Thursday, August 31, 2006

You don't have to be gay to be bashed

Orange County Weekly: Student faces prison after anti-gay attack. All you have to do is "look" the part to some idiot.
On Aug. 9, Fullerton police detectives arrested the 21-year-old business major for conduct that isn’t Van Wilder cool. Cops say Gastelum viciously attacked two young women near campus this summer because he assumed—incorrectly—that they were a lesbian couple.

Gastelum did not respond to requests for an interview, but here’s law enforcement’s version of events:

At about 2 a.m. on July 17, two women—ages 20 and 22, old friends—were walking through an alley to a Fullerton apartment when they encountered Gastelum. He was walking in the opposite direction with four friends—a guy and three girls. Gastelum laughed at the victims

When one of the female victims told him to show manners, Gastelum repeated his anti-gay epithets and allegedly punched the 20-year-old woman in her face, throat and chest, according to police. The force of the blows knocked her to the pavement. When she stood up, he allegedly struck her at least five more times. The second woman tried to protect her friend, which prompted Gastelum to ask, “What are you, her bitch?” He then allegedly slugged the woman 12 to 15 times, threw her into a nearby garage door and kicked her body.
If convicted of all charges (battery and a hate crime) he faces 3 years in jail.

But say it again. This was NOT a lesbian couple, just two friends minding their own business. He insults and then attacks them for no reason (except his prejudice of course)

The goblin's male friend laughed while a large muscled man beat up two 5-ft-nothing women. The women he was with stood by and watched.

When a witness appeared, he ran like the gutless wonder he must be, if he beat up two women.

So don't walk with a friend - you might look gay to some neanderthal who will pound you into the ground to shore up his failing self-esteem.

Bloomberg Sued Again

Gun Dealer Hits Bloomberg on Sting Operation - The New York Sun. The second gun dealer is suing.
A South Carolina gun dealer became the second storeowner to sue after Mr. Bloomberg targeted it a few months ago in an undercover sting operation designed to stymie illegal gun sales.

The lawsuit, filed in South Carolina, seeks damages and claims that the city smeared the storeowner's reputation.
Good luck to them! [NRA-ILA]

And of course he still doesn't want to cough up what "data" he has.U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Firearms Industry Says Bloomberg Stonewalling on Providing Tapes to ATF" He doesn't want the feds making the data public - or I think even prosecuting the people who attempted (on Bloomberg's behalf and in violation of federal law) to make straw or other illegal purchases.

Shooting of 2 Goblins Justified

The State | 08/31/2006 | Police: No charges against man who shot two intruders.

This story I wrote about yesterday. Three mutants invade a guys house at 2:40 in the morning, he shoots and kills two, and a third person is arrested.
A Lyman man who shot and killed two brothers he said were breaking into his house early Wednesday morning will not be charged, Police Chief Scott Suttles said Wednesday.
He was defending himself, and that is enough for the police in Lyman, South Carolina.

Even Our Oyster Bar Employees Are Armed

Eatery workers, suspects trade shots - Orlando Sentinel : Dining God I love living in Florida!
Orlando -- A robbery suspect may have been wounded in a shootout with restaurant workers at an oyster bar late Sunday, according to Orlando police reports.
Having been robbed a week earlier while taking out the trash, both kitchen workers told police they armed with themselves with .40-caliber and 9 mm pistols before doing the chore Sunday night, reports show.
They traded shots with armed robbers, who ran away like rabbits. [KABA]

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This is Vigilante Justice

JusticeIn cases of self-defense, the media always cry "vigilante justice." I wonder what they will say about a case that is about vigilantism?

AP Wire | 08/30/2006 | Lawyer charged with murdering neighbor.

Whatever the facts of this case are, there is a tragedy here somewhere. More than one.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - A lawyer climbed through a neighbor's bedroom window and stabbed him to death after being told by a family member that the man had molested his 2-year-old daughter, authorities say.

Barry James, 58, was stabbed in the chest nearly a dozen times Monday. The lawyer, Jonathon Edington, 29, was charged with murder and burglary and was released on $1 million bail Wednesday.
I don't have much to say about this case, only that even if the accusation of molestation is true beyond the shadow of a doubt, taking the law into your own hands is usually wrong.

A father's violent rage may be understandable, but that doesn't make it right. If we aren't a nation of laws, then we're a mob.

The rule of law is the cornerstone of our civilization, if we abandon it, we revert to what Thomas Hobbes called the state of war.
and such a war as is of every man against every man.
Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, judged guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, entitled to a jury of your peers.... None of these were in play.

And where do we end up if we abandon the law, if there is not "a common power to keep [us in line?]"
men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
In short you would be living in New Orleans in the days immediately following hurricane Katrina.

Aesop Was a Libertarian

Grizzly Mama: Aesop's Fable Friday
Moral of the story: That governs best which governs least.
(OK so I am running late due to storm prep.)

Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0

The State | 08/30/2006 | Lyman man says he killed two intruders.
The man said he heard intruders and fired his shotgun when they opened his bedroom door.

The [goblins] were Marshall Leshaun Anderson, 28, and Travis Earle Anderson, 22, both of Spartanburg, said Mike West with the coroner's office.
A third person is also under arrest.

And yes, these guys are called victims. If you would like to write to the editor, you may do so at this email address. If you break into my home, and threaten me in my bedroom, you are no victim. You are a criminal.

One Woman Who Will Never Again Be a Victim - News - Victim Learns How To Shoot Gun Before Attackers Paroled
"If it's me or them, it's not going to be me anymore," said Cathy Lindsey. "I would not hesitate for a minute to protect my life."
These 3 guys (one turned states evidence) brutally raped a women 23-years ago. She was 24-years-old at the time. Why are these two criminals being let out of prison 5 years early? 23 years ago, they promised to take revenge if she went to the authorities. Has anything changed?
Reed, 53, and Robert Hogsten, 49, are being released Monday, after serving all but five years of their sentences on rape convictions. In exchange for their guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped charges of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.
The evidence was fairly conclusive, not even including her eye-witness testimony... they didn't bother to conceal their identities.

The attitude of the head bureaucrat city manager shows why May Issue concealed carry laws don't work.
Middletown City Manager Bill Becker, a former police officers who was one of the detectives investigating the case 23 years ago, said he never was a fan of concealed carry laws.

"But it's certainly Cathy's right, if she feels the need, and in this particular case, I wouldn't blame her," he said.
So what is his solution? Is he or his city police department going to protect her 24 hours a day? What did his police department do all those years ago? (They showed up after the fact and took a statement, collected evidence, etc.) He was on the force when the crime was committed. What should women living alone today do, given that the police come after the fact to investigate the crimes? What should women do (single or not) who have to drive or walk the violent streets of the world? My answer is that these women - or at least those comfortable - should carry concealed weapons. When they are unfortunate enough to meet a goblin who attemtps to rape them, they can blow his head off in self-defense.

Assault SUVs Need to be Off Our Streets

Up to 14 hurt in SF hit-and-run spree - 7 critical; driver believed to have struck, killed a man in Fremont earlierInsane people will do insane things, with whatever "weapons" they have at their disposal.

One dead, 14 hurt, one a critically injured child. Where are the cries to get SUVs off the street? Where are the armies of lawyers lining up to sue the automobile manufacturers? Oh, you aren't scared of cars/trucks/SUVs? You should be; they kill and injure an awful lot of people every year.

I don't know what the great state of California will do to this guy if he is convicted (send him to therapy, probably) but whatever they do, it won't be enough.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Storm and Boat Update

The storm seems to have mostly taken an eastward path. If the currnet projections hold true, even in the worst case for my location, things shouldn't be too bad. I still am continuing with the work - just in case.

I re-bedded the lens in my forward hatch, as it was leaking. I have to finish trim the caulking (actually 3M 5200) today.

Then I will install the dorade vent cover-plates. Dorades allow air to enter the boat and keep most water at bay. The cover plates make them more water-proof, since if we get any weather it is likely to be heavy rains. (They actually need to be re-installed, as I had removed everything prior to doing some varnishing.)

Then there is general cleaning, provisions for a few days, top off the water tanks, etc. If I had time I would go get some more fuel, but I have enough.

Wish the people of South Florida and Miami luck. It looks like they will get hit, but not too hard. (click on the map for a larger view)

Ten Years of Concealed Carry in South Carolina

The Sun News | 08/29/2006 | Allowing citizens to have weapons cuts crime The dire predictions of the (mostly) Democratic opposition to the right of self-defense in South Carolina have mostly failed to materialize.
Over the past 10 years, South Carolina has become a much safer place to live, work and raise a family. Since the General Assembly wisely chose to allow good citizens to carry guns for self-defense, the violent crime rate has sharply declined. And although the mainstream news media largely avoid reporting such facts, the truth is more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens equals less crime.
Prior to the passage of the "Shall Issue" Law ten years ago, SC had been a "May Issue" state with the result that very few people had permits. You had to convice a bureaucrat of your need to defend yourself.

The measure met great resistance, as they always do.
The mostly Democratic opposition, led by S.C. Sen. John Land and his closest allies, immediately began warning about the dangers. According to their confused logic, good citizens could not be trusted to handle firearms in public. They seemed to suggest the mere presence of a gun would somehow turn an honest person into a homicidal maniac.
The truth, as usual, is somewhat different.

Now the left will say, as they always do, that the crime rate across the nation has gone down these past 10 years, where is the proof that concealed carry works? The proof is in exactly those places - Washington D.C. and Boston, that restrict one's ability to have an effective defense. But the MSM won't report on that - got to keep that anti-gun bias strong. D.C. Has a crime emergency, but Florida and South Carolina and any numnber of other states have been experiencing reductions in crime.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Due to Technical Weather Difficulties ...

[** Updated with the 8/28/06 1400 EDT forecast **]

Beyond My Control, blogging will continue light untill I get the boat squared away.

OTHER POSTS Will be below this one....


A book meme I stole from Ken....

1) A book that changed my life:
This would be a toss up between Maiden Voyage, by Tania Aebi, Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum (the first man to do so, just over 100 years ago) and Saga of a Wayward Sailor by Tristan Jones. Though I read Jones' book first. These convinced me I could follow my dream. Aebi's book really convinced me that I wouldn't die... after all she didn't.

2) A book I've read more than once:
The Odyssey, by Homer. What can I say? This is one of the greatest stories ever written.

3) A book I'd take to a desert island:
Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

4) A book that made me laugh:
To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last, by Connie Willis. This is a hilarious story of time travel. It is, in some ways, the sequel to The Doomsday Book, having several of the same characters, using the same technology, etc. so you might want to take a look at that first. (It won't make you laugh.)

5) A book that made me cry:
The Doomsday Book, Connie Willis

6) A book I wish had been written:
Another volume in the Vorkosigan series by Bujold. One that follows Ivan Vorpatril instead of Miles Vorkosigan. Ivan, Miles' tall, good-looking cousin, is frequently around just for comic relief, and comments are made by several female characters in several of the books that he just refuses to grow up, but at the end of A Civil Campaign, he has finally decided to grow up, you just aren't sure if he is going to make it or not. It would be fun to see what trouble he could get up to, turned loose on the galaxy, instead of his shorter, smarter cousin.

7) A book that should never have been written:
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, by Kim Harrison. This is the sequel to Dead Witch Walking, which was OK. But one story about Vamps, Weres and Witches running around the back streets of Cincinnati was probably enough. (And maybe too much, though I think there are four in the series now.)

8) A book I'm currently reading:
Thunder and Lightning, Natalie Goldberg. Natalie Goldberg is my favorite author of books about writing. Writing Down the Bones, and Wild Mind are also good. I really enjoyed her memoir Long Quiet Highway that details her studies with her Zen teacher Katagiri Roshi, the impact he had on her life and his death from cancer.

9) A book I'm planning to read:
Steering the Craft, Ursula K. Le Guin. A book about writing by one of my favorite authors.

10) Five people I'll send these questions on to:
Since I don't do that, feel free to join in.

The Sureal Pleasure Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #144 Best of Me Symphony
What we need are strong, straightforward, precise works which will be forever misunderstood. Logic is a complication. Logic is always false. Dada Manifesto:1918
The BOMS is a collection of posts at least 60 days old.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ebay Bans Homeschool Textbooks

Tammy Bruce: Ebay Bans Homeschool Textbooks
They're considered 'illegal, dangerous, offensive, or potentially infringing.'
Hitler and Charlie Manson materials are OK though.

Not Your Father's Hummer - When a Hummer won't do: Buy a Gurkha.
It can stop a bullet from an AK-47, shrug off a roadside bomb, and it makes a Hummer look like a chick car.

The $200,000 (U.S.) Gurkha is coming to a road near you
The first batch this year will be divided between the Candian military and the US military. The first civilian delivery is scheduled for a "well known personality" in California. Not Ahnold, but a friend of his.

8,620 kilograms, 150 kilometers per hour. Not bad for a bunch of Canucks. [Hat tip Gullyborg]

Late to the Carnival

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #70 Better late than never.... go take a look.

Friday, August 25, 2006

News Flash: Fighting Crime Leads to Less Crime - EDITORIAL: Tackling gun crime Well, that seems to be news in Canada....
Police cracked down on the notorious Jamestown Crips this spring, arresting more than 100 people. And a sweeping investigation into the Boxing Day murder of 15-year-old Jane Creba maintained heavy pressure on the gangs involved in that violence.

Police Chief Bill Blair has assigned more officers to Toronto's most troubled neighborhoods. They are reaching out to beleaguered residents, establishing contacts and building trust. Perhaps in response to that effort, more people appear to be helping officers in their investigations by sharing what they know. That is critically important to making the city safer for all.
Does it really surprise anyone that there is much less crime this year? Well, yes it does. The editors of the Toronto Star seem to be completely surprised.

Philadelphia stopped fighting crime, and got more of it.

Chicago lowered murders 25% a few years back with not one extra cop and no new anti-gun laws. They were just smarter about using the manpower they already had.

But the Canadians seem genuinely shocked that better crime-fighting could lead to less crime. Not midnight basketball (or soccer or hockey or curling or whatever they do up north), not some touchy-feely, feel-good social program, not even a rousing chorus of Kumbayah, just good old-fashioned police work, like throwing criminals into jail, lowered crime rates. [Hat tip NRA-ILA]

17-year-old Saves Family From Gunman

Las Vegas SUN: Utah sheriff says youth stabbed Las Vegas intruder to death After being bound with duct tape, the 17-year-old frees himself and retrieves a hunting knife, and goes to assist his step-father.
"He goes in to assist his stepfather," [Iron County Sheriff Mark] Gower said. "The juvenile delivers several blows to the suspect in the back. He (the assailant) is bleeding quite heavily, and the fight continues even after that."
Eventaully the wounded goblin decided to leave. He was found about 150 feet from the home with no pulse and not breathing.

The goblin had recently been fired by the homeowner who owns a construction company.
Gower described the boy as a levelheaded kid "who, in my opinion, saved his family's lives."
The 17-year-old's actions are considered justified.

A Restraining Order, Electronic Monitoring and One Murder

JusticePolice: Man Kills Ex-Wife, Self Wearing Monitoring Device Still think that The System can protect you? Think again.
Matthew O'Connor was supposed to appear in court Wednesday on charges of violating a restraining order but instead allegedly shot and killed Eva Irene before he turned the gun on himself, reported KSAT 12 News.

But what many don't know is that on the morning that O'Connor allegedly shot the victim, he was wearing an electronic monitoring device around his ankle.
It was NOT a Global Positioning System enabled device, it only tracked when he was home and when he left. When he left home, monitors assumed it was to go to work. Something that was authorized.

What does a representative of that System have to say about this case?
"It's a very unfortunate situation, but we took all the legal ramifications that could have happened to protect this woman as much as possible. Unfortunately, it didn't," said Keith Charlton of the Bexar County Criminal Justice Planning and Coordination Department.
I think they could have given her a 9mm, a case of ammunition and free range time. But that's me.

We don't know what would have happened had this woman been armed. There are no guarantees that being prepared for an emergency means you will survive that emergency. That's life. The Criminal Justice System did everything they thought they could do and it clearly wasn't enough. People need to realize that while many in criminal justice system will go all out to protect you, they are really quite limited in what they can do. If you are faced with a violent stalker, you need to be prepared to defend yourself. (Actually I believe that even if you don't have a violent-stalker-problem you need to be prepared... there are violent robbers, home-invaders, etc.) The police are usually called only after a crime has been committed.

More info on UK shooting

Telegraph | News | Gun victim stabbed by same gang months ago While the politicos claim London is safe.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, said crime had dropped sufficiently in an area of inner-city London for people to leave their doors unlocked.
The truth is a bit different.
Canning Town [East London where Peter Woodhams, 22, was killed] has such a crime rate that the couriers DHL have refused to deliver in the area. Two weeks ago a man was stabbed to death streets away from where Mr Woodhams died.
The police are reduced to doing next to nothing.
The Newham borough commander, Chief Supt Michael Johnson, said six anti-social behaviour orders had been handed out in the street where the confrontation took place along with dispersal notices to stop youths congregating.
This is no deterence to crime.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

‘I will shoot you’

Vail Daily News - Girls with Guns: ‘I will shoot you’ A nice article about empowering women and girls to defend themselves.
“Stop! I have a gun. Leave my house,” shouted the 11-year-old girl.
And with the words barely out of her mouth, Noel Smith opened fire.

Any intruder would be dead on his back, but this was just practice. Noel, along with seven other women, was practicing her marksmanship at a session of Girls and Their Guns, a summer-long program that teaches women how to shoot and about gun safety.
Some great stories are presented. Women using guns to defend themselves against intruders without firing a shot. Women who overcame their fear of guns.
When Nancy Jones-Broder’s husband suggested they start shooting a couple years ago, Jones-Broder was less than thrilled about the idea.

“I didn’t like guns,” she said. “I was afraid of them.”

Jones-Broder recalled visiting an indoor shooting range in Denver.

“I cried the whole time,” she said.

Girls and Their Guns has helped foster a strong bond between Jones-Broder and her .45.
BugMeNot is your friend. [Hat tip to Jeff at Alphecca]

Now UK Police Are Sorry They Didn't Do Their Job

Daily Express: The World's Greatest Newspaper I don't know if this is an improvement or just another way to deflect blame for what happened.
A senior Met Police officer has apologised to the family of a young father shot dead after standing up to a gang of youths in the same road where he was stabbed just months earlier.
Peter Woodhams was killed by a youth gang that the police had basically refused to confront over a 5 week period.

Before the apology, the cops were hiding behind bureaucratic weasel-wording. So this may actually be an improvement. Though they are still being bureaucratic. I guess the British police just can't help it. They really aren't allowed to fight crime, not effectively anyway. [KABA]

UN Backed Gun Control and Genocide

How the United Nations Facilitates Genocide Darfur, Sudan the villagers are unarmed as a direct result of UN-backed gun control. So they can't defend themselves.
So with the black villagers disarmed—thanks to Sudan’s strict gun laws—and the Arab gangs well-armed (thanks to the government), the stage was set for genocide. Typically, the mounted Arab gangs would attack a village on the ground, while the Sudanese military provided air support and bombed the village.
Would arming them change the outcome? It would certainly make it more risky for the Arab gangs. It might not change the final result, but it may. We know what is happening when they are disarmed.
In the south Sudan, the genocide program killed 2.2. million victims, and drove 4.5 million from their homes. Victims who were not killed were often sold into slavery. Rape was extensively used as an instrument of state terror.
Would you rather fight and die, or be slaughtered like sheep? [Hat tip NRA-ILA]

Self-defense is a human right.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Story of Two People You Need to Remember

Villainous Company: The Boys Of Summer. Especially PFC Natchez "Little Fawn" Washalanta....
He has no one to remember him but us.

Man Dead, British Cops Hiding Behind Bureaucratic Double-talk

Father dies on doorstep after clash with youths - Britain - Times Online Problems had existed for a long time, but if the police notice it, they would have forms to fill in, and god knows how much work to do.
“I phoned the police every day for five weeks and they never even came to take a statement from me.”
They ended by killing
Peter Woodhams, 22, staggered to his front door in Canning Town, East London, after being shot in the chest and collapsed onto the ground.
It turns out that the people in the know believe that this same gang came close to killing Woodhams in January when they stabbed him in the neck.

So what is the police response?
The spokeswoman said: “Following the tragic murder of Peter Woodhams, officers from the Specialist Crime Directorate were made aware of a serious stabbing incident involving the victim in January 2006. Officers from the SCD have been liaising with the senior officers from Newham borough to establish the outcome of this incident; as a result a full review is currently being conducted to ensure correct standards of police procedure were initially taken.”
They will review their procedures. They didn't say anything like, "We will brings these violent criminals to justice." But then they won't bring anyone to justice.

I imagine they will hand out some "warnings" to the Yobs involved.

Guess It's a Good Thing I Paid the Electric Bill

Since Doomsday didn't happen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Shooting Sports: Women in Hunting

Vail Daily News - Hunting: Not just a man’s sport anymore A nice story about women in hunting that manages not to be surprised by the fact that women hunt.

It starts with the story of 65-year-old Linda Beagley, who taught her granddaughters to hunt. She got her first hunting license when she was 14.

Still hiking into the back-country to hunt certainly isn't for everyone.
Nationwide, 9 percent of hunters were women that year, amounting to 1.2 million women, and some say that figure will grow.
A great story about some great women hunters. I would say it's worth a look. [NRA-ILA]

Nothing That a Small Caliber Pistol Wouldn't Handle - 'Urban' Raccoons Kill 10 Cats, Terrorize Washington State Neighborhood - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News People understimate the size a full-grown raccoon can reach. Up to about 40 inches in length and 45 pounds - according to
OLYMPIA, Wash. — A fierce group of raccoons in a west end neighborhood has killed 10 cats, attacked a small dog and bitten at least one pet owner who had to get rabies shots
Some pets have gotten away or been rescued by their owners - hence the rabies shots. Trapping has had little impact.
Meanwhile, residents have hired Tom Brown, a nuisance wildlife control operator from Rochester, to set traps, but in six weeks he has caught only one raccoon. He and [Sean O. Carrell, a problem wildlife coordinator with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife,] said raccoons teach their young — and each other — to avoid traps.
Of course some of the neighbors continue to feed the raccoons, since they are cute to some people. Pet owners are trying to get that to stop. Good luck.


Thanks to A Tangled Web for reminding me that this being the 22nd is doomsday - at least according to the mad mullahs. (Picture is of one of the Upshot Knothole blasts.)

Canada Thows Away the Key (almost)

The Daily News: Vicious attacks warrant dangerous tag - Crown Well, almost. Not quite the "three strikes and your out laws" the US has, but they do appear to at least try to get violent felons off the street.

The Crown prosecution service is trying to get one Robert Parkers Somers incarerated for an "indeterminite period" subject to review by the parole board.
"What was striking, however, was his gross minimization of his criminal behaviour," says the report [from a forensic psychiatrist prepared in 2005]. "In particular, his violence towards his intimate partners, even in the face of repeated criminal charges and convictions, including the predicate offense."

In 1989, Somers was convicted of attempted murder. On his way home from a night of drinking, he stabbed a woman, for which he got a 4 1/2-year sentence.
He was recently convicted of aggravated assault against another girlfriend.

I didn't know that Canada had its act together this much. They have so many of the touch-feely laws I usually associate with the UK, I didn't think that they could take this kind of action. (The reporter tries to get us to feel sorry for the mutant by talking about his abused childhood. Your childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over.)

I hope they get this animal off the streets for a good long time.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Lie of “Just Give Them What They Want”

Suspect identified in store clerk slaying - Nashville, Tennessee The Left is always saying, "Just give a criminal what he wants, and he will leave you alone." They never say what a woman confronted by a rapist should do, but that is another post.

This is the story of a tragedy in Nashville, Tennessee.
[24-year-old south Nashville convenience store clerk Rejwinder] Grewal was shot even though he handed over the money from the Y’R Market, 167 Lafayette St., police said. Video cameras captured the robbery and shooting
Say it again... He was shot AFTER he handed over the money. He gave the goblin (police have identified Lavonn Rozelle as a suspect) what the goblin asked for. He was killed in cold blood.

I don't know if a gun and the ability to defend himself would have saved Rejwinder Grewal, but we do know what happened when he followed the advice of the Left. Not being a threat, and following instructions did not save this young man. Can you think of a worse outcome than the death of law-abiding 24-year-old? Can you think of a better outcome?

Self-defense is a human right.

One of the Many Problems With Religion

Is that the religious keep changing the playing field when you are trying to have a discussion.

Case in point: Michael Novak on Religion on National Review Online. I won't do more than touch on his plain mistakes.
They did not overcome the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, Cicero and Seneca, by force, but by argument
As far as I know, Christianity did not "overcome" Aristotle and Plato. These philosophers were taught in every university in Europe and America from the Renaissance until the 60s when it became less than fashionable to study "dead white men" and their teachings. Did Aristotle get everything right? Of course not. Did he get everything wrong? No. So I don't see exactly how he was "overcome." But let's move on to his arguments.

First Mr. Novak says what is important is whether a religion is true.
Either the Catholic Church (to stick to what I know best) is true, or it isn’t.
He's Catholic, but substitute Christianity or any religion, or at least any Levantine religion since these are the three that are most insane about whether they are true or not.

But then a few paragraphs later, the test is whether a religion works.
The Christian faith is intended to be tested by experience. Try living it, and see.
Whether a faith "works" is independent of whether the list of miracles is true.

Joseph Campbell, who spent a lifetime studying various religions, said that every religion had three main functions: cosmological, psychological and sociological.

The Cosmological function is one in which the religion explains the world around you. When a religion divorces itself from the best scientific explanations of what is happening, it is in trouble. If your religion says the world is flat, for example, you have some problems with a round planet.

Humans have some very standard changes in life. From child, dependent on the parent, to adult independent and ready to be a parent, to an elder, no longer interested in (or able to do) the work of the younger adults, to preparation for death. Religions, when they work, help people make these psychological transformations and become contributing members of society.

Religions almost always support the societies they are embedded in. Judaism is a perfect example. The rules of society are handed down from on high. They carry the same weight as the rules of gravity - ignore them at your peril.

Any religion that performs these three functions can be said to work. And indeed many religions work for the people who adhere to them. Working does not make reference to whether water was changed into wine (Christianity), or a giant serpent was hoarding all the waters of the world (Hinduism), whether someone actually found an unmovable spot on the earth and resisted three temptations (Buddhism) or whether galactic lord Xenu did whatever (Scientology). A religion works if it helps you lead a full life.

Then of course Novak reverts to his argument about truth. Just because Euclid's geometry works well enough to get you through most day-to-day problems, is no guarantee that it represents the Ultimate Truth™ of the universe. In fact, it doesn't. The best that can be said about Euclid is that he offers a fair approximation over short distances to what is really going on. It only means that Euclid's Geometry is one of many systems devised by humans over the millennia to solve certain problems.

Does Christianity do a better job dealing with modernity than the other faiths, or not? This is another argument Mr. Novak puts forth as a demonstration of "truth." But not all branches of Christianity do so. The Amish come to mind of course, but then there is this story, - Church Says Women Shouldn't Teach Sunday School Classes To Men, Cites Bible. Citing a letter from the first epistle to Timothy, a woman was dismissed from her position teaching Sunday School. So how is this different from the ranting of Islam about the same thing? It isn't.

Christianity is opposed all over the place to the teaching of evolution. Why? Because it directly undermines their world view. (Genesis states man is strictly separate from nature, where evolution states man is a part nature and a product of natural processes.) Is evolution true? Is Genesis true? Can you prove it? Which gives us better understanding of the workings of the world around us? Don't like evolution as an example? Hold up Genesis next to the Big Bang theory. Is the universe four to five thousand years old, or much older?

Novak also cites the growth in the Catholic church as more evidence of truth, but if the majority of the people in the world think that the earth is flat, does that make them right?

Mr. Novak seems to come to the point where what he is saying can be reduced to the following: what he believes helps him get through the average day and the struggles in life, so it must be true. I'm glad that it works for him, and for others, but that is hardly a demonstration of truth.
[h/t Llama Butchers for the NRO article and my friend Keith for the Fox News article]

Robber Shot Holding Up Pharmacy Store Owner Shots Man Who Tries to Rob His Pharmacy Good Guys are ahead, even if the get-away driver is still on the run.
The man made the robbery attempt at Maxsons Drugs on Ventura Boulevard at Hazeltine Avenue at 5:20 p.m. Friday, said Los Angeles police Officer Jason Lee. He walked into the pharmacy and demanded vicodin.

Wearing body armor, the would-be robber entered the store and wound up being shot several times in the chest by the store's owner, Lee said.
The body armor wasn't completely effective. He was arrested at a local hospital where he was being treated for gunshot wounds. The goblin was in critical condition.

This being LA, they will of course attempt to charge the store owner with something (I mean be fair, he had a gun, he must be a criminal.) I honestly don't know why (A) any business would be open in CA or (B) anyone would want to live there.

142nd Best of Me Symphony

The Owner's Manual: #142 Best of Me Symphony With a slightly different look this week, the Symphony is ready for your entertainment. As always, there is a lot of good stuff. The BOMS is a collection of posts more than 60 days old. It tends to not be a rehash of current events for that reason.

Weasle 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.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Disturbing Details of a Murder

Bradenton Herald | 08/20/2006 | Police: Woman's murder was planned Disturbing details of a woman's murder by an ex-boyfriend. I covered this story yesterday, but more information has been made available

There was a restraining order. That seems to be what triggered whole thing.Tarot - major arcana - justice
Sgt. Diaz found a handkerchief that contained tarot cards. The top card said "Justice."

When Diaz asked the roommate what the word might signify, she said it might be because Smith had obtained a restraining order against him.
Justice does in fact - in a mundane reading - imply a court case.

After he abducted her, he let her call family.
About that period of time, Smith called her mother, father and sister to say goodbye. She spoke to her sister, but left messages on her parent's voice mail. In the voice mails, Smith told them she wished they would answer the phone and that she was with a man with a gun.

When she spoke with her sister, she said, "I'm scared. This will probably be the last time I talk to you," Linda Gilersleave said Saturday evening.
Was letting her call family a blessing, or ghoulish on his part?

There are many questions... Why wasn't he arrested for violations of a restraining order? Why weren't medical personnel called to the site of the shooting? (Not that it would have done any good... the victim was shot twice in the head at close range.)

The whole thing is fairly disturbing. I can't imagine what she went through, faced with death like that.

Musical Geography Question of the Day

Where are you if ...

Carl Chessman is leading a parade while the majorettes are taking a smoke break? Also a cheerleader is waving and people are wearing sunglasses.

Extra points if you can tell me where the children are playing and what they are playing with.

[Gee I thought that one was hard, but we have a winner already ... see the comments]

A Fairly Positive Story on Second Amendment Sisters

2nd Amendment Sisters LogoPortsmouth Herald Local News: Women with weapons On the whole this is a good story about the Second Amendment Sisters, and a couple of New England chapters (New Hampshire and Maine to be specific) and the classes they teach.
Making women less-easy targets is one of Coffey's goals as New Hampshire's Second Amendment Sisters coordinator, a position she assumed in December. One reason women are joining the local chapter, for which Coffey doesn't have membership numbers, is to participate in women-only gun instruction classes.
The Maine chapter got started recently because the coordinator could find no seminar closer than Massachusetts.

The one problem with this article is a deliberate misquote (some what of a misquote anyway) from the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
Pistol shooting has become [Coffey's] favorite, while launching a mission to protect the Second Amendment -- the right for a "well-regulated militia" and to keep and bear arms.
Of course the Second Amendment protects the right of the People to keep and bear arms, but saying so appears to be too much for the anti-gunners at this paper.

On the whole, even with this statement, this is a pretty good article on the Second Amendment Sisters. Like so many news articles, it doesn't provide contact information. If you are interested in finding out about the Second Amendment Sisters and any activities in your area you should consult their website. "Self-defense is a basic human right."

Another Restraining Order Does Nothing

JusticeBradenton Herald | 08/19/2006 | Man charged with stalking, kidnapping ex At least this story has a happy ending - no one got hurt.
Bradenton Police said Andrew L. Evans and the woman have a history of domestic violence, and that he violated a restraining order Thursday morning when he went to her residence in the 4800 block of 11th Avenue Circle East.

The woman told police that Evans was hiding behind some hedges when she came out of the garage about 7:07 a.m. Evans grabbed her from behind in a bear hug, pulled her into the garage and forced her into her car.
They drove around some, then he went to a friend's house and let her go. She drove to the police department.

You have to wonder what was on his mind. Was he planning something violent and had second thoughts? Was he planning a murder/suicide (he threatened to shoot her at one point) and decided not to go through with it? And what will happen the next time? You can be sure that even if he is sent to jail it will not be for very long.

This story could have ended tragically. I am glad it did not. But anyone and everyone in a similar situation needs to recognize what a restraining order can do and what it can't do. There are things the police can do, but protecting you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is not one of them. They cannot be on every street corner where you might meet danger. The "system" cannot protect you.

You need to be prepared. If you have a restraining order in place this is NOT being paranoid. You have a court document to remind you that someone is stalking you. (Actually even if you don't have a restraing order it isn't paranoid to recognize we live in a violent world.) It is best if you act accordingly and plan for your own safety and that of your family.

Florida has one of the better sets of concealed carry and self-defense laws in the country. It would be best if people, if women, availed themselves of their right to self-defense.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

When the Idea of a Hate Crime Causes Problems

gay flagKRT Wire | 08/19/2006 | Lesbians allegedly beat man for spitting on them This shows what hate crimes are really all about, the belief that one group of people should be treated differently than everyone else.

When a guy gets "rebuffed" by a lesbian he spits on her. Right at that point, he is in the wrong, and if they had stopped and called police at this point he would be in trouble.

But that isn't what happened. Six lesbians attacked this guy.
The women - all from Newark, N.J. - whipped Buckle with belts before 4-foot-11 Patreese Johnson allegedly stabbed him in the belly with a steak knife, police said.
Where does the idea of a hate crime come in?
"He spit on us and threw a cigarette," another woman said. "This is a hate crime."
It may have been, and perhaps he is guilty of a crime, but they are all charged with gang assault and criminal possesion of weapon (though how you can be in "criminal possesion" of a steak knife is beyond me).

Hate crimes are thought crimes. If I am attacked, that is assault. If I am attacked because I am a lesbian (or for my religion, or whatever...) no other penalties should apply. What you think of me should not be a crime. Actions should rule the law. The idea that someone should be punished for what they think in America is frightening.

Don't even get me started on "hate speech." (Freedom of speech includes the right to be insulting, stupid, ... In short, it includes the right to say things you disagree with.)

Of course, in the event of an attack all of the standard penalties should apply, and they often didn't. In the past, Police would break up a bashing and send the goblins on their way.... no names, no reports, no penalty. (That is of course when they bothered to break up the bashing in the first place.) I don't agree with the idea of hate crimes, but I understand how we got here. I think we should all be equal before the law, and if you do too, then you should insist that your police and your prosecutors to act accordingly.

These six women are finding out that in some ways they are equal before the law.
They were awaiting arraignment Friday night.

Old Ironsides: The USS Constitution and August 19, 1812

USS ConstitutionWar of 1812 at Sea -- USS Constitution captures HMS Guerriere, 19 August 1812 This was the battle that gave the USS Constitution the nickname "Old Ironsides."

When the battle began, just before 6 PM, the HMS Guerriere started firing alternating broadsides at the Constitution, but with little effect.
Witnesses claimed that the British shot merely bounced off the Constitution's sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood.
The Guerriere lost its mizzen mast early on - the result of very accurate American gunnery. This was after about 15 minutes of broadside bombardment. That loss impacted the Guerriere's ability to maneuver. As the Constitution pulled ahead and moved to cut across the bow of its enemy the bowsprit got caught in the rigging for Constitution's mizzen mast.

Boarding parties were readied on both sides and many people were killed or injured on both sides as marksmen shot at the exposed crews. Eventually Constitution pulled free. As it did so, the Guerriere's foremast collapsed, pulling down its main mast. Guerriere was left a "defenseless hulk" and her captain surrendered at about 7 PM.

The British sailors were removed from the HMS Guerriere the next day, and that ship was set ablaze and blew up shortly thereafter. Constitution returned to Boston with prisoners.
[The USS Constitution] is the oldest commissioned ship afloat in the world and is still in service in the US Navy (while HMS Victory is the oldest commissioned ship in the world by three decades, she is permanently drydocked).

Green Helmet Guy Directing Videos

[Hat tip Yourish]

Threats, Stalking, Attacks, Yet Restraining Order Does Nothing

Bradenton Herald | 08/19/2006 | Records document Orland Hanks' history of violence against women Repeated violations of a restraining order. Repeated threats. He attempted suicide and committed more violations of that restraining order.
Despite Smith's reports, Hanks was never arrested.
Why bother with a restraining order when nothing will be done about violations?

This is not the first restraining order that Orlando Hanks ignored. A previous girlfriend also got a restraining order and Hanks also ignored that continuing to harrass her. In that case he was also never prosecuted for violations of the order.

Restraining orders may be interesting legal documents, but so often they fail to have any effect in the real world.

Hanks is dead in a murder/suicide. Also dead is Michele Smith

Neighbors "Shocked"

Neighbors "Shocked" By City's Latest Homicide This actually a sad story. The death of a man who was getting his act together - he had spent years in public housing but had lately purchased his own home - at the hands of what appears to be one or more urban goblins.
55-year old Kenneth Cunningham was shot to death Thursday as he arrived home and interrupted one or more people burglarizing his house
It also isn't clear if neighbors are really "shocked" as the title of the article implies, or if that is just the reporter. Neighbors are scared, since as the police point out, coming home and interupting a crime is something anyone might do.

No where in the article is any mention made of security precautions one might take. The burglars broke the glass out of sliding patio door, so better locks are not an issue. Perhaps there is no way to address a situation like this except to be armed yourself, and even that offers no guarantee of survival.

Shooting Sports: Teaching Kids to Shoot

West Virginia Wildlife from Eyewitness News This is a great video of a news story about teaching kids to shoot. My only gripe is that not everyone on the line is wearing hearing and eye protection. Though they are only shooting .22 caliber rifles, this is still indicated even if you are on TV.

Still, this is a great video and good story. It is not, of course, out of Boston or NY or LA or ... it is from West Virginia. [Hat tip Blogonomicon]

Friday, August 18, 2006

Good Guys Win, Bad Guy is Dead - Local News - Police: Bar Owner Shoots, Kills Would-Be Robber My favorite kind of story involving defensive use of a hand gun involves no one dying, and no shots fired. But this is a close second. A goblin is dead at the hands of someone defending himself.

This goof tried to rob a night club with a BB gun that looked like a .45 caliber. He lost that gamble as the owner of the bar, believing his life was in danger, shot and killed the would-be robber.
When the man tried to rob the bar, the bar owner fired a single gunshot wound to the man's chest, killing him at the scene, deputies said.
The dead guy was not identified, and the bar-owner will not be charged as he had a reasonable fear of death or grave injury. He was looking a what appeared to be a .45 caliber weapon. [via KABA]

Concealed Carry Stops Robbery

Police: Armed customer stops KFC robbery | These stories I just love. Good Guys win, bad guys lose, no shots fired, no one hurt.
McMiller, police said, ordered a bucket of chicken then told cashier Deanne Slaughter: “Give me the money before I shoot you.”

The suspect held his hand in his back pocket as if reaching for a gun, police said, then lifted his foot to jump over the counter.

Paul Sherlock, a customer sitting in the dining room, approached and pointed a Taurus 9-mm handgun towards the suspect’s back.

The suspect raised his hands over his head, police said. Sherlock ordered him to lean against a window with his hands up until police arrived.
The hero of this story said he was nervous but not scared once he got the drop on the bad guy. And of course a valid concealed carry permit was involved on the part of Sherlock. [via KABA]

This is Exactly Why Immigrants Need to Speak English

New America Media: Police Shootings Spotlight Growing Language Barriers in Suburbia This is a story of a police shooting in a Korean community. 2 men were drunk and spoke no English.

The minority community is up in arms, the police shooting was deemed justified. But what is to be done. Should the cop on the beat be expected to speak every language, Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Polish, Vietnamese, et al? This is hardly going to happen. What should be expected is that you should learn to speak some English, if only for such emergencies as dealing with police, firefighters, calling 911, etc.

My grandfather came to this country after WWI had started in Europe but before the US joined the action. He spoke English - not his native language - with a heavy accent, but he learned to read and write English. He learned to speak a little English before he came to this country, and my grandparents spoke only English at home with their sons so that they would grow up to be American and speak the language.

My grandfather was your average working stiff. He dug coal in the mines when he first came to this country, he worked in a factory, he ran a bar for few years. He had the drive to build a better life for his kids, and he saw that knowing and speaking the language clearly was important. It is still important.

As long as immigrants maintain that they don't need to learn English, they will have trouble communicating with the larger culture, and in times of emergency they will pay a tragically avoidable price.

“He chose poorly”

Mt. Lebanon native hailed for saving life Good Guys came out ahead on this one.

First on the scene of a domestic dispute, where a woman was being held with a knife to her throat, Sheriff's Deputy John Sleigher Jr. is honored for saving that woman's life.
Deputy Sleigher, 39, responded to a call Oct. 5 for a verbal domestic dispute. He was 10 miles away, and by the time he was two miles away, he was radioed that the situation had escalated and a woman was being held at knife-point.
When he arrived, a woman and a baby were outside, and she said her mother's boyfriend was inside threatening her mother with a knife.

Deputy Sleigher drew his gun, a .40-caliber pistol, and went inside, where he found the man holding an 8-inch knife to a woman's neck.

The man did not obey the lawman's order to drop the knife. The man said that he was going to kill the woman and then leaned back and let out a war cry. Deputy Sleigher said he knew he was going to stab her.
He shot 4 times, but there was little effect given the booze and the methamphetamines, so he grabbed the woman out of the way and shot twice more, killing the man.
He was named the Florida Deputy Sheriff of the Year this month by the Florida Sheriffs Association
He says he doesn't have problems with shooting, since he acted to save a life.
"He chose poorly," Deputy Sleigher said of the [goblin].

The Death of Hina Saleem

Middle East Times - Pakistani woman honor killing shocks Italians Strange, but none of the US media outlets are covering this honor killing. al-Reuters, API, et al are studiously ignoring it.

Hina Saleem, 21, was murdered by her own father and brother-in-law and buried in the garden of the family's home in Italy. Third male member of the family is on the run and being hunted by police.

Why was she murdered? For acting like every other 21-year-old in Italy. But the members of the religion of peace can't have that.

And the Left can't stand to look at it, so the MSM, the women's organizations ignore it. It might look like they were taking sides in the culture war, and that would lose them points with all of their muticultural friends.

I have no idea what Italy's courts are like, but given it is Europe, I doubt these (poor excuses for) men will serve much time in prison.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stiletto - 80 ft. Littoral Warfare Testbed

M Ship Co. | MS 80 Stiletto | Next Generation Hull Technology This is so cool. I love modern naval technology.

Littoral warfare refers to coastal engagements or what is often called the brown water navy. The Office of Force Transformation actually managed to put something spectacular together for about 6 million bucks. (Next to nothing in defense arena, and not bad for an 80 ft boat.)

M-ship had developed boats that minimized wake for use in Venice, Italy where the wakes from power boats are seriously degrading the canals and even the foundations of the buildings. The water bus they developed, Mangia Onda 65 Vaporetto, has been delivered and will be used as a shuttle between the local airport and the Grand Canal. It can carry 149 passengers at 20 knots.

This got the attention of the navy and they commissioned a prototype/test bed for evaluation as means for deploying in shallow coastal waters. The MO 65 Vaporetto draws just under 4 feet - nearly miraculous for a 65 ft vessel. The result was the M80 Stiletto. The Stiletto has a loaded draft of less than 3 ft, and is designed for speeds of 50 to 60 knots. (A boat's draft, or what it draws, refers to how much water is needed to float it safely.)

There is a lot of video on the site, even if some of it is in the form of advertising. Other video is in the form of evening news reports from San Diego when the Sitletto was unveiled for a military convention. There are 4 bits of animation that are interesting as well, some scenarios about the possible uses of these boats: Special Forces use, River Patrols, Coast Guard use and a conclusion. These are all wmv files to be downloaded.

This design makes me smile because it is very close to what was featured in the novel Sea Fighter, by James H. Cobb. That novel actually was about military hovercraft, but while those were evaluated in the early 1990s, they never went beyond landing craft. While the Stiletto isn't completely amphibious, it appears to be nearly the same boat that was in that story.

The M80 Stiletto was built in 6 months. It isn't a prototype so much as it is an experiment. M-Ship believes that were it to be put into production, build times could be reduced.

Update Aug. 20, 2006: There is a fairly heated debate over at Defense Tech about this ship.

2nd Amendment Applies to New Orleans

Judge refuses New Orleans' request to dismiss NRA lawsuit The absolutely stupid idea that the states are free to ignore the Bill of Rights was ignored (and derided) more than struck down.
The city asked the judge to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction, saying "the states, and by extension their political subdivisions, are free to proscribe the possession of firearms."

The court rejected the motion, ruling the city did nothing to back up "the brazen assertion" that the second amendment did not apply.
I don't know what the outcome will be, but it seems that in the past, people who have violated civil rights have been sent to prison. [NRA-ILA]

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

This Actually Restores a Little of My Faith in the Jury System

justiceWife Found Guilty in Attack You can't shoot someone in the back - for the most part - and reasonably claim self-defense. If someone is attacking you, you can defend yourself. Otherwise it is assault or something worth.

In this case she shot him in the back and stabbed him multiple times with a kitchen knife over an argument about marinated steaks.
On Wednesday, a Kanawha County jury found Kathy Hiskey guilty of attempted murder and unlawful wounding. During the trial, the defense lawyer argued she acted in self-defense.
The jury's decision came as a shock for some who thought an all-female jury would take pity on a wife who claimed to be abused.
She faces a minimum of three years in prison.

The whole "battered wife" syndrome always made me extremely upset. If someone is attacking you, you can defend yourself, but it isn't kosher to set them on fire in the middle of the night. The danger of death or grave bodily injury must be imminent.

I don't know the whole story about the marinated steaks, but it just doesn't seem like anything so important to get tied up in a life or death struggle over. Very little is.

When I owned my last house, I used to tell people that if you could get the stereo into the car before the police got there (I had an alarm system and lived in a place that had excellent police response times) you were working hard enough you probably deserved the stereo. But if anyone so much as turned the handle on the bedroom door, they were going to have to deal with the business end of the House Gun and some semi-jacketed hollow point ammo.

My life is worth defending. My safety is worth killing for. But marinated steaks?

Good Guy Wounded, Bad Guy Killed Columbia, SC: Intruder shot, killed in apparent home invasion Two goblins ambush a guy in his own home, but when he doesn't have enough money they want to rob his two friends who had just dropped him off.

Sensing something was wrong, the two friends come into the house armed. One friend is shot and injured, but he still manages to shoot and kill one of the goblins.
A bullet pierced the back door and one hit a car window, leaving glass on the ground. And then one shot struck Mark's friend, but he managed to fire back, killing one of the robbery suspects, 29-year-old Jevis Rogers, a Columbia man who's been in prison many times for several crimes including burglary. [The homeowner's] friend won't be charged in Rogers' death.

Meanwhile, the other robbery suspect is still on the loose, leaving Mark on alert.
Revenge may be an issue.

The homeowner is happy that it worked out as it did, since his kids were in the house (they were not injured). Defense of self, or defense of a friend - it still works.

It is important to note that "doing what the bad guys wanted" or "giving them what they wanted" was no guarantee that bad things wouldn't happen later. Saying so is nothing more than wishful thinking. All too many people are killed in home invasion robberies.

Female Veterans Face Unique Problems

KRT Wire | 08/16/2006 | Women often return from war with different problems, less support It is often the little that really rub you the wrong way. I can't imagine how much worse it is for women veterans.

This article is '(mostly) the story of Susan Sonnheim, a veteran of the Iraq war who was injured in Baghdad - blown up by a road-side bomb.
Sonnheim's body was peppered with shrapnel. Hundreds of pieces remain lodged in her legs and throughout much of her body. Her left eye is fully blind. She has shrapnel lodged in her "good" eye, and her hearing is dulled. She underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries on her face and ear during a 19-month stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Her injuries have caused her problems, but so have the attitudes of male veterans and the employees of the veterans' hospital where she is treated and where she also works.

She was awarded a purple heart, but apparently the men don't think any women have been injured in Iraq.
“They (patients at the hospital) will ask me, 'Whose pin is that?' or 'Why are you wearing that pin?'”
The employees aren't much better.
When Sonnheim went to get her flu shot at the VA, "The clerk was asking everybody `What's your name? What's your name?' Then when I got up to the table she said, 'Are you a veteran?'

"They just don't acknowledge women," she said.
These may seem like trivial complaints, and perhaps they are, but when little things happen every day they stop being little and become more than just irritating.

The VA itself is struggling to rethink its procedures and educate its staff, but the impression I get from this article is of an organization stuck mostly in the 1970s.

The problem can be summed up as follows:
"Men come back and they have women fluttering around them taking care of them," said Molly Carnes, a professor in the department of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the women veterans health program at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison. "Women come back and suddenly they're thrust into the caregiving role, taking care of their children and supporting their husbands.
Sondheim's husband divorced her, her family considers her "difficult" and won't talk about Iraq.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0 - Homeowner Kills Armed Intruder Another goblin fails to consider what might be on the other side of the door.
Jose Bercian told investigators that he came out of his room and found an unknown male inside his home. Bercian retreated into his bedroom and retrieved a firearm. When he confronted the stranger with the firearm, the intruder produced his own firearm and shot at Bercian but missed. Bercian told police that he returned fire, striking and killing the offender.
Self-defense still works.

Wild West Shootouts Fail to Materialize in Ohio

two gunsThe Columbus Dispatch - Local/State Whenever a new law expanding the recognition of our gun rights is proposed, the Left screams about Wild West Shootouts. Whether is it is concealed carry or the Castle Doctrine, the Wild West, vigilante justice, and a dozen other things are predicted. Of course, they never come true, and the MSM usually lets everyone off the hook. (And then the same people make the same predictions in the next state.)

Well it is no surprise that the predicted shootouts failed to materialize in Ohio. That state has had a concealed carry law for two years now.
"Those with the concealed-carry licenses have been good, law-abiding citizens," said Robert Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association. "The worst-case scenarios that were put out there about the gunfight at the OK Corral didn’t come to fruition."
Of course when Wisconsin considers concealed carry again, more people - and some of the same people - will again predict Wild West shootouts. (And the MSM will print those predictions with no comment on their veracity.)

A Newspaper That Can Tell the Victims From the Criminals

Assailant shot dead by victim Pretty unusual for a newspaper.
A Rocky Mount man was shot and killed this weekend after allegedly attacking a Whitakers man in his own house, and authorities on Monday cleared the shooter of any wrongdoing.

Authorities said Leroy Thorpe acted in self-defense when he shot 27-year-old Tavaras T. Pittman of Western Avenue once in the chest with a shotgun.

Two other Whitakers men were charged with beating Thorpe and another man with a baseball bat before the 59-year-old Thorpe fired the fatal shot at the trio, Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins said.
[Hat tip to Keep And Bear Arms]

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Future of the Second Amendment

Triggering interest - The Washington Times An interesting article about the rise of campus gun clubs and Second Amendment support organizations. Even with the quote from Hamm of the Brady Bunch, it is a good article.

British "Justice" Leaves Criminals Free

Real Crime, Fake Justice by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal Summer 2006 The state of the British Criminal Justice System (so-called) is discussed in terms that make you think the Brits are just plain crazy.

The British government wants to keep prison costs low - and the British Left wants to continue to scoff at Americans who lock up violent criminals instead of working for healing - so the government lets violent criminals go again and again.

Consider the case of Anthony Rice.
Rice, it turned out, had been assaulting women since 1972. He had been convicted for assaulting or raping a total of 15 women before murdering Naomi Bryant, and it is a fair supposition that he had assaulted or raped many more who did not go to the police. In 1982, he grabbed a woman by the throat, held a knife to her, and raped her. Five years later, while out of prison on home leave, he grabbed a woman, pushed her into a garden, held a knife to her, and raped her for an hour. Receiving a life sentence, he was transferred to an open prison in 2002 and then released two years later on parole as a low-risk parolee. He received housing in a hostel for ex-prisoners in a village whose inhabitants had been told, to gain their acquiescence, that none of the residents there was violent; five months after his arrival, he murdered Naomi Bryant. In pronouncing another life sentence on him, the judge ordered that he should serve at least 25 years: in other words, even now the law has not quite thrown away the key.
At the same time, the British government is quick to prosecute anyone who might defend themselves from attack.

The other thing is the insane idea of an "open prison." Isn't prison defined by the fact that the doors are locked?
Scandal has followed scandal. A short time later, we learned that prisoners had been absconding from one open prison, Leyhill, at a rate of two a week for three years—323 in total since 1999, among them 22 murderers. This outrage came to light only when a senior policeman in the area of Leyhill told a member of Parliament that there had been a crime wave in the vicinity of the prison. The member of Parliament demanded the figures in the House of Commons; otherwise they would have remained secret.
This is a terrible description of a population left defenseless after the liberal intellectuals have had their way, and bureaucrats who back them up. The police are overwhelmed and don't even record half the crime that comes to them. Policies made on wishful thinking, and outright lies. An a population that is preyed upon by the violent elements.

I hope that our British friends wake up, but when things are this far out off base, it will be some time before they can put things right. I am not sure that even today the average citizen of Great Britain believes that anything can be done.

Stolen guns and airport (in)security

Stolen guns highlight security problems | Chicago Tribune Guns in checked bads went missing for Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

Not only is it a problem for gun-owners flying, it points out a host of problems for airline security generally.

Louisiana Castle Doctrine Goes Into Effect Today

NRA-ILA :: Louisiana "Castle Doctrine" Companion Bill Signed By Governor!
On June 30,Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) signed HB 1097 by Representative Eric LaFleur (D-38), NRA-backed legislation granting civil immunity to crime victims who lawfully use force up to and including deadly force to protect themselves against a violent attack.

HB 1097 is the companion bill to HB 89 (also by Representative LaFleur), the NRA-supported “Castle Doctrine” bill which created presumptions in law for the use of force against intruders in your home, car or place of business and explicitly states in law that you have no “duty to retreat” from criminal attack if you are in a place where you have a legal right to be.

HB 89 was signed by the Governor on June 2 and both bills take effect on August 15.

Cops Committing Crimes

Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/13/2006 | Extorting sex with a badge A distrubing picture of what is happening on our streets.
Hundreds of police officers across the country have turned from protectors to predators, using the power of their badge to extort sex, an Inquirer review shows.

Many of those cases fit a chilling pattern: Once abusers cross the line, they attack again and again before they are caught. Often, departments miss warning signs about the behavior.

Most police departments do little to identify the offenders, and even less to stop them. Unlike other types of police misconduct, the abuse of police power to coerce sex is little addressed in training, and rarely tracked by police disciplinary systems.
I guess they just don't consider it a problem.
n Baltimore last month, a detective was suspended after a 16-year-old girl picked up for prostitution said he assaulted her at a police station. Three other Baltimore officers allegedly raped a woman in a station house in December, and are facing criminal charges.

A Glenolden, Delaware County, officer was convicted of raping a woman in 2002 after he answered a domestic-dispute call. "He had his police uniform on, his gun, his nightstick," the woman said. "I did exactly what he asked me to do."

In small-town Edgewater Park, Burlington County, a police officer bought a Burger King meal for a female prisoner in 2002 - then forced her to have sex in a police van. He went to jail.

A San Bernadino, Calif., officer preyed on prostitutes and drug addicts, attacking them in dark lots or abandoned buildings. By 2003, the city had paid a total of $300,000 to 18 victims. "I was scared beyond speech," said one woman who was raped by the officer while handcuffed.
Complaints are often ignored, because cops who rape are mostly careful about who they attack. They attack women who will not be believed.

The main part of this article deals with two cops in the Philadelphia area who were recently convicted. Even though many complaints were made, it seems they were mostly hushed up.
After a Pennsylvania state trooper from a Montgomery County barracks pleaded guilty in 2000 to assaulting six women and teenagers, investigators learned that his attacks grew worse while supervisors shrugged off warnings, according to documents gathered in a lawsuit.
Or back to the Philadelphia case
Capt. Mark Everitt, who ran the 15th District at the time, said in a court filing that he never heard even a rumor about any sex-related complaints against Fallon.
Not even a rumor? Well either they are all closing ranks at a lower level and keeping the comand in the dark, or Capt. Everitt isn't listening to closely for things like this. Or he's just a damn liar, and doesn't want to admit he knew about it.

Are most cops bad? Of course not, but there are enough of the bad ones out there that no LEO should expect to get the "benefit of the doubt" anymore when if comes to who is a risk and who is not. A cop I meet is just the same as any other stranger, except that (A) he has a gun and (B) the "system" is not likely to hold him accountable for anything he might try.

If the LEOs of the world want to get that "benefit of the doubt" back, they need to find, and incarcerate all of the bad cops. In the story related here, officers knew what the score was. Supervisors were told what was going on. No one took action against one of their own. So much for justice in the "Criminal Justice System" (so-called). [via KABA]

Why Has Feminism Abandoned Women of the World?

Wimmin at War - Sunday Times In an effort to not insult other cultures, the left has abandoned the women of some of those cultures to slavery and torture.
In the week when a massive bomb plot against civilians was uncovered in Britain, Chesler’s critique of women’s complacency in her book is prophetic. “The Islamists who are beheading Jews and American civilians, stoning Muslim women to death, jailing Muslim dissidents and bombing civilians on every continent are now moving among us both in the East and in the West,” she writes.

“I fear that the ‘peace and love’ crowd in the West refuses to understand how Islamism endangers our values and our lives, beginning with our commitment to women’s rights and human rights.” Women’s studies programmes should have been the first to sound the alarm, she points out: “They did not.”
Anyone who mentions the plight of women under Islam is labeled a racist and discounted. No discussion is needed, and no action. Just wave signs that blame America for everything. So much easier to do that, than to try and understand complex issues.

Of course there were always some on the Left who were more pro-Soviet Union than anti-nuke. They never gave up their love affair with Marx (not Groucho) even in the face of 11 million dead Ukrainians under Stalin, The Great Leap Forward, The Cultural Revolution and the other "programs" in the Red China. And so today they are anti-American no matter who is on the other side.

(If America is really so bad, why are those Mexicans, Central and South Americans, Hatians, Cubans, et al trying so desperately to get here?)

This is an interesting article that tracks the "peace and love" movement from the anti-nuke days of the 1980s to the present. [Hat tip to Ith]

Monday, August 14, 2006

Weasels Need 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.

So Much for the Cease-fire

10 Katyusha Rockets Explode in Lebanon Did anybody really think this was going to work?
Israel's military said Hezbollah guerrillas fired at least 10 Katyusha rockets into southern Lebanon early Tuesday. None hit inside Israel and no injuries were reported.
And of course Hezbollah never agreed to an actual cease-fire.
Hezbollah, which frequently used the Katyusha rockets in its battle against Israel, has said it will attack Israeli forces in southern Lebanon despite the truce.
So what exactly is it that the UN has done? (Except point out to the world that they are incapable of doing anything meaningful, that is.) Useless Nitwits.

This Guy Should NOT be Charged

Contractor charged in stabbing A contractor is working a home-improvement job, when the ex-boyfriend of the woman who lived at the residence tried to break in. Eventually he did break in and the contractor stabbed the guy - protecting the woman.

But in the not-so-great state of New Jersey, that is a crime.... defending the helpless is a crime, and the contractor is in jail, and to add insult to injury his bail is MUCH higher than what was assigned to the mutant ex-boyfriend who started the whole ruckus.

MSM is Shocked to Find that the Majority Does Not Always Rule the Senate

Worldandnation: When the majority doesn't rule Now the St. Petersburg Times is slightly to the left of the World Workers' Party, so it is no surprise to find bias in their reporting.

They are shocked to find that a minority of just over 40 senators can hold up a bill via filibuster. I suppose they haven't noticed all of the times filibuster has been employed by the Democrats over the last 6 years. I guess they just weren't paying attention. (Couldn't be bias, not in the news media!)

Missing Egyptians - Some Recaptured

Missing EgyptiansGrizzly Mama: The Case of the Missing Egyptians I was glad to see this at Monica's place. I haven't been following this story with everything going on in Israel.

I have to agree with her description of number 11 - I find him a bit creepy.
DOB OF 4/29/1986, PASSPORT 954757
DOB OF 02/21/1985, PASSPORT 1002756
DOB OF 04/02/1986, PASSPORT 934679
DOB OF 02/15/1984, PASSPORT 860972
DOB OF 09/01/1986, PASSPORT 943306
DOB OF 02/02/1985, PASSPORT 595081
DOB OF 08/08/1986, PASSPORT 861073
DOB OF 02/25/1984, PASSPORT 828682
DOB OF 07/01/1988, PASSPORT 861673
DOB OF 09/12/1985, PASSPORT 862634
DOB OF 08/12/1988, PASSPORT 862534

Aesop's Fables

Grizzly Mama: Aesops Fable Friday. Friday Fables is a great feature at Grizzly Mama's. This one, The Sick Stag, is a bit gruesome, but as she says, so is life. Sugar-coating everything for children does not do them any good.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

NY Slimes Article on "Stand Your Ground" Still Echoing Around the MSM

Critics say defense law will create vigilantes - Tuscaloosa The liberal media hates self-defense. In the simplified world-view of the Left you are either a victim or an oppressor. A law-abiding person justly defending himself from attack warps their minds.

In the referenced article they try to imply that justified self-defense is akin to vigilantism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I would like to say that they know this, but I am not sure that the loyal foot-soldiers of the Left even have this much understanding of the world. The NYT said it was bad, it must be bad.

Defending yourself from attack is not vigilante justice. Going out the next day and searching out and killing your attackers would be vigilante justice, and it is clearly both legally and morally worng. Defending yourself when faced with a reasonable threat of death or grave bodily injury is justified under the law. Self-defense is a human right.

PA Considers "Stand Your Ground"

AP Wire | 08/13/2006 | Pa. bill would allow killing in self-defense Well while Philadelphia is complaining that actions have consequences, the state legislature is considering Stand Your Ground legislation.

The Brady Bunch is already trying to spread lies, but not eveyone is buying their line.
But Cappelli said his bill wouldn't provide criminals with a defense because only people with concealed weapons permits - who have gone through criminal background checks - would be allowed to shoot in self-defense.
There is a special legislative session coming up on gun control and crime, but this may provide some needed counter weight.

Now That's What You Call Ironic

How Faith Saved the Atheist This is an article by Pamela Winnick about visiting her 85-year-old father in the ICU, being constantly badgered by the "Death with Dignity" crowd in the form of residents and attending physicians.
Though unconscious, his brain, as far as anyone could tell, had not been touched by either the cancer or the blood clot. He was not in a "persistent vegetative state" (itself a phrase subject to broad interpretation), that magic point at which family members are required to pull the plug -- or risk the accusation that they are right-wing Christians.
The strategy she devised for fending off the vultures was to them the family was Orthodox Jews, a religion that forbids the abandonment of care. It worked, "Dr. Death" and her resident minions shut up about "death with dignity."

Her father recovered enough to get out the ICU, sit in a chair and read the NY Times. He will never be well - he has advanced lung cancer - but he was not ready to die.

The last 2 times I have had any contact with end-of-life care for family members, the attitude of the doctors were skewed in almost the exact other directions. Convinced that they cure anything, the doctors wanted to do surgery after surgery. In one case, where I had no decision making say, I am convinced they ended a life a year or two early, because the egos refused to recognize that people die, that surgery is a risky business for people over the age of 80, and that sometimes advanced cancer can't be fought, only the pain can be treated. But mostly it was the egos that refused to admit they weren't gods.

The interesting piece of the whole article turns religion. Although Ms. Winnick's father was born into an Orthodox Jewish family, he had become a confirmed atheist early in his life.
My father, who had long ago rejected Orthodox Judaism, was now under its protection.
Now that's what you call ironic.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Swords Instead of Guns

mAss Backwards: It's Another Happy Ending Burglars chased off by resident with sword. Lacerations and severed fingers. (The goblins were arrested at the hospital, and will be moved to the jail when released.)

I love massBackwards take on the situation more than the original stories -- though they are good too.

One of the goblins takes down a Samurai sword that has been used as a wall decoration. There is at least one gun involved. All this is taking place at 3:30 in the morning.
One of said victims, upon reaching the conclusion that being a victim totally sucks, decides to ignore all the excellent advice laid out in the Self Defense for Liberals Handbook, rushes the guy with the sword, takes the sword away from him, and proceeds to slice of a few of the scumbag's fingers in the process.
Self-defense works, even in the face of goblins holding all the cards weapons, self-defense fueled by the understanding that no one is going to save your ass, if you don't, works.

The 69th Carnival of Cordite

Resistance is futile!: Carnival of Cordite #69 Another fine carnival from Gullyborg.

Washington Post Throwing a Hissy Fit

Increasingly, Bush Escapes the Media Pack The WaPo is now all bent out of shape because the White House is not scheduling a chartered plane for the press every time the President travels. While the media are charged for being on the plane, it is rarely full.
And so even for trips where there is a press plane, sometimes only a handful of journalists are on board. Newspapers that used to travel regularly, including USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and others, now do so more sporadically. The Boston Globe no longer even has a White House correspondent.
It is all about costs. The press doesn't have the money they had 20 years ago when they were the only game in town, and they just don't like it.

It isn't like the President really escapes the media. He still travels with the contingent on Air Force One.
Bush still always travels with a small media pool that includes wire services, television cameras and a single newspaper reporter who files a report to others left behind. The advent of instant video feeds, cable television, the Internet, e-mail and transcripts of the president's every public word has made it possible to cover Bush without being anywhere near him.
The problem is that times are changing and the media doesn't like that. They would much prefer a return to the days when the people only knew what the media reported. Those days are gone forever.

When Vice President Chenney had his hunting accident, the press was more disturbed about the fact that the news was not reported first to the NY Times, or the Washington Post, but was reported locally and went out on the wires. This pointed up another piece of importance being taken out of Big Media. Did we not get the story on this accident? Was something "hidden?" No. But the Washington press corps is used to being important (at least in their own minds) and they aren't really.

While the Post tries to paint this as a situation with dire consequences, it is really nothing more than a long whine about the changing nature of the media. When I can see the President give a speech - or listen - do I need to read what the Washington Post said about that speech? If I can't watch it in real-time, I can watch the video at a time of my choosing from one web-site or another, get the transcript and read it, etc. Why do I need a reporter/editor/columnist at the Post for anything? Because they understand the situation better or they can provide "context and texture" they claim I will miss by not being in the same room?

The truth is the news media can't afford to follow the President around, because the "context" they were providing for his speeches, his work and even his life was a load of Bovine Scatology. So bad was it, that "fake but accurate" was trotted out to explain away a piece of it that came to light. The "context" they provided was little but pure bias, and while they were able to get away with it 20 years ago, the miracle of modern technology has taken their monopoly away from them, and they aren't happy. As their bias became more apparent, their readers and viewers abandoned them, destroying their circulation, ratings and budgets. In other words, they made their bed, and are now unhappy they have to sleep in it.

The real issue is that we do still need the news media. I have pointed out before that most blog posts are a reaction to a news story or article (as this one is). We need reporters to follow the President around, interview him from time to time and ask questions. we just don't need them to do it in the ways they did in the past, and if they don't change their ways, they will probably not survive the realities of the current marketplace.

Do you want cheese with that whine?