Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yin and Yang: Peggy Noonan

Yesterday I called Mark Steyn "one of my all-time favorite political commentators".

That hasn't changed, but now I see it's time to introduce another: Peggy Noonan.

Ms Noonan often writes for the Wall Street Journal (see the link on the sidebar, under WSJ Opinion Journal), and if Steyn's style is to go for the gonads (in the nicest possible way), Noonan's style is to go to the heart (in the deadliest possible way).

Steyn and Noonan are the Yin and Yang of political commentary.

I love this lady. She has style, she has verve, and she has the sharpest knife in the drawer. She can slice and dice you in 600 words, and you wouldn't feel a thing as she cuts out your heart.

Today her target was Joe Biden.

For twenty years, I have referred to him as "The Distinguished Windbag from Delaware".

Imagine how rewarding it is to read the following paragraph from today's column, as Ms Noonan typifies the congressional interrogation of Judge Samuel Alito by Senator Joe Biden. In part:

Must he sit there bland-faced and unmoving as they say what they say? Yes, of course. Judge Alito and the White House know they have to let these men talk. They don't want the senators to feel resentful or frustrated. They know each senator feels he has to play to his base. They know the senators are, by nature, like Conair 2000 hairdryers: They just love to blow, and hard. Fwwaaaaahhhhhhhhh. And they know it is good, it is helpful, to let each senator reveal himself through his own words. I think senators feel that their words, when strung together, become little bridges. I think the White House feels that their words, when strung together, become little nooses.
"Little Nooses".

I just love that, don't you?

They (the Judiciary Subcommittee) abused Alito to distraction; and then, when Lindsey Graham spoke nicely to Sam Alito, the poignancy of the moment drove Alito's wife, Martha-Ann, to tears. From that moment on, if it hadn't already happened, Alito became a shoo-in.

Alito's wife, Martha-Ann Alito, was overcome with emotion as Sen. Lindsey Graham called her husband "a decent, honorable man." (Watch wife brought to tears -- 1:57)

In the words of Robert Culp (or was it Bill Cosby, in "I Spy":

I just love it when a plan comes together.

Lindsey Graham for President

Canadian Cluebat 3: Life Imitates Art - Absent fathers root of gun crimes, faith leaders say

You heard it here first.

On December 29, I commented on the gang shootings in Toronto (Canadian Cluebat 2: Toronto). My theme was that the cause of "Gun Violence" was not the GUNS, but the VIOLENCE, and that the indirect cause of the violence was the break-up of the Nuclear Family.

If you couldn't bear to wade through all the pedantry, here's a summary; my thought was that when the family doesn't have both parents, or when the parents themselves are disfunctional, their children will not be given the chance to learn how to act. Given no familial support, children may turn to gangs as their only 'family'. The gang culture is typically violent, and leads directly to the kind of criminal behavior which Toronto experienced on Boxer Day.

That concept has been reinforced, surprisingly by the MSM ("Main Stream Media"), in the form of an article in the Toronto Star.

Here are some cuts from the article:

Absent fathers root of gun crimes, faith leaders say
Young male adolescents who have no male role model at home 'look to gangs for family'
Jan. 11, 2006. 04:13 PM

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Anonymous Comments

SayUncle � The end of blogs?

I've posted before about the annoying habits of some people who indulge in blog-spamming.

This is something different.

As of last week, if you write an annoying, ANONYMOUS comment, you're subject to fines and who-knows-what-else.

That's right, it's a federal crime to write annoying anonymous comments with the intent to . . . well, annoy someone.

Three questions:
  1. What's "annoying", and is it possible to write Anything that won't be Annoying to Somebody?
  2. Who's going to turn in an "annoying" commenter to the feds?
  3. If they're anonymous, how ya gonna catch 'em?
Just one more justification for Congress Control.

(H/T Triggerfinger)

Russian Free-Runners

Got eight minutes, 24 seconds to spare? High-speed Internet connection (or a HELL of a lot of patience)?

Acrophobic, tolerant of french rap, and prepared to be amazed by the gymnastic abilities of deceptively aesthetic-looking young men?

Wander over to Wadcutter and check out the video on Russian Free-runners.

Blow your mind, it will.

There's also a couple of other NSFW (Not Safe For Work) videos that were not to my taste, but you don't have to watch 'em if you don't want to. It took me about 10 seconds to kill the play, when I previewed them.

Reloading Tip No. 1: Boraxo

Free Image Hosting at


I've talked about this on The Unofficial IPSC List, but I just realized that I've never mentioned it here.

I reload a lot (though not so much during the winter months; it's too cold in the garage!) and when I get done my hands are covered with grease, carbon, lead and powder residue -- whatever comes from handling brass, powder, bullets and that filthy Dillon XL-650.

When I use one of those waterless hand cleansers, my hands feel like I've been washing in solvent.

Regular hand soaps just don't do the job. They're too wimpy. I have to scrub and scrub, use a brush (ouch!), and I often still have black crud in the knuckle-wrinkles.

A few years ago I remembered that my father, a mechanic, use to wash withLava, a bar soap with pumice. It worked, but his hands were sore and red when he finished. (I know how they felt; I've used it myself.)

Then I also remembered the can of Boraxo in his shop. So I found my own can of Boraxo at the grocery store, brought it home and tried it.

Wonderful stuff! A little Boraxo powder (actually, it's more like 'granules') and hot water, wash-wash rinse-rinse, maybe finish with some of that wussy liquid "Antibacterial" soap if I want to smell like a flower, and all the black crud is gone.

The best part is that my hands don't hurt, they don't feel chapped and dry, and they're not red.

I don't know why people still use the waterless hand soap crap if there's water handy. Lord knows, you STILL have to wash in water to get the "soap" residue off, and it makes your skin (well, MY skin) burn.

Buy the Boraxo. It's cheaper than dirt. And you don't have to coat your hands with greasy hand lotion, as my father did every working day of his life, just to feel like the skin on your hands maybe won't break if you move your fingers.

Your hands won't stink of petroleum distillates, either. You can go right to the dinner table without smelling like the crank-case of a '49 Chevy pickup, and (also) not have to worry whether there's still some lead residue on the hand you're using to hold the Pillsbury Buttery Dinner Roll.

PS: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. The background in the picture? Yep, that's the notorious BoomerShoot T-shirt.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

U.S. shouldn't have to do tap dance over bugging

U.S. shouldn't have to do tap dance over bugging

Mark Steyn remains one of my all-time favorite political commentators. The New Hampshire British-sounding guy has the gift of finding the nugget in the nuggies and polishing it into an eminently readable argument for survival of Western Civilization.

Here he takes on the DemocRats who would impeach President Bush for taking needful steps to ferret out terrorist snakes before they can strike.

Citing, just for example, the resounding intelligence success which stopped a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge (why didn't they just buy it?), he makes the case for unfettering the hands of the man who we re-elected to protect us from another 9/11.

You do remember 9/11, don't you? I sure do. My clock radio woke me at 7am Pacific Time with continuous news about planes striking the Twin Towers in New York, the skyscrapers in flames, people trapped on the 83rd floor and jumping to their death from fear of being burned alive, the inevitable word that the towers had collapsed into rubble heaps . . . two . . . one . . . zero towers.

I didn't go to work that day. I sat at home alone, listening in horror to the newscasts on the radio. My Darling Daughter called me from San Diego around mid-day, and we talked in hushed voices about the calamity and what it might mean for our country. We had no idea how bad it could be.

Later, we all found out how bad it could be.

We were lucky, if you can call it that. About 3000 people lost their lives, including the people in the three buildings and the passengers in the four airplanes, plus all of the rescue workers caught in the collapse. It could have been worse. Initial estimates were that as many as 50,000 people could have been in the World Trade Center buildings. But it was too early in the day, about 9am Eastern Time, and the shopping crowds hadn't yet gathered in the ground-level malls.

Lucky. Yeah.

The following days gave us a glimpse of national solidarity, as Congress gathered on the Capital Steps to sing "America" and every one said "Never Forget!"

But some of us did forget.

There was a lot of talk about the failure of the intelligence services, and how they SHOULD have known about this threat, but they were forbidden to work together to process and share the information that was, as we now know, readily available.

We changed that. Changed the laws that enforced only the concept that International Terrorism was only a civil or criminal matter. We knew now that we were in a war, a knife-fight for national survival. Never forget.

But some of us did forget.

"Now we are engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

It has nearly come down to that, as politicians play the game for political advantage . . . the Outs furious that they are no longer the Ins, and forgetting that it was their casual, Politically Correct vision of National Security brought us to this National Tragedy.

They no longer foam at the mouth in a vindictive desire to find the people who "did this to us", and to take any necessary measures to prevent a similar recurrence. Instead, they snap at the heels of the Big Dog whose job it is to, as the Constitution requires, insure that we can

. . . establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . .

That's how I feel about it.

Here's how Mark Steyn says it:

It's very hard to fight a terrorist war without intelligence. By definition, you can only win battles against terrorists pre-emptively -- that's to say, you find out what they're planning to do next Thursday and you stop it cold on Wednesday. Capturing them on Friday while you're still pulling your dead from the rubble is poor consolation. For example, in 1988, a British SAS unit shot dead three IRA members on the streets of Gibraltar. The United Kingdom's Joint Intelligence Committee were acting on information that the cell was planning to blow up the changing-of-the-guard ceremony on the Rock. The two men and a woman were subsequently found to be ''unarmed,'' and as a result various civil liberties groups protested and critical TV documentaries were made. But there was no dispute that they were IRA members and that they had bomb-making materials in their car. If the state cannot take action until its sworn enemy uses those materials, it had better be prepared to lose the war.

It shouldn't be necessary to point out the obvious. But, unmoored from reality, wafting happily into fantasy land safe in the hermetically sealed Democrat-media bubble, Sen. Barbara Boxer and her colleagues are apparently considering impeaching the president for eavesdropping on al Qaida calls made to U.S. phone numbers. Surely, even Karl Rove can't get that lucky.

By the way, I'd love to see the witness list for that trial: Muhammad al-Jihad testifying that a week before he blows up a Bali nightclub he always makes a perfectly innocent call to his cousin in Milwaukee to ask how the kids are; Abu Musad al-Zarqawi testifying that he only called Howard Dean to issue a formal complaint about congressional Democrats stealing his rationalizations. Etc.

The Democrats and the media want to upgrade every terrorist into O.J. Simpson, insulated by legalisms and entitled to his own dream team. (Their figleaf, the court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which previously denied not a single request, has turned down hundreds in the years since 9/11.) The practical effect of the Dems' approach is to extend the protections of the U.S. Constitution to any dodgy character anywhere on the planet who has a U.S. telephone number in his Rolodex. Indeed, given that perfectly ordinary cell phones can be used almost anywhere -- this week, I spoke to an American in London by dialing his Washington cell number -- if the Democrats have their way, all terrorist cells in Europe or Pakistan would have to do to put themselves beyond the reach of U.S. intelligence is get a New Jersey-based associate to place a bulk order for Verizon cell phones.

There's more, much more, and you really must read the entire article to appreciate the concise flavor of his proposition that, essentially, desperate times require desperate measures.

And this is, indeed, a desperate time.

There WAS a time when my greatest fear was that my son would be called upon to serve his country by taking up arms in its defense. I did it, in 1968-1970, and I would not wish that on anyone who was not whole-heartedly determined that this was The Right Thing To Do.

I did it, even though I was not "whole-heartedly determined". My family was frightened for my sake during the entire time, perhaps even more frightened than I was. Hard to imagine.

Now I'm even more worried. Even though my son, and my daughter's good husband, will probably NOT be conscripted to fight a war, we have all been so conscripted in a way that is even more fearful.

We don't have a country to fight. We don't even have an open enemy.

Instead we have a nest of vipers who lurk in the shadows, hide amongst honest folk, and only strike at the most vulnerable of us. They have no fear of death, and deprecate us because we love life.

We cannot raise an army, train and arm them, transport them on troop ships to their home country to defeat them in detail. They don't have a home country, they only have malice.

How do we find these pockets of enmity?

You have to know where to look.

How do you know where to look?

Aye, there's the rub. And the very few, the pitifully few weapons we have at our disposal are being taken from us by serpents at our breast. The people whom we chose to protects us in mass have chosen to protect their own vested interests by attacking our leaders.

Oh, go read Mark Steyn. He's much less melodramatic than I am. More convincing as well


Xbox Rage


In Nova Scotia, a man killed a friend because he believed the friend had stolen his 'game console'.

One more justification for "Xbox Control".

Maybe there should be a law against possession of "electronic game players". At least, keep them out of the hands of kids.

Nope, that won't work. The killer was 24, legally "old enough to know better".

I guess the Canuks will just have to put them off-limits to anyone who can't prove he's mentally competent, trained in the safe usage of electronic game players, has a valid REASON for possession of an electronic game player, and can get three citizens to swear to their good repute. Then they'll have to register and license their xbox, and open their home to police inspection to assure that they are keeping their xbox out of the hands of children. You know, like they do with guns.

Perhaps the family of the victim will sue IBM for irresponsible marketting of a dangerous electronic game player. I'd love to see how the Canadian Parliament handles THAT question.

Dang, I'm feeling very dark tonite.

Woman sues cops for shooting her

Macomb Daily : Woman in high-speed chase sues police for shooting her

A woman who was left a paraplegic after being shot several times by Warren police in the moments following a high-speed car chase has accused officers of using excessive force in a lawsuit filed in Macomb County Circuit Court.
The story is complicated, you really need to read the whole article to figure it out. But here's the summary (if I'm capable of boiling down an article, which I doubt.)

Woman gets into a "dispute" at her brother's house. Brother calls cops, says she pointed a gun at him and drove off in her Chevy Malibu. Cops find the Malibu driving down the road, try to pul her over. Woman jackrabbits, reaching speeds of up to 110 miles an hour on the freeway. Cops ahead of her put out 'stop sticks', puncturing her tires. Woman crashes into freeway wall.

Cops approach the wreck, see woman "lying across the front seat with a revolver in her hand". Cops see "smoke or flame" coming out of the barrel of her gun. Cops return fire.

Woman severely wounded (see below) goes to hospital where she's declared a 'paraplegic', eventually. Meanwhile, cops find 400 rounds of ammunition in her car. Woman claimes she kept all of her belongings in the car because she's homeless. Excuse me: "transient".

Here's where it gets complicated.

Woman hires lawyer. Lawyer sues city, saying even though [woman's] brother told police his sister was armed, police "didn't know she had a gun." Also, woman "did not fire her gun first, and even if she did, the police officers' response was excessive."

Brother later tells cops his sister is "bipolar".

Following the incident, Mattera spent 10 months under police guard in William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, where an arm was amputated below the elbow, then spent up to 60 days in a state psychiatric center.
Her later statement was that she saw police at her brothers house:

"There were at least 40 or 50 of them," she says. "I did not know they were there for me. There were so many, why would there be? Then I realized and I got scared and I ran."

She says that after her vehicle crashed on I-696, "I stayed in the vehicle and saw them draw their weapons. I got down in the seat of the car because they drew their weapons. They opened fire and I saw the bullets going in and out of the car. I was hit with quite a few of them. I brought out my pistol and I fired in the air and fired wide, not to hit anybody. I saw that it was doing no good, so I quit doing it. They brought out a shotgun and shot my arm off. That was it. It was over."

Right. Okay, who believe this ding-bat's story? Show of hands? (Oops, sorry lady. You're the only one who believes your story, and you're running out of hands.)

I may sound a little insensitive here. I do believe that the woman (let's call her by her name: Carmen Mattera) was hit in the arm by a shotgun blast, and that's probably the reason she's now considered 'paraplegic' . . . the doctors eventually amputated her arm.

I'm sorry she lost her arm, and was so banged up in the car crash. She had enough problems already, having been diagnosed (as it turns out) as a "
paranoid-schizophrenic" a few years before, and having been in and out of psychiatric treatment for ten years.

Now she's suing the cops who stopped her from whatever her fevered mind would have caused her to do, with her revolver and her eight boxes of ammo. Essentially, her claim is that the cops over-reacted.

No, they didn't.

Reading both sides of the story, and allowing that you can't tell WHAT the truth is by what you read in the newspapers, I'm inclined to believe the cops' version. The woman is a dingbat. She finally stepped over the line and threatened people -- her FAMILY -- with a gun. When the cops tried to stop her, SHE over-reacted. They responded with appropriate force, and it's hard to tell why she lived through the experience. As soon as she pointed a gun at a cop, she had forfeited her right to live in a civilized society.

Sorry, this isn't a simple, amusing story about a dingbat who went goofy and sued the cops who were doing their job. There is no punch line about "she got what she deserved" or ""she did that, and then sued the cops for making her face the consequences of her own bad decisions".

And I'm not going to do the "poor little girl" speech, and tell you that the police should have been more understanding of her problems, or celebrate her psychiatric diversity.

I have some history of dingbats with guns. Their sickness may not have been their fault, but you can't reason with a rabid dog and that's what she was.

Sometimes, the family just can't protect each other from their screwy members. Police are suppose to be psychologists, because the people they meet are often deranged in one way or another. The line is drawn, and rightly, when the people they meet are obviously a threat to the health and life of everyone they meet. You can't reason with them. You can only stop them.

Whatever it takes.

Here's the Bottom Line:

In the lawsuit, Mattera accuses police of "oppression and malice" with "reckless indifference and disregard for the plaintiff's physical welfare, safety, life and liberty."

She says police conspired to cover up police misconduct, and the officers intentionally inflicted emotional distress on her and their actions "went beyond the bounds of decency."

She says the city of Warren exhibited "deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of persons in Warren" by failing to provide proper police response and or stop police from using excessive force.

Oppression and malice? Reckless disregard? Emotional distress? Beyond the bounds of decency? Indifference to rights? Proper response? Excessive force?


This is what her brother must have felt when she pointed a gun at him.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Swedish Bikini Team

How can I have been posting IPSC news for over a year, and never have mentionedImage Hosted by the Swedish Bikini Team?

Just stupid.

There's actually two of them. The 'new' Swedish Bikini Team, seen above, and the Old Swedish Bikini Team.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usHere's the Old Team.

They don't look all that old to me.

The Swedish Bikini Team was best known (to me) for their IPSC participation. Obviously, they had a lot of other activities. There are a lot of Bikini Team websites. You can look them up on your own ... Google works for everyone.

Here's one that emphasizes the IPSC activities of the team.Free Image Hosting at Don't be fooled by the flash and glitter, these ladies DID compete in several shooting matches. I can't tell you whether they did well in competition. Rumor has it that the RO never looked at the trigger finger, and the scorekeeper just wrote down whatever the team members said.

Works for me.

Texas Shoot-Out

Here's a video, and supporting still photos, proving that Cops earn a lot more than they are paid.

The originator (H/T: G-man) suggests that you look at the video before you view the still photos. You can't really do that in this format. But after you have viewed the 4mb video, go back and look at the "after" pictures anyway.

I did, and I thanked God that I don't earn my living by going around with a big bulls-eye painted on my forehead.

I count 38 bullet holes. What's your count?

Warning: obscene language.

Completely justified, I believe.

More information about these pictures has become available since I wrote this.

The still photos of the car were taken after a separate, entirely unrelated shooting incident.

The Gun Zone has the information about the five shot-up-patrol-car photographs. (Note: may load slowly on lo-speed connections.)

H/T: C.T.

Chris wrote to point out that I failed to include the link to the Gun Zone article. That has been done (above), but for emphasis here it is again:

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bandwidth II

SELF-PROMOTING PROPAGANDA: Ignore at your leisure!

A few months ago, I talked about bandwidth , by means of complaining about AOL and dial-up access.

I had some goals:

If this all works out, my email addresses may change in the months to come. I can get rid of the QWEST landline (no loss!), and my AOL connection & email addresses on an unreliable, slow landline (net gain!), and do the computer things I really want to do at a lower cost to me by this time next year.

And I'll still be here next year, posting interesting RKBA and IPSC-related topics as well as this kind of really boring personal crap. But then I'll be able to offer digital MPG files of movies taken at IPSC matches, which includes Candid Camera moments that are worth the price of the ticket all by themselves.
Well, it's 'next year', and I am still here and I AM doing the same old boring stuff.

But I'm doing it faster.

Remember the Six Million Dollar Man?

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him . . . we have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin Jerry the Geek will be that man. Better than he was before, Stronger, Faster . . ."

Okay, so maybe I'm no Better but I'm sure-hell Faster and Stronger.

With my faster internet access, I can do more in less time. One of the problems I use to have (last June, when I was complaining about dial-up access) was that it took me all night to research a topic. I could do internet searches, but the results were so slow that following the links to real information could take all night. Sometimes I grew impatient, and was unwilling to continue my search for data which would either support or disprove my thesis. Consequently, some themes were never completed, and remain to this day in my DRAFT files.

On the other hand, it may be that further research would have revealed the story behind the story, and prevented me from proliferating fallacies. I am reminded most immediately about the story of a deputy sheriff who suffered injuries due to an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound which turned out to be not his fault at all. I characterized as "either the biggest liar, or the luckiest man I've ever heard of" or words to that effect. When the duputy contacted me later and explained the circumstances, I realized that I was misrepresenting him egrigiously and wrote a hasty retraction. Unfortunately, it may be that readers will remember the original canard and not the correction. My bad, entirely, and while it may be personally embarassing for ME, it created a situation which I can never make right. I hope never again to demean an innocent, and this tool (faster access to background material) may help me to realize this goal.

The written word can be cruel, and it matters not if the cruelty is unintended.


The faster internet access has also allowed me to take advantage of web hosting, which has resulted in protecting against broken links to photos (they're on MY web-host server, not somebody else's, so I know they won't disappear).

Thanks to my new best friend and web-host Brian B (whose name I can't spell, according to evidence in Front Sight Magazine), I have been able to store photos and videos of several IPSC matches, and provide them to you on a separate website (Jerry the Geek's Shooting Gallery). Brian was kind enough to install the software necessary to establish a photo gallery, and has been entirely supportive while I bloat his server hard-drives with, at last count, over 2GB of photo content. This photo gallery alone supported my efforts in achieving several goals:
  1. Promote Practical Pistol Competition by showing what IPSC matches look like, for the benefit of people who may be interested in joining but just aren't sure what the Sport is like;
  2. Promote participation of experienced competitors by demonstrating the high quality of stages and matches in the Columbia Cascade Section, using views of actual shooters in actual matches as an example;
  3. Improve training of new shooters, by showing not only the RIGHT way to shoot a stage, but often the WRONG way as an example of what to avoid. (Videos of my own shooting frequently provides the most embarassing examples of the "wrong way", but that's the price you pay when you decide to accept "full disclosure" as a standard. Fortunately, I'm not so committed that I won't edit out my worst stages.)
  4. Reinforce continued participation by experienced shooters by providing photos and videos of their match experiences when they are performing at their very best competitive level. I've been fortunate in that I have been able to include videos of stage winners in 'major matches' (within the Section) at their most glorious moments.
  5. Demonstrate stage designs, and target arrangements, which provide interesting Shooting Challenges that might be used in other matches.
  6. Amuse you and me by illustrating the funny little glitches which are part of the Sport.
Okay, so we're not talking about Steve Austin-level of improviement.

But we're getting a lot closer to being able to provide a valuable service to our readership, and as far as I'm concerned it's worth the expense, the temporary inconvenience, and the steep learning-curve to accomplish an improvement in content.

Besides, it's fun.

Pirates! A History Lesson

Somali piracy is worst in world

I know I've written before (although even I can't find the link, it was in some BLOGMEAT post last year and it's too obscure to find) about the problem of Pirates on the High Seas.

As I recall, the earlier post was a tale of a couple of yachts sailing together in Indonesian waters, who were beset by pirates in small boats. (Indonesia, and the straits, there-in, having been the scourge of the seas for the past hundred years.) The yachts were both equipped with small arms, and between them they managed to provide mutually supportive fire and drove off the pirates with some apparent casualties. That is, casualties to the Pirates, not to the Yachters.

That was then; this is now.

Now, the entirely lawless non-state of Somalia is riding high on the misery of their Tsunami-decimated neighbors and the influx of international aid flowing to them by sea.

Rather than to accept that these mercy ships are bringing much-needed supplies to their brethren in a humanitarian effort, the blackguards (I've waited my whole life to use that word!) are preying upon their fellow citizens, once removed, by ambushing ships which would relieve the suffering in Somalia.

This is the style of predation which led to the "Blackhawk Down" situation under President Clinton's watch; there, American troops had been volunteered in an effort to ensure that international relief supplies were actually delivered to the starving populace. Due to a lack of mission support and true commitment to the goal, not only were supplies of food, medicine and clothing intercepted in a political situation which precluded the American mission from actually accomplishing its goals, but the under-supported American forces were attacked and decimated (literally) by forces of the Somalian warlords. America suffered one of its greatest defeats there, and it was not due to the lack of dedication by the brave warriors who had dedicated themselves to a worthy effort, but by the lack of dedication on the part of the politicians who set the goals.

This was probably one of the most telling events in the promulgation of terrorism in modern times, as the terrorist world subsequently decided that American troops and forces could be attacked safely, because the American forces had not the will to enforce civilized behavior by dint of our obvious strength.

This event was a direct precursor to the 9/11 attacks directly on America, and the loss of thousands of American lives, the undermining of the American economy to the extent of billions of dollars, and the current Jihad of Islamic Extremists against the American Extremists.

(Thank GOD that Al Gore didn't win the 2000 election, or John Kerry the 2004 election, lest these mongrels would be nipping at our homeland heels even yet!)

You can see that, as an indicator of attacks against Western Civilization, piracy is a non-insignificant matter both to America and to Civilization as a whole.

In this latest attack, pirates in small, open boats attempted to attack and, presumably, board and capture, a Cruise Ship in the Indian Ocean off the shores of Somalia. It seems reasonable to assume that the were Somalian "nationals", if such a term is applicable to an outlaw land which has had no national leadership for several years.

To our surprise, the cruise ship fought back. Admittedly, their weapons were non-lethal 'noise generators', and happily these were sufficient.

But what if they were NOT sufficient?
Image Hosted by
Would the cruise ship have had the resources to resort to more lethal defenses? Do cruise ships carry large guns, as traders have historically found necessary to defend themselves against barbarians?

Barbarian: a useful word, denoting (among other things) 'non-civilized' persons. *

It is interesting also in that it suggests a connection to the Barbary Pirates.

The Barbary Pirates were predators in the Mediterranean Sea for a thousand years. In fact, they ruled that body of water even during the period when America, a fledging nation, was expanding its international trans-oceanic trade up to the 19th century. At first the American government was convinced that the best way to handle the pirates (who not only had captured American traders, but had even enslaved American seamen and held them for ransom) was to pay tribute. This did serve to emancipate a few sailors, now and then, but the pirates realized that America was just one more Paper Lion and continued their predations. The effect was that American trade, like that of other sea-faring nations, was constantly subject to pirate attacks until it became obvious that no amount of tribute had the effect of lessening the aggressive behavior of these Tripoli-based "insurgents".

(Do you now see the parallel?)

Finally, in 1801, America decided to discontinue tribute and instead invested its resources in a long and ongoing attack against the barbarian state of Tripoli; a kleptocracy, as is Somalia now a kleptocracy; albeit on a somewhat smaller scale so far.

This wasn't a "short, decisive war" (or "Short, victorious war" as it is often referred to).

Instead, " It was not until 1815 that naval victories ended tribute payments by the U.S., although some European nations continued annual payments until the 1830s."

But in the final act, American shipping was no longer subject to the 'Barbary-an' *(barbarian)* trepidations and, eventually, the whole world was able to free itself from this egregious and bloody battle to ensure safe world-wide trade among civilized nations.

Take a moment and scroll back.

Can you see the analogy between the Barbary Pirates and the Islamo-Fascist terrorism of our modern world? How has the world changed in the past 200 years?

The only changes are in the technology of defense, and the will to defend civilization against barbarism.

Civilized nations now have better weapons to defend itself against barbarians. A single US Naval flotilla could wipe out the Somalia Pirates. Better yet, a policy of arming civilian shipping against pirates could have the same effect at one tenth the cost.Free Image Hosting at
Will 'they' do it? Will civilized nations arm civilian traders (and cruise ships) sufficiently to defend themselves against "three men in a boat"?

Probably not yet. But this is what the world is coming to.

Liberals and liberal nations are determined to insist that it is 'ungentlemanly' (or words to that effect) for civilians to arm themselves in self-defense. In fact, they are loath to allow individuals to arm themselves in self-defense. But we are seeing today that this is necessary. Police cannot protect individuals; nations cannot protect groups; navies cannot protect ships of their own flag!

The time has come when steps must be taken.

Flag-carriers must be armed to defend themselves.

Individuals must be armed to defend themselves.

Those who would argue that civilian defense measures would inhibit the international (via the United Nations) drive to disarm everybody . . . will eventually become extremely uncomfortable living with their head in such an uncomfortably anal position. If the United Nations, individual nations, and local bodies finally are driven by circumstances to admit that they cannot protect their citizens, they will take such measures as are necessary to provide these citizens with the means to defend themselves, or at least ALLOW such self-protection.

It will happen. It is bound to happen, because the only alternative is to continue losing law-abiding citizens to such predations as is typified by the Somalia Pirates.

It won't happen soon, and a lot of good people will die before the politicians decide to get out of the way.

The politicians only need to be thumped resoundingly by the barbarians a few more times, and to find a viable 'exit strategy', to explain away the reasons why they haven't taken such actions before.

I do feel sorry, though, for the innocents who must suffer until they find the courage to do the right thing.

It's always the innocents who suffer from the sins of politicians, isn't it?

CCW in Nebraska?

Nebraska legislatures are still hopeful that they will be able to enact legislation enabling Concealed Carry of Handguns in the 2006 session.

In an Associated Press pre-session survey, 26 of 49 senators said they would favor allowing Nebraskans to carry concealed weapons, while five said they were leaning that way. Eight were opposed to the idea and two were leaning that way. Four were undecided and three did not answer the question. One senator did not participate in the survey
State senators have been trying for TEN YEARS to get this legislation passed, and in the 2005 session they were making good progress on the latest version of the concealed-weapons measure (LB454) but ran out of time.

It was passed out of committee and sent to the floor for debate, but with the legislative session waning, she (Senator Jeanne Combs, the bill's sponsor) made a deal with Speaker Kermit Brashear of Omaha to pull the measure from the agenda.

In return, Brashear committed to scheduling the concealed weapons measure “for full and fair debate” at the beginning of the looming session, which starts Wednesday.
(This article was written on December 30, 2005; that session beginning date, then, would have been January 4, 2006.)

Governor Dave Heineman" supports the concept of legalizing the carrying of concealed weapons but has not taken a position on Combs’ bill."

But there are some potential problems with the bill, and even those Nebraskans who desperately WANT to see CCS enacted have mixed feelings about THIS bill.

Gunscribe of Nebraska, in his From The Heartland blog, lists some of these potential friction points in an article dated February 28, 2005.

  • PRE-EMPTION: there's nothing preventing local government from passing draconian ordnances which prohibit Concealed Carry in their town or county.
  • TRAINING REQUIREMENTS are not specified. The Nebaska State Patrol is responsible for establishing the requirements, and that department may be able to change requirements unilaterally even after they have been established.
  • TIME LIMIT FOR ISSUANCE has also not been addressed, as it often is in other states. For example, in Oregon a county sheriff has a limited period (I believe it is 30 days) to perform a background check, and if at the end of that period no cause to prevent issuance has been established the sheriff SHALL ISSUE a permit.
  • RECIPROCITY/RECOGNITION: no reciprocity with other states has yet been addressed.
These are all important points, and I agree that they should all be addressed before the measure reaches its final form. But are they so 'egrigious' (in the words of Gunscribe) that they should generate active opposition from the gun-owners of Nebraska?

Several (February 09, 2005), Gunscribe had called it a "Broke Bill". This doesn't look good for passage of ANY CCW bill in Nebraska.

However, on April 23, 2005, Gunscribe wrote another article where he asked whether LB454 is "a good law". In answer to the question whether "any bill (permitting CCW) is better than no bill at all", he reiterates his concern, and his outrage that his home state should treat its citizens "like first graders while the rest of the country is already in high school".

Then he finishes the article thus:

Having said all that;

The problem is that there is just not enough interest in CCW by the citizens of Nebraska to pass a good law. That means that a law like this has to be the starting point. Over a period of time, a large part of the population of Nebraska will aquire a license/permit and they will become more interested in the subject.

This interest will make the citizens aware of the differencess (sic) between Nebraska and the other states. Nebraskans, at that point will wake up to the fact that they are under a thumb of oppression not felt in other states. Then and only then will this realization morph into a grassroots effort that it will take to make a silk purse out of the sow's ear that is LB454.

It was with this realization that I, and several other very good people sat before the judiciary committe and testified on behalf of this bill.

Good law? NO, but it is probably the only way to get the ball rolling in a positive direction.
(Emphasis added)

Since Gunscribe has not only decided NOT to oppose passage, and in fact has actively testified for its passage, the bill may have a good chance of being enacted this year, even admitting that it is flawed.

In May, he wrote extensively about state-wide opposition to the bill (primary coming from state legislators and the Lincoln Journal Star) , noted that 33 votes are needed to bring cloture and were not yet guaranteed, and that the bill had already, AT THIS EARLY DATE, been tabled for the 2006 legislature. (There were only 14 days left in the session as of the May 12 date of this article.)

I don't know about you, but I'm already confused. I can't keep track of the ball, and I don't know the players. So I decided that, rather than to obfuscate the issue further by trying to follow the action, I would ask the local expert.

I've contacted Gunscribe through his website and asked him to comment on the bill either here or by email to me directly. I hope he will be able to update the situation, and comment on the possibility of the measure being enacted into law, either with or without amendment, in the 2006 session.

When I hear from him, I'll be sure to let you know.