Archive for March, 2006

March 31, 2006

Supersoaker flamethrower

Via SayAunt, nice! But kind of dumb.

Wait, that’s a crime?

Strange. If squeamish about your man parts, stop reading now:

At least six men came to western North Carolina, some from as far away as South America, to have their genitals mutilated in what police described Friday as a sadomasochistic “dungeon.”

Three men have been charged with illegal castration in the case, Haywood County Sheriff Tom Alexander and District Attorney Michael Bonfoey said. The sheriff and prosecutor said the victims were willing participants in the procedures.

Illegal castration is a crime? Of course it is, since illegal is in the title.

And, for the record, those fuckers are weird.

Update: Got my case of the willies under control and read further. Actual crimes:

castration without malice, maiming without malice and practicing medicine without a license

I doubt that was a medical procedure.

Two month bean seasoning

I use some old glass jars with bail wires or old olive oil bottles with wider mouths on them but a clean sterile mason jar or mayo jar should work fine

Slice and dice up nicely a green or red bell pepper and an onion(yellow is best). Until they are about the size of the side of an individual die(dice). I made a mistake once of slicing thin french fry size cuts of bell once and getting them out of the dang jar was a major pain, so make sure the cut pieces will slide out when aged.

Then hand mix equal parts and pack into your jars. After adding two good tablespoons full of pickling salt(non-iodized) fill with hot cider vinegar(standard white vinegar will work). Cap and then let them set for two months or more.

After draining most of the vinegar add the seasoning according to taste to the dried beans in your crockpot or bean pot. I normally add about one full cup of this type of seasoning to 2 pounds of brown beans or a package of 15 bean soup bean mix. It is all to taste here people.

The aged/pickled aromatic add a nice kick to the pot of beans and is easily noticeable. You can get a good pot of beans with fresh onions and peppers but I find that this quick pickling of them adds a whole new realm of flavor in the finished product.

I use three variants.

1 the standard as mentioned above
2 one good banana or Jalopeno diced and added per two pint is also good
3 Minced Garlic according to taste

I have four bottles aging as I write this. It makes a pot of dried beans have a nice flavor when you might be tired of just adding the standard ham flavor or ham hock.

Quote of the day

Bob Krumm:

we’ve traced the idiocy; it’s coming from inside the house (and senate)

Heh.

Car jacker bill

WSMV reports:

Drivers could immediately respond with deadly force to a forced attempt to enter their cars under a bill passed unanimously by the Senate on Thursday.

Not good

Via John Cole, comes news of proposed accounting changes:

The board that writes accounting rules for American business is proposing a new method of reporting pension obligations that is likely to show that many companies have a lot more debt than was obvious before.

In some cases, particularly at old industrial companies like automakers, the newly disclosed obligations are likely to be so large that they will wipe out the net worth of the company.

If the changes are that huge, I’d say a lot of companies will stop offering pensions. More:

The new method proposed by the accounting board would require companies to take certain pension values they now report deep in the footnotes of their financial statements and move the information onto their balance sheets — where all their assets and liabilities are reflected. The pension values that now appear on corporate balance sheets are almost universally derided as of little use in understanding the status of a company’s retirement plan.

That last sentence is particularly true. Bear in mind, these changes would just be on paper.

Speaking of the Bradies

They’re launching their latest anti-gun program:

As part of its new program, the organization plans to assemble a nationwide coalition of mayors to engage in sustained public education and media outreach, mobilize the support of law enforcement and ensure that the issue of illegal guns becomes a key political issue at the local, state and federal levels.

The group is also launching a “Gun Industry Watch” to systematically monitor the gun industry and expose the practices of gun manufacturers and sellers that ensure the continued and profitable supply of guns to the illegal market.

Gunsmiths

Michael Bane has info on the ATF’s crackdown on gunsmiths. He notes:

It appears that apparently to thumb their noses at the current Congressional inquiry into BATF abuses, BATF have launched and initiative aimed custom gunsmithing in America.

The weapon they’re using is a really fine point…what is the definition of “manufacturing a firearm”? That phrase is NOT defined in any legislation and, since it’s not a legally defined term, it’s open to interpretation. Since the late 1990s, when the then ATF hit gunsmith Jim Clark Senior for “manufacturing a firearm” (which cost Jim more than $100,000 but alledgedly clarified the question) was “making or providing the controlled, or serial-numbered, part.”

The new BATF definition of “manufacturing a firearm” is “making any substantive changes to a firearm.”

He has much more and a case where it has happened. To me, I think this is consistent with their recent crackdown on folks that roll their own. I’ve read of other cases of people making their own lawful firearms and the ATF involvement. And why would they do that? To begin regulation of the build your own market. Also, there’s a federal excise tax on firearms (11%, I think) but that tax is not applied to parts. So, you can save money building your own. And it’s fun.

I also recall that in the last year, Congress passed a law exempting small time gunsmiths from taxes.

Set the dials

Aunt B. has moved. Her site is now here.

Here’s the story of a man named Brady

Via Counter, here’s a Q&A with Jim and Sarah Brady. Wow, they just lie through their teeth:

In the first place, lets make it clear we don’t want restrictions on law abiding citizens beyond making sure that all gun purchasers undergo a complete and comprehensive background check. Our purpose is to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Since the Brady Law passed 1.3 million illegal purchasers have been stopped by the background checks. We must now be sure ALL sales undergo background checks.

Wow. So, the Brady Bunch didn’t support the assault weapons ban or the DC gun ban?

A rooney

Heh.

ED In Wisconsin

They may not have CCW yet, but they do have a bill aimed at curbing eminent domain abuse:

Wisconsin governments can’t seize private property that isn’t blighted and hand it over to companies for redevelopment under a bill Gov. Jim Doyle signed into law Thursday.

The Republican-authored measure comes in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision last June that held eminent domain laws allow the federal government to seize property for economic development.

The court ruled that cities may raze people’s homes to make way for shopping malls or other private development. The 5-4 decision gave local governments the power to seize private property in the name of increased tax revenue.

The Wisconsin bill prohibits governments – ranging from counties to state agencies to the University of Wisconsin System – from condemning property that isn’t blighted if the governments plan to convey or lease the property to a private entity.

Property can’t be considered blighted unless it has been abandoned or converted from a single dwelling into multiple units and the crime rate in or around the property is three times higher than in the rest of the city, according to the bill.

Good.

New Gun Blogger

The latest member of Gun Blogs is Ride Fast and Shoot Straight.

Parody

Via Bob, there’s a site that parodies mine. Meet SayAunt. Meet Mr. Squirty. That’s funny!

Update: The blogroll is pretty funny too.

March 30, 2006

Poke them with a stick

There’s a quiz at the Brady Campaign:

http://www.bradynetwork.org/site/PageServer?pagename=BRO_survey

Link is cold so they don’t see where you’re coming from (shhhh). Copy and paste. My answers:

Which is personally of most concern to you or you believe is the biggest problem in regards to guns (select one).

I put Other: None of the above

Which best describes why you are involved in this issue (check one):

I want to actively influence decision-makers to do the right thing

How did you learn about the Brady Campaign?

I put hysterical press release about about how we’re all going to die at the hands of evil Saturday night special 50 caliber assault sniper weapon rifle handgun automatic semi-automatic bullet hose designed for spray firing from the hip at targets four miles awaytm

Via ar15.com

We’re winning

Another CCW victory this year! The NRA reports:

Nebraska Approves Right-to-Carry; Governor Heineman Pledges Signature

Fairfax, VA-Today, the Nebraska legislature gave final approval to a measure granting law-abiding Nebraska citizens the right to carry a firearm for personal protection. Legislative Bill 454 now heads to Governor Dave Heineman’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. Last week, legislators in Kansas overrode Governor Sebelius’ veto of the Right-to-Carry measure in that state.

Soon, there will be only two states without CCW provisions (Illinois and Wisconsin). Wisconsin is possible and Illinois likely a lost cause. After Wisconsin, getting the 9 may issue states converted to shall issue is a worthy goal.

Term limits shake up

R. Neal rounds up more press coverage of the Tennessee Supreme Court decision.

More Scoot

Talked to him yesterday. He’s back at work and getting on with his life. Thanks to readers, I have a ton of legal info to give to him. The ATF said he was a flight risk and should be held. The judge was unconvinced. On the felony charges, I have no information on the incident other than the names of the charges per the TN database (they were felony contempt, felony reckless endangerment and aggravated assault). However, he said to me that when it happened (he was 18 years old), he plead down and served 30 days. He said it was his understanding that charges were misdemeanor. And based on what I read, felonies often carry more than a one year sentence. Additionally, the database said he was sentenced to three years. So, Scoot is convinced he was not a felon and said when he was thinking about enlisting, a background check showed him clean. And there is a discrepancy in the sentence based on what the database says and what he said he served. Possibilities:

Scoot’s wrong or stretching the truth (the latter I find unlikely but obviously can’t prove)
The database is wrong
When he plead, he was told one thing but another was recorded

Anyway, I’ll be curious to see how it goes.

Well, when your ideology is based on misinformation . . .

it’s understandable that you’d get frustrated at the lack of progress. ABC News notes that Jim Brady is frustrated by gun control progress:

That undaunted spirit has served them well, especially in their high-profile battle for gun control. They are frustrated that in the 13 years since the Brady Bill was signed, gun control efforts have largely stalled, and they single out the party they once proudly served.

Good.

Quote of the day

The Tennessee Supreme Court:

Furthermore, we note that Article I, section 1, of Tennessee’s constitution provides that the people have an “unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.”

Our court upheld term limits. This is proving to have some serious consequences on local governments. R. Neal has much more, noting 12 local politicos can’t be re-elected. He adds:

The KNS is now reporting that the Knox County Election Commission plans to meet with the affected county commission candidates to make sure it is OK with them to remove their names from the ballots as per the law and today’s Tennessee Supreme Court ruling upholding it.

Unbelievable. It no longer appears there is government in Knox County by the people, for the people. It’s government by the powers that be, for the powers that be.

Michael has much more too.

Tennessee Tax Revolt Taxpayer Information Center

Ben has spent a lot of time updating the info.

Tannerite

You can mix this stuff together to make a reactive target that goes boom. The site says it’s perfectly legal but Joe advises If you use Tannerite please get a legal opinion you can trust before using it in your political jurisdiction.

More ATF stuff

Here are some accounts of more issues with the ATF. Now, I don’t necessarily share the views of some gunnies that the ATF should be completely disbanded. However, I think their actions should be under more scrutiny. Someone should enforce the law but the zeal they use is a bit much. Also, since I recently read that over 75% of their arrests were for technical violations, it seems some of the usefulness of that type of stuff is questionable.

March 29, 2006

Interesting quote from VPC rep.

In the post below the story of Tucson Police Lt. Michael Lara was told. What I found so interesting in the article was a quote by the rep from VPC.

The ATF representative present at the hearing did not address Lara’s case, but Kristen Rand, legislative director for the anti-gun Violence Policy Center, did.

“Mr. [sic] Lara’s situation sounds extremely unpleasant,” Rand said, “but we should be careful not to just legislate based on one anecdote.”

This from a group who regularly uses single “anecdote”s to push their views and to attempt to legislate all the time.

ATF Hearings – more info

CNSNews has more, including the tale of a man who was ruined by the ATF for no good reason:

After he was processed as a federal prisoner, Lara was released on his own recognizance, but now was unemployed and the recipient of intense media scrutiny, awaiting his day in court.

“I lost over $216,000 in saving and earnings. I had to refinance my home to help pay the bills and the attorney’s fees,” Lara recalled. “Three months after my arrest, my case went to trial. At the end of the trial, the jury deliberated less than one hour before finding me innocent of the charges.”

Lara would wait two more months for his badge to be returned to him. But the ATF prosecution did not end when he resumed his police career.

“On my first day back to work I was given a 40-hour suspension without pay for ‘criminal activity’ because I had been indicted,” Lara continued. “My professional career is shot. It’s now been three years after the event and I am still a patrol lieutenant. It was made clear to me when I returned to work that I would never see any advancement.”

There’s no excuse for that. And one more:

Richard Gardiner, a Virginia attorney and an expert in federal firearms laws who often represents FFLs and gun owners under ATF scrutiny, argued that Lara’s case is actually closer to being the rule than the exception.

“The ATF tends to focus or has a significant focus on trivial, immaterial violations which are unrelated to public safety,” Gardiner said. “And they impose unreasonable standards of perfection which are simply not humanly achievable.”

As an example, Gardiner recalled an ATF review of 880 “Firearms Transaction Record Part I – Over-The-Counter” forms collected by one of his gun dealer clients. Of the 34,320 blocks of information collected on those documents, ATF found 19 clerical errors.

“That is a 99.96 percent perfect completion record,” Gardiner noted. “Yet ATF took the position that, because the dealer was aware — based on the fact that he had completed 99.96 percent of the forms accurately — that he committed a ‘willful violation’ with regard to the other four one-hundredths of a percent because he knew what his legal obligations were.”

The bureau revoked that gun dealer’s license and closed his business.

Update: OK, my new favorite:

Federal courts have often sided with ATF’s interpretation that the term “willful” means only that the gun dealer had prior knowledge of a requirement and, subsequent to gaining that knowledge, violated it, with or without intent. Gardiner told of cases where ATF identified customer responses of “Y” or “N” rather than “yes” or “no” in written responses to questions as “willful violations” on the part of gun dealers under investigation. Other dealers lost their licenses, Gardiner said, because customers had accurately listed their street address, city, state and zip code, but failed to include their county of residence.

Water supply contaminated?

Odd story in MA/RI:

A health official said that authorities have ruled out terrorism in a break-in discovered Tuesday at water supply tanks that serve two bordering communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Dr. David Gifford, the director of the Rhode Island Health Department, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon in North Smithfield, R.I., that the FBI has decided to not pursue the case.

A water ban remains in effect for the towns as officials try to determine if anything was dumped into the water. The water system serves nearly 9,000 residents in Blackstone, and about four dozen residences in North Smithfield.

While there have been no reports of illness, officials in both states are still testing the water for any biological or chemical contaminants, Gifford said.

As a precaution, officials have ordered residents not to use the water for any purposes.

On Monday night someone snipped barbed wire to enter the water storage facility in Blackstone, cut the phone lines to the alarm and damaged an electrical panel and vent at the top of the storage tank. Officials said that they have pinpointed the time the burglar entered the building because when the intruder cut the electricity the clocks stopped at 6 p.m.

Could be some kids farting around but it does show how vulnerable water supplies are.

Update: Bruce notes it was actually some kids farting around. They’ve been arrested.

Hitting the Bottle

It’s interesting what causes people get behind. Some of us get behind guns or property rights. Others try to tackle litter. Seen at the RTB page, comes the Tennessee Bottle Bill. Took some surfing to get to what they’re trying to do but apparently it’s to pass this bill (bottom right side of page) to combat litter. What the bill does:

* Allocates $10 million of the unclaimed deposits to the County Litter Grants, thus ensuring continued funding (actually doubled funding) for Tennessee’s existing “comprehensive litter program” as well as continued funding for Keep Amerca Beautiful affiliates across the state.

* Sets a container handling fee (paid by the beverage distributors) of 3˘. This fee not only pays all costs of operating the program; it also creates sufficient incentive for small business owners to open independent redemption centers, thus minimizing the impact on grocery stores.

* Increases the maximum container size to 2 liters, assuring maximum redemptions without including hard-to-handle gallon- size jugs.

* Authorizes the use of satellite drop-off sites in conjunction with a centralized processing facility. Such systems use electronic “customer courtesy cards,” handheld scanners, bar-coded labels, computerized processing machines and electronic funds transfers to make the redemption process as quick and convenient as possible.

* Authorizes the use of mobile redemption centers, making it possible for the elderly and house-bound to get their containers recycled, as well as providing regular or one-time serivce to businesses, schools and special events.

I think subsidizing an industry (and that’s what this does) can’t be good for the industry. And, of course, littering is illegal.

Glockity

Man, that’s a lot of Glocks.

Anti-gunners on ATF hearings

Michael Silence emails a presser from Coalition to Stop Gun Ownership err Violence on the recent ATF hearings:

These hearings were supposed to get to the bottom of claims that BATFE agents and local police violated the civil rights of law-abiding gun purchasers, particularly at a series of gun shows in Richmond, Virginia, over the past two years. They have failed to do so, although they appear to have unintentionally shed light of a wide variety of serious crimes uncovered by BATFE in the course of their investigative work at these events.

When Richmond-area law enforcement agencies learned that local gun shows were an important source of guns sold to gang members and other criminals – including the guns used to commit four homicides in the city since May 2004 – they developed a plan to try to stop these sales. After earlier investigations revealed that people who buy firearms illegally at gun shows often provide false residence information on background check forms, BATFE decided to verify address information on suspicious purchases.

BATFE has said 19 defendants arrested during the investigations have been convicted or pleaded guilty to crimes ranging from illegal “straw purchases” of firearms to drug possession. But instead of encouraging BATFE to probe further, this subcommittee has allowed itself to be used by the National Rifle Association and its allies in the firearm industry to pressure BATFE to stop scrutinizing illegal activity at gun shows.

I guess if I apply some turd polish, I can see the good that come from this. However, that does not excuse the ATF and others from conducting illegal residency checks, which is what they’re accused of. Some other news from the piece:

‘ATF Washington Field Division, will not routinely be present at the Richmond Gun Shows.’ BATFE has requested that we not post the letter. Our attorney worked for ‘suitable’ wording but however we have decided to remove that posting. We also told verbally in front of four lawyers the BATFE is out of the ‘residency check’ business.”

Looks like they got a little slap on the wrist, mostly from press coverage. The ATF should be out of the residency check business since they are illegal.

Despite promised release, I’ve not seen the transcripts from the first hearings and I have no info on the second hearings from yesterday. Anyone have any idea what else transpired?

Meet Seegars

Most gunnies are familiar with Seegars v Ashcroft, a lawsuit filed in the District of Columbia by several plaintiffs seeking to overturn both the general handgun ban and the general ban on possession of firearms in a condition useful for self-defense. The SCOTUS denied cert. Well, meet Seegars:

Crumbling rowhouses, liquor stores, and pockmarked streets highlight the neighborhood where D.C. city official Sandra Seegars lives—but a hand-painted sign near her home boasts, “There have been no murders on this block.”

[snip]

Even though no one has ever been murdered while on Miss Seegars’ block, she speaks of burglaries in terms of “the last time someone broke into my house.” Several years ago someone set her car on fire. A prostitute standing on the corner described seeing a man in an orange, hooded shirt set the blaze.

“I think we should have guns at least in our homes and be allowed to have them loaded,” Miss Seegars says—but such comments anger her boss, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a pro-gun-control Democrat like almost every other members of the D.C. city council.

And her activism has cost her her job:

The controversy about gun laws is one that top city officials do not want. Late last year Miss Seegars learned that she will not be reappointed for another term. That very day a cabdriver was killed during a robbery. She says, “I really wasn’t too concerned about guns until I was appointed to the taxicab commission. City officials get mad at me for not touting the government line. But just that someone would think about [drivers] enough to say that they should be allowed to arm themselves to defend themselves. That means a lot to them.”

Via David.