Thursday, June 30, 2005

Another stab at D.C.'s gun ban

Washington, DC:
The U.S. House of Representatives dealt a blow to Washington, D.C.'s strict gun control law on Thursday when it passed an amendment that would effectively allow fully assembled rifles and pre-1976 handguns to be kept in city homes.

The amendment to an appropriations bill for federal subsidies for the District of Columbia prohibits the funds from being used to enforce certain sections of the city's 29-year-old gun control law.
This is the quote that really kills me:
City officials argue that Washington, with its chronically high murder rate, will see gun crime rise further if guns are allowed to be freely sold and kept in the city.
I just don't understand how they can be so stupid. Guns are already freely sold and kept in the city, but not by people who actually obey the law. My own personal theory is that they are not that stupid. No one can be that stupid. Having malicious intent to keep a populace unarmed and victimized is another story.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Range Time!

Today was another of those "we've run out of work so don't bother coming in today" days (2 this year now), so I took advantage of it and went to the range. This time I went to Bullet Hole. I didn't use the rifle range so I won't comment on it, but the pistol range is nice and simple. There are three distances available at 7, 15, and 25 yards (rimfire rifles also allowed at the 25 yard mark). I got there right at opening time, and I think I enjoyed it especially because there was almost no one there (on a weekday). The reason I tried out Bullet Hole was because of their range fees, which are the best around, as far as I know. First-timers pay a $3 "membership fee" for which you get a photo ID card for the range. Otherwise, it's $7.50 plus .50 cents for each extra target, if desired. Number of guns is irrelevant. Take a dozen guns and shoot a single target to shreds, and it's still only $7.50. I did get one extra target.

I started at 7 yards with the NAA Mini-Revolver in .22LR. This is not a good range gun. That little trigger is very hard on my trigger finger for extended shooting. I'm the kind of person who can take my Single-Six out and shoot 100 rounds without thinking about it, but just putting 25 rounds through this little gun is a chore. The trigger is more like trying to click a button switch than like squeezing a trigger. It isn't a sharp-shooter's gun, either, but I did keep all the shots on a smaller-than-torso-sized target at 7 yards. A couple actually went into the center black. I was mostly shooting standard Remington 22LR ammo, but I also tried some of Aguila's subsonic ammo. The Aguila (it appears to me), uses a .22 short-sized case, but it has a very long, 60-grain bullet so the overall size is the same as a Long Rifle. I was wearing muffs, but it seemed to me that the report was about the same as the regular Long Rifle. Recoil wasn't much different, either. (The report would probably be noticeably different in a rifle). I did notice that the smell was different. I don't know what the Aguila folks are putting in those shells, but it doesn't smell the same as all the other ammo I have become accustomed to. I didn't notice any keyholing with the Aguila ammo, either. They all appeared to still be in stable flight when they hit the target. This was something I had been curious about since the bullet is somewhat elongated and the barrel is so short.

Next, I spent some time at 7 yards with the SP-101, starting out with full-blown .357 Magnum loads. Recoil was brisk and refreshing. After a few cylinders of this, I stepped down to some tamer .38 Special +P loads. They were much more pleasant to shoot, and I switched from hand to hand with every cylinder for about 50 rounds. Every now and then I'd load up with .357 again just to refresh myself.

Then I put up a new target and 15 yards and kept going with the SP-101, same as before. I guess in all I shot about 80-90 rounds through it. More practice is needed.

Finally, using the same 15-yard target, I broke out the CZ-52 (or vZ-52, some say) and let loose with several magazines-worth of 7.26x25mm Tokarev. I had taken this gun along because it had been so long since I shot it last, and I can't always shoot it at a range. I have to make sure I am either farthest to the right on the line, or that I have a decent wall or partition to catch the empties, which can easily fly 30 feet before they hit the ground (yeah, I've measured before). It was much more comfortable to shoot this time, possibly because I was "stepping down" from the .357. I think I'm going to look into replacing the grips. This pistol is in great condition, but the grips don't look so hot. They are still fully functional, I just don't like their appearance. My accuracy was even better with this gun than with the SP-101. An easier trigger pull and a longer sight radius are probably why. Again, everything was in the kill zone, and I even got a couple of shots into the black when going for accuracy one-handed.

I usually don't worry too much about pin-point accuracy during my pistol range time. I am more concerned with getting off relatively rapid shots all into the zone, rather than chewing out a raggedy hole in the exact center of the black.

I will be going back to this range again, even though it's a fairly long trip from home. The prices can't be beat. The one guy who was working there told me, "Bring all your guns and shoot all day for one price if you want." I replied, "That would be quite a load."

I sort of resolved a couple of months ago to make it to the range a minimum of once per month, which is really not nearly often enough, to me, but is about all I can manage. So far I've kept to that resolution. A range that will let me shoot 4 or 5 guns for less than $10 is worth the trip.


WorldNetDaily has been publishing excerpts from the book Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture by Jack Cashill. The latest entry is Margaret Sanger's nation of 'morons'. Here's a small excerpt from the excerpt:
Sanger saw the poor not as a people to be helped, but as a problem to be solved, and birth control offered the perfect solution. If "The Pivot of Civilization" is as loud and clear as a bell about this solution, "The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger" is almost entirely silent. It is not hard to understand the silence. The autobiography was published in 1938, the same year that Joseph Goebbels made the following declaration about his fellow National Socialists:

Our starting point is not the individual, and we do not subscribe to the view that one should feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, or clothe the naked ... Our objectives are entirely different: We must have a healthy people in order to prevail in the world.

Now consider the following declaration from Sanger's "The Pivot of Civilization," one that makes Goebbels' proclamation seem, by comparison, a model of restraint:

... the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective. Possibly drastic and Spartan methods may be forced upon American society if it continues complacently to encourage the chance and chaotic breeding that has resulted from our stupid, cruel sentimentalism.

Planned Parenthood is forever chastising pro-life advocates for quoting Margaret Sanger out of context, but "Pivot" is all context. Sanger posits two primary reasons why birth control is necessary. The first, the one that has endured in progressive mythology, is "the liberation of the spirit of woman and through woman of the child." The second, the one that has been cleansed from the record, is "to prevent the sexual and racial chaos into which the world has drifted."
Previous entries are:
The Mumia Syndrome
Little Eichmanns
Michael Moore disarms America
Margaret Mead's fantasy island of sexual fulfillment
The pseudo-science of abusing children

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Zombie Research (no, really!)

A view from the mushroom... provides us with this creepifying information:
The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity.

But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock.

Plans to test the technique on humans should be realised within a year, according to the Safar Centre.
(roll SAN loss 1d6/0)

Goliad County becoming illegal alien freeway

This report from the Waco Tribune-Herald points out lots of problems in South Texas (and particularly the small town of Sarco):
Acres of South Texas ranch land used to insulate this tiny, rural corner of Goliad County from the disruptions of the Mexican border 200 miles away.

In recent months, however, illegal immigrants have been pouring into the community, worrying many of the 40 residents and prompting some to join up with the controversial civilian border patrol group known as the Minuteman Project.

Immigrant smugglers have found the area's secluded bridges and dry riverbeds ideal drop-off points. The county also offers distance from border checkpoints, overworked law enforcement and easy access to jobs in San Antonio, Victoria, Corpus Christi or Houston.

No major crimes have been reported, but residents have stepped up calls of suspicious activity to sheriff's deputies already weighted down with escalating arrests countywide. Among the chief complaints are immigrant-loaded vehicles racing through town.

"You used to be able to walk down the road for exercise or a child could ride a bike," said Sarco landowner Bill Parmley. "Now it's just like the Indianapolis 500."

Immigrant arrests are on pace to pass last year's total by at least 20,000 in the 19-county U.S. Border Patrol district that includes Goliad, according to the agency. Arrests include people from 62 countries and could double the 26,438 from last year.

The problem is illustrated by the Goliad County Sheriff's Department impound lot. In January it held a few vehicles seized in immigration cases. Today it holds more than 50.
Sheriff Robert DeLaGarza has 13 deputies to patrol a 1,000-square-mile county, and the increase in immigration activity, he said, is just overwhelming."

Editorial: Are we losing the war on terror?

Just thought I should mention this editorial from my home-county newspaper, the Wilson County News:
We hear it over and over again: Situations caused by suicide bombers are tragedies beyond our comprehension. Every time we hear about suicide bombers, roadside bombers, shoe bombers, or any other kind of bomb-toting terrorist, we shudder at their brutality.

So, as many complain that the United States doesn't have any business being in the Middle East in the first place, it gives them even more reason to watch the bombers with consternation. Their conclusion: If we weren't such bullies, there would be no need for these so-called insurgents to be blowing themselves and others up with roadside bombs.

That's hardly reality, however, as these terrorists' attacks originated long before the current war; in fact, they are the cause of the current war.

Al-Jazeera drops plans to cover Minuteman Project in Arizona

The Arizona Daily Star reports:
The Arab television network Al-Jazeera pulled the plug Monday on a series of news reports about the Arizona-Mexico border amid criticism that the information could help terrorists slip into the United States.
Other snippets from this report:
"I wanted to cover the story from the human point of view," said Nasreddine Hssaini, the Washington, D.C.-based Al-Jazeera reporter behind the series. "I wanted to go to Tombstone and Sasabe. I wanted to tell the story of democracy in action."

The network canceled the project, Hssaini said, after Minuteman organizer Chris Simcox refused to cooperate and then notified the Border Patrol and members of the state's congressional delegation about Al-Jazeera's plans.
For Simcox, Al-Jazeera and al-Qaida are virtually one and the same. They wanted to come to Arizona "to do reconnaissance," he said. "I will not have a part in that. I will not work with the enemy."
U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., noting that Al-Jazeera has been known to broadcast messages from the al-Qaida leadership to terrorist cells around the globe, was outraged that the network planned to visit Arizona.

"It is insane policy to allow Al-Jazeera to film Arizona's unsecured border with Mexico and then broadcast it to the very people who perpetrated 9/11," Franks said. Hssaini, who described himself as a Moroccan-born citizen of Canada working legally in the United States, dismissed the suggestion that his motive for coming to Arizona concerned something other than journalism.

"I am a professional journalist. They think bin Laden himself is sending me out there," he said. "I find it a little bit racist."
Yeah, well. Go figure. After all...
The U.S.-Mexico border has also been the source of much concern that terrorists could easily slip across it. U.S. officials have been saying since the Sept. 11 terror attacks that a group such as al-Qaida may use the open border with Mexico to slip across.
Note that no one has actually taken any action (legal or otherwise) to prevent the report from happening. Those involved are simply refusing to cooperate. Tough luck, Chuckles.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Common folks, drug gangs, organized crime, and now... terrorists!

WorldNetDaily reports:
Al-Jazeera has contacted Minuteman Civil Defense Corps leader Chris Simcox to try to arrange interviews. Simcox, who rejected the request for cooperation with the TV network, says al-Jazeera, seen by millions throughout the Arab world and elsewhere, is producing an hour-long documentary news special on lack of security at the U.S. southern border.

Al-Jazeera reporter Naisser Hssaini mentioned the increase in apprehensions of illegal aliens known as OTMs--other than Mexicans. These foreigners increasingly include Arabs, Muslims and others from the Middle East. The reporter also mentioned his familiarity with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement police of catching and releasing OTMS--particularly those not specifically known to be on any terrorist watch list.
tnx to Little Green Footballs

It begins here...

The "Great SCOTUS Land Grab" has come to Texas at Constitution Death Pool.

tnx to Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I'm back...

...from the annual family reunion out in the boonies near the burgeoning metropolis of Christine, TX. I somehow managed to catch the flu or something while there, and am feeling quite exhausted today after running fever for several hours last night. I had intended to to do lots of catching up and probably make several posts today, but I'm so fatigued that I can barely sit up straight.

I do want to mention that I have a great wife. She doesn't work a regular schedule, and works most weekends. A few days ago she mentioned that she was going to have this coming weekend off. Okay, I said, not thinking much about it. Then she added, "It's the first weekend of the month." Oh. I got it. That means gun show time.

This is a great story...

...about a police officer in Sioux Falls, SD, who got help from (and possibly had his life saved by) a citizen who saw that the policeman appeared to be losing a fight.

But then the last part of the last paragraph threw me:
Police say it would be very hard for someone to take an officer's gun out of its holster. There are different steps in getting it out that have to be done in the right sequence, something only law enforcement should know how to do.

Bad news for zombie hunters

They've learned to use guns. But only for self defense(?)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Everyone is blogging about...

...the execrable decision by the "Supreme" Court in Kelo vs. New London. So many others have already written so much on it that I will not be pretentious enough to add to the uproar. But this decision was wrong. Not just bad, not just poor judgement. It is wrong.

Via Heads Bunker, here is a link to Eternity Road which pretty much sums it up.

And that's it for the weekend. See you in a couple days.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Weekend Notes

Picked up a new blog-toy from Baboon Pirates called BlogMaps. So far it looks like I'm pretty much out in the middle of nowhere as far as bloggers go (not entirely surprising). The location I used is actually just the default coordinates for La Vernia, which I actually live several miles away from. But that's close enough.

No blogging this weekend. Other things to do. Will resume Sunday or Monday.

When did this happen?

I was under the impression that being able to upload pictures to Blogger was something you had to pay for. Today I suddenly noticed an extra icon on the "create post" page, and sure enough, it works. I wonder when that happened?

No more nom-de-plume


I don't believe it! Victor Meldrew would say.

Today I had a meter route in the Oblate/McCullough/San Pedro area, not one of my favorite places to read meters (by Dagon, that was a horrific route!). However, it was very close to The Humidor, a place where I have in the past occasionally purchased pipe tobacco and other related accoutrements. After finishing, still pretty much covered with sweat and feeling exhausted, I dropped by and walked straight over to their pathetically small pipe section (most of the original was removed to make room for that beached whale of a cigar humidor that takes up 3/4 of their space) and told the guy working there:

"I'd like a tin of Escudo."
"What was that?" he said.
I thought maybe he had misunderstood me, so I tried a couple of different pronunciations.
"Escoodo...Eskewdo," I answered.
"Is that tobacco?" he asked.
I was dumbfounded. Incredulous. Flummoxed.
"Yeah! Pipe tobacco. Virginia and Perique."
"Never heard of that one," he said.
I started in utter disbelief and their small shelf of pipe tobaccos for a few seconds.
"You really don't have it?"
He just shook his head.
I can't believe it.

Several years ago this was a pretty good place to get pipes and tobacco. They at one time had a shelf of Irish Seconds that always made me drool. But since the cigar craze started long ago, they have all but abandoned pipe stuff. They did have a few lonely tins of various Dunhills there, and for a second I thought maybe I'd get one of those instead, but then I just said thanks and left. Unbelievable.

It really does exist. I just can't believe this guy had never heard of it.

What makes this really vexing is that I have bought this exact pipe tobacco at this very store in the past.


Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Senators want to restore right of self-defense to citizens of D.C.

Sorry, that's my headline. The actual article is here: Re-arming DC: Senators want to pack heat in capital. I will point you to one paragraph which shows this writer knows very little, if anything at all:
The bill would, in one swoop, negate all the gun laws the district has adopted over the past 30 years, including pre-purchase criminal-background checks and bans on semi-automatic weapons and cop-killer bullets. If it passes the Senate, it is expected to breeze through the House, which passed a similar bill last September.
That's right folks, it would remove the instant check for residents of D.C., which everyone else in the country is subject to! Now that's some law. It would put D.C. ahead of every state in the union, if it were true. Not to mention that it would remove a ban on a form of ammunition that doesn't actually exist. And...
"One would hope that the Congress would have better things to worry about than flooding the nation's capital with guns," says Sean Tenner, chairman of DC for Democracy, which lobbies for DC-statehood rights. "But I've been wrong before."
Apparently, having D.C. flooded with illegal guns is just fine. It's just the legal guns that are the problem.

Lots more there to get your blood boiling, if you're in the mood.

Recommended Reading..., as Will Franklin describes his adventure observing a polling place set up at a Ramada Inn in Houston for Iran's sham election on June 17.

When a gun isn't available... do what you can, I guess.

Nairobi, Kenya:
A 73-year-old Kenyan grandfather reached into the mouth of an attacking leopard and tore out its tongue to kill it, authorities said Wednesday.

Peasant farmer Daniel M'Mburugu was tending to his potato and bean crops in a rural area near Mount Kenya when the leopard charged out of the long grass and leapt on him.

M'Mburugu had a machete in one hand but dropped that to thrust his fist down the leopard's mouth. He gradually managed to pull out the animal's tongue, leaving it in its death-throes.

'It let out a blood-curdling snarl that made the birds stop chirping,' he told the daily Standard newspaper of how the leopard came at him and knocked him over.

The leopard sank its teeth into the farmer's wrist and mauled him with its claws. 'A voice, which must have come from God, whispered to me to drop the panga (machete) and thrust my hand in its wide open mouth. I obeyed,' M'Mburugu said.

A Patron Saint for Handgunners

I am not a member of the Catholic Church, but I still found this interesting. The Saint Gabriel Possenti Society is "an organization dedicated to promoting St. Gabriel Possenti as the patron saint of handgunners":
The reason why Mr. Snyder has been proposing the recognition of Gabriel Possenti as a patron saint for shooters took place in 1860. After a battle that year in Pesaro, Italy, in which Giuseppe Garibaldi's Piedmontese army defeated Blessed Pope Pius IX's army, several contingents of the former left the main body of the troops, and proceeded to terrorize the countryside. About 20 of them entered Isola del Gran Sasso, where Gabriel Possenti served as a seminarian. When the noise from the ruckus caused by the gang reached the monastery, Possenti asked the monastery rector if he could go into the town to see if he could help the people. The rector said yes.

Possenti found the gang about to rape a young woman, and ordered them to set her free. When they refused to obey, Possenti yanked two pistols out of the soldiers' holsters. (According to Mr. Paolo Tagini, who edits the Italian firearms magazine, Armi Magazine, the weapons likely were 1851 Colt Navy Model six-shot revolvers in .36 caliber or imitations thereof.) At that moment, a lizard ran across the road. Gabriel Possenti took aim, fired and killed it with one shot. Then, he turned his weapons toward the gang which, surprised and shocked, left the village.

'By naming St. Gabriel Possenti officially the Patron of Handgunners, the Vatican could hold up this holy man as an example of the proper use of handguns,' Mr. Snyder points out. 'This would underscore the good purposes to which these inanimate objects can be and often are put. ' Possenti used guns in order to pursue a just end: protecting the victims' life, liberty and property against aggression. 'He used a handgun to rescue an entire village full of peaceful, law-abiding people from the grip of a renegade band of soldier/terrorists,' Mr. Snyder adds. 'He accomplished his mission without causing physical harm, let alone bloodshed, to anyone…(H)e not only defended a village against a band of brigands. He also aimed a bullet at the heart of tyranny, at the heart of terrorism, at the heart of a brute ideology that justified the use of armed force against the innocent… The Catholic Church, as a genuine and consistent defender of the right to life, also could speak out for the right of the individual to self-defense, of the right to keep and bear arms.'
Also available are books and booklets regarding Saint Possenti, self-defense and the Bible, and other things from a pro-RKBA Catholic group.

This is rich...

Albuquerque, NM:
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has suspended its Las Cruces chapter.

The suspension followed revelations that a member of the group's board was heading the formation of a Minuteman-style organization in New Mexico.

How to die conveniently

This article from the Des Moines Register is a tragic account of a woman who was killed in her own home, apparently by an ex-boyfriend, or ex-acquaintance, or something. It was someone with which she was not romantically involved but the police chose to call it "domestic violence" anyway. There are several things in it that peg the b.s. meter, but the icing on the cake is a sidebar containing a list called "How to Be Safe." Here are the first four items:
Find a room with an exit.

Stay there with a telephone or hide your cell phone in a safe place; have it programmed to 911.

Visualize an escape route. Be prepared to use it.

Trust your instinct to safely decide the next move.
Find...a room...with an exit...and hide. I'm speechless.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Meter reading in Terrell Hills today...

...and I'm completely exhausted.

I did want to say that my post yesterday which may have seemed to draw many threads together had a purpose. As far as I know, the main problem with illegal aliens in Arizona (where the original Minuteman Project started) is from just regular folks who are trying to get somewhere where they can make a decent living to support their families. The problem in Texas, which seems to be centered on Laredo/Nuevo Laredo, is much more sinister, involving not only "typical" illegals, but also organized crime and various drug gangs. It will probably take a major operation to have any real effect, and it wouldn't surprise me if the criminals and their ilk who are coming out of that area offered violent reprisals to anyone who stands in their way.

And I think Blogger is on the fritz again. My blog looks all screwed up today (the sidebar is missing, for one thing). Good thing this is only a hobby for me, or I'd be bailing out of here and looking for a real blog service.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Minutemen Begin Organizing in Texas

Goliad, TX:
Ranchers fed up with illegal immigration from Mexico planned to meet Monday with a volunteer border-patrol group in one of the first welcoming signs members of the Minutemen Project have received in Texas.

Owners of thousands of acres of South Texas ranchland say immigrants have damaged their land and made the town unsafe. They say the answer may be the Minutemen, who in April monitored the Arizona-Mexico border and reported suspected illegal crossings to authorities.
I thought I should also highlight this paragraph:
Laredo police spokesman Juan Rivera said any citizen has a right to contact police about illegal immigration. But he said officers will crack down on anyone who doesn't have proper concealed handgun documentation, is trespassing or disrupting police duties on the border.
Bias? Number 1: Not all the Minutemen in Arizona went armed. So why automatically assume that all the Minutemen are carrying concealed? Number 2: Unlike Arizona (and as this article points out), they will be patrolling privately owned land with permission of the land-owners. If the owners of said property give them permission to carry arms, they don't need concealed carry licenses. Number 3: Juan Rivera may want to brush up on his law, especially the recently passed HB823, which makes it legal for any of these guys to keep a concealed handgun (or any other firearm, for that matter) in their personal vehicles while travelling to and from their patrols. The only legal option for prohibiting any of them from being armed is specific prohibition by the land-owner.

Also I would like to reference a previous post, noting that Laredo is the U.S. side of the same city as Nuevo Laredo.

UPDATE: Here are some other recent articles regarding the Minuteman Project.

Significantly, the Minuteman Project hasn't gone away -- Editorial from the Williamsport, PA Sun-Gazette.

Only Chief Chamberlain has the guts to control immigration -- Commentary from the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Lawmakers join debate over border's Minutemen -- Report from the Palm Springs, CA Desert Sun.

Border arrests on rise -- AP report from the Albuquerque, NM Tribune.

UPDATE 2: A post from the forum of points out that:
For five years, the Juárez cartel has been battling its archrival, the Gulf cartel, for control of drug routes into the United States--a bloody feud that has turned parts of the Texas-Mexico border into a virtual war zone. Most coveted of those routes is Interstate 35, which extends from the banks of the Rio Grande to the shores of Lake Superior.
"Dallas is the new Miami for transiting drugs," said Mr. Jordan, former head of the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center, which studies the drug trade. "Drug traffickers kill for I-35."
And finally:
Laredo is the busiest land border crossing into the United States for both legal and illegal cargo, most of which is funneled up I-35.

The highway, which begins in Laredo and runs through Dallas before ending 1,550 miles later in Duluth, Minn., near the Canadian border, has become the traffickers' route of choice in the most lucrative drug market in the world.

"Let's say you want to transport 2,000 pounds of marijuana, or cocaine, to the U.S.," said Mr. Jordan, the former DEA agent. "You get 10 or 20 cars on I-35, and maybe you lose one load, but you still get 1,800 pounds across. The odds are with you."
UPDATE 3 (or, the fundemantal interconnectedness of all things) -- Los Zetas at the Immigration Blog:
The Intelligence Bulletin we obtained says the Zetas are responsible for hundreds of violent drug-related murders. It says they've executed journalists, murdered people in Dallas, McAllen and Laredo, Texas. They even detained two DEA agents and recently they've shot at Border Patrol agents. At the Arizona border with Mexico agents are already seeing a major increase in violence.

Doctor...whom did you say?

From the BBC:
Researchers speculate that time travel can occur within a kind of feedback loop where backwards movement is possible, but only in a way that is 'complementary' to the present.

In other words, you can pop back in time and have a look around, but you cannot do anything that will alter the present you left behind.

The new model, which uses the laws of quantum mechanics, gets rid of the famous paradox surrounding time travel.
And the article is illustrated with an obsolete British police box (heh heh).

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Meanwhile, a mere 3 hours drive to the south...

This is what we have on our border:
A death cult that venerates a scythe-wielding skeletal figure is booming in Mexican border cities south of Texas where hundreds have died this year in all-out drug war.

The centuries-old pagan cult of Santa Muerte, or Saint Death, has sprung back up in Mexico in recent years and claims some 2 million faithful, ranging from elite politicians to kidnappers and gangsters.

The revival began in Mexico City. Now, roadside shrines to the ghoulish figure stud highways approaching the U.S. border around the city of Nuevo Laredo, where more than 45 people have been killed in the drug fight so far this year.
Violence peaked in Nuevo Laredo last week when suspected cartel hitmen machine gunned the city's new public security chief, Alejandro Dominguez, to death just hours after he was sworn into the job.

At least two more killings have occurred in the city since troops moved in. Many jittery stall holders declined to talk in detail about the death cult.

But Aridjis, who has tracked the cult's growth in Mexico, says drug traffickers seek favors from Santa Muerte they could not ask of saints venerated by the Church in Mexico, the world's second largest Roman Catholic nation.

"They say 'Protect me tonight because I am going to commit a crime. I am going to ambush my enemies, I am going to smuggle drugs to the United States,'" Aridjis said.

Local residents not caught up in crime call on the saint, also known as "La Nina Blanca" or the "White Child," to keep loved ones out of the path of a stray bullet or prevent their children from falling into a life of crime.

But the figure is more often associated with criminals.

"It is becoming a savage, brutal cult," on the border, Aridjis said. "People are living in a psychosis of fear."
This is another one that Reuters calls "odd."

What are they up to?

On February 17, a bill was introduced in the House that would repeal the 22nd Amendment. Sponsored by Steny Hoyer (Democrat) and Jim Sensenbrenner (Republican).

I didn't really go bloggeractive until March. Did I just miss this?

The 22nd, by the way, is the presidential term limits amendment.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Belated Welcome... readers of All Things Conservative who may have wandered through here. I was recently (well, sometime in the past several days anyway) added to their list of local bloggers. I don't actually live in San Antonio, but I do work there.

More on the Gallup Poll

John Lott has some further information on the Gallup Poll that I mentioned previously.

More comments also at Ravenwood's Universe and Chaos-In-Motion.

Recommended Reading

The New McCarthyism: Depriving Constitutional Rights Based on Mere Suspicion (pdf link) explains why being on VGTOF (Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File) should not be allowed to create a "hit" on the NICS background check when purchasing a firearm. Whereas people should only show up on a NICS check because due process has indicated they once committed a crime, it is possible to turn up on the VGTOF because your name is somewhat similar to someone else who may or may not pose a terroristic threat, or even maybe just because of sheer mistake.

tnx to The Volokh Conspiracy

Death by Bomb

You scored as Bomb. Your death will be by bombing. You will probably be an innocent bystander, not doing anything wrong and not a person who was targeted at, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.





Natural Causes


Cut Throat




















How Will You Die??
created with

This reminds me that when I was much younger, I used to have nightmares and sometimes sort of waking flashes of dying in an explosion. I was always sitting on the passenger's side back seat of a car.

tnx to Tigerhawk

Michigan Man Reclaims Property with Shotgun

Or so I would have written the headline. As it was, apparently these ne'er-do-wells took potshots at each because one of them had taken the other one's car, or so they would seem to say. Carjacking sparks a gunfight:
Police have a message for carjacking victims who spot their stolen vehicles on the road the next day: Don't pull out your shotgun and confront the thieves yourself.
Definitely not, because, you know, you might eliminate a parasite and get your car back:
Both men began firing. The man from the SUV was wounded and hospitalized in serious condition with injuries to his head, hand and leg, Hardy said Sunday night.

The husband wasn't injured.
Of course, you could always argue that it's better to let parasites run free than to do the job yourself:
"Charges are forthcoming," Hardy said, "but we don't know yet what charges and against whom."
My home was burglarized some 12 years ago or so, just a day or two before Christmas. I have nothing but contempt and some measure of outright hatred for these people. If I had ever caught them myself with my property in their hands, I would have been like Mark Hamill in The Big Red One, and the only thing that would have stopped the firing pin from clicking on an empty chamber is if someone had handed me a fresh magazine so I could reload.

tnx to Gun Watch

This is beautiful...

Just follow the link to Weapons Retention at Cogito Ergo Geek and watch.

Brady Goon Squad Gets Busted

GeekWithA.45 reports:
During testimony, the group attempted to bolster its argument by introducing a letter that listed five Nevada law enforcement officials who purportedly lent their names to the Brady's effort to thwart the bill.

The Bradys and another anti-gun organization--the 'Million Mom March'--even posted the opposition letter on their websites as a way to garner key support for their gun-banning efforts.

But, as it turns out (and not surprisingly), the Brady Campaign apparently added the sheriffs' names to the letter without their knowledge or approval!

Some HB823 Details

Just thought I'd post some details (as I have been able to find them) regarding House Bill 823, recently passed by the Texas Legislature, which is awaiting the signature of Governor Perry to become law. What this does is clarify "traveling." Section 46.02 of the Texas Penal Code covers the unlawful carrying of weapons:
"A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, or club."
Section 46.15 is about nonapplicability. One of the exemptions to 46.02 is if you are "traveling." This ambiguous term has caused endless amounts of confusion, not the least of which is because different authorities in different areas define "traveling" differently. Is driving down the block to the convenience store "traveling"? Or do you have to cross county lines to be "traveling"? I can't find the citation, but a few years back there was a much publicized bust in which a man was deemed to be unlawfully carrying a loaded 9mm pistol because he claimed he was on his way to his deer lease, and the 9mm pistol is not a weapon that is normally used for such activity. This was due to subsection (4):
is engaging in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the actor's residence, if the weapon is a type commonly used in the activity;
Now, with HB 823, we have a definition of "traveling."
(i) For purposes of Subsection (b)(3), a person is presumed to be traveling if the person is:
(1) in a private motor vehicle;
(2) not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;
(3) not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm;
(4) not a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01; and
(5) not carrying a handgun in plain view.
I am not a lawyer. However, it seems to me that this is good news for all law-abiding Texans. With passage of this bill, it will become completely legal for any law-abiding Texan to have a concealed handgun in their vehicle while going anywhere for any reason. Just make sure you obey all the traffic regulations. We'll probably have some shakedown regarding parking lots at businesses that want to prohibit handguns in cars in their parking lots (this is already sometimes a problem with CHL holders). But overall, I think this will be a good law.

UPDATE: And moved to top (original post June 8). On June 16 Governor Perry signed this bill into law. I am surprised that this one seems to have slipped under the antis radar. Or maybe they don't realize what it means. This bill will allow any law-abiding citizen in Texas to carry a concealed handgun in their personal automobile (but not in, say, a vehicle owned by their employer). I kept waiting to hear "Blood Will Run In the Streets!" or "Road Rage Murders Will Abound!!" or "Stuff Like That!!!" But it didn't happen.

Californian Comments on Texas

Jim Mosher of the San Diego Rifle and Revolver Association has some commentary in the North County Times:
But, back to Lampasas: State Representative Susanna Hupp, who donated the Kimber rifle in the Hanna Springs Intermediate School fund-raiser, is the author of the Texas 'shall-issue' concealed carry law. Mrs. Hupp was motivated by a life-changing experience. She met her parents for lunch at the Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on Oct. 16, 1991, the day George Hennard drove his pickup truck through the restaurant's front window, produced a pistol and deliberately shot customers one by one. He murdered 23 people, and then committed suicide when cornered by police. At the time Texas law did not allow concealed carry and Susanna Hupp's unloaded self-defense handgun was locked in her car. She watched helplessly as her father and mother were shot to death.

Violent crimes have dropped dramatically in the Lone Star State since then-Texas Gov. George Bush signed Hupp's concealed carry legislation in 1995. According to FBI figures, the 38 states with laws that allow their citizens to carry concealed handguns for self-defense average 24 percent less violent crime and 22 percent less murder than states like California that severely restrict right-to-carry. It is probably the per capita concealed carry permit count in Lampasas that cools the predatory urges of the community's registered sex offenders.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Random Blasts

This week's Friday night pipe is a Kaywoodie Standard Grain lovat, loaded with Cornell & Diehl's Home from the Hills (burley, latakia, Perique, Virginia). Posted by Hello

This week was really tough, due to the heat and high humidity, with the heat index just breaking 100. One thing is clear: I can't keep up the pace that I held today. I have to slow down for the summer. If I don't, I won't make it.

Today's idiotic remark: "Hey dude, you ever heard of a sidewalk?" This is one that I just had to pretend I didn't hear, and keep walking. The only appropriate answer would have been, "Hey dude, you gonna build me a sidewalk all the way to your meters? Didn't think so. Then shut up." Only it would have probably had a few extra words in there somewhere.

Blog notes for this week. It was nice to once again be included in Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias. Something inexplicable that I noticed this week was that, according to my web stats, I received two visitors who came here from American Digest. This is a regular read for me, but I can't imagine why Mr. Van der Leun would have linked to this blog, and in fact, I can't find any references there. I think there must have been a mistake somewhere.

She's Back!

Resistance is futile! reports on the return of Ginny Burdick, the Oregon senator who wants to ensure that school children remain easy targets.

I just don't know what to think of this

Tyler, TX:
A 43-year-old Tyler man who killed a man in self-defense was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison Tuesday for having the gun he used to do it, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office press release.

Dexter Alan Cravens, a convicted felon, shouldn't have had the gun when he shot a man inside a house during a firefight the night of Oct. 11, 2004, the release states. The victim was found unconscious in the front yard and later died of his injuries.

Cravens wasn't prosecuted for the shooting, after an investigation showed he acted in self-defense. But with two prior felony convictions in Smith County for drugs and burglary, he couldn't legally carry a weapon, the release states.
Okay, he was a convicted felon, and that means he can't legally own a firearm. But he had apparently served his time. Does that still mean he isn't allowed to defend himself? My first impulse is to say yes, he should still be allowed to defend himself.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Required reading...

Joel Rosenberg has some required reading on a Minnesota shooting that I mentioned last month:
Among other flaws, it leaves out some key points about the murder of 'Big Billy Walsh.' Although you wouldn't know it from the KARE story -- Ourada (the killer; we can't call him the murderer until and unless he's convicted) either went home or was driven somewhere to retrieve his handgun.

That's kind of important, isn't it? It's not like he was carrying, drunk (and we'll get to that in a moment) and murdered a man out of drunken irritation in a moment of irkedness. Nope. He apparently wasn't carrying, was drunk, got obnoxious, was kicked out, and went somewhere (home, perhaps; and who drove him there? The story doesn't say), while drunk, got a gun, and came back and killed the bouncer.

Just horrible, sure. But what did his permit have to do with that? How could him not having a carry permit have prevented him getting drunk, becoming obnoxious, getting kicked out of a bar, going somewhere (home, perhaps? And, again, who drove him there?), while drunk, getting a gun, and coming back and killing the bouncer?
tnx to Alphecca

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Posted by Hello

Temperature forecast for the next few days. Don't even ask about the heat index. We are under a "severe weather advisory" because of hot weather, the basic import of which is this: don't go outside. The next couple of days are gonna be bad.

Note the "passing clouds." Yeah, I passed a few on my way home from work.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The devil you say...

U.S. Newswire reports:
A new national poll released today from The Gallup Organization found that only one in four (Americans) think private citizens should be allowed to pack concealed weapons. The poll revealed that Americans in overwhelming numbers reject the gun lobby's agenda to permit more hidden, loaded handguns to be carried on the streets.

The Gallup poll also found that 'nearly two in three Americans say they would feel less safe if they were in a public place and knew that concealed firearms were allowed.' Even 45 percent of gun owners said they would feel less safe, if concealed firearms were in a place they were at.
And so on and so forth. I wonder exactly how "national" this "poll" really was. No way am I going to believe that "45%" quote without some rock-hard evidence shoved in my face. You may note at the very bottom of this report that the source was Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort. Among many other things, they are in favor of preserving the gun ban in Washington, D.C. Their tagline is, "Wisconsinites, working together, can truly create a state of peace." Just as peaceful as Washington, D.C., apparently.

From their anti-concealed carry anti-self-defense section:
Wisconsinites know that it makes sense to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons. We haven't gone down the path traveled by other states like Texas, Florida and Louisiana. Those and many other states that allow concealed weapons have much higher firearms death rates than Wisconsin does. Allowing the carrying of concealed guns is a dangerous idea. And it's dead wrong for Wisconsin.
Any correlation between death rates and those who carry concealed? I mean, are these higher death rates occuring because the people who are carrying concealed are commiting indiscriminate murder?

I didn't think so. I would note that Wisconsin is seriously lacking in any really large cities, which are notorious for providing us with murder statistics. Milwaukee is #1 at only 596,000 people, and the entire state only has about 5 1/2 million.

UPDATE: Sorry, but I just had to throw some numbers together like all the good little statisticians do. I'm not a statistician by any means, and these numbers may be full of it, but here they are. The years don't match because the last census was in 2000 and the statistics I found were from 2001, but it should still be pretty close.

The population of Texas in 2000 was 20,851,820. In 2001, there were 2,350 persons killed by a firearm (that includes homicide, suicide, accidental, and undetermined) in Texas. That means that in 2000, about 0.011% of the population of Texas died through the use of firearms. (11 out of 100,000)

The population of Florida in 2000 was 15,982,378. In 2001, there were 1,816 persons killed by a firearm (that includes homicide, suicide, accidental, and undetermined) in Florida. That means that in 2000, about 0.011% of the population of Florida died through the use of firearms. (11 out of 100,000)

The population of Louisiana in 2000 was 4,468,976. In 2001, there were 781 persons killed by a firearm (that includes homicide, suicide, accidental, and undetermined) in Louisiana. That means that in 2000, about 0.017% of the population of Louisiana died through the use of firearms. (17 out of 100,000)

The population of Wisconsin in 2000 was 5,363,675. In 2001, there were 475 persons killed by a firearm (that includes homicide, suicide, accidental, and undetermined) in Wisconsin. That means that in 2000, about 0.009% of the population of Wisconsin died through the use of firearms. (9 out of 100,000)

If I've crunched these numbers correctly, it looks like Louisiana has the biggest problem, but there is very little difference between Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin. Please note that I'm not talking about the worth of human life here, I'm talking raw numbers. I'm using these three states because that is what they were comparing themselves to. If I've done these numbers wrong, please feel free to tell me I screwed up.

Population data from U.S. Census Bureau. Firearms death statistics from Physicians for Social Responsibilty.

CCRKBA Challenges Maryland Anti-Gunner to Apologize to Police for Insult

Bellevue, Washington:
By insisting that a new federal law that allows retired police officers to carry concealed handguns is 'essentially dangerous,' a Maryland anti-gun crusader has insulted men and women in law enforcement and should immediately apologize, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

Leah Barrett, executive director of CeaseFire Maryland, Inc., made the remark after Maryland Gov. Robert L. Erlich Jr. kicked off a state program to implement the new federal law for retired Maryland officers. Under the statute, retired police officers will be allowed to carry concealed firearms at home or when they travel, even though they are now just private citizens.

'Leah Barrett has allowed her zealous bigotry against firearms and the people who own them to overcome whatever common sense she may have once possessed,' said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. 'This federal legislation was passed not only to protect the right of retired police officers to defend themselves, but also provide some additional public safety, and Barrett is against that. What on earth is she thinking?
'Perhaps it hasn't occurred to Ms. Barrett,' he continued, 'that the people she has just insulted have devoted their lives to making the world a little bit safer for people like her to live in. They spent their careers putting themselves in harm's way, just so she could sleep more soundly at night, and shoot her mouth off during the daylight hours on a subject which she clearly knows nothing about.'
UPDATE: The War On Guns presents another angle, which I find myself agreeing with.

Just enforce the laws, already

Jacksonville, NC:
Jacksonville police allegedly seized handguns from two convicted felons this weekend during traffic stops.

Authorities now are planning to lean on federal laws designed to reduce gun crimes in an effort to keep the two men behind bars.
Lean on? Lean on? What kind of mealy-mouthed phrase is this? They are felons. These laws were passed to make it even worse for felons who commit crimes with guns. Don't lean on the law, just enforce it. I'm surprised I have to say this.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I am gratified... be listed as an RKBA Blog by Cowboy Blob. I hadn't realized this was a "hybrid blog," but I guess that's what you call a blog that doesn't have a single focus. I guess "hybrid" is better than "aimlessly meandering."

I would recommend visiting the RKBA link and reviewing the list. It's gonna take me a while to go through all those links, but I'm sure it will be worthwhile.

This one I agree with...

From The News-Press (Southwest Florida):
Roy Bedard is a karate champion and reserve police officer who calls himself a 'use of force expert.'

Bedard, who runs a security consulting company in Tallahassee called RRB Systems International, said most business owners 'tend to carry weapons responsibly.'

But he believes more should be done to educate gun owners on when--not just how--to use their weapons.

'Deadly force isn't something you plan for,' Bedard said.

'Suddenly you're there and the question is, 'Do I shoot or don't I shoot?' There is no greater decision a person will make than to take another person's life.'
I think there should be classes, or perhaps seminars, or something, available beyond just the time required to acquire a CHL. These classes should focus on all the quirks of the law that are pertinent to a self-defensive shooting. They would not be mandatory, but they would be available.

This article mentions a couple of recent defensive gun uses, one which I consider righteous and the other which I consider abysmally stupid (you guess which):
On May 29, off-duty security guard Donald Biggs pulled his pistol and began firing shots in the parking lot of a Fort Myers Publix store to try to stop a fleeing shoplifting suspect. No one was hurt by the gunfire.

On June 3, a clerk at Weaver's Corner Pharmacy in North Fort Myers pulled a pistol and shot an armed, masked man who was trying to rob the pharmacy of prescription drugs.
This security guard must have learned most of his gun knowledge from watching movies. What this little snippet doesn't mention, but which I read in the original reports, is that the shoplifter was swerving around the parking lot and this guy was trying to shoot out his tires. Forgive me for not looking up the citation right now. I'm dead tired and need some sleep. I'll look it up tomorrow.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the story with more details. I think Mr. Biggs is extremely lucky that one of his shots didn't ricochet off the gravel and hit someone. You can bet he would have been charged if that had happened.

Department of Righteous Self-Defense

Shreveport, LA:
The assistant principal of Youree Drive Middle School in Shreveport is hospitalized with a gunshot wound, after an overnight shootout with a man who allegedly tried to car jack him. Shreveport Police say Charles Washington arrived at police headquarters Sunday night, with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, saying he had just been shot by a man and returned fire. Washington reportedly told police a man approached him near Milam and Sycamore, demanding his car keys and his wallet. Washington says the man shot him and he shot back, wounding the alleged robber, Gabriel Robinson. The 20-year-old Robinson has been booked into the city jail on a charge of attempted second degree murder. Mr. Washington remains hospitalized in fair condition.

Caddo Parish School superintendent Ollie Tyler was a principal at Youree Drive Middle School, and for several years, was Washington's boss. Tyler visited Washington at the hospital Monday. 'In speaking to him, he seemed to be in good spirits,' Tyler said. 'Not too worried - just ready to be back to work.'

Police say Washington, in shooting his alleged assailant, was apparently acting in self defense. While its unclear if Washington has a license for a firearm, police say he did not need one since he had the gun in his car, which is considered an extension of the home.

More goings-on at Virginia Tech

I originally mentioned this about a week ago. Here's an update on anti-self-defense activity at Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech officials are sticking to their ban on guns and asking the university's governing board to endorse an anti-violence policy that threatens to arrest anyone who refuses to disarm or leave campus.
No mention of how they plan on anti-violence protection against those who don't give a rat's ass about the gun ban. The sort-of good news is:
But while the gun ban would clearly prohibit holders of concealed weapons permits from carrying firearms on campus, university officials said they have no intention of searching visitors unless police believe they pose a safety threat. "We still think we need a safe campus," said Kurt Krause, Tech's vice president for business affairs and administration. "But someone carrying a weapon concealed doesn't become an issue until they show [the gun]. We're not going to go searching cars or patting people down.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said his group will be prepared to fight the issue, likely through the legislative process.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

A couple of interesting stories from Techdirt

A couple of notables from Techdirt this week.

In case you weren't aware of this, Accuweather wants our National Weather Service prohibited from freely feeding weather information to the public, because of course, it means fewer people will actually be paying Accuweather for information that they could get free from NWS. Updating this story, Accuweather Spins Weather Service Laws reveals: "Accuweather is now sending out emails to many of its subscribers telling them to speak up in support of the bill. Of course, they (so convenient of them) skip the part where the bill bans the NWS from giving out the info to the public for free and instead focuses on the part that would force the NWS to provide real-time, rather than delayed, info -- but only to certain commercial providers, such as (you guessed it!), Accuweather. Funny how that works..."

And in the less aggravating, more funny department, computer users in Romania are actually in favor of their computers getting infected with a particular virus because it searches "for files containing the names of Romanian gypsy music singers," and then deletes them (which means it deletes gypsy music mp3 files). These users are against the protection against this virus issued by their security provider BitDefender. Some customer comments:
One customer, whose details have withheld, said: "I appreciate your rapid reaction when new viruses are released… Nevertheless, when socially useful viruses are released, I think you could wait at least one day… This is not a virus, this is a utilitarian tool". The message concluded: "If you know the author of this virus, please give him my e-mail address; I'm ready to offer him food and drinks for at least 2 weeks".

Another customer was also hoping detection signatures were delayed but he went on to wish for a variant that could attack legacy systems: "Couldn't you guys wait two or three more days, until my whole neighbourhood was infected? Is there a version of this virus that can erase the cassettes played in cars that are stopped in traffic?"

Good grief...

A report from the Buffalo News about a trafficker in illegal guns which paints everyone who is not an anti-gun lunatic with the same broad brush:
Bostic didn't pull the trigger that night in August 2003 when the 9mm bullet tore a hole through Bud's insides and his dreams.

Bostic never pulls the trigger. That's not how he kills or maims people, or destroys their lives.

But Bud still was one of Bostic's victims.

So was Armod Law. And Christopher Leftwich. And Larry Sommerville, even though Sommerville killed himself.
That's right. I'm not defending anyone who dumps guns into the street where they can be used by for criminal purposes by gangs, muggers, and various thugs, but this is nuts. Even suicide victims are not responsible for their own death. And it just gets worse from here.
Forty-five caliber pistols designed to knock down the strongest men. Nine-millimeter Hi-Points, light and easily concealed.
Sigh...what's the point? That's right. The .45 will knock down the strongest man. Less strong men will actually be thrown backwards10 or 15 feet before they hit the ground.
But he didn't give these weapons to military police. Bostic put his arsenal in the hands of doped up teenagers, petty thieves and hard core drug dealers. Anyone who wanted a cheap handgun for whatever reason--protection, status, to settle a grudge.
Holy cow, you mean some people wanted a gun to protect themselves? How dare they?!
Bostic, now 34, carried out the biggest illegal gun trafficking scheme ever uncovered in Western New York, The News found, by taking advantage of loopholes in the nation's gun laws and limitations on federal law enforcement. And he was helped by powerful gun rights lobbies that undermined the enforcers.
You heard it here folks. Gun rights lobbyists are in favor of selling cheap guns to punks in back alleys so they can murder each other and anyone else who gets in their way. How could I have been so misled as to think they were actually interested in protecting my inalienable, constitutionally-protected right?
Bostic also benefited, The News found, from hatching his scheme in the gun-friendly state of Ohio...
What? Where? Ohio is gun friendly? The devil you say.

This article just goes on and on about how lax gun laws are costing people lives. Everyone involved is now in jail, including the main perpetrator and his two "straw purchasers." But that isn't good enough. If guns were completely outlawed in the first place, none of this would have happened, or so they say.

I'm not good at this fisking business. I become too outraged at the complete and utter stupidity of people who write these kinds of things. There's no way I will ever convince them that waiting periods and special ID cards for ammo are wrong. There is no way they will ever convince me that such things are right. We are living in two different realities which will never under any circumstances come to terms with each other.

UPDATE: Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias has some excellent comments on this topic.

Concealed Carry Advocacy in Utah

From the Salt Lake Tribune:
A state legislator is setting up free concealed weapon classes for policy-makers and their families this summer, while at the same time formulating a proposal to make it easier for Utahns to secretly carry a firearm.

Clearfield Republican Rep. Curtis Oda says the sessions are aimed at educating lawmakers and debunking gun-control advocates' criticism of Utah's gun laws.
How do you like that buzzword "secretly"?
[Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah board member Maura] Carabello says the free classes don't pass the proverbial "smell test." Oda's classes, she says, are a subtle form of lobbying for looser laws--something Utah doesn't need.
God forbid legislators should become more open to law-abiding citizens being able to protect themselves.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Squabbling among New Mexico border-watchers

Egos apparently abound:

Leaders of each of the groups accused each other during interviews Friday of being aggressive and extreme in their desire to stop illegal immigration.

Clifford Alford, leader of a group called the New Mexico Minutemen, claims that members of the Minuteman Project--a group that drew international attention in April when volunteers showed up in Arizona to patrol the border--like to run around in paramilitary uniforms and carry assault weapons.

"They really don't give a rip about anyone's civil rights," he said. "We want our effort to be more humanitarian."

Mike Gaddy, who is leading the Minuteman Project in New Mexico, said Alford wasn't part of the group's monitoring project in Arizona.

"Alford hasn't been a Minuteman for a minute," Gaddy said. "He is part of a renegade organization that has absolutely nothing to do with the Minutemen whatsoever."

Friday, June 10, 2005


Something seems to be up with Bloglines. The blogroll is looking kinda strange tonight.

Minor Blogger gripe

I wonder what the deal is with Blogger not being able to recognize basic html ampersand codes. This is especially annoying because they display just fine when in "compose" mode.

Minuteman Project Activity

Border patrols planned for this weekend in New Mexico:
Members of the recently formed New Mexico Minutemen say they will be in Doña Ana and Luna counties this weekend.

"We will have people driving up and down Highway 9, between Santa Teresa and Columbus," said Clifford N. Alford of Organ, leader of the New Mexico group.
Meanwhile, the Minuteman Project is gaining steam across the country:
"Realistically, we're looking at 10,000-plus volunteers being deployed Oct. 1st on the southern and northern borders," said Chris Simcox, a chief organizer for the Arizona Minuteman Project and founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Inc.

The Arizona Minuteman Project made headlines in April for its month-long patrol along a 23-mile stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border. The activity consisted primarily of volunteers sitting in lawn chairs with binoculars and reporting unauthorized border crossing attempts or other illegal activity to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Headlines from the Arizona event gave the group momentum, and turned what some first believed to be nothing more than a publicity stunt into a national movement. The group has since hired lawyers, reorganized into separate corporations, filed to legally protect the name "Minuteman Project," hired a Washington-based media consultant and started an aggressive fund raising campaign. And, representatives of the group, have been to Washington to lobby Congress and relate the lessons learned from their time on the border.
UPDATE: Forgot to provide the link for the last quote. Fixed now.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Thursday burn-out

Thursday seems to be my day for a weekly blogging burn-out. For some reason, I just don't have the energy on Thursdays to do much of anything. Tomorrow night should be better. I will mention that NOAA has RSS feeds for hurricane information.

Oh yeah, Cowboy Blob is now on the Blogrollonomicon.

Tomorrow night expect some updates here regarding beef jerky. I got a couple of recipes that I think are pretty good: Homestyle Hickory and The Dread Jerky of Azathoth.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I would also like to direct your attention to...

...Gun Culture, a British blog chronicling (among other things) the state of gun control in the U.K. A current post reports that replica not-guns are now being outlawed.
As widely anticipated the Gubimint is to introduce legislation to ban not-guns.

It seems that these not-guns are creating havoc on the streets with people being not-shot every day (well except by police anyway, and they have actual guns).

I would like to direct your attention to...

...a blog that I recently discovered called All Things Conservative. Among other things, these folks are keeping watch on liberal bias at the San Antonio Express-News. My kind of folks.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Interesting goings-on at Virginia Tech

A couple of letters in Collegiate Times in Blacksburg, VA. The first is short and to the point, and I'll copy the whole thing here (boldface emphasis mine):
Regarding the story "Faculty demonstrates concern over concealed weapons" (CT, April 15), Easterling and other faculty seem quite concerned that students with concealed handgun permits are exercising their Constitutional rights.

CHP holders have voluntarily subjected themselves to criminal background checks with favorable results. As far as I can tell, the university does not routinely conduct any background checks on students it admits.

I find it curious that the faculty is more concerned about the students who have proven themselves good citizens than it is about those students who may be hiding their own violent histories.
Letter #2 is much longer and full of interesting legal details, and should be read in full. Here's the intro:
My name is David Briggman. I'm a 41-year-old stay-at-home dad for my two boys, both under four, and I'm a full-time college student. I'm a former police officer who was charged with the enforcement of state, federal and military laws here in Virginia. I also have a concealed handgun permit.

Unfortunately, most people believe that this issue is about firearms, but it's really not. It's about holding government accountable to its own law. After all, why should the government expect us to obey its laws if it can't even abide by its own?

This one's mine...

I'm still somewhat disturbed to be 33% C3PO, but I guess it could be worse.

Darth Vader


Anakin Skywalker


Clone Trooper


General Grievous




Mace Windu


Obi Wan Kenobi






Emperor Palpatine




Padme Amidala


Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
created with

tnx to Cowboy Blob

Salvadoran Gang Suspects Caught in South Texas

The Daily Sentinel Reports:
Authorities have seen more evidence of Mara Salvatrucha, also know as MS-13, in South Texas since the reputed leader of the gang, Ebner Anibal Rivera Paz, was arrested in Falfurrias in late February. He was wanted by Honduran officials in a shooting attack on a bus full of Christmas shoppers that killed 28 people.
Sounds like terrorists to me. Wonderful.

San Diego County Minuteman watch postponed until September.

North County Times:
Citing logistical and safety concerns, the leader of an anti-illegal immigration group said Monday that he is postponing his plans for a controversial border watch this summer along eastern San Diego County's portion of the U.S. Mexican border.

Andy Ramirez, founder of Chino-based Friends of the Border Patrol, said so many people have volunteered to patrol the border with his group that officials with his organization decided to push the kick off of the one-month operation from Aug. 1 to sometime in September. Ramirez said he wants to make sure his organization is able to provide volunteers with things like sufficient training, portable toilets, food and shelter.

'We have been hit by such an overwhelming response from volunteers from all over ---- more than 700 now ---- that we need that extra time,' Ramirez said Monday.

He said he also wants to give law enforcement officials extra time to make the necessary preparations for policing the border watch and what could turn out to be thousands of volunteers, as well as the groups that oppose them.

Ahhh, Bach...

A new vocal piece by J.S. Bach has been discovered:
A previously unknown composition by Johann Sebastian Bach has been discovered by researchers in Germany.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I laughed until my eyes watered...

This post at Neanderpundit is what did it.

much tnx to Fun Turns to Tragedy!!!

Wadcutter's SP-101

Check out Wadcutter's prettified SP-101. It's quite inspiring. I might have to try that.

Purse Snatcher Gets It

I just enjoy reading this kind of story:
'I didn't have my hearing aid in, and I thought he said that he was going to take my pulse,' she said. 'Then he said it again that he was going to take my purse and I said, 'No, you're not.'

The small woman with gray hair and glasses turned angry.

'He just made me mad,' Woodworth said. 'I wasn't really thinking, I just hit him.'
He was caught, and charged with numerous offences.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Steel in the spine - and in the drawer

Steel in the spine - and in the drawer is an interesting article from the St. Petersburg Times (Florida):
When my grandfather died, most of the possessions he left behind reflected his gentle, nurturing ways: a collection of vegetable seeds he intended to plant the following spring, handmade tools with keen edges that he sharpened on his own stone wheel, a car he kept spotless and thoroughly lubricated.

But among those artifacts, which conjured his patience, his industry and his almost supernatural ability to coax food from the soil, was an ugly black pistol, the kind that probably would qualify as a "Saturday night special."

How did such an incongruous object come to roost among the possessions of a man so uncomfortable with violence that he used to urge me not to play with my plastic toy rifle in his presence?
I would recommend keeping the old gun as a memento and arming yourself and your daughter with something new (and possibly more potent and reliable).

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Saturday Night Lovecraft

Saturday night is a good night for H.P. Lovecraft because I've pretty much caught up with my entire blogroll and have time for some superfluous posting (as may be evidenced by my previous post). First, here's a quote:
I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best--one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being to achieve, momentarily, the illusion of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations of time, space, and natural law which forever imprison us and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces...
This is not from any of his stories. I don't know exactly where it came from, but I believe it is from one of his letters.

Now, here's another Lovecraft poem. As I said before, he wrote a lot of poetry, most of it quite mundane and having nothing to do with weird tales or infinite cosmic spaces. But this one has a definite streak of weirdness, and that overall creepy feeling that makes it one of my favorites.

The Cats

Babels of blocks to the high heavens towering
Flames of futility swirling below;
Poisonous fungi in brick and stone flowering,
Lanterns that shudder and death-lights that glow.

Black monstrous bridges across oily rivers,
Cobwebs of cable to nameless things spun;
Catacomb deeps whose dank chaos delivers
Streams of live foeter that rots in the sun.

Colour and splendour, disease and decaying,
Shrieking and ringing and crawling insane,
Rabbles exotic to stranger-gods praying,
Jumbles of odour that stifle the brain.

Legions of cats from the alleys nocturnal.
Howling and lean in the glare of the moon,
Screaming the future with mouthings infernal,
Yelling the Garden of Pluto's red rune.

Tall towers and pyramids ivy'd and crumbling,
Bats that swoop low in the weed-cumber'd streets;
Bleak Arkham bridges o'er rivers whose rumbling
Joins with no voice as the thick horde retreats.

Belfries that buckle against the moon totter,
Caverns whose mouths are by mosses effac'd,
And living to answer the wind and the water,
Only the lean cats that howl in the wastes.

But if I uninstall it, is that desecration?

Back during the 80's and into the early 90's, there were several used book stores that I frequented, buying all kinds of odd stuff that I knew I'd never have use for but someday may want to use as references for...I don't know, something. One day I bought an old, dog-eared Koran for what, fifty cents, I guess, it's hard to remember exactly. Within a few days of 9/11 I was looking for it, thinking that its time of reference had come.

I couldn't find it.

I know it still has to be here somewhere, but where, I don't know. It seems to have disappeared.

So I jumped right on the Internet and Googled up "get your free Koran." I didn't know if it was possible, but I didn't think it unlikely. Back then there were very few places that were handing out Korans for free, but I found one. I don't remember the name of the group now, but I do recall it was from an Islamic group in Houston. I sent them my name and address by email, and within a few days, received my Koran and some other literature in the mail. Nothing untoward (that I know of) has ever happened because of my giving out my postal address.

Now the entire "blogosphere," it seems, is abuzz with the news that you can get a free Koran from CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations). Apparently this particular edition includes some anti-Semitic extras. I don't know anything about that.

But unlike those days immediately after 9/11, you can now get your free Koran from all kinds of places (just Google "free Koran"). Not only that, but there are several places you can download a software version of said tome.

But I don't want to offend anyone. I suppose the installation file itself is holy, and transferring the data over a phone line that has also downloaded pictures of scantily-clad vampire chicks in years past would be desecration. Those pictures no longer exist on this computer, but I've had this machine for a long time. What if I install this software and some of the data accidentally occupies a sector that was once occupied by a picture of Elvira? Or even Gillian Anderson? Would that be desecration? And if I go so far as to install it, and then decide to uninstall it, I shudder to think of the repercussions if that ever got publicized.

And what if I accidentally take my paperback copy out back, nail it to a tree, and shoot it to pieces with a .45?

The whole thing is a crock. A complete, unmitigated, crock.

(Pardon the attitude. Or not. I'm feeling extra sarcastic today).

"One Gun Per Month"

Sure, I'll limit myself to buying one gun per month, if you'll limit your right to be an annoying little twerp free speech to once per month.

Jeff has a much better and less sarcastic response at Alphecca.

(I wish I could afford to buy a new gun every month).