Instapundit reminds us that Kerry has more things for us to forget, like anti-war pamphlets that claim US troops rape and torture or that he claims to have thrown his medals over the fence at the White House.
We all must ask Governor Schwarzenegger to veto AB50. He is speaking tonight at the RNC, but he must hear the cries of gun owners that more bans are not the answer and more government regulation that wastes taxpayers money is not the answer. He may be a moderate, but he must recognize that bills should be judged on their effects and not how they make some people feel.
Soon after two Chechen women are linked to the bombings of two Russian jets, another bombs the subway in Moscow.
She "decided to destroy herself in a crowd of people" in a busy area between the subway station and a nearby department store-supermarket complex, Luzhkov said, adding that her bomb was packed with bolts and pieces of metal.
"There was a desire to cause maximum damage," he said.
That Islamic terrorists use female suicide bombers should not be a surprise after the incidents in Israel in past years, but the credibility of the Black Widows is soaring. The BBC article from September 2003 includes these statistics:
Of seven suicide attacks by Chechen separatists on Russia in the past four months, six have been carried out by women. In total the attacks have killed 165 people.
Obviously these women are motiviated by deep hatred based on the loss of loved ones. Be grateful that such things do not happen here.
We hear from Power Line that Gen. Franks told blogger's row at the RNC that he will endorse George W. Bush.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have seen a concerted effort by the Democratic smear machine attacking the President. We have heard accusations repeated as if they were the truth. The Senate Intelligence Committee has worked for over a year to find the truth. And if John Kerry had paid attention, and if John Edwards had ever showed up, they would have known the truth too. The truth is that the President's statement was "well-founded" about Iraq's intentions regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. And there was never pressure put on analysts to change their assessments on Iraq.
Today they released MoveableType v3.1 to the public.
So I upgraded my site. That didn't take too much effort. Most of the work was just being careful to clean up afterward. Few of the new features are of use to me yet, although sub-categories might be interesting. I don't have categories working the way I want yet anyway...
Well, it's an interesting beast to look at, but Beretta has released the UGB25 Xcel which features a break action for safe carry in competition. As a bonus, it's a semiautomatic that has its magazine as a open area outside of the receiver so you can see if it's got another round ready to go. Obviously magazine capacity is low.
Today's news from the electoral vote predictor, based on Strategic Vision polls, is that Bush has 280 electoral college votes, above the 270 mark needed to win. This is the first time since June that he's had winning poll results. This poll was from before the convention, so it may be related to Swift Vets more than a normal convention bounce.
Full transcript here but let's boil it down to a good joke:
Maybe this explains John Edwards' need for two Americas—one where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against the same thing.
The speech seems good to me, better than McCain's, but I don't know if that's just because I don't like McCain for supporting Gun Show Bills in Oregon.
We've got transcripts, Cap'n:
It's a fight between a just regard for human dignity and a malevolent force that defiles an honorable religion by disputing God's love for every soul on earth. It's a fight between right and wrong, good and evil.
Boy, that'll warm Tammy Bruce's heart.
But there is no avoiding this war. We tried that, and our reluctance cost us dearly. And while this war has many components, we can't make victory on the battlefield harder to achieve so that our diplomacy is easier to conduct.
And that will annoy the appeasers.
He ordered American forces to Afghanistan and took the fight to our enemies, and away from our shores, seriously injuring al Qaeda and destroying the regime that gave them safe haven.
He worked effectively to secure the cooperation of Pakistan, a relationship that's critical to our success against al Qaeda.
He encouraged other friends to recognize the peril that terrorism posed for them, and won their help in apprehending many of those who would attack us again, and in helping to freeze the assets they used to fund their bloody work.
That will probably annoy the diplomats.
After years of failed diplomacy and limited military pressure to restrain Saddam Hussein, President Bush made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq.
Those who criticize that decision would have us believe that the choice was between a status quo that was well enough left alone and war. But there was no status quo to be left alone.
The years of keeping Saddam in a box were coming to a close. The international consensus that he be kept isolated and unarmed had eroded to the point that many critics of military action had decided the time had come again to do business with Saddam, despite his near daily attacks on our pilots, and his refusal, until his last day in power, to allow the unrestricted inspection of his arsenal.
Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war.
It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Not our critics abroad. Not our political opponents.
And that will annoy the French.
And certainly not a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls.
Michael Moore is a reasonable target of rhetoric. He's been left alone too long.
But remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals, and our unconquerable love for them.
Can't we all just get along?
Here's the thing. If you spent the last twenty years raising taxes, voting 350 times for higher taxes, and you spent the last twenty years voting against the weapons systems that were the key to winning the cold war, that are key to winning the war on terror, you missed three out of four Intelligence Committee meetings, then voted to pull five billion dollars out of intelligence; when you say that a girl in school need parental consent to get [unintelligible] but not for an abortion—if that's your record, you'd also run from it.
From the beginning, their campaign has been the one where the last twenty years didn't happen, [they're] going to talk about thirty-five years ago, because you can't defend the last twenty years. It's the Rip Van Winkle campaign—they've been asleep for the past twenty years.
These days I'd suspect the “unintelligible” part was “aspirin.” but certainly not “a condom.”
You know I like graphs. From the Detroit News we have this summary of the effects of the Bush tax cuts. The tax burden shifts a little more towards the rich (not the middle class) but everyone has benefitted by lower taxes.
This pretty much settles it. With the same explosive, hexogen, found in both jets it's pretty obvious that the Russian airliners were downed by terrorism. With the death of a package bomber today in the Chechen elections it's also clear that the "disrupt the election" strategy of terrorism is alive and well over there.
Many of the 9/11 plotters originally were going to Chechnya but were redirected by Bin Laden to anti-American activities. While Bin Laden has focused on us, there are plenty that want terrorism in Chechnya.
Via Captain Ed we discover the arrest of two conspirators looking to set off bombs in the New York subway. The Captain believes this is the beginning of a large sweep to get all the known conspirators of various plots before the convention.
The Sportsment for Kerry Edwards? web site is a great resource for gun owners should not support Kerry, or Edwards. Edwards is more likely to skip a vote than vote against gun owners, but that's hardly friendly either, eh?
I forget where I learned this definition, but I've long believed that politics is the art of generating consent. I watched the implosion of the Libertarian Party of Oregon over factionalism (eventually one side gave up because the fight was emotionally exhausting), I have left a board because they black-balled a new member because of his association with another organization, I have been involved in the form of a Bylaws committee member trying to fix some dreadfully written bylaws, by trying to save ASLET from giving too much power to a faction which selected a powerful executive director.
In all of these cases the problem can from elevating personal interests over the interests of the membership. In all of these cases I was close to the only one that understood Roberts Rules of Order, and the principles behind them, in that the rules are there in order to preserve the rights of minorities as well as the rights of the membership. In every case I heard myself say, more than once, that it would be inappropriate to perform some radical action without the consent of the membership because otherwise authority would be exceeded.
In only one case did things go to the legal arena. From what I've seen of the judge's reaction to the cases (there were several) I have been correct in what I knew the principles were.
The latest implosion I am observing is that of KMPRO, an organization dedicated to the profession of knowledge management. I know I keep an eye on a lot of professions (business administration, project management, software engineering, et al.) but this was an interest of mine after reading The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge. I took the plunge and put in a membership fee in order to read the "KMBOK", the Knowledge Management Body of Knowledge. I was unable to read it on the web site for months (and still can't today).
It turns out that a massive fight is going on within KMPRO's Board of Directors. Lately I have been asked to pick a faction and provide by proxy to a meeting that is coming up in Virginia in a few days. While both sides like to write me emails that are really novellas, there is one that seems a little more in touch with the interests of the membership than the other.
I sure hate watching organizations eat themselves. I'll see how things turn out as I try to resove their debate a little with some poking and prodding. I am rather happy that they made a mailing list for the membership to learn about the issues and actually ask questions. That is something that the other three organizations I've been involved with were not able to do. Something like 5% of the LPO membership was on a mailing list, 2% of ASLET, and the final organization did not have a email list at all.
We wake up this morning to analysis results from Russia along with a claim of responsibility from a Chechen separatist web site.
"According to preliminary information, at least one of the air crashes ... has been the result of a terrorist act," a spokesman for the Federal Security Service, Sergei Ignatchenko, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
So, apparently, we don't have to believe in coincidences.
So this time you’ve got a candidate named John Kerry who had a good record in Vietnam, came back from the service, denounced the war, in effect, trashed the Americans who were still fighting there. Went before a Senate committee in April of 1971, threw away his ribbons or his medals or whatever and now is standing before the American people and saying you’ve got to elect me because I’m this Vietnam hero.
John Kerry’s a friend of mine. I sent a signal about two or three months ago on television, “John, back off. You know, cool it. Don’t make the Vietnam War the centerpiece of your campaign.” But he’s got a problem, because he spent 20 years in the Senate and doesn’t have much to show for it.
Dole really doesn't need Viagra, he's going strong.
Today's Swift Vet advertisement features Steve Gardner pointing out Kerry's lie about Christmas in Cambodia, as if the point needed to be underscored.
Interesting additions to this well-developed story: Gardner points out he was with Kerry the longest and that Kerry was not in Cambodia in December or January.
The George Bush blog picked up on an editorial by the Oregonian's David Reinhard that covered a topic that I mentioned early in this blog here. Reinhard's quote goes one further point out the Kerry mixed message on being the anti-war candidate as well.
Despite the comment I received that the captain of the ship has to respond more quickly than a deckhand, I would say that a better analogy is that the captain of the ship needs to keep the passengers calm until his advisors can articulate to him what he needs to decide. The captain was in the dining room, not on the bridge where the attack was taking place. Possibly, going to the bridge would have been a good way to decapitate the ship.
Anne Coulter has written a new column, “Admitted War Criminal Cries Foul.” She reviews the treatment of O'Neill on O'Reilly and Hardball. While she only picked on O'Reilly for not having a strong position, she feels O'Neill didn't get to finish many of his setences on Hardball and then notes Chris Matthew's challenge:
I'll be glad to clock you, John, on how many minutes you spoke on the show. So don't try that old trick.
Anne, being industrious, gets out her calculator:
Total words by book author John O'Neill: approximately 1,150. (Complete sentences devoid of Matthews interruptions: about 2.)
Total words by paid Kerry flack Hurley: approximately 950.
Total words by Matthews, excluding host prattle (“Welcome back to 'Hardball'!”): approximately 2,290.
I never saw the show, but I heard it described as an ambush by some, and unfair by many. Since it has been rumored that the GOP is encouraging its membership to no longer appear on the show, I wondered how bad it could be. If you go on the show to talk about something and only get 35% of the coverage, and even then you are interrupted before you can make a point, I can see why you'd hesitate.
McQ at QandO has posted a wrap-up of stories and missteps about the seared memories of Kerry in Cambodia, Christmas Eve, 1968. The story changes so rapidly not every Kerry advisor is up-to-date on talking points. No wonder there are rumors about Hillary becoming Kerry's Minister of Truth. She's better at getting everyone on the same page.
Kerry sent former Senator Max Cleland to Crawford, Texas to ask Bush to please make the Swifties stop attacking Kerry's war record (which has more holes than his swift boat).
The Bush campaign response was even more devastating than the first:
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up. There is no double standard for our right to free speech. We all earned it.
You said in 1992 “we do not need to divide America over who served and how.” Yet you and your surrogates continue to criticize President Bush for his service as a fighter pilot in the National Guard.
The response was not from Bush himself, but these fine fellows:
Texas State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson
Rep. Duke Cunningham
Rep. Duncan Hunter
Rep. Sam Johnson
Lt. General David Palmer
Robert O'Malley, Medal of Honor Recipient
James Fleming, Medal of Honor Recipient
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Castle (Ret.)
The Kerry implosion may not be televised, but we will know about it anyway.
Although Captain Ed and others have mentioned it before, the Washington Times highlights the diary entry where on December 11, 1968 Kerry claims the crew had not been shot at before, after the December 2, 1968 incident which lead to Kerry's first purple heart.
"A cocky feeling of invincibility accompanied us up the Long Tau shipping channel because we hadn't been shot at yet, and Americans at war who haven't been shot at are allowed to be cocky," wrote Mr. Kerry, according the book Tour of Duty by friendly biographer Douglas Brinkley.
Full analysis appears today at Instapundit.
So, the Bush campaign's chief lawyer has resigned because he has also been advising the Swift Vets. However, the Kerry campaign shares a lawyer with American Coming Together and they don't think it's a big deal.
Ever want to read The New Soldier, written by John Kerry after he got back from Vietnam? Well, despite the fact that it's out of print you're in luck. It's posted online here.
Joe Waldron and Dave Workman have written a column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the fear, uncertainty, and doubt used to sell the Assault Weapons Ban.
One of my favorite quotes from the column is from John Sugarman of the Violence Policy Center:
The weapons' menacing looks coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semiautomatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase that chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.
The column comes to this conclusion:
Anti-gunners want to ban guns, period, no matter how they mask it, or how they accomplish it.
That's certainly true, whether or not they admit it. At least it appears they are losing their fight.
Since Putin has mobilized the Federal Security Service (abbreviated in Russian as FSB) we would assume that they suspect terrorism as well. However, the FSB released a statement that indicates no terrorism:
Russia's main intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service, said it had found no evidence of terrorism in initial investigations at the crash sites. The FSB—formerly known as the KGB—said it was investigating all possible causes, such as technical failures, the use of poor quality fuel, breaches of fueling regulations and pilot error.
While they didn't find evidence at the crash sites, there is plenty of time to figure out what really happened. I heard on the radio this morning that both black boxes had been recovered intact.
Columnist David Limbaugh has posted an interview with John O'Neill of Swift Boat fame. Some highlights. O'Neill spends time going through the story of each medals, some of the war crime exploits, and some random questions.
My own copy of Unfit for Command arrived yesterday but I haven't had a chance to really read it. Limbaugh's interview is really a miniature version of the first half of the book, from all appearances.
KERRY: "Why are all these swift boat guys opposed to me?"
BRANT: "You should know what you said when you came back, the impact it had on the young sailors and how it was disrespectful of our guys that were killed over there."
The implosion continues...
"John Kerry called me this morning, which surprised me," Dole told radio host Sean Hannity.
"He said he was very disappointed, we'd been friends. I said John, we're still friends, but [the Swiftvets] have First Amendment rights, just as your people have First Amendment rights.
Dole told Kerry, "I'm not trying to stir anything up, but I don't believe every one of these people who have talked about what happened are Republican liars.
"And very frankly, Bush is my guy, and I'm tired of people on your side calling him everything from a coward to a traitor to everything—a deserter."
Dole said he urged Kerry, "Why don't you call George Bush today and say, 'Mr. President, let's stop all this stuff about the National Guard and Vietnam—and let's talk about the issues."
Dole said Kerry responded, "I haven't spent one dime attacking President Bush."
But the Republican war hero shot back, "You don't have to. You've got all the so-called mainstream media, plus you've got MoveOn.org and all these other groups that have spent millions and millions of dollars trying to tarnish Bush's image."
"Don't tell me you don't know what some of these people are doing," he told Kerry.
"Everybody likes quiet heroes," Dole added, saying he told Kerry, "John, everybody knows you were in Vietnam and the less you say about it, the better."
Dole said he tried to end the tense conversation cordially by telling Kerry, "I wish you good luck, up to a point."
An amazing story. When Bush is calling for an end to all the 527 attack ads, Dole is playing the traditional role of the VP: going on the offensive. Cheney has no credibility with Deaniacs, but Dole (and, unfortunately, McCain) certainly does.
I guess I'm not the only one that is annoyed by repeated "talking points" that have nothing to do with the issues. Stewart White writes about the constant drone of critical-thinking-free email and other talking points from the Deaniac fringe.
Chris Lynch has posted a timeline of the last month. There's a lot of "are you friggin' kidding me?" moments in there...
It's like we're reliving Vietnam. Now WWII vet Dole speaks out on Kerry.
Dole told CNN's "Late Edition" that he warned Kerry months ago about going "too far" and that the Democrat may have himself to blame for the current situation, in which polls show him losing support among veterans.
"One day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons," Dole said. "The next day he's standing there, 'I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran.' Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn't the only one in Vietnam," said Dole, whose World War II wounds left him without the use of his right arm.
Dole added: "And here's, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they're all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you're out."
That's sure a lot different than McCain's comments.
“I wish they hadn’t done it,” McCain said of his former advisers. “I don’t know if they knew all the facts.”
Asked if the White House knew about the ad or helped find financing for it, McCain said, “I hope not, but I don’t know. But I think the Bush campaign should specifically condemn the ad.”
When even Newsweek agrees there is trouble with Kerry's Bronze Star story, we have a fellow commander in Kerry's Silver Star story backing Kerry's story. Well, that's all right, apparently there's inconsistencies on both sides:
The Post's research shows that both accounts contain significant flaws and factual errors. This reconstruction of the climactic day in Kerry's military career is based on more than two dozen interviews with former crewmates and officers who served with him, as well as research in the Naval Historical Center here, where the Swift boat records are preserved. Kerry himself was the only surviving skipper on the river that day who declined a request for an interview.
There are no tell-tale signs that either Rood or Kerry came under heavy, intense enemy fire that day. Both boats were loaded with at least 15 VN troops and yet no injuries [were reported] from such close range of contact in such a narrow canal. Furthermore, both boats (Rood's PCF-23 and Kerry's PCF-94) were back on patrol the very next day, which strongly suggests there was never any intense enemy fire, or both boats would have suffered multiple holes in the hull that would have required repairs and delay of patrol.
And adds his own comments:
Were they under intense fire by a numerically superior foe, as Kerry's commendation claims? Looking at all of the evidence available, one would have to conclude not. Even I could hit the side of a 50-foot boat sitting dead on a riverbank across 100 feet of water with an automatic weapon, and I'm not terribly experienced with firearms. And yet we're to believe that large numbers of battle-hardened insurgents lined on both sides of that narrow canal completely missed two or three huge targets for several minutes while they were beached, and the men aboard them?
These boats aren't small. I'm pretty sure that putting significant holes in unmoving boats isn't too hard. Yet, the next day they were towing fuel bladders up the river and received light fire...
Wendell Joost, a friend of mine for the last few years on the Pacific Northwest firearms training circuit, got married yesterday. I manged to be there with a camera. While we have a large quantity of raw pictures I'm not comfortable sharing them until we have cleaned them up a little. I did send Wendell the URL so you can harass him when he's back from the honeymoon. Click the thumbnail to the left for a larger image.
Wendell has been my Master Training Counselor since 2000 when I came up to Seattle for my instructor training in Pistol and Personal Protection and when I became a Training Counselor myself. We have collaborated on instructor training (and even TC training) in Oregon, Washington and even Montana.
Wendell and Hobbit have both been active with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. While Girl Scouts can go after any merit badge a Boy Scout can get, with their local council approval, we haven't seen a lot at our Rifle Merit Badge extravaganzas. Even so, they have set up evilscoutmaster.com.
I wonder if he wants to borrow my NRA Press ID card...
From the George W. Bush Blog:
ARLINGTON, VA -- "This is a frivolous complaint that even John Kerry’s chief strategist has said they have no evidence to support. Real coordination is what John Kerry’s campaign has been engaged in with the Media Fund, America Coming Together, and MoveOn.org. The revolving door of personnel, coordinated strategies and overlapping fundraising between the Democrat 527s and the Kerry campaign is a flagrant disregard of the spirit and letter of the campaign finance reform law."
—Statement by Bush-Cheney ‘04 Spokesman Steve Schmidt
I think everyone has their cards on the table now...
FORT MYERS, United States (AFP) - Democratic White House hopeful John Kerry's campaign formally alleged that a group attacking his Vietnam war record had illegal ties to US President George W. Bush's reelection bid.
In a statement released to reporters, Kerry's campaign announced it had "filed a legal complaint against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) before the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for violating the law with inaccurate ads that are illegally coordinated with the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign."
The move by the Kerry campaign came shortly after the Swift Boat group released a second ad attacking the Democratic presidential candidate, who was wounded three times while serving on a Swift Boat in Vietnam and decorated twice for valor.
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have accused Kerry of lying about one of the wounds he suffered and of embellishing his acts of heroism during his four months in Vietnam, charges strongly rejected by the senator from Massachusetts.
Kerry on Thursday accused the Bush administration of using the Swift Boat veterans as a front group to do the "dirty work" of attacking his Vietnam War record.
The New York Times on Friday reported that there is a "web of connections" between the Swift Boat group and the "Bush family, high-profile Texas political figures and President Bush's chief political aide, Karl Rove."
At no point does the Kerry campaign appear to address issues of substance. Wouldn't that be refreshing?
Update: Fox News has picked up this story.
The unusual late-August maneuvering highlighted the closeness of the race for the White House and came as polls offered the first hint that the questioning of Kerry's medal-winning service in the Vietnam War—allegations that he strongly condemned this week as lies—were taking a political toll.
One poll found that more than half the voters questioned had seen or heard of an ad by Swift Boat Veterans For Truth that accuses Kerry of lying about events that earned him five medals in Vietnam a generation ago. The University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey also found that 44 percent of self-described independent voters found the ad very or somewhat believable.
Separately, a CBS poll found a sharp drop in Kerry's support among both veterans since the end of the Democratic Convention.
No wonder Kerry is unhappy. CBS tends to oversample Democrats.
A second Swift Vets ad is now available. This ad talks about the demoralizing effect that Kerry testimony had on US forces and POWs. I think the effect of this one is not as great as the first, simply because the first came out of the blue where we kinda knew it was coming this time.
The last ad had Edwards's own words. This one has Kerry's own testimony.
Frankly I was surprised not to see a roundup of all of Kerry's shifting Cambodia stories into a single minute. I'm sure there's footage of some of his statements. Maybe that's still to come.
Kim Rhode won the gold for the second time in three olympics at Women's Double Trap. The article goes on to mention that double trap may not be offered any more at the Olympics.
Matthew Emmons won the gold in 50-meter rifle prone position.
According to Fox News, we just arrested three Hamas members. It appears that the "follow the money" angle continues to work. They have been charged under RICO:
The three were charged with racketeering conspiracy for allegedly joining with 20 others since at least 1988 to conduct business for Hamas, which the government said included conspiracies to commit murder, kidnapping, passport fraud and other crimes.
The articles goes on to detail the charges:
The U.S.-educated Abu Marzook holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and lived in the United States for 15 years, in Louisiana and Virginia. In 1995, he was detained by U.S. authorities on suspicion of involvement in terrorism. He was expelled to Jordan, and later sent by Jordan to Syria.
Salah was accused of recruiting and training new members of Hamas in the United States. After his release from prison in Israel in 1997, authorities said he directed an associate in Chicago to scout potential targets for terrorist attacks in Israel.
Ashqar was accused of opening bank accounts in Mississippi for Hamas purposes.
This speaks well of the strategy to find terrorists refuges and destroy them and use the information gathered to disrupt command, control, and logistics. Despite the operational security of cells, they need contacts and finances to complete their missions.
Hugh Hewitt has done some research into whether swift boats were ever used to get "U.S. Navy Seals, Green Berets and CIA guys" into Cambodia.
Conclusions? Well, it seems that helicopters were the way most of such incursions were made back then, but there's nothing that says boats were never used. In addition, Kerry is the only swift boat commander that claims to have ever done such a mission. Even Kerry's crewmates won't say they went to Cambodia.
Hewitt digs into the heart of the matter:
Did John Kerry really do these Kurtz-like runs into the heart of darkness, or did he just record such things in his journals as stored treasures against the day that he'd authorize a biography to use them? Or did he hatch this stuff post "Apocalypse Now" viewing? Is the magic hat real, or just about the single most damning piece of evidence since the glove-that-did-not-fit-which-led-to-must-acquit?
Since we've all seen or at least heard of Kerry's home videos of his Vietnam exploits that were shown at the DNC convention this year, it all seems like puffery to me.
FACT: Kerry has voted nine times in favor of banning semi-auto firearms.
FACT: Kerry has voted for a Ted Kennedy amendment to ban most rifle ammunition, including the most common rounds used by hunters and target shooters.
FACT: Kerry commended commended an anti-gun group`s demonstration in Washington that called for gun owner licensing, gun registration and other restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.
I don't think making appearances as a hunter (especially since it seems he hasn't had a hunting license in a while) makes up for this record, even with the trap shooters.
Larry Elder writes a new column on the "Two Americas" today. He tracks a timeline where Edwards speaks of two Americas, then Barack Obama speaks of one, then Edwards speaks of one and so on and so on. So now the Democrats say there is one America.
But, after looking at comments from Janeane "Arab is the new black now" Garofalo, Michael "The Iraqis who have risen up... are the Revolution" Moore, and some random Bush protestors ("Bush is a dictator"), he comes to a startling conclusion:
Yes, we have two Americas.
On the one hand, we have Americans—even those who refuse to support Bush—who see the president as a decent human being attempting to do the right thing. On the other hand, we have the almost pathological we-hate-Bush chorus whose high-profile members include the Michael Moore-Al Franken-Janeane Garofalo-types. They seem to despise Bush more than Osama bin Laden.
Kerry's attack dogs have landed on Larry Thurlow, pointing out that his testimony of there not being any enemy fire during the Kerry Bronze Star Action (tm) is controverted by the language in his own Bronze Star report:
But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him."
Thurlow responds convincingly:
I am convinced that the language used in my citation for a Bronze Star was language taken directly from John Kerry's report which falsely described the action on the Bay Hap River as action that saw small arms fire and automatic weapons fire from both banks of the river.
To this day, I can say without a doubt in my mind, along with other accounts from my shipmates -- there was no hostile enemy fire directed at my boat or at any of the five boats operating on the river that day.
I submitted no paperwork for a medal nor did I file an after action report describing the incident. To my knowledge, John Kerry was the only officer who filed a report describing his version of the incidents that occurred on the river that day.
It was not until I had left the Navy -- approximately three months after I left the service -- that I was notified that I was to receive a citation for my actions on that day.
I believed then as I believe now that I received my Bronze Star for my efforts to rescue the injured crewmen from swift boat number three and to conduct damage control to prevent that boat from sinking. My boat and several other swift boats went to the aid of our fellow swift boat sailors whose craft was adrift and taking on water. We provided immediate rescue and damage control to prevent boat three from sinking and to offer immediate protection and comfort to the injured crew.
After the mine exploded, leaving swift boat three dead in the water, John Kerry's boat, which was on the opposite side of the river, fled the scene. US Army Special Forces officer Jim Rassmann, who was on Kerry's boat at the time, fell off the boat and into the water. Kerry's boat returned several minutes later -- under no hail of enemy gunfire -- to retrieve Rassmann from the river only seconds before another boat was going to pick him up.
Thurlow goes on to describe the shifting stories and accounts coming from Kerry's campaign and previous publications.
It's amusing to me that Kerry claims that Bush lets the Swift Vets "do his dirty work" yet doesn't seem to mind the erroneous output of Michael Moore or the Campaign Finance Law Evader (tm) George Soros.
Update: The Kerry Campaign is continuing the diversion by sending emails to various bloggers referring to Thurlow as "completely discredited."
Angel Shamaya read my recent piece on the ATF Statement on HR 218 and had a response for me.
Angel Shamaya wrote:
Special exemptions for government employees is not "firearms rights," Josh.
Ah, in this case they are. They allow off-duty and retired cops to carry. That's our in. The fact that they allow a class of people to carry, nationwide, is an improvement. That we are not easily members of that class is not as material as the easement of restriction.
To the contrary, it's just one more way to enshrine the unAmerican concept that working for the government means you should not have to obey the laws to which the people are subjected and under which peaceable citizens are fined, thrown in jail, imprisoned and even killed.
But they allow it for people who aren't working for the government at the time! I'm not saying this is a great victory for the common man, but it's a step towards boiling the frog.
I agree with you on some things, certainly in principle. I, for example, think it's horrible that Lon Horiuchi got a free ride for shooting Vicki Weaver. However, I can recognize an opportunity when I see one.
Here is a (surely partial) list of gun rights organizations who stood opposed to this evil and corrupt nonsense: http://KeepAndBearArms.com/CopsOnlyCCW/leaders.asp
I only ask that the cops who wanted my help getting HR 218 passed will help me when I try to get this passed.
Good luck. A large portion of the cop groups who endorsed HR218 don't support citizen carry in their own communities: http://KeepAndBearArms.com/CopsOnlyCCW/leosupport.asp
Well, I have many times expressed my own dismay at HR 218 in the past, and I didn't do much of anything to get it passed. However, now that it made it through the door it's up to us to reshape it in a more palatable form.
Frankly I don't mind having to shoot a police qualifier at my own expense if it can get me nationwide concealed carry. I know that many decry *any* restriction on concealed carry because it can (and, therefore, will, if we know our bureaucracies well) be abused. A universal (at least, on a per-state basis) qualifier for cops and private citizens has an appeal. If you can't arm your cops because the test was designed to keep out most private citizens, then you know something is wrong with the test.
I have a good relationship with many police trainers because I have helped them with some issues (a list including, oddly enough, cost accounting and parliamentary procedure). Perhaps I see the best side of them as a result.
Read the full report some time: http://KeepAndBearArms.com/CopsOnlyCCW/
HR 218 was touted as "Nationwide Concealed Carry for Cops" by its proponents, and it's my hope that it will someday lead to a standardized national concealed carry for private citizens. The folks at IALEFI sent me a link to the ATF's Statement on the passage of this law.
It's short enough to include here:
Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004
On July 22nd, President Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, Public Law No. 108-277. The Act became effective upon the President's signature. The Act amends the Gun Control Act (GCA) to exempt qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from State and local laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms.
The officers and retired officers eligible for the exemption are those meeting the Act's definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” and “qualified retired law enforcement officer.” Among other things, the Act's definition requires qualified retired law enforcement officers to meet, at their own expense, their State's standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers. Eligible active and retired officers must also possess certain identification. Active officers may use the identification issued by the government agency by which they are employed. Retired law enforcement officers must have identification indicating that they have been tested or otherwise found to meet firearms standards established for active law enforcement officers.
Qualified active and retired officers eligible for the exemption are still subject to certain provisions of the GCA. The Act specifically states that persons who are prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm are not eligible for the exemption. In addition, qualified current and retired officers must undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) check if they are purchasing a firearm for their own use, and federal firearms licensees must still complete and retain required records under the GCA.
Notice that retired LEO's need to maintain their qualifications based on their state's standards for active duty law enforcement. This statement by the ATF does not go into particulars, however, as there are some additional caveats and details. Any ex-cop cannot just start carrying wherever they want. This ATF statement might also lead to the impression that one has to have all of the training an active duty cop has to go through, including diversity awareness. That, at least, is not necessary.
18 USC 44 Sec. 926B(c)(4) states:
(4) meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;
A later section (e) makes sure the law does not include machine guns, silencers, or destructive devices. It does leave long guns in play.
We also see that the person had to be a law enforcement officer for fifteen years or more.
Sec. 926C(c)(5) reiterates and expands:
(5) during the most recent 12-month period, has met, at the expense of the individual, the State's standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms;
Sec. 926C(d)(B) finishes it up:
(B) a certification issued by the State in which the individual resides that indicates that the individual has, not less recently than one year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm, been tested or otherwise found by the State to meet the standards established by the State for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm.
The complete text of HR 218 is here.
Now I celebrate this new plateau for firearms rights, but there's room to improve it. My first suggestion is to push for the right of anyone who can meet the state's standard for active duty law enforcement and passes a NICS background check to be eligible for national concealed carry. Is this a pipe dream? I don't think so. I only ask that the cops who wanted my help getting HR 218 passed will help me when I try to get this passed.
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin should know when to avoid slinging mud when he's already covered with it. OpinionJournal has not one, but two essays about Tom's casualness with the truth. The first is an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal, the second by James M. Perry. The Perry article appeared in 1991. I referenced this second article last night when I reviewed Anne Coulter's column.
The WSJ column starts off, "We wish this Presidential election had nothing at all to do with Vietnam." I have to agree with that sentiment. Not only is Vietnam thirty years in our past, but the frequent attempts to portray Iraq and the War on Terror as a "quagmire" are pathetic at best. Add to this the besmirching of National Guard service or college deferrments. Can we all just agree that these Baby Boomers did not want to go to Vietnam and move on?
Meme Experiment II
A New Meme That Raises Your Blog's Google Rankings!
By Nova on Weblogs
This posting is a new, improved, second-generation meme experiment that is designed to spread faster and more broadly than the first meme experiment.
This new meme is simply better because it's more beneficial to you to participate. Why? Because by participating in this meme, you may be able to raise the Google rank and visibility of your blog. In other words, this meme rewards your blog for hosting it.
This is purely an experiment and is just for fun. We are really just curious to see what will happen. Furthermore, we have no commercial intentions. We don't mean to annoy anyone. However, if you don't have much curiosity, or at least a sense of humor, you might find this experiment to be upsetting. In that case, I suggest a good strong cup of coffee every morning. If after that you are still unhappy, you must not read any further! On the other hand, if you are interested in exploring new frontiers, keep reading and we look forward to your participation in this experiment. It's totally voluntary. What's the "meme" being spread here? Well, actually there are many memes that this posting represents. And your weblog URL will be one of them, if you participate.
How It Works.
Just copy this full text of this meme and follow the instructions below to fill out your blog's answers to the survey and add your blog's URL to the "PATH LIST" at the bottom of this post. The path list is the history of all the blogs that the meme traveled through to reach you. The last URL before yours in the path list should be the URL for the blog you discovered this meme on. By adding your URL after it, your blog URL becomes part of the path for the meme. Everyone who gets the meme downstream from you will then include your URL on their blog. And by doing that, they are in effect linking to your blog from their blog, which in turn raises your blog's Google rank. By posting this meme to your blog you help raise the rankings of every blog in the path before yours, and every blog that later posts as a result of your blog then helps to raise your Google ranking. Kinda cool, huh?
By hosting a copy of this meme on your blog you are part of a worldwide network experiment to see how a blog posting spreads across social networks, geography and time. The dataset from this experiment is public, open and decentralized -- every blog that participates hosts their own data about their own blog.
Anyone can then get the whole dataset by just searching Google for this unique string: 98818912959q This code is the "global unique identifier," or GUID for this Meme -- it marks every web page that participates in this Meme so that it can later be found with all the others.
To see how this meme is growing at any time, or to join the discussion about this experiment, visit the Root Posting for this meme at http://www.mindingtheplanet.net/ to see trackbacks and comments there.
A Collaborative, Distributed, Emergent Blogroll
This Meme is effectively a collaborative, distributed, emergent blogroll. It is no different really than any blogroll (any list of other blogs you add to your blog) -- it just forms in a different way. Instead of you adding all the links to it, your social network adds them and then you add yours at the end and send it on to others in your social network. There's no top-down control or guidance of the process. Every blog that participates is equal. Nobody knows what the result of this experiment will be.
Can Your Blog Out-Rank the A-List Blogs?
This Meme, if it works as we hypothesize it might, could help a lot of lesser known blogs get better rankings than even the "A-List" blogs. In other words, it's kind of like unionizing to beat the big guys. There is strength in numbers, after all. Let's see if this works! If it does work, we should find lots of lesser-known blogs that participate in this experiment appearing in the "top lists" of the major blog indexes. Who knows, maybe we can even take over the top lists? You can see that this works by just looking at the results of the first meme experiment which launched the Minding The Planet weblog to the number 5 slot of the Daypop Top 40 blog posting index in just two days! Who knows, maybe it will be your blog up there next?
Why Are We Doing This?
OK, so why are we doing this? The short answer is, "Because we can!!!" But seriously, we're also doing this because it is an interesting way to generate a dataset that we and others may study to analyze how ideas move across social relationships on the Web, and how communities can emerge and self-organize. It's fun and it's research, and anyway, it's harmless and it helps bloggers get better visibility, so we figured we'd just try it and just see what happens! We hope you'll join us!
Interested in participating? Follow the instructions, below...
Step 1 First, to add your blog to this experiment, copy the whole meme (the full text, including the introductory information above and these instructions and the path list at the end) to your blog.
Step 2: Fill in your answers to these REQUIRED SURVEY FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)
(1) I found this experiment at URL: http://patterico.com/archives/002582.php
(2) I found this meme on date (day/month/year):19/08/04
(3) I found this meme at time (24 hour time): 08:48 PST
(4) I found it via "Newsreader Software" or "Browsing the Web" or "Searching the Web" or "An E-Mail Message": FeedDemon
(5) I posted this Meme at my URL: http://pun.org/josh/
(6) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 19/08/04
(7) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 08:50 PST
(8) My posting location is (city, state, country): Ridgefield, WA USA
Step 3: You may also fill in these OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):
(9) My blog is hosted by: cgi101.com
(10) My age is: 35
(11) My gender is: Male
(12) My occupation is: Software Development Manager
(13) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: FeedDemon
(14) I use the following software to post to my blog: Moveable Type
(15) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 04/08/04
(16) My web browser is: Mozilla
(17) My operating system is: Windows 2000 Pro
Step 4: Don't forget to add your URL after the last URL in the PATH LIST below:
The Path List below shows the sequence of blogs that this meme traveled through to reach your blog. Add your blog's homepage URL to the end of this list, if you want your blog's Google rankings to be raised as others get the meme from your blog. Also note that if in your blog you post this meme in two parts -- an excerpt and an extended entry -- make sure to tell your readers to copy the whole meme into their blog, including the Path List. Also Note: If anyone has put anything inappropriate in the list -- like porn or advertising for example -- then feel free to delete it from the list. Unless you like porn and/or advertising! Then, at the end of the list, add a text link and a hotlink to your URL)
THE PATH LIST: HOW THIS MEME GOT TO YOUR BLOG
1. http://www.mindingtheplanet.net Minding The Planet
2. http://www.pheedo.info Pheedo
3. http://www.apennyfor.com A Penny For...
4. http://patterico.com/ Patterico's Pontifications
5. http://pun.org/josh/ Josh's Weblog
6. (your URL goes here; also, please add a new line after this one, for the next person.)
Anne Coulter's latest column starts off with this quest:
There ought to be a special word—something German—to describe the feeling of revulsion normal people experience when reading lines like these from a single article on John Kerry by Laura Blumenfeld in The Washington Post:
- "Kerry's complexity has been an issue since his national debut in 1971."
- "Kerry likes to quote the French writer Andre Gide: 'Don't try to understand me too quickly.'"
- "His friend Dan Barbiero said it comes down to Kerry's complexity ..."
Luckily, due to the hard work of the folks at Captain's Quarters we know the appropriate term is sitzpinkler. Admittedly it's a term of endearment for those who cause you such revulsion, but it gets us part-way there.
Coulter goes on to rattle off a laundry list of our well-known Kerry woes that are getting short coverage in the press. She also touches on the recent Harkin diatribe against Cheney and the recovered research into Harkin's own lies. Finally, she reminds us of Gore's own excesses with the truth when he wanted to sound a little bit more heroic than a Senator's son on Press patrol. What's most amusing is her trip down memory lane to point out Lyndon Johnson's Silver Star, awarded by Douglas MacArthur, was also a trumped up event with grandiose claims of heroism.
Her lament is easy to voice. What does it take to be a hero these days?
Phil Messina over at ASLET Updates has posted another list of complaints against ASLET Executive Director Frank Hackett. Not only has Frank done such things as misrepresent his education and background (he had a phony Ph.D.) but he's also managed to run the organization into the ground. The entire issue started with shoddy background checks of members after September 11, 2001, but has ballooned since then.
The organization continues to lose ground and try desperate tactics to get money and to stave off Director Phil Messina's honest inquiries into the elections of the organization. I tried to fix some of the problems that were found by joining the Bylaws Committee, however our efforts were cut off by Mr. Hackett.
I need to get Phil a real blog tool instead of his manual updates. He can then spend more time digging up information than fiddling with his posts.
I mailed in my questionnaire to the Nominating Committee today, answering lots of snoopy questions and a few doctrinaire ones. For the most part I think I'm a longshot for getting selection by the committee. After all, they are looking for more people to support Wayne LaPierre as Executive Vice President of the NRA. Who the heck is this Poulson person? What did he send that guarantees he will support The Winning Team?
Wendell, the Evil Scoutmaster, commented that I should not have mentioned my stint with the Libertarian Party of Oregon. However, I think it was valid experience. I served on their Board of Directors for a year as Membership Director in 1996. I also served on their Judicial Committee and as their Parliamentarian. To top it all off, I ran for the Oregon State Legislature in 1998 and got 15% of the vote in Southwest Portland.
Others might think my background in software development and management has nothing to do with the NRA Board of Directors. There I have to disagree. The NRA badly needs technological know-how if it plans to modernize. Right now it is giving boatloads of money to advertising agencies who make interesting websites. But do they get us more members? Do they teach more people to use guns safely? Do they serve the needs of the growing population of those who legally carry guns concealed?
That is the perspective I plan to bring to the NRA if I get on the ballot and perhaps on the board.
"We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence," said the unreleased NIJ report, written by Christopher Koper, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
"It is thus premature to make definitive assessments of the ban's impact on gun violence. Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement," said the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times.
It's not often you find a government report that says a policy didn't do anything.
Virginia Postrel has been busy this morning, pointing out trends in new regulation. Or, rather, the low amounts of it under the Bush administration.
The best piece of data from the posting, though, is this graphic from the New York Times:
Virginia points out that this graph answers the question, "why would libertarians vote for George W. Bush?" I'd have to say that things seem over-regulated and I even pointed that out in my 1998 Voter's Pamphlet Statement. While I may have backed off from the Libertarian Party because of their own internal problems, I haven't backed off from the principles.
Why hasn't there been more coverage of the Kerry meltdown? Why hasn't there been a little independent fact-checking at least? Virginia Postrel wonders this as well in her post Dear Campaign Journalists: Please Do Your Jobs.
Looks like we caught two men surveilling Tony Blair's residence. They had high-tech equipment, detailed maps, and they knew where Tony's house was.
So, the eight arrested in the UK have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Not murder over there, but over here in the US. They had the plans for various financial centers. So, we find that eight people were arrested in the UK, and one in North Carolina, because they were either in the planning or final phases of an attack on the US financial infrastructure.
Why does this sound familiar? Because Tom Ridge raised the terror alert level for certain financial institutions to orange at the beginning of the month. While the police in the UK discount the idea that the arrests stemmed from leads from Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan or the seizure of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani's computers, it does appear to be related to the terror warning, whatever their source.
It is notable that Abu Eisa al-Hindi does not appear to have been charged in this latest round. He is the one reputed to be a high-ranking Al Quaeda operative.
Update: Fox News indicates that Dhiren Barot, who had possession of the plans, is Abu Eisa al-Hindi.
From the Knowledge is Power blog, home of some amusing images…
The Rambo Granny myth is circulating the Internet again...
Gun-toting granny Ava Estelle, 81, was so ticked-off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down -- and shot their testicles off!
"The old lady spent a week hunting those bums down -- and when she found them, she took revenge on them in her own special way," said admiring Melbourne police investigator Evan Delp.
"Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station, laid the gun on the sergeant's desk and told him as calm as could be: 'Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God.'"
Cops say convicted rapist and robber Davis Furth, 33, lost both his penis and his testicles when outraged Ava opened fire with a 9-mm pistol in the seedy hotel room where he and former prison cellmate Stanley Thomas, 29, were holed up.
The wrinkled avenger also blew Thomas' testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said.
"The one guy, Thomas, didn't lose his manhood, but the doctor I talked to said he won't be using it the way he used to," Detective Delp told reporters. "Both men are still in pretty bad shape, but I think they're just happy to be alive after what they've been through."
The Rambo Granny swung into action August 21 after her granddaughter Debbie was carjacked and raped by two knife-wielding creeps in a section of town bordering on skid row.
"When I saw the look on my Debbie's face that night in the hospital, I decided I was going to go out and get those bastards myself 'cause I figured the police would go easy on them," recalled the retired library worker. "And I wasn't scared of them, either -- because I've got me a gun and I've been shootin' it all my life."
So, using a police artist's sketch of the suspects and Debbie's description of the sickos' car, tough-as-nails Ava spent seven days prowling the wino-infested neighborhood where the crime took place till she spotted the ill-fated rapists entering their flophouse hotel.
"I knew it was them the minute I saw 'em, but I shot a picture of 'em anyway and took it back to Debbie and she said sure as hell, it was them," the ornery oldster recalled.
"So I went back to that hotel and found their room and knocked on the door -- and the minute the big one, Furth, opened the door, I shot 'em, got right square between the legs, right where it would really hurt 'em most, you know. Then I went down to the police station and turned myself in."
Now, baffled lawmen are tying to figure out how to deal with the vigilante granny. "What she did was wrong, but you can't really throw an 81-year-old woman in prison." Det. Delp said, "especially when all 3 million people in the city want to nominate her for sainthood."
It's amazing to me that MoveOn.org can so easily misstate the source of the SwiftVet's ad to imply that Bush has any control over it. However, the primary attack against the SwiftVet content has been to call John O'Neill a "Texas Republican" or to yell at him on TV.
I've only heard one interview with him recently, however, on Larry Elder's radio show.
The big difference to me? Bush has signed the 180, Kerry has not.
I think MoveOn's ad will backfire as it draws even more attention to the questions the SwiftVets are asking, instead of distracting us from it.
For your consideration, The Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness.
Digitally Obsessed reviews Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Essentials.
What annoys me about this new MST3K set is that it includes a movie I already have along with a new one. I'd rather have one of their four-packs or movies done individually. I don't want to re-buy material I already have!
As a result I don't have Santa Claus Conquers the Martians on DVD, MST3K style. I still have my videotaped version, though.
Captain's Quarters digs into Fred Short's previous testimony and finds him wanting. I suspect that any witness that supports John Kerry and wildly exaggerates the body count of an engagement is bad enough, but also forgetting who his commanding officer is on his last day in Viet Nam is worse. Perhaps his last salute to Kerry in Viet Nam was hoisting a brewski.
Making its rounds through the various law enforcement training mailing lists I read, we get this odd story. One would have to be pretty crazy to impersonate an FBI agent at a conference, but Mark W. Rizzo tried it. Amazingly he signed up to teach eight different courses at the 2004 Seventh International Gang Specialist Training Conference in Chicago, IL. The good news is that they already took his name off the roster.
Other security-related organizations have picked up this story.
Update: This article gives Rizzo points to a laundry list of qualifications which turn out not to be real:
"... field representative for the American Jail Association... Board Member of the International Association of Ethics Trainers... served as a Deputy Sheriff in Pennsylvania... Administrative Aide for the Cook County Sheriff in Chicago... teaches Criminal Justice and Behavioral Science as an adjunct professor at several colleges, various police training institutions, and the National F.B.I. Academy... B.A. in Theology, M.S. in Criminal Justice, and Juris doctorate... certified trainer with the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers."
What we don't know is what really happened at the conference other than a visit by undercover investigators:
Prosecutors said Rizzo represented himself as an instructor at the FBI's Training Academy in Quantico, Va., and as a member of the FBI's National Academy. FBI officials say Rizzo has never worked for the FBI nor has he attended the academy.
He was scheduled to teach eight courses at the conference from Wednesday through Friday. Police officers from all over the world attend the conference for training and expert seminars on gangs.
When two undercover agents dressed up as husband and wife to meet Rizzo at the convention this week, he told the male agent that he "dresses more like the FBI than I do." Rizzo reportedly made reference to a firearm and badge that he left in his hotel room and said he worked for the FBI in the Behavioral Science Unit. After the FBI agents identified themselves, they said, he told them: "I lied, I don't work for the FBI."
Rizzo later told U.S. Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow that he didn't have any law enforcement credentials, "valid or invalid," but he was ordered to turn in all such identification.
I'm not willing to believe that Rizzo is a good sort but still he wasn't really trying to bust his way into the conference to cause problems. Rizzo just seems to be a motivated person trying to push the importance of chaplains to police organizations. He may have a point. He might not. His message will now be obscured by this arrest.
We continue to see stories indicating that Saddam smuggled weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) out of Iraq into Syria, before, during, and after the war. Add this to admission by UNMOVIC, and other articles about twenty tons of chemical weapons found in Jordan, reputedly in the possession of Al Quaeda.
While I won't ask the seemingly paranoid question, "Are your gas masks and amphetamines close at hand?" It's getting to be less of a joke.
Josh's comments: I can't imagine what it would be like to live in an airport for sixteen years. I have a hard enough time tolerating a two hour layover. It's better now that there are T-mobile hotspots in many airports and I don't travel all that often. Frankly, I consider a lot of the security precautions invasive and undignified. I'd love to support the idea of an "expert pre-cleared traveller" to get around such things if it wasn't something that would immediately be abused by those who want to kill us.
Misty contributes this article about a divorce case where the husband cheated but the wife resumed conjugal relations after she learned about the affair. The judge ruled the resumption of activities as forgiveness and therefore the affair was not grounds for a divorce.
Josh's comments: Seems to me that someone who cheats on their spouse would be involved in other activities that would sever a marriage, so I wonder if the wife looked hard enough for reasons.
On the other hand, liberationists who justify promiscuity by claming that sex and love are disjoint should be conflicted by this decision. The judge basically insists that the wife must still be in love because she continues to have sex with him. Since liberationists prefer consequence-free activity that should both laud the husband's victory, but also decry the link between sex, love, and marriage.
We shall see if Tammy Bruce, the author of The Death of Right and Wrong, picks up this story. She loves to skewer the "malignant narcissists" when it comes to the consequences of their extreme positions.
The Alphecca blog has a nice article on the coverage of shooting sports in the Olympics. Traditionally there has been very little coverage, especially on television, of the shooting sports in the Olympics.
NBC will apparently be broadcasting some of the shooting, according to their schedule. The women's trap gold medal final is today, for example.
Over at Captain's Quarters this morning we find out Alston did serve with John Kerry for a short time. However, he was not present for the action for which Kerry was awarded the Silver Star, as he seems to allude to. Kerry was also not present in the action where Alston was wounded, as he seems to allude to.
So while there do not seem to be any giant whoppers in the Alson part of the story, the truth is bent like a pretzel.
I got a link to this story from a law enforcement trainers mailing list. Annie Jacobsen's stories are only part of the picture.
John McEnroe came over to do a portrait for my NRA BOD application. He also did my wedding photos. My favorites: one, two, and three. He also ministered the wedding in the first place. Kind of a one-stop shop.
You can find John at the Tugboat Brewpub during most weeknights, tending bar.
Surely I should point out my own pictures of John aren't as good:
My best picture of John (and Dan Sweet) was this one:
Compare all of those to his portrait:
IBM sells point-of-sale terminals running Linux to Circuit City. Computerworld article here.
Some may note that it's important that SUSE Linux was recommended over Red Hat in this article, but I don't know the details of the deal.
Frankly I'm doing my blog for fun, to point out some interesting topics for friends and family, and to learn how all this stuff works. The feedback from my family has been "sure is a lot of politics there." Well, I'll look for more diverse topics, but right now what is drawing my interest is the implosion of the Kerry campaign over credibility issues.
I'll think more about the implications and post more later.
The Captain's Quarters blog has this summary today and this gem of investigation yesterday. Basically, one of the crewmates, David Alston, who spoke at the DNC Convention about serving with Kerry actually never served under Kerry's command. They did serve on the same boat, just not at the same time.
Except it's not necessarily clear that the January story is true, either.
This time it's not satire. Neal Boortz writes about the dramatic difference in the media's treatment of Bush and Kerry. It's been obvious to me for a while. Perhaps the article brings perspective to others.
Wired writes, "More Big Boobs in Playboy."
Perhaps it would be better to say, "Google Goofs, SEC Agog, Readers Gape."
Kottke has the interview online.
The especially bad part about this story is that they have no idea how long the bag was in the station.
Makes you wonder about their defenses against terrorism.
It appears that Pakistani intelligence outed Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan to the New York Times. Unlike my previous entry's speculation that Bush outed this operative it appears to have been a mistake made by a foreign intelligence service.
Now it's up to us to make the New York Times admit it leaked this information.
Reading my way through the 9/11 report it is interesting to note the complete turnaround Pakistan's intelligence service has completed. Before 9/11 we didn't trust that service not to leak information to Al Quaeda. Now we just worry about the New York Times.
The Atlantic goes inside Al Quaeda's hard drive. Should be better than Capone's Vault.
Another passenger on Annie Jacobsen's flights has added information to this alarming story.
In an effort to educate the little ones at home as to some of the structure of local politics...
We live in the 18th Legislative District of the State of Washington. We send two representatives and one senator to Olympia, WA to serve us in state matters. At the moment, our representives are Tom Mielke and Ed Orcutt. Our state senator is Joseph Zarelli.
The executive branch in the state is headed by elected official too. In Washington that is Governor Gary Locke.
We also send representatives to the United States Congress. Washington sends one representative from each Congressional District in Washington. We live in Congressional District 3. Our representative is Brian Baird. Washington sends two Senators to the United States Senate. They are elected by everyone in the state. Our two Senators are Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.
In table form:
|Washington State House of Representatives||18th District||State Representative||Tom Mielke|
|Washington State House of Representatives||18th District||State Representative||Ed Orcutt|
|Washington State Senate||18th District||State Senator||Joseph Zarelli|
|Washington State||Executive Branch||Governor||Gary Locke|
|United States House of Representatives||Washington State 3rd Cong. Dist.||Representative||Brian Baird|
|United States Senate||Washington State||Senator||Maria Cantwell|
|United States Senate||Washington State||Senator||Patty Murray|
|United States||Executive Branch||Vice President||Richard B. Cheney|
|United States||Executive Branch||President||George W. Bush|
I'm looking forward to the sunset of the Assault Weapons Ban although I won't like the lowered value of various pieces of my collection, I will like the ability to get magazines of appropriate size for the guns I do have.
My distaste for assault weapons bans ni particular goes back to Pennsylvania's infamous Act 17, which threatened to classify my diminutive Beretta 84F Cheetah as an assault weapon because it had a pistol grip and a 13-round magazine. Because of Act 17 I looked to move from Pennsylvania. It did not take long to find a reasonable job in Oregon and I moved in 1995.
The Clinton Gun Ban did go on to classify my pistol as an assault weapon when I had a 13-round magazine in it. Since then I've collected a variety of pre-ban firearms and accessories, partly because of their value due to the ban, and partly because they've been banned.
The Oshkosh Northwestern has released another article on the shooting of a policeman and subsequent actions of the police that led to a seizure of firearms in Oshkosh, WI. The Wisconsin Gun Owners site has an additional article as well. What we do know is that firearms were seized from two of the six searched homes and have since been returned. The police apologized to the owner in one home, and arrested the other on drug charges unrelated to the shooting.
While the issue may be settled with the individuals involved, this incident may well circulate the pro-gun mailing lists for years.
Sometimes satire says it better than any other way to disseminate information.
Drudge picked up a Washington Times story about an Al Quaeda plot to assassinate a major political figure either here in the US or abroad in advance of activities designed to interfere with the upcoming election. ABC News picked it up this morning and I heard it recounted on KPAM this morning.
KPAM went on to get a reaction from a couple people on Division Street here in Portland, Oregon. The first unnamed person responded, "I hope it's Bush." If that wasn't enough of a stunner, the second person responded they they didn't believe this latest leak, either. I know other people who think like these two, but it doesn't make it any easier to hear on the radio.
If there's anything that makes me regret living in Portland, it is this extreme element that gets most of the attention. Remember that the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF) terrorist organizations are based in Portland. When George W. Bush came to visit and 10,000 people marched in protest, he was reminded why his father referred to Portland as "Little Beirut."
This latest Al Quaeda information has been tied back to Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, who I have commented on before.
Subject: Basic Pistol vs. Personal Protection
Since we're speaking of analogies, requiring Basic Pistol to carry on the street is like teaching people to race Stock Cars so they become good defensive drivers. Sure, some of the skills for competition translate to the street, but by no means is it the most appropriate method of instruction. There is, perhaps, wasted effort. There are, in fact, unanswered questions for those who wish to learn skills appropriate to defensive pistolcraft.
It behooves the largest developer of firearms training in the world, both for private citizens and for law enforcement, to develop a basic course appropriate for teaching people to safety draw pistols from concealment and develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to safely learn shooting pistols defensively.
It pains me to learn that a course meeting this objective has lain dormant in NRA's training department for the better part of a decade.
There are tons of private enterprises that do an excellent job of teaching these techniques. There should be a baseline of basic skills and a course that teaches them.
Let's serve our shared common interests here. It behooves us all for there to be inexpensive basic instruction available in the baseline skills.
Josh Poulson, TC
Tammy Bruce recently sent an email backing up her discussion on her radio program charging that John Kerry's attack on George Bush indicates that spending seven more minutes projecting calm and reading to children was inappropriate, considering Kerry admitted that prominent Democrats were unable to think for forty minutes.
From the interview:
KING: Where were you?
KERRY: I was in the Capitol. We'd just had a meeting -- we'd just come into a leadership meeting in Tom Daschle's office, looking out at the Capitol. And as I came in, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid were standing there, and we watched the second plane come in to the building. And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon. And then word came from the White House, they were evacuating, and we were to evacuate, and so we immediately began the evacuation.
And from the timeline:
9:03 a.m.: A second hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes...
9:43 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately.
Seems cut and dried to me.
Check out Blawg Wisdom.
His results certainly make me wonder about CBS News's polling techniques. They have huge aggregate variability, an apparent bias against Bush that's bigger than their margin of error, and when they work with Gallup and USA Today they still have a large aggregate variability, but the bias goes the opposite way and to a smaller degree. When they poll with the New York Times, they have an apparent anti-Bush bias as well, but not to such a large degree and not with so much aggregate variability.
Despite the claims by the Boston Globe that Capt. George Elliott retracted his statement from the famous Swift Boat Veterans advertisement, he obviously stands by his statement. As I said before, if these veterans are telling the truth, they will make Kerry regret touting his war record.
While in wartime conditions I can understand chasing down a threat and shooting him in the back, I have to agree with Capt. Elliott when he says he wouldn't recommend the Silver Star to someone for that. After all, that's not nearly the marked distinction one would expect.
The Swift Vets have sent a letter to station managers in response to the Kerry Campaign's letters sent to intimidate them into not showing the ad.
So it seems that Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan was a agent of the US for a short while before he was revealed as the source for the recent terror alerts and arrests.
I first saw this on Reason magazine's blog and it lead me to a particular anti-Bush history professor Juan Cole. Prof. Cole's theory that Bush had to out this valuable source in order to have a credible reason for the terror alert.
However, the question is, "Did we lose a valuable source of information."
A frequent refrain in the 9/11 Commission Report is the lack of human intelligence from within Al Quaeda. It does seem unlikely that we would willingly burn a source by releasing his name and location to the press without a very good reason. Sure, I'd like to know more about why things happen, but I don't want to lose the source of information.
The anti-war zealotry has led us to need to defuse "Wag the Dog" claims on terror alerts, and is thus lowering our ability to maintain long-term human intelligence within terrorist organizations. This is the legacy of Howard Dean.
In fact, it didn't prevent Dean from making the claim anyway.
But it may have prevented Kerry, who sometimes misses briefings.
Apply now to the Genetic Savings and Clone.
They get special mention for having a punny name.
The seizure of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani's computers has resulted in another arrest in the United Kingdom. Based on discovered information twelve plotters have been captured, including Abu Eisa al-Hindi. Al-Hindi is suspected to be an Al Quaeda Reconnaissance Operative, scouting out the suspected New York targets of terror attacks.
Elizabeth Hovde writes about her discovery of the truth behind a statistic promulgated by Washington Ceasefire, a local anti-gun organization. What she discovered is that there are still those that try to mislead others with statistics.
The truth is that children are not dying in droves from accidental discovery of guns in homes in Clark County (where I live), yet Ceasefire is saying that 12 children were killed by guns from 1997 to 2001. Turns out that suicide and gang violence were the cause, not misadventure.
I'm shocked! Shocked!
My favorite quote from this article:
Statewide data also show that among kids ages 0 to 14, unintentional firearm deaths are as rare as kids dying from bee stings: zero in 2002, the latest year in which I found numbers through the DOH Web site. The leading causes of unintentional deaths among children remain car accidents, drownings and suffocation.
Jacob Sullum has written an excellent summary of the Michigan Supreme Court's re-review and reversal of Poletown Neighborhood Council v. Detroit. This is important because Poletown set a precedent for eminent domain seizures of private property for almost any semi-public use. In Portland this decision bolstered the city's taking of property for the MAX mass-transit system. In Las Vegas, Poletown was a precedent for seizing downtown property to sell to a casino.
Such seizures are incredibly wrong, of course. Who knows? Next we'll see the excessive power to zone out all improvements reduced.
As a continuation of my earlier posts on "ties" and "links", note this Power Line blog entry that emphasizes the connections between Iraq and terrorism. Of course, the 9/11 report mentions frequent connections between Iraq and Al Quaeda, just no command and control of the 9/11 plot. Iraq, or at least Saddam harbored wanted terrorists like Abu Nidal, hosted terrorist training camps, and offered bounties to the families of suicide bombers.
That's far more damning than those vague "ties" and "links" that get press-time these days.
There's been an article floating around the gun-friendly mailing lists about firearms confiscation in Oshkosh, WI. I did a little poking around of my own.
According to two articles on the Wisconsin Gun Owners site, after a police shooting in Oshkosh, WI, police went through the neighborhood and confiscated guns to determine if they had been used in the crime. These articles were written July 17th and 29th according to the byline. They indicate that more than one resident had guns taken.
The July 20 Oskosh Northwestern story indicates that at least one resident had firearms taken after consenting to a search. Another resident had drawn attention by refusing search and had a search warrant served the day after the crime.
A later article from August 5 indicates that at least one resident on the block had been arrested because drugs had been found during the search and that the suspect had been linked to the shooting, although not charged.
Apparently one of our missile financiers was unlucky enough to be in a terrorist's address book. Not the best way to draw attention, especially if you are filed under the title, "the commander."
Annie Jacobsen continues to follow up to her original article relating an experience she had flying from Detroit to Los Angeles. It is the fourth followup to this original article, this followup, and this third piece.
I have been listening to the 9/11 Commission's report on audible.com because I am generally interested in complex systems and how they can fail. For the most part the system that dealt with counter-terrorism in the United States failed because of too little information and too little information-sharing (and, perhaps, a refusal to take risks until it was clear that a lot of people were going to die). It's good to see that Annie Jacobsen is shaking them up a little by refusing to "go away" because "they are handling it."
It is important in every organization that when people know something is wrong they take ownership and try to fix it. If you are trying to fix someone else's group, they might get huffy with you, but what they really should do is figure out where they went wrong and fix that too.
It seems that there has been a public relations failure on a grand scale here in that several people were clearly upset and so far nothing has happened to allay their fears.
Amusingly enough, the article revisits a theme I mentioned earlier today, "follow the money."
Convergence noted: looks like the computer will play CDs, DVDs, but does not quite replace a television. In my opinion, if it replaced the VCR and television, it would be the convergence product of any kid's room.
Market expansion noted: they will add a camcorder and digital camera later this year. Surely it will arrive in time for Christmas.
According to the Washington State Attorney General's site full reciprocity on concealed carry permits has increased to the following states:
This means my Washington permit is good in those states, and people with permits from those states do not need any additional permits to carry in Washington. Michigan always accepted any state-issued permit, but Washington, until now, did not reciprocate.
In contrast, Oregon has no reciprocity with anyone. You need an Oregon permit to carry in Oregon, and it depends on the sheriff in a particular country on whether they will issue to you or not.
As usual, I recommend using the packing.org license tool to start your research on where your permit is accepted, followed up by checking the applicable state laws.
An article on Slate reports that some roads in California are restricted from vehicles over 6000 pounds gross vehicle weight and points out that a large number of popular SUVs exceed that weight, including:
I really haven't noticed any signs prohibiting travel of vehicles over 6000 pounds in my area, but there are certainly bridges that refer to 10000 pounds or more.
10:18 8/5/2004 Update: Clayton Cramer has also commented on this.
It's been widely reported this morning that two mosque leaders in Albany, NY have been arrested for trying to help someone buy a shoulder-fired missile. The article goes on to point out that there was in fact no missile but that the two were involved in laundering the money for the purchase.
Seems like Ness's Untouchables principles are still at work. It's far easier to catch a thief if you follow the money.
Articles point out that the individuals had ties to Ansar al-Islam, although I always cringe at the term "ties." There are probably hundreds of organizations and individuals to which I have "ties." Does that mean I have influence over them? Does that mean they have influence over me?
According to the Fox News article, this is the second time people have been arrested for trying to buy a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile. The previous arrest, last August, nabbed three terrorist wanna-bes.
I read this book on my recent trip to and from Austin to visit with my EVMS team. This is an interesting short book about effectiveness, not limited to executives but applicable to all knowledge workers. As the jacket states,
The measure of an executive, Peter Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results.
The book starts with an essay with the theme, "effectiveness can be learned." He goes on to point out that the value of a knowledge worker is his or her ability to contribute to the corporation, not to attend meetings. Thus, it makes sense that his essential practices are related to this theme:
Most of knowing ones time is realizing where it all goes. Meetings are generally not a way to contribute to the organization. Working with customers might not be either. He asserts that an executive's time belongs to everyone else. As far as contribution goes, an executive easily falls into the trap of handling operations instead of really contributing to the company. He points out that organizations are supposed to be multipliers of the contributions of the knowledge workers within them, but typically fail at this. Another common trap is by being within an organization an executive may lose his or her global view.
While some of the book goes all the way back to the first essays from Drucker in 1966, most of it still rings true today. It helps that the text has been revised several times since then, most recently in 2002.
Compare his list of five with Covey's list of seven habits:
Some are certainly similar, especially prioritization, but Covey emphasizes communications, relationships, and self-development . I think Covey's list reflects our modern sensibilities, but Drucker's view has its merit.
I've been seeing hints of what this book will say on the Drudge Report today and yesterday, but the video is particularly compelling. If these guys can back up their evidence, I think John Kerry will regret trumpeting his war experience at the DNC convention.
I have been skeptical of Bush, but I doubt I will ever trust Kerry.
Today I received a letter from Edward Land, Jr. of the NRA. My name has been submitted to the NRA Nominating Committee for its consideration in selecting nominees for the NRA Board of Directors.
It would be interesting to contribute some time to the NRA BOD. I certainly have some ideas about how the NRA could improve its efforts to train private citizens and I have some involvement in police training as well. Since one of the NRA's missions is to train private citizens in the safe use of firearms, I think I could contribute here. My campaign promise would be to do the heavy lifting necessary to get the NRA to roll out training for private citizens on the safe and effective deployment of firearms from concealment. It is a travesty that so many states allow concealed carry but the largest firearms training organization in the world does not offer this basic information.
I guess in the next few days I should put together my response to the questionnaire and get a decent portrait taken. As I get that material together I will also post it here. The good news is that they do not require a campaign promise in their material. The bad news is that if they knew what I was promising, I would probably not get selected.
If the Nominating Committee does not select me, it is still possible to get on the ballot by collecting signatures. While it's probably not a bad idea to start collecting signatures now, I need to look up the proper procedure. More on this later.
Novell shipped SLES9 today. Much of my work in the past year at IBM has been targeted at this important release. I am also happy to see that EVMS is mentioned (that's one of my teams) although they didn't necessarily describe it very well. It would be better to visit the EVMS web page to find out more.
Items not mentioned in the article include my group's contributions of a new JFS release, IPv6 and mobile IP enhancements, and the fact that SLES9 is the first major 2.6 kernel release of an enterprise distribution. Add in that SLES9 is the first official release of a distribution that supports Infiniband.
20:04 8/4/2004 Update: Newsfactor has also mentioned this release.
I just walked Misty through making her own posting on her web log, which I will not make public. With any luck we'll have lots of activity for her. I think we'll wait a bit before Alana or Ryan start posting on the web.
Note to self, remember the difference between "Draft" and "Publish".
Well, today I installed Moveable Type on pun.org, in hopes of making life easier for keeping the site updated. The various items I discuss on the main pages will eventually migrate here.
For example, I've received frequent requests to update the firearms schools page and I've been slow to make those updates. Perhaps this new system will make it easier to do so.
Another reason is that I've been reading more and more RSS feeds with FeedDemon and the RSS world definitely seems to have matured. Because of the bloggers out there I am seeing a great deal more on-target material than I ever have before. Some folks who might be interested in what I am looking at would benefit from me blogging those items.
A bad thing, or a good thing, about blogging is that it encourages frequent short postings instead of infrequent long postings. Since I post too infrequently, this will be an improvement.