Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here we go again...

Yep, as I'm sure everyone knows, there's a Category 3 hurricane out in the Gulf of Mexico right now, and it looks like it's drawing a bead on the central Gulf Coast between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Lafayette's about 2 hours from where I sit right now, and Baton Rouge is about 3. Which means that we're probably at least going to be getting a good bit of wind and rain, maybe even more than that if the storm comes further west as some of the computer models say it will. So, blogging may be sporadic, if it comes at all, over the next few days. Wish me luck!

Commentary like this is why I read Larry Correia

"So while Obama goes off about how we can just abort our 'mistake' children, Palin raises her baby with down syndrome while her Eskimo husband works a blue collar job in the oil fields. While McCain gets blasted for having 5 houses, Obama lives in one bought for him by a mobster. While Obama is pretty good at basketball, Palin can shoot a moose through the eye at 200 yards with a 338 Winchester Magnum. McCain’s spouse makes beer. Obama’s spouse wrote a thesis about racism is rampant in America. "

Read The Whole Thing.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hey, I could vote for this...

Well, whaddya know, for once John McCain chose not to spit in the eye of the people who'd most likely vote for him...

John McCain tapped little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate today in a startling selection on the eve of the Republican National Convention.
In an announcement, the campaign said that Palin, who has been governor less than two years, "has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of."
"Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today," the campaign said.
Two senior campaign officials disclosed McCain's decision a few hours before the Republican presidential nominee-to-be and his newly-minted running mate appeared at a rally in swing-state Ohio.
Now, check this out...(shamelessly stolen from Bruce)...

I'm guessing that's some sort of AR. A scoped AR, no less! An Evil Black Assault Sniper Weapon! Contrast that with Senator Biden, who boasted of writing a bill to outlaw that very weapon, add in the factor of Palin's gender (check THIS out -- it should be quite interesting to see how many dissatisfied Hillary-boosters will be swung by this), and at initial glances it looks like McCain has come much, much closer to sealing the deal for November. Good on ya, Johnny Mac...good on ya.

Just some questions from bitter gun-clinging Jesus freak country...

There are much better fiskings of that smiley-faced socialist Barack Obama's acceptance speech from Denver last night, but seeing the obligatory gun quote our folks have been chewing on, a couple of questions come to mind...

The -- the reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than they are for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.
Now, let me make one thing clear -- even in the event the data actually backed up this "AKs in the hands of criminals" meme, I would neither make nor accept as valid the argument that any sort of restriction on semi-auto rifles would be the way to cut down on violent crime. I think the proper way to go about that would be to look at why said criminals are choosing that lifestyle, work on those factors, and in the meantime to leave the rest of us to choose for ourselves the weapon we wish to defend ourselves with. (And then, of course, there's the whole purpose of the Second Amendment that no one likes to talk about...) But I still think it deserves to be asked to what extent the criminals are using semi-auto rifles like the AK, or their much more expensive AR or M1A brethren whose possession the Democrats also want to outlaw. And I think it's also worth asking why the media don't investigate the claim and publish the findings for all to see. (The smart money on that one says it's because they're all in the tank for Obama, but then we all knew that anyway.) I'm betting the data don't support the contention that these weapons are anywhere near the weapon of choice, that this "keep(ing) AK-47s out of the hands of criminals" is just more standard gun-grabber bullshit, much like the "NRA is standing in the way of reasonable gun laws" shibboleth they peddle. And then, of course, there's the fact that these people apparently don't have a problem with said violent criminals walking the streets as long as they (allegedly) can't procure a firearm. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- what the hell is WRONG with these people?!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Interesting contrast...

You might remember a while back in this space was mentioned a group called Amendment II Democrats. Well, yesterday I was poking around on the Web and I came up on their site, on which was a link to their blog. I clicked on it, and came up on this post. Seems they're pretty upset about the selection of Joe Biden as Obama's running mate, and, well, for good reason, of course.

I am convinced that Biden's inclusion on the 2008 Democratic Presidential ticket is in part a warning shot directed at pro-RKBA Democrats across America. It sends the message that the historic DC v. Heller ruling by the Supreme Court guaranteeing the Second Amendment right of individual Americans to own firearms will be treated by the Obama/Biden ticket as though it never happened.
That's pretty much the long and short of it, I would wager. It would be interesting to see how many other registered Democrats are frustrated by this ticket because of this. In any event, I was quite encouraged by the comments at the post, including this one, which was so good I had to show the whole thing...
Daniel, I for one, am stepping off this runaway train. I took Senator Obama at his word, that he knew the difference between where I live, and where he lives. I take Senator Biden at his word too, that he doesn't know if I am mentally fit. I got the message, loud and clear. I am tired of putting my beliefs on hold, fighting the good fight, and when we get some little victory, my party members looking at me and asking "who the hell are you?". If I could say to myself "Josh, you let your responsibility to the Bill of Rights slide a little there, but look at what you got in return: Cleaner environment, greater chance of social mobility, a country where kids and veterans and people who already worked their whole lives get healthcare when they are sick, no Bush tax cuts, no useless wars, on and on and on..........." it would be different. But I can't say any of those things.

I have voted for Democrats chiefly because of their stance on two issues: gay rights, and women's reproductive rights. I am a heterosexual male. I am physically incapable of excercising some of the rights I have been fighting for, and not at all interested in personally excercising some of the others. But in the "Liberty Triage" that I have to conduct in my head and heart, I saw those to be the rights in the greatest jeopardy, so I spoke for them the loudest. I think now, no more. I see that I am gonna have to start paying a little attention to this other patient too, or she's a goner. In all honesty, I feel responsible. I have not given my fellow Democrats any real reason to respect the 2nd Amendment. When they have tried to trample it, I have said little, or even made excuses for them. No more.

I'm gonna stand right here. If the runaway train that is the Democratic Party gets brought under control, and it backs up past me, I'll hop back on, and we'll all go on our merry way together, down the CORRECT track. In the meantime, ya'll keep shoveling coal on that SOB and see if you don't break it.

I expect I won't be the only one hopping off. If some of ya'll jump off within sight of me, we'll wave to each other, and talk about the good old days, and look for the train to come back by.

I will skip the Presidential Candidates on my ballot this year. I guess we'll all talk again in 2011.

Liberty triage. What a novel concept! Seriously, though, it's quite refreshing to see someone putting it in those terms, as the whole concept of liberty seems to be completely lost in politics these days. Heaven knows I more than likely won't agree with these guys on much else, but it's great to see the indication that at least some of them will bite the bullet on this issue -- so to speak -- and not give their vote to someone just out of blind party affiliation. I will admit I was a bit troubled by the rhetoric about the differences in where people live, because after all, natural rights shouldn't be contingent on where one chooses to live any more than they should be subject to a vote. And I also wonder about what they say about "acknowledging 'the necessity to restrict access to felons, mentally incompetent, all persons convicted of a crime of domestic violence or other specifically prohibited firearms possession by law.'" It makes me wonder to what extent they think along the same lines as many of us more libertarian folks do, i.e., if these people are so dangerous, then why aren't they locked up or otherwise committed away from society? I guess I am with the pragmatists and incrementalists as far as that goes, though, because I will take even a little progress rather than none at all -- especially if that shared belief translates to withholding their vote from their party, as at least a few conservatives will be doing this fall.
On the other hand, there's this number, from a Democratic blogger down in Fort Bend County
...for those of us who interpret the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution as it was written, and not as Justice Scalia reinterprets it (“Militia? What militia”), we will have no representation on this issue in Washington, DC whoever wins in Texas CD 22 in November.

Frankly, this doesn’t surprise me. This is Texas, after all.

And this is one case where I know that Nick Lampson is truly in favor of the decision, and is not just saying this to obscure the differences between himself and his conservative challenger. Nick is a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association.

Said blogger goes on to make noise about U.S. v. Miller, and the "well-regulated militia," and as all the good little gun prohibitionists do, gets it all exactly wrong. There's a pretty good summary of it here -- just a snippet:
Here's what it does NOT say: "This guy is not in a militia so he can't have a gun." It says that this particular weapon has no reasonable relation to the weapons used in furtherance of a militia, so the 2nd Amendment does not extend to coverage of this particular weapon. This is explicitly stated.

Yep. The issue in the case was the weapon itself, not Jack Miller's membership or lack thereof in any government-sanctioned militia. Furthermore, the decision went on to say:
The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. "A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline." And further, that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.
Note that "writings of approved commentators" phrase. I don't know for sure, but I'm willing to bet that some of those "approved commentators" would include the folks mentioned here. A typical quote, from Tench Coxe:
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."
In the hands of the people, and not the government. I don't know how one could get any more explicit than that. And I really don't know how one could come to the conclusion, knowing just how they felt about the potential of government, that the Founders would put an amendment into the Constitution ensuring the government's right to arm itself. As far as gun prohibitionists having no representation in the 22nd Congressional District...well, if they're so upset about that then why don't they, y'know, go somewhere that their warped view will be represented, like New Jersey or Illinois? On second thought, maybe it isn't so bad that they're here instead of there. There's strength in numbers, and I'd rather these people's voice be drowned out than amplified.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Media Musings, 8-27-08

First up, via Fits at Shooting the Messenger, we have this (emphasis mine -- ed.):

Three "bigoted meth heads," armed with high-powered sniper weapons, were consumed by a seething hatred of Barack Obama, federal authorities said Tuesday.
Authorities recovered a terrifying arsenal that could have been used in a shocking attack: a Remington 270 sniper rife, a Ruger 22-250 sniper rifle, boxes of Remington and Winchester ammo, two-way radios, bulletproof vests, camouflage and wigs.

Wow, hyperventilate much, guys? I was under the impression that rifles like what was mentioned in this piece were your garden-variety hunting rifles -- you know, the ones that the gun-grabbers say they'll leave alone. I wonder what ole Jim Zumbo would say to such terminology -- or, rather, what he would have said before President's Day weekend last year. In any case, it just goes to show that an attack on one type of gun, sooner or later, turns into attacks on all of them.
Next up, I saw this in the Houston Chronicle yesterday on U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson but just didn't get a chance to comment on it:
Lampson, who represents the suburbs and towns south of central Houston, plans to cheer, clap and cast nominating votes with his fellow delegates for the groundbreaking presidential candidate from Illinois.
"I haven't tried to run away from my endorsement of him," the congressman from Stafford said. "I did endorse him sometime back, whenever it was."
But at a meeting with National Rifle Association members in Sugar Land last week, Lampson gently brushed away engineer Jim Allman's request for an evaluation of Obama.
"Well," Lampson said, "I want to say something about me and what I am running for Congress for."
"Thanks for the dodge," Allman responded.
Lampson spent most of the time addressing the day's selected subject of gun ownership rights. Lampson, whose House record gets an "A" from the NRA, recalled that as a youth, he shot ducks in a nearby corner of the 22nd Congressional District.
After the meeting, Lampson explained that he avoided the Obama talk not because he fears that he's being hunted by the national Republican Party in the Nov. 4 election, but because "it's my town hall meeting."
"I am proud to be in the position I am," he had just told the gun owners, "because I think that being in the majority party, and being in the party that has probably caused some of your interests more grief than the other party, helps the cause. We are on the inside of leadership and can try to make sure some of these (bills) never come to the floor."
No, Congressman, it was your constituents' town hall meeting, and if you'd had anything that had resembled a backbone you'd have answered that question, considering it came from, y'know, one of your constituents. Remember? The people you're supposed to represent? The people who put you into office? I am certainly glad you're not MY Congressman anymore...
And you know what I think would be just great? If politicians got a taser hit, a needle in the arse or something along those lines every time they started talking about hunting when the subject of gun rights came up. I'd pay to see that. As for blocking anti-gun bills from the floor, well, I've heard rumblings from here and there that George W. Bush told congressional Republicans to see to it that the renewal of Bill Clinton's "assault weapons" ban never made it to his desk. I guarantee you that if the shoe ends up on the other foot and Barack Obama, heaven forbid, makes it to the Oval Office, he WILL put pressure on the far-left Democratic congressional leadership to get that AWB renewal on his desk to sign it, and I'd bet money that it would include a ban on personal defensive arms as well. And the leadership will put pressure on the Blue Dogs to get in line, with threats of withholding perk positions in the House and the bacon from their respective districts or something like that, and, well, there you have it. I don't know if Lampson would cave or not, but based on his reaction to Jim Allman and his mealy-mouth platitude about shooting ducks when he was a kid, I am not so confident. Like I say, I'm glad he's not my rep anymore.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"...yeah, well, 'fair' only comes around once a year..."

alternately titled, Paul Helmke Shows His True Collectivist Colors, when asked about the first day of school at Harrold Independent School District...

"It's unfair of us to ask teachers to take on the additional job of being police officers," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign.

So not only does Paul Helmke believe in collective rights, but he also apparently believes in collective responsibility, i.e., entrusting one's safety to the collective of local law enforcement. (Hey, how'd that work out at Virginia Tech?) Personally, I could give two farts in a windstorm what Paul Helmke thinks is fair. *I* don't think it's fair to clamp down on the freedoms of the many based on the crimes of the few, as that Helmke cretin advocates. I guess society at large does have a vested interest in the schools being protected, but the fact is in sparsely populated places like Wilbarger County, there's only so much money that's going to be made available to staff the local law enforcement agencies. And it's also undeniable that not only are the teachers who are carrying guns are not only protecting the students, but they're also protecting themselves. So all in all, it seems to me to be a win-win situation -- the teachers with CHLs and weapons on their respective persons are going to be able to have a much faster response time to crises on campus than any law enforcement, AND the county's resources won't be strained any more than they already may be. Come to think of it, those are advantages that accrue to society at large as well. It brings to mind another old question and answer.
"Why do I carry a gun? 'Cause they don't make a holster big enough for a cop."
Even if they did, it still deserves to be pointed out that James Brady was surrounded by armed guards -- arguably the best in the world -- and he still ended up as a victim. And the vast majority of the rest of us don't have that advantage. So I suppose Mr. Helmke and his cohorts want us all to be as unequipped and unprepared as James Brady was that day in 1981 -- even more so, probably, when you think about it. Crazy, stupid or evil? How about all of the above?

Monday, August 25, 2008

I know what I'd be totin'..

In a post he links to here, David Codrea asks, "What caliber for T-rex?"
That's an easy one for me. 30mm depleted uranium out of one of these. 6560 grains at 3250 feet per second...if that doesn't stop what you're dealing with , then it was just your day to die. ;-) With a firing rate of 3900 rounds per minute, though, you'd have to be real careful with the trigger...huh, as long as we're talking fantasy scenarios, how about a 5- or 10-round burst-fire setting on that cannon?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

...uh, run that by me one more time?

From the always-reliable Hot Air, more proof that it's not just leftists and Democrats that don't have a clue:

The assault weapon ban is a very popular law. If this becomes the “gun control” issue of 2008, it will hurt the Republican nominee.

A-yep. It was so popular that its passage resulted in the Democrats losing 52 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and eight seats in the Senate. More wisdom from the same commenter:

Perhaps they’re in favor of gun control because they know it’s a winning issue.

Yep. Worked real well for Algore and John f. Kerry, didn't it? Swept 'em right into the White Hou...oh, wait, no, it didn't! Personally I wouldn't trust pollsters any further than I could throw them, because odds are on such a polarizing issue like gun control the questions are going to be slanted so as to tilt the results in favor of more infringement. For teh childrenses, you see. In any event, to a large extent the people who really care the most about the issue have spoken, and what we've said is, "no more gun control." Of course there's the matter of background checks and all that, but I'd think it's going to take a while to get the general public around to the position that "if these people are so dangerous the government says they can't be trusted with a gun, then what the hell are they doing out of prison?" It's worth a shot, though...and in the meantime, contrary to what some fools think, Biden's words in that CNN clip should be played early and often, as should Barack Obama's words about the inhabitants of rural America.

Random Saturday Night Musical Observation

George Jones and Tammy Wynette may well have been Mr. and Mrs. Country Music back in the 1970s, and there's no doubt they made some fine duets ("Golden Ring" is my favorite)...but George and Melba Montgomery's harmonies on "We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds" are just out of this world. Two minutes and forty seconds of audio HEAVEN. I can't believe I'd never heard this before. Great, GREAT stuff!

Interesting choice there, Barack..

So the presidential candidate who thinks we're bitter gun-clinging Jesus freaks picks as his would-be vice president a politician who operates on the assumption that all gun owners and presumptive gun owners are mentally ill. Pretty much says it all, don't you think?

"...Lord, I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes..."

Well, I guess I just gave the subject of this post right away, didn't I?
I was only seven years old when the George Jones hit "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" was on the radio in 1985, and I can't even remember when the first time was that I heard it. But as time goes on, yes, it's gotten much more meaning. It was poignant enough when it was a hit record, but now more than it's ever been. Consider...

You know, this old world is full of singers
But just a few are chosen
To tear your heart out when they sing
Imagine life without them
All your radio heroes
Like the outlaw that walks through Jessi's dreams

No, there will never be another
Red-Headed Stranger
A Man in Black and "Folsom Prison Blues"
The Okie from Muskogee
Or "Hello, darlin'"
Lord I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes

When that song came out, every one of the icons mentioned in that verse was still alive and having hit records. Conway Twitty was the first to go in 1993, and then Waylon in 2002, and then the Man in Black left us in September 2003, months after his bride. Only the Red-Headed Stranger and the Okie from Muskogee are left. Who's gonna fill their shoes, indeed? I remember writing a few years ago that Alan Jackson had proven without a doubt that those shoes were tailor-made for him; I still feel that way, and the same goes for George Strait. Other than that I am not quite sure. They really don't make 'em like that anymore, do they? And just for grins, how old DO I sound? ;-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Carping from the Sidelines

The positions of the Houston Chronicle editorial board seem to be incredibly easy to gauge on myriad issues, and armed self-defense is one of them. If the issue is armed self-defense, or if it is in any way related to armed self-defense, the Chron editorialists will invariably side with those who advocate leaving people defenseless. Or, to put it a bit more pithily, if it facilitates self-defense, the Chronsters are agin' it! Today's editorial on Harrold Independent School District's new policy of allowing teachers with CHLs to carry their sidearms on campus was no exception: falsely educates Harrold's students about how nonprofessionals should manage crises. It drops the entire 110-student district in the crosshairs of legal liability. And worst of all, it places the very students it's supposed to protect — from a deranged classmate or a violent drifter from the nearby highway — in an increased array of dangers.

What if the math teacher misplaces her loaded pistol?

What if the gym coach's gun falls from its holster while he's breaking up a fight?

What if a disgruntled student wrests a sidearm from the principal?

And what if a teacher, devoid of law enforcement experience, responds to a school invader by shooting his own weapon — and more students die?

I guess it's only natural that the lefty media hacks at the Chron would take that shotgun approach (pardon the pun), as it would leave the ignorant and unprepared saying, "Oh my gosh! The classrooms will be drenched in blood!" As evidenced by this editorial and the comments by a certain poster here, carping from the sidelines about teachers' supposed lack of training as opposed to advocating for more training seems to be a common tactic among the anti-gun enuretics. (And then, yet again, there's the Israeli experience.) But the fact is that each and every one of those "what ifs" could be mitigated one way or another. This is little more than the same old "blood in the streets" rhetoric that's trotted out (and proven absolutely, positively, 100% WRONG) each and every time someone in charge proposes to broaden humans' natural right of self-defense. They say that if you keep telling a lie, more people will believe it as time goes on. I guess it's only by the grace of God that hasn't been the case as far as this goes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 where's this "majority," Mikey?

Via 45superman at Armed and Safe, we have this whopper from Michael Beard, the chairman of the Coalition to Stop Gun Ownership:

Right now, the gun lobby holds a tremendous amount of power in this country, and legislators are doing its bidding because they are not hearing often enough from the majority of Americans who want sensible gun laws and safe communities.

Actually, I'd argue that the "gun lobby" holds the power it does because the people behind it -- you know, we gun owners, who have spent untold amounts of our hard-earned money on guns, ammunition and training -- have a vested interest in preserving our right to keep and bear arms. And we finally got off our asses, showed our political muscle and got on the offensive. What he won't remind you of is that for a good 15 years at least, the gun control movement had gained a sizable amount of traction, culminating in the first two years of the Clinton presidency, which resulted in the two biggest gun control laws in more than two decades, since the Gun Control Act of 1968 -- the Brady Law and the semiautomatic rifle ban. And what happened then? The party that passed those laws got their asses handed to them in the next election, and no less a Democrat than Bill Clinton -- the Gun-Grabber-In-Chief himself -- acknowledged the biggest reason for that was the party's push for more gun control. And we haven't had any more really big gun control laws since then, even with all the high-profile shootings such as what happened at Columbine and Virginia Tech. Could it be that the politicians HAVE heard from a majority of Americans and that those Americans have said, in effect, "no more gun control"?
Poking around over at Kevin Baker's place, I found this great essay from Michael S. Brown:
Prior to 1934 there were no federal gun control laws. There was only an odd assortment of gun laws in various states and cities which were intended to disarm racial minorities and immigrants. As far as the federal government was concerned, anyone was free to buy a machine gun or even a cannon, and the level of gun crime was relatively low.

Since the National Firearms Act was signed into law in 1934, the number of gun control laws at all levels of government have multiplied exponentially. So has the overall crime rate, which some argue is a direct result of gun control laws that discourage self-defense.

Although none of these laws reduced crime, each new law creates another way that a well intentioned gun owner can inadvertently end up in prison or ruined by legal costs. Some have been killed in raids by government agents. Much like laws passed to promote the failed war on drugs, each new gun law gives the police additional powers that threaten basic constitutional rights.

America's lawful gun owners are painfully aware of these facts. Since gun laws don't reduce crime, they wonder, what is the real purpose? This question has led to numerous theories that attempt to explain why the "ruling elite", which includes the media and many politicians, would want to eliminate civilian gun ownership in America. American gun owners feel as if they are being slowly crushed. One writer recently described this decades-long campaign as a slow motion hate crime.

Frustration has been building in the gun culture for thirty years and has been accelerating with the faster pace of anti-gun attacks and the dramatic improvement in communications. Stories of outrageous persecution by government agencies now circulate like wildfire via the internet. Anti-gun bills introduced in any legislature are instantly made known to millions. Gun owners know the major players in the anti-gun lobby as well as they know the villains in their favorite movies.
Some observers of this cultural war wonder why large numbers of gun owners have not yet resorted to violence to preserve their way of life. Civil wars have started over less. Almost every gathering of lawful gun owners has a deep undercurrent of anger. They see each new gun law as a way to harass them and make it more difficult for everyone except criminals and the government to own guns. Solid, productive citizens complain bitterly about how good people have been arrested for unintentional violations of the myriad of gun laws. Each wonders if he could be next.

Although this group has been involuntarily radicalized, there are several things holding back a violent response. One is the fact that gun owners are a very law abiding group of people. They have a deep faith in the Constitution and are willing to give the political process a chance to balance itself. The second is that leaders of gun rights organizations, such as the NRA, are promising relief through the political system. The third reason is that the leaders of the anti-gun lobby are masters of propaganda and would gleefully exploit any minor incidents to further harm gun rights. It would take a massive wave of violent protests to affect any positive change.

Nobody knows if, when or how this group will reach its breaking point, but one must question the wisdom of infuriating millions of armed citizens.
Indeed. Michael Beard and his organization do advocate the government having a monopoly on force, indeed...but just how stupid (or evil) are they that they'd risk pissing off such a large group of (armed) people even more than they are already?!

Wednesday Morning Random Musings

How appropriate it is that I was speaking of jury nullification just yesterday...
First up, from the Associated Press, via this morning's Chron...

TYLER, Texas — A Tyler man accused of growing marijuana in an alleged cost-saving move is jailed on felony possession charges.

Bond is $15,000 for 55-year-old John Daniel Miller III, who remained in the Smith County Jail late Tuesday.

Wow. I had no idea real crime in Texas was so low. They were able to not only spare law enforcement to go to this man's house to detain him, but they were also able to spare some room in the county jail. And since he committed a felony, they'll probably be cleaning out a cell at one of the sites in the state prison system for him as well. So we're obviously running quite low on rapists, murderers, robbers and the like -- so low, in fact, that we're forced to fill up the prisons with people who do things that are wrong only because the government says they are. Something to keep in mind the next time the Texas Department of Criminal Justice goes to the Legislature with hat in hand asking for budget increases and more prison space. "What the hell? You have so much space NOW that you resort to filling it with people like this guy who wasn't really doing anything detrimental to society!" (Can you say "blatantly unjust and unconstitutional malum prohibitum laws," friends? I knew you could!) And of course, this also goes for the agencies at the county and municipal level. Of course, this lunacy does go all the way to the federal level, I know, but sometimes I wonder what would happen if the lower-level government agencies started not cooperating with the feds in the whole War On Some Drugs. I know that's a pipe dream because of the carrot the feds dangle in the form of all the shiny new toys the local agencies get to fight that battle with, but a small-government libertarian can dream, can't he?
Next up, Dear Abby shows why she gives people advice for a living and I don't:

Dear Abby:

How do you deal with a hypochondriac? My brothers and I lost our dear mother to cancer when we were in our teens. Daddy has recently been diagnosed with a pernicious form of melanoma, which has a low survival rate.

Our father has been married to his second wife, "Doris," for 20 years. Doris is a textbook hypochondriac. She denies it, of course, and insists that her health is bad. So bad, in fact, that she didn't see the irony of telling my sister-in-law, who was undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, that "no one understands what it's like to live with a chronic condition." Doris was referring to her allergies!

Now that Daddy is facing death, I'm having trouble supporting Doris' emotional needs because her hypochondria is so irritating. What do you suggest?


Dear Needs Help:

You can try talking Doris out of her hypochondria until you're blue in the face, but it will only make her try harder to convince you that she's sick — so stop trying. Instead, every time you see her, tell her she looks terrible, and you've never seen her look worse. It's what she's "dying" to hear, and she'll love you for it!

My answer to the daughter would have been to tell this sorry excuse for a wife, "Excuse the fuck me? My Daddy, your husband has cancer and you're pissing and moaning about your fucking allergies? It's time for you to sit down and have a nice tall glass of shut the hell up and count your blessings." Yep, as you can tell, that just really yanked my chain. I have absolutely no tolerance for that sort of thing...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quote of the Day, and other musings...

from my fellow East Texan Robert Langham, aka Blackfork:
"If the drug war was going to be won, it would have been won by now. All it has done in my long lifetime is make Mexican Criminals rich enough to dissolve government below the border and fill up the prison system without having any effect on the price or availability of drugs. Let's try another approach.
"If judges were going to respect the Constitution, the jury process and jury nullification, we wouldn't be in this hideous, complex bureaucratic mess that the courts have become."
"...Traffic tickets? Come now. The muni court is an ATM for the city. Period. Has little or nothing to do with public safety."

Now, I know nothing of the validity (or lack thereof) of the case against Patrick "Booger Red" Kelly, except to say that if he really committed the acts that he's charged with, he deserves nothing less than a bullet to the back of the head. But as for probably most drug and many gun cases, those are the ones that are tailor-made for jury nullification. It deserves to be asked to what extent the cure (that legislators and attorneys push in the form of these laws) is worse than the disease. But I'm betting it won't, and on down the road to police-state hell we go.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oooh, more proof..

...that gun-grabbers are mentally ill, that is. First up, we have this, from the Nashville Tennessean:

Gun advocates can make me sick to my stomach.

Gun grabbers make me sick to mine. Especially gun grabbers who belong to a race whom gun control was originally intended to disempower. I am certain the Deacons for Defense and Justice have been spinning in their graves for quite a while precisely because of useful idiots like Dwight Lewis. And I'd love to see what the members of that organization who are still around would have to say about Dwight Lewis and his traitorous ilk.

America needs more "extremist, elitist gun control'' people to help stop the killing of such people as Bill Gwatney, not laws that will enable more people to own guns and then kill people with them.

So, apparently Dwight Lewis belongs to the ranks of those who have no problem with violent criminals walking the streets as long as they allegedly can't get their hands on a firearm. And Dwight Lewis apparently has no problem leaving the rest of us defenseless against said violent criminals. Barnabus, but what a vile little man.
Yes, I'm a free-speech advocate, but for an 18-year-old to claim he is fighting for "my heritage and my rights as a Southerner and an American'' is a bunch of bull.

Dwight Lewis said it, I believe it, that settles it. Pffft. He might as well have just said, "Yes, I'm a free-speech advocate, but only for those who say things I agree with." That's pretty frightening indeed, considering that he's a member of an editorial board for a major American newspaper. It would seem we have an allegedly American newspaper reporter using the First Amendment to shit on both the First AND the Second Amendment! I think that's the first time I've ever seen such a phenomenon in this country. It's enough to make a man wanna buy more guns AND ammunition...

Next up, we have this gem from New York gun controller Robyn Ringler:
Can Robyn imagine a future free from gun violence? Yes, she says. “If every person, whether they believe in the right to unfettered gun ownership or not, took action to help other human beings, we could go a long way toward ending gun violence. We need to obliterate the poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and hopelessness that feed gun violence and help it grow. And we need to maintain safe gun laws that will keep guns out of the hands of children, the mentally ill, criminals, and others who should not have them.

Once more, nothing about keeping those who allegedly can't be trusted with guns locked away from society. So I am left to think, once again, that Robyn Ringler apparently has no problem with violent criminals walking the streets as long as they allegedly can't get their hands on a firearm. And she apparently has no problem leaving the rest of us defenseless against said violent criminals. I am sensing a pattern here. Hmmmmm...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ahhhh, one of my favorite Hag tunes...

here: "My hat don't hang on the same nail too long, my ears can't stand to hear the same old song... and I don't leave the highway long enough, to bog down in the mud...'cause I've got ramblin' fever in my blood..."
I don't even know how many times I've heard that song, but I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. Maybe it'd be different if it was one of those older songs that got overplayed a la "He Stopped Loving Her Today," but even so, it's still a great, great tune.
And I just thought of something else. Way back when on some forgotten message board, the "real country vs. pop" debate was raging, somebody mused that Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam" was as good of a country song as anything that ever came from Merle Haggard's pen. That might sound ludicrous at first, but not so much when you look at the lyrics:
"And the road becomes my bride, I have stripped of all but pride, so in her I do confide, and she keeps me me all I need...and with dust in throat I crave, only knowledge will I save, to the game you stay a slave...Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond, call me what you will..."
Who knew classic country and hard rock would ever be so close together? I'd have never guessed...

It wasn't his only hit, you know...

I know it was a huge song for him, and that it brought his career back from the dead, but I could certainly stand to hear other songs from George Jones besides "He Stopped Loving Her Today" -- especially on a radio show whose aim is to showcase the best country songs from years gone by. "A Good Year For the Roses," "The Grand Tour," "Still Doin' Time," "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)," "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" -- those are just a few of the best from Jones' repertoire, but I almost never hear those anymore. I have to wonder, why is that? Whatever the reason, it really irks me.... mean armed self-defense WORKS?!

Oh, now this was too good not to bring to the front page...
Via DoubleTapper, in the comments to the post on arming the teachers (this story was from January -- ed.):

Two terrorists were killed by armed civilians less than an hour ago after they infiltrated a high school in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, south of Jerusalem.

The terrorists, armed with knives and possibly with a pistol, infiltrated the kibbutz and snuck into a the Makor Haim High School.

The attack took place in the library when the two terrorists, dressed in black, burst into the room and ordered everyone to raise their hands and stand against the wall. The terrorists stabbed two students before their counselors were able to draw their personal handguns and kill the terrorists on the spot.

Huh. You mean to tell me those terrorists weren't able to disarm the counselors? That more or less because of those counselors being armed, the death toll could be counted on one hand with fingers left over? Why, it's almost as if the Texas educators didn't have the slightest idea as to what they were talking about! As if they were talking straight out of their fourth points of contact! You think?! Wow. My worldview has just been shattered! Shattered, I tell you!
Speaking of the Texas educators, Mattexian had this great observation in the comments to that same post:
...I guess the president of the teachers' union would know about bad ideas in education, since they've been behind most of them in the last century!
A-yep, that's pretty much the long and short of it. And I bet the irony of her making such a statement completely escaped the journalists at the Chron, not to mention a fair chunk of their readership.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anti-Gun PSH In Houston

So in this morning's Houston Chronicle, the local scribes decided to get around to asking the denizens of the Houston education system what they thought of one North Texas school district's decision to authorize teachers to carry guns. Much pants-shitting hysteria ensued:

"It's a disaster waiting to happen," said Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers. "It's right up there with worst ideas in the history of modern education."
In an urban district like Houston's, Fallon said, she'd worry that students would get their hands on employees' guns.
"We could end up arming half the gangs in Houston," she said.
The idea was equally unpopular in suburban Cypress-Fairbanks.
"Absurd would be the word I would use," said Don Ryan, president of the Cy-Fair school board. "It's almost like something out of a movie."
It's the type of decision, Fallon added, that makes Texas a laughingstock nationally.
The plan could also backfire, so to speak, said Bryan Clements, executive director for security and technology support for the Galena Park school district.
"It is foolish to introduce more weapons into the school environment, even under the guise of wanting to provide better protection for our students," he said. "Staff would have to be constantly concerned with weapon security and retention, thus taking away from their ability to focus on their main goal, teaching students. In the event of a crisis there is no manageable way to integrate armed staff into the crisis response plan."
Gloria "Jo" Floyd, head of the San Antonio-based Nursing Consultant Educational and Health Services, said she's worried that the policy will give the Harrold district a false sense of security. She questioned where the guns would be stored, whether teachers could access them quickly enough and whether an educator could really handle a weapon effectively in a crisis situation.
"They sound a little bit more paranoid than they need to be," she said. "But if they're looking for notoriety ... they certainly stirred it up."

One might ask if they (both the teachers and the journalists) ever studied the situation in Israel, where the population is basically under constant threat of some form of attack. I'm guessing the teachers didn't, and even if they did they'd probably use the reality of life in Israel to say that it's a necessity for teachers to carry guns there. But if you ask me, that's more than a bit of a cop-out. Evil lurks everywhere, and you never know where exactly it's going to strike. When one gets right down to it, the fact is that the Israelis by and large recognize this, while way the hell too many people here in the United States choose to bury their heads in the sand. As far as weapon retention and all that, I would think that integrates into the whole sheepdog/warrior mindset along with concepts such as situational awareness and zones of safety (or whatever the proper name for that concept is), i.e., throwing the lead when an attacker gets within a certain distance. I must admit the line questioning an educator's ability to handle a weapon effectively in a crisis situation was hilarious in a way -- albeit unintentionally so, most likely -- as it evokes the line, "Those who can, do; those who can't do, teach." But to whatever extent the typical educator can't handle a weapon effectively in a crisis situation, it only shows how far behind the curve we are here in this country. And as far as that ludicrous statement from Gayle Fallon about "arming half the gangs in Houston" goes, well, since the weapons would be stored on the teachers' respective persons, it would be somewhat difficult to do that. PSH, indeed. These people are just all over the map!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"...I am an officer of the law, and you WILL respect ma authori-tah!"

From this morning's Chron:

On Aug. 4, as local residents prepared for deteriorating weather conditions, Kathryn "Kristi" Fridge made a last-minute stop at the Wal-Mart at FM 1764 and Interstate 45 with her mother and 2-year-old daughter.
Finding the batteries shelf bare, she expressed her displeasure and disbelief to her mother.
"I was like, 'Dang.' I looked at my mom and said, 'They're all ----ing gone," Fridge recalled.
Suddenly, Capt. Alfred Decker, the La Marque assistant fire marshal, appeared from around the corner, dressed in a fire department uniform.
"He said, 'You need to watch your mouth,' " Fridge said.
Perplexed by who the man was — his badge said "fire department" — Fridge offered a scant apology.
"I was like, 'Oh, OK. Sorry?' " she said.
Fridge walked away, but said the man ordered her to come back. She then protested, telling him she was having a private conversation with her mother that was none of his business. When the man ordered her to come to him and she refused, she said he pulled out his handcuffs.
Chief defends the action
La Marque Fire Chief Todd Zacherl said Fridge made such a scene in the Wal-Mart that night, disrupting the peace, that Decker had no choice but to act.
"She cussed him, she cussed everybody. By now, we have a huge group of people looking," Zacherl said.
Fridge emphatically denied that, saying while she did curse in casual conversation with her mother, she never cursed at Decker, even during their confrontation. Her mother agreed.
"She never got nasty with him, she never cussed at him," said Fridge's mother, Kathryn Rice of Santa Fe.
Zacherl said the assistant fire marshal had no choice.
"When you're in uniform, you have to uphold the laws," the fire chief said. "It's like if he was on the way home and saw a drunk driver — he had to act."
So, to make a long story short, this woman -- who was likely under a considerable amount of stress, all things considered -- uttered a single obscenity in a normal tone of voice in a private conversation, and for that this asshole fire marshal goes on a power trip and his asshole boss defends him, actually going so far as to effectively compare this woman with a drunk driver. Sweet bleedin' Barnabus on a pogo stick, it's just about enough to make liberty-minded men go marching on the fire station with torches and AK-47s. "You have to uphold the laws." Yeah, well, chief, the law is an ASS. And apparently so are you and your immediate subordinate.

And the pot impugns the blackness of the kettle, yet again...

Screencap from Fox News, via Hot Air:

Huckabee Says Mitt Romney's Faith Makes Him Bad Choice For VP

Well, from some of the things I've read about Mike Huckabee's time in Arkansas, choosing him as VP wouldn't be too smart either. Seems to me like it'd be almost like the GOP putting their equivalent of Michael Dukakis in the No. 2 slot instead of the No. 1, but no matter his position on the ticket, the Democrats could make all sorts of trouble for the Republicans if John McCain was stupid enough to pick him. He needs to work on getting that beam out of his own eye before he bleats about the speck in anyone else's. You'd think a fine, upstanding Christian man like Mike Huckabee would know that...

thanks for the blood pressure spike there, Linoge... ;-)

In the comments to the post about the mental cases at Delaware Liberal, Linoge from Walls of the City said, "Looks like the morons are back at it again, this time with the tragic shooting of the Democratic Party leader down in Arkansas."
And the morons are indeed at it again, with this nugget:

Since we do have a right to bear arms, it is time we liberals get our guns on. You never know when a conservative is coming to kill you.
Wow, dude. Project much? If conservatives were half as bloodthirsty as retards like this think we are, modern-day liberalism would pretty much be as dead as the 23 million Soviet dissidents killed under the reign of Stalin. And if indeed they do think we're that bloodthirsty, then why in the hell haven't the guns and ammunition just been flying off the shelves the last seven years? And why in the hell haven't the leftists been screaming at their Party leaders to fragging stop trying to make it harder to get said guns and ammunition!? I suppose one might wonder, if they don't think we're so predisposed to killing our opponents then why do they spout such overheated rhetoric. My guess is that they're just being the sanctimonious assholes they're predisposed to being. But then I am just a bloodthirsty, evil right-wing gun nut, what the hell do I know, right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Apparently ignorance and arrogance spring eternal, too...

Looks like my blog-friend Mike W. over at Another Gun Blog has again been engaging the inmates at the virtual mental institution known as Delaware Liberal, and as of late the discourse at those sites and other places has been rather enlightening.
Robb Allen over at Sharp as a Marble was commenting the other day on the story from Jackson, Mississippi, of one city councilman who wanted to pass an ordinance prohibiting pawn shops from selling firearms:

Now, as gunnies, we are loathe to point fingers at anyone besides the felon who pulls the trigger, and that's logically consistent. However, there are unscrupulous sellers who sell guns to people they know are not legal to own them, and I, like everyone else I know, call on our government to find and punish those who do so.

But simply saying "Pawn Shops" are the problem is the sign of a simpleton trying to figure out a solution to a problem that is too complex for their brain to handle. It is a sign of a failure to grasp reality. The sales of guns at a pawn shop are under the same rules as any business - there must be a background check. It is unfair as well as ignorant to accuse Pawn Shops of supplying the guns used in the commission of crimes as if they (a) knew about its use in advance or (b) were selling guns without performing background checks.

Earlier in the post and comments, the analogies were brought up of holding car dealers and fast-food joints liable for deaths caused by speeding/reckless driving and obesity -- as opposed to, of course, those who drive the cars too fast or eat too much. (Personal responsibility -- what a concept, yo!) The enlightening part of the discourse started in the comments to Robb's post, as the head honcho at Delaware Liberal came on and started ridiculing said analogies, more or less saying "they're stupid analogies because I said so." But this is what really jumped out at me. First off, a comment from Gregory Morris:
...there are only two ways to keep either a gun or a spoon out of the hands of criminals: make sure no guns/spoons exist, or lock up those who are criminally insane.

And then, Delaware Leftist:
REALLY? that is it? just 2 ways? LMAO that is too rich. WOW. OR MAYBE HERE's an about gun laws

Now, I guess one could just say Mr. Delaware Leftist was, once again, dismissing a completely valid argument more or less on the basis of "it's dumb because I say so." But since he dismisses that argument out of hand, then it only follows that he doesn't agree with locking up the criminally insane (or, one could say, the violent) and keeping them locked up. And it only follows from THAT, that Mr. Delaware Leftist has no problem with letting violent offenders walk the streets free to terrorize the innocent as long as they allegedly can't procure a firearm. I always thought that was exactly what most gun controllers thought, but honestly, I never thought I'd see one of them all but admit it. Pardon my french, but what the hell is wrong with these people?!
On to yesterday, as Delaware Leftist came to Mike's blog and started spouting the same ignorant drivel he spews at his own site:
...but go ahead and try that analogy on the rest of the thinking public and you tell me if you get laughed off the street. ...

I said it over there, and I'll say it here, too: What they define as "thinking public" is a joke, just as is their definition of "reality-based community." The words of the great Bill Whittle come to mind:
"Progressives" have indeed progressed, all right: they have left irony far behind at the gate and are deep into full-blown hi-larity when they claim to be members of "the reality-based community." These deep-thinking elites, whose political philosophy seems to be limited to what can be fit onto a bumper sticker, telegraphed with giant paper-mache puppets or expressed in nude street dancing, are a long, long way from reality. For these highly nuanced deep-thinkers like Ward Churchill and Kos and Howard Dean and all the others, the world is divided into Progressive People Who Naturally Agree With Me on one hand and Jesusland on the other.

...Reality told them it was just going to the bathroom, when in point of fact Reality left these Leftists alone at the table without paying the check, and it hasn't returned their phone calls, either.

So they just don't even bother any more.

If you go through the comments there, you'll see Delaware Leftist not even bothering with reality -- and dividing the world into the two categories mentioned above, to boot! -- as he throws out the slur "faith-based." Now, I don't take it as a slur, but having read my share of lefty word vomit the last few years I know that he meant it as one. And like I told him, he doesn't know much about my politics, as I subscribe to quite a few beliefs those in the faith-based community might not agree with. (Saaayyy...speaking of faith-based initiatives, it would seem that Delaware Lefty's beloved gun control is one of those, to quite a large extent! But I guess he thinks that's okay...) So it would seem from this statements that Delaware Lefty is not only quite arrogant, but apparently pretty ignorant as well. Which makes this comment from him exquisitely ironic (all emphases mine -- ed.):

It's an analogy not a fact so I can stand by my opinion that it is dumb. ...ergo I stick to my assesment that spoon is to gun is a horribley ignorant dumb juvenille analogy.
Iffen you say so, Sparky.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Looks like someone's not clear on the concept...

Via the Nashville Tennessean comes the news that the killer of Grand Ole Opry star David "Stringbean" Akeman and his wife was denied parole. From the story:

The man who shot and killed a Hee Haw star and his wife 34 years ago will remain in prison, after the parole board denied his third attempt at freedom.

John A. Brown got as close to release as he's ever been in July, when two members of the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole acknowledged his rehabilitation and granted him votes in favor of parole. A half-dozen family members and friends were there to speak of Brown's commitment to the Lord and bettering himself. But once word of the hearing got out to friends and fans of Dave "Stringbean" Akeman and his wife, Estelle, the tide turned.


On Nov. 10, 1973, Stringbean and Estelle Akeman were performing at the Grand Ole Opry while John Brown and his cousin, Doug Marvin Brown, were ransacking the Akemans' farmhouse near Ridgetop. When the Akemans returned home, Stringbean got into a gunfight with John Brown and was shot. His wife tried to run away, but she was chased down and shot at close range.

Ramona and Grandpa Jones discovered the bodies the next morning, when Grandpa Jones went to pick up Stringbean for a hunting trip. Stringbean was known to carry a lot of cash on him, and the Brown cousins had been looking for it in the home. They never found the bounty. But almost 25 years later, $20,000 of moth-bitten and useless money was found in the Akeman fireplace.

"I truly feel that he is extremely repentant of his sins, what he did," said Pat Dittes, a nurse who treated Brown six years ago. "It saddens me that we can all preach forgiveness, yet we can't forgive."

That last thing really jumped out at me. Personally I found it a bit offensive. John Brown didn't do anything to this nurse -- what the hell does she have to forgive him for? I read that and was reminded of something Dennis Prager wrote a few years ago:
"These days one often hears that 'It is the Christian's duty to forgive, just as Jesus forgave those who crucified him.' Of course, Jesus asked God to forgive those who crucified him. But Jesus never asked God to forgive those who had crucified thousands of other innocent people. Presumably he recognized that no one has the moral right to forgive evil done to others.
"You and I have no right, religiously or morally, to forgive Timothy McVeigh or Michael Carneal; only those they sinned against have that right, If we are automatically forgiven no matter what we do, why repent? In fact, if we forgive everybody for all the evil they do, God and his forgiveness are unnecessary. We have substituted ourselves for God."
I know there are those who might not agree with that, but it makes sense to me. And considering just exactly what Brown did, I can't help but think he's forever forfeited his right to walk among free men. (But once again, it should be noted, the folks at the Organization Formerly Known As Handgun Control presumably have no problem whatsoever with letting him walk free as long as he can't legally acquire another firearm. No matter that he'd be able to get it through other means.) I'd say this isn't about forgiveness. It's about keeping a brutal, sociopathic killer behind bars where he'll never be able to terrorize good people again, "rehabilitation" be damned.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Evening Random Hits

It's a real shame about Bernie Mac dying. From what I knew about him he seemed to be a pretty decent guy. I sure hated to find out he was basically another "guns for me but not for thee" celebrity. I saw that after I saw this...

Bernie Mac was a rarity in Hollywood, having signed an anti-terror petition (rather than wanting to cuddle with dictators and terrorists), a proud gun owner (rather than wanting the entire world to be at the mercy of criminals with no problems using guns)...
Seems to me that if Bernie Mac was cavorting with the likes of Sylvester Stallone -- and of course, The Organization Formerly Known As Handgun Control -- he indeed had no problem with the world being at the mercy of armed criminals. Jump the gun much there, Ms. Fiano?
Next up, we have this whopper from Algore campaign manager-turned-pundit Donna Brazile:
Remember, liberalism is often code for waging cultural wars using God (he's a Muslim), gays (he's out to destroy marriage between a man and a woman), and guns (he'll take away our right to bear arms). All lies, but if you say it enough, repeat it, mail it around or post it, some folks just think it's the truth.
Considering that Barack John Anderson Obama is on record as favoring bans on handguns and semi-automatic rifles, I'd say the contention that he (and the Democratic Party in general) will strip Americans of their right to arms -- if given half the chance -- is damned well NOT a lie. But of course, like most pundits, Brazile just throws this shit out here and expects us to believe it based on her "credibility" as a "journalist." What the hell ever. As the Armed Canadian says, "Yes, people, the Democrats want to take your guns away. Pass it around."

New Orleanians Crying Another Mississippi this morning's Houston Chronicle:

Nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated their city, New Orleanians are deeply dissatisfied with the rebuilding and feel overlooked by the federal government, the national media and the American public.

*insert sound of crying baby here*
Pardon my french, but fuck them. Fuck them all. How do they think many of us felt here in Southeast Texas after Rita barreled through with her 120-mph winds? Were we overlooked? To a large extent I'd say we were -- as were, it would seem, the residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast who REALLY bore the brunt of Katrina's wrath -- but you certainly didn't see any stories in the national media on us whining about it. (I'm guessing the irony of a national media outlet running a story on how New Orleans residents were feeling ignored by the national media was completely lost on the reporter and his employer. And why all the emphasis on New Orleans and none on the beleaguered Mississippi Gulf Coast towns that, again, caught the full wrath of Katrina?) As far as I could tell there was no one down here really whining about the lack of national media exposure for Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana after Rita. We just rolled up our sleeves and went to fixing what Rita tore up. I guess there are varying reasons that isn't the case in New Orleans, but to what extent are any of those reasons valid? So no one's paying any attention to them. And? We didn't get that much attention here either -- a fat lot less than they did, for damn sure -- but we busted our asses and repaired what Rita messed up in spite of all that. Why the hell can't they? Am I the only one who wonders about that?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mike Vanderboegh Responds to the Bradys

And, as usual, he slams it out of the park. Some choice excerpts...

If a man is known by his enemies as much as his friends, then I am richer today than I was last week. The anti-liberty, anti-firearm Brady Bunch, it seems, has noticed my little letter to the Capitol Times of Madison, Wisconsin -- where even the trees lean hard to the left. It is, they say, an example of "bunker paranoia," describing it as a "crackpot's rant," "morally degenerate," "hyperbole from a possibly unstable individual," and my favorite, "immoral or . . . street-corner gibberish uttered by one who wears a tinfoil hat."...I wondered briefly if they had been talking to my ex-wife, the equally liberal public employee and Democrat Wicked Witch of the North, who resides in Columbus, Ohio, and who is every now and then reportedly spotted on her broom flying in the airspace over the beer plant on I-270 north of town...

...They certainly do not envision themselves enforcing the tyrannical laws they propose. And that is the beauty of collectivism. It is power without personal consequences to the ruling elite...

RTWT, as they say. I love the smell of roasted anti-gunner in the morning, indeed...
I'd like to bring to the front some good commentary in a previous post, by Linoge:
The problem is that the war we are waging now is one of public opinion, intrigue, and appearance, not beating off a superior military force from our shores. Different tactics, I do believe, apply.

I responded thusly:
I tend to agree with that, but still I think the question deserves to be asked early and often — What kinds of consequences would be in store for those who refused to comply with the registration and licensing laws? My money says they would involve other men with guns, saying "register and license or else," and we all know what that "or else" entails. And then what? While a part of me does think Mike Vanderboegh jumped the gun, so to speak, another part of me thinks he was exactly right on target, that it's better to fight the "reasonable restrictions/laws" dragon in its crib with harsh words now than with hot lead later when it's a raging, fearsome monster. I will freely admit, though, that there would be much utility in intermediate tactics such as civil disobedience, especially the kind that Mr. Vanderboegh himself wrote about in "The Window War." (I especially loved the line from Chris Matthews that Vanderboegh snuck in there: "These are all gun-owners breaking the law. I suppose we should be grateful they're using rocks.")
What I am keeping an eye on, though, is how long it'll take the Bradys to see Vanderboegh's response. I know they read some of the bigger gun blogs; they even linked to them in their last feverish ranting on Vanderboegh. Maybe we'll get lucky and the blogs will bring that response to their attention. It'll be interesting to see what they say.

Yep, you know this was bound to happen...

...that sooner or later, innocent parties of other species would become casualties of the War On Some Drugs...what, you thought it would stop merely with innocent people?!

Mayor Cheye Calvo got home from work, saw a package addressed to his wife on the front porch and brought it inside, putting it on a table.

Suddenly, police with guns drawn kicked in the door and stormed in, shooting to death the couple's two dogs and seizing the unopened package.

In it were 32 pounds of marijuana. But the drugs evidently didn't belong to the couple.

But, but, but...drugs 'r' bad, hm'kayyyyy?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I always knew it was true...

but finally, we see it in print.
Apparently, last week when I was out of pocket I missed one of the biggest shitstorms in recent memory in the gun blogging community. Seems that Mike Vanderboegh, whose writings at The War on Guns and other places I await with bated breath, penned a letter to the editor of the Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin:

Dear Editor:

Joe Bialek from Cleveland proposes the licensing and registration of all weapons currently in civilian hands. My question is, how exactly do you propose to do that, Joe?

There are some of us "cold dead hands" types, perhaps 3 percent of gun owners, who would kill anyone who tried to further restrict our God-given liberty. Don't extrapolate from your own cowardice and assume that just because you would do anything the government told you to do that we would.

Are you proposing to come yourself, or do you want someone else's son or daughter in federal service to take the risk? Are you truly prepared to stack up the bodies necessary to accomplish your plan? Seems a strange way to make a "safer society." More to the point, are you willing to risk your sorry hide to do it? No? I thought not.

Then quit proposing the next American civil war. We're done being pushed back from our natural rights without a fight. Be careful what you wish for.

Which threw the pragmatists into quite a tizzy, leading them to call Mr. Vanderboegh things like "lunatic" and "asshole." Ironically enough, some of these comments were being made by those who practically scream bloody murder every time someone says something that might offend the hunters. Yet it's okay to offend everyone else? Funny how that works out.
But it isn't the pragmatists' double standard I mean to comment on today. This is:

Forget the fact that almost 80% of Americans favor gun registration. Forget the additional fact that 61% of gun owners favor "mandatory registration of handguns."

Vanderboegh's ravings are clearly meant to get a rise out of people. Yet as hyperbole from a possibly unstable individual, they are virtually meaningless (unless ATF knows something we don't).

So, did gun bloggers simply ignore Vanderboegh's letter, or at least denounce it as morally degenerate and unrepresentative of gun owners at-large?

No. Instead, they debated Vanderboegh's rant on the merits - as a legitimate alternative.

I love how those assholes cite those figures as if the fact that so many people allegedly favor such wrongheaded and ineffective measures proves their validity. I guess it goes back to the whole "we live in a democracy" bit, or, as I referred to it earlier, "ye olde 'tyranny of the majority' whose doctrine says that if 51 percent of the people vote to strip the other 49 percent of their God-given rights then that's just too bad for them." And that's exactly what registration and licensing are intended to make it easier to do. I could be way off base here, but as far as I've been able to tell the whole licensing and registration scheme, wherever it has been implemented, has had two underlying goals. The licensing part is to make the gun ownership process so onerous that one doesn't even bother, and the registration prong of that strategy is to make it easier to find the guns that are left when it comes time to confiscate them so it'll be easier to find them. As far as finding Vanderboegh's writing as morally degenerate...well, the only thing I can say to that, is if that is what those evil shitbags find to be morally degenerate -- as opposed to the fact that many men would be forcibly disarmed for having done absolutely nothing wrong except to disobey, as some might call it, "a patently unjust and unconstitutional malum prohibitum law" -- well, that says more about the aforementioned evil shitbags than it does about Vanderboegh and those who agree with him. I always knew it was true that the Bradys and their ilk had no problem with seeing Americans disarmed, that they would more or less do everything in their power to see to it that we were -- but now we see them admit it. So if they think that fighting back is "morally degenerate," then that means they think Americans should roll over and take whatever the government dishes out to them, no matter how bad it gets, that the government should have a monopoly on force. I'd say they're the morally degenerate ones, but I'm just a bloodthirsty warmongering Texan, what the hell do I know. As one intrepid commenter said over at Kevin Baker's place...
Sheesh, if that is getting their panties in a bunch, wait until they hear from this loon:

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! "

What utter rubbish! Tinfoil hat ravings!

(for those of you who didn't know, that was from Patrick Henry's "The War Inevitable" speech, aka the "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death" speech, from March 23, 1775.)
Tinfoil hat ravings, indeed. ;-) I've heard it said that the quickest way to get yourself branded as a raving lunatic extremist is to start repeating the phrases uttered by the Founding Fathers. And I take it the Bradys agree, but then they never seemed to have much respect for the Founders' principles anyway. Or, the truth, for that matter, as evidenced by this whopper...

If even most gun owners support reasonable controls - including a common-sense idea like gun registration - and recoil at any suggestion that they should engage in armed "revolution," why would the NRA cater to the "smallest minority" that does not?

Has a "bunker paranoia" gripped the NRA leadership, so clouding their judgment as to justify the moral bankruptcy of spying on gun violence victims and their families?

The NRA should come out of their bunker and explain themselves.

As David Codrea said, "The folks who champion their legislative approach have been Mike's most vehement critics in the gun blogosphere....So what's with lying to the world that this somehow has NRA sanction?"
My guess is, they just take the NRA-as-boogeyman and run with it, no matter, of course, how much truth there is to that, and there's even more evidence of that here:
It was NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre, after all, who coined the phrase "jack-booted thugs" to describe Federal law enforcement officers merely doing their jobs.
WRONG ANSWER, yet again. But how about this -- Just doing their jobs. Just following orders. Boy, does THAT one ever ring a loud bell. I know I shouldn't have expected better from those cretins, but it's still rather disgusting.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Media Musings: Medellin 'n' Miller

I saw a couple of interesting things this morning. First up, we have this from Huntsville, where murdering scumbag Jose Medellin, just before 10 last night, finally got what was coming to him...

Medellin spent today with his parents and grandmother in the visiting area of death row at the Polunsky Unit outside Livingston.

The couple had been barred from the unit since authorities learned they and other relatives, during a 2001 visit with Medellin, had discussed a possible escape attempt.

Wow, talk about taking enabling to a whole new level. You bust your ass to give your kids a better life than the one they had before (going so far as to break the laws of your new country just to get in it), they basically go and shit all over your efforts by raping and murdering two teenage girls during a drunken gang initiation, and you plot for only God knows how long to get them out of having to pay the price for their actions? I'd say the relatives in question deserve the needle almost as much as Medellin did, if only pour encourager les autres, as the old saying goes. Now, let me make one thing crystal-clear here -- I am by no means condoning the fact that Medellin came to this country illegally. In fact, I'd say this case only emphasizes the need for tighter border control, if only to keep amoral pieces of shit like Jose Medellin (and his parents) out. But the truth of the matter, at least as far as I can tell, is that they did come here because they could do better for themselves than they did in Mexico. And as far as sticking the needle in Medellin's parents, I suppose some might say we're better than that -- and maybe we are -- but the fact is that by enabling him like they allegedly did, they're setting a damned near criminal example, and ultimately it's society at large that's left to pay the price for that example. And if exacting some price from parents like that did make other parents think twice about excusing even acts like shoplifting a pack of gum, well, I'd say that's well-worth it in the long run.
Next up, from the Associated Press via the Houston Chronicle on the saga of NRA spy Mary Lou McFate, we have this whopper from Bryan Miller of Ceasefire New Jersey:
In the battle of ideas with the gun lobby, we're at a constant disadvantage because we're honest.

What-the-fuck-ever, you self-righteous son of a bitch. There is SO much I could say to that, but it's all very neatly encapsulated by a couple of comments from Chronicle readers..
Honest? Not even close. Fabricated statistics, fearmongering, and playing on the emotions of the ignorant and uneducated are the trademarks of the gun control lobby. These are organizations whose sworn goal is to eradicate one of our most basic human rights, and to eliminate the constitutional amendment protecting that right, by whatever means necessary.
If the NRA planted enough "spies" in these groups to bankrupt them and cause them to disband, I wouldn't shed a single tear and we as a country would be better off for it. This is unlikely, since most of the groups are supported by the likes of the Joyce Foundation (a.k.a. a handful of rich "progressives") rather than citizens' dollars. Unlike the NRA, which actually has the popular support of millions of Americans.
and one more...
I just love how this gentleman feels so self-righteous, particularly since the anti-gun and anti-self-defense lobby usually has no qualms about using smoke screens and mirrors when it serves their purpose. In my home state of Washington, anti-gun lobbyists have even set up a shill organization named the "American Hunters and Shooters Association" which, despite the name, has a decidedly anti-gun record and is backed and financed by people who view the 2nd amendment as an outdated relic they can just ignore. I don't know if Mr. Miller's allegations are true but if they are, I have very little sympathy.
Neither do I, buddy. Neither do I.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Yep, I survived Edouard...

Wow, what a day. I woke up at 5:30 this morning to howling winds and the beeping of my surge protector battery backup, which meant the power was out. I got up and turned it off...and went right back to dreamland for almost another 3 1/2 hours. I got up and called my boss, and he told me to come on in, though there's usually not much for me to do in the mornings. I didn't really get to do any substantive work till after 2; let's just say that things at my place of employment aren't nearly as decentralized as they need to be. But I had help, and busted my ass the last 2 1/2 hours, got done on time (and under budget! LOL) and things are right back to where they were 24 hours ago. Tropical storms blow, indeed, but just like the last time we had an event like this, it was little more than an inconvenience...

Monday, August 04, 2008

...and we should care about that, why, again?

From a story in this morning's Houston Chronicle, on the impending execution of double murderer Jose Medellin:

"Most of our friends abroad have long since come to the conclusion that this country, on this topic, just doesn't get it," said Southern Methodist University history professor Rick Halperin. "This state is seen as uncaring and hateful. And this case is just right on the top."
Uncaring and hateful. After what Medellin and his fellow thugs did to those two teenage girls that hot summer night in 1993, it's the state of Texas that's seen as uncaring and hateful. A recap, from the same story:

Students at Waltrip High School, Jennifer was 14, and Elizabeth had just turned 16. Their lives were filled with the things that occupy teenage girls. Friends recalled Elizabeth, who was beginning to dabble with makeup, as a "social butterfly." Jennifer tried her hand at basketball before concluding she wasn't cut out for athletics.

On June 24, 1993, the girls were at a party at a friend's apartment when they realized the lateness of the hour. Following the railroad tracks through T.C. Jester Park, they concluded, would shave 10 minutes off their trip to Elizabeth's Oak Forest home.

As the girls made their way past a thicket near White Oak Bayou, they stumbled onto the tail end of a drunken gang initiation. When they blundered into the group of youths, Medellin — 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing just 135 pounds — grabbed Elizabeth and flipped her to the ground. Jennifer, drawn by Elizabeth's scream, turned to help and was herself captured.

As the teens cried and struggled, six gang members took turns raping them.

Finally, gang leader Peter Cantu told Medellin, "We're going to have to kill them."

Gang members Derrick O'Brien and Raul Villarreal looped a belt around Jennifer's throat, pulling with such force that the belt broke. Cantu, Medellin and Efrain Perez strangled Elizabeth with a shoelace. Then they stomped on the girls' throats for good measure.

Four days later, police, acting on a tip from a gang member's brother, found the teens' bodies, badly decomposed in the summer heat.

The victims were identified through dental records.

Judge Cathy Cochran, a member of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which last week rejected his appeals, wrote that Medellin bragged to his friends that the victims had been virgins until they were attacked by the gang.

"His written confession," Cochran wrote, "displayed a callous, cruel and cavalier attitude toward the two girls that he had raped and helped to murder. Surely no juror or judge will ever forget his words or his sordid deeds."

After all that -- and don't tell me those motherfuckers outside the United States don't know the history of this creep or his little friends -- it's still the state of Texas, and its attempt to bring justice to the families of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, that's seen as "uncaring and hateful." As another blogger said some time ago on a different subject, "Telling, isn't it, that the presumption for ‘humanitarian consideration’ automatically accrues to the guilty…and never to his victims?" I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd love to tell every one of the self-righteous pricks and prick-ettes in question in no uncertain terms to go fuck themselves.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Now I know how the older folks feel... I sit here and Alan Jackson's "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow," of all things, is playing on Rowdy Yates' Country Gold on KILT. This is just, I don't know what you'd call it. Surreal? Stuff I actually remember coming out on the radio, stuff I remember from when it was NEW, actually being considered classic country now. I still don't feel a day over 18, but it's just a bit weird...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Same Story, Different City, Shorter Timeline...

If you'll indulge me, this is gonna be another one of those regional radio rants...
It would seem that Cumulus Media is doing to 99.5 the Wolf in Dallas more or less the same thing that Westinghouse/CBS/Infinity did to KIKK 95.7 in Houston, albeit on what looks to be a shorter timeline...

KPLX/Dallas morning co-hosts Tara and Justin Frazell exited the station today. APD Smokey Rivers, News Dir. Chris Sommers and co-host Missy remain on the morning show. Cumulus Sr. VP/Programming and KPLX PD Jan Jeffries says there are no immediate plans to fill the positions. "We have a building full of very talented people who are stepping up," he says.
Combine that with the revamping of the Wolf's playlist that was announced some months back, and yes, it looks like the same thing's going on in Dallas at KPLX that went on at KIKK in Houston in the late 1990s on up to November 2002...changing the music, firing the on-air personalities, in short, what Cumulus is doing is destroying the brand, and apparently turning what was once a unique and quite successful station into a carbon copy of pretty much every other major-market country station in the land. I wonder if it'll end up playing "smooth jazz" like what eventually ended up on 95.7. Should be interesting to see, interesting like a car wreck, that is. It's a shame, but it was damn good while it lasted. I remember listening to 99.5 a couple of years after they completely revamped it into The Wolf and thinking, "Wow, they've really got a good thing going on here" with their mixing so much Texas and classic country into the playlist. I must admit, though, I did think there was something that was, shall we say, not quite right with hearing "Coming up, Texas country from Faith Hill!" Maybe there are inherent flaws to varying extents with every kind of radio branding campaigns, but overall what they had going on with 99.5 The Wolf was something with actual substance behind it. At least they played actual Texas artists with Faith Hill and all the other Nashville stars instead of just calling the same old playlist "Texas Country." Of course, as one writer states, this sort of thing might not have been able to work anywhere else:
Geography gave it the opportunity to position as "Texas Country" and that gave it the ability to play anything from Waylon & Willie to George Strait to the local heroes that hadn't yet achieved national stardom (Pat Green, Jack Ingram) or never would (Charlie Robison, Robert Earl Keen). The Wolf was always a yesterday-and-today station (at the outset, its library went back to at least the late '60s), but Philips' emphasis on active records (and willingness to sit out some more passive national hits) made the station feel a lot more Top 40.

Still, though, the fact is that it worked in Dallas for, from what I understand, the better part of a decade. And while there are certain things that might well have needed to be changed, I just don't see why those things would have to be the two things that made the station into the great thing it was -- the music and the voices. I can't help but agree with one of the comments someone made at
The Wolf was once a great station, but Cume-less has destroyed it. Just look at the talent they had when they were really, really strong, and look at what they have now. Nothing against the current talent, but I don't think it compares to Amy B, Cody Alan, Dingo, Jeremy, Tara, and Justin. We are witnessing the end of an era of what was once a dynasty.

Like Justin says, I guarantee you we will "see him down the road", and hopefully it will be as he helps another station push the Wolf into extinction.

A-yep. I guess it was all bound to happen sooner or later, but still, it's incredibly sad to see.