Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Still One of the Best Fight Scenes in Anime

Tifa vs. Loz.

Two Defensive Shootings: Two Different Reactions

One was in Georgia, where they have a good version of the Castle Doctrine written into law.

The other was in New York, where the authorities are trying to determine if it will politically expedient to charge the homeowner for defending his home.

Homeowner Used "Self Defense" Against Intruders | defense, homeowner, intruders - Local News - WTVC NewsChannel 9: Chattanooga News, Weather, Radar, Sports, Lottery
The "Castle Doctrine" has its roots in English Common Law and gives a person the right to defend his or her home. And that's exactly what Rossville, Georgia police say a homeowner did Monday afternoon when two intruders tried to break into his home.
The written law is on his side. Centuries of British Common Law is on the homeowner's side. The police are on his side.
Public Safety Director Sid Adams said, "At this point in time I don't see any reason or anything that indicates [the homeowner] did anything wrong."
When Can a Homeowner Legally Use Deadly Force? | WKBW News 7: News, Sports, Weather - Buffalo, New York | Local News
A deadly shooting inside an Amherst home over the weekend is stirring up questions about when a homeowner has the right to use deadly force. So far the homeowner who shot and killed a 31-year-old teacher shortly after 1:00 a.m. Sunday has not been charged with a crime and whether or not that changes depends heavily on if it can be shown that the homeowner had reason to believe the intruder intended to commit burglary.
How in the name of all that is sacred are you supposed to be able to determine some stranger's intent at 1 AM. He is in your home. He has been warned you have a gun. He is not leaving. Do you think he is there to take the Census?

I suppose he should have sat meekly by, and called 911, and hoped the police got there before anything bad could happen.

Self-defense is a human right.

The End of American Preeminence in Science?

Actually, that either happened some time ago, or this is the beginning of the end. I guess it is a matter of perspective. Large Hadron Collider achieves success with high energy particle collisions - Telegraph [Click the images for larger views.]

The largest experiment ever. Texas (the University of?) tried to secure this for the US. But politicians aren't interested. The public isn't interested.
After years of setbacks, the £5bn machine finally achieved high energy collisions of two protons at 12.06pm British time, at a total energy of seven trillion electron volts - more than three times more force than ever before.

All four detectors around the 17mile underground track picked up evidence of collision "events" which could when analysed completely re-write the rules of physics.
Understanding science has always changed our world. Understanding the germ-theory of disease gave us modern medicine. The early work done by folks like Volta and Ohm for example gave us electric power and eventually electronics. Who knows what this will produce?

[The top photo is of CERN's Atlas detector. The bottom image is a graphical representation of the data collected from 1 event (collision) at Atlas.]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It is Peregrine Falcon-watching Season

They are incredible creatures.

This handsome fellow is the new mate for Scout, the female nesting on a ledge on the 41st floor of the Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus, Ohio. He doesn't have a name yet. (Offer a suggestion here.)

Some of the other nesting sites have eggs already. Links are available to various sites. Video.

The recovery of the Peregrine falcon from nearly extinct to thriving is one of the few real success stories in conservation. And for anyone who lives or works in a city, they eat a lot of pigeons.

Old video of a peregrine falcon traveling 183 MPH. Very cool.

Inter-generational Transfer of Wealth

In some cultures, parents and grandparents sacrifice for their kids and grandkids. Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults - Yahoo! News
Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That's when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average, or roughly $42 a month, according to an analysis of the plan conducted for The Associated Press. The analysis did not factor in tax credits to help offset the increase.

The higher costs will pinch many people in their 20s and early 30s who are struggling to start or advance their careers with the highest unemployment rate in 26 years.

Consider 24-year-old Nils Higdon. The self-employed percussionist and part-time teacher in Chicago pays $140 each month for health insurance. But he's healthy and so far hasn't needed it.

The law relies on Higdon and other young adults to shoulder more of the financial load in new health insurance risk pools. So under the new system, Higdon could expect to pay $300 to $500 a year more. Depending on his income, he might also qualify for tax credits.
But it is clever how it isn't a tax. More money spent on things the Congress-critters want money spent on, but they didn't have to raise a tax.


I can't wait to see how they force us to spend our money next!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Watching the Rat Race From the Sidelines

This post, though extensively edited, was originally posted in December of 2008. I ran across while review some browsing stats, and I have to say, I couldn't agree more.

Abby, over at Bad Dogs and Such wonder why everyone isn't lining up to become Americans. That is adopt the American way of life.

As someone trying desperately to opt out of the rat race, I don't find it strange at all.

First, consider what the rest of the world sees of American culture. Meltdown of the Stars - Lindsay,
Brittany, etc. - could be a regular TV show. (And there is a cable show called "Celebrity Rehab" which is - or was, I am again without television! - exactly that.) Drugs. Sex. Rock and roll. While it makes a cool statement for stoners, isn't really a good foundation for a culture.

Since I love obscure movie quotes, how about this.
What if I told you insane was working fifty hours a week in some office for fifty years at the end of which they tell you to piss off; ending up in some retirement village hoping to die before suffering the indignity of trying to make it to the toilet on time? Wouldn't you consider that to be insane?
How many of our children are medicated with psychoactive drugs? Either self-medicated with illegal drugs to escape the world that we've made, or medicated with legal drugs because they can't fit into to world that we've made? (And you get extra points if you can identify the source of the quote.)

How many people go home from that 50 hours at the job they hate to eat frozen dinners alone, scanning the 157 channels of cable looking for something worth watching? And drinking themselves into oblivion once a week or more? Or miss everything to do with their kids upbringing, because it is politically necessary to be in the office late - at least most nights.

Why is everyone looking for that bigger house (pre-implosion of course), better car, cooler iPod, etc? Why is it they aren't happy with what they have? Maybe because they aren't happy and haven't figured out that you can't buy happiness at the mall. (And how many have a really cool media center and absolutely no money for retirement?)

There is a lot to recommend American culture. It has raised a lot of people out of poverty and ignorance, here and around the world. But there is a lot wrong with American culture, and those things are not insignificant. They also tend to be screamed around the world by the media.

Do you really need a new iPad? Does spending all that time playing World of Warcraft (or whatever) make you a better person? Do you know more about the characters on "24" than you do about the people who live in the same block or apartment building as you do? Do you think that makes sense?

If it wasn't for the family obligations I have right now. I would be on my boat, at anchor, in some small Caribbean bay, fishing, reading, eating, drinking with friends (there are always other boaters) and in general not "living in Iowa." (That was the plan in 2008 anyway.)

My boat is suffering from the nearly 2 years I spent taking care of my dad, who is 92-years-old, has cancer, and won't last much longer. (I cried "uncle" and turned things over to my sister for awhile.) Lot's of maintenance to catch up on, and I might opt for the "acres in the country" escape instead or in tandem. Who can say? I need to get my health back on firm ground. (I have 2 years of being trapped in a house, watching too much TV, cooking - and eating - too much comfort food, like meatloaf, and a general lack of exercise to overcome.)

Lunch with Ted

Anthony Bourdain isn't my favorite guy, but he does eat good.

More of the discussion here. [via Breda]

Insurance Is To Mitigate Risk

Without risk, why buy insurance? Philip Greenspun's Weblog � Can I buy last-minute health insurance?
Consider a family in Massachusetts that earns $100,000 per year. They decide not to pay $20,000 per year for health insurance in 2013 when the bill takes effect (we already have the highest rates in the U.S. (source)). They get fined 2 percent of their income by the IRS, which costs $2,000 per year, plus pay a bit out of pocket for routine checkups. When a family member is diagnosed with cancer and needs treatment, they sign up for health insurance at $20,000 per year. The insurance company cannot deny them coverage based on the preexisting condition that was diagnosed a week before. After the cancer has been treated, they drop the insurance.
So how long do you think it will be before the insurance companies are out of business?

Or, how long do you think it will be before the law forcing companies to accept these contracts is thrown out? What do you think the Dems are hoping for?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Bureaucrats, Fewer Doctors and Nurses

The blissful state of health care in the UK. Rise in NHS managers outstrips doctors and nurses - Telegraph
The number of managers in the NHS has risen at double the rate of doctors and nurses under Labour, official figures have disclosed.
The result? Massive (and secret - there is an election soon!) cuts.

So when you put the bureaucrats in charge of medicine, do you think you will get more medicine or more bureaucracy?

Health Care: Some of the Real Costs of “Reform”

Cold Fury � “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”: Wanna bet?

Corporations dumping their coverage - or parts of it - for retirees due to tax-law changes.

People doing research laid off - we don't need new medical advances - because of tax law changes.

An addition 150 bucks or so removed from your paycheck - for reform.

Go read the whole thing.

Neighbors Were “Shocked”

Because crime never comes to small, quiet communities. Intruder fatally shot by homeowner |

A stranger was in his home at 1 AM, and they got into a "verbal confrontation." The intruder ended up shot. Of course this being New York, the authorities don't want to believe that self-defense is justified.

Neighbors are shocked to discover that they don't live in Pleasantville.
Residents describe this as a safe and quiet place to live.

Resident, Margaret Niblock explained, "It's a friendly neighborhood and I was kind of shocked to see that there was an incident this morning."
If you are reading this, then you live in The Real World.™ And in the real world, there is crime. Crime isn't something that happens in "other kinds of places" or to "other kinds of people."

Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

This being Baltimore, the authorities are hoping to charge someone with something. Intruder killed in early morning Perry Hall shooting -
Police said the suspected burglar had entered the home and was confronted by its resident, who shot him in the residence. The burglary suspect was taken to Franklin Square Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No one else was injured. Police have not released the names of the resident or the suspected burglar.
Self-defense is a human right, and if you are in my home uninvited... Well, in Florida that constitutes a reasonable threat.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Thought Cooperating With Criminals Was Supposed to Ensure Safety

I guess these guys didn't get that memo. Convenience store clerk killed, truck driver injured in shooting
Both men followed the robbers' demands but were shot as the robbers left the store, police said.
Violent criminals don't stop being violent because you are acting like a sheep.

He's Lucky She Missed

A .357 Magnum can ruin your day. Tulsa World: Homeowner fires at break-in suspect
The woman was home alone in the 1800 block of North Owasso Avenue when the man rang her doorbell several times about 11:45 p.m. The noise startled the woman and she grabbed a .357-caliber pistol, police said.

The man then broke into the house and the woman fired a single shot. She missed and the burglar fled, according to police.
So what do the anti-gun folks think should have happened? She should have called 911 so when the idiot attacked her it could be caught on tape?

Self-defense is a human right.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Politics - Chicago Style

Just so you know, you shouldn't have been surprised at how things are going in Washington these days. American Thinker Blog: Chicago's Handgun Ban and RICO

This details some of Chicago's problems. Alderman and corruption. Police as adjunct to The Outfit. (That's the Chicago Mob, for you uninitiated.) Since 1973 31 alderman have been convicted of felonies. It ends with brief discussion of the FBI's Family Secrets investigation.

Missing is the state - level shenanigans. But I think the memory of Blagojvich are fresh enough in peoples minds.

Vote buying. Arm twisting. Smear campaigns. Secret deals. A nearly complete disregard for the rules. Sound familiar? [Hat tip to Geek with a .45

Sometimes, Justice is Served

Even if it took 2 tries. Paul Warner Powell (PICTURES): Rapist-Killer Executed by Electrocution - Crimesider - CBS News
Powell was convicted in 2000 and sentenced to death for fatally stabbing 16-year-old Stacie Reed of Manassas. He also raped and attempted to kill her 14-year-old sister.
The VA Supreme Court overturned the verdict and sent it back for a retrial. This bozo apparently thought that double-jeopardy applied, and he couldn't face trial again.
Powell wrote a taunting letter to prosecutors detailing the crime. He was convicted again in 2003.
He was executed by electrocution Thursday.

I am generally not in favor of the death penalty. I just don't like the idea of the state having that much authority, for one thing. In some places - like Texas - it is used far too often, and clearly innocent people have been executed. In places like Chicago, the police would extract confessions by force, and put people on death row. But in this case, where a confession was made - obviously not a coerced confession - it seems more justified.

This whole case was because Paul Warner Powell was angry that Stacie Reed had a black boyfriend.

So, How's All That Gun Control Working for You?

Not so good, I guess. 15 People Shot, 1 Killed In Chicago In 6 Hours -
CHICAGO (CBS) ― The unseasonably warm weather Thursday meant open windows and walks outside, but it also meant more violence on the streets of Chicago.

Fifteen people were shot across the city in just under six hours. All but one of the victims survived.
How about a little criminal control? [via Uncle]

Thursday, March 18, 2010

They Suffered a Breakdown of the Victim Selection Process

Being aware of his surroundings paid off. Homeowners Kills Attempted Robber - Central Florida News 13
Police said the homeowner, Dave Henry, had just returned home from work and was pulling into his garage when he saw a suspicious car near his home.

That's when they said two suspects got out of the car and tried to rob the homeowner.
One guy was shot and killed. The other guy ran away.

The homeowner was shot, but is in stable condition. (You have to watch the video to get all the info.)

Mr. Henry is not facing any charges, because in Florida, self-defense is your legal right. [via Insty via The Jawa Report.]

War of Words Between Washington and Jerusalem

You can tell this guy isn't a politician. BBC News - Netanyahu's brother-in-law calls Obama 'anti-Semitic' Now the personal insults begin. (Of course some would say the US State Department started those.)

Go read it! For me to repeat any of here would be pointless, just click on thru.


Well what would you call gay politicians who are rabidly anti-gay in public? Top 10 Anti-Gay Politicians Caught Being Gay: Anti-Gay Activists Out of The Closet | Ranker - A World of Lists File this under "scratch a homophobe, find a homosexual."

Hat tip goes to
Following the coming-out of Roy Ashburn, the Republican state senator from California, website named the "Top 10 Antigay Activists Caught Being Gay." Other politicians to make the list include former U.S. senator Larry Craig and the Reverend Ted Haggard.
The list is interesting.

No One Shot, No One Robberd - Concealed Carry Stops Crime

This is the way it usually works. Would-Be Robber Runs When Victim Pulls Gun | WBNS-10TV, Central Ohio News
Erick Tehoke said he was sitting in his SUV with the window down, when the suspect walked up and told him to hand over all of his money.

Tehoke, a concealed carry weapons permit holder of three months, reached for his gun. The suspect ran.
Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Things that make you go WTF

It's good to see sports writers using big words, but this headline is a bit strange. Odds: Kansas, Kentucky favorites; Lehigh a 10 googolplex-1 shot to win NCAA tournamen
USA TODAY's resident sports analyst Danny Sheridan has released his odds for winning the NCAA men's national championship and -- no surprise here -- Kansas and Kentucky lead the way.
OK, a googol is 1 x 10100. It is larger than the number of elementary particles in the universe (currently estimated to be about 1 x 1080.

A googolplex is 1 x 10googol. Or a 1 followed by a googol of zeros. A piece of paper large enough to print this number on won't fit into the known universe.

(Which is still smaller than Graham's number, but I won't even go into that.)

So anyway, back to the bookmaker...
Morgan State: 5 trillion:1
UC-Santa Barbara: 1 octillion:1
Ark.-Pine Bluff/Winthrop: 1 googolplex:1
East Tennessee State: 2 googolplex:1
Vermont: 5 googolplex:1
Lehigh: 10 googolplex:1
Not sure what you would have to bet, to get those odds.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cooperate and Still Die

7-Eleven clerk had been robbed before -
Singh called 911 about 1:10 a.m. to report the shooting. He told police a man entered the store, walked up to the counter and demanded money. Singh handed the gunman money in a bag and the gunman shot him in the abdomen.

Singh later died in surgery at a hospital.

Police said they don’t know why the gunman shot Singh since Singh fully cooperated with his demands.
Police don't understand that acting like a sheep doesn't make violent criminals stop being violent.

There are those who say, "Just give a criminal what he wants, and you will be safe." Of course cooperation is a strategy, not a guarantee. Defending yourself with a firearm is another strategy. It is also not a guarantee. There are no guarantees in this life. A plan for your personal safety will not ensure your personal safety whether that plan is wearing seat-belts while driving in your car, or cooperating with criminals.

This is the story of a tragedy, and I don't mean to make light of it. But when I see police - or others - willfully disregarding the fact that violent criminals are perfectly capable of trying to eliminate witnesses to their crimes, I am frankly flabbergasted. Violent criminals remain violent no matter what you do.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Self-defense Works

Even when the other guy has a gun. UPDATE--Carryout clerk foils robbery attempt, kills 1
Police say a male who looked to be in his teens, wearing a woman's wig, entered Bengal's Food Mart, 2625 Airport Highway, around 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

They say the robber pointed a gun at the store owner and stated it was a robbery.

Police say the store owner acted as if he was reaching for the money, pulled out a gun, and shot the robber.
The kid died.

The anti-gun crowd (in the form of the Brady Campaign) will count this as "a teen tragically shot." They aren't interested in little facts like "armed robbery" or "justified self-defense."

Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys1, Bad Guys 0.

This Will Ensure That Piracy Lasts a Good Long Time

Profits are up. Somali pirates haul in record ransom for oil tanker
Somali pirates freed a Greek-flagged tanker carrying two million barrels of oil for a record ransom on Monday and witnesses said four pirates were killed in a clash between rival groups over the cash.
Between 5.5 million and 7 million US dollars.

The NATO task force off the coast of Africa doesn't seem to be making much difference.

And to make up for the fact that one of their ships got sunk last month, they captured a replacement. AFP: Kenyan-flagged fishing boat hijacked off Somalia
Suspected Somali pirates have hijacked a Kenyan-flagged fishing boat with 16 crew which may be used as a "mother ship" to launch more attacks in the Indian Ocean, maritime sources said Tuesday.
I wish that someone would do something effective.

Cops Don't Like to Be Recorded

They can't do whatever they want when video cameras are around. Lawsuit: Police harassed journalists, bystanders
NEW ORLEANS — A federal jury is hearing testimony about allegations that New Orleans police officers have engaged in a pattern of unlawfully arresting or harassing journalists and bystanders who tape or photograph them in public.
It's funny really given the mania for installing red-light cameras and surveillance cameras generally. But then the cops are behind and not in front of those cameras.

Cops Have the Best Drugs

Caught with his hand in the cookie jar evidence locker? Ex-police officer charged with stealing drugs from evidence room -

He is already in jail on one drug-charge. This investigation was on-going while he was away.
Weston police conducted an inventory of their evidence room and discovered that 28 morphine pills, 45 Oxycodone pills and 37 morphine sulfate pills were missing, [Prosecutor Eric] Zahnd said.

[This guy] was allegedly working on duty as a Weston police officer when he took the pills.
He faces up to 7 years on these charges.

Then there are the three of Providence, Rhode Island's finest. The Associated Press: 3 RI cops charged in cocaine-dealing operation
Three Providence police officers, including a narcotics detective and a school resource officer, were arrested Thursday on charges that they helped with a cocaine-dealing operation.
Some days it is hard to tell the bad guys from the good guys without a program. [via Bad Cop, No Donut!]

Monday, March 15, 2010

The More Things Change...

The more they stay the same. The cartoon is from the 1934 Chicago Tribune.

Click the image for a larger version.

Pay particular attention to the lower left-hand corner of the cartoon.

Some agendas haven't changed all that much.

Cooperate and Still Get Shot

This guy didn't get the memo. The one about not shooting people who cooperate with your demands. Forest Park convenience store clerk shot during robbery | Massachusetts Local News -
He shot the clerk apparently because he felt the man was not emptying the register quickly enough, Delaney said. After the shooting, the robber jumped over the counter and grabbed money out of the register before fleeing the store, he said.
People who hate individual action like to say that if you just "give the criminal, what he wants," you will be OK. (They never seem to consider what a woman faced with a rapist should do....) But cooperation doesn't guarantee safety. Violent criminals don't stop being violent because you are thinking happy thoughts.

UK Arguing About Rape

The government is still trying to spin its way clear of the numbers. Rape conviction rate figures 'misleading' - Telegraph About 6 percent of reported rapes result in convictions. Only about 10 percent of reported rapes are ever brought to trial. So the British government is luxuriating in the fact that about 60 percent of those tried, result in conviction.

Of course most rapes in the UK aren't reported to police in the first place. Not surprising when the police aren't very helpful.

Then of course we have this little tidbit.
According to the latest British Crime Survey, one in every 24 women aged over 16 will suffer an attempted rape or rape in their lifetime.
Which aside from being horrible in its own right highlights the fact the British crime survey ignores any crime where the victim is under 16.
But Lisa Longstaff, a spokeswoman for Women Against Rape, said the report was a whitewash.

"The reason that six per cent figure is there is because we have fought for it. We want to know how few reported rapes get to conviction," she said.

She said it reflected the failure of the justice system.

64-year-old Man Defends Himself

He had a gun, and the right attitude. 64-year-old man takes down young burglary suspect

They woke to the sound of someone breaking in to their home.
I got up; I grabbed my gun. As soon as I turned I saw him," said Tisdale. "I said, 'What are you doing here, man?' He said, 'I just come in here. I'm just trying to sleep.'"

Tisdale didn't believe him and didn't let Reyes get away.

"I hit him with the gun. I hit him a little bit," said Tisdale. "I hit him with a left, so he fell down between there."
He held the burglar at gunpoint until the police arrived.

No one got shot. The bad guy got roughed up a bit, but the bad guy is under arrest.

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

Sucking the Sanctity Out of Your Marriage

Or, not. The Press Association: First gay marriages in Mexico City
Two glowing brides in matching white gowns and four other same-sex couples have made history in Mexico City as they wed under Latin America's first law that explicitly approves gay marriage.
Could it be that those 6 couples have no impact on you? That all they want are the same rights? (Like - hospital visitation, or medical decision making, or one of the many rights married couples enjoy) Or maybe they're just in love.

Smoked Goblin? Aisle Five - take 2

He picked the wrong store to rob. Convience store clerk shoots, kills suspected robber ~ Toledo Ohio
Toledo police Sgt. Tim Noble said the man walked into the store, announced the robbery, and displayed a handgun. He then was shot by the clerk at the store
This is the 2nd time in 2 days something like this happened in Toledo.

Maybe they will come to realize crime doesn't pay. Not when armed self-defense is involved. Self-defense is a human right.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Smoked Goblin? Aisle Five

Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0. Boss shoots gunman to save clerk in South Toledo robbery : News : WNWO NBC24
Just before bullets punctured the front window, a man walked into Allied Music on South Byrne Rd. near Heatherdowns, initially inquiring about a job. After a couple of minutes, he left the store, but then quickly returned, pulling out a gun wanting to rob the place.

“He holds a gun to the clerks head, forces him to go to the back room to get money,” said Sergeant Phil Toney with the Toledo Police Department. While in the back room, the clerk called out to a second worker the store owner, Eric Bilger, for help.
The help came in the form of an armed response. The bad guy - usually referred to as a goblin - was hit in the torso and hand. "The store owner and the clerk were not hurt."

The would-be-robber ended up across the street, collapsed in a parking lot. He is now in a local hospital.

Self-defense (and defense of others) is a human right.

The Hate Crime You Don't Remember

Gay FlagMatthew Shepard and Laurence King you have heard of, (do you remember?) but my guess is that you either haven't heard of (or don't remeber) Ryan Keith Skipper. Loved ones say young man's killing reflects difficult life gays face in Polk --
In the after-midnight darkness of March 14, 2007, the blood of 25-year-old Ryan Keith Skipper soaked into the soft dirt as his killers drove away in his new Chevy Aveo.
. . .
Skipper's car was found 12 miles from his body on a boat ramp to Lake Pansy in Winter Haven, abandoned and partially burned. The two young men later arrested in his murder were charged with committing a hate crime because they told witnesses Skipper was targeted for being a homosexual.
Targeted because of who he was.

Now since Florida is a death penalty state, I am not sure what more they can do besides seek the death penalty, but then given the SCOTUS take on the death penalty maybe the hate crime aspect is needed to put the case into the death-penalty category. (Not every murder can result in a death penalty case, it must be "special" in some way, according to my understanding of some SCOTUS ruling.)

The sheriff, Grady Judd, in this case libeled/slandered the dead man, accused him of being on drugs and cruising for anonymous sex. When it turned out he was wrong, he refused to apologize to anyone.
A Sheriff's Office spokesman later said there was no indication Skipper was involved in any illegal activity, but the sheriff has refused to meet with the family or respond to their requests for an apology.
Why should he feel bad about talking trash about a gay man after all?

The general feeling in that area is as long as gays hide they are OK, come out into the open, and you basically deserve whatever happens.
[R]esidents say gays are generally accepted in Polk County as long as they don't rub it in anyone's face.

"Just as long as you're hiding, you're OK. You learn that's what you have to do," said Kristy Alexander, a lesbian who lives in Polk County.

Skipper didn't hide well enough. His friends and roommates say Skipper was harassed for years leading up to his killing. On several occasions, he was called derogatory names, pelted with oranges and beaten up because he was gay.
The Right loves to claim that gays and lesbians want "special rights." That is bullshit, plain and simple. Living your life without being attacked for who you are isn't a special right. Being open about friends and loved ones, isn't a special right. How many of you have photos of your wives, husbands, girlfriends or boyfriends at work, in your wallet, wherever. If a gay did that they would be "flaunting" their sexuality, but when a straight does it, it is just a celebration of life and love. Funny how the double standard works, isn't it? It isn't about special rights. It has never been about special rights. That is the line the Right uses to mask their bigotry. After all, who wouldn't be opposed to "special rights?"

The issue is tolerance. Acceptance would be nice, and I get that from a lot of people, but it would be nice if the rest of you, the ones who can't accept us, would tolerate us - that means don't attack us. Of course if you attack me, you might get a bit of a surprise when you see my response. But it really shouldn't be the issue that it is in the gay community.

But then no one ever said all parts of the Right were very tolerant. Polk county certainly appears to rank high on the intolerant scale.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Blissful State of Health Care in the UK - Roundup part deux

Going into the hospital can be bad for you. Especially when staff ignores your condition. Pensioners died after 'hospital staff ignored warnings over their conditions' - Telegraph
An inquest at Hove Crown Court had heard that Brian Waller, 72, died after falling out of bed in April last year while a month later Edward Warneford, 66, died in the same ward after choking on his false teeth
Twins were born premature, and required special care. What did NHS do? Baby twins put in hospitals 50 miles apart - Telegraph The parents get about 10 minutes with each child per day. Hardly what I would call compassionate care.

So you think you're entitled to free care? Plight of bedridden dementia patient highlights flaws in Government's home-care ambitions - Telegraph Just try getting approval.
Mrs James, 54, said: "She is completely dependent on my sister's wonderful care. There's nothing left of our Mum except her physical entity. But the assessment for Continuing Healthcare was laughable. The nurse assessor who came spent only 30 seconds with Mum, long enough just to check we really were caring for someone, but not enough to make any real judgement.
And if you do get any care, what will the quality be? Toddler died of meningitis after five doctors failed to spot symptoms - Telegraph
An inquest heard 21-month-old Oliver Martin was rushed to hospital by his mother, a district nurse, when he fell seriously ill at home.

He was displaying several of the major symptoms of meningitis, including a rash that disappeared when pressed, high temperature, pale complexion and lethargy.
Chicken pox was much less expensive to treat. Antibiotics were give 8.5 hours later. Too late.

If the mother did what the hospital did she would be up on charges. (Manslaughter at least and child endagerment) The hospital hasn't even issued an apology. No one will pay for neglect.

And good, bad or indifferent, the Brits just can't afford it anymore. Crisis in elderly care far worse than feared, report warns - Telegraph
The King's Fund study will say the combination of an ageing population, and the impact of the recession on the Government's budget, has left the country facing an even greater crisis than previous forecasts have indicated.

Its call for radical changes to the way care of the elderly is funded will come as the Government prepares to issue a white paper setting out its proposals, including what has been dubbed a "death tax" on people's homes.
I wonder what changes will occur in the way "the elderly are cared for." Or perhaps not cared for (see the story a couple lines up...) And of course the Brits themselves aren't doing anything to address the shortfall. (Buying insurance, saving extra funds, etc.) Why should they? They get free health care. (At least for now.)

I can hardly wait for our health care system to be this good!

The Blissful State of Health Care in the UK - Roundup

UK: Patients Put in Hospital ‘Cupboards’ (mop closets) Due to NHS Budget Squeeze

It seems that things aren't so rosy in the land of "free" (or reduced cost) health care.

Political Staff Members and the (In)Sanity of Politicians

OK, I was going to throw a few bucks at Marco Rubio. He is running against Charlie Crist in the primary for the Senate Seat from Florida as a Republican, and Crist is perhaps my least-favorite Republican.

So for the 2nd time in a week, I went to his oh-so-fancy flash-based donation page, and for the 2nd time I got an error message and was unable to donate. Both times, I sent them info about the error. I don't expect to hear back this time, any more than I heard back the first time.

So now I'm stuck. If they won't listen to me, when I am trying to give them money, will they ever listen to me? Seems doubtful. The funny thing is, they don't have a clue as to how much money I am trying to give - it could be a little or a whole lot (it is little).

It is on some level hard to blame Rubio. He isn't a web-site designer, and he paid people to set it up and has staff to manage it. But in the end it does reflect on him. (He should pick better staff. They should design simpler donation set-ups. Someone should speak to the person with the money in her hand, waving and trying to get their attention.)

And the phone number of his HQ? It rang 10 times, but didn't go to voice-mail. So I think there are bigger problems.... (How much is an answering machine today?)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lesbians at Prom? Not in Mississippi

gay flagNot in Mississippi. School cancels prom over fear of lesbians Girls have to wear a dress? I suppose the powers that be are going to ensure that the dresses meet some minimum standard. No tuxedos for women. (Ellen D. - take note!)
Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old student at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi, asked to be able to take her date. The school's board objected – and to McMillen wanting to wear a tuxedo – so the American Civil Liberties Union got involved, pointing out the discrimination issue.

How did the school react? By blaming "distractions to the educational process caused by recent events" and cancelling the prom for everyone – which left the rest of the students unhappy.
From the lawsuit (of course there is a lawsuit....)
She was told, according to the lawsuit, that the pair would have to arrive separately and could be thrown out "if any of the other students complained about their presence there together." McMillen was also told she could not wear a tuxedo, according to the suit, because boys are to attend in tuxedos and girls in dresses.
Do you really think the world would end in Mississippi if two women were to dance together, and get their picture taken? Apparently the good folks of Fulton think so.

Boyfriend Gets a Shot in the Leg

Breaking into someone's house "looking" for your girlfriend is NOT the kind of thing sane people do. Tulsa World: Tulsa man shot in leg breaking into house
Bradley Alan Hill is accused of kicking in the door at a house in the 5800 block of East Easton Street while searching for his girlfriend. Once inside, he approached the resident, who was armed with a shotgun, police said.
He "approached" the guy with the shotgun, (another crazy thing to do) and got shot in the leg. He is lucky he wasn't shot in the heart.

After spending a little time in the hospital, he was arrested on two first-degree burglary charges.

I bet he thinks he loves his girlfriend, and he was just there to save her from something. Not that a violent guy like this would be violent or anything.

People need to figure out where the boundaries of civilized behavior are. They aren't that complicated. If you are breaking into someone's house, you are probably crossing a line you don't want to cross.

Self-defense is a human right.

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

Home invaders armed with a knife, meet homeowner armed with a gun. Springfield, MO homeowner uses gun to fend off robbers | KY3 News
Officers say two masked men broke into a home in 1300 E. Calhoun late Wednesday night.

One of them had a knife. But the homeowner had a gun, and opened fire. The suspects took off.
A guy with a gunshot wound was found a few hours later. Police can't question him until he gets out of surgery.

Self-defense is a human right.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Battle of Hampton Roads - US Civil War

March 8 & 9, 1862 Hampton Roads: Monitor vs. Virginia (Merrimack), Battle of the Ironclads

For reasons I never understood, the Confederate Ship Virgina, is usually referred to as the Merrimack. Sure, it was originally the USS Merrimack, but it had been recommissioned as the Virginia. Oh well... "A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet."

On March 8th, 1862, the Virginia sank the USS Cumberland and ran the USS Congress aground. There is a nice first person account of that first day.
The action commenced about 3 p.m. by our firing the bow gun at the Cumberland, less than a mile distant. A powerful fire was immediately concentrated upon us from all the batteries afloat and ashore. The frigates Minnesota, Roanoke and St. Lawrence, with other vessels, were seen coming from Old Point. We fired at the Congress on passing, but continued to head directly for the Cumberland, which vessel we had determined to run into, and in less than fifteen minutes from the firing of the first gun. we rammed her just forward of the starboard forechains. The noise of the crashing timbers was distinctly heard above the din of battle. There was no sign of the hole above water, but it must have been large, as the ship soon commenced to careen. The shock to us on striking was slight. We immediately backed the engines. The blow was not repeated. We here lost the "prow," and had the stem slightly twisted. The Cumberland fought her guns gallantly as long as they were above water, and she went down bravely with her colors flying
It goes on from there to describe the pounding given the Congress.

Unfortunately for the Confederates, the USS Monitor arrived that evening, and at 8:00 AM on March 9th, they battled. "Duel" might be a better term. Since while the USS Minnesota did receive and return fire, the Monitor and the Virginia concentrated on each other.
The first ironclad duel in history was a draw. Monitor took considerable damage, sufficient that she pulled into water shallower than Virginia could enter, but Virginia had also taken too much damage ... and she retired. She would never fight again;
Before she would have been catured by the union, she was burned.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Blissful State of Health Care in the UK

Or Maybe not so blissful. Despite Labour's billions, nurses say patients are STILL treated in kitchens, abandoned in mop cupboards, and left without meals or privacy on mixed-sex wards | Mail Online

The bureaucrats have said certain targets must be met. Real adequate care doesn't seem to be one of the targets.
Examples of appalling care cited by staff included:
  • A woman 'barely coping' after a miscarriage being sent to a ward with male patients.
  • Children left at 'high security risk' and a threat of infection when adults were put on their ward.
  • One overflow ward being so crammed a nurse could not reach the emergency buzzer when someone had a heart attack. She had to run into the corridor to yell for help.
  • One patient being left in a mop cupboard where there was only room for a chair, not a bed. At another hospital, a kitchen was set aside for two beds.
  • A hospital discharging elderly patients before they were ready.
  • Another using a ward which had been 'condemned' for patient use.
  • Up to three patients being crammed into a tiny office cluttered with staff belongings.
  • Eighteen patients being stuck on trolleys in the corridor of a medical assessment unit.
I can't wait until the government controls our health care!

Get Ready to Celebrate St Patrick's Day in Irish Style

Learn to pour a Black & Tan, better known in some locations as a half and half. (Black and Tan having unfortunate connotations.) How to pour yourself a 'Black and Tan' - South Florida

Instructions seem good. When done right, a B&T is a thing of beauty. Stick with Bass for the "tan" part of the concoction, though I suppose you could use Harp.
Don't worry if you mess up the first time. Practice is half the fun.
That's the spirit!

Armed Self-defense Works

I love stories of the tables being turned. Robber shot: Deerfield Beach convenience store clerk shoots would-be robber - South Florida
DEERFIELD BEACH - A masked gunman who tried to rob a convenience store Friday night had the tables turned on him when the clerk shot the aspiring crook in the jaw, deputies said.
No good guys were injured in bringing this story to you, but the guy who did the shooting nearly fainted after the fact. He did what he had to do, but he could have been shot.
[The guy who got shot] is recovering at North Broward Medical Center, investigators said, and will go from a hospital bed straight to jail on charges of armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of an altered firearm.
Self-defense is a human right.

The Left's Slaivsh Devotion to the UN and the ICJ

JusticeThe Best Defense? | Foreign Affairs This is a lament that the world doesn't always follow the lead of the UN and International Court of Justice. But it includes a statement of why that is the case.
[T]he ICJ has continued to support and craft rules that effectively protect terrorists, proliferators, and irresponsible states. In 1986, for example, the ICJ rejected El Salvador's claim to self-defense against Nicaragua, which was aiding rebels seeking to undermine the elected Salvadoran government. By doing so, the ICJ effectively denied El Salvador the right to cooperate with the United States in an exercise of collective self-defense. In 2004, the ICJ found that Israel's right of self-defense did not apply to protecting itself against attacks on its population (including suicide bombings) by nonstate actors. This meant that Israel could not legally build a fence or take other self-defense measures on any territory beyond its internationally accepted borders. Similarly, the next year, the court ruled that Uganda had no right to self-defense against rebels attacking it from the Democratic Republic of the Congo because the attackers had not been sent by the Congolese government, even though that government had failed to stop them, as international law requires. These decisions--along with the ICJ's refusal to treat as precedents those uses of force that the international community has widely accepted as just, such as NATO's intervention in Kosovo--have undermined, rather than enhanced, the objectives of the UN Charter.
But should we give up on an organization the protects terrorists?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Death By Dehydration At The Hands of Hospital Staff

The Blissful State™ of Heath Care in the UK. Police probe death of hospital patient who begged for water - Telegraph

Take a minute to think about that headline. He begged for water. He died from dehydration. He was in the hospital.

Instead of giving him water (or the medicine he required) they called security and restrained him.

The hospital is "sorry" and have implemented "procedures" to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Personally I think that if you took the nurses on staff at the time at threw them in prison for 20 years for negligent manslaughter, that would go pretty far to ensure this never happened again.

I can hardly wait until we have socialized medicine like they do in the UK!

Drink up!

Wine doesn't make women fat, report claims - Telegraph
Researchers found that regular moderate female drinkers were less likely to become obese after a 13 year study of more than 19,000 women.

The finding seems to contradict received dietary wisdom which has it that alcohol consumption leads to weight gain.

Concealed Carry Stops Armed Rampage

Just the way it is supposed to work. Armed Customer Kills Knife-Wielding Man | MyFox Memphis | Fox 13 News
Police say they started getting calls around 3:00pm about a man, threatening people in the parking lot.

Lt. Col. JM Willis with the Memphis Police Department stated, "the individual was trying to attack numerous people we have a number of witnesses that have said he was wielding a knife at them."

But police say the scene turned deadly when the man with the knife went after a man who was armed with a gun.

Witness Lakisha Gorman said, "He was running up to different people trying to stab them and he ran up to that dude's car as he was pulling out of the driveway and he had a baby in the car with him and he just started trying to stab the dude and the dude pulled a gun out and shot him."
He died at the scene.

I would say being attacked with a knife is a pretty clear case of a "reasonable threat."
Detectives say at this point it looks like the shooting will be ruled justified and the shooter will probably not face any charges.
No charges will be filed because self-defense is not just a human-right, in Tennessee it is also your legal right.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

He Suffered a Breakdown of the Victim Selection Process

Florida respects self-defense. Robber shot: Deerfield Beach convenience store clerk shoots would-be robber - South Florida
A convenience store clerk shot a would-be armed robber who tried to hold up the business at gunpoint Friday night, according to a preliminary report from the Broward Sheriff's Office.
The would-be robber was in surgery - no word on his condition.

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

Friday, March 05, 2010

Not Quite a Flying Car, But Pretty Cool

Better than that strange electric bike Tam found the other day.

We Won't Give You the Bad News Until After You Vote for Us

I am not against cost cutting in times of financial crisis, but this seems like cheating. Hundreds of NHS wards to be shut in secret plans - Telegraph
Plans that could lead to the closure of hundreds of hospital wards are being drawn up but will not be made public until after the general election, opposition parties have said.
And yes those are wards, not semi-private rooms. The NHS has deemed those too expensive. Never mind that women are routinely attacked on mixed-sex wards.

Beggars can't be choosers, and when you put the bureaucrats in charge you become beggars.
Last year, the Government asked NHS authorities to come up with proposals to reorganise the service to save money as a result of the recession. Details have started to emerge of what is likely to be a rolling programme of cuts that contrasts sharply with assurances from Labour and the Tories that the NHS was “safe”.

So far, only the plans for London have come to light. Campaigners claimed the proposals threatened services such as casualty and maternity units at 13 out of 36 hospitals in the capital.
No discussion. No debate. No appeal for better financing. The bureaucrats will make the decisions.

A Trillion Here, A Trillion There...

Pretty soon the country will be talking about bankruptcy. Obama Budget Underestimates Deficit Over 10 Years, CBO Says -

Cooking the books is a time-honored tradition in Illinois Politics.
March 5 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s budget proposal would generate bigger deficits than advertised each year for the next decade, with the 10-year shortfall totaling $1.2 trillion more than the administration estimated, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
But then using real numbers would make it that much harder for the administration to push even more deficit spending in the form of even new entitlement programs.

Even With Government Incentives, The Market Rules

So you think the government can control the ecomony? Pending home sales fall 7.6 pct. in Jan - Financial Markets - It can get people to change the timing of their purchases - as cash for clunkers proved. But can it really change the market.

Although they would like to blame the weather, that isn't the whole story.
The biggest month-to-month drop was in the West, where sales fell 13 percent. Sales fell almost 9 percent in the Northeast and Midwest and 2 percent in the South.
I am sure the weather had some impact, but it isn't whaat is really scaring the Real Estate crowd.
The weather isn't the only culprit, wrote Jennifer Lee, an economist with BMO Capital Markets. "The impact of government incentives ... appears to be running out of steam, which is, frankly, a scary thought," she wrote.
Welcome to the real world, kid, where the king cannot command the tides, nor the markets.

People Need Better Ways to Deal With Adversity

That things aren't going well in your life, doesn't mean you need to take them out on other people. Deadly Domestic Violence Crimes On The Rise - Central Florida News 13
ORLANDO -- Police say Andreau Yankton, 62, waited in the line at a downtown Orlando Publix Tuesday night, and when he was face to face with the cashier, he shot her in the head.

The cashier was his estranged wife, 34-year-old Anicia Yankton.
He then shot himself.d

This guy was married twice before, and each marriage ended with a domestic violence case. (Which I think means it was illegal for him to own a firearm. What? He broke the law, before he broke the law? Unheard of.)
In Orange County in 2008, two batterers committed suicide after killing their victim. Last year, there were 10 who either killed themselves or were killed by law enforcement in a standoff. And this year, the deadly attack at Pubilx is the second.
Hardly a scientific study, but telling even so. Domestic violence is one of the biggest threats to women.

2010 Piracy Season Opens in East Africa

Promises to be a busy time. Somali pirates, security personnel in 4 shootouts - Yahoo! News
NAIROBI, Kenya – Swarms of Somali pirates are moving into the waters off East Africa, triggering four shootouts Friday including a skirmish with French military personnel that sunk a pirate skiff, officials said.

The end of the monsoon season and the resulting calmer waters signal the beginning of the most dangerous period for ships traveling the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Nearly half the 47 ships hijacked off Somalia last year were taken in March and April.
I don't expect the NATO effort to have much impact.

This Guy Apparently Thinks Buffalo Wild Wings Needs Airport-level Security

I know it is all about the money, but shouldn't a law suit at least make sense? Man still carrying bullet in the groin wants restaurant to pay | Nashville City Paper: Nashville's Online Source for Daily News
“Guards allowed an armed gunman to enter the restaurant and fire at least five shots in the restaurant … at least two of the shots hit the plaintiff,” the suit said, and once bullets started flying security guards started ducking instead of securing the restaurant.
OK, is Buffalo Wild Wings supposed to install full-body scanners, only metal detectors, or should the guards just strip search everyone who comes through the door? So how exactly do you want to make it a "gun free zone?" (Hanging up the signs isn't getting it done.)

And as for "not securing the restaurant," when bullets start flying, even cops take cover to figure out what is going on before they take action. (Maybe he doesn't understand about UNARMED guards, and what they can reasonably do against an armed criminal.) So should the restaurant have a sniper on stand-by?

And as Uncle said, this can't happen because it is illegal to have guns in a Tennessee restaurant that serves alcohol. (You would think that little technicality would stop someone willing to commit assault with a deadly weapon - and maybe murder.)

At Least He Has Courage

Geert Wilders at least has the courage of his convictions. Victorious Dutch anti-Islam politician back in UK - Yahoo! News His film "Fitna" (a short film on Islam - which the AP didn't dare even mention) caused a stir. His position is that Islam is incompatible with the democratic institutions of the Netherlands.

I don't know enough about Wilders to know if I like him or think he's just plain crazy.

His visit to London has of course sparked protests, both for and against.
But in local elections in the Netherlands this week, his Freedom Party won in the town of Almere and came in second in The Hague, the only two races it ran out of 394 cities and towns that elected local councils. If the outcome is any indication of the country's parliamentary vote in June, Wilders could emerge as a king-maker on the national stage.
Should be interesting to watch.

You can see Fitna at this link.

Self-defense is Legal in Ohio

I thought it would be. -- The Blade ~ Toledo Ohio
A prison guard who defended his home against intruders - killing one and injuring another - will not face criminal charges for the death, a Lucas County grand jury decided yesterday.
Instead, the guy who got shot will face trial on charges of burglary and manslaughter.

13 Minutes is a Long Time

Assuming you got to make the 911 call before violence erupted. Study showcases KPD's strengths, weaknesses for future performance � Knoxville News Sentinel
KPD officers clocked the longest average response time - 13 minutes and 13 seconds. But police believe that's more a sign of a technological gap than of foot-dragging.
Now that is an average of all calls, but if you are calling 911, something is wrong.

So how are you going to entertain your uninvited guest until the cops arrive? Good thing Tennessee has concealed carry.

Calling 911 is a fine thing, but when seconds count, police are minutes away. In some places, many minutes.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Another Christian Against Freedom of Religion

He doesn't like this religion. So he thinks he gets to suppress it. Religion News: Teacher suspended for denying Wiccan altar
A Guthrie Center teacher this week received a five-day unpaid suspension for insubordination for not allowing a student to build a Wiccan altar in his shop class - discipline he said he still doesn't agree with.
He thinks it is his Christian duty (go read what he said, don't take my word for it - "How can we let this go on?") to stamp out religions he doesn't like. He doesn't like Wicca. It is "offensive" to his Christian sensibilities.

You don't have to like Wicca. But you have to ask yourself if you like freedom of religion. Because if you only like freedom of religion of some, I can pretty much guarantee that there are those who don't like your religion.

"Mythology is other peoples' religion," and "Religion is a popular misconception regarding mythology" are two of my favorite quotes; both are by Joseph Campbell.

I'm not Wiccan. I don't even play one on TV. But you can gauge the extent of religious tolerance by how Wiccans are treated in this country. Mostly, they aren't treated very well. (Though I have to say I think things are a little better.)

I Don't Know How I Missed This - Gay Marriage in DC

I have been concentrating on real like, but still.. DC couples obtain marriage licenses
A new law takes effect Wednesday in the nation's capital, granting equal rights in marriage licensing for same-sex couples.
The Religious Right tried everything to stop this, including an appeal to the SCOTUS for an injunction.

I am sure that the Right will keep trying, but for now there is a little slice of equality in our nation's capital.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I Always Knew Northwestern Was a Screwy University

But this is beyond insane. Blagojevich's ethics lecture full of laughs -- for audience - Chicago Breaking News

Why would you choose Rod Blagojevich to give an "Ethics in Government" lecture? Even if he is innocent of what he is charged with, his association with convicted felons - like Tony Rezko - make him suspect.

The student body didn't take him too seriously.
They laughed when someone insisted that tapping Blagojevich to lead an ethics discussion was akin to asking Tiger Woods to lecture on fidelity.
Which seemed to upset Blago.

Armed Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

Homeowner shoots, kills burglar | Shreveport Times
One victim told investigators he was asleep in the home when two youths woke him up and taped his hands and feet, Bill Goodin, police spokesman, said. The two were ransacking the house when another homeowner arrived.

The second homeowner told police he saw one of the intruders in the living room. That youth fired one shot at the victim, who returned fire, police said. The second invader fled out a side door.
The home invader, a 15-year-old kid, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The Brady Campaign, will count this as a "teen tragically shot." The fact that the teen was armed, and was shot in self-defense, or the fact that he was committing a home invasion, just doesn't interest the gun-controllers. (Why clutter the issue with facts?)

The police are still searching for the other home invader; they have leads regarding his identity.

Self-defense is a human right.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What Good Are the Guards?

Cops: Two men attacked student in hate crime
Nashon Minter, 19, and Justin Higgins, 21, both of 115 Meadowmere Ave., Mastic, rushed past guards stationed at the entrance to the Mastic Beach Road high
They then perpetrated a hate crime.

So what good are the guards, exactly?

Conceal Carry in Ohio: A Lot of Permits

Conceal Carry Permits Up Over Safety Worries

Permits increased from 33,600 in 2008 to nearly 56,700 in 2009. That is a 68 percent increase in the number of concealed carry permits.

The reason is simple; when seconds count, police are minutes away.
Police say they realize they can't be everywhere to protect every citizen.
Just a few of those times where police were not around.
A Delhi Township homeowner fires his gun at an intruder early Monday morning, but misses.

A Colerain Township man is shot after he tries to sell his car to a potential buyer he met on craigslist Sunday.

The victim says he was able to pull out his own gun and fire back.
Self-defense is a human right, but you need the means to defend yourself. Without some means to equalize the disparity in physical strength, the old and the infirm would be at mercy of the young and the violent, the small could be victimized by the large, and everyone would be vulnerable to multiple attackers.

Self-defense is Legal in Louisiana

He shot a burglar. Calcasieu Parish man cleared in shooting of burglary suspect
Calcasieu Parish grand jurors declined to indict 57-year-old John R. Olivier on a charge of second-degree murder. He was investigated in connection with the Dec. 12 death of 18-year-old Divonte LeDay.
Self-defense is a human right.

Monday, March 01, 2010

It Is About Time Someone Got Serious

AFP: NATO sinks Somali pirate monthership

If you follow the current stories on piracy, one thing is that the pirates are always in small boats. But small boats don't go 200 miles offshore. They are carried on larger ships.
The Absalon, flagship of NATO's counter-piracy efforts off the Horn of Africa, "disrupted a piracy attack in the Somali basin on Sunday and then scuttled a mothership," the spokesman said.

The 'mother-ships' are used to move attack teams into an area from which they can launch raids on passing ships.
A few years ago there were only 2 (possibly 3) of these motherships that had been identified by the International Maritime Bureau. Kill these ships, and you keep the pirates onshore (or at least near shore).

I Wonder If They Will Blame Bush

I mean wasn't he to blame for the failure of the levees in NOLA? BBC News - Weak sea walls blamed for France storm disaster
Blame is being laid on weak and aged sea defences after violent storms left at least 50 dead and thousands homeless along France's Atlantic coast.
Well, given that the seawalls were built during Napoleon's time, maybe they won't blame Bush.