Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Air Marshal Shoots Suspect in Miami

I just heard on the car radio (I'm in NY this week) that apparently a flight from Columbia landed in Miami. After the flight landed, a man on the flight "brandished" a bag that he said contained a bomb and went running towards the cockpit--the air marshal attempted to stop him. Somehow (not made clear by the broadcaster) once the man was outside the plane, he reached into the bag at which point the marshal had not choice but to shoot him. The suspect is dead. No word yet on weather or not there actually was a bomb in the bag.

A couple of my friends were trainers for an Air Marshal program a couple of years ago. It appears that they did their job well.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Turkey Day Turkey

(Via Volokh) Got the Puritan blues - The Boston Globe shows, once again, that stupid people live in Massachusetts. D-U-M-B, stupid. As in stupid asshat.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tacoma Mall Shooting

What I don't get is that no one--not even the 11-year Army veteran--was carrying concealed at the mall?!!

Washington is a shall issue state. I'm ALWAYS carrying at that mall. (And anywhere else that it's legal to do so.)

As usual the P-I's (Probably Incorrect) reporting is a bit off too. The food court is not in front of J.C. Penny's. It's at least 100 yards from J.C. Penny's to the hallway intersection that leads to the Food Court, which is another 100 yards further down that corridor.

If you live in a state that recognizes your Second Amendment right, by all means, avail yourself of the opportunity. Not just for the safety of yourself and your loved ones, but it's the duty of responsible citizens to contribute to the safety of their communities as well.

Not to go off half-cocked, but make sure that you are trained to use your side arm and don't go looking for a fight. Hopefully, you'll never have to draw a weapon in such a situation. But if it is warranted, be prepared.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Singapore Sling

OSM News covers an AP story about an Aussie (named Nguyen) that is facing death for a drug trafficking conviction.

Two points...

First, when are dumbass drug smugglers going to get the hint that trafficking in drugs in SE Asia is a very, very bad idea?!! How dense--or mebbe high?--do ya have to be to strap some heroin to yer keister and hop on a flight to Kuala Lumpur/Singapore/Bangkok? Spell it with me kiddies,
A-M-S-T-E-R-D-A-M. Get it?

Second, Sinapan Samydorai, a spokesman from local civic rights group Think Centre contributes the following.
The government here seems to be unnecessarily cruel without any mercy given to those who have made an honest mistake. Why not give the person a second chance?
Strapping 384 GRAMS of heroin to your butt and your luggage is NOT a honest mistake.

Grabbing a bag that looks just like yours, but that is stuffed with drugs--THAT is an honest mistake. Mr. Nguyen made a choice. Even, if as reported, it was to help his brother--it was an extremely poor choice.

Murtha Fogger

The Astute Blogger has the call for the apparent game of political dodgeball that Murtha and Pelosi are playing.

He refers to it as "MurthaGate", I prefer "Murtha Fogger".

(Incidental to a link from AlarmingNews about the launch of ORM.)


(Via Power Line)
Here's is a petition to sign that calls for the Congress to shut up and put up.

Excerpt: "We the undersigned believe it is time to unite this country. These baseless political attacks must stop. We are at war! 160,000 US Armed Forces are in Iraq fighting and winning. They deserve better. We call on Democratic leaders to stop the attacks on the President and our troops. And we call on Republicans in Congress to do a better job of stopping these attacks and stand with the President and our troops as well!

We will deliver this petition the day of the Presidents next State of the Union address in 2006.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sacre bleu!

Instapundit has an update on UNSCAM--the Oil-For-Food scandal at the UN.

France, Russia, and China are in up to here with Saddam and Annan.

I wonder where else they've lain down with dogs.

Poor Chirac must've been disappointed that he couldn't figure out a way to participate in the Sino-Russian Military Exercises recently with his partners in crime.

Shoot me now, please.

Barbara Boxer is ramblin' on on Fox...seems we're just falling apart.
Iraq, the deficit, the hurricanes, we're doomed.

I have to believe it's spin...she cannot actually believe that the majority of the Republican party really wants a more moderate Associate Justice on SCOTUS, can she? If Sen. Boxer's take is representative of her party's core values, then Glenn Reynolds is's not so much that the Republicans are strong, it's that they suck less. A lot less in this case.

I liked Miers' apparent support for the Second Amendment. It happens to be my touchstone for elections, appointments, and life in general. It's the main reason that I'll be voting for Condi Rice in '08 instead of Giuliani. I love Rudy, but I just can't support anyone who supports gun control. I really can't think of any likely candidates that I can get behind...unfortunately I'll probably have to write her in.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The World Just Stopped Spinning

OK, ok, ok, ok, ok.....

Alan Dershowitz and Ann Coulter just AGREED regarding the (as yet) lack of indictments regarding the Valerie Plame case!! (This on Neal Cavuto's show on Fox.)

Holy Crap!! I even agreed with Prof Dershowitz' self-admitted Libertarian slant. He actually said that his Libertarian bent "trumps" his Liberal leanings! (OK, it's just in relation to the Plame/Libby/Rove thang, but still!)

I'm dizzy...must go drink Java...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

John Stossel and Crooks On Guns

RealClearPolitics - Commentary - Myths About Gun Control By John Stossel shows gun control is not effective in controlling the access of criminals to guns.

Check it out for Rev. Al Sharpton's ridiculous comment.

Go buy a gun. Learn how, and when, to use it. Carry.

Have a nice day.

(I'm currently carrying a SIG-Sauer P226, 9mm with a 15-rnd magazine.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Once again, with feeling...

In TCS: Tech Central Station - Over-Humanizing the Enemy Dr. Helen Smith (AKA the Insta-wife) addresses the perils involved in approaching our enemies with empathy and compassion.

Indeed, as a forensic psychologist, Dr. Smith has found that father-rapers and child-killers of the most violent sort only respond (positively) to a show of strength--coddling them and caving in to their demands only makes the ultimate consequences deadly.

This article first appeared over a year and a half ago. It's time to refresh our memories.

Woo-hoo Two!!

Apple - iMac G5 is here!! iSight camera built into frame, thinner overall, faster processor, new software (Front Row!!)!


Go, drool, buy.


Apple - iPodis here!!! The video iPod is here!! The video iPod is here!!
Did I mention that the video iPod is here!!

Why are you still here? Go...LOOK!...drool...

Still livin' in the Ukraine

Sound Politics: October 2005 Archives suggests that the corrupt election officials are still at it. They're not releasing logs that may show that computer records for the coup, ahem, election were altered after the fact.

Well, the First Amendment hasn't done the job so far...what's the next amendment again?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hanlin's New eBook has the poop on the new Hanlin eBook Model V2. An alternative to the Sony LIBRIe, the eBook doesn't appear to incorporate DRM.

Now how far through War and Peace can you get before the power runs out?

Of Mice and Men...Mutants, that is...

Wired has an article about the incredible ability of some altered mice to regenerate damaged tissue.

These mice have regenerated amputated digits, damaged heart, liver, and brain tissue and have even passed this newly acquired ability on to their offspring!!

Even more amazing, when researchers injected normal mice with cells from the mutant regenerators the normal mice gained the ability to regenerate!!

Looks like these mice are the first live version of the Marvel X-Men's Wolverine. Look out, Kitty...

Microsoft subs "Blogcast" for "Podcast"

(Via The Cult of Mac Blog)

Pretty much closing the barn after the horses have fled, Microsoft employees avoid using "Podcast" and sub the term "blogcast". (This is attributed to the Seattle Post-Intelligence also known as the Seattle PI...of course, here in the Pac NW many consider that to represent Probably Incorrect.)

Now, call me kooky, but it's called a podcast because you send the content to an iPod. As in broadcast, where you cast the content broadly. Notice the content itself isn't addressed, just the destination of transmission.

"Blogcast" suggests the type of content (one doesn't send the content typical of a podcast to a blog, after all) rather than the destination.

More importantly, how do they expect me to watch a blogcast on my iPod shuffle?

Besides, how does Microsoft think all the window manufacturers felt after they came out with Windows waaaaay back when? Did Andersen and Pella shift their product marketing from "windows" to "Planely Transparent"? Nope.

Strangely, I can't find any official Microsoft podcasts on the iTunes podcasting site. Mebbe there's something in their Communist-Dictatorship-Friendly blog portal...

Pigoen Poo Pegs Poor Parisian Powerbook!

A Parisian Powerbook pegged by pigeon poo in the Jardin Du Luxembourg.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Podcasts rock!!

Apple's newest version of iTunes provides a seamless interface to manage your subscriptions to podcasts. It's amazing for its simplicity and its built-in index of current podcasts. Everything from the President's Weekly Radio Address (formerly known as Podcast One) to some guy named Al Franken.

I subscribe to the Battlestar Galactica (presented by the executive producer), Halo 2 Podtacular, and a variety of other podcasts.

As a matter of fact, I have pretty much managed to recover the much-lamented loss of Tech TV's Call For Help and The Screen Savers, both of which did not survive the transition to G4 TV. It's called, "This Week In Tech" or "TWiT". (You can also access it from Leo's website--follow the link from his name, below.)
From the description:
Join Leo Laporte, Patrick Norton, Kevin Rose, John C. Dvorak, and other tech luminaries in a roundtable discussion of the latest trends in high tech. Winner of People's Choice Podcast and Best Technology Podcast in the 2005 People's Choice Podcast Awards. Released every Sunday at midnight Pacific.

In addition Leo LaPorte's KFI 640 AM (L.A.) radio show is available, commercial free and Kevin Rose and Alan Albrecht have two sets of podcasts. I say, "sets", because they have audio-only versions and VIDEO versions of both Systm and Diggnation. Check out their homepage Revision 3 which some people say refers to Tech TV being Rev One and G4 being Rev Two.

I'm even subscribing to a Chinese class and a French class, both via podcasts!

What has the Space Program/NASA/ISS/Space Shuttle done for us?

CNET has the goods on a new breakthrough in the production of stem cells that may eliminate the whole embryonic stem cell controversy.

(H/T Instapundit)

Microgravity technology developed by NASA can multiply stem cells from a newborn's blood in large enough quantities to be used to regenerate human tissue, London scientists have found.

Telomerase and Stem Cells

Via Instapundit.

By making mice grow furrier coats, researchers have discovered that an enzyme known to serve as a last-ditch defense against cancer also activates adult stem cells, which the body uses to repair its tissues.

The insight could lead to new treatments for certain diseases, possibly even promoting hair growth in animals other than mice.

The research, reported by Steven E. Artandi and colleagues at Stanford University in Nature today, shows that adult stem cells can be activated by an enzyme called telomerase.

The finding is surprising because telomerase is well known in a quite different context, protecting against tumors by limiting the number of times a cell can divide. The new findings put the enzyme astride two major biological pathways, one that promotes the growth of new cells for maintaining tissues and the other that prevents the excessive growth that leads to tumors.

Telomeres have previously been thought to play a role in aging. They are structures on a genetic level that seem to reduce with each successive generation. In other words, they may be the "timer" that determines how long a given cell will continue reproducing. Telomerase evidently is the enzyme that reduces telomeres. This newly discovered role (activating adult stem cells) may provide a solution to slowing or stopping aging at the cellular level.

When Dolly, the cloned sheep, was created, the scientists discovered that her cells' telomeres were lacking the length that an actual 'newborn' sheep has. This suggests that clones of adult cells inherit the length of telomere that the donor cell possesses at the time of donation. (Philip Dick may have been prescient in Blade Runner, otherwise known as "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?".)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mushroom Clouds - has an excerpt from Max Boot of the L.A. Times,
"It is hard to imagine how many more GIs and Tommies would have perished in 1944-45 had Anglo-American leaders flinched from using all the means at their disposal to hasten the end of the war. Indeed, if the U.S. had staged a blood-drenched invasion of Japan while holding back its atomic arsenal, President Truman would have been indicted for that decision too."

Actually, per the History Channel, our invasion plan for Japan called for the use of atomic bombs to clear an avenue of approach for our invading force to follow into the interior of Honshu! They were oblivious to the dangers of radiation back then and our troops would probably have ultimately succumbed to the exposure too. So, we would have used more atomic bombs in the course of an invasion of Japan than we did.

What is little known is that there was a coup attempt by the senior generals in Japan at the end. They did not want to surrender and took control of the country/armed forces. They had no plans to surrender even after both atomic bombs were dropped!

Ultimately, a conventional bombing raid by the US in the NW part of Honshu serendipitously eliminated the leaders of the coup, control reverted to the emperor, and Japan surrendered.

Furthermore, the Japanese had plans to attack San Francisco with a radiological "dirty" bomb on August 17th, 1945. There is speculation that had they succeeded the Bay Area would be uninhabitable even today. Fortunately for us, the required radioactive elements (heh, heh) for the attack were coming on a U-boat from Nazi Germany and were surrendered to the US by the U-boat commander. This was only after Germany had surrendered and the Commander decided to not continue the mission.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New SCOTUS Appointment

Fox News is reporting that John Roberts of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will be President Bush's pick to replace Justice O'Connor on the SCOTUS.

There is an interesting precedent set by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R, UT) during the appointments of Ruth Bader-Ginsberg (former lawyer for the ACLU) and Justice Breyer by President Clinton. Although the appointees were at the other end of the philosophical spectrum of the Senator (and a great many other Senators), both were overwhelming approved by the Senate. Justice Bader-Ginsberg received a 99-0 vote for her confirmation.

Here is the DOJ bio for Roberts. And here is a Law.Com article about the presumptive nominee. (H/T to ConfirmThem.)

Congressional Quarterly has a good summary of the confirmation process and history.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S

This is the car that my wife wants. Well, the burgundy and black version anyway. Guess it's time for a tip jar.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Iraq War Fatalities

This interactive map illustrates where all of the coalition casualties have occured in Iraq. After it has loaded, uncheck all of the country boxes. Then, go through them one by one and look at who is doing the work.

(H/T Instapundit)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ukraine West

Sound Politics has a bunch of good Puget Sound stuff. The Dems are still carrying on as if there was a legitimate gubenatorial election last fall.

Asshat? LMAO!

Instapundit , as usual, has tons of great stuff...make sure you get to the asshat comment...the Prof has a way with words.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

France, 'non' Turkey?

(HT to Instapundit)

John O'Sullivan of the Chicago Sun-Times, has a larger view of the looming European crisis.

The 'Non' vote in France this past weekend was really a 'Oui' for more socialism, more welfare handouts, and a shift away from Chirac's right-wing party. (Thanks to my brother-in-law, Hori, a naturalized Parisian, for explaining this to me.)

Consider that folks, in France Chirac is considered to the right because he's a de Gaullist. Here, he'd be left of Bill Clinton.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Originally uploaded by sashasdoc.
Note the addition of the black helmet and vest for the fallen members of the press.

Memorial Day

The following is an e-mail from a mate who served in Vietnam and continues to do so--as a civilian--in Iraq.

"I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means...."
--John Adams

Good Morning from Baghdad,

I wanted to take a few minutes and tell you all that I hope you will have a Happy, Healthy and Safe Memorial Day Weekend. I realize to many Americans all that it represents is three days off from work and the herald of the summer vacation season.

Since most of you are "Warriors" (or the Family of) in you own right; and since most of you have served in the Military (or have Family that does) I would hope this weekend would be a little more. Please remember all the Troops and those "old-timers" (like me & my mates) who support them here (and in Afghanistan, the Korean DMZ) and hundreds of other places around the world & who are in "Harm's Way" this week end.

The operational tempo here is incredibly high as we have on-going or are opening new major anti-insurgency operations (that have been posted in the press in the last few days). For all of us it will be business as usual; there will be no picnics or parades.

The Marines & Soldiers out in western Iraq (Anbar Province) & many here in Baghdad and the northern Camps live and work in very Spartan conditions. For them a clean place to sleep,clean uniforms, a piece of ice or cold drink, hot meal, hot cup of coffee in the morning is often a fantasy. They live in conditions every bit as tough as the Vietnam era Fire Support Bases & Special Forces "A-Camps". Also for some of them this weekend will be their last. They don't whine or complain they drive on.

Please remember all who have gone before them since our great Nation's Birth and the sacrifices they have made (many gave "The Last Full Measure of Devotion"). Without them (the kids of today and those fallen before them) you would not have this weekend. Remember too all those with broken bodies and spirits from all of these outings; many who languish in Military Medical Centers (like Walter Reed Army Medical Center or Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Washington, D.C.) or Veterans Administration Domiciles across the US. Many who have no Families or "nobody wants" anymore. It is because of all of them; you and I have the job opportunities, nice houses, cars, or freedom to worship (or not if you choose) that we do.

This includes the Freedom of the Press- I often hear a lot of bad stuff about the Press Corps; but I have seen many honest Journalists and their "Shooters" (Camera-Men and Women like Sharon & Maya & others I have come to know.). More of them have been killed or badly wounded in the twenty-six months of this conflict than during the fifteen plus years of the US War in Vietnam/SE Asia. For our Democracy to work someone has to get our Government to remain honest and accountable to those they serve. Please remember that there are many good ones who are driven to get out the truth.

Many of them report the issues they are not responsible for what the issues may be. I can't help but think our Founding Fathers were smart enough to figure all of this out when they wrote our great Constitution and Bill of Rights. It's certainly not perfect but it is still working and is still one of the greatest documents ever drafted by human minds & hands. If we are such a bad place to live then I would suggest you come here and get one of these $5-$10/day jobs digging ditches, handling garbage or raw sewage with your bare hands while they are still available. If we are such a bad place then why do most of the poor of the world want that miraculous little "Green Card"? Why do they want to come to our shores?

For me personally; it's always a long weekend- because I have been blessed to live a life and have walked in the shadows of some truly great men; I have had the honor to have known and worked with six of the Special Forces & Infantry Medal of Honor Recipients. I have been blessed to live all my today's because many of my friends and absent comrades gave up all their tomorrow's. For many of you who have been there and done that I am sure you understand- and share the guilt I feel. I know that none of them would want that; but still that it how it is.

Please take care of yourselves; my best to you and your Families. Please don't forget to take a few minutes of silent reflection tomorrow at 15:00. Please pray to the God or Higher Power of your choice and belief system for all the Fallen; and remember that "Freedom Is Not Free".

De Oppresso Liber,

Doc Rakofsky Sends-

PS: This is a hyperlink I have sent to most of you before... It came my way thanks to SGM (Ret) Tony Bell an old SF Friend/Brother whose Dad was also SGM Bell of the US Army's SF; who I had the good fortune to have known in Nam and during his days as a Police Officer after retirement. I think it's well done, very moving and worth a re-visit this Memorial Day. It may give you an insight into the level of toil & sacrifice here by Our Troops... God Bless & Keep You All.

Click on the title to this post to follow the hyperlink that Doc sent.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Future of TV?

Systm may be the next big thing. Check out the newest step in the evolution of on screen entertainment.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Soldier & Dying Child

Soldier & Dying Child
Originally uploaded by sashasdoc.
A friend working in Iraq sent this in an e-mail.

Hey Ya'll,

Here's a moving picture of a young Army Ranger-Infantryman consoling a
critically injured child after one of the many recent suicide car bombings
here. Shortly after the picture was taken the child died; and the Soldier
sat down and openly wept. I have a thirty-eight year old photo at home of a
big Afro-American Combat Medic in Vietnam holding a tiny Vietnamese orphan
child and the caption on it says: "Nobody ever asked me what good I did;
all they wanted to know was how many people I killed?"...

Doc-Ski Sends

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Coke VS. Pepsi

OK. For a while now I've noticed what appears to be a deeper division than Red VS Blue. Actually, it may just be the same philosophical collision writ large on a commercial scale.

I've noticed that there is a correllation between major commercial brand names and the political philosophy of their respective consumers. Furthermore, those that lean to the Left prefer brands with five (5) letters in the name, while Right leaning counterparts seem to prefer competing brands that have four (4) letters in their names. (An interesting aside is that Left has four letters and Right has five, but that's just to balance the Karma.)

For example, I present the following for your amusement and enlightenment:

Ford VS Chevy (Short for Chevrolet, I know...sounds French.)
Coke VS Pepsi
Colt VS Glock (Glock, USA, not the Austrian home company.)
Dell VS Apple (OK, I'm writing this on an iBook, but I'm an independent Libertarian.)
Jack (Mr. Daniels) VS Crack (the generic brand)
Army (or Navy) VS Peace Corps (Double 'fiver'!)
Dish VS cable
Bush VS Kerry (Not brands, strictly speaking, but come on!)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Pope John Paul II

So, it's been a while since I posted here. My wife and I were following the pontiff's death and funeral on the TV.

I was raised a Lutheran, but now the closest label to my "religion" is probably that of 'lapsed Buddhist'. I actually find a great many problems with present Roman Catholic doctrine. (On the other hand, I am regularly amused by American Catholics constant 're-interpretation' of those doctrinal issues that are disagreeable to them. When do democratic principles usurp orthodox articles of faith?)

Although I personally do not agree with many tenets of the Roman Catholic faith, I very much respected the Pope for sticking to his principles throughout his Papacy. As one well known protestant quipped, "That Pope can really Pope!"

His election is the first I can recall watching as a youngin' and came at a time that the youth today cannot fathom. We had Carter doing his damage in the White House, the Cold War was in full swing, and the Fonz was the Timberlake of the day.

Enter this Polish Pontiff, this slinger of Slavic Solidarity, the man from the Man...he went to Poland. An anti-commie Congregationalist. While Carter waffled, the Pope kicked ass. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Reagan came. The Age of Actors was upon us. The Pope and the Ronald didn't always see eye-to-eye, but they agreed that Communism wasn't good for the global community. Eventually, although the President was retired and the Pope was still Pope, the Soviet Union didn't survive the Age of Actors.

As the years progressed, the Pope visited more countries and travelled more miles than any other Pope in history, It is estimated that he spoke to more people (in person) than anyone else in history. Even Castro was respectful.

He suffered a great deal in the twilight of his pontificate. Aside from the 1981 assassination attempt, he later suffered a broken femur, a dislocated shoulder, and a hip replacement in successive years.

He was a dynamic leader that didn't equivicate and who wasn't afraid to criticize those persons and practices that were at loggerheads with his beliefs. His presence made the world a richer place and he liberated the opressed.

Requiscat in Pace, padre.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Blogs for Bankruptcy!

Politology is the pivot point for a last ditch effort to kill the bill. No, not that Bill! The bankruptcy bill will be voted on in the Senate today, March 10.

Call your designated pork barrel jockey and make it plain that this is not your will and that you will remember how they voted come Election Day.

This bill rewards the credit card companies for extending credit to poor risk persons by allowing them too much latitude in collecting the resultant outstanding debts.

Are you dialing yet?!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Right To Carry

In ( Good Samaritan Gun Use John Lott Jr. examines what happened last week in Tyler, TX. Show of hands people, how many of you knew that Arroyo's killing spree was stopped by a private citizen with a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit?

"Only two stories mentioned that the AK-47 was a semi-automatic, not a machine gun, and, while it is understandable, none of the articles provided context by explaining that Arroyo’s weapon functioned the same as deer hunting rifles, firing the same caliber bullets, at the same rapidity, and doing the same damage."

"The citizen, 50 year old Mark Wilson, was one of the two people murdered. As CNN reported, 'Everyone here agrees, Wilson saved lives.' Fox News' website quoted the sheriff as saying 'if it hadn't been for Mr. Wilson, [Arroyo's son] would be dead.'

Wilson, a licensed concealed handgun permit holder, heard Arroyo’s shots and saw the commotion from his apartment window. He grabbed a handgun and headed toward the attacker. Arroyo had already wounded several police officers and there was no one left to prevent his rampage."

"It is not remarkable that someone such as Mark Wilson was there at the scene to stop the attack before police arrived. For example, in about 30 percent of the multiple victim public school shootings that have captivated Americans’ attention starting in 1997, people used guns to stop the attacks before uniformed police were able to arrive on the scene. Few people know about these cases because only about one percent of the news stories on these cases mention how the attacks were stopped."

"Of course, gun control advocates draw their usual conclusion from all this. Kristen Rand, legislative director for the pro-gun control Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., claims the Tyler shooting last Thursday shows that criminals are undeterred by people potentially carrying concealed weapons. But, in fact, more nearly the opposite is true. When Arroyo faced the choice of continuing to shoot others or defending himself, he was forced to defend himself. Making Arroyo's attacks more risky caused him to change his behavior."

"Many people find it hard to believe that 18 national surveys by academics as well as national polling organizations show that there are 2 million defensive gun uses each year. After all, if these events were really happening, wouldn't we hear about them on the news?...This misreporting actually endangers people's lives. By selectively reporting the news and turning a defensive gun use story into one that merely says "police shot him dead," the media give misleading impressions of what actions saved the lives of people confronted by violence. As Wilson's case demonstrates, defensive gun use is not a guns-rights myth. Guns have been and are used by law abiding citizens to protect and save their own lives and the lives of others."

Friday, March 04, 2005

What happens in Vegas, stays in, uh, Grade School? reports Vegas Mayor Tells Students He Loves Gin to a class of fourth graders.

Mayor Oscar Goodman: "I answered the question honestly and truthfully. I'm not going to lie to children. I'm not going to say I would take a teddy bear or a Bible or something like that."

No word on what brand hizzoner prefers, although 'Beefeater" would probably help please any Vegans out there that aren't offended by his drinking comments.

Bunker buster anyone? Diplomats: Iran Building Tunnels for Arms reports that the IAEA is critical of Iran for building a tunnel in Isfahan--home of Iran's uranium enrichment program--to "increase capacity, safety and security of nuclear material."

Asked for details on the tunnel, a diplomat familiar with Iran's dossier told The Associated Press that parts of it apparently would run as deep as half a mile below ground and would be constructed of hardened concrete and other reenforced materials.

Other diplomats said on condition of anonymity that such moves were clearly motivated by Iranian concerns of air attacks by the United States or Israel, which both accuse the Iranians of trying to secretly build nuclear weapons.

Well, the Clinton Doctrine of high-altitude bombing without the commitment of ground troops would definitely be stymied by this development.

Hopefully, President Bush will continue to push for development of 'new' tactical nucular weapons that can interdict such facilities.

Such weapons should also prove effective against the plethora of underground facilities that North Korea uses as well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The 51st State--It ain't Puerto Rico

So, here in Washington State a lot of folks are feeling disenfranchised. These are, by and large, those that voted for Dino Rossi (Perhaps the first Governor whose putsch preceded his inauguration.--Ed.) and who are from Eastern Washington.

Eastern Washington is that part of the state east of the Cascade Mountain range.

The following--as the link above--is from King 5, a local NBC television affiliate.

"If Washington Sen. Bob Morton has his way, he’ll soon be a resident and lawmaker in the 51st state of the United States.

To Morton, the Cascade Mountains are more than just the dividing line between wet and dry Washington. They are the indisputable wall between political ideologies that only became more apparent during the recent contested governor’s race.

The Republican from Orient is the prime sponsor on a joint memorial in the Senate that asks President Bush to create a new state east of the Cascades that would comprise 20 of the current state’s 39 counties."

I forget where I first read about an alternative proposal--sometime ago via Instapundit probably--that the Blue areas of the Nation become reservations of Libbies.

Similar to Indian Reservations they could have their own business and cultural interests and may even make items actually worth something in trade. Perhaps "peace" bongs and pamphlets on the various spoor and signs of Liberals in the wild.

That's probably more realistic. Let them have Seattle, L.A., New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C...the rest of us (U.S.?) can visit, buy vegetarian products, and bring hemp T-shirts home to our relatives.

Dershowitz on Summers

H/T to the Belmont Club.

From the Boston Globe.

As critics of Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers step up pressure for him to resign or radically alter the way he leads the university, a few professors have begun rallying to his defense.

Late yesterday, one of Harvard's most famous faculty members, law professor Alan Dershowitz, issued a statement backing Summers's presidency, in which he said the storm of opposition "sounds like the trial of Galileo."

"In my 41 years at Harvard, I have never experienced a president more open to debate, disagreement, and dialogue than Larry Summers," wrote Dershowitz, adding that "professors who are afraid to challenge him are guilty of cowardice."

Dershowitz noted that he disagreed with Summers's comments last month that innate differences might help explain why more men than women are top achievers in science and math, but he defended the university president's right to raise the proposition.

"This is truly a time of crisis for Harvard," he wrote. "The crisis is over whether a politically correct straightjacket will be placed over the thinking of everybody in this institution by one segment of the faculty."

I rarely agree with Alan Dershowitz, but the professor seems to have hit the nail on the head this time. Kudos to Professor Dershowitz.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Chris Muir's Day By Day

Originally uploaded by sashasdoc.

The Long Tail: The case against the Shuffle

Long Tail's The case against the Shuffle misses the point somewhat. Yes, the iPod Shuffle lacks a display. One must, however, consider the market niche that Apple is targeting with the Shuffle.

The original iPods provided a previously unseen level of portability for music (and data) and were a niche unto thenselves.

The iPod mini--introduced at MacWorld a year ago--was specifically designed to go after the high-end flash-memory based MP3 player market. It has captured nearly its entire niche--catapulting Apple's market share from 30% to nearly 70% in one year.

In this year's Keynote Address, Steve Jobs explained that the iPod Shuffle is specifically designed to go after the remainder of the flash-memory based MP3 player market.

In comparison, typical MP3 players have 256Mb or 512Mb of memory and cost $99 or $149 respectively. That level of memory represents about 60 (256Mb) or 120 (512Mb) songs.

The iPod Shuffle provides two 'flavors'. The 'small' one is 512Mb of memory (120 songs) for $99 and the 'large' one--with an unheard of 1Gb (240 songs) worth of memory--is only $149!! Apple is bringing their slick user interface combined with double the memory--per relative pricepoints--of their competition.

The loss of a display is a small sacrifice for the amazing practical value.

As to the signal-to-noise ratio argument, except for those songs that eventually get old through repetition, the iTunes store--Apple's online music store--sells individual tracks for 99 cents each. Gone are the days of ripping an entire album into the computer to capture a few choice cuts. (Although I don't know anyone who still does that with the built in abilities of iTunes to selectively import tracks from any given album.--Ed.) That online storefront has recently passed 250 million downloads.

In this case, the 'Long Tail' is in the heads of late adopters. Those of us who embrace the Mac and Mr. Jobs' concept of the digital lifestyle get it. Got it?

Now if Jobs and Co. can only replace the Newton...

DUI versus Zarqawi

Paul Boutin posits that more Americans are killed by drunk drivers every day than were killed in Iraq on election day.

(As always, thanks to Instapundit--the nexus for all things punditry--for the link.)

Ukraine West

"Down for the Recount" by Byron York has an excellent summary of how Christine Gregoire has stolen the Washington State Gubenatorial race.

About 2.8 million people went to the polls in Washington State on November 2, and what happened after the voting became one of the most vertiginous political roller-coaster rides in recent history. On election night, Rossi was slightly ahead. By the next day, as the votes from heavily Democratic King County, home of Seattle, continued to come in, Gregoire took a lead that grew as large as 16,000 votes. By the morning of November 9, that lead had been cut in half. But at that point, more than 200,000 ballots had not yet been counted. Later that night, results came in from a number of Republican-leaning counties, and Rossi took a lead of about 2,000 votes. The day after that, it stretched to 3,500.

About 85,000 ballots were still uncounted. Most of them were provisional ballots, meaning they were cast by people who came to the polls and could not show that they were registered to vote. They were allowed to cast ballots anyway, with the understanding that the ballots would be counted later if it could be shown that those voters were indeed registered.

On November 15, the count moved in Gregoire’s favor when King County announced that it had 10,000 more ballots to count than election officials originally thought (it’s still not entirely clear how that happened). Those votes went heavily to Gregoire, putting her in the lead by 158 votes. It was a kick in the teeth for Republicans, but Rossi remained calm. “We still knew how many ballots were outstanding in the counties that we had,” Rossi told National Review recently, “and we were confident that we were going to win.”

Sure enough, when those Rossi-leaning counties sent in their final totals, the Republican pulled back into the lead. On November 17, the counting was finished, and Rossi had won by 261 votes.

A recount was guaranteed: Washington State law requires a recount if an election is decided by less than one-half of one percent of the total votes cast. The recount was done by machine. It might seem obvious to say that it was intended to recount those ballots that had already been counted in the first round, but that fact was not obvious to officials in King County. They decided to “enhance” some ballots that had not been legible or otherwise countable during the first go-round. More and more ballots went into Gregoire’s column. The King County votes cut into Rossi’s lead, but not enough to put Gregoire into the lead. By the time the machine recount was finished, Rossi won by 42 votes.

Gregoire refused to concede. Democrats wanted a hand recount of all the votes, but the law required that they pay for it, which meant they would have to raise nearly $1 million. For a while, Democrats wondered where the money would come from, but their worries were eased when checks came in from John Kerry, who donated $250,000 in unused campaign funds; from, which pitched in another $250,000; from the Democratic National Committee, which sent still another $250,000; and from former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, who raised about $200,000 for the cause.

The recount began December 8. At first, it seemed to make little net change in the vote totals. Rossi appeared to be headed for a final, unquestionable victory when King County officials announced they had found 573 “new” ballots, which — they said — had been mistakenly disqualified. Republicans went to court, arguing that the time for counting “new” ballots was past, and that to count them now would require changing the rules in the middle of an election. But the state supreme court ruled against the GOP. The “new” votes were counted, and in the final tally Gregoire won by 129 votes. On December 30, she was certified the winner.

Republicans were stunned. “We thought that if it was a straightforward operation, a hand recount would work for us,” Rossi says. “But King County kept finding ballots and finding ballots and finding ballots until they had enough to win.”

What should the GOP do? Rossi and his allies began collecting the voting records from several counties around the state, and found what might be charitably called serious irregularities. They found counties where the number of votes cast exceeded the total number of registered voters. They found counties that had made mistakes in the counting of provisional ballots. And they found counties in which — shades of Daley’s Chicago — dead people apparently cast ballots."

Go read the whole thing.

Our congratulations to the Iraqis for what appears to be a wildly successful election. My wife grew up in Communist Romania and had tears in her eyes watching Fox News' coverage of the voting in Iraq.

Perhaps the Iraqis, the Afghanis, and the Ukranians can send us some help here in Washington State so that we might also enjoy free and fair elections.

Chrenkoff on the Iraqi Election

Arthur Chrenkoff has a wonderful editorial about the Iraqi election on the WSJ editorial page.
(Via Instapundit)

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Center for Religious Freedom

Center for Religious Freedom has a disturbing report about hate propaganda in US mosques proliferating from Saudi sources.

The Diplomad

The Diplomad is a wonderfully written blog that should be required reading in any PoliSci course.

"On this crucial day in Iraq, we must also remember two sets of non-Iraqis. The first set, we must apologize for, and nobody represents them better than Sen. Edward Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. The man has gone from being a killer, to a buffoon, and now to criminally irresponsible. Next July, Mary Jo Kopechne would have celebrated her 65th birthday; she probably would have grown children and be a grandmother. She, however, will always be 28 years old, thanks to Ted Kennedy, the man who killed her in 1969 just days before her 29th birthday; tried to cover it up; and then lied and used his family's considerable political power to evade punishment. From killer he went on to buffoon: Who can forget his absurd run for the Democratic nomination of 1980, or, his pontificating about women's rights during the Clarence Thomas nomination hearings? As he has aged, he apparently has begun experiencing a second adolescence, in other words, he's returning to his 1969 persona, to wit, he wants people, American people to die or, at best, doesn't care if they do as a consequence of his actions. How else can one explain his comments about pulling out of Iraq -- gleefully replayed by Al Jazeera? For a Kennedy to compare Iraq and Vietnam is doubly obscene: not only are the facts on the ground completely different, but it was JFK -- Teddy's elder brother -- who got us into Vietnam with no exit plan."

Go, visit. Read. Repeat.

Seriously. Go, now! What are you still doing here?

Belmont Club on Iraqi Election

Belmont Club is a must read, as usual.

Via Instapundit, as usual.

You can't please everyone all of the time

(Via Instapundit)

From Balloon Shifting Goalposts

Matthew Yglesias writes:

"Looks reasonably successful so far, no mass casualties, turnout low only in a few trouble spots. It's time to prepare for three weeks of gloating from the hawks before they realize that nothing has really changed and they return to previous hawk practice of not mentioning Iraq. The interesting thing to watch, I think, will be whether or not Shiite political unity starts to break down now that the elections are behind us."

To which Balloon Juice responds:

"Pessimism masquerading as realism should not be regarded as insight, and you should note the real cause for concern- hawk's gloating. We aren't gloating, we are just happy and relieved, and no one thinks this is the final step for our involvement in Iraq. It is, however, an important real and symbolic victory, and everyone should be happy."

...and then:

"John Kerry, btw, was on Meet The Press this morning, and did everything he could to piss all over the administration and the election. According to him, we need to have a massive outreach to the international community in order to make sure the election is viewed as legitimate. And the Democrats wonder why they are the minority party. "This is the last chance for the President to get it right." Go fuck yourself.

I am so sick and tired of playing Charlie Brown to their Lucy."

Ah, well. Massachusetts must be so proud.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Kennedy's Disgrace

Power Line: Kennedy's Disgrace

Iraqi-American Haider Ajina fills the void:

I have read a number of articles in Iraqi newspapers reporting on senator Kennedy’s speech at Johns Hopkins University. (They call him a senior senator)

They are quoting him using words like “war of liberations, armed resistance, war of independence” to describe the terrorist acts in Iraq. Also asking for our complete withdrawal from Iraq by 2006 and describing what we did in Iraq as a calamity.

I think that AlZarqawy could not have rallied his troops with a better speech. What is he doing giving speeches like this so close to the elections in Iraq? Iraqis will brave threats to their lives to vote in hope that we will stay with them till they are ready. Now a U.S. senator tells them we must pull out quickly and leave the Iraqis with no help.

Thanks to Instapundit for the original link.

What is wrong with the people of Massachusetts (and California Re: Barbara Boxer) that they continually re-elect such a buffoon as Ted Kennedy and his even more-Liberal counterpart, John Kerry?

A Marine's Perspective

The following is supposed to be from a US Marine in Iraq. Author is unknown. It was received via e-mail from Doc Rakofsky--a friend out on the pointy end of the stick.

Subject: Living in the Now

Hello everyone,

This is reality in Fallujah.

In response to the news blurb about the Marine who put two rounds in a wounded insurgent's head in Fallujah, here's a response from a Marine:


It's a safety issue pure and simple. After assaulting through a target, we put a security round in everybody's head. Sorry al-Reuters, there's no paddy wagon rolling around Fallujah picking up "prisoners" and offering them a hot cup a joe, falafel, and a blanket. There's no time to dick around on the target. You clear the space, dump the chumps, and

Are Corpsman expected to treat wounded terrorists? Negative. Hey libs, worried about the defense budget? Well, it would be waste, fraud, and abuse for a Corpsman to expend one man-minute or a battle dressing on a terrorist. Its much cheaper to just spend the $.02 on a 5.56mm FMJ.

By the way, in our view, terrorists who chop off civilian's heads are not prisoners, they are carcasses. Chopping off a civilian's head is another reason why these idiots are known as "unlawful combatants." It seems that most of the world's journalists have forgotten that fact.

Let me be very clear about this issue. I have looked around the web, and many people get this concept, but there are some stragglers.

Here is your situation Marine: You just took fire from unlawful combatants (no uniform - breaking every Geneva Convention rule there is) shooting from a religious building attempting to use the sanctuary status of their position as protection. But you're in Fallujah now, and the Marine Corps has decided that they're not playing that game this time. That was Najaf. So you set the mosque on fire and you hose down the terrorists with small arms, launch some AT-4s (Rockets), some 40MM grenades into the building and things quiet down. So you run over there, and find some tangos (bad guys) wounded and pretending to be dead. You are aware that suicide martyrdom is like really popular with these idiots, and they think taking some Marines with them would be really cool. So you can either risk your life and your fire team's lives by having them cover you while you bend down and search a guy that you think is pretending to be dead for some reason. Most of the time these are the guys with the grenade or vest made of explosives. Also, you don't know who or what is in the next room. You're already speaking English to the rest of your fire team or squad which lets the terrorist know you are there and you are his enemy. You are speaking loud because your hearing is poor from shooting people for several days. So you know that there are many other rooms to enter, and that if anyone is still alive in those rooms, they know that Americans are in the mosque. Meanwhile (3 seconds later), you still have this terrorist (that was just shooting at you from a mosque) playing possum. What do you do?

You double tap his head, and you go to the next room, that's what!!!

What about the Geneva Convention and all that Law of Land Warfare stuff? What about it. Without even addressing the issues at hand, your first thought should be, "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."

Bear in mind that this tactic of double tapping a fallen terrorist is a perpetual mindset that is reinforced by experience on a minute by minute basis. Secondly, you are fighting an unlawful combatant in a Sanctuary, which is a double No-No on his part. Third, tactically you are in no position to take "prisoners" because there are more rooms to search and clear, and the behavior of said terrorist indicates that he is up to no good. No good in Fallujah is a very large place and the low end of no good and the high end of no good are fundamentally the same ... Marines end up getting hurt or die. So there is no compelling reason for you to do anything but double tap this idiot and get on with the mission.

If you are a veteran, then everything I have just written is self evident. If you are not a veteran, then at least try to put yourself in the situation. Remember, in Fallujah there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, there is only now. Right NOW. Have you ever lived in NOW for a week? It is really, really not easy. If you have never lived in NOW for longer than it takes to finish the big roller coaster at Six Flags, then shut your hole about putting Marines in jail for "war crimes."

For those who would criticize this position, there is no question that the Marine's would take prisoners if the terrorists presented thenselves unarmed, hands open, and arms extended above their heads with their clothing open to allow inspection from a distance.

Barring that, the terrorists must be considered as hostile, imminently dangerous combatants. They choose to eschew the portions of the Law of Land Warfare that require combatants to wear a clearly distinguishable uniform and to use legally proscribed weapons for combat. These choices remove them from the protections of the Laws and Conventions regarding warfare and justify the actions that the Marines have taken to protect themselves.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

SF already has gun ban! - San Francisco considers handgun ban - Jan 20, 2005

Although the SF City Council is considering banning the sale and possession of handguns within the city limits (current owners would have to turn them in--hello, Adolph; hello Uncle Joe), they already have a de facto ban. There are currently only TEN authorized CCW permits granted by the city.

How about requiring all residents to possess a firearm, at least at home, and see where the homicide rate goes? Let's get some hard data before making a decision.

Of course, if the denizens of the city handle weapons like their former Mayor--now Senator--Feinstein, maybe the ban is better. Diane's AK-47

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Having just watched Neil Cavuto's interview with Dennis Kucinich (D-OH...Homer Simpson couldn't put it better), I am amazed that he's still prattling on about not finding WMDs in Iraq. He feels it's time to get other countries involved in the financial burden and to bring our troops home.

Did anybody tell him that the election is over?

The troops should stay until the job is complete. Other countries are helping--granted not at the level of funds that we have committed, but they're trying. And WMDs HAVE been found in Iraq!

Other sources suggest that the WMDs were moved to Syria.

Or by Syria to Lebanon.

Jordan's King Abdullah says WMDs found in Jordan are from al Zarqawi.

The Iraqi elections should go forward and if they aren't pristine, well, then they'll be on par with the gubenatorial effort here in Washington State. They can't do any worse short of having an outright coup. Apparently, King County (wherein resides Seattle and the core of the 'Blue' in this marginally Blue State) has more votes cast than voters who registered.

The number of King County ballots counted in the final tally was 899,199 — 3,539 more than the number of participating voters reported in the county's list.

Sorry, off topic. I'll write another post on the election.

Happy New Year.

Kofi Anyone?

From Mr. Chrenkoff's blog:

Meanwhile, the UN is worried there won't be enough money:
"UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and emergency relief co-ordinator Jan Egeland expressed their gratitude for the promises of help from 45 nations. But both said they were concerned that some of the money would not be handed over. 'If we go by past history, yes, I do have concern,' Mr Annan said. 'We've got over $US2 billion, but it is quite likely that at the end of the day we will not receive all of it'."

Perhaps Kofi is concerned that his son will not be able to supplant his ill-gotten gains from the 'Oil-For-Food' program with monies from the Tsunami relief efforts? I wonder if the Norwegians are willing to levy additional taxes to relieve the Annans' apparent personal financial calamity?