Archive for August, 2005

August 31, 2005

More on Looting

Regarding the looting, some folks have the right idea:

Employees at A.J.’s Produce Co. on Chartres Street in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans, spray-painted bright-red stern warnings for would-be thieves right on the sides of the building.

“You loot, we shoot!” they read. “Looters will be shot!” And “loot and die!”

“We had a few come around, but the boogie man scared them away,” said 59-year-old John Allen, who sat in a lawn chair guarding the building about 10 a.m. Tuesday. “The signs did the job.”

Via Joe.

Update: Oh dear. Katie notes that in the press coverage, black folks are looting while white folks are finding things. (update to the update: as Xrlq points out in comments, Yahoo! News used two different news agencies. Nothing to see here, keep moving.) Update to the update to the update: Xrlq blogs about it:

the stories were written by two different news agencies, with different reporting policies, and those big racist meanies at Yahoo! had the gall to carry both companies’ feeds.

To which Allah points out (in Xrlq’s comments) this. Something to it after all, I guess.

Update 2: Et tu, officer friendly.

Update 3: While authorities shift resources to search and rescue (which they should do!), the looting continues. Looters are taking guns:

New Orleans’ homeland security chief, Terry Ebbert, said looters were breaking into stores all over town and stealing guns. He said there are gangs of armed men moving around the city. At one point, officers stranded on the roof of a hotel were fired at by criminals on the street.

The Times-Picayune newspaper reported that the gun section at a new Wal-Mart had been cleaned out by looters.

So, for all you anti-gunnies out there: what do you do when the system breaks down, there is neither law nor order, and your protection is up to you?


Looks like looting started in New Orleans yesterday. Abysmal state of human nature, I suppose. While Insty advocates ownership of crank powered radios, I’ll advocate ownership of any one of these:

Read the rest of this entry »

More tax shelter blogging

I mentioned KPMG’s indictment earlier. I found it odd that no news story I read was clear regarding what exactly KPMG did. The media used weasel words like tax shelter because, let’s face it, this accounting and tax law stuff is hard to grasp. As a general rule, tax evasion is illegal while tax avoidance is not. So, I did some searching and found:

The tax shelters that KPMG sold have still not been definitively ruled illegal by courts. But the government says KPMG intentionally failed to register the shelters as required, with one internal memo saying the profits from selling the shelters were enough to offset the potential civil penalties for failing to register them.

Holy shades of Martha Stewart, Batman! It seems there’s no ruling that what they did was illegal. There’s only the fact they didn’t register the shelters. However, the internal memo sort of indicates KPMG’s arrogance in dealing with the .gov. But, I’m still not exactly sure what KPMG did. More:

Major auditing firms have what amounts to a public franchise, since the law requires publicly traded companies to get independent audits.

The price of that franchise, in part, is to not come across as too hostile to the government, whether in its efforts to administer the tax law or to prevent accounting fraud. KPMG ignored that reality, to its eventual cost.

KPMG’s determination was not unique in the auditing industry. Arthur Andersen, which also questioned the SEC’s authority over accountants, bitterly resisted an SEC enforcement action that included civil fraud allegations over its audit of Waste Management, although it eventually settled.

But in the year after that settlement, Andersen did not appear to be changing the practices that had offended the commission, a fact that left it in a bad position when Enron, an Andersen audit client, collapsed. Andersen might have failed even if criminal charges had not been filed, but those charges sealed its fate.

Had KPMG been less certain that only it knew what was right, the cost of its actions would have been far lower. It is fortunate for KPMG, however, that Andersen failed first, leaving regulators fearful of what would happen if the demise of KPMG left only a Big Three in accounting. Were it not for that worry, KPMG itself might now be under indictment.

Ouch. If I was one of four companies that essentially have a guaranteed market due to governmental regulation, I would not be as hostile towards the governmental regulatory bodies. After all, that which is given by law can be taken by law.

Carnival of Liberty

The latest is up at Gullyborg’s.

H&K And Sig

Defense Review reports that Sigarms and H&K scored some major contracts with the Department of Homeland Security. They’re fine choices. Odd though that they got pistols in 9mm, 40S&W and 357SIG. Figured they’d standardize calibers across the agency.

Another one

Blake asked what do you do when the law breaks the law? Just in time, comes Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal who says motorists who are arrested for carrying pistols in their cars without a concealed handgun license will continue to be prosecuted in Houston, despite a new law that purports to give them a legal defense.

More Waltzing

Alphie notes another indictment in The Tennessee Waltz:

The rumors that there was still an outstanding warrent (sic) to be served in the Tennessee Waltz sting run by the FBI have turned out to be true.

According to breaking news on Memphis CBS affiliate WREG, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of long-time Shelby-county Democrat politician Michael Hooks in connection with the sting.

He also notes Hooks has a prior record for possession of drug paraphernalia. Eight arrests in total now for the Tennessee Waltz. Additionally, rumors are that more people are going down.

The gun show loophole loophole

After Illinois passed a law to close the non-existent gun show loophole by requiring background checks be done on private, person-to-person sales at gun shows, guess what happened?

They recently enacted legislation requiring gun owners to get government permission before selling guns at gun shows. Gun rights advocates claimed that the law was intended to get rid of gun shows. The gun control lobby claims they were just closing a loophole in the law. Any doubt you might have had about the law’s intention was erased last weekend when local authorities failed to show up to facilitate the background checks. Law abiding citizens were effectively prevented from exercising their rights, because the government bureaucracy broke down.

People at the gun show were unable to sell guns, which seems to have been the whole idea.

The South

Michael notes:

Compared to the nation, the South has more blacks serving in state legislatures and, despite old stereotypes, the South has a lower rate of violent crime.

But more Southerners are classified as underserved by primary care physicians when compared to the nation as a whole, and the region narrowly lags behind the rest of the country in the percentage of adults over 25 with a high school diploma.

Bubba (you’ll always be Bubba to me) notes:

Regionally, income declined only in the Midwest, down 2.8 percent to $44,657. The South was the poorest region and the Northeast and the West had the highest median incomes.

Scaring Egalia

Don’t tell Egalia, but the bill that doesn’t give women guns in North Carolina has been signed into law. Now, the governor wants to reverse it:

Gov. Mike Easley has signed a bill that would encourage victims of domestic violence to seek emergency concealed gun permits — but he now wants lawmakers to reverse it.

Easley had “concerns,” according to a spokeswoman, about the measure’s central provision: a requirement that court clerks tell victims who obtain protective orders how to apply for an emergency carry permit.

The governor signed the bill late Saturday only after receiving assurances from House Speaker Jim Black that the requirement would be lifted in separate legislation, perhaps this week, Easley spokeswoman Cari Boyce said. Black spokeswoman Julie Robinson confirmed that account.

Quote of the day

Lamenting Duncan in 2008, Clark Stooksbury writes:

…I think Duncan is correct to predict that he would get “slaughtered.” The loudest voices on the Republican Right want nothing to do with a conservative.


All I have to say . . .

Michael Silence, noting that Tennessee Waltzer Chris Newton pled guilty, informs us:

After his plea, Newton said that he became “caught up in business as usual in Nashville.”

“It is time for us to acknowledge candidly that the legislative process has become saturated with money and special interests,” Newton said reading from a prepared statement.

Mr. Newton, if you have an ounce of self-respect and decency left (which at this point is questionable), name names.

As I’ve said before, if it took two agencies over two years to catch such a rather small amount of illegal political money, imagine what isn’t being caught. That was a lot of effort for such meager returns.

Update: Here’s Newton’s statement, which says in part:

After much prayer [Dear Lord, I broke the law? – Ed] and deliberation [Dear lawyer, I broke the law? – Ed], I have decided to enter a plea of guilty in the case against me arising out of the “Operation Tennessee Waltz” investigation. This has been an especially difficult decision for me. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be of service to the citizens of this State [And for yourself – Ed]. Being elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives at the age of 23 was, in many ways, a dream come true.

During my time in Nashville, I was able to help accomplish a lot of good [for yourself, apparently – Ed], both for my constituents and for the people of this State generally. However, I also became caught up in business as usual in Nashville. It is time for us to acknowledge candidly that the legislative process has become saturated with money and special interests. While many in our legislature have the best interests of the people at heart, the people deserve representatives who are entirely free from the corruptive influence of money in politics. [If only such a place existed – Ed]

On defense strategies, not good


Chicago native Colin Scott came to Knoxville five years ago to attend Knoxville College. But prosecutors say he and Knoxville resident Dwight George Williams began buying guns to be sold or traded in Chicago.

Court records show Scott and Williams bought 49 guns in less than a year, then took them to Gangster Disciple member “Snake.”

Prosecutors claim it was a scheme to arm a street gang, but Scott’s lawyers say their client was trading the arms for marijuana, which he smoked daily.

How about instead saying you sold the guns to fund building an orphanage? Sure, it’s probably a lie but it’s more noble than funding your weed habit.

August 30, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me

Today, this blog is three years old. I’ve enjoyed it. Hope you have. It’s also that time where I look at some interesting stats. Here’s some:

  • Between 757,424 and 1,694,244 page views, depending on which stats package I go by.
  • Between 687,000 and 785,157 visits, depending on which stats package I go by.
  • 6,242 Total Posts
  • 763,217 Total Words
  • 15,958 Total Comments (not counting lost blogspot comments)
  • 921,183 Total Words in Comments (You guys write more than me.)
  • Only one commenter banned
  • Average of 1,075 or 2,608 visits per day, depending on which stats package I go by.
  • One opinion piece published in a newspaper.
  • Four different blog software packages.
  • 13 mentions in dead-tree media (that I know of).
  • Cost of blogging $479.85
  • Money made from blogging (I’ve only been doing ads for a few months) $99.43 cash and one 90 round AR-15 magazine valued at $124. Total: $223.43.
  • Hacked once.
  • I won’t list top referrers as referral log spam has made referrer statistics almost completely useless. (update: and also explains the huge difference in page views between stat packages.)
  • Google rank: 6/10
  • Number of posts in each category:

    Blog Matters (759)
    Civil Liberties (466)
    Current Events (689)
    Eminent Domain (145)
    Guns (2013)
    Humor (473)
    Knoxville Politics (8)
    Leviathan (76)
    Media Watch (460)
    North Carolina News & Politics (9)
    Notes to Junior (79)
    Notes to Self (212)
    Pets (295)
    Politics (525)
    Pop Culture (166)
    Race Relations (61)
    Recipes (28)
    Science and Technology (37)
    Taxes (109)
    Tennessee News & Politics (600)
    The Issues (154)

  • Eight people who write here.
  • Virginia ATF Update

    I linked before to the story about the Richmond police, ATF and VA State Police conducting illegal residency checks, in which they allegedly told family members and neighbors that folks were buying guns. I was skeptical until CNSNews picked up on it. Now, Ravenwood links to the smoking gun. Someone got some info through a Freedom of Information Act request and that details that these residency checks have been going on since at least July 2004. Since the agents copied the names, home addresses and telephone numbers of the applicants, they broke the law.

    Additionally, the Richmond police lied about their participation:

    Richmond Police spokeswoman Kirsten Nelson e-mailed her response to questions about the apparent sting operation.

    “I have done some checking and as I said on the phone, the gun show was not in our jurisdiction,” Nelson wrote, “so I have no record of our officers’ participation.”

    But don’t worry, the media will cover this violation of law, right? Oh, that’s right, it involves guns and gun nuts. No time for truth when guns are involved. Heads should roll.

    Bad writing in news?

    Bob Stepno:

    Newspapers used to be the only news source where we could find run-on sentences to put on the screen in front of a classroom and discuss as bad examples. Thanks to the Web, now television websites can be just as good a source of misplaced modifiers, awkward phrasing, missing parts of speech or misleading leads.

    He then rounds some up. It’s also fun to search Google News for commonly misspelled/misused words or phrases:

    Wreckless, seperate, mute point, intensive purposes, etc.

    I shouldn’t throw stones from my glass house since I’m prone to spelling errors. But, hey, I don’t have an editor.

    Due process?

    Gunner notes:

    A federal-state program designed to get illegal firearms off Jackson streets could be operational by year’s end, law enforcement officials say.

    U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton wants to start a gun interdiction unit through the Jackson Police Department. Officers would use vans equipped to test-fire guns taken at the scene of vehicle stops and crime scenes.

    Laboratory technicians would analyze cartridge casings and projectiles to determine whether those weapons had been reported stolen and used in crimes. The test results would be entered into a database linked to a national gun database.

    230 grain jacketed hollow-points, why do you ask?

    The Geek addresses Defensive Loads For Short Barreled .45 ACP Handguns

    Questions not asked or not answered

    In an update to the accidental school shooting in Dandridge, Tennessee, comes this:

    Jefferson County Sheriff David Davenport told parents at a Maury Middle School PTO meeting the three students involved in Thursday’s accidental school shooting may have been planning an attack on a teacher at the school.

    Basically, had they not shot their friend, they may have killed a teacher. No one yet is asking or answering the question I want to know: Where did they get the guns? My secret source tells me the answer but, without confirmation, I won’t print it. It’s not good.

    Blogger Lunch

    Rosalind Kurita, who is running for Senate, had a lunch with local political bloggers from both sides of the political spectrum [There’s only two sides? – Ed.]. The following bloggers discuss the lunch: Bill, Blake, Bob, Sharon, Mark, and Adam.

    Hope they don’t get Andersened

    KPMG has agreed to pay $456M in fines and eight former executives have been indicted for selling fraudulent tax shelters. Last time a big firm took a hit, it went under. Later, a unanimous supreme court threw out Arthur Andersen’s conviction. It didn’t matter because they were done. I think they have a shell of an office in Chicago.

    I was also surprised there are so many accounting blogs. I’m an accountant and I don’t even read them.

    Update: Chris points out that it’s the largest tax evasion scheme in U.S. history.

    August 29, 2005

    Bubba back?

    Looks like it. Welcome back, sir, even if it is temporary. You’ve been missed.

    Via Michael.

    Quote for the day

    There are some politicians who are guided not by the polls, but by their consciences and unalterable principles. They are called “third-party candidates.”
    Joseph Sobran

    Doggie Genocide Coming To Canada

    Canadian dog owners plan to defy Ontario’s politically incorrect dog ban:

    Pit bull owners remain defiant as a pit bull ban comes into effect across Ontario today — the first such province-wide ban in Canada.

    Pit bull owners now have 60 days to get their animals spayed or neutered, and must muzzle and leash them in public.

    People will not be able to own, breed, import, transfer or purchase pit bulls, although they can still adopt them for a limited time.

    Those violating the rules can end up with their pets seized and euthanized, while they could face finds of up to $10,000 or even jail time.

    However animal advocates fear hundreds of adult and puppy pit bulls may now be euthanized and candlelight vigils were held across Canada Sunday night to protest Ontario’s new law.

    Jessica Peacock, of the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada, said many of the problems associated with pit bulls were the fault of their owners.

    “Banning an entire breed is not going to solve the problem of responsible dog ownership,” she told CTV’s Canada AM.

    There is a challenge to the law because it is too vague.

    RINO Sightings

    The latest RINO sightings, a round up of secular/moderate/libertarian leaning conservatives, is up at Big Cat Chronicles.

    Should make Phelps happy

    Boing Boing reports that:

    Last month a federal judge awarded $35,000 in compensatory and $6000 in punitive damages to a man state troopers arrested for video taping them.

    This should please Phelps.


    Anyone else find it ironic that the Second Amendment Foundation’s Gun Rights Policy Conference is in Los Angeles? Good way to ensure folks like me don’t go.

    Katrina here, there and everywhere

    Apparently, as a blogger, I’m under some sort of obligation to tell people who are in the general vicinity of hurricane Katrina to get the Hell out of there. Because, you know, those people are reading this blog instead of watching or listening to the guys on the news who are stupid enough to be standing out in the storm. When it’s dangerous.

    Note to those guys that are standing in the storm: We believe you. Get your ass inside and have a cup of coffee. Or better yet, get the Hell out of there.


    Thanks to Brutal Hugs, I now have a mini blog over there on the right (just below the evil capitalism err blogads) to put random links up. Just toying with the concept. We’ll see how I like it.

    A tale of two stories

    Story one: deranged psychopath starts randomly shooting people in Wal-Mart parking lot. Kills two.

    Story two: deranged psychopath at a Wal-Mart was seen stabbing a woman. Local CCW holder puts a few caps in psychopath, killing him.

    Now, which story have you seen make the top headlines? I follow gun stories and hadn’t heard a peep about the second one until Kevin mentioned it.