31 December 2007

Get it through your head now or get it in the head later

Quoted from the Union Leader, a UK newspaper, in the Jihadwatch blog:

"A radical Islamic army seething with rage and delusion grows stronger, slaughtering more and more of our potential allies, as we spend years debating whether, to save our civilization, our warriors should ever be allowed to pretend to drown a captured enemy combatant.
If we don't see this threat with greater clarity, we will lose our chance to thwart its ambitions before it reaches its full strength. What we are seeing is only a taste of what is to come if the jihad is allowed to grow unchecked."

Hey, they said it, not me

Seems there's a definition of jihad on page 316 of Islam and Christianity, "printed by a Muslim publishing house, Waqf Ikhlas Publications, and distributed by the modern, moderate, secular Turkish government to non-Muslims who come to work in Turkey".
It states that jihad "is a war against non-Muslims to convert them to Islam".

Rico says that this is one non-Muslim who isn't going to convert. Sorry. As a matter of fact, let me explain a tenet of my faith, as written in the Book of the 357 Ryu: "Come ahead on, motherfuckers." The accompanying clacking sound is the slide going back on my Glock...

Whoops. No virgins.

"Two suicide bombers die in botched Pak attack" from Reuters (via the JihadWatch blog):

KARACHI - Two suspected suicide bombers were killed in Pakistan’s central Punjab province early on Sunday when the devices they were carrying exploded prematurely in an apparent botched attack on a former minister, police said.
The blast in Haroonabad, in southern Punjab, comes just days after former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was slain in a suicide attack, triggering widespread violence that has killed at least 44 people.
Police said they believed Mohammad Ejaz-ul-Haq, a former religious affairs minister in President Pervez Musharraf’s government who had earlier been staying at a house 200 metres (yards) away from the site of the blast, was the intended target.
“My guess is that they were there to target Mister Ejaz-ul-Haq who visited the area a day earlier,” Zafar Abbas, district police officer in nearby Bhawalnagar, told Reuters by telephone. Haq had already left the area before the incident.
Police found scattered body parts and the wreckage of a motorcycle at the scene of the blast, and suspect they either met an accident or fell from the bike, detonating the explosives.
We have retrieved two heads, which are badly mutilated and cannot be identified. One appeared to be in his early 40s while the other is a younger one,” said another police officer....
Police said some religious elements at a nearby mosque had chanted slogans against Ul-Haq and Musharraf’s former government over a military assault on a Taliban-style movement at Red Mosque in Islamabad in July, which triggered a wave of suicide bombings.

Rico says, uh-oh, premature detonation; shades of Achmed the Terrorist...

Shakespearean tragedy

While this is definitely "the winter of our discontent", it too shall pass...

"Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried."

Good old Shakespeare. You can always count on him to have the right words.
I hope, to bury 'all the clouds that lour'd upon our house' in the 'bosom of the ocean' somewhere...
The Pontine Islands, come the summer, with my father, if I'm lucky:

30 December 2007

You had to be there

A performance by Survival Research Labs, a wild and crazy bunch of guys. If you ever get a chance to attend one of their events, go. It's unlike anything you've ever seen; imagine Terminator inside the end of Apocalypse Now. When I lived in California I saw their stuff a couple of times; truly amazing. But loud; take earplugs.

The usual suspects

CNN has put up a good synopsis of the candidates' positions on gun control.
(Though gun control, as we all know, is best achieved using both hands...)
Looks like Mike Huckabee is the only one with a concealed carry permit. Might have to rethink him...
But Obama has the usual hopeless Democrat loathing of weapons. Might have to rethink him, too...
Thompson, fortunately, says that "gun-control measures do not reduce crime".
On this subject, therefore, Rico is still with Fred.

Gotta start watching more bad television

Seems Leona Lewis has been on the X Factor show, and Rico didn't know it. Rico says he should have been watching...

Let them eat cake, I guess

Seems someone unspecified sent a truckload of bags marked 'sugar' from the European Union, intended for delivery in the Gaza Strip.
When the Israelis checked it, however, they discovered the bags were really potassium nitrate (six and a half tons), which is a precursor for explosives.

Rico says they should have made everyone in the Gaza Strip eat a handful... (Oh, that's not nice. But, then again, neither is nearly seven tons of explosives.)

Glad someone's keeping score

From The Religion of Peace blog:

Ah, the French

From The Ten Ring blog on the rioting in France:

"The situation in not pretty, and the French are perfectly capable of channeling their inner Robespierre."

Rico says he wishes he'd written that...

More Fred news

It was good to see the pros agreeing with me, but the voters didn't:

Former Tancredo Chairman Backs Fred Thompson

Tom Tancredo threw his support to fellow Republican Mitt Romney when he dropped out of the presidential race on Dec. 20, but his Iowa state chairman, Bill Salier, has parted ways with his former boss and endorsed Fred Thompson instead.
“I am honored to endorse Sen. Fred Thompson for president,” Salier, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate from Iowa in 2002, said in a statement.
“Sen. Thompson has been a consistently strong advocate in securing our borders and enforcing the rule of law. He has the leadership and experience we need guiding this nation and serving the people of Iowa.”
Curiously, Colorado Rep. Tancredo — who based his White House campaign on fighting illegal immigration — also cited that issue in announcing his support for Romney.
Addressing Salier’s endorsement, Thompson called him a “true conservative leader in Iowa who understands the increasing challenges facing this nation,” the Globe Gazette in Iowa reported.
“We share the same conservative principles, and I look forward to working with him as we spread our message of consistent conservatism to the great people of Iowa.”
Tancredo’s former western Iowa director, Angie Anderson, has also announced that she is joining the Thompson campaign.

More good Fred news

It's good to see the pros agreeing with me:
Former Tancredo Chairman Backs Fred
Tom Tancredo threw his support to fellow Republican Mitt Romney when he dropped out of the presidential race on Dec. 20, but his Iowa state chairman, Bill Salier, has parted ways with his former boss and endorsed Fred Thompson instead.
“I am honored to endorse Sen. Fred Thompson for president,” Salier, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate from Iowa in 2002, said in a statement.
“Sen. Thompson has been a consistently strong advocate in securing our borders and enforcing the rule of law. He has the leadership and experience we need guiding this nation and serving the people of Iowa.”
Curiously, Colorado Rep. Tancredo — who based his White House campaign on fighting illegal immigration — also cited that issue in announcing his support for Romney.
Addressing Salier’s endorsement, Thompson called him a “true conservative leader in Iowa who understands the increasing challenges facing this nation,” the Globe Gazette in Iowa reported.
“We share the same conservative principles, and I look forward to working with him as we spread our message of consistent conservatism to the great people of Iowa.”
Tancredo’s former western Iowa director, Angie Anderson, has also announced that she is joining the Thompson campaign.

29 December 2007

Campaign 2008

Barack versus Fred: which one?
Fred, of course
Barack, of course
Fred, because he's the better choice
Barack, because he's the better choice
Fred, because he's the lesser of two evils
Barack, because he's the lesser of two evils
  
pollcode.com free polls

Now there is a scary thought

According to John Bolton, the former American ambassador to the United Nations, he says he has "no confidence in the political leaders’ ability to secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal".
He also thinks that by pushing Musharraf to try and get him to act democratically and let Benazir Bhutto back in the country, that we may actually have contributed to her death: "I think the notion that by bringing Benazir Bhutto back to Pakistan we could facilitate moving to a Democratic system has obviously turned out to be incorrect."
Now there is a diplomat's phrasing...
"This tragedy should guide us now as to what we do next, which I think ought to be declaring a time-out on internal politics; let’s re-stabilize, it probably will require a period of martial law. But let’s keep our eyes on the prize. For the United States, that’s the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.”
Yup, don't want them floating around that part of the world, do we?

Rico says this is all probably a no-win situation. Let's just hope no one (oh, al-Qaeda, say) gets their hands on a nuke out of Pakistan's couple of dozen bombs. A nuclear detonation on American soil would be too much of a wake up call to the American people, thank you... (But it'd help sell the hell out of Skeleton Cay, new my book on the very subject, available next year from Amazon...)

28 December 2007

A good reason to keep the death penalty

A woman and her boyfriend were charged Friday with aggravated first-degree murder in the methodical Christmas Eve shootings of her parents, her brother, his wife and their two young children near Carnation, Washington, about 25 miles east of Seattle.
Michele K. Anderson and Joseph Thomas McEnroe, both 29, confessed to detectives they had shot six members of Anderson's family, according to court documents. Anderson said both of them shot her parents, brother and sister-in-law, while McEnroe killed the children, according to a separate affidavit.

Peter Sellers could have played a priest

It's reminiscent of that scene from Kubick's Dr. Strangelove, where the general insists "you can't fight in here, this is the War Room", only these guys were using brooms:

Priests Brawl At Holy Church In Bethlehem
.

Stupid, even for a Marine

A Marine traveled to Pittsburgh for a Christmas Eve encounter with a 13-year-old girl he had met online, authorities charged.
Lance Cpl. Johnathan Plaisance, 20, was arrested Christmas Day in Harrisburg after the girl's parents reported her missing.
Plaisance had been communicating online with the girl for several months and brought her a diamond engagement ring, police said. He may have thought she was 15, police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said.
The pair stayed at a motel before boarding a Greyhound bus to North Carolina, where Plaisance is on active duty at Camp Lejeune, police said.
Police traced the relationship after examining the family computer and the girl's account on the MySpace social networking Web site, Stangrecki said. FBI agents joined the case and helped track them to a bus station in Harrisburg where police arrested Plaisance on Tuesday night.
They brought him back to Pittsburgh early Wednesday and arraigned him on charges of interfering with the custody of a child and child concealment, according to police and online court records.
It was not immediately known if Plaisance, who was jailed, has an attorney.

Rico says what a maroon...

Evil is as evil does

From the John in Carolina blog, quoting Mark Steyn at NRO:
On the streets of Islamabad, that and a dime'll get you a cup of coffee.

Which is pretty good, considering that a dollar in Islamabad could get you killed, while it won't even get you a cup of coffee in New York...

But as John himself says:
"One reason the Islamists have made progress in the terror war has been the unwillingness of so many in the West to even admit it’s going on. They talk snidely of 'George Bush’s war on terror'.
Another reason is that so many refuse to believe the Islamists are people every bit as evil and determined as were the Nazis.
As with the Nazis, you can’t safely negotiate with such people. You can only destroy them or be destroyed.
But many Westerners shrink from admitting that."

As he notes, "Winston Churchill once said that people who disagreed intensely on the proper definition of rhinoceros could nonetheless all agree when they saw one."
Maybe 'terrorist' is the same way...

Doing better than we thought

From the Seaspook blog:
Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq ?
Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?
Did you know that 3,100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are now under construction, and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq?
Did you know that Iraq 's higher educational structure consists of twenty universities, 46 institutes or colleges, and four research centers, all currently operating?
Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 under the re-established Fulbright program?
Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have five 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels, and a naval infantry regiment.
Did you know that Iraq 's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, which includes nine reconnaissance and three US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add sixteen UH-1 helicopters and four Bell Jet Rangers?
Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?
Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?
Did you know that there are five Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3,500 new officers every eight weeks?
Did you know there are more than 1,100 building projects going on in Iraq ?
They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities, and 69 electrical facilities.
Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of five have received the first two series of polio vaccinations?
Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid-October?
Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq, and phone use has gone up 158%?
Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers, and ten television stations?
Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?
Did you know that two candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?
Of course not. Why? Because our media wouldn't tell us, that's why!

Rico says he's not surprised by the lack of information, but he is surprised that Iraq is doing so well.
There just might be hope after all...

A Guy who knows

Guy Kawasaki, a serial entrepreneur, managing partner of Garage Technology Ventures and a prolific blogger, put it this way: “If you’re a clothing manufacturer or a restaurant, blogging is probably not as high on your list as making good food or good clothes.”

Having worked with Guy at Apple in the good old days, Rico says that He Knows, and you should check out his blog.

Too cool for school

The 'Apple store experience' has hit the New York Times on-line world, yet again:
"It was 2 o’clock in the morning but in the subterranean retailing mecca in Midtown Manhattan, otherwise known as the Apple store, it might as well have been midafternoon. The party inside that store and in 203 other Apple stores around the world is one reason the company’s stock is up nearly 135 percent for the year. By contrast, high-flying Google is up about 52 percent, while the tech-dominated Nasdaq index is up 12 percent."

Rico says he doesn't 'hang out' at his local Apple store, but he does love going there. He also loves his stock going up 135 percent this year. Not many shares left, after the divorce, but every little bit helps...

Civil War for the day

A Blakeslee box, holding additional tubes of .56-50 rounds for the Spencer.
The first 'assault rifle'...

Oh, great, another pseudo-commie leader

Seems that the new president of Kenya is liable to be Raila Odinga, son of a national hero who was the first vice president of the country following independence.
While a member of Kenya's wealthy elite and owner of a large business empire, Odinga was educated in East Germany when it was still communist, and named his first-born son Fidel Castro.
Just what we needed, another capitalist communist leader with a name you can't spell...

27 December 2007

Bhutto's killers go back a long way

Seems there's a long history of assassination among the Muslims:

The term 'assassin' derives from hashshashin, a militant Ismaili Muslim sect, active in the Middle East from the eighth to the fourteenth centuries. This mystic secret society killed members of the Abbasid and Seljuq élite for political and religious reasons.
It is speculated that the assassins were drugged for their murders with hashish and opium; assassin derives either from hasishin, the influence of the drugs, or hassansin, after their leader, Hassan-i-Sabah. Hashishinnya was an offensive term depicting this cult by its Muslim and Mongolian detractors.

So, an ancient cult rears its ugly head into modern politics.
Who will rid me of this troublesome priest? has nothing on our current problem...

A woman's place is at the range

Of course they should. The entire tone of public discourse would change, for the better, if more women carried concealed firearms. I would dearly love to see the expression of the rapist who gets the muzzle of a big-bore automatic shoved in his face by his 'victim'...

Civil War for the day

One of the Lincoln assassination conspirators in chains on an ironclad on the Potomac.

Try enough times, you'll succeed

Seems a suicide bomber finally got to Benazir Bhutto today. Gold rallied on the futures market, as it tends to do in times of international uncertainty.
While she had her issues as ruler (twice) of Pakistan, at her worst she was better than the guy who's running the place now is on his best day...

Oops

The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez and published in a Spanish newspaper on 22 May 2007.

All European life died in Auschwitz
by Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez

I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth- Europe died in Auschwitz.
We killed six million Jews and replaced them with twenty million Muslims.
In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.
The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to twenty million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime
Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.
And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition
We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.

Rico wonders how do you say fatwa in Spanish?

Still cracks me up

Clueless consumerism

From a New York Times on-line article about falling spending this Christmas:
"Consumers appear reluctant to splurge on their favorite brands. Abercrombie’s popular Hollister division, a surf-themed store intended for a slightly younger shopper than its namesake chain, said sales failed to grow in November, compared with last year — a letdown for a fast-growing brand.
Shining Young, 25, and Ray Chou, 29, both graduate students, waited for clearance sales before buying clothes Wednesday at the Hollister store at the Westfield San Francisco Centre.
In the end, they bought a puffy jacket for $80, regularly $128, and a zip-up sweatshirt for $30, originally $50. The life of a graduate students is not luxurious, and with their expenses rising, “I shop at Hollister when it’s on special,” Ms. Young said.

Hollister, for those not from around those parts, is a little run-down agricultural town 'out in the Valley' in Northern California, south of San Jose:













When I first starting seeing local kids wearing this labeled gear, I accosted them, sure that they were from Hollister and were wearing school colors. Wrong.
Rico says kids will wear anything if the popular culture deems it hip.

Small victories

Seems that, in New York City, "homicides are on track to fall below 500 for the first time since reliable statistics became available 44 years ago".
Whoo-hoo. That's exciting news. As long as you're not one of the 500. That's about 1.5 a day, for the math-impaired out there.
However, success is evident; the 28th Precinct, up in Harlem, traditionally has over 100 homicides per year. This year, so far, only three...
Rapes, robberies, burglaries, grand larcenies and auto thefts also declined, compared with last year. Only felony assaults increased, to 16,864 from 16,801, a 0.3 percent rise.
Some of this is likely attributable to the change in the aging criminal population, but some of it has to be credited to the 35,400 officers in the NYPD.

We haven't seen anything like this since 1968

That was a big year for political assassinations in the United States.

It's old hat in Pakistan now, of course.
The latest is a suicide bomber who lit himself off at a Benazir Bhutto election rally, killing twenty and wounding more. Bhutto, fortunately, was safe following the explosion.
According to a CNN on-line article: "Earlier, four supporters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif died when members of another political party opened fire on them at a rally near the Islamabad airport Friday, local police said."
From the same article: "At least 136 people were killed and more than 387 wounded on October 18 when a suicide bomber attacked Bhutto's slow-moving motorcade. "
Exciting times in Pakistan. Rico says he's glad they're not trying to decide our primaries the same way...

Down to the wire

Seems that "Hill's Angels" (now there's a phrase only a campaign manager could love) are fanning out across Iowa in a last-ditch effort to get out the women's vote for Hillary, and she's dragging Bill and Chelsea around behind her.
"You never know what may happen in some part of the world that will create a real challenge to us here at home, here in Iowa," Clinton told a packed auditorium Wednesday. She's claiming her 'time in the White House' gave her the experience to deal with those challenges.
Gag.

Obama is still trying to convince people he's got the goods, and Edwards is in New Hampshire trying to convince people he's still alive.

It's going to be an interesting time until the primaries are done, the smoke clears, and we see who we're dealing with.
If it's not Barack and Fred, Rico says he'll be pouting...

26 December 2007

Can't have everything, I guess


No, I don't like Fred's whole Right-to-Life stance, but I have heard him say that, given his daughters, he's not adamant on the subject. I certainly hope not, because we don't need to fight this war again.
Other than that, I'm with Fred.

Told you they'd figure it out

I said that the Republicans had to get the price of oil down before the election if they were going to have a chance.
The Financial Intelligence Report is now predicting a major decline in the price of oil next year, leading up nicely to the elections. What with a warm winter (thus far) keeping demand down, and oil inventories at a seven-year high, we could apparently see $40 a barrel in the next year, down from the current $55 a barrel.
That'll be a good thing, come summer driving season.
Let alone next November, when people gas up to drive to the polls...

More great understatement out of the State Dept.

"Bolton has long been an advocate of muscular diplomacy."
In other words, dropping bombs on people until they do want you want.
No, no, not Michael Bolton, the singer, this is John Bolton, the guy who used to be Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Nonproliferation during the early years of the Bush administration, until he pissed off the wrong people and didn't get confirmed by the Senate.

"It’s a classic case study of why diplomacy is not cost-free. If we had been working on regime change effectively over the last four or more years we would be in a lot different position today."
"It’s not just the nuclear program. It’s Iran’s support for terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, the Gaza strip, including their activity particularly against our forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. So if steps are not taken soon, Iran and other nations in the region will draw the conclusion that we are not serious about stopping Iran’s nuclear program, we are not serious about stopping Iranian support for terrorism and they will draw the appropriate conclusions, all of which will be negative to American interest."
"I personally do not believe in just in-time non-proliferation. There’s too much of a risk there that intelligence and analysis can be wrong by understating the threat as well as by overstating the threat. Moreover the Iranians are obviously aware of the risk they run and I think every day that goes by gives them more of an opportunity to harden their existing facilities such as at Natanz, the uranium enrichment facility, or to build completely alternative facilities of which we have no knowledge. Our lack of reliable intelligence inside Iran is substantial. That doesn’t make me feel better; it makes me more nervous. Time is working against us. Every day the military option is postponed makes it riskier that we will actually use force but fail to achieve our objectives."
"I think this facility [in Syria] that the Israelis bombed on September 6 is an indication of yet another alternative, which is either to clone the Yongbyon reactor or outsource some of the nuclear weapons program. How better to hide your North Korean program than to build it in Syria where nobody is looking!"

Rico says and here I was wondering why the Syrians had this whole nuclear site going, and why the Israelis bombed it. Seems they're carrying our water for us again...

It's what real heroes always say

"I figure I didn't do anything that anybody else wouldn't have done."

This from the guy who drove his airboat out into the Everglades to try and rescue any survivors from the crash of Eastern Airlines flight 401 back in 1972.
Amazingly, there were some, 77 out of 176 passengers and crew.
After all these years, people have banded together to fix his airboat.
Rico says that's a nice thing.

Maybe now he can afford a new hat

Seems Toby Keith's father was killed by a runaway bus in Oklahoma, and he and his family have now been awarded 2.8 million in a wrongful-death suit. Given that the bus owner had been advised the bus had bad brakes, not surprising.

Death by cop

Seems that Stacey Peterson was the only one ever arrested out of eighteen visits by the local cops to her house over a two-year period. The fact that her husband was a member of the force may have had something to do with it...
Now, however, the Bolingbrook department has handed the investigation for her disappearance over to the Illinois State Police -- standard practice in criminal cases involving a member of the force.

Finally, the idiots do the right thing...

Civil War for the day













The band plays on in spite of typical inclement weather at Fort Shenandoah.

Oops.

Seems a Siberian tiger named Tatiana got out of its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas, mauled three people (one man died), and was finally shot to death by police after it charged them. Fortunately it was late on Tuesday, and there were only about twenty visitors at the zoo.
The victims were all young men in their twenties.
Rico is surprised they couldn't run faster, but it's surely another aha! moment for carrying firearms in public; notice the police weren't harmed...

According to more recent reports from the San Francisco Chronicle, "a shoe and blood were found between the fence and the moat, and a footprint has been found on a metal fence. The investigation is looking into the possibility that the tiger escaped by latching on to a leg or other body part, the paper reported."

Rico says he doesn't know how stupid you have to be to dangle your feet over the edge of a tiger enclosure, but he knows how stupid you must feel when the tiger latches onto your leg and uses it to climb out over your body...

Newer reports indicate that the wall around the enclosure, while about twelve and a half feet tall, should have been over sixteen feet tall. Part of the problem, for sure. But it seems that all three of the cat's victims were brothers, and probably all involved in what appears to have been a taunting incident. Rico says taunting a tiger, he doesn't care how big the wall, is a high-order piece of stupidity behavior that cost one of these idiots his life and injured the others. Morons...

The Hill-a-copter takes one in the blades

Hillary Clinton has tried to make much of her 'experience' while in the White House alongside her then-president husband.
A New York Times on-line article today, however, pokes a few holes in the Clintonian mythos:
"In seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs. Clinton lays claim to two traits nearly every day: strength and experience. But as the junior senator from New York, she has few significant legislative accomplishments to her name. She has cast herself, instead, as a first lady like no other: a full partner to her husband in his administration, and, she says, all the stronger and more experienced for her 'eight years with a front-row seat on history'."
"But during those two terms in the White House, Mrs. Clinton did not hold a security clearance. She did not attend National Security Council meetings. She was not given a copy of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. She did not assert herself on the crises in Somalia, Haiti and Rwanda."
"And during one of President Bill Clinton’s major tests on terrorism, whether to bomb Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Mrs. Clinton was barely speaking to her husband, let alone advising him, as the Lewinsky scandal sizzled."
"Her rivals scoff at the idea that her background gives her any special qualifications for the presidency. Senator Barack Obama has especially questioned “what experiences she’s claiming” as first lady, noting that the job is not the same as being a cabinet member, much less president."
"Friends of Mrs. Clinton say that she acted as adviser, analyst, devil’s advocate, problem-solver and gut check for her husband, and that she has an intuitive sense of how brutal the job can be."
“Making tough decisions, responding to crises, making the bureaucracy implement decisions that they may not want to implement — that’s the hard part of foreign policy,” Susan Rice, a National Security Council senior aide and State Department official under Mr. Clinton who now advises Mr. Obama, said. “That’s not what Mrs. Clinton was asked or expected to do as first lady.”

I, too, scoff at her claims.
And even I have "an intuitive sense of how brutal the job can be", but that doesn't make me worthy of being president.
And her 'experience' on the Armed Services Subcommittee has not been all it could have been, either, by all reports.

25 December 2007

Turnabout's fair play

Seems older white women are joining the sex tourism racket in Kenya, taking studly young guys into their hotel rooms. Given the widespread AIDS epidemic in Kenya, a little risky, and many hotel managers say they are doing all they can to discourage the practice of older women picking up local boys, arguing it is far from the type of tourism they want to encourage in the east African nation.
"This is what is sold to tourists by tourism companies -- a kind of return to a colonial past, where white women are served, serviced, and pampered by black minions."

Self-deportation seems to be working

A growing number of illegal immigrants across the United States are starting to pack their bags and move on as a crackdown on undocumented immigrants widens and the U.S. economy slows, turning a traditional Christmas trek home into a one-way trip.
The toughening environment has been coupled with a turndown in the U.S. economy, which has tipped the balance toward self deportation for many illegal immigrants left struggling to find work.
Mexican consular sources in Phoenix say they are seeing a spike in the number of immigrants applying for Mexican citizenship for their U.S.-born children, which will allow them to enroll in schools in Mexico.
They are also seeing a rise in requests for papers enabling families to carry household belongings back to Mexico, free of import duties.
Members of the Brazilian community in the U.S. northeast, meanwhile, say they are starting to see an increase in the number of illegal immigrants heading back to their homes in Brazil in recent months.


"...the number of immigrants applying for Mexican citizenship for their U.S.-born children, which will allow them to enroll in schools in Mexico." As in, if they're not Mexican citizens they can't go to school in Mexico. Seems there's a few things about immigration we could learn from the Mexicans...

Good old Texas

Seems that Texas, in both finite numbers and percentage, leads the nation in executions, yet again.
From a New York Times on-line article: Over the past three decades, the proportion of executions nationwide performed in Texas has held relatively steady, averaging 37 percent. Only once before, in 1986, has the state accounted for even a slight majority of the executions, and that was in a year with only 18 executions nationwide.
But this year, enthusiasm for executions outside of Texas dropped sharply. Of last year’s 42 executions, 26 were in Texas. The remaining 16 were spread across nine other states, none of which executed more than three people. Many legal experts say that trend is likely to continue. For the first time in the modern history of the death penalty, more than 60 percent of all American executions took place in Texas.
Indeed, said David R. Dow, a law professor at the University of Houston who has represented death row inmates, the day is not far off when essentially all executions in the United States will take place in Texas. “The reason that Texas will end up monopolizing executions,” he said, “is because every other state will eliminate it de jure, as New Jersey did, or de facto, as other states have.”
Outside of Texas, “we’re seeing fewer executions,” said Joshua Marquis, the district attorney in Clatsop County, Oregon, and a vice president of the National District Attorneys Association. “We’re seeing fewer people sentenced to death. People really do question capital punishment. The whole idea of exoneration has really penetrated popular culture.”

Popular culture, maybe. Rico's heart? Nope. As the saying in Texas goes, some people just deserve killing...

The Brits, too, don't forget

From the on-line Sunday Mirror of the UK:
"In two days most of us will be enjoying Christmas. Watching our little ones open presents, relaxing with our families and sitting down to a grand festive meal.
But it will be different in thousands of homes. For these are the ones where a father, husband or son is away serving his country. It will be even harder for their men, of course, as our interviews today with some of those fighting in Afghanistan show.
The troops of Brigade Recce Force have just been told that they must stay on duty throughout Christmas, even though they have been battling the Taliban for two months already - the longest desert patrol since the Second World War.
They are grateful for what they have received - presents from home, supplies of chocolate and cigarettes, and even tinsel and Santa hats. But none of it can disguise how different this festive season will be. Yet, typically, their main concern is not for themselves, but for the families at home having to make do without them.
It is natural to think with admiration and awe of the sheer courage and daring of the men and women fighting in these impossibly dangerous conditions.
But we should also consider a different side of what they are undergoing - simply being away from their loved ones. And, of course, that is particularly tough at this very special time of the year. For the sake of their country, they are making this selfless sacrifice.
So while we revel in our own Christmas festivities, let us also remember the troops whose repast is a boil-in-the-bag meal and who will not see their children's faces as they open their stockings from Santa.
Our debt to them can never be repaid."

Civil War for the day

Merry Christmas from the Civil War; a Thomas Nast illustration from a contemporary newspaper

Desperate times require desperate measures

Seems, according to a CNN on-line report, that al-Qaeda-in-Iraq is trying to kill off those who oppose them, which will probably only increase their number.
There are now, it seems, 'Awakening Councils', or anti-al-Qaeda groups, in many Iraqi cities. One member in Baquba was killed on Monday, and during his funeral on Tuesday a suicide bomber blew himself up among the mourners, killing four members of the Council and wounding twenty others. One of the dead was Hajj Farhan al-Baharzawi, the local head of the Brigades of 20th Revolution, a former Sunni insurgent group -- now an ally of the U.S. military. (Hajj means he'd made the pilgrimage to Mecca, a high honor among Muslims.) This will not improve the mood of the Sunnis, either.
Rico says tee, hee, hee, couldn't happen among a nicer bunch of guys...
Also on Tuesday, a suicide car bomb attack "near a government complex in the northern Iraqi city of Baiji" killed more than 23 and wounded over 80. They got it when they were gathered around a truck selling cylinders of cooking gas at a checkpoint "manned by Iraqi soldiers and members of a local Awakening Council". There were secondary explosions, too, when the cooking gas lit off.
One of these days the Shi'a and the Sunni are going to get tired of this shit and start killing off aQiI members.
Rico says it is an outcome devoutly to be wished, and he can hardly wait for them to get started...
Then, maybe, we'll be able to declare victory and come home.

Death by religious fervor, yet again

Seems that 400 people got on a 500 meter bridge, all at the same time, when "local residents were heading to a religious ceremony to celebrate the full moon that began Monday" in Nepal. It, of course, collapsed, throwing them into the gorge below. At least six, so far, are reported dead and hundreds missing.
As many as 100 managed to swim to safety.
Now, I'm sure it was a spectacular full moon. Someone at dinner here that night commented on how great it looked, what with the proximal approach of one of the planets and Sirius the Dog Star.
However, the damn thing goes full (which is, after all, an optical illusion anyway) every 28 days, and has some other celestial object lurking around it most of the time.
None of this, to me, is worth killing yourself and your fellow man over, religion be damned...

Ernest, who should know

"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake."
Ernest Hemingway

Couldn't agree more. I should be sleeping now, as a matter of fact.

24 December 2007

Hillary that you can play with

From Newsmax.com:
Hillary thinks she can get away from her record by rewriting her history and that of her husband’s sordid administration.
We’re calling her bluff with the Deck of Hillary, which raises the ante by spilling everything that her highness doesn’t want you to know. You’ll find out all about her:
•Outrageous rantings about Jews and Minorities
•Hilariously half-hearted defenses of hubby Bill
• Comical explanations for why men hate her so much
•Bizarre claim that Christians can’t be Republicans
•Hillary promises she wouldn’t run for the Senate and she won’t run for president
•The unbelievable comments made to Secret Service agents, state troopers, presidential mistresses and other working stiffs
•Deep-seated paranoid theories on why the Republicans are opposed to her
•Knee-slapping comment about Bill’s relative in the KKK
•Her angry orders about the White House American flag
•Hillary's explanation as to why so many women are becoming lesbians


Don’t worry, the cards are suitable for all audiences, because we’ve bleeped out Hillary’s frequent use of profanity.
In four suits of the deck, we tell Hillary’s unvarnished story:
The Spades reveal “The real Hillary” – including her phony claims she was a duck hunter and a Marine recruit.
The Hearts tenderly and not so tenderly describe “Bill & Me” – her decades-long business and political partnership with her husband, the impeached former president.
The Diamonds recount her diamond-hard reign as “The First Lady.” Learn what she really thought of the Secret Service – and about the special Secret Service Free Zone she created around herself!
The Clubs, appropriately, offer Hillary “The Feminist.” And yes, girls like baseball, too. Hillary was a Yankees fan. How do we know? Because she said so.
And as for the Jokers, they expose Hillary’s two biggest concoctions in recent memory – you’ll just have to see them for yourself.

Rico says these cards are a must-have for Hillary fans everywhere...

Tony Blair goes over the edge

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has left the Church of England and converted to Catholicism, the faith of his wife and children. Blair converted during a Mass on Friday night at the private London chapel of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the church said.
Earlier this year, Blair told the British Broadcasting Corp. that he had avoided talking about his religious views while in office for about 10 years for fear of being labeled "a nutter."

Now that he's out of office, of course, being a nutter is no problem...

From obfuscation to prevarication

Seems that Hillary is now touting her "independent role in the Irish peace process".
Unfortunately, no one actually involved in the Irish peace process remembers her being there.
When you don't have any actual experience, I guess you just gotta make some up...
But, hey, it's high time to have another lying Clinton in the White House, don't you think? We'd almost started to miss the last one:
"Bill Clinton’s performance on the Charlie Rose Show on Friday night showed a defensive, angry, and off-message former president trying desperately to sell his wife’s faltering candidacy. Throughout the interview, Clinton repeatedly tried to disparage Obama’s experience, and, in the process, distorted some important aspects of American presidential history (including his own) while conveniently forgetting about others."
"The former president's memory of history was equally faulty when he rhetorically questioned whether America had ever elected a president as inexperienced as Obama. The answer is: yes, we have -- and they turned out to be the two greatest presidents of the 20th Century. Woodrow Wilson was first elected to public office in 1908 when he was chosen to be governor of New Jersey. Four years later, he was in the White House. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was first elected governor of New York State in 1928 and became president four years later."
"But it was not his failure to recall history accurately that led his apparently panicked aides -- as reported on air by Rose -- to push for an end to the embarrassing interview. It was that Bill had taken off the gloves by implying that electing Obama was a risk for the American people. And he appeared to agree when Rose characterized the former president's views as suggesting that electing Obama would be 'a roll of the dice'."
"When Hillary or Bill attack Obama, they only antagonize voters. Particularly at risk are the black voters who make up the bulk of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina and who will heavily influence the Florida primary vote as well. Reeling from a week of ill considered personal attacks on Obama, the Clinton campaign sought to recover its footing only to stumble badly once again when an out-of-control spouse, who happens to have been president, put them back in the doghouse with Democratic voters."

What's in a name?

This will surely go down in history as the Campaign of the Wacky Names. Let us recite, in no particular order, except we're doing Republicans first:
Rudy Giuliani; for once, in this crowd, it almost sounds normal
Mike Huckabee: Not the dumbest name in the bunch, but he is from Arkansas
Duncan Hunter: never been a President Duncan, and won't be this time, either; too Scottish for the average Joe, anyway
John McCain: perhaps the most 'normal' sounding name of the bunch
Ron Paul: can't have two first names and be president
Willard Romney: Nope; no Willards for president, either. But why, oh why, didn't he ever have a fistfight in the schoolyard and make people call him Will? Much better than Mitt. Besides, they say you should never trust a man who parts his name in the middle, much less a man who cuts off the whole left side of his name.
Fred Thompson: Besides being my favorite, President Fred is still better than Mitt or Hillary...
Alan Keyes: a standing joke, I can't believe he's back again
Tom Tancredo: took himself out of the race
Joe Biden: sorry, the only President Joe we were supposed to have was Joe Kennedy, and the Germans got him in 1944
Hillary Clinton: any woman's name still sounds odd behind "President", but even Susan would be better than Hillary. Maybe, by the time she's old enough, President Chelsea will be electable...
Christopher Dodd: I'm sorry, but President Chris doesn't cut it either
John Edwards: ennhh, thanks for playing, but you already had a shot at this, twice, and you're still a moron
Mike Gravel: an Alaskan? I don't think so, and the 'small stones' jokes would be too obvious
Dennis Kucinich: the Howdy Doody candidate
Barack Obama: my only choice from the Democratic side but, okay, since no one else will go there, Rico will: barracoon n. A barracks in which slaves or convicts were formerly held in temporary confinement. And if the Wahhabi rumors are true, we could have the first real Manchurian Candidate this time...
Bill Richardson: a stealth Hispanice candidate; but governors aren't doing well in this race, and he's no exception

All in all, not a lot to choose from, name-wise, in this election.
I'm still with Fred, but I'll take Barack if he makes it and Fred doesn't.

Rico don't like it

What Rico doesn't like the very idea of these days:

A president named Mitt. And would someone explain to me exactly how he got a name like Mitt? No parent, however cruel or Mormon, would actually name a child that. Having done enough googling, however, I discovered that it's even worse than that; his proper name is Willard. The Mitt is a middle name. No wonder he uses it. But, no, sorry, can not have a president named Willard. Look what happened to Fillmore. (I know, that was Millard, but don't fuck with the joke.) And we'll ignore any obvious 'Slick Willard' references or, worse yet, that rat movie guy... No, he's gotta go.

A president named Hillary. Actually, it's the Rodham part that's bad, but since the Hill-a-copter thing, Hillary won't do either.

Gub control. I know, I know, the Supreme Court is going to rule, in its infinite wisdom, on the whole Second Amendment issue next year. I can hardly wait for the arguments in this case. If they rule on the law, and not on the emotionality of the thing, it will be fascinating to see what happens when they overturn all the anti-gub laws in places like New York City and Washington. A little Rico tee-hee-hee at all the teeth-gnashing if they do...

Not getting to vote for Fred. He's got a long way to go in the primaries, and he hasn't been polling well so far. I hope he has a good showing in some of the early voting, so as to get the snowball going while there's still time...

Another president from Arkansas. Besides, Huckabee is an even stupider name than Mitt, and who wants to say 'President Huckabee' for the next four years? And anyone who actually says, out loud, "Jesus is lord!”, as Mike did recently, is out of the running automatically...

Civil War for the day

The usual suspects hauling away the big tube from the parapet at the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. Note the 21st Century horse...

23 December 2007

Civil War for the day









The Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida. It has only the most tenuous connection to the Civil War, but it's an extremely cool fort. Rico says he wishes he were there now...

God does work in mysterious ways

A soldier from Wisconsin, Captain Scott Southworth, decided to adopt an Iraqi boy while serving in Iraq.
"Police had found Ala'a abandoned on a Baghdad street at around 3 years old. No one knows where he came from."

Just a few problems:
• Southworth was single, "he had little money and planned to run for district attorney in his home county."
• The kid had cerebral palsy.
• Iraqi law prohibits foreigners from adopting Iraqi children.

But Southworth comes from a long line of soldiers: "military service was a family tradition. His great-great-great-grandfather served in the Civil War, his grandfather in World War II, his father in Vietnam."
According to a CNN.com on-line article, "in his last weeks in Iraq, Southworth got approval from Iraq's Minister of Labor to take Ala'a to the United States for medical care."
"But when Southworth contacted an immigration attorney, he was told it would be nearly impossible to bring Ala'a to the United States. Undaunted, Southworth and the attorney started the paperwork to bring Ala'a over on humanitarian parole, used for urgent reasons or significant public benefit. A local doctor, a cerebral palsy expert, a Minneapolis hospital, all said they would provide Ala'a free care. Other letters of support came from a minister, the school district, the lieutenant governor, a congressman, chaplain, a sister at the orphanage and an Iraqi doctor. He mailed the packet on December 16, 2004, to the Department of Homeland Security. By mid-January, Homeland Security called Southworth's attorney to say it had approved humanitarian parole. Within three hours, Southworth had plane tickets. They made it to Wisconsin late January 20, 2005. The next morning, Ala'a awoke to his first sight of snow.
He clearly has thrived. At 13, he's doubled his weight to 111 pounds. "I'm not the same guy I used to be," he says.
On June 4, Ala'a officially became Southworth's son. Though he was born in the spring of 1994, they decided to celebrate his birthday as the day they met -- September 6.
In October, the Wisconsin's deputy adjunct general gave Southworth, now a major, permission to change units because of Ala'a. His former unit was going to Guantanamo Bay for a one-year deployment, and he didn't want to leave his son behind, at least for now.
Southworth hopes one day to marry his longtime girlfriend and have more children. He may run for Congress or governor someday -- he's already won re-election once, and plans to run again next fall.

The last good war

I haven't seen Charlie Wilson's War yet, but Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts promise a good time, and I loved the book. Philip Seymour Hoffman has pissed me off before, but playing a rogue CIA agent looks like a good turn for him, too. A full review later, I promise.

Trouble right here in River City

Saudi Arabian police have arrested 28 men for allegedly planning to attack holy sites around Mecca and Medina during the recently finished Muslim hajj pilgrimage, the kingdom's Interior Ministry said Sunday. The ministry said 27 of the men were Saudi nationals and one was a foreign resident.

Self-deport? What a concept

Seems that the new employer-sanction law in Arizona is driving illegal immigrants back to Mexico.
From a CNN.com on-line report: "Illegal immigrants in Arizona, frustrated with a flagging economy and tough new legislation cracking down on their employers, are returning to their home countries or trying their luck in other states."
"People are calling me telling me about their friend, their cousin, their neighbors -- they're moving back to Mexico," said Magdalena Schwartz, an immigrant-rights activist and pastor at a Mesa church. "They don't want to live in fear, in terror."
State Rep. Russell Pearce of Mesa, the author of the employer sanctions law, disagreed that the Arizona economy will suffer after illegal immigrants leave, saying there will be less crime, lower taxes, less congestion, smaller classroom sizes, and shorter lines in emergency rooms. He said his intent was to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona. "I'm hoping they will self-deport," Pearce said. "They broke the law. They're criminals."

Global warming? Not in the Midwest

What with blizzard conditions in Minnesota, a hundred thousand homes and businesses without power in Oklahoma and Kansas, and a Great Lakes storm scheduled to dump eighteen inches of snow on New England, it doesn't look much like global warming is kicking in this winter.
Of course, it was sixty degrees today in Philadelphia, so who the fuck knows?

We need a big volcano

With tiger mosquitoes surviving in a suddenly-tropical Italy and spreading chikungunya, this whole global warming thing has gone too far.
No matter the 'real' cause of global warming, we need a couple of really big, Mt. St. Helen-sized volcanoes to erupt soon and drop the global temperature a couple of degrees and get this mosquito thing handled.
Otherwise it's going to be time to box up the polar bears and ship them off to Antarctica... (And won't the penguins be surprised.)

Fred's got a ways to go yet in NH

But Barack is pulling ahead of Hillary, so maybe people are more comfortable with an admitted cocaine-user than a bitch with bad politics...

Now she embraces him

From a Washington Post on-line article: "After months of discussion within her campaign over how heavily she should draw on her husband's legacy, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is closing out her Iowa and New Hampshire campaigns in a tight embrace of Bill Clinton's record."

Funny, she hasn't embraced him in years...

"Both Clintons are making the case that theirs was a co-presidency -- an echo of Bill Clinton's controversial statement during the 1992 campaign that voters would get "two for the price of one" if they elected him."

Does that mean we 'two for the price of one' if we elect her?
Personally, I can hardly wait for Bill to get back into the White House...
Think of what we can look forward to, if Hillary replicates his time in office: unanswered terrorist strikes on the United States, stagflation, oral sex in the Oval Office, and a whining, self-centered president.

Go ahead, vote for Hillary. Get Bill at the same price. Go ahead, I dare you.

Me? I'm for Fred.

Second Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

“In May of 1792, five months after the adoption of the Second Amendment, the Militia Act was passed. That act distinguished between the enrolled militia and the organized militia. Before the passing of that act, there was only the enrolled militia, which was the body of all able-bodied men between the ages of 17 and 44, inclusively, and it is that militia to which the Second Amendment refers. It couldn’t refer to the organized militia because it didn’t exist yet. The Second Amendment was to ensure that this body of citizens is armed and that’s why the Founding Fathers thought to place it in the Bill of Rights. Legally, both militias still exist.”

"The Founding Fathers did not believe we got our rights from the Bill of Rights. Nor did they believe they came about as a result of being American, Christian, of European decent, or white. They believed everyone had these rights even if they lived in Europe, China, or the moon. They called them Natural Rights. Where these rights were not allowed, they believed they still existed but were denied.”

Have you ever read the 9th and 10th Amendments?
It’s important to understand what they say and know why they are written the way they are because they tie in with how the Founding Fathers viewed our rights and how they expected us to view them.
They were put there to quell the fears of men like Hamilton who were afraid that any rights not mentioned in the Bill of Rights would be usurped by the government.
The 9th says:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This means that any rights not mentioned in the Bill of Rights are not to be denied to the people.
“The 10th says:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
So any powers not specifically given to the Federal government are not powers it can usurp.
It’s enough to show the Founding Fathers thought we had a right for it to fall under the protection of the 9th or 10th Amendment. This means that the Founders didn’t even have to specify we have the right to free speech, religion, jury trials, or anything else. To understand what they felt our rights were, all you had to do was show what they said our rights are. Any rights in the first eight Amendments are just redundant with what the Founding Fathers considered Natural Rights.

Arms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion...in private self-defense.
That was said by John Adams in A Defense Of The Constitution.
The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. That was said by Samuel Adams, John Adams’ second or third cousin, during Massachusetts’ U.S. Constitution ratification convention in 1788.
Here are a few by Jefferson:
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government.
And here’s another by him:
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. He wrote this as part of the proposed Virginia Constitution, in 1776.
Here’s Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria—a Milanese criminologist whom he admired who was also his contemporary—in On Crimes and Punishment:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
In response to a proposal for gun registration, George Washington said:
Absolutely not. If the people are armed and the federalists do not know where the arms are, there can never be an oppressive government.

From on-line articles by John Silveira

Founding notions, still good

Seems the Founding Fathers had some opinions about the importance of the Second Amendment (from a column by John Silveira):

“In May of 1792, five months after the adoption of the Second Amendment, the Militia Act was passed. That act distinguished between the enrolled militia and the organized militia. Before the passing of that act, there was only the enrolled militia, which was the body of all able-bodied men between the ages of 17 and 44, inclusively, and it is that militia to which the 2nd Amendment refers. It couldn’t refer to the organized militia because it didn’t exist yet. The Second Amendment was to ensure that this body of citizens is armed and that’s why the Founding Fathers thought to place it in the Bill of Rights. Legally, both militias still exist.”
“I don’t believe the Second Amendment gives John or anyone else the right to privately own guns. I think your interpretation is just a well-presented opinion and that the Second Amendment really refers to the powers given to the states.” “That’s okay. Even if you’re right and the Second Amendment refers only to the National Guard, the state police, or some other uniformed military or police organization we’d still have the right to keep and bear arms. We don’t need the Second Amendment.”
“The Founding Fathers did not believe we got our rights from the Bill of Rights. Nor did they believe they came about as a result of being American, Christian, of European decent, or white. They believed everyone had these rights even if they lived in Europe, China, or the moon. They called them Natural Rights. Where these rights were not allowed, they believed they still existed but were denied.”

“Specifically, have you ever read the 9th and 10th Amendments?”
“They were put there to quell the fears of men like Hamilton who were afraid that any rights not mentioned in the Bill of Rights would be usurped by the government.
The 9th says:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
“This means that any rights not mentioned in the Bill of Rights are not to be denied to the people.
“The 10th says:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
“So any powers not specifically given to the Federal government are not powers it can usurp."
“So it’s enough to show the Founding Fathers thought we had a right for it to fall under the protection of the 9th or 10th Amendment. This means that the Founders didn’t even have to specify we have the right to free speech, religion, jury trials, or anything else. To understand what they felt our rights were, all you had to do was show what they said our rights are. Any rights in the first eight Amendments are just redundant with what the Founding Fathers considered Natural Rights."

Arms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion...in private self-defense. That was said by John Adams in A Defense Of The Constitution.
The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. That was said by Samuel Adams, John Adams’ second or third cousin, during Massachusetts’ U.S. Constitution ratification convention in 1788.
Here are a few by Jefferson:
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government.
And here’s another by him:
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
He wrote this as part of the proposed Virginia Constitution, in 1776.
And here’s one more. It’s Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria—a Milanese criminologist whom he admired who was also his contemporary—in On Crimes and Punishment:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.


In response to a proposal for gun registration, George Washington said:
Absolutely not. If the people are armed and the federalists do not know where the arms are, there can never be an oppressive government.

22 December 2007

Civil War for the day













Me at the grave of my ancestor, buried in the National Cemetery at Nashville.

Shoot 'em, just don't call 'em names

Seems the Army Intelligence and Security Command’s (INSCOM) Equal Opportunity (EO) promulgated a list of forbidden words:
Jewed, Stepin fechit, Chink, Indian giver, Flip, Working like a slave, Boy, Uncle Charlie, Girl, Sounds Greek to me, Nigger, Lackey, Cracker, Dumb PR, Honky, Red man, Blackmail, Indian, Dago. Holy Roller. Black-ball. Negro. Dago-Red. Mick. White Lie, Poor White Trash, Black Lie, Black Sheep, Black List, Darkey, Lowest on the Totem Pole, Kike, Indian war, Beaner, Wet Back, Blue-eyed Devil, Lazy Mex, Coon, Red Bone, Uncle Tom, High Yellow, Buck, Yellow Gal, Jungle Bunny, Tar Baby, Sambo, Cocker Roach, Half Breed, Blondes Have More Fun, Pickaninny, Dumb Blonde, Jezabel, Jap, Hang with a new rope, Whitey, Wop, Kimosabe, Trailer Trash, Indian Summer, Paddy wagon, Spic, Spearchucker, Black Jew-Jew, Canuck, Jew Boy, Oriental, Pollock Welfare Bum, Colonial, Savage, Colored, Monkey, You People, Limp wrist, Queer, Caught Red Handed, Guinea Pig

Okay, okay, I get it. We should not use disparaging remarks about our fellow person. But this list, in my less than humble opinion, goes too far. I get it that calling someone a nigger or a darkey might be hurtful.
And it's nice that they threw in, just for balance, things like 'honky' and 'cracker'. Not that it hurts if someone calls me that, but it's nice to be on the list in any capacity.
But what about 'blackmail'? What do you call it when someone does that to someone else? 'Politically incorrect mail?'
And what about 'white lie' and 'Indian war' and 'Kimosabe'? Are we not to watch cowboy movies about the Indian wars again, nor The Lone Ranger?
And what about 'High Yellow' and 'Red Bone', that black people call each other? Are they to be criticized for using bad language, or just white people who use these phrases?
And are they now going to stop showing Buck and the Preacher?
And then there are the really absurd ones: 'Savage', 'Monkey', and 'Guinea Pig'. Or is it just bad when we use them about certain people, rather than monkeys and guinea pigs, let alone savages?
I don't get it...

Fred gets it

On the cheap, for now

We've just started a blog for the eventual on-line Slavery Museum.
Rico says check it out.

You. Gotta. Go. Girl

From an on-line AP story:
"MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton made her closing argument to female voters on Saturday in a message that could be reduced to three words: You. Go. Girl."
"A separate New Hampshire poll, released Friday from USA Today and Gallup, showed Clinton and Obama tied at 32 percent each of Democrats overall. Her outreach to women underscores the tightness of the race in this first-in-the-nation presidential primary state and the support she is trying to cement in case she falters in Iowa's three-way race."

Well, that's certainly what we want to hear from our president for the next four years, right?
Gag.

Rico says run, Barack, run...

Ramming speed

The USS New York, whose bow structure was cast from twenty-four tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center. It carries 500 Marines to be used in special operations against terrorism. May she sail into harm's way and safely back out again.

21 December 2007

Civil War for the day

The flag of the 7th PA Cavalry, the regiment of one of my ancestors.

The weasels turn on each other

According to ABC News, the Clinton campaign has registered several attack URLs (Votingpresent.com and Votingpresent.org), which will be used to portray Senator Barack Obama as 'cowardly' for voting "present" on contentious legislation while an Illinois state legislator.
Cowardly? I think a woman who stays with her cheating husband, in the face of massive public humiliation, in order to use the bully pulpit of the White House to foster her own political goals, might just be construed as cowardly...
Or a total flaming bitch on wheels.
Your choice.

20 December 2007

Santa bags one

video
But I bet there's gonna be a fatwa in this guy's stocking...

Learn something and maybe save a life

A friend of mine, who lost a child to a sleeping trucker in Florida, has started a non-profit to help the politicians beat up the trucking industry to improve their behavior:
www.trucksafety.org
You could send them some money.

Another politically correct blunder

According to a column in the current Shotgun News, there's a push on for Hasbro to repackage its traditional GI Joe doll for the 'modern' boy. Since GI (for Government Issue) has such 'bad' connotations these days, especially in the burgeoning overseas toy market, Hasbro has decided, its less-than-infinite wisdom, to change his affliation. He's now going to be a member of "an international force based (no, I'm not making this up) in Brussels." GI Joe has also now become an acronym, meaning "Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity", part of "an international co-ed force of operatives who use high-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil organization headed by a double-crossing Scottish arms dealer."

Well, durn, and here we've been having such trouble of late with double-crossing Scottish arms dealers, too...
And note the 'co-ed' part of the description; wanna bet it's not long until they introduce GI Jane? (As what, a Joint All-Nancy Entity?)

Worse yet, according to the column, GI Joe was based on a real guy named Mitchell Paige, who died in 2003, a veteran and hero of the battle of Guadalcanal.
Go fucking figure.

Rick says someone at Hasbro needs a pimpslapping...

Well, looks like they got one. A check of the Hasbro site reveals that "the G.I. Joe team will not be based in Brussels. Instead, they will be based out of the 'Pit' as they were throughout the 1980s comic book series."
Whew. Thought we'd lost 'em there for a minute...

Civil War for the day

The badge of the 7th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, the unit one of my Jones ancestors belonged to; I've been to his grave in the National Cemetery in Nashville.

Bazookas?

Noah Webster wrote "A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state."
Fortunately, I live in a less-benighted state that allows its citizens to purchase and use fully-automatic weapons.
While the expense, let alone the household issues, preclude me owning one at this time, I would if I could.
Why?
Well, one, because I can.
Two, because they're cool.
Three, because you should always exercise your rights in order to protect them.
Four, because they're very cool, and they make lots of loud noises.
Five, because of that line from The Wind and the Lion in which Connery refers to guns that fire "many times, promiscuously". I always thought that was a great description, and always wanted one.

Oddly enough, you can get a real (semi-auto, anyway) machine gun, like a 1919 or even a heavy-barrel M2, for less than you'd imagine; about $1200 will do it. On the other hand, the dummy Thompson I want for my wall (to be hung in a glass case with a tiny little fire-extinguisher hammer and an engraved brass plaque that says "In case of pirates, break glass") costs $800, while a real one costs about $875... Go figure.

If you want to know what we're really dealing with here


There are six parts of this undercover report by Dispatches out of the UK.
Rico says
check it out (though prepare to be depressed by the absolute conviction of these morons), as you, too, are 'among the kuffaar", and thus worthy of being dead and going to hell, according to these people...
(As Robert E. Lee used to refer to "those people over there".)

This is why the Second Amendment ("...being necessary to the security of a free State...") supports the First.

One of the speakers mentions the 'joy' of being a martyr for Allah. We should arrange that joy for him, as quickly as possible.
Lock and load.

Another fatwa waiting to happen

Don't know who put this site up, but I suggest they invest heavily in bullet-proof underwear.

Fucked up and succeeding...

Seems yet another Democrat has been seduced by the facts on the ground in Iraq:
From Michelle Malkin's blog (who does all the heavy lifting for me, thank you, Michelle):
"U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly returned from a second trip to Iraq in five months encouraged that the mission there is going better and that by 2009 the U.S. military’s role could be primarily as trainers and advisers."
"...we seem to be heading toward a place where the Iraqis can be self-sustaining and we’ll have a smaller presence in the background.”

If this keeps up, the Democrats won't know what hit them come the election...

Finally

I've been awaiting the turn of the number for days. While my total viewer count is the same as ten minutes of a 'real' blogger like Michelle Malkin, it's still nice to think that people are out there reading my stuff every day. Keeps you on your toes.

19 December 2007

Another governmental edict

Seems the new energy bill "sets a goal of phasing out the incandescent light bulb within 10 years".
We'll miss them...
Turns out, of course, that we'll really miss them:
According to Michelle Malkin's blog: "Mercury, a toxic metal famously found in thermometers, helps create the increased efficiency of a CFL bulb. If the bulb breaks, the small amount of mercury can contaminate the area. The Financial Post reported in April that a broken CFL bulb cost a Maine woman more than $2,000 to clean when the state Department of Environmental Protection referred her to a cleanup company. The federal EPA doesn’t recommend professional cleanup for a broken bulb. It recommends you open a window, leave the room for 15 minutes, then put on some rubber gloves, scoop up the broken bits and seal them in a plastic bag, then put that bag in another plastic bag before throwing it out. Then wash your hands. Even if the bulb doesn’t break, CFL users are supposed to dispose of used bulbs through state-run household hazardous waste programs, which aren’t nearly as simple or convenient as tossing a burnt bulb in the trash. Some states, like Maine, tell residents to hold hazardous materials in their homes until designated collection days. Many others, like Virginia, require participants to take the bulbs to waste disposal sites for special processing."

The day comes when I have to take a dead light bulb to a disposal site for 'special processing' is the day it gets jammed up the butt of the nearest environmentalist...

Extremely cool site

It's by Porsche, so you'd expect it to be elegant and technologically advanced, and so it is.

Who knows? Who cares?

This photo is from the Cowboy Blob blog in my sidebar, with no attached explanation. Given the bodaciousness pushing, who cares why, though I am curious, yellow...

Oh, frabjous day

Seems that Senator Dianne Feinstein, arch-liberal from San Francisco, has been forced to resign from her position on the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee for voting for appropriations worth 'billions' to be awarded to two firms, Perini Corp. and URS Corp., owned by her husband, Richard Blum.
Oops. I thought that's the very thing 'recusal' was for...

Say it isn't so...

It seems one of my lust objects, newsbabe Alycia Lane, co-anchor of a local Philly news station, got busted over the weekend in New York City for allegedly punching an undercover cop in the face during a street altercation. One never knows what really happened during these events, but I wish her the best. I'd sure miss seeing her face (let alone her other attributes) on the evening news...

Movies worth watching

I missed Guy Fawkes Day again this November the Fifth, but this is a movie worth watching any day of the year...
 

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