Showing posts with label Slime and Punishment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slime and Punishment. Show all posts

Feb 2, 2015

Milton Friedman and the .177 Assault Rifle

In a little town about 25 miles down the road,  this guy and two buddies walk into this other guy's yard. We don't know why.  The guy in the house steps out and shoots him in the arm. There's a call to the cops, then a trip to the emergency room. It's broad daylight, about 11 a.m.

The shooter gets charged with assault. We know nothing more of the shot guy, but "treated and released" is a good guess because "... .177 caliber air rifles" don't usually create major trauma*, although some are notorious for huge magazine capacities.

On-line court records help put little stories like this in perspective. Each man has, while still in his early 30s, earned a rap sheet filling more than a screen. It's mostly idiotic driving, but your occasional theft, burglary, and assault charges lard the records, and it is fair to suggest that both have been on quite cordial terms with ethanol products.

The shooting earns these few words of mention because I have just been idly browsing the Friedmans' "Free to Choose." Milton and his woman note a valid community interest in restricting liberty for those few persons who are not "responsible."

And isn't that a difficult line to draw?

I submit, however, that the sane folks of a community might fairly judge anyone earning two or three legitimate busts every year as irresponsible. They might also be permitted to supervise the dippydoos a little more closely such as, for instance, taking away their BB guns and using miscreant  knees as  fulcrums to turn them into  croquet hoops.

Sounds cruel.  "Oh God!! Vigilantism!" Maybe so, but if Skidmore folks had tried it much earlier in his life, Ken McCoy might have lived to a ripe old age.


*You need to be careful, though, remembering that it's all fun and games until someone puts an eye out.

Dec 24, 2014

Another Shot in the Dark (or) Fleet Street Explains All

One event.  Two headlines and two ledes:


Tense scenes in Missouri after police shoot another black teen 


(Reuters) - An 18-year-old black man was shot and killed by police late on Tuesday at a gas station in a St. Louis suburb near where unarmed teen Michael Brown was killed by a white officer in August, police and local media said.



BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) -- A suburban St. Louis police officer shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at him at a gas station, police said.

Well done, Reporter  Suhr, with a nod to your editors on the St. Louis bureau night desk.


Each version appeared about the same time, shortly before 7 a.m. Each reporter  had access to the same information.

It took Reuters five paragraphs to get to the second most important point: The dead man had pointed a pistol at the cop.   Reporter Johnson and his editors decided Ferguson and  its protests were more important than the apparent facts in their spot news report. What's a little incitement to riot  when you are reaching for headline drama?

Dec 16, 2014

Most depressing; guns all over the place

Down Under

This guy Monis is a follower of Mohammad, maybe only incidentally to the point here.

Not incidentally,  he has long been credibly implicated in hate-mail harassment, rape, and murder. He is also a resident of an Australia approaching its third decade of "no guns" -- except for guys like him, thugs.

One of the first guns Canberra banned back in the 1990s was the pump shotgun,  which is what Monis used to take a restaurant full of hostages and set off a three-fatality scuffle down in Sydney yesterday.  He invaded the joint knowing that none of his victims had the slightest chance of opposing him with equal force. Law-abiding subjects of the Queen, they meekly surrendered their self-defense rights years ago.

He would have lacked that confidence in much of the United States where any large random gathering may easily contain a few law-abiding citizens of the Republic, armed and quite willing to meet his force with their own.

No one pretends that victims shooting back create soft and lovely resolutions to murderous situations. When a thug waves his gun, any time, any place, the atmosphere becomes ugly and bloody,  but some immediate equality of force between the good guys and the bad leads to the chance of a better solution than, "Oh My, Cyril, I do hope someone has notified the authorities."

His religion is mentioned above only to highlight the handiest excuse for Hellish evil, the faith factor, not exclusive to Islam.  His lawyer explains:

"This is a one-off random individual ... “His ideology is just so strong and so powerful that it clouds his vision for common sense and objectiveness,” the lawyer said.

Or, in other words, if your deity tells you to do something, go ahead, no matter how horrid. We will understand and make appropriate allowances.


In Newtown

One of the back doors to citizen disarmament  has for decades been intimidation of the industry that makes self-defense possible. A thug commits mayhem, sue the businesses.

And no nonsense seems too weak for a certain kind of special pleader:

“The AR-15 was specifically engineered for the United States Military to meet the needs of changing warfare,” attorney Josh Koskoff said in a release. “In fact, one of the Army’s specifications for the AR-15 was that it has the capability to penetrate a steel helmet.”

As though that is something new and  awesomely surprising.

Josh, it gives me a certain amount of pain to tab you as an historical  illiterate, or a charlatan, or both. (Though, on second thought, not all that much pain.) Military and civilian desire for powerful projectiles goes back at least  to the earliest days of the steel helmet. We can easily imagine a  Camelot wherein Arthur pines for a crossbow bolt powerful enough to "penetrate the steel helmet" of Lancelot  for diddling Guenevere. It is all very unpleasant, but hardly a cogent legal argument.

You may or may not get some mileage out of your negligent entrustment theory, but you merely pollute the atmosphere with bullshit when you spew such steel-helmet nonsense, probably designed, now that I think about it,  to begin polluting the jury pool.  Nothing like a good round of hysteria to get folks in a proper lynching mood.

Dec 13, 2014

Sin and Degradation in Everly

As you can imagine, it is a challenge to write about this without descending into the most adolescent depths of punnery.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office says a 17-year-old juvenile female is accused of supplying the vodka-soaked cherries to a 16-year-old juvenile male.

I limit myself to observing once again that some guys have all the luck.

Feb 23, 2014

Scatter shots; Indian Country

Somebody loved those four shot-dead Paiutes up in the high desert of backwater California, 200 miles or more from the nearest Starbucks. The accused, a bully, probably also had her admirers, perhaps even as many friends as tattoos.

The universe of this chaos is small, 35 members of a federally recognized tribe in and around Alturas and Cedarville, California. Together they own a 26-acre reservation, a "rancheria" in local lingo.

Ms. Cherie Lash Rhoades was chief of the tribe until it fired her as the FBI investigated missing tribal funds, about $50,000.

Money. If it isn't sex, it is money, isn't it? Cherchez la femme or her man; that petering out, cherchez l'argent.

L'argent here is $1.1 million in one year, 2012. At its source, the figure is much higher, allowing for normal government overhead. First you -- and I mean you -- must earn it; the IRS must extract it from you; the money must be trundled from Treasury to the Department of the Interior to its Bureau of Indian Affairs and finally to whom ever handles the net tribal take --  the $1.1 million -- for 35 souls. All along the twisty route beady little eyes dart about as greedy little fingers dip and dip and dip.

Of course you just fingered your little calculator and said "wow!" That amounts to $31,428.57 per Paiute. Assuming they family-up at roughly the national all-races average, you multiply by 3-plus for something like $95,000-plus per family. They could afford a Starbucks and professional aromatherapists.


This is not totally fair. The AP reports that about half the money goes for roads.

Or maybe it is. The little tribe also gets a few dollars from the Indian-casino industry, a federally protected activity. There's income from cheap (because untaxed) smokes. One assumes that Jerry Brown's California also contributes, assuaging its guilt for what we did en route to our Manifest Destiny.


Guilt is justified to one degree or another, but as time passes it should moderate.*  We White Eyes murdered our last Redskins in job-lot quantities more than 124 years ago, on the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. We killed about 150, many or most with Hotchkiss guns, a weapon notorious for non-discrimination among braves, little old grandmas, and babes-in-arms.

But over that five or six generations, amends have been made, or attempted, however misguided and inept.  The results are mixed, at best, and on average probably well illustrated by the grief among the 31 surviving Paiutes of  Alturas, a grief rooted in the outcome of condeming a race to permanent wardship.

I wonder what would happen if we decided to end it over next two generations with what once was fashionably called "tough love."

"Here is the school. It's free. It is your gateway to the pride of self-sufficiency. Don't fuck it up."


Humility requires a qualification of everything above. Maybe the killer was just crazy as Hell and would have run amok in any society in which she found herself.

And finally, it might be suggested that she would have created less tragedy had she been confronted with counterforce the second she displayed one of her two pistols.  Unfortunately it happened in California where practical counterforce is reckoned to be calling the cleanup service, available through 911.


*If not, I am personally entitled to vast sums from Her Majesty's exchequer in recompense for my family's Annaly estates, stolen at gunpoint by English thugs  c. 1400-1700.

Feb 1, 2014

I'll go quietly officer

The drone from the Drug Enforcement Administration hovers outside my window.  It records my crime and transfers the evidence to a national drug-criminal database. With luck I can cop a plea.

The Ivory Tower is deciding that free-range coffee is an addictive drug. It demands discipline and suggests that everything ought to be labeled as to caffeine content.  Alert the FDA and, of course, copy the DEA.

Juliano (the expert)  says that in order to avoid any potentially serious withdrawal symptoms, people should limit their daily caffeine consumption to 400mg, two to three 8-ounce cups of coffee.

Can a law be far away?

A couple of things here:

--The "study" is 40 years late.  The noted academician James Michener reported the facts in 1974  in his doorstop Centennial. Most of you will recall his case study of the high-plains farm wife who went bugdoozy when the coffee ran out one wild and isolated winter.

--Personally, I could never befriend anyone who drinks from or serves in an 8-ounce cup.  Wimps and wusses have their place in the world,  but if I'm in a sewing mood and want a thimble, I won't ask you to fill it with Folgers first.

Oh, and before I pour my third (big) cup of the morning and take my leave, a suggestion. Call your broker. Dump Starbucks.

Aug 20, 2013

Alert; Old Fart with Gun

Now that's cool and might start a trend . Cap the home-invading bastard and then call 911. "No hurry guys. He's bleeding out on the linoleum.We'll have a snack  for ya' when ya" get here."


Life is fairly  forgiving. You can make some whopping mistakes without becoming dead on a nice old lady's kitchen floor. Rodney Long managed it though.

He was in trouble, of course, for breaking jail, shooting a deputy sheriff, stealing the patrol car, crashing it, and leading Iowa  cops on a merry chase through the woods and fields . Had his misjudgements ended there, he might have survived to metabolize at citizen expense for decades to come.

His deanimating mistake was waking Mr. and Mrs. Mauderly in their rural home last evening and waving his pistol around for a few hours. First reports say  71-winter Jerome did the shooting. Then Carolyn, 66, made the phone call, and, if she plays true to our hospitable form,  some nice cookies for the nice young officers who had been traipsing around the section for about four days.

Today's debate resolution: Resolved: That a private citizen should never take the law into his or her own hands.

I will defend the negative.


(Lots of details still unreported.)

Jul 31, 2013

Bradley Manning (2)

Manning took an oath and violated it. Pledging to defend the Constitution and obey lawful orders from military superiors is not the equivalent of "I'll get back to you."

Setting aside the wisdom of any given foreign policy or military adventure, state secrets are necessary to implementing  those policies. There are sound practical and moral reasons for secrecy. There are none for revealing information about our military plans, abilities, or intent. Nor is there justification for publicizing our own assessment of enemy capabilities.

Manning is probably guilty of doing just that, though he may be sincere in denying intent to release operational information. That he couldn't possibly have read more than a fraction of his huge data dump is proof enough of a cavalier attitude -- at best -- toward the lives of his fellow soldiers, vulnerable in the sand and in the city rubble of the Afghanistan civil war.

Distilled to its essence, the Manning excuse constitutes a true and partially relevant statement: "Our government keeps us in the dark to avoid embarrassing itself by stamping "secret" on every report  revealing its blunders. Because citizens have no facts, they are unable to form reasonable judgements."

He violated his oath, he argues, in order to create a debate about over-classifcation for the sole purpose of making politicians and bureaucrats look good. The view that his real motivation was something else -- to be a somebody at long last  -- has merit, but the fact is that the debate occurs, a good and useful thing.

The most obvious point concerns the helicopter attack on Afghan civilians. Charitably phrased, it was an error. It may have been something more malign. In any case, who can doubt that the over-riding reason the video became top secret was someone's desire to hide the blunder, in part to protect the military from awkward questions about its tactical competence, in part to keep Afghanis from questioning our devotion to winning their hearts and minds, in sum a cover-our-ass maneuver made possible by governments' self-proclaimed right to declare anything, simply anything, a high state secret for purposes of national security.

Had Manning stopped there, his claim to moral heroism would  have been stronger.


Jul 30, 2013

Bradley Manning, Jailbird

My moral compass won't settle down to a cardinal point on the Manning case.

Begin with the boy-man himself, a classic reject by three cultures, America, Wales, and the United States Army. Even his chosen cults, the society of hackers and the community of gay men did not embrace this physical runt with anything approaching  his massive emotional needs.

Bradley Manning: The mythical Army misfit called Sad Sack, come to life and  writ large, an inept soldier made even more miserable by a an unbelievably bleak personal life,  a young man lacking even the wit to mask the manifestations of his  dispirited soul from family, chance acquaintances, and Army colleagues.

Unstressed by more responsibility than his personality could bear, Manning might have ambled through a harmless and reasonably contented life. He might have been a salesman of the year, a wheel in a local Kiwanis, president of his neighborhood home owners association -- anything that might have given him an identity short of accountability for arcane secrets to embarrass nations.

Manning did not authorize himself to sit at a computer a few key strokes away from military plans and sensitive letters between diplomats. Some one in authority gave that order, and others refused to countermand it even after he slugged a superior, locked himself in fetal positions, and posted details of his top-secret office on Facebook.  So dare we suggest courts-martial of the senior officers responsible for Manning's monstrous misassignment?


Nevertheless, he is guilty. He promised the nation he would not broadcast our leaders' nasty secrets, and he broke that promise. We are left to ponder, "How guilty?" And to consider the collateral good from his legally treasonous acts.


Jul 13, 2013

The knock-knock jury

By decree of all the news jockeys, I am required to identify this  period in American History as "Verdict Watch."

In the latest high-drama instant, the cable channel I have on for background noise has decided the jury is considering manslaughter because it asked the judge to clarify the manslaughter instruction. She responded she will do so only if they clarify what they want clarified.

It is no secret that I find Zimmerman not guilty of any crime. That was the opinion before the trial opened. After doing my damnedest to listen with an open mind, like a juror, nothing changed it.  Nor did my conviction that he is morally culpable for bad judgement.

It wouldn't surprise me if jurors are of a similar opinion but looking for a loophole to allow legal punishment for merely stupid acts.  Should that principle enter the law, about 90 per cent of us (raising hand) would be hoping for a nice, straight cellie, smaller than outselves.

Since this is one of those famous hard cases which make bad law, I doubt a manslaughter conviction will create a case-law landmark, but it would still be a setback for the moral right to defend yourself, to  turn us back into English-like subjects, strictly obligated to wait for the Bobbies as the thug bangs our head on the cobblestones.

Jul 5, 2013

Zimmernan again - a drive-by

If  Zimmerman doesn't walk, it won't be for lack of prosecutorial effort.

And if the Japanese who harbor no love for their Middle Kingdom neighbors want to create a satirical anti-Chinese anime,  all they have to do is cartoonize Dr. Bao and put his words, verbatim, in the balloons.


Jul 3, 2013


Zimmerman is not looking guilty of murder so far. I offer that after frittering away too many hours watching the trial, from the state's opening vulgarity through Barrister Knock-Knock's greeting to the jury to the Hannity interview.

He's being caught in tiny lies of the sort you and I and Mother Theresa would whip out in a flash to lipstick any incident which turned out badly for us, but his core story still  (again, so far) stands. Not even the most rabid anti-Zimmerman, errr, analysts on the teevee can make much of the "inconsistencies."

So the prosecution is left with orts for facts and is hoping, I thiink, to dress the table with two fat capons.

(1) The race bird, of course.  The accused is whitish. The dead person is blackish. Ergo malicious racial prejudice. The judge did well to keep the term "racial profiling" out of the arguments, but just plain "profiling" is kosher. She couldn't possibly have barred it without being laughed off the bench.  And can any jury, even a knock-knock jury, miss the state's intended meaning?

(2) The emo bird. It isn't hard to believe that prosecutors knew they had a rotten evidentiary case and carefully planned days of relative tedium as stage setting for the great close, parental sobs for such a good boy. Anyone -- any parent, anyway -- understands their grief and wishes to his Heaven that it had not occurred. But their anguish and our empathy have nothing to do with the facts of what happened that night in Sanford. I'm looking forward to seeing the legal artistry each side will use to persuade the jury to believe or disbelieve that.


Couple of sidebar notes:

--In the Hannity interview Zimmerman said he never heard of the Florida stand-your-ground law. Very hard to believe. I assume the state will get a few points from this.  More generally, you and I face some extra work in explaining that the Zimmerman defense has little, if anything, to do with stand-your-ground. It is a traditional self-defense case.

--The medical examiner's testimony that Zimmerman was not hurt all that badly is going to mislead a fair portion of the GED set. They will understand that a victim must reach some sort of injury threshhold before his right to defend himself kicks in.  "Okay. Ya gotta let the guy bang your head on concrete at least seven times and break your nose twice. Then ya gotta ask him nicely to stop before ya can shoot him." 


EDIT TO ADD: That didn't take long. Out of the gate the state is introducing Zimmerman's criminal justice course records to demonstrate he studied stand-your-ground. Teevee says those transcripts show him with a 1.5 GPA, and suggests defense may have to mount a stupidity response.

Jun 30, 2013

A good judge is hard to find.*

if you're looking for one, try Iowa. A guy here named David Wiggins makes his living as a supreme court justice. He keeps beating our primitives over their little statist heads, making the point that constitutions are written for reasons -- even that Fourth Amendment which makes life so inconvenient for cops.

Last week he let a drunk (but not very, .088) driver go because officers had only  a sorehead's anonymous tip to justify stopping him.

"To hold otherwise would cause legitimate concern because such tips would let the police stop persons on anonymous tips that might have been called in for vindictive or harassment purposes or based solely on a hunch or rumor." 

Thank you, Your Honor.

If you're interested in a a lucid explanation of some constitutional limits on a cop's authority to invade your privacy, the Wiggins opinion in the case (PDF) is worth a read.

This is the same guy who wrote another Fourth Amendment stunner saying that if police stop you for a piddly reason, they need to be damned careful about searching you in hopes of finding an unrelated offense. Wiggins warned them  to shape up or face the liklihood of being required to explicitly tell you, "No, you don't have to let me search you for pot just because your dog got off his leash." This is State vs. Pals.

One other reason to like this guy. He earned the hatred of Rick Santorum hard-shells in Iowa by ruling -- along with all six other justices -- that banning gay marriage violated the Iowa Constitution. Santorum's alter-ego in these parts, Bob Vander Platts, saw a fund-raising opportunity and led a successful drive to oust three of those justices.

Wiggins came up for retention one cycle later, and VDP went after him, too, but blew it. Many folks in the Vander Platts pews had become less excitable, allowing Wiggins to make his case that that the process of constitutional law was far more important than the outcome of any given issue. (As an aside, that was the same approach Bork took before an audience of excitable senators, and don't we wish he, also, had carried the day.)

I'm trying to phone His Ineptness to suggest he appoint our Justice Wiggins to oversee all FISA court cases. So far the call goes straight to presidential voice mail. I'm not really angry, though. According to the news he is up to his ears in trying to give Africa seven billion of our dollars so they can have electricity to charge their iPads, and isn't that just what we elected him to do?


*You often get the other kind.

Justice Waterman dissented in this recent case, continuing his pattern of telling Officer Fife, "Whatever Barney Wants, Barney Gets."  (The Pals case again.) Unfortunately, he's a long way from his retention vote.


Jun 14, 2013

Benghazi again, plus literary advice

A few news operations are keeping the murder-mystery alive, the one about four  dead Americans in Libya last September.


Our survivors on the ground cabled Washington about what they saw and experienced.  None mentioned righteous Islamist outrage over a goofy amateur video hardly anyone except Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton  had ever heard of.

Call those reports a set of "facts" reported to the White House, the Department of State, and an assortment of other Beltway centers for advanced white wash technology. (I use the term "facts" with caution but thoughtfully on grounds that they're closer to truth than the Rice performance on Sunday teevee.) Notice how quickly the facts turned into Suzie's odd video story which stood up for a day or two before even Chris Mathews found it untenable.

It all gets too complicated for mere day-by-day journalism, and it shouldn't be too long before the books appear. The first one to focus on the Obama/Clinton cover up should be titled: "When a Fact Hits a Whore House."

May 21, 2013

Officer Friendly Gets Your Gun

Clive's Finest found out you don't  have to pay even a pittance at gun turn-ins. . A few zippitydoodahs get fuzzy just giving their weapons to the cops. For the children, I would guess.

This one netted 51 "weapons" if you count the BB guns and broken pellet rifles along with assemblies of rusted parts which weren't worth bringing home when new.

However, I imagine gleam in some acquisitive cops' eyes.

After determining if they were stolen, police will send the guns to the state crime lab for testing. Those weapons that are not found to be linked to a crime will be destroyed.

Uh huh. "Chief, I'll just take this here Ruger home and hang it up with the other guns I'm planning to destroy." 

The bunk-junk photos reveal a few that we'd all be pleased to own and possibly a classic or two. Give me some slack for working with lower resolution images, but I notice:

A possible Black Hawk with McGiverned trigger guard, splotchy but savable ... A decent Ruger Standard ... A probable Hi-Standard Sentinel ... another HI-Standard-like semi on the order of the HD ... and something that looks at least a little like the Savage experiment with pocket autos.

But never mind. Clive is a safer burb these days. The Only One's press release says so.

May 9, 2013

Die, Tourist Scum

Let me tell you about dock law. I mean the kind of dock you fish from, and swim.

I have one across the road on the canal. It's a modest little thing. For the privilege I pay the village of Smugleye-on-Lake $100 per annum plus a little to my insurance company for an SOL-required $1 million liability policy.

To get it I had to run a nearly year-long political uprising against the SOL village council which a few years earlier decided "no new docks adjoining city right-of-way." For reasons you would find boring, this was a piece of statist, intrusive, purposeless nonsense.

We won the point. I paid the city extortion, bought the dock sections, and in two days of heavy grunt labor in cold water, installed them.  Since then I've raised and lowered the deck three or four times to maintain a convenient height above the fluctuating lake levels. Each shift eats up about a half a day.

The Iowa DNR is not to be denied, either. Until a couple of years ago, little docks like mine were called "Class 1." While you had to endure a bit of senseless paperwork to get the state permit, they were free. Then came a gleam in the collective politico-bureaucrat eye. "Hey, Sidney, if we start calling all the Class 1 docks Class 3 docks we can squeeze a $125 registration fee out of all those rich bassards by the lake." Done. Absolutely nothing in the real, physical world changed except a noticeable reduction in this rich bassard's bank account and a concomitant increase in cash for DNR drones to piss away.

One  more thing before I get to the red meat. It isn't my dock. Because it abuts a piece of property which belongs to the village (it shouldn't), every goddam fisher-couple and their six low-average kids from Humboldt,  spewing used Pampers and Lil Debbie cake wrappers in their wake,  have exactly as much right to it as I do. Yep, I clean up after them Monday mornings.


Now I note your sarcastic remark that this doesn't sound like cause to go full-Mencken.  In fact, I agree. No throat-slitting is justified, but in a just world I would be permitted, nay encouraged, to hide in the bushes and snipe at their too-tightly- jeaned fat asses with my Daisy Red Ryder just because the slobs are fouling my usufruct.

Because this morning I went down to collect the makings of my first crappie breakfast of the season.  I dressed the yellow lead-head jig with a piece of worm, tossed it in, and moved the rod butt toward my handy rod holder, attached to a dock stanchion.


What sort of snake-belly SOB goes to a bit of trouble to steal a 50-cent semi-rusty piece of iron? From a usually  harmless old guy who, as detailed above, rather heavily inconvenienced himself to enhance your weekend away from the trailer park? Jayzuss. Aren't their any garage sales in your declining neighborhood?

I will dream tonight of catching this spawn of the social cesspool and beating him  severely about his nether regions before the grand finale, to wit:  Strip and spread-eagle his Bud-Lighted carcass, pour four ounces of high-test gasoline over his pubic hair and light it off while humming the Campfire Girls' arrangement of This  Little Light of Mine.

What could be fairer?


Otherwise rather pleasant, since you're kind enough to ask. I caught many, but only four were big enough to kill. As God is my witness, God made no better breakfast than eight small crappie filets less than an hour from their spring frolic in 45-degree water to the hot cast-iron. (You fry them in about an inch of butter, just so they don't stick to the pan.)

May 7, 2013

Official announcement

The following have been called to the attention of your author who, as authorized by the High Committee of The Internet,  officially declares them boring.

--Chris Christie's lap band surgery. (For those of you without Wiki, Dr. Skilsaw cuts you open and fastens a radiator hose clamp around your upper gut system. It is supposed to make you eat less and look  more leanly presidential.)

--Lindsay Lohan, boobs and all, due to her continuing teevee interviews explaining that she really not all that much of a drug-addled nincompoop.

--The crisis of finding 12 square feet of disposal space for one of the amateur terrorists of Boston.

-- Mika Brzezinski, especially her book about the difficulty of being a bony Polish ice princess in a world of Twinkies and Ding Dongs.

-- Jodi Arias, boobs and all. (N.B.  This subject will be briefly removed from the ennui list if and when Miss Arias is found guilty and sentenced to death.  Discussion will be permitted on two narrow fronts.The first is whether any actual harm to society will be done if her existence is terminated. The second is the morality of ritualized death at the hands of the state.)

Apr 30, 2013

Stand Your Ground Defense?

Zimmerman says not yet anyway, and that's subtle good news for those of us who believe SYG is a proper legal doctrine, permitting a citizen to defend himself anywhere.

His attorneys want to gamble to the extent of hearing the state's case before abandoning the Florida SYG protection altogether. They claim the law permits a SYG hearing any time, not just before deciding on whether to risk it before going to trial. The prosecution may resist but that is  another issue.

My reading persuades me there's a near-consensus that Zimmerman has only a traditional self-defense case to make, that SYG was written and intended only to     prevent  prosecution in a clear case of defense against unprovoked attack.  Zimmerman created the confrontation when he had other reasonable options, such as calling the cops from the safety of his car.


My state had a fair chance of getting SYG protection until the Zimmerman case stopped it cold. If, when the dust settles, it can be made plain that such law is inoperative in cases like this, it will be back on the table. Talk it up.

Apr 24, 2013

Indictment Blizzard Smacks Maryland; Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

Lots of hanky panky going on in a big Baltimore jail. Narco dealing, boffing the guards, and other things that could get a guy locked up.

Thirteen female corrections officers essentially handed over control of a Baltimore jail to gang leaders, prosecutors said. The officers were charged Tuesday in a federal racketeering indictment.

The perps already adjudged guilty of something-- without need of further indictment  -- seem to make up the other 12 accused.  They're reported to be stalwarts of something called the Black Guerrilla Family.

I suppose finding this on the hilarious side makes me insensitive to cultural differences, politically incorrect if you will. Still, there's a redeeming social purpose.

What is more firmly under control of a government than its prisons? If said government cannot even maintain order there, why are we to believe that it will do a better job when placed in charge of free men and women -- our medical care system, access to the means of self-defense, and dietary habits  (care for a Big Gulp?).


Apr 22, 2013

When the cops get your guns...

I liked the list best -- 114 citizens' guns which wound up in the hands of the Fremont County sheriff's office. it suggests that folks there used to own a lot of  junk, at least those who came to the professional attention of county cops.

But among the rattletrap Rohms and Ravens lurked a SW Model 28-2,  a couple of potentially valuable Ithaca doubles, and some respectable old Winchester and Remington .22s. Not to mention around  a dozen "sawed-off" shotguns.

The sherf says he bought about $1,000 worth of them himself and  -- with court approval -- traded others to a local FFL for stuff his department could use.

It raises questions, and the state auditor is looking into things. No one else in the state bureaucracy is. The Register lede mentions possible criminal violations, but there's merely innuendo about that in the report.

Still, it is a good reminder that Officer Friendly may have a yen to grab your gun just because he thinks it would look nice hanging over the bar in his rumpus room.

And about those "sawed-offs" -- if they were sawed-off enough and transferred to the dealer without NFA paperwork, maybe we ought to send in a bureaucrat with a tape measure, sort of like the Feds did to Randy Weaver.