Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The System Is Broken

Chicago police chief: Our 911 response is 'kind of broken' | WBEZ When they can't respond to "shots fired" calls, because they are busy with low-priority duties, I guess I have to agree. (Great Picture with Rahm Emanuel looking surly in the background.)

Chicago Police - Still Writing Bogus Tickets?

Well, not these 5. What's Your Problem: parking ticket case moves ahead - Chicago Tribune
Police spokesman Lt. Maureen Biggane said the five were "relieved of their police powers'' and given desk jobs while the city's lawyers review potential charges against them. The employees weren't identified.
Not suspended. Not having to exist without pay. Just given make-work jobs while the suits try to sweep it under the rug.
It is the first time the department has publicly acknowledged disciplinary action in the case, which began more than three years ago when Mark Geinosky started receiving tickets for infractions he did not commit.

The Police Department launched an internal investigation after the Problem Solver wrote about the Geinosky case on Feb. 24, 2009, detailing the 24 tickets, all of which were thrown out by administrative judges.
It doesn't say so in this article, but this isn't the first time I've written about this case. Geinosky got tickets for a car he no longer owned - the license plate had been moved to a new vehicle, but these members of "Chicago's finest" didn't realize that. He also got tickets for a period in time when his passport clearly showed he was in Europe. The idiots in blue didn't know that either. And just kept writing tickets.

None of them have been punished in any way. Not even a day-off without pay it seems like. And isn't writing a false ticket tantamount to perjury? If not, it should be.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crime Goes Down in Chicago

So what happened to Chicago's Murder and Violent Crime rates after the Supreme Court decision in June 2010 striking down Chicago's gun laws? John Lott has all the beautiful statistics.

The predictions of disaster have not - of course - come true. (They never do. Doesn't stop the Left from making them.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Sky Is Falling! No, Really!

Once again the public has been treated to a "storm of the century" hysteria by the powers-that-be (and the weather reporters) and it has turned into a joke. Flooding in Manhattan streets as Irene arrives - Yahoo! News

If you click through that headline - no doubt written to evoke memories of Katrina where the flooding was substantial - you will see a photo of a New Yorker slogging through water which reaches (almost) to his knees.

And even though Irene is now a tropical storm (with sustained winds of 65 MPH) the headlines of even the recent stories continue to discuss "Hurricanes." I guess it's a bitch when Mother Nature pulls the rug out from under your planned news coverage.

And now, just like the quake that caused virtually no damage, we will have a week or more of "the impacts of Hurricane Irene on New York City." Or whatever.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

If You Break Into Houses, You Will Eventually Find an Armed Homeowner

Clinton man shot by homeowner | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com
[Police Chief Don Byington] said police were called at 11:22 a.m. today to a Lindale Circle residence. The homeowner “told police he heard a knock on his front door, and when he went to the door, he observed an individual walking around the side of his house.”

Byington said the homeowner retrieved a .45-caliber pistol, and that when the man entered his back door, “he fired a round and struck him.”
The guy who got shot is in the University of Mississippi Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. He faces from 3 to 25 years in jail for residential burglary of an occupied dwelling.
An investigation is continuing, [Byington] said, but he does not anticipate charges against the homeowner.
Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Friday, August 26, 2011

2nd Quarter Growth Cut

The other day I was writing about how the government always gets the economic numbers wrong. They got them wrong again. U.S. growth slows in Q2, outlook less dismal

Second quarter growth had been pegged at a rate of 1.3%. Today we find that number has been lowered to rate of 1.0% (And this isn't the final revision, not by a long stretch.)

So in the first quarter, the economy grew by an annualized rate of 0.4 percent, followed in the second quarter by a slightly less anemic rate of 1.0%. That doesn't sound good.

But never fear, the same folks who told you last week (earlier this week) that 2Q saw 1.3% and had to change their tune almost immediately, are assuring us that in the 2nd half of the year, that rate will "accelerate" to 2.0%. What could go wrong with that prediction?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing (or the anemic GDP Growth)

I don't know why people put so much stake in the preliminary numbers that the government releases; they are never right.

Take GDP for example. Back in May, the Commerce Department announced that 1st quarter GDP grew at 1.8%. People were disappointed. GDP growth slows to 1.8% - seattlepi.com But the truth was even worse.

The revised numbers show first quarter growth was an anemic 0.4%. Economic recovery falters dramatically in first half of year - Los Angeles Times. The preliminary numbers for 2nd quarter are 1.3%. Any bets on whether or not this will be revised downward in the months ahead?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another Ship Hijacked by Somali Pirates

Indian tanker hijacked, ‘heads to Somalia’ MV Fairchem Bogey, an Indian chemical-oil tanker was hijacked with 21 Indian sailors aboard.

There is a large multinational naval force in the Gulf of Aden, trying to stop Somali piracy, but without much success. (Oh, some success, yes, but the number of attacks is still growing.)

So what to do? You can't be more aggressive because that would lead to "bad publicity." Sea Transportation: No Harm In Trying
A second approach is to be more aggressive. In other words, your ships and helicopters shoot (pirates) on sight and shoot to kill. Naturally, the pirates will hide their weapons (until they are in the act of taking a ship), but it will still be obvious what a speedboat full of "unarmed" men are up to. You could take a chance (of dead civilians and bad publicity) and shoot up any suspicious speedboat, or larger mother ship. Some of the pirates would probably resort to taking some women and children with them. Using human shields is an old Somali custom, and usually works against Westerners. More pirate attacks will be thwarted with this approach, but the attacks will continue, and NATO will be painted as murderous bullies in the media.

The third option is to go ashore and kill or capture all the pirates, or at least as many as you can identify. Then destroy pirate boats and weapons. This is very dangerous, because innocent (or somewhat innocent) civilians will be killed or injured, and the property of non-pirates will be damaged. The anti-piracy forces will be condemned in some quarters for committing atrocities. There might even be indictments for war crimes. There will be bad publicity. NATO will most likely avoid this option too.
Pirates are media savvy. They know NATO and the West generally will not risk bad publicity. They know their atrocities - and they have committed them - will never see the light of day. The media would never paint the poor suffering Somalis as monsters. (Those "poor" Somalis were paid $200 million in ransoms in the past year.)

So men and women languish in captivity. And suffer. And die. For the sake of public opinion.

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

A homeowner defended himself from three burglars, putting two of them in the hospital (and eventually into police custody). Two Men Shot After Burglary; One Man on the Loose
Police say that man, Jonathan Rogers, is one of three men who broke into a home on Bartlett Street, on the other side of the UNR campus. They believe the homeowner shot Rogers, who ran through the campus and onto Virginia Street, where he collapsed.

The second suspect, Guy Ruiz, also ran off, apparently not hurt, and is still on the loose.

The third suspect, Robert Marin, was apparently held at gunpoint by the homeowner for several hours. Police say the homeowner was somehow injured over the course of the incident and was unable to call police or go for help.
He eventually was forced to shoot the guy he held at gunpoint, at which point he called police.

So one elderly homeowner exercising his right to self-defense gets two goons off the street, and lets police know the identity of the 3rd, who will eventually be found. Let's hope they all go away for a good long while.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys O? Well, maybe. Self-defense is a human right.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Safety Warning: There Are Always Sharks

I don't know about in ice-cold waters like Alaska, but if you think the swimming might be good, then chances are the sharks think the feeding might be good, too. That's why I generally try to stay in the boat. Seychelles shark attack: victim Ian Redmond laughed off suggestions that killer animal was at large - Telegraph This poor guy got married on Aug 6. Now his widow is waiting for the authorities in a small island nation to release his body.

Of course the "official" response could have been better, considering there was death on August 1.
Other holidaymakers have claimed the government in the island nation played down the death of a French swimmer on Aug 1 to protect the all-important tourist industry.

The official response to the earlier death, which was barely mentioned by the state-controlled media, has been likened to the plot of the film Jaws, in which the mayor of a coastal resort refuses to close the beaches despite warnings of a killer shark on the loose.
Life imitates art.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gun Laws Change, Bloodshed - somehow - Does Not Occur

The gun-fearing weenies were SURE that allowing guns into bars and restaurants would bring about death and destruction. (Wild West, blood in the streets, yadda yadda yadda.) The truth is a bit different. Gun crimes drop at Virginia bars and restaurants | Richmond Times-Dispatch

A 5.2% drop in major crimes? Could it be that more guns = less crime?

Now the drop from 153 crimes to 145 may or may not be statistically significant. But that isn't the point. Even if things remained unchanged, the truth doesn't reflect the hysteria in which the opponents of the law were reveling.

People with legal concealed carry licenses, by-and-large, cause no problems. And they even can be shown to deter crime because the bad guys have to worry about picking a target that is going to refuse to be a victim. With extreme prejudice.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

The Second Coming - Yeats: "Things fall apart;"

I know. More poetry. But it fits.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
I don't think this a sign of end times. I do think "mere anarchy has been loosed" upon the UK.

'The Gods of the Copybook Headings'

Poems - 'The Gods of the Copybook Headings'

Sometimes Poetry does express things perfectly. Kipling was right.
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
I was reminded of this while reading the WSJ piece on how the UK fell to this low. Douglas Murray: Britain's Welfare Road to Riots - WSJ.com Communism doesn't work. At best it breeds thugs who can't be bothered to hold a job, and expect the rest of us to supply them with anything they want. (Which also reminds me of Alex, from A Clockwork Orange- a classic.)

If you aren't familiar with 'The Gods of the Copybook Headings' I recommend you click through and read the whole thing. It is worth a few minutes of your time.

Justice? Not Likely

Cops Could Be Let Go For Disregarding Hate Crime: DCist It sounds good, but read the fine print.

A group of cops laughed at lesbians who had been attacked in a hate crime. A report wasn't filed at the scene - why bother they were just a bunch of dykes. 3 days later a report was filed by the gay/lesbian liaison's office.

So now the original cops might be in hot water.
Chief Cathy Lanier says that she'll punish them severely if she has to, possibly firing a group of seven if the results of an investigation prove that occurred.
IF. That is a really big word when it comes to police investigating police. Maybe I am just jaded by my knowledge of how things work in Chicago, but I would bet good money that these cops don't get much beyond a slap on the wrist. I would like to be wrong; I would like to believe that bigots get thrown off police forces, but I don't believe that they do.

“Strike one for the good guys!”

Deputies: Homeowner's Son Kills Intruder in Salinas - Central Coast News KION/KCBA A case of breaking into a home and finding an armed resident.
Hathaway [a neighbor] also told Central Coast News the incident was caught on the families home security camera. Hathaway said, "They were in the living room talking and his son saw someone walk into the garage with a gun in his hand. So his son got up and got a gun himself and walked out to see what was going on."

Sheriff Investigator Terry Kaiser told Central Coast News it's possible the homeowner's son may not be charged with any crime if the shooting was in self defense.
The paper says the dead guy was found with an automatic weapon "slung around his shoulders." I leave to you to decide if that is the case, or if it is more likely that reporters don't know the difference between semiautomatic and full automatic. (Or is a semi-auto an automatic weapon? It is an auto-loader after all.)

That title is a quote from that neighbor. And a great quote it is. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Where Great Britain Used to Be

It is just sad what is happening in London and elsewhere in the UK. Night police lost control of London - Telegraph 40 minute wait to get a response from police to a riot. (Not all police are armed, so they have to come from their central base.)

At least not all Londoners are giving up.
Reports suggested that members of north London’s Turkish community had taken their own decision. Hundreds were said to have lined the streets of Stoke Newington, brandishing baseball bats.
Because, the effective means of self-defense have all been rendered illegal.

I wonder if they will see it as a wake-up call?
The victims - London’s hard-working shop keepers, commuters and families, proud of their homes and their well-kept streets - began to lose faith in the law.
The victims are the hard-working folks. The police are not doing much to help.

I doubt much will be done to anyone arrested. Antisocial Behavior Orders (ASBO) is like a traffic ticket or a badge of honor. Not real punishment. Jail time? Not in the advanced, much-smarted than the US place that used to be Great Britain. Jail is uncivilized. Or something.

London needs a little more than talk

London riots: David Cameron says police must be more 'robust' - Telegraph Not the police response - that might have some impact. (It would be better if all 16,000 cops were actually armed. But that would make them too much like us uncivilized Americans.)
The Prime Minister also announced that Parliament will be recalled this Thursday so MPs can “stand together in condemnation of these crimes.”
Because nothing strikes fear into the hearts of rioters like a bunch of speechifying politicians.

So, is this the beginning of the end for the country that used to be Great Britain? Or just more of the same. (This kind of thing happens a lot outside of Paris.)

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Taunting is Supposed to Be an Excuse?

Teacher testifies in gay student murder trial | SouthFloridaGayNews.com

So the gay/trans guy "taunted" a straight boy, and that is supposed to excuse murder. Apparently. In the minds of the defense.

I wonder, if every gay, lesbian and trans high school student suddenly got up and shot their tormentors, would the good folks think it was justified? Somehow I doubt it.

Larry King took the taunting that he no-doubt received and threw it back in the face of his classmates. (He liked to see them squirm.) He was killed for it.

No Help From the Cops

Laughing at the victims of a hate crime is not what I would call, "good police work." Women Allege Hate Crime And Disregard From Police | wusa9.com

A group of women were accosted (cat calls) by a group of men. When they ignored the knuckle-draggers they were then accused of being lesbian. (Because you know, NO group of women would ignore those truly-high-class men unless they were gay.) Then they were attacked.

When the police finally arrived, they laughed at the victims. It was days before a police report was filed. (They were too busy laughing to take one at the scene, the Gay and Lesbian Relations office took one DAYS later.)

This is a perfect example of why we have hate crimes laws. If the cops would just do their damn jobs - and not laugh at, attack or ignore people they don't like, assault would be assault.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Another "Isolated Incident" Ends With Mentally Ill Man Dead

He was beaten to death by cops. FBI Investigating Cops' Fatal Beating of Mentally Ill Man

He was beaten until he was unrecognizable and fell into a coma. (The "horrific photos are here.) If you don't like images of severely beaten people, don't click through.

His crime? He was sitting on a bench at a transit terminal and tried to get away when they approached him (Wonder why? See the part where he had schizophrenia.) He didn't follow orders. He didn't respect their authority. He didn't act the way they thought he should. He died at their hands.

Not Guilty of the Murders They Committed, But Guilty Nonetheless

No one seems to care about this story. They weren't convicted of murder (convict a cop of murdering a black man? Are you crazy?) They were convicted of civil rights violations that resulted in death. New Orleans Police Convicted in Post-Katrina Shooting Case 4 cops kill two and injure several unarmed blacks fleeing the devastation that was post-Katrina New Orleans, and they and 5th cop conspired to cover up the deaths.
The jury convicted officers Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso of opening fire on unarmed black civilians on the city's Danziger Bridge and conspiring with others to cover up their actions.

The fifth, homicide detective Arthur "Archie" Kaufman, was convicted of conspiring to make the shootings appear justified.
Professionals in the Criminal Justice System. (The adjective "Criminal" applies more and more these days.)

They face a lot of time in federal prison. Sentencing in December. (No one will paying attention then.)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Interesting UK Gun (and Crime) Statistics

The Smallest Minority: Gun Ownership Up in England & Wales A nice view of the situation across the pond. (Hat tip to Uncle)

Eventually You Will Find an Armed Homeowner

JusticeStories of people breaking into homes where they don't belong, and getting what they probably deserve.

Johnson City homeowner shoots intruder in chest, police say
[Our first contestant] entered an unlocked home ... about 1:30 a.m. Monday and woke the homeowner while rummaging around.

The homeowner, whose name has not been released, fired a 9 mm pistol at Ricketts and struck him in the chest, according to police. Ricketts was flown to University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin, where he remained in critical but stable condition.
You would think Florida burglars would have learned this lesson about armed homeowners by now. Police: Homeowner Shot Burglary Suspect - WJXT Jacksonville
[Police] said several people were inside the home at the time and the homeowner was defending them. Police said they didn't know if the other suspects were carrying guns.
The guy who got shot is in a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

This will ruin the rest of your life. (which won't be long.) Police rule self-defense in Belmont shooting | WCNC.com Charlotte
One man is dead after being shot with a shotgun at point blank range Monday afternoon in Gaston County.
He broke into the back door, with a tire iron, apparently because he was owed some money. I wonder if it's the kind that spends in hell.

If you break into enough homes, you will eventually find an armed homeowner. The results are fairly predictable. The gun-fearing crowd would paint these as tragedies, especially the last one, but I find it hard to get upset with simple justice. (Self-defense is a Human Right.)