Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Unidentified Body Found, Foul Play Suspected

Melbourne, Florida (WBNN)

The body of an unidentified man was found today in an abandoned warehouse here. The man appeared to be of East-Asian descent and was wearing a Mao suit and a tatoo consisting of the letters BFP. The man had been shot twice in the chest with a .44 caliber weapon.

Anyone with information about this crime please call 321-409-2308.

Desecration By Obliteration

Rachel Lucas is furious that there will be no network coverage on the second anniversary of 9/11. So am I.

Why I Miss My Broadband

Do you know how much faster Rachel's dog pictures load with a cable modem? I'm so glad they love their new home and their old toys.

Posting Has Been And Will Be Light

I am on vacation in Milwaukee. We are here to visit the family, but intend to see lots of motorcycles in memory of a fine man, my brother-in-law, who loved Harley-Davidson. I miss my broadband.

Monday, August 25, 2003

No Evidence Clues In France

Headline: France to Israel: No evidence Hamas, Islamic Jihad are ''terror groups''

Wince to France: No evidence that miserable cowardly appeasement does anything other than cost innocent lives.

Via Hawken Blog.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Daredevil Refuses To Oust Aquaman

The Brain Stem, Wince's Brain (WBNN)

Attempts to recruit Daredevil to remove Aquaman from the neural protests around Wince's brain stem were rebuffed when the superhero invoked contractual issues. "I'm a Marvel Comics superhero," Daredevil explained, "Aquaman is a DC Comics superhero. We don't appear in each other's books and I'm not about to jeopardize my contract for this even if we are just ideas in someone's head."

Wince reacted to the setback stoically. "Daredevil is my favorite superhero. He never gives up. I was sure he could defeat Aquaman. I forgot Daredevil was a lawyer. I'd consult my own lawyer, but those guys can get you committed for something like this."

CELT Conference To Premiere In Knoxville

Knoxville, Tennessee (WBNN)

The first annual Consume Every Living Thing (CELT) Conference will be held this year in Knoxville. The conference is a joint effort of People Eating Tasty Animals (PETA) and Eaters Like Variety Especially Simians (ELVES). The conference sponsers are Best Friend Products of Knoxville and Prehensile Products, of Melbourne, Florida.

The BFP spokesperson, Jennifer, waxed enthusiastic about the conference, "America has long been blessed with organizations promoting beef, pork, poultry and fish. Now we have a forum for more unusual meats such as canine, simian and equine products. As an example, consider Wagglty Tail. Before CELT we didn't have a trade show of our own. Rumor has it our reclusive CEO will attend. I can't wait to meet him."

The PP spokespeople, Susie and Serenity were also enthused. "Our CEO, also a recluse, may also attend," said Susie, "I'm so excited!" When asked why Prehensile Products chose two spokepeople with the same firist initial, Serenity reported, "It's for the alliteration. Like Serenity sells Simian Sizzile or Susie sells Simian Sizzile. We wanted Dr. Seuss for the marketing department except he's deceased." The interview was somewhat disconcerting given that both Serenity and Susie wore the Prehensile Products company uniform, which features dark sunglasses and a Colt Anaconda in a shoulder holster.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

What I Want For Christmas

I think I want SUPREME COURT GUN CASES for Christmas.

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Best Friend and Prehensile Form Second Joint Venture

Knoxville, Tennessee (WBNN)

Best Friend Products, of Knoxville, and Prehensile Products of Melbourne, Florida, have formed their second joint venture. "Our cooperation on the sales side was so fruitful", reported Jennifer, a spokesperson for Best Friend, "We just had to work together on the supply side." The new venture is side by side farms, Aboreal Acres, which raises monkeys, and Puppy Plantation, which raises young canines. They share a common labor force, utilizing the sort of progressive hiring practices for which BFP was once noted. "We're hiring hobos again," chirped Jennifer, "but we're not allowing them to have Wagglty Tail this time. I'm not sure why, since it seemed to help them rejoin society and stop disappearing. It's such a great product! Look how healthy I am! I guess we'll just have to deal with the turnover."

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Aquatic Treachery!

The Brain Stem, Wince's Brain (WBNN)

Although he was sent to quell the neural protests here at Wince's Brain Stem, Aquaman has instead joined the protesters. "Of course I had to join the protesters," Aquaman said, "They want to save the whales! Besides, I hate Frank J. He thinks my name is gay!"

When asked to comment Wince replied, "I thought Aquaman's sense of honor would keep him from betraying me. What was I thinking! All the news reports mentioned that silly protester with the whale sign. I guess I thought when Frank pointed out that Aquaman could kick Robin's ass that he and Aquaman had patched things up. Go figure."

Riot Averted When Tails Wag Again

Knoxville, Tennessee (WBNN)

A riot at the Best Friend Products plant was narrowly averted today when management agreed to continue providing free Wagglty Tail to the workers. "I can't believe they were going to take away our Wagglty Tail! I was a bum, a hobo before I started drinking that stuff. It made me a new man!" said one of the highly aggitated staff. Management confirmed the policy snafu. "I guess we won't be hiring hobos anymore," said the plant manager, "Upper management is afraid of labor unrest. I thought it was working out great. Give em some Wagglty Tail and they even stop disappearing."

Grey Goose Goes Tail Wagging

Knoxville, Tennessee (WBNN)

Best Friend Products, whose Wagglty Tail energy drink is taking the nation by storm, has completed a takeover of the makers of Grey Goose Vodka. "Looks like the Goose is cooked," said a BFP company spokesman, "Starting next week we'll begin converting all production lines over to making Wagglty Tail. Our joint effort with Prehensile is going so well we needed the extra capacity. Back when I was a hobo I might have lamented Grey Goose's passing if I could have afforded it, but frankly I don't think anyone needs the stuff anymore. Look what Wagglty Tail did for me! I'm working productively and I'm back with my family. Before I don't think anyone would have missed me if I disappeared!"

Product Announcement: Simian Sizzile, The Burgers That Bite

Melbourne, Florida (WBNN)

Prehensile Products, of Melbourne, Florida announces Simian Sizzile, The Burgers That Bite, made from 100% pure Monkey Meat. Prehensile Products claims that Simian Sizzile is the first burger made only from monkey meat. "Other burgers may contain some monkey meat," claimed a company spokesman, "Who can tell? It's all ground up anyway. We guarantee that our burgers are 100% monkey." Simian Sizzle's initial markets are Florida, Tennessee and the Kansas City Metro Area. Prehensile Products, who slogan is "Ridding The World Of A Horrible Pest, Naturally", is also known for their unique company uniform, which features dark sunglasses and a Colt Anaconda in a shoulder holster.

In related news, Prehensile Products is negotiating with Best Friend Products, of Knoxville, Tennessee, to begin a joint marketing effort in conjunction with the roll out of Wagglty Tail, the Power Energy Drink in the Tennessee area.

Aquaman Sent To Deal With Protests

The Brain Stem, Wince's Brain (WBNN)

In an attempt to quell the neural protests against the Great Blog War of 2003, Wince has commissioned Aquaman and equipped him with soap in an effort to subdue the protesters. Chants of "Hey, hey, no, no, Wince and Frank have got to go!" echo around Wince's spinal column, and signs reading "We Love Gibbons!", "Je T'aime Francais" and the ever popular "No Blog for Links." One lone protester carried a sign reading "Save the Puppies! Whales!"

"I'm even more embarrassed", said Wince, "I took five years of high school French, and now it comes back to haunt me. I just wanted to be different from all the kids taking Spanish. Besides in fifth year I was the only guy, so if I kept my mouth shut and my head down, I got to hear what girls really talk about. How was I to know France's disgusting tendency towards real politik would lead them to back stab the US in the Security Council?" When asked about the gibbons, he replied, "Hey, I learned how to imitate a gibbon when I was six. I thought it was cool. Is it my fault Frank hates monkeys? I just hope Aquaman and the soap takes care of this. Everyone knows hippies hate soap."

Investigators Question Man In Beam Blaze


Investigators of the fire which consumed 800,000 gallons of Jim Beam Whiskey have been questioning a local hobo about the conflagration. He just mumbles "Lightning, White lightning, Glenn White lightning," over and over, according to investigators. The hobo, who sports a tatoo with the letters BFP and a permanent pink stain in his mustache, has, in his more lucid moments, seemed to indicate a rival drink manufacturer may be responsible.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Question Authority

Read Val e-diction: The Allende Myth to uncover the myth that the CIA was responsible for Allende's overthrow. Don't know if it is true or not, but an old saying comes to mind: Question Authority. Every sword cuts both ways, so now I'm questioning left-wing authority.

Monday, August 18, 2003

PS #512 We Knew Ye Well...

The public schools, which did such a good job for me twenty-five years ago, have been ruined.

Product Announcement: Wagglty Tail

Knoxville, Tennessee (WBNN)

Best Friend Products, of Knoxville, Tennessee, has announced their first product, Wagglty Tail, the Power Energy Drink which makes your tail wag! Initial test marketing will be in Florida and the Kansas City Metro Area. The ingredients list for the pink, frothy concoction is unknown, but it is high in protein. Best Friend is negotiating for the rights to use the old tune "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?" in their advertising. Best Friend is also known for their progressive emploment opportunities.

"We hire hobos." said Fred Jones, Best Friend plant manager. "Occaisionally one will just disappear, but they are real hard workers. We just play "Big Rock Candy Mountain" on the intercom and they're happy. There's a little commuter train which runs to their shanty-town. Don't know why it's only made up of boxcars, though."

Sunday, August 17, 2003


Extraordinary piece explaining why cowboy is not an insult here.

Half-a-Mile Away

I don't care whether it's the Bush Administration or the Secret Service, but pushing protesters half-a-mile away is unconstitutional. Or, if I were Ann Coulter, treasonous, just to acquaint you with the depth of my horror.

Via The Volokh Conspiracy.

Why Not Non-Lethal Weapons

In Feeling salty over pepper spray Joel Beck discovers well-meaning tyranny in Massachusetts. Here's the first mistake:
It's been that way since 1998, when state legislators passed the Gun Control Act, otherwise known as Chapter 180, and made it impossible for anyone in Massachusetts to own a weapon without first being approved for a Firearms Identification Card. Living in a post-Columbine world where serious questions are continually raised about gun ownership, legislators wasted no time in passing Chapter 180.

Still, there are those who feel the law is imperfect - for starters, the fact it required anyone who wanted to buy pepper spray for protection to acquire an FID card. And cough up the $25 fee that went with it.
Then came the fiscal crunch:
Earlier this year, with the state in financial turmoil and Gov. Mitt Romney using all kinds of stopgap solutions to try to solve the budget crunch, the FID card registration fee quadrupled to $100. The move not only made it that much harder for anyone in Massachusetts to buy pepper spray, it also fueled a growing sentiment among Bay Staters and North Shore residents that people looking only to protect themselves are instead being penalized.
Now factor in the backlog:
They are people like Richard Griffith, who recently encouraged his fiance to consider carrying pepper spray, only to discover that it could take up to 140 days for her to receive her FID Card, not to mention the hassle of being fingerprinted and undergoing a thorough background examination.
Result: Want some pepper spray to defend yourself against a rapist in your neighborhood? Sorry, there's a five month wait. Has there been a series of muggings in your parking garage? Think a stun gun might deter them? Nope, gotta wait five months. My advice: Move to Vermont. You can get a handgun and carry in any way you want, no license required. On the other hand, crime is so low you won't need one.

The appropriate scene in the Massachesetts legislature in 1998 is described here. Taking non-lethal weapons away from good citizens is tyrannical folly which should result in impeachment. Frankly I would encourage criminals to use non-lethal weapons. Would you rather be pepper-sprayed during your mugging or just shot? Someone please explain the reasoning behind this law, because from my viewpoint it is completely unjustifiable.

I have heard that these are good laws because of cases where citizens sprayed first and asked questions later. Gee, I don't remember any cases like that in the news. So I looked up "misuse of pepper-spray" on Google. The first five articles were on police misuse. The next was a Berkley PDF on how to use pepper-spray properly. There were more pages on police misuse, on pepper-spray return policy misuse, on the law regarding pepper spray, one where the school district just to the south of mine now prohibits possession of pepper-spray (I'm channeling Chomps, the World's Angriest Dog right now) and so on. Not one of the first forty articles was about a citizen misusing pepper-spray. I did better with "pepper-spray assault", where I found four crimes hidden among the first forty links. One was an assault with pepper spray and a tire iron in Minnesota. The second was an assault by an abortion advocate on a pro-life pregnancy counselor in Toronto, Canada. Oddly, Canada prohibits carrying pepper sprary, except for use against bears. Do these laws ever work? The third and fourth assaults were in Oregon. I also found this case where an assailant was fought off twice using pepper spray. "Pepper spray incident" found more crimes and "pepper spray" all alone found others. These were all criminals misusing pepper spray. Every one of the people was willing to break the law. How will a law against possession of non-lethal weapons prevent these crimes? I didn't find one incident where a person had been mistakenly sprayed by a citizen attempting to use pepper spray in self defense.

On the other hand, you can pick up the newspaper any day and find assaults, muggings and rapes where the victims could have defended themselves with a non-lethal weapon. In the United States in the year 2000 there were 15,517 murders, 90,186 rapes, 407,842 robberies and 910,744 assaults with a total of 1,424,289 violent crimes. So the Massachusetts legislature (and the Blue Valley School District) decided they would prevent a miniscule number of incidents where an armed citizen was irresponsible and enable innumerable crimes to be commited against the defenseless populace. Also please explain why we want to penalize criminals for carrying a non-lethal weapon instead of carrying a lethal one? One last quote from the article:
"We're not talking about a minor number of women who are being assaulted here each year," he adds. "We're talking about a substantial number of women who are being victimized. I don't think the Massachusetts legislature has been very responsive and I think they need to be."
Via The Smallest Minority and Keep And Bear Arms.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

News Flash: Vocal Protests Begin Against The Declaration Of War

The Brain Stem, Wince's Brain (WBNN)

In spite of the overwhelming support of Wince's Declaration of War against The Enemy a large group of hippy neurons gathered near Wince's Brain Stem in vocal protest, waving signs proclaiming "No Blog For Links!" and "Frank J = Hitler". One hippy neuron accidentally showed up with a "Save The Puppies!" sign. In a shocking display of pacifism the remainder of the hippy neurons descended upon him, shouting and beating him with their signs until he realized his mistake. He soon rejoined the protest with a slightly altered sign reading "Save the Puppies! Whales!"

Asked for his reaction, Wince said, "I'm so embarrassed. This tiny group of neurons remains from my childhood in the sixties and my former devotion to liberal causes." Wince's Mom commented as well, saying, "He should have stuck with the liberal causes. He used to be such a nice boy."

A Declaration Of War

I, Wince and Nod, in solidarity with Frank J of Most Noble IMAO, the fine humorist who links to lesser bloggers, even when they lose his silly contests, declare war against The Enemy, he who sips blended puppy, who kills hobos, who is a communist who dances the robot dance, who punched Frank J and hits like a girl, who sits on his dark throne bestowing Enemy-lanches on the favored few, ruling the blogosphere with an iron-will and a clenched fist! And I also declare war against his allies most foul, She Who Smells Like A Monkey, their Evil Wizard Kevin and assorted other minions.

Read Annika's stirring Call To Arms! Join The Alliance!

As such, there have been some changes to my blogroll. In addition, I have begun a project to enclose Frank in a fortess of links, so that every one of his posts, no matter how undeserving is linked to, and so that his link count may surpass even that of the enemy. See IMAO: In My World - A Complete Review below.

IMAO: In My World - A Complete Review

Ratings Key
Biting monkey: Very bad
Chattering monkey: Bad
One fleeing monkey: Fair
Two fleeing monkeys: Good
One dead monkey: Very Good
Two dead monkeys: Excellent

I have noticed that the In My World posts improve over time.

In My World Posts - In Chronological Order From The Beginning

Title: Most of This Post is Made Up... I Think
Post Date: September 28, 2002 05:49 PM
Synopsis: Senator Torricelli flees from his life of crime.
Dramatis Personae: New Jersey Senator Torricelli, David Chang
Rating: One fleeing monkey

Title: Take One Last Look Before It's All Blown Away
Post Date: October 11, 2002 08:30 AM
Synopsis: Iraqi toothbrushes explained.
Dramatis Personae: Gen. Hussan Mohammed Amin, various reporters
Rating: One fleeing monkey

Title: In My World
Post Date: October 26, 2002 02:38 PM
Synopsis: Ari Fleishcer gets pissed.
Dramatis Personae: Ari Fleishcer, Donald Rumsfeld, a French diplomat
Rating: One fleeing monkey

Title: Iraq Definantly Refuses to Give Opinion on U.N. Resolution
Post Date: November 12, 2002 08:35 AM
Synopsis: Iraq, err, deliberately ignores US resolution.
Dramatis Personae: Ari Fleishcer, George W. Bush
Rating: Two fleeing monkeys

Title: Rumsfeld: Iraqi 'Bastards' Will Be Nuked
Post Date: November 15, 2002 05:27 PM
Synopsis: Donald Rumsfeld shows the proper attitude towards the press.
Dramatis Personae: Donald Rumsfeld, a reporter, a hysterical reporter, the French ambassador to America, George W. Bush
Rating: Two fleeing monkeys

Title: White House Scoffs at Daschle Criticism of Radio Commentators
Post Date: November 26, 2002 05:27 PM
Synopsis: Ari Fleischer proves extremely hostile to Tom Daschle.
Dramatis Personae: Sen. Tom Daschle, Ari Fleischer, a reporter
Rating: Two fleeing monkeys

Title: Dead Man Jeffords Slams Bush's Environmental Record
Post Date: November 30, 2002 05:47 PM
Synopsis: Sen. James Jeffords discovers that it's not nice to fool Mother Elephant.
Dramatis Personae: Sen. James Jeffords, the grim specter of death, Ari Fleischer
Rating: Two fleeing monkeys

Title: U.S. Unimpressed with Iraqi Inspections
Post Date: December 04, 2002 09:11 AM
Synopsis: Rumsfeld begins to lose patience waiting for the war.
Dramatis Personae: Hans Blix, assorted reporters, Saddam Hussein, Kofi Annan, Donald Rumsfeld
Rating: Two fleeing monkeys

Title: White House: U.S. Must Get to War with Iraq Before Rumsfeld Hurts Someone
Post Date: December 09, 2002 09:04 PM
Synopsis: Ari Fleischer explains why the White House fears Rumsfeld.
Dramatis Personae: President Bush, Ari Fleischer, Hans Blix, assorted reporters
Rating: Two fleeing monkeys

Title: Wussy, Whiny Liberal Powell Asks for Mercy for America's Enemies
Post Date: December 23, 2002 03:29 PM
Synopsis: Colin Powell disagrees with Donald Rumsfeld. I've noticed that Colin does not appear very afraid of Rumsfeld in Frank's posts, in spite of the rather rabid abuse Rumsfeld subjects him to. Maybe Frank respects the real Colin Powell's gravitas.
Dramatis Personae: Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, two reporters, President Bush
Rating: One dead monkey

Title: North Koreans Say that Sactions Will Mean They Will Commit a Violent Suicide
Post Date: January 08, 2003 08:55 AM
Synopsis: Donald Rumsfled explains that we can fight Iraq and North Korea at the same time.
Dramatis Personae: Donald Rumsfled, the press
Rating: Two fleeing monkeys

Title: Sen. Murray Defends Bin Laden Comments and Calls for Death of America
Post Date: January 09, 2003 07:00 PM
Synopsis: Sen. Patty Murray utterly fails to apologize.
Dramatis Personae: Sen. Patty Murray, reporters
Rating: Two fleeing monkeys

More Later...

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

1000 Visits

I just hit 1000 visits to this blog. My latest visitor was from and came via Cool. About half of my visits probably came when I refreshed to see how the new feature or post looks, but hey, a it's a milestone.

I'm Still Glad We Took The Road To Bagdhad

Certain Bush Administration critics will be all over this Washington Post article with the "Bush Lied - People Died" meme. It looks to me like the Administration had a pre-conceived notion leading them to distrust the intelligence community because it missed several key events:
But the Bush administration had reasons to imagine the worst. The CIA had faced searing criticism for its failures to foresee India's resumption of nuclear testing in 1998 and to "connect the dots" pointing to al Qaeda's attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Cheney, the administration's most influential advocate of a worst-case analysis, had been powerfully influenced by his experience as defense secretary just after the Persian Gulf War of 1991.

Former National Security Council official Richard A. Clarke recalled how information from freshly seized Iraqi documents disclosed the existence of a "crash program" to build a bomb in 1991. The CIA had known nothing of it.

"I can understand why that was a seminal experience for Cheney," Clarke said. "And when the CIA says [in 2002], 'We don't have any evidence,' his reaction is . . . 'We didn't have any evidence in 1991, either. Why should I believe you now?' "
Still, the article makes it clear that the Iraqi government was seeking nuclear weapons, just that they weren't immanent. Since that was not the most important reason I wanted to go the war I am not bothered by this. I am more worried about the damage to Bush the candidate. I have seen this pattern followed many times when business or political decisions are made. I would call it "a pattern of self deception in an uncertain situation". Bush's enemies will just call it "a pattern of deception". It is in my interest to cut the administration some slack and it is in their interest to pull the noose tight. Ain't politics fun!

Site Plumbing

I submitted my site to Blogwise, a blog directory, and Daypop, a a current events/weblog/news search engine, which also ranks blogs like the Ecosystem. I also submitted to Popdex, which is like Technorati.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Our Childhoods

Mom says she likes it when I write like this. She says I should write something like it every day.

James Lilek writes something like that almost every day, only longer and better written. Yesterday he wrote about going home to Fargo. Today he continued his visit.

Since James grew up at the same time as I, his memories remind me of mine. We shopped at Ben Franklin. We went to Sambo's when I was a kid. I think we actually had "a clever colored boy" on our menus, rather than Fargo's Brahmin Sambo. Kansas City has been called the most northern city in the South, so I guess the corporate heads at Sambo's thought the clever colored boy would play well here, although I have always lived on the Free-State side of town, which I guess would be the most southern city in the North. But here in the smallest metro in the Major Leagues nearly all of the Sixties was wiped away by progress, so you really have to look to see what remains. When I go the Toon Shop in Prairie Village that old strip mall brings vague memories of how it was back then to the surface, disrupted only by the Wendy's around the corner. Driving along Johnson Drive in Mission has the same effect. I like the progress, but I also liked the Sixties.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Trackback Is Cool

By the way, if you want to use Trackback to let other bloggers know when you post about one of their entries, try this handy Bookmarket from Kevin on his Wizbang Tech site. So far I have not found a way to add Trackback to my own posts, since I am using Blogger, not Moveable Type.

Blogger Fix?

Annika discovered she couldn't scroll on my site. I asked her to try again in her comments, since I had a similar problem and it is working now, and bless her, she did. Still not working.

Ted Phipps pointed me to Kevin, who posted this fix at Wizbang Tech. Thanks, Ted and a big round of applause to Kevin!

I'll ask Annika if it is working now. I've crossed my fingers, thrown salt over my left shoulder, stroked my rabbit's foot and kissed my four-leaf clover. I would pray, but I think God has better things to do than fix Blogger templates. On the other hand, maybe that is why he sent us Kevin...

Saturday, August 09, 2003

This Is Your Brain In Self-Defense

Annika uses her best weapon, her brain, to defend herself. Excerpt:
But then i noticed that the Mustang was going a bit too slowly, almost like the driver was waiting to see whether i would continue straight or make a turn at that intersection, where i was now stopped. In fact, it was driving way too slowly to be doing anything else. i felt a sudden adrenaline rush of fear.

Orange light!

i waited a second more, then i made a quick left turn and drove up a half a block. This neighborhood is entirely residential and where i had turned there were no streetlights and it was very dark. i decided to make a u-turn and then head south to Ventura Boulevard, which was a major street about a half mile away.

Sure enough, when i crossed over the intersection where the Mustang had lingered, i noticed that the driver had also made a u-turn and was coming back my way. i was safe however, since i was now headed toward Ventura Boulevard, where there were usually lots of cars including LAPD, even late at night. The Mustang did not follow me.

After i hit Ventura i doubled back and made it home by an alternate route. But my Threat Warning System worked again, thankfully. By paying attention to my yellow light, i prevented the red light from becoming lit.
Some of her readers noticed the similarity between her system and Jeff Cooper's.

Self-Defense Is A Human Right

Why aren't eighteen to twenty-one year-olds allowed to own a handgun to defend themselves? Are they bulletproof? (I know I thought I was.) Are they expendable? When I was younger, I was poor, and I lived in some rotten neighborhoods. Most of us don't have money when we are young so a rotten neighborhood or two might come with the territory. I wasn't wise enough to be aware of crime at 18. Why isn't someone wiser than me allowed to defend himself?

I would enthusiastically support a federal law extending the gun rights age to 18 from 21 and explicitly referencing the second and fourteenth amendments in applying it to the states. If you are old enough to enlist, you are old enough to possess your own handgun.

Why do some governments restrict non-lethal weapons? They don't kill people. Massachesetts requires a $100 license for a non-lethal weapon. In Canada you are allowed to carry pepper spray, but only for use on animals. I thought gun-grabbers would love non-lethal weapons. The more fool me. If you don't believe that gun-grabbers hate self-defense, look no further than these tyrannical, draconian laws.

As regards non-lethal weapons I would also enthusiastically support a federal law explicitly forbidding the states from taxing, licensing or restricting in any way the sales, possession and carrying of non-lethal weapons by any person over the age of fourteen. It should also reference the second and fourteenth amendments in applying it to the states. Incrementalism should not be a tactic for gun-grabbers only.

Actually, the idea that the state should restrict the rights of a free people to properly defend themselves should cause such a visceral response in our legislators that the mere suggestion that non-lethal weapons (much less lethal ones) should be regulated should cause the following series of events:

If the speaker is a man:

1. At least half the legislators should rise to their feet in sudden fury.
2. At least one-twelfth should rush the speaker with the intent to rain physical blows upon him.
3. The remainder of the standing legislators should begin haranguing the speaker, then turn and restrain the twelfth.
4. Those among the half who are men should attempt to restrain the women who rush the speaker, but it should cause them grave mental distress.
5. The restraint should fail to the extent that one to four hard blows impact the speaker.
6. After order is restored a resolution should be immediately passed condemning the notion.

If the speaker is a woman:

1. At least half the legislators should rise to their feet in sudden fury.
2. At least one-twelfth should rush the speaker with the intent to rain physical blows upon her.
3. The remainder of the standing legislators should begin haranguing the speaker, then turn and restrain the twelfth.
4. Those among the twelfth who are men should restrain themselves from striking the woman, but with difficulty.
5. Those among the half who are men should attempt to restrain the women who rush the speaker, but it should cause them grave mental distress.
6. The restraint should fail to the extent that one to four hard blows impact the speaker.
7. After order is restored a resolution should be immediately passed condemning the notion.

Inspired by Kim du Toit's posting a sample letter, and his implied lament that 18 year-old are not allowed to defend themselves.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Secularization Is Anathema To Me

The secularization of our media, our literature and our daily lives is anathema to me. It appears to be so easy to place God in a box and leave Him out of all we do. If you are an atheist or an agnostic I can see that you would never mention God, but Christians should note His presence every once in a while. God should not be absent from our newspapers, our TV shows, our magazines, our books, our schools and our workplace.

Why can't we have a TV show with an Atheist, a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim just like the shows with an Asian, a Black, a Hispanic and a White? Why don't some of the characters in our dramas routinely go to church without comment? Why are so many novels written as if neither God nor religion ever entered a human being's thoughts?

So if you believe in God, let Him filter into your writing. And if you don't, please don't think I'm trying to cram God down your throat. I'm just trying to avoid having secularism crammed down mine.

Is It Me, Or Is It Blogger?

My permanent links aren't working, even when I republish my archives. Urg. This is ruining my new About Me link.

About Me, Wince

I am a weak Christian, who attends a large Church of Christ (liberal branch). I pray every night with my children, whenever I feel desperate, and occasionally when the wonder of life overwhelms me. I worship most Sundays, unless there is an emergency or an implementation at work. I have ranged from a devout Catholic, to an agnostic, to an atheistic, to a devout Protestant, back through agnosticism and atheism to where I am today. Like Thomas, I doubt. Unlike Thomas I have not seen the holes in His hands, so I still doubt. I am not asking for a miracle, but I would not be offended to witness one. In this blog I hope to mention God every so often.

I am a husband to my wife.

I am a father to my daughters.

I am a son to my parents.

I am a brother to my brother and my youngest sister, and will be to my oldest sister if she ever ends her self-imposed exile.

I am a friend to my friends, although you wouldn't know it considering how much time I spend at work lately. Luckily I've made some new friends at work.

I read compulsively.

I provide Production Support for a small part of a large software system.

I believe in objective truth.

I believe opinions are easy, but truth is hard.

I think rusty barges are beautiful.

I am an American citizen.

I am a Republican, but I used to be a Democrat. I was a liberal, but then they changed what liberal means.

I supported the war in Iraq after a long bout of indecisiveness. Stephen Den Beste helped me decide the war was a good idea. Jerry Pournelle made me worry it was not.

I believe in human rights.

I believe that the right to bear arms is a human right. I used to believe in gun-control because I was worried about crime, but I worried about it because I always believed that self-defense was a basic human right. Now I know that gun control is wrong, my worries were right, and that disarming responsible people does not decrease crime, it increases it.

I like to target shoot, especially with pistols.

I believe Bill Maher is wrong about many things, but not Political Correctness.

I believe Social Security is a ponzi scheme which would have worked fine (other than the socialism) if we had kept having lots of kids and stopped improving our health care system. Now it is the main way for people to vote themselves more money.

I believe in fiscal responsibility.

I believe the welfare system had the unfortunate side-effect of keeping at least some people down and poor, but I know that it has helped some folks. I believe that Capitalism is the worst system imaginable for the poor, ecology and the human race, except for all the others we've tried.

I am a sports fan.

I love to write, which is the main reason I blog. I do hope people read this stuff, though. I want my wife to read it, my children to read it someday, my parents to read it, my siblings to read it, my other relatives and my friends to read it. I hope that some of the people who write the blogs I love will read it. I trust that God has read and is reading it. That worries me a little, especially with a piece as egotistical as this one.

I think it was Annika who said she wouldn't read a blog without an "About Me" section. Well now I have one.

The French Are A Pain

The Russian Dilettante doesn't get why all the French bashing. He also points out that they aren't all that fond of surrendering.

Well, I liked the French well enough to take French in high school. I know that the French surrender jokes are no more true than the previous Italian ones. (Note: I am half Italian, so I could be biased.) Both fought hard and died like crazy in many wars. Like everybody, including the English and the Americans (at least the Confederates, including some of my ancestors) they occasionally were forced to surrender. Maybe I can explain it.

The Free French were a pain during WWII. Patton wanted to bypass Paris and attack the German Army, but De Gaulle would not have it. The French were a pain during Vietnam. We should have bought off Ho Chi Minh so he became our ally against the Chinese (whom he really feared), told De Gaulle to stuff it, and never had to fight in Vietnam. The French were a pain about NATO, pulling their forces out, etc.

The French have always been our least reliable allies. Sure, they fight hard, but they seem to believe their vast experience gives them a Senior Partner Veto over everything the US does. The French way of doing things, however, with its utterly cynical power politics and its elitist intelligentsia, does not play well in Peoria (or with me). Right now the French are working at deliberate cross purposes to the US in terms of national security, trade, the EU, Kyoto and international law. Their obvious goals are to maximize French power at the expense of US power. To pretend that we are allies now rubs me the wrong way. It ain't just about Iraq.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Walking In The Rain

Today my middle daughter, the six year old with the soft voice and the steady gaze, walked with me to the optometrist to pick up her new prescription. It is only three blocks, but we had to hurry since they would close soon. It was raining, drizzling really, so I opened up the big golf umbrella with the red and white panels. We stepped out into the rain, my left hand holding the umbrella and her glasses case, my right hand cradling hers. The gentle breeze, magnified by the umbrella's size, twitched it vigorously in my grip. "Let's cross the street quickly, sweetie," I said, a refrain I repeated at every crossing. It was a mistake to describe my daughter's motion as walking. My girls do not walk, they skip, hop and dance, so my right hand moved as unpredictably as my left. What a treat for the senses! The gentle patter of the rain on our umbrella was interrupted by the loud whoosh and splatter of the cars along the busy street. We ducked under the low hanging branches of trees decked out in all their summer glory, their leaves brushing the top of the umbrella with a swishing sound. Occasionally we were forced to leave the sidewalk to avoid them. Every so often I could feel her hair brush my elbow. The deep green of the leaves, the weathered gray of a privacy fence, the reddish brown of wood chips and the wisps of steam billowing from the car's fenders as the rain contacted the hot engines were a treat for the eyes as well.

I thank God I am alive, and that I can share His world with my wife and our daughters.

Bring Back The Republic

I think the rallying document for the Constitutionalist Party has been written. Step one: Get the Supreme Court to declare as unconstitutional all state laws which disallow two political parties from nominating the same candidate for an office and having him appear on the ballot as such. Strengthening third parties makes it easier for good but not mainstream ideas (like the return to a Constitutional Republic) to become mainstream ideas.

Via Kim du Toit.