Tuesday, May 31, 2005

You Are Invited to the Cotillion

Cotillion LogoThe Cotillion Mind your manners, this is a formal ball.
We ladies have gathered together for the presentation of these dazzling darlings of the blogosphere, and yes, proper etiquette dictates that you shall kindly direct your devoted attention to each of these fine young women! Please, gentlemen callers, remove your hats indoors in their presence! I do declare!

Alphecca's report on anti-gun bias in the media

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias This week's is good as always, but I really enjoyed the rubberband machine gun.

64-year-old widow kills intruder

Brevard County: Indialantic, FL A self-defense shooting occurs in a quiet Florida town.
Awakened by the sound of breaking glass late Sunday, a 64-year-old widow killed an intruder in her home with a single shot from a .38-caliber pistol, police said.
One shot to the chest, the intruder staggered outside and died.

The man carried no ID, and police don't know who he was.

Neighbors have been supportive. "She's a very nice nurse and wouldn't hurt a fly," said Mike Sizemore, 37. "But she did what she had to do."

Police are treating the incident as a justified shooting

Shooting Sports: Cowboy Action Shooting

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSignOnSanDiego.com > News > North County -- Aiming for accuracy A nice piece of writing on Cowboy Action Shooting in San Diego, California.

I particularly like the fact that the reporter, Craig Gustafson, mentions that involvement covers the spectrum of professions and economics.
"When you come to our match, you're always going to be surprised," [Jon Sivers, aka "Tecolote Jack,"] said. "You're going to see everything from new BMWs to old, beat-up pickup trucks and everything in-between.

"This is something that appeals to people across all walks of life."
The article mentions a school counselor, and an aviation mechanic by name, and also mentions accountants and psychologists as other professionals involved in the sport.

As usual, the article doesn't really give much information on how to contact the clubs discussed, but they do list the Single Action Shooting Society, so someone in San Diego could eventually find the clubs mentioned. [h/t KABA]

Monday, May 30, 2005

What we survived

Those of us who were born before helmets for bicycle riding, and airbags, or law suits for every skinned knee survived some stuff that today would be considered amazing. Go take a look.

We survived stuff like climbing trees, and riding in the back of pickup trucks. We endured a lack of TV's in our bedrooms, and no internet. (What did we do before there was blogging?)

Memorial Day

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThere are many Memorial Day posts around the Milblogs. Here is a sampling.

BLACKFIVE: Opening the Gates of Heaven, a nice piece of writing on the meaning of Memorial Day.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
BLACKFIVE: Help The Troops This Memorial Day
. How to show your appreciation to our military. Many ways to express your thanks.
Any Soldier
Soldiers' Angels
There are more ways to help.
Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys..Memorial Day. On the passing of 2nd Lt. Leonard M. Cowherd 22, of Culpeper, VA. He died on May 16th in Karbala.

Update 5/29/05 And from others as well.

has a nice collection of images from Arlington National Cemetery

What it really means From AnArchangel.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Officer knocked out, gun taken during domestic incident

New Details On Deadly Domestic Disturbance: Jack Ball, recently released from jail (he was in for violation of restraining order), begins following his ex-girlfriend's vehicle. She calls 911, and when a cop arrives she pulls over.

The officer is knocked out by Ball, and Ball takes the officer's sidearm. At this point, I believe the woman is lucky he didn't shoot her, but he took off in the squad car. Ball eventually shot himself.
Police say this case should be a message to victims of domestic violence that a restraining order won't always keep you safe.
Even an officer on the scene didn't prevent a death. Still, it could have been much worse; the woman and the police officer could both be dead.

Update: Quad-City Times Newspaper Online - the Quad-Cities Home Page agrees with me
.More than anything, though, it demonstrates how, sadly, an order of protection sometimes isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. How could police have protected that woman or any other woman from Ball’s rage when they couldn’t protect themselves?

Restraining Orders are not the key to safety

JusticeOrlandoSentinel.com: Opinion: Orange's approach to domestic violence needs an overhaul.

The MSM going off on restraining orders again. Here's a sad statistic. "Domestic violence is to blame for about 20 percent of Florida's murders."

The Orlando Sentinel is hoping that a new court structure will make things better. They should be urging people to defend themselves. At 3 AM, when an abusive ex breaks into your home, and the police are 8 or 10 minutes away at best, you are on your own, and had better be prepared.

But getting people to take responsibility for their own lives would be against the ideals of the left, where we all turn our safety and initiative and survival over to the state, along with everything else (like our retirement funds, and our health care decisions, and the teaching of children - all controlled and dictated by the state.) So of course the Orlando Sentinel is not on the side of individual responsibility.

Gays With Guns Welcome at Utah Pride

Alphecca: Gays With Guns Welcome at Utah Gay Pride events. Blogsphere in action. It is my understanding that, the Utah law is written so that it is not possible to exclude legal concealed carry, so that the knee-jerk left reaction to ban all guns was really unworkable anyway. Still it is good to see that they will continue to welcome armed gays in 2005 as they did in 2003 and 2004.

Legal concealed carry is not a source of problems.

Carnival of Cordite #15

The Countertop Chronicles: Carnival of Cordite #15. Guns, guns and more guns. Plus privacy, second amendment and other good stuff too. Go take a look.

Precision Guided Humor: Al-Zarqawi Wishes

Al-Zaqawi Bullet

Dear Mr. Al-Zarqawi, I was sorry to hear that you were wounded. Maybe next time, the aim will be a little better, and you can avoid all that suffering. Here's a bullet with your name on it, just for the sentiment.

(Precision Guided Humor brought to you by the Alliance of Free Blogs - Instapundo Delenda Est!)

Anti-Catholic Bigotry from Moveon.org - no outrage from the Dems

FrontPage magazine.com :: MoveOn.org's anti-Catholic Paranoia by Don Feder. Apparently Anti-Catholic bigotry does not rate being denounced by the left. At least not when it comes from their darling of internet organizations, Moveon.org.

They are runing adds that imply if Bush (a Methodist) gets all of his judicial nominees confirmed (also mostly Protestant) then the Vatican will rule the Supreme Court. Not logical, "But then, when was anti-Catholic bigotry logical."

This kind of bovine scatology was served up by the Klu Klux Klan when a Catholic ran for President in 1928. It was vile then; it is vile now.

But the Democrats (Kerry, Clinton, Dean, et al) are strangely quiet. Why no denunciations of bigotry?
There’s nothing but silence. The National Democratic Party, which views the Catholic Church as the enemy on issues that matter to it most, is silently cheering on this unabashed Catholic-bashing by its website surrogate.

The party is not above a little Catholic-baiting of its own. When then-Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor’s federal-appeals court nomination came before the Senate in 2003, Democrats darkly hinted at Pryor’s “deeply held beliefs” which, it was said, should automatically preclude him from wearing a black robe.
Deeply held beliefs that amount to being a traditional Catholic.

Still there is nothing new about anti-Catholic bigotry, I shouldn't be surprised to see it coming to the front, after a conservative Cardinal was elected Pope. (The dismay on left was ridiculous after the election of Pope Benedict XVI.) [hat tip ProfessorBainbridge]

"Make Poverty History" sells wristbands made in awful conditions

Telegraph | News | Ethical wristbands made using 'slave labour'. The ultra-fashionable white wristbands for the Make Poverty History campaign are apparently produced under horrible working conditions.
Wristbands sold to raise money for a campaign against world poverty are made in Chinese sweatshops in "slave labour" conditions, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
The audit uncovered a list of "weaknesses" including poor health and safety provision, long hours, a seven-day week, workers cheated out of pay, inadequate insurance, no annual leave and no right to freedom of association.
Overtime was worked beyond the legal limit and not paid for properly, there was no paid annual leave, and no guarantee of a day off each week. Workers had pay deducted for disciplinary reasons, in breach of Chinese law.
In short, the charities are guilty of everything they accuse companies of doing, exploiting foreign workers. Now that's what you call ironic.

One the plus side, I guess they are bestiring themselves to try and make things better. Hundreds of thousands of the wristbands have been sold in England alone, so it may be locking the barndoor after the horse has escaped. I just find it exceedingly odd that a coalition of 400 charities didn't do what they want business to do, purchase from reputable companies.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Dial 911 and wait for an answer

So the gun controllers would have us Dial 911 instead of defend ourselves. They will say that the police will protect us. Well let's see.
NewsChannel 5 Network: Complaints About 911 Response Times Grow Louder
When the home caught fire Wednesday, neighbor Melissa Matsumoto said she spent seven minutes trying to get through to 911.
[Wednesday] neighbors in South Nashville said they waited on the phone for ten minutes while five children were trapped inside a burning home. But according to official logs, the first call was answered in six seconds, and fire trucks were dispatched within two minutes.
Although this is relating to a fire, it is the same 911 system. 7 to 10 minutes just to reach an operator.
Kansas City Star: Southview Manor unruliness gets police attention
Police [in Kansas] said they're so busy that they don't have the time to drive through the neighborhood once an hour, but added that they will rush in an emergency. Miller said their response time for an emergency is between five and 10 minutes.
5 to 10 minutes once an officer is dispatched.
TCS: Tech Central Station - 911 Is a Joke... or Is It? Let's Find Out.
Priority One responses in Atlanta and nearby counties take an average of 9-15 minutes. In Washington, D.C., in 2003, the average police response time for highest-priority emergency calls was 8 minutes and 25 seconds. ("Ramsey defends 911 response," Wash. Times, May 11, 2004.)
Average of 8 minutes, implies that some people are waiting much longer.
Stabbing Victim's Family Says 911 Hung Up On Them
It appears that the dispatcher repeatedly hung up on Covington as he called for help.

After three calls, the dispatcher finally asked questions about the suspect, but then it appears the dispatcher hung up again.
So after waiting on the line to talk with someone, they hang-up on you.
A lot of bad things can happen in 8 or 10 or 15 minutes. While I carry a cell phone, and would call 911 if able, I refuse to give up the means to self-defense. Too many bad things can happen to quickly to wait 15 minutes for the police.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Religious Freedom - as long as the government agrees

Better hope your religion passes muster.

Judge: Parents can't teach pagan beliefs. So the judge has determined that this couple does not have religious freedom, cannot teach their child their religious beliefs, because the fact that this will "cause confusion." Both parents - now divorced - are Wiccan, but have been ordered not to instruct their child in their beliefs.

No surprise that a minority religion is repressed. What of children where the parents are Jewish? What minority religion would be safe from such a ruling? Would Hindu or Islamic parents be denied the right to teach their children? What about Shinto, or Zoroastrian parents?

Maybe this judge should publish a list of government approved religions, just so the rest of us know where we stand.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Iraq abolishes alcohol restriction law

Iraqi Expat: Iraq abolishes Saddam's alcohol restriction law. I wonder if this means our military folks will be able to have drink, now and then?
Ministry of Interior in Iraq abolished Saddam's alcohol, night clubs and casinos restriction law which was introduced in the 90's. The law has been abolished because it interferes with and limits Iraqis personal freedom.
Personal Freedom... I wish our government would give more thought to Personal Freedom. [h/t GrandpaPinhead]

Social Conservatives Throughout History: the Fork

Western Eating Utensils Not to say that social conservatives are always predicting that the latest change will spell the end of civilization, well I guess that's what I am saying.

In eleventh century Italy, when the table fork was introduced...
The Venetian Doge, Domenico Selvo, marries a Greek princess who brings to his court the practice of eating with forks. This is regarded as a scandalous and heretical affectation, and when she dies shortly thereafter it is perceived as a just divine punishment.
It took a while for the fork to reach England.
An Englishman named Thomas Coryate brought the first forks back to England after seeing them in Italy during his travels in 1608.

The English ridiculed forks as being effeminate and unnecessary. "Why should a person need a fork when God had given him hands?"
It's always something.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Carnival of the Vanities #140

Alarming News: Carnival of the Vanities #140. This weeks COTV is up and ready for you review.

Why Do Gun Controlers Hate Women?

two gunsWhy Annie Can't Get Her Gun Gun control advocates pretend to be on the side of women, but when you look closely at the details of crime against women, you can see they are not.
Control rhetoric rarely mentions the empirical evidence that, although violent crime towards women has escalated, gun use in assault and robbery has decreased.[20] Further, gun control rhetoric generally ignores empirical evidence indicating that guns play a small role in the escalation of violent crimes against women.[21] For example, the data available from reported rapes reveals that only nine percent of rapists have guns at the time of attack or attempted attack.[22] Gun control rhetoric also argues that decreasing the number of guns by decreasing civilian gun availability or banning civilian gun use[23] will make "everyone" safer.[24] Control proponents commonly quote studies concluding that a handgun kept in the home is more likely to be used against family members than against an intruder.[25] They fail to disclose, however, the critiques of the methodology of these studies.[26] These studies falsely portray gun [Page 472] ownership as harmful to women--a false picture of actual gun use which may be life-threatening for women.[27] For example, a staggering number of the homicides counted by the studies are actually instances of domestic abuse.[28] Finally, control rhetoric generally ignores the evidence that crime against the physically weaker members of society (women, children, the elderly, or the disabled) increases where guns are less available.[29] {my emphasis Z-Deb}
The entire thing is quite long, but to the point.

Gun control advocates want women to rely on restraining orders and other forms of police protection. But the simple fact is that when someone breaks into your home at 3 AM, even if you have time to call the police, they will be minutes (in some locations, many minutes) away. It takes very little time for an intruder to hurt someone. You must be prepared to defend yourself, and this means having effective means of self-defense. [Hat tip Individ]

The Changing Nature of Marriage.

Tallahassee Democrat | 05/23/2005 | Love and marriage didn't always go together. The social conservatives like to pretend that marriage never changes, and so the horror that would be unleashed if we change marriage is just to be feared.

Of course the same things were said 200 years ago when marriage changed. Changed from being about arranged marriages - that had little or nothing to do with love, and all about economics - to being about 2 people who love one another.
From the get-go, social conservatives warned of disaster. If love was the only criteria, people who hadn't fallen in love might remain single, people who had fallen out of love might demand divorce and even homosexuals could lay a claim to marriage. As Coontz says, they were right. They were just 200 years early.
But then social conservatives are always claiming that change will bring the end of the world. This didn't start 200 or 2000 years ago, and this go-round won't be the last.
"Heterosexuals said marriage should be about love. Heterosexuals claimed the right to decide whether to have children. Heterosexuals said marriage wasn't about gender roles but about individualized relationships," says Coontz. "Then gays and lesbians said, 'Knock, knock. You are talking about me."'
As for "the sanctity of marriage," this was attacked by quick divorces long ago. Liz Taylor and her 42, 42-year-old husbands. Rock stars and their 20 minute marriages. Prenups - why sign an agreement, if it is until "death do us part?" It isn't until death anymore, and hasn't been for a generation or 2. It is, "until I get tired of you, or find someone better." Heterosexuals did this all by themselves, and now are looking to place blame on someone else. [Hat Tip Pryhills]

iowahawk on more Newsweek-induced violence

iowahawk: Newsweek Lutefisk Story Sparks Fury Across Volatile Midwest. With militant protestantism on the rise, Newsweeks report on Lutefisk desecration unleashed riots in the midwest. "Fake But Not Completely Implausible." Classic Iowahawk reporting!
[hat tip Little Miss Attila]

Weekly Check on the Bias at Alphecca

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias... Jeff has another installment of "Check on the Bias" up.

More .50 caliber lies from the VPC and the NY legislature.

Some thoughts on the Illinois State Police policy of keeping gun purchase information on file.

More good stuff too. Go check it out.

Minnesota Governor Signs "Shall Issue" Law

Handgun permit law is law again I wish I could find a better source, since this one requires registration (use bugmenot.com), and contains some anti-gun propoganda.

Still the news itself is good for Minnesota.

Chicago crime database maps

Chicago crime database | chicagocrime.org. I'm sure Mayor Daley loves this. His "gun-free-city" has lots of crime, and you can now browse those crimes on-line and see where they occur.

Fun fact about Chicago (for crimes committed between 2/16 and 5/10):
Day with fewest crimes: April 23 with 700
Day with most crimes: April 6 1072
Browse by crime type, by location, by police district, etc.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Semi-automatic Revolver by Mateba

Mateba Model 6 Unica.
I think I had heard of this years ago, but I really ran across it in Ghost in the Shell. (Togusa, one of characters, carries it as a weapon of choice.) Chambered for .357 magnum and .44 magnum, it seems like a very cool weapon.
The Unica functions as follows: The first triggerpull is a normal double action pull, it cocks the hammer, and then releases it, firing the gun. Upon firing the upper part of the frame recoils. This movement then cocks the hammer, and automatically rotates the cylinder. When the upper frame has completely recoiled, it is pushed forward again by a spring. When it has returned to its forward position the gun is ready to fire another shot, only this time a light pull in Single-Action mode, as the hammer is already cocked and the cylinder rotated.
The barrel is aligned with the bottom of cylinder, not the top as is usual in revolvers. It is supposed to be very accurate.

Unfortunately it isn't listed on the Mateba website anymore so I guess they stopped making them.

For the 2 or 3 of you who (like me) don't like Star Wars...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBeautiful Atrocities: AND NOW FOR ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW.... Call it the anti-Star Wars Roundup.

Here are some highlights, but the whole thing is good.
64 Reasons to Hate Episode II Reason #8 Jedispeak: " "Master Yoda, we're out of Pop Tarts." "Oooh? So certain are you? Always the Pop Tarts can not be found." "But I looked in the cupboard & it's empty." "Empty the cupboard is not. Absent of food it is. As 'empty' the same it is not."

How to Deal With Star Wars Fanatics
: "Make unsettling insinuations about George Lucas. Try Isn't he involved in some sort of DNA-cloning controversy? or I hear he only talks to his mother via a TV monitor, or I read he said Star Wars was written for people who hate sex."

Debra Saunders: "If only Hitler had sired a son. Then, after the Blitzkrieg & the Holocaust, Hitler might have had that redefining moment that would have gotten him in touch with his paternal inner self."
Or from 78 Reasons to Hate Episode I:
Reason #19 Darth Maul's Introduction
At one point Darth Sidious is speaking with the Viceroy. He then announces his apprentice, Darth Maul. Darth Maul then steps into range of the holographic transmitter to mug for the camera. I must say that as cool as every eight year old thinks Darth Maul is, I find him to be one of the greater flaws of the movie. Where Jar Jar fails in comic entertainment, Darth Maul succeeds. Look at him, he's just a funny looking dude! He looks like he could be a member of KISS. If KISS hadn't stopped wearing the makeup I bet Bruce Kulick would have worn makeup just like this. And by the way, Darth Maul? That's a pathetic name for a Sith. Why did they break the tradition of naming Darth's after words that begin with the letters in? inVader, inSidious. I would be happier if his name were something like Darth Truder, Darth Cendiary or more appropriately Darth Ane.
Eps. 4 thru 6 were OK. NOT great Sci Fi, but cool effects for the day. Eps. 1 and 2 sucked. And since I know how 3 ends, I have decided to wait until it is on DVD, and I can see if for free at Hollywood Video.

The story is lame. The force is either some disease or genetic trait. You can measure the force by way of a blood test? As someone said - the Jedi rule by right of birth, they are the master race, no? And if you listen closely you can hear the voices of the midi-whatever-they-are. Sheesh. We generally perscribe meds for people who hear vioces; we don't form our government around them. We certainly don't allow them to play with anything like a light saber.

How is that C-3PO neglects to mention that he was created by Darth Vader? How is it that Obi-wan forgets he met C-3PO when he was training Darth? Did he get hit on the head in Ep. 3?

As somebody else pointed out, everything Obi-wan told Luke about his father in Ep. 4 was a lie. Everything Count Dooku told Obi-wan was true. Who are the good guys again?

Then there is quote from Lucas (via Salon)
"But there's probably no better form of government than a good despot."
-- George Lucas (New York Times interview, March 1999
Can you point to one benevolent dictator George? Stalin killed 11 million Ukrainians before Hitler was a short corporal. Hitler is classic nut-case dictator. Mao and the "Great Leap Forward," killed millions more. Pol Pot, turned Cambodia into "The Killing Fields." Who is your model for beneveolent dictator? Attila? Who?

Anyone in favor of dictatorship seems to have "gone over to the dark side." Just my opinion.

(And don't miss the Reasons to Hate Episode III teaser, I laughed out loud.)

Monday, May 23, 2005

When is a socialist a liberal Democrat?

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today On Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders: when Dean said Sanders (who calls himself a Socialist) was basically a liberal Democrat, OpinionJounal notes
Sanders actually is not a Democrat; although he usually votes with the Dems, he is officially independent. But if, as Dean claims, a socialist "is basically a liberal Democrat," then a liberal Democrat is basically a socialist. Which, as we say, is something you'd expect to hear from a right-wing kook, not the Democratic chairman.
We are always asking for honesty in politics. Maybe Dean is just being honest.

Ted Nugent embraced by the mainstream, sometimes

HoustonChronicle.com - Rocker Nugent amused by his new acceptance. I love this guy. He puts his time and energy into things he believes in, and doesn't appologize to anyone for his feelings. He speaks his mind.

Bush has embraced him, and then shunned him - after he took issue with immigration and Mexico's President Fox. (He was bumped from a campaign rally for this.) His new ranch, complete with private shooting range, is in Crawford, home to Bush. Though Bush hasn't come to call, Ted maintains the Secret Service has - to shoot, drink and hang out. The feds will neither confirm nor deny, but who would pass up a chance to hang out with Ted Nugent?

He spends time supporting his community.
In January he held a concert in the Crawford school gym, raising more than $30,000 so the marching band could perform at Bush's inauguration parade in Washington, D.C.
How many celebs would do something like this?

I just don't think he should continue to be the "Motor City Madman" now that he lives in Texas. (Another post on the Madman)
[hat tip NRA-ILA]

Nicholo Machiavelli edition of the Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #78 Best of Me Symphony. Good posts from at least 60 days past. Go take a look.
When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred

Protect Online Political Speech

LibertyProtect Online Political Speech The FEC has not recieved much input on protecting the free-speech of bloggers. We need to fix this. Comments on rulemaking will be accepted until June 3rd.

Send an email to the Federal Elections Commission and let them know your concerns. That's internet@fec.gov

Update: Keith at Anthroblogogy has posted the letter he sent to the FEC

The eleven working principles being advanced by the the Center for Democracy & Technology are listed here.

  1. The Internet is a unique and powerful First Amendment forum, which supports speech as "broad as human thought." It empowers ordinary people to be speakers and publishers with the ability to reach millions. As such, the Supreme Court has afforded speech on the Internet the highest constitutional protection.

  2. Unlike the broadcast media, the Internet is a powerful engine for interactive, diverse, and robust democratic discourse, and it has broadened and increased the public's participation in the political process. The Internet's user-driven control and decentralized architecture support a multiplicity of voices and constrain the ability of any one speaker to monopolize attention or drown out other voices.

  3. Robust political activity by ordinary citizens on the Internet, including their monetary contributions, strengthens and supports the central underlying purpose of the campaign finance law: to protect integrity of our system of representative democracy by minimizing the corrupting influence of large contributions on candidates and office holders. Individuals' online political activity engages larger numbers of citizens in the political and campaign processes and encourages an increase in smaller contributions.

  4. The Federal Election Commission should adopt a presumption against the regulation of election-related speech by individuals on the Internet, and should avoid prophylactic rules aimed at hypothetical or potential harms that could arise in the context of Internet political speech of individuals. Instead, the Commission should limit regulation to those activities where there is a record of demonstrable harms.

  5. If in the future evidence arises that individuals' Internet activities are undermining the purpose of the federal campaign finance laws, any resulting regulation should be narrowly tailored and clearly delineated to avoid chilling constitutionally protected speech. The Commission should eschew a legalistic and overly formal approach to the application of campaign finance laws to political speech on the Internet.

  6. Ordinary people should be able to broadly engage in volunteer and independent political activity without running afoul of the law or requiring consultation with counsel. The FEC should make clear that such activities are as a general matter beyond the scope of all campaign finance regulation (including disclaimers, thus preserving the right of individuals to engage anonymous online political speech).

  7. Individuals should be able to collaborate with other such individuals to engage in a very substantial amount of independent election related political speech online without being deemed a "political committee."

  8. The FEC should extend the media exemption to online media outlets that provide news reporting and commentary regarding an election, including those media outlets that exist only on the Internet. In the Internet context, the news media exemption should be construed more flexibly than in the off-line context, so that it can accommodate new technology and new forms of online speech. The Federal Election Commission should clearly articulate the criteria for qualifying for the news media exemption on the Internet.

  9. Independent bloggers and other Internet speakers who report or provide commentary on the Internet but who do not otherwise qualify for the media exemption should be nevertheless be able to engage in a very substantial amount of online political speech without any regulation.

  10. The FEC should promulgate rules that permit independent Internet speakers or groups of speakers to incorporate for liability purposes without violating the prohibition on corporate political activity.

  11. Any rules promulgated by the FEC with respect to Internet political activity should be technology neutral and not distinguish between or disadvantage forms of online speech. Similarly, rules must be sufficiently flexible so as to encourage innovation and the development of new forms of Internet speech.
Freedom the Press should not be restricted just because the internet has reduced the cost of the press.

The Coalition of the Willing

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

End of life starvation/dehydration is policy under British NHS

Telegraph | Opinion | Starved for funding. The National Health Service is actually going to court to be able to reserve the right to starve/dehydrate Leslie Burke when his time comes. (He has an incurable disease that is degenerative.)

The lower court upheld his right to food and water. The NHS is appealing that ruling. That's right the British National Health Service wants to be able to starve someone to death, against their wishes.
A lawyer acting on behalf of Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, explained the basis of her position by saying that "life-prolonging medical treatment has very serious implications for the functioning of the NHS", and would lead to "inefficient and unfairly skewed use of resources".

This is the first time that the Department of Health has admitted what has long been obvious: that it stops feeding and hydrating patients, not because it is in their "best interests", but because it believes that it costs too much.
I can't wait to have socialized medicine in this country.

When is it politically correct to beat gays and kill women?

Reason: Multiculturalism: It's Different for Girls "When is it politically correct to beat gays and kill women?"
Welcome to Politically Correct World, where acts that would merit unequivocal condemnation if committed by white males are viewed in a very different light when the offenders belong to an "oppressed group."
A gay man and his partner are beaten by Moroccan immigrants in Amsterdam - gay activists lament that the immigrants are an oppressed group and sometimes lash-out against gays. More ink was actually spent on the anti-gay problems in this country, than on the problems in Europe.

Honor killings, forced marriages, all hushed up by a media that does not wish to appear racist. (That's in Germany by the way.) We can't have that. It's better to sweep the unpleasant details under the rug. It would be horrible if the press just reported the facts, the unvarnished truth, and let each of us make our own conclusions. No they have to report only what they think is good for us to know - and being the press, they know what this is. </sarcasm> Unfortunately people continue to get hurt, because the press fails to do its job, which is to report the news.

All societies have problems. Certainly this one does, but excusing or hiding the problem when an "oppressed group" is at fault will not solve anything. It just enables the problem to get worse.
[h/t Little Miss Attila]

Woman's arm nearly severed - yet another restraining order failure

Woman's Arm Nearly Severed in an Attack - New York Times. This attack happened at her son's birthday party. He burst into the party and attacked her with a machete.
He [the police have not released his name] attacked Ms. Collet with the machete, nearly cutting her arm off and causing several deep wounds in other parts of her body, they said. He fled in a blue van that was found abandoned at 38th Street and 10th Avenue, not far from Ms. Collet's apartment.
There is a court order in place, but it did nothing.

Violent Crime is Not Culture

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | The trials of living with the feral youths of Salford Merry Old England, where the good citizens are down because of "Yob Culture." (That's politically-correct double-speak for "violent street crime.")
Chief Superintendent David Baines of Greater Manchester police, ... earlier this week warned that gangs of "feral youths" were running wild, with no fear of the police or the criminal justice system.
Gangs running wild, with no fear of the authorities. Yet the good citizens are disarmed, and prosecuted if they defend themselves in any way.

Meanwhile, the Labour Government is doing wonderful things, like outlawing fox hunting, and claiming that crime is under control. Oh, sorry, that was before. Now they are promising to get crime under control and "create safe communities and foster a culture of respect." (Well they appear to have started by respecting these Yobs; referring to their depravity as "culture" seems insane.)

I would say that they have a way to go.
[Chief Superintendent Baines'] comments came in the wake of the vicious attack on a father of four, Phil Carroll, 48, who was beaten outside his Salford home after he confronted youths who were throwing stones at his car.
Just give the criminals what they want, and they will go away. That is what the government has been telling citizens in the UK for a long time. They apparently never heard the old saying, "If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want a glass of milk." And so things have degenerated to the point where hoodlums are roaming the country, with no checks on their behavior by the police, and self-defense is not permitted to the citizens on whom they prey.

England looks more and more like A Clockwork Orange to me every day. [h/t Keep And Bear Arms]

Saturday, May 21, 2005

It Looks Like Everybody Does Hate the French

Telegraph | News | Europe unites in hatred of French "France is wonderful, it's just the French who are the problem"

[h/t Least-loved Bedtime Stories]

Dealing with British "Yob Culture"

The Smallest Minority "Sweet bleeding jeebus." The Brits are being completely stupid, again, about how to fight the hoodlums roaming the English countryside shopping malls and entertainment districts.

They are trying a lot of politically correct moves - like restraining orders - to prevent "anti-social" behavior. They can't even call crime by its proper name.

Anyway, as they say, go read the whole thing. Smallest Minority does a great job of taking them apart piece by piece.

Gun safety demonstration

Lest Darkness Fall: S&W .500 Mag vs Watermelon. This is a good way to convince people (and kids) that gun safety is important. Shooting a watermelon suggests what would happen if someone was shot in the head.

WMV file of S&W .500 Mag destroying watermelons.

I couldn't get this link to auto-launch via Mozilla, but that may be because I have Windows Media player basically disabled. So right-click and download and view with your favorite video viewer.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Watcher's Council Results

Watcher of Weasels: The Council Has Spoken! The results of this week from the Watcher's Council are now available for your review.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Shooting Sports: Action Shooting

riverfronttimes.com | Off and Gunnin' A fairly positive look at the 3 main types of Action Shooting in America today: Cowboy Action Shooting, Practical Shooting and Defensive Pistol. (Fairly positive because they do give a few paragraphs to the Brady Bunch - but out of 5 pages a few paragraphs isn't much.)

The funny thing is way the various groups describe each other. Practical Pistol is denounced by Defensive Pistol as being all about race guns. Cowboy action is derided for being all about the outfits. And Defensive Pistol is ridiculed by Practical Pistol as being too slow. Each to his own.

Each sport is covered in depth with interviews of people involved in that sport, and as I said, the coverage is mostly positive. They even manage to name the organizations that manage the 3 sports, so it would be possible to find them - but when are newspapers going to start providing links? [h/t KABA]

Minnesota Concealed Carry Bill goes to Governor

St. Cloud Times: House approves handgun legislation The Minnesota House of Representatives approved the Concealed Carry bill Wednesday by a vote of 86 to 47. Returns Minnesota to the "shall issue" column.

Minnesota had law that said law enforcement "may issue" a concealed carry license. The "shall issue" law was originally passed in 2003, but was overturned on a technicality. It had fewer problems passing this time around because in the 2 years it was in effect, the "wild west shootouts" predicted by the left failed to materialize.

Newsweek: What happens now?

Day by day 5-19-05
(Day By Day 2005© Chris Muir. Click on the image for a larger view)

This quote from Mark Whitaker, editor of Newsweek magazine, is interesting.
He told Reuters news agency: "We're not saying it absolutely happened but we can't say that it absolutely didn't happen."
What fabulous standards the Mainstream Media has.

This started as a Percision Guided Humor assignment from the Alliance of Free Blogs, but how do you parody that statement by the editor of Newsweek? It is a parody of "journalistic standards" all by itself.

Under these standards, they can print anything they want to print, and Chris Muir is correct, they should be competing with "Aliens Ate My Face" stories of the tabloids.

The best thing that could happen now is that Newsweek either join the tabloids and give up all claim to "serious" journalism (they are only serious about trashing America), or they should clean house and get rid of everyone who holds these "standards" Whitaker was talking about. Trouble is I don't think anyone in the propoganda jounalism "profession" would be much different.

Here are some other "highlights" of Whitaker's management at Newsweek.
  • March 2005: runs cover photo that is a digital composite that appears to be Martha Stewart in prison. "It was never our intention to produce something anyone would mistake for the real Martha." (He didn't know Photoshop was that good?)

  • 1998: Killed a story on the investigation of Clinton and Lewinsky. (He's not prejudiced against Republican adminstrations and in favor of Democratic ones, is he?)
Unless Newsweek does something to distance themselves from the ridiculous statement Whitaker made to Reuters, they should give up all claim to being respectable journalists, and either join the Space Monkeys crowd, or admit they are the propoganda arm of the anti-American movement. Personally I would like to see Newsweek disappear from the scene. I mean, is this really a news organization?

Fear of Guns in Virginia

Times Community Newspapers - Editorial/Opinion - 05/18/2005 - Loaded or unloaded, guns do not belong on school grounds Gun Fearing weenies at it again.
A new exemption, House Bill 2535, to commence July 1, was recently passed by the General Assembly and allows individuals with concealed handgun permits to possess a concealed handgun (loaded or unloaded) in a school parking lot, traffic circle or other means of egress and ingress as long as the individual remains in the car.
I have said time and again, that one class of people who need to be armed are people being stalked. And they need to be armed whenever they have a set schedule, and so are vulnerable to attack. One of the places they have a set schedule is dropping-off and picking-up kids from school or day-care.

The other places people being stalked need to be armed are to-and-from work, and to-and-from religious services. Also places that those on the left want guns restricted. [h/t KABA]

Best kept secret in sports? Womens Football

terminatorsThere are a couple of leagues out there, but the IWFL has a team in Tampa. Independent Women's Football League plays full tackle, NFL rules football. With 31 teams in North America, there is probably a team near you.

The Tampa Bay Terminators are in 2nd place in the Atlantic South division with 4-2 record.

Ghost in the Shell

majorI don't usually go in for Japanesse anime, but Ghost in the Shell is more like Film Noir than most animation. Even the colors are mostly dark - at least in the features: Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

There is also a TV show, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which though less dark than the movies, is still not Saturday Morning animation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Gun not needed for this murder

Greensboro, NC - Husband Charged With Murder For Barehanded Death Of Wife A protection order had been issued in March of 2005.
Investigators believe Massenburg chased his wife's car until it crashed in a North Raleigh subdivision Monday.

Then he killed her with his bare hands, they said.
He didn't need a gun to kill her. He is too dangerous to keep in the county jail, they transfered him to the state.

This week's Watcher's Council Competition

Watcher of Weasels: Submitted for Your Approval I haven't had a chance to read all of the posts. The few I have read are very good. I particularly enjoyed Gates of Vienna's Letter to Newsweek, but the others are good too.

139th Carnival of the Vanities!

Commonwealth Conservative | The 139th Carnival of the Vanities! Worth a look, as always.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Restraining Order not a Bullet-proof Vest

Although I covered this case earlier, it is worth revisiting since the Charlotte Observer has written about it - and from the same point of view.
Just as we don't blame the victims of someone else's reckless driving, neither do we blame the victims of another's reckless behavior.

But defensive driving can help us stay alive. And keeping in mind that a restraining order is not a 24-hour bodyguard might save lives, too.
You don't usually see this kind of thing in print in the MSM. The usual suspects (NYT, LAT, etc.) are more likely to say we need even more govenment control of life. What we need is for more people to take personal responsibility for their own safety, and not to assume the police will take care of everything.

If it's Tuesday, it must be the Weekly Check on the Bias

After week spent earning money, Jeff at Alphecca is back with the Weekly Check on the Bias. Go take a look, there is lots of good stuff.

Kosovo the music video

Some Norwegian Soldiers in Kosovo having fun and making a music video spoofing the old 80s hit Kokomo. The video is very well done and pretty funny.
Via It Comes in Pints?

Death Penalty Case in Illinois - protection order was no protection

NBC5.com - News - Cook County Illinois Imposes 2nd Death Penalty Of 2005 Joseph Bannister is sentenced to death for shooting his ex-girlfriend in the head (seriously wounding her) and killing her sister. All this happened as children watched.
Bannister ignored an emergency protection order granted to his former girlfriend, Sharon Banks, when he kicked in a door of an apartment at 1904 N. Kedzie Ave. on Sept. 23, 2000.
In the city of Chicago, Mayor Daley has seen to it that citizens have no means of defense. And the protection order provided none either.

Even if he is executed, this will not undo what was done: children traumatized, a woman killed, another gravely injured. Americans have to get over the idea that a restraining order or any court order will protect you. And of course the city is not liable. Illinois like so many states holds that governments cannot be held responsible for failing to provide police protection (Leonne v. City of Chicago from Dial 911 and Die) Indeed, short of having a police officer camped out in her apartment it is hard to see what the police could have done to protect Ms. Banks.

Given what happened that day, owning a gun may not have protected Ms. Banks or her sister, but there was nothing the City of Chicago or the state of Illinois could have (would have) done. Taking away what could have been her only chance seems criminal to me. [h/t KABA]

Monday, May 16, 2005

More Corruption at the UN

Trouble At Turtle Bay It seems the UN is paying between $450 and $1100 per square foot to renovate some buildings. NY Real Estate types say it shouldn't cost any more than $200 or $250 per square foot.

Donald Trump sees 2 options - this is the result of incompetence or it is the result of fraud. Either way, the US taxpayer will be asked to pick up the lion's share of the cost.

Wonder who is lining their pockets this time? [h/t Power Line]

Weasel Watching

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

Nathaniel Hawthorne edition of The Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #77 Best of Me Symphony Well, I for one never liked the Scarlet Letter. But don't let that stop you from visiting this week's Best of Me Symphony.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Minnesota Senate votes to rejoin the "shall issue" states

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 05/14/2005 | Gun bill a slam dunk in Senate Concealed Carry bill pass Minnesota Senate by 44 to 21. It will now go to the Minnesota House.

I said before, Minnesota will likely get its "shall issue" concealed carry law back before too much longer. But I did think the anti-gun forces would make more changes. Cities will not be able to bar concealed weapons from buildings or parks. Concealed carry will be allowed on college campuses. Police making traffic stops or having other interaction must be notified if a person is carrying. In all, nearly 2 dozen amendments offered by the anti-gun crowd were defeated.

The Minnesota House is expected to take up the Senate bill soon.

The gun-fearing weenies are all upset that concealed weapons will be allowed in houses of worship, but as I have said before people being stalked need to be able to protect themselves where they have a known schedule. These times are: Picking kids up and dropping them off at school, going to and from work, going to and from religious service.

Domestic Violence barely a crime in the UK

Comment: Brenda Power: Battered wives need security, then justice - Sunday Times - Times Online Courts tend forgive abusive husbands.
If you are assaulted by a stranger and it is his first offence, he’ll almost certainly walk with a suspended sentence or even a probationary warning. If you are assaulted by your husband and it is his first offence, the courts may be more lenient. According to one lawyer who deals with about one such case a week, allowances are frequently made for violent men on the basis that they are tired or stressed or even overworked.
And so the abuser is free to abuse again. To threaten the witness/victim in the case until she withdraws the case.

And of course defense is basically illegal in the UK. Certainly the means of defense are outlawed.

Varifrank, John Bolton, and the UN generally

Varifrank: Fisking the UN, or "Why I Like John Bolton". A refreshing look at how stupid the whole John "He's a Bully" Bolton controversy is. He's mean, he tried to get someone fired.
Oh horror. I’ve only been in the business world for 20 years and I think I’ve probably tried to get at least one person fired every year Ive been working. Why? Because some people are such jackasses that they are a danger to themselves and others in the company.
As Varifrank says, "the UN is a cesspool of corruption," and we need someone with backbone representing our interests.

Go read the rest, you won't be disapointed

A filthy lie: A Look Inside Evil Glenn's HQ

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
TFS Magnum has obtained a memo detailing some of the inner workings of the Evil Glenn organization, and its planned attack on Huffington's Toast or is that Post?

The following memo was obtained by TFS Magnum. Many beers were consumed to bring you this information, and a few hangovers endured. Instapundo Delenda Est!

To: All Evil Glenn Henchmen, Evil Technology Division
Evil Glenn Secret Headquarters

From: Evil Glenn
Evil Mastermind of Ecosystem Linkage

Subject: Evil Glenn Mind Control Device™ Version 3.0

The new and improved Evil Glenn Mind Control Device™ must be ready ahead of the currently published schedule, as a threat to our domination of the Ecosystem has appeared. Specifically the blog run by Arianna Huffington, even though it is likely to be silly and pointless could still garner a huge following among the left, who are also mostly silly and pointless. This will not be left to chance!

It will be necessary to have the new long-range features in place so that we can ensure the topics selected by the numerous authors are stupid, and that the posts themselves appear to be parodies of what they might otherwise write about. With this control, I am sure that we will maintain our status atop the Ecosystem.

While I realize that the last full system test had some bugs, all of the technicians involved in that test were in hospital for less than a day, and all are now back on the job. With adequate safeguards, I am sure we can make this evil outcome happen with no lost work days.

Supervisors will NOT be authorizing overtime pay. Hey, I'm Evil.

On other business, new blenders are being installed in all break-rooms. Henchmen are responsible bringing their own puppies.


Friday, May 13, 2005

Who can defend you from harm?

Lady JusticeI have been writing about restraining orders and orders of protection and how they fail time and again to restrain anything or protect anyone.

When someone is abused, the first thing they are told to do is get a restraining order or an order of protection. Unfortunately, in too many cases, this is also the last thing they are told to do. Women need to understand that restraining orders are just pieces of paper, and they will not protect you from anyone bent on doing you harm. You must take action to protect yourself.

Consider the case of the man arrested 7 times for violating a restraining order was to be sentenced to 30 days, before another attack voided the plea deal. He will be out in 2 years, and just as violent. 7 violations of a restraining order and he was to get 30 days? Some protection. Even 2 years is not much protection.

A man kills his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. A court order did not restrain him. He was out of jail after an attack on her the Sunday before.... out on bail after an attack in violation of a restraining order. What protection did it offer?

Or the case of the guy charged 6 times in 5 months, and still never had his "day in court." He didn't kill his ex, he killed her boyfriend, and then killed himself. The criminal justice system still failed to work. He was clearly a threat, he had violated court orders, but the DA's office hadn't bothered to do anything about it.

Occasionally there are stories of women who defend themselves. Angela Scott shot Robert McDowell after he broke into her home to attack her yet again. Or the case of Joy Burgess who shot her ex-husband as he broke into her house in violation of an existing protection order, which he had violated many times. The criminal justice system did not protect these women; they protected themselves.

I actually believe that restraining or protection orders keep many people from taking action to protect themselves. They believe the system is doing something. They believe that the police will take care of it. Too many actors within the criminal justice system refuse to admit they cannot control these abusers. Some will admit it. Volusia County Florida Sheriff Ben Johnson stated recently, "An injunction is fine for someone who is willing to accept the rules. ... When someone is bound and determined they are going to do a criminal act, it is hard to stop it." That is, it is hard for the criminal justice system to stop it. The criminal justice system is limited to acting after a crime has been committed. (As it should be!) The only one who can protect you in the heat of the moment, when you are in imminent danger, is yourself.

snubbieThis is the message that the gun grabbers do not want you to hear. John Kerry went duck hunting because he wants you to believe that the Second Amendment is about hunting. People today by and large don't care about hunting, so this was merely a ploy to get you to not care about the Second Amendment. But the Second Amendment is not about hunting, or not only about hunting. Part of the reason - part, not all of the reason - for the Second Amendment is that we all have a right to defend ourselves. As the 2nd Amendment Sisters say, "Self defense is a basic human right." The police cannot always protect you. It is just not possible for them to be everywhere they are needed or to respond fast enough to a call for help. And as Dr. Rice noted recently, sometimes the police will not protect you even if they can.

There are of course no guarantees that possessing a firearm will keep you safe. There are no guarantees in life. Wearing a seatbelt will not guarantee you won't be harmed in a car crash; it will only change the odds of injury. Yet we wear seatbelts. Without the right to keep and bear arms, the weak are at the mercy of the strong. The old will be vulnerable to attack by the young. A single person will be easy prey for 2 or more violent criminals. Without the means to defend ourselves from the violent members of society, we would become prisoners in our own homes. And as so many of these cases about restraining orders demonstrate, we would not be safe in those homes.

The criminal justice system, even when it works perfectly - and nothing that relies on human beings ever works perfectly - cannot protect you against someone determined to do you harm. Only you can defend yourself from harm.

Two dead in spite of restraining order

Charlotte Observer | 05/12/2005 | Dilworth killings: Did system fail?
[Original Link is gone - try this link]

Let's take a close look at this case. The mutant involved, Raymundo Estrada, was arrested 6 times in 5 months for violating a restraining order. The District Attorney's office dismissed 4 of those cases. It just isn't sexy enough for a wanna-be high-powered politician to spend their time prosecuting domestic violence. Oh, the DA's office is going on about "deferred prosecution," but that is just a way of saying, "When we can make the case sexy enough, and it will further our political ambitions, then we will prosecute." In the meantime this woman was on her own. Estada showed up at her home - in violation of the order - and shot her male companion and then killed himself. Guess the DA won't get that sexy case after all.

The victim organizations are going on about how he didn't attend treatment. Abusers who attend this treatment are generally not re-arrested within a year. They don't say what happens after that year.

An abuser is charged 6 times in 5 months, and never prosecuted. People will still tell you that the criminal justice system will protect you. Who did it protect in this instance?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Restraing order offers no protection. Woman and boyfriend dead at hands of ex.

Police: Man sought revenge - PittsburghLIVE.com Revenge for what? For having the nerve to dump him?

The same day this mutant is released from jail for assaulting his ex-girlfriend on Mother's Day - that's less than a week for assault? - he kills her and her boyfriend by crashing his truck in the motorcycle they were riding.
"This is not a road rage incident," said state police Sgt. David Heckman. "This was a homicide. Period."
The restraining order - which has been in place for over a year - did not protect her on Mother's Day, and in the end did not protect her at all. She's dead. Another man is dead. This mutant is in custody. Lethal injection is too good for him.

Dr. Rice backs gun rights

Rice says gun rights are as important as right to free speech and religion. [Original Link is gone - try this link from an earlier story.]

Dr. Condoleeza Rice is a class act.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recalling how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South, said Wednesday the constitutional right of Americans to own guns is as important as their rights to free speech and religion.
Saying what the left doesn't want you to hear. That firearms give the oppressed a way to fight back. Imagine if the white government of the old south had a monopoly on the use of force. How many others would have died?
Rice said the Founding Fathers understood ''there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Ala., when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you.''
Even if the police are always the good guys, they simply can't be everywhere at once.

Gun Control - a practical definition

I think this captures the position of left exactly
Gun Control:

The theory that a woman found dead in an alley,
raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally
superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker
got that fatal bullet wound.
[via Women Against Gun Control]

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Restraining order fails to stop shooting

Woman shot in leg; ex-boyfriend taken into custody Nashville woman was living in fear, but she never thought to arm herself.

At least she is alive, and the mutant in custody, but women have got to stop relying on court orders for safety. Steel is better protection than paper.

Plecia nearctica hardy - love bugs

They're Back.

If you live in the south, you probably know what these little bastards are. In this part of Florida, they are everywhere, and they are a pain in the ass. Thousands of the little suckers everywhere. Run into a bunch of them with your car and the acid in their guts will destroy the paint job. Underfoot, in your face - flying into your mouth if you're not paying attention.

If you don't know what these beasties look like, the University of Florida has some color photos.

138th Carnival of the Vanities!

Cynical Nation COTV is getting huge, but it is still worth checking out.

Something for everyone, from a few choice words on Huffington's Post, to an item for Star Wars Fans, to the usual political commentary. This week's COTV is a nice look at the week. (Where else will you find Canadian political limericks?)

Huffington’s Toast - What else can you say?

Huffington’s Toast - Not Affiliated With Arianna Huffington or The Huffington Post. I thought the original was enough like a parody, but then all those beautiful people love to take themselves seriously.

Feminist musings at the Hatemongers Quarterly

The Hatemonger's Quarterly: We (heart) Your Vagina The crack young staff at Hatemonger's Quarterly has a few interesting observations about first wave feminism, campus feminism, and The Vagina Monolgues. I needed a laugh. It might do you some good too.

I am sick of all this I ♥ (heart) stuff. What about the other suits?

I ♠ my cat, or
I ♣ seals?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Huffington nonsense

Vodkapundit - Dying Is Easy. I love what vodkapundit has to say about this non-blog. The whole thing is worth a read, but this passage is wonderful.
Huffington sold her ...thing... as a blog. She also hyped it as an alternative to Drudge. Which is a lot like saying you're going to make a great new laundry detergent to replace Windex. Sure, they both get things clean, but they ain't the same beast.
I wonder if she will be sign up for the TTLB ecosystem - so that all the world can see how much little traffic and how many few links get generated. I'm betting Huffington is Full of Crap gets more links and more hits.

Monthy Python's Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #76 Best of Me Symphony "And Now for Somthing Completely Different."

The posts are good, but I also love the Python quotes. (From the Life of Brian, to the Dead Parrot, the quotes are a great reminder of great commedy.)

Ender's Game - The Movie

Orson Scott Card's best-seller, Ender's Game, is being made into a movie. Wolfgang Petersen is directing (In the Line of Fire, Airforce One) so there is at least some hope that the action of the book will make it to the screen.

If you are a SciFi geek, you probably already know the whole Ender's Game series, if not all I can say is that it is worth while. (I think there are 5 books in the series, and not all of them are great, but the overall story is good. Check out at least Ender's Game and Ender's Shawdow.)

Ender Wiggin is a 6-year-old miltary genius recruited by the world government to defend the earth against the return of an invading force - the buggers. Anyway, against this backdrop of a fairly standard alien invasion story, Card builds a believable universe of characters - some good, some not - trying to ready the defenses for the 3rd wave of invasion, which is expected shortly.

Should be a good time.

Update 5/14/05: Don't how I mised having a link

It takes a death to focus attention on Opa Locka

Herald.com | 05/10/2005 | Senseless killing is an old story in Opa-locka. The situation in Opa Locka is bad, and has been bad for a very long time.

The most recent event - the killing of Melanise Malone - followed 2 days when the residents of the Triangle neighborhood were virtually under siege. No one cared. No newspapers covered the story of residents calling the police, the county for help, and getting damn little of it.

The killing brought media attention. But will anything change?

We know how to fight crime in this country. New York City went from being one of the worst large cities in America for crime to being safer than many towns one tenth its size. How? By cracking down on small crimes, but not letting any area of the city be a breeding ground for trouble.

The Miami Hearld reports that there are 207 stories about crime in Opa Locka in its archives between 1986 and today. Things haven't changed much in all that time.

Gun Safety and Exploding Watermelons

Gun Safety at Home. Shooting a watermelon with a high-powered handgun is a good way to explaining to kids why they should stay away from guns.
As a father, he makes sure to keep his guns locked up. More importantly he says when his girls were young he made sure to train them. Adams says, "They became apart of the solution, instead of something we had to worry about all the time."

Adams says simply telling your child not to play with guns is not enough. He says, "If they don't understand the relative danger in terms that a child can understand, then they won't receive the message." That's what, Adams says, sparks curiosity. He says, "If they see something and you tell them don't touch, in a child's mind it encourages them to touch it."
Finding a good watermelon can be a problem today. Try a 2 liter soda bottle filled completely with water, and using a hollow-point round makes for more energy transfer.

Huffington Is Full Of Crap

Huffington Is Full Of Crap I love this! Huffington et al didn't want to let people comment or trackback, so the Huffington Is Full Of Crap blog was born, to let you do just that.

Someday these people will learn what the power of technology is really all about... and it isn't about laying down and worshiping celebrity. [hat tip My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy]

Monday, May 09, 2005

Sunshine Skyway Disaster - 25 yr. anniversary

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Bradenton Herald | 05/09/2005 | Restaurant had a tragic front-row seat. 35 people died May 9, 1980, when the Summit Venture, caught in a storm hit a support of the Sunshine Skyway bridge, causing the entire center span of the southbound lanes to fall.
"It's hard to realize how much road fell into the water that morning," Phillips added. "Divers still come in and say there is so much roadway laying perfectly on the bottom of the bay that they look both ways before crossing it."
Today GPS helps, but the ships are bigger. 1000 ft. long today - the Summit Venture was 608 ft long.

Marine acted in self-defense

CNN.com - Marine cleared in videotaped shooting - May 5, 2005 This restores some of my faith in the military justice system.
Navy investigators have determined a U.S. Marine acted in self-defense when he shot an apparently wounded and unarmed Iraqi inside a Falluja mosque in November, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday.
Given what had happen with other "wounded" insurgents, I don't see that he had any other choice but to assume the worst.

Woman tired of being abused, shoots ex-boyfriend

Woman reportedly shoots ex-boyfriend over domestic violence. Broken window and bent blinds, show he likely did break in. Robert McDowell was shot 4 times by a "small caliber" weapon. He was in surgery on Sunday. Angela Scott was released from custody.

I wonder if he will try to assault her again?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

7 yr. old kid on "no fly" list

My Son the Terrorist by John M. Peters And the lefties in Washington think these lists should be used to limit who can buy guns. Among other things, this proves TSA is a sad joke.
Rolling her eyes, the perplexed agent confided that she had previously had a two-year-old show up on the list. Yes, kids are truly getting worse at much younger ages.
What a crock of dung.

Anyway, the kid was allowed to fly. [via Say Uncle]

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Teachers' agree nothing is more important than the rules

Pink Floyd, "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" from The Wall
When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children anyway they could
by pouring their derision upon anything we did
exposing any weakness however carefully hidden by the children.
But in the town it was well known
When they got home at night their fat and psychopathic wives
Would thrash them within inches of their lives!

We don't need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.
Pauly Revere thinks it is not only OK for that student in Columbus, Georgia who was talking to his mother (please note she is in a WAR ZONE and could die at any time) to be suspended, he has problems with all of us who see things differently.

First, while I am sure the student could have handled things differently - gone to the lunch monitor and asked to take the call - this kid gets a call from his mother out of the blue. He is excited, and probably not thinking about anything else. To expect him to think through all the details in the heat of the moment is ridiculous. Pauly seems to think this would have made everything OK. Something completely unexpected and wonderful happens, your first thought should be making the lunch room monitor happy.

Second, I am not sure I believe the account published on the School System site. [warning, the statement is a PDF.] I can see the teacher walking up to the student, grabbing the phone, and saying something about the rules. Something to the effect, "Give me that phone! Don't you know the rules?!" And I can see the student getting disrespectful when the idiot hung up on his mother (who by the way is in a WAR ZONE and could die at any time.) Bureaucratic weasel-wording and butt-covering appear to be in full force in Columbus, Georgia.

Third, public school teachers - Pauly Revere at their head - are in love with enforcing the rules. No special treatment, no human judgment can stand up to rules - even if his mother was calling from her death-bed, Pauly? If we expected teachers - they call themselves professionals - to exercise human judgment, show simple compassion there would be chaos. That is Pauly's statement, not mine. Is that an indictment of the students or the teachers? If true, the system is surely broken.

It is exactly this attitude - rules above everything, teachers can't be wrong - that caused Roger Waters to write the lyrics above.

Pauly, all of us who think this teacher was an idiot, don't believe that he was doing his job. His job has to be more than to enforce the rules. Otherwise our schools are little more than prisons. Maybe that is the case today, in which case I hope everyone starts home-schooling. You say that you have to "teach students order." What about teaching them how to make informed judgments - not done in this case. What about teaching them to show compassion for someone who has been separated from the only family they have - also not done in this case. The only thing this teacher tried to teach is "Rules Uber Alles." I wouldn't show too much respect for that either.

Update May 8, 2005

The John Dewey quote comes to mind. "You can’t make Socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.”

The teachers in this story are a product of the school system instituted by John Dewey, and it is clear that they don't expect to have to think for themselves. Maybe they are incapable.

So you think the UN has the moral high-ground

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | UN sexual allegations double. The data, which the UN admits doesn't cover everything, are bad enough.
A total of 121 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse were registered last year.

The majority of these - 105 in total - were levelled against peacekeepers.
Almost half of the complaints against the peacekeeping troops involved sex with a minor and 15% involved rape or sexual assault.
The United Nations Useless Nitwits has become little more than criminal organization, and the US should not be party to it. [hat tip Rottweiler Puppy]

Cleaner air leads to greenhouse effect?

news @ nature.com -Clear skies end global dimming - Earth's air is cleaner, but this may worsen the greenhouse effect. I am so confused. I thought clean air was good.
"It is clear that the greenhouse effect has been partly masked in the past by air pollution," says Andreas Macke, a meteorologist at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel, Germany.
Here I thought the greehouse effect was caused by air polution.

When you science guys figure out if air polution is bad (and casues the greenhouse effect ) or good (and keeps the greenhouse effect at bay) call me. This is giving me a headache. [via On the Third Hand]

Protection order just piece of paper

Northwest Side domestic standoff ends safely. You don't often see this in print.
Monica Lopez, an advocate for the PEACE Initiative, a domestic violence support, education and advocacy group, said even a protective order "is still just a piece of paper. You still need to take steps to ensure your and your children's safety."
And not from a victims' advocacy group.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Unthinking teacher hangs up phone on mother calling from Iraq

Student is suspended for using cell phone at school to talk to mother in Iraq. This has been on my mind since I first heard the report on the radio today. The school says this is policy - no using cell phones. But policy is not handed down from on-high. Those responsible should have some leaway to make judgements.

So this teacher forces a student to hang up on a phone call from his mother. His mother is a soldier serving in Iraq. As such, there are two things going on that the policy should deal with. The first is that mother and son have probably not spoken to each other for some time. The second is the very real possibility that they may never speak again.

Why is the policy on cell-phones sacrosanct in this instance? Why is there no room for human judgement? Why do the teachers believe that blind obedience to the policy is best. And after all of the details have come to light, is there no way to say "I'm sorry" to this kid? Why suspend him for wanting to talk to his mother, who is so far away?

Washington State has no "Duty to Retreat," doesn't resemble wild west

More misplaced hysteria over Florida’s ‘No Duty to Retreat’ law Dave Workman, editor of Gun Week, points out that Washington state has no "Duty to Retreat" in law. Claiming that the elimination of the "Duty to Retreat" in the new Florida Castle Doctrine legislation will lead to wild west shootouts is absurd. If this will lead to disaster in Florida, why is the Evergreen State not awash in shootouts?
The Sunshine State’s so-called “stand-your-ground” law is not a novel concept, although it is hardly universal in the “land of the free and home of the brave.” In my home state of Washington – where our state constitution explicitly guarantees, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired” – the state Supreme Court has twice affirmed in recent years that there is “no duty to retreat.”

The principle in both cases, known as State v. Studd (1999) and State v. Reynaldo Redmond (2003), is unambiguous. “The law is well settled,” said the court in the Redmond ruling, “that there is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he or she has a right to be.”
But this is one of those inconvenient facts that the gun grabbers like to ignore so much. The Florida law only seeks to restore what the courts have taken away - the right to defend yourself when attacked.

This article also points out that history is not what Hollywood portrays.
In a February 2004 essay, Colorado policy analyst Ryan McMaken, an internet columnist on lewrockwell.com, noted that “All the big cattle towns of Kansas combined saw a total of 45 murders during the period of 1870-1885. Dodge City alone saw 15 people die violently from 1876-1885, an average of 1.5 per year.” Compared to the landscape between Tallahassee and Miami, the real West was comatose. People actually left their doors unlocked.
The wild west existed only on Hollywood studios of the 1940s and 50s, and in certain Italian films of the 60s. But knowing this would require that people actually study history - not the civics nonsense they teach today.

The other big thing the Florida law did was make it impossible for criminals or their families to sue law-abiding citizens who exercise their legal right of self-defense. If you attack me, and I shoot you in self-defense, you can't collect a big damage award. (It was your own damn fault for attacking me in the first place.)

Homeowners defend themselves

ABC7Chicago.com: Suspect shot during home invasion A retired police office shot a man who climbed through a window. The suspect was wounded in the chest and later drove himself to the hospital. The retired cop is not expected to be charged. [For Illinois, this is an amazing story. Z-Deb]

Man shot by homeowner, charged with burglary Jonathan Moran was shot by a homeowner when he allegedly broke into a home. He was shot twice and will be arrested once he gets out of the hospital.

nbc4i.com - News - Sheriff: Homeowner Shoots Intruder 2 people break into a home at 12:40 AM, and homeowner fears for his safety. He shoots twice, striking one intruder in the chest.
The unidentified suspect was found a short distance from the home and was transported to Mount Carmel West Hospital. The suspect was listed in stable condition.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The same ol' predictions about the wild west

Image hosted by Photobucket.comTallahassee Democrat | 05/05/2005 | Florida isn't about to become Deadwood East. Bill Cotterell remembers the predictions when Florida instituted concealed carry in 1987.
Remember all those wild gun battles on Monroe Street [Tallahassee] since 1987? Remember how the concealed weapon law created an O.K. Corral in every crossroads of Florida? Me neither.
Florida wasn't even the first state to start concealed carry, Georgia had passed concealed carry a few years before, but Miami Vice wasn't set in Atlanta. Still, the media made it a good story.

But then the media will always jump on anything to denigrate gun owners.
The Bush administration let the assault weapons ban expire last year. Have you seen a lot of people running around with AK-47s and Uzis? Me neither.

Chain Letters

Well, I got tagged for the "If I could..." chain letter by the Owners Manual

My answers to 5 questions can be found at Log of Zendo

I tagged Gizzly Mama.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Now that's what you call ironic

Greenpeace charged with violating environmental law. Failure to comply with Alaska state laws governing oil spills, a Greenpeace vessel taking part in a logging protest is in trouble with the law.
In Alaska, non-tank vessels larger than 400 gross tons must file an oil spill response plan application five days before entering state waters.
The state didn't pursue criminal charges against the group until the Arctic Sunrise departed from Ketchikan before the paperwork was finalized, despite an agreement to stay anchored, said Assistant Attorney General Jay Fayette.
So of course they are maintaining that they shouldn't have to pay. I mean why should Greenpeace be subject to environmental laws? [h/t smallest minority]

No more excuses

2 gunsGun permit holdouts will lose excuse. St. Louis, MO (both the city and county) had resisted granting concealed carry permits, claiming the fee they could charge didn't cover costs of processing the permits. The courts agreed, so the State fixed the law to allow the $100 fee to be used for any expense related to the permits, and if that doesn't cover their costs, they can apply to the state for money.

The city will delay at least a month. But it really isn't that big a deal, since anyone qualified could get an out-of-state concealed carry permit from Florida or a few other states, and have those permits recognized in Misouri.

Paper Court Orders Are Not Enough, Steel and Lead better protection

Charlotte Observer | 05/04/2005 | Protect victims of violence with steel, not paper: Shennell McKendall did everything that society tells battered women to do: Get a restraining order, prosecute violations of the order, get police protection. She still ended up dead.

The restraining order did not save Shennell McKendall. The campus prohibition of guns did not save her either. (She was killed on the UNC campus where she worked at the hospital.) The law siezing firearms from abusers failed to save her too - Randy McKendall shot her before turning the gun on himself.
[T]he 2003 Homicide Prevention Act purports to seize firearms from abusers under protective orders. Far from preventing homicide, however, its advocates' own Web site reveals that in the year following implementation, it shepherded not only a 26 percent increase in domestic homicide, but a 40 percent increase in murder/suicide.
Gun control activist Lisa Price says Mckendall did everything she could. But that ignores the case of Joy Burgess. Burgess, after having been let down by the criminal justice system many times, armed herself and killed her abuser - in self-defense - while he was out of prison on bail.

Disarming victims does not work. Empowering victims to defend themselves does.

Kevlar Blankets Needed for Troops

soldiers angelsBLACKFIVE: Kevlar Blankets Needed These blankets are used to add armor to Humvees. They can save lives and even eliminate serious injury. Each one costs $925, and Soldiers' Angels has a request for 3 more. Give whatever you can.

137th edition of The Carnival of the Vanities!

Fresh Politics presents 137th edition of The Carnival of the Vanities! Interesting format, as the carnival, which is getting a bit large, is broken into several posts sorted by broad subject categories (religion, Politics, etc.). COTV is a collection of the best posts of the week.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Marion Hammer Explains the Florida Castle Doctrine Law

At last, balance shifts away from criminals | ajc.com I can't believe that the Atlanta Journal Constitution printed an entire column by Marion Hammer (former NRA president, current Florida Lobbyist) about the real meaning of the new Florida Castle Law.
Consider the following scenario: a woman is walking down the street and is attacked by a rapist who tries to drag her into an alley. Under prior Florida law, the woman had a legal "duty to retreat." The victim of the attack was required to try to run away.
The duty to retreat was unconditional (still is since the new law doesn't become effective until October).

And when people want to insist that wild west shootouts will result, they need to consider the character of the average concealed carry permit holder.
Of more than 1 million Florida gun owners who were issued licenses to carry concealed firearms for self-defense over the past 18 years, roughly 0.0001 of 1 percent misused their guns and had their licenses revoked.
These are not crazy people, prone to violence. Permit holders are law-abiding people who want to be able to defend themselves.

I'll let Marion have the last word:
Survey research shows that at least half of Florida's homes have firearms in them, and there are approximately 6 million individual law-abiding gun owners. The overwhelming majority say the primary reason they own guns is for personal protection.

That's what this law is all about: restoring your right under the Castle Doctrine and the Constitution to protect yourself, your family and others. Your home is your castle, and you have a right — as ancient as time itself — to absolute safety in it.

Florida law is now on the side of law-abiding victims rather than criminals. And that is the way it is supposed to be.