Thursday, December 22, 2005


IT's Showtime

Microsoft recently announced its new program to improve software quality.

It's called "We Share Your Pain", or WE-SYP

In this video, MS TechNet presents it's experimental project by which you, the IT Professional, can share your pain of failure of MicroSoft software product performance with the programmer responsible for writing that miserable code.

You can hook into the IT'S SHOWTIME website by clicking on the above link(s), and select either low (300kbps) or high-speed (512kbps) presentations of the video.

Or, if you have a high-speed internet connection, you can go directly to the video here.

Depending on the way your computer options are set up, you may see the video immediately loading to your Windows Media Player, or be presented with a choice of opening it directly or downloading it to your HD.

Personally, I would recommend you download the file and play it over and over everytime you've received the MS Windows Blue Screen of Death.

It'll make you feel better.

Geek Video Rating: ("R" - for ROFLMAO)

If you click on "Download the presentation", you get a four-frame PowerPoint presentation with diagrams.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Eminem RULZ! (Literally!)

Eminem Music Allegedly Used As U.S. Torture Device

POSTED: 11:04 am CST December 19, 2005
A human rights group is alleging the United States operated a secret prison near Afghanistan's capital as recently as last year.The group claims that music by Eminem and Dr. Dre were used as instruments of torture. New York-based Human Rights Watch has issued a report saying the United States operated a secret prison in Afghanistan and tortured detainees. The report quoted an Ethiopian-born detainee as saying he was kept in a pitch-black prison and forced to listen to Eminem and Dr. Dre’s rap music for 20 days before the music was replaced by "horrible ghost laughter and Halloween sounds."
Well, that must have been a relief!

Memphis Goblin Count

This from Memphis:
Hope Kim is still keeping track of the Goblin Count.

Here's another one for you, Kim!
Posted by Cathy Shapiro
Police say homeowner shot one, others scattered
Dec 19, 2005, 07:08 AM

Yep, it often works out that way.

2nd Amendment Repealed

Americablog tells us that:

The 2nd Amendment Has Been Repealed

(H/T to Jeff Maass)

The thrust of John's argument is that President Bush has broken the law, and compromised the U.S. Bill of Rights, in using NSA resources to listen in on telephone conversations between a "United States person" and non-United States people. I've listened to the commentary, I've read some of it (not all . . . this is NOT my day-job, y'know), and I've read the applicable sections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act (FISA).

Here are the circumstances under which the cited NSA actions are legal:

(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party;
There's more, but FISA allows the President some unilateral authority as long as
  1. The surveillance continues for no longer than one year, and
  2. No "United States person is a party"
FISA doesn't seem to authorize the Presidential action, and I heard Rush Limbaugh this morning citing this section IN PART and out of context when he was arguing that the action was entirely legal. What I didn't hear Limbaugh include was any reference to the two points I high-lighted above.

This is extremely time-dated material, and much better researchers than I are busily poking around in United States Code, and historical documents, trying to discover the legal justification for this action.

It doesn't look good for the President in this situation at this time.

However, I'm not sure I can agree with John at Americablog when he argues by extention, implying that this 'sets a precedent' for Presidential abbrogation of the U.S. Constitution and specifically all articles of the Bill of Rights. I have reservations about this debating technique, which I consider a 'smoke and mirrors' move most often used by someone who realizes his logical position is weak. Also, I wonder why the 2nd Amendment is suddenly trotted out in a blog which hasn't mentioned RKBA during the preceding 19 days of December articles which I have read on that blog.

I'm not saying that the motives of the author are hidden; I'm just saying that they're not clear.

Taxi Driver, Kick Your Ass!

From The Guardian:

11 hurt in clashes over ban on female taxi passengers

Rory Carroll
Saturday December 17, 2005
The Guardian

Hundreds of taxi moped operators in the northern Nigerian city of Kano have clashed with Islamic authorities over a ban on women passengers, a new sharia law which they said deprived them of their best customers.

A fleet of riders, known as achaba, drove through the city wielding sticks this week in protests which turned violent, leaving 11 people injured and 24 motorised tricycles vandalised.

"No amount of intimidation and lawlessness will deter us from carrying out this noble duty of stopping women from riding on achaba," said Yahaya Farouk Chedi of the religious police.

(Emphasis added)

Under Sharia law, women are not allowed to drive vehicles. If they want to go someplace, they have to find someone to drive them. A reasonable alternative, you might say, would be to take a taxi.

But in this Nigerian city, the "motorized tricycle" seems to be a common form of taxi. I'm only guessing, they don't have a lot of Checkers cabs there.

("Gee, you can't drive, you can't take a taxi . . . you're a woman under Sharia Law, how do you get from point "A" to point "B"? Answer: Point "A" is the kitchen, or the bedroom. You don't have to go anyplace else. Besides, you're a WOMAN, and if we see you in public we will be overwhelmed with lust and defile ourselves by raping your sinful body. It's not our fault, we can't be expected to control our lust. The only defense we have is to keep you LOCKED UP! Who cares what you want? You're only a woman. Note: this doesn't reflect badly on us. We're men. If you don't like it, we can kick your ass, and the scooter you rode in on.")

Now they can't even use taxis to get around. Continuing with my "I'm only guessing" trend, "I'm only guessing" that the lauded "noble duty of stopping women from riding on achaba" has a lot to do with treating women as second-class citizens . . . or property.

I only know one muslim personally, and he seems as happily hen-pecked as the rest of us. He lives here (in Oregon), he does an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, and he also respects his wife. I don't think he's living under Sharia law. That's the law that the militant muslims would impose on the entire world, one nation at a time.

How many of us could live under Sharia law, where the courts are ruled by religious leaders and there is no real 'rule of law' appeal to their decisions, unless it is supported by their primary religious beliefs?

Let me be completely clear here. I consider the actions of the Nigerian Religious Police to be shameful. More, I consider the entire concept of Religious Police to be completely unacceptable. I'm a nominal Christian, even though religion isn't part of my life-style and I haven't been inside a church for almost a year.

These aren't religious principles we're discussion. They're cultural principals. I think that people who use their religion to justify acting like hooligans (there is no better word in the English language to describe such conduct) are little better than animals. They're using the precepts of their avowed religion to excuse egrigious conduct. I'm searching for a word here, and I'm mulling over 'duplicitous', but it's not strong enough to express my revulsion. How about a more complex phrase, such as "state-supported thugs"? No, that's not strong enough either.

Maybe you can help me out here.

The point may be in comparing this 'thing' with the previous 'thing'.

The people who beat up taxi drivers because women hire them are the same kind of people who drive airplanes into public buildings. They think they know better than we do, about how we should live our lives.

I don't like that. I think we should fight against that sort of 'holier than thou' attitude, and we should use every weapon in our arsenal to fight their drive to impose their rules on us.

Islamists Are Crazy

In support of the evolved theme that Islamists Are Crazy, here's an offering from "The Scotsman dot Com", one of my favorite news sources:.

Jihad is 'Muslim obligation'

A lawyer defending al Qaida-linked suspects standing trial for the 2003 suicide bombings in Istanbul told a court that jihad, or holy war, was an obligation for Muslims and his clients should not be prosecuted.

"If you punish them for this, tomorrow, will you punish them for fasting or for praying?" Osman Karahan -- a lawyer representing 14 of the 72 suspects -- asked during a nearly four-hour speech in which he read religious texts from an encyclopedia of Islam.

If I "punish them for this" (suicide bombing of innocents) they won't be around for fasting or praying. Obviously, those activities haven't improved their ability to celebrate Allah or God in their conduct. I'll happily grant them the opportunity to reboot and restart the Game of Life, because they will be dead.

If I understand the Hindu religion correctly, these people may have erred in this life. They have accumulated 'bad Karma'. If they have "moved away from the light" they may be reincarnated in a lower form of life.

Perhaps they will be reincarnated as beetles.

That would be good; they need someone to step on them for a few incarnations so they can Get A Clue.

I think, in my next life, I want to come back as a Hindu. It seems like a religion (or philosophy, if you will), which is much easier to live up to than Wahibbism and Sharia 'law'.

Canadian Clue-Bat

From the Edmonton, Alberta (CA) CBC.Ca:

Handgun sales on the rise
Last updated Dec 19 2005 07:49 AM MST
CBC News
Gun shop owners say handgun sales in Edmonton are skyrocketing since Prime Minister Paul Martin's promise to ban them.

A Canadian "Liberal Leader" made a promise to ban handguns in Alberta. Well, they're already 'almost banned', but this sounds like the Nuclear Option.

Now that Albertans have been assured that the Demon Gun will no longer be an option, how do they react?

Do they dance in the streets and give candy to strangers, as Pallistinians do when they are assured that Sharon is ailing?

No, they do not.

Instead, they rush to gun stores and buy handguns.


What is this strange discordance between Canadian Citizens and Canadian Politicos?

"I'm Just Guessing" that there is a national schizophrenia in action, where Canadians will vote for the Liberal Wacko de jure, but they retain sufficient grey matter to realize that "I've Got Mine!" is a survival instinct.

Why do they buy handguns, when they are assured that the future promises that handguns will be illegal? Are they just buying handguns so they can give them up when the new administration confiscates them? That's not right. Why would they deliberately buy a Demon Gun when they are assured that it will soon be rendered Ex Post Facto illegal.

Note: BANS lead to REGISTRATION, which leads to LICENSING, which leads to CONFISCATION. I'm sure they are clear on the concept.

Could it be that they plan to NOT allow their new (and newly illegal) handgun to be confiscated?

Can it be that they have no confidence in the rightness of the action, and expect to have their very own handgun for personal defense when it all goes into the crapper?

Note to Albertans:
Instead of planning to circumvent the Law of the Land, why don't you quit voting for these Liberal Moonbats and elect non-Liberal leaders who won't make you a criminal for performing an action (buying a handgun) which was legal when you did it?

I don't know about you, but it seems a lot easier to fight 'em at the polls than to fight 'em at the barricades.

To quote my old friend, Earthworm:

"What a bunch of Maroons!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Big Dawg Invitational

The Michael Bane Blog: SHOOTING GALLERY Challenge/Big Dawg Invitational Update

Michael Bane (my hero!) has once again defined competition shooting. This time, he has scheduled a 'mixed media' invitation-only match to the top Big Dawgs of various disciplines for a two-day match with surprise stages and ranges from seven to seventy yards . . . all to be engaged with 'THEIR" pistols,

That's the deal. Invitation match, top shooters include:
  • Todd Jarrett
  • Doug Koenig
  • Rob Leatham
  • Max Michel
  • Dave Sevigney (Production King)
  • Jerry Miculek (Revolver King)
Cowboy Action stars include:
  • Randi "Holy Terror" Rogers
..... that's it? You've got six male IPSC champions, and one lone Female SAS shooter?

Sheee - ooot ... she's got 'em outnumbered and surrounded.

I don't know about you, but Jerry M. has sacrificed his 'underdawg' status to Randi Rogers. I want her to kick serious IPSC butt, and you know that Michael Bane isn't going to play up the diversity angle at ALL.

Yeah, right. And I'll receive an all-expenses paid invitation to represent the "Geek" contingent.

The deal is, you do NOT "shoot what you brang".

THEY (the producers) supply the guns, THEY supply the ammunition, THEY design and set up the stages, THEY make the rules, THEY score the stages, and THEY keep the cameras rolling while the Best of the West have every oppportunity to screw up by the numbers.

I love it.

Seven shooters. Six stages. Two days. What's not to like.

Okay, I wish (as if it makes a differnece) there was a 'normal' shooter in the mix to provide perspective. And I would really like for my hero, Jerry 'The Burner' Barnhart, to be one of the competitors. But he has announced that he is no longer a competitor, and you have to respect his decision to retire even if you (as I do) would prefer that he continue competing for at least one more year. The man contributes CLASS to what would otherwise be, as the Artillaryman's creeed suggests, a "mundane affair".

I'm thinking seven shooters is an odd number, and there needs to be some balance here.

They need a GEEK to leven the mix.
Well, there's . . . hey, I'M a Geek. I could do this.

I couldn't do squat, of course, but I can provide a benchmark experience.

I remember May, 1999, when I shot 'Mano a Mano' against Todd Jarret.

It was Stage 5 of the 1999 Area 1 Championship match of USPSA.

A large number of IPSC targets were presented for a four-string Timed-fire stage.

Jarret shot a fast rhythm of engagement against the half-dozen targets, all obscured by camoflauge netting.

I, shooting The Beloved Kimber ( .45 APC, fixed sights, C-Limited shooter) tried to keep up with his rhythm.

He hit all of his targets, at 50, 40, 20 and 10-yard distances.

I missed most of them. But DAMN! I sounded good, keeping up with the World Champion in pace if not in accuracy.

I can do it again. Well, maybe not.

This is a whole new deal, with the Best of the Besto of the Best competing agains each other

It will be interesting, seeing if the stage designs are 'Revolver friendly' for Miculek and Rogers. I can't imagine there isn't a bias in favor of the people who are accustomed to pushing their load-limit.

But the scenario is that everybody shoots the same gun, with the same ammunition, at the same stages.

It could be interesting. It could be a 'level playing field'.

It could be exciting!


Concealed Carry

To carry, or not to carry. That is the question.

According to my old (and obsolete) friend, GURUNET, "Concealed Carry" means:

concealed carry (USA)

In the United States, concealed carry is the right to carry a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner.

I've just posted an article about FishOrMan, describing his twenty-month legal battle to defend his Open Carry of a pistol in the state of Washington, USA.

This is different from Concealed Carry in that you are required to carry your pistol in a manner which makes it obvious to the casual observer that you are armed.

It is also different in that, in Open Carry states, you (supposedly) need no governmental permission to carry Open.

This isn't always the case, as FishOrMan learned.

Because the people who are paid to enforce the laws aren't always clear about what the law is, and how it should be applied, it may be prudent to get 'pre-approval' from the State (or County) to carry a concealed weapon. LEOs pay attention to this. Also, being 'merely human', they may apply their own interpretations as to whether your chosen method of carrying a firearm is legal.

I have made my own decision about whether or not to carry, and the associated decision about seeking governmental approval of my right to carry a concealed weapon. This is a good time, I think, to talk about that decision.

It's important to consider how one will exercise the right (if right it is) to carry a concealed weapon.
Probably the most common reason for carrying a weapon is self-defense. This supposes that one will be attacked and need to defend one's life, another person's life, or even one's personal well being or property.

Defense against, for example, rape or assault with injury which may NOT lead to death is a point of contention. Most people think that they have the right to defend themself with lethal force against injurious assault, but some assert that they would submit to assault or even die rather than to take the life of another human being. I personally find this hard to understand. Perhaps I'm just a selfish person, but I believe that anyone who would willingly assault another human being has already decided to accept the risk that it may escalate into a Life Or Death situation for at least one of the (unwilling) participants, and thus has accepted the unspoken covenant that the life of the assailant is forfeit if the assaulted can only accomplish it.

This result (that an assaulted person might ultimately kill his or her assailant) strikes me as 'an outcome ernestly desired' by some innocent who is violently attacked. "Your Mileage May Vary", but it seems to me that I have the right to defend myself by whatever means available when attacked, and if I have not chosen to arm myself beforehand I have made the decision to submit to any injury or indignity which another can force upon me.

You might not agree with me NOW, but when you are attacked by a naked man with a machete when you are walking to your car after work, you may have an entirely different perspective on the question. Of course, by then it will be too late to work out the ethical details.

Thus I postulate that I have a right to arm myself in defense of myself, and this right has been generally conceded by the Bill of Rights (2nd Amendment) and specifically by over two thirds of the States of the Union.

Given that this right is correct and real, and supported by the Rule of Law, what am I going to do with it?

Most states which legally support the right of the individual to arm in self defense include several conditions of qualification. Most common of these conditions are proof that one is legally entitled to own a firearm (felons need not apply; insane maniacs get in line behind the felons, but don't get your hopes too high; juveniles . . . don't even think it, you have less rights than maniacs.)

Assuming you're not a felon, or a maniac, or a juvenile, can you prove that you are competent to use a firearm? Most states require some certification that you have received the benefit of training, or have received instruction on the rights and/or obligations of a responsible carrier of weapons.

Given, for the sake of argument, that I am a legally responsible adult citizen in all respects, and I can prove it, and if I can get at least three other people to vouch for me (also a common stepping-stone on the road to permission to carry), I can be awarded a Good Conduct Medal. This is variously referred to as 'Concealed Pistol License" (CPL), a "Concealed Weapon Permit" (CWP), or in my home state as a "Concealed Handgun Permit" (CHL). I'll use the term CHL to describe the governmental permission.

The good thing about a CHL is that you can carry a handgun ALMOST anywhere, and you can carry someplaces where you would be subject to legal penalty if you don't have a CHL. This most accurately describes the situation in my state. If I have a concealed pistol in my car, I can go to jail. However, if I have a CHL, it becomes my "get out of jail free" card.

This the reason why I applied for a CHL in Oregon. I often attend shooting matches around the state, and became concerned because in the confusion of loading the car with guns, ammunition, pistol belts with holsters and magazine carriers, tools, spare parts, clothing appropriate to a surprise change in the weather, food, water, a thermos of coffee, and perhaps a suitcase with toiletries and a change of clothes for a weekend stay with friends . . . I may put the bag with the guns in the back seat of the car instead of in the trunk of the car.

In my home state, the law requires that guns must be transported in a locked compartment, and not accessible by the driver of the automobile while operating the car. By accident or inattention, I may violate that law and thus be subject to penalties including confiscation of automobile and firearm, fine, and imprisonment. (One of my cousins was once caught with a pistol in the glove compartment of his car, while on the way to a ground-squirrel hunting area. He was fortunate that he was not imprisoned, but it cost him more money than he could afford and he was put on probation for six months. Plus, he lost a really fine Ruger .22 handgun. He was perhaps careless, certainly overconfident, but absolutely not felonious in his intent.)

To avoid this situation, I have chosen to apply for, and was eventually 'awarded with', a Concealed Handgun License by the state of Oregon and the county of Benton.

I took a one-day class in "Home Defense" from my local gun club, filled out the forms, had three friends sign my "certificate of whatever", gave the Sheriff's office my fingerprints, gave the same sSheriff's office a check for $55, let them take my picture, and two months later received a CHL.

Now I don't care where I put the bags with the guns when I load the car. My Jeep Cherokee doesn't have a trunk, and I don't care. Cargo compartment, back seat, front seat, glove compartment . . . it doesn't matter where I put the guns, I'm legal. They can't touch me, as long as I don't have the gun laying open to casual observation in the car. (Another local aberration.)

So the CHL works for me, because it protects me from goofy laws which may or may not . . . but have, historically . . . cause legal problems for someone who hasn't jumped through the legal hoops and paid their danegeld to the County.

What does this do for my Self-Defense Posture?

Not much, if we're talking about defending myself against assailants.

But it does a LOT in the area of defending myself against bureaucrats!

Hey, what about defending myself against assault?

Okay, let's talk about this.

There are restrictions against carrying a weapon, even if you are the somewhat proud possessor of a CHL.

FIrst, you can't carry a gun into a court of law. (Some states include "Any Public Building", such as a post office, the local FBI office, or a school ... we'll discuss this in a minute.) Often, your CHL will not allow you to carry in a place where liquor is served. This means, if you go to a restaurant and they have a license to server beer or wine, you can't bring your gun with you.

In my state, there was once a law stating that you couldn't have a handgun in your possession within 1000 yards of a school. Good law, we're doing this 'for the children', right?

Not really. What if you live within 1000 yards of a school? What if you are driving by the school on your way to or from a shooting match? (A thousand yards is over a half-mile. Many schools are located on or near main surface streets; you may be within this artificial legal limit while driving to a shooting range from your house, your gun may be locked in the trunk, but if you're stopped for a traffic infraction you are subject to many legal penalties even though you obviously had no nefarious intention in mind.)

This law was eventually overturned in my state, because it was too vague and put too much burden on the casual wayfarer to KNOW when he or she was within X distance of a school. Besides, there are schools which somehow have retained a 'Shooting Club', and it made it impossible for them to operate. Yes, I am aware that this is a mind-boggling situation, but in Oregon there are still some people who believe firmly that competition shooting builds character and is good 'for the children'. I happen to be one of them, because I participated in Gallery Rifle Competition from Junior High School through College (ages 11 thru 23).

This all sounds Gun-Owner Friendly, right?

Unfortunately, I spend most of my daylight hours on the campus of the college where I am employed. If I bring a gun to work with me, the state can prosecute me for having a firearm in a "public building".

What if I bring a gun to work/school, but leave it in the car?
The school may or may not have a policy (it hasn', to my knowledge, been published yet) against having guns in the car?

Well, they MAY not be successful in prosecuting me for breaking the law; but there's a HUGE grey area, which hasn't yet been addressed, about whether an employer can refuse permission for employees to have a firearm in posession on 'their' property. As far as I know, a University Campus has not yet been defined as a "public building", so I don't really know if it's possible for me to arm myself while walking to and from my car in the dark of the pre- and post-work hours.

Even if they can't prosecute me, they MAY be able to discharge me for having a weapon on campus, even if it is locked up in my car.

And frankly, a gun in my car doesn't do me a lot of good if I'm attacked while I'm walking to my car in the dark at the end of the work day.

As far as I know, this is the most dangerous part of the day . . . walking to my car after work. And I'm at least 'discouraged' from carrying to defend myself.

Is that a familiar scenario? Is your employer the the entity which prevents you from defending yourself from random violence? I'll bet it is.

So, what's the bottom line here?
A concealed handgun license MAY protect you from the state; it won't protect you from the State's efforts to negate your ability to protect yourself from assault.

H/T: Bearman's 45 blot, "Why I Don't Have A Concealed Weapons Permit"

Act like you've got a pair!

I received this note in the COMMENTS section of an article I wrote a couple of days ago. It wasn't directly applicable to the events of the article, but it certainly is in keeping with the RKBA theme. I quote Jason (FishOrMan) entirely for your convenience:

Hello Jerry,

I find you commented on my cases and it sounds like you would be interested to know I actually WON that appeal, (fighting Pro se too)!

Needless to say, I feel like Christmas came early, (I truly figured it would take until I reached the court of appeals before I got a judge to actually look at the issue).

Yes, I did get my ass kicked out of the whole deal. Yet, I am still unsure how I would respond to a direct violation of the right to bear arms by any state employee. They swore an oath to the Constitution, and when they are breaking that oath, I don't think they should be treated with anything better then contempt.

That is what I think... what I will do in the future I just don't know. But, somehow, I feel my children and grandchildren are already watching me.

The article in which I was "commenting on (his) case . . . " is called Second Amendment Woes, and I wrote it on December 22, 2004. Here's one of the most critical comments I made there:

This poor SOB has made his stand, and has asserted his Civil Rights. Maybe someday, ten or twenty years from now, and if he has enough money (which he has not) to hire clever lawyers who will pursue the case, he may even be cleared of all criminal charges. Maybe even the civil charges (which have not yet been brought by the local authorities). For now, he's facing jail time, and bankruptcy because he needs to find and pay lawyers, and he is completely despondant about his ability to defend himself, his family, and his home. I thank him for providing a 'test case' which may someday expand the interpretation of the Second Amendment for the rest of us, but I sure wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

(Emphasis added here)

I'm not sure I would want to be in his shoes today, either.

I know it took a year and a half (dating from his original May, 2004, arrest) for him to beat the rap, and it cost him a lot of time, money, anguish and embarassment. I can't imagine what his family went through, but I have checked out his blog from time to time for updates on court hearings (time off work?), trying to find decent lawyers that he could afford (who can afford any competent lawyer?), and general expense and inconvenience.

Most difficult, I suspect, was dealing with the sheer frustration of knowing that he was being harrassed not because he broke the law, but because he demanded his rights as defined by the law.

Second most difficult may be not knowing whether his rights as an acknowledged citizen of America would be taken away from him.

I don't know what it has cost him, but I know it wasn't insignificant and that his life has been dramatically interrupted by his experience.

When this all started, I was doubtful that he would be able to defend himself, or would be willing to endure the expense, humiliation and inconveneince (too weak a word!) to which he would be subjected. Most men would have given up. Most men would have cut a deal.

Jason didn't. He stood up for himself and demanded his rights. In a very real sense, he battled for the rights of all of us here.

This was his personal Saint Crispin's Day, and he can make any kind of speech he wants to. He earned it.

He won, and it's one of the most remarkable stories I've heard in a long, long time.

Congratulations, Jason. There can't be much question now whether you are Fish or Man. You've showed us the difference.
Great Big Brass Ones!

Monday, December 19, 2005

NOLA, CHPs, and Katrina Confiscations

Musings of The GeekWithA.45

Geek With A .45 (The Alpha Geek of Bloggers, Joe Huffman notwithstanding) posted recently about Patricia Konie, a middle-aged New Orleans resident who was forcibly removed from her home during the flooding which resulted from hurricane Katrina.

He refers to a previous post, and cites a video which is merely an overview of National Guard troops doing a house-to-house search for survivors . . . whom they were ordered to forcibly evacuate.

One resident, Patricia Konie, was very clear when she was visited by members of the California Hiway Patrol (who were sent to help in any way they could to support the NOPD). She didn't want to leave her home, and she didn't want the police officers in her home.

Ms Konie, you may remember, allowed the CHPs to enter her home but stood in her kitchen with a pearl-handled revolver and a clasp knife in her hand, in a non-threatening attitude (she had them both in her left hand, and was holding the revolver around the cylinder, rather than holding the grip of the revolver with her finger on or near the trigger.) When she refused to leave her home and her two dogs, the CHPs attacked her, "took her down" to the floor, confiscated her weapons and forcibly removed her from her home.

Geek reports that she suffered a broken and dislocated shoulder, which required surgery, and is now suing for damages. *

So far, so good.

Trigger Finger has found himself behind the groundswell of bloggification, so he adds a great deal of details to the story. *(She's suing The State of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Police, The State of California, and the California Hiway Patrol.)

One of the details is a link to the video which was taken when Ms Konie was 'taken down'. This is a presentation by KTVU in California, reporting on the CHPs participation in the evacuation.

Okay, we've got to the bottom line of the JerryTheGeek version of the story.

At the end of the KTVU video, we see Ms. Konie being lead out of her house, and the announcer mentions that she was allowed to take her two dogs with her.

And it shows her LIFTING ONE OF HER DOGS into the back of a military vehicle. The tailgate is armpit-high on the lady, but she doesn't seem to have much problem lifting it up.

I'm not saying she's shamming.

The news reports cited by Geekwitha45 imply that her injuries "required surgery".
The text of the suit cited by Trigger Finger suggests that surgery "may be necessary".

I've never had either a broken OR a dislocated shoulder, so perhaps someone reading this may have experiential or anecdotal evidence which will clear up the question.

All I want to know is, if a 100-pound woman was so badly injured in the shoulder, would she be able to lift a 20-pound dog to shoulder height and deposit it in the back of a truck, without showing any sign of pain or distress, shortly after the injury was inflicted?

I always thought that a dislocated shoulder was immediately and dramatically debilitating. A childhood friend of mine suffered a broken collar-bone, and he couldn't even get out of bed for a month. Are shoulders not, after all, that painful?

Has anyone heard whether she actually DID undergo surgery for these shoulder injuries?

What's the dealio here?

Don't Tread On Me!

Gadsden and Culpeper: The Official Don't Tread On Me Outfitter

I just found a link (On Kim DeTuit's new forum website) to a supplier which specializes in the Gadsden "Don't Tread On Me" flag stuff.

Sometime in the distant past, I mentioned that I think this was the best possible American flag.

Well, perhaps not this graffic, which is the website icon.

This flag, which is a reproduction of the original 'Gadsden' flag.

Perhaps I went a little crazy here, but I like the flag so much that I bought pins, stickers and a shirt. Prices weren't bad, and I spent enough that the shipping is free.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The new Free Gun Australia

This is the content of an email I recently received from a CCS friend who has relatives in Canada. Apparently, they also have friends/relatives in Australia. I present it without comment, except that it may be an 'old' email and I haven't verified any of the claims made here.

The new gun free Australia

It's amazing that getting rid of all the (non -criminal) guns in Australia only cost a fraction of what we're spending for a database system to register ours.

Here's a thought to warm some of your hearts...

From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia

Hi friends, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in: Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent, Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent; Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)! In the state of Victoria alone,

homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. (Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not! and criminals still possess their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed. There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in "successfully ridding Australian society of guns." You won't see this on the Canadian evening news or hear your Member of Parliament disseminating this information.

The Australian experience proves it. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note Canadians, before it's too late!