Archive for May, 2006

May 31, 2006

Register

Update: Due to a WP issue, registration is now disabled. Will enable once this issue is fixed.

In light of the recent fight with spam and some readers being unable to comment, I have set up registration. You can register here. It requires a valid email address to send a confirmation and password that no one but me will see. You’re spam-safe here at sayuncle.

The advantage to this is that if you’re logged in, your comment will be approved automatically. So, you blogspot users who are having troubles and are not seeing your comments appear because SK2 thinks they’re spam, feel free to use that feature. It’s not required but it does ensure your comment gets through.

If you have any trouble, let me know.

Registration

In light of the recent fight with spam and some readers being unable to comment, I have set up registration. You can register here. It requires a valid email address to send a confirmation and password that no one but me will see. You’re spam-safe here at sayuncle.

The advantage to this is that if you’re logged in, your comment will be approved automatically. So, you blogspot users who are having troubles and are not seeing your comments appear because SK2 thinks they’re spam, feel free to use that feature. It’s not required but it does ensure your comment gets through.

If you have any trouble, let me know.

Also added a link to this on the right.

Update: If you registered, leave a comment and tell me if it worked (particularly if your url has blogspot.com in it). You can email me at:

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t

R. Neal over at Knoxviews briefly comments on another WATE editorial story decision gone astray. Today’s question is what does the word “volunteer” mean?

Great minds will parse this question to the finite bounds of semantic understanding. Is it only a matter of time before more knowledgeable people like UT professors of Ethics or Political Science must be brought in to help the “common’ folk understand the meaning of simple words?

Here is the ten cent tour.

Sheriff Hutchison did not “volunteer” for anything he was requested to bring helicopters and pilots to Louisiana by Jefferson Parish Sheriff Henry Lee.

Betty Bean wrote about the WATE story here.

Gene Patterson is once again the designated arrow catcher for WATE on his blog here. Be sure to check out the Walker Johnson comments. If I was WATE I would hire Walker Johnson to do on-air commentary. He not only gets it but he is very funny.

Does Gene get overtime for his blog? Just curious. God knows he deserves it.

My take on this is that the local “progressive” political machine in Knoxville does not habla what “overtime pay” is. If they don’t have it at the large local/national gas convenience store truck stop chain they why should anyone else receive overtime?

Of course the real fun to be had is what would have happened if the Sheriff had refused gas and overtime reimbursement. WATE would have had one heck of a story about that.

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. That’s the way media in Knoxville works.

Almost Niggardly

Via Brittney, comes MTA who tells us that the phrase That’s Mighty White of You is racist. Don’t know that I agree, really, as one of the definitions of white is Honourable; square-dealing – though it is possible that definition came about through racist intent, I suppose. So, no, I tend to not think such a phrase is inherently racist.

There are a few phrases that I hear quite often that are inarguably racist. I think these phrases are so ingrained in the local vernacular that people who use them do not really mean them in that racist way but they’ve just been used for so long that it’s acceptable. Heck, I’ve even heard my black friends (both of them) use them. One phrase is nigger-rigged (i.e., shoddy quality and thrown together haphazardly). And I hear it a lot.

But there is a bit of overeagerness in labeling things racist, which is what I think MTA has done here. For example, there was that time a public official was almost fired for using the word niggardly, which turned out to really be a sign that a lot of folks needed to buy a damn thesaurus. Then there was the time when a Tennessee school official used the phrase yard-apes, which I’ve always heard as being a derogatory term for children, not black folks. Some folks are just overly sensitive.

Where do we draw the line? Beats me. I hate racism and racist comments with one exception and it is: if it’s damn funny. Sure, some jokes are crude and offensive but if they’re funny, go for it. Hell, Carlos Mencia and Dave Chappelle made entire careers on that premise. And I think they’re hysterical. Feel free to make fun of Asians who can’t drive, black folks who can’t swim, Jews who complain a lot, or how white people can’t dance if it makes me laugh. But do it in a way that’s funny. If it’s just mean, I don’t want to hear it.

Also, I wonder what stereotypes there are about white folks that I don’t know about? I mean funny ones, not the ones about us being in league with Satan.

What’s white and 12 inches long?
Read the rest of this entry »

Why he will lose

Ford will not be the next senator from Tennessee. Particularly, if he keeps listening to Chuck Schumer:

“Anyone who thinks the South in 2006 is the same as the South in 2004 is mistaken,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Ford, to stand a chance, needs to run far and fast from Chuckles.

I beg to differ with UpChuck, here. The south is pretty much about the same, generally speaking. In fact, here’s something I wrote on the subject about two and a half years ago:

It’s getting to be election time. This is a rare occasion because it represents the only time the rest of the country gives a fuck about the South. The rest of the year, our region is made fun of on sitcoms, reality TV, and in various op ed pieces. We’re ridiculed by snooty intellectuals and hated. We’re belittled a bit because our region consists mostly of troublemakers. At least we’re viewed as troublemakers. After all, we did secede.

At election time, we’re no longer inbred, toothless hillbillies. We suddenly become this mysterious voting bloc of gun-toting, God-fearing conservatives who like free stuff from the government (aka, southern Democrats – by the way, are there any of those left nationally?). It’s true. Most southerners like their guns and their God. We also have liberals and conservatives here in the south, though our definition of liberal typically includes people fond of guns and God but place free stuff higher on the list than other folks.

Democrats tend to write the south off nationally, which is a mistake. After they write us off in terms of votes, they often write us off in terms of policy (that gets back to the vote thing). Al Gore wrote us off in terms of policy and it cost him votes. There’s a reason his concession speech mentioned something about mending fences at home.

And here in Tennessee on the local level, we’ve elected quite a few Democrats lately. The Democrats shouldn’t write the south off completely. But what wins Democrat votes in the rest of the country doesn’t fly here in the south.

With elections, the fun begins. We suddenly get the people who used to try to appeal to snooty intellectuals interested in appealing to us. They try to pass their gun control legislation off as common sense stuff by stating things like We don’t mean your shotgun, Ethyl. We’re talkin’ ‘bout them there assault weapons. Or they attempt to dumb down their agenda. And every politician before visiting the southeast finds Jesus; eats pinto beans at a Ma & Pa diner; and goes hunting.

We southern folks really like it if you’d slow down a bit when talking to us. It’s not because we’re slow to understand, it’s because fast talk makes you seem rude. That should illustrate why you snooty intellectuals don’t understand us. But it only illustrates that to other southerners. The snooty intellectuals don’t get it. We do things differently in these parts and that’s why people love the south or hate it.

We call a woman Ma’am and we do it to be polite. We don’t do it because she’s old. When I address the 16 year-old girl who works at Target, I say Yes, ma’am.

Most of us know how to kill, skin, and prepare various animals for food. Well, I do. My family was really country. This does not make us a freak show to be talked about. I was on a job once in Maryland. We got on the subject of hunting (which most people on the job hadn’t done) and I mentioned I have killed and eaten various animals. Suddenly, everyone began asking me about it like I was this wild mountain man. Hell, I was just an accountant. By the way, SayUncle is opposed to killing in general and hasn’t hunted since his teens. I don’t even kill spiders; I escort them outside. This annoys the wife, who thinks all things with more than four legs should be eradicated from the planet.

We drink our tea sweet. And we can make a meal out of nothing but pinto beans, corn bread, and an onion. You can say things here like He needs killin’ and people will sympathize.

But make no mistake; we’re not a bunch of dumb, uneducated simpletons. If you treat us like we are, that’s your mistake. There’s a reason most presidents come from the South and it’d be wise to remember that.

I’m pretty sure every bit of it is still applicable today.

Well, get to it

Michael says he’s back. Well, let’s see some blogging.

Gun News

Gun Law News has a round up of gun items worth checking out.

Nevermind

Remember that time the press said the court ruled that whistleblowers weren’t protected? Well, that’s not really the case.

House hearings on the raid

Here’s a summary:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner said Tuesday he will summon Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and

FBI Director Robert Mueller before his panel to explain their decision to raid a lawmaker’s office for the first time in history.

“I want to have Attorney General Gonzales and FBI Director Mueller up here to tell us how they reached the conclusion they did,” said Sensenbrenner, one of
President Bush’s most loyal House allies. Sensenbrenner’s hearings, which began Tuesday, are examining whether the May 20 raid violated the Constitution.

From the AG:

For his part, Gonzales has said that the search of Jefferson’s offices was legal and necessary because the Louisiana Democrat had not cooperated with investigators’ other efforts to gain access to evidence. An affidavit on which the search warrant was based said investigators had found $90,000 stashed in the freezer of Jefferson’s house.

And kudos to Reid and Frist:

Across the Capitol meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., joined his Democratic counterpart, Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, over the weekend in declining to criticize the FBI for the raid. Frist said he does not believe the law enforcement agency violated the separation of powers.

Whistleblowers not protected

MSNBC:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it harder for government employees to file lawsuits claiming they were retaliated against for going public with allegations of official misconduct.

By a 5-4 vote, justices said the nation’s 20 million public employees do not have carte blanche free speech rights to disclose government’s inner-workings. New Justice Samuel Alito cast the tie-breaking vote.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the court’s majority, said the First Amendment does not protect “every statement a public employee makes in the course of doing his or her job.”

First off, 7.1% of US Citizens work for the government? Second, I generally concur that no one has carte blanche free speech involving their workplace but the details of this case make it more troubling:

The ruling sided with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, which appealed an appellate court ruling which held that prosecutor Richard Ceballos was constitutionally protected when he wrote a memo questioning whether a county sheriff’s deputy had lied in a search warrant affidavit.

Ceballos had filed a lawsuit claiming he was demoted and denied a promotion for trying to expose the lie.

Dissenting justices said Tuesday that the ruling could silence would-be whistleblowers who have information about governmental misconduct.

Unless such employees have legitimate recourse for such, their motivation to come forward when necessary is seriously diminished.

David Hardy has more, including the details regarding lying on the warrant.

Violent reporters

Bloggers getting death threats is nothing new. Bloggers getting death threats from Reuters reporters, however, is:

A Reuters employee has been suspended after sending a death threat to an American blogger.

The message, sent from a Reuters internet account, read: “I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut.”

It was sent to Charles Johnson, owner of the Little Green Footballs (LGF) weblog, a popular site which often backs Israel and highlights jihadist terrorist activities.

In the threat, the Reuters staff member, who has not been named, left his email address as “zionistpig” at hotmail.com.

Reporting the message to his readers, Johnson wrote on his website: “This particular death threat is a bit different from the run of the mill hate mail we get around here, because an IP lookup on the sender reveals that he/she/it was using an account at none other than Reuters News.”

May 30, 2006

Online gun chat

Go here now (about 2:10) to chat with a supposed expert on gun safety. Addison asked:

I asked a question.

I asked if my low SN 1903 would be safe with modern factory ammo.

He is a safety expert, right?

Wonder if he’ll answer it?

Update: I submitted:

You claim Hemenway is unbiased? The DOJ cites numbers much higher than any of your sources regarding defensive gun uses (which often go unreported). And you list anecdotal examples. You seem to reference the discredited Kellermann study in today’s piece. Despite your claims, armed active resistance has been shown to be the most effective deterrent to crime. Not off to a swimming start. But here goes:

Do you advocate keeping guns locked up and never mentioning them? Seems a bit odd as, while I can control access at my home, I can’t control access when my kids are at others’ homes. Thoughts on kids and gun safety when they’re at another’s home? Seems teaching them real gun safety would be more beneficial than the head in the sand version.

Update 2: And there it is:

As hardy points out in the article i’ve alraedy cited,”passive prevention efforts require no effort at all on the part of individuals (for example, choosing not to own a firearm).

Lame.

Update 3: Heh. Looks like the copied and pasted wrap up has been posted. None of my questions nor question readers told me they wrote have been answered. And hes’ broken out the propaganda by pro-gun advocates and their flawed tendentious research. He does that and quotes Hemenway? Puh-lease. Not surprised.

Wow!

Impressive:

The five suspects pulled up in a car and confronted the victim in the 500 block of Penn Street just before midnight.

The victim began running down the street yelling for help. Residents who heard him called 911. While he was running, the victim pulled a pocket knife from his backpack.

Two of the robbers jumped from the car. When one of the robbers pointed a shotgun at him, the victim kicked it out of his hands.

At that point two of the robbers jumped on the victim. During the struggle he stabbed both of them. One, a female, died of her wounds. A second is in critical condition.

Don’t ever jump a Marine, apparently. Note to the press: Is the Rambo reference really necessary?

Scoot update

I am remiss in mentioning that my buddy Scoot, the one who was arrested by the ATF, emailed me that:

The government is planning to push the fact that I had sold firearms parts and was now making receivers so obviously I would sell them also. Ever own a gun part or accessory and sold it because you don’t want or use it anymore? You are now in the firearms business.

They are also saying there is an interstate nexus with the firearms I “supposedly” manufactured.

Got that? If you sell a firearm part (which is subject to about as much regulation as a stapler) and possess firearms, thay may be used as justification that you’re dealing firearms without a license.

One gun a month is merely a start

Editorial boards have stock arguments they use when promoting any new firearm regulations, including one-handgun-per-month purchase limits. Well, that’s what I say. They say:

The National Rifle Association has stock arguments it uses when anyone suggests new firearm regulations, including one-handgun-per-month purchase limits.

The NRA’s stock arguments tend to be more convincing than those contrived by editorial boards at papers. Like this one:

Two bills languishing in Pennsylvania propose such a limit. The legislation is meant to make it harder to buy handguns – the weapon most often used in Philadelphia homicides – through a transaction known as a straw purchase.

In a straw-purchase scheme, a felon, barred by law from buying guns, recruits someone who can legally buy numerous guns at one time. The intermediary fills out forms, passes a background check, purchases the guns, then gives them to the felon, who uses them to commit crimes or illegally resells them for a big profit.

Handguns bought this way don’t end up in the homes of law-abiding citizens who want to defend their families against intruders.

A handgun purchase limit would help to dry up the illegal market that sells to criminals and young people.

Being that they are alleged to be doing this by straw purchases, they are already breaking the law. What makes you think they’ll abide by another? And, of course, there is the little detail that such laws have been shown to have roughly zero impact on crime, according those NRA cronies at the Centers for Disease Control.

Gun Safety Follow Up

I told you about the guy having the gun safety thing at the WaPo. Well, some more:

A new study involving 201 parents and an equal number of their children has found that 39 percent of kids knew the location of their parents’ firearms, while 22 percent said they had handled the weapons, despite their parents’ assertions to the contrary. Parents who had talked to their children about gun safety were just as likely to be misinformed about their children’s actions as those who said they never had discussed the matter.

[…]

The gun safety study is the first to compare the responses of parents and their children, ages 5 to 14, who were interviewed separately.

And:

“Adolescents act impulsively, whether or not they have psychiatric problems,” Miller said, noting that studies have found that a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide and homicide, as well as accidental shootings. “It’s up to parents — not children — to provide a safe environment.”

Well, other than relying on the bogus Kellerman stat, he’s on the right track. But:

He advises parents who don’t want to part with their guns to lock unloaded weapons in a place separate from ammunition, which should also be locked. Guns should be accessible only by a key the parent carries at all times. If guns are stored in a safe with a combination, only parents should know the combination.

Personally, I can’t wait to take my kids shooting when they’re old enough. I keep my guns safely away but that’s not 100%. Instead, I’ll talk to them about them. And I will have a standing rule:

Do not touch the guns without me around. However, any time you want to go shooting, we will go.

Hopefully that will eliminate some of the curiousity.

Fake news

Independent Online:

Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies’ products.

Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.

The report, by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy, found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs). Not one told viewers who had produced the items.

This coupled with the adminstration’s production of propaganda news in Iraq is troubling.

Funny how they also slipped in faux news.

ATF v. Bloomberg

In the latest in Bloomberg’s sting against gun dealers (a summary can be found here), comes this:

William G. McMahon, special agent in charge of the ATF’s New York field division, announced Friday that the agency would review the intelligence gathered by the city and target any federally licensed firearms dealers who broke the law.

In a twist, ATF’s inquiry will also include a review of whether the city acted legally in setting up the sting.

Several gun-rights advocates have questioned whether the city itself broke firearms rules or committed fraud by attempting to simulate straw sales in other state

And:

Among the issues being explored: Did the investigators provide accurate information on ATF forms at the time of purchase and did they comply with laws requiring them to be residents of the states where they acquired the weapons?

My prediction: nothing will come of it. Special classes protect special classes.

The Dog Whisperer on Breed Bans

Dunno if you’ve ever watched the show but it’s good. Anyway, he says of politically incorrect dog bans:

Ontario’s pit bull ban is an unfair law based on ignorance – because getting rid of a breed of dog doesn’t get rid of the problem, says celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan.

Millan, known as the Dog Whisperer for his uncanny ability to solve canine behavioural problems, was in Toronto this week promoting his National Geographic Channel show and the recent DVD release of the first season’s episodes.

“In the United States, in the ’70s, they did the same thing to the Doberman. In the ’80s they did it to the German shepherd, in the ’90s they did it to the Rottweiler, and now they’re doing it to the pit bull,” he says.

“So whatever dog is in fashion, people are going to blame them for things.”

Sounds like he’s been reading me.

Democrats and guns

PGP has a lesson they should learn.

Guns, guns, guns!

The carnival of cordite is up for your gun blogging pleasure.

The Kelo Backlash

Seems to be mostly immaterial:

Why has the Kelo backlash largely failed? Sandefur blames the political power of development interests who benefit from private-to-private condemnations and the lack of a strong philosophical commitment to property rights.

Via Fun Bob.

May 29, 2006

In your face

Dr. Helen:

Have you ever noticed how frightened people are of confrontation–even if it just means the slightest bit of displeasure from another person? Normally, these non-confronters think of themselves as “very good and moral people” and believe the reason they do not confront is to save another’s feelings. But in truth, they are so afraid of causing themselves a moment’s displeasure, that they will do anything to get out of being direct with another person.

Yes. But she and I (and very likely you) are probably more confrontational than most because of a group of people we belong to. See, we’re bloggers and blog readers. I’d say this activity would intentionally draw confrontation and disagreement. And we do this sort of thing for that, at least on some level.

Light blogging

Minimal blogging today, holidays and all. Lots of good stuff at The Gun Blogs.

May 28, 2006

This should go well

The WaPo:

Matthew Miller, associate director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center and co-author of a new study on gun safety in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, will be online Tuesday, May 30, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss gun safety in families’ homes. He will also field questions and comments about the study.

We wouldn’t want the NRA or some gun people teaching gun safety. You an submit questions.

Update: It’s possible the guy is a gun expert, of course. But based on his bio, that would suprise me.

Foxy AR

Fox, who used to blog here, has posted a pic of her AR.

Honk and duck

Heh!

May 27, 2006

Supply and Demand

Threaten supply and demand goes up:

Weapons traders in Belgium have reported a strong rise in sales since debate opened up around tighter gun control laws.

The rules in Belgium are changing:

Hunting and sports weapons can currently be bought across the counter without a licence on proof of identification. After the person’s details are registered, the buyer can take the gun home.

But new legislation — which has been approved in record tempo after the racist shootings in Antwerp on 11 May — will impose tighter regulations.

In future, anyone who wants to buy a gun will need to undergo a police screening and obtain a gun licence. The new law will also have a retroactive effect to the start of this year.

Tennessee’s New Eminent Domain Law

Over at Tennessee Ticket, they tell you why it’s not all that great.

It’s also here.

Gun Blogging

The Ammo Can Carnival is up for your gun blog reading pleasure.