Saturday, January 30, 2010

Can You Believe Chicago Cops Would Do Such a Thing?

Actually, I can. Man claims police choked him until unconscious :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Since he was taken in for medical treatment by the sheriff's deputies, who run the county jail, there may be some evidence.
In May 2009, Loggins was in the area of 3500 W. Fifth Avenue when Kuri and Stauton approached him, according to the suit. The officers grabbed him by the neck and brutally choke him until the blood vessels in his eyes broke and he was unconscious.
He wasn't taken for medical treatment for 24 hours.

Doesn't say why they arrested him.

What Good Is This Warning?

It's not like the law-abiding of Chicago can defend themselves. Police looking for men who have been robbing drivers pulling into their garages over past month - WGN

So there are robberies taking place on the north side of Chicago. Police issue a "warning." What are the law-abiding to do? The police don't say.

I guess you should stay out of parking garages. Of course where are you supposed to park your car?

Unexpected windfall for the city given that parking rates just increased between 20 and 25 percent around Chicago.

But what are the good people of Chicago supposed to do? Don't look for an answer from Mayor Dumbbell Daley.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So He Takes On DADT Now?

gay flagSo, after a year in office, Obama finally asks Congress to do something.
This year -- this year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do.
If your heart still flutters at the sound of words like this, you should really get it checked. 2009 was a squandered year for gay equality. Now 2010 starts with a pledge to "work" on the problem. It can't really be fact-checked and can't easily be broken.
So, how much "work" will be involved?

But the timing is suspect from the get-go.
But the politics of this issue are pretty clear, and so after pledging to repeal DADT and pledging and promising and promising, Obama's big step on this issue for the gay community is to say, "Now is precisely the moment for all of you red-state and red-district Democrats to vote to end 'don't ask, don't tell,' nine months before an election that's already looking miserable for our side." Somehow, I suspect they'll be less than fully enthusiastic.
Because why bother to do anything for gays when they vote for you (and give you lots of cash) even when you throw them - repeatedly - under the bus? He will make a little noise, and when it fails it will be B.I.O.B. - Blame It On Bush.

I predict the Dems will be running on DADT, and raising money on it, for a long time.

Arizona: Navajo & Hopi Reservations Under 8 ft of Snow

Well, "up to" 8 feet. I blame global warming. Arizonans dig out from massive snowstorm -

It is actually a serious problem. Roofs collapsing. People cutoff from supplies of food. Domesticated animals struggling to survive.
Last week's storm dumped 54.2 inches of snow on Flagstaff in the seven days ending Sunday, causing President Obama to declare a state of emergency in Arizona.

That's the most snow for the college town since 84.6 inches fell in 1967, according to the National Weather Service
Clearly this snow is the result of global warming.

Is PETA the Biggest Bunch of Tools?

Because he lives too good? PETA calls for robotic groundhog to replace Punxsutawney Phil -
Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, said in response that Phil is "being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania."
Which is really sad when you thing about it.

How Long Should You Expect to Wait After Calling Police

A lot of bad things can happen in 12 minutes. Crime falls in Sutton but Surrey Police response times slow (From Surrey Comet)
However, the figures, released by the Metropolitan Police, show Sutton officers are attending emergency calls on time, with an average response time of 11.54 minutes, against a 12-minute standard.
Of course in the UK you can't spend that 12 minutes defending yourself. (Or you can, as long as your response is measured and you don't use too much force, to be determined later by the prosecutors safe in their offices.)

State of the Union: The Telegraph is Not Impressed

I love the coverage of US politics you find in the London Telegraph. State of the Union: Obama's poetic words not enough to rescue presidency - Telegraph
His problem was that he is a renowned speaker but people have come to distrust his words.
Yeah, people finally figured out that he really is a politician. (i.e. He will say whatever he thinks it is that you want to hear.)
On the substance, he did not move to the centre as some had expected. He stuck to his guns on health care reform but sounded unconvincing because he gave no clue as to how he can rescue a bill that barely a third of Americans support.

Again and again, he reverted to campaign mode, resorting to what Senator John McCain dubbed B.I.O.B. - Blame It On Bush. He even recalled his 2008 slogan of "Change we can believe in", which these days prompts chuckles from conservatives and not much more than a whiff of nostalgia from liberals.
No speech was going to do him much good, and this one didn't.

A Shotgun Blast Will Ruin Your Day

He started as a burglar, ended as a corpse. Homeowner shoots intruder with shotgun
The incident is believed to have started at approximately 1:15 p.m. when the suspect was spotted burglarizing a vending machine at a car wash on Tatum Boulevard and Charleston Avenue, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson.

In his attempt to leave the scene, the suspect cracked his axle but continued to drive away, stopping by an elementary school close to the home he invaded.
He asked the homeowner for car keys, money and identification. What he got was a stomach wound from a 12-gauge shotgun. He died at a local hospital.

Self-defense is a human right.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Should a Lying Bastard Be a Cop?

Chief of Police tried to fire him; it didn't stick. Councilman questions whether cop who lied should get job back
Eric Werner, 31, was fired after providing false statements in an internal investigation regarding a 2007 incident in which Werner struck a suspect.

Earlier this month, the Seattle public Safety Civil Service Commission agreed that Werner lied, but ruled 2-1 that his punishment was too harsh compared with other officers in similar previous cases.
He struck someone - on the job - and lied about it, and he is to reinstated after a 30 day unpaid suspension. Why does that sound bad?

Of course it isn't the only time no real punishment was handed down.
They cited an officer who fired shots at a stolen car, misrepresented the facts and was not suspended for the incident. Another officer didn't notify authorities of discharging his service weapon and only reported it after learning of an investigation. He was not suspended, but instead received a disciplinary transfer with no loss of pay.

In another case cited, an off-duty officer didn't report an incident in which her handgun was accidentally discharged and was given only 15 days suspension. An officer in a fourth case denied using any use of force and was contradicted by three witnesses, but received only a one-day suspension.
Personally I don't think any one of them should be police officers.

What if the Police Are Too Busy?

This is the story of a tragedy. Domestic violence. Disarmed victims (who are prosecuted for self-defense of any kind). Police too busy to respond. Police failed to help woman who dialled 999 twice before she was murdered - Telegraph Bludgeoned and butchered.

She called 999 (the UK version of 911) twice. No police were available to answer the call. Neighbors also called.
In total, police were rung four times from the flats in just 15 minutes but not one officer was deployed.
Domestic violence (she was killed by her ex-husband and an accomplice) was also not tracked by the cops. Though if no one is available...

In the end, they didn't send anyone til the next day.

Calling 911 (999 in the UK) is a fine thing, but if you think that will always solve your problems, you are sadly mistaken. It is not uncommon in large cities (on either side of The Pond) for police to be tied up at other 911 calls. You may be waiting quite some time before help arrives. Indeed, you may have to wait for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Haloscan is History

Unfortunately, way back when, I decided to use Haloscan for comments and trackbacks.

Well, in 15 days - or sooner if the HW gives out - Haloscan will be no more.

There isn't way to import those old comments into Blogger at this time - though I guess that is under review. But at some point, those comments will be gone, and I don't know if I will get them back or not.

Paying a third party for a feature offered free by Blogger, doesn't sound like a winning proposition.

Cooperation Does Not Equal Safety

The clerk cooperated with robber, he was shot anyway. Circle K clerk in critical condition after robbery, shooting; suspect found dead You have to watch the video, but they are taught to cooperate.
Clerk Chris Spears was working alone at the Circle K off LaGrange Road in Lyndon, when police say Rickey Watson walked in armed with a gun and robbed the store.

According to fellow employee Jeff La Duke, Spears did as he was trained, but the robber still shot him in the chest and left him to die.
Cooperation didn't equal safety. So many folks opposed to self-defense don't like to hear that.

Cooperation is a strategy, not a guarantee. Like any strategy, it isn't perfect. Violent criminals don't stop being violent criminals because you act like a sheep.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Obama as the Taxman

An interesting take on the old Beatles' tune.

People have way too much time on their hands.

64-year-old Homeowner Defends Himself

What should he have done with an intruder in his home at 4 AM? - North St. Louis homeowner shoots, kills burglar
It happened just before 4 am at a home in the 1900 block of College as a man and two women were in the act of burglarizing a home.

Officials say the 64-year-old homeowner, who had also been burglarized less then 48 hours earlier, fired a shot, striking the male intruder in the chest.
The guy died at the scene and the police are searching for the other two.

Charges are not expected against the homeowner. Self-defense is a human right.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Even in the People's Republic of Illinois, Self-defense Works

This is less than an hour by car (depending on traffic) from the homestead of Dear Leader. Liquor store robber fatally shot by clerk in Crest Hill :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
About 10 p.m., the suspect, who's identity has not been released, came into S and A Liquor at 1480 Cedarwood Dr. in Crest Hill and demanded money, police said.

"There was a struggle and the clerk fired a shot which appears to have hit the robber before he ran out," Crest Hill police Chief Dwayne Wilkerson said.
He showed up at a local hospital and was identified as the would-be robber. He eventually died from his wounds.

I wonder if they will try to charge the clerk for defending himself?

How Do They Expect to Stop Piracy Like This?

This is insanity. United Kingdom, Transport, Piracy Off Somalia: Prosecutions, Procrastination And Progress
One striking feature of the various counter-piracy naval operations in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden is that, while warships of many nations have been successful in preventing many hijackings, more pirates and suspected pirates have been released—often being repatriated to Somalia without any weapons but with fresh supplies of food and clothes—than have been detained for prosecution. This has happened even when pirates have been captured while holding hostages. At first sight, this suggests that in such instances there was either ample evidence of guilt, or the naval forces were confiscating possessions in dubious circumstances.

The reality is more disturbing. There is a notable lack of political will on the part of most nations to become involved in prosecutions. It is simply too much trouble and too disruptive and expensive, and there are fears that convicted pirates may ultimately be able to secure rights of asylum. And this, despite the much-publicised agreements reached by the United Kingdom, the US, the EU and others, with countries such as Kenya, for suspects to be detained and tried.
So more ransoms are paid, and more money flows and more pirates ply their trade.

It is too much trouble for these nations to enforce the law. They turn murderous (and they are murderous) pirates loose even when it is clearly not the right thing to do because of politics.

And if you don't have a big corporate backer, when you are captured by pirates, you are probably dead meat.

The “International Community” at work. Do they really expect a "catch and release" policy to do anything but encourage the bloodsuckers?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mother Defends Her Family

Which is what mothers are supposed to do. West Side Resident Shoots Would-Be Robber | WBNS-10TV, Central Ohio News:
The homeowner said two acquaintances held his family at gunpoint, demanding cash and prescription painkillers, 10TV News reported.

The homeowner said that's when his mother came out of a room with a handgun and opened fire, hitting one of the men.
The injured guy was taken to the hospital in police custody. Since the two idiots were known to the family, the other guy was caught later.

No word on the condition of the burglar who got shot.

This lady is no damsel in distress. She is more like a lioness, or mama bear defending her own. (I don't have much use for damsels in distress.)

Self-defense is a human right, but I believe that parents have a duty to protect their families. But heh, that's me.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Would-be Home Invaders Meet Armed Homeowner

The results are what you expect. The Greeneville Sun - News Story - Teen, 17, Dies In Shooting By Homeowner

This 17-year-old will counted by the anti-gun crowd as "a teen tragically shot." Of course if he survived to face prosecution, he might have been tried as an adult. The fact that he was breaking and entering is not of interest to the anti-gunners. (Why clutter the issue with facts?)
[The homeowner] told officers that he fired shots toward the entrance to the mobile home and subsequently found that at least one of the shots had struck a youth ... .

Sheriff Burns said three other suspects were believed to have fled the shooting scene and were still being sought this morning.
They have 3 people in mind and are searching.

The sheriff says most burglaries in that area are by people addicted to prescription pain-killers, though he couldn't offer definitive information in this case.

If you break into enough homes, you will eventually find an armed homeowner. If you are really unlucky that will happen the first time you try to break in. What ensues when you meet that armed resident is no surprise. (At least not to me.)

Self-defense is a human right, and a group of thugs breaking into a home in the middle of the night is a reasonable threat. Or at least I think so.

Cops Committing Fraud

She's an ex-cop now, but she was on the force when the crime was committed. Ex-cop convicted of trying to deposit phony $1M check :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
On Wednesday, Tiffany Brown was found guilty of trying to deposit a phony $1 million check at the Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union.

Brown, 38, was convicted of forgery, attempted theft and official misconduct
She said it was for a settlement from a local amusement park, and she had a fake memo to back it up. I guess she thought no one would doubt the word of a Chicago cop. (What was she thinking?)

No word on sentencing; I guess that will happen later.

Of Course the Unions Are Against It

So a cop commits perjury, and is caught out. Should being fired be the only punishment? Edward Davis defies cops’ union with his anti-lying edict - The unions think this is too much punishment.

I think it is too little. But at least it is something.

Should There Be a Separate Set of Rules for Cops?

A lot of cops seem to think so. Cop charged with assault on cabdriver
Karl Clermont has said he drove a man from downtown to Armitage and Damen about 1:35 a.m. on April 23. Clermont said the man walked away without paying. Clermont said he did a U-turn, demanded the $8 fare, and the man reached into a pocket and grabbed a black handgun.

The man allegedly said, "You choose. Either I don't owe you s - - - or you get out of the car and see what's gonna happen."
It is bad enough that a cop stiffed a cab driver for an 8 dollar fair, but what happened afterward, is disgusting.
After the responding officers realized the man was an off-duty officer, a sergeant tried to talk Clermont into dropping the matter, Clermont has claimed.
So an off-duty cop turns into a common thug, and the on-duty cops want us to ignore the fact. I doubt those cops were even cautioned not to act like enablers.

Cops need to be held to a higher standard; they shouldn't be given a pass.

And why is pulling a gun on someone in Chicago a misdemeanor offense?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

But This Is Impossible in Gun Free England

At least the gun-controllers think it should be impossible. Gangland shootings lead to big rise in London gun crime | News
Gun crime increased dramatically in London last year even though the total number of offences fell, new figures revealed today. Violent attacks were also up.
Crime is down overall...
But gangsters engaged in drug and turf wars are increasingly using firearms to settle scores, and often only the skill of paramedics prevented shootings becoming murders.
But but but... England is a "Gun Free Zone."

Apparently someone forgot to tell the crooks that.

It works so well in the advertising.

This Is Big News - If It's True

This is how plumbers justify high costs. After all, anyone can use PEX or PVC. Copper pipes could cause heart disease and Alzheimer's - Telegraph

Better go buy one of those filtering pitchers.

Of course you can take zinc to help with the copper.

One study, one mice, isn't necessarily definitive, but it is interesting.

UK Still Not Taking Rape Seriously

These idiots are still police officers. Taxi rape victim calls for police sacking after officers laughed at her | News
The move follows comments made by a 21-year-old woman who was assaulted by Worboys as he drove her from central London to Eltham in July 2007. The woman, a student at the University of Greenwich at the time, said officers patronised her and left her feeling like a criminal. She said: “When I told them about my injuries they just laughed and said I must have just fallen over.”

It came as the Met faced new criticism over an inquiry into a second serial sex offender. An independent report will identify mistakes made as the force failed to arrest Kirk Reid. Five officers, including at least one of superintendent rank, face disciplinary action.
Whatever "action" they face, it won't be enough. In a similar case, where police ignored a serial rapist.
Five police officers were disciplined for blunders in the inquiry. Two officers, a detective inspector and detective constable, received written warnings and three others words of advice.
A written reprimand? Words of advice? That isn't even a slap on the wrist. (2 years suspension without pay, or firing for cause, would be something.)

As a result of this attitude, and the part of court defense tactics that haven't been legal in this country for years, most people who study the matter believe rape is hardly ever reported in the UK. It certainly results in very few men going to prison.

Cindy McCain Supports Same Sex Marriage

To Bad John McC isn't on board.
John McCain's wife Cindy becomes poster girl for same-sex marriage - Telegraph
Senator John McCain has been forced to issue a statement clarifying his position on gay marriage after his wife Cindy and daughter Meghan posed for campaign posters.
Don't worry John, we know you are an old fart. Don't expect stuff like this from old farts.

So let's see, off the top of my head, same sex marriage and/or civil unions are now in place in the UK, Portugal, Spain, at least one of the Scandinavian countries, Israel (they recognize any legal marriage done out of the country, including same sex), Canada, and one or more of the South American countries. Not to mention a state or two in the US and a state or two in Mexico. (Did I get that right? Leave anyone out? I'm not consulting notes here.)

So given all those same-sex couples enjoying the legal benefits of marriage, exactly what impact are they having on you and your marriage?

Pharmacist With Shotgun Stops Robbery

People addicted to [ain killers are a real problem. Kan. Pharmacist Pulls Shotgun on Robber
Police said a man entered Mark's Pharmacy ... and demanded drugs, or he said he would blow up the business.

Pharmacist Mark Williams grabbed a shotgun and fired several rounds at the man as he fled.

"There was a threat -- there was a bomb there, so I shot into the ceiling," Williams told KMBC's Jim Flink. "I wasn't aiming for him. I could have killed him -- I didn't."
The guy left a package, but it was not a bomb.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Criminals Who Don't Know Texans Are Armed

One of them ended up shot. Police: Homeowner opens fire on would-be home invaders | WOAI.COM: San Antonio News
Police say a homeowner on Timberwolf was inside his house when he heard someone trying to kick in his back door. He grabbed his revolver, opened the door, and saw at least 3 males just outside. He told police he feared for his life and opened fire, shooting 5 times. At least one of the group was shot.
Only the injured knucklehead is in custody, and police are searching for the other two.

Not only is self-defense a human right, self-defense works.

“humble but important milestone”

A modest start, but it is a start. Tesla celebrates production of its 1,000th Roadster
Tesla Motors has built its 1,000th production vehicle – a significant milestone for the only automaker worldwide producing and selling highway-capable electric cars.
As they expect it to be a collectors' item, it is a bit more than the usual price at $175,000.

Not too bad for a startup automaker in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Congrats to Senator-elect Brown

I didn't think this could happen, but the GOP prevails in MA.

Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

The results are fairly predictable. Homeowner shoots would-be intruder dead in Vegas - Las Vegas Sun
Las Vegas police say a homeowner shot and killed an intruder who kicked in the front door of his house northwest of downtown Las Vegas.
Police found the body in the doorway.

If you break into enough homes, you will eventually find an armed homeowner. Predictable results include being shot and killed. If you are really unlucky that will happen the first time you try to break into a home.

Self-defense is a human right.

“Green” is Apparently Not Detroit's Thing

It is actually 13 cars rated - but I guess the copy editor has triskaidekaphobia. 12 greenest cars of 2010 -

Mostly the usual suspects: hybrids and compacts. mostly Japanese and European, with these two offerings from the "US" companies.
And who does a "top 12" list? (Or a top 13 list?) I guess they couldn't decide who to drop to get to 10.

Useless Nitwits Actually Helping with the Slaughter

I would dearly love to know of 3 places where UN peacekeeping troops (not supported by US, Australia or NATO) actually manged to keep the peace. UN Troops Involved in More East Congo Slaughter

More death and destruction in the Congo. Too much to quote it all here - just go take a look.

But this reminded me of another episode of failure.
Earlier this year, the Congolese Army went on the offensive against some of those rebel groups, and the United Nations provided logistical support. But the offensive failed to wipe out the rebels, and human rights groups have said that the military operations spurred the massacre of civilians, including by the government troops who were getting United Nations help. [my emphasis]
There was another time that UN Peacekeepers provided logistical support to troops carrying out genocide. It was in Srebrenica. So yeah, if after more than 10 years, the UN hasn't figured out to NOT be part of the problem, I think peacekeeping should go away.

They aren't part of the solution; they are part of the problem. Since they've had ten years to try and figure out how to stop being part of the problem, I would say that it is time for them to just get out of the way.

Plenty of Opportunity for Vote Fraud

Just seems like a 600,000 vote margin is going to be tough to beat. 'More than 600,000 on Mass. Voters Rolls Had Died or Moved'

So how many of these dead people will vote today?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Is The Democratic Machine Dead in Massachusetts?

I know everyone (well everyone on the Right) is excited by the prospect that a Republican might win the Senate seat lately held by Ted Kennedy.

But I just can't imagine machine politics letting that happen. Still, if I lived in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I would be out voting Tuesday.

It's Hard to Live in a World with Video Cameras

People can pull up speeches you made a few years ago and ask you why you changed your tune.

It would be so much easier if the Proles just believed what we told you TODAY. (That was so 2006!) [via LibertyIdeals]

Criminals Still Don't Know Texans Are Armed

So a would-be burglar meets and armed homeowner. Lubbock homeowner shoots attempted burglar
The homeowner tells police that someone was trying to get into his home around 2:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of 45th Street. The intruder knocked at the front door, and then the back door, and when he tried to kick in the door, the homeowner shot the potential burglar with a shotgun.
That will ruin your day.

The thug is in hospital with non-life-threatening wounds.

The homeowner should not face charges.
"A person does have the right to defend their house and the contents from someone breaking in and specifically the law states against burglary." says Lt. Neal Barron of the Lubbock Police Department.
Self-defense is a human right. And it works.

I Wonder if This Had Anything To Do With Crime Rates

Gun permits doubled in Michigan in 2009 | | Detroit Free Press
Applications and approvals for concealed weapons permits in Michigan doubled last year, as more than 73,000 people sought to obtain or renew licenses in the 12 months ending June 30, and 66,446 were approved, according to a recently released state police report.

That compared to 33,411 applications and 26,578 approvals in the preceding 12-month period.
The well-publicized increase in gun ownership. Things like this. And the well publicized decrease in crime. I wonder if they all relate.

A Scathing Review of Sunstein at

Just odd to see this at Salon. Glenn Greenwald - Obama confidant's spine-chilling proposal

Sunstein basically is in favor of secret police infiltrating any group that opposes what he thinks of as good government.
how could it possibly be justified for the U.S. Government to institute covert programs designed to undermine anti-government "conspiracy theories," discredit government critics, and increase faith and trust in government pronouncements? Because, says Sunstein, such powers are warranted only when wielded by truly well-intentioned government officials who want to spread The Truth and Do Good -- i.e., when used by people like Cass Sunstein and Barack Obama:
Throughout, we assume a well-motivated government that aims to eliminate conspiracy theories, or draw their poison, if and only if social welfare is improved by doing so.
But it's precisely because the Government is so often not "well-motivated" that such powers are so dangerous. Advocating them on the ground that "we will use them well" is every authoritarian's claim. More than anything else, this is the toxic mentality that consumes our political culture: when our side does X, X is Good, because we're Good and are working for Good outcomes.
There is more. Go read the whole thing. [via KABA]

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Can't Get Enough of This - Massachusetts Miracle Video

Very nicely done

Chicago School Plan Fails - Goes Nationwide

It was Chicago's plan to fix the schools. Of course now, under Arne Duncan, it is a national plan. Daley school plan fails to make grade -

First, the local piece:
Six years after Mayor Richard Daley launched a bold initiative to close down and remake failing schools, Renaissance 2010 has done little to improve the educational performance of the city's school system, according to a Tribune analysis of 2009 state test data.
Not bothering to wait for facts, Obama, and his basketball-playing Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan have made it our national plan.
The architect of Renaissance 2010, former schools CEO Arne Duncan, is now the U.S. Secretary of Education -- and he's taking the Daley-Duncan model national as part of his Race to the Top reform plan.

Duncan is using an unprecedented $4.35 billion pot of money to lure states into building education systems that replicate key Ren10 strategies.
Too bad they don't work. Well some things work, but overall they don't.

Why Do Obama, et al Keep Talking Iran Sanctions?

When the two peoples who would most need to enforce any sanctions have said time and again they won't, it seems crazy to me to keep banging on the subject.

China balks at Iran sanctions
In an expected move, China resisted sanctions, highlighting the key role that the country, with its United Nations Security Council veto power, is able to play in the international relationship with Iran.
To emphasize its point, China sent only sent a low-level representative to the meeting, while the other nations sent senior diplomats.

Russia says further anti-Iran sanctions futile
Moscow said on Saturday that imposing additional sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear energy program will most likely prove to be of no avail.

"I believe that in this particular situation, the effectiveness of [additional] sanctions is highly doubtful," said Russian Foreign Ministry Deputy Sergei Ryabkov, who represented Moscow at the meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1).
So why is Obama and company still beating a dead horse? Is it some arcane maneuver to put the Iranians off guard, or a complete lack of another option.

If you take a course in negotiation, one of the things they should teach you is that you should formulate your "best alternative to a negotiated solution." People can't always agree. Sometimes I think Washington bureaucrats and diplomats think that if they talk long enough you will agree to something. Maybe that is because they don't really believe in anything themselves.

Cop With History of "Intimidation" Uses Taser on Students

Another cop behaving stupidly - criminally stupid in fact. Cop Tases Jr. High Students; Lawsuits Filed | NBC Chicago
Two federal lawsuits each seek more than $10 million on behalf of two 12-year-old boys who allege a Kankakee police officer shocked them with a stun gun during an in-school demonstration. [UNAUTHORIZED demonstration]
He was stupid enough to shock kids in a special needs classroom.
"All the children in the class have some sort of learning or behavior disorder," the concerned parent said. "My son has Tramatic Brain Injury, if that gives you an example of what the makeup of the kids are in that class."
I would also love to know where the teacher was while this was going on.

Oh, and this isn't the first time this person has used a Taser on students.
The Netzel allegedly Tased a few students in the finger a week earlier, and allegedly has a history of intimidation. He is a 19-year-veteran of the Kankaee police force who has worked as a school -resources officer for years.
Bully with a badge? Sounds like it to me.

Cop is Pissed She Didn't Get a Free Pass

She thinks she shouldn't get a ticket for going 65 in 40 MPH zone. Tape reveals officer's comments

The interesting thing, is the documentation that cops don't hold other cops to the same set of rules.
Officer Christine Phinney told a Dorchester County sheriff's deputy that if she stopped another police officer for speeding, she would let them go and say "take it easy, see you later and have a good night."
Two sets of rules: one for cops, another for the Little People. (That's everyone else)

Is that how you spell justice?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

11-year-old Defends Himself and His Mother

This is much better than the earlier report stated. Injured 11-year-old shoots home invaders I guess the reporter of the earlier story couldn't believe it was a kid with a gun. (It had said the "homeowner" had the gun.)
An 11-year-old boy shot a man who broke into his home north of the city early Friday.

Three men burst into the house near the intersection of Minnesota Road and 8 Mile Line just before 12:30 a.m., Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies said.
The kid and his mother were barricaded in a bedroom. The thugs shot through the door, injuring the kid. He shot back with his .22 rifle hitting one of the thugs in the neck.

Police have the wounded thug in custody in a hospital. Two other guys, who the cops believe are the other 2 home invaders, are in custody as well.

So, tell me again how guns have to be locked up and kept away from kids for their safety. Or is that for the safety of robbers? My original story - with the errors from that paper - can be found at this link.

Did You Know the EU Was a Superpower?

Neither did I. Of course they seem to be having a few problems on that score. Haiti response shows the difference between the EU and a superpower - Telegraph
Compare and contrast the initial responses of two "major world powers" to the Haitian earthquake disaster. Within hours of Port-au-Prince crumbling into ruins, the US had sent in an aircraft carrier with 19 helicopters, hospital and assault ships, the 82nd Airborne Division with 3,500 troops and hundreds of medical personnel. They put the country's small airport back on an operational footing, and President Obama pledged an initial $100 million dollars in emergency aid.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the European Union geared itself up with a Brussels press conference led by Commission Vice-President Baroness Ashton, now the EU's High Representative – our new foreign minister. A scattering of bored-looking journalists in the Commission's lavishly appointed press room heard the former head of Hertfordshire Health Authority stumbling through a prepared statement, in which she said that she had conveyed her "condolences" to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and pledged three million euros in aid.
It goes on to talk about the 2004 tsunami response... where most of the heavy lifting was done by the US, Australia and Japan, and the Useless Nitwits at the UN spent the whole time complaining that no one would listen to them.

Don't expect the biased media to report too much of it.
Because they were self-sufficient, the US forces pulled off a stupendously successful life-saving operation, [in 2004] almost entirely ignored by the British media, notably the BBC (whose journalists on the spot were nevertheless quite happy to hitch lifts from US helicopters).
So maybe it will take them a while to get that whole superpower vibe down. Or maybe it just doesn't fit with the whole laid-back Paris (or Brussels) scene.

Bureaucrats in Charge of Health Care

Canada has what the Dems want to give to us. Hospital wouldn't help man having heart attack outside - Canada -

So a guy goes to the hospital because of chest pains, but when he gets there he can't walk in by himself because he is having a heart attack.
Smale said his mother, who doesn't drive and has had two heart valve replacements, went inside the hospital to get help because her husband was unable to walk on his own due to the pain.

She was told by hospital staff that they couldn't come out and she should bring him in herself or call 911, Smale said.

"I couldn't believe it. I just assumed that if someone's having a suspected heart attack at the front entrance, at least a nurse or security guard would get a wheelchair to get him in the door," he said in Halifax, where his father was receiving treatment.

"It just seemed ridiculous that they had to call 911 to get an ambulance to do it."
She called 911 and was told she would have to pay for the ambulance trip, even though the paramedics were already at the hospital - across the street actually.

This isn't the first time this insanity has been employed.
Earlier this year, Saskatchewan's health minister ordered a policy review after staff at a Saskatoon hospital called an ambulance to help a man lying just outside the emergency room doors.

Don McMorris said he was shocked to hear that paramedics were called to bring the man - who had collapsed just metres from the door - into the hospital.
They wouldn't walk outside.

So do you still think that the world is better when government runs health care?

Only One Paper Mentions the Head Start Study?

No media bias in the lack of coverage, certainly. Head Start program offers little sustained benefit | Midwest Voices Only the Kansas City Star mentions the study, and only one of the editorial page columnists mentions in a blog post. I wonder if made the print edition in any way.
Head Start provides little sustained benefit. A quote from the study:
... this report finds that providing access to Head Start has benefits for both 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds in the cognitive, health, and parenting domains, and for 3-year-olds in the social-emotional domain. However, the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole. For 3-year-olds, there are few sustained benefits, although access to the program may lead to improved parent-child relationships through 1st grade…
They quote a piece by the Heritage Foundation. (Don't they do their own research?)

Funny this silence, since it is government program proven to have no effects - except spending money. Not so funny when you consider
“Head Start is a key part of the Obama Administration’s strategic focus on early learning,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announcing the new initiative.
It doesn't work, so we are going to get more of it.

They Picked the Wrong Victim

He wasn't a victim after all. Men shot after attempting robbery at KCK car wash - Two guys on foot. Third guy in car. Two guys "approach" the owner of a car at a car wash.
He pulled out a gun and shot both of the men. One of the robbers suffered life-threatening injuries and couldn’t flee. However, the second suspect escaped in a car driven by a third suspect. They drove to 42nd Street and Shawnee Drive where they called medical officials for help. The second man’s condition was not believed to be life-threatening.
It isn't really clear, but it sounds like all three may be in custody.

The important thing is that only bad guys were injured in this story.

Friday, January 15, 2010

11-year-old shot by home-invader

[updated here] The father of the child returned fire. Homeowner Shoots Intruder

Three bad guys break into a home.
The men allegedly forced their way into the home. We're told the family barricaded themselves in a bedroom. Deputies say the home invaders shot through the door and hit the 11-year-old.

The homeowner had a rifle and fired back, hitting one of the men. The homeowner's son was the child hit. The 11-year-old is in the hospital and expected to recover.
The bad guy was hit in the neck. No word on his condition.

[The updated story (see link at top) is a bit different.)

Self-defense Still Works

He needs more practice time at the shooting range. Homeowner Opens Fire On Home Invaders - News Story - WSB Atlanta

He shot at them, but he missed.
A DeKalb County homeowner freed himself after being tied up, grabbed his own gun and opened fire on two home invaders late Thurday night, according to police.

The homeowner told investigators two men armed with semi-automatic pistols broke into his home in the 6700 block of Field Glen Road and tied him up.
The two invaders and third guy in a car got away.

Convicted Murderer Out on Parole Kills Again

In a repeat of the original crime... Convicted killer arrested in slaying of Tedeschi’s clerk - The Boston Globe

The authorities are confused about one thing.
Commissioner Edward F. Davis said Corliss had no reason to kill Dangol, who cooperated with the robber.
That's right. He cooperated. He died.

Violent criminals don't stop being violent criminals because you cooperate. Of course in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, you don't have much of a chance to defend yourself. (Let the Proles have guns? are you crazy?)

I wonder who recommended him for parole, and if he was let out to deal with over-crowded prisons.

Self-defense Works

California man, 81, pulls out gun and starts shooting to scare off would-be robbers |
Sacramento police said an elderly man scared off would-be robbers inside his home when he pulled a gun and started shooting.
The 81-year-old was not injured.

So how should he have defended himself without a firearm? Would cooperation ensure his safety? (Hint: the answer is "No") [via Uncle]

Ring of Fire

Very interesting eclipse.

Ring of fire: annular solar eclipse over Asia and Africa - Telegraph

Is Anyone to Blame for Fort Hood?

Officials: Pentagon report faults Hasan's bosses - Yahoo! News The fact that they "could" face discipline, doesn't mean that they will face discipline. It sounds from this report like they want to blame the "system." Very impersonal.
As many as eight Army officers could face discipline for failing to do anything when the alleged shooter in the Fort Hood rampage displayed erratic behavior early in his military career, two officials familiar with the case said.
Then there is the question of the military working with other branches of the government to stop terror attacks.
The inquiry also questions whether the Pentagon is fully committed to FBI-run Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The report calls on the Defense Department to fully staff those teams of investigators, analysts, linguists and others so the Pentagon can quickly see information collected across government agencies about potential links between troops and terrorist or extremist groups.
That is my emphasis. Linguists are interesting because the Pentagon keeps throwing them out in the street. As many as 58 in 2007. And they haven't stopped.

I mean be reasonable. Who constitutes the bigger threat to the military, gays or radical Islamic officers?

How Many Innocent People Are Still in Jail?

JusticeJon Burge and the Midnight Crew from Area Two tortured people to get confessions. Man freed after 23 years; alleged torture :: The SouthtownStar :: News

If the statute of limitations hadn't expired, there are something like 170 cases prosecutors believe could be successfully brought to trial. As it is, there will be little justice.

Some of these guys were sent to death row.
Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan ordered Michael Tillman released Thursday. Prosecutors asked that charges be dropped because Tillman only confessed after detectives violated his civil rights.
I guess that's the PC way to say torture.

So how many of these guys are still in jail?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gratuitous Movie Review

Saw District 9 a few days ago, while visiting friends in Cincinnati.

A bit intense at times, but I loved the documentary look of the film. I also love a film that answers most questions but leaves you wondering about 1 major question. This one does exactly that.

Worth a look.

Not Even Much Attention Is Paid to Piracy

A major problem, but I guess it isn't as important as Obamacare. Piracy hit all-time high in 2009, says report
A new report by the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting centre revealed that the pirates, mostly operating from the Gulf of Aden, attacked a total of 217 vessels, hijacking 47 of them and taking 867-crew members hostage.

In 2008, 111 vessels were targeted, ending in 42 hijackings.
This would seem to show that the navies of the world are incapable of stopping piracy with their current rules of engagement. (NATO was basically practicing "catch and release.")

Couldn't they figure out how to take advantage of this crisis?

Still Think The Government Can Protect You?

They can't get the NO-FLY lists right. Mikey Hicks, 8, Can’t Get Off U.S. Terror Watch List -

An 8-year-old kid, on a watch list, treated like a felon. That's security?
“We can’t just throw a bunch of names on these lists and call it security,” said Representative William J. Pascrell Jr., a New Jersey Democrat. “If we can’t get an 8-year-old off the list, the whole list becomes suspect.”
And if your on a list and want to get off the list, change your name.
Mario Labbé, a frequent-flying Canadian record-company executive, started having problems at airports shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, with lengthy delays at checkpoints and mysterious questions about Japan. By 2005, he stopped flying to the United States from Canada, instead meeting American clients in France. Then a forced rerouting to Miami in 2008 led to six hours of questions.

“What’s the name of your mother? Your father? When were you last in Japan?” Mr. Labbé recalled being asked. “Always the same questions in different order. And sometimes, it’s quite aggressive, not funny at all.”

Fed up, in the summer of 2008, he changed his name to François Mario Labbé. The problem vanished.
Because a terrorist would never change his name.

Security theater is an expensive joke. Now after the latest gaff we are going to spend millions of dollars on scanners that would NOT have stopped the last attack anyway. [via NRA-ILA]

A Record Year for Foreclousures

And you thought the economy was getting better. Which States Had The Most Foreclosures In 2009? - The Atlantic Business Channel
Foreclosure data tracker RealtyTrac released its final 2009 foreclosure statistics today. The results, as you can probably imagine, are ugly. The U.S. had 2,824,674 foreclosed properties. That's a 21% increase from 2008 and a 120% increase from 2007.
Not surprising who won the race - where the most insanity was living.
If you want to compare total foreclosures, then California ranked #1, with 632,573 foreclosed properties. Florida followed with 516,711. Arizona was a distant third with 163,210 foreclosures.

But since California and Florida are pretty highly-populated states, it isn't necessarily fair to call them the worst, in my opinion. I'm more interested in how many foreclosures each state had per housing unit. That levels the playing field. Luckily, RealtyTrac provides that data as well. Now the worst state is Nevada, with a whopping one foreclosure for every 10 properties. Arizona follows with one foreclosure for every 16 properties. Florida is right on its heels with one foreclosure for every 17 properties.
It seems some people just didn't get in step with the easy money insanity.
Nebraska actually had 42% fewer foreclosures in 2009 than in 2008, and 49% fewer in 2009 than in 2007. The other solid performance came from North Carolina. The state had 16% fewer foreclosures in 2009 than 2008, and 2% fewer in 2009 than in 2007. Six other states had fewer foreclosures in 2009 than in 2008, but all the rest had more foreclosures in 2009 than in 2007.
2010 should be another record year with about 3 million foreclosures.

And don't expect the realty market to recover - banks are actually keeping foreclosed properties off the market, but they can't do that forever.
RealtyTrac data indicates that more than 900,000 properties nationwide are held by banks, but 450,000 of those are not on the market for sale.
Sooner or later those properties will be sold.

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Interesting Look at Business in China

Doesn't sound like anyplace I would do business. Come back? Not for all the scooters in China - Telegraph So you think you can get something manufactured cheap? You will be lucky to get it manufactured at all. Go read it.

This is Why I Don't Use Facebook

Well, one reason anyway. There is too much info about all of us on the internet to begin with. Why would I add to it? Half of employers 'reject potential worker after look at Facebook page' - Telegraph
One in 10 were knocked back for boasting about drinking and drugs online, 13 per cent were vetoed for making racist comments and nine per cent were overlooked for placing racy photos on their Facebook page.
Then there is lying on the resume, but being stupid enough to post the truth on Facebook. That got 38 percent. That's a lot of folks bending the truth.

Self-defense Still Not Legal in the UK

So what should she have done? Myleene Klass warned by police after scaring off intruders with knife - Telegraph
Miss Klass, 31, who was alone in her house in Potters Bar, Herts, with her two-year-old daughter, Ava, called the police. When they arrived at her house they informed her that she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an "offensive weapon" – even in her own home – was illegal.
I mean if people start acting on their own behalf, before long they may actually be thinking for themselves. [Hat tip to Janette S. - Thanks for the email.]

Only a Concept, But a Good Looking Car

Electric cars don't have to be stupid looking. Audi shows off second e-tron electric car concept | 2010 Detroit auto show And Audi follows up with a 2nd e-tron concept. (e-tron is going to be their electric brand.)
[Click the image for a better view.]
The two motors driving the wheels, along with the 880-pound lithium ion battery, give the car 204 horsepower and 1,955 pound-feet of torque, getting the e-tron to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. The 45 kilowatt-hour battery also gives the car a range of 155 miles.
Not too shabby.
The original e-tron had 4 motors, one in each wheel, and substantial torque. Still, this isn't bad. If I had to guess, I would say the cost of the battery pack is what is holding them back.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Toxic Stuff From China

When are we going to learn? Toxic metal in kids' jewelry from China - Yahoo! News
Barred from using lead in children's jewelry because of its toxicity, some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting the more dangerous heavy metal cadmium in sparkling charm bracelets and shiny pendants being sold throughout the United States
Oh yeah, that makes sense.

12 percent of the stuff tested by the AP had 10% cadmium.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Perverted Police Seem to be getting away with it too

Another roundup of cops, with an emphasis on the sleazy. Perverted Police � From sexual battery to child sex, and strangely some of the evidence was deleted. [via Keep and Bear Arms.]

Cops Behaving Badly, and Getting Away With It

A round up of some of the boys in blue breaking the law. The Big Blue Crime Wave � Blog [via Keep and Bear Arms.]

Advice for Driving on Snow and Ice

Apparently they don't know how in England. Driving in snow is not about high-speed wheel spins say professionals - Times Online There are plenty of places in the US that probably need some instructions as well.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Portuguese Approve Gay Marriage

This must be sucking the sanctity out of your marriage. Or maybe not. Portuguese MPs approve gay marriage - Telegraph
In contrast to Spain, where the run-up to the legalisation of gay marriage in 2005 brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets, the bill in Portugal provoked only muted opposition even from the political right.
I suppose this was all over the radio talk shows today. Or maybe they missed it, and will get to it Monday.

Not Even the Left is Happy With Obamacare

Unions Oppose Possible Health Insurance Tax -
When millions of blue-collar workers were leaning toward John McCain during the 2008 campaign, labor unions moved many of them into Barack Obama’s column by repeatedly hammering one theme: Mr. McCain wanted to tax their health benefits.

But now labor leaders are fuming that President Obama has endorsed a tax on high-priced, employer-sponsored health insurance policies as a way to help cover the cost of health care reform.
So who exactly was lying? The Obama Campaign, or the Union Leaders?

I just find the schadenfreude to be delicious.

Why Can't They Just Shoot Themselves and Leave Everyone Else Alone?

It isn't the first time police were called to the home. HeraldNet: Whatcom County man shoots girlfriend, then kills her daughter and himself
A man shot and wounded his girlfriend, killed her 14-year-old daughter and then took his own life at a home in Maple Falls.

That's What You Call Ironic

Not surprising, but ironic. Gun Control Advocate Shoots Intruder Can you say, "hypocrite?" He is a long-time advocate of strict gun-control, but he doesn't believe in limiting his own right to be armed.
North Carolina state senator R.C. Soles shot one of two intruders who attempted to break into his house.
Of course the story is a little murky, because the DA isn't buying the self-defense story. So maybe it is that he doesn't trust himself with guns. [via KABA]

I Thought the World Loved Obama

They may love him, but they are quickly losing respect for him. Obama finally gets tough: what took him so long? – Telegraph

He isn't in tune the reality of what we formerly called the "War on Terror."
Yet it has taken him two weeks to show that he finally understands what al-Qaeda and the bid to blow up Flight 253 are all about: they want to kill Americans, no matter who is the president. At long last he acknowledged the US was at war.
He has an exaggerated view of his own effectiveness.
It really seems as if beforehand he believed that his Cairo speech and outreach to Muslims would have an immediate effect. His appeasing tone may reap long term benefits, but the president seems to have woken up to the fact that being nice will not deter al-Qaeda.
"Nice guys finish last." Being nice is OK, as long as you are respected. "Walk softly and carry a Big Stick," is still a better way to approach the world than bowing and scraping and wanting everyone to like you. Because when all is said and done, not everyone is going to like you.

He Shot Himself in the Neck?

Stupid criminals... Police: Teenage Burglar Accidentally Shot Self During Getaway - WGHP
A teenager accidentally shot himself in the neck as he scrambled to exit a home he was burglarizing after the homeowner surprised him Wednesday night, police said.
He collapsed at the end of the driveway, and was taken to hospital.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

The Violence Policy Center has some statistics. Too bad they don't present them fairly. Gun-control advocates play fast and loose
Now consider this statistic: Concealed handgun permit holders have killed 107 people since 2007. That news, from the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., sounds pretty bad - until you put it in context. How many Americans have been issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon?

The Violence Policy Center doesn't say. And it's probably impossible to pin down a precise number, because records are kept on a state-by-state basis, and reporting criteria differ from state to state. But NRA estimates put the number in the neighborhood of 5 million, as of a couple of years ago. (The NRA adds that permit applications have jumped 50 percent since the 2008 elections - which seems borne out at least here in Virginia. At present there are 211,435 active permits in the commonwealth. Just this year, Virginia courts have granted more than 62,000.)

If that's true, then the percentage of concealed-carry permit holders who have killed someone with a firearm comes to two one-thousandths of 1 percent.
The whole thing is worth looking at, especially if you are confused about how statistics lie. It is also interesting to see how some statistics are ignored.
Should states make it harder to get a permit? Perhaps - but not because of the VPC's statistics, which make concealed-carry permit holders seem a lot safer to be around than, say, airbags.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, airbags have saved 25,000 people - and killed 290. If a pharmaceutical company came out with a new drug that killed more than one person for every hundred lives it saved, Washington would ban it in a heartbeat. Yet airbags are federally mandated. Maybe the Violence Policy Center should look into that.
Hat tip to NRA-ILA

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Sad Truth About Facebook’s pro-rape group

A sad commentary on society. What Facebook’s pro-rape group says about our culture of sexual assault / The Christian Science Monitor -

World's Cheapest Car to Come to US

It costs $2,500 in India. It will cost more once they meet the US standards. Nano to arrive in 3 years
Tata Motors, which bought Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford, doubled its December sales compared with the previous year.
Three years is soon enough.

Even if they double the price, it will be tough for the US to compete.

South Dakota is Serious About Concealed Carry

They issued a Record Number of Concealed Carry licenses.
16,907 permits were issued by sheriffs throughout the state which was 15.6% more permits than the previous record set in 2008. Permits are valid for four years. The number issued in 2009 was 68% higher than the 10,062 permits which were issued in 2005.
That's a big change in a few years.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

On the Road Again...

Posting may not be impacted the first few days, but count on things getting quiet the first of next week. Not snow related.

The Religion of Peace?

Not hardly. Gunmen Kill 7 at Egypt Church after Christmas Mass - TIME Everyone one is pointing fingers.
Three men in a car sprayed automatic gunfire into a crowd of churchgoers in southern Egyptian as they left a midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas, killing at least seven people in a drive-by shooting, the church bishop and security officials said.
Like Eastern Orthodox, Coptics celebrate Christmas 12 days after the West. (The 12 days of Christmas fall after Christmas.)

While the Islamic community it saying it is payback for a rape, rape is not a new thing in this community. DUIN: Coptic girls being abducted - Washington Times
Ten years ago, I was in Egypt interviewing Coptic Christians who described how persecution by Muslims had become a way of life for them. The situation is worse now because of increased abductions of Coptic girls, who are forced into a sham marriage with a Muslim, raped, forced to convert to Islam and separated for good from their families.

These are girls as young as 12 who are being grabbed off Egyptian streets. Photos are taken while the girl is being raped to blackmail her into converting, says Mary Abdelmassih, a Coptic activist.
That's converting to Islam folks.
"It's a business," she said. "For each Christian girl who gets 'converted,' there are Islamic charities that give out money to the husband and the dealers who obtained her."
I am sure someone will call me a bigot for reporting this, but it is nothing less than the truth. So do your worst - I don't care. But if you show up at my door, be ready to eat the output of the house gun. Just saying.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0

Attitude Counts in life. Never give up. Where there is life, there is hope. Police: Girl Killed By Homeowner In Robbery Attempt - Indiana News Story - WRTV Indianapolis

This guy was shot. But he didn't give up.
Miguel Duarte, 29, was shot in his home ..., early Tuesday, but managed to wrestle the gun away from his assailant and fatally shoot her, police said.
The would-be robber wasn't alone, but it didn't matter.

Duarte was injured, but his wife and two children (ages 4 and 6) were not injured. He is in stable condition.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

So, How Are Those Investments in GM and Chrysler Turning Out?

Not so good. 10.4 million cars and light trucks were sold in the US market in 2009, the lowest level in 27 years.

Chrysler says December sales down 4 percent | Reuters Unit sales were down 36 percent compared to 2008, with December's numbers down 4 percent over last year. Just to put this in perspective, it was the first time since 1962 that Chrysler sold fewer than 1 million vehicles.

GM didn't do much better. December a Mixed Month for Auto Sales - GM sales were down 6 percent in December and 20 percent for the full year.

Auto sales end '09 on upswing, Ford surges | Reuters Ford had a good December, with sales 33 percent higher than the same month in 2008. Year over year they were down 15 percent. All without a bailout.

Toyota sales were down 20 percent for the full year, but they still ended up selling more vehicles than GM to become the top-selling brand for the first time.

On a monthly basis, the foreign manufactures look pretty good.
Nearly all foreign automakers said their United States sales increased last month when compared with December 2008. Sales were up 44 percent at Kia, 41 percent at Hyundai, 32 percent at Toyota, 18 percent at Nissan and 16 percent at Volkswagen.
Hyundai sales up 8.3 percent in the full year over 2008. That is amazing given the way the US market shrank in 2009. Globally, Hyundai passed Ford to be the 4th largest automaker.

2009 Kia Motors America sales were up 10 Percent year over year.

I have always said the government shouldn't try to pick winners and losers in the market. Now it looks like they can't. We were told we had to give to give away all that money - billions - to keep those people employed. So how long do we have to do that? How about a transition plan? They either make in the real world (GM lost money the year BEFORE the recession started) or they go under.

So how long are we going to continue giving money to GM and Chrysler? Probably for too damn long.

I resent the fact that I was forced - through government bailouts - to become a stockholder in these two hopeless enterprises. I wouldn't buy their stock on the open market, but I ended up with a share of the problem anyway.

And I still won't buy a vehicle from Government Motors.

So Much for Low Fat

Bacon and eggs 'could help mothers-to-be boost the intelligence of unborn child' - Telegraph

This reminds of a scene from Woody Allen's Sleeper.

I Blame Global Warming

Britain braced for heaviest snowfall in 50-years - Telegraph

Dallas, TX had the first snow on Christmas in 80 years, now the UK is bracing for the worst winter weather in 50 years.

The Arctic ice - the last time I checked - was significantly recovered from its low 2 years ago. (It had been 40% below the 1979-to-2000 average, it was about 30% above that, or 20 percent below that "historical" average.

And the scare quotes are deliberate since it seems strange to use such a short-term average for setting a baseline on a climatological process.

In fact it isn't just the UK. Arctic freeze grips Northern Hemisphere -

Monday, January 04, 2010

An Alarm Didn't Stop Him

Is an alarm good enough? The alarm companies want you to think so. Homeowner Shoots Suspected Burglar - KPRC Houston
"We were both jarred awake," Pam Cole said. "We knew something was wrong. The alarm was going off."

"Someone is coming in the house and she yelled out,' Get your shotgun,'" Robert Cole said. "I came out of the bedroom and down the hall here, a man with a black hoodie and a fire extinguisher like he was going to beat somebody, was in the living room. I came out of the bedroom with the shotgun … shot him in the hip. He screamed, dropped the fire extinguisher and dived into the hole he came in."
Needless to say, he didn't get far (A shotgun blast will ruin your day.)

The injured guy was charged with burglary.

No Shots Fired - No One Hurt - Bad Guy in Custody

This incident won't show up in anyone's statistics - neither the FBI's nor the Brady Bunch's. It was still a defensive use of a firearm. Barista turns the table on gun-toting would-be robber
Police say the 17-year-old confronted Sunshine Espresso owner Michelle Cornelson with a gun at about 6:20 a.m. on Wednesday, demanding all her money.
. . .
Cornelson quickly whipped out her 9 mm Kel-Tec firearm -- a Christmas present from her husband -- scaring the teen off before calling police.
Merry Christmas.

There was cop nearby, and the kid is in custody. At 17, he is in a juvenile center, but maybe that will change when the DA gets involved.

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0. Self-defense is a human right.
[via Uncle, who says she was "Obviosly, compensating for the size of her penis" via Breda]

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Health Care in the UK

Two patients ill with suspected legionnaire's disease at scandal-hit hospital - Telegraph
Two patients at a hospital severely criticised for its high mortality rates and poor hygiene standards are feared to have contracted life-threatening legionnaire's disease.
This disease is typically spread via air conditioning or water systems, (Mayo Clinic) among other things.

Now I a not going to extensively research legionnaires' disease, but if memory serves, there are standard maintenance chores that can reduce the occurrence of this disease. This may just prove to be an unhappy coincidence, but the hospital in question was already dinged for slack maintenance.

Why? Because maintenance costs money.

It Seems Discipline is Important After All

Can you have self-discipline if you never had any of the regular kind? Smacked children more successful later in life, study finds
A study found that youngsters smacked up to the age of six did better at school and were more optimistic about their lives than those never hit by their parents.
Expect all the usual suspects to have a fit.
The research, conducted in the United States, is likely to anger children’s rights campaigners who have unsuccessfully fought to ban smacking in Britain.

Vigilantism Is Not the Answer

Whenever the subject of self-defense comes up, you can usually find a reporter talking about "taking the law into your own hands." This is NOT a description of self-defense. In the heat of the moment, when you are facing an attacker, when seconds count and police are minutes away, defending yourself or your family is not vigilantism. It is only what responsible adults were expected to do for the bulk of human history.

Taking the law into your own hands is illegal. Accused Child Rapist Found Murdered - WSOC Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. -- A man charged with raping a child was killed and officers said they believe it was the little girl’s father who did it.
This is taking the law into your own hands. This is vigilantism, and it is wrong.

Maybe you think the penalties for child rape, are too low. You may think that the child shouldn't have to face the prospect of testifying in court. If you think that, you should work to change the laws, not break a few of your own.

The girl in question is probably going to lose her father. Will she take any comfort in his actions?

Now I actually understand vendetta. Why people would want to do things like that. But I don't think people should do them. Gods know our system isn't perfect, but it is still better than living in the anarchy that would reign if this kind of thing was let go.

"Innocent until proved guilty in a court of law," and "beyond a reasonable doubt" are two important phrases in this society.

One Against Three, But They Ran Like Rabbits

Well, not all of them ran away. Detectives trying to determine if homeowner shot and killed suspected robber in northwest Houston -
Police say the homeowner was inside his home on Thornton near Brinkman when three men showed up with guns. The homeowner grabbed his gun and exchanged fire with the suspects. One of the suspects was shot and died at the scene. However, police aren't sure if the homeowner fired the fatal shot.
Self-defense is a human right. But just as important, it works.