"Buy A Truck, Get A Gun: Promotion Has Residents Up In Arms"

"I was disgusted with the fact that somebody would actually offer a weapon as an incentive to purchase anything let alone a car," said Hampton.

Why is it more disgusting to offer this with a car? I have no clue. My guess is that if she doesn't want the gun, the dealer will give her the cash equivalent to put forward for the car.

That's the new promotion at one Chester County auto dealership, and it has some resident's up-in arms.

They want it stopped, and similar promotions banned for good.

Anabella Hampton says the promotion goes beyond irresponsible with the Nickel Mines shooting fresh on people's minds.

"I was disgusted with the fact that somebody would actually offer a weapon as an incentive to purchase anything let alone a car," said Hampton.

Hampton fears the guns could go into the wrong hands and hopes a petition she started encourages lawmakers to ban the practice.

"This is not the direction I want my community or country to going," said Hampton.

But Country Dodge Chrysler and Jeep General Manager Gordon Atkisson says the promotion started in September and that it's to target a certain group of buyers during deer hunting season.

"Hunting is big. School is still closed in the beginning of hunting season and kids go out with their dads and it's a way of life out here," said Atkisson. . . .

The closest congressional elections in 50 years

If you were wondering whether your vote counted this election, read this statement by John Fund:

As of now, Congressional Quarterly has Democrats favored to win 210 of the 218 seats they need to wrest the gavel from Speaker Denny Hastert. Republicans are ahead in 207 seats. A total of 18 seats are in the tossup category. That means Republicans would have to win 11 of the 18 seats without a current clear favorite -- or 60% -- to keep their majority.

In the Senate, the contest is equally close. Republicans are favored to hold 49 seats after November 7; Democrats are predicted to hold 48. Three seats are tossups -- the Missouri seat of Republican Jim Talent, the New Jersey seat of Democrat Bob Menendez, and the open Tennessee seat fought over by Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Harold Ford Jr.

To translate, if the Republicans and Democrats divide the 18 seats where the polls show them tied, the Democrats will win the House by three seats. Three seats where the margin of victory is likely to be very tight. I would also add that the trend seems to be slowly going in the Republican direction so this might even get closer before the end.

Do the Democrats think that voters agree with them?

Apparently not. Can't Pelosi even take a stand on a windfall profits tax on oil companies? She could a year ago (see below). What is she afraid of now? I really wish that Kudlow would have nailed her by being able to reference her own previous statement.

Stephen Moore sent this out as part of his posting on OpinionJournal.com:

KUDLOW: [Are you for] a windfall profits tax on oil companies?
Rep. PELOSI: Oh, well...I'm not -- you won't find me friendly to that.
KUDLOW: All right. You are against the windfall profits tax?
Rep. PELOSI: Yes, I am.
KUDLOW: Oh, OK. I'm not sure a lot of people know that. Thank you for that....
Rep. PELOSI: Oh, not the tax. I'm against the windfall profit.
KUDLOW: You're opposed to the so-called windfall profits on oil.
Rep. PELOSI: Opposed to the windfall profits.
KUDLOW: So you would favor a tax?
Rep. PELOSI: Yes, I would favor something that was shaped in a way that did what it needed to do. And that is, we've got to -- we have to have energy independence in our country. We don't have to have excessive profits for the oil industry.

Now compare that with another statement by her that I found here:

CQ Transcriptions

November 10, 2005 Thursday


LENGTH: 2566 words



. . .
QUESTION: Do you have any comment on a bill just introduced by Representatives Markey and Emanuel introducing a windfall profits tax on oil companies and funneling that revenue into LIHEAP?

PELOSI: I fully support a windfall profits tax, I am speaking for myself personally, but I know I represent the feeling of many in our Caucus. The windfall tax is in place when a price of oil gets into a certain place, the profits beyond that are called the windfall profits, and they should be taxed.


Even the BBC acknowledges that hunting helps protect vulnerable species

Even the French admit that deterrence matters

Swedes think US Poses Biggest Danger in World

Is it just that people eventually dislike others who stand up to bullies? Victims appreciate it at first, but after a while they feel uncomfortable that they keep on having to be rescued. (Thought voiced by Dennis Prager)

Swedes think that the United States and North Korea pose the greatest threats to world peace, according to the results of a poll released on Sunday.

Nearly one in three Swedes, 29 percent, think that the US is the biggest threat to peace on earth, the poll, commissioned by Axess Television, reveals.

Around 1,000 people answered the question "Which of the following countries do you consider to be the greatest threat to world peace". Respondents could choose between six countries - Israel, China, Russia, the United States, North Korea and Iran.

North Korea was a close runner up to the United States - 28 percent of respondents thought that the secretive communist dictatorship was most dangerous.

Iran was in third place, at 18 percent. The poll results showed that more people between the ages of 16 and 29 saw America as the biggest threat, while a majority of those over 60 picked North Korea. . . . .

Control of the Senate and Judges

It is, oh, just about now that Republicans should say to themselves: Wish we had done more on judges this year. That would have reinforced a message they now need to construct: If the GOP loses the Senate, precedent shows that more than 60 Bush judicial nominees will never get even a Judiciary Committee hearing under the chairmanship of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Republicans will be unable to stop a filibuster of a next Supreme Court nominee and countless circuit court picks. This will dwarf Democrats’ past six years of obstruction.

Is it too late to tell the voters? By failing to invest Senate time on judges this past year, Republicans ignored the political lesson of the Harriet Miers debacle: Supporters are forgiving on every issue so long as Republicans are solid on judges. That’s the kind of love GOP candidates need come Election Day. The Miers lesson corresponds to getting out the vote; supporters may be upset on other issues, or be otherwise unmoved, but they will come out and vote over the judges’ issue.

No, it doesn’t traduce into large numbers, though it could with effort. Prior to the 2004 election, polling showed that efforts to spotlight Democrat obstruction on judges, culminating in a 40-hour Senate debate in November 2003, had significantly grown public support for Republicans, 2-to-1. One study concluded that “a determined effort on the part of congressional leadership can shape public opinion” and that it was “possible for Republicans to use the permanently stalled, half-dozen judicial nominations to impress voters that Democrats are, at best, interested mostly in obstructing.” . . . .

Gun Control and the West

Tony Snow (at least partially) tames the press

The White House, like any castle, has its own peculiar rituals, and in the five months that Tony Snow has been President George W. Bush’s press secretary, he has begun to learn them. . . . . And a man named Lester Kinsolving, a radio host and reporter for a Baltimore station with a big grin and game-show-host wavy hair, will interrupt a back-and-forth on, say, the operational capacities of Al Qaeda to read confounding questions he has written out, word for word, before the press briefing began.

“Tony,” Kinsolving began one morning in September, “The Washington Times noted on Page 1 that the Congressional Black Caucus will remain exclusively black. Does the president support or oppose this racial segregation, which excluded California Congressman Pete Stark — who risked his life for civil rights in Mississippi — because Stark was born white?”

Snow grinned and shook his head and began to point to some other reporter, any other reporter.

“No, wait a minute,” Kinsolving said, “are you just going to evade that question?”

“No,” Snow said, beginning to laugh, enjoying the exchange, his deep voice booming, “I’m going to laugh at it.” He did. So did the rest of the room. . . . .


Vote Fraud in New York State

New York State is not normally pointed to as a hot spot for vote fraud, but these numbers indicate that it is even occurring there:

The new statewide database of registered voters contains as many as 77,000 dead people on its rolls, and as many as 2,600 of them have cast votes from the grave, according to a Poughkeepsie Journal computer-assisted analysis.

The Journal's analysis is the first to examine the potential for errors and fraud in New York's three-month-old database. It matched names, dates of birth and ZIP codes in the state's database of 11.7 million voter registration records against the same information in the Social Security Administration's "Death Master File," a database of 77 million records of deaths dating to 1937.

The state database was current as of Oct. 4, the master death index through the second quarter of 2006.

The same process has been used to identify deceased registrants in other states, but is not yet being used in New York. . . .

Among the Journal's findings:

· The Journal identified dead people on the voter rolls in all 62 counties and people in as many as 45 counties who had votes recorded after they had died.
· One address in the Bronx was listed as the home for as many as 191 registered voters who had died. The address is 5901 Palisade Ave., site of the Hebrew Home for the Aged.
· Democrats who cast votes after they died outnumbered Republicans by more than a 4-to-1 margin. The reason: Most of them came from Democrat-dominated New York City, where higher population produced more matches. . . .

There is also this little interesting fact about Chicago.

In one of the more notorious examples, inspectors estimated as many as 1 in 10 ballots cast in Chicago during the 1982 Illinois gubernatorial election were fraudulent for various reasons, including votes by the dead. . . . .

CT Police oppose letting names of permit holders being made public

NBA Commissioner David Stern on guns


Debate over felon voting

This week NPR's Justice Talking has an hour long show on letting felons vote. For about a half hour of that show I debate Spencer Overton, a very reasonable professor from George Washington University Law School.
It has never been clear to me why people claim that voting is the most important collateral penalty imposed on criminals after conviction given that everything that I have heard indicates that felons themselves care much more about what jobs they can get and their ability to own a gun for defense. Here is Spencer's take on the discussion. I will let what I said in the debate in response to Spencer's notes on his blog speak for themselves. On the general issue, my bottom line is that barring felons from voting is justified on two grounds: 1) it is just another penalty that we impose on people to discourage them from committing crime. 2) You have learned something about a person who has committed multiple rapes or violent robberies or murders. It seems entirely reasonable to me that if some rapes multiple women, you don't want this person making social policy. There is something different about a person who can commit rape. The interesting thing to me in the debates that I have done on this subject is that those who want to let felons vote have no problem with banning them from owning a gun. They will even ban people who have committed misdemeanors from ever owning a gun.

Further note: The Sentencing Project has a list of 20 states since 2000 that have made it easier for felons to vote.


New Op-ed on Air America's Bankruptcy

The Washington Times has run a piece by myself and Brad Smith today. My own belief is that Air America has effectively been an attempt at getting around the campaign finance regulations. The bankruptcy rules will also work to ensure that others pay for their political advertising.

When is a campaign donation not a campaign donation? Apparently if you spend the money to run a radio program instead of paying for campaign ads that run on that same program. Just look at Air America. With $41 million in losses since 2004, and $9.8 million owed just to Robert Glaser, RealNetworks chairman, Democrats who bankrolled this "company" weren't so much investors as campaign contributors. The losses are seen as simple business ineptitude,but Air America effectively, and perhaps intentionally, cleverly avoided the campaign finance limits which Democrats had worked so hard to pass. . . .

UPDATE: There are some comments here and here.


Say it isn't so Celebs. Celebs and saving gasoline.

First let me say that I have absolutely no problem with these celebrities flying around in private jets. However, I do find it amusing that they make such a big deal about driving a Prius or similar car when they then use private jets.

Julia Roberts

On the ground: Roberts drives a Prius, which gets (at best) 60 miles to the gallon, shaving 30 miles off a normal car's mpg.
In the air: Chicago/LA, 1,749 miles in a private jet, the route she took with Rupert Everett while shooting "My Best Friend's Wedding."
Gas guzzled: 2,100 gallons of jet fuel.
Prius Penance: Julia would have to drive 30,000 miles, or roughly once around the earth and then some to even out her consumption in the air.
So Julia says: No word yet from Julia's rep. . . . .

George Clooney

On the ground: George favors a Tango, an electric car that gets a whopping 135 miles to the charge.
In the air: Los Angeles/Tokyo, 5500 miles in a private jet.
Gas guzzled: 7,000 gallons of jet fuel.
Electric shocker: Even with his super-saver Tango, he'll have to drive over 57 oceans -- Pacific Oceans to break even.
So George says: Clooney's rep, publicist Stan Rosenfield, tells TMZ, "You clearly have no understanding of certain people's need for private transport," and points out that Clooney often has "no control" over his travel schedule. . . .

Thanks for the cite, but . . .

Thanks for the cite, but I don't think that the point is this simple. My research also finds that police are the single moset important factor, and multiple factors can be true at the same time, and indeed I believe that is the case. That said, I am glad that so many permits have been issued in that county. The decision to issue in Alabama is a county issue and off the top of my head I believe that those probably go through the sheriff's office.

Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, a heavy favorite to be elected to the position he was appointed to in June, has said that he is campaigning on the success he had as Mobile police chief from 1996 until earlier this year.

Now, with the election less than two weeks away, Cochran's opponent, Democrat Matt Tew, is questioning that success. . . . .

Cochran has a financial advantage over Tew, having raised $173,370 for the race, compared to $18,550 for Tew, as of the latest filing deadline in September.

Cochran said the national average of violent crime dropped 27 percent, and Mobile Police Department programs "made up the difference" between that figure and the 47 percent drop in violent crime in Mobile.

Tew's campaign manager, Milton Morrow, said the decrease in Mobile crime can be attributed to an increase in pistol permits in Mobile County. Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kate Johnson said there were 18,320 permits in 1996, compared with 23,870 issued in 2005.

Morrow cited a 1997 study by John R. Lott, Jr., author of "More Guns, Less Crime" and "The Bias Against Guns," who concluded that "allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes."


"Women take aim"

13 News talked with women about why some feel the need to carry, and know how to wield, a weapon. "I would like to be able to defend myself if I ever have to," says Susan Wallace, who attended Monday's gun orientation. "The more you know about them, the less scary they are," says Joellen Foster, who also attended the event. Owning a gun can give women a sense of empowerment and protection, if they know how to use it properly.

"When it's used properly and safely, is something that's a very valuable tool and its an excellent means of personal protection," says Erin Gerety, who works with the Kaw Valley Gun Club and teaches the training class. Setting your sites on a 9 millimeter handgun can trigger feelings of fear and power. But the goal of the classes is to move the target from just owning a handgun, to knowing how to use it. "You need to know how to use it, or you may end up getting hurt," Wallace says. . . . .

I would like to thank Matthew Ledyard for sending me this link.

Australian Gun Buyback Failure

HALF a billion dollars spent buying back hundreds of thousands of guns after the Port Arthur massacre had no effect on the homicide rate, says a study published in an influential British journal.

The report by two Australian academics, published in the British Journal of Criminology, said statistics gathered in the decade since Port Arthur showed gun deaths had been declining well before 1996 and the buyback of more than 600,000 mainly semi-automatic rifles and pump-action shotguns had made no difference in the rate of decline.

The only area where the package of Commonwealth and State laws, known as the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) may have had some impact was on the rate of suicide, but the study said the evidence was not clear and any reductions attributable to the new gun rules were slight.

"Homicide patterns (firearm and non-firearm) were not influenced by the NFA, the conclusion being that the gun buyback and restrictive legislative changes had no influence on firearm homicide in Australia," the study says.

Thanks very much to Brian O'Connor for sending me this link.


Mine Your Own Business, Excellent Movie on the true costs of environmentalism

I just got my copy of the movie "Mine Your Own Business," and I have to say that it is really an excellent movie about the costs of the environmentalist movement.

Places it will be shown at in the next week or so include:

Wednesday Oct 25 Wednesday Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Location of Screening: 115 Wilson Hall - between 21st Avenue South and
West End Ave.
Meet the Filmakers at 6:30, Movie showing at 7:00

Thursday Oct 26 – Thursday Emory (Atlanta, GA)
Monday October 30- Ann Arbour University of Michigan
Location of Screening: White Hall @ 6:00pm on 10/26/2006

Wednesday November 1st London Institute Of Economic Affairs

Brazilians want to defend themselves

A note sent to me from Brazil:

Brazilians want to defend themselves
Prof. Bene Barbosa

The repercussion in national and international media of the case in which 68 year old Maria Dora dos Santos Arbex successfully defended herself from a robbery using a firearm, brought back in to focus the importance of common citizen being able to own and carry firearms. It raises concerns about the whole validity of the Brazilian Disarmament Statute.

When 60% of the Brazilian voting citizens said NO to the prohibition of the legal commerce of firearms, in the Referendum about Prohibition, in October 2005, those who defended the YES vote, argued that the population had been induced by cunning campaign tactics to vote wrongly. Despite what those that defended the YES vote towards prohibition said, the truth is that 60 million citizens said NO to the loss of an individual right – the right to legally purchase and own firearms and ammunition, the right to self-defense.

Practically a year after the Referendum, one unit of the Brazilian media that defended the YES vote during the campaign for Prohibition, today salutes Mrs. Maria Dora dos Santos Arbex, and supports her attitude of defending her self. In their website, they even asked their readers if they supported Mrs. Maria Dora’s attitude of self defense, and the result of the voting was outstanding: 98% of the people that participated said that the lady did the right thing. This proves that the Brazilian public does in deed have the aid to self-defense, now that the “disarmament fever” is passing.

Now the Brazilian public is asking itself: is it right to condemn the victims for defending themselves? Should the law not distinct the victim from the aggressor when applying penalties?

The truth is that an urgent revision of the Brazilian Disarmament Statute and the whole posture of the Brazilian justice of condemning the honest citizen and benefiting criminals are severally needed.

Bene Barbosa, a law school graduate, is the president of Movimento Viva Brasil, and was one of the coordinators of the campaign for the NO vote, in the referendum about prohibition.

The survey, while not scientific, at least shows that some of the media and some Brazilians are becoming more open in their belief that self-defense is legitimate and something to be discussed.

See someone smoking, call 911?


Some progress regarding people getting more accurate views on having guns in the home

Since 2000, the percentage of people who view having a gun as making a house more dangerous has fallen from 51 to 43 percent, while at the same time the percentage that view a gun as making a home safer has gone up from 35 to 47 percent. That is a 20 point swing in the polls during just six years. Most of the change in the polls had occurred by October 2004. The more interesting thing to me is that the people with the most familiarity with guns have the most accurate views on their costs and benefits. In rural area, 63 percent view guns as making people safer and 28 percent thing that they make homes less safe. Of course there is a big divide between men and women on this question.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans are slightly more likely to believe that having a gun in the home makes it a safer rather than more dangerous place to be. This is a change from previous years, when at least a plurality of the public has agreed that guns make a home more dangerous rather than safer.

Gallup's annual Crime Poll, conducted Oct. 9-12, also shows a majority of Americans continuing to say that laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict rather than being made less strict or kept as they are now. This represents no basic change from previous polling.

Given a choice, a majority of Americans say that enforcing laws already on the books is a better approach than passing new laws in addition to enforcing old laws more strictly. About 4 out of 10 Americans report having a gun in the home at this point, particularly those living in rural areas and in the South.

Guns Make the Home Safer?

News reports recently focused on a new ordinance that was proposed by a city council member in Greenleaf, Idaho. The so-called Civil Emergencies Ordinance would -- among other things -- recommend gun ownership, along with ammunition and appropriate training, for each head of household who is legally eligible to own a gun. The ordinance is modeled after one enacted more than 20 years ago in Kennesaw, Ga., a town whose crime rate is reported to have dropped significantly after the new gun-ownership recommendations were put into law.

The new Gallup Poll suggests that the American public may see some wisdom in this type of approach to controlling crime.

A slight plurality of Americans now say that having a gun in the house makes it a safer, rather than more dangerous, place to be, marking a shift from the two previous times this question has been asked over the past six years. . . . .

Thanks very much to Michael Roth for sending this to me.

"Sheepdog, sheep or wolf"?

A candidate for state superintendent of schools said Thursday he wants thick used textbooks placed under every student's desk so they can use them for self-defense during school shootings.

"People might think it's kind of weird, crazy," said Republican Bill Crozier of Union City, a teacher and former Air Force security officer. "It is a practical thing; it's something you can do. It might be a way to deflect those bullets until police go there."

Crozier and a group of aides produced a 10-minute video Tuesday in which they shoot math, language and telephone books with a variety of weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle and a 9mm pistol. The rifle bullet penetrated two books, including a calculus textbook, but the pistol bullet was stopped by a single book.

Crozier said the demonstration shows that a student could effectively use a textbook as protection in a school shooting.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman was skeptical. . . . .

Thanks very much to Christine for sending this to me.
See also:
. . . News item: State Rep. Frank Lasee, R-Bellevue, shakes the nation with his "radical" proposal to arm teachers, in light of recent school shootings. Obviously, the idea that some people want to try and save as many people as possible by fighting back in a time of a school or other massacre is simply crazy. Why wouldn't you just lie down and wait your turn to be shot? That's what anyone with any common sense would do, right? Maybe we can reason with madmen, or at least convince them not to mow down entire grades at a time. In the Sept. 8 edition of Gun List magazine, I read an interesting article by Charlie Cutshaw, a decorated Marine Corps veteran who worked for the Department of Defense. He admits he just repeated his message from an essay by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman called, "On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs." I will abbreviate this brilliant essay even more . . . .

Improving Polls in Senate Races?

The American Thinker summarizes the newest polling numbers:

The last few days have had some encouraging Senate polls for Republicans, while House polls are still mixed. Zogby has Talent up 3% in Missouri, Allen up 3% in Virginia,and Corker up 7% in Tennessee. He also has Kean up 2% in New Jersey where the New Republic exposes the smell of scandal emanating from Bob Menendez.

Zogby has Dewine down 4% in Ohio and Bouchard in Michigan only 4% behind Debbie Stabenow (I would not bet on accuracy of this last one). Rasmussen, generally more reliable, has a new poll with Burns down only 3% in Montana (was 6%). New poll today has Chafee down 4% in Rhdde Island (also closer than before).

Survey USA has Steele even with Cardin in Maryland. This is the wild card this year. Democrats are very nervous about black voters straying to vote for Steele. Cardin also has a personality deficit. McGavick is down 7 or 8 in Washington, not totally dead yet. The most optimistic way to read this is that Santorum’s race may be the only one beyond hope at the moment (closest polls have him 5 to 8 down, others more). Burns, Dewine, and Chafee still behind, but 5 points or less (Dewine behind by more in other surveys). . . .

In Pennsylvania, my experience is that the polls can frequently have the Republicans down by 8 to 10 pecent further than they should be. I have no idea why this keeps happening.


Supreme Court Allows Arizona to Have Photo IDs for Voting

With Arizona and Indiana both allowing photo IDs this fall, you are starting to get in the range were serious empirical work can be done on the impact that Photo ID rules have on voter turnout. This could be a big decision. With enough data, the claim that voters are being discouraged from voting will be shown to be incorrect. I am sure that this is the last thing that those opposed to photo ID hoped would happen.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that Arizona may require voters to present proof of citizenship when registering to vote and identification when they cast their ballots in the November 7 elections.

"Given the imminence of the election and the inadequate time to resolve the factual disputes, our action today shall of necessity allow the election to proceed without any injunction suspending the voter identification rules," the court said.

The justices said they were expressing no opinion on the ultimate disposition of the challenges to the law.

In 2004, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, a measure designed to prevent illegal immigrants from voting. It required people to produce proof of citizenship, such as a passport, to register to vote, and picture ID, such as a driver's license, or two pieces of a nonphoto ID, in order to cast a ballot.

Last month, in a move also aimed at illegal immigrants, the House of Representatives approved a bill to require proof of U.S. citizenship to vote in federal elections.

Opponents of the Arizona law said it discriminated against minorities and the poor, who might not have funds to obtain the necessary proof of identification.

A federal judge ruled the state could enforce the law, but a U.S. appeals court issued an injunction blocking its enforcement. The Supreme Court set aside the appeals court's order, allowing the law to be in effect for the election and handing a victory to the state.

Did Ed Rendell order union violence against Clinton Protesters?

There is almost no news coverage of this explosive charge.

1) Evening Bulletin:
Philadelphia - A special three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals convened Wednesday to hear arguments on whether a Federal Civil Rights suit may proceed against Gov. Ed Rendell and overturn a 2003 lower court ruling that there was insufficient evidence. Rendell is charged with conspiring to suppress the First Amendment rights of protesters by having Teamsters Local 115 beat them while they demonstrated outside Philadelphia's City Hall during a Democratic fundraiser featuring President Bill Clinton.

Rendell, who was mayor of Philadelphia at the time, admitted in a deposition following the Oct. 2, 1998 beatings to personally inviting Teamsters Local 115 Secretary-Treasurer John Morris and instructing the union to "drown-out" the Clinton protesters.

"I specifically said I didn't want any interaction with the demonstrators. I wanted this to be extremely peaceful and extremely positive," Rendell also claimed in the deposition, which was taken two years after the fact.

Morris was caught on video by local media placing a fedora over protester Don Adams' head, signaling the Teamsters to knock him to the ground and assault him. Adams was treated at a nearby hospital for a concussion, lacerations and multiple bruises. His sister, Teri, sustained minor injuries.

Testimony from Morris' chief of staff revealed that, after the beatings, Rendell called Morris about the Teamsters who participated in the attack and said, "nothing is going to happen to these guys," and "I know how these things go." He then suggested that Morris and the Teamsters file a criminal complaint against Adams, which they did two days later on Oct. 4, 1998, alleging that he struck a woman in their group.

Even though there was no police reports supporting the Teamster's claim, the incident was caught on video, and the District Attorney's Office pursued trial against Adams, who filed suit against the Teamsters and Rendell several months later.
At one point, the Teamsters offered to drop their charges against him if he dropped his case. During that time, they launched a media campaign and accused Adams of being a woman-beater. Adams rejected the deal and was found not guilty on July 8, 1999. Five teamsters then pled guilty to various charges of assault and were granted probation, and Morris died in 2001. . . .

2) Philadelphia Inquirer really down plays the story and gives a completely different take on the evidence, though at least it covers it. It is hard to believe that both reporters were in the same courtroom:
Gov. Rendell has not been Mayor Rendell since 1999, and legendary Teamsters boss John "Johnny" Morris has been dead four years.

But yesterday the content of two conversations between the men eight years ago continued to fuel a civil-rights lawsuit filed by Cheltenham siblings who contend that their free-speech rights were violated when they were beaten by Teamsters for heckling President Bill Clinton at an Oct. 2, 1998, appearance in Center City.

At issue before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit yesterday was whether a federal judge properly dismissed the suit by Don and Teri Adams.

Don Adams, 46, and sister Teri, 47, contend that members of Teamsters Local 115 ended their anti-Clinton demonstration with a beating because Rendell had earlier called Morris, asked for a union presence at Clinton's appearance, and said the Teamsters should "drown out" anti-Clinton protesters. . . .



On teaching Republicans a lesson, not

Tony Blankley has an amusing take on Republicans who aren't going to vote to teach Republicans a lesson:

. . . . Apparently, these anticipated conservative non-voters are annoyed with Republican imperfection. They are disheartened, disappointed, disillusioned, distempered, dismal -- and thus plan to dis the party that better advances conservative principles in government.
They appear to have fallen victim to the false syllogism: 1) Something must be done; 2) not voting is something; therefore, 3) I will not vote.
Of course the fallacy of the syllogism is that the second category could be anything. For example, number two could as well read "eating dog excrement is something." I rather suspect that they will feel about the same afterward, whether they chose the non-voting option or the scatological one. They are both equally illogical -- and repulsive -- and would deserve the moniker, "Stupid."
Here are some tell-tale signs of the sort of person who would vote (or not vote) to cause the election of a party which would act to defeat every value and interest he holds dear (merely because the party that will at least try to advance most of those issues has not done as well as he might have hoped):
1) When offered by a car dealer 25 percent off on a car, he insists on paying the full factory recommended retail sticker price -- because he is damned if he will accept 25 percent when he deserves 30 percent off.
2) When the prettiest cheerleader asks the nerd to take her to the prom, he turns her down -- just because he can.
3) When stopped for doing 70 in a 65 zone, he tells the trooper that's not possible because he had the cruise control set on 90 -- he just resents being falsely charged.
4) When diagnosed with a serious illness, he promptly cancels his medical insurance -- in order to save the cost of premium payments to help pay for the upcoming hospital stay.
A conservative would have to be just that stupid to stay home on Nov. 7. . . .

The funny thing is that conservatives who are upset with the Republicans in congress will get even less of what they want if the Democrats win.

A difference between leftists and capitalists

My third son, Roger, is taking philosophy this semester. He and I were talking and he mentioned how his professor was criticizing how people were buying products such as SUVs or other products because they "really didn't need them." For SUVs, the professor claimed that they were a waste because very few people who buy them actually use them off road. My response was that he probably had no idea why people may be buying them (e.g., for safety or style or size). If I had extra money, I might buy all my kids SUVs to drive simply because I think that they are safer. Does this teacher mind what color car people buy? Is a red car bought to be showy? In any case, the bottom line is that leftists care about whether other people are making the right decision by the leftists values. A capitalist doesn't care why someone is buying a particular car. Leftists feel that they should make decisions for others. Capitalists don't.

Democrats are having some problems raising money

Army Staff Sgt. Jim Gilliland learned how to shoot at age 5

RAMADI, Iraq -- Gazing through the telescopic sight of his M-24 rifle, Army Staff Sgt. Jim Gilliland, leader of Shadow sniper team, fixed his eye on the Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier.

His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barreled Kalashnikov. Instinctively allowing for wind speed and bullet drop, Shadow's commander aimed 12 feet high.

A single shot hit the Iraqi in the chest and killed him instantly. It had been fired from a range of more than three-quarters of a mile, well beyond the capacity of the powerful Leupold sight, accurate to 3,300 feet.

"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Sgt. Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Ala., from the age of 5 before progressing to deer -- and then to insurgents and terrorists.

"He was visible only from the waist up. It was a one-in-a-million shot. I could probably shoot a whole box of ammunition and never hit him again."

Later that day, Sgt. Gilliland found out that the American soldier who had been killed by the Iraqi was Staff Sgt. Jason Benford, 30, a good friend. . . .


Murder and other violent crimes after Katrina

Big drop in murder and robbery rates in Louisiana after Katrina.

. . . . . . . Murder . . Rape . . . . .Robbery . . Agg Assault
2003 . . . .13.0 . . . . 35.6 . . . . 156.0 . . . . 432.4
2004 . . . .12.7 . . . . 35.8 . . . . 145.4 . . . . 444.9
2005 . . . . 9.9 . . . . 34 . . . . . . 118.0 . . . . 435.1

Hillary finally concedes that she wasn't named after Sir Edmund Hillary

LA Destroys the Life of Victim of Attack


Selectively enforced gun control laws

Interesting piece today by Stu Bykofsky:

THE KNEE-JERK response by some to Philly's soaring murder rate is to demand More Laws.

Others respond by asking: Why don't we enforce the 20,000 gun laws currently on the books across the nation?

The current buzz is about "straw buyers" and "straw sellers" and how to stop them. "Straw buyers" and "sellers" are people with clean records who buy guns legally, then pirouette to sell them - illegally. Those illegal guns create much of the chaos on our streets.

"The only way you can legally transfer a firearm in the state of Pennsylvania," says attorney Jon Mirowitz, a recognized authority on gun laws, "is to go through a licensed dealer, and it's been that way since the 1930s."

Enforcement of that law should be mandatory. But that cries for common sense, which we know is rare as a game-show host's sincerity.

I'll illustrate with a case from the past. . . . .

What follows in the piece are some great examples of how the gun control laws are selectively enforced.

Push to ban guns in Canada

Please read this entire piece by Lorne Gunter:

Almost a week after last month's tragic shooting at Montreal's Dawson College, the National Post ran a guest column by the mother of a Dawson student.

Beverly Akerman suggested a "simple" response to the crime: "no more guns. Because no one can accurately predict who among us will become unhinged enough to commit bloody slaughter, I believe guns shouldn't be available to the public."
We dubbed this a "mother's radical solution for gun crime."

But suggesting a ban on guns is hardly radical. Every time there is a Dawson-like tragedy, a chorus calls for a ban on guns.
Allan Rock, the former Liberal justice minister who was the legislative father of our current gun registry, admitted he came to office in Ottawa believing "only the police and the military should have firearms."

Since Ms. Akerman's commentary, this paper has run half a dozen letters (and received perhaps a dozen more) from professors, psychologists, health care workers and gun control advocates all calling for a gun ban, or at least wondering aloud why ordinary people should be permitted to own such destructive objects.

Banning guns is one of the most common solutions offered by urban professionals, bureaucrats and special interests in the face of each new high-profile shooting.. . . .

Courts taking away people's ability to make law

John Fund has an interesting piece up today:

. . . But the biggest threat to initiatives comes from the courts, which are striking measures from the ballot with abandon. The Florida Supreme Court, infamous for its creative rulings in the 2000 recount, has removed a proposed measure creating a nonpartisan commission to redraw the state's gerrymandered legislative districts on the grounds it deals with more than one subject.

In Oklahoma and Nevada, measures restricting government's powers of eminent domain and restricting land use were either removed or gutted on single-subject grounds. In Montana, an initiative limiting growth in the state's budget to increases in population and inflation was declared invalid because it authorized judges to modify the spending cap. A district judge ruled that provision represented a second subject.

In June the Colorado Supreme Court used a similar interpretation to remove an initiative denying most state services to illegal immigrants. The court bizarrely ruled that the initiative fell afoul of that requirement because it reduced taxpayer funding of services to illegal immigrants while it also denied services to that group. This puzzled legal scholars, who noted that the decision directly contradicted a previous ruling by the same court on a gun-show initiative, which concluded: "The mere fact that the initiative contains detailed provisions for its implementation does not mean that it contains multiple subjects." The Denver Post, which opposed the anti-immigrant services measure as "mean-spirited," nonetheless accused the court of applying "logic that pretty much escaped the rest of us" and urged that it reconsider and restore the initiative to the ballot.

"State courts are aggressively wielding the single-subject requirement to deny voters the ability to vote on important public policy issues," says Elizabeth Garrett, a University of Southern California professor who worked in the office of Sen. David Boren, an Oklahoma Democrat. . . ..


The Police Executive Research Forum Going Political

The Police Executive Research Forum's analysis of violent crime trends has already gotten significant newscoverage and may get more tomorrow when they meet in Boston during the afternoon. The theme of their report is that violent crime is rising again. Their first figure (Box 1) summarizes their concern by showing the number of violent crimes, murders, rapes robberies and aggravated assaults over the last 19 years. As soon as one sees their numbers, you know that there is a problem because they are reporting the number of crimes, not the crime rate. Given that population is growing at about 1 percent per year, this is of some importance. If they had used the violent crime rate, it would have been hard to argue that violent crime is increasing because while the rate did go up slightly in 2005, it had fallen EVERY SINGLE PREVIOUS YEAR since 1991. How can they claim that violent crime is out of control when it has fallen for 13 straight years before rising by 1.3 percent for just one year?

For robbery, something that they point to as particularly significant ("Sounding the Alarm on Robbery"), it had fallen for 12 of the previous 13 years and in this one year had risen by 2.9 percent.

In addition, they some how manage to exclude even the absolute number of rapes from their list of violent crimes, possibly because it falls in 2005 from 2004.

Their call for more gun control is not based on any evidence that this will reduce crime.

I agree with them that the "decrease in police department staffing levels" is important, though I don't think that they are overall on point.

Thanks to Rich for sending me the link to the report.

Foor a detailed discussion see this.


More on 14-year-old who shot attacker

Follow up from previous story about 14 year old boy who shot man who had attacked his family.

A 57-year-old man who was shot and killed by his 14-year-old hostage Monday at a home on Ocean Drive had been released from jail Friday and had committed several other burglaries, including a similar home invasion, according to police and court records.

Capt. John Houston said the man, who police identified through fingerprinting Tuesday as James Slaughter, had been involved in criminal activities since 1967 and was in and out of the prison system on several occasions.

"His (method of operation) was to break into homes. If someone was there, he'd tie them up," Houston said.

Police said they received a call from Rose Ann Kozlowski from her home in the 4200 block of Ocean Drive at 12:55 p.m. Monday reporting that a man had bound her and her son Michael and held them at knifepoint.

Houston said Rose Ann Kozlowski made the call after she freed herself and before Slaughter was shot but investigators were still trying to piece together a detailed timeline of the events late Tuesday.

An attorney for the Kozlowski family said he is certain Michael, a ninth-grade student at Incarnate Word Academy, acted purely out of self-defense.

"The truth is it was absolutely justified," said attorney Jimmy Granberry. "They'd all like to get back to the life they had, but they probably won't be able to." . . .

More on teachers and guns

More than a dozen teachers and public school employees will spend part of their UEA weekend in a classroom — learning how to use a gun.

Clark Aposhian is offering a free class today to public school employees seeking to get their concealed- weapons permit.

"It is self-defense," he told the Deseret Morning News on Thursday. "But because teachers and school administrators and custodians are typically surrounded by students all day, any threat to any individual with a firearm would also be a threat to those students."

The concealed-weapons instructor's offer was met with opposition from some teachers and union representatives at the Utah Education Association's conference in Salt Lake City. . . .

But Utah law now makes clear schools can't prevent people with concealed-weapons permits from carrying firearms on campuses. Granite School District's policy, for example, allows permit holders to keep their gun "readily accessible for immediate use," but bans teachers from leaving their weapons in a desk drawer or coat closet.

Law enforcement officers never have to give up their guns at the school house door.

Aposhian said he does not want teachers to suddenly become "heroes" in the event of a school shooting. In fact, he said, they should continue to follow school lockdown procedures, which include teachers locking doors and remaining in classrooms. . . .



Retired military trauma surgeon provides some perspective on gun deaths

The Sun's Sept. 12 editorial, "The other atrocity," compares the number of gun deaths in the U.S., in 2003, with the number of deaths from the attacks of 9-11. These are not comparable.

All 2,973 of the deaths from the 9-11 attacks were premeditated intentional homicides. The comparison implies that all 30,136 of the 2003 gun deaths were also intentional homicides; thus comparable to the 9-11 deaths. The FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2003, however, reveals that two-thirds of the gun deaths (19,907) were suicides.

The editorial also failed to mention that criminals killed by the police, or by honest citizens in defense of their lives or the lives of others, were also included in the 30,136; as were unintentional gun deaths.

The number of 2003 gun deaths truly comparable to the 9-11 deaths was no more than one third of the 30,136. The spurious comparison also implies that gun violence in 2003 was of great or increasing concern. In The Gainesville Sun Oct. 18, 2005, article "Murder rate in U.S. hits 40-year low," however, we find that the murder rate in 2003 was the lowest since 1965, and we now know that it declined 3.3 percent more in 2004.

Murder rates in the United States do remain a problem in some of our large cities: Washington, D.C., is the prime example. It has the most stringent gun control laws in the country - and the highest murder rate. Prohibitive gun control disarms the honest citizen - and criminals obviously prefer unarmed prey. . . .

Martin L. Fackler is a retired military trauma surgeon who lives in Gainesville.

Tigers one game away from World Series

This has been quite an up-and-down season for us Detroit Tigers fans. They were so far ahead for much of the season and then things seemed to fall apart towards the end. Now in the play-offs, the Tigers have been unbeatable. Well, for the first time since 1984, the Tigers are just one game away from the World Series and they could rap it up today.


Air America filing For bankruptcy and campaign finance regulations

With Air America filing For bankruptcy, I was thinking about comments on Friday by Limbaugh, Hannity, and others regarding Air America really being a political operation for the Democrats and not a media one, and that got me to think about the campaign finance regulations. One way to look at it is Rob Glaser losing $9.8 million and others losing large amounts. Another way is that campaign finance regulations put limits on how much they can donate in hard money to help candidates. To make the analogy even more complete, much of the money given to Air America was actually given in the form of donations. Why not view these donations or losses as political donations to get around the campaign finance rules? The comments that it will probably cease operation right after the election only add to this point. One of the ironies though is that many service providers who are owed money that will never get paid back may have inadvertantly made donations to this cause.

This just shows how one can always get around the campaign finance laws.


Is complete gun confiscation far off in Canada?

Didn't the Liberals promise that they didn't want to take away people's guns? On top of everything else, unless the gun could never be removed I am not sure how this program would stop anything.

DATE: 2006.10.13
PAGE: 14

MP urges group gun storage

A Liberal MP is proposing a mandatory gun "repository" program to help prevent shooting tragedies like the recent rampage at Dawson College.

As debate bubbles in the run-up to a possible fall vote in Parliament on repealing the long-gun registry, Scarborough-Agincourt MP Jim Karygiannis suggested firearms owners in communities with populations of 40,000 or more should be required by law to store weapons in a special repository. Facilities could be run through a private-public partnership, with fees charged to owners.

Karygiannis said the boost to public safety would far outweigh the potential inconvenience or cost to gun owners. "What's a life worth?" he asked.

Karygiannis said the program, styled after a voluntary program in aboriginal communities in Manitoba, would not target rural farmers or hunters, but rather be geared to city dwellers who are occasional target shooters, hunters or owners of heirloom guns. Rampages like Dawson College might be prevented because owners could be denied access to their weapons if they are intoxicated or show signs of mental distress, he said.


Randolph Roth, Ohio State University History Professor, Seminar "American Homicide"

I just witnessed a really amazing seminar by Randolph Roth entitled "American Homicide." He has tried to put together homicide data for the United States over the last couple hundred years from newspaper reports and coroner reports. From this he makes claims that murder rates were basically flat from 1914 to 1933 and that prohibition had no impact on murder rates. I really wish that I could post a copy of the figure that Roth presented. The fact that murder rates seem to have risen in individual states after they adopted prohibition doesn't seem to matter, that murder rates fell dramatically as soon as prohibition ended to the month in 1933 doesn't matter. The more amazing thing is how he got his data together. When someone asked him about the subjectiveness of determining what is murder, Roth responded that it is extremely subjective: "Tell me what murder rate you want and I can get you that murder rate." In most fields you want to have some separation between those who put the data together and those who use it. Ideally it is best if those who put the data together have no idea what the data is going to be used for. But Roth who seems to have extremely strong political views has not ensured a separation in data gathering and use. Such separations are expected in most empirical work that I am familiar with. No actual bias necessarily occurs and even unconscious effects might be avoided, but the data has more credibility with others if precautions are taken. For example, those gathering the data should not even know what it is going to be used for.

It was also interesting that he had no desire to try to reconcile the data that he gets with state level and other patterns, such as those just discussed with prohibition.

I would have liked to have seen him use newspaper reports from today to construct the homicide rates that we see. Could he use newspaper reports to accurately construct the changes in crime rates? I doubt it.

I have also rarely seen an academic seminar where someone crops the ends of his figure (e.g., cutting off the crime data in 1992) to exaggerate the differences that he is trying to claim exist.

UPDATE: Here are number for the period that Roth claims that murder rates were essentially flat. Note that individual states were adopting prohibition rules over this period. Bureau of Justice Statistics, DOJ I don't disagree with the claim made that murder rates fell dramatically after prohibition ended (though his claim that it was just due to FDR wasn't explained.

1900 - 1.2
1901 - 1.2
1902 - 1.2
1903 - 1.1
1904 - 1.3
1905 - 2.1
1906 - 3.9
1907 - 4.9
1908 - 4.8
1909 - 4.2
1910 - 4.6
1911 - 5.5
1912 - 5.4
1913 - 6.1
1914 - 6.2
1915 - 5.9
1916 - 6.3
1917 - 6.9
1918 - 6.5
1919 - 7.2
1920 - 6.8
1921 - 8.1
. . .
1933 - 9.7 (last year of prohibition


Concealed Handgun Permits in Washington State

Democrats defending gun control

One just has to look at the gubernatorial debates around the country to see that gun control isn't dead: Governor Rod Blagojevich and Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka and Republican challenger Lynn Swann and Governor Ed Rendell.

Concealed Handgun Used to Stop Attack in Seattle

Westlake, Washington Tuesday, October 10, 2006 -- A 25-year-old man who was fatally shot while attacking a stranger Saturday at Westlake Plaza had previously served time in prison for setting fire to a day-care center his mother operated out of her Phinney Ridge home.

Daniel Culotti was shot shortly after 11 a.m. by a 52-year-old man he was assaulting in an unprovoked attack, according to Seattle police. The victim of the assault was carrying a handgun and had a concealed-weapons permit, police said. . . .

According to Seattle police, a woman called 911 at 11:08 a.m. Saturday to report that a man was acting erratically, yelling at passers-by and randomly assaulting strangers near Boren Avenue and Pine Street. Officers sent to the scene couldn't find the caller, the man or any victims, police spokeswoman Debra Brown said.

Twenty-three minutes later, police dispatchers radioed that shots had been fired at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street, she said. Moments earlier, witnesses told police, a man in his 20s apparently attacked the 52-year-old man, punching and kicking him until he fell to the sidewalk. The older man pulled out a .357-caliber Ruger revolver and fired one round, striking the man in the abdomen.

The older man "was not winning the fight" - the other man "just starts attacking him, he's on the ground and a shot is fired," Brown said, describing witnesses' accounts.

"It happened pretty fast. Probably by the time anybody thought to intervene, it was already over."

The 52-year-old had a concealed-weapons license and was in legal possession of the handgun, Brown said. Police have not released the man's name because he was not booked into jail.

"He was very cooperative," she said, noting the man waited for officers to arrive and turned over his weapon; he was interviewed by police and later released. . . . .

More information on the attack is available here.

Thanks very much to Tom Armstrong for providing this information to me.

Apple Computer Insults Muslims?

This is too funny. I thought that this was a joke when I first saw it.

Apple's "Mecca Project" Provokes Muslim Reaction

On October 10, 2006, an Islamic website posted a message alerting Muslims to what it claims is a new insult to Islam. According to the message, the cube-shaped building which is being constructed in New York City, on Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets in midtown Manhattan, is clearly meant to provoke Muslims. The fact that the building resembles the Ka'ba (see picture below), is called "Apple Mecca," is intended to be open 24 hours a day like the Ka'ba, and moreover, contains bars selling alcoholic beverages, constitutes a blatant insult to Islam. The message urges Muslims to spread this alert, in hope that "Muslims will be able to stop the project."

Note: This is so bizarre. If you want to see what the store ended up looking like, see this link here. The picture that the above story shows is from when the cube was under construction. The claim that it "contains bars selling alcoholic beverages, constitutes a blatant insult to Islam" is equally funny because the Genius bars provide computer advice, not alcoholic beverages.

Thanks to Tom for sending me this link.


Weird Science findings: Psoriasis triples heart attack risk

14-year-old boy saves himself and mother from attacker

Corpus Christi, Texas October 10, 2006 -- Police said a 14-year-old boy was defending himself and his mother when he shot and killed an intruder Monday afternoon at their home on Ocean Drive.

Capt. John Houston said the 14-year-old boy, whose name was not released, was home from school after becoming ill, and his 46-year-old mother, Rose Ann Kozlowski, had just returned from the grocery store when she was confronted by a man with a knife.

Cmdr. Jesse Garcia confirmed during a news conference that police received a call from one of the residents of 4221 Ocean Drive at 12:55 p.m. and responded to a report of a man tying them up and holding them at knifepoint.

The man, only identified as a black man in his 30s or 40s, led the mother and son to the upstairs master bedroom, where he bound their hands with men's ties and ransacked the house for valuables.

"He packed up her SUV in the garage with those items. He threatened to kill them repeatedly," Houston said.

After the robber caught the woman trying to untie herself once, she was able to free herself and her son and find her husband's pistol in a security box under the bed. She tried to shut double doors to the bedroom as the man tried to push them open and her son held the gun.

"She was using all her strength to push them," Houston said, adding that the boy aimed at the man through a space in the door and fired one shot.

"He shot once and hit him in the head, killing him instantly," Houston said. "He took a life-saving measure to save his mother and himself." . . . .


Are Liberals finally turning against teachers unions?

A star figure at the second annual Aspen Institute Ideas Festival -- attended by several hundred, mainly liberal intellectual and financial glitterati -- was Joel Klein, the former Clinton aide who is now chancellor of New York City public schools.
Blame teacher contracts
Klein made a riveting case that teachers-union contracts are the main obstacle to improving urban education.
"The contract protects the interests of adults at the expense of kids," he told a rapt audience, describing how it bars pay differentials based on student performance and service in difficult schools; makes it impossible for principals to fire underperforming teachers; and allows teachers to choose their own professional development tracks, regardless of supply-and-demand needs, such as those for more math and science teachers.
. . . .


Athletes and Guns

This article provides a nice summary of gun policies in different sports.

Celebrities need protection. In the wake of Friday's shooting incident involving four Indiana Pacers, that was a common explanation for why athletes increasingly seem to carry guns.

Another viewpoint: It's not just athletes; it's more young people in general carrying guns, a byproduct of a society that glorifies violence.

Colts coach Tony Dungy believes gun ownership is "very prevalent" among athletes and non-athletes alike.

"In the 19- to 30-year-old crowd, I think that's what we are now," he said. "We carry weapons, we get the permits, we feel like we've got to have them. I won't say 'most,' but there are a lot of young men that have weapons. That's the way it is."
There have been no national studies to determine how many professional athletes carry guns, experts say. But a quick look at headlines in the sports section or on ESPN paints an unmistakable picture. A search of national media clips found eight accounts of NBA or NFL athletes being charged in gun-related crimes since 2005, 12 since 2003. Add in college athletes, and it's much higher.

Peter Roby, director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, said it's part of a larger cultural issue. "Violence is being glorified and carrying a gun as part of a lifestyle is being bought into more than (by) the generation before," Roby said.

Yet Roby also understands athletes feeling they need protection. He said that as the gulf between the lifestyles of athletes and fans grows, players hear "more resentment and anger than ever" from the stands.

John R. Lott, author of "The Bias Against Guns," said it's only smart for athletes to protect themselves by carrying guns, though he acknowledges that's hard for the public to understand.

"People think that if anybody should be able to defend themselves (without weapons), it's big football players and large basketball players," Lott said. "But these people are real targets, because of their celebrity and large salaries. They want to have something to protect themselves."
. . . .

Homeowner Stops Two Robbers

Hollywood, Florida -- A Hollywood man turned the tables on two robbers outside his home early Saturday morning, leaving one attacker dead from his own gun and the other nursing a bullet hole in his leg and a bite on his arm, authorities said.

Police say the two robbers were after new chrome rims on the homeowner's pickup truck.

Police identified the robbery suspects as Jason Robert Melendez, 23, and Ronald Magano, 22, both men with lengthy criminal histories, according to state records.

Magano died in the attack, and Hollywood police picked up a wounded Melendez a short time later. Melendez, who is on probation, will be charged with "a multitude of felonies, including felony murder," said Capt. Tony Rode, spokesman for the department.

The homeowner, Christopher Welker, 26, escaped the attack unharmed and is unlikely to face charges, Rode said. A grand jury will make the final decision.

"He was defending his property and his life," Rode said. "Mr. Welker was certainly justified in his actions." . . . .

Thanks again to CM Ross for sending this to me.

Democrat in Wyoming who supports Vermont/Alaska type concealed handgun law

I got an interesting note from Ed Fowler, a democrat who is running for county Sheriff in Wyoming. He is apparently supporting a bill in Wyoming that would have it adopt a Vermont/Alaska type concealed handgun law. Fowler certainly seems like a colorful character. (I have no independent knowledge of his opponent.)

CT Mayor Carries Concealed Handgun in City Offices, Creates Concern

Mayor James R. Miron is taking some heat for allegedly packing heat.

A Town Council leader and some town workers say Miron has taken a handgun into his Town Hall office and town council meetings, raising concerns about public safety and making them uncomfortable, the Connecticut Post reported Sunday. Some say they have seen the mayor with a gun at both his hip and strapped to his ankle.

Miron, 41, a lawyer and retired Marine, refused to confirm or deny that he carries weapons to Town Hall or meetings. But he defended his right to do so.

"If I do carry guns to Town Hall, I would never admit that for personal safety reasons and my own right to privacy," said Miron, a Democrat. "I don't want someone intent on firing a gun at me or anyone else knowing if I carry guns or not."

Miron said he has had a gun permit since 1999. Local police say he had a town permit that expired last year. The mayor says he now has a state permit that allows him to carry guns anywhere in the state. He said the only reason he would fire his weapon is to defend himself or to save another person's life.

Under state permits, weapons must be concealed at all times, police say. Records on gun permits are not accessible by the public.

"It is my right to carry guns, and it is also my right not to confirm when and where I carry them," Miron said.

James Feehan, a Republican and chairman of the Town Council, told the newspaper that he saw the mayor carrying two guns at the same time _ one strapped to the ankle and the other under his suit jacket _ during a council meeting within the past few months.

"As a gun owner myself, I believe the mayor certainly has the right to carry a gun or guns as long as he has a legal permit," Feehan said. "However, if his guns are making Town Hall employees and citizens uncomfortable, as I have been told, I would ask that he cease and desist immediately. . . . .


Why Publicly Owned Companies Usually Lose Money

For those of you who haven't been following Airbus, their major new plane, the A380, is two years behind schedule and it risks falling even further behind. The current CEO, Christian Streiff, is apparently being pushed out because he is trying vainly to run Airbus like a company. It appears that even with all the government subsidies, Airbus may be in a lot of trouble. Anyway, in reading an article on Streiff's problems, there were a couple of sentences that really stood out:

But Mr. Streiff has been pushing to have a free hand in guiding Airbus, making decisions based on commercial rather than political concerns. . . . According to one executive inside the company, Mr. Enders and Mr. Gallois have grown frustrated by Mr. Streiff’s perceived indifference to political concerns. Mr. Streiff did not respond to an e-mail request for comment.

Film Clip from Mine Your Own Business (film on environmental movement)

For those interested, here is a film clip from the movie "Mine Your Own Business." You can also order a copy of the film there for $12.95. It is too bad that this film wasn't distributed in movie theaters.


ABC's coverage of the Foley/Congressional Page Story Nailed By The American Thinker

The American Thinker as a devastating analysis of the entire Foley/Former Congressional page issue. This is really a must read. My question is: did Mr. Edmund hire a lawyer because the "prank" with the IMs mean that they were a fake?

More on whether teachers should be able to carry guns at school

"Just taking a course and shooting some bullets down-range every six months does not adequately prepare you for the potential risk of having that gun taken from you," said Pochowski, a former Milwaukee police officer.

"These high school students are bigger than they've ever been," he said. "We've seen them take guns from police officers who are trained in how to retain that weapon."

The measure has also drawn criticism from gun control advocates, both in and out of Wisconsin.

"I'm shocked," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "When I'm making a decision on where to send my kids to school, there's a lot of factors that go into it. I don't think people want to look at the marksmanship scores at the same time they're looking at the academic scores."

"I think it's an absolutely ridiculous response," said Tom Mannard, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. "This will help score some points with at least the gun lobby in Wisconsin. I don't know that it's going to help educators and those in the classrooms." . . .

A couple of responses:

1) Prior to the end of 1995, almost all the states with concealed handgun permits at that time allowed people to carry concealed handguns on school property. I know of no case where there was any problem.
2) Utah and Oregon allow people to currently carry concealed handguns on school property (I would have to check in New Hampshire also). I know of no case where there has been any problems.
3) Other countries allow this (Israel and Thailand), but again there are no problems that I have been able to find and there is no discussion in either place of preventing this policy from continuing.



In at least one very tight congressional race the Republican demolishes Democrat in debate

For those interested, you can watch the Weldon and Sestak Debate here. I have to say also that the Democrat is pretty scary with his proposals to pass legislation where the government would regulate wages to ensure that women get paid properly.

Detailed information on teachers carrying guns

Detailed information on teachers carrying gun is available here, here, here, here, and here.

Here is also another news story on the recommendation that teachers and others be able to carry concealed handguns on school property.


"Teacher Hacked to Death in Mexican City"

Do environmentalists like people?

John Fund wrote this for OpinionJournal's Political Diary (if you don't subscribe, I recommend it strongly to everyone). This movie sounds really interesting and I look forward to seeing it.

Move over, Michael Moore. You have competition in the art of political film-making from a 23-year-old unemployed Romanian miner. And instead of advancing the cause of smug liberal hypocrisy, he's debunking it.

Gheorge Lucian is the star of a new film by Irish journalist Phelim McAleer that exposes the all-too-real agenda of the radical green movement. Mr. Lucian comes from a poor village in Romania where environmentalists are fighting plans for a new gold mine. His village, where unemployment tops 70%, desperately needs the $1 billion in new investment and 600 jobs the project would bring. But environmentalists have blocked it, claiming it will pollute a pristine environment.

Mr. McAleer, the filmmaker, considers himself an environmentalist. But when he went to cover the story for the Financial Times, he says, "I found that almost everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false," he wrote in London's Daily Mail. "The village was already heavily polluted because of the 2,000 years of mining in the area. The mining company actually planned to clean up the existing mess. And the locals, rather than being forcibly resettled as the environmentalists claimed, were queuing up to sell their decrepit houses to the company which was paying well over the market rate."

All this set Mr. McAleer to thinking that there might be other examples where mining companies, now part of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, were being blocked from making investments that could improve the lot of local residents. When Gabriel Resources, the Canadian mining company that was proposing the Romanian project, offered to fund a documentary on the idea, he jumped at the chance so long as he had full editorial control. Gabriel Resources wound up paying for part of the project, while Mr. McAleer raised the remainder from investors.

His film, "Mine Your Own Business," premiered last week at the Denver Gold Forum. In it, Mr. Lucian, the Romanian miner, is seen hop-scotching around the globe confronting environmentalists in the style of Mr. Moore with the real-world consequences of their ideology.

He finds plenty of pincushions to stick needles into. Belgian environmentalist Francoise Heidebroek pompously tells Mr. Lucian that he and his fellow Romanian villagers prefer to use horses rather than cars, and to rely on "traditional cattle raising, small agriculture, wood processing" to live. In Madagascar, Mr. Lucian finds an official of the World Wide Fund for Nature who argues that the poor are just as happy as the rich and then insists on showing Mr. Lucian his new $50,000 catamaran. . . .


Poll on whether teachers should be able to carry concealed handguns

Wisconsin state Representative proposes letting teachers carry concealed handguns.

In the wake of school shootings in Wisconsin, Colorado and Pennsylvania during the last two weeks, a Wisconsin state legislator said he plans to introduce legislation that would allow teachers, principals, administrators and other school personnel to carry concealed weapons.

Rep. Frank Lasee, R-Bellevue, said Wednesday that, while his idea may not be politically correct, it has worked effectively in other countries.

"To make our schools safe for our students to learn, all options should be on the table," he said. "Israel and Thailand have well-trained teachers carrying weapons and keeping their children safe from harm. It can work in Wisconsin." . . .

The above link has the poll.

--Frank Lasee's blog discusses this issue.

After crimes occur college students try to get support for carrying concealed handguns on campus

After recent assaults on University of Minnesota students, the campus College Republicans and a firearm instructors' group offered gun information Wednesday and circulated a petition aimed at allowing more people to carry guns on campus.
After four hours at an information table at Coffman Union, gun advocates garnered signatures from 29 students on a petition asking university regents and President Robert Bruininks to abolish policies that ban students, faculty and other staff from carrying guns. Guns, however, can be stored in vehicles.

State law allows anyone to carry a gun who is at least 21, has obtained firearms training and passed county sheriff background checks. But university policies bar students and staff from carrying guns on campus, as do policies for the Minnesota state college system. . . .

Two elderly men stop crimes with guns

1) October 02, 2006
Montgomery, Alabama (AP) - Police say a 34-year-old Montgomery man was shot and killed when he allegedly attacked a 72-year-old man Friday night in west Montgomery.

Captain Huey Thornton, a police spokesman, said Jack Sanchez was pronounced dead around 10 p-m. Thornton said the shooting occurred after Sanchez kicked the man's truck as he drove by. He said when the older man got out to inspect his vehicle, Sanchez attacked him.

Police did not release the shooter's name because he was not arrested.

Thornton said the case will be sent to a grand jury to determine if any charges are warranted.

2) September 30, 2006
Pulaski County, Arkansas -- A watchful Pulaski County homeowner and his neighbor confronted a pair of Little Rock men Friday morning at gunpoint as the burglars loaded a truck with his belongings.

The homeowner, 71-year-old Lonnie Yarberry, fired a shot through the driver’s side window of the truck as the robbers tried to escape and then held one of the men at gunpoint until deputies arrived, police said.

The second suspected burglar was arrested a block away from the crime scene, where he was being held at gunpoint by the neighbor, Paul Yarberry, 42.

Pulaski County sheriff ’s deputies arrested Michael Todd Bell, 35, of 6905 Azalea Drive and Leonard Dewayne Terry, of 12 Saxony Circle on charges of residential burglary and theft.

Bell was also arrested on charges of carrying a knife, and Terry was charged with aggravated assault and possessing an instrument of crime, a crack pipe.

The two were being held Friday evening in the Pulaski County jail.

Sheriff ’s office spokesman John Rehrauer said Paul Yarberry spotted two men in a Dodge Ram that was backed up behind a residence at 13621 Heinke Road shortly after 8:30 a.m.

“The two men were in the process of loading a dryer into the back of the truck when the neighbor spotted them,” Rehrauer said. . . .


Push for more gun control

Instead of asking if the problem is being caused by existing gun laws, the approach is to call for even more regulation.

THREE FATAL shootings on school campuses in a single week should prompt deep national soul-searching about what could be done to make sure horrific crimes such as these never happen again.

In the past, these sort of shootings might have triggered intense discussion about the need for stricter gun-control laws.

Yet, it is an indication of how successful the National Rifle Association and other anti-gun-control forces have been in removing the issue of gun control from the national political agenda -- and getting our political leaders to acquiesce to their wishes.

We know that gun-control laws on their own won't eliminate gun violence.

But the question has to be asked: How it is possible that a disturbed man in Pennsylvania can get hold of a shotgun, a rifle and a semiautomatic handgun, along with 600 rounds of ammunition -- then use them to kill five defenseless schoolgirls?

The question has to be asked: How can guns flow through East Oakland, West Oakland, Richmond's Iron Triangle and Bayview-Hunters Point in San Francisco without any legal barriers?

President Bush's response? Convene yet another conference.

Incredibly, the conference won't focus on how to get guns out of the hands of criminals, but will strategize on how to improve school safety. . . .

New Jersey put sales tax on tanning


Law-abiding citizen with guns foils robbery that would have gone really badly

Roscoe Parmley knew he wouldn't have much time to act as he looked down the barrel of a gun in the hand of the masked man trying to rob his Eastside jewelry store.

"I just knew he was going to do something," Parmley, 76, said. "I saw my opportunity, and I took it."

The face-off at Rosco Jewelry ended Wednesday with the robbery suspect dead and his brother, arrested as his suspected accomplice, facing the potential of murder charges.

Rosco Jewelry, 5416 E. Washington St., has been a fixture in the Irvington area for 34 years. Parmley started out dealing in rare coins, then expanded into gold and other jewelry. He also sells firearms.

"Everybody in the neighborhood knows they are armed," Indianapolis Police Detective Marcus Kennedy said.
The suspects apparently knew it, too.

Corey Artry, 18, and his brother Nicholas Artry, 20, cased the store days before the botched robbery, police said, and saw the warnings inside -- shelves of firearms, a shotgun openly displayed and a sign that reads "We Don't Call 911." Undeterred, the suspects went into the store armed with a .22-caliber handgun and a knife, according to police and witness accounts.

The Artrys, however, quickly found themselves outgunned, police said.

The incident began about 10:40 a.m., when the suspects entered the store wearing masks and demanding cash, according to police.

Parmley said he had just sat down in a back room to eat breakfast when he heard the commotion and found himself staring at the armed man who had jumped over his counter.

The suspect took turns pointing the small pistol at Parmley, Parmley's wife, Hwa-Lan, 65, and store employee Michael Ross, 53. The man's partner jumped another counter, police said, and held a knife to the throat of jeweler Garry Brown, 49.

The men wanted money and demanded access to the safe.

In those panic-filled seconds, Hwa-Lan Parmley blurted out that she recognized the men as customers she had seen in the store two days before. At that moment, Roscoe Parmley, a retired Air Force veteran, said he felt the situation was going to end badly.

The suspect would likely perceive the burly Ross as the biggest threat, Parmley figured, so he waited until the gunman focused his aim in that direction.

Parmely then reached into his front pocket for his .38-caliber handgun and fired, striking the suspect five times. Hit, Corey Artry stood for a few heartbeats, Parmley said, then wobbled toward the door. He turned and raised his hand, the one holding the pistol, Parmley said. . . .

Thanks to an anonymous emailer.

Double standard on sex scandals?

The Washington Post has an excellent article on sex scandals in Washington and that Republicans who do it face a much worse future than Democrats. You should read the piece, but here is the explanation that they offer:

"The reality is that Democrats seem to get away with more," says Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the Hotline, a daily political journal. "They can have an affair and bail [themselves] out. There's a lower threshold for Republicans. I guess it's more of a hypocrisy thing," he adds, because such scandals put Republicans at odds with the party's socially conservative image.

Todd thinks he knows who's to blame for this: "It's the media, to be honest. What is the standard 'gotcha' story in the media? It's hypocrisy. If we can prove hypocrisy, we have a story. . . . So in a sex scandal, the bar for Republicans is lower." . . .

So how does this apply to Foley who was fairly widely known as being homosexual? He was strongly in favor of abortion and held liberal social views in other areas. If we accept the Post's excellent evidence that Republicans are treated differently this doesn't answer the question.

But it's tough to blame the media when it's the electorate that determines who stays and who goes. . . .

True, but if you look at the level of publicity in these cases, my guess is that they aren't even close.

Businesses opposed restrictions on eminent domain

"[I]t's always been true that business is not a friend of a free market," argues Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. "I have given a lecture from time to time under the title 'Suicidal Impulses of the Business Community,' something like that, and it's true. It's in the self-interest of the business community to get government on its side."

This situation is on full display in the campaign to stop Proposition 90, the statewide Protect Our Homes initiative that will be on the November ballot. If it passes, the initiative will mean the end of two troubling and common policies in California. The first is eminent domain abuse, by which cities take property from small businesses and homeowners and give it to big developers who promise to pay more sales taxes than the current owners. The second is regulatory takings, whereby governments "take" property through regulations such as downzoning, often obliterating the value of a property without paying compensation.

Yet instead of siding with a good principle that ultimately protects all business owners, the business guys are pouring money into the "no on 90" campaign. As Friedman understood – and Lenin, for that matter, who said that businessmen would sell the hangman the rope used to hang them – businesses are mostly interested in their own private advantage, and they are more than willing to manipulate government to further that advantage. . . .

School shootings some thoughts

I don't have much new to add to the school shootings other than note that all three took place in gun free zones. For a general discussion, see this op-ed and academic research.

Schwarzenegger Vetoes Electoral College Bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill Saturday that would have given California's electoral votes in presidential elections to the winner of the national popular vote, rather than the candidate who captured the state.

The bill could have gone into effect only if states with a combined total of 270 electoral votes - the number now required to win the presidency - agreed to the same process.

Schwarzenegger said the bill sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Umberg, a Democrat, disregards the will of a majority of Californians.

"This is counter to the tradition of our great nation, which honors states' rights and the unique pride and identity of each state," Schwarzenegger said. . . . .

"The only way to make California relevant is to have it re-engage in the presidential election and not have it be thought of as an afterthought," [Umberg] said of his reliably Democratic state. . . . .

It is not "the only way to make California relevant." One way to make it relevant is if it the voters in California are relatively divided on who should be president. Right now California goes for the Democrats all the time, but there was a time in the 1970s and 1980s when it always went Republican. In any case, with out an electoral college we could have an election debate similar to what they just went through in Mexico where the votes in the entire country were being contested.


Internet gambling stocks plunge on ban being adopted in the US

This law is a real disappointment. My guess is that many casinos and other gambling businesses helped push for this ban.

Billions of pounds were wiped off the value of online gaming stocks today after a controversial move to prevent internet gambling in the United States.

Shares in the sector tumbled by as much as 80% as investors reacted with dismay to new laws in the US which ban banks and credit card companies from processing payments to online casinos.

The legislation was a major blow for firms such as Party Poker owner PartyGaming and 888 Holdings, which rely heavily on the US for business.

The two companies said today that they will suspend business in the US indefinitely once President George Bush signs the Bill into law - a move expected within two weeks.

Shares in PartyGaming tumbled 61% while 888 was down 45% and Sportingbet was off 70%. World Gaming plummeted 80% after it was also hit by the end of takeover talks with Sportingbet, and online money transfer company Neteller fell 60%.

Rosie O'Donnell Shocked by women with Guns

Here is an exchange on ABC's The View between Rosie O'Donnell, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar (Left of center Comic and guest co-host), and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Conservative foil. Formerly a participant on the second edition of "Survivor: The Australian Outback"). Given that Rosie has used bodyguards for protection, it is strange that she doesn't understand the need for self-protection.

Behar: "...Women are more, a little bit more snotty, though, and nasty to each other. But they talk it through, they don't hit and they don't drop bombs and they don't shoot. They don't play with guns. So that's ...
O'Donnell: "Yeah."
Hasselbeck: "That's so stereotypical...I know plenty of women who pack a gun."
O'Donnell sounded shocked by Hasselbeck's statement and asked in amazement:
O'Donnell: "Seriously?"
Hasselbeck: "Yeah."
O'Donnell: "You know women who carry a gun?"
Hasselbeck: "Sure."
O'Donnell: "Who are not police officers?"
Hasselbeck: "Who were not in uniform."
O'Donnell: "That they just carry it in case they get attacked? Like friends?"

Minutes later, Walters equated Hasselbeck's knowledge of women with guns to the ineptness of her fellow View hosts:
Walters: "...I would like to say something about my colleagues."
Behar: "What?"
Walters: "One of them says, I know women who carry guns. I mean, that's a great message. This one [pointing to Behar] doesn't even know how to hold up a prop. This one [pointing to O'Donnell] doesn't know how to swallow a cold drink. I mean, what is with you people?"

Quite a wedding

The woman here certainly seems to be having a good time.

Thanks to Steve Finefrock for sending this to me.


Swiss Defense Minister Defends Keeping Guns in People's Homes