Sunday, January 30, 2005

The IRS takes a swift kick to the nuts

There have been tax resisters starting the day after the first tax. Normally they lose because they are fighting the state. This time a major win for the regular guy has just occurred and everyone should know about it.
Queensbury, NY – On January 25, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that taxpayers cannot be compelled by the IRS to turn over personal and private property to the IRS, absent a federal court order.

Quoting from the decision (Schulz v. IRS, Case No. 04-0196-cv),

“...absent an effort to seek enforcement through a federal court, IRS summonses apply no force to taxpayers, and no consequence whatever can befall a taxpayer who refuses, ignores, or otherwise does not comply with an IRS summons until that summons is backed by a federal court order…[a taxpayer] cannot be held in contempt, arrested, detained, or otherwise punished for refusing to comply with the original IRS summons, no matter the taxpayer's reasons, or lack of reasons for so refusing.”

Without declaring those provisions of the Code unconstitutional on their face, the court, in effect, nullified key enforcement provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, stripping the IRS of much of its power to compel compliance with its administrative demands for personal and private property. The court characterized IRS summonses issued under Section 7602 as mere “requests.”

The court went on to say that the federal courts are there to protect taxpayers from an “overreaching” IRS, and that the IRS must go through the federal courts before force can be applied on anyone by the IRS to turn over personal and private property to the IRS.
Now instead of small little threatening letters that used to work they have to go to a federal judge and show cause why they need these records.

The strong arm tactics used by the IRS have become legend. Seizing business records and destroying whole companies..then dropping the case. Now they will have to get more then a "we think something is up" as a reason to take our records.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Some truly callous bastards

Sorry for the language but I was sent to angry asian man from pervasivelight to hear an MP3 that is running around the net.

It is called the Tsunami song. Produced by one of those morning shows staffed with show business nimrods trying to push the limits to get listeners. Well the world heard this one and not a lot of people are laughing.

Pervasive light has a copy of the long run mp3(6:07) with their commentary before they played the song. The stuff said then is as bad and even more telling of the character of the people involved then the horribly produced song.
Computer viruses even in your firearms

The makers of the new whiz-bang firearms that have built in computer safety devices like to toot their own horn on their ingenuity. Only problem is that for every single one of your new gizmos there is always someone out there ready to screw with it.

Now all cars have massive amounts of electronics, with computer systems that make the computers of 10 years ago look pansy, well guess what else the new cars of today have?

Viruses.
Lexus cars may be vulnerable to viruses that infect them via mobile phones. Landcruiser 100 models LX470 and LS430 have been discovered with infected operating systems that transfer within a range of 15 feet.
"If infected mobile devices are scary, just thinking about an infected onboard computer..," said Eugene Kaspersky, head of anti-virus research at Russian firm Kaspersky. "We do know that car manufacturers are integrating existing operating systems into their onboard computers (take the Fiat and Microsoft deal, for instance)."

It is understood the virus could affect the navigation system of the Lexus models, it transfers onto them via a Bluetooth mobile phone connection. It is still unclear which operating system the cars in question use.
They like to talk about how the firearms will be secure and safe with this new system.

What would happen if a virus had all the infected computers empty the handguns magazine on April 1 2007? Total chaos would ensue. The politicians who forced us to have them would be the April fools, while we would be the ones bleeding.

The new "safe" firearms are being designed so they can communications with other items leaving a major opening for trouble
"Because it's electronic, it can interface with other electronic systems, intelligence systems that can tell it what to do and you don't need a person there."
Interface, the newest way of saying future nightmare.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Just a note.
I made it out of the hospital sunday in mostly one piece, but greatly limited in what I can do, and not do, for the next month. So for at least a few week blogging will be cut back.

Thanks for the kind words from all of you. I will keep blogging, but limited.

Gunner

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Gunner

Gunner went in for surgery this morning, and aside from one scare did OK. They were not able to do everything they wanted to this time around and so will have to do the rest a couple of months down the road.

He is in SICU for tonight, and will probably be moved to a room tomorrow if he continues to do as well as he is right now.

Thanks everyone for your well wishes. Hopefully I will have him home where he belongs soon.

Elizabeth
It is a sign that G-d has a sense of humor

The main fear monger of firearms today is Sarah Brady and Michael Moore. Well it seems mister Moore thinks there are rules for you and I, and then separate rules for him and his people.
NEW YORK — Filmmaker Michael Moore's (search) bodyguard was arrested for carrying an unlicensed weapon in New York's JFK airport Wednesday night.

Police took Patrick Burke, who says Moore employs him, into custody after he declared he was carrying a firearm at a ticket counter. Burke is licensed to carry a firearm in Florida and California, but not in New York. Burke was taken to Queens central booking and could potentially be charged with a felony for the incident.

Moore's 2003 Oscar-winning film "Bowling for Columbine" criticizes what Moore calls America's "culture of fear" and its obsession with guns
Pardon me while I laugh my ass off.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Offline for the next week or so.

I am off to the hospital in the morning and will be unable or unwilling to blog for about a week.

See ya'
Are you a criminal?

This guy not only says you are, but he is too. He openly says that in today's society it is impossible for you not to be a criminal at some point, daily.
Perhaps nothing exemplifies my point more so than a personal experience I had about 6 or 7 years ago. I was invited by a friend to accompany him on a fishing expedition to one of the local lakes owned by the county where we both reside. Being the careful individual that I am, I researched the laws concerning wildlife management, as well as, the regulations adopted by the county. I found that if I only fished using live bait, the law did not require that I obtain a fishing license as long as I remained in the county of my residence. I was very pleased with myself that I had found a way to save a few bucks on what promised to be an enjoyable outing.

However, the day was not to go unspoiled. Not long after we had launched our boat and found what we thought looked like a promising spot, we were approached by a game warden. I remained unconcerned as we chatted and I proudly showed him that I was only using live bait and therefore required no state sanction. He asked for proof of my residence, which I supplied via business cards and a recent tax bill that I was going to pay on my way home. It was then that he informed me that I was in violation of state law. I was beginning to protest that I was in full compliance of the wildlife management code when the warden told me he was not referring to the wildlife code. It was then that I learned I was in violation of state law for appearing in public and not possessing a picture ID. At that moment, the veil was lifted from my eyes as my day of personal enlightenment dawned.

I realized that every time I set foot off of my own property, I became a criminal. I violate the law each and every time I take a leisurely stroll around my neighborhood. In almost half a century on this earth, I have never been arrested, much less convicted of a crime; and yet, all I have to do to become a criminal in the eyes of the State is leave home! Why? Because I do not have a snapshot of myself, taken by a state-sanctioned bureaucrat, in my pocket when I go out in public. I must ask you, am I really free? Are you really free? Are your papers in order? Are you a criminal?
We have achieved legal nirvana, where everyone is a criminal and we are all guilty of something. His article is rather depressing in the message that he gives.

In a sadistic act the government has started playing games with regulations on travel. You have to follow them, and yet they will not tell you what they are. Then there are the instant laws. Regulations handed down by government officers that have the full penalty of law behind them, yet were never voted on and passed. For every law I think there are probably two regulations. All that fine print in government offices that you have to follow, or else.
Either the TSA or American Airlines is full of it.

The rules and regulations that the TSA put out are numerous, and sometimes secret even from you. Yes I said secret. You have to follow rules that you cannot even know of, and can be punished for if you do break them.

Well it seems either AA or the TSA has done it again with rules they cannot tell you about, but want you to follow. Cory Doctorow had a recent experience at an AA security desk that shows the stupidity of the mystery rules of the TSA. Cory is one of the posters on BoingBoing.
The security officer then handed me a blank piece of paper and said, "Please write down the names and addresses of everyone you're staying with in the USA."

I actually began to write this out when I was brought up short. "Wait a second -- since when does AA compile a written dossier on the names and addresses of my friends? Why are you asking me this? Do you have a privacy policy and a data-retention policy I can inspect prior to this?"

The security officer told me that this was a Transport Security Agency (TSA) regulation. I asked for the name or number of the regulation, its text, and the details of the data-retention and privacy practices in place at AA UK. The security officer wasn't able to answer my questions, and she went to get her supervisor.
Notice that when he asked for the rule they immediately reacted by getting a supervisor. The pitiful reaction of a security clone.

SHEEP SHOULD NOT QUESTION THEIR BETTERS TSA motto

The supervisor fell back on the two classic defenses of security.
After several minutes, her supervisor appeared and said, afterintroducing himself, "Sir, this is for your own protection."

I think it's pretty hard to argue that making passengers produce written dossiers on their friends' home addresses makes planes in the sky secure. I asked again if this was really a TSA regulation and what AA's privacy and data-retention policies are.

The officer said, "This is a TSA regulation."
They way the letter goes it seems this was AA security and not TSA drones. The letter is one he wrote and sent to AA and asked why this happened and further information. Now I will say they will most likely send a form letter in reply , but if anymore information is forth coming I will post it.

You should be able to travel without having to list your friends like some Stalinistic machine is controlling our lives. The TSA and AA need to learn that security does not imply imprisonment of our rights and a big brother knowledge of our movements.
[boingboing]
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach.
Also there were green, yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Kreme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" And Woman said, "As long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthy yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad." And Satan presented Thousand-Island dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed it's own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then created a light, fluffy cake, and named it "Angel Food Cake" and said, "It is good." Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food." God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and
gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the beautiful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, "You want fries with that?" And Man replied, "Yes! And super-size them!" And Satan said, "It is good!" And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Then Satan created HMOs.

Thought for the day.......

There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Last meal

Not to sound morbid but I just had my last meal, at least for a while. I have blogged on the surgery I will be having this Thursday and why. Surgery is not an act unto itself. There is a whole process that happens beforehand.

I started the ritual washing yesterday. Two times a day until Thursday. I have to use a special(read expensive) liquid soap to help get me clean and shiny for the doctors. Hibiclens is a pink soap that smells just like hospitals do. Maybe it also is used to get me used to that funky hospital smell. But I will say it has made my skin softer so there is some good from it.

Today I started the Nystatin. A cough syrup tasting liquid that is supposed to clean the bacteria from your system to cut down on infections when they cut and slice. To say my stomach was unhappy would be an understatement. With gurgles and rumbles it informed me of its irritation all day. You could hear my gut from the other side of the room.

Tomorrow is the SPECIAL CLEANING day. Special you ask? Yes. Tomorrow I will drink 10 fluid ounces of Magnesium citrate. The best liquid laxative on the market. With a doctors warning of not getting far from home I will be leashed to the toilet performing the final act of my preparation.

Wednesday is a day of clear liquids only for food and drink. Jello, broth, popsicles and Canada dry ginger ale will be my only food for the day.

So tonight my wife and I went to my moms for a casual dinner. She prepared her fried chicken strips, mash potatoes(real, not that instant crap), and broccoli. My final real supper for a long time.

While not condemned to death here are some other last suppers from death row.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The games they play

I have no problem announcing my dislike of Lexmark and the tactics they use to fight competition. Well as things progress in life HP just out did Lexmark
Some consumer-electronics companies are designing products so they will work only in the U.S. For example, some of the latest printers from Hewlett-Packard Co. refuse to print if they aren't fed ink cartridges bought in the same region of the world as the printer. Nintendo Co.'s latest hand-held game machines are sold in the U.S. with power adaptors that don't work in Europe.
...........................
Now, there are signs that manufacturers feel that this kind of globalization has gone too far. H-P has quietly begun implementing "region coding" for its highly lucrative print cartridges for some of its newest printers sold in Europe. Try putting a printer cartridge bought in the U.S. into a new H-P printer configured to use cartridges purchased in Europe and it won't work. Software in the printer determines the origin of the ink cartridge and whether it will accept it
I stand in awe. This is not a voltage issue. This is direct coding to keep you from getting the best price. "They decide the price and you shut the hell up" is not going to work for me.

But what the heck can you do? Some companies have fought and won the right to make knock-off copies of some cartridges. Maybe they can start coding theirs to piss off HP. I can only hope.
[Boing Boing]

Sunday, January 16, 2005

THIS COULD BE A CRIME


Yes. A enviro weenie in the Washington state legislature has put forth a bill to make that barrel illegal. Right now the bill is referred to the Senate Water, Energy, and Environment Committee for study, and hopefully mockery.

The bill, Senate Bill 5113, says this.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

Sec. 1 RCW 90.03.250 and 1987 c 109 s 83 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Any person, municipal corporation, firm, irrigation district, association, corporation or water users' association hereafter desiring to appropriate water for a beneficial use shall make an application to the department for a permit to make such appropriation, and shall not use or divert such waters until he has received a permit from the department as in this chapter provided. The construction of any ditch, canal or works, or performing any work in connection with said construction or appropriation, or the use of any waters, shall not be an appropriation of such water nor an act for the purpose of appropriating water unless a permit to make said appropriation has first been granted by the department((: PROVIDED, That)).
(2) A temporary permit may be granted upon a proper showing made to the department to be valid only during the pendency of such application for a permit unless sooner revoked by the department((: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That)).
(3) Nothing in this chapter ((contained)) shall be deemed to affect RCW 90.40.010 through 90.40.080 except that the notice and certificate therein provided for in RCW 90.40.030 shall be addressed to the department, and the department shall exercise the powers and perform the duties prescribed by RCW 90.40.030.
(4) The department may permit by rule, under conditions appropriate to the water resources inventory area, the use of rain barrels and cisterns to collect rainwater intended to be put to a beneficial use on the same property where the rainwater is captured.
May permit us to use rain barrels.. Mighty nice of them. Water flooding your yard? You have to get permission to dig a ditch to divert it.

While this is the ultimate is stupidity I find this wordage strange.
desiring to appropriate water for a beneficial use
Appropriate has several definitions but this is the one I like..
take possession of without permission or take with force, as after a conquest or invasion; "the invaders seized the land and property of the inhabitants"; "The army seized the town"; "The militia captured the castle"
So from this they feel that we would be taking the rain water from them, The government owns the rain and all of its forms falling.

So if you hydroplane and crash, your roof leaks, or you slip on the governments ice then sue the owner. Washington state.

What individual put forth this nice little "the rain is ours, don't touch or else" law?



Legislative Office: 405 Legislative Building; PO Box 40421; Olympia, WA 98504-0421; Telephone: (360) 786-7640; Fax: (360) 786-1999; Legislative Hotline: (800) 562-6000

Maybe he is doing this to protect us from Dihydrogen monoxide

While many would argue the benefits of common sense regulations I find that when they demand permission, in the form of a permit, for a damn water barrel, they have achieved the ultimate in a nanny state insult.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

How much would you pay not to be a felon?

In Massachusetts they charge $100 not to be a felon. This poor guy forgot to pay his monopoly like bill and now will go straight to jail.
A would-be robber became a victim of his own crime last week after he was shot in the stomach by a Brighton man he was trying to rob, police said.

Police arrested Sean E. Roisten, 29, of 833 Jette Court, and charged him with unlawful possession of a firearm and assault and battery with a deadly weapon on a robber who was holding Roisten's wife at gunpoint.
It seems he did not pay the government the money they demand to protect himself.
Police found that Roisten's license to carry a gun expired last August and arrested him
So if you do not pay for permission to carry you go to jail.

This is the main problem I have with carry permits of any sort. We should never have to ask permission to protect ourselves and our family from crime. They whole situation there is so damn wrong.
[mASS BACKWARDS]

Friday, January 14, 2005

nonresponsiveness

That is a very important word in its implication here
An assistant manager of a local pizza shop who became nonresponsive after going into insulin shock was pepper sprayed by a police officer after a customer told police the man appeared to be "stoned out of his mind."

While a police official said that nonresponsiveness to an officer's commands often means danger, the man and two co-workers who witnessed all or part of the incident questioned how it was handled
They say jump, you don't, then you get maced.

Should we say "how high" when we jump to their commands?

But it is the lack of process here that bothers me. The police has taken the role of Judge, jury, and executioner.
Ream said police department policy allows officers to use pepper spray if a subject fails to comply with an officer's order and that nonresponsiveness is considered noncompliance.
So the cop gives you a command and if you do not react like he wants then you are nonresponsive. He then finds you guilty of a crime and carries out the punishment.

Screw due process, lets just go right to a Judge Dredd situation and get rid of the whole court system.

Now this comment I find sadly comedic .
Key West Police Lt. Kathleen Ream, commander of the department's Bureau of Professional Standards, called the incident "unfortunate," but said nothing in Officer Rich Thomas's report indicated that he acted improperly
Does Ream think he will write in his report that he over reacted like a nice strong armed thug and gave him a lesson in respect? The word of a cop is more important then your word and words of many witnesses.

This will cost the city a pretty penny, and the cop should be charged with abuse.
In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all — security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again. — EDWARD GIBBON [On ancient Athens]

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Blog hiatus coming soon

On Thursday of next week my blog will be going on a short term hiatus because of some surgery I will have. I have been told I will likely be in the hospital for 4-5 days before they release me.

My whole life I have been fighting my weight and about 5 years ago I lost the fight. I worked at a job where I was on my feet all day and in the process of cleaning an acid etching machine I twisted my left knee. For about a month or so I put most of my weight on my right knee, so when the left was better the right was worse.

So into the hospital for a scope and clean of my knee. That is when things went very bad. During the epidural they nicked a nerve. Not sure which one, but it hurt for years. I found that I could not sit for more then 10 minutes in a cushioned chair, or 5 in a hard bottom chair, without a lot of pain. And I do mean a lot of pain. So because of this when I was not at work I was in bed or stretched out to get off "the nerve". Well the weight piled on over the next two years and it has never left me, no matter what I do.

I have tried several diets and even pills. I avoided the phen-phen combo so my heart is still good, thank God. So I have come to a decision that I do not like. I need to have an operation. My knees are getting worse. I cannot even enjoy life right now. I have decided that I need to go to the extreme to fix it before I am to the point of no return.

So Thursday they will slowly pull my small intestines out and measure them and after that redirect some of them so I have what is called malabsorbtion. I simply will not absorb the same amount of nutrients that you do when you eat. I also will have a section of my stomach removed so that all my portions will need to be considerably smaller for the near future. The stomach will slowly stretch out until I can eat normal size portions in the future, but not soon.

By that time I should be a nice Fabio looking redneck. My wife says fat chance.

So Thursday of next week I will be offline to be sliced and diced .
Almost failing is not good enough people

The Brady Campaign has put out its grades for each of the states. My state, Tennessee, almost failed. All we got was a dang D+. I know we can do better.



If you would like to see where your state ranks then drop by this PDF and check it out.
Remember. Failure is not an option, we must fail.
"We have made some progress as a nation, with certain states leading the way, but there are many, many miles yet to travel," said Sarah Brady, Chair of the Brady Campaign and Million Mom March, whose husband Jim was critically wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
I feel sorry for him. I do. He was victimized be the gunman, and now his wife drags him around like a piece of meat to push her agenda.
When we do it the act is called stalking

The glorious court system has sent down a ruling that says the police can attach a GPS device to your car without a warrant. I guess this implies they also do not tell us when they do it. Why that line you ask? Because when we do it as a private citizen it is called stalking.
In a decision that could dramatically affect criminal investigations nationwide, a federal judge has ruled police didn't need a warrant when they attached a satellite tracking device to the underbelly of a car being driven by a suspected Hells Angels operative.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd clears the way for a federal trial scheduled to begin next month in Utica in which seven alleged Hells Angels members and associates, including several from the Capital Region, face drug-trafficking charges.
Now I know there is a big difference between law enforcement and stalking. What is chapping my rear is the fact they have taken something else and limited it to their use only.

I would love to have someone walk up to Judge Hurd and inform him that a GPS device has been put on his car so we can see if he is doing anything illegal. I would say just seconds would pass before he would call the cops on us. My view of the courts just took another dive.

I wonder what would happen if you find one and try to file charges against the police? Then I read this.
GPS technology can be used for tracking purposes in California only by law enforcement agencies, and in cars if the owner chooses to sign up for a service such as OnStar. Owners of cars equipped with the OnStar service, for example, are one button away from being located.
Yep. In California only the state can legally stalk you without the courts permission.

Here and here are two good articles about GPS stalking. That is citizen stalking, not police stalking I should say.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Damn fast retreat

The post below was about the Green Bay practice of fingerprinting you when you get a ticket. I was less then thrilled at the brain dead action. Turns out a lot of people were not happy so the practice has been rescinded....for now.
Public outcry has forced the Green Bay Police Department to get rid of a policy that had officers seeking a fingerprint from traffic violators.

And the news media is to blame for the outcry that led to the decision to scrap the policy, said Police Chief Craig Van Schyndle.

"The news media blew it out of proportion," he said Tuesday evening.
Yeah! Dang media. Telling the truth is not your job. Just look at CBS.
Van Schyndle said his department began getting dozens of calls and e-mail from people opposed to the voluntary practice that was aimed at reducing the number of identity-theft crimes.

"But of course, they were listening to the news media ... how horrendous this was," he said.
Lets see. Finger printing for a ticket. Sounds horrendous in my opinion, and the media does not think for us you twit.
Many people busted for minor offenses have been giving false names, and fingerprinting could've helped prevent the innocent from being held accountable for someone else's crime, Van Schyndle said.

"Something that we tried to do to assist the victims and protect the public was changed to a Big Brother ... that we were keeping a database on these fingerprints," Van Schyndle said.
Yes. We should never trust the government, What they do in closed door meetings is a crime, like your ticket idea
Officials said the policy would have prevented about a half-dozen people a year from being wrongly jailed because of the increase in people using false names and fake identification.

James Plummer, director of the National Consumer Coalition's Privacy Group, said that police didn't provide enough justification for collecting a fingerprint from people who aren't committing serious crimes.

"Isn't there another way they can work around it rather than just gathering more files?"Plummer said.
How about getting rid of most of the revenue creating laws in the first place and learn to live on a budget like the rest of the country. Twit!
The change in policy only applies to traffic violations. Police officers still plan to collect fingerprints from those who violate city ordinances such as retail theft and disorderly conduct, Van Schyndle said.
While this sounds good the charge of disorderly conduct can be used to charge anyone with anything, including telling jokes you may not like
In addition, Van Schyndle said officers will continue to take fingerprints from people who don't have a driver's license during traffic stops.

"our whole concern is to serve the public in a better way,"he said.
When I hear this guy whine a term comes to mind. Sore looser.
Do they say you can decline?

Green Bay police are now having you place you finger print next to the amount on tickets they give out. While I can rant on this a lot one thing stood out. Near the bottom of the story an attorney said this.
Citizens do have the right to say no. "They could say no and not have to worry about getting arrested," defense attorney Jackson Main said. "On the other hand, I'm like everybody else. When a police officer tells me to do something, I'm going to do it whether I have the right to say no or not."
So how open are they about your right to decline leaving a finger print.

Now in this age of "obeying the man" the statement here is enraging.
When a police officer tells me to do something, I'm going to do it whether I have the right to say no or not
When did the police become the commanders of our society? As far as I know we still have the right to say "why?". They may arrest you for not following a "lawful command" or some crap, but we do not have to walk around with lowered eyes and a subservient attitude.

That attorneys mentality is a major problem our country is having with the government right now. People are afraid to ask "why?" There ought to be a lot more people asking "why" instead of saying "Yes sir. Here is my fingerprint/DNA sample/Ballistic sample"
$2.5 million wasted

I will give Maryland some respect for admitting openly that the ballistic finger printing program they tried failed horribly. I also will say they were stupid for trying it in the first place. When all of the leading ballistic experts say it will not work and they follow the advice of gun control groups they are bound to fail. They did.
A report by the Maryland State Police that recommends repeal of a law requiring collection of ballistic imaging information "shatters one of the favorite myths of gun control extremists," the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

In its progress report on the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS), the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division recommends that "this program be suspended, a repeal of the collection of cartridge cases from current law be enacted and the Laboratory Technicians associated with the program be transferred to the DNA database unit." So far, Maryland has spent $2.5 million over the past four years, with nothing to show for it. The report admitted, "Guns found to be used in the commission of crime...are not the ones being entered into" the system.
They also admitted that "bad guys" do not go through legitimate channels to acquire firearms in the first place.

But In New York they still shovel money into another giant government program with money taken from the tax payers.
"Since the Maryland research also reveals that the same program in New York State has produced not a single trace that has led to the solution of a crime, we think Gov. George Pataki ought to consider scrapping the Empire State's program as well, saving taxpayers there about $4 million dollars annually."
$4 million is a lot to waste to look good for the gun grabbers.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Remember when you were innocent until proven guilty?

Going door to door for evidence seems to be the latest police tactic.
TRURO, Mass., Jan. 7 - In an unusual last-ditch move to find clues to the three-year-old killing of a freelance fashion writer, police investigators are trying to get DNA samples from every man in this Cape Cod hamlet, all 790 or so, or as many as will agree.

Raising concerns among civil libertarians and prompting both resistance and support from men in Truro, the state and local police began collecting the genetic samples last week, visiting delicatessens, the post office and even the town dump to politely ask men to cooperate. Legal experts said the sweeping approach had been used only in limited instances before in the United States - although it is more widely used in Europe - and in at least one of those cases it prompted a lawsuit.
The police in Oshkosh tried this and it did not work when it came to firearms.

Everyone who is a 2nd amendment activist should be up in arms.

Lets look at it this way.
In an unusual last-ditch move to find clues to the three-year-old killing of a freelance fashion writer, police investigators are trying to get ballistic DNA samples from every 9mm handgun man in this Cape Cod hamlet, all 790 or so, or as many as will agree.
There was a large uproar that was pretty much ignored by the powers that be in Oshkosh, but since this is only DNA I think most will not think this is so bad. It is voluntary right?
the program is voluntary but that they will pay close attention to those who refuse to provide DNA.
Hell yes. Let's just ignore that old "innocent until proven guilty" idea. It is so old anyway.
I am not paranoid
but I may sound it

In a rather surprise move Washington , read the Whitehouse, has redefined how the government would function under an emergency
With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen.
.......................
Usually, 218 lawmakers - a majority of the 435 members of Congress - are required to conduct House business, such as passing laws or declaring war.

But under the new rule, a majority of living congressmen no longer will be needed to do business under ``catastrophic circumstances.''

Instead, a majority of the congressmen able to show up at the House would be enough to conduct business, conceivably a dozen lawmakers or less.
That leaves open the door for a lot of abuse. Notice it said "congressmen able to show up". Well with the words "catastrophic circumstance" I was reminded of a foot note to a Congressional report from July last year. While it was in relationship to the forthcoming election it did deal with emergency issues and powers of the president when it comes to travel.

It had this to say in the report.PDF
For instance, a variety of situations could occur under which the Executive Branch might seek to limit the movement of citizens under its emergency powers.
So with a stroke of the pen he could easily keep anyone from traveling due to this declared "emergency". Congressmen away on a trip could be told that it is illegal to travel for the near future.

So will the president, whomever they are, try to stack the congressional deck during an emergency situation is unlikely, the seemingly lack of protection of the process is worrisome. I could find nothing on the government website that would imply that they would attempt to gather as many together that they could for a better representation of the populous.

So in all I am not comfortable with this new provision that they passed.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

All work and no play

The Woolamaloo digest is the decendant of a newsletter a guy started in 1992. Ancient in the world of the internet. He went from newsletter to blogging and now he is unemployeed. Turns out the bookstore, Waterstone's, he worked for did not like his satire.
Over the course of the Woolamaloo Gazette I have posted on a wide variety of subjects; sometimes on books, movies or simply the city of Edinburgh; often on topical and troublesome ones. This however is one of the most difficult I have ever had to write. Shortly before Christmas, in the spirit of that season, my manager at Waterstone’s asked me to come into the office. Within a few, short moments I was told that for comments I had posted on this web site I was now subject to an enquiry to determine if I should face a disciplinary hearing for ‘gross misconduct’ because I had ‘brought the company into disrepute’. I was informed (more than once) that this could cause my dismissal. I was suspended on pay and escorted from the premises of the bookstore I had worked in for eleven years.


Because of the holidays the disciplinary hearing was not held until yesterday, Wednesday 5th. I could not really talk about it here while the process was ongoing – I am now free to discuss what happened for the brutally simple reason that Waterstone’s dismissed me from my job yesterday. They took great exception to my mentioning of work on my blog. They said I had violated the rules and brought the company into disrepute. I think by their actions they have brought the UK’s biggest book chain into disrepute.
Nothing said about this being done on work time, just that they did not like it. I have found in life that people who do not understand satire are humorless to start with and I never even try to joke. Corperations are like that.

What makes this more sad is the two faced nature of business
I pointed out that Waterstone’s has stated publicly several times in the past that as a bookseller they believe in the freedom of expression and not in censorship. In fact a campaign was mounted a few years back which had banners along the lines of ‘what did Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot have in common? They feared the power of the written word. Celebrate Freedom of expression with us.’ Some folks may recall it. I asked if this was actually meant or was it simply cynical marketing? I was not answered.
They celebrate freedom of speech, untill they do not like it. The company has really made themselves look bad here.

I did like this one section that he wrote.
I am not a serf; I am not an indentured servant. I am a free man with the right of freedom of expression. The company does not own me, body and soul – conforming to their rules at work is to be expected, but in your own time and space? How can anyone be expected to go through their personal life in fear of saying the wrong thing? No-one should.
Some will say that this is a prime example of why you should self censor yourself. Maybe that is true, but if censoring yourself becomes the norm then when does freedom die?

Waterstone's new motto
Celebrate Freedom of expression with us, but mention us and you're screwed


HERE and HERE are two posts that go into some detail of other people being fired and effected by their jobs, but mostly fired. Can anyone give me an example of company policy that directly makes reference to blogging in the company rules/handbook?
The electronic bamboo curtain
and who built it

That's the name used for the wall separating the free world from the communist Chinese world. There freedom is controlled by the state and your life is worth only what they deem it to be.

One of the many things that brought down the Berlin wall and Iron curtain was information and the dissemination of that information. At the time the net was small so it played a small part in what happened. Many say today that information is power, and the control of that information is the ultimate power.

Control of information in China is totally in the hands of the state, but this article surprised me with the ones who are helping them for money. Selling the idea of freedom for 30 pieces of silver makes many companies the industrial Judas to freedom.
I would like to briefly sketch out the construction of China’s firewall and in my book I call it “the great wall version 1.0”. During construction of the first public access web by Global 1 in 1996 Chinese authorities suddenly became interested in keyword searching; looking into the packets of information flowing across the internet. The authorities wanted to block forbidden websites, western news, religious and political sites and so on. But the Chinese internet architecture was not standardized at the time. So Cisco among other companies competed for the contracts and eventually Cisco agreed to produce a specially configured firewall box which would allow the Chinese authorities to block a forbidden web on a national scale and Cisco sold them at a discount. Somewhere in this process I talked to a Cisco representative a manager a Beijing’s headquarters and he told me,” We don’t care about the Chinese government rules, it’s none of Cisco’s business. However it is part of Cisco’s business because three quarters of China’s routers, even today, are Cisco made. Now the internet is a dynamic place and really this wasn’t enough this could just staunch the flow of information coming in a little bit. So the search engines had to be controlled to. So enter yahoo the top portal in China. They are under intense scrutiny by the State Information Bureau and according to their former head rep they patrolled their chat rooms censured comments and disabled search phrases such as Taiwan independence, and China democracy. AOL Time Warner made similar arrangements and considered directly informing on dissidents if the PSB (Public Security Bureau)so requested. Now the crackdown which I call Great Wall Version 2.0 began in October 2000 and went on until May 2001. During this period the Chinese authorities unveiled new laws: first install internal monitoring software in cyber cafes across and across the web and censorship of all political or news activity. Secondly internet service providers had to suddenly hold all Chinese user data for at least 60 days; this was their phone numbers, times they went online, their surfing history. For those who didn’t care to censor their web activity they used proxy servers. That was a technical method to circumvent the firewall. Suddenly proxy servers were being hunted and blocked. In April 2001 the Ministry of Public Security decreed the construction of the Gold Shield Project a nationwide digital network designed to strengthen central police control and increase the efficiency of retrieving records of every citizen in China.

Note this
Cisco among other companies competed for the contracts and eventually Cisco agreed to produce a specially configured firewall box which would allow the Chinese authorities to block a forbidden web on a national scale and Cisco sold them at a discount
and this
So enter yahoo the top portal in China. They are under intense scrutiny by the State Information Bureau and according to their former head rep they patrolled their chat rooms censured comments and disabled search phrases such as Taiwan independence, and China democracy
and this
AOL Time Warner made similar arrangements and considered directly informing on dissidents if the PSB (Public Security Bureau)so requested
A real industrial whos-who of companies working with, and getting paid to help keep freedom from the people in China.

But wait! It gets worse
At this point we get into the beginning of Great Wall Version 3 and the entry into that was signaled by Cisco and other companies such as Motorola and Seaman’s and suddenly crowding into the security China 2000 Trade Show in Beijing suddenly surveillance was becoming a boom market. Motorola sold encrypted communications systems to the Beijing police at this time. Nortel was a huge player; they were incredibly active in trying to sell Chinese authorities wraparound surveillance capabilities. Yet their cost was very high and the Chinese government at that point wanted to cheap out may have initially chosen to rely on such smaller companies Netfront RSA Securities Watchguard even using cheap things like spy ware. So critical technologies were handed over for free, Nokia and Motorola competed to give the Chinese advanced location tracing. These are mobile technologies that can be used to hunt down fugitives. If you get into a Beijing cab they can where you are. So suddenly you’re entering the world of the Matrix literally to escape the police you have to throw yourself onto the trash. At the same time network associates, that’s McAffee, Norton anti virus and Trend Micro of Tokyo gained entry to China by donating 300 live computer viruses to the PSB. This fit right in with Chinese military doctrine which called for preemptive use of viruses on the U.S. or Taiwan to create an electronic Pearl Harbor
Norton and Trend Micro gave viruses to the PSB! WTF! While I cannot say if this is true or not, I can say I would not put it past some companies to do something like that to open a market.

The whole article left me real bothered. Here are some of the largest companies out there making deals to keep people enslaved for money.
Local politician says a lot

But it is what he does not say that says more to me.
Councilman Harold White has had it with people criticizing the city's legislative body for the perks it receives. So he's giving them up.

The Donelson-area representative is mailing back his movie pass, free Nashville International Airport parking pass, free bus pass and free golf pass for city courses. And he doesn't plan to use free parking at any other city lots — a perk afforded to the 40-member council when they show their council identification cards.
............................
The reason for declining the free passes, he said, is he's tired of hearing the scrutiny and criticism the council has received in the public for receiving freebies. White said the criticism is overblown, but he wants to do his part to cut out any public perception that council members are on the body to enjoy perks.
His own words damn him. He is not giving them back because deep down he knows they are nothing short of mini-bribes, he is not giving them back because he has realized that as a servant of the people he needs to stand above any questionable acts.

No!

He is giving it all up because he is tired of the people complaining about the perks he is getting. If we would all simply shut the hell up and let the guy enjoy his freebies then life would be ok, but we, the people, had to keep complaining. I guess we are just a bunch of ungrateful loud mouth peons.

So what did he get people?
Metro Councilman Harold White holds VIP cards that offer free parking and golf and movies for $1
...............
The Donelson-area representative is mailing back his movie pass, free Nashville International Airport parking pass, free bus pass and free golf pass for city courses. And he doesn't plan to use free parking at any other city lots
Well lets break that down into cash.

Movie pass for Carmike..
Per person is 7.50$. Figure wife and two kids(average) is 30$. Savings of 26$ per trip. Figure 2 movies a month as 52$ savings.

Golf Course.
At Two Rivers course 18 holes is 21$. So golf 2 times a month is 42$ savings. Not counting cart rental of 20$ a time.

Bus Pass.PDF
A month bus pass is 50$ a month(but do you think he ever rode a bus with the unwashed masses?)

City parking
Central Parking-NDP-Municipal(near where my wife works) near down town is 75.35$ a month.

Nashville airport parking pass.
Short term for one hour is 3$ in the Nashville airport lots. I called them to ask what a pass was worth and they said that would be flyaway(?) and hung up rudely. Flyaway charges 44.95$ short term for weekly rates.

So in a given month he has surrendered about 300$ a month. That is if he only gets those five items mentioned. The free food mentioned in the article could easily add a good amount. I sure the heck would like a several hundred in extras a month, but not as incentive to think good about a company.

The problem is that he is giving them up for all the wrong reasons. I am glad he is giving them up, but he still, from the article, thinks he is in the right and we are in the wrong for complaining..

Friday, January 07, 2005

Brady Campaign: Outlaw All Semi's Except for Mini 14

Rooters News Service:LA California:6-Dec-05 10:42 PST

Speaking on conditions of anonimity, Sarah Brady of the Brady Campaign today declared a new strategy for the organization.

"We are asking the Federal Government to immediately issue laws banning ALL semi-automatic firearms EXCEPT for the Ruger Mini 14".

When asked why this change in policy, Sarah minced no words in her enthusiastic response. "The Mini 14 can fire hundreds of rounds in a matter of seconds without reloading, just like all other firearms. However, in reviewing hundreds of hours of video footage supplied by NBC, it has been shown that the Mini 14 does not hit living things. It may cause cars to flip over or put holes in buildings, but no living things were hurt in the many thousands of rounds we saw fired in the NBC footage."

When asked the exact nature of the footage, Sara indicated that the footage was used in the creation of the A-TEAM series in the 1980's.
[Zion's camp]
"Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government?
When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory.
The federal government is our servant, not our master!"
(Thomas Jefferson)
The president is safe

I spent almost the entire day in the hospital getting poked, prodded, and drained in preparation for a surgery that I will have later this month. When filling out a certain form for the second time I flipped through the "notice of privacy practices" brochure that they offered me.

Well hot damn the president is safe people. No, I repeat, No terrorist were found in my upper Gastrointestinal tract.
"We may disclose your health information to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the president, other authorized persons or foreign heads of state or for the conduct of special investigations to the extent permitted by law"
The thing that bothered me is that without my permission they would not tell me wife anything short of a simple "he died" without being in trouble of the law. But if a badged federal agent comes up and demands a copy they would deliver it in a second.

I cannot opt-out of them getting a copy because that's the law and there was no option available. The government has decided for me they should be allowed free access to information about me that not even my wife could get if she begged.

But wait!
"we may release your health information to authorized federal officials for lawful intelligence, counterintelligence and other national security activities authorized be law."
That's right people. My upper GI images could hold the map to Bin Ladans hideout, or even worse.
{insert ominous organ music for effect}
How the hell can my inners be involved with national security?

I called the HIM(Health information management) department at the hospital and they were not even sure themselves.

So dear feds. in power. My upper GI tract does not have any of the following if you want to know so damn badly
explosives
Bin Ladan
microchips
alien probes
coded messages
chechnyan terrorists
rebellious information
furbies

Please put this in your records for future reference.
I would sell rent myself for 240,000$

The Bush administration has put out a lot of programs to help this country, or so they say. One of the more controversial was the No Child left behind act. With relatives in education I can say the teachers in the trenches do not like this at all, and have to live with it. So this backroom deal is not unbelievable when I read the article.

The government must have a lot of money to waste to do this.
Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.
...........................
The contract, detailed in documents obtained by USA TODAY through a Freedom of Information Act request, also shows that the Education Department, through the Ketchum public relations firm, arranged with Williams to use contacts with America's Black Forum, a group of black broadcast journalists, "to encourage the producers to periodically address" NCLB. He persuaded radio and TV personality Steve Harvey to invite Paige onto his show twice. Harvey's manager, Rushion McDonald, confirmed the appearances.
Now this is not buying advertising or time on the radio to put forth their views. This is buying a man to Shill for them.

Now there are several types of shills and we are addressing one only.
Shills in marketing
In marketing, shills are often employed to assume the air of satisfied customers and give testimonials as to the merits of a given product. This type of shilling is legal and almost impossible to detect


It would have worked if it was not for a FOIA that seems to have exposed some questionable marketing tactics.
Williams' contract was part of a $1 million deal with Ketchum that produced "video news releases" designed to look like news reports. The Bush administration used similar releases last year to promote its Medicare prescription drug plan, prompting a scolding from the Government Accountability Office, which called them an illegal use of taxpayers' dollars.
While this may be legal, and just barely at that, I find their tactics outright unethical and low.

But this statement defines why I laugh at the guy.
"I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in."
If he believed in it as much as he said he would have turned the money down and pushed for it like thousands of bloggers and radio hosts who push issues freely everyday across this country and globe.

Sorry but he rented himself out and now everyone knows what street corner he works on and how much he charges for a good time.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Off line today

I have the enjoyment of spending most of today in the hospital getting pre-operative testing done for some surgery that will occur later this month. I will be probed, prodded, and drained of life giving liquids in the name of science. So by tonight I will likely be wanting to just go to bed. So most likely nothing until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

This is thought provoking
the total amount committed by the US government to date for tsunami relief -- $350,000,000 -- equals 42.27 hours of the cost of the war in Iraq. Just to put things in perspective.
They, the politicians, throw the word "billions" out a lot when it comes to this war. I wonder if anyone understands what that money in our pockets, before being taken by the government in the form of taxes and other fees, could do for our country. If you think 350 million can save the victims then what could 130 billion do for your neighborhood?
sacrificial lamb

The first time I heard that phrase with real meaning was in high school. A student I knew was kicked out of a program that I was in for doing something dumb and getting caught. The administrator of the program said that the kid was a "sacrificial lamb so the rest will stay in line". 20 years later that phrase has stuck with me with a little more meaning then most. I have trouble when people sacrifice others to deliver a message. Something I feel the government is doing today

The last few days that phrase has been running through my head because of this story and what I read into it.
Federal authorities Tuesday used the Patriot Act to charge a man with pointing a laser beam at an airplane overhead and temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot.

The FBI acknowledged the incident had no connection to terrorism but called David Banach's actions "foolhardy and negligent."

Banach, 38, of Parsippany admitted to federal agents that he pointed the light beam at a jet and a helicopter over his home near Teterboro Airport last week, authorities said. Initially, he claimed his daughter aimed the device at the helicopter, they said.

He is the first person arrested after a recent rash of reports around the nation of laser beams hitting airplanes.
Now why charge him under the patriot act? There are so many laws on the books that there has to be a better law to charge him with. Willful endangerment is a good one, extreme stupidity is also good if it was illegal. But no. They charged him under the patriot act and I know why deep down.

In just the last few weeks this is the second time I have heard of the patriot act being used like this. The other one was a gang banger who is being charged as a terrorist. They seem to be working hard to use the patriot act to cover all things they do not like.

When the patriot act first came out the government bent over backwards to tell us this would only be used in the war on terror.

(pause for laughter to die down)

Well somehow the patriot act is being used to fight Casino money laundering, gang bangers, and stupid people. I think the government lied to us. Are you surprised? I'm not.

This story fits in nicely with other blogs who posted on the federal nature of policing today. Soon everything possible will be illegal at the federal level.

So what will happen? Not much in reality. Most people will sit back and murmur that he is screwed and they cannot do anything. I think that mentality has happened before.
In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
So you better learn to toe the line or else big daddy patriot act will be all over you.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Guns, guns, and a whole pile of guns.

This is a big month for firearm sweepstakes and one listed here is fabulously big and overly large.

Let’s start with the Remington sweepstake. They are offering a nice Model 11-87 Sportsman in 12 gauge. A nice black shotgun to start off the year is always a good thing. Valued at 625 this is a nice one.



Designed to be easy on both the shoulder and the checkbook, these rugged gas-compensated autoloaders are the latest addition to the Model 11-87 family, and quite possibly the best autoloader value on the market today. The Model 11-87 Sportsman provides the same soft-recoil and superior handling that has made the Model 11-87 famous.
Available in both 12- and 20-gauge versions, the Model 11-87 Sportsman series offers the choice of 26- or 28-inch standard contour, vent rib Rem™ choke barrels with Modified choke tube and single bead sight. The matte-black metal finish and the durable, all-weather black synthetic stock and fore-end can handle the hard wear of days in the field. These value-priced workhorses also include stock and magazine cap swivel studs for the easy addition of a Remington sling.

Remington requires membership but they are spam free and it is only ONE time per person. Good luck.

The next one is just sexy in my opinion. Offered by Gallery of Guns monthly sweepstake it is one to enter fast. A Magnum Research Magnum lite 10/22 in 17HM2. This rifle has a look about it that I just like. Valued at 759$ this is one to treasure.




For an affordable graphite shooting experience, try a MagnumLite rifle!

It is the MagnumLite graphite barrel teamed with a snazzy Barracuda right-handed thumbhole coffee finish stock on the Ruger® 10/22® .22LR action,also the .17HM-2 bolt kit (which provides the required increased mass necessary for safe, reliable operation of .17HM-2 ammunition.

Approximate weight: 4 lbs. 5.8 oz.


Gallery of guns is limited to one entry per person per month. They are also spam free and trustworthy.

Now here is the big one. The whole enchiladas is a good way to describe this one.

The National Rifle Association – Quigley down under sweepstakes. To say they are offering some nice firearms is an understatement.

Here is their Grand prize rifle. A 1874 Sharps Buffalo - "The Quigley" in 45-110 caliber.




The company describes it as such.
Standard features include: Military Buttstock, Patch Box, No Cheek rest, No Pistol Grip, Standard Grade Wood, 34” Heavy Octagon Barrel, 45-70 or 45-110 Caliber, Pewter Tip, Hartford Collar, Double Set Triggers, Semi Buckhorn Rear Sight, #109A Aperture Card, Midrange Vernier Tang Sight, #111 Globe Aperture Front Sight, Antique or Std Color Finish (specify).

But not just any Sharps, but the one from the movie "Quigley down under". This along with a Browning NRA edition safe for storing this over priced rifle. Why over priced you ask? At the website that sells them it is listed as 2903$. Even with the safe I have some issues with an ARV of 102,000$. I simply am not sure that it is worth such a price for being in a movie. With the understanding that many would love to pay the taxes on this monstrosity and the other prizes listed below here I listed it.

The NRA sweepstake has a lot of other prizes(IMAGE) and here they are.
Grand Prize: Tom Selleck's Shiloh Sharps .45-110 featured in Quigley Down Under and Browning NRA Edition safe (ARV $102,000).
First Prize: Charlton Heston Commemorative Peacemaker, six sterling silver cartridges, handmade presentation case and classic grade (ARV $13,300).
Second Prize: Lazzeroni custom rifle in Lazzeroni Long magnum cal 7.82 (.308) Warbird with Schmidt & Bender scope (ARV $7,650).
Third Prize: Winchester Deluxe Model 94 Takedown in 30-30 (ARV $3,500).
Fourth Prize: NRA Tribute M1 Garand rifle (ARV $2,895).
Fifth Prize: NRA Armed Citizen Springfield custom gun limited edition .45 Auto (ARV $1,995).
Sixth Prize: Brunton Epoch zoom binoculars (ARV $1,900).
Seventh Prize: Brunton Epoch full-size binoculars (ARV $1,550).
Eighth Prize: Zeiss scope (ARV $1,449.99).
Ninth Prize: NRA Beretta Partners in 12 and 20 gauge (ARV $1,400).
Tenth Prize: Henry Big Boy .44 magnum (ARV $750).
Eleventh Prize: Brunton 50mm Spotting Scope (ARV $599).
Twelfth Prize: NRA First Gun Ruger 10/22 .22 cal semi auto (ARV $550).
Thirteenth Prize: Bill Ruger NRA Special Edition Mark II (ARV $334).
Bonus Prizes (50 - 25 per Bonus Drawing): NRA platinum gun case (ARV $150).


That is a lot of fine rifles and gear for one sweepstake. You might have noticed that the last item listed is a bonus prize. Enter by the bonus drawing dates of 2/28/05 and 1/31/06 to have a chance to win a gun case.

The NRA page has the standard pleas for money and such, but if you click the last option you will be taken to the form for entry with no obligation. Good luck on this one. It is one per person and does not end until January 31 of next year, so don’t hold your breath. If I had my choice the 13th prize of a Ruger Mark II would be coming home to my house.

As always you will need to pass the standard "are you a good person" background check to take possession of any of them..

This month's prizes are especially nice so like I always say. Good luck.

SHILOH RIFLE UPDATE:
On the Shiloh forums one member said this.
There were three made. Mr. Selleck is keeping one, one is being donated to the National Firearms Museum, and one will go to some lucky person.
Also said on the forum that a couple of solid barrel ones were made for stunt work and a couple of "rubber " ones were made for the fight scenes.

So this Shiloh rifle is one of three, thus creating the high ARV for the winner to pay taxes on.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Damn! Damn! Damn!

The world is coming to an end, because I find myself in the earth shattering position of agreeing with the enemy

The Brady group has put out a press release and I find myself agreeing with them, to my total shock.
In dozens of American communities this New Year's Eve, overexcited and under- intelligent individuals will welcome 2005 with an act of stupidity. They may kill an innocent in the bargain, too.
Now one of the first, heck the most basic rule of shooting is always know where the bullet will go. Know your backdrop and never shoot blind. So shooting a rifle into the air is breaking the most basic rule of firearm safety.

When I first read the press release I will admit I was a little insulted by their "under- intelligent" comment, but then realized that it is true. When you fire into the air their is no real was of knowing where the round will fall. The beginning of a poem ran through my mind when I thought some more on the subject
I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I know not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.
So while many people in the blog world read the press release and got mad, as I did. I say we need to read beyond their bias and know that this time, they are right.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

On my arrival in the United States,
I was struck by the degree of ability
among the governed
and the lack of it
among the governing.

Alexis de Tocqueville
Democracy in America, 1835
[burger]
Slavery by UN official in New Jersey

This is an older story but it is one worth noting in the light of recent comments made by UN people about the evil America. According to the UN we here in the US are bad and cheap in our aid to foreign nations. But they need to take care of their own house first
The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit on behalf of an Ethiopian woman who was brought to the United States and forced to work without pay as a live-in domestic and childcare worker for a New Jersey couple, in violation of state, federal and international laws.

"Immigrant women are all too often brought to this country under false pretenses and coerced by employers into working for little or no pay," said Claudia Flores, a staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. "It is unacceptable that large populations of immigrant workers are being subjected to conditions of labor that amount to modern forms of slavery."
Now I have no great like or dislike for the ACLU. I feel they are simply useful idiots, but they hit the nail on the head here. The story of this women is a modern tale of slavery. Slavery in New Jersey.
The lawsuit charges that Taye and Girma kept Chere in a constant state of fear by repeatedly telling her that she would be in great danger and that people would try to harm her if she left the home. The lawsuit also charges that Chere was verbally and psychologically abused by the couple. Girma repeatedly called Chere her "punching bag" and told her she was "stupid" and that she had nowhere to go. According to the lawsuit, Chere found the conditions so intolerable that on several occasions, she begged her employers to send her back to Ethiopia. Her pleas were ignored.

Chere’s family made repeated attempts to contact her at the home, but their calls were disconnected by Girma and Taye. Chere said that the couple forced her to write a letter to her family asking them not to call or write any more letters. But concerned family members continued to attempt to contact her. In March 2003, Chere received a letter from her family instructing her to contact her maternal uncle in Chicago if she needed assistance. The next month, when Girma and Taye took a weekend trip to Washington, DC and left Chere under the supervision of Moggas Taye, the defendant’s brother, she called her uncle’s family while Taye was sleeping and informed them of the situation. The uncle immediately arranged for a local friend to pick her up. Chere stayed with the friend until her uncle arrived in New York. He then drove her to Chicago where she remains today.
Now I hope this tale is not like the Ghana mutilation hoax that burned Hillary Clinton, but on the surface it looks legit.

But the ironic part is that one of the two people who held this person in slavery and thought that it must be just fine to do it, is a UN worker. Now the press release from the ACLU seems to forget to mention this little fact, but the filing in court does mention that the wife works for the United Nations development programme(just love that spelling of programme). Doing a google search for her or the husband pulls up no other information on either outside of this case, so not sure who he works for.

Now if this person was a government official, or someone else the ACLU vilify they would be screaming it from the rooftops, but the fact they forgot to mention in their press release this info says a lot. I have calls in to the UN to see what her job was. The higher her position in the UN the more it says about the ACLU's leaving that information out.

To damn lazy

I'm a solid firearms enthusiast. I can't afford to be a proper gun nut, but I can hope. The news is filled with a solid effort to ...