA]

Monday, September 13, 2010

New York Police Kidnapping People

This is a fairly long, fairly disturbing portrayal of illegal activity being perpetrated by the New York Police Dept. Or at least sections of the NYPD.

The whole thing is disturbing, but a couple of things jump out.
  1. Cops in one area of NY were told to just arrest people off the street, put them in lockup and figure out the reasons later. They wanted folks off the street because it was Halloween. Not because they thought these people had committed a crime. That isn't police work; that is kidnapping.
  2. At one point they pulled a play out of the play-book of the old Soviet Union, and put someone who disagreed with those in authority in a mental hospital. He was cop. He was disappeared for 4 days.

After this, little things like refusing to file crime reports or categorizing serious crimes as minor crime in order to make the numbers look good - it is all about statistics - seem minor by comparison.

The story is based on recordings made over more than a year, by that cop who got put in the loony bin for daring to question the actions - illegal actions - of the powers that be. Looks more and more like a police state all the time.

This American Life: The Right To Remain Silent

Give yourself some time to listen. The show was on hour long.

He Really Picked the Wrong Guy to Mess With

An off-duty cop qualifies as the wrong target. Off-duty WSP trooper shoots, kills attacker | NorthWest Cable News | Washington News
A barking dog alerted the trooper that an unknown car and man were on his property late Saturday night, said Deputy Scott Wilson. At 11:27pm, the trooper's wife called 911 as he went outside to see who it was.

"The homeowner identified himself to the stranger as a law enforcement officer but, almost immediately became engaged in a struggle with the intruder," said Det. Lt. Earl Smith. "The suspect struck the owner in the head with a piece of steel rod, causing a serious injury and knocking him to the ground."
Bleeding from the head wound, the trooper got back on his feet, and when the idiot still wouldn't stop the attack, the trooper "used lethal force."

A neighbor performed CPR on the guy who got shot even before the EMTs arrived, but he was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The trooper was treated and released.

And because police don't make these call, the DA does, the investigation continues, but everyone seems to think "was a self defense-type situation."

And self-defense is a human-right.

Friday, September 10, 2010

On the Road Again

Blogging will be light-to-nonexistent the next few days as I have to deal with the concerns of the real world.

Don't Ask Don't Tell Unconstitutional

You miss a lot when you are stuck at the mechanics all day. Judge in California rules on military's ban on openly gay service members
U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is a violation of due process and First Amendment rights. Instead of being necessary for military readiness, she said, the policy has a "direct and deleterious effect" on the armed services.
Don't worry. Obama's administration is sure to appeal this ruling.

Apparently Camo is the New Black

Since I was stuck waiting for car repairs all freaking day, I spent some time wandering around at the mall - right across the street. Several store had "little camo dresses" displayed where one would expect the traditional "little black dress." One place had a camo skirt.

Must be that swing to the right all the politicos are talking about.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Government Wants to Control Where You Live

Don't be fooled by the name. American Thinker: The Livable Communities Act They will decide what types of communities are livable, not the people who actually live there.
But social engineering is at the heart of the Livable Communities Act, where federal planners hope to reduce personal mobility as measured in vehicle miles traveled and shift housing patterns from single-family homes in the suburbs to small apartments in cramped central cities.

In a country as large and diverse as ours, some people will prefer the live-work-travel arrangements prescribed for in the Livable Communities Act, which is based on the Smart Growth planning doctrine. However, the vast majority of Americans in red and blue states alike have long aspired to live in suburban homes with a car in the garage.

This quintessentially middle-class version of the American Dream has long been derided by elites and environmentalists, who recast suburbs as a wasteful sprawl and liken automobile use to a destructive addiction. They want to delegitimize this land use pattern, restrict automobile use, and make suburban housing less affordable. The Livable Communities Act is thus a hammer in the progressive toolbox.
It is just another power grab by the government.

The Ottawa Sun Doesn't Like George Soros

George Soros checkered past. Moral hollowness at work | Ottawa Sun

It seems Mr. Soros and the Sun are having a dispute about licensing for a TV network, TV News Network. So of course they are going to report on all the wonderful things George has done over his life. Like collaborating with Nazis in WWII Hungary.
“No feeling of guilt?” asked Kroft. “No,” said Soros. “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there. If I wasn’t doing it, somebody else would be taking it away anyhow. Whether I was there or not. So I had no sense of guilt.”

A Nazi would steal the Jews’ property anyways. So why not him?
Currency manipulation, insider trading.

And the banking fiasco.
Last year, when he made $3.3 billion off the banking collapse, he called the world’s financial crisis “the culmination of my life’s work.”
It must be OK to be a parasitic creep if you are a liberal. [Via Twitter]

US Marines Kick (Pirate) Ass

Some good news from the fight against Somali piracy. Maritime Raid Force Recaptures Ship From Pirates
MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- At approximately 5 a.m. local time, Sept. 9, 24 U.S. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Maritime Raid Force (MRF) aboard USS Dubuque (LPD 8) operating under Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151), boarded and seized control of Antigua-Barbuda-flagged, German–owned vessel M/V Magellan Star from pirates who attacked and boarded the vessel early Sept 8.

This successful mission by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) secured the safety of the ship's crew and returned control of the ship to the civilian mariners. Nine pirates are currently under control of CTF 151, pending further disposition. This ship's crew has not reported any injuries or casualties. There were no reported injuries from the U.S. Maritime Raid Force.
The key to ending piracy is to change the nature of the risk/reward ratio. In recent years it has been all reward (very large rewards in many cases) and little to no risk. But lately that has begun to change, as more pirates are killed or captured.

There is still too much reward, still too many successful pirate attacks and there are still too many hostages in Somalia.

Police and Others Break The Law - Only the Others Charged

Two rules - sign of a police state. Police and others improperly checked Bowersox's background

Cops and other public officials checked the background of an American Idol contestant from their state. Two public officials lost their jobs and may be charged. The cops? Not so much.
Eight improper checks were found between Feb. 24 and May 27, including by police departments in Millersburg, Pemberville, Xenia, and at the Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, as well as the Putnam County sheriff's office.

Those checks, plus one involving the Columbus city attorney's office, were conducted through the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, which is administered by the attorney general's office.
One clerk from the DMV is (or may be) charged with a felony. A court "employee" resigned and "may" be charged with a misdemeanor. While cops and Assistant DAs keep their jobs, but get a week off (or so) without pay, written reprimands, and other forms of wrist slaps.

Yeah, that sounds like Justice, doesn't it. How about if everyone who committed the same crime gets charged with the same crime? I know I read something about "equal before the law" somewhere.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

He Didn't Know the Meaning of "It's Over!"

He probably thought he loved her. That's why he showed up at her house and opened fire with a gun. Dramatic 911 tapes released
With fear in her voice Erica Gussow screams into the phone at 11:38 p.m. on April 26. She said to the dispatcher on the other end of the phone, “Please come, here now please, please! Someone is trying to break into the house, please come here now as fast as you can!”
When he couldn't break in he started shooting. When the cops arrived, he shot one of them in the abdomen.

And after all that, it took the DA four months to decide that the police were justified in shooting this guy. I know that they don't want to rush to judgment, but if you read the transcript of the 911 call, it is pretty clear that somebody needed to stop this guy or he was going to kill the daughter of the woman he "loved." It wasn't love, in case you were unclear on the subject.

Some will see this as a tragedy. But I think the tragedy would have been if he managed to break in and kill someone before the police arrived. That's scenario that I read about all too often. The good guys came out ahead this time.

And why is it so many people think violence is an appropriate way to show that they "love" someone?

Even Asking the Question is Outrageous

You're attacked, and you defend yourself - legally. This paper asks if you should be charged with a crime. Morning Poll: Should Gunmen in Beer-Robbery Shootings Have Been Criminally Charged? - Phoenix News - Valley Fever

One guy was being hit with a pipe wrench. The other was told by robbers that they were armed - that statement is a clear threat to commit mayhem. Neither of these guys were charged, because self-defense is legal.

To be fair, they seem to think that the shootings were justified, (Bully for them!) but note "we're sure, the anti-gun crowd might disagree."

Anyway, there's a poll. Go click on it if you care to share your two cents....

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Somalia Isn't The Only Place Where Piracy Is a Problem

It just manages to capture most of the news coverage. Japanese tanker attacked off Indonesian island
A Japanese tanker has been attacked by armed pirates off an Indonesian island, the latest in a spate of incidents in a South China Sea shipping lane, a global maritime watchdog said Monday.
That "global" watchdog is the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre, run by the International Chamber of Commerce. And they don't cover everything or count all instances of piracy, just those attacks on large commercial shipping.

Even so, this is the 27th incident in the South China Sea reported since February.

Not Exactly the Payoff They Were Expecting

Kenyan court convicts, sentences 7 Somali pirates I'm sure they expected a big ransom payoff, when they started out that day.
Riding in a single skiff, the seven pirates opened fire on the FGS Spessart, a German Navy tanker, mistaking it for a commercial vessel. They were repelled by ship's security and later captured by the German frigate FGS Rheinland-Pfalz. The pirates were handed over to Kenyan authorities in April last year.
I wonder what the conditions in the Kenyan prison system are like?
Before Monday, Kenyan courts had convicted 28 Somalis of piracy since 2006, when the first piracy case was concluded in the East African nation.
At least somebody is doing something, and this is much better than the 'catch and release' program NATO had been running.

Zombie Banks? An Interesting Look at the Housing Market

A of folks, from President Obama on down, have been saying what a great thing the jobs data is. Dan Dorfman: Job Report Wows Wall Street, but Strikes out on Main Street
Noting that the market ran up Friday because the creation of 67,000 new private sector jobs (about 25% of which were temporary) was somehow interpreted as good news, Schnapp says "give me a break." To put the latest employment numbers into perspective, she notes, you have to keep in mind that 8.5 million jobs were lost during the downturn. What's more, unemployment peaked at 10.1% and still sits at a lofty 9.6%.

Moreover, she points out, the jobs picture is pretty grim when you look at in its entirety. For example, she says, there are now 14.9 million unemployed workers. Add to that the underemployed and discouraged workers (those who have left the work force and part-timers who can no longer obtain full time jobs) and you come up with a total number of people in the unemployment doghouse of 25.7 million.

That's up 1.4 million from 24.3 million a month earlier, the kind of increase, Schnapp says, that one could hardly call good news.
Except if one is a politician, or a media organization, like the NY Slimes, that would do anything to make their favorite President look better than he really does. Or maybe they really are just the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.

But the housing market and the state of the banks.
The big problem, as she sees it, is that job growth is dependent on consumption growth and housing growth. But housing is in a depression and consumption is weak.

Elaborating on the housing dilemma, Schnapp took note of the accounting rule change dating back to March 2009 that allowed banks to abandon mark-to-market pricing of assets and adopt instead "mark-to-make-believe," which created zombie banks. Then, she says, came the political pressure on banks not to foreclose on delinquent homeowners, which created more homeowners. The end result, not surprisingly, observes Schnapp, is a zombie housing market as far as the eye can see.
Who knew that the Zombie Apocalypse everyone has been talking and joking about would actually be financial in nature.

Since banks no longer have to mark their real estate holdings to the market, they are free to ignore reality. Of course, eventually all those houses will be sold, pushing the prices down farther. And decimating those "living dead" banks along the way.

Even in the People's Republic of California

Self-defense works. Armed Residents Confront Home Intruders - KTXL Two separate home invasions in Sacramento, CA that were ended by a law-abiding citizen with a gun.
Kotarsky heard a kick at his back door at around 6:30 p.m. and seconds later, heard his garage door being kicked in. He grabbed his .44 caliber gun and met the intruder inside his garage. "He screamed like a little girl," said Kotarsky.

When the intruder ran, Kotarsky, gun in hand, grabbed his iphone and gave chase. After calling police, Kotarsky videotaped the man who had broken into his home.
Police caught and arrested the bad-guy.
Less than 10 hours later, police responded to a similar call on Potomac Avenue. Residents woke up to find someone in their home and one of them got a gun and fired a shot at the intruder. The intruder got away unharmed.
This one, apparently, got away.

Police remind people to know the law regarding self-defense with a firearm. (Always a good idea, because ignorance of the law is only an excuse if you are a cop.)

Self-defense is a human-right. No bad guys were injured bringing this story to you.

Monday, September 06, 2010

A Historic Ship, Losing a Common Battle

Salt water is one of the most corrosive environments you will find, and without some aid this ship will be lost. Olympia, 2-war naval veteran, battles for survival

There is a saying that I have found to be true. Sort of the sea-going corollary to Murphy's Law: Rust never sleeps; water always wins.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The USS Olympia, a one-of-a-kind steel cruiser that returned home to a hero's welcome after a history-changing victory in the Spanish-American War, is a proud veteran fighting what may be its final battle.

Time and tides are conspiring to condemn the weathered old warrior to a fate two wars failed to inflict. Without a major refurbishment to its aging steel skin, the Olympia either will sink at its moorings on the Delaware River, be sold for scrap, or be scuttled for an artificial reef just off Cape May, N.J., about 90 miles south.
No one cares about history in tough economic times. The museum that owns the vessel doesn't have the 10 million bucks needed for a refit.

Cruisers were the small sister of the battleship. Designed to travel a long distance and go on extended trips (cruises) independent of the fleet. (As opposed to ships of the line that would act in unison.) They were deemed outdated by the end of WWII.

The Olympia was built in 1892 in San Francisco, CA. Dry dock maintenance has been deferred since 1945. That adds up to a lot of work.
Two local nonprofits — Friends of the Cruiser Olympia and The Cruiser Olympia Historical Society — are striving to drum up money, manpower and publicity from other historic preservation groups, veterans organizations and corporate sponsors.
It comes from a time between eras, as its design shows.
Its vertical reciprocating engines, refrigeration system and hydraulic steering previewed the technological advances to come; its vestigial sails and oak-paneled, parlor-like officers' quarters marked the passing Victorian era.
The US Navy was still issuing boarding cutlasses in 1892, though their use was questionable by then.

And the Children Are Left to Suffer

PSL man shoots, kills ex-wife, self � TCPalm.com He did this while his 10 and 11 year old kids were in the house. One of the kids called 911.

He could have killed himself and left her alone. He could have wrapped his brain around "it's over" and gotten on with his life.

Instead he had to make his kids suffer.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Blissful State of Health Care in the UK

Or maybe not so blissful... if it is chasing doctors away. Junior doctors drop out rate nearly a quarter as EU ruling limits time spent on wards | Mail Online [Note to you snobs who don't like the Daily Mail. I don't like it either, but the London Times started charging £1 for access to stories, so linking is right out, even though they had a similar story.]

The problem: work rules. The EU instituted a directive that states doctors in training can't work more than 48 hours per week. So the "trainees" are stuck on nights and weekends, and don't get very much training.

Some are going to Australia, or coming to the US, or going elsewhere to get their training. Because not getting training isn't working for them.
Of those who did apply to continue, 22 per cent were not accepted by NHS trusts, the suggestion being that they lack the skills and experience necessary to hold the positions. A further 7 per cent declined the posts they were offered.
Hard to have developed skills if you aren't given the training in those skills.

And a whole bunch are leaving.
According to figures shown to the Medical Programme Board, which oversees doctors’ training in England, 1,380 out of 6,000 trainee doctors completing their ‘foundation’ years in the NHS have either quit or have taken a break rather than applying for the next stage of core training.
It is going to be really hard to provide quality health care without enough doctors.
More than 75 per cent of junior doctors say the quality of training has deteriorated since the introduction of the EU directive, surveys suggest.

Around two-thirds also believe that the quality of patient care has also suffered – as a result of gaps in rotas and problems that occur when inexperienced doctors change shifts.
But never fear, the bureaucrats insist there is "no evidence" the EU rules have had any impact.

I can't wait until we have socialized medicine too.