Thursday, June 26, 2008

I thought Chicago was a "Gun-Free Zone" City: Illegal guns lead to police shootings 6/25/08 Apparently I was mistaken.

Only the law-abiding citizens are disarmed. The police have gone a rampage gang suppression mission that has lead to the highest level of police-related shootings anywhere in the country. There have been 21 shootings this year already. (There were 16 in all of 2006.) 17 of those shootings were fatal. (There 2 fatalities in those 16 shootings in 2006.)

Mayor Dumbbell Daley blames the guns. If only the rest of the country would adopt his failed gun control policy, all would be well. It isn't the fault of the police, or of the gangs, or any policy of the City of Chicago; it is the fault of all of the law-abiding gun-owners in the country who don't live in Chicago and don't like Mayor Dumbbell.

Even though he admits the law doesn't work, he likes it too much to try something else. "Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is one definition of insanity." And Mayor Dumbass certainly qualifies.

I wonder where Barack "Don't Say My Middle Name" Obama stands on this issue? No, I don't really wonder.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What If You Called 911 and No One Cared?

Channel 4 Local News and Weather for Reno-Tahoe Region: Store manager says 911 call ignored during brawl Another example of why I don't want to bet my life or safety on a bunch of government functionaries.
An Arco store manager says he's disappointment with the lack of emergency response to a brawl that made a mess of his store just before 2am Tuesday.

A security camera at the store on South Virginia shows six people fighting and knocking over shelves.

The surveillance video also shows the store clerk on the phone. The manager says this is when the clerk called 9-1-1. The manager says no one answered the clerk's call.
The 911 system administrator is "investigating." Be prepared for asset covering followed by a firm knuckle-rapping to the scapegoat.

They are government employees. You would be hard pressed to see them get fired if they committed a crime on the job (see the Chicago police force for examples), getting them in hot water because they aren't doing their job is not to be hoped for.

Not all people in government are slackers. Not all of them are great workers. When you call 911 it is a crap shoot for which kind you will get. And even if the individual is a dedicated worker, the system was still designed by the government and implemented by the low-bidder. Do you think it is error-free?

You are free to bet your life on a call to 911, just don't insist that I bet mine on that system.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Fun View of the Pink Pistols

Pullout - 2008 Official Pride Guide - Double Entendres and the Second Amendment - Portland Mercury Better late than never. I love the Pink Pistols. I love the way they turn everyone's stereotypes upside-down.

Off Topic Commentary

I have been in the Midwest for a little over a month now, and in that month I have seen more television than I saw in the last 7 years. Here are a few observations.
  • Talking heads - from Meet the Press to the O'Reilly Factor - are really pretty boring even if the subject is interesting.
  • Network affiliates seem to rejoice in happy news. If anything important happens you might get a sound bite and video clip, but don't count on it because if they don't have video clip they will cover something else (unless blood is involved, then expect interviews with shocked/outraged neighbors).
  • How many copies/imitations of Jerry Springer do we need to have? (You could ask the same about "People's Court.")
  • Some flavor of "Law and Order" or "CSI" is playing on some network at just about anytime day or night. L&O seems to do a lot of stories about heartless corporations and their heartless managers killing people (usually wives or girlfriends but sometimes just inconvenient customers). You wonder how any corporation stays in business with all of those heartless murderers in charge. The folks at CSI always seem to be able to find the one hair follicle that was left in the entire 4000 square foot home in about 3 minutes of searching.
  • Oh, and on the subject of talking heads, I guess it is job requirement to be smug self-assured bastard who has little or no compassion for your guests.
  • Last but certainly not least... I HATE commercial television.
You have to understand that at home, I don't own a television. And I don't miss it. The internet is usually a big enough time waster without endless reruns of really bad TV programs from all ages of television. (Do we really need the TVLand network?)

Read a book. Go for a walk. Call a relative or old friend. Put down the remote and step away from the cheese dip.

Walk Out of a Bar, End Up in the Hospital

gay flagRANT ALERT: If you don't like rants, you may want to avert your eyes.

1 Injured In Alleged Hate Crime - Phoenix News Story - KPHO Phoenix Sent to the hospital for walking out of a bar; all because people hate you for who you are.
Michel Brown said he and his openly gay friends found themselves confronted by group of men yelling anti-gay remarks.

"People were getting pushed into the street," said Steven Tran, a witness. "They were hitting the pavement horribly hard, and then the next thing I know I heard a punch, the loudest punch I ever heard."
So the Right loves to go on about how Gays want special rights.

Leaving a bar and hailing a cab without being attacked is a special right? Yeah, right.

Now I am not a fan of the idea behind hate crimes, but I understand why we have them. I have seen police called to the scene of a gay-bashing arrest the guy bleeding on the sidewalk for disturbing the peace. If every assault was treated like assault we wouldn't have hate crimes, but police don't always treat everyone the same.

The parents of one of the guys arrested are upset. "You have the wrong man." Yeah, 'cause little Johnny would never be that mean. Little Johnny faces hate crime charges.

And if anyone wants to debate how the right to be myself constitutes a "special right," jump right in. But before you do, think about your work environment. Does anyone have pictures of loved ones, kids, marriage ceremonies? How many of those with pictures proudly displayed are gay? How many of straights have been assaulted for being who you are? How many men have had that experience? (Stats say that the straight men will have raped a fair percentage of the women.)

Yeah, I can see how you think it is all about special rights.

One for the History Books

First female four-star U.S. Army general nominated - Assuming that her nomination goes through...
America's first female four-star general has been nominated, the Pentagon announced Monday.

President Bush nominated Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody [3 star] to serve as head of the Army's supply arm.
By law women are restricted from combat roles in the Army. Funny how so many of them end up in combat anyway.
Currently, there are 57 active-duty women serving as generals or admirals, five of whom are lieutenant generals or vice admirals, the Navy's three-star rank, according to the Pentagon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sounds Like Self-defense To Me

JusticeHomeowner near Union City shoots would-be burglar | The authorities in Georgia are really hoping they can charge the homeowner with something.
"The guy hears the front doorbell ring" just before 6 p.m., [Fulton County police spokesman Scott] McBride said. "When he goes down to answer it, a 16-year-old kicks in his back door."

The man got a gun and fired twice at the teen, hitting him once in the arm, McBride said. The youth ran, and the man chased him into a nearby wooded area and lost him.
Somebody breaks in to my home and I would consider them a threat. That isn't really good enough for the "authorities" in Georgia.
Fulton County police said they will consult with the district attorneys office before deciding on whether to charge a homeowner who shot and wounded a teenager.
Can't have self-defense. Pretty soon people will be relying on themselves (instead of the state) for all kinds of things.

Oh, the kid? He was arrested when he called 911 and said he had been shot. So to date, we have "Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0," but if Fulton County charges the homeowner, it won't be that one-sided. (And then I would add the Fulton County Sheriff and the DA to the column of "bad guys.")

Friday, June 20, 2008

Changing Back to the Way We Did Things in 1972

The Politics of Spare Change - Is this the change you wanted?

Obama is about to repeat the lesson of Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President. CREEP was big factor in Watergate. They had all that extra money floating around.
BARACK OBAMA isn't abandoning his pledge to take public financing for the general election campaign because it's in his political interest. Certainly not.
He's abandoning public financing because he is committed to public finance. Typical double-speak.

Still it is change of a sort. Coming from a Chicago-machine politician, this isn't surprising.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I had hoped to get this post ready for Fathers' Day, but it was more than a bit hectic around here lately.

I haven't had the time - or the heart - to post much lately. I have been in the Midwest being the primary care-giver to my father. It is a harder job than I ever imagined.

His only wish is to die at home, and so I am doing everything I can to keep him comfortable and as healthy as possible. The folks from Hospice have been a great help on that score. Between their medical care and my cooking he is healthier than he was, but in the end it is only to keep him comfortable.

I would love to tell you what it is, but at 90-years-old, it is age as much as anything. Cancer? Yes, but it was in remission at his last checkup. Heart? Perhaps. His circulation and breathing is certainly impacted. Just age.

I am glad I am able to do this for him, but it is very, very difficult. In part because we are so much alike - both strong personalities - and because I hate this little town. I said I would never come back here on more than one occasion. (Too many bad memories.) "Never say never."

At this point, my view of the medical profession is better than it was, all because of Hospice.

An uncle's life was cut short when (at 80 years) was subjected to 3 major surgeries in 4 months because a young doctor didn't believe that old men die. Not on his watch, anyway. (They were preparing for the fourth surgery when he died as a result of complications from surgery 3.) He would have lived longer had they just treated his pain, and let him be at home.

My mother spent the last 8 weeks of her life in intensive care. The heart operation that was supposed to "save" her, destroyed her quality of life and directly lead to her death. Quantity does not substitute for quality. And oxygen and other non-invasive treatments probably could have let her live for 1 month, and maybe more. Spending all your time tied to a respirator, unable to talk, in the environment of an ICU - where they don't even like family to visit - is not the way you want to live the last days of your life. Or at least that's how my dad feels.

So he's at home, where my sister and her son can visit, and his friends can stop in and say hello, surrounded by the memories of his life - he has lived here since 1962. And I can do something for him. It never feels like it's enough, but I am glad I have the opportunity to help give him his last wish.

Will Chicago Pay a Price?

Police brutality may play role in Olympic bid :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago 2016 I guess it depends on how you view Olympics coming to town, but it may put a wrench into Mayor Dumbbell's plans for the 2016 Olympics.

The reputation of the Chicago Police Department is not too good.... not in some quarters anyway.
In a city that prides itself on gay rights, police brutality against lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, transgender people and other minorities “remains a widespread problem,” said Ariel Herrera, director of Amesty International USA’s human rights program on those issues.

Herrera cited the June 2006 case of Alexander Ruppert, who suffered a fractured nose and received 16 stitches to his left eye after allegedly being kicked, punched and verbally abused by police officers who escorted him out of a bar after a disturbance.

During two days in custody, Ruppert claims he was denied food, water and pain medication and forced to drink from a toilet in his cell. His lawsuit is pending.
So should this impact the Olympic bid? Will it?

In a town where they say, "You can't fight city hall," I hope someone pulls Mayor Daley up short.

The current issue is the current Police contract. It makes it virtually impossible to catch rogue cops, until they get so far out of control that it spills over into the news.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Are UN Peacekeepers Going To Be Held Accountable?

Dutch Court to Hear Case on Srebrenica Massacre | Deutsche Welle July 11, 1995 Dutch troops, wearing the UN blue helmet failed to stop the massacre of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian Christians. It was the very reason they were deployed - to protect Srebrenica.
Dutch peacekeepers failed to stop a massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims in the United Nations-protected enclave of Srebrenica in [1995]. Now two trials will examine Dutch and UN culpability.
8000 died. It would be bad enough if the Dutch just stood aside, but they actually provided fuel to the Serbs committing the massacre. Buses and bulldozers run on diesel and the Dutch were providing that to the Serbs troops, so they could dig mass graves and bus the victims to the mass graves.

If you don't know about Srebrenica, you can find some information here.

It is just another example of where the UN has failed to stop genocide. Other examples come to mind.

The UN was created specifically to stop genocide - or to ensure it never happened again. A function they have been singularly inept at fulfilling. Can anyone name 3 places in the world where UN peacekeepers have ended a conflict, or stopped the renewal of fighting?

UN peacekeepers are too often involved in child sex scandals, and in the Srebrenica, they were involved in the atrocities they were supposed to guard against.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

Woman awarded $7.7 million for false arrest -- She witnessed a car hit a Chicago squad car. She pulled a dazed officer from the wreck.
She pulled Brogan from the wreckage. Soon after, police approached Jackson and told her that the driver's weapon had been stolen.
She was arrested and spent 10 months in jail, until the case was thrown out. (What, they needed evidence?)

The moral of the story would seem to be, if you ever see a Chicago cop in a (burning?) wrecked car, walk on by.

Enough Already

I know the mainstream media thinks they are the most important people in the world, but this is way beyond enough.

OK, I'm sorry he's dead. 58 is too young, but 3 days of tributes (you know it will stretch into his own show and all the other talking heads Sunday morning) is over doing it.

Are you telling me there isn't any other news? Or is it just that they want to report that news?

Update: Not only was it everywhere Sunday, but NBC seems to be stuck in the "what a great guy he was" mode even on Monday.

Is there really no news from Iraq, or Afghanistan or Iowa or Indiana that is more important than the passing of a reporter. These guys report the news - or comment on it. They are not news themselves.

Smoked Goblin? Aisle Five

Suspected would-be robber dies after being shot by Flint store owner - The Flint Journal Online News - Michigan Newspaper - OK, so it was a clothing store, but you get the idea.
A male entered LT's Clothing & Accessories, ... shortly after 9 p.m. Friday and pulled a handgun on the store's owner. The two grabbed at each other and the owner took his own gun and shot the man, a news release said.
The goblin was reported dead at a local hospital.

Self-defense works, and it's a human right.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some Things Never Change

McGinnis: Heartless : Times Record News March 13, 1964, thirty-eight people stood by and did nothing while Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered.
Last week in Hartford, people walked and drove past the body of 78-year-old Angel Torres, tossed into the middle of a busy street by a hit-and-run driver.
If they catch the driver of the car, he will be prosecuted, but being an uncaring low-life who won't even bother to call 911 is not a crime.

Are we so uncaring that a man bleeding in the street doesn't move us to action. Have none of us studied first aid? (No of course not, because we aren't interested in helping anyone or getting involved in anyway.) We can't stop our cars and at least make sure no one runs over the guy?

I have seen bicyclists hit by traffic, and other cars drive around the guy bleeding on the street - not taking a lot of care to be sure they don't hit him. Your life isn't that important that you need to ignore people who need your help. Someday, it may be you bleeding in the street. Wouldn't it be nice if someone came to your aid?

Chicago Cops Step Over the Line Again

Club patrons say in suit that Chicago cops mistreated them -- No warrant, just the word of an "informant." If his word was so good, why didn't they get a warrant? Oh, that's right, in the War on (Some) Drugs, the Constitution isn't important.
A federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday alleging Chicago police officers mistreated patrons of a Northwest Side club during a raid last month, including holding them at gunpoint, stomping and kicking them and forcing women to expose themselves to male officers during searches.
You may believe that Chicago cops would never step over the line, but if you believe that you aren't from Chicago.
officers "searched and exposed female Plaintiffs [sic] breasts and private areas in front of male Plaintiffs and male officers, searched purses, broke open a safe" and stole money from coin-operated video games.
Oh, and of course the location had video surveillance, but cops don't like being video taped.
Surveillance cameras caught much of the incident, the suit alleges, but once police noticed the cameras, they pointed them at the ceiling.
That should be a crime right there.

I have said before that EVERYTHING a cop does while on duty should be recorded - sound and video. If they ever "lose" or disable their personal recorder, then they are automatically guilty of whatever they are charged with. (The very act of disabling video recording equipment would constitute prima facie evidence of intent to commit a crime. Standards for rebutting this evidence would be high.)

If they were not doing anything wrong, why disable the video recording? It could have proved they were in the right. But then I don't believe for minute they thought they were in the right, and it turns out they (and their "informant") were wrong.
No illegal drugs or weapons were found, according to the suit.
Oh, and the people they were "investigating" were Hispanic. Do you think a little prejudice entered into the whole thing?

First, police raided a building and conducted searches without a warrant on the flimsiest of probable cause. Then they disabled video cameras that could have demonstrated what fine upstanding cops they were. Were I on the jury for this suit, I would hand the plantiffs the maximum judgment. But I really wish these cops would be identified, and thrown off the Chicago force, and kept from being cops anywhere. These are no public servants; they are street thugs in uniform.

Self-defense is legal - even in California

Oakland man shoots would-be burglar - Inside Bay Area After repeated warning shots, the "burglar" just kept coming. He got shot in the thigh.

His excuse?
Neighbors said they came out to find the suspect lying on the sidewalk, shouting that he hadn't known anybody lived there.
As if breaking into empty houses were perfectly legal. You also might get an idea when someone is shooting a gun at you that it is time to leave. Some people aren't very smart, I guess.

The goof-ball in question is in the hospital - soon to move on to the jail. The homeowner didn't break any laws, not even any of the ridiculous Kalifornia gun laws.
The homeowner's handgun is legally registered, and police did not arrest the homeowner or charge him with anything.
Because even in the People's Republic of California, self defense is legal.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obama: Let's ignore the facts

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama - The Boston Globe I love the spin.

First the truth is presented as a throw away statement.
Now, let's be honest. Part of why our debt crisis is so bad is that some folks are making reckless decisions -- racking up big credit card bills by purchasing flat-screen TVs and other luxury goods that they know they can't afford. And they should have to face the consequences of those decisions.
Let's be honest. This is the whole problem.

Do credit card companies advertise? Yes. So do beer companies and car companies and camera companies and phone companies ... How many people in America can actually justify smart phones? If you really need one, the business you work for probably bought it for you.

If you can't control your reactions to advertising, that isn't my fault. If you can't understand the wording of a mortgage document, car loan, credit card agreement, or other loan agreement, and you sign it anyway, it isn't my fault.

But Obama is about to make me - and every other American who isn't in hock up to our eyeballs - agree it is our fault responsibility. And all of us will end up paying more. Barack "Don't Mention My Middle Name" Obama hates the new bankruptcy law. Basically it says if you make more than the median income in an area, you can't get out from all your debt. You have to pay something. He wants to go back to the days when you could wrack up the bills and then get out of everything.

Don't even get me started on Florida's safe-haven of housing law. In Florida they can't take your home in a a bankruptcy. So people would move to Florida, buy a multi-million dollar home and then declare bankruptcy. They got to keep the home, and sell it 3 years later to the next person in line. Is that fair?

Are interest rates too high? Maybe. If you don't like the rate, don't sign for the loan. Credit cards are even easier - don't use them, pay off the total balance, look for cards with minimum fees. In other words, live within your means.

Was it the eeeevil bankers fault we had a mortgage crisis, or the eeeevil real estate brokers who sold the houses? How about blaming an education system that doesn't teach people to read, do math, or anything else that you need to thrive in a modern society.

How about blaming the people who are too stupid to manage their own money.

I'm not talking about people who have lost jobs - I've been there. I'm not talking about people drowning in medical debt - a lot of them have legitimate beefs. What I am talking about is the new car, large house, new furniture - including media room - set that suddenly can't pay their bills.

Drive an older car (mine is from 1993), live in a smaller home, watch less TV (I don't own one and certainly don't have plasma), eat out less, etc. Beans and rice, chicken, veggies, ... none of this is expensive, most of it is healthy, and all of it can be good if you learn how to prepare it.

My sympathy for people who dug their own (credit) graves is severely limited. I certainly don't think it is the government's job to hold my hand every time I sign a contract. If they do, I expect every contract to cost me more.

Barack "Don't Say the H-word" Obama can keep his change.


FEMA gives away $85 million of supplies for Katrina victims - They warehoused goods that people needed, and when they finally were giving them away, Louisiana said they didn't need them... even though they do.

As Breda says...
If FEMA (a federal agency) can't be trusted to send help and supplies to those who need it most, why do people expect the federal government can be trusted to provide universal healthcare?
I think they don't. They just want the government to control another aspect of our lives.

Gratuitous Baseball Posting

It is really odd to be in the Midwest, watching lots of MLB games.

It is even more unusual for the the Chicago Cubs to be leading the National League.

So What Are the Dems Going To Do with Pro-gun Dems? -- Ohio governor signs 'Castle Doctrine' bill despite concerns by law enforcement A Democratic governor - of Ohio, a key "swing state" come November - signs pro-gun, pro-gun-owner, NRA-supported piece of legislation even though he had plenty of cover.

What are the Democrats coming too? A bunch of pro-gun Democrats in elected office? It might let them win elections, but they probably won't follow Feinstein and company down the gun-control path.

Not surprising that he doesn't want to be Obama's running mate.
"Absolutely not. If drafted I will not run, nominated I will not accept and if elected I will not serve. So, I don’t know how more crystal clear I can be," he said.
And anybody who quotes William Tecumseh Sherman is OK by me.

The Castle Doctrine Ohio gets isn't the Stand Your Ground legislation that the Left predicted would create Wild West shootouts in Florida, but it does include vehicles. This is good legislation for law-abiding residents of Ohio, even if it doesn't go far enough.

So, are the Democrats really moving away from gun control? Probably not all parts of the party. Daley's Chicago machine - the political machine that produced Barack "Don't Say My Middle Name" Obama - is so anti-gun they can't even think clearly. So, I won't trust all Democrats, but then I don't trust all Republicans on gun control.

I Love a Story with a Happy Ending

MyFox Orlando | One Robber Shoots Another During Argument Before Crime is Even Committed Stupid criminals are the best kind.
Two Central Florida robbers ended up being their own crime prevention team Sunday night. In the end one ended up in the hospital the other in the County jail.
Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0.

Still Want to Bet Your Life on Calling Police?

MP to meet police over shooting response ( photos, video) - 10 Jun 2008 - NZ Herald: New Zealand National news The 111 call (New Zealand's version of 911) came at 9:05. Police entered the store at 9:31.
As Mr Singh lost blood from massive internal bleeding after the bullet ruptured his aorta, St John paramedics were held back by police, entering at 9.38pm - 20 minutes after they arrived at a "safe point" at the scene.
So the cops wouldn't enter the scene, and then they kept the medical system out for another 7 minutes.

The victim died.

Now, given the description of his injuries he may have died in any event, but we can never know if he might have been saved.
Police later said they had to establish where the gunman was before they entered so no one else's life was put in anger.

As they waited, members of Mr Singh's family told 111 operators the gunman and the rest of his colleagues had long since departed.
It is good to see that New Zealand's Draconian gun laws are helping to eliminate gun crime. Or not.

And it is good to see that that NZ police have a good grasp of the risks of clearing a building after a crime. </sarcasm>
a woman whose house was burgled last week was asked to check her house to make sure no robbers were present. "Nobody is concerned that she's supposed to spend the night there,"
Does the average New Zealand citizen have the weapons and the know-how to clear a building, looking for a potentially dangerous criminal? I doubt it. And their reaction to late night robberies? Businesses should close earlier. Yeah, that will make the crime disappear.

Do you get the feeling we are doing something wrong?

Milk has always been a problem. That's why Pasteurization has been required. (Even with that, there are sometimes outbreaks in certain dairies.)

For years there have been problems with beef. Hamburger that contains e coli has been with us for a very long time. Then there was mad cow disease. Mercury contamination in seafood is also a big thing these days.

Lately the problems with veggies. Spinach. Tomatoes. What's next?

Is it safe to eat anything?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fleeing Robber Versus Elevated Train

No question about what the result was. Red Line is running again after robbery suspect was struck, killed near Chinatown, police say --
Police said the man, whose identity was not released, committed an armed robbery just east of the Dan Ryan Expressway and was running from the scene when he jumped a barrier and was struck.
The body was pinned under the train, and the line was closed for hours - just in time for rush hour - while the whole thing was cleaned up.

None of the trains' passengers were injured. (Power was shut down on the tracks in both directions.)

Not sure what this guy was thinking, by jumping onto the L tracks. Even if there was no train, people usually end up electrocuted on the third rail. (600 volts DC is instantly fatal.)

Monday, June 09, 2008

As Canada Goes After Law-abiding Gun Owners, Criminals Keep Being Criminals On the knife's edge So if guns are hard for criminals to get, do they then stop being criminals? Not hardly.
Toronto police responded to 167 stabbings up to the end of April, 2008 - in 73 of those cases, the victims were taken to hospital in serious condition. That's up from 58 by April last year.

Still, overall homicide rates - by any method - for Toronto and its suburbs are roughly the same so far this year as they were last year.
Glad that gun control is working. Of course it was never about crime control.

So now the idiots in charge of the asylum are going after legal gun owners and legal businesses. (It must be their fault, right?)
In Toronto and its suburbs, the ease with which you can purchase a knife attracts scant attention. Instead, the city is so consumed with combatting gun crime that Mayor David Miller and City Council will vote this month on the extraordinary step of evicting legal gun clubs from publicly owned locations such as Union Station, where a gun club has been housed since 1921.
So what was all that about criminals? Do you think criminals are going to the gun club at Union Station in downtown Toronto? Neither do I.

Armed Homeowner Meets Home Invader

Homeowner shoots burglar during home invasion 5:44 PM | Charlotte, North Carolina Don't people realize that homeowners are armed? I guess not.
Troy Howard said he woke up to the sound of breaking glass at about 2:50 a.m. Monday.

The man and his wife then saw a beam of light shining under the bedroom door.

Howard, a 71-year-old former Marine, said he always sleeps with a shotgun by his bed and he jumped into action. He said he fired two shots when he heard someone grab the doorknob.
That will ruin your day.

Police found a blood trail, but no bad guy. I hope they catch him soon, give him the medical care he requires, and then throw his ass in jail.

Flooding in Wisconsin - Flooding in Indiana

Lake Delton Drained! | Newsradio 620 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Talk, Sports, Weather | Local Headlines A lake overflowed the dams, and an embankment failed. Yuck.

Indiana flooding called the worst in a century | TOP STORIES | | News for Louisville, Kentucky

It probably isn't over either.

News for Your Inner Geek

IBM's Roadrunner Breaks Supercomputer Record -- Supercomputers -- InformationWeek I still love these tech milestones.

1 petaflop. 1 trillion floating-point instructions per second. That's amazing.

It beats the next fastest computer, IBM's Blue Gene, by a factor of 2.
IBM calls Roadrunner a hybrid supercomputer. It combines 12,960 IBM Cell chips, which power Sony's PlayStation3 video game machine, with 6,948 dual-core AMD (NYSE: AMD) Opteron chips, and 80 terabytes of memory. It runs Red Hat Linux.
At National Nuclear Security Administration, Roadrunner will likely spend the bulk of its time on weapons research.

At 100 million dollars, I don't expect to see too many of them.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Pro-gun Article in Both the LA Times and Chicago Tribune

Hell, Frozen OverOwners say pistols are nothing to hide -- A pro-gun article in the Chicago Tribune originating in the LA Times. Am I living in the Twilight Zone?

This is a discussion of open carry of firearms in various states. (NOT Illinois of course!) The most negative comment they can come up with? Whining from police.
Police acknowledge the practice is legal, but some say it makes their lives tougher.
They go on to cite one incident of open carry that lead to problems.

I'm sorry, but society isn't - or shouldn't be - designed to make the job of police easier. Societies where the police are able to easily do whatever "needs" to be done are usually called police states.

They do mention, buried in the last paragraphs of the article, how police step on the rights of the law-abiding.
Deveraux has been stopped several times by police, most memorably in December when he was walking around his neighborhood.

An officer pulled up and pointed his gun at Deveraux, warning he would shoot to kill. In the end, eight officers arrived, cuffed Deveraux and took his gun before Deveraux convinced them they had no legal reason to detain him.

Deveraux saw the incident as not giving ground on his rights. "I'm proud that happened," he said.
This kind of behavior is not uncommon. That doesn't make it right. Aren't the police supposed to be a little knowledgeable where the law is concerned? He needs to complain, and get some training updated.

Don't Question the Bureacrats of Health

Doctors' anger at cruelty to patients - Times Online What happens when your doctor (your cancer doctor) says you need drug "X," the bureaucrats refuse to pay for the drug, so you - in order to save your life - pay for the drug yourself? In the UK, if you take that one action to save your life, your free health care is no longer free.
THE medical establishment is in revolt against Labour’s policy of denying National Health Service treatment to patients who pay privately for cancer medicines.
So get a drug the bureaucrats don't want you to have, and they will cut you off at the knees.

It isn't just hitting you with extra costs. They DENY treatment if you go against the bureaucrats.
It also emerged that Sandra Baker, a bowel cancer victim, died last year after being denied NHS treatment in her final months. When she paid £9,500 privately for drugs, she was hit with an extra bill of £16,000 for her treatment. Last week The Sunday Times revealed the case of Linda O’Boyle who died of cancer aged 64 after being denied NHS treatment because she paid for a drug.
All in the interest of crushing us all down to the lowest common denominator. It wouldn't be fair to let people control their own medical care, just because they can afford to.

The practice has been called punitive and vindictive. Of course it is. The Left, in the form of the Labour Party in Britain, wants to control your health care. They don't want to create a safety net so that everyone gets some acceptable level of care. They want absolute control of health care. Who lives. Who dies. Who gets access to the medicine they need.

I can't wait for this system to reach the US.

Why do people leave theaters before the "easter egg?"

OK, so I finally saw Iron Man. I won't go into how good it was, most of you saw it already. (I think I mentioned that Real Life has reared its very ugly head lately.)

As usual, most people rush for the exits the minute the credits start rolling. There is only one problem. This movie, like so many has an "easter egg" at the end of the credits, which is more than worth the few minutes it takes to acknowledge all the people who made the movie possible. Aren't you interested in what Avi Arad might be up to? (Look at that link for a list of his projects.)

A cameo by Samuel L. Jackson? A hint at a future Avengers Movie? None of that interests you?

I guess you're in a hurry to get to back home.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cop Arrested for Sexual Assault and the Regular Kind

$1.5M bond for 'top cop' charged in child sex cases :: News Sun :: News I guess this is just an isolated incident, or no, but it is just one guy having a bad day few years.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller said the alleged sexual assaults involved a girl under 13 years old that began between March and September 2007. Another girl, also under 13, was allegedly sexually abused in November 2006. It is unknown if the victims were related to Simon.

Waller said a 35-year-old adult male was assaulted by Simon in March 2007. That case was not related to the sexual assault or abuse cases.
Not all cops are monsters; most are decent enough, but there are a sizable minority of cops that are monsters, and we need to do everything possible to find them and bring them to justice.

The ass-covering bureaucrats want you to know he didn't do this while on duty. Fine. Did anybody get reports of this (it dates back to late 2006).

His claim to being "top cop?" He has more DWI arrests than you can shake a stick at.
[He] was cited by the Illinois Department of Transportation -- Division of Traffic Safety for the number of DUI arrests while a member of the department's Operational Traffic Enforcement Team.
Not nearly enough to make up for his transgressions.

How About Action to Liberalize Concealed Carry Laws?

Domestic violence deaths prompt action - The Boston Globe What I am thinking? This is Massachusetts.
Declaring that "we have a public health emergency on our hands," Governor Deval Patrick yesterday unveiled plans to combat an alarming increase in deaths related to domestic violence.
The plans include all of the mostly ineffective things they are doing today, only more of it.
Better police training isn't necessarily the solution, said Claudia Lopes, 25, of Dorchester, who has been in a shelter for 10 months since her son's father began abusing her physically. She said that her attacker became more violent after he found out that she had sought a restraining order.

"I was always scared to speak about it," she said. "And I was scared that if I did, it would get worse. I found the most comfort in the people I trusted, not the police, but it's different for everyone."
Let me see if I have this right. She did what the Left wanted her to do. She went to the "system" and got a restraining order. That made things worse, and she got little (no?) support from police.

The police are not going to protect this woman 365 days a year. They may - through their increased training - make better decisions when they arrive on scene, but one day they may arrive at the scene of a murder. If that happens, they will get there after the fact.

The system can only do so much for you. If you need a restraining order, then you also need a plan for your personal protection. The police cannot protect you 24 hours a day. They are minutes away, even if you can call for help before you are assaulted. If you meet that violent offender, you are going to be on your own for far to long to trust your safety to "The System."

But in Massachusetts, they won't place any emphasis on personal responsibility, personal action, and the gods know they won't EVER mention firearms as being a valid means of self-defense. (They will probably have a candle-light vigil.)

They can't even effectively measure their effectiveness.
The program's success will be measured by the number of people seeking help from local resources before it is too late, Lauby said.
How about judging the effort a success if fewer people are killed by violent stalkers? No, that makes too much sense.

Friday, June 06, 2008

You Can't Shoot Someone Just Because You Are Pissed Off

The Easley Progress > Accused burglar shot while fleeing Now if someone is breaking into your home, it is a good idea to arm yourself. They may become violent once they are inside and confront you.

But if they realize you are home, and they leave off trying to break in and take off away from you while attempting to flee the scene, you can't shoot them. They are no threat to you, and they aren't even a threat to your property. Get their license number and call 911.

The subtitle of this article is "Homeowner charged with assault with intent to kill." This isn't something you should ever be involved in.
Moore and the juvenile thought the homeowner wasn't home and stopped their attempts to enter the residence when they saw Wade inside, the warrant said.

As the two men ran toward their vehicle and were attempting to enter it, Wade "did with malice aforethought shoot...Brent Moore with the intent to kill him," the warrant said.
The idea behind self-defense is that you (or someone you care about) have to face an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. Different states have different laws (duty to retreat, etc.), but if you are not in jeopardy, then you certainly are not morally justified using lethal force. In this case, the guy wasn't legally justified either.
"You just can't kill someone over property," [Assistant Sheriff Tim] Morgan said. "Wade wasn't protecting his life, or his property, or even the area surrounding his home.

"The vehicle with the men inside was 80 yards away and they were attempting to flee."
Self-defense may be a human right, but this type of violence cannot be described that way. Vigilantism? Perhaps, but not self-defense.

Why Do Americans Think Everything Has to Be Dubbed in English?

I was unfortunate enough to catch part of a Bleach episode on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim the other day.

Oh. My. God. Did that suck.

Now anime is one of my guilty pleasures, and Bleach (the first season or two anyway) is a decent show. But if you are going to watch anime - or any Japanese movie for that matter and there are many worth watching - watch it in Japanese with the subtitles. (Same goes for Chinese.)

But on this show in particular, the voice-over actors chosen were horrible, the translation was questionable, and in general it made me grind my teeth. I think I will stick to watching the anime with translated subtitles available on the web.

Bleach: Ichigo and Rukia
Bleach takes its name from the hair color of one of the main characters. (This is the best guess.) Ichigo's hair is orange. When Japanese try to bleach their hair blond, they often end up with orange instead.

It is a fairly typical anime in the sense that it has all of the "standard characters" the main character Ichigo, the main strong female character Rukia, the "big guy" character, the not-quite-helpless female character, the sensei (or instructor), etc.

It also contains a fair amount of animated violence, since it is basically a Samurai story.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What a Shock - Cops Breaking the Law

Cop charged in sting, maybe more :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES I'm sure this kind of thing ONLY happens in Chicago.
At least a dozen Chicago Police officers are under suspicion in a sting that led to the arrest today of a cop and a tow truck driver accused of helping another crooked cop scam an insurance company over a car he reported stolen, sources said.
One is charged, but others are under investigation by the FBI and Internal Affairs.
Deputy Police Supt. Peter Brust said it was the second-largest IAD investigation since 2004. The largest was a probe into Special Operations Section cops allegedly robbing people.
This kind of thing seems to happen a lot in Chicago. I am sure it doesn't happen outside Chicago</sarcasm>.

If when cops are victims of crimes, the sentences are enhanced, then what should happen when cops perpetrate the crimes? Just asking.

Armed Homeowner Defends Himself and His Family

Phoenix homeowner kills gunman who invades his home So what would you do if you heard someone kick in the door to your home, and then start kicking in the door to your bedroom?
The homeowner armed himself with a rifle and, when the bedroom door flew open, he saw a man with a gun. He shot the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
I love a story with a happy ending.

Armed Homeowner Kills 2 Home Invaders - Family Confused

2nd teen shot in break-in dies | courier-journal | The Courier-Journal They broke into a home and injured the homeowner. He shot both of them. One died at the scene. The other died a few hours later in a local hospital.

Simple enough. Break into enough homes and you will meet an armed homeowner. If you are really unlucky that may happen on your first attempt.

The authorities are still hoping to charge someone with something, so the state's attorney will review the situation.

One of the dead guy's family "wants answers" to the question, "How did this happen?" They want the "true story," which says to me that they don't believe what has been said so far. Seems simple to me. OK, he was - on some level - trying to get his act together, but he was associating with goof-ball with a lot of history with the police. Sad, but the good-guy, the homeowner, is alive.

Self-defense is a human right.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thieves Meet Armed Citizens

Pissed-off armed citizens.

VIENNA: Buckshot thwarts thieves The price of metals has gone way up. So the theft of metals has also become a problem.
When a few tons of iron, steel and aluminum disappeared from his machine shop Saturday night, Joseph Lord knew the thieves would return for more.

After all, they hadn't finished the job.
When they did return they met a man armed with a shotgun. They ran like rabbits. He shot out the 2 front tires of their truck and the windshield, so they couldn't use it to escape.

Police have some idea who they are looking for, and expect to make arrests in short order.

In another part of the world, it is gasoline whose price tempts criminals. Apparent gas theft puts man in hospital He woke to the sound of a vehicle. Investigating, he found two miscreants stealing gas out of his vehicle. He shined a light on them.
At that time, the homeowner saw one of the suspects had a rifle, according to Brown, who said he did not know if the men pointed it at the homeowner or otherwise threatened him with it.

"I just know (the homeowner) shot twice, I believe striking one of the suspects in the arm and left thigh," [Crawford County Chief Deputy] Ron Brown said.

The uninjured suspect grabbed the rifle, which the injured suspect had dropped, and fired three shots in the homeowner's direction before fleeing into a nearby wooded area, Brown said.
The injured guy was taken to hospital with serious wounds, and is expected to be arrested on aggravated robbery charges when he is released. Police have the name of the other goblin and hope to make an arrest soon.

Crime doesn't pay. Not when you run into pissed-off, armed people. When the last of these guys are arrested, the world will be that much better off. All of it is thanks to armed citizens defending themselves and their property.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

One Home Invader Dead, Homeowner Injured

1 Dead, 2 Hurt In Phoenix Shooting - Local News Story - KPHO Phoenix This looks like a foiled home invasion.
"We believe two suspects came to rob the house, do a home invasion, and forced their way in," [Sgt. Andy] Hill said.
The homeowner killed one of the invaders, and injured the other. The injured guy ran for a getaway vehicle.

The homeowner was rushed to the hospital, but no word on his injuries.

Falcon Chicks: Midwestern Peregrins

Falcons have been making a great comeback in the Midwest. Currently the chicks are losing their downy white appearance and growing gray feathers. You can see them at various websites.

FalconCam-Evanston Public Library (just north of Chicago) has a view of 4 chicks, being raised on one of the decorative column caps of the library.

EarthCam - Falcon Cam shows the 5 chicks at the Peregrine nest on the roof of Midwest Generation's power plant in Waukegan, Illinois. (A little farther north.) Check the Hall of Fame for some great photos.

Uptown, a Chicago neighborhood has one breeding pair, but no web cam. But they do live in the city, building eyries on building ledges, bridges and fire escapes.

These birds were in real danger, not that long ago, from the over-use of DDT. But the breeding pairs in the Midwest have been fairly successful. The species will likely be upgraded from "endangered" to "threatened."

Chicago recently named the Peregrine as the City's official bird. They love the tall buildings, and eat pigeons. What's not to like?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bo Diddley: 1928 - 2008

AFP: Rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley dead at 79 A true pioneer of rock.

"Who Do You Love" has been covered by a lot of artists, but it was his. (A better video here.)

Bo Diddley, who among other things, hated Rap music. Born December 30, 1928; Died June 2, 2008.

Domestic Violence - International Division

Wife beaters to avoid jail thanks to overcrowded prisons crisis| This is London It sounds like they aren't even issuing the restraining orders. Of course violations of the order will result in no prison time, because the UK apparently feels that Domestic Violence is not a serious enough crime - given the prison overcrowding.

So exactly how does saving money by not building new prisons really serve the people of the UK? Are they safer? Are the abused spouses safer because the system won't even bother to issue restraining orders knowing they can't enforce them in any way?

In the meantime, the Labour Government claims that they are making "huge progress" at helping victims and bringing perpetrators to justice. They don't say how they are doing that.

Chicago Cop Tells Some of the Truth - Cop Tells FBI He Terrorized Chicago Citizens So should the police "cross the line" - translation, commit crimes - in the name of fighting crime? Is that what the "Justice System" is supposed to be about?
Keith Herrera told Katie Couric that as a Chicago cop with the now-disbanded Special Operations Section, or SOS, he crossed the line often -- falsifying police reports, brutalizing citizens, to get guns and drugs off the street. And Herrera said, his superiors knew all about it, telling him: "keep it up, as long as you're getting guns, drugs, bad guys, keep it up. If they tell you to keep it up, you keep it up."
So much for serving and protecting.

Of course, once you cross the line, it becomes easier to cross the line, and one or more began to plan murders - not just of citizens but of fellow cops.
But Herrera drew the line when Jerome Finnigan, the rogue cops' acknowledged ringleader, asked Herrera to help kill two other [Special Operations Section] officers who planned to testify against him.
So how often do cops "cross the line?" We only hear about it when there is a video on YouTube, or something like this come up, but I have no doubt it happens on a smaller scale all the time.

So are we winning the War on (Some) Drugs, or is it destroying our public institutions? Is it OK to do anything to get the drug dealers off the street? Is it OK to ignore the constitution, or kill the innocent all in the name of the War on Drugs?