Friday, December 29, 2006

Britain Pays its Bills

While I'm on a Rant-Roll about Britain's budgetary problems, I probably should attempt 'fair and balanced reporting.

Today, Britain made the last installment-plan payment on the 4.3 billion dollars it borrowed from the United States, and 1.2 billion dollars from Canada ... sixty years ago.

The loan, coming at the end of WWII ("The Big One") was intended "to finance vital reconstruction". It was paid back at the agreed 2% interest rate. The final payments brought the total return to about twice the principle.

Malicious Castration

Malicious Castration?

I'll say!

A North Carolina woman has been charged with this offense because she ripped her husbands testicles off, with her bare hands.

Ooooo, that makes me cringe just to write the words.

Ms. Dawson was arrested on four charges. She faces felony counts of assault causing serious bodily injury, malicious conduct by a prisoner, injury to personal property and malicious castration.

Ms. Dawson made her first court appearance Wednesday. That same day she posted a bond of $50,000, according to jail records.
No word about the condition of her husband. My guess would be: really, really unhappy.
Also, no word about the condition of her husband's genitals. My guess would be: really, really mangled.

I'm waiting for the Money Quote from Lorena Bobbitt.


Brits: Citizens, Subjects or Serfs?

I have, from time to time, made passing comment on the egegious predations of The Nanny State on its ... inhabitants. These predations have typically consisted of impositions on their original rights, usually their rights to defend themselves or indeed to own a weapon at all, let alone to use it.

As the rights of citizens to defend themselves have been infringed, they have degenerated in importance from citizenship to subjects of the crown ... actually, subjects of an entrenched bureaucracy. This increasing vulnerability has been mirrored by an increase in the number of goblin predators on the streets. The Brits refer to these (usually male, usually adolescent, usually drunken) goblins as "Yobs", for reasons which may seem reasonable to them but of course makes no sense to the Colonial mind. I've discussed the phenomenon of yob-dom here, in an article which notes in passage that 'yob' is nothing more than 'boy' turned backward. Well, that may make some sense if one considers that boys have become the Dark Side of what once was the youthful incarnation of what should have developed into a responsible, productive citizen of the Empire. Alas, citizenship has gone the way of the Empire, and now the Brits must deal with a serious Crime In The Streets problem.

I discussed representative examples of consequences of the breakdown of civilization's natural checks and balances in August of 2006, in a piece called "Brits lose another 'subject'", wherein I lost all patience with the British legal system and particularly with the degenerate excuse for a police force. We have come to accept that the police are not obligated to protect us from predation, but we had hoped that they would at least make an effort to apprehend violent transgressors against the public peace and welfare. Apparently that is no longer part of the priorities of police in England, and one wonders what they do with the time they spend on duty.

Now we have TWO answers to this question:

One: they sit around filing reports on classroom "homophobia", which theHome Office hopes to have classified as a "Hate Crime".

Gay lobby groups are deeply upset about the use of "homophobic" language in schools, partly because of the common use by teenagers of the word 'gay' as an insult regardless of the perceived sexual orientation of the individual they are insulting.

The Home Office guidance also said that gay lobby groups could set up "third party reporting centres" to pass to police details of "homophobic" incidents which gay individuals themselves have been too scared to report to police.

Police should then record the names and details of individuals passed on by gay lobby groups, it said.

That's right, they don't have time to investigate reports of attempted murder, but they have the time to take action against school children who call their friends 'gay'

Two: they watch television, and shout into microphones:

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- It's Saturday night in Middlesbrough, England, and drunken university students are celebrating the start of the school year, known as Freshers' Week.

One picks up a traffic cone and runs down the street. Suddenly, a disembodied voice booms out from above:

``You in the black jacket! Yes, you! Put it back!'' The confused student obeys as his friends look bewildered.

``People are shocked when they hear the cameras talk, but when they see everyone else looking at them, they feel a twinge of conscience and comply,'' said Mike Clark, a spokesman for Middlesbrough Council who recounted the incident. The city has placed speakers in its cameras, allowing operators to chastise miscreants who drop coffee cups, ride bicycles too fast or fight outside bars.

That's right. The Nanny State has enlisted Big Brother to help her control the unmanageable masses. If their plans work out, this dubious replacement for 'the cop on the block' is only the next step in a long-range program of replacing people with machines.

Almost 70 years after George Orwell created the all-seeing dictator Big Brother in the novel ``1984,'' Britons are being watched as never before. About 4.2 million spy cameras film each citizen 300 times a day, and police have built the world's largest DNA database. Prime Minister Tony Blair said all Britons should carry biometric identification cards to help fight the war on terror.

``Nowhere else in the free world is this happening,'' said Helena Kennedy, a human rights lawyer who also is a member of the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament. ``The American public would find such inroads into civil liberties wholly unacceptable.'' (Emphasis added.)

During the past decade, the government has spent 500 million pounds ($1 billion) on spy cameras and now has one for every 14 citizens, according to a September report prepared for Information Commissioner Richard Thomas by the Surveillance Studies Network, a panel of U.K. academics.

I'm not entirely convinced by the comment about the resistance of the American public to intrusive spy-machines. But certainly the Brits have not only allowed their government to take over an increasing control of their personal habits (see below) and daily lives, but they're lining up to buy technology to spy on each other.

According to this article in the London 'Daily Mail':

A new telephone lie detector system promises to pick up on tell-tale signs of stress in a caller's voice whenever they tell a fib.

Available for free, the Kishkish lie detector can be easily downloaded from the web and used by those who make phone calls over the internet.

If your telephone service is one which runs through the Internet (presumably one such as Vonage), you too can tell if your sweetie is lying about 'working late tonite, honey'.


In fact, the Brits have serious budgetary concerns. Their Socialist National Health Service (NHS) system has been increasingly bogged down due to the increased demands on it. A recent news article (for which I cannot immediately find the reference) notes that fully ten percent of their NHS budget is taken up with care for abused children, a situation which threatens to bring the entire Socialist structure to its knees.

Rather than address the root causes of child abuse (unemployment, breakdown of the family unit and civilized rules of conduct in general), the Brits have looked around for 'other places' where they can cut down on the demands for Socialized Medicine. And they have found ... fat people. Also, those who smoke and drink seem to be taking up more than their fair share of the limited resources made available under Socialized Medicine.

It says here that "Smokers, people with alcohol problems and the obese could be denied priority treatment on the NHS if they do not try to change their lifestyle", and apparently the Brits are seriously considering restricting people thus categorized from access to "priority NHS care".

The article, of course, doesn't mention this as a budgetary measure; instead, they tout it as a 'lifestyle' issue:

A Cabinet review group on public services was shocked by the scale of the burden caused by people's lifestyles. "Ministers were shocked by the fact that half of all years of healthy life are lost as a result of behavioural factors (e.g. smoking and diet)," a Government source said.

Ministers want a "cultural change" in public services so the state can support and encourage people to change their behaviour to improve their life chances and well-being.

While they're at it, they're going to address OTHER societal ills by action which on the face of it seems to directly contradict the budgetary issues: they have a problem with yobs who drop out of school, so they're going to throw more money at it.
They also want to extend the number of "contracts" between the citizen and the state, such as the £30-a-week education maintenance allowances paid to over-16s who remain in further education.
Oh, and perhaps you think that proves that they don't REALLY have a problem financing Socialized Medicine?

Experts warned this month that obesity, which costs the NHS £7bn a year, could bankrupt it if left unchecked and predicted that the proportion of obese adults would rise from one in five to one in three by 2010. Smoking-related diseases cost an estimated £1.7bn a year, with the same amount spent on alcohol-related problems. The treatment of alcohol-related harm, such as violent crime and traffic accidents, costs an estimated £20bn.
Coming full-circle back to the question of "how do you solve a problem like Maria Yobs?", the same article offers this observation:

The cabinet reviews have already provoked controversy. A paper for the security, crime and justice group, leaked at the weekend, suggested that crime could rise for the first time in more than a decade as economic growth slows, and that the prison population, already at a record 80,000, could rise to 100,000 over the next five years.

The Government has promised an extra 8,000 prison places but it is not clear how they will be funded. The Treasury has frozen the Home Office budget in real terms from 2008-11 other than for spending on security and anti-terrorism work.

Somehow I find it difficult to accept the assertion that "... crime could rise for the first time in more than a decade ...", given the news reports mentioned above and elsewhere.

(Incidently, the Brits are unable to maintain an acceptable level of performance in their education system, too. That's a situation which isn't noticably better here in the States, either, so don't think I'm suggesting that England is the only 'First World' country with a failing Nanny State understructure.)

Ultimately, the British Government's Great Experiment (in Socialism) is proving to be as unworkable as we always thought it would be. The solution, as evidenced by these measures, seems to be to reduce the status of the average Brit from 'Citizen' to 'Subject' and now all the way down to 'Serf':


Pronunciation: (sûrf), [key]
1. a person in a condition of servitude, required to render services to a lord, commonly attached to the lord's land and transferred with it from one owner to another.
2. a slave.
So much for the wonders of Western Civilization. But less you believe that there's nothing to be done but shake your head in sadness at the decline of what was once a great nation, be of good cheer!

We still have the United Nations to tell us when we're not running our country The Right Way:

UN voices concerns over 'unfairness' in Saddam execution verdict
By Reuters
ZURICH - The UN human rights chief on Thursday called for restraint by Iraqi authorities over Saddam Hussein's death sentence, saying there were concerns about the fairness of the original trial.

"The appeal judgment is a lengthy and complex decision that requires careful study," Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement.

Arbour also said that under the terms of international agreements signed by Iraq Saddam had the right to appeal to "appropriate authorities" for possible commutation or a pardon.
The United Nations: Voted "Best Friend" by dictators the world over.

World Socialism, here we come!

Some people are really choked up by the prospect of the impending up-string of The Butcher of Baghdad.

I am not.


Neither were the Iraqis.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gun vs. Knife


H/T Syd, from FRONT SIGHT, PRESS (News From The Sight, M1911 - Vol 232, Dec 23, 2006)

"Never Bring A Knife To A Gun Fight"

Good advice.

Or is it?

This article by Paul Huebl in his Crime File News blog includes a video which illustrates in shocking video just how vulnerable we are to attack by an aggressive, determined knife-wielding assailant.

Even if you're a LEO.

Yes, even you IPSC pistoleros, you CCH holders, you IDPA warriors.


It's not a new story. People at shooting ranges have been talking about the gun vs knife phenomenon for years. There are answers in the lore, but you have to experience it to believe it.

For example:

Last summer, I went to the ARPC range to do a little practice with my IPSC gun. Mike McCarter was there training his USPSA Junior team. I stopped by to watch, and eventually got drawn into the activity.

In an effort to help his juniors appreciate the importance of the draw, Mac set up the classic training exercise. You are the gunner, you have a (plastic, toy, safe) gun in your pocket and 15 feet away from you there is a knife-man with a (plastic, toy, safe) knife in his hand. Suddenly the knife-man starts running toward you, with his knife held before him. Your job is to draw, point and 'fire' at least once before you are within range of the knife.

Never happened. Knife-man always beat gunner to the draw.

A year or two earlier, I took a "home defense" course at the same range, which (for me) was part of the training needed to qualify for a CCH license. The instructor set up the same scenario.

These were older men, and the goal was to teach students what must be done to defend against a charging knife-man.

After the first couple of students failed abysmally to draw and 'engage' in time to ... maybe ... even get a shot off, the instructor began to talk us through the things we as gunners could do to foil a determined, aggressive knife attack.

First, time is your enemy. The knife-man is ready, he knows what he is going to do and when he is going to start his attack. He either knows he can get to you before you can draw, engage and fire. Your only option is to play for time.

The first thing you do is backpedal, FAST! You have probably started within the distance that the knife-man can run before you can draw, so increase the distance. While moving, of course, you should be drawing. (It is a principle of self-defense training that you recognize the threat before an attack is initiated. This allows you to at least clear for your draw; move your coat-tail out of the way, put your hand on your pistol, even draw it. But how many of us are willing to draw a gun before we see a weapon?)

Moving backwards during the draw gives us parts of a second, maybe even a second or two more time to draw and engage.

Also, as soon as the attacker begins to move he has established a vector of attack. That means he is constantly building momentum toward a point, the place where you are standing when he starts to move. One of your options is lateral movement. Given a choice, you should move to the right when attacked by an assailant holding the knife in his right hand. This forces him to make an across-the-body slash rather than just moving his knife hand forward or farther to his right. When attempting an across-the-body slash, the reach of the attacker is dramatically shortened by the need to reach ACROSS the diameter of his torso, so it may be possible to move outside of his reach.

All of this is predicated upon circumstances. If you are backed up against a wall, or bounded by the walls of a narrow alley, your options are drastically limited.

Lesson: don't let yourself be caught in a corner.

Looking at the video, we see that the pistol armed defender stays in place. As a static body, you're nothing more than a soft target. The assailant has the advantage of speed, timing, and momentum. You can turn these advantages against him by movement; to the rear, and/or laterally.

Still, if you're caught flat-footed, you probably are screwed anyway.

If you choose to carry a pistol for personal defense, you need to spend as much time acquiring the habit of situational awareness as you do in gun-handling. That is, you need to pay attention to your surroundings and recognize that you are in the presence of someone who might attack you. The best result of fight is never to get into one. Avoiding a fight is not cowardness; it's the perfect tactic.

Surely there are people who can give you better instruction and advice. I am a correspondant, not an instructor, and as such I can only present my observations and parrot the instructions I have received. I can only say that I have had the opportunity to see the vulnerability and think about it ahead of time. I've given myself as much edge as possible, small though it might be, by learning to recognize a dangerous situation and establishing a plan to avoid an attacker while I simultaneously move to counter-attack.

One more suggestion:
At an IPSC match several years ago, a clever stage-designer presented a fairly realistic demonstration of this conundrum. He set up a 'railroad track' of 2x4 boards, and built a cart to run on it. He put an IPSC target on it, and powered it by stretched bungie cords. When you activated the target, it 'ran forward' the 15 feet or so ... very quickly ... until it reached a position which was nominally The Danger Zone (where a man with a knife could reach you.) The challenge was to draw and engage the target before it reached 'striking distance', which was the end of the track about 3 feet from the shooter starting position.

As long as the sport of IPSC includes the word "Practical", it occurs to me that this would be a very useful training aid and also an interesting Shooting Problem.

Think about including this stage in a future IPSC match.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Recipe

Christmas Cookie Recipe

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Crown Royal

Sample the Crown Royal to check quality.

Take a large bowl, check the Crown Royal again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer...Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar...Beat again.

At this point it's best to make sure the Crown Royal is still OK, try another cup.. Just in case.

Turn off the mixer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit off floor...

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a dewscriver.

Sample the Crown Royal to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.... Who giveshz a sheet.

Check the Crown Royal.

Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of AR, or somefink.... Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window.

Finish the bottle of Crown Royal.

Make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Cherry Mistmas


Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, cold, dark and foreboding,
As I sat at the workbench, quite busy reloading,
The empties from autumn were polished so clear,
For primers and powder, and bullets from Speer.

And Sierra boat-tails, and Nosler's Partitions
(My bench ain't no place for brand name omissions!)
All sat in their boxes, right next to the press,
With dies from Midway, and RCBS.

When all of a sudden there came such a jolt,
I grabbed for my Mossberg, and whipped out my Colt.
As I spilled Hodgdon's powder all over the shelf,
I scrambled for cover, just to protect myself;

From up on the rooftop, came hoofbeats and snorting,
Like the noise out of L'il Rock, from Clinton's cavorting!
I eased off the safety, to press-check my auto
With 230-hardball, I'd knock 'em all blotto.

Were these rogue federal agents, sent by Schumer and Reno?
Or a staggering Ted Kennedy, in bad need of vino?
My question was answered with a knock, and some sneezing,
It's Santa, you moron, lemme in there, I'm freezing!

I flipped off the dead-bolt and threw the door wide,
To find St. Nick a'shivering, Rudolph by his side
He eyeballed my Thompson, with a nod of approval
"You're all set," he said, "for dirtball removal."

But this is no raid, we're not here to harm you
Or persecute, prosecute, or even disarm you
Instead, said dear Santa, he needed to borrow

My .357, 'till day after tomorrow.

It's okay he assured me, with a hint of frustration.
I'm enrolled in the National Rifle Association
He showed me his card, 'twas a Life Member rating

I've had this since me and the missus were dating!

And you see, ol' buddy, I've gotten real nervous
Since Hillary was elected, with a promise to serve us
So henceforth as I'm out there, my presents a'stackin'
I want to assure you, I'm legally packin'

And my gift for you this year, should give you a hoot
I've told the Supreme Court to give Brady the boot!
Now, Rudy and I must be on our way."
He said, as he climbed back on the seat of his sleigh.

With the reins in his hand, and my Smith in his pocket
He jingled the sleigh bells and was off like a rocket.
With a pair of speedloaders, and ammo to spare

I knew he'd be safe, he was loaded for bear.

As he faded from view, I could still hear him calling,
From DC, where 'PC' is already falling,
To bad guys in LA, Detroit and Atlanta:

I'm licensed to carry. Don't be messin' with Santa!

Merry Christmas from Jerry The Geek and from SWMBO
Who would knock Anti-gun hopolophobes way akimbo.
Hat-Tip to our friend, thank you The Hobo Brasser
We hope that next year you shoot IPSC much faster!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The value of Zero Tolerance in schools

Herald News :: News :: Student ordered to be home schooled

In November of 2006, a 13-year old middle-school boy in Joliette, Illinois, heard a rumor that a gun (a pellet gun) had been hidden in the boys bathroom trash can,

He and a friend investigated, found the pellet gun, and turned it over to school authorities.

In accordance with the state law, the boy who actually handed the gun to the Assistant Principle was subject to expulsion. The Elementary District School Board, in an act which they probably consider to be one of extreme kindness, instead removed him from his school and recommended Home Schooling.

("... administrators were bound by state law to bring an expulsion recommendation to the board. But the board had several options under state law, including the choice of home schooling or offering a placement in an alternative school.")

The family does not accept this decision, asserting that the boy was doing "the right thing" by giving the gun to a school official.

(The boy who actually brought the gun to school has reportedly been "criminally charged".)

In an age wherein merely drawing a picture involving stick figures shooting a gun, these results are probably no longer surprising. They are, however, still appalling.

State laws, school officials, and Illinois legislatures (not to single out that state ... it happens all over America any more) continue to predate on the "good kids" who do their best to act in good faith to act in accordance to arcane and unjust laws.

A pre-school boy who hugs his teacher is suspended for "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment".

You can hardly imagine an ingenuous situation involving a naive child and a school which does not end in the child being punished ... often egrigiously ... for being a child.

Kim de Tuit (in his earlier incarnation) referred to this phenomenon as "The Pussification of the Western Male". He laid the blame squarely on the round shoulders of the Feminist Movement.

My frustration from this latest outrage inclines me to agree with him. When I first started reading Kim, I didn't agree with him on many subjects. Current events over the past few years have caused me to slowly veer toward acceptance of his viewpoints.

Especially on the subject of Zero Tolerance, and most especially when I read examples in places like this, and this, and ... well, do your own Google search.

What is the value of Zero Tolerance in schools?

Well, since the courts have determined that the whistling paddle-board spanking is socially unacceptable politically incorrect, this is the only means left by which arguably
pedophilic, sadistic school boards can violate and torture chastize innocent errant little boys.

UPDATE: December 26, 2006
As proof that this blog is "A Living Document" (not unlike the Constitution of the United States of America, in the view of some over-the-hill SCOTUS members), I've been thinking about this article and would like to add a comment.

It seems to me that the school board in question probably intended the act of 'sentencing' the innocent to Home Schooling as a combination of public ostracizing and sending to Coventry. Read: "That'll show the little punk who's in charge here!"

Given the egregious infliction of Zero Tolerance policies on the innocent, this may well have been the best thing that they could have done for the kid. At least he's no longer subject to punishments inflicted upon him by a mindless bureaucracy. He won't be brainwashed by the nanny state. He is no longer in an environment which insists that all good things comes from The Government and that his parents are incompetent to teach him appropriate values.

I bet there was a Christmas Tree in the front room, right in front of the picture window ... and the school won't allow any Christmas Pageant or other recognition of the religious season. ("Happy Holiday" is not an acceptable for "Merry Christmas!")

Yeah, the kid probably wishes all of his friends would get the same ill treatment.

The thing about freedom is, free people want everybody to be free. The only down side is, you just about have to kick somebody in the shins to break out of lockstep.


Actually, I feel a lot better about this, now.

School trustee's gun advocacy draws fire

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSchool trustee's gun advocacy draws fire

A Vancouver school trustee is taking heat for speaking out in favour of a gun group's campaign for the right to carry concealed weapons in Canada.

Sharon Gregson, a longtime NDP activist, was recently featured on the cover of the National Firearms Association Journal, holding a large handgun.

Gregson has just been granted a permit to carry a concealed handgun in the U.S. and has written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking why she can't have the same right in Canada.

Gregson asks the very reasonable question: Why can't a woman own and carry a gun to protect herself in Canada, when she can do so in 48 of 50 states in America?

This may seem a reasonable question to you and to me ... and to her ... but to her compatriots the question is anethema:

Wendy Cukier, the president of the Coalition for Gun Control, said she was appalled by Gregson's decision to become the firearms association's cover girl.

Cukier said the trustee is sending out a dangerous message by advocating putting guns into the hands of more women.

"There is no evidence whatsoever that arming women makes them safer," Cukier said. "In fact, the evidence is quite the contrary, that more guns results in more deaths and injuries."

I don't know about that.

I'm waiting for Cukier's evidence that arming women makes them LESS safe. But I don't expect to see it soon.

If I were a 100-pound woman being attacked by a 200 pound man, I would be grateful to Samuel Colt and John Moses Browning for providing an 'equilizer'.

Your Mileage May Vary.

H/T to John R. Lott



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

So much for "Global Warming"

Pacific Northwest readies for another major storm - Yahoo! News

According to this YAHOO.COM report, the PNW is in the path of another major storm.

The storm which hit last week was roughly comparable to the infamous Columbus Day Storm which hit on October 12, 1962, and caused major damage state-wide in Oregon due to a combination of powerful winds (gusts approaching 100mph) following an extended period of rain ... which super-saturated the soil in the path of the storm. The super-saturated soil loosened the grip of large trees, whose roots are often close to the surface rather than being dominated by a 'tap-root' which goes deep into the soil and anchors the root-ball despite high winds.
(Note that Colorado is expecting a major storm.)

It's worth noting that temperatures here in Oregon approached freezing last week, and in the days immediatly following the storm stayed below freezing for at least three days ... at least, in Corvallis.

Those yahoos who embrace the "Global Warming" falacy have not stepped up to the plate to address the question of why, when the temperatures of the worls are supposed to be rising, we continue to experience "Instant Replays" of extreme cold-weather events which closely parallel those we experienced almost half a century ago. According to their 'model', this should not be happening.

But they are mute on the subject.

The best they could offer is that this is a "local, temporary event".

Unfortunately (for their theory), this would also explain what they call "Global Warming".

As far back as I could remember, the first snowfall in the mountains of Oregon occurred around Thanksgiving day (give or take). The first snowfall in the 'flatlands' occurred around Christmas.

Given the current reports of blizzard conditions on Mount Hood, 2006 seems to be closely paralleling my personal experiences in the 1960's, when I was a child.

And the rain, followed by windstorms, meteorological events this year closely parallel those I experienced in the early 1960's ... nearly 50 years ago.

I'm not seeing a lot of climate change in Oregon. But perhaps my scope is too limited.

Spontaneous Discharge of a Firearm in an MR Imaging Environment

Spontaneous Discharge of a Firearm in an MR Imaging Environment -- Beitia et al. 178 (5): 1092 -- American Journal of Roentgenology * (see NOTE at the end of this post)

Magnetic Resonance (MR) involves entering a chamber (narrow, long, tubular) which is surrounded by a powerful magnetic field.

Here's a hint: do NOT bring a handgun into the MR chamber when the power is turned on. Especially when the gun is in "Condition 1". ("Cocked & Locked")

Case in point: an LEO brings his Series 80 1911 with him when he shows up for a MR session. As he tries to set the pistol on a nearby shelf, the powerful magnetic field grabs the gun out of his hand and SLAPS it against the inner surface of the chamber.

According to this evaluation, the magnetic field 'tripped' the firing-pin interlock (typical of the Series 80). It also causes the firing pin to slam into the primer, causing an Accidental Detonation.

The thumb safety was engaged, locking both the trigger and the slide.

When the pistol was recovered, there was an empty case in the chamber ... evidence that the thumb safety was, indeed, engaged ... thereby locking both the hammer and the slide.

* NOTE Interpretation: Instant Ka-BOOM!

Monday, December 18, 2006

NY Newspaper Publishes Names of Gun Owners

The Lower Hudson News is ecstatic about the attention being given to its recent articles shouting that "Out-of-date Records Mar Ability to Track Pistol Owners" (Dec 10) and the follow-up article "Handgun Owners Irate over Having Names Published Online" (Dec 17).

Happily, the details of the article which actually cites these names doesn't seem to be available online anymore. Apparently, Public Outrage is still a viable tool against journalistic lack of integrity. Either that, or they have been threatened with lawsuits, which affects the bottom-line of their budget and to which they WILL listen. Eventually. After the initial fervor dies down.

The later, December 17 article states:

Dozens of readers have taken issue with The Journal News over its decision to run a list of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties as part of a wider investigative article.

The names of more than 30,000 licensed handgun owners were posted online as part of "Falling Through the Cracks," the paper's Dec. 10 report that found that thousands of registered handguns were unaccounted for because there is no system to secure the weapons of permit holders who die.

The local rag is disappointed because there is no automatic provision for confiscation. Get over yourself, fellows.

Reader comments are limited so far (you can go here to read current comments, or to comment if you wish), but the first person who chooses to speak her mind seems to be in favor of disclosure. Why? She says, under the heading Print Permit Holders:

It is my opinion, since it is required for some people convicted of a sex crime to register their residences, and they are printed in the local paper, that addresses of people who register for a permit to carry a handgun should be printed as well. Also, whether the permit was granted or denied, and if denied under what conditions, should be associated with the information.

I feel that citizens have the right to know who among us are permitted to be armed although the unpermitted will probably be of more concern in the long run.

I realize that there are thousands of guns in Nebraska (I only have one) that are used safely, legally and without incident — most of which, I would imagine, are used for sport. Those don’t concern me. The ones that are specifically designed and sold as personal protection, and those who purchase them, are the danger.

It is my opinion that everyone else who doesn’t want a permit to carry a handgun should have the right to know who does.

I will be much more concerned in the coming year about permitted handgun carriers than I ever have been of sex offenders harming me or any of my family.
First, the phrase "... who among us are permitted to be armed ..." is disingenuous or an expression of ignorance. The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States permits us all to be armed. Subsequent interpretations have rightly discriminated against firearms possession by the insane and convicted felons, and with less justification have mandated that juveniles are not permitted these rights. The argument is that of 'diminished capacity', although I know a number of juveniles who are much better qualified to possess firearms than some adults. But that's a quible. Essentially, if you know who is insane or felonious in your neighborhood, you know who is NOT "permitted to be armed". Unfortunately, this remains a question which has not been satisfactory addressed by the High Courts.

The point, Dear Reader, is that of concealed carry of firearms; not of simple possession.

Personally, I find it upsetting that this writer is unable to distinguish between sexual predators ... who have been convicted of a heinous crime ... and honest people who have been investigated (as a condition of approval of their application) and proven to have never been convicted of a societal offense more serious than driving too fast to get to the office in the morning.

Apparently, her thesis is that people who own a gun AND CHOOSE TO CARRY IT are of dubious character. She seems to find that this demographic is more risky than those who would diddle small boys. She mentions that she herself owns a gun ("I only have one"), but apparently there is something about the mindset of people who have more than one, or who consider themselves at risk and carry for personal protection, which defines them as a danger to society.

Perhaps she is less concerned about sexual predators because, speaking of their weapon (presumably a penis), they "only have one". Or perhaps she doesn't have a child, in which case she feels less at risk.

If she had a child, would she feel more threatened by sexual predators? What experiential criteria would cause her to rethink her position? Enquiring people want to know.

The authors of the article, the reporters who spent a lazy Wednesday afternoon researching the names of CCH permit holders, seem to have a similar attitude. They're less interested in people who, by their criminal predilictions and demonstrated life-style, are inclined to illegally carry guns (usually illegally acquired) for the purpose of preying on honest citizens, than they are about the honest citizens who purchase (legally) guns to defend themselves and their families against these out-of-control predators.

Well, they're payed to write articles which attract readers, so their purpose and morals are presumably beyond approach.

Unfortunately, this is not A New Thing. Newspapers have been publishing lists of Concealed Handgun Permit owners for years, and the consequenes have invariably been outrage and controversy. No wonder the newspapers who find themselves on a slow news day and an 'iffy' advertising revenue list are so willing to jump on Gun Control as a short-term way to boost circulation.

Here are a few similar yellow journalism examples:


On Sunday, February 20, 2000, the Fort Collins Coloradoan printed 4 articles with an anti-gun slant, in addition to a list of all the people who obtained Larimer County Concealed Handgun Permits since July 4, 1999.

Sidebar: in January, 2000, Vin Suprynowciz posted a letter discussing the decision of the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Citizen to

"... no longer allow individuals to sell guns through classified advertisements."

"The Arizona Daily Star announced its policy change Sunday, and The Tucson Citizen's editor and publisher confirmed a similar policy Monday," the AP story continues.

"In a front page notice to readers, Jane Amari, the Star's editor and publisher, said there was concern that people buying through classifieds circumvent background checks now required by law."

This is only significant in that it illustrates the eagerness of small, local newspapers to give up a few advertising dollars (in the Classified Section ... not their regular commercial buyers of display ads) in favor of increasing circulation by means of presenting a Strong Editorial Ethic. Note that Ethics don't pay the bills, unless they lead to increased circulation which is the basis of billing for those display ads. It would be edificatory to hear from Arizona readers who can attes to whether this Advertising Policy has survived the ensuing years of rejected Classified Advertisements.

Also in 2000, the Columbia Journalism Review (scroll down to "Private Guns, Public Records" by Bear Jack Gebhardt), speaking of CCH permits in Colorado, writes:

Back in July 1999, Dave Greiling, executive editor of the Fort Collins Coloradoan, published the names of the 263 people in Larimer County who had recently been granted "concealed carry" gun permits. Not surprisingly, this stirred the ire of the state's gun faithful, including that of a state legislator who introduced a bill prohibiting any future such disclosures in the state. In February, as the bill was waltzing its way through the Colorado legislature, Greiling published another 344 names. This time he stirred not only local ire but also that of Rush Limbaugh and a vocal segment of the nation's gun lobby. They complained all over the Internet, with at least one Web site publishing the names, home addresses, and phone numbers for Greiling, his publisher, and other executives of the Coloradoan, a Gannett daily with a weekday circulation of 28,000. But until the law changes, he'd do it again. The decision to publish the names, Greiling says, didn't come from simply looking around for something to print on a slow news day. A new county sheriff, Jim Alderden, had been elected in 1998 by focusing his campaign partly on the reluctance of the old sheriff, Richard Shockley, to issue concealed carry permits. Shockley required applicants to show "just cause" to go covertly packing, and had issued only about forty permits in eight years. In the first year after Alderden took office, more than 600 people had been issued permits.
"On an issue as highly charged as guns," Greiling wrote in an article explaining his decision, "everyone has the right to know who may be carrying a weapon." Providing such information, he argued, is a newspaper's job. Some of the objections to the publication of names had centered on the idea that printing their names might subject gun owners to some increased danger. "But that flies in the face of the contention of pro-gun advocates," Greiling wrote, "that if the bad guys think you may have a gun, it will deter them from criminal activity."
Gebhardt goes on to cite a bill prohibiting the publication of the names of CCH license owners, although he declines to go into much detail about why this should be avoided.


The Cleveland Plain Dealer, in 2004, "... published a list of all the people with Concealed Handgun Licenses in Northeast Ohio". Eric J. Barzeski responded by publishing a list of the editors of the Plain Dealer.

Also in 2004, the Fort Wayne (Indiana) newspaper published a similar list. Publicola posted a large response to this exercise in "Journalistic Integrity":

I may need some help from any & all of y'all in Indiana. It seems that Fort is thinking about publishing the names of concealed carry permit holders. They have received some negative responses after they mentioned they intended to make the names available online so now they're going to think about it some more.

Quite honestly the idea of publishing the names of gun owners because they were forced to aquire a license is adding insult to injury. The violent criminals don't usually apply for licenses yet they carry when & where they wish. But peaceful citizens have to grovel & bribe their government to let them have permission to exercise what should be respected as a Right in the first place: having the means of defense.
(Note: Broken Links. Don't bother clicking on them, the cited articles no longer are available.)

Publicola fisks the cited (unavailable) article hard, and vigorously. Among the point/counterpoint context, which may provide some insight into the content of the missing original article written by a "Miss Austin"

From the second article linked above written by Miss Austin:

"...They said by putting the information online or in the paper, we're just making it more convenient for people to exercise a right they already have to examine the records."

I do not recall any philisophical, legal or moral theory that lists knowing which peacable people have arms is a Right. I do know of several theories as to why carrying & owning a weapon - even if concealed - is a Right & not subject to licensing or registration requirements
and ...

"The information has the potential to warn people about others who may be carrying a gun. If you're sending your child to my house to play, perhaps you'd like to know if I have a permit to carry a gun."

Here we have a logical disconnect. How would a list of concealed firearm permit holders clue anyone in to who has & doesn't have a firearm in their home? I don't recall Indiana requiring a Firearm Owner Identification Card & even if they did that's not the permit in question: it's concealed carry permits that are being discussed.

So it is very possible that if a hoplophobe wishes his or her child to play at a neighbors house who has no effective way of protecting their kids then they still would be allowing their kid to play at a house with firearms if the owner simply decided that they didn't need a permit to exercise a Right. To put it more plainly - not every gun owner applies for a concealed carry permit so the argument is flawed (to put it kindly).


In 2005, Right Truth published a blog article discussed the efforts of "certain news media outlits" to "publish the names, addresses and other personal information belonging to Florida citizens who have exercised their right to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit".

Also in 2005,
An article in the Dayton (Ohio) "Daily News" notes that "Only Journalists (are) Allowed Access To Records" (about CCH license holders) . As of 2005, Ohio seems to be the only state which restricts 'right of access' to this information to journalists. That doesn't seem a safe way to protect the privacy of Concealed Carry Handgun (CCH) license holders. But at least it minimizes the exposure in the discussion about "Freedom of Access" which seems to be a central theme in these discussions.

Early in 2006, a South Dakota Gun Owners Alert discussed the prediliction of "at least one major newspaper in South Dakota" to publish the names of people who "apply for a concealed pistol permit". (Emphasis mine) This short article went on to describe:

House Bill 1199 (which) would prohibit the release of information concerning applicants or holders of permits to carry a concealed pistol. This would keep newspapers from publishing lists that paint gun owners as dangerous simply because they want to legally carry a handgun for self-defense. You can read the bill here.


Alan Corwin of Bloomfield Press (Arizona) at notes that "It's Easier to Scapegoat an Honest Person Who Owns a Gun Than to Disarm a Criminal" .

Also, David Koppel discusses the hypothesis that we should be "Treating Guns Like Consumer Products" (eg: cars).

More specifically Koppel responds to the question "When Must The Government Disclose Gun Owners' Names and Addresses?" (A PDF, but not slow to load here.)

It would be appallingly easy to dismiss this growing trend toward 'outing' Concealed Carry license owners as simply another tactic of the Gun Control crowd. Just another arrow in their quiver, which they shoot out in every direction in hopes of attacting a few more mindless converts who believe everything they heard from the last person who talked to them.

That would be wrong.

It's not a product of someone who has a societal agenda, however misguided.

No, I truly think it's less than that.

This is a gimmick contrived by small-town newspapers to ramp up circulation by presenting a controversial proposal. The motive is purely monetary. They don't care whether their readers are convinced to embrace one side or the other of a controversial subject. The authors care even less about the consequences of their purple prose than they do about the right to privacy of their community or (if possible) than they do about fact-checking.

They're selling newspapers here, and their policy isn't "All The News That's Fit To Print".

It's "Whatever It Takes To Make A Buck".

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Conservative Scalawag

I just added Michael at Conservative Scalawag to my Blog Roll on the sidebar under "Links to this website".

Michael has been linked to this website, and commenting on various articles, for some time now. I haven't added the link because I've been lazy about blog maintenance lately, even though I've enjoyed his contributions here and the articles on his own website. You might click on the link and go see what he has to say.

I roused myself from indolent lethargy because he recently wrote about his growing interest in collecting Russian firearms. The article included a picture of a "Makarov" pistol (see the article for a picture).

Tokarev 1951
(H/T lavriccat for the picture) Note that (no disrespect intended to Michael) the pistol I saw that night in Vietnam didn't look much like the Makarov pictures I find on the Internet now. What I saw looked exactly like the Tokarev pisols I find here. But it doesn't really matter. We never knew what we looked like, because we rarely saw them. We had only heard the names of the Russian arms being used by the VC and NVA, and pistols weren't what we usually found on the enemy bodies left on the field of battle. Generally speaking, all we ever saw were AK47's and RPGs.

To continue:
I had to comment because I once had my hands on a Makrov/Tokarev (?) , brand new (still coated in Cosmoline ... or the Russian equivalent) which my platoon picked up after we ambushed a heavy platoon of VC who were maneuvering for a night assualt on an ARVN base camp positioned to defend a village new the 1st Infantry Division's "November 2 Night Defensive Position" (NDP) on Hwy 13, north of Saigon. We were outnumbered four to one, but had the great advantage of surprise and an established defensive position. We had to attack them because the ARVN camp included familys. According to interrogation of the two VC survivors of the ambush, they were tasked with attacking the village defenses to undermine the determination of the ARVN to defend outposts.

("Intelligence" had given us no warning of the impending attack. We were merely positioned in squad-size elements within a couple of miles of the U.S. NDP as part of the normal mid-range security cordon. Part of the Division tasking was to defend friendly Vietnamese military positions and villages, as encouragement to South Vietnamese to be friendly to the current RVN regime.)

The Rest Of The Story is given in the comment I made to Michael's post, and served mostly to provide some historical context to his interest. We took Makarov pistols off two of the bodies ... obviously members of the NVA Cadre, as they were in the forward command group of the VC column ... and the people who found the pistols during the post-ambush search were allowed to keep them as spoils of war.

Unfortunately, we found that we could trust the South Vietnamese to maintain their allegiance as long as we defended them; we could trust the ARVNs to stand their posts to defend the villages; we could even trust the VC to be true to their stated goals of undermining American influence at every opportunity.

We just couldn't trust our own REMF leadership to support the troops they commanded.

The pistols, turned over to the Company First Sergeant for safekeeping, never went home with the men who killed the aggressors.

Go to Michael's blog article, and read the outcome.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Castle Doctrine

I'm heavily indebted to Random Nuclear Strikes (Soft Green Glow) for the links which make this commentary possible.

More, I'm indebted for this link which enables us hoi poloi to sign on to the original document. Click the link for access to theTNR article.

And of course we're all indebted to Rick Perlstein, who wrote the article which so clearly demonstrates that defending your home against violent intruders ... of any stripe ... somehow "your fault" when the results are tragic.

On November 21, at around 7 p.m., narcotics officers in vests that said police (but not full uniforms) served a no-knock warrant to 933 Neal Street in Northwest Atlanta. The resident, Kathryn Johnston--88 years old by some accounts, 92 years old by others--pulled a pistol on the intruders. The police fired on their assailant. When it was over, three officers were wounded and Johnston lay dead. The warrant, alleging drug activity at her address, appears to have been issued in error. And, although the FBI is investigating, the Fulton County Assistant District Attorney defended his cops: "This seems like another tragedy involving drugs."

Actually, it seems like another tragedy involving gun policy. On July 1, a new Georgia law went into effect granting anyone who feels attacked on his or her property the "right to meet force with force, including deadly force." Georgia Senate Bill 396 also immunizes such a shooter from prosecution and civil penalty (though not, in Johnston's case, from return fire). It's not unreasonable to suppose that, had this law not passed last summer, Johnston might not have fired on those strange men barging into her house, and she might be alive today.

(Emphasis Added)

If I found myself in the same situation, I would have responded the same way ... with gunfire against intruders who had demonstrated that they were violently aggressive.

This isn't "... another tragedy involving drugs."

Nor is it "... another tragedy involving gun policy".

It's another tragedy involving "no-knock warrants".

If you're a policeman and you come to my house to serve a warrant, I have a right to see the warrant before I permit you entry to search or otherwise exercise your duty.

In this day of terrorists and home-invasions, even the least reasonable expectation of an honest citizen should be that, when an armed and masked somebody breaks down my door and charges in with a conspicuous display of firepower, I can reasonably assume that they mean me harm.

In Army Basic Training, they teach that you might successfully run from a knife, but never from a gun.

Never run from a gun. Instead, have a gun and attack. Always attack.

The old laws which required a homeowner to retreat from an attack are not suitable to a soldier, because it will be the death of a soldier. Why should it be any different for a homeowner?

No, the tactics of attacking an attacker are sound.

The problem is the "No-Knock" warrant, and the current tendency of police to mask themselves, as if they are ashamed of what they do or they do not wish their face to be seen. What they do is shameful, at best, and misleading (and frightening) to an honest citizen subject to what can only be defined as a "home intrusion" at least.

Masked men bursting through the door of your home can only be resisted to the best of your ability, and this is what Kathryn Johnston was doing. In defense of her home, and in defense of her person, Kathryn Johnston was meeting aggressive violence with what surely seemed to be her best hope of survival.

Senior police officials who insist that their serving officers practice these aggressive, hooded techniques should be shot.

Unfortunately, it is their officers, and their victims, who are shot.

To return to the TNR article:

Expect more Kathryn Johnstons. Unnoticed by most of the national press, 2006 became the year the National Rifle Association (NRA) got its way--and average citizens in almost a dozen states earned more leeway to shoot first and ask questions later than, in some circumstances, officers of the law.
Yes, expect more Kathryn Johnstons. And expect more officers to be shot by innocent civilian victims who are only defending themselves against aggression.

"The War On Drugs" is not worth the death of innocents. When this writer seeks to make culprits of the victims , he is not pointing the accusing finger in the right direction.

Some people in this country consider those they call "Right Wing Conservatives" to be apologists for wrong governmental policies.

But you will not find a conservative who considers this policy worth the price in innocent lives.

Free Image Hosting at

Just ask yourself:

Who is the victim here?



This is not a quagmire.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usThis is a quagmire.

It's my back yard.

Tonite we experienced The Mother of All Storms, which for two hours knocked out every light in the little College town where I live. Fortunately, all of the students are out of town on Winter Break, having completed Finals last week. For those of us who live and work here year-round, we had the opportunity to check our Emergency Preparedness.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usNo duct tape nor plastic sheeting was necessary, just a couple of candles and perhaps a few oil lamps got me through an otherwise uneventful (I thought) evening. I spent it in my nest, reading Jeff Cooper's "Garganuan Gunsite Gossip II" by the light of paired oil lamps.

I had dozed off about 9pm when I heard a knock at my front door. It was my neighbor, walking the property with a flashlight, calling to check on me and remark that "Well, we won't have to worry about that tree in your back yard any more!"


"You mean you didn't notice?" he asked? He told me to look out my window and walked his light back through the gate.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usThe 25' Fir tree outside my north-facing picture window showed nothing more than a gnarled mass of roots. The ground was saturated with a week of rain, a sodden mass with standing water, and the two days of strong wind had finally managed to blow the tree completely down, leaving only the root system showing from my viewpoint. Fortunate it was that the wind had vortexted in the maze of houses, blowing NORTH away from my picture rather than some direction which would have brought it crashing into my duplex windows.

My night would have been considerably less comfortable in almost any other circumstance, with that strong wind blowing rain through my picture window.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usAs it is, we spent a couple of inconvenient hours in the dark. The only other damage (if it may be called that) was the cover was blown away from where it covered my "most expensive lawn ornament in town", a 1987 Porsche 944 which has been resident beside my driveway for the past year since I blew first gear and had it towed home while I saved up to get it repaired. Yes, I'm still saving. No, I have no idea when it will get fixed; I always have something more immediate to do with my money, such as pay the rent, buy Christmas presents, and go to IPSC matches.

You will notice that the view toward the street doesn't show much. The camera flash didn't go far, and the lights which usually make this front part of my yard and driveway illuminated are all out.

I admit, it doesn't take much to make my night life more exciting than usual. But we could all have done without this kind of excitement.

Note to self: tomorrow, go buy more lamp oil and extra batteries for the flashlights. I've checked my supplies, and I have no batteries or oil which are not already in the lamps.

How are YOUR "Emergency Preparedness" supplies holding out?

Bad Advice


James R. Hall at Kentucky Coalition to Carry Concealed tells us about a robbery gone bad, and offers good advice, considering the circumstances..

just read with interest a story in Louisville’s Courier-Journal newspaper about a night club robbery [Nightclub employee shot in robbery, 21 Nov 06]. According to the story, Metro Police Lt. James "Mueller said the robber entered Petrus, on East Main Street, with a gun about 3 a.m. through an open door and demanded cash. The employee complied, but as the robber was leaving, he turned and fired several times, striking the worker once in the shoulder."
According to Hall (and we'll all find this advice eerily familiar):

... what makes these people "extremely dangerous" is the fact that they are armed and their victims are not. This is the ultimate truth that never seems to make it into most news stories. In the article, Lt. Mueller is said to recommend that "business owners and employees could go to to find robbery prevention tips." I went there looking for these tips and what I found made pretty good sense. There were also some "Robbery Reduction Tips" that, for the most part, were worthy advice also but, there were a few items that bordered on insanity.

For one, NOWHERE does it suggest that someone might actually arm themselves in order to have a fighting chance against an armed assailant. IN FACT, they advise against "escalating" the situation by attempting to fight or using a weapon to defend yourself!!! At this point I have to wonder, if you already have a gun in your face, what could be considered "escalation"? Another tip: "Remember: robbers seldom hurt people who cooperate with them." Unfortunately, the title character in this story turned out to be one of the seldoms!

"Escalation" is a handy word but it ignores the fact that when you have a gun in your face, "escalation" is a difficult term to quantify.

Here is an article which describes 'escallation' on an international level.

This article illustrates "escalation" on an entirely different level ... that of egregioius infringements of individual rights to privacy by your national govenment.

This is an example of the consequences when people assume that 'someone else' will protect them against violent attack.

And finally, here is what happens when a citizen realizes that nobody will protect him from casual violence, so he determines to protect himself.

You decide what is the best approach for your own defense.

Sweden Under Attack

Paralax Adjustment has an excellent short story on an Apocalyptic theme.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Family Reunion

THIS is my idea of a Family Reunion!

I bet they don't have any problems getting the whole fam-damily to show up every summer.

BTW, when I went through Basic Training in 1968, they showed us what it looked like to burnout a barrel in the M60 by shooting it continuously for over a minute.

Today ... well, you've come a long way, Baby!

On the other hand, THIS doesn't look like nearly as much fun.

(Thank you, YouTube.)

For some of us our Family Reunions look a lot more like this.

(H/T and Molon Labe' Bane)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hezbollah Human Shields?

An Israeli think tank with strong links to the military released videos and testimony Tuesday it said proved Hezbollah guerrillas used civilians as human shields during last summer's war in Lebanon.


Taleban Rules

No kidding, the egregious Taleban now has RULES.

Reminds me of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) report, in that they are both wonderful examples of really stupid things to say, but which reveal a great deal about their authors and their not-so-hidden agendas.

The ISG Report has 79 Ways To Leave Your Lover, and I won't add to your frustration by detailing to them. If you've read this far, you've probably already read either the report itself or commentary on the report ... which is sufficient to convince you that the authors are ... well, idiots.

The difference between the ISG and the Taleban is: the Taleban Rules are brief. And they make no bones about it, their agenda is clear.

They want to kill everybody who doesn't agree with them.

The ISG has the same goal, but they deny it.

Here are the Taleban Rules:

It is made clear that the rules are obligatory and "anyone who offends this code must be judged according to the laws of the Islamic Emirates".

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taleban spokesman, confirmed the authenticity of the rules in an interview.

Ignore at your peril: the regulations in full

Every Mujahid must abide by the following rules:

• 1. A Taleban commander is permitted to extend an invitation to all Afghans who support infidels so that they may convert to Islam.

• 2. We guarantee to any man, who turns his back on infidels, personal security and the security of his possessions. But if he becomes involved in a dispute, or someone accuses him of something, he must submit to our judiciary.

• 3. Mujahideen who protect new Taleban recruits must inform their commander.

• 4. A convert to the Taleban, who does not behave loyally and becomes a traitor, forfeits our protection.

• 5. A Mujahid who kills a new Taleban recruit will be punished according to Islamic law.

• 6. If a Taleban fighter wants to move to another district he must get permission from his group leader.

• 7. A Mujahid who takes a foreign infidel as prisoner with the consent of a group leader may not exchange him for other prisoners or money.

• 8. A provincial, district or regional commander may not work for a non-governmental organisation or accept money from an NGO.

• 9. Taleban may not use Jihad equipment or property for personal ends.

• 10. Every Taleb is accountable to his superiors in matters of money spending and equipment usage.

• 11. Mujahideen may not sell equipment.

• 12. A group of Mujahideen may not take in Mujahideen from another group to increase their own power.

• 13. Weapons and equipment taken from infidels or their allies must be fairly distributed among the Mujahideen.

• 14. If someone who works with infidels wants to co-operate with Mujahideen, he should not be killed. If he is killed, his murderer must stand before an Islamic court.

• 15. A Mujahid or leader who torments an innocent person must be warned by his superiors. If he does not change he must be thrown out of the Taleban movement.

• 16. It is strictly forbidden to search houses or confiscate weapons without the permission of a district or provincial commander.

• 17. Mujahideen have no right to confiscate money or personal possessions of civilians.

• 18. Mujahideen should refrain from smoking cigarettes.

• 19. Mujahideen are not allowed to take young boys with no facial hair on to the battlefield or into their private quarters.

• 20. If members of the opposition or the civil government wish to be loyal to the Taleban, we may take their conditions into consideration.

• 21. Anyone with a bad reputation or who has killed civilians during the Jihad may not be accepted into the Taleban movement.

• 22. If a Mujahid is found guilty of a crime and his commander has barred him from the group, no other group may take him in.

• 23. If a Mujahid is faced with a problem that is not described in this book, his commander must find a solution in consultation with the group.

• 24. It is forbidden to work as a teacher under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels. True Muslims should apply to study with a religiously trained teacher and study in a Mosque. Textbooks must come from the period of the Jihad or from the Taleban regime.

• 25. Anyone who works as a teacher for the current puppet regime must receive a warning. If he nevertheless refuses to give up his job, he must be beaten. If the teacher still continues to instruct contrary to the principles of Islam, the district commander or a group leader must kill him.

• 26. Those NGOs that come to the country under the rule of the infidels must be treated as the government is treated. We tolerate none of their activities, whether it be building of streets, bridges, clinics, schools, madrases [schools for Koran study] or other works. If a school fails to heed a warning to close, it must be burned. But all religious books must be secured beforehand.

27. [With alleged criminality] As long as a person has not been convicted of espionage and punished for it, no one may take up the issue on their own. Only the district commander is in charge. Witnesses who testify must be in good psychological condition, possess an untarnished religious reputation, and not have committed a major crime.

• 28. No lower-level commander may interfere with contention among the populace. If an argument cannot be resolved, the district or regional commander must handle the matter. The case should be discussed by religious experts or a council of elders. If they find no solution, the case must be referred to religious authorities.

• 29. Every Mujahid must post a watch, day and night.

• 30. The above 29 rules are obligatory. Anyone who offends this code must be judged according to the laws of the Islamic Emirates.

Signed by the highest leader of the Islamic Emirates of Afghan-istan.

Let's fisk this puppy.

• 1. A Taleban commander is permitted to extend an invitation to all Afghans who support infidels so that they may convert to Islam.
Our religion requires that we give you the opportunity to surrender unconditionally. If you don't, we get to kill you.

• 2. We guarantee to any man, who turns his back on infidels, personal security and the security of his possessions. But if he becomes involved in a dispute, or someone accuses him of something, he must submit to our judiciary.
Believe it, mean it. Or we get to kill you.

• 4. A convert to the Taleban, who does not behave loyally and becomes a traitor, forfeits our protection.
Live it, or we get to kill you.

• 14. If someone who works with infidels wants to co-operate with Mujahideen, he should not be killed. If he is killed, his murderer must stand before an Islamic court.
We welcome traitors to their culture. Anyone who doesn't do this ... we get to kill you.

• 15. A Mujahid or leader who torments an innocent person must be warned by his superiors. If he does not change he must be thrown out of the Taleban movement.

• 16. It is strictly forbidden to search houses or confiscate weapons without the permission of a district or provincial commander.

• 17. Mujahideen have no right to confiscate money or personal possessions of civilians.

(15) we get to kill you
(16) we get to kill you
(17) we get to kill you

• 18. Mujahideen should refrain from smoking cigarettes.

• 19. Mujahideen are not allowed to take young boys with no facial hair on to the battlefield or into their private quarters.

This is not right. We'll overlook it this time, but next time ... we'll overlook it again because we like doing this stuff, too. Okay? NO, we're not perverts. It's all perfectly natural, and we'll play while we wait for our 72 virgins and a carton of camels to be delivered by UPS. (Surely you didn't think we were talking about cigarettes!)

• 24. It is forbidden to work as a teacher under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels. True Muslims should apply to study with a religiously trained teacher and study in a Mosque. Textbooks must come from the period of the Jihad or from the Taleban regime.

• 25. Anyone who works as a teacher for the current puppet regime must receive a warning. If he nevertheless refuses to give up his job, he must be beaten. If the teacher still continues to instruct contrary to the principles of Islam, the district commander or a group leader must kill him.

• 26. Those NGOs that come to the country under the rule of the infidels must be treated as the government is treated. We tolerate none of their activities, whether it be building of streets, bridges, clinics, schools, madrases [schools for Koran study] or other works. If a school fails to heed a warning to close, it must be burned. But all religious books must be secured beforehand.

Smoking, and banging little boys, are Not Good; but they're not all that bad, either. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.
Teaching little boys to Just Say No, however is a capital offense.
We get to kill you. Burn your school. Did I mention we get to kill you? (Not, of course, until we've whupped you to within an inch of your life. Preferrably in front of a bunch of your little-boy students.) Well, you deserve it, you capitalist running dog. Why would we continue this oppression of our fellow man, if there wasn't something in it for us?

27. [With alleged criminality] As long as a person has not been convicted of espionage and punished for it, no one may take up the issue on their own. Only the district commander is in charge. Witnesses who testify must be in good psychological condition, possess an untarnished religious reputation, and not have committed a major crime.

If you're a crook, or a murderer or rapist, that's okay. No problem, Brother. But if you work against the espoused goals of the Taleban (we get to kill people), guess what?
That's right: we get to kill you.
Are we having fun yet?

• 30. The above 29 rules are obligatory. Anyone who offends this code must be judged according to the laws of the Islamic Emirates.

We get to kill you, we get to kill you, la la la we get to kill you.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Columbia Cascade Section news

This information will be of particular interest to members of the USPSA's Columbia Cascade Section (CCS), which represents four clubs in NW and Central Oregon. However, the implications may be of interest to IPSC competitors in other areas because it represents the benefits of strong volunteerism in the section.

Our current Section Coordinator, Mike ("Mac") McCarter, has just been designated USPSA's Junior Coordinator, replacing outgoing coordinator Larry Houck. Mac has also a declared candidate for USPSA President. When the USPSA Board of Directors was asked whether there is any conflict of interest in the double filing, they decided that it was acceptable for Mac to serve as Junior Coordinator until the completion of the Presidential Election process in mid-2007. We're fortunate at USPSA to have such a competent, experienced and energetic volunteer available for these positions, although we in CCS are aware that we're losing so much vision and managerial ability in our local competitions.

The election of CCS Officers will be an interesting process this year, with some of our BOD running for their current offices again for the 2007 season, one (Norm) filing to advance from Secretary to Section Coordinator, a Club Rep filing to move to replace Norm as Section Secretary, and Chuck, who was Prize table Coordinator for the 2006 Area 1 tournament (a prize table of over $60,000) is filing for Competition Director.

There is still time and room for more candidates to file, and I hope we have more volunteers to come forward to offer their skills and energy at the Section level. But personally, I have a great deal of respect for the people who have already filed for office. This section can only continue to demonstrate the adage that success breeds success. A record of successful major matches, and a month-to-month presentation of quality 'club matches', brings in a consistent high number of participants. As more people are attracted to IPSC competition in the area, match fees are building the treasury of the host clubs and providing more funding for significant range improvements.

Perhaps more important, as successful matches become the standard rather than the exception, more 'quality people' are attracted to the sport. The term 'quality people' should be understood to describe people who are highly satisfied with the value of competition offered, and are willing and eager to contribute their organizational talents and time to serve in an administrative capacity.

Burn-out has always been a problem with IPSC competition. As an amateur sport, it is dependent on volunteers to do the real work of organizing matches; designing and constructing stages which are challenging, fair and consistent; establishing policies and practices to provide consistency across the section; and encouraging other competitors to step forward to make a similar contribution to "pay back" the sport which has provided them with so much rewarding competition.

The growth of IPSC competition in CCS is a reflection of the growth of each individual member club. Over the past few years, all four of the clubs in this section have re-invested their match fees in range improvement programs.

The Dundee Practical Shooters started it out with digging out new shooting bays, surfacing all bays in thick gravel (when it rains in Oregon, this is necessary to avoid slipping in mud), building new berms, building a new "Stats Shack" with electrical power from a generator, importing more porta-potties, installing a wash-up station (using water from the fast-running rill that runs through the range), pouring concrete pads, bringing in picnic tables, installing overhead cover on most stages, setting up a second Safety Area, buying more steel targets, building more props, and initiating a club-member core group known as "The Old Guard".

This last improvement may be the most important in terms of their ability to continue hosting challenging, fun matches on a monthly basis. The Old Guard members are distinguished by their distinctive shirts and hats, which they wear at every match. When competitors encounter problems on a stage (such as a range-equipment failure which requires immediate repair, or running out of tape, or discovery of a faulty timer, or a rules question which requires intercession by the Match Director), they can search out the nearest Old Guard member. That designated club representative will make every effort to see that the problem is resolved, to insure that the match continues as smoothly as possible.

It's The Old Guard designing and constructing stages, and seeing to it that they are torn down at the end of the match. (Usually, they charge an extra $2 in the match fees to pay for 'someone else' to tear down the stages, to the utter delight of often-exhausted competitors.

It's The Old Guard scheduling the matches, insuring that the stats are kept accurately and in a timely manner, serving as MD and RM, building innovative props, and seeing that match scores are posted to the internet within a day or two of the match ... often, the same evening as the match is completed.

Tri County Gun Club, in Sherwood (I've written about this club before), recently completed a HUGE range expansion program which has been advancing step-wise for serveral years. The first stage was little more than digging out a couple of extra bays and surfacing all bays in thick gravel. Some overhead shelter was provided, in part financed by private contributions from club members.

The last phase was completed in 2006, just in time for the Area 1 Championship Tournament. The surrounding hillsides were extensively dug out to make room for a total of 13 shooting bays, parking for 200 cars, and all of these surfaces were covered in thick gravel.

Berms were constructed of huge concrete blocks (similar to the "New Jersey" concrete barriers often found on interstate freeways, but of a different cross-section allowing them to be stacked and interlocked like Lego toys). The concrete berms were faced with dirt banks, to absorb the bullets and prevent the deterioration of the concrete due to bullet-strikes and the consequent splatter, spalling or recochets of bullets which would otherwise strike bare concrete.

More overhead cover was erected, and while not ALL bays yet have protection from sun and rain, most bays which are commonly used in IPSC competition have this improvement.

Some of the new concrete-bermed bays are fifty yards deep, and almost as wide, allowing a wide range of challenging stage designs to be presented there. Those bays almost invariably include a niche where a safety table can be provided for each bay. The convenience of a safety table is a great advantage where competitors can work on malfunctioning weapons (pistol-caliber carbine and practical/tactical shotgun matches are also held in this range) , practice their draw or reloading, bag and unbag safe weapons, and any other function which the IPSC rules allow to take place in Safety Areas.

They also installed a number of extra porta-potties for the relief of busy, active competitors. Speaking for the Super Senior contingent ... thank you, TCGC!

The COSSA Practical Shooter (as far as I can tell, COSSA stands for Central Oregon Sports Shooters Association) is located 22 miles East of Bend, Oregon, on Highway 20.

Because they are geographically located so far away from the Willamette Valley, which contains the other three clubs, their attendance is much smaller on a monthly basis. Added to the distance, consider that their Winter weather is much more severe than that found in the mild Valley, all of which combines to make a trip to Bend a real treat.

They joined the Columbia Cascade Section a few years ago, and one of their first acts was to add more shooting bays for a total of 13. The High Desert climate allows them to use the natural surface of the ground, which is sandy, so they don't have thick gravel in the bays.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usThey already have a huge area available for parking, vendor tent and other facilities, so it is easy for them to host major matches. So far they have hosted USPSA National Championship matches for two years, and the Area 1 Tournament in 2003. (I note that this took place in May of 2003, and the first day of the match we started out in a bit of snow. The local sporting goods store enjoyed a profitable run on rain gear, warm coats and waterproof boots that week.)

Albany Rifle and Pistol Club, located off "7 mile road" (take exit 228 from the Interstate 5, West of the Corvallis Exit) has, under the leadership of Mike McCarter, exhibited which must be the longest-running and most extensive period of range improvements in the section.

Starting with six muddy, wide-open bays, ARPC has (in approximate order of completion):
  • Surfaced all bays in thick gravel OVER a visquine (sp) fabric base OVER a drainage system
  • Used receipts from IPSC matches almost exclusively to pay for more and better targets, props and facilities on the North Range (which is the 'action pistol' range at this club)
  • Provided 3-sided steel buildings to protect from sun and rain, on concrete pads
  • Added porta-potties within a couple dozen yards of every covered bay
  • Added a seventh bay, with steel building cover on a concrete pad
  • Provided an internet connection to the already electrically wired and heated stats shack, so that match results can be posted almost immediately after the completion of the match
  • Added 5 LARGE bays on the East side of Saddle Butte (which constitutes the 'back berm' for the entire range); some of these bays allow 50 yards depth, almost that much width
  • In conjunction with the last bays ... which brings the total to 12 bays ... added another pair of porta-potties (at least one of which is designgated 'for ladies only')
  • Added safety-tables between every other bay on the North Range
  • Added CONEX or other steel-construction prop containers for some of the disciplines which use the North Range
  • Placed a major emphasis on the Junior Program, to encourage younger shooters to compete. Some of the features of this local program include: providing pistols, ammunition and gear; a dedicated Junior Team coach, with scheduled practice sessions often monitored by their parents; shirts to help identify the Junior Team shooters; paid entry and transportation to the USPSA Nationals, with parents acting as chaparones
  • A $2 addition to the monthly match fees pays a 'crew' to tear down stages after the monthly matches. (Note: this is usually members of the Junior Team, and their monthly 'payment' usually goes to the Junior Team bank account)
These improvements not only make monthly matches more enjoyable, but also make it possible to host Major Matches. For example, after completing ALL of the above improvements, ARPC hosted the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals in July, 2006.


Oregon gun clubs are active, shooter-friendly, busy, innovative, well-funded and the epitome of volunteerism. Burn-out is not a factor, because so many local participants are eager to step up to the mark and pitch you nothing but fast-balls.

The funding from increased participation, generated by better facilities and more attractive conveniences (such as tear-down crews), has kept participation levels high and competitor satisfaction even higher.

As each generation of volunteers provide fascinating, challenging matches, more funds are available to provide the next generation of competitors with bigger matches, better range facilities, and more 'important' matches.

This is the future of IPSC.

An involved, energetic leadership helps to grow IPSC competition. Wise re-investment of the match fees generates bigger, better clubs and bigger, better matches.

The Columbia Cascade Section is working hard to attract new shooters, keep the shooters they already have, and encourage a solid base of dedicated participants who are ready and willing to volunteer for administrative duties within the section.

If you are a CCS member, and you think you have something to contribute, please don't think that just because candidates already have been found for each Section office, you shouldn't file for office.

With approximately 100 competitors signed up for the Points Race alone (and remember that not everybody who competes signs up), there is a large base of participants who are available but who have not yet paid their dues by volunteering. This is your chance to pay back to the sport. Many of us help out with match set-up, or other activities. But there is no reason why you can't be part of the "Pointy End" of the spear of volunteerism. If you prefer not to give your time as a section officer, consider volunteering to help your home club by serving as a Club Rep. Many BOD members have served for multiple years, some are even holding both Club and Section offices, and they would appreciate your help

If you're not a member of CCS, the same encouragement applies to you.

Volunteer to help lead your section to a better competitive year. Or to work with your club, in whatever capacity you think would be the best way to temporarily take over for someone who has become almost a local institution. They would appreciate the opportunity to relax for a couple of years and just ... shoot!

Relax, you don't have to serve forever. Just for a year or two. Your choice. It's a great experience, and a satisfying one.

It's pay-back time.