Archive for April, 2004

April 30, 2004

Dogs in Cars

I know there are a few pet owners reading this blog, so here’s a question: what are the pros and cons of various means of securing your dog in a vehicle? In particular, I’m wondering if anybody has used or heard good/bad things about these dog seat belts.

Ok, why not

I was going to do the book one a while back, but why anyone would want me type a sentence on calculating bond interest is beyond me. But this one from Tommy seemed fun:

1. Grab the nearest CD.

2. Put it in your CD-Player (or start your mp3-player, I-tunes, etc.).

3. Skip to Song 3 (or load the 3rd song in your 3rd playlist)

4. Post the first verse in your journal along with these instructions. Don’t name the band, nor the album-title.

Speak up – you know what is up
Code of silence Who set you up
Some shit so wrong in this world
It’s all fucked up now you’re gone
Speak up – you know what went on
How could you let it go?
It’s murder you covered up
Stained blood on your soul

Down on my knees
Hands stretched to heaven above
Christ this pain is hard to live with
Don’t fill my heart with love
Engulf my heart with vengeance
You need to see our pain
Don’t fill this heart with love
The truth needs to be told

No Googling allowed. Which performer performed this song on which album?

I have to confess, I couldn’t tell what the words were since I don’t speak death metal and I had to look them up. I’m not 100% sure what the song is about but knowing the lyrics makes me like it more. Regardless, it rocks and that’s what music is about.

Congrats to Bubba!

Bubba was mentioned in Sports Illustrated!

Lesson learned?

Via the charming and engaging Mrs. Bubba (who is married to this guy), comes a report about a DEA agent charged with teaching gun safety and it goes a bit badly:

During the speech, the agent drew his .40-caliber duty weapon and removed the magazine, the report said. He then pulled back the slide and asked a man in the audience to look inside the weapon to make sure it was not loaded, the report said.

“The person nodded that it didn’t have ammunition,” Farmer recounted. “The gun was never pointed at anyone.”

Witnesses told police that the agent kept his gun pointed toward the floor and when he released the slide, the weapon fired one shot into the top of his thigh

First, I was taken aback by the fact a newspaper actually displayed some knowledge of the operation of a firearm. Good for them. Too bad our DEA agent didn’t seem to grasp a few things:

First, ejectors can fail and not eject the round when the slide is racked. So he was smart to have it checked.

Second, always check it yourself, something he didn’t do. Maybe the other guy doesn’t know what he’s doing or is careless. Even if I see some one rack a slide and clear a gun before handing it to me, I rack the slide and check myself.

Third, the weapon likely didn’t fire on its own. He likely had his finger on the trigger, which is a no-no unless you’re ready to fire it.

As Mrs. Bubba said: Who is teaching us gun safety? Although I’m sure she is referring to the fact it is odd someone displaying improper firearm handling techniques has a job teaching kids gun safety, I think it’s odd that the DEA is teaching it.

Chickenhawks

Outside the Beltway has a discussion about the latest iteration of the Chickenhawk flapdoodle. I was especially intrigued by this comment by one Richard Aubrey:

IMO, “Starship Troopers” was the worst movie ever made from a good book. Nevertheless, it got some ink for reminding us of Heinlein’s view that only veterans should have the franchise or public safety jobs. That was thought to be a frightening view of the future, an incipient tyranny. It is, ironically, the easily logical result of following the chickenhawk argument about one more small step.

Any thoughts from our resident Logic Police Department?

Random Thing Seen On Highway

On the way home yesterday, there was a vehicle in front of me with a personalized license plate that read:

MURVUL

Oh, for you non East Tennesseans who won’t get it, I live in the city of Maryville. The locals pronounce it Murvul. I thought it was hysterical.

Scientists, Government: Movie may not be real

Apparently, scientists and the government are criticizing 10.5, a movie about the big earthquake, as being fantasy.

Go figure, a movie is made up. What were the odds? In other news, Big Trouble In Little China was made up too.

Congrats are in order

Blake got a Walther. Cool.

Liberal Media meets the Republican Controlled Media Conglomerate™

Via Oh, That Liberal Media, we have Rummy on liberal bias:

There are two ways, I suppose, one could inform readers of the Geneva Convention stipulation against using places of worship to conduct military attacks. One might be to headline saying that “Terrorists Attack Coalition Forces From Mosques.” That would be one way to present the information.

Another might be to say: “Mosques Targeted in Fallujah.” That was the Los Angeles Times headline this morning.

The press has the Defense Secretary it deserves.

This whole torture flop

Supposedly, some US soldiers were torturing Iraqi prisoners. Couple of things:

1 – Bear in mind that it was other soldiers who took the pictures and gave them to authorities. You won’t hear much about that in the press.

2 – Also, looking at the alleged torture: a guy with a dirty word written on him; a guy hooked up to non-electrified wires, standing on a box, and lead to believe if he fell from the box he’d be electrocuted; prisoners forced to simulate sex with each other; and a dog attacking a prisoner. The only of these that is physical torture is the dog attack. That is real pain and physically cruel. The other stuff is all mental and may well be designed to force submission or get information without physically harming anyone. The sex one is a bit creepy though.

Update: Barry opines in comments:

I wouldn’t want to be the one known for defending torture of prisoners. None of these looked as if they were intended to get vital information – indeed, they looked more like sport for the soldiers.

To be clear: It’s not my intent to defend torture. Torture is something we shouldn’t do. However, if vital information can be gained by using interrogation techniques designed to crack prisoners who have information via mental exhaustion and learned helplessness (sleep deprivation and climate control come to mind) without resorting to physical pain, then I’m not opposed to it.

As Barry says (and upon further reading) these incidents do look rather like sport for the soldiers and are therefore inexcusable.

What do you know

Ted Rall said something almost not completely stupid:

Nevertheless, Kerry would be wise to break ranks with his party’s liberal base by declaring his enthusiastic support for the Second Amendment.

Call me crazy

But (aside from the fact rights are natural and apply to all persons so waiving them seems impossible), isn’t getting someone to waive their fourth amendment rights in exchange for a plea deal sort of unconstitutional?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized

After all, the fourth amendment doesn’t grant a right to freedom from unwarranted searches, it forbids the government from doing them.

Pending BSL In Boston – Update

As a follow up to this post on pending Breed Specific Legislation, comes this report of dog owners protesting the proposed law:

A pack of pit bull owners turned up at City Hall yesterday to bark about a proposed requirement that the infamous dogs be muzzled at all times while on public property in Boston.

But three feisty city councilors and several dog lovers who said their pooches were savagely mauled by pit bulls argued the breed must be restrained before a child is killed.

“Then everybody is going to be falling over themselves wringing their hands saying we should have done something,” City Councilor James Kelly said. “Let’s do something now.”

The proposed ordinance must be adopted by the full council before it can take effect.

And my favorite quote from the article:

“If a child is killed by a German shepherd tomorrow, are you going to be back in here to muzzle all German shepherds?” asked pit bull owner Nina Capozzi.

Ms. Capozzi, don’t you know that’s how government works?

April 29, 2004

Cool toy for newbies

Via C&S, is this handy little site. Essentially, it’s a computer simulated firing range to teach beginning shooters the fundamentals of sight alignment (a task some new shooters struggle with).

Update: And if you’re wondering how I did 58/60:

virtual target.jpg

One thing about this game, I don’t (you probably won’t either) do the same thing as when I shoot. I keep changing my site picture in the game to get closer to center instead of trying for a group.

Incoming

Guy shouldn’t keep his feelings so bottled up. He should tell us how he really feels.

Letters, we get letters

I get mail (quite a bit) but periodically one leaps out to me. Regarding the recent Tennessee education rants I’ve posted here and here, an anonymous reader writes (note: where indicated by brackets, I have changed identifying information):

Reading your posts about homeschooling in Tennessee and the idea of a homeschool bias, I was struck by how quickly your commenters began flaming each other with such hostility. Very frustrating to read seriously, but still enjoyable. I wonder what each of them has invested in the homeschool argument…more than a little, I imagine.

You should know that you are not alone in your feeling that the state lottery scholarship criteria is unjustly favorable to non-homeschooled students. Off the record, you should also know that I work at [a not so distant Tennessee college]. I’m also a homeschool graduate. I was homeschooled from 3rd grade through graduation.

When the issue of these “standards” for scholarship eligibilty were announced a few months ago, I was livid. I consider myself something of an advocate for homeschooling as a practice and for the fair treatment of those who practice it. I immediately shared my frustration and concern over the issue with two associate directors of [a not so distant Tennessee college], and with a former UT admissions counselor who is now a consultant with the state lottery. The response I received was frustrating; sympathy and vague agreement, but no action. The directors with whom I spoke both agreed that the standard is unfair, but neither felt it would be a problem for many students, since homeschoolers (at least those who apply to [here]) generally score much higher on stadardized tests like the ACT than traditionally educated students.

I certainly agree, as I think everyone does, that there needs to be a standard measuring device for Tennessee high school graduates, homeschooled and other. Thus far, the ACT has been the best indicator. For purposes of evaluating freshman applicants to [a not so distant Tennessee college], we give the most weight to ACT or SAT score. GPA is often falsely inflated and standards vary wildly from county to county and private to public. In fact, the only consideration given to GPA is for a core of [select] courses [… snip…] GPA is discounted almost entirely if it is not consistent with ACT score. When we reach “crunch time” every year (right now, in fact) for making the freshmen class, the general word goes out into the office that we cannot accept any more applications unless the student is exceptional, which is invariably measured as one who has scored 28 or better on the ACT…no regard for GPA.

Certainly, other factors than ACT score are considered when admitting freshman applicants. We want a diverse student body, and one that creates the sort of culture [a not so distant Tennessee college] values. But based upon extensive analysis of student return rates, graduation rates, and [a not so distant Tennessee college] gpa, the best indicator of likely future success at [a not so distant Tennessee college] for incoming freshmen is ACT score. Analysis of how regional groups perform at [a not so distant Tennessee college] is also done (sometimes school by school), but you will not find this data published anywhere. We’re also not *allowed* to use regional bias when evaluating incoming students…why, I’m not sure. Taboo, I guess. Trust me, though, a 3.5 gpa at [poor performing public high school] is nothing like a 3.5 at [good performing private school].

As an “insider” at the university level, I feel compelled to use my position to effect whatever change I can for the fair treatment of homeschoolers. I don’t know if any of this information is of interest to you, but I just wanted you to know, this is an issue I care about a lot, and it’s something I bring up at every opportunity (and we have an ungodly number of meetings here, so I have plenty of chances). Please keep making noise about this issue. Email Robert Biggers [robert.biggers@state.tn.us] (the former UT counselor) and voice your concern.

Busy Mom has been, well, busy

She has the latest graphics rich Volunteer Tailgate Party.

Pending BSL In Boston

The AKC alerts us to some potential breed specific legislation pending in Boston:

Attention Boston dog owners! Councillors Rob Consalvo and James Kelly have introduced an ordinance that requires residents to register their “pit bulls” with the city at a cost of $50 annually. Pit bulls are defined as American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, or any mix of those breeds. The measure also limits residents to two pit bulls and requires owners to leash and muzzle their dogs when in public. Additionally, owners must display a sign on their property stating that a pit bull is located on the premises. Violators will be subject to a $100 fine and the pit bull will be immediately impounded. Exemptions are provided for animals participating in contests, shows or exhibitions within city limits, but animals may not remain for more than two weeks.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports reasonable, enforceable dangerous dog laws designed to keep communities safe for both people and dogs. We believe that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs and that laws should impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners. In order to be effective, however, such legislation should judge a dog based on its deed rather than its breed.

What You Can Do:

Immediate help is needed to fight this proposal. Boston dog owners are strongly urged to attend a public hearing on Thursday, April 29th from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM to express their opposition to the ordinance.

Boston City Council
1 City Hall Plaza
5th Floor, Iannella Chamber
Boston, MA 02201
Phone: 617-635-3040

Hog catching ban

Louisiana is looking to ban hog catching:

A Louisiana state legislator is trying to outlaw a violent spectator sport: fights pitting vicious dogs against wild hogs.

Rep. Warren Triche, a Democrat from Thibodaux, has introduced a bill that would ban the bloodiest forms of “hog-doggin,” as the pig-versus-canine duels are known in the rural corners of his state.

“My motivation is that it is an absolute cruelty, and damned well sadistic,” Triche told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

The bill passed the Louisiana House on Tuesday after Triche showed bloody videos of squealing feral hogs being attacked by specially trained dogs. But it must now go the state Senate where Triche fears it may be mired in the mud by opponents friendly to the rural contests.

“This is a hillbilly attitude. You could film ‘Deliverance 2’ and ‘3’ with this kind of attitude,” Triche said, referring to the 1972 film that depicted the ordeal suffered by vacationing city dwellers at the hands of a vicious band of rural residents.

First, it’s probably not a good idea to refer to your constituents as hillbillies, but that’s a separate issue. The article misleads as to what hog catching really is. It’s not a fight. I’ve seen hog catching events. Essentially, a dog runs up to a wild boar that is kept in a pen, grabs it by the ear or nose, and holds it down long enough for the dog’s owner to run up behind the pig and lift it’s back legs. This is done to show that the dog has control of the pig. It’s not a fight. The obvious comparison is a rodeo. Sure, the pigs don’t enjoy it but calves don’t like being hog tied.

The purpose of this is to prepare the dogs to actually go into the wild and hunt feral pigs, which are considered a nuisance. And it has nothing to do with vicious dogs, it has to do with training them to accomplish a task that is arguably brutal.

A humane society was trying to shut one such show down a while back. I’ve never taken Politically Incorrect Dog hog catching, but I’ve seen his parents do it. It’s impressive watching an 80 pound dog tackle a 200 pound pig.

Hunting feral pigs with guns is OK. With dogs, apparently not so much.

Les has more

Les has his weekly gun links up.

A case for term limits?

Note to Thibodeaux:

When they’re on their way out, they start making sense.

Happy Birthday to you

Via Kim, we learn that the Minnesota Personal Protection Act turns a year old:

Shootings over fender-benders: Zero.

Gunfights in bars between legal permit holders: Zero.

Gallons Traces of blood in gutters put there by legal permit holders: Zero.

Shootings by legal permit holders: Zero.

Percent of lying piece of filth “Senator” Wes Skoglund’s rhetoric that came true: Zero.

Anti-gun lobby wrong: A lot

Nothing more to see here

Turns out that shipment of AK47s illegally being smuggled into the US was, in fact, quite legal:

A U.S.-bound shipment of thousands of AK-47 assault rifles and other combat-type weapons, seized by Italian authorities who suspected they were being smuggled, actually have legal permits to be imported, American officials said Wednesday.

About 7,500 AK-47s, AKM rifles and other weapons worth an estimated $6 million were seized April 20 aboard a Turkish-flagged ship in the port of Gioia Tauro. They were bound for New York from Romania.

At the time, Italian authorities said the guns were hidden aboard the ship.

But Andrew Lluberes, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the weapons actually were cleared by U.S. authorities. “The permits are valid,” he said.

A 1994 law prevents the U.S. gun industry from making, importing or selling military-style semiautomatic weapons.

But under ATF regulations, a properly licensed company can ship such weapons to a “custom bonded warehouse” in the United States. There, they are disassembled and their key firing components destroyed. The remaining parts can then be reconfigured into a weapon that will meet the letter of the 1994 law and can be sold legally in the United States.

I had the feeling from the onset that may be the case but I wasn’t familiar enough with the import laws to state that for certain. All that scaremongering about the Assault Weapons Ban and terrorist grade rifles and they turn out to be legal. Since they’re legal, I wonder if the Brady Campaign’s face is red.

Body Armor = Gun

Reports that suspects might be wearing body armor are understandably of concern to police, but this is ridiculous:

“I look at the body armor thing as being almost as serious as carrying a gun,” says New Orleans Police Superintendent Edwin Paulcompess.

Body armor: coming soon to a ban near you.

Second Amendment Caucus

Congressmen Marilyn Musgrave and Virgil Goode (who knew women were congressmen?) announced the formation of a Second Amendment Caucus in the House:

Today, Congressmen Marilyn Musgrave (CO-04) and Virgil Goode (VA-05) announced the creation of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus. Comprised of 38 Members of Congress, this caucus is solely dedicated to the right of lawful individuals to own firearms as granted in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“As lawmakers in our nation’s highest legislative body, we must fight to preserve the Constitutional right for individual citizens to keep and bear arms,” said Musgrave. “While many in our nation’s capital seek to chip away at the right of firearm ownership and possession, the 2nd Amendment Caucus is committed to defending lawful gun owner’s constitutional rights in our nation, without compromise. Their voice will be heard in Congress.”

“In fighting for and protecting our Second Amendment rights, it is important to be vigilant,” said Virgil Goode. “I hope that this caucus will further that goal.”

I hope this is more than a token effort but don’t quite have my hopes up. The House is the last, best hope for gun owners since the judiciary, executive branch and the senate are lost causes.

April 28, 2004

Say Arsenal

While my gun porn leaves a lot to be desired compared to others, I figured I’d post my arsenal. What’s more, I prepared a little ditty:

This is my rifle:

arsenal ar.jpg

This is my gun:

arsenal sig.jpg

This one belongs to the Mrs:

arsenal glock.jpg

And this one’s for fun:

arsenal 1022.jpg

The first one is my AR15, that I built. Five high regular capacity magazines (three 30 rounders for plinking and two 20 rounders for the bench), 500 rounds of 62 grain, jacketed hollow points.

The second is my trusty Sigarms P229 in 9MM. I’ve carried this gun for years. Some evil Black Talon ammunition and four high regular capacity magazines.

Next is the Glock 30, which I bought to leave at home with the Mrs. Why a Glock for the Mrs.? Because it has a light trigger pull, is small for her small hands, is a 45ACP, and reliable. Three mags and the official SayUncle 45ACP load is Golden Saber.

Next is the Ruger 10/22. The new plinker I got for my anniversary. 3X9 scope, one post 1994 magazine (got more coming) and 550 rounds of Federal (on sale at Wal-Mart for $8!).

You’ll notice I don’t have my pistol ammo out. That’s because, since the move, I haven’t found it all yet. Trust me though, they’re loaded.

All you other gun bloggers post pix from your arsenals. Or any other readers can email me at the link in the top right of this page, and I’ll post them.

Term Limits

This is the blogging equivalent of thinking out loud. Term limits: good idea or bad? At the Federal level, we already have term limits—for the President. I can’t see that it’s hurt us any. Why (or why not) have limits for Congresscritters and Senators?

I think it’s unlikely to happen, but it might make for interesting discussion.

Decisions, decisions

I’m still contemplating this presidential election thing. As a gun owner/single voter kind of guy, the Bush administration hasn’t really been my friend. The NRA has endorsed him and I’ve never been a fan of the NRA. I voted for Dubya in 2000 in the Anyone But Gore category. People have advocated the following strategeries for us gun owner types:

  • Hold your nose and pull the lever for Bush. He may not be a friend to gun owners but Kerry is definitely an enemy to gun owners. Bush did, after all, sign concealed carry into law in Texas and supported the immunity bill.
  • Stay home. Don’t vote. I don’t like this option because, well, I like voting. It’s my duty, and all.
  • Vote for Kerry hoping Bush loses to send a message that the Republicans need to get their collective shit together.
  • Vote third party to send a message that, while we’re voting, we’re not voting for Bush.

    I don’t really like any of those options for a variety of reasons. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

  • Phelps Phunny Photos

    This Week in Photos was damn funny.

    Fun with headlines

    Given that The Daily Probe is on hiatus and The Onion hasn’t updated, I figured I’d try my hand at writing witty headlines. Here goes:

    NAACP: Negroponte should change name to Africanamericanponte

    Poll: 72% of voters think Kerry more boring than Bush

    Friends finale to generate record ad revenue, suck

    Report: No one cares about John Kerry’s $1,000 hair cut

    Iraq not going so well

    Kerry vows to boost investment in US technology, improve worker training, find pixie dust

    Cheney: None of your damn business