Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Movie Fest: Hellboy

Hellboy is perhaps the greatest Halloween movie. The undead, demons, monsters, and the fight for good, and a struggle to postpone the "end of the world." What more do you want?

Humor. A love story. Good triumphs over evil.

John Hurt, Ron Pearlman (who you know from "Beauty and the Beast"), Selma Blair and some people you don't know, but who do a wonderful job.

What a wonderful movie! (I can't wait for Hellboy 2!)

The Hellboy Calendar

There is an "Easter Egg" after the main part of the credits at the end of the movie... don't turn off the DVD too quickly!

Halloween Movie Fest: Constantine

OK, Constantine is not the movie Hellboy is. Constantine is a great story, but a horrible movie. Mostly the movie suffers because of Kenau Reeves.... He seems to be incapable of playing any role beyond Neo from the Matrix (which was a great movie and the perfect role for him.)

Unfortunately this wasn't the perfect role for Neo.

Still, a story of demons and angels, good and evil and the postponing of the end-of-the-world, isn't bad for Halloween.

I like the Heaven and Hell are right here, just seen from a different perspective idea of the film. (See the Curse of Chalion for one of my favorite series of books with the same perspective.)

This movie also has an "Easter Egg," but it is at the very end of the credits.

SF Chronicle opposed to gun ban

San Francisco Chronicle Recomends a vote of "No" on the SF handgun ban.
This measure would prohibit city residents from owning handguns. The need to curtail the proliferation of handguns on the streets is a debate worth having, but at the state level. State law is pretty clear that such regulation is the Legislature's domain. Passage of H is unlikely to produce anything more than litigation. But even if it were to prevail in court, this one-city ban would be so impractical and widely defied that it would be meaningless.
They think that gun-control would work on the state level - they're wrong - but maybe this silly ban will fail. [via NRA-ILA]

National Buy Ammo Day on November 19

Uncle Sam One of the best ways to ensure our right to keep and bear arms, is have arms and ammunition in our hands. Buy Ammo Day (or week) addresses the ammunition side of this equation.
In the very first year of National Ammo Day, we tried to track exactly how many rounds of ammo came into the public's possession on that day.

For various reasons, the closest estimate we could come up with was about ten million rounds.

In one day.

Now, much later, we expect that many millions more will be bought by you, our gun-owning friends, on or around November 19th, 2005.
100 rounds is not a lot. My local big-box discount store (and probably yours too) has taken to selling pistol cartridges in 100 round boxes, in addition to the traditional 50 round boxes. Mostly target ammo, but even so. Much cheaper than buying 2 boxes of 50.

If the budget permitted me, I would buy a Yugoslavian SKS or 2 (they are inexpensive) and a thousand rounds of ammo (also not very expensive) for TEOTWAWKI. But I will console myself with some target ammo and a trip the gun range.

Alito: A Conservative Judge is Nominated to the Supreme Court

JusticeBush Selects Alito for Supreme Court. OK, so if it was this quick to find a Miers replacement, why didn't get nominated to in the first place? Probably because this will require the "Nuclear Option" as he is supposed to be a very conservative judge.
President Bush today named appeals court Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court. Alito, 55, serves on the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where his record on abortion rights and church-state issues has been widely applauded by conservatives and criticized by liberals.
Senators on the left and organizations are gearing up for the fight.
Immediately after the announcement, the liberal activist organization People for the American way announced the launch of a "massive national effort" to prevent Alito's confirmation.
I have no idea if he will be a good jurist or a bad one, but I do believe he is a better nominee than Miers was. He argued cases before the court, he went to a prestigious law school, Yale, and was editor of the Law Review. Not to mention years spent on the Appeals Court. (These are some of the "issues" the Miers nomination faced.)

LibertyThe AP (via My Way News) has this to say:
Judicial conservatives praise Alito's 15 years on the Philadelphia-based court, a tenure that gives him more appellate experience than almost any previous Supreme Court nominee. They say his record shows a commitment to a strict interpretation of the Constitution, ensuring that the separation of powers and checks and balances are respected and enforced. They also contend that Alito has been a powerful voice for the First Amendment's guarantees of free speech and the free exercise of religion.
There is, I guess, some evidence that he believes in the right of the People to keep and bear arms... and that granting Congress the power to regulate arms, granted them the power to regulate just about anything else.

I will keep my optimism up with the thought that Jeff has - the Daily Kos readers are in a "lather." (Is the enemy of my enemy my friend?)

Update: Captain Ed has a few choice words on the subject of Alito's nomination.

101st Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #101 Best of Me Symphony This week's Symphony is guest-conducted by the American writer Sinclair Lewis.
The trouble with this country is that there are too many people going about saying, ''The trouble with this country is...''

Watching Weasels

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, October 30, 2005

Stupid Criminals

OA Online News: Police arrest two suspects in attempted gun shop robbery. In case anyone reading this has never been in a gun store, the employees/owners of gun stores are usually armed. This makes it generally a bad idea to try and rob them. (And I don't just mean they have guns in the nice glass cases... they have guns on their hips.)

These two geniuses tried to rob a gun store using pepper spray.
Police have arrested two suspects in Tuesday’s failed robbery attempt at Gun Sport Ltd. According to an OPD news release, two men entered the store Tuesday afternoon, and one pepper sprayed an employee.

The employee, whose name was being withheld, managed to keep one of the men from leaving the store by holding a gun on him, according to Sgt. Bob Forbus.
And a note to anyone who thinks pepper spray is a good defense... even after being sprayed with pepper spray, the employee managed to pull a weapon and keep the would-be robber covered.

The owner of Gun Sport Ltd., Jon Thomas, had a great take on the robbery:
“Gun shops, by and large, aren’t targets because we have guns,” he said. “It’s like someone trying to rob a snake farm.”
If the criminal had been shot, he would have been a shoe-in for a Darwin award. [Hat tip John Lott]

British Government Determined to Keep Self-defense Illegal

Telegraph | Opinion | What's reasonable?. The government will do all in its power to squash a proposed law, giving Brits more ability to defend themselves in their own homes.
Mr Clarke maintains that the current law, giving the public the right to use "reasonable" force works perfectly well. Yet as this newspaper has repeatedly emphasised in its campaign to strengthen the legal protection given to householders confronted by intruders, "reasonableness" is a notoriously difficult concept to grapple with in a court of law.
Brits don't want the right to "execute burglars" as the liberal Labour government maintains; they want the right to defend themselves and their families from attack.

Attacks against the defenseless

Georgetown Tightens Security After String of Attacks - WTOP Radio Georgetown University tightens security after several attacks including 2 sexual assaults.

But we can't empower the students to protect themselves... no no no. Guns on campus? We can't have that... Wait, we already do. Of course by outlawing guns, only the outlaws have guns.

But we would have to allow people in Washington, D.C. to be armed? We can't have that. Wait, we already do have guns in DC. Its just that they are all in the hands of criminals.

When will the left wise up to the fact that by disarming the law-abiding you only make them easy prey for the criminals? Probably never. England and Scotland, Canada and Australia are all testament to that truth. But you will never see the left discuss facts. Not when it comes to their beloved gun-control.

Range Report

Well I finally got my lazy self to the range today, after quite a long time.

Although the first 50 rounds were horrrible, I was able to settle down and get "back in the black."

The moral of the story is that accuracy with a hand gun requires practice, practice, practice.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

LA has one set of rules for the power-elite, another for the peons - Hypocritical Justification for LAPD Chief's CCW Permit Epitomizes Double Standard. So the LA police live by different rules than everyone else... sounds like a police state to me.
Chief Bratton needed a permit because when he became Chief of LAPD he was not a sworn California peace officer legally entitled to carry a firearm. Bratton got a CCW, despite the fact that his "good cause" justification for needing a CCW was completely inadequate under LAPD's current standards as applied to ordinary citizens.
Bratton's CCW application asserts that because he is Chief of Police "he is required to be armed." This is flatly false. No law requires a Chief of Police to be armed, and a Chief of Police, who does not patrol in the field, need not be. Bratton's other justification is that he "is a public figure." The application does not even claim that he has actually been threatened - only that he could be a target. Being a potential target has never been recognized as "good cause" by the LAPD. If that is the criteria for "good cause," then every celebrity in the city has "good cause" to obtain a CCW. But these celebrity CCW applications are routinely denied.
CCW permits issued to police chief (can you say politician?) for reasons that would get the rest of us laughed at. I would think this blatant cronyism would be reason to review the stupid "May Issue" clause in the CA concealed carry law.

The rule of law is supposed to apply to everyone equally. Apparently in L.A. it is who you are that determines what rights you have.

Or as the Claremont Institute says:
You shouldn't have to be a celebrity to be allowed to protect yourself or your family from violent criminals. As the leader of the brave men and women whose motto is "to protect and to serve," Chief Bratton should be among the first to ensure the natural right of self defense to Angelenos. He should issue a CCW permit to any law-abiding and mentally sound adult Angeleno who requests one. Some California police jurisdictions have issued permits this way for years without incident. Why can't Los Angeles?
[via KABA]

More on Canadian Crime

Don't blame American guns The kerfuffle started when Paul Martin cited a statistic - 50% of guns used in crime come from the US - that has no basis in fact. Here John Lott has some more interesting facts that are not cluttering the Canadian discussion.

Despite spending over 2 billion dollars on a gun registry, Canada has no clue where the guns used in crime come from.
In Toronto, which keeps some data on guns, Paul Culver, a senior Crown Attorney, claims U.S. guns are a "small part" of his city's problem.
Canada's gun control has not reduced crime. "Canada's murder rate rising 12% last year" has caused politicians to look for someone to blame.

Canada believes in Gun Control. I guess they have ignored the UK and Australia.
The experiences of the U.K. and Australia, two island nations whose borders are much easier to control and monitor, should also give Canadian gun controllers pause. The British government banned handguns in 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.

Since 1996, serious violent crime has soared by 69%: Robbery is up by 45% and murders up by 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned, the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to 1993 levels. The crooks still had guns, but not their victims.

The immediate effect of Australia's 1996 gun-control regulations was similar. Crime rates averaged 32% higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than in 1995. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed an increase of 74%.
But what's a good Socialist to do? Champion individual responsibility? Not likely. [via John Lott]

Summary of the British Experience with Gun Control

Don't blame American guns: UK has some experience with gun control, as they basically outlawed nearly all firearms and self-defense since 1997

The results speak for themselves.
The British government banned handguns in 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.

Since 1996, serious violent crime has soared by 69%: Robbery is up by 45% and murders up by 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned, the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to 1993 levels. The crooks still had guns, but not their victims.
So it hasn't worked. You would think that they would try something else instead.

More on the UK's crime problem.

What drives US Crime?

Don't blame American guns. That would be drugs.
over 70% of American murders take place in just 3.5% of counties -- these being the inner-city areas where drug dealers are concentrated. Drug gangs can't simply call up the police when another gang encroaches on their turf, so they end up essentially setting up their own armies. It's foolish to blame the United States for the predictable actions of profit-seeking gangsters.
In other words, if you want to get rid of the murders, stop focusing on the guns and get rid of the gangs.
But this is just not appealing to Socialists on the left - who still are reliving the '60s. Should we close the border to drugs (and immigration)? Should we support the idea of individual action and responsibility via self-defense? The left will never get behind this.

Australia's Gun Control and Crime

Don't blame American guns: Why do people insist that gun control works, when it doesn't.

Here is the Australian experience.
The immediate effect of Australia's 1996 gun-control regulations was similar [to that in the UK]. Crime rates averaged 32% higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than in 1995. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed an increase of 74%.
Continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results is one definition of insanity.

Women and Concealed Carry in Arizona

Ariz. women pick guns An very terse look at a few women concealed carry permit holders in Arizona.
In 2003, more than 13,500 women had concealed weapons permits, 20 percent of the total, according to a 2004 Arizona Republic review of concealed-weapon permit data maintained by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
It seems Arizona has simplified the process for getting a CCW permit.

One woman, an ex-Angelino, recalls the Rodney King Riots, and how California restricts your ability to defend yourself.

All in all a fairly positive look at concealed carry, with no quotes for gun-fearing weenies.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Refuse to Be a Victim

Refuse to Be a VictimWith the end of "Domestic Violence Awareness Month" upon us, I feel I have to say something about refusing to accept victimization. (It is one thing to be aware of domestic violence, but I would rather do something about it.)

Most of what I find distasteful about the feminist left is that they view the world through the eyes of a victim. Everyone else is responsible for my safety, for my situation, for my problems. I don't want to blame the victim, but make them aware that they have choices. You can take action to ensure your security. And while I prefer the security offered by firearms, not everyone does.

Refuse to Be a Victim is a program of personal security offered through the NRA. It does not make use of firearms - though they are mentioned as an option at the end. (That mere mention of those evil, nasty guns is enough to keep RTBAV out of shelters, schools, etc. Not an approved left-wing thought, owning and using firearms. Best to censor it than let people discuss it.) It covers most aspects of security from personal security to identity and credit-card security. Some personal defense techniques are covered.

But let's just talk about the title of the program, "Refuse to Be a Victim." This drives the left nuts, since their whole world view is based on "woman-as-victim." Witness the reaction to a North Carolina law that stated people seeking restraining orders were to be given information about obtaining concealed carry permits. Encourage women to defend themselves? We can't have that. </sarcasm>

Women as completely unable to deal with the world without the help and protection of the state is their a priori view. Not only is that a ridiculous idea on the surface, but turning over your security to the state means you will have no security. (Take a look at 911 call response times, and consider how long it would take someone to hurt you.)

You may find yourself in a bad situation, but there are always options. You have choices that can influence your situation. You cannot change the past, but you can change the future. You can refuse to be a victim.

The 36th Carnival of Cordite

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #36 Range reports. The New "James Bond" doesn't like guns. Dogs in costumes (it is halloween!). Something for everyone.

Lefties Still Looking for Alternative to Hunting

Science fails in attempt to reduce deer. Highland Park, IL spent $369,000.00 to spay 67 doe. ("That works out to about $5,500 per sterilized deer.") And they are claiming success.

I realize that Highland Park is a densely populated suburb, not lending itself to hunting. But if they can capture the deer, how about doing something useful - instead of spending 5500 bucks (pun intended) on surgery and care in the field. They could humanely kill the doe, have it butchered and donate the meat to local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, shelters for battered women, and similar worthy causes.

I personally think they are also neglecting the effect of migration. If they reduce the fertility of deer in HP, deer from neighboring areas will migrate in as the population falls in HP and remains high in the surrounding areas.

Guns as Art: Engraving Auto-loaders

David Wade Harris: Firearms Engraving. Usually you only see revolvers engraved, but David Wade Harris, a master engraver, has done many auto-loaders. Go take a look at his work.

Click on the photos for a better view.

Europe is Waking Up to the Threat Denmark Arrests 4 Suspects Accused of Plotting Terror in Bosnia. Targetted by al-Qaeda after the London bombings, Danish security has been increased.
The four males, whose ages range from 16 to 20, were detained in the Copenhagen suburb of Glostrup and will be held pending a hearing Nov. 16, Detective Chief Superintendent Steen Skovgaard said today in a telephone interview. He declined to comment on the Danish Ritzau newswire's report that the suspects planned to bomb the U.S. Embassy or U.K. Embassy in Sarajevo.
The Dutch woke up to the threat of with the assasination of Theo Van Gogh. The UK is somewhat awake - though they are still doing stupid things like getting rid of piggy banks. The Danes have apparently been able to heed the warnings without blood being spilled on their soil.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Candian Lies - Why Tell the Truth When No One Will Call Your Bluff?

The Globe and Mail: Don't blame U.S. for gun crime, Canada told. So Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is making things up as he goes along. It's OK, the MSM will never investigate an anti-American statement... (Or will they?)

The statement was that 50% of the guns used in crimes in Canada are smuggled from the US. Turns out he cited a statistic with no basis in fact.
"I know that figure of 50 per cent has been bandied about, but no one can substantiate that figure," said Staff Sergeant Paul Marsh, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Can you imagine the feeding frenzy in the MSM if President Bush made a statement like this?

While the Globe and Mail does blow the whistle on Martin, they don't really take him to task. The last half of the article is a soft-pedal on the whole issue. I mean, why pass up a chance to bash the US?

Do guns from the US end up in Canada? Certainly. But isn't that Canadian Customs' problem? Of the guns that are smuggled, "Most are smuggled by Canadians." And yes we are working with Canada on this, but just as in the UK Canada's effort to become a gun-free society has not gotten rid of crime. [Hat Tip John Lott]

Gun Crime Up 20% in Scotland

The Daily Record - NEWS - BANG OUT OF ORDER. I thought the UK eliminated guns? How is this possible? But in fact the number of gun crimes in Scotland rose 20% in the 2004/2005 reporting year. (The UK does not use calendar-year reporting.)

And of course government Minister Cathy Jamiseon says,
"These statistics do not mean crime is on the up." Jamieson said the official figures, revealed yesterday, proved only that police are doing a better job of recording crimes.
All is well; pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. In fact I think the UK did make it harder for the politicos to cook the books, but I can't find that reference. Suffice it to say, they did change their reporting procedures. 20% seems like a major jump to blame on a change in procedures. (Unless someone was shading the truth, that is.)

But it isn't just gun crime on the rise.
[T]he number of serious assaults, including murders, culpable homicides and attacks causing severe injuries, rose by three per cent to 7768.

The number of sex offences, including rapes, indecent assaults and cases of lewd behaviour, was up eight per cent to 7324.
Petty assaults rose by 29 per cent to 73,711 and breaches of the peace rose 15 per cent to 89,920.
The UK has a crime problem. Outlawing guns and outlawing self-defense has not made them safer, it has had the opposite affect.

The UN even got into the debate when it declared Scotland the most dangerous developed country.

[Hat Tip Lest Darkness Fall]

Same-Sex Parents and Well-Adjusted Kids

Study: Same-Sex Parents Raise Well-Adjusted Kids. The homophobes have their knickers in twist over this...
"The vast consensus of all the studies shows that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way," [ Ellen C. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston] tells WebMD. "In some ways children of same-sex parents actually may have advantages over other family structures."
[hat tip QOAE]

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0 Man shoots 1 of 2 people police say tried to rob him Two cousins tried to rob a man washing his car. They demanded his money and his keys. One had a "souvenir bat." The intended victim, a concealed carry permit holder, took out a gun and shot one of the cousins - he will be arrested as soon as he gets out of the hospital. The other is in police custody. [via KABA]

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I oppose the Harriet Miers Nomination

JusticeI oppose the Miers nomination. NZ Bear asked everyone to take a stance. I haven't blogged about it, but I have written to senators.

I don't believe that she is qualified to sit on The Court. I have read some of her writings (someone - blogger or news outlet published a collection recently) and her ability to write is just not up to the level a Justice needs to exhibit.

Don't tell me how you feel; tell the people who can do something about it. Write your Representatives (your senators that is) and let them know how you feel. The link will also let you write the President, but he doesn't seem to be listening to anyone these days.

Update October 27, 2005 Chicago Tribune | Harriet Miers withdraws

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

St. Crispin's Day

Grouchy Old Cripple: St. Crispin's Day. An interesting take on the speech from Shakespeare's Henry V. Before the battle of Agincourt, where 10,000 British troops kicked the snot out 30,000 Frenchies, the King makes a speech to his commanders. Denny translates for us. Go take a look. [via Sondra]

Are You a Good Witch, or a Bad Witch?

Girl on the Right:Witches Ball The women of the Cotillion celebrate Halloween with a spooky look at witches through the ages - including the golden age of TV.

As usual there is a good collection of conservative writing in the round-up by Girl on the Right, so go take a look... if you dare. (also at the Cotillion's main site)

How concealed carry laws have changed

Radical Gun Nuttery! A map that shows the year-by-year, state-by-state change in concealed carry laws between 1986 and 2004... Which states have "Shall Issue" laws, or unrestricted carry. Which states abridge your rights under the second amendment.

Sanity on Wisconsin's Concealed Carry Bill

Wisconsin State Journal: Gun can save your life or get you sent to prison. A thoughtful article about concealed carry in Wisconsin (and Minnesota) is offered by Wisconsin State Journal. Phil Brinkman took a concealed carry class for Minnesota as means to get some insight into the proposed Wisconsin measure. (The bill introduced in Wisconsin is similar to the Minnesota law.) Law makers in Wisconsin and the media were invited to take this class, only a dozen did so.

First Mr. Brinkman has a description of what happens when adrenaline is pumped into your system in the face of a real threat.
Stabbing fear would close around me, leaving me with tunnel vision. My strength would increase exponentially, but my dexterity - my ability to deftly aim the weapon, pull the trigger and hit the target instead of a bystander - would drop. Time would slow down.

My ability to endure pain would increase dramatically, but so would my attacker's. And, unlike in the movies, he likely wouldn't fall over with the first shot, or even the first several. Even after a shot to the heart, a person can have full "voluntary function" of his or her faculties for 10 to 15 seconds, enough to do me serious harm.

"Pain is irrelevant to survival," [Gene German, the instructor] said.
And they got an overview of the legal situation.
Even a justified shooting will have lifelong consequences, German said. First, you'll almost certainly spend some time in jail until the police can sort out what happened. You may have to defend the shooting in a criminal or civil trial.

Simply unholstering your gun in a confrontation could cost you $10,000 in lawyer fees, German said - and that's in a state where carrying concealed handguns is allowed.
It is the choice of last resort. But I would rather be judged by 12, than be carried by 6. A justified shooting may have life-long consequences, but being a victim can as well. While I certainly hope never to be in that situation, if I ever am confronted with a threat of death or grave bodily harm, I will do everything in my power to defend myself.
[Hat Tip Smallest Minority]

Marion P. Hammer on the Peaden-Baxley bill

Viewpoint: Gun law protects law-abiding citizens. Marion Hammer states some facts to go along with all of the hysteria surrounding the proposal to allow law abiding citizens to leave legal weapons locked in their cars during work.
According to the FBI and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as much as 82 percent of workplace homicides involve robbery, and the vast majority are committed by strangers who are criminals, not fellow employees.

Of course, corporate anti-gun policies don't stop these criminals. It's a pretty good bet that neither an armed robber nor the rare employee bent on violence will care what the employer has to say about it.
But the key issue, to my way of thinking, is the right to be armed on the way to and from work.
Carrying a firearm in your vehicle for protection while traveling to and from work, and leaving that firearm locked securely in your vehicle while at work, is an important part of our right to self-defense.
The right to self-defense means little if the means for effective defense are restricted.

Anyone who is stalked, by an abusive ex-spouse for example, needs to be able to defend themselves. Specifically, they need to be able to defend themselves whenever they are on a set schedule at a known location. To and from work is such a schedule. It is too easy for the stalker to know when and where the victim will be, and in the absense of the Peaden-Baxley bill, there is a good chance that victim will unarmed.

This bill - and others like it around the country - will not make the workplace unsafe. It will ensure our right (and our access to the means) of self-defense. [h/t NRA-ILA]

8-Year-Old Bags Bear

8-Year-Old Hunter Bags Bear in Md. - Yahoo! News An 8-year-old girl that is... Sierra Stiles
Maryland law sets no minimum age limit for hunters, but first-timers must pass a course and show that they can safely handle and shoot a firearm. Sierra scored 98 percent on her safety test.
[h/t It Comes in Pints?]

Watcher's Council

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.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Peaceful Gun-free England has a Crime Problem - News - GUN CRIME UP BY 150% in some areas of the country. Not only is the UK's violent crime rate up 6% overall, gun crime is up as well.

Overall gun crime is up 5%. (I thought guns were eliminated... turns out that by outlawing guns, only outlaws have guns.)

But the story is about places like North London where gun crime was up 148% year over year. It isn't an inner-city problem alone. Violent crime is moving into the suburbs in a big way. [h/t SayUncle]

Brazil Rejects Gun Ban

Brazilians Reject Measure To Ban Sale of Firearms. Most people understand that guns are not evil; the people who commit crimes are evil.
With more than 92 percent of the ballots counted, 64 percent of Brazilian voters opposed the ban.
People pushing for the ban, maintained that "the gun lobby" controlled government policy on guns. This defeat should (but probably won't) shut them up for a while. 64-to-36 offers gun banners little encouragement. [hat tip NRA-ILA]

What Happens When Sissified New Yorkers Land in the Country?

When It's Your Animal House - New York Times. They call for help for the littlest things.
WITH her husband and two sons out of town, what's a smart, sensible city woman to do if she finds a rabid raccoon in the garage of the family's weekend house?
She was quite surprised to find that the police were not interested. "Just shoot it," wasn't advice Marie-Claude Stockl was prepared for (and not only because she didn't have a gun). Let alone having to dispose of the diseased carcass after the critter died on its own. "That's when I realized I wasn't in Manhattan anymore."

The story goes on about city folks being terrorized by ground hogs, wood chucks, and squirrels. But the first story excerpted above is the one that made me laugh. If people are used to having everything done for them in the city, why do they move to country where a little more initiative is expected?

I wonder what she would have done if confronted with a home invader, and discovered that the police were many, many minutes away.

Carnival of True Civil Liberties IV

Stop The ACLU: Carnival of True Civil Liberties IV. This carnival deals with the stripping of our rights, judicial activism and the idiocy of the ACLU.

The 100th Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #100 Best of Me Symphony This week's Symphony is guest-conducted by philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.
There is no justification for present existence other than its expansion into an indefinitely open future.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It started in September 1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyards

Kaczynski is elected president in Poland - International Herald Tribune Poland has a new, conservative, business-friendly President.
Kaczynski, 56, mayor of Warsaw, favors cutting taxes and sharply reducing state costs.
Twenty-five years ago, this would have seemed impossible. Poland was in the grip of a Soviet-Russia-controlled, Communist government, in the heart of the Warsaw Pact.

And then in 1980 Solidarność was launched at the Gdańsk Shipyards. The Gdańsk agreement meant that a non-party union could exist, and free speech rights were secured.
In April 1989, Solidarity was legalized [as a political party] and allowed to participate in the upcoming elections. In these limited elections union candidates won a striking victory which sparked off a succession of peaceful anti-communist counterrevolutions in Central and Eastern Europe
25 years after Solidarity won the right to exist as a free union, Poland runs a peaceful, fair election, that resulted in a run-off between 2 right-wing candidates.
If the trends are confirmed, Poland will be led by a rightist president, governed by a conservative coalition from the same party, and have a Parliament without any strong center or leftist groupings [ref.]
The Communists have been basically thrown out of government over corruption and the economy. Given that many of us watching the birth of Solidarność expected tanks and machine guns to settle the issue on the side of the Warsaw pact, this election is amazing. Many of the things being said about Iraq today, were said about Poland then. (No history of democratic government, faltering economy, ...) The doomsayers were out in force then, as now. But Poland has succeeded in establishing democratic rule, as Iraq will in time.

[The use of the term "counterrevolutions" by the International Herald Tribune is interesting. The only people that use that term are Communists. I guess we know where the NYT/IHT editors and authors stand on Ideology.]

Are you ready for the MSM spin on 2000?

New York Post: EXPLOITING THE DEAD You know its coming. When American casualties reach 2000 in Iraq what will you say the lefties that think the price is too high?
Our current loss rate in Iraq from combat and non-combat deaths is 765 per year. That's painful for individual families, but we would have to remain in Iraq, taking casualties at the same rate, for 76 years to rival our loss of more than 58,000 Americans in Indochina.

And Vietnam wasn't remotely as important to our national security. The terrorists we face today are more implacable than any of the enemies from our past. Even the Germans didn't dream of eradicating our entire population.

We would need to continue our efforts in Iraq and the greater War on Terror for 532 years to suffer the 407,000 dead we lost in less than four years in World War II.
And given that we were in World War 1 for about 18 months (April of 1 year to November 11th of the following year) the 117,000 killed in action was extreme. Were the reports screaming about quagmires?

The left doesn't think this war should be fought. They think 9/11 was America's fault, but then they think everything is America's fault. They refuse to believe that it is Hollywood - and the spread of American culture (or what passes for culture on the left coast) - that is what is truly hated by the Islamo-facsists.

The war in Iraq has been relatively free of American casualties. Not that each death isn't a tragedy to the families involved. They are. But the left doesn't care about them either, the left just wants to end the war before we can declare any kind of victory. [h/t to Darth Misha I]

Wilma Heading South?

Image hosted by Click on the map for a more readable view.

The computer models are slowly shifting south. These are the primary computer forecasts, (there are more than a dozen all told) and they seem to agree.

The boat is ready. I would like to add more lines, but the dock cleats aren't big enough to handle more than two 5/8 inch lines, and some of mine are ¾. Time for a good meal before things turn nasty.

Update: October 24, 2005

Everything came through the storm fine. The wind actually was worse when a cold front moved through bring 35-40 knot winds with higher gusts. Coming from the north, it drove a lot water out of Tampa bay - See a graphic of the water level changes - including most of the water out the marina I am in. Constantly adjusting lines is the order of the day, first as the water went out, and now as it is comming back in.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Another Tropical Storm?

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Still only a Tropical Depression. If it gets upgraded to a Tropical Storm, it will be Tropical Storm Alpha (we have run though the names list for 2005, and now start on the Greek alphabet.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

35th Carnival of Cordite

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #35. Lots of stuff this week. Not surprising that a fair amount touches on the Lawsuit immunity legislation passed this week.

There is the obligatory .45 ACP - 1911 post, something on Enfields. In fact there is something for the whole family - unless they are gun fearing weenies. There's a discussion of using slugs in a shotgun, that got a bit carried away.

Even the posting on the women in the Israeli military didn't make me upset. James at Hell In A Handbasket think the Israli woman are "cutest." (Though I think the woman in the USMC looks more like "kicking butt and taking names" as James says.)

UK Violent crime on the increase

BBC NEWS | UK | Violent crime shows 6% increase. So while America has crime rates and violent crime rates that are at 40 year lows, peaceful, gun-free England is in the midst of a crime wave that is getting worse every year.
Violent crime in the three months to the end of June increased by 6% on the same period last year, according to quarterly Home Office figures.
Annual crime rate is up 7%.

I thought by banning guns, the UK would become a Utopia. [hat tip KABA]

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys Zero

1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting at loan office Two people attempting to rob a Payday Loans office in Arizona were shot. One is dead; the other is in the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.

It isn't clear who did the shooting - a customer or an employee. What is clear is that two criminals are off the street. [hat tip KABA]

Ausie Women Fight for Gun Rights

Herald Sun: Gun owners aim high [21oct05]. Austrailia has gone almost as far as the UK along the gun-banning road. Some gun owners have had enough.
They want guns and an end to the demonisation of gun owners.

They are so determined they have started what they call the International Coalition for Women in Shooting and Hunting to fight for change.
I wish them the best of luck. It is never easy to regain rights once they are lost. [hat tip KABA]

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Domestic Abuse Knows No Income Bounds

Domestic abuse happens everywhere: Even here - Oak Leaves [10-19-05] This article was interesting mostly for the reaction of River Forest residents.
When Therese Pender was murdered, a woman appeared on the TV news responding that "Things like this never happen [in River Forest]"
A quick, very unscientific review of River Forest real estate reveals some one-bedroom, one-bath condos and duplexes for about $150,000.00, but these are the exceptions. A million dollars for a home River Forest is not uncommon. (River Forest is a wealthy suburb of Chicago. I was surprised there were condos in the 150K range.)

As with most violent crime, people like to pretend, "It can't happen to me." The truth is it can strike anywhere.

Domestic violence defies our perceptions of "how things are supposed to be." For example, a study published in the March 2005 edition of the American Journal of Public Health found that homicide was a leading cause of death among pregnant women in the United States between 1991 and 1999. (How would a pregnant woman defend herself if she does not have access to a firearm? The hand-to-hand techniques taught in various self-defense classes are going to be of little use during the later months of pregnancy.)

Domestic violence isn't about drinking, or about dinner not being cooked. Domestic violence is about control. "It's terrorism in the home." It is odd that this seems to be the one crime where the victim is blamed. Leaving does not always solve the problem, as
Women who leave an abusive relationship have a 75 percent higher chance of death or serious injury than those who remain.
Damned if you do, dead if you don't.

It always has been my contention that women trying to leave abusive relationships need access to firearms in order to defend themselves. Furthermore, they need to have those firearms everywhere they are known to be on a set schedule. To and from work, picking up and dropping off kids at school and to and from religious services they are on set schedules, but these are exactly the times and places that society tries to limit their access to defensive arms. And then we are shocked as the body count goes up.

John Stossel and the Myths of Gun Control The doomsday provision John Stossel is one of the few people in the mainstream media willing to take on the sacred cows of the left. This is no exception.
Guns are dangerous. But myths are dangerous, too. Myths about guns are very dangerous, because they lead to bad laws. And bad laws kill people.
From the Clinton gun ban - which banned no guns - and did nothing to prevent crime (Justice Dept. and the CDC concluded this was the case) to the left's paranoid fear of concealed carry - and their denial (not just a river in Egypt) that most Americans live in states with either full carry rights ("Shall Issue") or limited conceal carry ("May Issue").
What's the special risk? As Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals judge and an immigrant from Eastern Europe, warned in 2003, "the simple truth -- born of experience -- is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people."
It is a wonderful article. [hat tip SayUncle]

Sexism on both sides of the gun store counter

Usually when I go into a gun store - even if I have given them my business in the past - it takes me some time to get any service. After all, what is this woman doing in the male bastion that is a gun store?

Which I suppose is why I enjoyed this post by Tam at View Form The Porch.
A customer is looking for a spare mag for his Walther "P-38" (actually a recently-imported P-1.) He appears unhappy with Tiffani's help, so she decides to get me. When I walk around the corner from my cubicle, he appears nonplussed at the sight of another pesky female being offered up as the solution to his problems.
"What do you know about a P-38?" he snaps.
"Well," I reply, "It's a single-stack service pistol chambered in 9mm Parabellum that operates on the short recoil principle, with the barrel and slide locked together by means of the toggle-type locking block now commonly used in Berettas. It's a double-action/single-action pistol (the first of that type used by a major military) with a hammer-dropping safety. It was adopted by the German military between the wars in yaddayaddayadda, blablabla..."
His eyes glazed over before mine did.

Disarmed By Chicago - Woman is stabbed by estranged husband

Wife slain despite order of protection. Bonnie Jones - 65 was stabbed and her son injured when Howard Jones ignored a court order and attacked his wife outside her apartment.

No mention is made of the fact that the city of Chicago makes it impossible for anyone to defend themselves legally.

Then as for having "the system" defend you, Howard Jones plead guilty to domestic battery on Oct 11th, but was only charged a small fine.

The lefties in control of Chicago need to recognise that only by allowing people to defend themselves will incidents like this be averted. Would allowing Bonnie Jones a gun have saved her life? No one knows. What is clear is that she was disarmed when attacked, and even though neighbors came to her aid, she still died.

The mutant Howard Jones was shot and killed by police at the scene. That doesn't do Bonnie Jones one damn bit of good.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Here we go again

Hurricane Wilma
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Click on the image for a better view.... You may not recognize the coastlines... along the lower left you can see the Yucatan Penninsula of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Hoduras, on the right is Jamaica, (the Caymans are in there, just hard to see) and across the top-right is Cuba, with a glimpse of the Florida Keys in the extreme top-right corner. It is not as stong as it was this morning, but it is still a cat 5. And headed for Florida.

For the very best of up-to-date info on Hurricanes, see the National Weather Service SSD Tropical Satelite Imagery System. (The images actually come from the Satellite Services Division of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.) The best views when a storm is active is found on the "Storm Floaters." I like the infrared loops.... the image above is an IR still.

Carnival of the Vanities for Oct. 19th 2005

Carnival of the Vanities Birthday Edition - The World According to Nick Nick has done a wonderful job with a very large carnival. Lots of interesting posts.

National Ammo Day - Buy 100 rounnds

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Since I seem to be slightly at risk for major hurricane, I may buy some of this ammo today....

Support your local gunstore. Support the firearms industry. Buy a Gun day will return in April.

Testing... Testing...

So there are more cool tests, and as usual my results are over at Log of Zendo.

One says I am a Samurai - (What kind of Killer are You?)
You are full of honour and value respect. You are not really the stereotypical hero, but you do fight for good.
The other says I am King Edward I or Longshanks (What Historical General Are You?)
You, like Edward, are incredibly smart and shrewd, but you win at any costs...
I was a bit surprised at my Ruthlessness score. "You scored higher than 73% on Ruthlessness" I think you are all just a bunch of sissies. If you are in war, the object is to win, is it not?

Some Sanity On The New Florida Gun Rights Law

Chicago Tribune | Expanding the right to self-defense. And from the Chicago Tribune of all places (they usually never print anything pro-gun.)
When Florida passed a law in 1987 making it easier for citizens to get licenses to carry concealed firearms, opponents predicted that blood would run in the streets. "When you have 10 times as many people carrying guns as you do now, and they get into an argument and tempers flash, you're going to have people taking out guns and killing people," one gun-control activist said.

Since the law was passed, it turns out, Florida's murder rate has been cut in half. Instead of becoming more dangerous, the state has become considerably safer.
Given their universal prediction of "wild west shootings" and the fact that their predictions have never come true, why do people continue to listen to them? Out of the more than 1 million concealed carry licenses issued in Florida since 1987, 155 have been revoked due to a crime. But the gun grabbers never talk about statistics, what has happened in the past or what is happening in other states. (The same predictions made in the late 80's in Florida are today being made by the same people in Wisconsin in an attempt to kill the concealed carry bill in that state.)

Now they are dusting off the same old predictions in Florida in relation to the New Castle Doctrine Law, called by some the Stand Your Ground law because it eliminated an unconditional requirement to flee from an attack - even if doing so put you more danger.
Under the new rule, as David Kopel of the Colorado-based Independence Institute puts it, "If a gang tries to mug you while you are walking down a dark street, and you draw a gun and shoot one of the gangsters, a prosecutor cannot argue that you should have tried to run away."

Opponents have characterized the change to mean any Floridian with a firearm can blast away with impunity. "I can picture a stressed-out Tampa soccer mom drawing a bead on an approaching panhandler and shrieking, `Go ahead, make my day!'" fantasized Time magazine columnist Michelle Cottle.

But the law doesn't say you can shoot anyone who approaches you on the street, or anyone who annoys you. It says you may resort to deadly force only if (1) you are attacked or threatened with violence and (2) you have good reason to fear being killed or badly hurt.

If a panhandler asks you for spare change, or even curses you, that wouldn't qualify. If a beefy, hostile biker screams that he's going to stomp you, or rape you, that probably would.
So the opponents make predictions without refernce to the other states. (Contrary to what the NRA and the Brady Bunch are saying, Florida is NOT the only state without a duty to retreat - Kentucky, just to name one and yes there are others.) They make statements about what the law allows without consulting the written document. All in an effort to frighten people. I think it is because they know that they cannot win the debate on its merits. So they lie.

I used to think it was fear that caused the gun grabbers to lie. But if they are still afraid of Florida gunowners after all these years -- 1987 was a long time ago -- they need to seek medical help. No, it isn't about fear; it is about control. Socialists do not like individualists, as they are usually unwilling to give up control of their lives to the state. And that is what they want, control of our lives. [hat tip No Quarters]

What We Need is Common Sense Baseball Bat Control

The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News - 18-Oct-05 - Criminal sluggers: Thugs turn to baseball bats Well after all, that seems to be the left's take on everything. Laws that make you feel good.
In late September, Nashua police announced that youth gangs were increasingly using baseball bats as weapons. Two people were hit in the head with baseball bats in the city that month.
[hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Good News on the Nation's Crime Rate

Murder rate dips to lowest since '65 - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper Murder rates are at 40 year lows. But that isn't all
Overall, the number of violent crimes, which include aggravated assaults and robberies, fell by 1.2 percent last year. Property crimes -- burglaries, larceny/theft and car theft -- dropped 1.1 percent in 2004, compared with 2003.
[hat tip NRA-ILA]

History Repeats Itself - Sen. Edward Kennedy assists in rescue of fishermen. This is what you call ironic
U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy attempted to rescue six men who had become trapped by high tide on a jetty off Hyannisport on Sunday.
Kennedy and a friend tried to rescue the men using a 13-foot boat but rough waters forced them back.
Or as Opinion Journal stated
It's scary enough to be trapped in the water, but being trapped in the water and having Ted Kennedy try to rescue you has got to be about the most terrifying experience imaginable. Just ask Mary Jo Kopechne, though she won't answer.

Weekly Check on the Bias for 10/18

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias Lots of good stuff, and a good deal of bias uncovered.
  • Mike Wallace at a Brady Bunch sponsored birthday party.
  • Alaska's new gun rights law
  • A good discussion of gun rights in Florida.
And much more

Ex-boyfriend Shot in Face after Break-in

Man shot in face. Another guy who doesn't understand what "It's over!" means.

Toby Priest broke down the door of his ex-girlfriend's home in Alabama. He was shot in the face with a shotgun and listed in critical condition at the University of South Alabama hospital. (He was shot by a friend of the ex-girlfriend.)

No charges have been filed, though if I were to bet, I would think Mr. Priest would be charged with breaking and entering, and perhaps stalking.

Maybe Priest will get the message now - she wants him to stay away. [h/t Clayton Cramer's Civilian Gun Self-defense Blog]

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.

It's Time for the Cotillion

Everyone is entitled to our opinion...
(This entry is also available on the Cotillion site.)

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Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day,
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Jane from Armies of Liberation has not been frittering away time. Instead she has researched a long article exposing Chemical Weapons, Drug Smuggling, and Other Crimes of the Yemeni Dictator. In recognition of her efforts, she gets to open the Cotillion.

Among other activities of the Yemeni government, we have:
Active Support of Terrorists: It is no secret that al-Qaeda affiliated members of the Yemeni military and security forces are aiding terrorists. A Yemeni government official stated that “subversive” (al-Qaeda) elements of Yemen’s secret service have established training camps for Iraqi Baathists who later fight in Iraq. Military analyst James Dunnigan wrote recently, “There are many al Qaeda sympathizers in the Yemeni military and government as well. These sympathizers have been discreetly aiding Iraqi Baath Party officials who have fled Iraq, and now Syria. There has also been some active, but covert, support for the terrorists operating in Iraq.”

Dunnigan’s assessment corresponds with that of former Yemeni ambassador to Syria, Ahmed Abdullah al-Hasani, who recently requested political asylum in London. A former commander of Yemen’s navy, al-Hasani stated at a press conference that “al-Qaida elements are at the top in Yemen, in the army and political security forces.” Yemeni Socialist Party lawmaker Mohammed Salah, said “The government deals with terrorists in a way to keep them under their control, to use them when it needs to,” the AP reported. Of 144 bank accounts in Yemen designated in 2004 by the U.N. as related to the terrorism of al-Qaeda or the Taliban, Yemen has frozen one. It has not restricted the activities or finances of U.S. classified “Major Terrorist” Sheik Zindani, who remains a prominent politician and businessman.

A recent study for the Center for Strategic and International Studies by Anthony Cordesman found that 17% of foreign fighters in Iraq were likely Yemeni. This figure does not account for fighters of other nationalities trained in Yemen. Twenty suicide bombings in Iraq were perpetrated by Yemenis, reported al-Thawry newspaper. Two individuals charged with involvement in the Cole bombings who “escaped” along with eight other suspects were later reported to have carried out suicide bombings in Iraq which resulted in dozens of deaths.
There is much more in this well done report on the Yemeni government.

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Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today,
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So, you want to be in The Cotillion? For those interested in how the Cotillion is run, you can take a look at this article, by Beth at MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, which describes how we got started and how we carry on the work.

CatHouse Chat sends her Congratulations to Iraq! In spite of the negativity of the "Lame Stream Media," the election was a success.
How wonderful it is to see Iraqis participate in the delightful brawl of compromise and give and take that is the heart of democracy!

FoxNews says participation is estimated to be around 61% or so, which is a fantastic turnout for that troubled country, and that ratification is very likely. In some areas, turnout was almost universal, while admittedly some regions' was only around 10%. Nevertheless, the average was excellent, and support for the new constitution seems strong, and should certainly be celebrated.
Go see all of the good news.

Fausta at The Bad Hair Blog wonders about Sex, envy, and libel. MoDo and the NYTimes are (of course) attacking the Miers nomination. But Fausta wonders if the Dowd attack doesn't cross the line into sexism and libel. (Well she isn't wondering about sexism.)

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And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking,
And racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

The American Princess thinks that None of Us Cares about corruption in Detroit.
But just in case you were holding a contest for Most Corrupt Politician of a Mid-Western Metropolis, I want you to have all of the information. And honestly, its kind of funny how deep this whole Kwame Kilpatrick thing goes. Just this morning, the local liberal propaganda machine, the Detroit Free Press, released what appears to be the most damning evidence that we of the City of Detroit neglected to realize that electing a man who shops from the same store as Snoop Dogg was probably not such a good idea.
Detroit seems to be short about $200,000.00 from petty cash.

The Gray Tie expresses Her Wrath at the state of her children’s bedrooms. Keeping her word and throwing out things they are not taking proper care of. (Please note the New Home of the Gray Tie)

Little Miss Attila brings our attention to the latest offering from JibJab in JibJab Takes on Wal-Mart and Costco.
the butt of the joke is called "Big Box Mart," which implies not just the reflexive lefty hatred of Wal-Mart, but also criticism of the "bix box" stores such as Costco (where my "enlightened" friends go to save money).
It's Caption Contest Time! at Who Tends the Fires.

Not A Desperate Housewife has some thoughts on abortion. WARNING: Graphic Abortion Photos in this post! Not Just Tissue.
Having spent most of my life as a mother now, I have never been able to digest abortion. Dear husband and I made great sacrifices to not be guilty of this atrocity. Upon discovering that I was pregnant at the age of 17, abortion did cross my mind but I knew it was something I could not do. It almost seemed like the logical way out; my parents wouldn't know, my friends wouldn't know and I would be able to continue life as normal. As I've said before, 'abortion is the eraser for sexual immorality'

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Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines.
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.
The time is gone. The song is over. Thought I’d something more to say.

Girl on the Right presents a few suggestions now that Vancouver, British Columbia has decided there are no criminals, in Lawless . Guilt and innocence are such old-fashioned ideas.

Florida Cracker brings us Homefires VI - An interesting look at a Country Music star.
What's better: attending Harvard or performing at the Grand Ole Opry? Not too many people would be able to tell us, but one of these boys could have.
Also a British Country Music star. Hmmmm.

A North American Patriot is worried about the systematic attack on Rights. In The Clash of the Rights Titans she examines some of issues.
Of late, there has been a battle waging, in the hushed confines of the venerated courtrooms of the world. It is a battle of "rights" and who is entitled to them. Who is entitled to infringe upon them. And exactly which rights are inalienable and which are granted by circumstance.

I am a harsh defender of rights -- Though not the rights that seem to be popular these days. For me, the only rights that are fundamental and uncompromising, are the right to life, and the right to security of that life.
The Democrats had Westley Clark respond to the President's radio address. CNN ran Clark's statement in full, while giving sparse coverage to Bush. Atlas Shrugs has a complete analysis of the Dhimmis in Democrats Oppose Free Iraq - Fisking Wesley Clark.

Hate Crimes are much in the news, as we just passed the seventh anniversary of the death of Mathew Shepard. My position has always been that hate crimes are essentially thought crimes, and that we should stick to outlawing actions. See my post Hate Crimes: What Happened to Equal Before the Law? for my position.

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can,
And when I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire.
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell.
["Time" from Dark Side of the Moon]

Monday, October 17, 2005

Don't Think Our Open Borders are Problem? Guess Again

Whenever someone tells you that "undocumented workers" are just here for work, tell them that it is not always the case.

A case in point is the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman in Collier County, Florida by 14 illegal aliens. These are not undocumented workers. These are violent criminals who should never have gotten into this country.

The story broke last week with Blog Articles � 14 Farm Workers Arrested For Gang Rape In Florida…Are They Illegal Aliens? But the Sheriff of Collier County did not want to reveal the immigration status of the 14 farm laborers rapists.

Pressure from VDare readers got the Sheriff to release their status. 10/12/05 - Justice In Florida—Thanks To VDARE.COM Readers!
A Sheriff’s Office inquiry with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has disclosed that the 14 arrestees are all Guatemalan Nationals and are in the United States illegally. Federal detainers from ICE have been placed on all 14. The federal detainer is in addition to criminal charges in Collier County.
Where has the MSM been in all of this? Silent of course. 14 illegal aliens raping a young women - who they dragged from her home at 4 AM - does not fit with the "open-borders are good for us" liberal nonsense.

This country needs to get control of its borders. If once that happens we need to institute a guest worker program, so be it. But that program should not discriminate in favor of minorities (plenty of people from Eastern Europe would probably be happy to apply) and it must screen out criminals and terrorists. But first we need to control the borders.

[Hat tip Gina's Rantings]

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hate Crime = Thought Crime

Scenario 1: I attack you. That is assault and/or battery.

Scenario 2: I attack you because I think you are Jewish/Gay/etc. That is a different crime, and different penalties apply.

The only difference between these 2 scenarios is a thought. (I still can't remember, are thought crimes in George Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World?)

I don't see why people think that thought crimes are a good idea? Am I only allowed to think government-approved thoughts? So it would seem.

One more piece of gun-control insanity

.: Corvallis Gazette-Times: Alaska anti-gun-control law goes into effect Wednesday. Now the hysteria on the left is focused on Alaska. There is so much idiocy that it is hard to know where to begin, so I will only deal with one item.
The part of the law that most concerns Alaska police chiefs is the lifting of bans on guns in public buildings. That could leave government workers inside vulnerable to attack, said Anchorage Police Chief Walter Monegan.
The people in public buildings are already vulnerable to attack. They always have been. Do you really think that Joe-the-estranged-husband goes to a public building to shoot his wife, sees the "no guns allowed" sign in the door and turns around and goes home? (If you believe this, I can get you a good deal on a bridge or 2.) Does a paper ban on guns stop a disgruntled employee from coming to work and shooting co-workers? And if they do come to work and commit mayhem, does the incremental bit of justice that can be gained by prosecuting the violation of the ban on top of assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to commit murder or murder really matter?

What about the very real possibility that Jane-the-estranged-wife-of-Joe, knowing of Joe's murderous intent would be armed in self-defense and would now be in a position to defend herself? Seems like she might be less vulnerable to attack under the new law.

This country needs to stop passing laws to control otherwise law-abiding citizens and concentrate on punishing people who commit crimes. It would also help to encourage individual responsibility - like self-defense - but I know that goes counter to everything governments and bureaucracies stand for.

Still Expecting the System to Protect You? - News - Shooting Victim Upset That Suspect Allowed To Post Bail. 3 felony charges including assault and he is "not a danger." So his bail was reduced, and he walked. (He attacked a neighbor who was treated for stab wounds to ribs, back and head... no not a danger.)

This woman is lucky she was only shot with a BB gun. If I were in her place I would purchase a firearm today... if I didn't already have 1 or 2 ready at hand.


Media utters nonsense, won't call enemy out. Can't call terrorists, "terrorists." Can't call Islamic fighters, "Islamic." It might upset someone.
Islamic "militants" are the new Voldemort, the enemy whose name it's best never to utter.
There are serious things going on in Russia. They aren't being done in the name of freedom, but in the name of creating an Islamic super-state.
What happened in Russia on Thursday was serious business, not just in the death toll but in the number of key government installations that the alleged insurging rebel militants of non-specific ideology managed to seize with relative ease. The militantly rebellious insurgers of no known religious affiliation have long said they want a pan-Caucasian Islamic state from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea.
Why is it that the MSM doesn't want to report on this?

A Look at the British Use of Ritalin

Telegraph | Opinion | Another pill that proves we're optimism addicts. A look at the use of Ritalin in the UK.
If the main obstacle to our happiness is the behaviour of others, we want them to take the tablets instead of us: what one might call over-optimism by proxy. And since so many children nowadays seem insolent, unruly, un-able to concentrate and overactive, it is little wonder that busy and exhausted parents should reach for the Ritalin in order to achieve a little domestic peace and quiet.
Who is benefiting from all that Ritalin? (British use of the drug increased 180 times between 1991 and 2004.)

Precision Guided Humor: Al-Qaeda's New Plan

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIn a surpise move, Al-Qaeda issued a press release today saying that they have given up terrorism, and instead intend to concentrate on the creation of a fast food franchise empire.

An Al-Qaeda member who wished to remain annonymous said
When we have as much influence in the world as Ronald McDonald, then we will know Allah smiles on our activities.
Reaction from world leaders was guarded.

A spokesman for the Bush adminstration said
We just don't think you will convince the American people to give up hamburgers in favor of roast goat.
Tony Blair issued a statement that the since the British had already adopted curry as their take-out food of choice, he did not think they would switch again.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Hate Crimes: What Happened to Equal Before the Law?

There is much in the news recently about hate crimes, as it is the seventh anniversary of the death of Mathew Shepard. While Shepard's death was a tragedy, and the perpetrators monstrous, classifying one type of death as more heinous than another is not the solution.

Crimes should be punished based on actions, not thoughts. Individual rights in all areas should be secured of course. Housing, employment, etc. should not be denied based on who you are. Neither should the penalty for murder be determined based on the identity of the victim. All should be equal before the Law.

This is a posting from last year on the same topic. It seems fitting to repeat it here. [Update 10/18 - see also Hate Crime = Thought Crime]

gay flagJustice Shouldn't Be Tilted by 'Hate Crimes' a thoughtful article in the LA Times (of all places) discusses the murder of Mathew Shepard, and "the notion that anyone is safer, freer, wiser or more generous in spirit because some murders might be defined as worse than murder, some victims considered special, and some perpetrators punished more harshly — all on the basis of something as measureless as hate."

Drugs and alcohol were heavily involved and one of the attackers beat up someone else in almost the same way he beat up Shepard on the way to burgle Shepard's apartment. Was it a hate crime, or just a vicious crime? Does it matter?

Assault and murder are both horrible acts, both illegal, and both deserving of punishment. They are not more horrible when a gay dies, they should not be subject to different penalties.

The inequities that are the result of this kind of separating of victims are illustrated by another case in the same locale.
A third awful occurrence in Laramie should have drawn bright circles around the inequities of that kind of treatment. In January 1999, Henderson's [one of the attackers] mother, Cindy Dixon, was found dead. She had been raped and struck and left in the snow to die. No powerful advocates spoke for her. She was likely to come to a bad end, people said, what with the drinking and the men, and then her son….

Nobody took the measure of hate. By the time the Dixon case was wrapped up, they weren't even talking murder. A man pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and the same judge who sent Dixon's son to prison forever sentenced her killer to four to nine years. He got out last year.
If some murders are to be seen as worse than others, then some people will be killed at a discount. Where is the Justice in that? [Thanks to Right Side of the Rainbow.]

34th Carnival of Cordite

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #34
It is time once again for the Carnival of Cordite. If you are new, this is a weekly round-up of blog posts relating to guns, shooting, hunting, defense, and the law and politics of the Second Amendment.

Robbery Victim Not Expected to Survive

Woman, 68, in critical care after attack in S. Boston - The Boston Globe. A woman was attacked (and her purse stolen) as she was on her way to work. Residents of the area are "shocked" to discover that crime can strike anywhere.
The incident yesterday set off fears, though, and some said they are thinking about how to protect themselves. Judy Chase, 56, said she would be taking self-defense classes at the nearby Laboure Center on West Broadway, which provides social service programs for area residents.
But how is a 68-year-old (or a 56-year-old) woman going to protect herself from attack in a state that has disarmed the law-abinding citizens?

Some Men Just Don't Know When A Relationship is Over - News - Woman's Alleged Stalker Fatally Shot. It's over for this guy - he was shot in the head by his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend.

Names are withheld for the time being, but what is clear is that the dead man gained entrance to a gated community and confronted the couple. Neighbors called police after hearing gunshots.

The residents of this gated community are "shocked" to discover that crime has visited their enclave. ("The wide world is all about you; you can fence youselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out." Fellowship of the Ring)

Judge Should Be Removed from the Bench

'Woman on Fire' Judge Removed from Domestic Violence Cases - WTOP Radio. Just taking him off Domestic cases is not enough. He has shown he is not fit to be on the bench.

Another Monster in the News

WHDH-TV - Boston - Man allegedly killed girlfriend, shared sofa with decomposing body.
[P]olice on Wednesday found 44-year-old John MacKenzie sitting on a couch in his home. Wrapped in blankets next to MacKenzie was the decomposing body of 35-year-old Wendy Cox of Gloucester.
2 weeks the body was on the sofa

The Dutch Crack Down on Terrorists Dutch Police Arrest Terror Suspects, Seal Parliament. In raids around the Netherlands, Dutch Police arrested 7 suspected of planning attacks on politicians critical of radical Islam.

Before the murder of Theo Van Gogh for his short film on the treatment of women in Islam, the Dutch were very much in the appeasement camp of Europe. They seem to have awoken to the threat that Radical Islamic fascism represents and have begun to do something about it.

Sites in The Hague, Amsterdam and Almere were raided.
[Wim de Bruin, spokesman for the national prosecutor's office] said officers used thunderflashes -- devices that create a noise and flash intended to stun. No shots were fired, he said, responding to an RTL broadcast that there was gunfire.
The capital remains under increased security, though government meetings were taking place as scheduled.

The Guardian offered a bit more explanation regarding the timing of the raids. Guardian Unlimited | Seven held in Dutch anti-terror raids:
Today's security operation comes a day after media reports of renewed threats against MPs Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders, who are both outspoken critics of radical Islam.

The two politicians had to go into hiding for several months after Van Gogh's murder.
I think it is safe to say that the Dutch have joined the fight against global terrorism, even if they are currently only fighting in their own backyard.

Religion and Prejudice

The Oklahoma Daily Online Edition - Just say you hate gays, don't hide behind religion. Honesty would be the best policy.... I only wish I had written this.
It just amazes me how much some (and I do say some, not all) Christian conservatives use their faith to rationalize their prejudices.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that there are far too many people out there who hate gay people and use religion to pretend like they don’t.

People like to say, “Hate the sin and not the sinner,” and then hate the sinner anyway.
Take a look at the whole thing.

Women can be mosters too

Armstrong woman charged in attack on pregnant neighbor. A woman attacked by a neighbor who wanted to steal her unborn child.

Valerie Oskin was eight months pregnant when she was attacked by Peggy Jo Conner with a baseball bat and driven to some woods where Conner tried to cut the unborn child from its mother's womb. The attack was interupted by a young man on an ATV.

This is the type of monster who should go away for a very long time, even for the rest of her life. Aggrevated assault, aggrevated assault on an unborn child, attempted homicide should put Ms. Conner in jail for a very long time. (The NYTimes may disagree.) But to attack another human being in this fashion is monstrous, and the punishment should be harsh.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Big Crunch

There is one theory of the universe which holds there is enough matter in the universe to enable gravity to overcome the outward expansion from the Big Bang and return everything to its starting position - the Big Crunch

The blopshere seems to be experiencing a version of this. Ilyka, Jody at Steal the Bandwagon, and now Casandra, who I read when she was helping out at I Love Jet Noise. These are just a few of the Cotillion members who have quit the blogsphere.

Others have quit in the gunblogging community. I toyed with the idea of quitting, but enjoy this too much.

Still I believe that the lack of enthusiasm comes from feeling let down by our leaders. Republicans are spending money like FDR. SCOTUS nominations are less than inspiring. What's the point of winning if your team gives away the spoils of victory?

So to you who are gone, good luck in whatever other endeavors you get into. Some of you will be back when the stakes are worth it. To those considering dropping out, just cut back. It will seem like it is worth it again soon enough.

230th Anniversary of the Founding of the US Navy

Birth of the U.S. Navy. Friday the 13th of October, 1775 - no triskaidekaphobia among the Founding Fathers...
On Friday, October 13, 1775, meeting in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress voted to fit out two sailing vessels, armed with ten carriage guns, as well as swivel guns, and manned by crews of eighty, and to send them out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America. This was the original legislation out of which the Continental Navy grew and as such constitutes the birth certificate of the navy.
[hat tip I Love Jet Noise]