Friday, December 31, 2004

Today is officially the first day you can view my brand new site,, a resource I have started to gather and collect information on gun control policies and issues. The site is still under major construction but it's one you should bookmark. I'll use this blog to update the status of my new site as it develops. I am excited to get this new project off the ground.

How Shocking - Gun Control Doesn’t Work

Thursday, December 30, 2004

From WorldNetDaily:

The National Academy of Sciences issued a 328-page report based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, a survey of 80 different gun-control laws and some of its own independent study. In short, the panel could find no link between restrictions on gun ownership and lower rates of crime, firearms violence or even accidents with guns.

The panel was established during the Clinton administration and all but one of its members were known to favor gun control.

"Policy questions related to gun ownership and proposals for gun control touch on some of the most contentious issues in American politics: Should regulations restrict who may possess firearms? Should there be restrictions on the number or types of guns that can be purchased? Should safety locks be required? These and many related policy questions cannot be answered definitively because of large gaps in the existing science base," said Charles F. Wellford, professor in the department of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland and chairman of the committee that wrote the report.

Meanwhile, a study released by the Justice Department suggesting background checks at gun shows would do little to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

The study noted the number of criminals who obtained guns from retail outlets was dwarfed by the number of those who picked up their arms through means other than legal purchases. The report was the result of interviews with more than 18,000 state and federal inmates conducted nationwide. It found that nearly 80 percent of those interviewed got their guns from friends or family members, or on the street through illegal purchases.

Less than 9 percent were bought at retail outlets and only seven-tenths of 1 percent came from gun shows.

The Justice Department's interviews also showed so-called "assault weapons" are not a major cause of gun violence. Only about 8 percent of the inmates used one of the models covered in the now-expired assault weapons ban, signed into law by the Clinton administration in 1994.
That most of the researchers favored gun control before the study began is a direct blow to the skeptics. It is just plain common sense that gun control is useless, doesn't work and can even be fatal when the criminal mind uses such restrictions to his advantage.

Not My Friends

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Time for another issue of Not My Friends. Today's winners are:

Shri Lanka, for being picky about who sends them
disaster aid
. Apparently a tsunami that resulted in over 60,000 deaths isn't catastrophic enough to accept aid from Jewish infidels.

U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland, for saying that rich nations have been sting in providing relief aid to the victims of the catastrophic tsunami. I guess our initial $1 billion pledge and private citizen contributions haven't been enough to satisfy the U.N.

Susan Sontag, a novelist and activist who passed away this morning leaving behind a long legacy, including this cute remark about the 9/11 attacks:

Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a 'cowardly' attack on 'civilization' or 'liberty' or 'humanity' or 'the free world' but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions...In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): Whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday's slaughter, they were not cowards.

In the NFL

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Peyton Manning broke Dan Marino's season touchdown record today with 49 against the San Diego Chargers in a thrilling game that ended in overtime. I was happy to see Manning break the record, as last week he decided to take a knee to end the game against the Baltimore Ravens when he could have tried to increase the lead even more by throwing a touchdown. Manning is all class and ranks with the best quarterbacks of all time. Marino's 48 TD record was set in 1984.

On a much sadder note, the Minister of Defense, Reggie White, died of heart attack this morning in his home at the age of 43. White played a total of 15 years with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired after the 2000 season as the NFL's all-time leader in sacks with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.

White will surely be missed.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 25, 2004

May your Christmas be filled with joy and love in the company of close friends and family. Enjoy your presents, more so the ones you gave and less the ones you received, and may the PC-warriors, just for today, allow us to enjoy the greatest holiday of the year.

God bless you all.

Democrats Finally Getting it Right on Abortion?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

This is absolutely amazing news. Finally, the Democrats are finally realizing that the American people support the rights of unborn children and may soon revamp their platform to accommodate the morals and values that at least half of this country possesses. Of course, I'm sure the Democrats would also like to start winning elections again. From the Los Angeles Times:

After long defining itself as an undisputed defender of abortion rights, the Democratic Party is suddenly locked in an internal struggle over whether to redefine its position to appeal to a broader array of voters.

The fight is a central theme of the contest to head the Democratic National, particularly between two leading candidates: former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who supports abortion rights, and former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer, an abortion foe who argues that the party cannot rebound from its losses in the November election unless it shows more tolerance on one of society's most emotional conflicts.
No Democrat with any respect for his unraveling party would ever mention Howard Dean's name again. The fact that he didn't win a single primary outside his home state shows that the country does not embrace his radical liberalism.

Of course outspoken organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which gives a lot of money to Democrats, will fight with everything they've got to keep the Democratic platform as liberal as possible.

Results from the last few elections suggest that wouldn't be such a good idea if they ever want to gain more power in Congress.

No Peace at Christmas Time

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

An explosion ripped through a mess tent at a military base near Mosul today, where hundreds of U.S. troops had just sat down to lunch. More than 20 people were killed and at least 57 were wounded.

A military spokesman said 19 of the dead were American soldiers, which would make the attack the deadliest single strike against U.S. troops since the start of the Iraq war.

Guess the insurgents and Ansar al Sunna fundamentalists don't plan on letting up anytime soon for the holidays. Today's news has done anything but put me in the Christmas mood.

Which is perhaps why a Christmas party tonight may be just what I need. While I'm out with some friends you can check out my new column on the baby stealing story still making national news, and its significance on the abortion debate.

Merry Winter Solstice.

(Literally) Silent Night, Unholy Night

From Joseph Farah's brilliant column, Childhood's End:

Today, the radical secular jihad against even the most innocent expressions of faith in the public square continues with the American Civil Liberties Union in the vanguard of the unholy war.

Kids are prevented from wearing green and red holiday colors in school. Kids are prevented from praying before lunch. Kids are prevented from acknowledging their God in school. Kids are told free speech is their right unless their words include Jesus or God.

All of this pales in comparison to other outrages being perpetrated on schoolkids all year long in these government concentration camps formerly known as public schools. Children can no longer be encouraged to read the Declaration of Independence in some districts because of the reference to a "Creator."

Children can no longer be required to say the Pledge of Allegiance because of the reference to God. Children can no longer hear contemporary or classical music performed that might in any way hint of Christian influence.
When I read about the California school teacher who was ordered to stop teaching the Declaration of Independence to his students because it refers to God, I about had a stroke. Secularists will stop at nothing to complete their goal of whitewashing every mention of religious significance from the writings of our founding fathers.

On a side note, the one part of the column I disagree with is that I don't believe children should be required to recite anything, but I wholeheartedly support the voluntary reading of the pledge on a daily basis before school begins.

In other sad news, the Maplewood Public School District in New Jersey has banned traditional Christmas music including instrumentals, a policy that affects such radical groups as the Martin Luther King Gospel Choir and the Brass Ensemble. For shame.

Rifles and Shotguns and Pistols Oh My!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

From The Mercury News:

An Orange County gun dealer was sentenced to 45 days in jail for possessing assault weapons after authorities seized 90 firearms from his store, prosecutors said.

Ilya Yampolsky, 39, was also sentenced Friday to three years' probation and given 45 days of community service, said Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos.

Yampolsky was arrested in November last year after authorities seized assault rifles, shotguns and pistols, and grenade launchers at a Laguna Niguel shooting range and gun store he managed.

He faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted on 20 charges filed in connection with the raid. Yampolsky had no criminal record and there was no evidence he sold or fired illegal weapons, Chrisopoulos said.

California's ban on assault weapons went into effect in 1989, and a similar law was enacted at the federal level in 1994. The federal law expired earlier this year.
Nice. A man with no criminal record gets to spend more than a month in jail for possessing something Big Daddy Government says you can't have. Good thing I don't live in California. I had my hands on a beautiful semi-automatic assault rifle last night at a range & shop here in Florida; one that I wouldn't have had access to had the federal ban not expired just this last September.

By the way, those 19 specific guns banned for the last ten years still haven't killed anybody. But let's arrest the gun dealers anyway. Wouldn't want someone with the knowledge and ability to defend innocent lives out on the streets now would we?

Old People Like the Weed

From the Associated Press:

Nearly three-fourths of older Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use, according to a poll done for the nation's largest advocacy group for seniors.

AARP, with 35 million members, says it has no political position on medical marijuana and that its local branches have not chosen sides in the scores of state ballot initiatives on the issue in recent elections.

But with medical marijuana at the center of a Supreme Court case to be decided next year, and nearly a dozen states with medical marijuana laws on their books, AARP decided to study the issue.
Where are all my conservative buddies who advocate states' rights over federal tyranny? C'mon. Why is the federal government nosing up to states that wish to have medical marijuana laws? I'd like a better argument than the typical response we always get from the Bush administration, stating, that allowing medical marijuana in California would undermine federal drug control programs, and that pot grown for medical use could end up on the illegal market and cross state lines.

Because we all know how effective federal drug control programs are. And to think, if marijuana is ever legalized then there won't be an illegal market. What a concept. You'd think we would have learned something from prohibition. Maybe one day.

How Dare I Bring up Abortion

Jen goes for my throat:

Dude Scott. I think you went a little too far this time. This isn't an abortion because it was not the mother MAKING THE CHOICE to end her pregnancy, it was a f*cking psycho who cut the premature child out of the mother and stole it. A fetus is a bundle of cells that wouldn't even had made a sound, but I am sure that this baby girl screamed her lungs out at the intrusion of this psycho. You are sitting there and making this horrible unthinkable event an argument to pro choicers? An abortion isn't simple. It is a long and hard decision that a women finds that she can only make alone. Sometimes women have to have partial birth abortions due to a still born fetus, a serious threat to the mother and or child. People are always attacking women. IT ISN'T EASY BEING THE ONE IN THE WORLD THE GIVES BIRTH.
This isn't an attack on women. I never said a woman shouldn't be able to have a partial-birth abortion due to life or health threatening consequences. This is a major issue for me. That "bundle of cells" you are referring to feels pain, has a heartbeat and brain waves. Tell me that 21-week-year-old Samuel Armas pictured here grabbing the gloved finger of a surgeon is just a "bundle of cells."

Again, a life-threatening complication is another story. I'm not talking about that.

But people don't think about what the woman goes though otherwise it would be different and you wouldn't make this tragedy an argument. You are not a women Scott, you are never going to know that wait of the choices we make. How dare you. A women is dead so you have not right to sit there and start an argument with women who believe in pro choice. And it is f*cking Christmas too. These people just lost their daughter and that poor girl just lost her mother. You are f*cking sick. You don't care about these people, you just want to start a fight.
I don't care? That's why I said, "I pray for the family of the 23-year-old woman. No one should have to die because some crazy nut wanted a child and decided to kill for it. If there's any good news in this story, it's that Victoria Jo will live on and carry her mother's memory." I do pray when I say I do. That may not mean much to certain individuals but it's important to me.

Don't say I don't care about these people. I care for these people, including the "bundle of cells." And don't resort to f-words and name-calling in your argument if you want me to respect your opinion next time. You have the first amendment right on my blog but that doesn't mean I'm going to tolerate hostile language.

It's perfectly appropriate to bring up the abortion debate in cases like this, just as the anti-gun lobby should be able to make points against guns when innocent victims are shot by them. Dialogue is a wonderful thing.

Woman Charged With Murder, Kidnapping Fetus-Thingy

From the Associated Press:

A baby girl who had been cut out of her mother's womb was found after a frantic search, and authorities arrested the woman they say strangled the mother and stole the child. The baby was in good condition Saturday.

Lisa M. Montgomery, 36, of Melvern, Kan., was arrested later Friday and charged with kidnapping resulting in death. Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 23, was found Thursday in a pool of blood inside her small white home in Skidmore, a town in northwest Missouri.
Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, had earlier been talking with her mother on the phone, and hung up saying a woman she had chatted with online had just arrived at her door, authorities said.

U.S. Attorney Todd Graves said Montgomery contacted Stinnett through an online message board, and authorities zeroed in on her using computer forensics. Montgomery was seeking to buy a dog from Stinnett, who raised rat terriers, he said.
According to the criminal complaint, Montgomery traveled about 40 miles to Topeka, Kan., on Thursday to go shopping. Her husband received a call from her saying she had gone into labor and given birth. The next day, authorities say, Montgomery confessed that she strangled Stinnett from behind, cut her open, removed the baby and cut her umbilical cord.
I don't understand how we can call this fetus-thing that was ripped from a mother's womb a "child" or "girl" in a society that sanctions partial-birth abortion. If you can't charge someone for killing a fetus via abortion during the eighth month, then surely you can't make a big deal about a woman who kidnapped a fetus that survived the knifing.

On a less-sarcastic note, I pray for the family of the 23-year-old woman. No one should have to die because some crazy nut wanted a child and decided to kill for it. If there's any good news in this story, it's that Victoria Jo will live on and carry her mother's memory. Question for the pro-choicers: Being that it isn't yet the ninth month, can we still charge the killer with kidnapping?

No 2nd Amendment in the Valley

San Francisco is apparently bored with just being the gay capital of America and is trying to muscle out Washington DC for the prestigious title of murder capital. It's possible, now that San Francisco officials have proposed a law that mimics the infamous DC gun ban. Columnist Michelle Malkin is one of the few columnists/bloggers who has picked up on the story.

As I said in a previous post it's all up to the voters.

Don’t Mind the Kids; Liberal Judges Know Best

The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled recently that children have an expectation of privacy at home and parents cannot eavesdrop on phone conversations.

The case involved 17-year-old Oliver Christensen, who told his 14-year-old girlfriend, Carmen Dixon, that he mugged an old lady and stole her purse after knocking her to the ground. Carmen's mother was listening on another phone line and promptly called the police. Oliver was convicted of a felony and served nine months in prison before the judges overturned the conviction, saying: "The right to individual privacy holds fast even when the individuals are teenagers." The court also said the mother was acting as an agent for the police.

Say what? So now parents in Washington State are powerless to get authorities involved if their child is having a relationship with potentially dangerous thugs, because there's a "right to privacy" between the parties and that includes teenagers. Nice. So when you overhear your 13-year-old daughter making arrangements with an adult drug dealer - or worse - don't expect help from the police.

This insane ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court is another attempt to move parental control away from parents and toward an activist judicial system. Fortunately Florida voters were smart enough to overwhelmingly pass a law this year requiring that parents be notified when their children try to get abortions.

The Florida law was a victory. The Washington Supreme Court ruling was a defeat. As long as courts are run by liberal activist judges you can expect these kinds of rulings. Fortunately the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to stay traditional for at least another four years and possibly longer.

Protect Yourself Not in San Francisco

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

From the Associated Press:

City residents will vote next year on a proposed weapons ban that would deny handguns to everyone except law enforcement officers, members of the military and security guards.

If passed next November, residents would have 90 days to give up firearms they keep in their homes or businesses. The proposal was immediately dismissed as illegal by a gun owners group.

Firearms would be allowed only for police officers, security guards, members of the military, and anyone else "actually employed and engaged in protecting and preserving property or life within the scope of his or her employment," according to the measure.

Gun Owners of California, a Sacramento-based lobbying group, quickly called the ban illegal. Sam Paredes, the group's executive director, said state law bars local governments from usurping the state's authority to regulate firearms.

"The amazing thing is they are going to turn San Francisco into ground zero for every criminal who wants to profit at their chosen profession," Paredes said.
Washington, D.C., is the only major American city that currently bans handgun possession by private citizens. Andrew Arulanandam, director of public affairs for the National Rifle Association, said San Francisco would be remiss to use that city as a model.

"If gun control worked, Washington, D.C., would be the beacon. However, it's the murder capital of the United States," he said.

If approved, the weapons ban would take effect in January 2006.
Quote of the day: "Firearms would be allowed only for police officers, security guards, members of the military, and anyone else actually employed and engaged in protecting and preserving property or life within the scope of his or her employment."

So preserving property or life within the scope of self-defense and protection of the home is not allowed. No thanks. If the people vote for this measure it will be hard to sympathize with them when robbery and rape rates skyrocket, because burgulars will know homes are not guarded, and rapists will know the only thing stopping them from the victim they desire is their own inhibitions.

A Night With Blade

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"Blade: Trinity" opened second this week behind "Ocean's Twelve." I predict Blade will fall somewhere to five or six next week after word-of-mouth gets out to the masses. Was it really so bad? I’ve got the goods in my review.

One thing I'd like to point out on my blog is the scene where Jessica Biel's character puts on a pair of earphones and listens to her Ipod while slaying vampires. This didn't bother me because countless movies have exaggerated the abilities of blind characters when it comes to fighting. So if a blind man can fight, I figure so can one with eyes and a little techno blaring into her eardrums. Plus, Jessica Biel is ridiculously gorgeous and allowed to get away with that kind of stuff.

It's Just Armor

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took part in a Q&A with the troops today that was anything but cozy. Disgruntled soldiers complained to Rumsfeld about long deployments and a lack of armored vehicles and other equipment. From the Associated Press:

"You go to war with the Army you have," Rumsfeld replied, "not the Army you might want or wish to have."

Spc. Thomas Wilson had asked the defense secretary, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" Shouts of approval and applause arose from the estimated 2,300 soldiers who had assembled to see Rumsfeld.

"We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north," Wilson, 31, of Nashville, Tenn., concluded after asking again.

Wilson, an airplane mechanic whose unit, the 278th Regimental Combat Team of the Tennessee Army National Guard, is about to drive north into Iraq for a one-year tour of duty, put his finger on a problem that has bedeviled the Pentagon for more than a year. Rarely, though, is it put so bluntly in a public forum.

Rumsfeld said the Army was sparing no expense or effort to acquire as many Humvees and other vehicles with extra armor as it can. What is more, he said, armor is not the savior some think it is.

"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can (still) be blown up," he said.
Can't say that's the most comforting answer.

The Real Dangerous Left

Now that you've gotten past the idea of 12-year-olds learning about oral sex and masturbation, consider this: left-handed people come out on top in fights.

At least that's one hypothesis mentioned in a study I found on Michelle Malkin's blog. Apparently left-handed people have survived this long by winning out fights against unsuspecting right-handers, because they never anticipated the left hook.

I've always said you have to watch out for us lefties...physically speaking that is. The left-minded have the uncanny ability to self-destruct on their own.

As Long as it's Education

I think it's time we reconsider the popular belief that our neighbor to the north is just like America but boring. From Cnews:

Parents opposed to New Brunswick's sex education curriculum say the program's resource material includes Internet links to pornographic websites.

A group of parents met Tuesday with Education Minister Madeleine Dube to outline their objections to the sex-ed curriculum for grades 6, 7 and 8, which includes discussions on oral sex, mutual masturbation and sexual pleasure. The parents also presented Dube with a list of websites for youth from a reference document for the program, including one site that offers links to an online sex-toy store that sells "bedroom adventure gear."

"The resource document is entitled Beyond Basics," said Dr. Carolyn Barry, a Fredericton-area physician and one of the leading opponents of the new curriculum.

"It should be called beyond belief."
I'll say. I guess Beyond Basics is like Spanish II. Once you teach 12-year-olds how to perform oral sex and masturbate mutually it's only practical you give them the bedroom adventure gear to enhance the experience.

Talk Like Bill

If you like humor at Bill O'Reilly's expense then you might enjoy The Al Franken Show today as Franken is asking for listeners' impressions of the Fox News star. I guess they just don't understand the meaning of their own concept: 'Move On', but if I hear a good one I'll let you know.

Dare to Defend the KKK?

Monday, December 06, 2004

It's no surprise that the left-leaning ACLU is supporting the Ku Klux Klan in a recent legal battle. What is, however, is that I'm supporting them too. From Reuters:

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Monday a free-speech challenge to a New York law banning the wearing of masks at public gatherings by a group claiming ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

Without comment, the justices let stand a ruling by a U.S. appeals court that upheld the law as constitutional and rejected the challenge by the Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1999, the American Knights filed a lawsuit arguing that the refusal of New York City police officials to allow it to conduct a rally wearing hooded masks violated its free-speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

A federal judge in 2002 ruled that the law violated the group's free-speech rights, but a U.S. appeals court early this year upheld the anti-mask law as constitutional.

"Since the robe and the hood alone clearly serve to identify the American Knights with the Klan, we conclude that the mask does not communicate any message that the robe and hood do not," the appeals court said.
It goes without saying that this is a racy issue and it's easy to support the ruling against the Klan, because...well, it’s the Klan! But let’s not forget that unpopular speech is just as protected by the First Amendment as any other form.

I understand that a law forcing Klan members who wish to march do so unmasked does not abridge one's right to free speech, but it certainly makes it more difficult if that person feels threatened when identified. And the reason why the law is in place is because of supposed "public safety" concerns. But the truth is that today's Klan marches are non-confrontational and non-violent, however defamatory their words may be towards the so-called "inferior races."

Unless there's an absolute need to identify someone (as was the case when a court ruled that a Florida woman couldn’t have her driver license photo taken while wearing a religious scarf that covered her face), then there's no reason to force that someone to march unmasked.

Anybody else want to join me on this side of the issue?

Silly, Silly Stevie

Apparently Stevie Wonder isn't happy with Eminem's treatment of Michael Jackson in his latest music video, "Just Lose It." From Sky Showbiz:

[Stevie] Wonder said the white rapper was a hypocrite because he owed his success to poor and black people. Jackson has already attacked the video, which shows him on a bed with a group of children. The self-styled King of Pop is facing child molestation charges. Wonder told Billboard magazine he was "really disappointed" in Eminem.

He told the trade magazine: "Kicking someone when he's down is not a good thing.

"I have much respect for his work, though I don't think he's as good as the late rapper 2Pac. But I was disappointed that he would let himself go to such a level."

The musician added: "He has succeeded on the backs of people predominantly in that lower pay bracket, people of colour.

"So for him to come out like that is bull."
To begin with it's absurd that Eminem has been labeled a hypocrite for making fun of a black man…which Mr. "Kid-Friendly" Jackson isn't. Not even close. At least anymore. Second is the issue of to which demographic category he owes his success. It's not the "lower pay bracket" that's paving the way for Eminem, but mostly the urban white kids who like rap and now have someone to identify with.

All points aside, there's nothing wrong with a little parody. Mr. Jackson is obviously not happy with it, but neither is the entire country for what Mr. Jackson has allegedly done to those children. Even comedian Chris Rock has said he's done defending Michael. He's on his own this time and people like Eminem have every right to make it more difficult.

Life-Saving Disease

Friday, December 03, 2004

Here's an incredible story about an unsung hero until now. From BBC News:

A retired Italian doctor has revealed for the first time how he invented a fictitious disease which fooled the Nazis during World War II. The trick of prescribing Jews with a mysterious illness terrified the Nazis and saved 45 Roman Jews.

Dr Vittorio Sacerdoti has told his remarkable tale on the 60th anniversary of liberation of Rome. Just 28 years old at the time, he used courage and ingenuity to save 45 people from certain death.

As other Jews were being rounded up, Dr Sacerdoti admitted anyone who could reach the hospital as patients - and diagnosed them with a dangerous disease.

"We would write on their medical forms that the patient was suffering from K Syndrome," he said. "We called it K after the German commander Kesserling - the Nazis thought it was cancer or tuberculosis, and they fled like rabbits."

K Syndrome saved his cousin, Luciana Sacerdoti, who was just 10 years old.

"The day the Nazis came to the hospital, someone came to our room and said: 'You have to cough, you have to cough a lot because they are afraid of the coughing, they don't want to catch an awful disease and they won't enter'."

The What Tree?

From the Monterey Herald:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took on the role of "Triminator" on Thursday, helping a disabled girl hang the final ornament on the state Christmas tree and ending a secular practice of calling it a "holiday tree."
What the f*ck is a holiday tree? Apparently the Triminator himself doesn't know either, and has promised to keep it the 'Christmas' tree for as long as he's in office. It was given the name holiday tree four years ago by now-ousted governor Gray Davis when political correctness won the day.

Gun News: Assault Weapons are Fun, Sex Offenders Can't Own Guns

I'm in the process of creating a detailed Disclaimer page for the ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN CLOCK, as I'm still getting mail regarding the recent tragedy that resulted in the death of six hunters. As I pointed out, the weapon used in the slayings was never classified as an assault weapon under the Clinton ban.

And now that "assault" weapons are back on the market, interest in these misunderstood guns has grown tremendously (yet despite warning from anti-gun hysterics, there has not been a dramatic increase in sales). Here is well written article by a female reporter who got to fire an M1A rifle for the first time. From the article:

Before I know it, I've shot the beast of a weapon [M1A rifle], and its stock is slamming back into my shoulder, knocking loose my senses from their transfixed numbness. Only then does an ambiguous excitement tempered with relief begin to set in.

One overwhelmingly unanimous opinion among gun enthusiasts is that Clinton's ban really didn't have a clear target. Most gun retailers despise the use of the term "assault weapon," often ridiculing it as a misnomer fabricated by politicians ignorant on the subject of firearms. Tamara Keel, a long-time salesperson at Randy's Guns and Knives, says, "The real inanity of the ban is that several legal shotguns were more powerful [than banned weapons] but had wooden stocks, so they didn’t look as scary."

Admittedly, the once-banned AR15, all black metal and plastic, does look a lot more sinister than the M1A, which has a wooden stock and would look homey on the mantle of a hunter's cabin.
In other news, the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld on Wednesday a state law banning convicted sex offenders from owning guns. I agree with this ruling as I'm generally reluctant to recognize any rights of convicted sex offenders.

Top 10 in Modern Rock

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Here's the Billboard list of the current tops in modern rock along with my letter grade and analysis:

1. Jimmy Eat World - Pain A
It took me awhile to come around to these guys. I didn't dig their radio hit, "The Middle" from their album Bleed American, and never paid much attention to them afterwards. However "Pain" has me listening a second time and reconsidering my judgment. The haunting voice of the lead singer is the main emphasis of this mesmerizing song and it's at the top of my rotation.

2. Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams A
One of the best songs off their awesome album American Idiot, this is grunge rock at its finest. Yes, the boys of Green Day have grown up. (Literally, they're all in their mid-30s.) No one can call themselves a Green Day fan if they don't have this CD in their players and this song stuck in their head.

3. U2 - Vertigo B
I don't care who you think you are, even if you came way before Nirvana along with Blondie when music was still on MTV -- you can't go from tres to catorce. Regardless, "Vertigo" is a catchy song with good beats proving that U2 still has the gas to make the charts after all these years.

4. Chevelle - Vitamin R B
The Red was a great album and title song for this rock band who at the time was still searching for an audience. While "Vitamin R" isn't as impressive as their 2002 hit, Chevelle continues to show they have a passion for music and instills it in every song, especially this one.

5. Crossfade - Cold A
Awesome song by a relatively unknown band. The lyrics are simple and straight forward, and I just love the harmonizing by this band. Any girl still mad at her boyfriend after being directed to this apologetic ballad is just a bitch. Plain and simple.

6. Breaking Benjamin - So Cold A-
With a hypnotizing and haunting melody, "So Cold" became a summer favorite of mine and I'm surprised this single is still hanging high on the charts. If there's a tune stuck in your head, you won't be miserable if it's to this song.

7. Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty B-
These guys give the term 'experimental' a whole new meaning. The lyrics, like those found in most of their songs, are quick and upbeat and you may find yourself clapping along whether you like the song or not. I'd be lying if I told you I was taking this song off my rotation.

8. Papa Roach - Getting Away With Murder B
Simple lyrics. Simple rhythm. Simple fun. I've never been a big P. Roach fan but I appreciate how much these guys get into their music. The whispering effect makes quite an impact. You believe it when they say they're addicted to your punishment and craving disaster.

9. The Killers - Mr. Brightside C+
The Killers emulate the 1980s panache of British rockers and they have a good sound, but Mr. Brightside is too fluffy -- so yeah, the title is rather fitting. The Killers will surely find a following in America, but "Mr. Brightside" isn't as fun as their earlier, trippy radio hit, "Somebody Told Me."

10. Velvet Revolver - Fall to Pieces B
These guys sound a lot like Saliva but are not nearly as hard. Velvet Revolver slows it down a bit with "Fall to Pieces," a track that's heavily dependant on repetitive guitar riffs. But when it sounds sweet that fact is not necessarily a negative.

Hitmen Playing Hitman

From the Associated Press:

Missouri's most violent criminals can no longer play video games that simulate murders, carjackings and the killing of police officers, a decision reached after prison officials were told about the content.

"We didn't closely review these," Dave Dormire, superintendent of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, told The Kansas City Star. "We were told these games had more like cartoon violence."
How lovely. Makes you wonder what other activities are going on in prison that the administrators are obvious to.
The Star reported Thursday the state's new maximum-security prison pulled dozens of violent Sony PlayStation 2 games from its recreation center on Wednesday, after officials were alerted to their content by a reporter. Inmates had been using them for months.

In fact, the prison's PlayStation offerings included one of the most violent games on the market, "Hitman: Contracts," in which players use everything from meat hooks to silencer-equipped pistols to carry out brutal contract killings.

In all, 35 of the facility's more than 80 games were removed. Others remain, including science fiction and sports games.
Why do I have a feeling that at least one inmate was clever enough to conceal a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas before the confiscation took place?

Realizing the Dangers of Alcohol

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

From the Associated Press:

Drinking will be banned at University of Oklahoma fraternities and residence halls under new policies announced Wednesday, two months after a 19-year-old student died of alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol consumption, which is a major problem on college campuses across America despite the lack of mainstream media coverage, is finally being taken seriously by the University of Oklahoma and other big universities.

But is the right solution being implemented? How will banning alcohol consumption in the dorms and frat houses reduce the likelihood of underage alcohol poisoning as minors aren't supposed to drink anyway? It appears the administration is out of touch and longing for practical solutions.

Not to be Ignored

More than a few e-mails have come in wondering why I haven't remarked on the horrible hunting tragedy on Nov. 21 that left six people dead, and why I haven't updated the ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN COUNTER.

I didn't mean to wait this long and never intended to ignore the issue, but I have been extremely busy last week with Thanksgiving and everything that goes along with it. This is problem that needs to be addressed.

But as for the assault weapons ban issue, the man accused of the brutal killings, Chai Vang of St. Paul, Minn, used a Russian-built Saiga 7.62 mm, SKS semiautomatic rifle.

As this article points out, the SKS wasn't included on the list of banned weapons as part of the 10-year ban on certain "assault weapons" signed by President Clinton. The ban expired in September and at the time of this posting, no one has been killed by any one of those weapons since the ban expired.

But let's talk about this case, as I'm sure discussions have started and many want stronger gun control because of this freak incident. While the media use words like "military style," "assault" and "semiautomatic," the gun used in the slayings was not unlike a typical hunting rifle.

The SKS is a medium-powered carbine equipped with a 10-round magazine, just like the pistol I'm displaying in the photo on the left hand side of this blog. Banned weapons had capacities of more than 10 rounds; so like my small 9mm, the SKS was not classified as an "assault" weapon. So let's not center our discussion around the gun, let's talk about the person behind the trigger.

If convicted of the killings, Vang faces life in prison as Minnesota does not honor the death penalty. I look forward to Vang's conviction and I pray for the families of the victims. What happened was indefensible and justice must be served.