Thursday, January 29, 2004

I Love My Used Bulgarian Makarov 9x18

Kim du Toit really enjoyed shooting a 9x18 Makarov at the STFDMS. Here is my reply to him. (Preserved here for posterity since Kim gets almost as much email as Taiwan.)

I love my used Bulgarian Makarov, and I thank Chuck Hawks for the positive recommendation. As I am a former armchair gun aficionado (read a lot, know nothing) you can't know how pleased I am to have you validate my choice. It is fun to shoot and as untutored and unpracticed as I am I can still make a ragged hole with seven out of eight at seven yards on occasion. I do have a hard time at longer distances, since it seems to sighted in at seven yards as regards height and of course I've never been taught how to compensate. Oh, and I could probably use a new prescription. It is so hard to hit the dot when it is a blur, and I know my lack of breathing isn't helping...

On the other hand I'm told seven 9x18 center mass at seven yards will change a goblin's life in a positive way...

Go Forth And Take Up Thy Camouflage Against Spammers!

Venomous Kate has found two nifty anti-spam tools. The first tests a page for embedded email addresses which a spam-bot can harvest. The second encodes an email address so it cannot be harvested.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Comment Tracker

Here are posts where I'm watching the comments:

Jan 28 - The Peoria Pundit: Out of his arse - Bill Dennis advocates objective journalism rather than Jeff Jarvis's favorite, which is journalism by agenda.
Jan 27 - The Smallest Minority: Something I've Thought About as Well - Can we still vote with our feet? Are we free to speak our minds because no one is listening?
Jan 27 - Dean's World: Doggerel Trivia - Who chose whom? God or the Jews.
Jan 27 - Dean's World: About Jews - Jewish histories, recommended.
Jan 26 - Dean's World: Fixing the Homeless Problem - Cincinnati tries something positive.
Jan 26 - E Pluribus Unum: Inspector Calls US Iraq Intelligence a Failure - Ara complains even though Clinton believed, only Bush went to war. A war Ara says he supports. Maybe Ara just enjoys the position of Devil's Advocate. I do.
Jan 22 - E Pluribus Unum: Two more soldiers were killed in Iraq on Thursday - Ara complains that our coalition partners aren't providing enough casualties.
Jan 20 - E Pluribus Unum: Bob Dole, President of Iowa - Ara and I both are worried that Howard Dean might be like Bob Dole.
Jan 20 - E Pluribus Unum: "Fringe-baiting" (in hindsight) - Boy it's hard to keep ones crazy supporters in line.
Jan 17 - E Pluribus Unum: Re: Pickering -- Is POTUS tone-deaf or just arrogant? - Pickering is a racist. No he's not, Robert Byrd is a racist. No he's not, Republicans are racists. No, they aren't Democrats are racist. Then everyone calms down.

Dead Threads, But On My To Do List:
Jan 20 - Dean's World: Crybaby Christians
Jan 10 - E Pluribus Unum: "Annoy the media. Swing the bat."
Jan 07 - Wince and Nod: A Blogger Needs Advice
Jan 06 - Tao of Dowingba: A perfect example

Dead Threads:
Jan 11 - Wince and Nod: Is The Technological Singularity Upon Us?
Jan 11 - Tao of Dowingba: Kansas wants to send smokers to Oz
Jan 10 - Wince and Nod: Crusin' For A Brusin'
Jan 09 - Dean's World: Explain This to Me (Rosemary)
Jan 09 - Tao of Dowingba: Conservation
Jan 08 - Wince and Nod: Police Trainee Shoots Self In Leg
Jan 08 - The Smallest Minority: Our Jan Collapsing Schools Dept. - This Will Make You Think...
08 - E Pluribus Unum: Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper
Jan 08 - Tao of Dowingba: Dowingbalanche
Jan 06 - Dean's World: Thesis
Jan 06 - Tao of Dowingba: Karl's rap sheet
Jan 02 - Hell In A Handbasket: WORDS OF WISDOM
Jan 02 - Winds of Change: "Mad Max" in Iraq
Dec 30 - Crooked Timber: All the nice boys love a cowboy
Dec 30 - Francis W. Porretto: Not Because It's True
24 Dec - The Smallest Minority: The Exchange Continues
24 Dec - psychobabble: The Right to Bear Arms II
23 Dec - Hell In A Handbasket: AT LEAST THE BLOG IS APTLY NAMED
23 Dec - Dean's World: Credit Where It's Due
22 Dec - Dean's World: Best Idea Yet...(Rosemary)
22 Dec - Transterrestrial Musings: We Play Right Into Their Hands
21 Dec - Dean's World: Security
21 Dec - It's Craptastic!: Orange...
20 Dec - Michael Williams -- Master of None: Hoplophobia
20 Dec - psychobabble: The Right to Bear Arms
19 Dec - Lean Left: Barry on Concealed Carry
18 Dec - The Smallest Minority: UPDATE: The Hoplophobe Responds
18 Dec - Inn of the Last Home: Vilification and Clarification
18 Dec - Dean's World: Enviro-Vilification
17 Dec - Dean's World: Stomping More Stupidity
17 Dec - Ara Rubyan: How Dean Could Win . . . (Part Deux)
17 Dec - Dean's World: ... But By The Content of Their Ideas
16 Dec - Tao of Dowingba: Card on the Issues
16 Dec - Tao of Dowingba: Another Canada vs USA post
14 Dec - The Smallest Minority: The Hoplophobic Mindset
13 Dec - Michael Williams -- Master of None: An Open Letter to Hawthorne Police Chief Stephen Port
13 Dec - Tao of Dowingba: Better understanding the bidding issue
12 Dec - It's Craptastic!: A call to the Right...
08 Dec - It's Craptastic!: What is the point?
05 Dec - a visitor: The US National Rifle Association's "hit list"
20 Nov - Ravenwood: Tobacco-wackos are becoming violent

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Praise Him!

Even the dirty snow looks beautiful today.
The clean snow is gorgeous.
Praise God!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Budget Hawk 1

I'm a budget hawk. I want the budget to go down for a while, to make up for all the time it's gone up. I'm also an Islamic fascist hawk. I want Islamic fascists to be defeated, to make up for all the innocent people they've killed. But there are things more important than either. I think our honor is more important than our budget. (So we can't just abandon our international partners in the International Space Station, sigh.) I also am not willing to relinquish our liberties in order to defeat Islamic fascists. (So we can't just imprison people indefinitely without judicial review in a war where identifying enemy combatants is problematic.)

My father pointed out that a true budget hawk cannot ignore such a large chunk of the budget as defense. Sometimes, when I was younger, it was aggravating when Dad was right and I was wrong. I was younger when Dad pointed this out....

So now, I plan on pointing out things we can do to avoid defense budget bloat every time I make a series of budget suggestions. Here is my first.

1. The F-117 was a horrible waste of money, in terms of bang for the buck. Armored Hummers and more training would be much better. I'm not saying we shouldn't have stealth technology. I am saying we should have figured out how to make it cheaper before we bought it. Here's a rule of thumb: Weapon system's should not be so expensive that you are afraid to use them because they might get blown up.

2. Farming subsidies are bad economics and bad foreign policy. Let's end them.

3. Forget going to the moon on the taxpayer dime. Remove the regulatory and liability burdens on private space businesses. Offer prizes like the X-Prize. Fund real X-Projects like the X-15 (not the more recent NASA boondoggles.)

3. I give money to NPR and Public Television. The government shouldn't. If Sesame Street can't survive on the licensing fees for all the branded stuff we buy for our kids then Elmo should start teaching basic economics to their management instead of pre-reading to our kids. Actually our kids could use some economics, too.

That's a start. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Canadian Flying Rats

Actually Canadian geese are beautiful birds. But federal protection has turned them into an unmitigated nuisance. At work, which has been designed like a campus, with plenty of grass for goose grazing, and with a big catch basin to recycle our rain runoff for watering the grass (at considerable savings) they were such a problem we had to get a specially trained border collie to run them off.

Just Go By The Plain Meaning, Please

Missouri passed a concealed carry law. It has been challenged as violating the Missouri Constitution. The passage it supposedly violates is:
Section 23. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.
Most of us believe this means that a law making concealed carry illegal would be constitutional, not that one allowing concealed carry is unconstitutional. If the constitution was intended to prohibit concealed carry it should read "...but no citizen shall wear a concealed weapon.

Now the case is in the Missouri Supreme Court. If they find the Missouri Constitution forbids concealed carry, a lot of Missouri cops will have to change the way they carry their backup weapons.

Hero Had Surgery Saturday

Our hero, Stephan Eads had surgery Saturday morning. Sure hope he's OK. Oh, and the video of him being shot (and shooting back) made America's Most Wanted.

My Vote In The New Weblog Showcase - Week Ending Jan 18

Ivy at Ivy is here analyses a poem in her post from Thursday, January 8th. For the record, crows and ravens are both members of the crow family. The major difference is that ravens are larger. A friend of a friend kept a crow which learned to call his dogs by imitating him. The dogs never learned the difference. The crow was amused.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Light that Candle!

Apparently paraffin makes a good rocket fuel. But how will BATFE regulate it?

Via Instapundit.

One Brave 10 Year Old

He fingered the three men who attacked him.

The Challenger Was In Town!

I was lucky enough to see the world's largest operating steam locomotive in Topeka a few years back. It is huge, being 122 feet long and over a million pounds heavy.

Pray For This Brave Man

Stephan Eads, who shot back at the robber who wounded him, is struggling to stay alive. There is also a trust fund for his expenses.

Restrictive Covenants Are A Pain

Sometimes Homeowner Associations don't have the sense God gave a horsefly, as in this case where one is suing a women for trying to make her pool safer. Apparently her neighbor wasn't too happy. (Note to Tom Gauer: It is spelled Leawood, not Leeward. Don't trust your spell checker every time.) Too bad she probably violated the contract she signed. I'm lucky not to have to put up with this. In my old neighborhood the association was more sensible. When they noticed that lots of folks were putting up garden sheds, and thereby breaking the no outbuildings rule, they proposed that we change the rule. It passed unanimously.

(This post was updated.)

Battered By Bean Bags

This story shows how police can use non-lethal weapons to subdue without killing. I think firing bean bags from a shotgun is cool.

Spit on Constitution, Search, and Seize

I thought all our elected officials and judges took an oath to uphold the Constitution. Oops, my bad. I guess the war on drugs does justify seizing a rare $1,000 bill during a traffic stop. I really hate the way our major parties strip away our liberties in order to score political points in the "law and order" game. At least the cops gave him a check and promise to let him buy it back once they are done considering it as evidence.

Flying Small Planes Is Risky, By Gum!

It's too bad Governor Carnahan died in an airplane crash. But liability lawsuits like this are what force companies out of the business. Nobody makes small airplanes for the general aviation market anymore. You can get sued for not warning pilots not to fly drunk in your manuals. Flying small airplanes is inherently risky. The law should recognize this. I suspect that safety improvements for small aircraft are actually being discouraged by the way liability lawsuits work in this country. Are there any economists reading this who could help me verify my suspicion?

Friday, January 16, 2004

A Vegetarian Abomination Against Nature

Also in the Vegetarian Times are ads for vegetarian pet foods and treats. This is just wrong on so many levels. Hmm. The African wild hunting dog (Lycaon pictus) eats only meat. These dogs live in packs averaging seven to fifteen members which hunt in ranges from 200 to 2,000 square kilometers.

Let's see. So it's wrong to kill an animal and eat it. But it's OK to enslave the animal for your own emotional needs, keeping it away from its fellows, reducing its living space to a miniscule fraction of what is natural and completely destroying its natural diet.

I don't get it. If it is wrong to eat animals, it is also wrong to keep them as pets.

An Aggravating Comparison

My wife bought a subscription to Vegetarian Times from the Girl Scouts. In spite of the fact that I constantly clamor for red meat, she insists on cooking vegetarian in a laudable attempt to keep my cholesterol down. Unfortunately VT is contaminated with PETAesque folly. In their classified ads is an add for a bumper sticker reading "Hamburger Stops A Beating Heart". Arrgh. For those like us who are pro-life this bastardized version of "An Abortion Stops A Beating Heart" is appalling. It particularly rankles that although it is supposedly unconstitutional to outlaw abortion, it is perfectly constitutional to outlaw the eating of meat.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Private Schools Cost Less

On average, private schools cost less than half the $7,000 per pupil that public schools cost.

We need school choice now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

We'll Have To Take The Kids

A local science museum (at our old train station) and one of my alma maters (KU) are creating a display where you can watch workers prepare dinosaur bones.

Loophole hunts...

... are like snipe hunts. But legislators keep trying. Pass too many laws or increase taxes too much and you either create a black market, like cigarettes in New York, or you drive jobs overseas. I'm not asking for a minimalist government, but I would like budget cuts to be more common than tax increases for the next seventy years.

Should States Be In The Gambling Business?

Our distressing Governor thinks Kansas should be. I favor making gambling legal with reasonable restrictions. I know it is harmful, but I would rather the government butt out. I find the government lotteries particularly distasteful. At least with private casinos most the money is paid out. Government gambling establishments always take an unethically large cut, and they force those, like myself, for whom gambling is a sin to participate by proxy. More here.

Local Terrorists Exposed

Bert Campbell has discovered some homegrown terrorists. Not what you might expect, but worth thinking about. Go take a look.

If You Break A New Year's Resolution...

...don't give up. Remember St. Peter, who denied Christ but went on to die in Rome for him.

Is Rick Santorum A Prophet?

No, but he made one good prediction. A Utah couple is challenging the state's law against bigamy based on the Lawrence v. Texas decision, which ruled that the Texas anti-sodomy law was unconstitutional. In addition, I imagine a religious freedom argument applies here, since Mormonism used to embrace the practice. Look for a Muslim to make the same challenge.

Polygamy has been practiced in a many cultures, including the one from which Christianity sprang. If you are a multi-culti you have to support it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Signers Support Smokers

I hope my relatives in Maryville, Missouri were among the thousand people who signed the petition to overturn a restaurant smoking ban. Since Maryville has eleven thousand permanent residents and sixty-six hundred students in their population, a thousand signatures is a lot.

You Want Fried Mouse With That?


Cities Can't Cancel Contracts

Deed restrictions are very common in this country. I had one on my first house. It specified, among other things, that we could not construct any outbuildings, like gardening sheds. Later the homeowner's association removed that restriction. Such deed restrictions are intended 'to preserve the character of the neighborhood' and 'maintain property values'. I hate 'em, because I don't want another set of silly rules. But there is something I hate worse. The city of Shawnee passed an ordinance intending to force homeowner's associations to allow composition roofs, reasoning that they are less prone to burn. But US District Judge Carlos Murguia, thank God, struck down the law as unconstitutional. His rational was that it violated the association's right to make contracts.

I don't have much understanding of contract law, but the Judge applied the first paragraph of Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. It reads:
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
I am so glad that Judge Murguia is protecting our right to make and enforce contracts. If the city of Shawnee so desires, they can outlaw wood roofs or require that wood roofs be treated with fire-retardent chemicals for their citizen's safety, but they can neither break nor force contracts between their citizens.

Here's the whole decision. It's pretty short.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Welcome To Carry Nation's Home State

I'm sorry to say that Kansas was the home state of Carrie Nation, the Prohibitionist with an ax. Even though she didn't have the vote, her power (which usually featured an iron head and an ash handle) along with those of other strong women eventually led to a dramatic and very unfortunate change to the Constitution. These days, with the mockery that the President, Congress and the Courts have made of the interstate commerce clause, I'm not sure an amendment would be needed for the Feds to outlaw liquor.

She has also had a lasting effect on Kansas, which is still has dry counties and bizarre liquor laws. Recently a judge ruled that the state prohibition on liquor stores being open on Sundays and holidays was so poorly phrased that cities and counties could actually opt out of the prohibition. So now in little newspapers like the Shawnee Journal Herald you may expect to find little gems like the last paragraph in this city government wrap up.

Passing Pork Powers Politics Perversely

The Pitch explains how liberal-leaning Kansas City Democrats end up at a fund-raiser for conservative Republican Senator Kit Bond. Of course, maybe Bond is more moderate than his opponents are willing to admit. Conservatives want less public spending, Bond is giving us more. Liberals want to raise taxes, Bond cuts them.

The last page of the article has some very interesting comments about race. Apparently Republicans who court the African-American vote do better in the suburbs, even if they don't gain any African-American votes. It is good strategy to reach out to all voters. When people see that, they say to themselves, "He may not agree with me, but at least he won't ignore me."

Angry politicians, like Pat Buchanan and Howard Dean, suffer from the scorched earth politics they use to gain fanatical followers. When people see that kind of anger, they say to themselves, "If I don't agree with him he'll hate my guts and shut me out."

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Why Can't Clinton and MoveOn Be On The Same Page

Maybe MoveOn didn't get their copy of the script. MoveOn calls Bush a liar over WMD, but Clinton says Bush was telling the truth. It's a bad deal that MoveOn became a group of rabidly partisan Bush hating demogoges, just like the Clinton haters they were formed to oppose.

Via Dean's World.

Violent Hyperbole Under Attack

It seems a mother and her child don't know hyperbole when they hear it, and a teacher may suffer for it. For crying out loud. She should have taken away her kid's keys to his car for the week, not complained about the teacher. (Trust me, at Blue Valley, with her overprotective attitude, he has a car. I give it an 85% chance.)

The parent then used the dread phrase 'zero tolerance'. Spare me. The last thing we need is to cater to intolerant, thin skinned nannies who think everything can be solved by the unthinking application of government power. Please stop making everyone's life miserable because your kid likes to play the victim.

Is The Technological Singularity Upon Us?

Dunno, but folks are working on an artificial hippocampus, brainstem implants and thought controlled arms. Is technology cool, or what?

Saturday, January 10, 2004

My Vote In The New Weblog Showcase - Week Ending Jan 11

Robert Holcomb at Go Dubya! complains about Neal Starkman calling me (among others) stupid in You're Stupid.

American Footprint explains why I might prefer free-range chicken in What’s grosser than gross?. Next they can explain how to get my frugal wife to pay more for it. She takes a 'cheap chicken or vegetarian' stance. I am a carnivore.

Go look at Celebrating the Third World in Pictures, which isn't a post, it's a photo log. But the photos are beautiful. I particularly like the houseboats.

Sleep Not Work gives us the alternate theory why advertising always tries to be so hip in Cool Customers: Part 2 on The Greater Nomadic Council.

The post December 17th, 2003 is almost the title track on December 17th. It is the story of a heart attack from the man who survived it.

We have a really great set of entries this week. The last two I linked above, which are in the non-political category, are top notch pieces of writing.

A Movement Devoted To - Good Food?

An international movement promoting slow food may finally bring conservatives and liberals together - to eat! And if this article is any indication, it is all based on the market forces, not bull-in-the-china-shop regulations.

Strom Thurmond's Grandpa Also Got Around...

Looks like Strom Thurmond had black uncles and cousins as well. I do not admire family traditions which include fornication and adultery. I don't care who you are, even if you are a Democratic Senator or a Republican one, please try to imitate the good qualities of your forebears, not their sins.

Crusin' For A Brusin'

Jason Curless may need to learn the meaning of 'fighting words'. Sometimes, when you are too offensive, you need to be punched several times in the ancient and honorable custom known as a fistfight. This teaches respect to people who don't understand it. I am willing to consider picketing his house and letting the air out of his tires and other forms of harassment until he gets his freedom of expression under control.

Evil Anti-Smokers Loose In Kansas

Lawrence, the Berkeley of Kansas, has been infested with anti-smokers. I have friends who smoke. Keep your second-hand smoke pseudo science and your complete misunderstanding of miniscule risks away from the laws in my state! If you are really that afraid of tobacco smoke, go cower in your abode and leave my friends and the businesses who choose to serve them alone. Or, if you really feel you must 'make a difference', use the comment card, not the ham-fisted power of government, which flows from the barrel of a gun!

We have a wonderful market-based system in this country. When you patronize a business that allows smoking, fill out a comment card complaining about it and talk politely to the manager. (Smokers and those of us who are tolerant may use the same methods in businesses which don't allow smoking.) Believe me, if enough customers complain, some businesses will ban smoking and others will allow it. This will allow smokers and those of us who are actually tolerant to patronize businesses which allow smoking. Those of us who are intolerant and like to complain about people having disgusting and unhealthy habits can patronize the non-smoking businesses.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Show And Tell At My School Was Never Like This

We never had a doctor dissect a human arm in our fifth grade class. I'm jealous.

Family Services Violates Due Process

Richard Callahan has declared the Missouri Suspected Child Abuser List to be unconstitutional. The problem was the Family Services could place you on the list without convicting you of a crime. Thank you, judge, for protecting our rights. More here.

This Man Will Fight Back

The odds may have been three on one, and Stephan Eads may have been wounded, but he fought back. Watch the excellent store camera video. There have been a series of armed robberies by three masked men in the area. I hope Mr. Eads has made them think twice about their career choice. I bet shoplifting is getting more appealing all the time.

For the previous story, click here, or scroll down to Defensive Gun Use if the link is bloggered. More here and here.

A Local Columnist On Rush

Steve Rose, a local columnist, looks at what Rush should have said about drugs. Too bad he didn't go all the way and say they should be made legal. I know drugs are stupid, but I'd like to try treating them as a public health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue, please. Off topic money quote:
And now I want to talk about Hillary Clinton, and how she is, behind the scenes, running for president in 2004, and why Senator Clinton would be the most dangerous and destructive president since Lyndon Johnson.
Here's a thesis: Lyndon Johnson was the most corrupt president we've had since Teapot Dome, but not through a lot of illegal actions. He just bought our votes more cynically than any President, ever. Discuss.

You Can Save Money On Legal Fees...

... at We The People, a legal document preparation store. This is kinda cool.

Is No Call Legislation Working?

It generated $270,000 in fines in 2003. I'd prefer we didn't have such laws, especially since there are simple technological fixes. The price of goods in the state of Kansas just went up by some multiple of $270,000. But the legislators can crow, and the lawyers get to eat, even though I still get calls.

Three 'Parties' In Kansas

There are three political 'parties' in Kansas, the Democrats, the moderate wing of the Republican Party and the conservative wing of the Republican party. Here's a story about an attempt to replace the moderate Republican National Committeeman . Intra-party cat-fight! The constant struggle between the three 'parties' is a big deal here. Sometimes the Democrat and the moderate Republicans even get together to defeat the conservatives. That's why my US Representative is a Democrat, even though it is a traditionally Republican area.

A Fantastic Restaurant

Tatsu's French Restaurant is the only great French Restaurant left in the Kansas City area. My wife and I were lucky enough to be invited to eat there once. The beef was fabulous as I expected, but the carrots were divine. How can carrots be divine? But they were.

Sarah Brady's Organization is Whining...

... about Missouri gun laws being weak. I'll say. They can't even keep a Saint Louis judge who can't read the state constitution from putting the new concealed carry law on hold while he finds someone who can parse a sentence. That's weak.

Steal a Truck...

..., steal some license plates, steal some other loot, get a flat, call the Highway patrol for help and go to jail.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Defensive Gun Use

A liquor store clerk was shot during a shootout with some robbers, but his injuries aren't life threatening, thank God. We've had a string of robberies locally, many with similar circumstances, but this doesn't sound like one of those.

Update: Actually, from the follow up story (scroll down to This Man Will Fight Back if the link is bloggered) it does look like this is the same gang of three that has been hitting liquor stores and bars around here.

Police Trainee Shoots Self In Leg

Ouch! While holstering his pistol, this officer trainee somehow pulled the trigger. Notice that the article just says 'the gun went off'. This was not the gun's fault. Maybe it caught on the holster. Maybe he had his finger in the trigger. I expect the trainer is catching significant hell about this. James Rummel, Say Uncle, Les Jones, how does one properly holster a weapon?

Update: Marc explains how to properly holster a weapon. Thanks, Marc! (Kevin Baker, Marc and James Rummel also comment below.) Here's another article with more information on the incident. The weapon was a .40 caliber Glock, and this article correctly identifies the problem as human error. By the way, the police were training at The Bullet Hole, the range where my wife and I are members.

Nicotine Fit Reaches 9.7 on the Richter Scale

Would you smash a car into a store door three times for a smoke?

The Desire To Defend Oneself...

... begins early. It should be expected that our schools have zero-tolerance for weapons, but not for bullies, since the former are easy to detect and clear cut and the latter are not. In Japan, judo is part of gym class. Would teaching martial arts en masse benefit the children of this country?

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I Have a Very Funny Wife

I got this unusually shaped package from my wife. It was heavy. I started to get excited. I opened it and found a bottle of mouthwash with a note made from green construction paper shaped like a Christmas tree. I started to laugh. My wife said, "Did you read the note?" "No", I said and I opened it. It read:
Dear ---:
Here is that scope you were hinting for, but I have no idea how you attach this to the gun. I think you'll have to work that part out on your own.
I laughed even harder. (I do get to go shopping for a scope, now.)

A Blogger Needs Advice

Say Uncle is requesting advice for Rich on buying his first firearms.

This is what I told him. I hope to have something longer soon.

First, buy/use really good hearing protection. I use the 26db headphone type and earplugs too. It is not easy to get the earplugs in correctly, so make sure they are all the way in before you shoot. Sad to say loud noises make me nervous, but I'm not having flinch problems, even when I rent the 44 magnum.

Second, rent or borrow different guns before you buy. My range has five dollar rentals. You can rent a lot of different guns before making a purchase you regret at that rate.

Third, practice with .22 pistols and rifles first. They are inexpensive to buy and shoot, light, not so loud and with almost no recoil. They teach good habits. Nobody develops a flinch with a .22.

Fence Sticker Charged

Our unfortunate Christmas impalee is facing criminal charges for burglary and theft. (Scroll down to This Makes Me Cringe if the first link is bloggered.) Here are the steps she followed (this list has been updated):

1. Stay with friends or family for the holidays.
2. On Christmas Day, get drunk and high on methamphetamines.
3. Sneak into the empty house next door.
3. Steal a wicker basket, cordless drill and some seashells!!!
4. On the way back get impaled on your friend's/family's wrought iron fence.
5. Get rushed to the hospital with a section of the fence still inside you.
6. Tell police you were trying to return items from a garage sale this summer.
7. Go to the Ozarks to recuperate.
8. Get charged with two counts of burglary.

How sad. I hope she gets some counseling to go with her sentence.

Update: Her mom says she was simply trying to return some borrowed things. More source materiel, plus a picture is here.

No Dumb Criminals, Just Dumb Fake Victim

Looks like the case of the stripped down robbery victim, err, wasn't. (Scroll down to More Dumb Crooks if the link is bloggered.) It seems two drunks accused a third drunk of stealing 300 bucks, then made him strip down to prove he hadn't. Well, it's still pretty stupid, but the prosecutors and I don't want the law involved.

Monday, January 05, 2004

John Lott On Why People Fear Guns

Some of Lott's work and some of his methods are under fire, but he sure has some good questions in this column, and maybe some good stats, if confirmed.

Via the Linkage column on Tao of Dowbinga.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Do Not Frequent Club Chemical...

... at 1111 Grand Ave in Kansas City, Missouri. Anyplace too dangerous for KCMO cops to work as security guards is too dangerous for me. Rascally registration required. Use

More Dumb Crooks

Robbers force a man to strip. Real smart. This pretty much forces the man to report the crime. It motivates him to instant action and makes it easy for him to get help/police attention too, especially on a cold night.

Use A Defense Spray With CN Or CS

James Rummel recommends a self-defense tool. He also links this article on how rapists pick victims.

The Fourth Amendment Is In Tatters

The GeekWithA.45 points out that no one in any branch of the Federal Government is protecting the Bill of Rights. I'm almost to the point where I'll vote Libertarian for Congress, in protest.

Protect Your Rights

The GeekWithA.45 applauds a hotel which refused to hand over its guest list. So do I. Money quote:
That nothing is more dangerous to Liberty than to meekly yield it, and proceed to live as if you have none.
A good cop on a good day will understand. A good cop on a bad day will be pissed, but will still treat you right. Most cops are good cops. Pray you don't get a bad one. Actually, if you do get a bad one, fervent, audible, loving (but not judgmental) prayer on his behalf and in his presence is a pretty good idea.

Structural Stupidity, Not Black helicopters

Vox Popoli notes the threat the EU and the UN represent to liberty. (Scroll down to The Grip Tightens if the link is bloggered.) How can another layer of government to pass more laws and create more regulations to limit an individuals liberty be a good thing?

Prayer of the Day - 4 Jan 2004

Dear Lord, please bless the leaders of this country and the world. Help them to govern in such a way as to make us better people, both in the performance of their duties and the example they set. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

My Vote In The New Weblog Showcase - Week Ending Jan 4

It seems Self-composed is in The New Weblog Showcase again this week. So I'll vote for him again.

Self-composed complains about the utterly disgusting habit of discriminating against smokers in Banning Smokers. I still think its far worse than smoking, myself.

Surly Guy thinks that female serial killers make poor roles models. Amazingly "Patty Jenkins, director of the new movie Monster" does not. Go read So Your Heroes Have Always Been ... Serial Killers?

Saturday, January 03, 2004

The Kansas Connection To The Wright Brothers

Octave Chanute was also the French Connection to the Wrights. Mr. Chanute was a real renaissance man. He was the first man to bridge the Missouri river (the Hannibal Bridge in Kansas City), was general superintendent of the Southern Kansas Railroad and platted Lenexa (one city over from mine). Oh, and he also built a biplane glider and mentored the Wright Brothers.

Defensive Gun Use?

I'll have to see what else I can find out about this story.

Taking It Off The Streets

Ways to fight crime:

1. Be good witnesses.
2. Follow the criminals and help police catch them!

Don't just leave it to the pros!

Friday, January 02, 2004

Is It Stupid Criminal Week Here?

1. Get your stolen truck full of loot stuck in the mud.
2. Steal another vehicle to pull it out.
3. Lead police on a high speed chase.
4. Jump in the river, even though you can't swim.

Use A Drill??? Go To Jail

Actually I'm thankful they didn't use a gun. Looks like they really just needed a ride. What a way to go to jail.


Italian Gardens, the restaurant where my lovely wife and I had our first date, has closed.