Archive for January, 2007

January 31, 2007

Nepotism

All you need to know about the alleged shake-up in Knox County Government:

On the new Knox County Commission is the son of an ex-commissioner, the father of a current commissioner, and the wife of another ex-commissioner.

The more things change . . .

Update: But if you want the long version, it is here.

Solutions

Sounds like this town should have a cow season.

T3h 1Nt3rW36s

Been a while since I shut down my old yahoo.com email address. I logged in today just to see. 20,340 messages. I looked at the first two pages and it was all spam from the future. If you’re sending mail there, I ain’t reading it. Then, I logged into the mail server I have for saysuncle.com. Mind you, I have never set up an email address there. I had 8,553 messages. I ain’t reading those either.

Also, I guess I need to cut down on images. I get 23 gigabytes of bandwidth per month. I never really checked my bandwidth, honestly figuring it would never be an issue. But today, I am at 22ish gigabytes. I guess it’s possible that the site becomes inaccessible today and will return tomorrow.

American Idol

It’s back. I always watch the first few episodes because I like the tryouts. Guilty pleasure. But to would-be contestants, here’s a tip:

I know matter-of-factly that I don’t have a very good singing voice. I have a deep voice and a limited range. Most songs are out of my range and if I try to extend my vocal capabilities beyond my range, I sound like Homer Simpson. The reason I know this is because I’ve actually heard myself sing. It’s true. I have recorded myself singing and listened to it (from my band days) and I know I’m not good. So, before strolling in front of Simon and all, listen to yourself or you may well be a laughingstock.

On the Gun Show Loophole

John Lott:

By contrast, the Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted a survey of 18,000 state prison inmates in 1997, the largest survey of inmates ever conducted. Less than 1 percent of inmates (0.7 percent) who had a gun indicated they had obtained it at a gun show. When combined with guns obtained from flea markets, the total rises to 1.7 percent. These are tiny fractions compared to the estimated 40 percent of the criminals’ guns that are obtained from friends or family and the 39 percent that are obtained on the street or from illegal sources. The numbers also had changed little from a similar 1991 survey that indicated that 0.6 percent of inmates had gotten their guns from guns shows and 1.3 percent from flea markets.

Product Placement

So wrong.

Quote of the day

Denise:

Guns are used for good and evil. They don’t cause either one.

Gay rights and gun rights

As they say, armed gays don’t get bashed. The Toledo Blade has a piece on The Pink Pistols, a gun rights group for gays and lesbians. I found this interesting:

Personally, I’m what the Pink Pistols call a “gun bigot,” someone who’s not crazy about firearms, knows nothing about them, “may never have even fired one, certainly doesn’t have any, [and] would gladly subject innocent people to defenselessness.”

Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

I first heard the term gun bigot from Joe Huffman. I suppose the term is getting legs in the gay gun community.

Via Kevin, who has one of my favorite quotes:

Basically, I figure guns are like gays: They seem a lot more sinister and threatening until you get to know a few; and once you have one in the house, you can get downright defensive about them.

A note to the comely young lass who was beside my at the redlight on the highway by the Wal-Mart in Alcoa

When you’re in your car, you are not invisible. I could clearly see that you were about two-knuckles-deep in your nostril.

I’m not the only one

David Hardy notes (as I have a lot recently) that the media is forming its anti-gun herd. They’ve been running what are, essentially, press releases from anti-gun organizations. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that congress is controlled by folks with Ds after their names?

Nanny Knows Best

Up next, bans on spanking:

The emotional debate over spanking reignited in California when Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Sally Lieber said she plans to introduce a bill this week outlawing the swatting of children age 3 and younger. Violators could face up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.

I don’t think determining the method for disciplining children is a roll for government. Obviously, abuse should warrant criminal charges.

The NYT and Florida’s Carry Laws

John Lott notes that the NYT took some creative liberties with Florida’s concealed carry laws:

This editorial is very deceptive in that it implies that felons are obtaining permits. But these individuals were not convicted of “felonies.” Florida judges have the power to take a plea, impose probation (without entering a conviction) and once the person completes that, “withhold conviction.” These individuals are eligible for a permit because they were not convicted of anything.

January 30, 2007

We have 10 years to save the Planet from Global Warming?

Ted Balaker and Sam Staley, coauthors of “The Road More Traveled: Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, and What We Can Do About It”, have written what will be a very controversial piece in the Washington Post. The long and short of it, is the premise that increased wealth is the reason for increased individual automobile driving and that there are many myths about suburbanization and the automobiles relation to Global Warming. The five myths are discussed at the end of the post.

Today is a particularly good day to discuss this as the American automobile is now “Public Enemy Number One” to the newly formed “Global Warming Coalition against the Automobile”. Can you stop Global Warming by walking? We will see.

“Global Cool” launched in London and LA today is a brand new worldwide movement of celebrities, musicians, politicians and business leaders who will use their vast scientific knowledge to tell you how to live. Energy conversation is a magnificent idea and is something I do personally and believe in but you know the material has hit the fan when the rock stars and actors form another “We are the World” group of human micromanagement.

The idea that the planet has only ten years to stop Global Warming is being repeated so often that it is approaching the critical mass of universal acceptance. Never mind that no scientific proof exist to prove this. Also never mind that the people who will preach from the high alter of Global Warming understand nothing about science. Again we will suffer through another assault of “Social Democracy” and junk science. Yes the planet is warming. But is it the sun or humans that are causing Global Warming? Only actors and musicians Josh Hartnett, Leonardo Di Caprio, Orlando Bloom, KT Tunstall, Pink, The Killers, and Razorlight know the truth. And they will tell you how to live.

How long will it take for “Global Cool” to reveal its real agenda?

Read the rest of this entry »

Every once in a while, a crazy person is funny

I’m no fan of Ann Coulter (her rhetoric is a bit much – and that’s an understatement), but that’s fucking funny:

Girl-power feminists who got where they are by marrying men with money or power—Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Arianna Huffington and John Kerry—love to complain about how hard it is for a woman to be taken seriously.

I can’t take law enforcement seriously if they don’t

So, with great joy, I report the death of the TeeVee show Armed and Famous. Ok, Tam reported it and I linked. But still, it’s a good thing. For those not in the know, they give washed-up famous people a gun and some police training and make them cops. They then film it. It really rather minimizes the importance of the police function. And, of course, creates a potentially dangerous situation where someone who is likely unqualified to enforce the law now does so. Let’s all be thankful it ended before someone got killed.

In other news, I caught on The Daily Show that another show in the vein of To Catch A Predator was on. Only this show could have been called To Catch The Apathetic. Seems they’d get a couple of actors to go out and engage in some abuse, such as a conflict between two lovers. Said conflict would get physical while the cameras rolled. Then, the host would confront the people who just stood by and watched it happen. That’s fucking retarded. And whoever the brainchild of this show was should get a swift kick in the nads.

Sure, most people didn’t respond at all. It’s what people do sometimes (remember Kitty Genovese?). But, let’s say said smacking around and roughing up occurred around some group of guys who had a little too much to drink while leaving the local bar and have something to prove. And then those guys proceeded to beat the shit out of the actor. I, for one, would applaud that group of guys.

Or, worse, someone goes to confront the actor, who is told to be belligerent to any who intervene, and that someone draws down on the guy?

It’s a recipe for disaster. I guess there’s a reason they don’t film this crap in red states.

Term Limits Candidate Forum for Knox County Commission

WBIR spent a commercial free hour Monday night giving Knox County citizens a chance to see and hear many prospective candidates for appointments to Knox County Commission. Each candidate was given thirty seconds to explain who they are and why they should be appointed to Knox County Commission.

If you missed the special program you can see a repeat on YouTube here, here, and here.

Comment issues – again

Seems the comment program doesn’t like blogspot.com again. I tried fixing it. So, if your url is at blogspot.com, leave a test comment and tell me if it doesn’t show up.

Rudy on guns

He’s never seen a gun control he didn’t like. But now, he’s heading for the presidential run and has to get his red state, gun loving on:

The Republican leading Rudy Giuliani’s New Hampshire campaign said he thinks the 2008 presidential hopeful will be an “easy sell” – and that the ex-mayor “satisfied” him that he won’t support federal assault-weapons bans, as he has in the past.

“I’m satisfied that he believes there’s no need for any additional gun laws, that’s for sure,” Wayne Semprini told The Post yesterday.

As mayor, Giuliani supported the federal ban – which expired in 2004 – and other gun-control programs.

Good for Rudy, if true. But I don’t believe him all that much. If it is true, I might even vote for the guy.

Fight the power

Citizens in states with high tax rates are fighting back.

Montana getting all states rights again

Lately, Montana has a tendency to poke the feds with a stick. Their legislature condemned the Patriot Act; they asked politicos for federal office why they think they’re exempt from campaign finance laws; and introduced a bill a while back telling the feds to get out of their gun permit and drivers’ license process.

Well, David Hardy notes they’re at it again and have introduced a bill that says firearms made in Montana are not subject to federal gun laws. Well, the constitution says that too since Congress power to regulate interstate commerce should actually involve that items, you know, legitimately be involved in interstate commerce. Now, you folks that want machine guns don’t quite your jobs and buy some cows just yet. Seems the bill (text here) excludes machine guns (i.e., machine guns are still regulated).

Support for the second amendment

By not supporting the second amendment. I find it odd that progressives are trying to get the gun vote by being, well, anti-gun. Now, I’m as gun nut as gun nut gets but supporting weapons bans doesn’t seem to be pro gun:

By a margin of 77-21%, voters support renewing the assault weapons ban (66- 32% among gun owners).

What percentage of people actually know what the recently deceased arbitrary legal construct known as assault weapons is? I’d say not many. They are merely rifles that look a certain way and are identical in functionality to many other rifles.

More ATF Woes

Over at Arms and the Law are the details of the IG’s report on ATF disciplinary matters:

Of 76 files where the agent was disciplined, 16 contained no documentation at all to show why, and not one showed a report of investigation.

Because it’s not politically correct

Another VPC study. If they implied that, Jeff, then they can’t demonize guns:

The national rate of black homicides was 18.71 per 100,000.

The national homicide rate overall was 4.86 per 100,000 and the national rate for whites was 2.97 homicides per 100,000, the group reported.

“The toll that homicide exacts on black teens and young adults in America, both male and female, is disproportionate, disturbing, and undeniable,” the study warned. “The unique facilitating role of firearms cannot be ignored.”

I wonder what gun ownership rates are among the various races?

Two things I said I’d never have but probably will by the end of the day

1) Car payment – they suck. But lately, you’re better off financing through the car manufacturer since they give really good rates. I mean, hell, if your liquid accounts pay a better rate than you’re being charged for a car, then it’s a no-brainer.

2) A Honda – This one, specifically. We borrowed it for a day and Junior really digs the DVD player. I always viewed them as, well, cheap little cars. Apparently, that has changed in the last decade or so. Consumer Reports and just about every other online resource says The Pilot rocks and is a good damn deal.

January 29, 2007

Nifty

FlashFog is a security system that floods a room with harmless fog so thick that you can’t see. Then flashes strobe lights so as to disorient any intruders. I guess it’s a good deterrent but if you’re that disoriented, how do you get out?

All this talk of Treason

Alrighty, gun nuts, let’s have a talk. Whenever you throw around words lie traitor and treason and such, people will largely look at you like you’re, well, nuts. It’s true. No matter how righteous you are or how right you may be. In short, you’re not converting anyone with the gun nut rhetoric. You’re only preaching to the converted. On the Brady Blog allowing comments, Tom said in comments here:

To a great many in the middle, “gun nuts” come across as, well, nuts. Allowing them to speak for themselves more often than not only feeds that stereotype far more effectively than the Bradies could do on their own.

It’s not that I necessarily disagree. It’s that it’s not the way to win. Sebastian says:

Folks,we’re really not going to accomplish anything by antagonizing the federal judiciary. In fact, it’s going to seriously hurt us. These are the same federal judges we’ll be relying on to, someday, rule in our favor and throw out a gun law because of the second amendment.

There’s also the fact that shooting and an increase in buying guns for protection only recently took a major upswing. So, let’s not scare away the newbies with our talk of treason, treachery and other things that go bump in the night.

But Uncle, you say, isn’t that maybe a little hypocritical of you? Ayup. But, I’ve been giving it some thought. And, since gun rights are at a crossroads, it’s probably best that I tone it down. Sure, I’ll tell the occasional person to fuck right off but that’s about it.

Update: Whoops, I left off the main point, which is this:

Remember your audience. If I let loose with the crazy gun talk here, that’s different than if I do it at, say, a newspaper’s website.

It’s time for the assault weapons push again

The Palm Beach Post:

Cheap, available assault rifles, which closely resemble the Kalashnikov AK-47s brandished by Iraqi insurgents and African rebels alike, have become the weapons of choice for gang members and other violent criminals in Palm Beach County.

Sorry, but most data I’ve seen indicates that cheap handguns are the weapon of choice of criminals. It is, after all, difficult to tuck a Kalashnikov into your pants.

Growing numbers of criminals are favoring these powerful semiautomatic weapons, which, authorities say, have greatly enhanced their capacity for indiscriminate violence. In the past six months, assault rifles have been used to maim or kill dozens, including bystanders such as a 50-year-old father of three and an 8-month-old baby.

These weapons are no more powerful than any other rifle of the same caliber. And their calibers are substantially less powerful than most hunting rounds.

There’s some interesting info in the article, though. Seems the Florida gangs are loading up with WASRs.

Sentencing & gun crimes

Packing while committing a crime is usually a good way to get a larger sentence, whether or not the gun was actually part of the crime. Looks like Washington disagrees:

… the courts read the statutes on sentencing enhancement for armed crime, in combination with the state right to bear arms, as requiring that the arms be accessible and have some connection to the crime.

Unreal

So, you use comercially available software to help a little old lady draft a will. Suddenly, you’re guilty of unauthorized practice of law.

Update: Xrlqy Wrlqy gets his snark on. Sorry, I just don’t buy that printing a page from software is the practice of law. Sounds to me like the guy was trying to help a little old lady out.

Update 2: Disagreement in comments. I’m not convinced of any nefariousness on the part of the agent but Xrlq is.

Update 3: In comments, Xrlq says:

BTW, I just read the opinion. Drafting her will was not his only act of UPL. The other consisted of drafting a general power of attorney, conferring all sorts of rights on himself, apparently without even encouraging her to seek counsel from someone who (1) knows what the hell he’s doing and (2) doesn’t have a potential stake in the matter himself.

In that case, it seems there was some shenanigans if not outright nefariousness.

Lubed

Les is talking gun lubricants. Transmission fluid? Really?