Thursday, September 18, 2008

SNL - Chevy Chase Wants Tina Fey to 'Decimate' Sarah Palin

Okay, it's National Politics Night on Cogito Ergo Geek.

Chevy Chase Wants Tina Fey to 'Decimate' Sarah Palin

I think this is one of the most timely, brilliant sketches that Saturday Night Live has ever presented ... without Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Land Sharks, Killer Bees, or "Wild and Crazy Guys".

Chevy Chase is, of course ... Too Retro To Live.

Change we don't need

(Must ... control ... the ... fist ... of ... death.)

Obama campaign rep STUMPED on legislative accomplishments

I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist.

H/t: Big Dawg

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ryan Frederick - Predator or Victim?

Another Drug Raid Nightmare: The railroading of Ryan Frederick - Reason Magazine

I'm "Late to the Party" on this topic, and the situation is so complex that I can't make sense of it without giving you the background in excruciating detail.

Since I've spent the last 2 hours following the thread of this story (which started about 9 months ago in January, 2008), the best I can do for you is to provide the intro, and the links, and let you follow the breadcrumbs.

The primary source is Reason, which I consider a responsible on-line magazine. A word of caution: there are under stories which you may discover, as I did, as you read. Note that I don't always agree with Reason, and my inclusion of their source material should not be interpreted as an endorsement of their position. It is, after all, an "Opinion Magazine". I'll show the links as I followed them originally, for the sake of brevity.

(H/T: Captain of a Crew of One)

Another Drug Raid Nightmare
The railroading of Ryan Frederick

March 18, 2008

Imagine you're home alone.

It's 8 p.m. You work an early shift and need to be out the door before sunrise, so you're already in bed. Your nerves are a bit frazzled, because earlier in the week someone broke into your home. Oddly, they didn't take anything; they just rifled through your belongings.

But the violation weighs on your mind. At about the time you drift off, you're awakened by fierce barking from your two large dogs. You hear someone crashing into your front door, as if he's trying to separate it from its hinges. You grab the gun you keep for home defense and leave your room to investigate.

This past January that scenario played out at the Chesapeake, Virginia, home of 28-year-old Ryan Frederick, a slight man of little more than 100 pounds. According to interviews since the incident, Frederick says when he looked toward his front door, he saw an intruder trying to enter through one of the lower door panels. So Frederick fired his gun.

The intruders were from the Chesapeake Police Department. They had come to serve a drug warrant. Frederick's bullet struck Detective Jarrod Shivers in the side, killing him. Frederick was arrested and has spent the last six weeks in a Chesapeake jail.

He has been charged with first degree murder. Paul Ebert, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, has indicated he may elevate the charge to capital murder, which would enable the state to seek the death penalty.
Here's the background, and remember that this is almost single-source:

Ryan Frederick is a single man, living alone in a rented house home that he owns. He comes home from work and after going to bed he hears someone breaking through his front door. He see nothing he can interpret logically, he hears nothing apart from the sound of breaking wod, but because his garage was broken into 3 days ago ("they stole nothing but messed around with his stuff") he immediately assumes that this is a Home Invasion.

He retrieves his bedside gun and fires through the door. He hits the intruder, killing them.

The intruder is a detective on the local (Virginia) police force.

The detective is part of a LEO team engaged in a "No Knock" entry on the home of a suspected drug dealer.

The police have a warrant, based on a confidential informant who, 3 days earlier, had entered Ryan's detached garage and reported that he had "grow lamps, digital scales" and other Marijuana-growing supplies and equipment. The police were under the impression that Ryan was a Marijuana grower.

There is no documented evidence that the police had made an effort to establish that Ryan was Dealer. They found no equipment which is specific to Marijuana cultivation: Ryan's neighbors confirm that he is a "gardener" and has, among other plants, a Japanese Maple (which, in early growth stage, exhibits green leaves suggesting a Marijuana plant. The small tree is found planted in his yard.

The police have a dead officer (body armor was worn by all police); the dead policeman was found to have been hit by a single shot through the arm and under the arm, into an area which was not protected by the body armor.

A .380 pistol was found on the premises, along with three (?) empty cartridges. Also, as a recent development, an empty cartridge case in .223 caliber was found. This has not as yet been satisfactorily explained.

The police contend that they announced that they were police. The neighbors, some of whom were outside and observing he entry, state that they did not hear the announcement. Because Ryan stated that he was in bed, going to sleep, could/would he have heard the announcement?

We don't know this, and we don't know a lot of the nuances of the event.

One recent development (June, 2008) is that the 'confidential informant' was a man named 'Stephen'. He was dating the sister of Ryan's fiance', and seemed to have "issues" with Ryan. Stephen is also a felon, and he seemed to have effected the earlier entry in company with another felon, 'Reggie', who has a record of prior arrests.

Ryan has no record of prior arrests, but his family and neighbors admit that he was a recreational user of Marijuana ... although no evidence (other than a small amount of Marijuana on the premises) exists to support the supposition that he either grew Marijuana nor sold Drugs of any kind.

Here is s summary of links from Reason; the latest entry is in June of 2008.

May 29, 2008: testimony in the case.

September 10, 2008: the latest commentary I can find on the case.

September 16, 2008: A blog article on the case.

September 17, 2008: GOOGLE search results on "Ryan Frederick"

What's the Real Story?

I don't know. The courts don't know. The courts don't know. The police aren't telling. The dead policeman is a victim, but a victim of what? We don't know.

The 'perpetrator', Ryan Frederick, is a victim, but a victim of what? We don't know.

Before today, I wasn't even aware of this situation. I have no perspective to offer.

You'll just have to choose whether to ignore it, or to follow it. That's what I'm doing, too.

That's the same situation we find ourselves in the Olofson Case (see here and here).

That's also the same situation we find ourselves in the Campeos and Ramos Case (see here and here.)

For that matter, that's the same situation we find ourselves in Akins Accelerator case (see here and here.)

Before we go overboard listing similar cases, it seems reasonable to ask what are the common denominators in these situations?

The common denominator is that these are situations where a private individual finds himself overwhelmed by a Public agency ... the ATF, a local police force ... whatever.

Somehow, we (the citizens) have found ourselves the victims of them (the government). This wasn't the way it was suppose to be, but we now must of necessity defend ourselves against the predations of our own 'public servants'.

I'm not even going to try to justify the awkward situation of "Red's Trading Post". (search here, see denouement here?)
UPDATE: 19-OCT-2008
Rick of IFAQ has more current information about the Prosecutor requesting a change of venue.

Also, applied the correction about home ownership provided by Don Tabor

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Science Proves Exotic Cars Turn Women On

Science Proves Exotic Cars Turn Women On | Autopia from

"A study commissioned by a phallically named insurance company proves beyond all doubt that the unbridled roar of an Italian supercar turns women on but the soft purr of a fuel-efficient econobox doesn't stimulate anyone's MPG-spot.

David Moxon subjected 40 men and women to the sounds of a Maserati, Lamborghini and Ferrari, then measured the amount of testosterone in their saliva. He found everyone had higher levels of the stuff -- a measure of their arousal -- after hearing the revving exotics, but the amount the women had was off the charts.

The econobox, however, left everyone colder than a January day in Nome."

We didn't need "a study commissioned by a phallically named insurance company" to know this. We knew it when the 1963 Chevy Impala SS came out with the 409CI inch engine in deep red convertible models with the four-on-the-floor ... and impressive rolled-and-tucked Naugahyde in the roomy back seat.

Nice to know that our intuitive understanding of 'what makes chicks sing' is confirmed by The Industry, though.

Intolerance thrives in Palin's PNW

Intolerance thrives in Palin's Pacific Northwest | Philadelphia Inquirer | 09/14/2008

The Philly Inkky has a fascinating opinion piece by a "Catherine McNicol Stock".
Catherine McNicol Stock is chair of the history department at Connecticut College and author of "Rural Radicals: Righteous Rage in the American Grain"

Among her quotes in this 1000-word ... article:

There is no evidence that Palin was ever affiliated with white-supremacist groups during her years in Idaho or at home in Alaska. On the other hand, the beliefs of ultraconservative, evangelical churches like her family's come dangerously close to those of the Christian Identity movement of those years. Likewise, Palin's husband was a member of a political party whose members favored secession for Alaska, suggesting an affiliation with radical antistatism. [emphasis added]
The theme here is, that there are Radical Militants in the six states of the Pacific North West (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington) and since these are Bad People, anyone who lives in this area is tainted with the extremism which they exemplify.

Go read the article and find a more lenient ... or at least less accusatory ... interpretation.

Then read the comments (106 comments during the 3 days since it was published, as of this date).

Even the Liberals are opposed to the tone and conclusions of this article.

If you don't like that, watch "How Modern Liberals Think" ... 45:55 minutes on
YouTube. But generally worth the time.

(H/T - Kim: Lennonism I and Lennonism II)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Catherine at Albany: September, 2008

Last weekend I went to a match.

How many times have I started an article this way? Not enough times. There are never enough matches, never enough variations on the theme. I love this game, and my friends are usually the people who enjoy it with me.

This is no different from many of the preceding articles. The weather was perfect for IPSC competition ... sunny, warm, a slight breeze enough to keep the climate temperate (as opposed, I guess, to "enough rain to keep the dust down" considering that this is, after all, The Pacific NorthWet. Sometimes late summer is sufficiently similar to late Spring to extend the desirable shooting season.)

I can use any available excuse to declare any given day "perfect shooting weather", without apology.

It wasn't raining, the wind wasn't blowing down the steel targets, the masking tape stuck to the cardboard targets (which weren't shrouded by plastic bags to keep the rain out), and the competitors weren't similarly shrouded in rain jacket and trousers. What more could I ask?

We like to find the 'different things' to make one match stand out.

This weekend, the "different thing" was that Catherine was carrying a 5" 1911 in an IWB holster, shooting in the Single-Stack Division (8-round magazine limit, holster and magazine carriers receded). As everyone knows, IPSC will get you killed because we don't typically compete in a defensive mode.

Catherine has been competing at local USPSA matches for less than a year now. She and her Partner, Jerry (not me, Some Other Infidel), are always friendly and eager to chat.

Sometime when talking to Catherine, you will hear her say: "Do you carry?" I can't say that she/they use USPSA matches as training for Concealed Carry skills, but this is the first time when I've seen Catherine in CHL mode.

When I noticed her IWB (Inside Wast Band) holster, I asked Catherine about it. How comfortable was it to carry on a daily basis? (Note that this image and link are included as "typical" IWB holsters; I have no reason to believe that this specific holster was the one she used.)

"I use to carry a 4" pistol, but I wanted to try the five inch. It turned out that it was no more difficult to carry than the four inch. With the shirt-tail out, you can't see it" she said, as she un-tucked her shirt-tail to demonstrate.

"Yes", I commented. "It adds a little bulk to your hip silhouette on the right side, but a casual observer would have to be looking very closely to notice the difference. It seems effective, but what about the extra weight?"

Catherine didn't seem concerned about the weight, and we didn't have time to really discuss topics such as fatigue generated by all-day concealed carry of a five inch 1911, because she asked "do you carry?" ... and I was on the defensive. (I have the CHL, but I don't carry ... it's an Academia thing, you wouldn't understand without a long discussion. I suspect that Catherine wasn't buying my apologia.)

I watched her on several stages, and the IWB holster carry didn't seem to affect her performance significantly. Note that she is still in the competitive level where she shoots slowly and deliberately, with much emphasis on accuracy.
(In the excellent match presented this weekend by Mike McCarter, this was an exercise in tactics as many stages required accurate shooting in preference to 'fast shooting', as the video demonstrates.)
The photos illustrate the holster. The video illustrates the use of the holster only at the end of the stage, since the starting position requires the pistol to be placed on a table, loaded (not propped.)

Sorry, I don't have match results yet. However, the video has been loaded on YouTube and is presented below. Also, it is available as a 10mm download here.