Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Lot of Bad Things Can Happen in 11 Minutes

Police lagging in emergency response time | That is how long it has been taking Atlanta Police to respond to high-priority 911 calls.
Last year it took, on average, 11 minutes and 12 seconds from the time a high-priority 911 call was made until an Atlanta police officer showed up at the scene.
Is that a system you want to bet your life on? Feel free, just don't ask me to share in your insanity.

When seconds count, police are minutes away. In some places and at some times, they can be many minutes away.

Not that Atlanta is so unusual. Some other department stats:

City, State Response time (average) - high priority calls
El Paso, TX 11 minutes, 11 seconds
Tucson, AZ 10 minutes, 11 seconds
Kansas City, MO less than 9 minutes
Denver, CO 11 minutes
Nashville/Davidson County, TN  less than 9 minutes.
Oklahoma City, OK less than 10 minutes

Calling 911 is fine a thing. But 9, 10, or 11 minutes is a long time to wait when you are under attack. And that assumes you can call police before you suffer violence.

Calling 911 is fine thing, but it might pay to think about how you are going to pass those 9 minutes, while you are "negotiating" with a rapist.

Some People Don't Know the Meaning of "It's Over!"

Woman stabs ex when she sees him with another woman People need to grow up, and develop better ways to deal with disappointment than violent outbursts.

The knife-wielding woman is in jail - charged with aggravated battery. The ex-boyfriend's injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

Police showed up in the aftermath, not in time to stop the attack. (Police responding to the scene before the crime was committed was only in that Tom Cruise SciFi movie.) You have to be prepared to defend yourself.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Disturbing Katrina Story

FBI Opens Inquiry Into Death of Henry Glover - ProPublica All these years and we are still finding out things about the aftermath.

Law enforcement had time to confiscate guns, but apparently couldn't be bothered to call for an ambulance for someone who had been shot.
A 31-year-old father of four, Glover was shot by an unknown assailant shortly after the hurricane struck, on Sept. 2, 2005, according to Tanner. Glover sought help from a group of NOPD officers, but the cops refused to treat Glover or call for an ambulance, allowing him to bleed to death in the back seat of a car, Tanner says.

Police, according to Tanner, then seized both the auto and Tanner’s body. The car, a Chevrolet Malibu, was eventually discovered in an isolated spot along the Mississippi River. Inside was Glover’s severely burnt corpse, which had been reduced to little more than ashes and bone fragments, autopsy records and photos show. No witness has yet come forward to describe how the car caught fire.
And it doesn't seem like the police were interested in finding out how the car caught fire until just recently. For 3 years the car was left "rusting on the riverbank." It was only collected for evidence in the last month.

The FBI is involved to see if anyone broke the law. (Gee, ya think?)

And people still believe that police, the system, will save you if you are in trouble.

Things that make you go... WTF?

Headmaster: No vampires at Boston school - MarketWatch OK, are they having classes at night?
The headmaster of a Boston private school says contrary to rumors her prestigious institution is not home to so-called vampires.
Police were dispatched to deal with the situation. Your tax dollars at work.
The school was founded in 1635, and its students have included Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, Louis Farrakhan, and Sumner Redstone.
I guess standards are slipping just a little the last few years.

I wonder if Massachusetts will rush to enact reasonable vampire control?

Smoky Mountain Shootout This Weekend

Wild West fans test shooting skills at Smoky Mountain Shoot-Out in Oak Ridge : Local News : Knoxville News Sentinel Cowboy Action Shooting. Oak Ridge, TN. If I could go, I would.

The Single Action Shooting Society always looks like they are having the very best time. The first time I showed up at an event (Guns of August? in Ohio) I was handed a piece of birthday cake and invited to have some BBQ. Wish I could afford it right now.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another Video Erased by Police - Maybe

Man shot by police used X-Acto knife to make greeting cards: family I have long maintained that everything cops do should be videoed. But they don't like that. Video evidence of their actions?

This is the story of a man shot by police. The police have one story. Witnesses have a different story.
At least one witness, Adam Smolcic, says Hubbard was not being aggressive towards police.
Smolcic, the witness, claims he filmed the shooting on his cell phone but an officer at the scene erased the video. The phone is being analyzed by a data-recovery expert.
Police seized two other surveillance videos, but won't release them to the public.

If it turns out that a cop did in fact delete a video, he should be charged with destruction of evidence, witness intimidation, and anything else they can.

The Government Doesn't Want You to Use a Dishwasher

Spokane residents rebel over dirty dishes Dishwashers aren't really very efficient at washing dishes, so the need the very best detergents to work correctly. But you can't get the very best detergents anymore. At least not in a lot of places.
But it's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products without phosphates left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand.
I am almost surprised that they haven't outlawed dishwashers. Of course you generally use more water washing by hand. But then washing twice isn't exactly "green" either.

The part of Illinois where my father lives outlawed phosphates years ago.... in order to save the great lakes. Never mind that where my dad lives isn't in part of the Lake Michigan basin. Chicago is, so they outlawed phosphates in Cook and the surrounding counties years ago. The difference in cleaning power is amazing.

Dishwashers are obviously not a sustainable technology. Global Warming. Blah Blah Blah.

I predict we will soon all be freezing in the dark. (Eating off dirty dishes and wearing dirty clothes too.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's Hard to Tell the Good Guys from the Bad Guys

Feds probe Cicero cops :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES A group of Cicero (Chicago near-in suburb) cops are accused of interfering with an FBI investigation of an Outlaws (motorcycle gang) member who was (allegedly) doing some dirty work for The Outfit.
Cicero police allegedly ran car license plates, pulled over cars they suspected were driven by federal agents and tried to find hidden surveillance cameras around the business of Mark Polchan, according to recently unsealed court records. Polchan is awaiting trial on charges he bombed a business for the Outfit.
This is apparently a part of the Family Secrets investigation.

So what do you do when the cops appear to be working with the likes of Outfit hitters?

What is it with 911 centers?

911 dispatcher talks tough to woman later found dead : State News : TCPalm They all seem to have problems.

In this tragedy, though a 911 call was made alerting authorities of a kidnapping, nothing was done for 16 minutes. The 911 dispatcher even talked to the kidnapper before he hung up the phone.

4 hours later the victim and her kidnapper (ex-boyfriend) were found shot dead in a local hotel.

It also isn't clear why it took as long as 2 hours to track down the cellphone, but it is clear that the 911 calls - there were more than 1 - were not handled correctly.

You may want to trust your safety to an overworked, under-trained government functionary, but don't you dare insist that I participate in your insanity. Calling 911 is a fine thing, but we also keep fire extinguishers on our homes. Some of us rely on firearms for the same reason - to ensure our safety.

Kenn Blanchard Interviews John Lott

The Urban Shooter Podcast Notes: #105- What's Cooking? I've been a few weeks behind on the Urban Shooter, but I mostly caught up last night.

Show 105 (March 3rd) contains a nice interview with John R. Lott. Definitely worth a listen.

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Arkansas Blog: Robbery foiled Getting a round of .357 magnum in the behind is bound to ruin your day.
John Antonetz, 63, and his wife Lydia, 57, were loading groceries [in a Wal-Mart parking lot] when a man tried to rob them, the report said. As the robber tried to take her purse, Antonetz "went around to the passenger side of the vehicle and retrieved his revolver from his concealed holster in his pants. Mr. Antonetz then went to the rear of the vehicle and observed Suspect 1 pointing a revolver at his wife. Mr. Antonetz then shot at Supsect 1 three times and once more when Suspect 1 got into Vehicle 1." He drove away with two other people.
The three would-be robbers were arrested at a local hospital when one of them showed up with a gunshot wound to the buttocks. A "minor use of force" was required to put handcuffs on one of the miscreants.

Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0. Self-defense is a human right.

That's Just Wrong.

engraved GLOCK Now I love engraved firearms as much as the next person, but an engraved GLOCK just seems wrong somehow. 10 grand for a GLOCK also seems wrong.

It goes against the whole of utilitarian, shooting machine vibe.

Engraving belongs on a fine shotgun, or Old West single action revolver. [via SayUncle] (And GLOCK is misspelled if it isn't all in caps.)

Cultural Awareness 101

Federal Bureau of Investigation - December 2008 - Law Enforcement Training: Factors in the Spanish-Speaking Community You know I usually find the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin interesting. But this article, if it is really needed, points to a general lack of awareness on the part of law enforcement as to be, well, sad. The more I read, the more my jaw hung open.

News Flash re: names. Not every country treats names the way Americans and the British do. Most Spanish speaking nations at least are close to the American way, but there are differences. In India, traditionally, names change over the course of your life. Try to explain that to an American who expects you to fill in a form. "First Name, Last Name." (At least some places have changed it to "Given Name, Family Name." That still doesn't cover cultures that use "Given Name, Place of Origin" as some Arabic countries do.)

Countries versus ethnicity. Would you describe Russians and Poles as "European?" The Ukrainians and Belarus get crazy if you call them Russian. (They were part of the old Soviet Union, but they aren't Russian.)

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that cultural insensitivity is rampant in America. I just find it disturbing in one of the branches of government that has to rub up against cultural differences regularly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Can't Wait Until We Get Socialized Medicine

Staffordshire hospital scandal: the hidden story - Telegraph It is funny how you hear such wonderful things in the US press about the blissful state of health care in the UK. About how the government pays for everything.

What you almost never hear in the US media is the truly dismal state of state-run health care in the UK.

Imagine going the the Accident and Emergency ward in Stafford Hospital, Stafforshire, UK.
Congealed blood was smeared on seats in the patients' waiting area, the lavatory floors stank of urine and grime was encrusted on the sinks used by doctors and nurses. Terry Deighton had never seen anything like it.
His response was, "It was absolutely disgusting."

But the list of problems went on.
  • Disposable surgical equipment, being used repeatedly - probably to save money
  • Untrained receptionists doing triage, not trained medical personnel.
  • Patients who couldn't feed themselves left alone with trays of food - to go hungry.
  • Patients left without water, drank from flower vases.
  • Patients screaming out in pain because they hadn't been given pain meds.
You get the idea.

When the hospital oversight board was first notified of problems, they sat on the report. When the hospital manager was first notified, he hid behind the standard bureaucratic cover.
Mr Deighton says that at that meeting the chief executive "refused to discuss my report except to insist the hospital met the requirements of the Healthcare Commission."
Appeal to uninvolved authorities who aren't here. "I'm doing everything my bureaucratic self has been asked to do. Don't make waves."

Add to this the fact that private rooms or semi-private rooms have been deemed to be too expensive, so people are housed in large wards, containing many people. And since unisex wards have been deemed too expensive, men and women are housed in the same wards, leading to predictable problems.

But hey, Michael Moore and Barack Obama agree - Socialized medicine is good. Even when it's bad.

This Has Got to Burn the Gun Grabbers

Congressman Mike Ross : News Releases : Ross Enlists 65 Pro-Gun Democrats to Send Strong Message to Attorney General on Second Amendment Rights That there even are 65 pro-gun Democrats has to burn the likes of Pelosi and the Brady Bunch. My guess? There are more pro-gun Dems, who just didn't sign this particular letter.
U.S. Representative Mike Ross (AR-04) led a group of 65 pro-gun Democrats in denouncing recent comments made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s on February 25 that the Obama administration intended to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

The group of 65 pro-gun Democrats, led by Ross, sent a letter to the Attorney General on March 18, 2009, urging him to abandon any effort to reinstate the assault weapons ban and to focus instead on effective law enforcement strategies to enforce the nation’s current laws against violent criminals and drug traffickers.
They may be Democrats, but they aren't from Massachusetts. (I always did love Arkansas... my dad had a fishing cabin on a lake there at one time.) [via NRA-ILA]

When the NY Times Goes After a Democrat...

You know there is a problem. Op-Ed Columnist - Has a ‘Katrina Moment’ Arrived? -

Katrina? They must really hate this guy.
A CHARMING visit with Jay Leno won’t fix it. A 90 percent tax on bankers’ bonuses won’t fix it. Firing Timothy Geithner won’t fix it. Unless and until Barack Obama addresses the full depth of Americans’ anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts, his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed.
It is a scathing look at all the insider deals that appear to still be going forward.

Obama Can't Afford to Let Him Go

U.S. Treasury's Geithner seems safe -- for now | Reuters Who would take his place? There is no deputy ready to step up. In fact, it seems that Geithner is the only person to get appointed to Treasury. I read (somewhere) that several had "declined" after the vetting process. Is it that Obama can't get anyone (save tax cheats) to want to work with him? Or is he still using the moral sinkhole of Chicago as his only source of candidates?

I mean, the man still has a 64 percent approval rating. Doesn't anyone honest want to work in his administration?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Shall Issue in California?

Proposed easing of concealed-weapons law draws fire - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee Assembly bill 357 would change California from "may issue" to "shall issue." Law enforcement has their knickers is a twist.

It is interesting that they have someone from Pink Pistols advocating passage of the measure. (Or it's interesting to me anyway.)
Among supporters of Knight's bill is Deanna Sykes, co-founder of the Sacramento chapter of Pink Pistols, an international group that advocates gun ownership by gays and lesbians. Their slogan: "Armed gays don't get bashed."

"I think it's a benefit to society if the good guys have the ability to protect themselves," Sykes said.

Part of the mission of the Pink Pistols is to promote self-defense in the gay community, Sykes said.
Good luck to the good folks in CA.

More Government Control of the Marketplace

Obama to push broad oversight on execs' pay - The Denver Post More government meddling in the private sector.

I suppose you could make some case for it for insured institutions, but this is a major change in the marketplace. But then the Dems don't seem to have much regard for free markets. I think they just don't like Freedom. Freedom of speech? No, we have to have hate speech codes. You can't say anything that is not government approved. Freedom of choice? Only if you choose what we want you to choose. SUVs? No, you have to drive small hybrids. Keep you house warm in the winter, cool in the summer? No, government has to control the thermostat in your home.

Where will it end?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Do You Expect the System to Protect You?

This would appear to be another tragedy of domestic violence. Arrest in murder of Long Island mom An ex-boyfriend, jailed previously for violating a restraining order, is arrested for murder.
The victim's uncle said, "the system failed her." He said the suspect "was just locked up a little over a month ago for kidnapping her, strangling her and trying to throw her in the trunk of a car. He put a gun to her head...and they let him out."
That they would let him out is predictable.

New York, being New York, it is impossible to defend yourself. And they system is worthless.

Good to Know We Have the Most Tech-savvy President Ever

Too bad he isn't all that savvy in the international implications of tech. Gordon Brown is frustrated by 'Psycho' in No 10 A nice gift of DVDs for UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown from our "Dear Leader." Too bad no one at the most tech-savvy White House in history knows that US DVD formats are different from the rest of the world's formats. (Did they fix this with Blu-Ray?)
The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words "wrong region" came up on his screen.
Chalk one up for our new era of diplomacy. And one for stupidity, too. [via Twisted Spinster]

Friday, March 20, 2009

Crime Doesn't Pay - Not When the Population is Armed

Suspected burglar shot, killed in north Naples ID'd | The News-Press Florida is home to a large number of armed homeowners. And the Castle Doctrine is firmly on the side of the homeowner.
Homeowner Sterlin Frederick Misener, 44, heard an alarm and went outside to the camper to investigate.

Hutchison came out of the camper and lunged at Misener in an aggressive manner, investigators said.

Misener then shot Hutchison with a firearm, investigators said.
The guy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Self-defense is a human right. In Florida, it is also your legal right.

Hate is Not a Family Value

Mother, son charged with fire at Stockton stores - Kansas City Star Hate seems to be a value shared by this mother/son team of burglars/arsonists.
Eighteen-year-old Jacob T. Smith and 39-year-old Dina R. Larson, both of Stockton, were charged Thursday in Cedar County with counts including second-degree burglary and second-degree arson.
They admitted breaking into a store and setting a fire
Investigators have said that graffiti painted at the scene was derogatory toward gays; the owner is openly gay.
Gays and all those special rights they clamor for. Like being able to own a business without having some hate-filled yahoo burn it down.

Is this horse dead yet? Probably not...

Maturity of our President... We are doomed This says it all.
Man... what can I say. He can't find people to serve in his cabinet that have paid their taxes or aren't under investigation. He signs the AIG bailout bill, then gets upset about what he signed (i.e. allowing bonsues to be protected).

Next he insults those involved in the Special Olympics. In times of crisis we need a President that inspires us. I, for one, am disgusted at the immaturity of our President and see little hope that he will lead us out of this financial mess. Worse, I believe he will lead us further into crisis because of his ignorance and immaturity.
Between the general insanity and the spending mania, I have to agree; things will get worse before they get better.

But He Is (Or At Least Was) the Best Person for the Job

Geithner gets punked | Midwest Voices Never mind that tax-collecting agency is now headed by a tax fraud. The man doesn't have a clue.

Those mystery bonuses? They were his doing - at least in part. (Where is Chris Dodd?) His resignation is being called for.
They now see that Geithner isn't exactly the Wall Street wunderkind he's been made out to be by the Obama administration.
I wonder if he plays basketball.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cops Have the Best Drugs

Officers admitted roles in case in which cops stole drugs from dealers, then resold themCan you steal from a crook? The answer is yes. And a group of Memphis cops (sorry, ex-cops) found that out the hard way.
Two former Memphis police officers were sentenced in a 2007 federal corruption case in which officers stole drugs from dealers and then resold them.
Two admitted wrong doing and conspiring with others.

Cops Behaving Badly - FBI Edition

Ex-FBI agent convicted for planning to rip off drug house :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Shocking to find that the FBI is not above the problem of bad cops. (*** in best Claude Rains impression *** "I'm shocked - Shocked! - to discover gambling is going on here.")
A former FBI agent suspected in a 2002 double murder in Chicago was convicted today in Southern California of charges that he planned to rip off a drug house.

A federal jury found Vo Duong “Ben” Tran guilty of all four counts related to the attempted rip-off. He faces life in prison.
I'm sure this is the extent of the corruption in the FBI, and all the rest of the agents are pure as the driven snow.

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

Box-cutter wielding attacker shot dead Don't escalate an argument to fight; you may not win.
A 54-year-old San Bernardino man was shot to death yesterday in Apple Valley, apparently after he used a box-cutter to attack the man who shot him, according to San Bernardino County sheriff's officials.
This being the People's Republic of California, the authorities are still determining whether shooting someone, who is attacking you with a box-cutter, is self-defense. (Hey if you let the serfs defend themselves from attack, pretty soon they may rely on themselves for all kinds of things the state "should" be doing for them.)

45 Minutes for Police to Arrive to a Crime in Progress

GAY BIAS ATTACK? - I question their taste in music, but for it to take police 45 minutes to respond to a beating in progress is a bit extreme.
Kehoe said a security guard at a nearby building and two passersby called the police. They waited about 45 minutes for police to arrive, according to Kehoe, even though about three squad cars passed the scene. When cops finally arrived, Caldwell was taken to University Hospital with his jaw broken in two spots.
It couldn't be that cops just aren't interested in coming to the aid of gays, is it? No, that would never happen. Bias in the ranks of cops? Unheard of!

Of course even if NJ had reasonable firearm laws, and even if two gay men believed it was in their interest to be armed in self-defense, they would probably have been disarmed in a venue like Prudential Center. Is that because crime never occurs at venues like that?
Police say the same attackers assaulted and robbed four young women a block away before encountering the couple.
No, those things are always safe.

Don't expect any justice in this attack.

Didn't Take "Dear Leader" Long to Change Our Minds

Rasmussen Reports™:
Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans Take Small Lead on Generic Congressional Ballot
They conduct a survey every week called the "generic poll" which asks "if the election where held this week" which party would you support. After a few years of the Dems winning all the time (as reflected in the last 2 elections) times are beginning to change.
Democrats began the year holding a six or seven point lead over the GOP for the first several weeks of 2009. Over the past month, the gap has been smaller, with Democrats holding a two-to-four point lead. It remains to be seen whether the current results reflect lasting change or statistical noise.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Attention LEOs: Not Everyone With a Gun is a Bad Guy

Phoenix - Valley Fever - Hero Homeowner Shot Mistakenly by Phoenix Cop Seeks $5.75 Million Settlement From City A homeowner captures an intruder, and is holding him at gunpoint waiting for the cops to show up. When the cops show up they shoot him.

Even after they learn he is the homeowner, not the intruder, they don't treat him very well. He was expected to die.
Arambula didn't die. But his survival, says the claim, came despite further bad treatment by the cops. Manning says cops dragged the bleeding homeowner across gravel, right in front of his wife and kids, and then tossed him on the superheated hood of a squad car.
The police in this case should be out. The city should pay, and these cops should lose everything: job, pension, home, respect.

What happens if you call the police, and when they get there, they make things worse? I usually ask that question in relation to hate crimes, because calling police to the scene of hate crime will often make things worse for the victim.

I guess the moral of the story is don't try to capture them. Execute them and claim self-defense. (The intruder had a gun, and it was recovered from the son's bedroom.) Is that the world that we want? It seems to be the world that the police want.

I Wish They Would Treat Earmaks the Way They Treat Bonuses

So they are upset about AIG bonuses. Why aren't they upset about Earmarks? Or is it just another example of Washington and "do as I say, not as I do?"

Here's a Story I Missed

VOA News - Japan Sends Ships to Anti-Piracy Mission Off Somalia This is a big deal, but not many of the news agencies are paying attention. Japan's constitution (written in American English at the end of World War II) limits them to a Self-defense Force. For years, that was interpreted to mean they stayed close to home.
Japan has sent two navy destroyers to the water's off Somalia's coast to join international anti-piracy efforts in the region.
This is a major change for them.

At least someone is doing something at last. And the efforts are seeing some improvement.
The International Maritime Bureau says international anti-piracy efforts have reduced the number of successful hijackings in the area to one in seven attacks.
My (somewhat cynical) guess is that after a year or two, the governments will lose interest, and the pirates will start up again. They did get a few million dollars in the past year; that's not the kind of business you walk away from.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Sense of Tradition

GuinnessThey died the Chicago River green on Saturday. (And yes, you can tell the difference.) But Saturday wasn't St. Patty's Day. That was today. Hope you got to celebrate.

Oh, and keep your green beer; Guinness is the only one thing to drink on St Patrick's Day. (Well that, and Jameson's.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cops Upset That People Exercise Their Rights

Local views clash on carrying guns in public - It seems that open carry is legal in California. Well, as long as the gun is unloaded. The cops have their knickers in a twist.
Law enforcement officials vehemently disagree, arguing that open carriers pose a potential danger and nuisance to police and could frighten residents.

"They are creating an environment that is exceeding dangerous for them, the officers and innocent bystanders," said Redlands Police Chief Jim Bueermann.
And we can't have the sheep, er citizens, being scared. They might wake up to the fact that police aren't their to protect them, that police can't protect you from violent crime, and then they might not want the nanny state to have all that power.

The LEOs have also violated people's rights... because no matter what they think, they don't know the law as well as they think they do.
Police are permitted only to ensure the weapon is not loaded. They cannot run the gun's serial number, ask for the carrier's identification or detain them.
So of course at least 1 LEO has been recorded doing exactly that. (That makes LEOs mad as well... don't you dare record public servants doing their job!) No complaints filed, though people are pushing for it to happen. Hey, he broke the law; why should he get a free pass? Is ignorance of a law an excuse for a LEO, but not for everyone else?

So why is real open carry illegal in CA? Because the racists didn't like it when the blacks were armed.
Legislation passed on July 28, 1967 that Californians could not carry a loaded weapon in public, even openly. It was prompted after a group of Black Panthers led a protest march into the California Legislature fully armed in May 1967.
Racist roots of gun control strike again.

So, were Californians less safe in 1950, when real open carry was permitted than they were in the 1970s, 80s and 90s? Just asking. [via KABA]

Friday, March 13, 2009

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

Clerk shoots robbery suspect I love it when legal concealed carry works.
A knife-wielding robber who entered the Windsor Pharmacy on Wednesday night was taken down by a store clerk using a handgun, police said.
He started a fight with one clerk, who resisted, and was shot by a second clerk, who did have a concealed carry license.

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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Is Self-defense Really Legal in the UK?

Homeowner Kenneth Batchelor cleared of murder after shooting dead intruder - Times Online So it would appear.

A bodybuilder had been threatening his family, and demanding cash. He tries to break in. The homeowner shot the bastard.
The jury at Maidstone Crown Court took just one hour unanimously to acquit Mr Batchelor of the murder of Mr Clements who, the court heard, had an “explosive temper” and had become “fixated” with demanding money from the Batchelor family.
Many people have been sent to prison in the UK for this kind of thing. What is reasonable force? Always nice for the bureaucrats to second guess the crisis situation.

At least they got it right in this instance. Self-defense is a human right

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


If you are in love with the Hollywood-style, three-act screenplay, where the good guys wear white hats and the bad guys wear black, you probably won't like Watchmen. There is also an element of Quentin Tarantino-style time jumps. (A fair amount of the story is told in flashbacks.)

But if you can deal with complex storytelling, alternate views of history, and ambiguous heroes, with an ending that contains questions, you might just like Watchmen. The characters are complex. The fight scenes are wonderful - at least a couple of them. The alternate history is engaging. Overall, I don't think it was as good as 300, or Sin City, but it is better than Spiderman 3, or Fantastic Four hands down.

There is some pretty graphic violence, so you should take that into consideration.

I hadn't read the graphic novel, and I could follow the story, easily. The "summary" I had read in the press proved more confusing than enlightening, but it didn't matter.

Go see it; you might like it.

Talk About Shooting Yourself in the Foot - Robber shoots himself during get-away This guy literally shoots himself in the foot leg.
Police say the suspect could have made a clean break after hitting the Smoothie King near Paseo del Norte and Wyoming, but he somehow blasted himself in the leg and ended up being caught.
I love stories about stupid criminals.

This is Why I Don't Patronize Yum Brands Restaurants

What Do You Think?: Pizza Delivery Man Shooting A pretty typical pizza-delivery-robbery. Order a pizza, be ready to attack the person who delivers it.

This pizza delivery guy was armed with a .45, and killed one of his attackers.

Pizza Hut doesn't like that. They believe that if you cooperate with violent criminals, they will stop being violent. Not hardly.

Now I don't like Pizza Hut pizza, especially. But I don't limit my displeasure to them anyway. Yum Brands - the parent company - also runs KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's, and A&W restaurants worldwide. I figure any company that wants to sacrifice the safety of their employees for the image, doesn't deserve any of my money. But that's me.

George W. Obama �� George W. Obama? 03/09/09 I love this new moniker for our Commander in Chief. There are several "stories" using it, this is only one.

I wonder if this means the honeymoon is over.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stupid Criminals

‘Wonders of Humankind’ walk among us These are classic. A top 10 list that starts with a contestant for the Darwin Awards.
1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, Calif., would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked. And now.
I guess they don't teach the rules of gun safety in Long Beach.

The others are worth a look. Laughter is good for you.

Stupid Criminal Tries to Rob Gun Store

Police: Gun store clerk shoots robber - Chicago Breaking News Not only is that where the keep the guns, the employees are armed.

So police get a call to the gun store where someone has been shot.
There they found a man who had been shot twice in the chest and once in the leg, and a shop clerk who had a gun trained on him, the statement said.
Would he qualify for the Darwin Awards?

The bad guy was in surgery. The good guy shot himself in the hand by accident.

Self-defense works, and armed self-defense really works. But be careful

Friday, March 06, 2009

A View Into the Corruption in Chicago

Hiring abuses continue at City Hall, federal monitor says :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: City Hall This is how politics work in Chicago. You have to wonder if this is how things work in DC now. (Pay no attention to the tax cheat in charge of the IRS.)

The Defense Dept. Argument for Supporting the Detroit Three

The Socialists in Washington keep blathering on about how we can't let the Detroit Three automakers die, because we might need them to build tanks, jeeps, etc. in the event of a major war.

But is that true?

The Humvee was developed for the military by AM General. At one point it was part of American Motors. (Apparently they weren't "too big to fail.") GM only got interested in them after the first Gulf War, when Arnold S. wanted to buy a civilian version, and they started marketing to the public.

Couldn't firms like Caterpillar, John Deere, Oshkosh (they make trucks, not jeans) or Manitowoc make tanks? What about companies like Mack or Peterbilt?

General Dynamics builds the M1 Abrams tank today. Why would that change?

This argument is, in short, a straw-man. There are plenty of other companies - no doubt struggling, but not in danger of extinction - that could fill this niche if we ever again face a major land war.

It is just an excuse to give more taxpayer funds to their friends, to take control of another part of the economy, and to take another step toward destroying free markets.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mr. Beef goes to Washington

Mr. Beef goes to Washington - Mr Beef, a Chicago landmark eatery (it would a stretch to call it a restaurant) is having its line of credit canceled.
Joe Zucchero described how his line of credit has been cut off by a bank that's received federal bailout money. He says his business now faces foreclosure.

"We hope that we get some banks to refinance. Let loose of some of that money that's out there," Joe Zucchero, Mr. Beef owner.
He hasn't missed payments. He isn't particularly at risk of going out of business. He just had his line of credit canceled.

People are reacting like they canceled Christmas. It is almost a shame that he isn't asking for a bailout. That would make for some good political theater.

My favorite is the Italian sausage with hot peppers.

A Lot of Bad Things Can Happen in 7 minutes

Frantic Phone Call for Help 10 minutes after the 911 call started. 6 or 7 minutes after shots were fired before police arrive.
According to a spokesperson for the Chattanooga Police Department, officers aim for a 3 minute response time. Sgt. Jerri Weary says the 6-7 minutes it took after shots were fired is "reasonable." Weary says response times can vary based on time of day, current call volume, and actual location of the officer.
In other words, even if you call before the manure hits the fan, you are on your own.

The call was originally to report people breaking into a car. Apparently the cops weren't going to respond to that at all.

Go ahead and bet your life on a government-run bureaucracy, just don't insist that I subscribe to the same insanity.

Armed Robber Meets Armed Resistance

Bond Hill Apartment Resident Shoots, Kills Robber - WKRC-TV in Cincinnati Pretty straight forward story.
Two men reportedly broke into an apartment there. The apartment owner was shot in the leg. The victim then opened fire on the suspects. One robber was shot and killed, the second robber escaped.
No word on how seriously the victim is wounded.

Self-defense works, even if it isn't perfect.

Chicago Cop or Convicted Felon?

Chicago police officer pleads guilty in towing probe -- A sidelight to the ongoing towing scam, this is insurance fraud. A cop said his car had been stolen, when he really sold it to a chop shop. This friend did him a favor and helped arrange it.
Joseph Grillo, 46, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to one count of mail fraud for helping the other officer pull off an insurance scam.

Grillo, a 14-year veteran who worked burglaries in the Grand Central District, was arrested last year as part of an FBI probe into police officers pocketing bribes to steer work to tow truck drivers at accident scenes.

Grillo admitted he arranged to make it appear that Officer Steve Campbell's personal car had been stolen in 2007 so Campbell could fraudulently collect on his auto insurance. After a series of calls from Grillo that were captured on a wiretap, James "Meatball" Athans, who operated Collision Towing, had his son tow Campbell's car.
And yes, mail fraud is a felony, even if he is only expected to face about 6 months in prison as a result.

Cops extorting towing companies. Cops defrauding insurance companies. Cops writing bogus parking tickets. And that isn't even the bad stuff that the Chicago PD gets up to.

So How Do You Get a Parking Ticket on a Car You No Longer Own?

What's Your Problem Update: 24th ticket tossed out, too -- You get that ticket from a bent cop in Chicago.

24 bogus tickets? Hmmmm.
Of the 24 tickets issued since October 2007, 13 were signed by the same officer at various locations on the South Side.

Those 13 tickets were issued in four batches over a five-month span. All 13 of the tickets were sequential in number, meaning that from May to October, the officer wrote tickets exclusively to Geinosky from the ticket book in question.
Internal affairs is investigating, but no action has been taken.

At least one of the tickets was issued months after he sold the car in question. It's almost like the cops were making the whole thing up.

Finally Someone Does Something

AFP: German navy arrests nine pirates off Somalia Though you have to wonder what the Europeans will do to the pirates. Given them a firm whack on the knuckles and send them to bed without their dinner?
The frigate Rheinland-Pfalz received a distress call early Tuesday from the German-owned ship saying she was under fire from pirates armed with bazookas and machine guns, a statement said.

The frigate dispatched a helicopter which together with another chopper from the US naval ship Monterey stopped the attempted attack by firing warning shots.
The Germans captured the pirates and have 48 hours to interrogate them. Then what?

Two hundred years ago, the navies of the world dealt rather harshly with pirates. The result was the virtual elimination of piracy - at least as a major threat. So far there hasn't been much good news on this front.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

All This Attention Because of Football Fame

200 boats have capsized in past five months, Coast Guard says - Do you think that these 4 football players are the only ones to run into problems at sea? Or is it just that we are too interested in fame to see that this kind of thing happens all the time.
Capsizing is one of the leading boating accidents, according to the Coast Guard's most recent report on recreational boating in 2007. Officials report there were 398 accidents from capsizing, causing 204 deaths and 284 injuries in 2007. Capsized boats cost nearly $1.8 million a year in property damages, officials say.
That doesn't include things like collisions with fixed objects (bridges for example) or just plain falling overboard.

Safety does require some action on the part of the captain.
The NFL players' boat capsized off Florida in waves up to 10 feet high while being buffeted by winds up to 45 miles per hour, Coast Guard officials said. They reported 110 cases since this fall where a boat has been beset by weather.
10 foot seas at anchor would be rough. In an open boat, I would be tempted to abandon the anchor, or put a buoy on the anchor rode* and note the position on GPS. Actually I probably would have not stuck around for 40 knot winds. (And I think I would have had life-vests on in those conditions.)

Even though I live in Greater Tampa Bay, and sail the Gulf of Mexico, I am still surprised that you can be 30 miles off-shore and still be in water shallow enough to anchor. Heading for deeper water usually makes a difference.

* Nautical Vocabulary Lesson: The line that connects an anchor to the boat is called an anchor rode, or just a rode. It can be all chain or chain and line. There are no ropes on a powerboat, and only one (or one type) on a sailboat. They are lines. Docklines, mooring lines, etc. On a sailboat you also have halyards (raise the sails) and sheets (control the sails). The only rope is a bolt-rope, which is actually sewn into a sail.

All this is made even more confusing when you buy your lines from a company called New England Rope.

Just don't call them ropes.

Once Again the System Fails to Protect

Victim's Family Vows To Fight Domestic Violence -- She had a restraining order. It was repeatedly violated. She went to the cops - three different jurisdictions: where she lived, where she worked, where he lived.

The result? She is dead.
About 9:40 p.m. on Feb. 14, police responding to a 911 call found Notice wounded on the back deck of her Plainville home. She had been stabbed several times. She was alive but unresponsive and was pronounced dead about two hours later at Hartford Hospital. Carter was arrested the next morning.
More candle-light marches, more counselors will not stop people like this guy.

Give people with a restraining order, a gun, ammo, and training. Also a concealed carry license would be good.

Self-defense is a human right. The police cannot protect you. Do the math.

It Must Be Good to Live in Texas

Police: Homeowner shoots would-be thief | WOAI.COM: San Antonio News A guy finds 4 thugs trying to steal his SUV. He shoots at them with a shotgun hit one in the ass. The other 3 run like rabbits.

In Texas, you can defend your property as well as your life, so no charges are expected against the homeowner.

It's dangerous out there

Gulf of Mexico can quickly turn vicious - St. Petersburg Times In (almost) none of the stories about the missing boat and the missing football players, does the subject of safety come up. That's a problem - from 2 points of view.

That safety is rarely covered in the media. And boating safety itself is becoming a bigger issue.

Not to say that these guys did anything wrong. You can do everything right, and the sea can still kill you.

People who get into small boats and sail out of sight of land, have to be ready for what comes. Beyond 5 to 10 miles - depends on weather, and where you have the antenna mounted - you can't call back to land. No convenient 911 service to save your ass. (EPIRBS - Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons - are a possible exception, but there are so many false alarms the Coast Guard can be overwhelmed.)

There are a lot of ways to die at sea. In the Gulf, hypothermia is a good bet.
Offshore, 20 or more miles from land, the water temperature is hovering in the mid to low 60s, the air temperature only slightly warmer. Even in a wetsuit, you will become chilled within an hour.
The author of this article talks about learning from (surviving) others' mistakes. I've lived a few of those things as well.

The sad truth is that if you go into the water offshore (that is, more than 20 miles out), it is probably the end for you. Though plenty of people die in close to shore as well.

Some will say that it is crazy to sail out of sight of land in a small boat. They probably haven't done it. But then it can be crazy to drive in rush hour traffic. Doesn't stop people from doing it.

That those men were lost in the Gulf is surely a tragedy for the families. Do you think this is only time something like this happens, or is it that you never here about it when the NFL isn't involved?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Chicago Top Cop Defies Court Order

Mayor Richard Daley defends Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis for not releasing list of cops -- I'm sorry, but I thought cops were supposed to enforce court orders... or at least pretend to be interested in enforcing court orders. But things are different in Chicago.
The department was ordered in December by Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez to submit a "repeater list" of officers who have accumulated at least five complaints since 2002. ...

But Weis declined to provide the list before Friday's deadline.
Mayor Daley is all on board with Weis violating court orders. I mean, he has all these folks who used to work for him in Washington. They will fix things.

Some Justice May Exist

JusticeGay Polk County man's killer receives life term -- One of two men charged in the murder of Ryan Skipper was given a life sentence plus 40 years (concurrent) for associated crimes like car theft.

The other guy is charged with first degree murder, and comes to trial soon.

Ryan Skipper was murdered and robbed because he was gay. Not because he did anything. Not because he said anything. He was murdered because of who he was.

Home Invaders Meet Armed Homeowner and WTVM News Leader 9, Columbus, GA | Lilburn homeowner shoots, kills intruder at door What would you do if 2 home invaders kicked in your front door?
The incident happened shortly after 5 p.m. Friday when the men knocked at the door and when no one answered, kicked it in.

Police spokeswoman Illana Spellman said the resident fired, striking and killing one in the doorway. She said the second man ran away.
No charges have been filed against the homeowner.

Self-defense works, and it is your legal right.

Happy Pulaski Day

It is only celebrated in Illinois, as far as I know, but the first Monday in March is celebrated in honor of Kazimierz PuĊ‚aski (usually written Casimir Pulaski). Born March 4, 1746, Pulaski was a landed Polish nobleman who fought for America in the Revolutionary War, as commander of the US Cavalry. (Strictly separate from the Oct 11th General Pulaski Memorial Day.)

The day itself is interesting because it was the compromise required for having Illinois observe Martin Luther King Day in January.

No state business today. Some schools are closed - mostly Chicago and environs. But the banks, and post office are open. No word on whether you have to feed parking meters in Chicago, but my guess is yes.