Thursday, November 30, 2006

More on the Dead Home Invader

And other takes on the whining going on all over America.

This story started a couple of days ago.... but it isn't over.

If you put yourself in a bad situation, you should not be surprised (or the survivors shouldn't whine) if bad things happen. - The View from the Ground, Patrick J. Shanahan
We had another similar case here in the Minneapolis area, in which a home invader was surprised to be met by the 73 year old homeowner with a shotgun. Who shot him. And killed him. It turned out that the invader was a 17 year old kid who probably assumed that the rundown house was abandoned. We have already heard the stories begin to trickle out as to what a fine brother and son he was. I have no doubt that is true. I also…..Don’t care! You go breaking into houses in the middle of the night it doesn’t really matter how fine a brother you are. Act like a burglar? Prepare to get shot. Tough cookies.
I don't care how "good" he was outside of this incident.... not really. The only thing important is that he did something that made someone with a gun fear him. End of story.

I don't agree with all of the stuff Mr. Shanahan comes up with, but I do agree with this: put yourself in harms way, don't be surprised if you suffer harm. Don't want to get shot? A good first step is to avoid breaking into homes.... whether you think they are empty or not. As this case illustrates, you may be wrong.

What would you do if a stranger broke into your house in the middle of the night and showed up in your bedroom? Would you ask them what kind of relationship they had with their various family members? I know what I would do.

Good Guys 5, Bad Guys 0

Store Owner Single-Handedly Fights Four Armed Robbers - Local News - | WCAU 3 are in the hospital - having been shot - the other 2 are in jail (4 robbers, one get-away-car-driver)
Police said a group of men pulled their guns after Germantown store owner John Lee told them to pull their hoods down.

Lee grabbed his own gun and shot three of the four suspects inside the Musgrave Street and Chelten Avenue store before they could target him.
When he found the 4th would-be robber hiding in the store, he beat him. "I gave them a lesson."

These 5 are all suspects in other robberies, so a crime wave was stopped by one armed citizen.

Even in Pennsylvania self-defense works. [KABA]

Is It Legal or Is It Vigilantism? - Good Question: Can You Shoot A Home Intruder? Another member of the journalism profession (sic) who doesn't know legal self-defense from vigilantism.

Confronted with a case of legal self-defense, this idiot asks a stupid question.
That shot killed the intruder, which left some WCCO-TV viewers wondering: When is it OK to take the law into our own hands?
It is never OK to take the law into your own hands. That is called vigilante justice.

It is, however, ALWAYS OK to defend yourself or your family from violent attack. That is called self-defense, and it is a human right.

(If you want to let this jackass know how you feel about this story and his anti-gun/anti-self-defense bias, write to him at
[Hat tip Keep And Bear Arms]

Self-defense even works in New York - Shotgun blasts stop home invasion
Newburgh — An old farmhouse in a residential part of the Town of Newburgh near Orange Lake was the scene of a wild home invasion in which ski-masked intruders were turned back by shotgun blasts that ripped through walls and panicked neighbors.
"At least" three masked-men were involved, and they were armed.

A quick-thinking tenant used a shotgun to repell the attack.

None of the intended victims was hurt.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Should We Feel Sorry for the Dead Home Invader? :: KARE 11 TV - Friends say teen shot in elderly man's home was a good kid While the piece itself is biased, the headline has to be the most ridiculous thing I have seen in ages.

Friends can call him whatever they want, but this home invader was shot by a homeowner defending himself.

Friends can call him a good kid, but he wrote about smoking, drinking and marijuana "often." Does this sound like the profile of a good kid?

Do good kids get sent to the "alternative" high school because of truancy problems?

This whole story - starting with the headline - is nothing more than a blatant attempt to lionize the criminal and demonize the 73-year-old man who shot a home invader.

Anti-gun bias in the news? Must be my imagination.

Monday Was Bad For Criminals

Two stories of armed self-defense that worked.

Store clerk involved in gunfight with would-be robber The first story from Ohio is of an attempted robbery stopped by an armed clerk.
Police said a man entered the Express Mart, 3999 Necco Ave., about 9 p.m. armed with a handgun. The clerk behind the counter pulled out a handgun of his own and both men discharged their weapons, Dayton police Sgt. Scott Lawson said.

The clerk wasn't hit, but the robber was shot in his shoulder and ran.
Police caught up with the goblin at the hospital and took him to jail.

Homeowner Shoots House Intruder | Closer to home, a Florida man shot an intruder in his home. While unpacking the car, after returning home from a holiday-weekend trip, an unwelcome guest showed up.
The home is protected by a gate and a sign for a security dog, but the family left a door unlocked as they brought in luggage, and a 23-year-old burglar walked inside, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

As Mrs. Kilgore called 911, her husband shot the burglar, firing once and hitting him in the torso, Carter said.
The home invader is in the hospital in critical condition.

I am sure that someone will say in the comments "maybe he only needed help..." Here's a clue, if you need help ask for it. Don't walk into my house uninvited and unannounced; you are likely to get shot. (This guy is lucky he didn't get killed.) Scream for help. I would at least call 911.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who is the Victim Here?

Pizza deliverer, friends of teen suspect try to cope with killing A pizza delivery guy defends himself from robbers after he was threatened with being shot. But the reporter doesn't know who to charge... the police in Atlanta are equally confused.

Handing over his car keys wasn't enough for the goblins.
"I said I did not have cellphone," Mahmood said. "He became very aggressive and said he would shoot me if I did not give him my cellphone. I said, 'I give you my cellphone.' I grabbed my gun instead of cellphone. I shot him to find my way out."
Not happy with "law-abiding citizen defends himself from robber" the reporter decides to paint the dead guy in glowing terms, as seen through the eyes of his friends.
"Do you feel a 14-year-old life should be taken for a slice of pizza?" Chikobi Bush asked.
No, but then then the pizza delivery man should not have been threatened. This guy was NOT killed over pizza; he was killed because he threatened to shoot someone, and that someone took him seriously.

Read the article - this is a crime-ridden area. It is not surprising that a pizza delivery guy would carry a gun, and it is completely reasonable to assume that if someone threatens to shoot you, they mean it.

I'm sure this guys family and friends will miss him. I am equally sure that the pizza delivery guy's family would miss him if he had been killed. (He works 2 jobs to support his 2 daughters.)

As Clayton said, "A robber (or his friends) are in no position to complain about life not being valued by the shooter; the robber has already demonstrated that he considers the life of his victim worth nothing at all."

How is a 73-year-old to defend himself without a firearm?

This is a question I wish someone on the Left would answer just once.... Or maybe they don't answer because it is impossible.

Coon Rapids man kills home invader:
A Coon Rapids man shot and killed an intruder inside his home late Monday night, according to the Anoka County Sheriff's office.
The 73-year-old homeowner called Coon Rapids police to report the shooting, the sheriff's office said.
Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0
[hat tip Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog]

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Surprising Column in the Chicago Tribune

Concealed weapons in the wilderness | Chicago Tribune A column supporting concealed carry? Color me surprised.

The author, Steve Chapman, discusses the statistics that show violent crime decreased as the number of states allowing concealed carry increased. He debunks the "wild west shootout" scenarios the anti-gunners are still in love with and he points up the reasons that people want to carry. The article deals specifically with the legislation to allow guns in the National Parks, but it is generally positive toward CCW.
For some people--solitary women in particular--having the means of self-defense in the woods can be not only a comfort but a lifesaver. It's fine to trust in one's fellow man. That doesn't mean it's paranoid to have a Plan B.
[Hat tip Syd at Front Site Press]

Police Are Out of Control

LibertyBotched Paramilitary Police Raids This map shows just how far the use of paramilitary or SWAT tactics has gotten out of hand. Dead innocents. Raiding the wrong house. Death of someone who was not violent. Raids on sick people. (They can't come to the door? They must be hiding something!)

There is a report that goes along with the map, Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America.
Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

New York Police Shoot 3 Black Men, Kill One of Them

Herald News Daily The two wounded guys were taking the dead guy out the night before he was to be married.

Police said they thought one of the three had a gun. No weapons were found.
One 12-year veteran fired his weapon 31 times, emptying two full magazines, Kelly said.
Now I am a firm believer in shooting until the threat in question had been eliminated, but exactly what was the threat?
The surviving victims were Joseph Guzman, 31, who was shot at least 11 times, and Trent Benefield, 23, who was hit three times. Both men are at Mary Immaculate Hospital, where Guzman was in critical condition and Benefield was stable.
The police become convinced - how? - that one of three black men have a gun, and their first reaction is shoot 31 times. (16 = 1 in the chamber, and 15 in the magazine followed by 15 in the 2nd magazine to bring the total to 31.)

The NYPD is of course "still investigating" so they cannot say whether the shooting was justified. Expect to see them try to sugar-coat this incident and claim that the victims were somehow at fault.

Makes me think of that movie Blade Runner.
You know the score, pal. You're not cop, you're little people!!
I believe these cops were convinced that one or more of these men were armed, and in NYC that is a crime to be killed for. Probably especially if you are a black man. They are cops, the rest of us don't have the right to be armed. Being armed is a capital offense in New York.

Oh yeah... Hey Rangel - this is why I don't understand why anyone wants to live in New York - or at least in New York City. (OK, so it's a cheap shot - he deserves it... the whole damn sanctimonious city deserves it, and more.)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Battle of Missionary Ridge: The South's Last Chance?

This Day in History A protracted battle of two months in the fall of 1863 after the battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee, came to an end when U.S. Grant arrived on the scene and changed the defensive posture of his army. The Confederate effort to stop the Union advance at Chattanooga ended on November 25, 1863 with the Union victory at Missionary Ridge.

Once a supply line down the Tennessee River was secured, he launched a probe against the Confederate position.

Sherman, attacking on the Union left was unable to take Tunnel Hill. Hooker advancing slowly from Lookout Mountain had little impact. (Well, his troops had captured lookout mountain on the 24th of November, so it is hard to say he had little impact.) Troops under General George Thomas attacked the middle of the line at Missionary Ridge, on 25 November 1863.

Thomas' troops overran the first position held by the Confederates, but they could not hold this line - since they were too exposed.
On their own men began to charge the ridge, only a few at first. Informed of the advance past the picket line Grant and Thomas turned back and watched as the men moved on the fortified rebel position. Fearful that if the charge failed the grays could advance and rout his army, Grant inquired of the men around him who ordered the charge. "I don't know,.." Thomas responded, "I did not."
A combination of retreating Confederates, and poorly placed gun emplacements kept the troops under Braxton Bragg from effectively engaging the Federals. Bragg ordered a general retreat.

Failure to stop the Union Army in the vicinity of Chattanooga was a major problem for the South. Sherman resumed the attack in the spring, and Atlanta would fall to Sherman in September of 1864, helping Abraham Lincoln's re-election campaign with a decisive victory. Less than a year after Missionary Ridge, William Tecumseh Sherman would burn Atlanta and start his infamous March to the Sea, destroying much the South's ability - and will - to wage war.

Finally A Quote From Police Who Get Concealed Carry

Shop Owner Protects Customers, Shoots Suspected Robber - News - | WEWS The media loves to quote cops who say things like "Don't confront criminals." But this article has a statement from police that I can get behind.

A hold-up that ends badly for the goblin. A masked robber came into Ray William's barber shop in Cleveland, Ohio.
"Guy came in with a ski mask and a gun and told everybody to give him their money and their wallets and jewelry, watches," Williams said. "As soon as he turned his head, you know what I'm saying, I just pulled out my gun and started firing."
The goblin is being treated for a gunshot wound.

The statement I love:
Police hope Williams' action sent a message to other robbers.
Armed self-defense works. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.
[hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Now the Brady Bunch is Bent Out of Shape Over Xmas Ornaments

Xmas Ornament />Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/22/2006 | Gun ornament draws fire The gun grabbers in PA are bent out of shape or just plain just bent.
Nothing says Christmas quite like a glittery black handgun hanging from the tree.

Urban Outfitters Inc. - no stranger to controversial products - is offering the 5-inch-long, Chinese-made gun ornament for $6 in its stores and catalogs this year.
The Gov (Rendell) has a spokesman calls it "twisted." The spokesman for the Philly Police Department calls it "outrageous."

They need to lighten up. It's a damn piece of plastic for goodness sake. But if it gets the gun grabbers to stop and take time to be insane, it can't be all bad.

Urban Outfitters will sell you one for 6 bucks. (The photo is a link that will take you there as well.) [hat tip Alphecca]

Never Realized Pinellas County was this progressive

Northpinellas: Sheriff offers partner benefits Pinellas County is where St Petersburg, FL is - across the bay from Tampa.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office just became the second major local law enforcement agency in Tampa Bay to offer health insurance to domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees.
Good for them.

Quote of the Day

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
e.e. cummings

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Imagine Me & You

Imagine Me & You is an interesting little love story from England. With a twist on the "love at first sight" story.

Rachel catches her "first site" of that someone while walking down the aisle at her wedding. But the someone is Luce (or Lucy), the woman who did the flowers for the wedding. It is completely non-political, it is just a love story. Not a mean feat in this day and age - though probably easier in the UK than the US.

An interesting story in which it looks like someone is going to get hurt - because it is a tough situation - but it all comes out right in the end, and everyone gets the a happy ending of their own. (I don't think that gives too much away.)

I absolutely love the character of Luce's mother - who at one point her daughter is trying to goad back onto the social scene.
Tea dances, reading groups, bridge clubs, ... tragic attempts by lonely old coffin-dodgers to meet someone before they give up and peg out.
That was from her blue period. She did sort of come round.

And Anthony Head - Rupert Giles from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series - has a great role as Rachel's unhappily married father.

It is hard to call this a romantic comedy. There are moments that are funny but there are others that are very sad.

The movie is not perfect. It was shot for relatively little money - which means that although the script is good, they had to make do with some tough conditions dictated by the weather and budget. Still it is a fun movie.

20 Minutes to Respond to 911 Call

Students Claim Police Are Late Answering 911 Call - News - | WRC With people trying to break into your apartment, if all you can do is call 911, you are going to wait. In this case some women at the University of Maryland waited while men tried to break down their door.

The excuse being bandied about - lack of technical sophistication on the part of the government.
Police said the delay was because the 911 calls were made from cell phones. After reaching dispatch centers, police said the calls were likely transferred from agency to agency until they finally reached university police.
Yes, it is completely unreasonable to expect police and the government generally to be able to respond to cell phone calls in a reasonable time. After all, cell phones were only introduced into wide use 20 years ago. Why should anyone expect government to respond to anything (except an opportunity to raise taxes) in that length of time?

The good news is that no one was hurt this time. The would-be intruders ran away when an alarm was sounded.

Oh, and the police say use cell phones at your own risk.
Police said however, if students continue to call 911 from cell phones, there calls will likely be routed to outside agencies adding critical minutes to emergency response calls.
They apparently have no plans to catch up with 1980s technology.

Concealed Carry in Memphis - a positive story

Memphis Commercial Appeal - Memphis' Source for News and Information: Local You don't often see a positive story about concealed carry. And it is no surprise that this isn't in the New York Times but in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

There are several examples covered, so I will leave it to you to click on the link and read them all. I will highlight the quote from the local law enforcement.
"I'm all for an armed populace," says Sgt. Vince Higgins, spokesman for the Memphis Police Department. "As long as it's a trained populace (in gun safety) and educated in liability."
Police know, and the public is learning, the truth about crime and the reactive nature of police work.
"What the authorities typically do is investigate crimes that already have happened," says Tom Givens, owner of Range Master, which trained 274 people in August and September alone. "That doesn't help the victim at all.
This is an interesting article. It does even mention the Death Wish movies, but then makes the point that people with concealed carry permits are NOT vigilantes. They are people who want to be safe. [Hat tip to Kevin]

For Reasons that Escape Me Right Now...

I decided to refinish the sole (what you land lubbers would call the floor) of my boat. (The floors of a boat actually hold up the sole - in the same way that the floors in you house hold up the sole of your shoe.)

Anyway, I had to select a non-toxic stripping agent. The citrus stripper I found seems to work OK as long as I do 2 coats. No toxic fumes to live with (except the denatured alcohol I have to clean up with...)

It is complicated by the fact that I can only work on about 2 square feet at a time.

The sole is teak and holly plywood. Pretty typical in a 1970s production sailboat. I have had to stop and repair, or in a few cases replace, small sections of the veneer that forms the top ply of the plywood.

The result of all of this is that the project is progressing VERY slowly. Still I think it will look good when done. And it is forcing me to scrub all of the nooks and crannies with a tooth brush.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Late to the Symphony

Dodgeblogium : BOMS we got da BOMS. As always, worth a look.

A Strong Economy

Real WagesA brisk rise in American wages | There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the Left about how real wages haven't kept pace with inflation under President Bush. See the graph. Data comes from the Labor Department. (Funny how they weren't wailing about "falling real wages" in 1997 through 2000, or happy that it turned around in 2001.) But then the President has very little control over the economy. Vetoing spending bills is really about it - and I will grant that Bush hasn't done anything to hold down the size of government. Just the opposite in fact.

And isn't it just a coincidence that real wages started to fall after Sept. 11, 2001. (Maybe those on the Left don't remember what happened that day.)
American paychecks are rising again at a pace not seen since the 1990s.

The pay increase amounts to 4 percent on average over the past 12 months.
That is good news for everyone.
"Expect wages to maintain a decent clip at least through the first half" of 2007, says Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning research group in Washington.

Those gains lately have been fairly broad-based across all pay levels, but they come at a time when wage growth seems to be harder to come by than in the past.
Why so hard? We live in a world of global markets including one for labor. (And an influx of millions of illegal immigrants holding wages down probably doesn't help that much either.)

Wages By Industry not adjusted for inflationIf you look at wages by industry, it is no surprise that some people are doing better than others. (Click on the graph to the left for a better view)

There are many articles that try to put a negative spin on the economy by discussing the housing market and the implied "bubble." This is one of them. Housing bubbles are a concern. It is one of the many reasons that people should not buy houses they cannot afford. If you can't afford your house with a 15-year mortgage, then you can't afford your house. Interest-only loans, etc. are mostly vehicles for banks to separate you from more of your money. Oh, it will let you buy a bigger house, but that is a crazy way to run your budget. Most people can't retire until they pay off their home loan. When will you be able to retire? (I recommend Rich Dad, Poor Dadfor your reading pleasure.)

The economy is strong, and right before the holiday shopping season that is good news.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bet my life on 911 - not a chance

State Senator questions 911 response time after breaking up burglary attempt
It took 15 minutes and two phone calls to 911 to get deputies to respond to an emergency call made by State Sen. Tim Burchett as he broke up a burglary attempt at gunpoint. Now he questions why it took so long for deputies to arrive.
The 911 dispatcher sent the first call on to the Sheriff's office. But they did nothing, even though there was a deputy parked across the street.

A lot of bad things can happen in 15 minutes. Bad things can happen in 15 seconds for that matter if you are being assaulted.

One of the reasons gun enthusiasts practice the rules of safe gun handling (never point a gun at something or someone you aren't willing to shoot, keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, etc.) is that we want behavior to ensure safety and not focus reliance on a physical device. In this case we are not trusting the gun's safety. Machines fail and the safety on any gun is just another machine.

911 is in many respects a machine - it certainly relies for standard operations on any number of machines, such as computers and phone systems. What happens when a machine fails?

Faulty telephone line disrupts Montgomery County 911 system : The Morning Call Online For 90 minutes one day recently, the entire county (in PA) was without 911 coverage.
Montgomery County's 911 system was disrupted by telephone problems for more than 90 minutes Friday morning, county officials said.

Staff at the 911 center noticed problems with incoming calls at 9:47 a.m. The county activated its backup 911 center in Conshohocken a short time later, but there were problems there too.
The main system doesn't work. The backup system also doesn't work. A lot of bad things can happen in 90 minutes if you are threatened with violence (or having a heart attack, or been in a car crash, etc.)

In the past I have written about people who were prevented - by their attacker - from calling 911. I have written about people who were ignored by 911. There have been other cases where the 911 system did not respond to the 911 call, (a busy signal, etc.) or where the delay in getting someone to the scene proved to be a problem.

Calling 911 is generally a really wonderful thing. They can send help in a medical emergency, the fire department in case of a fire or the police in case of a violent attack. Yet we encourage people to learn CPR because time matters in an emergency. We encourage people to keep fire extinguishers in their kitchens because fast action can prevent a catastrophe. Hunter 37 Cutter(I am required - by law - to have a certain number of fire extinguishers on my boat. I have more the the minimum number) So why is it that the same people who are encouraging the learning of CPR are not encouraging the learning of armed self-defense. In the event of a violent attack, time matters. The police are minutes away, even if you are able to call 911 before you are attacked. 911 is not a perfect system. (Being a government operation most of the components - phones, computers, etc. were probably provided by the low-bidder.) I will not bet my life on something that error-prone.

Having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen does not guarantee that a grease fire won't burn down your home. Wearing your seatbelt while driving is no guarantee that you won't be killed in a car crash. Having a concealed weapon does not guarantee that you won't be killed or injured as a result of crime. There are no guarantees in this life. We do things as responsible adults to reduce our exposure to risk. Learning to properly defend yourself is just one of the things people should learn. [hat tip to Keep And Bear Arms, and in the interest of honesty I must say that the photo is not one of my boat; it is a photo from the marketing literature from when my boat was new.]

Antarctic Ice Cap Growing Not Shrinking

CO2 Science All the doom-sayers going on about major cities underwater will certainly change their tunes now. Won't they? Probably not.... What would they do if they didn't relentlessly attack business in general and American business in particular? (They would find some other way to voice their communist outlook.)
What it means
Contrary to all the horror stories one hears about global warming-induced mass wastage of the Antarctic ice sheet leading to rising sea levels that gobble up coastal lowlands worldwide, the most recent decade of pertinent real-world data suggest that forces leading to just the opposite effect are apparently prevailing.
The meat of the article talks about the data which shows that given the density of the snow falling on Antarctica, the ice sheet is collecting more water every year. Enough to lower sea levels slightly every year (0.08mm per year).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pro-Gun Progressive Wants to Reform the Militia

Pro-Gun Progressive � Time to Reform the Militia Maybe there is something to this.... Take a look. And don't miss the purposes and benefits discussion.

Real Estate Market Woes

My previous post started me thinking about the real estate market, or housing market as the economists call it.

One reason the housing market is down is that it is comatose in Florida. A decade of rampant speculation and condo-building is coming to an end. Deals are falling through, and people who thought they sold real estate to builders 3 years ago find the banks have pulled funding, and the deal collapsed

There are two major reasons for this: insurance and property taxes. Both are getting expensive in FL. It can be 300 or 400 dollars per month for housing insurance that includes hurricane coverage. (And if you want a loan on a property the banks insist in hurricane and flood coverage.)

Then there is overbuilding. There are something like 10 thousand condos for sale in the greater Tampa Bay area right now - the result of speculating and, as Alan Greenspan would say, "irrational exuberance" of the developers. There are not 10,000 buyers for those condos. Results: no new buildings are going up, since the banks and the developers are holding the just finished properties. The way it worked in Florida 10 years ago was, a developer would offer condos in a new development at "pre-construction prices." You would put 5 or 10 grand down, in some cases more, and not have to come up with a mortgage for 3 years. In that time, you would have been able to sell your condo for a tidy profit without every having to get a loan. You could take your initial deposit, go down the street to the next new development and do it all again. That isn't working anymore. While some people are getting loans, a lot of speculators are chalking it up to the risks of doing business, leaving the developer (and the bank) with a lot of unexpectedly unsold condos.

Prices are going down a little - though there is evidence that they are stabilizing now, but the big impact is the complete halt to residential building - at least of condos.

In terms of property taxes, Florida has expensive property taxes. There is a "homestead exemption" for residents on your primary residence that keeps the taxes stable. For 2nd homes and vacation homes there is no exemption and the taxes go up every year. In some case they go up a lot. Businesses also get hit with yearly increases.

Between the taxes and insurance, a lot of snow birds are deciding that they don't have to fly all the way to Florida in winter. (This is a good thing from my point-of-view.)

Again, people want me to finance their lifestyle

Hurricane areas suffer soaring insurance rates I don't know if I keep seeing the same story or similar stories... this is the AP after all.

Again a realtor is complaining about the lack of federal insurance, because it is getting expensive to buy insurance in coastal areas prone to hurricanes.
"I think we need for the federal government to get involved and create some sort of backstop," Lereah said. "If you're a private insurance carrier, you think twice about getting involved in an area where there is not a backstop."
If you want to live in an area prone to hurricanes (or earthquakes, or mudslides or forest-fires or whatever) don't expect me to foot the bill for your risk. I live in a hurricane-prone area, and I am not asking anyone else to foot the bill for my risk.

If you can't afford to live in a hurricane-prone or other hazard-prone area, move someplace where there are fewer risks. There are never no risks in life. Some are easier to insure against.

The government is not supposed to take care of you.

It would be a good thing if we left some of our beaches and water-front land undeveloped.

Aesop's Fable - The Peacock and the Crane

Grizzly Mama: Aesop's Fable Friday This week's Friday Fable is once again brought to us by Monica. "Looks aren't everything." Go take a look. (Aesop's fables are very short.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Don't try this at home

Motorist with gun holds down tip thief Not sure I would have gotten involved over a matter of 20 bucks.... still.

A thief grabbed 20 bucks out of a tip jar from a Chinese restaurant.
Employees chased [the goblin] outside into the parking lot of the strip mall on U.S. 301 and behind the stores. A passerby with a concealed weapons permit stopped and pulled his gun on the man, witnesses said.
A Sheriff's Deputy arrested the anonymous goblin a short time later.

File This Under: Be Careful What House You Break Into

JusticeLife sentence – plus 140 years – in break-in that led to shootout with homeowner This guy picked the wrong house.
Richardson, along with 26-year-old Stephen L. Norwood, broke into the Elsmere-area home of Thomas Morganstern in November 2005.

Police said the men started shooting at 61-year-old Morganstern, an avid hunter, but missed him. Morganstern shot back, injuring Richardson and killing Norwood.
He was convicted of attempted murder and other charges.

So his partner was killed, he was wounded and ended up with 140 years plus life. (I'm never sure what these sentences mean - longer than life in prison. Do they keep them in the freezer for those extra years?)

Buy Those Evil Assault Weapons

Image Copyright Oleg Volk

[Stolen Shamelessly from Xavier Thoughts]

Why Did They Wait Until They Lost Congress to Introduce This Bill?

Ohioans For Concealed Carry - Bill Introduced to Allow Carry in National Parks
Senator George Allen (R-Virginia) has introduced SB 4057, the National Park Second Amendment Restoration and Personal Protection Act of 2006. If adopted as law, this legislation would allow legal carry of firearms into National Parks so long as the state does not prohibit carry in all parks.
I guess we will see if the "moderate" Dems are moderate or not. I doubt it will pass, but stranger things have happened.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Truth About Restraining Orders

Will a restraining order protect a person from abuse? From time-to-time, someone in the Judicial System says what is the obvious truth about court orders.
The majority of domestic violence advocates proffer that court issued protection/restraining orders will protect the plaintiff on that order from the abuser. In fact many print that promise of protection right on the order. However, for those who work in the criminal justice system and many domestic violence advocates understand that a restraining order, in and of itself, is a piece of paper that can, in and of itself, provide little to no protection.
Say it again: "a restraining order ... is piece of paper."
There is not a single empirical scientific methodological study that has provided data that has demonstrated that the use of a civil protection/restraining order, in and of itself, can protect a victim or deter repeat domestic violence abuse by an abuser.
The article goes on to question the "Seattle Study" that says court orders work 80% of the time. But, as I've said before, if the breaks on your car only worked 80% of the time you needed to stop, how much would you trust your breaks? Even if the Seattle Study is true - and it is questioned in this article - it doesn't give me much faith in restraining orders.

Desert Island Movie List

OK This is one meme I can't resist....
Pale Rider: The best of the "Man with no name" movies.

John Carpenter's Vampires: One of the better vampire movies made recently.

Sci Fi
The Day the Earth Stood Still: Classic piece of Cold-War-Era Sci Fi.

1776: A hilarious send-up of the signing of the Declaration of Independence

Young Frankenstein: I actually think The Twelve Chairs is a better movie, but that is the one Mel Brooks movie, no one has seen. Young Frankenstein is funnier.

Das Boot: See it in the original German. One of the best roles for Jürgen Prochnow

Classic (Pre-1960)
Casablanca: What can I say, you can't go wrong with the best.

The Civil War by Ken Burns: If I have to select a theatrical release (The Civil War was on PBS) then it would be The Day After Trinity which covers the Manhattan Project.

Bonus Pick (any genre)
I would select Anime as the genre, and Ghost in the Shell as the film. Anime is not for kids, and GitS definitely falls in the not-for-kids category. A serious piece of Science Fiction done in animation.

Bonus Pick 2 (any genre)
Since I can make this up as I go, I would also choose The Incredibles in the animation genre. It isn't the best piece of computer generated animation I have seen, but it is good.
Yipps (or is it Orgles) go to Robbo at The Llama Butchers

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Can They All Just STFU?

Study: Television, Filmmaking Industries Are Big Polluters - News - | KNBC Next time some Hollywood yahoo tells us how bad we are for driving SUVs while they are so good for driving hybrids, I hope someone hits them with this study.
Although Hollywood seems environmentally conscious thanks to celebrities who lend their names to various causes, the industry created more pollution than individually produced by aerospace manufacturing, apparel, hotels and semiconductor manufacturing, the study found.

Only petroleum manufacturing belched more emissions.
Pot, meet Kettle - no name calling please. [via Baldilocks]

Milton Friedman Passed Away.

The Hand of Friedman - Yahoo! News Milton Friedman was one of the great champions of individual freedom.

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself." People are upset about the free market when the majority of people don't make the choices they want them to make. The majority of people are buying trucks and SUVs (or they were). And so the goofs on the Left Coast are upset. People free to make choices made choices the Left doesn't like.

He was in favor of cutting taxes at every juncture. Of course he forgot about government borrowing. It isn't enough to cut taxes if the legislators will just permit run-away deficit spending. Expenses must be cut.


He will be missed.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

JusticeFultondale Homeowner Shoots Alleged Robber - News - | WVTM A 49-year-old with a knife versus a 66-year-old with a gun.
Police said the homeowner had been robbed in the past, so when the thief ordered him to go to a closet in search of more money, the homeowner was able to grab a gun and shoot the suspect.
No charges against the homeowner have been filed, since he was acting in self-defense.

A Small Step Forward in Pakistan

Pakistan Moves to Amend Rape Laws - Under the strict Islamic "Law" it required 4 eyewitnesses for a woman to prove rape. This was obviously done to make men immune to prosecution. Anyway a small change was made.
Pakistan's lower house of Parliament passed amendments to the country's rape laws Wednesday, ditching the death penalty for extramarital sex and revising a clause on making victims produce four witnesses to prove rape cases.
The Islamic Nutters conservatives were of course outraged. They are no longer free to rape with impunity.

A small step, but a step nonetheless.

I am always curious about why the multiculturalists don't condemn traditional Islam for these insane laws that keep women down instead of defending "different cultures." Laws designed that effectively limit a woman's right to justice if attacked are wrong.

Questionable Police Shooting

Witnesses: Man Killed By Officers Never Threatened Police - Local News - | WCAU
WILMINGTON, Del -- Six witnesses said the Virginia man who was shot and killed by a police officer last week never threatened the police.

Derek Hale, 25, was gunned down in the 1400 block of West Sixth Street on Nov. 6. He was given multiple shocks with Taser guns, then was killed by three bullets in his chest.
Police interviewed one witness, not six.

At this distance it is hard to know what happened, but if there were six witnesses that said Hale was a threat to police, I would probably believe them.

Hale was killed as a part of the War on (some) Drugs. He was a "Person of Interest." He had not been charged, tried or convicted. The question is, "Was he executed?" The war on (some) drugs is doing horrible things to this country. [via KABA]

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Loving Firefox 2.0

FirefoxThey fixed a couple of things in Firefox 2.0 that irritated me in the old release - like filling in user IDs and passwords before a page completely loads instead of waiting for all the graphics to be found, things like that.

Spell check is now active in text entry screens.... a big help for someone like me who is a bit spelling challenged.

But the best thing is the Flashblock extension. Since the spammers advertising companies are losing the pop-up war, they are switching to Flash ads. Flashblock halts them - I can see things I want to see (YouTube, etc.) by clicking on the Flashblock logo. Wonderful. No more wasted time loading things I don't want to see, no more irritating ads, .... life is good.

Rely on 911?

Press-Telegram - Victims of attack share their story A group of party-goers are attacked on Halloween by a pack of hyenas group of youths between 12 and 17.
[One of the victims] was trying to call 911 on her cell phone when the taunts began, but kept getting busy signals. She tried three times to call, she said, but never got through to an operator.
Witnesses were afraid to intervene, but did call 911. One Good Samaritan did come to their rescue.

The attack was savage, and the medical implications for the girls will be long-lasting, perhaps life-long.
Doctors don't yet know if she will regain all of her eyesight. Until the swelling goes down, they won't know if she'll require surgery to repair the many broken bones.

Forced to drop her college photography classes this semester because she cannot see well enough to use the camera, Lauren also can't blow her nose or sleep lying down. The pressure, doctors told her, could cause any of the fractured bones to shift, which could lead to her eye becoming detached from the shattered socket.
So 911 did respond eventually, but if one of the victims had been armed, would this have ended differently? Probably. [h/t KABA]

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

So Much for Restraining Orders

Worcester Telegram: Police probe murder-suicide in Gardner She had a restraining order, but ended up dead in an upstairs closet. Was she trying to hide?

People need to stop believing that the state can solve all of your problems.

Of course these insane people need to stop killing their ex-wives, ex-husbands, ex-whatever.

Anyone faced with a violent ex, needs to be prepared to defend themselves. That won't guarantee your survival, there are no guarantees in this life, but it is the best chance you have.

Free markets do work

Via LexisNexis, we get this article originally published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette: ENERGY REPORTER: EDUCATE THYSELF;
Imagine an area where prices are substantially lower today than they were in 1991. You don't have to imagine.
In the Duquesne Light territory, the average residential customer who was paying $93.48 per month for electricity in 1991 is now paying $54.30, a stunning 42 percent decrease. This bargain exists even though rate caps ended at Duquesne Light in 2004. Even after a transmission and distribution rate increase takes effect in 2007, Duquesne customers will be paying 32 percent less than in 1991.
Deregulation spurs savings? What will the Left say?

Laws changed - mandating competition. The result...
The electric industry responded to the new incentives by becoming much more efficient, reflecting the shift of risks and rewards of owning generation from ratepayers to plant owners.

The forces of this new competitive era aren't found in just electric bills. Pennsylvania's first major wind farm was built in 1999 by a new entrant to the marketplace, and today Pennsylvania has six operating wind farms, two more under construction, and more than 2,500 megawatts in the new generation queue at the PJM Interconnection, which coordinates electricity transmission across a multistate area. Pennsylvania is on the way to building enough wind power to supply more than 1 million homes -- 20 percent of the residential accounts in the state.
Well, free markets generate savings, encourage experimentation and reward people who accept risk - and serve all of us by reducing total costs.

And there are few shots at the "professional journalists."
Most reporters do not even express prices in constant dollars. That's not fatal to real understanding if one is comparing prices over a short period of time. But the failure to use constant dollars when looking at price trends over five years or 10 years or 15 years leads to horribly misleading conclusions.
But then the "professional journalists" are often better described as propaganda hacks - they want the conclusions to be one-sided. Fairness? That is so out-dated; it went out with "fake but accurate."

Mine Your Own Business

The trailer for the Movie, "Mine Your Own Business."

See the Blog that goes with the movie. "Poverty is Not Charming."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

HPD: Homeowner Shoots, Kills Robber - Local News - | KPRC Another story that ends with smoked goblin.
A man with a knife tried to rob the homeowner, officials said.

Police said the homeowner had a gun and shot the robber, killing him.
Self-defense works, and it is a human right.

Don't Try to Stick-up a "Fast Draw" Competitor

LibertyOK, why would you try to rob someone who was wearing a "Friends of the NRA" hat, in a state that allows concealed carry? Another stupid criminal...

Greg "Lumpy" Lambert competes in quick-draw pistol competitions, and it served him well the other day.

Here is what a friend of "Lumpy's" had to say.
The customer went out side to smoke a cigarette. Lumpy went outside to tell him it was time to do some paper work. When the man came back in Lumpy had a bad feeling and had his hand on his gun he keeps on him at most all times. The man started to pull his gun.....Bad move. Lumpy does quick draw competitions for fun and had his gun pointing down the criminals throat before the criminal had his own gun half drawn. After some harsh words the criminal dropped his gun.
Since Mr. Lambert had his driver's license, the goblin had more than a little incentive to kill the only witness.

So why select this business? It was mistake, apparently; the police caught up the goblin later and arrested him.
This is what gunwriter Massad Ayoob likes to call "a failure of the victim selection process."
As many have pointed out, this is another defensive use of a handgun that resulted in no shots being fired, no one hurt or killed.

Here's the basic story from the local paper.
[Hat tip to Tam at View From the Porch]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

First Coast Guard Cutter in 35 Years

USCG BertholfBuffalo News - Coast Guard cutter augments aging fleet The christening ceremony was held on Veterans' Day.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff marked Veterans Day by helping christen the 418-foot, 4,300-ton Bertholf, which the Coast Guard calls a "national security cutter." It is about a third larger than the class of ships it replaces.

Sometimes I Just Don't Understand the Net

I write a fairly short post, one of my Good Guys/Bad Guys score-keeping posts, and it spammed all over the net by someone.

Now I don't mind the traffic, but I wonder what the hell people are saying. It isn't one of my better posts - I haven't had the time to do much writing lately.

Home Invasion Results in Death College student fatally shot while trying to kick in door, police say So another goblin picks the wrong house to burglarize (or whatever).
Police say the homeowner, Robert Delk, told police that he and his wife were woken up early Saturday morning by someone banging on their door.

As Delk, who had grabbed his .44 magnum handgun, approached the door, the suspect kicked it in.

A police spokesman tells the Tyler Morning Telegraph that Delk then shot the suspect.
Justin Herrera died at the hospital. Motive for the break-in is unknown.

And the homeowner?
Tyler police Lieutenant David Long says the case is under investigation and would be presented to the grand jury.

But he didn't believe any charges are anticipated.
He was defending himself, after all.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

FreedomSight's New Home

FreedomSight � Blog Archive � Well, Here I am at the New Place Go take a look, update your blog rolls, etc.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

School Violence - Learning the Lessons of Columbine

Dave Kopel on School Violence on National Review Online. This article brings to light several interesting things about school violence generally and about the Columbine incident in particular.
At Columbine, the armed “school resource officer” refused to pursue the killers into the building, and kept himself safe outside while the murders were going on inside. Even after SWAT teams arrived, and while, via an open 911 line, the authorities knew that students were being methodically executed in the library, the police stood idle just a few yards outside the library.

To this day, the authorities in Jefferson County, Colorado, have successfully covered up who made the decision that the police would stand idle.
So armed SWAT team members stood by and listened while 911 calls recorded the execution-style murders. (Tell me again why I should call 911 and hope the police will save me.)

But the real issue is why are schools targeted?
The attacks this fall highlight a problem that was forgotten in the post-Columbine frenzy. There are lots of attacks which are not perpetrated by disaffected students. We knew this in 1988, when 30-year-old Laurie Dann attacked a second-grade classroom in Winnetka, Illinois, and in January 1989, when an adult criminal named Patrick Purdy attacked a school playground in Stockton, California. Or when British pederast Thomas Hamilton killed 16 kindergarteners and a teacher in Dunblane, Scotland.

One reason why adult sociopaths so often choose to attack schools — schools to which they have no particular connection — is that schools are easy targets. It is not surprising that police stations, hunting-club meetings, stateside army bases, NRA offices, and similar locations known to contain armed adults are rarely attacked.
Disarmed-victim-zones do not promote safety for the general population. They only promote safety for the criminals.

The best point is the debunking of the self-esteem mania currently in vogue in the educational establishment. In the real world, you don't do well because you have self-esteem; the real world insists that you do well first, then you can have self-esteem. Pumping up kids' self-esteem is part of the problem.
Columbine killer Eric Harris likely suffered from a superiority complex; his problem was excessive self-esteem. Indeed, many criminals have excessively high self-esteem, and one cause of their criminality is the large gap between how most people see them (accurately, as mediocre losers) and their own self-image. Self-esteem programming in the schools, whatever its merits, might even be counterproductive to school safety.
I'll give David Kopel the last word.
Some people who do not like the idea of teachers being armed to protect students simply get indignant, or declare that armed teachers are inconsistent with a learning environment. I suggest that dead students — and the traumatic aftermath of a school attack — are far more inconsistent with a learning environment than is a math teacher having a concealed handgun.
[Hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

To All Veterans: Thank You

US Flag

At the Risk of Repeating Myself...

dollar signLet me repeat myself... It Isn't “Life, Liberty and Property Insurance” There are a whole raft of articles today bemoaning the fact that some retirees can no longer afford the insurance on their million-dollar (or many hundreds-of-thousands of dollars) waterfront homes in hurricane country.

A simple two-bedroom condo with a "water view" in this area recently sold for just shy of $400,000. Do I feel sorry for the owners that they have to pay large amounts for hurricane insurance? No. That is a choice.

Lexington Herald-Leader | 11/11/2006 | Hurricanes change where retirees live is a fairly typical article.
"I think we need for the federal government to get involved and create some sort of backstop," Lereah [Realtor] said. "If you're a private insurance carrier, you think twice about getting involved in an area where there is not a backstop."
Why should the government be involved in insurance? So that the developers can make even more money destroying what little is left of our beaches? I don't think so. If insurance is too high in hurricane-prone areas then people won't live where it makes no sense to live... like in flood plains or on earthquake faults or in hurricane zones. Or if they do decide to live there, they will have to accept the consequences of that choice, and not expect the rest of us to foot the bill.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Still Think "The System" Will Protect You?

JusticeThe Baker County Press: Grand jury indicts Dressel for first-degree murder and two attempts November 1

He was under a restraining order. One of many that he had violated. He was wearing an ankle bracelet that was supposed to track his movements. None of this did any good.
Mr. Dressel was wearing an ankle bracelet when he allegedly broke into a trailer in the Dixie trailer park off George Hodges Road in Macclenny that morning and shot Ms. Below to death in a hallway. Her two children were present during the shooting.

He then shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend’s stepfather Malcolm Johns, 45, with the same .357 pistol.

He then turned the pistol on Debra Johns, 54, Ms. Below’s mother, and shot at her as she attempted to hide behind a bed. The bullet missed.
The "system" cannot protect you in the few moments you have when violence strikes - you are on your own.

These people may not have been able to defend themselves had they been armed. Indeed, from the story, we don't know if they did have a gun somewhere. There are no guarantees in this life, and preparing for an emergency is no guarantee that you will survive the emergency.

My point is that you cannot hope that the police will protect you, or that the courts will protect you. They simply cannot. You should at least be prepared to protect yourself.
[Hat tip Keep and Bear Arms]

Busy Busy Busy -- with boat stuff

More sanding and varnishing (well not quite varnish... something a bit higher-tech)

Hope to be writing more soon. I think I will have to break down and sign up for high-speed Internet access again. I canceled my service because we had a "disagreement" about their level of service....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"Poverty is not charming"

Mine Your Own Business is the name a new addition to the blogroll. It is also the name of a movie by Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney. You can see the trailer here.

Although I haven't seen the movie, the premise is fascinating. Environmentalists want to preserve "the quaint lifestyles" of people living in abject poverty.

Consider this review.
In Mine Your Own Business, Françoise Heidebroek, a Belgian opponent of the Rosia Montana [a Romanian village in the Transylvanian mountains] gold mine, argues that villagers prefer to use horses rather than cars, and prefer to rely on ‘traditional cattle raising, small agriculture, wood processing’ to live.

What she leaves out of her valorisation of village ‘lifestyles’ is the fact that there is 70 per cent unemployment in Rosia Montana, and average income levels are just one-third of the national average. Over one in 10 people survive on the equivalent of 85p per day. Two-thirds of local people have no running water and rely on an outside toilet in winters where the temperature can plummet to minus 25 degrees Celsius. [-13 degrees Fahrenheit] This is rural poverty writ large. Yet for many of those opposing the mine and similar projects, as Mine Your Own Business shows, this ‘lifestyle’ is portrayed as preferable to the life realised from a working mine and billions of dollars of investment in the valley.
How many of those environmentalists live in that kind of place? One of the people opposing these mines (there are 3) has a 35,000 dollar catamaran, and is building a new home - complete with running water.

The three mines and the opposition profiled are in Romania, Madagascar and Chile.

Upcoming dates are here. None in my area, so I may have to resort to buying the DVD.

Not acting in his own best interest

If the charges are true, the police chief in question has questionable judgement. The Sun News | SLED arrests area police chief on domestic violence charges So did this police chief think he was above the law? Well he found out, he isn't.
Arrest warrants signed by both High and Judge Isaac L. Pyatt, show that High is accused of engaging in a pattern of "intentional, substantial and unreasonable intrusion into the private life" of the victim, after a restraining order was signed by a family court judge.

One warrant shows that High is accused of repeatedly making phone calls, sending e-mail and sending letters to and driving past the victim's place of employment, as well as following the victim, between Aug. 2 and Oct. 28, 2006.
Innocent until proven guilty of course. SLED stands for "S.C. Law Enforcement Division."

Can "the system" protect you, when you need protection from the people in that system? Arresting the chief of police in his own jursidiction is a tricky proposition to say the least.

Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0

JusticeRobbery turns deadly Three goblins try to hold up a pawnshop. Two entered, one stayed by the door. Shots were fired by one of the goofs. The employee returned fire striking one of the robbers in the head. He died. The employee held the other 2 at gunpoint until the police arrived.

While it will be referred to a grand jury, the police feel the employee acted in self-defense.
“At this point it appears the subject fired in self defense,” [Police Chief] Mullins said.
Armed self-defense works again.

Best of Me Symphony

Dodgeblogium : Best of Me Symphony A collection of posts at least 60 days old. Tends to not be drowning in current events, for that reason.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot;
I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes and the plan to destroy Parliment in 1605

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

West Memphis man shoots, critically wounds intruder The homeowner woke up when the goblin taps him on the head with a firearm.
The homeowner, who has not been identified, told police that he was lying on the couch watching television early Friday when a man "tapped him on his head with an old black pistol" and demanded money. The homeowner gave the man his wallet, then pulled a handgun from under his pillow and shot the intruder.

"The homeowner stated he didn't know how many times he fired his weapon, but that he fired every shot in his magazine," said Mike Allen, assistant chief for the West Memphis police.
Police don't expect to charge the homeowner with anything since they don't prosecute self-defense in Arkansas.

The goblin is in critical condition in the local hospital.

19-year-old home invader dead

Police: 19-year-old killed in home invasion A 65-year-old man awakes in the middle of the night to find a group of people in his home. He defends himself.
Bradley Parrish, 19, was found dead about 200 feet from the 65-year-old homeowner's residence.
A group of three teenagers was arrested in a nearby home, and charged with participating in the home invasion.
"The evidence is quite clear. The suspect was shot well within the house," [Gregg County Sheriff Maxey] Cerliano said. "Multiple shots were fired, all within the house."

Cerliano said the incident was a tragedy, but that it was important for homeowners to protect themselves.
Self-defense is a human right.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Financial Freedom

Dollar SignI am rereading Rich Dad, Poor Dad the subtitle is “What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money - That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not.” Robert T. Kiyosaki is a smart man. (And a rich man.)

If you haven't read it, you should. People ask me all the time how I can manage to own a boat and not work - I am too young to be "retired." The trick is to have income that doesn't come from an employer, but from assets. To be fair, mine doesn't cover my total expenses, so I am burning through some assets, but it is worth it. I will need to break down and get some type of job or pull away from the dock....

Anyway this is a great book. It will probably teach you some things about money you don't know and probably upset you. (Your home may be your largest "investment" but it is NOT an asset - it adds no income to you life - it is a liability - it only has expenses associated with it.) But that is the definition of an asset - it produces more in income than it consumes in expenses.
The rich buy assets, the poor have only expenses, the middle class buys liabilities and thinks they are assets.
Here are some things to think about, some come from Mr Kiyosaki, some from other places.
  • Buying a bigger house when you get a raise is a bad idea.
  • Pay off your house loan as fast as you can. (It makes retirement easier)
  • Don't turn your credit card debit into a 30 year loan. You pay too much in interest expenses.
  • If you can't afford your house on a 15-year mortgage, you can't afford your home. (Look into the every 2-week payment plans...)
  • Mutual Funds are not exactly the safe/smart investment your financial advisor (who makes money selling mutual funds) lead you to believe.
I could go on.

Money is an important thing in most peoples' lives. It is sad that they understand so little about it, and let money have control of their lives instead of taking control of if themselves.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

News Flash - Letting Criminals Out of Jail Leads to More Crime

Italy crime spree blamed on amnesty | The Guardian Unlimited Only the Italians.... well, perhaps the British would do this too....
Italy's centre-left government was facing an outcry yesterday over law and order after figures emerged linking a wave of gangland murders to a mass pardon rushed through parliament soon after it took office.
It was apparently too much trouble to only pardon petty criminals, it was much easier to just open the flood gates.
According to the latest figures, more than 24,000 convicted offenders have been freed under a measure approved by parliament at the end of July. The pardon was intended to ease overcrowding in Italy's jails.

Recent polls have suggested that the measure is among the most unpopular actions taken by the government.
God knows they couldn't spend more on prisons and less on something else. Besides, that would be the actions of a conservative government - or at least a sane government.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Arrested Twice and Released Twice in the Same Day

JusticeRutland Herald: Man arrested twice on same charge Witness how "The System" is not protecting anyone.

He was arrested on the afternoon of October 19th for the violation of a domestic violence restraining order. He was released and arrested again later that same day for violating the same restraining order. He was released the 2nd time on the same day.

So, tell me again, how I should just trust my safety to police, how they will come and save me from the goblins and put them in jail. You may want to trust "The System," but I will trust my friends Strum & Ruger.

Self-defense is a human right.

The Beginning of Oppression in the UK

The way the police treat us verges on the criminal | Comment | The Observer The police and the government have run amok and there seems to be no force on the horizon to turn things around.
It was once possible to believe the government's unusual attention to law, order and behaviour was benevolent yet ill-conceived. Now it looks more like the result of late-onset sociopathy, influenced by a long period in power and the degenerate entanglement between Downing Street and the seething red-top newspapers.
The DNA database now includes 3 million people, one in five are black. (They collect DNA if the arrest you for any reason, even if later on it turns out they had no valid reason.)

If you want to see what the onset of technological totalitarianism looks like, just look at the UK.