Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Urban Shooter Halloween Edition

Urban Shooter #41 (audio/mpeg Object) Kenn Blanchard has another great edition of the Urban Shooter.

He has some great stories, and some ideas about how to get the message out to people who don't already treasure the right to defend yourself. You can find the show notes here.

Two Great Quotes

neo-neocon - ‘Twas ever thus: the press vs. the military, and vice versa One quote from Robert E. Lee and one from William Tecumseh Sherman. Both about reporters. Worth a look in light of the Beauchamp fabrication story.

You Can Defend Others

Store owner shoots robber - News - Charleston, SC Usually going to someone's aid can be a tricky proposition, but when you know the person in jeopardy, it is easier.
The robber pointed a gun at a clerk in Naranja's Diaz Grocery and Meats and demanded money.

One of the store's owners was standing just a few feet away.

He drew his own gun and shot the armed robber as dozens of customers looked on.
The would-be robber died on the way to the hospital.

I believe this store owner did the right thing.

More Military Hardware Fun

The V-22. Funny how once they fixed the problems, you never heard about it in the press.

Another Incident of Maritime Piracy

Crew wins deadly pirate battle off Somalia - Crew members retake the vessel Dai Hong Dan, a North Korean ship.
The [pirates] had seized the ship's bridge, while the crew kept control of the steering gear and engines, the Navy said.
The ships crew attacked the bridge killing 2 pirates and capturing 5.

Several of the North Korean crew were wounded in retaking the bridge. They are being treated aboard the USS James E. Williams, a guided-missile destroyer that was patrolling the area.

Another example of what you can do with a little determination. My congratulations to the captain and crew of the Dai Hong Dan.

At Least the Navy is Doing Something

U.S. destroyer pursuing hijacked ship in Somali waters, military says - Piracy - not the music variety - is a real problem, costing big bucks and people's lives.
A U.S. destroyer has entered Somali territorial waters in pursuit of a Japanese-owned ship loaded with benzene that was hijacked by pirates over the weekend, military officials said Monday.
Most people don't want to think about it, deny it is really a problem when they read something like this, or make a joke tied to the "giant spaghetti monster."

But it isn't a joking matter. Whole ships and crews have disappeared.

And the problem is getting worse. Pirate attacks increase worldwide -
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Pirate attacks worldwide jumped 14 percent in the first nine months of 2007, with the biggest increases off the poorly policed waters of Somalia and Nigeria, an international watchdog reported Tuesday.
Things can be done, and are being done in some areas.
Joint efforts by Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have kept piracy under control in the Malacca Strait, Mody said. Those states had poured a considerate amount of additional resources into fighting piracy since last year, including increased patrolling and law enforcement on the water.
[via Time Bomb]

Can The Nanny State Force You to Leave Your Home?

San Jose Mercury News - Residents who bucked wildfire orders describe life behind lines If the government orders you to leave your home - for your own protection - will you?

The cops who are called on to enforce the evacuation notices don't care if the orders are legal. They are just doing a job. (Maybe they should, but ....)
Vietnam veteran Jim Humphrey, 62, ignored San Bernardino County's voluntary evacuation orders Oct. 22 for his home in a tiny hamlet called Valley of Enchantment, even as flames leapt across a ridge of pines nearby.

Like many other hardy locals, Humphrey felt the government's intrusion into his way of life was unwarranted, despite the emergency. While patrols roamed the streets enforcing a sunset-to-sunrise curfew to keep residents away from fire crews, Humphrey was nearly arrested for sneaking out on his bicycle to go to a bar along nearby Crestline's main strip where a handful of regulars were meeting up.
I guess the question is, "Do I have the right to risk my life?" If the answer is, "No," then motorcycles, skydiving, hang-gliding, and any number of other things will be outlawed in the morning. (Maybe not tomorrow morning, but some morning.) Followed by anything else the Nanny State doesn't approve of, which is even a little bit dangerous.

The bureaucrats really are only interested in flexing their muscle. The truth - that they want to be able to deny you service if you call 911 - they don't want to admit to, since that would make them look weak. Just stating that "you are on your own," is beyond them. Even if it is the truth. Ordering you around makes them look strong... at least to themselves.

I suppose I should note that I have both evacuated and ignored the order to evacuate in the face of hurricanes. When I did evacuate, it wasn't because of the order, but because a large hurricane was threatening my location. I don't need to the government to make those decisions for me, even if they want to, even if they think it is for my own good, even if they shut down 911 fire/rescue service to my locale.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just for fun

Video from Dillon Aero. Mostly recycled but still fun.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The British View of Michael Moore

Quack Michael Moore has mad view of the NHS | Minette Marrin - Times Online They don't believe his latest effort.
Unfortunately Sicko is a dishonest film. That is not only my opinion. It is the opinion of Professor Lord Robert Winston, the consultant and advocate of the NHS. When asked on BBC Radio 4 whether he recognised the NHS as portrayed in this film, Winston replied: “No, I didn’t. Most of it was filmed at my hospital [the Hammersmith in west London], which is a very good hospital but doesn’t represent what the NHS is like.”
And this smack-down
By ignoring these problems, and similar ones in France’s even more generous and expensive health service, Moore is lying about the answer to that question. I wonder whether the grotesquely fat film-maker is aware of the delicious irony that in our state-run system, the government and the NHS have been having serious public discussion about the necessity of refusing to treat people who are extremely obese.
Via Maynard

Courts Failed to Protect

CMPD Investigates Eighth Domestic Violence Homicide this Year | WBTV | Top Stories Out on probation multiple times. He was supposed to take "an intense treatment program for abusers." He didn't. So was he thrown in jail for not meeting the conditions of his parole? No. He was given another chance to attend the same program.
Instead, his domestic violence case ended with two people dead.
The judge in the case is unavailable for comments.

The courts can only do so much. In some cases, they won't even do everything they can. They certainly cannot ensure your safety. This is doubly true if they don't act appropriately.

What Would a Disabled Man Do without a Firearm?

Disabled Man Shoots Intruder At Gastonia Home - Charlotte News Story - WSOC Charlotte The Left loves the idea of running away. The "duty to retreat" enacted into law by various courts - no legislature ever voted on that! - was almost everywhere before the Castle Doctrine re-emerged.

But not everyone can run away.
A Gastonia man in a wheelchair proved he was no easy target for a man who tried to break into his home late Sunday.
He shot 4 or 5 times striking the intruder (who was inside the home) in the wrist. Police found the goof-ball walking nearby.
Tanner’s only regret, “I wish I would have taught him a better lesson.”
Self-defense is a human right.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Would You Cancel Christmas?

Halloween: Is the Party Over? Once upon a time (not too long ago), in a land not so far away, Halloween was the Big Gay Party of the year. The Village in New York, The Castro in San Francisco, and other places all had parties.

But times change and the straights - including gang-bangers - seem to have taken over to the point where San Francisco's Castro District actually canceled Halloween this year. (They used to have a huge celebration - block parties, etc.) Even some of the clubs have agreed to stay closed in hopes of keeping people away.
[In] 2002, five people at the event were stabbed, and another person brought along a working chain saw as part of his costume. “It was like Escape From New York,” [Bevan Dufty, city supervisor for the Castro district] says.
Last year ten people were injured when rival gangs started a gunfight.

Passing of an era I guess.

The Future of the Surveillance State

Future Combat Systems: US Army Aside from the high-quality of the advertising (is this propaganda?) film, I find the surveillance capabilities "interesting."

You have to give the video a few minutes to get going and get past the "human interest" section about medical support.

Applied to the battlefield is one thing, but what if this technology comes home? Are you ready for the Panopticon? Or is it less benign than that?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Self-defense legal in Oklahoma

JusticeTulsa World : No charges expected in fatal Commanche County shooting In a very short time, the DA in this community has ruled that self-defense is legal.
A state prosecutor cited Oklahoma's "Stand Your Ground" law in announcing that no charges would be filed against a man who shot and killed a teen who appeared to be a burglar.

Comanche County District Attorney Robert Schulte said he plans to take no action against Jeffrey David Dorrell, 40, who shot and killed Frederick Stuever, 17.
For more details you can see my previous post on this subject.

Self-defense is a human right, and in Oklahoma it is also your legal right.

This is an interesting take on the sub-prime mortgage debacle

Slow housing market speeds up scam Predatory buyers are borrowing more than what a house is worth,pocketing the difference, then foreclosing. Interesting scam. You have to wonder how the banks could be so negligent in their loan process to let this happen.
[The villain of the story] landed a loan for $340,000, paid the seller $245,000 and pocketed the $95,000 difference, state investigators say. Profits secured, [he] let the home go into foreclosure.
He was arrested for fraud, but he wasn't alone in fleecing the banks.
Florida has moved to the top of its list of fraud-riddled states, based on lenders' complaints. Losses from mortgage fraud hit a record $1 billion last year nationwide, according to the FBI, which lists Florida among the hot spots.
And of course there are other avenues to the money in these deals.
If a borrower with stellar credit uses a mortgage broker to take out a conventional loan, the lender pays the mortgage broker about 1 percent of the amount of the loan as an origination fee.

But if a borrower with poor credit uses a mortgage broker to arrange a subprime loan, the lender pays the mortgage broker much more: 5 percent, 8 percent, sometimes more. So a $600,000 loan could generate $30,000 or more in origination fees.
When all people look at is the monthly payment, they don't realize they just paid a whole lot more for that house. But that is another post.

Exactly how many of the home loans now in foreclosure are the result of fraud, how many the result of people not understanding the contracts they signed, or other issues, I'm not sure we know.

Hillary and Fundraising

13 minutes or so, but worth it. [via The Will to Exist]

It Seems Biofuel is a Problem

UN expert seeks to halt biofuel output - Yahoo! News Go figure. If you are growing crops for fuel, then you aren't growing food.
Jean Ziegler, who has been the United Nations' independent expert on the right to food since the position was established in 2000, called for a five-year moratorium on biofuel production to halt what he called a growing "catastrophe" for the poor.
Besides the fact that some scientists are worried about the greenhouse gases that come from biodiesel, there is the simple economics of the situation.
The world price of wheat doubled in one year and the price of corn quadrupled, leaving poor countries, especially in Africa, unable to pay for the imported food needed to feed their people, he said. And poor people in those countries are unable to pay the soaring prices for the food that does come in, he added.

"So it's a crime against humanity" to devote agricultural land to biofuel production, Ziegler said a news conference. "What has to be stopped is ... the growing catastrophe of the massacre (by) hunger in the world," he said.

As an example, he said, it takes 510 pounds of corn to produce 13 gallons of ethanol. That much corn could feed a child in Zambia or Mexico for a year.
Glad to see that the Unintended Consequences have been found so soon. Those price changes are the real reason that everyone is so excited about bio-fuel.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

“The Truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country”

Some of the events of the past few weeks have reminded me of V for Vendetta.

Welcome to the Police State - Part 3

"People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people."

Who needs rights anyway?: So lawyers - prosecuting lawyers - don't care if a law is constitutional. They don't care if a law is just. It is just easier to lock up people they want to lock up with the law.

The subject is of course the DC gun rights case. And the police stater is a lawyer, Jennifer Collins. Not just any lawyer.
As a former assistant U.S. attorney in D.C., I've been following the case with interest.
She liked the law. It let her roust people out without having to actually prove they did anything wrong. (Aside from having a gun - that little thing like the 2nd Amendment shouldn't stand in the way of a good police state.)
I think it's worth acknowledging the primary functions of the law as it's used by prosecutors in DC: the gun ban is both a preventive detention statute and an intelligence-gathering tool. ... These functions may not be relevant to the question whether the statute is constitutional, but it's worth acknowledging that invalidating the gun ban will surely have a tremendous impact on crime-fighting in the District.
Yeah, if the gun ban is overthrown, crime fighters (so-called) will have to obey the Constitution. Or at least a part of it.

Or as Sharp as a Marble sums up:
Got that? Here's a former prosecutor who (a) doesn't care if it's constitutional or not (b) knows that the gun ban does nothing to decrease gun crime but makes a nifty tool to imprison people for (c) HAVING A PERCEPTION OF BEING VIOLENT.
So you can be imprisoned for the government's perception of you - not anything they really have to prove. Like maybe they perceive you have radical views. Much easier to have a police state if little things like justice, and freedom and proof don't enter into it. Whatever is needed for Law Enforcement is the guiding principle. Sounds like a recipe for tyranny to me.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Welcome to the Police State - Part 2

View From The Porch: We're all terrorists now. So what would you think of our Lords and Masters in Washington DC if they passed a law outlawing certain ideas. Only "radical" ideas of course. Dangerous ideas. Tam asks the question:
Do you have any radical views? Said any radical things on a blog or forum? Belong to any radical organizations? Maybe one that advocates private citizens patrolling the border or calls the 2nd Amendment the "Reset Button"? Call yourself a "People of the Gun"?
You see H.R. 1955 - which passed the House today, does exactly that.

It is a bill to "To prevent homegrown terrorism, and for other purposes." What those other purposes may be, is not too clearly spelled out.
We must intervene before a person crosses the line separating radical views from violent behavior, create an environment that discourages disillusionment and alienation, and instill in young people a sense of belonging and faith in the future.
So they must stamp out any ideas that are not government approved. And make sure everyone is properly socialized like good little socialists.

We have to take action against anyone who might have a radical notion.

Like maybe you think the War on (Some) Drugs is a bad idea. Or you do (or you don't) believe in global warming. Or you are in favor of (or against) gay rights. Or you believe anything that the government deems is a bad (or radical) belief.

They can attack the Jews for believing they are the Chosen People.

They can attack the Wiccans and the Pagans because those beliefs are not going to make you feel like you belong to the larger group.

They can attack the libertarians (small "L" and big "L") for worrying more about individual rights and personal responsibility.

They can attack the home-schoolers because they don't belong.

In short, any government - Democrat or Republican - can attack any idea they don't like, by labeling it "radical."

You can write your senators here (and President Bush too). Or you can bow to your lords, and hope that the people who define "radical" are like you.

Violence Not Stopped By Court Order

KATV Channel 7 - Drew County Man Arrested for Shooting Wife There was a restraining order in place. Did it help?
A Drew County woman is in stable condition after her husband shot her three times, including once in the head.
As the subject of a restraining order, he was forbidden to own or possess firearms. So the restraining order and law didn't do anything to stop him.

Having a gun may not have saved this woman, but relying on a piece of paper to stop a violent stalker is not the best course of action anyone can take. If you have a violent stalker problem, you need some kind of plan for your own safety. I like firearms. You are free to choose your own remedy, but that remedy - those protections - should be selected with your eyes open and the rose-colored glasses on the shelf. The police and the courts can do many things. They cannot protect you 24 hours a day.

Break Into Enough Homes...

and you will find an armed homeowner. KSWO, Lawton, OK- UPDATE: Burglar caught and shot after break in In this case it was actually the homeowner's son, who showed up and surprised the burglar.
''When Jeff arrived at home he noticed there was a pickup here that he had never seen before, and as he got closer to the house he noticed that the door was open which was unusual and drew his suspicion," said the family's lawyer, John Zelbst.

Jeff went and got a pistol out of his car and went back up to te house. That's when Zelbst says he saw the burglar coming out the front door carrying a computer and a rifle. ''At that point he told the young man to lay down, which he laid down for a period of time," Zelbst said. "At some point in time he got up and went after him, he shot several times, got the young man stopped again, told him to stay where he was at.''
The son was on the phone with 911 operators so the entire thing is caught on tape.

The goof-ball tried to bat the gun out of his hand, and got himself shot square in the chest.

Neighbors are behind the young man.
Neighbors say they are upset someone had to die over a burglary -- but everyone we spoke to said Jeff was right to defend himself and his home. ''As a homeowner myself, put in the same position, I would probably do the same thing," said neighbor Phil Smith. "I mean I work hard for my stuff and I earn my stuff and no one has the right to take it."
Everyone they talked to.... I wonder how many people they interviewed looking for that "guns are scary" neighbor.

Another Chicago PD Smackdown - Jury awards $2 million to man Chicago police allegedly framed in 2001 Just another in a long list of problems for the Chicago PD. The midnight crew of area two. The Special Operations Section. The list goes on.

Mary Mitchell of the Sun Times agrees. Daley ignoring rising toll of rogue cops.
Last week, the Police Department agreed to pay Coprez Coffie $4 million when a jury found in Coffie's favor. The 23-year-old man claimed a police officer shoved a screwdriver in his behind, while another watched, after he was stopped and accused of having drugs.
It probably won't be enough to get mayor Dumbbell Daley out of the mayor's office.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Five Guilty of Beating Inmate

NY1: Former Detention Center Captain Pleads Guilty To Beating Inmate They beat an inmate, left him in a pool of blood and tried to make it look like a suicide attempt. That didn't work.
Salvatore Lopresti was convicted of conspiring to violate the civil rights of a former inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park. He was also convicted of obstruction of justice and three separate false statement charges.
Four others plead guilty.

Stupid Criminals

Sierra Vista Herald | The Bisbee Daily Review Two teens break into a home and find a shotgun. One of them shoots and kills the other.

The funny thing is the comments associated with this story. People blame the homeowner.
  • They don't blame the teens for being criminals.
  • They don't blame the idiot who shot his friend at close range with a 12-gauge.
  • They don't blame the teens' parents/schools for completely ignoring the subject of gun safety.
I suppose it is something that they just don't blame the gun. (It would be a neat trick if you could teach a 12-gauge to stand guard all by itself!)

The survivor is facing a murder 2 charge, having been committing a crime when someone died as a direct result of that crime.

Middle (or Upper) Class Neighborhood Doesn't Guarantee Good Public Schools

Worse Than You Think - Public education is not just an inner-city problem. The entire system is flawed.
Conventional wisdom holds that upscale communities tend to have "good" schools, and parents often buy homes in expensive neighborhoods so their kids have a shot at a decent public education. But the PRI study, which focused on California, found that in nearly 300 schools in middle-class and affluent neighborhoods, "less than half of the students in at least one grade level performed at proficiency in state math and English tests."

Many of these schools were located in the Golden State's toniest zip codes, places like Orange County, Silicon Valley and the beach communities of Los Angeles. In areas such as Newport Beach, Capistrano and Huntington Beach, where million-dollar houses are commonplace, researchers found more than a dozen schools where 50% to 80% of students weren't proficient in math at their grade level. In one Silicon Valley community where the median home goes for $1.6 million, less than half of 10th and 11th graders scored at or above proficiency on the state English exam.
When educators care more about a child's "socialization" than whether or not they learn, they won't learn. And they do care more about socialization.

Is school choice an answer? Maybe. (Here is a study on School Choice) But I think the entire educational system is broken, starting with the universities that produce teachers, and ending with the administrators who are more interested in social (and socialist) indoctrination than in teaching and learning. [via The Ink Well]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Guns as Art: Fine Engraving

Marocchi 12 gauge
A firearm can be a thing of beauty. (Click the image for more pics of this gun.)

Marocchi Black Gold Extra Pigeon 12 gauge shotgun with 29” full/modified barrel and 28” cylinder/modified barrel. Available for what I believe is a reasonable $4250. (The engraving can cost more than that on some firearms.) [hat tip K D'T]

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0 Columbia, SC: Spartanburg homeowner who shot two men faces no charges When he heard people breaking into his home, he armed himself and took cover.
Lamont Dawkins says he grabbed his pistol and hid behind his refrigerator after hearing glass break and his back door being kicked about 4am Tuesday.

Dawkins says he fired several rounds as two men entered, and they ran away.
Police caught up with two injured goblins at a local hospital.

Another Media Outlet Can't Tell the Criminals from the Victims

Shooting Victim Ordered Held In House Break - News - Turnto10 This guy was not victim. He broke into a home, and the homeowner shot him with his own gun.

But reporters and editors hate guns and gun owners so much that anyone shot must be a victim. This guy is in fact - or he appears to be - a violent criminal.

How to Keep Track of Important Stories

It isn't often you get mentioned in a scholarly study.
Given a water distribution network, where should we place sensors to quickly detect contaminants? Or, which blogs should we read to avoid missing important stories?
Turns out by the measure these guys created, I score pretty high - 14th - on the answer to that question. Wish it would influence my Truth Laid Bear ranking.

This would all be more interesting if it was updated in real time, but the study is for blog posts of 2006. (Still, Michelle Malkin is only 5th! Insty is first, of course.) If you like this kind of geekery, the details are in Cost-effective Outbreak Detection in Networks (application/pdf Object) Data Mining was something I always wished I had more chances to work with.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Welcome to the Police State

A tale of two decisions (or, how the FBI gets you to confess) (PsychSound by Steve Bergstein) First the FBI forces a confession then the courts cover up the details. Welcome to the new America.

An airline pilot left a radio in a hotel room before 9/11. An Egyptian National stayed in that same room on 9/11. The FBI found the radio, and they went after the Egyptian ultimately threatening his family (in Egypt) with torture, until he confessed.

Then of course the airline pilot shows up looking for his radio, proving what the Egyptian said at the beginning - he was innocent.

The courts ruled he could sue - the FBI can't go around forcing people to confess. (How often does that happen I wonder. Is Hoover still alive, or just haunting the FBI?) The original decision featured the details of which FBI agent did this, and how. But the FBI (I assume) complained saying that info is classified. Of course in the day of the internet, you can't put the genie back in the bottle. The original decision is available.

So what do you think of this New America, the America in which the FBI coerces confessions, and the courts cover up the details? I don't think I care for it too much. Welcome to the global War on Terror™. Between the WoT and the War on (some) Drugs, the Constitution should be just about finished.

Extra Credit - Weber State University Offering Concealed Weapons Class Well, not quite. This class is not for college credit, but it might save your life.
Classroom instructions are given by a professor of anthropology, who doubles as a concealed weapons instructor. Ron Holt says, "I see carrying a concealed weapon as a kind of life insurance policy: 99.99 times you'll never need it, but if you ever do need it, you'll probably really need it."

This continuing education class at Weber State is not for credit. It's open to off-campus folks too, as long as they're at least 21 years old and meet legal requirements for a gun permit.
This bothers the reporter so much that he just had to find a negative reaction. Of course he had to go to a completely different campus to get it. Now either he was too lazy to go to the campus in question, or he couldn't find anyone there who thought it was a bad idea.
We sought reaction at another campus: the University of Utah.

Cameron Strickland disagrees with Holt. He says, "I don't think that's a good idea, to have guns on campus."

"I don't really feel like I should be sitting next to someone with a gun," says Shannon Hook. "And in case something does happen, I don't really necessarily believe everybody has the capability of actually doing something without maybe hurting other people in the process."

But one student applauds the idea. Jake Coburn says, "It gives everyone a sense of confidence, that they can defend themselves."
My guess is he was too lazy to make the trip.

4% of Utah citizens have CCW permits. 1 out every 25 people. The Left doesn't like that much. [h/t Alphecca]

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

East Liberty home invader shot, killed Two armed goof-balls invade an apartment. But they aren't the only ones armed.
An armed 18-year-old from Duquesne was shot and killed early yesterday morning when police said he and an accomplice tried to rob the occupants of an East Liberty apartment.
The first one is dead with a shotgun blast to the head. The second is in police custody. The shooter has not been charged, but per SOP the investigation will turn everything over to the prosecutor's office. (It isn't the job of the police to sort that out.)

In Castle Doctine States, The Police Would be On His Side

Police: Putnam, NY homeowner killed man he thought was intruder -- But this being New York, he was arrested. Apparently in New York, you don't have the right to defend yourself, or your family.

Women in Hunting

Hunter's widows no more: outdoorswomen take to the woods in increasing numbers This is another of the articles on women in hunting I've stumbled across recently.

Completely positive, completely without gun-fearing weenies (or as Uncle would say, no PSH).
A 2006 study from the National Sporting Goods Association determined women are 16 percent of the 21 million active hunters in the U.S. and are one of the fastest-growing markets of the shooting and hunting industries.
Women 18 to 24 represent the fastest-growing segment of female hunters.
This is very good for the future of the shooting sports and the second amendment. [via NRA-ILA]

Monday, October 22, 2007

Doesn't Seem Right to Me

Charlotte Observer | 10/22/2007 | Prosecutor says change needed in state's homicide laws They are lobbying for a hate crime law because they don't think they can get him for murder. (The goof-ball in this case is charged with involuntary manslaughter.)

But here is the thing.... He punch a guy who fell and hit his head and died. There were names called before the punch was thrown. Why does this require a hate crime law to be murder. He willfully took action that resulted in injury and death. If he hit a straight white man, and killed him, he should still be facing a murder charge. The race, nationality, creed, religion, or sexual orientation shouldn't be the deciding factor. Everyone should have equal protection under the law. A death of one individual should not cause a murder charge to be brought, unless the death of any individual would result in the same charge.

The problem isn't the lack of a hate crime law. The problem is that the definition of murder has been watered down. Involuntary manslaughter should cover accidents and negligence, neither of which applies in this case.

A Nice Article about Women and the Shooting Sports

Women, get your guns ready - Sun Journal No mention of the gun fearing weenies at all. Makes me wish I was in New Bern.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Urban Shooter Podcast

Urban Shooter Podcast Kenn has a bit of a Halloween thing going on this week.

This weeks topics - or as many as I wrote down...
  • Reciprocity and CCW
  • Captain America is carrying these days (and the Washington Post had an article)
  • California - lead ban and microstamping
  • Open Carry and Racism in Virginia Police Forces
  • Pro-gun Hip Hop Song
  • Are you tired of the Campaign yet?

Who is Responsible for Your Finances?

Hit By The Boom Real Estate has a long way to go before it hits bottom.

Foreclosure disasters are never good for real estate prices. Lenders are the biggest sellers in some markets, and they need to get the houses off their books.
"I've been in this business for 17 years, and I've never seen the bank be the No. 1 seller," said Armstrong, president-elect of the West Pasco Board of Realtors.

Homeowners who want to move or those seeking to avoid foreclosure by selling can't compete, he said. And every time a lender cuts prices dramatically to move a home, values in the neighborhood go down, he said.

"Lenders can afford to go much lower in price than homeowners can," Armstrong said. "The banks don't want all these homes, so they'll sell them for whatever they need to."
It will be at least a year before foreclosures peak (and prices hit bottom) in greater Tampa Bay.

But don't worry too much about people being out in the street.
As many as 69 percent of the 381 homes in Carriage Pointe are owned by people who don't live there, county officials estimate.
The article loves to talk about "investors" but these folks were speculating.
For example, one investor in Carriage Pointe purchased six homes. All of them are now in foreclosure.
The reason that it is hard to get good numbers, is that some people lied on their mortgage documents.
"One lender recently told us that many of their loans in foreclosure were supposed to be to people living in the home," [Doug] Duncan [chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association] said. "But when they investigated, they learned some were actually investors."
That is called fraud people. When they ask you if you intend to live in the home, and you say yes, and then rent the home out, you are committing fraud. Homeowners (people who actually live in the home) get much different lending deals than investors.

I almost said that homeowners get "better" deals, but the truth is, they also get worse deals. All of these sub-prime deals (or most of them anyway) were only for people intending to live in the property. Investors almost always have to put 20% down. There are exceptions, but very few.

But the biggest part of this problem is people who are overextended and in debt up to their eyebrows.
The couple bought the home four years ago and took out a second mortgage nearly two years later. They had equity at the time and wanted to upgrade their home. Two months after signing the paperwork, [the wife] discovered she was seriously ill and no longer could work.
It doesn't say, but it sounds as if she didn't have disability insurance. (Do you? What will happen to your family if you can't work?) It certainly sounds like the couple had no contingency plan. If everything worked out perfect, they would have still owed more than the house was worth, but you can't expect life to be perfect. It isn't. You always have to have a contingency plan - or contingency fund. As they say, you should save something for a rainy day.

I would also guess that they have absolutely nothing saved for retirement. But that is another essay.

You should never consider your primary residence to be an investment. It is not an asset, it is a liability. You should never listen to a real estate agent about what you can afford to own. They will always try to sell you the biggest house you can get a loan for. That is not the biggest house you can afford. That is the biggest house they can sell you. You can afford less. It is up to you to be an adult, and take responsibility for your own life and financial well-being. But that isn't very popular today.

Americans are really very financially illiterate. They accept debt without knowing the repercussions, they sign contracts with the blithe assurances of someone who is only trying to sell them something - without any real understanding. They are proud of the fact that can't even do simple math, and have probably never heard of an amortization table. They have nothing saved for retirement, their kids education, etc. They are in worse shape than they know, and as this whole lending episode proves, what you don't know, can hurt you.

When the salesmen turn out to be only selling, and math turns out to be more important than who won American Idol, these financial illiterates whimper and cry that the world is unfair, that the fault is not in themselves but in the evil bankers, and they want Big Brother Nanny to take care of them and make the world a safe place. To all those people I say, "Grow up!"

It's the Eeeevil Bankers Fault

Many Valley homeowners pressured or tricked into bad loans, experts say They don't have copies of what they signed. They signed documents that had blank lines in them. (Ever hear of a blank check?) And now it is not their fault that they can't afford the loan.

Actually if they were asked to sign loan documents that had blank lines, that may be illegal and it certainly is unethical. But why would anyone in their right mind sign a blank contract?
"It's very sad. A lot of people were preyed on and didn't understand what kind of loan they were getting into," said Margie O'Campo de Castillo of Arizona Dream Realty. "There was some greed involved, but many buyers were made promises and were lied to."
Why would anyone sign a contract they didn't understand? You do know what a contract is, don't you.

People, if you don't understand contracts - and even if you think you do - it worth it to have a lawyer with you.
Since lenders offered higher fees to brokers on the loans with the highest interest rates, some mortgage people put borrowers in subprime loans when they would have qualified for loans with lower interest rates.
This is just plain stupidity. People were shopping for the lowest payment (up front - not long term) not the lowest interest rate. This comes the the sabotage of the American education system. Now no one knows simple math. (And figuring out what your loan payments will cost is dead simple - hell you can look it up in a book.)

And even if you can't figure that out, knowing to get the lowest interest rate is easy. It is more important than getting the lowest payment. Then of course it is more important than getting the absolutely biggest house of anyone in your family.

I do feel bad that all of these people are losing their homes. Probably some of them dealt with slimy loan officers and real-estate agents. Caveat Emptor - Let the Buyer Beware. If you think anyone you are doing business with is your friend, think again. In the real-estate/loan business they make more money if you over-extend yourself, get the worst financing, etc. Some of them may be your friend, but most are just good at being in sales.

Republican Wins in Louisiana

Louisana elects Jindal, first Indian-American governor - Yahoo! News Congratulations to Mr. Jindal and the good folks of Louisiana.
He is a conservative who ran on promises to stop political corruption, cut taxes and improve schools.
He got 54% of the vote. The Democrat got 18% of the vote. The rest was distributed among the other candidates.

When a Democrat beat a Republican recently in a special election, the press was all excited about how this probably predicted what would happen in 2008. They seem to be quiet on that score today.

Watcher's Council

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

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

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Armed Self-defense is Legal In California? -- Suspect in store robbery shot by clerk Who knew?
SAN DIEGO – An attempt to rob a convenience store went awry Friday night when the store clerk pulled out his own gun and shot one of the suspects in the chest in an exchange of gunfire, police said.
The injured guy was abandoned by his partner and was found shortly afterward by police. He is in the hospital with a gunshot wound to his chest.

The UAW Again

3 more UAW locals reject Chrysler deal - Yahoo! News So it looks like the will strike Chrysler after all. I am not sure this will hurt the company all that much, since some plants don't have any work anyway.

I'd say Nardelli has his work cut out for him. Other thoughts here.

Another Reason to Homeschool Your Kids

AP: Sexual misconduct plagues US schools - Yahoo! News Some of these cases are ancient, some less so, some contemporary. They are all disturbing.

One that caught my eye - not the worst, just for the attitude of the authorities.
In case after case the AP examined, accusations of inappropriate behavior were dismissed. One girl in Mansfield, Ohio, complained about a sexual assault by teacher Donald Coots and got expelled. It was only when a second girl, years later, brought a similar complaint against the same teacher that he was punished.
Accuse an authority figure and be punished. That to me sums up the attitudes of today's "educators" toward their students.

It isn't the worst incident.

I wonder if this story - which reaches farther than clergy abuse - will get the same play other stories got. I doubt it. Big Media is much more interested in demonizing clergy than the guardians of their socialist paradise. Couldn't call that media bias, now, could you?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Armed Employess Stop Violent Robber

Robber killed in gunfight with recycling employees | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/19/2007 Guns in the workplace? Not just the bad guy was armed this time.
The drama started shortly after 9 a.m., when a man entered the facility and approached four employees sorting materials in a garage. He posed as a customer and said he had a large number of old radiators he wanted to sell as scrap metal.

Employees noticed he was acting oddly. They also noticed a bulge at his side.

Then, police and Geppert said, the man pulled a .380-caliber automatic and demanded cash.

Two employees were armed - and all three began firing.
No employee was injured - though one guy was shaken up and taken to the hospital for observation. The robber was shot, ran short distance and collapsed and died.

Why were guns in the workplace? Because recycling has become dangerous as the price of metals has gone up. The owner of the business allowed guns on his property and with good cause.

Self-defense is a human right.

The Shooting Sports: Teaching the Next Generation

Clay shooting may soon be extracurricular | - Houston Chronicle Shooting clubs, marksmanship, trap and skeet were once not unusual school-time activities. The gun-fearing-weenies have eliminated a lot of programs, but some states are trying to bring them back.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced it's trying to start a pilot program similar to the Archery in Schools initiative, the new program entitled Clay Sports in Schools.

The pilot is designed to introduce 6th through 12th grade level youth to competitive shotgun clay target shooting through the Wildlife Management and Recreation curriculum in the Agricultural Science program in high schools.
Are there options for kids who are not football stars? Not so much any more. [NRA-ILA]

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chess - It isn't just for geeks

If I confess my geekiness will you still love me? I am currently (again) a member of the US Chess Federation. And I'm also a member at a local chess club, though I haven't been in a tournament in ages.

What Kind of Chess Piece are You?
Chess: The ancient game of chivalry, strategy, and warfare. In times past, emperors were said to play chess upon life sized boards, with slaves or servants playing the roles of the pieces. If you were to find yourself on such a giant board, what piece would you be?

Your Score: A White Knight

You scored 4 Power-Finesse, 2 Leader-Follower, 3 Unique-Ordinary, and 4 Offense-Defense!

Gallant, bold, independent, and strong, you consider yourself somewhat above the law. You laugh at obstacles in your way, ignoring them as if they were not there at all. Despite your independence, you do have loyalty to your team and King and Queen. For this reason, your opponents fear you-- but they also know that you can sometimes overreach. You are quick to take the initiative, working to control as much of the situation for your team as you can. In the long run, however, you cannot win the game alone. It is impossible for you to checkmate your opponent all by yourself, so you appreciate and value your teammates.

Link: The What Chess Piece Are You Test written by Gundark27 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

I like it! [hat tip to Stormy Dragon.]

Can the Police Destroy Your Home?

Man Sues State Police Over Damages From Bucky Search | WKBW - TV Buffalo, New York | Local News If they have a warrant, they can do just about anything they want. Destroy treasured keepsakes, break down (even unlocked) doors, shoot you be forgiven accidental discharges of their firearms. (That should be "negligent discharges," but then they might have to pay).

In this case it isn't clear that they had a warrant, since they seemed to be in "hot pursuit" of someone they didn't find. The New York State Police did 30,000 dollars worth of damage and then walked away. A flash-bang concussion grenade apparently damaged a fireplace to the tune of 15 grand. There are also burned carpets and walls, and other damages.

If things are broken, that is life. But if things are broken the cops - or the government - should have to pay restitution whether they have a warrant or not.

My guess is that the courts will rule the cops can burn down your house and you are SOL.

UK Public Healthcare Report Card

Health trusts shy of infection control standard - Telegraph It seems that the British healthcare field can't keep things clean.
The Healthcare Commission said 111 out of 394 bodies providing NHS care are failing to tackle infection control properly, including 44 of the 172 hospital trusts.
25% of hospitals can't meet cleanliness standards. This really is a big issue.
It comes just a week after Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals Trust was found to be responsible for a litany of failures that led to the biggest outbreak of the superbug Clostridium difficile the NHS has seen. More than 1,000 patients contracted the bug, which killed 90 people and contributed to a further 255 deaths.
Protection from infections, decontamination of instruments and cleanliness were among the standards most often breached, the report said.
90 people killed outright. I can see why the Democrats are so excited about public healthcare... they hate people.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Should Cops Who Shoot Someone Have to be Sober?

COP-UNION BREATH SUIT Apparently the police union doesn't think so.

They claim it is unconstitutional to require cops to pass a sobriety test after a shooting. Funny, it is constitutional to require me to pass a test just for driving (sobriety checkpoints don't require that I have done anything, except drive up to the checkpoint.)
The requirement has been in place since last month and comes after Sean Bell, 23, and his friends Trent Benefield, 24, and Joseph Guzman, 31, were hit in a hail of 50 police bullets in November 2006, killing Bell and wounding the others.

At the time, several cops had been working undercover in the club and were drinking in order to blend in with the crowd.
The correct blood alcohol level for anyone (including cops) who are using firearms is 0.00 - anything else is asking for disaster.

The cops say they were drinking to "fit in." Would they have been doing drugs as well if that made them "fit in?" What other crimes would they commit while undercover in order to "fit in?" Do we want police acting like criminals?

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

18-year-old carryout employee kills intruder So two goblins break into a market after closing and are confronted by an armed employee who was restocking.
The burglars broke the lock off a security gate, then smashed the front door glass to enter the store.

Fulton said it appears the employee came out of the office and fired a handgun when he was confronted by a masked man with a crow bar behind the store's counter.
One was pronounced dead at the scene, the other was arrested a few blocks away. The guy in custody can be charged with murder because he was committing a crime when someone died.

Self-defense Legal in Michigan

Local News: Prosecutor declines to charge shooter To make a long story short, the guy shot a burglar who approached him with something in his hand. That something turned out to be a brick.

DA says you can defend yourself under those conditions and refuses to bring charges.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How Slow Do You Have to Be?

Gay FlagNot to recognize the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as a group of gay activists, that is. - SF Archbishop Uproar: Communion To Fake, Gay Nuns

Bill O'Reilly called it an "outrage," but is he upset because the Sisters tweaked the nose of his religion or because a senior-admin-type in his religion is a moron? (The video that accompanies the story clearly shows people in "high drag" makeup. Did he think Halloween came early this year?)

It's tough to choose a picture of the Sisters, because they are all good.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been around a long time. The best thing (I think) they did was to run Sister Boom Boom on the "Nun of the Above" ticket for San Francisco City Supervisor. Sister Boom Boom nearly won, with 23,000 votes. (Be fair, haven't you always wanted to vote for "none of the above?")

Oh, and if Bill O'R. is upset because people who have been called all kinds of wonderful names by the Catholic Church take every conceivable opportunity to get in the face of the RCC, well then all I can say is that he needs to listen to his own radio show and watch his TV show. He is upsetting and confrontational all day long. Does he think turn-about isn't fair play?

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

The Joplin Globe - Would-be robber flees after man pulls handgun Robber pulls knife. Intended victim pull gun. Robber runs like frightened rabbit.

No shots fired. No one hurt. The only downside is that the bad guy got away. [CGSdB]

1 armed homeowner, 1 dead home invader - Homeowner's Parrot Alerts Him To Would-Be Burglar This is great - the parrot greeted the home invader by saying "hello." The homeowner called 911, and armed himself.
He confronted the intruder and during a scuffle, he shot the would-be burglar.
And this is a real version of the Castle Doctrine.
As of Sept. 1, Texas homeowners have right to protect property even if it requires deadly force. Some people call the measure the "castle doctrine," based on the premise a man's home is his castle and that he should have the right to defend it.
According to the law, the building or vehicle must be occupied at the time for the deadly force provision to apply. Also, the person using force cannot provoke the attacker or be involved in criminal activity at the time. So far, the homeowner does not face charges.
The parrot also greeted police when they entered the home.

The home invader died later in a local hospital.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Guns or Criminals? It being NYC, do I need to ask?

Outrage grows as bullets fly in city and children are hit What is that we need to get off the streets.

A kid was tragically shot by a "trigger-happy career criminal with 17 prior arrests," but the mayor believes it is the guns that are the problem.

Hey, Bloomberg, the problem is that after 17 arrests, the goof-ball with the gun wasn't in prison. Has he had a day in court? You are bent out of shape over illegal guns. Why not get bent out of shape over career criminals in your city? The goof-balls and goblins are the cause of your problems.

LOLCats - Oleg Style

He has a way with pictures.

Speaking of Socialized Medicine

English 'pull own teeth' as dental service decays Extracting your own tooth was a really horrible scene in the Tom Hanks' movie Castaway. Why is it that a developed nation has less dental care than was available in the old west? (At least you could go to the barber and a get a drink of whiskey first.)
Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.
Or they forgo the miracle of state sponsored dental care and go to private care.
Almost half of all dentists -- 45 percent -- said they no longer take NHS patients, while 41 percent said they had an "excessive" workload. Twenty-nine percent said their clinic had problems recruiting or retaining dentists.
Oh, gee let's see... the working conditions suck, the money is no good, so no one is entering or staying in the profession. What a shocker. [via Queer Conservative]

Can't Wait for Socialized Medicine to Hit the US

In the midst of an epidemic - though of course they don't want to say that - of the latest Super Bug (Clostridium difficile or C. diff) a lot of interesting problems have come up about cleanliness in UK hospitals. NHS: 'I found a used needle by his bed' - Telegraph
After Troy's operation, he was given a stomach drain to allow his pancreas to settle down, fitted with drips and a catheter to regulate his fluids – and spent the six days recuperating in a filthy ward.

The drip stand wheels were coated in years of grime and there were unpleasant looking stains on the walls. During one of my visits, I watched in dismay as the cleaner gave a cursory mop to the middle of the bay, considering the job done.

Troy's own hygiene and comfort were no better attended. Too ill at first to wash his own face or brush his teeth, he was left to cope on his own; no one offered to help with his toilet. There was to be no bed bath, either.

Not that it would have been much use: Troy was admitted first thing Wednesday morning, but he was still lying in the same bedsheets on Friday night – by which point they had become stained with his blood.
Changing bed-linen is apparently too expensive and deemed unnecessary by the British National Health Service.

Simple measures that would prevent the spread of AIDS appear to be too expensive as well.
Even when it came to the handling of bodily fluids, including blood, hospital protocol was not rigorously followed. I was surprised to see a senior doctor in A&E trying to take a blood sample without wearing gloves. Later, Troy's drip was replaced by a member of the surgical team without the use of gloves.

When a nurse absent-mindedly used his drip arm to measure Troy's blood pressure, the inflatable cuff caused the puncture to leak and blood to drip on to the floor. "That's not supposed to happen," she said, and walked away, saying that she was now on a break.

Sadly, the wanton lack of knowledge about the dangers of blood-borne infection appears endemic in the NHS. Another patient told me that he had taken his young son into Casualty at the Hammersmith, a major teaching hospital in west London.

The child had a cut on his head and the treatment involved glueing the edges of the wound together. He was shocked to see that the tube of glue was open, having already been used on another wound. When he queried whether this might be dangerous, he was told that because the glue is so expensive, it was normal practice to use the same tube to treat several patients.
Great. When we have public health care we can look forward to it being in the same shape as public restrooms.

Women and Guns

Community Lifestyle : Women are becoming more comfortable with firearms ( Sandy Froman and Deb Ferns are profiled. Not a great article, but at least there is no mention of the gun-fearing-weenies.

The Truth About Taxes

The Clinton Indictment - The New York Sun When it comes to statistics there are Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics- Never truer than in the hands of politicos. Hillary Clinton is no different on this score.

Clinton is bent out of shape because the top 1% of earners get 21% of the nations income. She doesn't like that and wants to punish them for their success in some way.

Of course what she oh so conveniently forgets to mention is a little bit about taxes paid.
Mrs. Clinton mentions that the top 1% earned 21%of the income. But her press release leaves out what the IRS table reports — that they paid 39.38% of the federal income taxes. That's right, 1% of the tax filers paid 39.38% of the federal income taxes. That's a greater share than at any time in the past 20 years. That top 1% paid an average federal income tax rate of 23.13%, nearly double the average tax rate on the whole country of 12.45%. The top 5% of tax filers — those with adjusted gross incomes more than $145,283 — paid 59.67% of the federal income taxes, also a 20-year high. It's not the income inequality that rivets our attention, but the tax inequality, with the top earners being soaked for far more than their share of the income earned.
The top 5% of wage earners pay just shy of 60% of all federal taxes.

Want to talk about fair, Ms. Clinton? I didn't think so. [Don't believe the NY Sun? Then try something else.]

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Alleged robber wounded in act -The Clarion-Ledger- Real Mississippi Armed homeowner triumphs over armed home invader.
"The occupant of the home obtained a handgun and fired shots at the assailant," Jackson Police Department Sgt. Eric Smith said. "During the course of the invasion, multiple shots were fired by both the occupant and alleged armed robber."

[The goblin] was shot multiple times and taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He was listed in critical condition on Sunday night.
A background check will be preformed on he homeowner - to ensure the gun was legal. Police don't expect the homeowner to be charged with anything.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Video of a Homeowner and His Shotgun � ‘You Sneeze, You’re Dead Man’: Texas Man Humiliates Burglars With 12-Gauge Great story - great video. Goes with the story from the other day. [hat tip to John Lott]

Candidate Calculator

Since I tend to do my research, it is no surprise that the guy I (currently) intend to vote for is the one the calculator came up with. (Actually depending on who made the calculator, it could have been a surprise, but the results seem good.) [via Ken S.]

Your Results

You planned to vote for Fred Thompson. Based on your responses, your top candidate for 2008 is below.

Your Top Match

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R)

77.45% match

You are number 1,067,620 to use the Candidate Calculator.

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R)

Ron Paul? I guess I agree with him on everything except for the 25% of the issues where I think he is bat-shit crazy.

Does this mean I have to vote for Rudy over Hillary? Gods, please don't let the choice come down to those 2!

Selective Outrage

Can you imagine the response from the Right if a church was sprayed with anti-Christian graffiti that had an Islamic tint to it? Gay church hit with anti-Christian vandalism | Twin Cities Daily Planet | Minneapolis - St. Paul But make that a Gay church and a pentagram, and the immediate response of the Right (or some on the Right) is to call it a hoax.

Oh, and the police refuse to investigate it as a hate crime. That's fine with me - I don't particularly like the idea of hate crimes - but why wouldn't you call this a hate crime?
"Is this a self-inflicted hoax?," asked Tom Swift a former St. Paul School board candidate and blogger opposed to homosexuality. "We don't know, and we may never know. There's no pictures, no witnesses, no evidence at all."
I wonder if he would make a similar statement about a cross burned in front of a black church, for which there were "no witnesses, no evidence at all." I wonder what police reaction would be.

He Thought the Rules Didn't Apply to Him

He was a cop after all... retired now. Why should the rules apply to him? Rules don't apply to cops, right? MyFox Kansas City | Retired Cop Loses Gun On School Grounds The details:
A former Metro cop faces felony charges for bringing a gun to Park Hill High School. It caused police to lockdown the school and perform a campus-wide search.
His reasoning.
According to police, the man thought the gun policy at school didn't apply to current or former cops.
He didn't think the rules applied to cops or former cops. He - like so many others - believed cops are above the law. I know it isn't all of them, but it is enough. [via The War on Guns]

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cops and Rape

First Case is in New Mexico. Police Officer Charged With Rape - Albuquerque
According to investigators, a woman arrested last Thursday told officers that Maes sexually assaulted her while she was in custody.
Police have clamped every bit of security they can around the case... which is fair I guess given that he is accused, not convicted.

The second case comes from Canada. | GTA | Ex-officer charged with sexual assault
A woman complained that she was sexually assaulted last April 14 by the police officer who was arresting her, James Cornish, the SIU's director, said in a news release today.

Four SIU investigators probed the allegation and based on the evidence Cornish directed that the criminal charges be laid.
The officer in question resigned last month.

"The only one who can really protect me, is me." - Rape Victim Delivers Message To Other Women A tragedy. A lesson.

A serial rapist is at large in Texas. Police have a composite sketch, but not much else.
In November of 2005, Smith said the rapist burst into her apartment in Plano. He terrorized her, ransacked the apartment and held a gun to her head, she said.
No chance to call for help. She was on her own.
But Smith has not been silent. She's now applying for her license to carry a concealed handgun, and she encourages others do the same.

"If someone were to break into my home again, they wouldn't find someone pulling the covers up and screaming. They would find a gun pointed at them," said Smith.
When seconds count, police are minutes away. That is not a dig against police, just a recognition of reality.

Self-defense is a human right. [via KABA]

Will a Sports Figure Be Arrested for Domestic Violence?

The News Journal - Arrest warrant issued in Cleveland for Steelers' player Arrested? Yes. Held responsible? We'll see.
A warrant has been issued for Pittsburgh Steelers player, Najeh Davenport, after he failed to appear in Cleveland Municipal Court.

Earlier, Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath announced that Davenpot, had been charged in a domestic dispute over a child custody matter.
Dog fighting will probably yield a tougher penalty than domestic abuse.

Friday, October 12, 2007

6 hours for police response to 911 call - Has DPD Response Time Improved As Promised? Actually it was 6 hours and 47 minutes.

Now they don't say if this is a priority 1 call or not, I would hope not, but if I can't get a response to a 911 call in 6 hours, am I going to call? (Why wouldn't I call the non-emergency number and schedule an appointment for tomorrow?)
In the month of May alone, more than 4,000 911 calls took longer than two hours to answer.
Oh, and having a monitored alarm system installed to deter burglars? Not likely to help.
A call from an alarm company is considered a priority three, so it's often held until the other calls are answered.
So if you are home when someone breaks in, don't expect that call from the alarm company to bring help in any reasonable time. You are on your own.
"What if we were home and unable to respond to the alarm company calling?" [the victim of a burglary] said. "There is no way the police know that we were not here, trapped."
So here is another arrow in the quiver of the Left - call 911 (or have an alarm do it) - completely debunked.

When you are confronted with a violent criminal, seconds matter. The police are minutes (or hours) away.

Biased Reporting at CNN? You Bet!

'Anything goes' on Philly streets, teen says - This is a disturbing look at the life of a young criminal. But what is more disturbing is the inherent bias in the piece.

While the subject of guns and gun violence figures prominently and the subject of what the state can do, the idea that parents might be responsible in some way for raising their kids is completely missing.

Search for "mother," "father" or "parent" and you will find not a single reference. Caseworkers are mentioned. Police and jail? Sure. Programs enacted by the state? Of course. Anything to improve parenting in inner cities? Not on the radar.

Guns are the problem... at least according to CNN and the first 4 or 5 paragraphs of an article that talks about a generation that "lives by the gun." How about a generation that lives without law, or morality, or God? How about a generation that does not value education? How about a generation without fathers or father-figures? We don't actually know about the last item, because the multi-culturally-aware reporters are too non-judgmental to ask the questions. (They probably were afraid they wouldn't like the answers.)

Violence in the streets of Philadelphia is a major problem, but it is the criminals who are to blame, not the guns. (What is the PA situation on concealed and/or open carry?) But it is easier for the reporters to blame guns than it is to honestly critique culture. (Make value judgments? That is so 1950.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Domestic Violence

STPNS - Shining a light on domestic violence, Bradford, Vermont It is domestic violence awareness month, and while I am not big on "awareness" without action, and I have a real problem with the way some on the Left deal with domestic violence, there is no denying that it is a major problem.

I love statistics. I know that there are Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics- a good intro to statistics if you are interested - but I do know that the stats can really tell a true story. In this case, the statistics are a bit alarming.
Over the past 10 years, domestic violence has been the leading cause of violent death for Vermont women. The Vermont Department of Children and Families has reported that “almost 2,300 children were victims of or witnessed domestic or sexual violence in their homes in 2005.”
Vermont is not a large state.

The impacts are not small.
What the general public is not widely aware of is the depth of the suffering that families endure behind closed doors that never gets reported. Children living in these homes tend to be anxious, insecure, and fearful; they have difficulty in school, may skip school altogether, and may exhibit violent behavior. Their home environment also often causes delays in their emotional development.
And of course it is generational - or appears to be. Children who are abused or witness abuse have a large chance of growing up to be abusers, as much as a 90% chance according to Psychology Today.
“The most dangerous time for the mother and her children is after they leave,” Wynona Ward, executive director of Have Justice Will Travel (HJWT) in Vershire wrote recently in her organization’s newsletter. “The batterer feels he is losing control and becomes even more aggressive.”
This is where I sometimes differ with the recommendations of the Left. Shelters and other resources to get the abused spouse safe, of course, but being safe should include real self-defense. (Something along the lines of a 9mm or .45 pistol, some instruction and some ammunition and a concealed carry permit. Or at least the info on how to get a CCW.) Courts need to send batterers to jail, not to anger management class. Assault is a crime even if committed by one spouse against another.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Men suspected in several Cinco Ranch burglaries jailed When he found 2 goblins in his garage - one in his wife's car, the other standing watch, he acted the way anyone (armed) homeowner would act.
Reports indicate the homeowner grabbed a 12 gauge shot gun and demanded the suspects lie on the ground.

He then held the suspects until deputies arrived.
Stolen goods from other homes in the area were found in the goblins' car. Authorities believe this pair burglarized 5 other vehicles before they were stopped by an armed homeowner.

UPDATE: Video is available.

Chicago PD Shuts Down Special Operations Section

Police Department disbands SOS :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State Perjury. Corruption. Murder-for-hire. Even Chicago can only put up with so much.
One SOS member, Officer Jerome Finnigan, is accused of being the ringleader of a group of rogue SOS cops who allegedly conducted home invasions, kidnappings and robberies since 2002. The seven officers were arrested last year and face state corruption charges.
That isn't the only problem the SOS had.

Were there good cops on SOS? Probably. But the organization had a lot of bad apples.

Warnings Unheeded

Another shooting in a "gun-free zone." (It isn't REALLY a gun-free zone if people get shot.) Another set of warnings ignored. The Associated Press: Student Gunman in Ohio Warned of Attack
CLEVELAND (AP) — A 14-year-old student who opened fire at his high school, wounding four people before killing himself, had a history of mental problems and was known for cussing at teachers and bickering with students.

Asa H. Coon, who had been suspended for fighting, warned classmates of an attack — but none took him seriously.

"When he got suspended, he was like `I got something for you all,'" said student Frances Henderson, who said she often got into arguments with Coon. "I guess this is what he had."
Ignore warnings of trouble from a trouble-maker? Of course. People never exact revenge (or are just plain crazy).

And of course there were metal detectors installed at the school, that "students said were intermittently used." Great. Pay tons of money for security, then don't use it. That will keep us safe!

Urban Shooter Reports on the Gun Rights Policy Conference

Urban Shooter: Number 38 Kenn Blanchard, the Black Man with a Gun, got to attend and speak at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Northern Kentucky (greater Cincinnati) this past weekend.

I haven't had a chance to listen to all of it yet, but it promises to be good.

[In Kenn's words, an urban shooter is anyone who can't go out their own back door and do some plinking in the backyard/back 40.]

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NYPD beating up black motorists

Science teacher's brush with police ends in heart attack So when you are looking for a man in a white Maxima, a black man in any white car will do. At least as far as the NYPD is concerned.
Additional officers arrived on the scene with a witness to the earlier accident. The witness told them Jacob was the wrong guy.

"'I told you it was a white Maxima,'" the witness reportedly said, according to the complaint. Jacob drives a white Infiniti.
The treatment was so rough, that he suffered a heart attack - confirmed later at the hospital. But of course the police didn't believe him.
When the violent encounter was over, Lester Jacob, 50, suffered a heart attack and was left on his own in the street by cops, who accused him of "acting."

In July he underwent open-heart surgery.
A female cop said, "Nice acting," according to Jacob, and then drove off. Jacob said he struggled to drive home, stopping to vomit on the side of the road.
Only the car number of one of the cars is available. Unless of course the NYPD keeps records. While they could have detained him while they waited on the witness (he stopped his car as soon as the police were behind him), they didn't need to slam him into the ground car.
Cursing at him, they ordered Jacobs out of the car and roughly cuffed him.

"One officer crushed his knee into Mr. Jacob's back," the complaint states. "They then repeatedly slammed his head onto the car and then pressed his head against the car for some time."
I'm sure a police "investigation" will determine that the officers can do anything they want to a black man used reasonable force.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Neighbors Are Shocked

Quad-Cities Online - Quiet neighborhood still astir over shooting incident People hate to be reminded that they live in the real world.
'I was shocked with what happened,' said [the neighbor]. 'I wish they would catch them.
Catch who? The criminals who reminded her she doesn't live in Pleasantville.
The shooting happened just shortly after 2 a.m. Monday at home in the 4700 block of 48th Street after a man woke to find his front door propped open and two people -- possibly teenagers -- in skeleton-like Halloween costumes in his front yard.
Buy a clue people. If you are reading this, you live in the real world - that nasty place that has crime and war and poverty and illness and death. It is a wonderful world, it can just be a bit cruel sometimes.

20mm Vulcan Rifle

Via Tam, we get a look at a truly LARGE rifle, the 20 millimeter Vulcan. The rifle is 6 ft, 8 in in length.

Left to right in the photo are the following cartridges for comparison: .223 Remington, .338 Lapua, 50 BMG and 20mm Vulcan.

If you have a spare 12 grand, you can get a rifle. (10 grand or so for a single-shot version.) I have no idea how much the shells cost.

Mistaken Concensus

Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus - New York Times If a majority of doctors believe something, does that make it true? It 75% of the world believe it is flat, are they right?

This is an interesting article about how the medical profession (so called) gets things wrong, and how the wrong information gets entrenched, even when all the evidence says something else.

Information cascades are interesting - especially with all of the global warming hysteria right now.

Go read the article. [via Glenn R.]

Awareness Does Not Equal Action

Awareness is good, but can we do something besides candlelight vigils?

October is "Domestic Violence Awareness Month." So we are treated to s succession of vigils and walks and anything to raise awareness (and to raise money for the victim industry).

A documentary film, an art exhibit and a march in high-heeled shoes are scheduled at UNC Charlotte.

Refuse to Be a VictimHow about a Domestic Violence self-defense class? Or a firearms safety class? Or any action besides singing "Give Peace a Chance" and burning beeswax candles.
This above all, to refuse to be a victim.
A few RTBAV classes could do more than all the bake sales in the world.

Awareness is a wonderful thing, but it is action that changes events.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The UAW Again

Auto workers set Wed. strike deadline - Yahoo! News Why threaten something that is not a threat?
A short strike might not hurt Chrysler much. Five U.S. plants were scheduled to be shut down during the next two weeks due to lower market demand for their products. The shutdowns were expected to last one or two weeks.

A short-term strike of up to three weeks would have little effect on the company, which has sufficient inventory to continue selling most of its vehicles, said Jesse Toprak, chief economist for the auto research site
A strike is supposed to hurt management, not help them cut costs. Or is it just to distract UAW members?

A Nice - Positive - Article about Concealed Carry

Who’s packing? Almost 2,000 area residents - You won't see this in the big MSM outlets, but it is nice to see it in print.
Little controversy has surrounded the concealed-carry law since it took effect April 8, 2004.

There have been few, if any, documented problems involving concealed carry license holders, and area sheriffs said the law has been great for their communities.

“I think it’s a great law,” Allen County Sheriff Daniel Beck said. “It is something Ohio needed.”

Putnam County Sheriff James Beutler added, “I think [the concealed-carry law] has contributed to a decrease of crime in the United States.”
There are interviews with some local permit holders.

A nice article all around.

At Least No One Died

MyFox Tampa Bay | Bradenton woman escapes kidnapping attempt Another guy who can't accept that "It's over." Kidnaps his ex. Threatens to kill himself.
They went to a business on Gulf Drive where the victim was able to call 911.

Laethem was arrested and charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of domestic battery.
People, life's a bitch. That's no reason to go crazy when a relationship doesn't work out. Life goes on. Broken hearts mend in time.

Gwen Araujo

Gwen AraujoThis week marks 5 years since the murder of Gwen Araujo

Should someone die for being different? Is it OK to kill someone because they aren't who you thought they were? Rolling Stone has a pretty graphic description of the murder, maybe you should go look at the hell Gwen endured before answering that question.

Some lawyers seem to think so. It is called the “Gay Panic” defense.
Prosecutors said they want to limit the use of “gay panic” defenses — where defendants claim their crimes were justified because of fear or anger over their victims’ sexual orientation.
It applies in this case because Gwen Araujo was transgender. She was murdered because some guys she had been intimate with couldn't stand that she wasn't who they thought she was.

The defense lawyers argued that was a valid reason to kill her - the defendants panicked.

Some states are starting to do something about it.
California’s law instructs juries that gay panic defenses are inconsistent with state laws protecting gays and transgender people from discrimination. It was prompted by the murder of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo, a transgender teenager who was beaten and strangled in 2002 after two men with whom she’d had anal sex learned she was biologically male. [edited language to reflect the fact the law was enacted. Z-Deb]
I love this paragraph from a report on conference convened to discuss this "defense." ( | DA convenes 'panic' conference)
Attorneys and investigators who referred to transgender murder victim Gwen Araujo as "he" sometimes found themselves corrected by a roomful of strangers, and the rules of sexual intimacy sometimes took center stage during discussions of how to defend and honor a victim of violent crime who may also have been promiscuous or perceived to have made some dangerous decisions.
People make bad decisions all the time. They take chances they shouldn't. This does not absolve others of their responsibilities under the law - or under morality. Making bad decisions is not a capital offense.

Would you want to live in a world where anyone considered to have "made bad choices," or was "expendable" for other reasons, could be killed with impunity? Think Nazi Germany, and consider what the pink triangle and the black triangle meant. Remember Srebrenica and all the other places where genocide was (or is) carried out. Think about the way Saudi Arabia treats its citizens. Do you want to live in a place like that?

The whole "gay panic" defense (or "trans-panic" in this case) is another attempt, in a long line of legal maneuvers, to say that people are not responsible for their own actions. They panicked. They freaked-out. Circumstances conspired to rob them of their free will. The devil made them do it. Sorry, no. Unless you are legally insane, you are responsible for every one of your actions. You may not like that, but being an adult is a bitch.

And don't dismiss this as only a gay issue. Read what happened to Cindy Dixon (read to the end of the post) and talk to me about justice. Unless it is justice denied, you have an up-hill battle. Some people's lives are worth life in prison without parole. Apparently - in the eyes of our legal system (or at least some of the lawyers) - other people's lives aren't worth that much.

Of the four people who brutally murdered Gwen Araujo, 2 were sentenced to 15-years-to-life for second degree murder, one plead no-contest to a manslaughter charge and is serving 6 years, and the fourth is serving 11 years as part of a plea bargain.

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.