Thursday, January 31, 2008

Team 5 Investigates - My Initial Reaction

Overall, it was an OK piece with minimal factual errors. There were a few questionable bits I'll have to watch again before offering a more detailed critique.

One thing that jumped out at me was that there was no one from any pro-gun rights group interviewed, while noted gun-grabber John Rosenthal was allowed to spew out his usual misleading nonsense about no one needing to show an ID or undergo a background check to buy a gun in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont.

In Rosenthal's defense, the audio seems to have been cut off before he could finish the sentence, so he could have clarified that statement, but given his past history and his tendency to over-embellish the truth, I have my doubts.

He also made the claim that "the federal government has virtually no effective gun laws" to "prevent" the illegal trafficking of firearms. Well, guess what, there aren't any laws on the books to "prevent" someone from walking into a bank and demanding cash. Doesn't mean there aren't plenty of laws on the books to "prosecute" those involved in bank robbery or gun trafficking.

The only way to "prevent" the illegal trafficking of firearms is to invent magic gun vanishing pixie dust and a delivery system that can blanket the globe with the stuff.

The gun show footage they used was from a show somewhere in Vermont, and did show one private seller there telling Channel 5's "buyer" that he wasn't supposed to sell them handguns, but that he would if the price was right. Hard to tell exactly what went on without seeing the unedited tape. I assume the seller knew the prosepctive buyer was from out of state (federal law prohibits out of state handgun purchases).

Also, I don't know what the law is in Vermont with regards to private sales between individuals. I believe the New Hampshire law states that it is illegal to sell a handgun to a felon or a person not "known" to the seller. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

I'll have more later. I don't know if they'll put the video up on their website, but the extended scumbag interviews (the gangbangers, not Rosenthal) will be.

UPDATE: Channel 5's print version (partial transcripts) can be found here.

UPDATE II: One more comment before I hit the sack.

This report "proved" two things. First, as was illustrated nicely by Steve Bailey's earlier "investigative" piece on this subject, if you have two people, one with guns and one with money, who are both willing to violate multiple state and federal gun laws, there's a good chance that the illegal sale of firearms will soon be taking place.

Second, a determined criminal with money will arm himself (see point #1).

What they didn't show, John Rosenthal's incessant yammering notwithstanding, was any direct connection between firearms purchased at New England gun shows and firearms connected to inner city gang violence.


Turn Your Media BS Filters Up To 11

*** POST UPDATED (and then some) SCROLL DOWN ***

FOLLOW-UP POSTS HERE AND HERE.

WCVB (Channel 5 - Boston) is running their investigative report tonight on illegal firearms trafficking. The teaser video has footage from a gun show intermixed with that of an interview with (presumably) a local gang member discussing how easy it is to get guns on the street.

And, it looks like they've hired Michael Moore to do their editing.

At one point, the video is stitched together to make it appear as though there's a gangbanger with gloves on and his face wrapped in a bandanna actually attending a gun show, handling firearms, and offering a dealer $2,500 cash for a semiautomatic handgun.

I call bullshit.

That short clip alone is one of the worst cases of biased hatchet-job "journalism" I've seen in a long time.

UPDATE: Contact WCVB here. Let them know what you think of their journalistic practices and standards. Here's my message to them, which I fully expect to be brushed under the proverbial rug [UPDATE: response received, posted below].

Blatant Hatchet Journalism - you should be ashamed

To WCVB:

I just watched the teaser video for your upcoming piece on the illegal trafficking of firearms. That clip appears to be a combination of video footage from a gun show intermixed with that of an interview with (presumably) a local gang member discussing how easy it is to get guns on the street.

From the looks of it, I have to assume you hired Michael Moore to do your editing.

At one point, the video is stitched together to make it appear as though there's a gangbanger with gloves on and his face wrapped in a bandanna actually attending a gun show, handling firearms, and offering a dealer $2,500 cash for a semiautomatic handgun.

There is no way that actually happened as you are depicting it. This is nothing more than the dishonest fabrication of the "facts" as you would like to viewers to see them.

Please tell me I'm wrong.

That short clip alone is one of the most offensive cases of biased hatchet-job "journalism" I've seen in a long time.

My guess is you took your hidden cameras to a gun show, encountered a whole bunch of decent people obeying the law, and realized it wouldn't make for good "gotcha" journalism. So, you went and spliced the video together to cast gun owners and dealers in as negative a light as possible.

Congratulations, you just made Dan Rather appear reputable by comparison.


As always, any reply will be posted here forthwith.

UPDATE II: After watching that short promo video again, I have decided to give it a final score of 9.8 out of 10 on the Steve Bailey No-Shit-0-Meter.

Shocking revelation #1: Individuals engaged in legal commerce in a free society are allowed to negotiate the selling price of goods and services.

Shocking revelation #2: Cash is still accepted by some as payment for the aforementioned goods and services.

Quick! Get the Pulitzer people on the phone! Someone alert Drudge! Channel 5's really blown the cover off of this one!

UPDATE III: Question the timing.

January 30, 2008 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Jack Reed (D-RI) today joined with law enforcement officials, a Virginia Tech shooting victim, families of Virginia Tech victims and Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, to announce the introduction of new legislation to close the “Gun Show Loophole.”


(link via Ryan at Red's Trading Post)

UPDATE IV: Jennifer Berryman from WCVB responds:

Hello Bruce,

I just received your email and am eager to respond to your concerns about the promotion for tonight's Team 5 Investigates report.

Let me assure you that the assumptions you outline in your email below are incorrect..

It is, of course, a compilation of video that we gathered in the course of reporting this story over the last 6 months .. which did include a visit to a gun show. It also included numerous conversations, both on and off camera, with criminals, police, and prosecutors.

Tonight's investigation is longer than 5 minutes .. an extraordinary amount of time to dedicate to one story in a single newscast. By definition, a promotion for any story that runs 10, 15 or even 30 seconds can't fully give viewers the context of a 5-minute report.

Given the tone of your email to us, it's clear that you have your own thoughts on the issue of guns and violence.

I hope you will be fair and open-minded enough to watch tonight's investigation...and then decide for yourself.

Thank you for watching, and taking the time to write to Channel 5.

Jennifer


My response:

Jennifer,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I fully understand and appreciate that it's difficult to encapsulate the entirety of a five-minute news segment in a short promotional clip such as the one posted on the WCVB website. However, that short video, as edited, leaves those viewers unfamiliar with gun shows with a very misleading impression of how they're run.

It is clear that the video was edited for maximum "shock value", by making it appear as if gang members are going into gun shows, masked in gang colors and wearing gloves, and buying all the guns they want. Please don't insult my intelligence by telling me otherwise.

Further, more people will watch that short clip than will tune in for the full report. The damage has been done. The misinformation has been disseminated. Many viewers will simply take that short video at face value without questioning its accuracy. I would hope that WCVB would have the integrity not to make public such a misleading and biased piece of video.

And, yes, I will be watching tonight, hoping for something a little less sensationalized than what I've seen so far.

Respectfully,

Bruce [...]


More to follow, once the segment airs, and I've had a chance to view and dissect it.

UPDATE V: Just received, and responded to, this response from Russ [name redacted], one of the WCVB staffers who contributed to this upcoming segment. There's hope that this might be more than the typical anti-gun hit piece we've grown to expect from our mass media news types (e.g. CNN and former Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne and the New York Daily News - thanks, Kevin). We shall see.

I'm posting his response here with his permission to include his name as well. In his e-mail, he identifies himself as a Massachusetts gun owner, and I wanted to offer him some level of anonymity. He did ask that I not post his phone number, so that he could get some work done tomorrow. Heh.

Dear Mr [...]:

Allow me a moment to address your specific concern regarding our television promotion.

Nothing in the promotion mentions gun shows... and while part of our investigation involves illegal sales at gun shows, it is only part of the problem we uncovered which allows robust gun trade in a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. The complete text of the promotion is found below. We specifically mention a "thriving underground gun market" and "rogue dealers" not limiting the verbiage or the video to one source... and our video depicts where we discovered the problems, both with gang members, drug dealers and federally licensed and private sellers at gun shows.

Understand, too, as a law-abiding gun owner myself that I am particularly sensitive to firearm-related coverage by the media. I grew up around firearm use as a pleasant family-oriented activity. To me, a rifle is a companion as comfortable as a fishing rod or any other piece of sporting equipment. I applied my personal experience in the edit suite and contributed my thoughts to our special projects team so they could understand there is more than one side to this story. I was appalled by the blatant disregard for law that we so easily captured on tape. The actions of criminals can have a negative impact on law-abiding gun owners. I personally believe the sooner rogue dealers are held to account, there will be less ammunition for people who neither understand nor care to understand that firearms can be used and enjoyed responsibly.

Thanks for taking the time to write us. Feel free to contact me with any other concerns. And thanks for your interest in WCVB NewsCenter 5 and TheBostonChannel.com.

Regards,

- Russ


Russ,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my concerns.

As an ardent, and vocal, supporter of our Second Amendment rights, I am looking forward to watching this segment tonight. As a former gun-owning resident of Boston, I have long criticized people like Boston Mayor Tom Menino for blaming New Hampshire's gun laws for the violence in our larger cities that is universally centered around gang activity and the trafficking of illicit substances. Especially, when all the federal crime gun trace data (for what it's worth) shows Massachusetts as the #1 source for guns used in criminal activity in the state.

I do hope your story sheds some light on how the criminal population is so easily arming itself in the land of the so-called "most effective gun laws in the nation", while many people are barred from owning guns due to the the onerous licensing requirements in places like Boston, Brookline, and Quincy.

Further, I appreciate your stance on the need to hold accountable those who would flagrantly violate the law. Sadly, too many people in power perceive all gun owners as potential criminals and, as in the case in Massachusetts, the real criminals are often shuffled through the revolving doors of justice and set loose on the streets as fast as they're being arrested.

Forgive my cynicism, but I've seen too many hatchet jobs, produced by supposedly "reputable" news sources, designed to manipulate public opinion against those of us who hold dear our Constitutionally-protected freedoms. A station like WCVB has tremendous power in shaping public opinion, especially for folks who get their news in soundbite format without doing any independent research of their own.

I still take offense at the way that short segment was put together, as I feel it leaves the wrong impression with the average viewer. But, I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and will absolutely be watching tonight's segment with a fair and open mind.

Respectfully,

Bruce [...]


I will put up a new post with my commentary following tonight's broadcast.


Well, THAT's a Relief

John Edwards:

"This son of a mill worker's going to be just fine."


Thank goodness! I was starting to worry about the guy.

"Now if you need anything, I'll be down at squash courts. Send the help."


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Well, I Got a Kick Out of It Anyway


Happiest School Shooting Ever

I wonder, as does Kim, why news of this school shooting didn't get any coverage on (insert MSM outlet of your choosing). Usually, the mainstream media vultures in this country are all over these stories like mud on a pig.

This one...not so much.

Terrorists killed after infiltrating school

Two Palestinian terrorists were killed after infiltrating a school in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

The terrorists disabled an alert system built into the perimeter fence of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion on Thursday and then sneaked into the Mekor Hayim high school yeshiva building, according to media reports. They then entered a classroom where they stabbed two counselors. The wounds were not considered life-threatening.

Two armed counselors then overpowered and killed the terrorists, who were unable to fire their weapons. Mekor Hayim high school is run by famed Talmudist Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.


Jerusalem Post:

Earlier, Hamas's military wing, Izzadin al-Kassam, claimed responsibility for Thursday evening's terror attack at the Gush Etzion high-school, Army Radio reported Friday.

According to Palestinian sources, the two terrorists, Muhammad and Mahmoud Samarna, were cousins and both Hamas affiliates from the Beit Ummar village north of Hebron.

A senior government official said that the two terrorists were released last week from an Israeli prison after they had completed their prison terms for attempting to steal weapons.

The two terrorists were killed after infiltrating the Mekor Hayim High School Yeshiva.

The terrorists, armed with knives and a pistol, infiltrated the kibbutz and sneaked into a building used by the high school, run by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

They entered a classroom where counselors were holding a meeting, and stabbed two of them. Two of the counselors were armed and managed to overpower and kill the terrorists, without giving them a chance to fire their pistol, a Hatzallah spokesman said.


I blame the NRA.


I'm Not So Sure About this

Hot Air: It’s official: Hillary Clinton’s word isn’t worth a thing

What's the going rate on the street for a thimble full of lukewarm turtle piss?


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Legislative Alert - 2/5/08 - Save the Date!

UPDATE (2/1/08): Room change noted below.

**** Attention, New Hampshire gun owners! ****

The Democrats in Concord, having apparently recovered from their defeat last year in their campaign to whittle away at our right to bear arms, are back at it once again.

In response to all the incidents of bloodshed, death, and destruction caused recently by armed law-abiding citizens within the confines of the New Hampshire State House, the anti-gun bigot brigade is now looking to make it illegal to carry a firearm in the State House or Legislative Office Building.

Unless, of course, you're a law enforcement officer or a murderous criminal who has as much use for a law such as this as Stevie Wonder has for a telescope.

HOUSE BILL 1354

AN ACT relative to security in the state house and legislative office building.

SPONSORS: Rep. Kjellman, Merr 5

COMMITTEE: Legislative Administration

ANALYSIS

This bill prohibits a person, other than a law enforcement officer, from carrying a firearm or any other weapon in the state house or legislative office building.

[...]

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Section; Legislative Officers and Proceedings; State House Security. Amend RSA 14 by inserting after section 14-c the following new section:

14:14-d State House Security.

I. No person shall knowingly carry a loaded or unloaded pistol, revolver, or firearm or any other deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V, whether open or concealed or whether licensed or unlicensed, upon the person or within any of the person's possessions owned or within the person's control in the state house or legislative office building.

II. Firearms may be secured at the entrance to the state house or legislative office building by legislative security officers.

III. The provisions of this section shall not apply to marshals, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, police, or other duly appointed or elected law enforcement officers.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


This is nothing more than the latest example of a feel-good, do-[absolutely] nothing, liberal "solution" to a non-existent problem. And, as was the case last year with Senate Bill 44, it would serve only to allow the anti-freedom camp to get that first foot in the door that they desperately need in order to spread the cancer that is discriminatory Massachusetts-style gun laws into New Hampshire.

Received in the mail from GO-NH:

There will be a hearing on this bill one week from today, February 5th, at 10:30 AM in the State House Room 100 Legislative Office Building, Room 104 before the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Call 271-3661 for updates.

Here's my letter to the sponsor of this insidious bill, Representative Kjellman, who (surprise, surprise) is a Hillary Clinton endorser from Massachusetts.

Representative Kjellman,

I'm reading the text to House Bill 1354: An act relative to security in the state house and legislative office building, and I simply do not see the reasoning behind this unnecessary piece of legislation.

Has there been a rash of shootings in the State House, committed by individuals licensed by the state to carry concealed handguns, of which I am unaware?

I was at the State House last year attending the hearing for Senate Bill 44 which sought to give town police chiefs more discretionary power in denying pistol licenses to otherwise qualified applicants. I was lawfully carrying a concealed sidearm that morning, as was a large percentage of the state's gun owners who showed up to have their opinions heard.

Yet, the crowd was as peaceful as one could possibly imagine. No one was in any kind of danger. There was no threat to public safety, whatsoever. All I saw that morning was a large number of law-abiding citizens exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights in a safe an responsible manner.

Does that bother you?

I would sincerely appreciate a reply, as I'm confused as to why you think such a law is needed. To me it just seems like a "solution" in search of a problem, not to mention, a tremendous waste of the taxpayer dollars that would then be needed to install, service and monitor metal detectors at all entrances and exits to both the State House and Legislative Office Building.

Wouldn't that money be better spent providing educational resources or improving the quality of health care for New Hampshire's under-privileged children?

Again, if there had been a series of violent gun battles inside the State House as of late, I'd at least understand where you're coming from with this bill. But, that is absolutely not the case.

I await your response.

- Bruce [last name]


Any reply I receive (not holding my breath) will be posted here.


The Death of Common Sense (cont.)

Hey, pal! Your kid could poke someone's eye out with that.

So, my phone rings Friday afternoon. It's the vice principal from my son's school saying that he needs to discuss a serious situation about my son. When I asked him what was going on, he tells me that a pen bearing a Glock logo is forbidden by school policy and that I need to come and pick up my son because there is a manditory 3 day suspension because of the violation.


Found that link posted in the comments to this equally asinine story over at Radley Balko's place.

Mr. Ortiz said the family’s ordeal began Oct. 19, when his son picked up a bottle of hand sanitizer from the desk of his fifth-period reading teacher at Killian Middle School in Lewisville. He rubbed the gel on his hands and smelled it.


You can pretty much guess what happened next.

Meanwhile, in the gun-free paradise we call the United Kingdom.

A father of three was murdered after going to a neighbour's house to retrieve his son's football.

David Martin was allegedly stabbed with a samurai sword and a knife then bludgeoned round the head with a golf club.


Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to count my blessings.

(links #2 and #3 via Say Uncle)


What Was I Thinking?

Yeah, never mind. I wouldn't last more than two months. I figure that's how long my current coffee supply will last me, if I cut back to half a pot a day.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Not So Sure About This One

As much as I appreciate the creativity and effort that went onto the making of this Guinness ad...



...it reminds me too much of this scene from Woody Allen's "Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex" to be thirst-inducing.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thinking of Sitting Out the November Election?

Maybe this will change your mind.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Illinois Democrats close to Sen. Barack Obama are quietly passing the word that John Edwards will be named attorney general in an Obama administration.


That's some scary shit, right there.


How Long Could You Live "Off the Grid"?

Here's a post that's been rattling around in my head since just before the last big snowfall we had here. While I was checking on my emergency supplies (generator, gas, flashlights, food, water, etc.), I started to wonder just how long my family and I could survive completely shut-off from the outside world.

I mean, completely, shut off.

No incoming utility services.

No telecommunication devices of any kind.

No radio, television, or access to the internet.

No neighbors to interact with.

No access to local businesses (gas stations, grocery stores, etc.).

In other words, using only equipment and supplies on hand at the present time, how long could you survive? Granted, some of the parameters of this exercise might be a little far-fetched, and wouldn't realistically apply to someone living in the middle of a large city.

So, for the purposes of this discussion, we'll go all out and invoke the post-apocalyptic hypothetical scenario. Whether you either live out in the sticks or you in the city, everything man-made around your house or apartment has been reduced to rubble or otherwise rendered useless. Call it an act of God or just blind luck, but your house survived, so you don't have to worry about shelter from the elements.

Naturally, if your list of supplies on hand includes firearms and ammunition, and there are edible creatures nearby, you're free to kill 'em and grill 'em. Yes, we'll assume the local critter population survived whatever doomsday event brought us to this day.

So, how long could you stick it out? And, what supplies would you add to your existing inventory on hand to prolong your survival in this scenario?

I'd add a manually-operated well pump to keep a supply of fresh water on hand. Eventually, I'd run out of gasoline for the generator, and that would pretty much be the end of the running water (not to mention the refrigeration of food and the ability to use power tools).

We'd be set for quite a while as far as food and water are concerned. Sure, we'd grow tired of eating turkey and squirrel every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but meat is meat. I'd probably want to brush up on my jerky making techniques for preserving the meat of anything bigger that crosses my sights.

What say you?


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some Pics Just Scream "Caption Contest!"

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


Have at it.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Thank Heavens For That UK Gun Ban

Had these young people had access to a firearm, something tragic might have happened.


It's FOR THE CHILDREN!

*** POST UPDATED - SCROLL DOWN ***

The next time some liberal, anti-gun asswipe from Massachusetts tries to convince you that the Commonwealth only wants to get rid of "illegal guns", and not the guns owned by law-abiding (and licensed) gun owners, feel free to kick him or her swiftly in the crotch.

And if, while they're bent over in pain, they try to tell you that the Commonwealth respects the 2nd Amendment rights of legitimate gun collectors and sportsmen and that the purpose of Massachusetts gun control is to make life more difficult for the violent criminal population, feel free to roll up a copy of Senate Bill 1354 and shove it where the sun don't shine.

Senate Bill 1354: An Act Regarding the Prevention of Illegal Gun Trafficking and Gun Violence Among Youth in the Commonwealth

[...]

SECTION 13. Said chapter 140 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 128B the following section:-

Section 128C. Whoever not being licensed under section 122 and who purchases or otherwise accepts and keeps within the commonwealth for any period of time more than 15 firearms during any 1 year period shall be punished by not more than 5 years in state prison and the licensing authority shall suspend any license or identification card issued under this chapter to such person for a period not to exceed 3 years*. This section shall not apply to firearms bequeathed through trust or devise.


Related:

Section 122. The chief of police [...] may [...] grant a license to any person except [list of prohibited person] to sell, rent or lease firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns, or to be in business as a gunsmith.


Yep.

Even if you successfully jumped through the financial and bureaucratic hoops required to get a License to Carry a Firearm (LTC) in Massachusetts, it would be against the law for you to have more than 15 firearms in your possession at any given time.

Unless, of course, you applied for, and were issued, a state license to "sell, rent or lease firearms, rifles, shotguns or machine guns". Apparently, as soon as the state gets another $100 out of you (and forces you to navigate a second round on the feel-good, do-nothing licensing obstacle course), your gun collection would magically cease being a threat to THE CHILDRENTM of Massachusetts .

Can't you just hear the crime rate falling?

Like a rock, baby!

Obligatory side note: The leftnuts proposing garbage like this are the same hypocritical idiots who will tell you with a straight face that requiring a person to show a photo ID in order to vote amounts to an unconstitutional and discriminatory poll tax.

And, not that you need another example of how the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gets off treating law-abiding gun owners like criminals, but check out the paragraph before the one highlighted above (Section 12).

SECTION 12. Said section 128B of said chapter 140, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 14 and 15, the words “Whoever violates any provision of this section” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Whoever, being unauthorized to make such sale or transfer or whoever sells or makes such transfer to person unauthorized to receive such a weapon in violation of this section or section 128A shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 2 ½ years in the house of correction or not more than imprisonment for 5 years in state prison. Whoever fails to make such report with the licensing authority and the criminal history systems board within the executive office of public safety, within 7 days of such sale or transfer,.


If I'm reading this right...

Say you're a competitive target shooter in Massachusetts, who's reached his 15-gun limit, and you purchase a target pistol as a last-minute replacement for a broken one the day before a shooting competition. You'd be looking at a possible five years in state prison - the same sentence that a career felon in Dorchester would face for selling stolen guns to gang members from the trunk of his car.

"Common sense".

In addition, that part about getting your LTC suspended "for a period not to exceed 3 years" is 100% pure, unadulterated Bay State bullshit at its finest. A person is considered permanently ineligible to be issued a License to Carry in Massachusetts for "conviction of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for more than two years".

So, what they're not telling you is that if you are found guilty of the grievous crime of gun collecting, your LTC would get suspended for three years, after which time it would be revoked for life.

Personally, I hope this latest bit of legislative ass-reaming becomes law, as I know of several gun owners for whom this would be the last straw that gets them to rip up the tent stakes and hop the northern border for good.

UPDATE: Here are the idiots proposing SB1354 who would have you believe this piece of legislation would have any effect on illegal gun trafficking or youth gang violence in the inner city.

Former State Senator Jarrett Barrios (this guy is like herpes to Massachusetts' law-abiding gun owner population - he never really goes away)
State Representative Stephen R. Canessa
Marie P. St. Fleur (no additional commentary required)
State Senator Mark C. Montigny - I don't know much about him, but the fact that he's standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Barrios and St. Fleur on this bill pretty tells you all you need to know about Mr. Montigny and his "principles".

Now, for the good news.

NES member, Lxpony, received this response from State Senator Stephen Brewer's office regarding the recent committee hearing for this atrocity of a bill.

Senator Brewer does not anticipate, although it is impossible to predict with absolute certainty, that any of the above mentioned legislation will be favorably reported out of the committee.


Be that as it may, always keep in mind that when the forces of evil start talking about common sense "compromise" on gun control legislation, the aforementioned bill is exactly what they have in mind.

In their eyes, the current level of restrictive gun laws in Massachusetts does not represent their desired goal or reflect what they see as "common sense" gun control, but is merely the point from which gun rights advocates are to begin their negotiations when the next round of "compromise" talks kicks off.

As long as the goal posts continue to shift asymptotically toward a complete ban on the private possession of firearms, they'll always get to play the "compromise" card with impunity, knowing that no one outside the minority gun owner population will ever call them on it.

Gee, I miss Massachusetts.

UPDATE II: Reader HerrBGone, blogging at The Eclectic Dragonfly, has more.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yeah, Ya Think?

Glenn Reynolds:

I have to say, though, that if the NRA funded a study on gun violence, the news media would tend to stress that aspect, along with pointing out obvious flaws in the study. They might even point out if it was designed to give political cover to the candidates of one political party in an election year.


Why, it's almost enough to make one speculate that the mainstream media in this country are ideologically biased, or something.

Perish the thought.


Some Real Shocking News Here

Why Mitt Romney - the self-described fiscal warrior - voluntarily attached his name to this legislative train wreck, knowing full well he'd shortly be seeking the Republican nomination for president, I'll never know.

Spending on the state's landmark health insurance initiative would rise by more than $400 million next year, representing one of the largest increases in the $28.2 billion state budget the governor proposed yesterday.

The biggest driver of the cost increase is projected growth in the number of people signing up for state-subsidized insurance, which now far exceeds earlier estimates.


File Under: Least Shocking News Item of the Epoch

Now, there's no need for any of my readers still living within the concertina wire perimeter to be alarmed by this latest bit of "news". Your new governor plans on paying for it with all the imaginary revenue he'll be raking in from the Commonwealth's non-existent casinos.

Deval Patrick - ruling Massachusetts with an iron fist Acme rocket sled.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

This Just In!

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is a hypocritical fraud.

Governor Deval Patrick has set up a novel political fund-raising system that allows him to skirt the state's campaign finance law by channeling big contributions through the state Democratic Party, which, in turn, has paid off hundreds of thousands of dollars of the governor's political expenses.

Under the unique arrangement, Patrick, who ran for election sharply criticizing the "politics of money and connections," is raising contributions far in excess of the individual limit of $500 for a political candidate. Now, in many cases he is getting as much as $5,500 from individual lobbyists, corporate executives, developers, and other supporters.


"Can we launder money?"

"Together we can!"


If this story is in any way surprising to you, you are an idiot. Then again, you also probably voted for that empty-suited jackass. 'Nuff said.

Liz Morningstar, executive director of the Deval Patrick Committee, in a statement released by the campaign, did not respond to questions about the apparent circumvention of the state's $500 limit on individual campaign contributions. She said the fund-raising system is one of several tools at Patrick's disposal "to strengthen and grow the Democratic Party in Massachusetts."

Yeah, that's always been a big problem for Massachusetts, how to give the struggling Democratic Party a more solid foothold in the Commonwealth's political power structure.

That would be laughable if it weren't so...

Wait a minute. What the bloody hell do I care?

That's hysterical, man!


Bruce's Rule of Thumb #19

You know you're not getting the best piece of steak possible when the label on the packaging lists the ingredients.


Move Along, Nothing to See Here

This is charming.

Bomb-making factory found in Brooklyn apartment of Columbia professor

Police stumbled upon a bomb-making factory Sunday in the home of a Columbia professor who specializes in the spread of infectious disease - and are investigating whether he and his roommate have terror ties.

Cops evacuated the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood around the Remsen St. home of Michael Clatts, a medical anthropologist, after finding seven pipe bombs fitted with fuses in his flat, police sources said.

The frightening cache was discovered almost by accident - Ivaylo Ivanov, the man living with Clatts, accidentally shot off the tip of his left index finger and sought police help in the street about 1:15 a.m.

When investigators went to the 37-year-old Ivanov's apartment, they found the bombs, already capped on both ends and filled with powder. One of the pipe bombs was inserted into a Nerf football, cops said.

A 9-mm. handgun, two ammunition magazines, a 12-gauge shotgun, silencers, a bulletproof vest, a crossbow and bomb-making equipment, including a drill and threading machine that could be used to make pipe bombs, were also recovered, cops said.


[mumblespeak] A "common-sense" 30-day waiting period, stricter licensing requirements for the lawful purchase of handguns, a ban on scary-looking guns, and mandatory ballistic microprinting would have prevented this criminal behavior. [/mumblespeak]

But, I digress.

Now, run a Google News search for Michael Clatts, Ivaylo Ivanov, and Heath Ledger, and see which current event coming out of New York City the world's media outlets have determined to be more newsworthy.

The results will astound you.


Not.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

One Word

Disinfectant.


End of the Road

Kinda saw this one coming.

Fred Thompson:

Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.


I'll have more to say on this later. Suffice to say, I'm not too pleased with any of the options still on the table.

Though, now I can post this video of Jeri Thompson totally hitting on me complimenting my appearance at Fred's visit to the NH campaign HQ in Manchester last October.

video


Open Letter

The the person who told me it was a major pain in the ass to replace a broken starter cord on a snowblower, resulting in my procrastinating in taking care of said matter:

Dude, you totally suck at fixing stuff.

Set me back a whopping 60 cents at Lowe's for a piece of 3/16" nylon cord and about ten minutes of my time.


Must-Read Editorial of the Day

Tax cuts are the best stimulus

If somebody grabbed your wallet and then handed you back a $20 bill, would you be grateful? Realizing the money was yours to begin with, you would probably call the cops rather than thank the thief.

President Bush’s latest gimmick to stimulate the economy by giving back to taxpayers $800 of their own money is the Washington equivalent of the “generous” thief. The biggest fairy tale in Washington isn’t Barack Obama’s voting record on the war in Iraq, but the notion peddled by Republicans and Democrats alike that the government has a big pot of its own money that it generously gives to people by “injecting” it into the economy as a stimulus.


RTWT.

In a nutshell: The best way to help people in trying economic times is to let them keep more of the money they earn, rather than grinding, seasoning, and extruding it through the pork processing plant we call the United States Congress.

The fact that your average fourth-grader can figure this shit out goes far in explaining why those in Washington seem to be having so much difficulty wrapping their severely atrophied brains around the subject.

(link via Glenn Reynolds)


Monday, January 21, 2008

From the Deptartment of Misleading Ledes

Check out the opener from this AP story out of San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - In an apparent case of road rage, a motorist shot a driver to death who threatened him with a baseball bat.


"Road rage"? Try "lawful self defense".

Read on.

Police said that the shooting just after midnight on New Year's Day appeared to be in self-defense, so they didn't plan to charge 24-year-old Brian Correa.

"It was apparent to us that he was defending himself," said police spokesman Sgt. Gabe Trevino, who added that the shooter had a license to carry a concealed weapon.


Of course, Hillary Clinton and Rosie O'Donnell would be sleeping more soundly tonight had this story ended with a defenseless non-aggressor getting the interior of his Camaro decorated with brain.

(heads-up from NewsBusters)


This Is Not Your Father's Roslindale

It seems my old Boston neighborhood of Roslindale is seeing more than its share of "excitement" these days. I'm so sorry I moved out.

Not.

First up, the story of a Boston police officer (20-year veteran) who decided to bring in a little money on the side by robbing a gas station in Roslindale at gunpoint, using his BPD-issued sidearm. His lawyer, needless to say, is taking the "he's under a lot of stress" route in his defense.

Get your scorecards ready. It will be interesting to see what punishment the Bay State Justice for Special People Handbook recommends, given that shooting a police officer at close range and driving away in a drunken stupor barely registers as a blip on the "Severity of Punishment" charts therein.

It wouldn't shock me, in the least, if this latest incident of "cop gone bad" were to be chalked up as an unfortunate "accident", resulting in no prison time for the man who robbed and threatened the lives of at least two innocent people that day.

Shortly after Officer Scumbag was pinched for that armed robbery, another of Boston's fine, upstanding citizens, oops, I mean, violent gang members, was gunned down in Roslindale by another violent gang member as he sat with his violent gang member friends in a limousine they were riding in after having been at the funeral of yet another violent gang member.

Now, that one was clearly George Bush's fault.

If only Massachusetts would require applicants for firearms licenses to be fingerprinted prior to be given permission to own a gun. Surely, that would prove to be a most valuable tool for the police to have at their disposal when investigating these shootings.

Oh, wait...never mind.

Then, last night, two brothers who had moved from Dorchester to Roslindale were hit by gunfire after someone outside their house fired multiple rounds through a window. Both victims are in critical condition.

If only Massachusetts would pass a "common sense" ballistic fingerprinting law. Because, you know, nothing would thwart violent criminal behavior quite like the threat of having the serial number of one's stolen gun left behind at a crime scene.

And, it's only January.

The total of eight slayings three weeks into the New Year is four times the homicide rate at this time last year.


Give the string another pull, Mumbles, and get your How to Blame Others Handbook ready. It's gonna be a long year.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Attention, All Planets of the Solar Federation

The Pats have assumed control. The Pats have assumed control. The Pats have assumed control.

Despite a shaky Tom Brady, the New England Patriots were still too much for the banged-up San Diego Chargers in the AFC championship game Sunday, pulling out a 21-12 victory that sent them back to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in seven seasons.


[/rushnerd]


Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Bit Brain-Dead

Back in a bit.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Brief Refresher Course for Chris Matthews

And, I'll do him the favor of not using any of those confusing words more than two syllables long.



Background story here.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Album of the Year

I hear these guys kick some serious ass.



Background here.

UPDATE: These guys, on the other hand, suck to high heavens.



UPDATE II: Seems no one's clicking the link there. I guess there's not much point in posting the other eight album covers I came up with last night. Though, I am going to post this one. I swear, these were the randomly generated images and album titles that came up.



OK, I got a kick out of that, anyway.


Monday, January 14, 2008

What To Do With All This Snow

Build yourself an igloo, of course.

Now you know.


T.O. Pulls a Hillary

Forget baseball. There's definitely no crying in football!


As If You Needed Further Proof...

...that Boston Mayor Tom Menino is a walking bag full of stupid.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino shot to the defense of Hillary Clinton yesterday after the Democratic presidential hopeful was slammed by black leaders for saying President Lyndon B. Johnson did more to advance civil rights than Martin Luther King Jr.

There is no person in this country that did more for civil rights then Bill Clinton,” Menino said after attending a celebration of King’s life at the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury.


Rosa Parks, Ezell A. Blair Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain were unavailable for comment.

UPDATE: This might actually be a brilliant strategy on Mumbles' part. By saying something as idiotic as this, he makes Hillary Clinton shine with an aura of pure genius, by comparison.

As to Hillary's comment, that was a pretty moronic thing to say, and only served to further highlight her utter lack of anything resembling actual intelligence. The legislation Johnson signed never would have been seen the light of day without Dr. King and others bringing the issue to the forefront of the American consciousness.

Her saying that Johnson did more to advance the American Civil Rights Movement than King would be akin to me saying my oven is more responsible for the cake I just baked than were the raw ingredients.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Boston Globe:

The Boston Firefighters Union has applied for a permit to picket Mayor Thomas M. Menino's state of the city address on Tuesday.


Alternate Post Title: Fee Speech


Friday, January 11, 2008

Mumbles Menino Shows His True Colors

...again.

As anyone who hasn't been hibernating under a concrete slab knows, expanding access to healthcare for all Americans has been at the focus of every Democratic candidate's campaign this year, and has been a rallying cry for leftists from coast to coast for some time now.

So, one would think that having healthcare clinics open up in Boston, at which people were provided with easy access to affordable healthcare for minor ailments - without clogging up the emergency rooms in the area's hospitals or costing the city's taxpayers a single dime - would be a good thing, right?

Boston Mayor Tom Menino would beg to differ.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino embarked on a highly public campaign yesterday to block CVS Corp. and other retailers from opening medical clinics inside their stores, an effort that exposed a rift between Menino and the state's public health commissioner, a longtime ally.

Menino blasted state regulators for paving the way Wednesday for the in-store clinics, which are designed to provide treatment for sore throats, poison ivy, and other minor illnesses.

The decision by the state Public Health Council, "jeopardizes patient safety," Menino said in a written statement. "Limited service medical clinics run by merchants in for-profit corporations will seriously compromise quality of care and hygiene. Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong."


Translation: Allowing private sector entities to do this might just prove that free market based solutions (that don't require massive government bureaucracies to oversee the redistribution of taxpayer dollars) can, in fact, work. And that simply will be tolerated in the People's Progressive Republic of Massachusetts.

And, we know what a huge fan of free market principles old Mumbles is.

In a statement issued last night, executives of MinuteClinics said they "would be happy to talk to Mayor Menino about any of his concerns."

"We at MinuteClinic are committed to providing convenient, affordable access to quality health care," the statement said.

By issuing a broadside against the clinics and the state's approval of them, Menino placed himself squarely in opposition to a former longtime deputy, John Auerbach. Before becoming the state's public health commissioner last year, Auerbach spent nine years as executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

Auerbach's state agency yesterday released a statement defending its decision on the clincs: "The members of the Public Health Council were deliberative and thoughtful in their review of the limited service clinic regulation. We believe these types of clinics, operated either as part of a retail operation or in a nonprofit setting, can provide the public access to safe, convenient, and quality care for minor health issues."


Universal healthcare advocates are as much about providing quality healthcare for the poor as Al Gore and the IPCC are about stopping global warming.

Tear down the media-driven facade of feel-good platitudes and alarmist propaganda and you'll find, without fail, the beating heart of a power-hungry, collectivist thug.

Also blogging this...

Bryan at Hot Air:

The risk here is entirely borne by CVS and through competitive forces it might even help drive health care prices down. What’s Menino’s problem?

Oh, right. He’s a liberal big-government statist Democrat. Say no more.


Instapundit:

These kinds of clinics are getting good reviews elsewhere. Is it too cynical to suspect that the real opposition stems from fears that they will make national healthcare seem less urgent?


Not in the least.

Michael Graham:

Menino's problem is that we're going to doctors who aren't government employees. Sick people are becoming healthy without taxpayer involvement. Even worse, CVS is going to make a profit and create jobs. Menino specifically complains that CVS will lure some of the best nurse practitioners away from city-run clinics and put them in the "dreaded private sector."

For big-government advocates like Menino, this is a disaster. He wants to make every health care professional a government employee, guaranteeing us lousy government health care provided by taxpayer-funded hacks. The private sector is now offering more healthy people, higher profits and more taxpaying, private sector workers.

No wonder Menino is so mad.


UPDATE: More blog reactions.

Jed at Freedom Sight:

Earth to Menino: Doctors, clinics, and hospitals sell health care. It’s how they bring in the revenue that keeps them operating.

So in the state that made health insurance mandatory (because they think this will mean that everybody will then get health care), and will fine you if you don’t have it, they now want to make it harder for businesses to provide care? Of course, in the socialist-addled brain of Menino and company, they just don’t get that health care is a business. And that by prohibiting low-cost clinics, they’ll drive the price up.

Truly, my head explodes.


The Astute Bloggers:

Menino proves that socialists are more concerned about maintaining government power than the people.

Corporations like CVS and WALMART (WHO HAVE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE 2005!) can bring affordable care to people BETTER than the government can.

They shouldn't be attacked and burdened with outrageous barriers. They should be encouraged and praised.


A Blog For All:

Why is Mayor Menino against a program that could bring affordable health care to the public?

[...]

It's all about the money - if CVS can turn a profit on these low cost retail operations, then it shows that the government intervention into the health care market may not be necessary after all, which means big trouble for those espousing big government intervention in health care - all of the Democrats running in 2008 have proffered one version or another for government health care.


Fred Thompson Supporters Get It

No, really...we get it.


The Fred Thompson Whup-Ass Company

...is now open for business.



Fred brought the family-sized can last night, and gave Huckabee all 162 servings of it. Now, will John "I *heart* Ted Kennedy" McAmnesty be next up on the hit list. Or will it be Mitt "I *heart* Massachusetts Gun Control" Romney?

Either way, pass the popcorn!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

How's That UK Handgun Ban Working?

It's working so well that they're now looking to expand it to cover non-functioning, deactivated handguns as well.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that weapons which have supposedly been converted to make them impossible to fire - including antique weapons - could be banned by the end of the year.


Hey, you could poke someone's eye out with that thing!

File this one under: Solutions in search of a problem.

Shadow home secretary David Davis said deactivated weapons accounted for a tiny proportion of gun crime.

There were four recorded offences in England and Wales in 2005/06 in which a deactivated firearm was used, and a further four incidents involving reactivated weapons, out of a total of 21,521 recorded incidents.

Mr Davis said: "While we welcome any action, however overdue it may be, to tackle the scourge of gun crime, the Government's own figures show that in 2005/06 there were only eight incidents where deactivated or reactivated weapons were used - just 0.04% of gun offences.


It's a veritable epidemic, I tell you!!!

We need sustained action to tackle the other 99.6% of this serious problem, bearing in mind that gun violence has increased four-fold over the last 10 years."


WHAT??? That's impossible!!!

Compare and contrast.

Six years after new rules made it much easier to get a license to carry concealed weapons, the number of Michiganders legally packing heat has increased more than six-fold.

But dire predictions about increased violence and bloodshed have largely gone unfulfilled, according to law enforcement officials and, to the extent they can be measured, crime statistics.

The incidence of violent crime in Michigan in the six years since the law went into effect has been, on average, below the rate of the previous six years. The overall incidence of death from firearms, including suicide and accidents, also has declined.


Jeff Soyer: Perhaps England should ban burglary and muggings.

Racist.


I'm Not Giving Up

Neither is Morgan Hunter, a freshman at Santa Clara University:

Thompson: Strong values


For months, I have been searching for a Republican candidate that I can support for president.

I want a candidate who will uphold conservative principles and also win the general election. After watching the coverage of the Iowa Primary, I found my answer: Fred Thompson. His address to the people of Iowa clearly shows his almost Reaganesque oratory and his firm commitment to conservative ideals.

What are these ideals? Personal freedom paired with personal responsibility; limited, low-tax government; confidence in Judeo-Christian values; an embrace of the free market; and a willingness to defend these same ideals by force when necessary.


Personal responsibility: Leftist kryptonite.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

This Just In!!!

And, this time, I mean it.

I just got off the phone with a very reliable source who told me of a Massachusetts resident who drove up to Atkinson, NH (just over the MA/NH state line) yesterday, told a voting official there that he was "thinking of moving to New Hampshire", showed a Massachusetts driver's license, was handed a ballot, and was allowed to cast a vote in the New Hampshire primary.

This individual also stated that there was a significant number of cars at the polling location with Massachusetts license plates.

Begs the obvious question, exactly how many people from Massachusetts (and elsewhere) were given ballots in yesterday's election and allowed to vote?

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Don't know if this will go anywhere. I was hoping to get an "official" statement from the aforementioned individual, but I just heard from my source that he (understandably) "doesn't want to get involved".


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Done Deal

It's McAmnesty.

Grrrrrr....


Two Words

Reset button.

And, to answer SailorCurt's question...um...no comment.

UPDATE: In the comment section over at Kevin's place, NLB reader, Eric von Michigan writes:

I'm daydreaming about how this would've happened in the du Toit household. I'm picturing Son&Heir with a Swedish Mauser trained on the front door, Kim doing the same with his AK, and the women covering their 4 and 8 o'clock positions. SWAT team arrives and are mowed down, pushy paramedics shit themselves, and, being Texas, any and all charges are dropped within 24 hours of being filed.


Pretty much.


Where In the World?

It's the single biggest day in New Hampshire politics, and I'm blogging from the Great Lost Bear in Portland, Maine whilst nursing a Stone Coast IPA.

If anyone's in the area and wants to have a drink with me, drop on by. I'm the wicked sharp-looking guy at the end of the bar.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Ice Fishing - a DIY Guide

Fellow Massachusetts escapee, Jim, over at Free New Hampshire has a post up with information on a free ice fishing class in Milford, being put on by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

I'll save you all the trouble of driving to Milford by posting these free ice fishing instructions for your future use.

Ice Fishing - A "How-To" by Bruce

1. Get a bait bucket. Only a rookie "from away" shows up at the local "Bait, Bullets n' Beer" without a bucket. You don't want to start your ice fishing weekend by having the crowd of usuals assembled therein mocking you as you walk out with your Zip-Loc bag full of shiners.

2. When you've reached your destination, load up your plastic toboggan with all the supplies you'll need to set your traps, and head out onto the ice.

- Bait bucket
- Auger
- Skimmer (great for launching slush balls at your buddies when their backs are turned).
- Ice fishing traps, or "Tip-ups"
- Two cases of the cheapest beer you can find (I recommend Narragansett pounders) and at least one bottle of good Irish whiskey per person.

3. Drill holes in ice, alternating between turns at the auger and swigs of beer and whiskey. If the ice beneath your feet shifts and makes that real deep cracking sound, scream like hell and watch the "new guy" shit himself.

4. Bait and set your tip-ups.

5. Retreat to bobhouse (or cabin back on shore, as long as traps are still in your line of sight).

6. Play cards and drink. Be sure to play a few rounds of Asshole* throughout the day to determine which one of your loser friends will head out with the skimmer to break the ice in the holes to keep your traps from freezing in. Should he refuse, smack him upside the head with your cribbage board. You did bring a cribbage board, right?

7. If during the course of the afternoon, one of your flags pops up, go see if there's a fish on the other end of the line. If there is, you're doing something wrong. Repeat step 6 until you finally get the hang of it.

You're welcome.

* Caveat Imbibor: Those rules are for the sissy version of Asshole played at U. Maine Orono, in which a single 2 beats a pair and three- and four-of-a-kind. Buncha pussies.


Another Question for Mitt

While trying to differentiate between tax hikes and fee increases during last night's Republican Presidential Forum on Fox News, Mitt Romney defended his implementation of the latter thusly:

...because we had a whole series of fees that hadn't been raised, in some cases, in decades, so we brought them up to the cost of providing services. These were not broad-based fees that were required for all people to pay, rather for specialized services.


From the Boston Globe - August 2007:

Romney oversaw millions in fee hikes as Massachusetts governor

Romney's fees could also grate on some of those he is courting as he seeking the GOP nomination, including gun owners.

Under Romney's plan for Massachusetts, the cost of registering firearms would have jumped from $25 to $75. He also called for increases in the cost of firearm identification cards, application fees for a license to carry firearms, and gun dealer fees.

Gun owners said they felt unfairly targeted by Romney's proposed increases. Democratic lawmakers applauded Romney's proposal -- ultimately raising the cost of gun licenses to $100.


Ignoring for a minute the gross injustice in charging citizens 100 bucks a head for exercising a Constitutionally-protected right, I would like to ask Mitt Romney to provide a detailed cost analysis of the firearms licensing process in Massachusetts.

If, as he stated directly last night, this 300% fee increase was in fact necessary to cover the "the cost of providing" a gun license, this should be a straight-forward exercise.

Why does it cost so much to issue a gun license in Massachusetts, when just over the state line in New Hampshire, a pistol license can be had for ten dollars and not take upwards of three months to issue.

You would think someone who portrays himself as such a shrewd businessman could find a more efficient and cost-effective way to deal with the issue of gun permitting.

If a restaurant was charging ten times as much for a cheeseburger as a competing restaurant down the street, and making you wait four hours 'til they brought it to your table, would you buy their explanation that the price difference was due to their increased cost of producing a cheeseburger identical (or, in most cases, inferior) to the competition's?

Of course, one only has to read the actual text of the current law to see what a disingenuous statement [read: lie] that was on Mitt's part.

The fee for an application for a license issued under this section shall be $100, which shall be payable to the licensing authority and shall not be prorated or refunded in case of revocation or denial. The licensing authority shall retain $25 of the fee; $50 of the fee shall be deposited into the general fund of the commonwealth; and $25 of the fee shall be deposited in the Firearms Fingerprint Identity Verification Trust Fund.


Two words: Money. Grab.

And, as to the $25 that goes to the "Firearms Fingerprint Identity Verification Trust Fund", whatever the hell that is, I'd ask, "How many crimes have been solved in Massachusetts by tracing fingerprints found at a crime scene back to the fingerprint card of a crime suspect, I mean, gun license applicant?".

Wow! That many, huh?

You would think that Mittt Romney, someone who portrays himself as such a fiscal conservative, would have expressed some interest in eliminating such wasteful state spending.

Well, you would, if you weren't a politician from Massachusetts more concerned with fleecing the law-abiding taxpayer than with treating people fairly and respecting their individual rights.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Why Mess With Perfection?

Chocolate Mix Skittles.

Don't bother.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's About Time, Dammit

AP:

Add Most Valuable Player to all the other accolades Tom Brady has been collecting.

[...]

The New England Patriots' record-setting quarterback drew all but one vote Saturday in romping to The Associated Press 2007 NFL MVP award in the same manner his team romped through its schedule, going 16-0. On the way to the first unbeaten regular season since Miami went 14-0 in 1972, Brady put on a performance for the ages.


Note, no MVP in the seven years prior has gone on to win the Super Bowl (thanks in part to Brady and the Pats, of course).

2007 -- Tom Brady, New England, QB
2006 -- LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego, RB
2005 -- Shaun Alexander, Seattle, RB
2004 -- Peyton Manning, Indianapolis, QB
2003 -- Peyton Manning, Indianapolis, and Steve McNair, Tennessee, QBs
2002 -- Rich Gannon, Oakland, QB
2001 -- Kurt Warner, St. Louis, QB
2000 -- Marshall Faulk, St. Louis, RB


Kurt Warner was the last MVP to pick up a ring (1999).


Huckadink

Via Hot Air (source link please, guys):

[Huckabee's] aides are wary of New Hampshire. “It’s all no tax, no government there,” said Bob Wickers, a top strategist. “It’s not ideal.” But they believe that the message of economic anxiety that he preaches will help in Michigan’s primary on Jan. 15 and in states in the South, which have high poverty rates in addition to strong groups of social conservatives.


I guess it all depends on one's definition of "Up yours, asswipe!".

UPDATE: Here's the link.


A Little More Info On This, Please

Chicago Sun Times:

Published reports that Fred Thompson soon will withdraw from the Republican presidential contest and endorse Sen. John McCain have been traced in part to Mitt Romney's campaign, trying to stir up strife between McCain and Thompson.


If this is proven to be true, I will definitely be casting my vote for Mitt Romney - not in the Republican Primary, of course, but in the upcoming "Which candidate would you most like to kick in the groin?" contest.


The Outsourcing of America

Just a quick follow-up this morning on my earlier post about the flood of cheap, poorly made (and don't forget toxic) products washing up on our shores, courtesy of Red China.

I installed yet another "Pride of China" faucet yesterday, an aptly-named "Pfister" (a company now owned by Black & Decker), which my customer had purchased at the local Lowe's. Got it all hooked up, opened the valves underneath, turned the water on and off, and...

drip...drip...drip...drip...

Defective hot water valve.

It's not that I should have been all that surprised. Three of the last four Chinese-made fixtures and faucets I've put in have had significant problems that required either a return trip to the store for replacement parts, or a purchase of additional parts and added labor costs for proper installation.

The next time you're in a big-box home improvement store, see how many products you can find that were made in the USA. I went to buy an extension cord the other day, and Home Depot had two or three, out of dozens, that weren't made in China (made in the Philippines).

China is flooding the American marketplace with cheap merchandise, and we're making it all possible by buying it up, all because of (A) the lower prices and (B) there simply aren't a lot of these products being made in America anymore.

I won't pretend to be intimately familiar with all the intricacies involved in foreign trade, but from where I'm sitting, it would appear as if we are being "out-capitalismed" by the largest Communist country on the face of the planet!

All the while, the Democrats in Congress - and those running for president - are pushing a platform of collectivism, redistribution of wealth, and a massive expansion of centralized governmental power that would make Trotsky blush with pride.

To a man (for lack of a better term) they are all running on the promise of more corporate tax hikes, which will drive up the cost of doing business, make it even harder for American businesses to remain competitive in the global marketplace, and will bring about even more outsourcing of American jobs to countries that most certainly do not have our best interests at heart.

And, in cases where the manufacturer or service provider decides to stay in the country, just who do these big-government liberals think will be paying for this increase to their bottom line?

When the cost of oil goes up, what happens to the price of gas at thew pump?

When the orange crops get damaged by an early frost, what happens to the price of orange juice?

When regulatory and licensing fees are increased, on to whom will those increased costs be passed as a result.

Christ, people, my five-year-olds can understand this simple concept. Not too surprising, seeing how their mental capacity has that of the average liberal in beat by about two years. Then again, these are the same people who turn a blind eye to countries that imprison political dissidents, while they march in the streets of Berkeley wearing t-shirts calling America a terrorist nation.

Higher taxes hurt everyone and degrade the quality of life for all of us, regardless of socio-economic status (with the exception of over-bloated governmental bureaucrats and the hordes of people who they've roped into becoming dependent on their taxpayer funded entitlement programs).

But, then again, the quality of life of the average American has never been at the top of their priorities list.

Hear this...November '08 will be much more than just another election.

It will be a battle for the very identity of America.

Our national sovereignty and economic standing in the world are on the line, and I don't intend on surrendering one inch to the forces that would strip me of my freedom, my individual liberties, and my dignity.

Nor, will I ever purchase a faucet manufactured outside the USA.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Here's a Real Stunner!

The "journalists" at The Politico (link omitted intentionally...screw 'em) have written another dreadfully misleading anti-Fred Thompson hit piece, as they continue their never-ending quest to undermine Thompson's campaign through the blatant dissemination of misinformation, truth-bending, and good old-fashioned lies.

And, once again, there's video of the event in question that amply demonstrates just how full of crap these useless hacks are.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Gun Control...

...because some asshole's right to jump out of his car at an intersection and beat another driver's brains out of his head with a baseball bat is more sacrosanct than the other driver's right to prevent him from doing so.

Let's make this one a double, barkeep.

Gun Control...

...because the right of some scumbag to rob a grocery store and terrorize the customers and employees therein is more sacrosanct than the right of one of those customers to prevent him from doing so.

Violent criminals at the mercy of decent, law-abiding citizens: One of the fringe benefits of living in a free society where people have the right to defend themselves.

Decent, law-abiding citizens at the mercy of violent criminals: One of the costs of living in an authoritarian police state where only lawmakers and lawbreakers are afforded that privilege.

Night, meet day.


Having Trouble Falling Asleep?

Watch a caucus.

Like watching fingernails grow.

Minus the excitement.


Only Thompson...

Quote of the Day:

Only Thompson has a true conservative platform to defend life, liberty and American sovereignty. Only Thompson is advancing a compelling program for economic growth by controlling entitlement spending, unleashing innovation and making the American Dream real for every taxpayer. Only Thompson is committed to strengthening both our military and our intelligence and rallying the country for what must be a protracted struggle against jihadism.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Crappy Products du Jour

In no particular order...

1) Kobalt tile and glass drill bits

Had to run a line for an ice maker from behind a kitchen fridge, through a tiled floor to the copper water line in the basement below. I knew the bit I had was too small (not to mention, I had no idea where it was at the time), so I grabbed a set of these (similar bit here) of bits at my local Lowe's(tandards).

For the record, when making such purchases, I will always check to see where the product was made, and opt for the products made in the USA, or at least made in a free, western nation, the name of which doesn't rhyme with vagina.

Needless to say, 98.3% (by my estimates) of all the items for sale at Lowe's, including the aforementioned drill bits, do not come from such a place.

These things are junk. I couldn't get one hole in one tile before snapping the heads off of two of these bits in the process. The last time I bought a bit for ceramic tile, it was at a Home Depot about 10 years ago (a Dewalt bit, I think). That one bit made short work of every piece of tile I took it to.

2. In-Sink-Erator Hot Water Dispenser - Model H-WAVESN-SS

There's nothing wrong with this product from a functionality point of view. You hit the lever and really friggin' hot water comes out. It's the design and marketing of the thing that suck to high heavens.

Like many faucets, there's a threaded shank that extends from the base of the fixture, through the countertop, where it is secured with a nut of some kind. Simple enough, right.

Not quite.

If you are installing this hot water dispenser in a granite countertop, or any countertop thicker than 3/4" (i.e. 99.2% of all new countertops) you will need to buy an extension for the threaded shank (see pic below) that will set you back another $17 or so. And, even then, if your countertop is less than 1.5" thick (again, MOST new countertops), the "collar" on the extension will extend below the bottom surface of the countertop, preventing the nut from tightening to the surface all the way. I had to make a 1/2" thick wooden spacer to fit over this collar in order to install this fixture securely.



An unintentional design flaw, or a scumbaggy way of juicing the customer for an extra 17 bucks? I know my answer.

3. Hitachi Quick Change Countersink

Nothing wrong with these countersinks, per se, but the drill bits that come with 'em are about as strong as Hillary Clinton's commitment to preserving Americans' gun rights. Any guesses as to where these aren't made?

These pieces of crap should come with a warning label telling the user not to use on anything harder then white pine.


4. What happened to Kohler?

(hint: rhymes with "made in china")

In the span of one week, I had two Kohler products that had to be returned for defects. One was a one-piece toilet with a crack in the bottom, that leaked on every flush. The other was a Forte kitchen faucet with a bad valve inside that dripped. I used to consider Kohler a reputable brand name. Now, not so much.

That's all for now.

I'll have more later, I'm sure.

And, remember, China is, and always has been, the enemy.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Making the Right Career Choice

From WBZTV.com:

[Tom] Brady's baseball prowess got him drafted in the 18th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball draft as a catcher by the Montreal Expos.


Is This January 1st or April 1st?

Had to ask, after seeing this over at NewsBusters.

The new year is beginning with some very serious shots being fired across the bow of the manmade global warming myth and at alarmists using it to advance their deplorable agendas.

Moments after Investor's Business Daily presaged that "2008 just might be the year the so-called scientific consensus that man is causing the Earth to warm begins to crack," the New York Times of all entities published a rather shocking piece pointing fingers at folks like Nobel Laureate Al Gore for being part of a group of "activists, journalists and publicity-savvy scientists who selectively monitor the globe looking for newsworthy evidence of a new form of sinfulness, burning fossil fuels."

This from the New York Times?


Nice.

UPDATE: To save you the trouble of clicking through, here's the bit from Investor's Business Daily referenced above.

Eight Possibilities Heading Into '08

[...]

2. Global Warming 'Consensus' Fades

If 2007 was the Year of Al Gore, with his movie, Academy Award and Nobel Prize, 2008 just might be the year the so-called scientific consensus that man is causing the Earth to warm begins to crack.

The fissures started to show in 2007: Prominent French physicist Claude Allegre called Gore a crook and equates Gore's French followers with religious zealots. Weather Channel founder and meteorologist John Coleman said global warming is "the greatest scam in history." Gore continued to duck open invitations to debate his theory. More than 400 scientists disputed the global warming claims.

Though they were shut out of the meeting, dissenting scientists were able to get a bit of media attention at the December climate conference in Bali.

Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told us that it will take several years for the climate change scare to finally die. But the death spiral will begin at some point, and it looks like the spinning will start in '08.