Sunday, September 30, 2007

Even the Cops are Video Taping the Police State

The eye of the storm

Protesters gassed because of orders. The "official explanation" was someone threw a bottle. No one threw anything. The decision to "move the crowd" was made with out regard to their Constitutional rights. [hat tip No Quarters]

Is this legal in California?

Police: Gang Member Killed By Man He Was Trying To Rob - News Story - KNBC | Los Angeles Self-defense against armed robbery in LA? Who would have thought?

They got the victim/aggressor (I would say goblin) wording correct. What they don't say is if the intended victim faces charges.
Police said [the dead guy] stopped the car and, with the other gang member, apparently tried to rob a man walking down the street.The intended robbery victim pulled out a gun, and as the two struggled for the weapon, shot [the aggressor] in the chest, police said.
I know concealed carry is legal in CA, just not usual.

The dead guy - identified as a gang member - was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Attack with a gun is a misdemeanor in Chicago

Domestic abuse victims suffer silently, alone :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Mary Mitchell A general story of domestic violence, but what caught my attention was reference to a story that I covered earlier.

A woman was a victim of domestic violence, and when the train she worked on was shot at, she was reassigned and her income cut substantially. She has been shot at, she has had acid thrown at her. Her ex has been charged with a misdemeanor. True he didn't shoot; he arranged to have someone else do that. Conspiracy to commit murder is a misdemeanor? Some justice.

Domestic violence doesn't seem to get the same level of attention as other crimes.

Mary Kathrine Ham vs Alicia Silverstone

...Not Vegetarian The video is priceless. Go have a good steak (or some venison).

Police Can Only Do So Much

Florida AP News: Story: Report: Student sought protection before her slaying Threats were made, but police cannot act before a crime is committed. When she called police, she got this response.
A Seminole County sheriff's deputy replied that he could do nothing at the time and suggested she seek a restraining order.

Hours later on Monday, Barwick and Ruschak were fatally shot and another man was wounded during a party at Ruschak's house. Allred was arrested later and confessed to the shootings, deputies said.
This is certainly a tragedy, but it is not one that police could have prevented.
"The deputy and everyone in this department truly regrets that these two young people lost their lives in this way, but the deputy had to deal with the information available at the time," [Chief Deputy Steven] Harriett said. "He made a decision he thought was the most appropriate."
Your first line of defense has to be you. You need to be aware. You need to have a plan.

Even in front of police HQ, you have to defend yourself

Update: This isn't a dig against police, just a realization that crime happens in seconds, and in those few seconds you are on your own.

DETROIT: Police probe teen's death One dead goblin. Three goblins in custody. A CCW permit holder who is not under arrest.
Four assailants approached the 36-year-old victim from Troy, who had just gotten into his car after a dinner out with a friend.

When [the dead guy] brandished a gun, police said, the Troy man fired several shots with a handgun in apparent self-defense.
Police responded to the shots and arrested the other 3 suspects. [hat tip to The Unforgiving Minute]

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Quotes from the Mortgage Front

From NYTimes It's the evil bankers fault. (And in some of these cases it may be.) But these quotes are telling and truthful.

“Sometimes, ignorance can get you in a lot of trouble.”

“I didn’t know what I was signing.”

The right to be stupid is not (yet) part of the Constitution. If you don't know what you are signing, don't sign.

The Rules Really Don't Apply to Everyone

Chicago's finest under fire for brutality - Woman calls cop. Refuses to sign a blank incident report - I guess he was going to make it up later. So she got arrested. And Brutalized.
In his 12 years with the Chicago Police Department, Chevas had never been disciplined, despite nearly 50 brutality complaints against him, according to Petrovic's lawyer.

Chevas wound up resigning from the force after being caught on tape using credit cards stolen from a suspect in police custody. He was sentenced to 30 months probation.
Resigning from the force after being clearly implicated in credit card fraud, theft, etc. doesn't seem appropriate. I suppose 30 months probation is average for credit card fraud.

Chevas was cleared of any wrong-doing in this case.

Law Enforcement has to do a better job policing itself. As long as stuff like this goes on, and the cops in question have no repercussions, things will get worse. As they have been.

Oil Prices Adjusted for Inflation

Things could be worse. Things have been worse.

Oil Prices
[via AlphaPatriot]

Armed Robber Dead

Cop waiting in line kills 7-Eleven robber | Philadelphia Daily News | 09/29/2007 I've gotten flak for all the negative stuff on police - and there has been a lot in the news lately. Here is a story of a cop in the right place at the right time to stop a criminal.
Reeves, of Mountain Street near 22nd, brandished a gun and demanded money from the cashier's drawer, Vanore said.

But an unidentified on-duty narcotics officer happened to be in the right place at the right time. Vanore said the cop was waiting in line to buy bottled water when Reeves attempted to rob the cashier.

"The officer confronted the male and discharged his weapon,"
I have to add a bit of snark for shopkeeper. The store in question was robbed four times in one month.

Having surveillance cameras installed does not constitute self-defense. Though they are no doubt helpful after the fact, but that isn't the same as defense.
His store now has 16 surveillance cameras and he said the South Philadelphia neighborhood "has a heavy police presence."

"How much more can you protect yourself?" Emmanuel asked. "I'm not going to buy a gun; one gun is too many."
Since he is on record as not being willing, or able, to defend himself, I expect he will be robbed again, by people obscuring their identity so as to evade the wrath of the camera.

2 out of 3 ain't bad

Jackson Manhunt - News |WJTV - News Channel 12 - Jackson, MS When 3 men tried to beak into his home, a Jackson, MS homeowner retrieved his gun and defended himself.
Police have arrested 17-year-old Oji Khanyyan and 18-year-old Christopher Ross in connection with break-in, but are still searching for the third man, whom they believe was shot.
Two in custody, and if the other guy has been shot, he will probably be found eventually.

Self-defense is a human right.

You Don't Have a Right to a Mortgage

Thousands brace for mortgage rate jump - The Boston Globe Of course it's the Boston Globe. First they lament the high number of foreclosures - you know from all those people who signed up for loans that they could not afford. Then they lament the lack of loans.
"This is an unprecedented wave of resets," said Wellesley College economics professor Karl Case. "It’s going to lead to a credit crunch for people who will find it hard to find loans," he said, "and people are getting hurt badly when their houses are taken away from them."
Those people were hurt badly when the real estate profession (sic) decided to sell them homes that they could not afford.

This whole credit situation was caused by people not knowing what they could afford. But how do people decide that? They meet with a realtor. Look at and fall in love with a home. Probably the first time they see anything like the "true cost" is when they sit down to sign the mortgage documents and are shown the truth-in-lending statement (or whatever it is called) which is always explained away. And the sad state of education in this country means that people don't even know how to calculate - or look up - what their payment would be under certain loans.

Figuring out what you can afford is not difficult. Having the self-discipline to avoid buying the largest house the banks will right a loan for seems to be non-existent.
A large number of adjustable mortgages are subprime loans; in 2005, one in four people who purchased a home in Massachusetts used a subprime, adjustable mortgage. A typical subprime mortgage in 2005 had an initial rate of about 6 percent, which would reset this year to 9 percent, boosting monthly payments by 30 percent to 40 percent, depending on the size of the mortgage.
Why is anyone surprised at this? Certainly no one who has one of these loans should be surprised.

And 40% is on the low side, since a large number of sub-prime loans included negative amortization in the early "discount" years. They reference one person whose payment jumped from 2000 to 5000 bucks. A bit more than 40%.

$25 Fine for Causing Death

Allentown Officer Fined $25 For Causing Collision That Killed Boy - Local News Story - WCAU | Philadelphia An officer caused a crash by not looking at the road while driving, looking at the computer in his car checking an address.
On Wednesday, state police announced that while responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun, Allentown police Officer Brett Guth ran a red light at the intersection as he was looking down at his patrol car computer, checking an address.

They said when he looked up he slammed on the brakes, but it was too late. The rookie officer's patrol car broadsided another police cruiser, sending it sailing through a crowded sidewalk, and into Legrande, killing him instantly.
I wonder if talking on the cell phone while driving is illegal in PA. Better add a law making it illegal to use your computer while driving. But then it wouldn't apply to the police anyway.

Do you really think one of the "little people" would not be charged with vehicular manslaughter? Or something? I guess this gets filed under "professional courtesy."

Get a ticket for expressing your beliefs | News | Suit over decal citation soon may be settled 09/24/07 Get a ticket for expressing your displeasure with the government.
In March 2006, DeKalb County police Sgt. R.S. Caviness stopped Grier's car and wrote her a $100 ticket for a sticker that read, "I'm Tired Of All The BUSHIT."
Penalties (under a law that had been declared unconstitutional in 1991) because you dare express a political belief that cops don't like.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Why You Should Know Basic First Aid

Family of girl in pit bull attack outraged by response time -- You can bleed to death in the time it takes paramedics to arrive.
Despite multiple emergency calls starting before 9 p.m. Friday night from family members, neighbors and police, a Fire Department ambulance did not reach the 1400 block of Ramsay St. until 9:30 p.m., according to fire officials.
At least the police had arrived on the scene earlier.

Something Good about Scholastic Testing?

Jeb's education legacy proving to be historic -- Well stranger things have turned up in the MSM lately.
Already I can hear the howls and catcalls from Democrats who hate it that [Jeb Bush] has done something they never have been able to do.
It seems that the Florida schools report is in, and the scores are up.
Only two states joined Florida in improving reading scores in eighth grade, as well as fourth grade. In Florida, more black kids are being directed into advanced classes.

More are taking the SAT.
The testing regime instituted under No Child Left Behind, isn't perfect, but in the 50s people actually said that it didn't matter if kids learned anything in school. (It was all about socialization.) So of course, kids didn't learn anything in school. Dropping phonics, and all the other insane things the education industry did, also didn't help matters.

Conventional Vampires

This is why I don't own a TV.
The new show is CBS’ Moonlight ... It’s about a vampire working as a private eye and helping mortals fend off supernatural creatures. And, no, it’s not Angel. That was about a vampire working as a private eye and helping mortals fend off supernatural creatures. See the difference?

Actually, Moonlight has its moments, and it’s not much like Angel in sensibility or approach. It’s a bit more of a conventional crime/supernatural series, and, yeah, there are enough of those for one to be conventional.
OK the good vampire turned crime-fighter was interesting in "Forever Knight," was overworked in "Buffy" and was overdone in "Angel." Do we really need to do this again? How about a werewolf that works as a crime fighter? We already had witches... isn't there another "bad creature gone good" story? Actually I really liked "Brimstone" bet you never saw it, and I thought the comedy in "G vs. E" was first class.

So my point is... isn't there anything new from the darkside?

More Evidence of a Police State

Activist silenced for fear of surveillance -- They aren't tracking terrorists, foreign or domestic. They are tracking someone fighting for more funding of HIV and AIDS treatments.
Jennifer Flynn is not a rabble-rouser. She's not an aspiring suicide bomber. She doesn't advocate the overthrow of the government. Instead, she pushes for funding and better treatment for people with HIV and AIDS.

Better keep an eye on her.

Wait! Somebody already did.
She was planning a rally. And the police knew this. How did they know? Because she spent a lot of time working with them to plan the security that would be needed for the event.

The staked out her house. They followed her on a trip to her relatives in New Jersey. Hey guys, if you are going to do the "multiple car following" technique, and all the license plates are from NY and you are in a small rural town in NJ, well then you may as well paint the cars orange. How rural you ask...
Amenia, population 1,115. It's so far from the city its dry cleaners actually clean horse blankets.
The license plate of one of the vehicles turns up the following.
The license plate number traces back to a company - Pequot Inc. - and a post office box at an address far from the five boroughs. Registering unmarked cars to post office boxes outside the city or to shell companies is a common practice of law enforcement agencies to shield undercover investigators.
All the usual suspects deny following her. Must be the Men in Black.

Shooting Sports: Women (and Girls) in Hunting A Mother-Daughter Hunting Tradition Is Born A nice story about passing the hunting tradition on to the next generation.
Casey Hubbard is taking her 12-year-old daughter Shelby hunting in the hills ringing Eagle Point on Saturday, the beginning of Oregon's deer season for rifle hunters.

They're hoping Shelby will shoot her first blacktail buck on opening morning, just as Casey Hubbard has the past four years with the help of her husband, Robert Hubbard.
Read the whole thing. The statistics are interesting if not surprising on the number of women hunters, but perhaps that will improve over time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

St Louis Area Cops Apparently Aren't Finished with Brett Darrow

Missouri: Police Stake Out Brett Darrow Home Now it seems they are staking out his house. (Or would that be stalking?) The video isn't very good, but there is video - again.
Members of the police community are on the record regarding their desire to stake out Darrow's home and harass the twenty-year-old. In late June, users of St. Louis CopTalk, an unofficial forum for Saint Louis area law enforcement, posted Darrow's home address along with messages containing apparent death threats in retaliation for the young motorist's taping of a DUI roadblock in November and a traffic ticket in June. One CopTalk user repeating the address wrote, "Every copper, City and County, should etch this little punks [sic] name in their [sic] memory. Brett Darrow, [address deleted], city of St. Louis."
Un-freakin believable. These guys apparently have no shame. And no sense. [via Uncle]

The Wheels of Justice Grind Slowly

JusticeBut after 20 years, they may finally be grinding down on a sad period in Chicago history. A timeline of the events can be found here. This wasn't a hundred years ago. This wasn't in the Jim Crow South. This was 25 years ago in the industrial north. It wasn't 1 man having a bad day.

U.S. attorney, FBI probing allegations of police torture :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State This is an interesting story about police brutality in the 1980s Chicago department.
"The United States attorney's office is conducting an active criminal investigation into allegations of perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice by officers who served in the Chicago Police Department in the 1980s, in relation to currently pending federal civil lawsuits in which persons in Chicago Police Department custody during those years allege they were abused." Fitzgerald was speaking at an unrelated news conference.

At least 148 men, almost all of them African-American, told a special prosecutor that Burge and his officers at the old Area 2 police station beat them to extract confessions. Some of those men went to Death Row on false confessions until former Gov. George Ryan pardoned them. The city fired Burge, saying he was responsible for the torture of suspects. But a special prosecutor concluded it was too late to file charges against Burge or his officers.
At least a few of the prosecutors appear to have gone along with this - ignoring suspects who appeared to have been beaten.

This is where it gets a little interesting. Mayor Dumbbell Daley was a prosecutor during those years. No one knows yet if he was one of those that Special Prosecutor Edward Egan was talking about last year. But there is speculation in the comments on the Second City Cop blog that they may have him in their sites. Daley has weathered a lot of storms over the years. Currently he and his nephew are in the news over 68 million dollars of pension money the nephew is managing for speculative real estate investments. Investments which have not even been named yet.

Politics aside, this is an ugly story. This wasn't 1 man, so there will probably be some conspiracy charges.
Special Prosecutor Edward Egan said last year that at least a dozen police officers in Burge's "midnight crew" at the Area 2 station in Pullman tortured suspects, and at least three former prosecutors acquiesced
Surprising that it is being prosecuted after 20 years.

Ninja Grrls and Pirates?

View From The Porch: More PDB: Asking the wrong question... Seems like you should ask a ninja

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Even in Massachusetts Self-defense is Legal

Store owner shoots at would-be armed robber - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News Who would have thought that you could do this in the People's Republic of MA?

When the robber came into the store with a .22, the store owner picked up a .45 and chambered a round.
"It's not the right store to hold up. He found that out," said [Tony] Tavarez. "He came straight in with his gun drawn pointed at my face. It was total instinct. I thought I was going to get shot, so I figured I might as well defend myself. I was sitting down and I started to get up and I already had my gun drawn and he heard me chamber a round and he said, 'Oh, (expletive deleted).' "
Police say Tavarez will not be charged. His gun was legal, and he is a town constable.

I wish I could say they caught this goof-ball, but he escaped.

Interesting this was buried so deeply

Iraqi Prime Minister Says That Civil War Has Been Prevented - Could it be that the WaPo and the MSM generally don't want to report on good news from Iraq? No, it couldn't be that. (The main Iraq article on the WaPo homepage right now is about Blackwater - bad news.)
Civil war has been averted in Iraq and Iranian intervention there has "ceased to exist," Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday.

"I can't say there is a picture of roses and flowers in Iraq," Maliki told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "However, I can say that the greatest victory, of which I am proud . . . is stopping the explosion of a sectarian war." That possibility, he said, "is now far away."
Doesn't fit with the George Soros/ Slimes version of events. [via Confederate Yankee via Les Jones]

Black Man with a Gun

Has it been a couple of years since I lost track of this guy? I remember that he was updating his web site, well whatever. The website is UPDATED. Kenn Blanchard is the Black Man with a Gun. (That's is the main site.)

The Urban Shooter Podcast is a great medium for a great speaker. (He is a preacher, and he does preach for a small part of the current podcast - #36. Get over it.) Show Notes here.

See Blanchard's Blog for the rest of the story.

Definition of the Day

The Vocabulary Word for this week is .
Gun Control:

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

GM Strike - How Much Can They Get?

Dollar Sign UPDATED and jumped to the top.... Via Wonder Woman we get the current GM average hourly wage cost (includes everything straight time, overtime, benefits, taxes, etc.) as $73 per hour. This is $25/hr. higher than the Asian companies total labor cost (from plants in the southern US). Full details here. which ends on this depressing note:
GM lost $12.3-billion over the past two years, but is regarded as the healthiest of the Detroit Three.
[end update]

G.M. Workers Begin Walkout Over Contract Impasse - New York Times Typical of the NY Times, the article is very friendly to the union. But how much more does the UAW think they can get?

In the 1950s unions got their employees 8% more than non-union shops. Today the difference is 65%.

Wages at UAW controlled plants range from $25.63 per hour to $29.75 - according the UAW's own website. That is straight time, and does not include the employers portion of Social Security (another 7%) or health care and other benefits. That is between 50 and 60 thousand dollars per year - more or less - before you include any overtime. (Average compensation in 2002 = $24.58 per hour straight time.) That 25.63 figure is for work that requires minimum skills.

In 2005, UAW union members paid 7% of their health care costs. Salaried workers at GM paid 27%. The average in America was that 32% of costs were paid by the worker. UAW worker John Clabon said "We pay our fair share." Health care came to $1600 per vehicle at GM in 2005.

How can a forklift operator make more than 100,000 dollars a year? Work in a UAW plant. Now they are crying in their beer (or they were in 2005) when their compensation dropped to $87,000 in one year. The guy the profiled declared bankruptcy because he had 400,000 dollars of debt. (Toyota, pays forklift drivers the national average = about 26,000 dollars per year - this in January of 2006). This is for a job that requires exactly one week of training.

Take a close look at that article on the $100,000 forklift drivers.
Despite the loss of time-and-a-half pay, some Michigan autoworkers continue to live large.

Many bankrupt autoworkers own two homes -- one is usually up north -- which means multiple mortgages. Most have two or more cars and sometimes a boat or snowmobile payment, according to information culled from cases filed by autoworkers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Michigan.
Many broke autoworkers have tens of thousands of dollars worth of credit card debt. Target, Best Buy and Home Depot are common creditors seeking payment.
I didn't live that large when I made 100,000 dollars. (In part because I knew it wouldn't last.) Is it any wonder that the bankruptcy laws were changed? (If you make 87,000 per year, you can afford to pay something.)

I understand that the unions want to go back to the way things were in the 50s. But it ain't gonna happen. Americans won't pay a premium for an American car unless that premium buys quality, or provides something we want. And we don't care so much about the "foreign" companies when they are building cars in Tennessee, Kentucky, California, etc. They don't look so foreign when they employ lots of Americans. Add to that the quality.... and you are looking at "game over." [Megan McArdle gets the hat tip for getting this started.]

Cops Who Don't Think the Rules Apply to Them

Cops Writing Cops - Where's the Professional Courtesy? - ADD A DICK Here is an interesting list of gripes from police who are upset that they got speeding tickets for speeding. Don't the rules apply to everyone? I guess not. (via the Squeaky Wheel)

A surprise this guy is still on the run

Macon homeowner gets shot, responds by shooting armed robber in eye I would expect this guy to show up in a hospital. (Or be found dead somewhere.)
[Grover E.] Glover told [Jamel] Scott his wallet was in a drawer in his bedroom. Once in the bedroom, Glover instead pulled a gun from the drawer and Scott fired before he could turn around, according to the report.

Glover told officers he then shot Scott in the eye and Scott ran out of the house, leaving his gun behind, according to the report.
Glover was shot in the stomach - no word on his condition.

Scott is wanted for armed robbery and aggravated assault.

The Truth about Semiautomatic weapons

Not new, but I need if for reference, so here you are. 10 minutes of truth about the difference between semi and fully automatic weapons.

Is concealed carry legal in Wisconsin?

JS Online: Driver's gun charge tossed It seems it may be - at least under limited circumstances.
[Circuit Judge Daniel A.] Noonan agreed with defense attorneys' contention that Vegas needed the gun to protect himself in his chosen work, citing state Supreme Court decisions that found justified exceptions to the state's concealed-carry ban.
I expect these cases will consume the courts for a while, unless the legislature does something.

Monday, September 24, 2007

In Chicago, They Will Hang the Guy Out to Dry - West Side Store Clerk Shoots Alleged Robber Self-defense may be a human right, but in Chicago it is not your legal right.
CHICAGO A store clerk on the West Side fought back against an alleged robber, shooting him in the head. Chicago police say Monday evening the suspect is in stable condition.
Now self-defense is supposed to trump local gun laws (at least that used to be the Illinois law), but Mayor Dumbbell Daley can't let this one pass. An individual relying on his own initiative? Can't have that in the People's Republic of Chicago.

Go read the whole thing. I find some of the quotes puzzling and some of the quotes interesting. I won't say why.

I would like to say "Good Guys 1, ..." but I feel certain that in the end, the only people who will have won is the up-and-coming police state we know as Chicago.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

I wanted to say that armed homeowner = dead home invader, but I actually I don't know that it was the homeowner who did the shooting, the story says "one of the people in the home." WPDE ABC TV News Channel 15 Myrtle Beach, Florence SC News But the sentiment is correct.
Police say two men tried to rob a group of people inside a home on Berry Lane in the Lydia Community of Darlington County Sunday night.

They say one of the people in the home shot and killed one of the suspects. The other suspect, 17-year old Demario Hickmon from Bishopville, is charged with burglary and armed robbery.
I don't know about South Carolina, but in Florida - and other states - they could charge this guy with murder. (Someone died as a direct result of a crime he committed.)

Self-defense is a human right.

Quote of the Day

If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government --and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.
-- Edward Abbey

I could have also entitled this "Meditations on Darfur," since the Janjaweed are servants of the government. (0r they are outlaws - depends on who you ask.) Witness the result.

Lack of Insurance is NOT the Problem

Bad Medicine - September 21, 2007 - The New York Sun Go read the whole thing, but here is the part that I love.
Imagine if your car insurance covered oil changes and gasoline. You wouldn't care how much gas you used, and you wouldn't care what it cost. Mechanics would sell you $100 oil changes. Prices would skyrocket.

That's how it works in health care. Patients don't ask how much a test or treatment will cost. They ask if their insurance covers it. They don't compare prices from different doctors and hospitals. (Prices do vary.) Why should they? They're not paying. (Although they do in hidden, indirect ways.)
Welcome to the socialist state of America. Ruled by people who don't respect your rights, who want to control every aspect of your life.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

At the top of the BS list

At least for today, I am the queen of Dihydrogen Monoxide. (With yips or orgles or whatever to the Llamabutchers.) Just as long as it isn't Google, and their Big-Brother-Like zeal for watching you.

See the BS for yourself.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It is just a piece of paper

Nashville, Tennessee - Victim: Abuse Worsened After She Took Out Order Of Protection
News Flash: Restraining Orders and other court orders don't always work to stop violence.
A domestic violence victim warns that orders of protection may not prevent abuse.
No kidding? Then why is it that the Left is always saying they work just fine? Why do they maintain that women with abusive stalkers don't need to be able to defend themselves? They couldn't be callous and uncaring and interested more in controlling guns than protecting women, now could they? No, I would never think that.

But seriously, the police and the courts can only do so much. The police cannot get to you before the crime occurs, nor can they guard you 24 hours a day. So if the state cannot guarantee your safety, what should you do? The Left has a standard answer.
"Get away and get safe where nobody can get to you, and that means giving up everything very often," [Annette Fowler, a chaplain at a Nashville women's shelter] said.

Giving up everything is the hard part.
Run away. Give up everyone you know and everything. (You may not even be able to contact family from a shelter.) Somehow that doesn't sound too good to me.

Get a restraining order, certainly. But also get a firearm, some training, loads of ammo and a concealed carry permit. Self-defense is a human right.

Biodiesel Worse than the Regular Kind

Rapeseed biofuel ‘produces more greenhouse gas than oil or petrol’ - Times Online Europe is going nuts over biodiesel as a fuel to fight global warming. Only one problem - it doesn't work to fight global warming.
Measurements of emissions from the burning of biofuels derived from rapeseed and maize have been found to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than they save.
Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels. The concerns were raised over the levels of emissions of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
N2O is one of the most carefully monitored gas turbine power and generation, as this web search illustrates.

This doesn't even include the costs and emissions associated with the growing of the corn or rapeseed to turn into diesel (nor does it account for the rain forest cut down for growing various grains).

Life is never as simple as the people with the simple answers want it to be. In other words, look out for the unintended consequences.

How to buy a handgun in Florida

Interesting web search. How do I get a gun in Florida? (Please note I am the number 1 answer to this search - even though I don't answer that question.)

If you want a gun in Florida, you walk into a gun store and purchase it. If you pass the instant-background check, it is yours. If you are buying a handgun there is a 3-day waiting period, unless you are a concealed carry permit holder. A few counties have enacted the 3-day wait regardless of the permit, via a limited home-rule feature of the Castle Doctrine law passed last year. Don't go to those counties.

If you aren't a permit-holder it doesn't matter what county you go to. But then if you aren't a permit holder you should be. The classes are straight-forward, and the cost not too extreme.

But She's Not Gay (No Not Hillary either)

Tammy Bruce: Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! It would have been a much more interesting show if this had been public at the time.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0�::� Man thwarts burglary by shooting out tire So you come home to meet the cable guy and find 2 guys ransacking your home, what do you do?
"The man came home, and there was a strange car in his driveway, with the door open," said Capt. Joe Sedinger, lead in­vestigator with the Autauga County Sheriff's Office. "He went to his front door, and it slammed. He heard people run­ning in the house, and he con­tinued inside as they ran out the back door."

Sedinger said the homeown­er, whose identity was not dis­closed, grabbed his shotgun and confronted the suspects as they rounded the house, dropping the ill-gained fruits of their criminal labor as they tried to get away from the angry, gun-wielding resident.

"They told him they were looking for somebody that owed them money," he explained. "They jumped in their car and took off, and he shot the back tire out."
While they had to stop and change the tire, the police were able to locate them, and arrest them. Sheriff's police believe this arrest stopped a string of recent burglaries.

I love the attitude of the Sheriff in this case, Herbie Johnson.
"I commend him," the sheriff said. "A person has a right to protect himself, his family and his property. These people were in his home, uninvited, and they were there to do wrong. If more people would protect their property like this man did, it would cut down on the number of these burglaries."
"I told him that I was sending the UPS truck to his house next week," Johnson said. "I told him I was going to order him a case of ammo."
Police and law abiding citizens need to work together if we are to reduce crime. Hats off to Sheriff Johnson.

ColtCCO and the Confused Cop

Gun owner receives apology : Knoxville News Sentinel So they say that threatening to cook up charges and throw a law-abiding person in jail for not breaking the law gets an apology.

At least it is getting some attention by the mainstream press.

Why Was Brett Darrow Video Taping Encounters with Cops?

Because St. Louis area cops had apparently threatened to kill him. Missouri: Cop Website Contained Apparent Death Threat Against Video Vigilante And LEOs wonder why our trust has eroded.
Three months ago, participants in an online forum frequented by Saint Louis law enforcement personnel threatened to harass -- and even physically harm -- Darrow.

The messages appeared on St. Louis CopTalk, a site that describes itself as a site "for the use of law enforcement officers employed by the St. Louis Police Department and their supporters in the St. Louis Metropolitan area." While it has no official ties to the city, it does allow officers to log into official police email accounts from the front page. In June of this year, Darrow had sparked outrage among the forum's members after he videotaped a disputed traffic stop involving what Darrow argued was a perfectly legal turn and what a Saint Louis police officer said was not.

In the course of researching the incident, TheNewspaper learned from an inside source about a CopTalk posting dated June 29, 2007. A user calling himself "STL_FINEST" wrote the following item, presented unedited and in full:

in reply to "Who is this terd?" I hope this little POS punk bastard tries his little video stunt with me when I pull him over alone- and I WILL pull him over - because I will see "his gun" and place a hunk of hot lead right where it belongs.
And then after the latest incident, a self-identified cop is all for harassment.
At least one other message from a self-identified Saint Louis area police officer appears to condone official harassment of the twenty-year-old motorist.

"Take the kid to jail... today... tommorrow... the next day... everytime you see him out and he commits a traffic violation... tow his car and take him to jail... period. No arguing, no yelling.....nothing but the sound of cash leaving his wallet from impound fees and fines." (view thread, view saved image of full post)
This may be, as one LEO claimed, a small minority of officers, but they are an incredibly vocal minority, and unless and until they are soundly denounced by cops everywhere, the reputation of all law enforcement officers is tainted.

Oh, and the chief of police in the town where the latest incident happened is himself under investigation.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Finally Someone Takes Carter to Task

for his support of terrorists. Jimmy Carter's War Against the Jews WARNING: VERY graphic images - dead bodies, injured people - of the aftermath of suicide bombings and rocket attacks. [Hat tip to Tammy Bruce who also has a link to the Frontpage on more Carter info]

Big Brother is a Rotten Detective

Tens of thousands of CCTV cameras, yet 80% of crime unsolved | This is London £200 million or about ($402 million) has been spent putting closed circuit TV cameras in London. Overall the number of crimes solves seems low to me, but the percent cleared by borough correlates poorly with the number of cameras installed.
A comparison of the number of cameras in each London borough with the proportion of crimes solved there found that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any.

In fact, four out of five of the boroughs with the most cameras have a record of solving crime that is below average.
Now, I'm not sure, but "This is London" isn't the Times or the Telegraph, and I think it is not viewed as well in the UK. So I thought I would see what others had to say.

The Times (that's the REAL Times, not the NY Times) mentions that no stats are available from the government specifically on the use of CCTV.
The Crown Prosecution Service, for example, has no figures on the success of CCTV in prosecuting crime. As for prevention, violent crime has doubled in the ten years since CCTV came to blanket the country.
Not satisfied with stationery cameras, British police are now buying drones at £30,000 apiece.
But I’m told by Merseyside Police – the first force to buy a drone – that the flying spy has been “a great success and people feel they’ve reclaimed their parks”.

Has the drone’s footage been used as evidence to prosecute or arrest anyone? No. Not much of a success then.
Citizens and their right to privacy don't matter to Big Brother.

Even the senior police officers recognize that the cameras come with a risk. The Telegraph has a story about one such officer.
Ian Redhead, the deputy chief constable of Hampshire, said Britain risked moving toward an "Orwellian" society. While also calling for a review of speed cameras and the policy to retain DNA, he questioned the need on BBC1's The Politics Show for CCTV in villages with low crime levels.

"If it's in our villages, are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation where cameras are at every street corner?" he said. "I really don't think that's the kind of country that I want to live in."
Would it be worth it if the cameras actually helped solve crimes? But they don't.
Listeners to a BBC Radio Cleveland debate on security systems were told by Judge Peter Fox, QC, that the images produced by such cameras were almost invariably poor and a waste of money.
He told the radio show host Matthew Davies: "I preside over some very serious cases - murder, rape and robbery. The footage from CCTV is increasingly being used but it is extremely rare indeed for it to be of any use."
Actually the growing crime that seems to be the best match for CCTV is people putting their feet on railway car seats.
Three hundred more passengers are due to be prosecuted for putting their feet on the seats on Merseyrail trains, despite a ruling by magistrates yesterday against the train company in a similar case.
A wonderful use of the courts' time.

In our rush to make ourselves safer, we are handing away our liberty. And make no mistake, the US is heading down this same road with more cameras in more places - at least in the big cities. Britain being smaller than the US - and having started sooner - is just realizing the issues earlier. But I still have to agree with Benjamin Franklin.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
I am sure that a totalitarian state could reduce crime. I don't want to live there.

Bear Bites Boy Scout

The Associated Press: Bear Seeking Treats Bites Boy in Tent So why is it that you can't be armed while camping?
The bear entered the boy's tent Sunday night and bit down on his sleeping bag, probably trying to get candy bars and cereal hidden there.
OK food in bear country is a problem, but then bears in bear country appear to be a problem. The bear took off when the boy screamed, but it could have ended much differently. Why can't the Scout leaders be armed? (According to the Post at Keep and Bear Arms, "PA DCNR prohibits functional weapons except while hunting or in your vehicle or building.")

"Media Circus" Indeed | 09/19/2007 | O.J. Simpson media circus in full swing I think that headline sums things up nicely.
A man in a chicken suit.

A Nicole Brown Simpson look-alike.

A judge with a goatee and a long ponytail.
All they need is a dancing bear, or a bunch of clowns to come out of a little car.

Welcome to OJ 2.0 - or not. I suppose it is a change for Lohan/Hilton.

They Needed a Jury to Determine This?

WA jury: Deputy who killed man thought he faced imminent threat- Not exactly sure what an inquest jury is. A coroner's inquest? Anyway, they came to the right conclusion.
Jurors determined 61-year-old Sheriff's Sgt. James Laing was a few yards in front of the victim. They determined Laing overheard the robbery taking place, saw Curry's gun, and pulled his own service weapon.

They determined Laing then pointed his weapon at Curry and ordered Curry to drop the gun. When Curry pointed his weapon at Laing, Laing fired and killed Curry.
The 38-year veteran of the sheriff's department has the right to defend himself, or go to the aid of others, and some people (though not the courts) would say a sheriff's deputy has a duty to defend the law-abiding.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You Really Don't Want to Make a Bunch of Lesbians Angry

Gay FlagYou won't like us when we're angry. Anti-Gay Attack At Michigan Resort / Queerty An assault, coupled with the requisite red-neck insults. The resort staff was asked to call the police. They lied about doing it, and then asked the victim of the assault to leave the resort.
Now, Potter and Michigan’s Triangle Foundation are planning a good old fashion protest. On Saturday, Septemeber 22, from 11am-3pm, Potter and other activists will storm the Resort’s lobby looking for justice.
It's at times like these that I really miss the Lesbian Avengers. (Fire-eating lesbians? Yes, literally fire-eating.)

If an assault takes place in your business, you should call the police. You should not ask the victim to leave the premises. Would this be accessory after the fact, or obstruction or something? Whatever it is, it certainly isn't ethical. I hope the resort in question ends up with boatloads of bad publicity.

Self-defense still legal in Arkansas

KATV Channel 7 - No Charges Filed in Pine Bluff Home Invasion Shooting A teen was shot by a homeowner after that teen broke into his home.

For the second time in a week, prosecutor Steve Dalrymple has ruled in favor of self-defense.
Dalrymple wrote in a memo to Pine Bluff Police Chief John Howell that the law allows deadly force as an appropriate means of self-defense. The memo says [the homeowner's] actions were tragic but unavoidable.
This was probably a hard decision politically, even if it was easy from a legal point of view. The Brady Bunch will call this "a teen tragically shot," since they ignore little things like home invasion, armed robbery and legal self-defense.

Hats off to Mr. Dalrymple and his support of the law, and the right of self-defense. (It is a human right.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Irrational Fear of Guns

Nicole Brodeur | Lesson plan of last resort | Seattle Times The author of this opinion piece, Nicole Brodeur, admits to irrational fear.
As a mother, the idea of a gun being allowed on school premises — no matter the reason — terrifies me. But then I remember the women who followed the law to protect themselves, and were killed anyway.
She even goes on to cite some examples of women who were killed in gun free zones defenseless-victim zones. (It isn't a gun-free zone if you get shot.)

At one point she says parents should volunteer to "escort" the teacher in jeopardy. As if the presence of more unarmed victims will stop someone bent on homicide. All they would be doing is giving him more targets to shoot. But rationality, and rational arguments don't seem to be the style of this article.

Despite repeated examples of gun-free zones that became killing fields, and examples of armed resistance to school shooters limiting the deaths, she still believes in the farrago of gun-free zones, and gives in to her fear of guns.

As somebody in the blogoshere said, "That is like fearing the spare tire in your car." Being prepared for the event of a flat tire, does not cause accidents. It doesn't even cause flat tires. But I guess guns are icky and scary to the poor frightened women who work as newspaper columnists.

But I don't even really care if the author of this article has an irrational fear of guns. She has earned her phobias, and she is free to enjoy them. What I object to is the idea that her irrational fears should rule the day in terms of public policy. Her fears should not be used to put into place policies that put others in danger. Rational evaluation of the facts pertaining to defenseless-victim zones, the efficacy of restraining orders and legal decisions that state the police have no duty to protect the individual, namely Castle Rock v. Gonzales.

The Left is still (after Castle Rock) hoping that the police or the community will defend us. They abhor any notion that smells of individual action or individual responsibility. They want us only to think of the community. (Or the herd.) They are sheep unwilling to contemplate the existence of wolves, and trying desperately claim the sheepdogs are not needed (and that they would really be happier if they only lived as sheep). What they aren't is rational.

Two Dead in Home Invasion

Neighbor: "I would have done the same thing" | Louisville, Kentucky What would you do if two men were breaking into your home?
Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley says it appears the men were attempting a home invasion at an apartment complex, and got into a confrontation with the resident.
Both would-be home-invaders died at the scene with single gunshot wounds to the chest.

Self-defense is a human right.

Isn't Solar Power the Answer to All Problems?

Gaia Called Them Home So a wind-shear warning system that was solar powered failed. I agree with Sean (a commenter) who said,
Er, shouldn't a wind warning system be wind powered?
It should probably be connected to a stable power grid, but hey, what do I know?

What Happens if You Break Into a Home with an Armed Homeowner?

You stand a pretty good chance of being shot. The Mount Airy News > Monday shooting leaves man dead

He broke into this home before. It seems he owned the home at one time. Did that lead him to believe he was entitled to something? He didn't own the home recently.
The homeowner, identified as Jayme Gullatt, told investigators that he was in bed asleep when he heard a loud thud. He then picked up a .223-caliber rifle and walked outside to investigate. Gullatt said he saw Jones on a ladder coming up through a window.

After after being confronted, Jones came down from the ladder and began to advance on the homeowner, according to his account to officers. Gullatt fired two shots into the ground as a warning, but when Jones kept advancing he was shot at close range in the chest, with the bullet apparently passing all the way through Jones' body.
And it is clear that this member of the journalism profession (so-called) knows next to nothing about guns.

The DA will decide if self-defense is legal in North Carolina.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0. Self-defense is a human right.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Sad State of British Policing

When Bobbies are beating it, we're in trouble - Telegraph Bureaucracy run wild. Red tape like you won't believe. How can it be that most police spend most of their time doing paperwork, and not doing police work? Only in the UK.
However, you didn't have to scratch very deep to find the differences. For starters, after the briefing we all went out on patrol. Just like that! Not two or three out, with the rest doing paperwork. No, the whole of the shift went out to look for criminals.
But the root of the problem is worse. The British government seems to have lost sight of what police do.
Policing in Britain is about recording and risk assessing. Thousands of front-line officers are fighting a battle simply to get out of the office, before they even think about dealing with criminals.

Our police service is a means of social engineering, not a crime-fighting organisation. Consequently, the entry tests consist of little more than checking for a pulse, asking if the applicant is a racist and getting them to spell "diversity" correctly.
Apparently large numbers of British Bobbies are taking jobs in other places - Canada, Australia, etc. The crime in the UK will only get worse.

No tolerance for intolerance

Gay Students Assaulted in Anti-Gay Hate Crime at Vanderbilt -- Towleroad for modern gay men,: While this is the story of an assault and not amusing, the way the politically correct mangle the language is amazing.

Dean of Students Mark Bandas said, 'Vanderbilt has no tolerance for intolerance.'

So they are intolerant of intolerance. Does that mean they won't tolerate themselves?

But hate crimes will twist your mind like that. Instead of worrying about whether or not a hate crime took place, how about we concentrate on the fact that a violent crime took place, and we arrest the suspects and put them on trail, and then we can throw any guilty parties in jail.

We can view that as punishment since the idea of criminal rehabilitation needs to be rehabilitated.

A University does everything possible to discourage gun group

Students aim to form club that promotes gun ownership - News Two students at George Washington University want to form a shooting club. I hope these guys have good luck.
The Colonial Militia has not yet been approved as an official student organization, as GW officials continue to demand that the club require members undergo background checks before they can go to a shooting range in Virginia.
How exactly are they supposed to accomplish this? Hire the FBI?

GW University should be happy if they follow all the laws. Of course in this age of litigation, where you are responsible for things you couldn't possibly control, I think GW may be wise to tread slowly. But there has to be some kind of middle ground. [NRA-ILA]

Another University Not Doing Much About Self-defense

Fear takes back the night - Metro 33 attacks is reason enough to fear.
As sexual attacks seem to increase every week in downtown Iowa City, many UI females are changing their habits to protect themselves from dangerous attacks.

Carrying pepper spray, taking taxis, and walking in large groups are becoming more frequent around campus.
Too bad those law-abiding students can't be armed for self-defense.

Too Bad the State the & University Abridge the Right of Self-defense

The Athens NEWS: Self-defense a vital part of sexual-assault awareness Good article, given that the possession of guns on a university campus is illegal in Ohio.
"There's more to self-defense than the physical aspects; it's mental and being aware," said Cesta as she talked to the class about the importance of knowing how to defend one's self in a threatening situation.

Cesta provided the class with information on the five areas of self-protection, awareness and body language; trusting your intuition; verbal responses to deter assault; immediate resistance; and physical self-defense techniques.
Defenseless victim zones are not places of safety.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Downside of Shelters - No Mention of Self-defense

The Sun Chronicle - 'It's happening here' Go hide in shelters or with family. This is what women are told to do when the victim of domestic violence.
If she leaves, and turns to family or friends, she may be putting them in danger as well.

If she turns to a shelter or safe house, she has to leave everything she owns and everyone she knows, and can't even contact her family at first.
You may have to give up everything you own to go into a shelter.

This goes on to detail a woman's death at the hands of an ex-boyfriend. Two children were also injured.

Not one word about self-defense is included. New locks? Check. Restraining order? check. Passivity reinforced? Check.

If you have someone who is a threat, consider self-defense. Consider what you will do between the time you call 911 and the time police will arrive, and consider what can happen in that time.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Off-duty officer shoots intruder in own home :: News :: Daily Southtown Seems I have said it before, but picking the home of a cop to break into is possibly the worst decision a goblin can make.
The officer discovered the intruder, who police have not named, in his home in the 6000 block of South Austin Avenue about 2 a.m. The officer noticed the back door was open and then spotted the man, Chicago police spokesman Pat Camden said.

"He identified himself as a Chicago police officer and attempted to arrest the intruder," Camden said. "When the intruder resisted, the officer shot him."
Too bad mayor Dumbbell Daley doesn't think that other citizens, aside from off-duty-cops, should have the same means to defend themselves.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

News Flash - Politicians Make Political Decisions

Greenspan Is Critical Of Bush in Memoir - I like this guy, and while I actually agree with a lot of the issues he raises, it strikes me as a bit odd that the Left-wing press is so eager to push his new book.
Greenspan accuses the Republicans who presided over the party's majority in the House until last year of being too eager to tolerate excessive federal spending in exchange for political opportunity.
Politicians looking for political opportunity (or political capital or clout)? What is this world coming too?

If Canadian Health-care is so good ...

Why did a Liberal MP travel to California for surgery? | Canada | Stronach travels to U.S. for cancer treatment As Mikey said (who gets a hat tip), I don't begrudge her the treatment. What I wonder about is the venerated Canadian health insurance. Why couldn't she get this treatment under socialized medicine? We are constantly told how wonderful it is. Isn't it wonderful?
Speed was not the issue, MacEachern said – it was more to do with the type of surgery she and her doctor agreed was best for her, and where it was best performed.
Speed is an issue in other cases.

Interesting View of TV Families - From the Cleavers to Present Day

Television families are, at times, trailblazers

Maybe I Can Vote for This Guy.

LibertyThompson speaks against gun control - 09/14/2007 - Usually I find myself voting against people, by voting for their opponents. Choosing the lesser of two evils as it were. But I think I may actually be able to vote for Thompson.
“I do not think that abrogating Second Amendment rights is a good idea,” the Republican said at the Versailles restaurant in Little Havana.

“The amount of violence created on the street by these kinds of weapons is very, very small,” Thompson said. “It's too bad. It's horrendous. Any kind -- whether it's a knife or an IED or a gun -- innocent people, especially law enforcement officers, are vulnerable all the time; we know that. But on balance, you've got to ask what is good for society and what does the Second Amendment say.”
[h/t to Glenn R.]

Ohio Cops and Domestic Violence

Recent high-profile cases of police domestic violence - A list of the recent incidents. Interesting and depressing at the same time.

Arrested 3 times in 1 week for similar crimes

Police Investigating Hate Crimes Against Gays - News Story - WRC | Washington Is it any wonder that Washington, DC has crime problem when violent criminals are turned loose again and again?
Witnesses told NBC 4 on Friday that they saw a group of young men throw a 16-year-old transgender person through a plate glass window.
First district police officers who were nearby made the arrest. Police said they learned the 17-year-old suspect had been arrested twice earlier in the week for similar crimes. Reports indicated he was arrested last Saturday at 9th and F streets Northwest on suspicion of smashing out the window of a car in which a gay man was riding, NBC 4 reported. Police said the 17-year-old was arrested on Tuesday at the same location for a similar crime.
Each time he was released and went right back to being a violent criminal? What the hell did the judge expect? A slap on the wrist was going to reform a bigot? I wonder if he got out of jail the 3rd time.

It isn't just anti-gay crimes. If they won't punish the criminals, the criminals will learn the lesson that there are no consequences for their actions.

The judges in question should be removed from the bench. They have a sworn duty to protect the public, and they failed in this case.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Getting on to the next phase of space travel

Google sponsors moon landing prize - Yahoo! News This is cool. Get government out of exploration - or at least break the monopoly.
Web search leader Google Inc. will sponsor a $30 million competition for an unmanned lunar landing, following up on the $10 million Ansari X Prize that spurred a private sector race to space.
Since as long as it is up to government we will get arguments about the use of tax dollars, I think it is great to get some private enterprise involved.

There are resources that could be useful.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I should hope this is justified!

Today's THV - KTHV Little Rock News Article A criminal with a tire iron gets shot by a shop keeper. Sounds justified to me.
Prosecutor Steve Dalrymple says the shooting was justified because Smith faced an intruder with a weapon.
Steve Dayrymple gets my recognition for a job well done. This is tough for someone caught in the politics of the situation, because the Brady Campaign counts this incident as a "child tragically shot." The fact that the 15-year-old was involved in a felony, and was prepared (with the tire iron) to do violence, well that just doesn't interest the gun grabbers. (Why clutter the issue with facts?)

Demand Cash, Get a Toe Tag

WISH TV 8: Video Store Clerk Fatally Shoots Robber Robber gets shot after demanding cash.
According to police, the would-be robber entered the store with a handgun and demanded cash.

The employee moved behind the counter as if to get cash from the register. That's when he managed to grab a handgun. He then fatally shot the would-be robber.
While it doesn't say so in this story, other articles indicate the robber was armed with a handgun. I assume he was threatening the store clerk.

Gratuitous Independent Film Posting

Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School This is a quirky little movie, with a great cast. I loved it. Grief, loss, redemption, love.... A good story.

Some of the music is wonderful. This is one song from the movie (though the video isn't from the movie) Enjoy. [Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole and his rendition of Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World]

My favorites from the cast....

Robert Carlyle (from The Full Monty)

Mary Steenburgen (who you all know from Back to the Future III, but she won an Academy Award for Melvin and Howard)

John Goodman (who everyone knows from "Roseanne", but I will always remember from O Brother, Where Art Thou?)

Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings)

Adam Arkin (who I remember most from "Chicago Hope")

Ernie Hudson (who has been in many films, but I remember for The Substitute and Ghost Busters)

With cameo appearances by

Danny DeVito (what do I need to say? "Taxi", Ruthless People, Romancing the Stone, but I loved him in Renaissance Man)

Camryn Manheim (who was in "The Practice")

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More on Cooperation Burglar killed; homeowner hurt He cooperated. When he realized that the result of his cooperation was that he was going to be shot in the back of the head, he abandoned that strategy and began fighting for his life.
Reno police Sgt. Ray Leal said a resident in the 400 block of Brittany Avenue was confronted by the gunman when he arrived at home about 1:35 p.m. The burglar, a 43-year-old Reno man whose name was withheld, ordered the resident to crawl to the bathroom at the end of the hall and remain there while he resumed the burglary.

After a short time, the burglar placed a gun to the resident's head. The man told police he believed he was about to be shot and turned his head as the gun discharged.
He managed to wrestle the gun away from the bad guy, and shoot him. Not before being injured.

One dead home invader. One live homeowner, treated for two non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Cooperate with Humiliation and Still Get Shot

Robbers Ask Man To Take Off His Pants, Run, Then Shoot Him - News Story - WFTV Orlando They robbed him, told to take off his pants and run. He did that. They shot him anyway.
"He took off running, but apparently he wasn't running fast enough for them. One of the suspects went ahead and shot him for no apparent reason. The victim was offering no resistance, he was trying to run away from them," [Cmdr. Rick Luckey of the Orange County Sheriff's Office] added.
I'm surprised that they didn't ask him to squeal like a pig.

Cooperation is no guarantee of safety. Violent criminals will not become non-violent based on any action of yours. "If you give a mouse a cookie, he's gonna want a glass of milk." I think cooperation usually falls into the category of encouragement.

Now being prepared to defend yourself is also no guarantee of your safety - there being no guarantees in this life except death and taxes. But self-defense does work. Wearing your seatbelt offers no guarantee you will survive a crash, but we do it anyway, because it changes the odds in our favor. Besides all of that, how do you want to remember the event?

Boo Hoo - I paid too much for a piece of techno-junk

PC World - Lessons Learned From the iPhone Price Cuts Why are we still reading stories about the iPhone? The people who wanted to be "cool" and be the first ones to have it, well they have it. Now the price will go down. What a surprise. It isn't like the price of technical goodies ever goes down right after introduction.

And given the durability - or lack thereof - of the iPod, I can't wait to see how long this 500 dollar gadget is going to last.

My current phone is 5 years old, and the battery is finally going. Since I can get new phone cheaper than a new battery, I will probably relent and upgrade. And no, I won't be getting an iPhone.

I have to wonder, how many people who bought the first IBM PC (64 K of memory, no hard drive) are boo who-ing that they paid too much. That over-sized calculator cost several thousand bucks at the time. Does anyone remember the Sinclair or the IMSAI? (Those were computers.) Does anyone remember Laser Disks? (Sort of like DVDs only the size of an LP.) Or how about the little-known fact that some of the early high-definition TVs are not compatible with high-definition DVD players?

You always pay a price for being an early adopter of tech. You should know why you are paying that price. (In some cases, the cost/benefit analysis will be easy.) If you shelling out that money "to be cool" don't cry when the prices, and capabilities change.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cops Behaving Badly - Video Evidence Division

View From The Porch: Serving and Protecting. There is an interesting (or disturbing) video at Tam's showing a mostly out-of-control cops. You question why he is harassing questioning you and he will say that you were impeding an investigation and/or resisting arrest.

Here's the video.

The discussion at Tam's is interesting.

A Moment of Silence

Twin Towers, Sept. 11, 2001

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cops Behaving Badly - Far East Division

Woman killed by cop ex-boyfriend threatened to report his trespassing, e-mails reveal - MSN-Mainichi Daily News Another idiot who didn't know that the relationship was over.
n one of the e-mails Sato sent that day, she said she might file a complaint against Tomono. Earlier on, Sato said she didn't want to talk with him, suggesting that she wanted to finish her relationship with the officer.

Another e-mail Sato sent to Tomono, 40, before Monday suggests that the officer had trespassed in Sato's apartment while she was out. "If police examine fingerprints, they can identify (who sneaked into my room), can't they?" the e-mail said.
No one knows if he did trespass, but it seems clear that he did kill her and then himself.

A Question for Any Gun-grabber...

How should a disabled man defend himself from attack? Man In Wheelchair Shoots Intruder - Local News Story - WDIV Detroit My answer would be with a firearm. What's your answer?
DETROIT -- A wheelchair-bound man shot an intruder in his home in the 8100 block of Alpine Road in Detroit Sunday night.

The man said he saw the intruder as he was getting out of the shower.
Not everyone can fight someone off hand-to-hand. Not everyone can run away from trouble.

So I suppose you will say that he should have called dial-a-prayer (or 911, whichever) and waited to be saved. That doesn't always work out so well.

The goblin is in the hospital in critical condition.

Home Invader Dead, Homeowners Safe

Home Invader Shot, Killed - News - - Savannah / Hilton Head What would you do if an intruder broke into your home just after midnight?
County Coroner Michelle Cleveland says [the goblin] was shot in the chest with a shotgun at close range as he entered the house through the door of a rear porch.
Police are not releasing the name of the homeowner, a pretty good sign that they don't think he committed a crime.

Requisite Al Gore Bashing Link

Highlighting Hypocrisy: Hannity Hits Gore for Private Jet Jaunt Speaks for itself. The video is fuzzy, but you can't have everything.

weasel watching

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

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

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Good Guys and Bad Guys

Shots fired, man hurt
A John Street resident allegedly shot a man who he said broke into his home Saturday.
Homeowner shoots teen intruder in Harris Co.
Police said the homeowner found an intruder in his house in the 7900 block of Shady Grove this morning.

Apparently, there was some sort of confrontation, and the 19-year-old intruder wound up getting shot.
This second incident is one the Brady Bunch will call a child tragically shot. While most people consider a 19-year-old to a young adult (and he will be charged as an adult) the Brady Bunch doesn't think that distinction is important. 19 is a still a "teen" and that is as good as a child.

1 Dead, 1 Wounded In Store Shooting - KPHO Phoenix
Both men ran from the store and into the parking lot with the security guard chasing after them, [Phoenix police Sgt. Andy] Hill said.

The gunman pointed his weapon at the security guard and the guard opened fire, killing the 21-year-old Hispanic, Hill said.

The second man, a 20-year-old Hispanic, attacked the security guard outside the store and the guard shot him once in the arm, Hill said.
I've never been in a convenience store that employed armed guards, but I guess it was required in this case.

Peace in Darfur? Not Likely

War crime suspect heads human rights inquiry - Times Online Much about Darfur in the news today. Ban, the current UN Secretary General, is praising efforts all around. I don't hold out much hope.

Take for example the Sudanese response to the crisis. (Which is of their own making.)
An indicted war criminal suspected of funding and arming Janjawid militias who have killed tens of thousands of civilians in Darfur is now leading an investigation into human rights abuses in the province.
Sounds like asking the fox to guard the hen house. (10's of thousands? Between 200,000 and 400,000 - no one is quite sure - civilians are dead.)

The Chinese are the one nation in a position to put economic pressure on Sudan. But they aren't doing it, which has lead the gliterati to attack the upcoming Olympics in Beijing. Just another thing for them to attack. (I guess the Chinese aren't communistic enough for the Left anymore.)

The truth, that the UN doesn't want to discuss, is that if you want to stop the genocide, you need to arm and support the folks that the Janjawid are killing. But we can't do that, as it would lead to "clashes." I guess it is better to have genocide than war in the eyes of the UN. I wonder how long before stories of UN Peacekeepers having sex with children begin to come out of this conflict.

Oh, and when did peace become a 'process?' Was in Carter's day? I mean there a lot of articles in Google today on the Darfur Peace Process. But the Israelis don't have peace. Darfur certainly doesn't have peace, and I doubt the UN will deliver. Has the UN ever successfully brokered peace from civil war or genocide? Useless Nitwits

But what are they saying about me?

Sometimes I write something that another blogger feels is noteworthy enough to link. I always appreciate it even if they take exception to something I said. But every so often one of my posts gets bounced around in email. I always wonder what people are saying, especially since they never seem to leave comments.

Nerdiness says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd Queen.  What are you?  Click here!
Stolen shamelessly from Tam

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Could Britain Be Waking Up to the Problems of Gun Control?

Wouldn’t you feel safer with a gun? | Richard Munday - Times Online Hard to believe this is in the Times.

A review of the state of crime in Britain, and a discussion of why gun control doesn't work. Worth a look, but what I enjoyed was the look at the history.
When Dr Watson walked the streets of London with a revolver in his pocket, he was a perfectly ordinary Victorian or Edwardian. Charlotte Brontë recalled that her curate father fastened his watch and pocketed his pistol every morning when he got dressed; Beatrix Potter remarked on a Yorkshire country hotel where only one of the eight or nine guests was not carrying a revolver; in 1909, policemen in Tottenham borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by (and were joined by other armed citizens) when they set off in pursuit of two anarchists unwise enough to attempt an armed robbery. We now are shocked that so many ordinary people should have been carrying guns in the street; the Edwardians were shocked rather by the idea of an armed robbery.
This is quite an article for the Times of London. A mention of the Appalachian Law School shooting in comparison to the Virginia Tech incident. (3 people were shot at the Law School before armed students subdued the gunman.)

Maybe there is hope for Britain after all.

Losing 911 Calls Didn't Put Anyone in Jeopardy

WCAV - 911 System Outage So it's no big deal if a 911 system is unavailable for few minutes. No one was in jeopardy because of it. Or so they say.
"We did lose 911 calls..but in losing that a lot of people would dial an operator which would immediately dial into us, so we don't feel we put anybody in any jeopardy at this time" said Ray Uttaro with Nelson County Emergency Services.
You have time to call back again, once they got the calls routed to another county.

Sounds like a system (and an organization) I want to be my safety on. The problem? Power outage/power generator failure.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0 -- Retired officer shoots man in failed robbery Goblin tries to rob retired police officer out for an evening constitutional. Both guys are armed, but the police officer came out ahead on this one.
The wounded man, a 23-year-old San Diego resident, was treated at Palomar Medical Center and booked into jail on suspicion of attempted robbery.
I love a story with a happy ending.

Finally some common sense out of Congress

Opposition grows in Congress to national disaster insurance fund -- South Florida No one forces people to live in hurricane country.
Taxpayers in other states should not subsidize Floridians, who choose to live in a high-risk state likely to get clobbered by hurricanes, said a Bush administration official and some Republicans in the House.
Insurance is NOT about shifting the risk to people who don't share it. Insurance is about people sharing the same risk, pooling resources to deal with that risk.

Great Rant on Eco-weenies

Limousine Liberal Hypocrisy - TIME There is a lot of good stuff in this rant, I will leave you with only one item.
Remember the Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore global-warming pitch at the Academy Awards? Before they spoke, the screen at the back of the stage flashed not-so-subliminal messages about how to save the planet. My personal favorite was "Ride mass transit." This to a conclave of Hollywood plutocrats who have not seen the inside of a subway since the moon landing and for whom mass transit means a stretch limo seating no fewer than 10.
The other good one has to do with carbon credits. Go take a look.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

When Seconds Count, Police Are Minutes Away

Police seize likely weapon, defend response Calling 911 didn't help this Canadian family.
Police arrived in the upscale Oak Bay neighbourhood after a 911 call from a hysterical woman inside the home asking for help came in at 3:06 a.m. Tuesday.

Oak Bay police officers were the first on scene but didn't enter the home until two backup Saanich police officers arrived. Approximately 15 minutes after the 911 call
15 minutes was long enough for everyone to end up dead.

The Greatest Game Ever Played.

I saw this movie again. It really is a gem. As I said before, it is A great surprise movie.

It is fascinating to see a movie about golf - it is really about competition and the relationships - be this interesting. Though they made 2 really good movies about chess (Searching for Bobby Fischer and Fresh) so I suppose just about anything is possible.

And this movie proves that Shia LaBeouf can really act.

Experts are at a loss

Girls' suicide rates spike - The Washington Times This is a national tragedy.

The numbers for girls 10 to 14 are too low to draw many conclusions with.
the suicide rate for 10- to 14-year-old girls. There were 94 suicides in that age group in 2004, compared to 56 in 2003.
Although the percent increase is large (76 percent) the number is small enough relative to the population to fall under the "law of small numbers" or whatever. You really can't reason statistically about this small a percentage of the population. The rate is less than 1 in 100,000.

It is in the older populations that the trend is bad.
Suicide rates among older teen girls, those aged 15-19 shot up 32 percent; rates for males in that age group rose 9 percent.
This is a tragedy on the national level, but I have to poke fun at the experts. You see they are confused. It seems that the guns and access to guns don't seem to the driving forces behind the increase in suicide. In fact hanging and suffocation are now the two main methods used. Guns were the number one cause in 1990, but 15 years of campaigns to get people to safely store their guns has greatly reduced accidents and gun-related suicides.

But not suicides. Suicides went up. This is why you always need to look at anyone talking about gun-related anything with great skepticism. "Gun-related" is only an issue to those who hate and fear guns.

The truth is these girls did not commit suicide because they had easy access to guns, any more than they resorted to hanging themselves because they had easy access to rope. Neither did the boys. There are other issues. People - even children - bent on suicide pick the most effective means available.

The experts are confused about the causes. This article talks about the decline in the use of anti-depressant drugs. The fact that our culture has completely given up on romance in favor of hooking up, that teens are sexually active at a younger and younger age every decade does not present itself as a reason to these experts. The fact that the culture (and the men) are completely obsessed with images of genetic freaks, or of women starving themselves to death, or images that have been so altered that I find it hard to say they are of members of human species. Idealized images. But the "experts" don't even consider this.

I expect that the experts will go on to recommend increasing the use of psychoactive drugs among our teenagers. But only those drugs that will make the pharmaceutical companies richer, of course.

The experts also don't consider the effects of a nihilistic culture that denies the existence of Good and Evil, or the effects of a culture that celebrates Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, et al, and doesn't even consider women (let alone young girls) who are smart or athletic or anything but stupid and beautiful. Consider for a moment the treatment given to both Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. Whether you like either of them is not the point. Both are subjected to ad hominem attacks because they are women in powerful positions, almost more than they are attacked for what they stand for, and not a few of those attacks are launched against them for the way they look.

People on the right will continue to push for censorship, because they claim that they, as poor helpless parents, can't control what their kids see. Maybe they are right. But they should be able to control their kids' values. They will cry for the 10 commandments on courthouse lawns, and ignore the culture we get from Greece and the Enlightenment. The Right will push for prayers (their prayers of course) in schools.

People on the Left will continue to blame the lack of social programs for young girls. They will call for better sex education, or whatever. The Left will push for government programs to raise self-esteem in the absence of doing anything that might actually raise your self-esteem, like playing sports, excelling in the sciences or arts, or being a decent human being.

People on both sides will continue to lap up every bit of news on Hilton, Lohan, whomever, both during their fairy-tale rise or their tragic fall. They will buy magazines filled with images of women starving themselves to death, or digitally altered beyond all recognition. And they will not think they are to blame.

This is a national tragedy and I certainly don't have the answers. But I don't believe the answer is in more medication. I don't believe the answer is more celebration of stupidity, and drunken debauchery that we get every time some barely legal, barely dressed bimbette goes on a binge in LA. I don't believe the answer is another government program, or mandatory Christian prayers. In short, I don't see anyone out there with what I believe is the answer, or who is even looking for the answer

The Beautiful People Hate Self Defense

Don't throw blame at terrified homeowner | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas This is perhaps the most sane thing I have seen in the MSM about the shooting of Carter Albrecht, of the New Bohemians.

The Gliterati are obsessed because it appears that a would-be beautiful person was shot legally.
But the story, inflamed by Mr. Albrecht's celebrity, has spun into not just an epitaph on his passing, but a subtle indictment of the man who shot him.

And that's not right. Police say the homeowner was awakened in the dead of night by an unidentified stranger who tried to kick in his back door.
For whatever reason, Mr Albrecht put himself in the cross-hairs. The guy who did the shooting was well within his rights, and I have to say that given what he knew, and the behavior of the person on the opposite side of the door, I would have done exactly the same thing.
The unseen intruder kept trying to break in even after the homeowner shouted that he had a gun and was calling the police. The homeowner fired once, aiming high, striking the 6-foot-5 musician in the head.
Was it the result of booze and a prescription drug? I don't know and I don't care. That is not pertinent to the events as they unfolded after he started to break into someone's home. I am sure that if someone can blame the drugs, there will be a big suit and soon. (John Edwards, call your office.)

The point is if you become a threat to me for whatever reason, I am going to defend myself. I don't care if you are Mother Teresa reincarnate. For those few moments you are a threat, and will dealt with accordingly.

Self-defense is a human right.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

China's Product Woes Worse in Other Countries

Asians Say Trade Complaints Bring Out the Bully in China - Candy that contains formaldehyde, cosmetics with enough mercury to cause skin-discoloration (that's heavy-metal-poisoning!) and dried fruit with cancer-causing agents.

Indonesia complained, and China called with a solution.
But according to [Husniah Rubiana Thamrin Akib, head of Indonesia's top food and drug safety agency], the Chinese suggested Indonesia lower its safety standards.

I think that speaks volumes about how serious China is regarding the fixing of all these problems. Just make the problems go away. Anti-freeze in the tooth-paste? Who cares?
In dealing with product safety complaints from the United States, China has sought to convince a concerned American public that it has reformed and is doing all it can to ensure the safety of its products. But its dealings with other, less-developed countries or those in vulnerable political positions are a different story
I think I know which is the real story, and which is the propaganda story.

And China has retaliated against people who have problems with tainted food.

Every American business should find alternate suppliers for anything sourced in China. No, every business everywhere should do that. At least until they can demonstrate that they have these problems fixed, and it doesn't even sound like they are working on the problems.