Regarding the Playoffs

I’ve never been a “fan” of the 49er’s, but I had nothing against them either.  Up until a few minutes before game time yesterday, I was rooting for them because it’s been awhile since they’ve been to the big show and I thought they were due.

Right up until the utter disrespect and despicable actions shown by the crowd during the singing of the National Anthem.   I realize they weren’t booing the anthem, but were rather booing something going on on the field, or on the big screens, but the fact that we could barely hear the rendition of our anthem for the cheers and boos absolutely infuriated me.

When I attended the two NFL games I’ve been to, there were, admittedly, some people not showing proper respect during the anthem, but for the most part, the crowd stood, and paid their respects, so I’m pretty sure that egregious behavior is not endemic to the NFL.

The 49ers can bite my keister.  They’ll never get my support again.  If their fans can’t control themselves for two minutes during the national anthem to show their respects to the nation and the service members who were on the field, I have no respect for them. At All.

BTW:  The rendition of the national anthem…at least what I heard of it over the boos and catcalls, was beautiful.

Custody Case

Indianapolis, IN – A seven year old boy was at the center of a Marion County courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulation requiring that family unity be maintained to the highest degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried and said that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with the child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Indianapolis Colts Football Team, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.

Contributed via e-mail by CB

Stand by for even higher food prices

Family friend and blogger vanilla, in a recent post, noted as an aside:

A side effect of the wet weather that we observed as we travelled across the Heartland, and a most serious one it is, too, is the fact that much of the farmland is not yet planted, or even under cultivation. In fact, much of it is under water. This, combined with the serious flooding in the Mississippi Valley, bodes ill for us all.

 I’d noted the rough midwestern weather and Mississippi valley flooding with interest, but that aspect of it hadn’t occurred to me…although it should have.

Not getting the fields planted before memorial day?  That’s trouble.

Even if they get planted in the next couple of weeks, the plants will be at their most fragile stage during the hottest, driest part of the summer and, in many places, won’t be ready to harvest until there is real danger of losing it to freezing temps.

We’ve already been experiencing serious inflation of food prices (which the government conveniently doesn’t count in calculations of the official “inflation rate”); this spring’s weather means it’s going to get worse before it gets better…if it ever does.

The 90 Percent myth:

The definitive answer:

It has now become quite common to hear U.S. officials confidently assert that 90 percent of the weapons used by the Mexican drug cartels come from the United States. However, a close examination of the dynamics of the cartel wars in Mexico — and of how the oft-echoed 90 percent number was reached — clearly demonstrates that the number is more political rhetoric than empirical fact.

Good stuff.  Go read it all.

Bringing in the New Year with a bang…

…literally

We’re in Indianapolis right now. We decided to make the trip out to visit my sister.

She is doing remarkably better by the way, but I’ll update on her condition in another post.

This is about the Indianapolis New Year’s celebration last night.

Holy Cow.

The friend that I stay with doesn’t live in a ritzy neighborhood in the best part of town, but it isn’t the slums either. Typical quiet, friendly middle class neighborhood.

He warned me yesterday about this but I took his warning with a grain of salt. Back home, we hear fireworks that could be mistaken for gunfire all night long on New Year’s Eve…but I couldn’t believe what we heard coming from all around us last night here in Indy.

It sounded like freaking Fallujah out there.

Obvious semi-automatic gunfire everywhere. Mainly sounded like pistol fire, but one series of 10 or 12 shots sounded amazingly like 7.62×39 and I heard a couple off in the distance that could have been 5.56 fire. A couple of blasts that could have been fireworks, but sounded more like shotguns.

I’ve lived in several big cities in my life…some with less than stellar reputations and often in somewhat less than “high class” neighborhoods and I’ve NEVER heard anything like that.

I kept expecting to hear lead raining down on the roof at any minute.

And what’s even more amazing…not a single mention of it in the paper this morning.

People wantonly firing guns into the air in celebration of the new year has apparently become so unremarkable in Indianapolis that it doesn’t even rate a single line of print in passing mention.

Wow.

More anti-gun researchers admit…

That there is no gun show loophole (link to pdf).

The money quote:

Federal law makes no distinction between sales occurring at gun shows and other sales; there is no such thing as a gun show loophole.

The author’s list reads like a who’s who of anti-gun “researchers”:

Garen J. Wintemute, MD, MPH, David Hemenway, PhD, Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, Glenn Pierce, PhD, and Anthony A. Braga, PhD

As with the last example, which was penned exclusively by Dr. Wintemute, the overall tone of the piece is, unsurprisingly, anti-gun…but the fact remains that even their own researchers are beginning to admit that there flatly is no such thing as “the gun show loophole”.

I personally believe that this is a calculated tactic.  As a necessary step toward their desired end goal of completely eliminating private ownership of firearms, the Brady Campaign has been trying for years to incrementally end private transfer of firearms, “closing the gun show loophole” being nothing more than a “good first step”.  I believe that these researchers are losing hope in the Brady plan of attack and have simply decided to bypass Stalingrad and strike directly for Moscow.

The advantage to this for us, is that we now have studies from their own researchers that finally and unequivocally admit the truth that we’ve known all along:  That the contributions of gun shows to criminal access to guns is insignificant and that, in fact, the “gun show loophole” is a myth.

Surveys suggest that from 4% to 9% of gun sales nationwide occur at gun shows. Most sales at gun shows are made by licensed retailers, and most private-party gun sales are made else- where. Federal law makes no distinction between sales occurring at gun shows and other sales; there is no such thing as a gun show loophole.

Surveys of persons incarcerated for gun crimes suggest that less than 2% of them acquired their weapons at gun shows.

Gun Shows and Gun Violence: Fatally Flawed Study Yields Misleading Results, Garen J. Wintemute, David Hemenway, Daniel Webster, Glenn Pierce, Anthony A. Braga, American Journal Of Public Health, August 2010

Well, now that you mention it…

Town Hall meeting questioner:

I would like to know specifically, article and section of the Constitution, that gives the government the right to run our health care.

Senator Mark Warner:

So I take, I take by your question, I take by your question, I take by your question that you would get rid of Medicare and Medicaid or would you, are you, let me make sure I understand: You’re advocating doing away with Medicare, right? Because that’s a government program. I just want to make clear that you are suggesting doing away with Medicare? But one thing, listen, there is, there is no place in the Constitution that specifically says health care. There’s no place in the Constitution that specifically says education. There is no place in the competition, in the Constitution, there is no place in the Constitution, there is no place in the Constitution, there is no place in the Constitution, there is no place in the Constitution that talks about you ought to have the right to get a telephone, but we have made those choices as a country over the years.

He was on the verge of an epiphany until he proclaimed that ignoring the Constitution is perfectly acceptable because “we have made those choices over the years”.

Why even bother having a Constitution if our overlords can just “make choices” that over-rule it whenever they want?

I would also add: I don’t remember when getting a telephone was declared a constitutional right…someone refresh my memory on that one.

BTW: This is currently listed under the tag of “(not) in the News”. I’ll move it to “In the News” if someone can point me to any Legacy Media outlet where this story was reported.

Honduran Embassy Shenanigans.

In comments to this post, B* Woodman III suggested e-mailing the Honduran Embassy in Washington in order to express, and have passed along, my support for the Honduran people and their interim government in their courageous stand against basically the entire world in support of their Constitution and liberty.

Never one to just blindly follow instructions (no offense B*), I decided to google the e-mail address he gave to make sure it was valid and to see what I could see about the embassy.

Well…it turns out that, following ousted President Zelaya’s removal from office, at his urging, the State Department revoked the Visa of the sitting ambassador (who had been appointed to that office by Zelaya himself just 9 months before) for supporting the actions of the Honduran Government.

In his stead, Zelaya named his Private Secretary as the new and improved Honduran Ambassador to the US.

Interestingly, the State Department still lists the legitimate ambassador on their informational web site.

The new faux ambassador, appointed to the office by a man who is no longer the President, apparently created a new embassy web site dedicated to supporting would be dictator Zelaya and condemning the actions of the Honduran Congress, Supreme Court and Interim government.

JULY 17, 2009, WASHINGTON, D.C- The Embassy of Honduras in the United States announces the launch of its new website at: www.hondurasemb.wordpress.com. This is the official website of the constitutionally elected government of Honduras, represented by President Manuel Zelaya.

It’s apparently changed since then to just http://hondurasemb.org.

At any rate, I don’t think letters of support to the Honduran people will reach their intended audience if sent to the Honduran Embassy in Washington.

I’m looking for a good place to send such letters because it seems to me like it would be a good idea, but no luck so far. I’ll update if I find anything. If anyone else has some info on how to contact the legitimate government of Honduras, please leave it in the comments or e-mail me and I’ll update this post with it.

*Corrected. Duh.

Fort Drum violating the Rights of its Soldiers

Following in the footsteps of Fort Campell Kentucky and Fort Bliss Texas, leadership at Fort Drum New York are not only violating the Constitutional rights of their personnel, they are not only issuing illegal orders, they are apparently doing it in contradiction of their own base regulations.

I have been informed by people (who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons) assigned to Fort Drum, that personnel are being asked if they own any firearms or other “dangerous weapons” (which includes BB guns and Paintball guns). If they answer in the affirmative, they are then handed the two page form depicted to the right and ORDERED to fill it out. They are told that it is irrelevant whether they live in private housing or on base, that all members attached to the installation must register their firearms.

A search for “Fort Drum Regulation 190-6” referenced on the form turned up this pdf document.

The relevant portions:

5. RESPONSIBILITIES.

c. Individuals will be responsible for:
(1) Ensuring that all authorized privately owned weapons are properly stored and, if required by this regulation, properly registered in accordance with paragraph 6a of this regulation. Temporary storage is available at the Military Police Station, Building P-10715, pending assignment to a permanent unit and for temporary duty not to exceed 72 hrs. [emphasis added]

6. REGISTRATION CONTROL AND POSSESSION OF PRIVATELY OWNED SMALL ARMS, AMMUNITION, AND OTHER DANGEROUS WEAPONS.
a. Personnel residing in Fort Drum family housing will register all privately owned firearms in their possession within 72 hours subsequent to permanent unit assignment on the installation or into an on post housing area. Firearms in temporary storage at the Military Police Station must be removed within 72 hours of assignment to a permanent unit by the unit armorer and the weapon(s) owner. [emphasis added]

Additionally, the base web site, in its summary of regulations, reiterates this policy:

While there is no requirement to register rifles and shotguns in New York, there is a requirement to register them, and other dangerous weapons (i.e. pellet and BB guns and any other weapon that fires a projectile) on Fort Drum, and if you live in off-post Army Community Housing. [emphasis added]

The Directorate of Emergency Services, however, seems a bit unclear on the policy. In this statement regarding personal firearms, carried on the website of the base newspaper (The Mountaineer) attributed to the DES, it is clearly stated that they expect all firearms to be registered:

Soldiers and family members residing on Fort Drum must register all privately owned firearms in their possession within 72 hours of receiving permanent unit assignment or accepting on-post housing. All Soldiers who reside off post must register all privately owned firearms within 72 hours of receiving permanent unit assignment or within 72 hours of receiving weapons in New York. [emphasis added]

After getting no responses to e-mails, I called the Directorate of Emergency Services and spoke with someone named Patrick. He refused to answer any questions directly and referred me to the Public Affairs Officer. I finally got in contact with the PAO, Julie. She informed me, in no uncertain terms, that base policy was to ONLY register the firearms of those personnel who reside in Army housing. She assured me that she was very familiar with this issue as it had come up before and she is a gun owner herself; that the base policy as I was reading it is correct: personnel residing in private housing are not required to register their long guns on base, they only need comply with New York State Law.

Being that this directly contradicted the policy acknowledged by the Directorate of Emergency Services in their notice in the Mountaineer, I felt that I needed clarification directly from the DES themselves. I called back to the DES and spoke to Patrick again.

He again refused to answer my questions, but he let slip a couple of clear indicators. He asked the date of the copy of regulation 190-6 that I had available. When I replied that it is dated 1999, he immediately told me that that regulation is out of date. He said that the regulation had been revised around the 2005-2007 time frame. He said he did not know whether the updated instruction was online or not, or how I could get a copy. He also expressed great surprise that the PAO had answered the question the way she had. He clearly implied that he thought that she was wrong, but wouldn’t say so directly.

He told me that the only person authorized to speak with me was the Director himself, who wasn’t available that day (last Friday) and requested that I call back on Monday. Well, I was busy with my real job and didn’t get a chance to call on Monday, in fact, it wasn’t until Wednesday that I called back, but when I did, I was told that the Director was out of the office, they took my name, number and the subject of my call (I just told them it was regarding the base policy on registration of firearms), and was assured that he would call me back.

It’s now Friday and I’ve heard nothing. I think it’s probably safe to assume that they don’t want to talk with me about this. I’ve tried a couple of different avenues to get a copy of the updated regulation, but have had no success. I will keep tying and, if worse comes to worst, I’ll file a Freedom of Information Act Request. When and if I get a new copy of the regulation, I’ll update this post…but, in the meantime, I must assume that what I found on their own base web site is current and up to date.

Whether the regulation has been changed or not, AT BEST, the leadership at Fort Drum is issuing illegal orders and blatantly violating the Constitutional Rights of the very people who’ve sworn their lives and their sacred honor to defending those rights and that Constitution.

And, at worst, they are disregarding and disobeying their OWN BASE REGULATIONS in doing so.

We cannot let this stand. Bloggers, please spread the word about this and everyone, please contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to demand that these leaders support and obey the Constitution that they’ve sworn to protect and defend.

If you’d care to contact the base itself about this issue. Here is some contact information:

Garrison Commander: (315) 772-5501
Garrison Command Sergeant Major: (315) 772-1830
Public Affairs Officer: (315) 772-8286 drum.pao@us.army.mil
Director Of Emergency Services: (315) 772-5721