title>Lady Liberty Defended: April 2007
Lady Liberty Defended
Monday, April 30, 2007
  Carry a GUN, not SEASONING DAMMIT! Do it for the Children!

From the Los Angeles Times (in the Chicago Tribune)

ATTACKED BY A GRIZZLY (and totally sensationalized by the writer...)

A hike into horror and an act of courage

A California man visiting Glacier National Park with his daughter instinctively puts himself between her and the rampaging bear's claws and teeth.

By Thomas CurwenTimes Staff WriterPublished April 29, 2007 Glacier National Park, Mont. —

JOHAN looked up. Jenna was running toward him. She had yelled something, he wasn't sure what. Then he saw it. The open mouth, the tongue, the teeth, the flattened ears. Jenna ran right past him, and it struck him — a flash of fur, two jumps, 400 pounds of lightning.It was a grizzly, and it had him by his left thigh. His mind started racing — to Jenna, to the trip, to fighting, to escaping. The bear jerked him back and forth like a rag doll, but he remembered no pain, just disbelief. It bit into him again and again, its jaw like a sharp vise stopping at nothing until teeth hit bone. Then came the claws, rising like shiny knife blades, long and stark...

I will not be food. Don't ask. Don't tell. And for G_d's sake at LEAST carry a K-Bar or equivelent "human claw".

Saturday, April 28, 2007
  Phillip Thompson Will NOT be Prosecuted...
I'd like to take the credit for my initiative in beginning the Free Phillip Thompson campaign but I don't think it made a bit of difference. Phillip Thompson, aide to Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, will not be prosecuted for illegal anything with a handgun at The Capitol and I just think that the various agencies involved couldn't prove a crime. Too bad that Senator Webb has yet to speak out for gun owners (including himself), stand up for his friend (in public), or do anything that would show that he's more than a surrender monkey putz. I know, I'm too demanding.


Friday, April 27, 2007
  "Prohibited People"?
Just what did we fight WWII to stop?

Sure, we fought it to stop a Mad Man from taking over all of Europe, but we also fought it to disavow the noxious principle of singling out a group of innocent people and making them, and their families, “prohibited persons”.

How soon we forget the lessons of the Shoah, because it looks like the idea that there can be “prohibited persons” is alive and well enough in the halls of Congress that I may just have to get my own forearm tattoo.

Not content to try to ban virtually all firearms with HR-1022, or opportunistically dance on the graves of the Virginia Tech dead with HR-1859, dictators-in-training McCarthy and Dingell have introduced a McCarthyesque (how appropriate, Joe would be proud) bill to compile and maintain information on every person in America… to determine whether or not they are “prohibited persons”.

Introduced back in January by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D/S), HR 297 is intended among other things to dangerously broaden the definition of "mental illness".

Section (102)(c)(3) states:

"The State shall make available to the Attorney General ... the name and other relevant identifying information of persons adjudicated as mentally defective or those committed to mental institutions to assist the Attorney General in enforcing section 922(g)(4) of title 18, United States Code."

Can you imagine? ANYONE who has been to a mental institution or "adjudicated as mentally defective" would have their name and identifying information sent to the federal government - to be held in perpetuity and used however any current or future "Justice Department" sees fit.

It doesn't matter if you needed assistance coping with the devastating loss of a loved one or war-related post- traumatic stress disorder. It doesn't matter if you only stayed for a night because a spouse was worried about you, or you had Post Partum depression.

Regardless of circumstances, your information would be still be submitted and you would become a "prohibited person" - prohibited from whatever the US Department of Justice deems inappropriate for the "Mentally Ill".

In theory, if you were found not to have a mental illness, your name could be removed from the list. But in this day and age of such psychiatric diagnoses as "Oppositional Defiance Disorder" and "Caffeine Dependence Syndrome", what's the likelihood of escaping without such a label? Once a family member is designated as a “prohibited person”, the entire family (in community property states) will become, by simple proximity, “prohibited persons” as well. If one person in a household is “prohibited from possessing”, everyone in the household is. Guilt by Association – an American Tradition (since RICO anyway…)

The unintended consequences are obvious to any thinking person. As a result of HR 297, more people who really do need mental help will avoid getting it. Fearing the consequent loss of their rights, individuals will refuse to visit a therapist or mental facility, and will therefore be untreated and MORE likely to become a danger to themselves or others.

In one fell swoop, HR 297 will totally negate the decades of progress that have been made in de-stigmatizing mental therapy, while increasing the likelihood of repeating a Virginia Tech style slaughter.

People with a Diagnosis will forever be labeled as "undesirable" in the US legal system, and with more and more employers using DOJ data when doing background checks, it will be more and more difficult for even a stable, treated person to get a job... and the income/insurance necessary to remain treated.

Ostensibly, this obscene bill is about “gun control”, but as I have stated – you can’t ban what anyone can make. So it looks like they are going to ban people.

My wife is Bi Polar. Time to dig out my grand-uncle’s big yellow star.

(Poster's Disclaimer: some useful/well written text blatantly plagerized from GOA & JPFO alerts...)

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  This needs saying... and repeating... Just Do It
There should be no glory, or history, in a dishonorable death.

(From the Editor of The Libertarian Enterprise)

"My feelings are hurt! Nobody likes me because I'm unlikable! I have no friends because I'm unfriendly! I hate everybody! Poor Me! Boo hoo! It's not my fault!" But of course, it IS your fault, you stupid git. Yes, you failed to learn to be friendly, to become likable, but IT IS YOUR fault, you stupid git! Why didn't you read "How to Win Friends and Influence People"? Eh? Eh? I've got a copy I picked up for 25-cents at a thrift store.

I'm hearby kicking off the campaign to always and forever more refer to that stupid git at Virginia Tech as "Stupid Git"—never speak his name, whatever it was; let it be lost to history. Just call him "That Stupid Git." Steal his tombstone and replace it with one that says "Here lies That Supid Git."

Okay, that would violate the Z.A.P., so don't do that. ...

I agree with the bolded bits 150%. From here on out, I will also refer to the faceless freak of VT as "That Stupid Git"...

You should too.


  HEADLINES FROM THE YEAR: 2029 (emails go around like a virus...)

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  Abrogate the Constitution to Control Firearms
Destroy the country to save "the children"....
The disarming of America Wednesday, April 25, 2007 Dan Simpson

LAST week's tragedy at Virginia Tech in which a mentally disturbed person gunned down 32 of America's finest - intelligent young people with futures ahead of them - once again puts the phenomenon of an armed society into focus for Americans.

The likely underestimate of how many guns are wandering around America runs at 240 million in a population of about 300 million. What was clear last week is that at least two of those guns were in the wrong hands.

When people talk about doing something about guns in America, it often comes down to this: "How could America disarm even if it wanted to? There are so many guns out there."

Because I have little or no power to influence the "if" part of the issue, I will stick with the "how." And before anyone starts to hyperventilate and think I'm a crazed liberal zealot wanting to take his gun from his cold, dead hands, let me share my experience of guns.

As a child I played cowboys and Indians with cap guns. I had a Daisy Red Ryder B-B gun. My father had in his bedside table drawer an old pistol which I examined surreptitiously from time to time. When assigned to the American embassy in Beirut during the war in Lebanon, I sometimes carried a .357 Magnum, which I could fire accurately. I also learned to handle and fire a variety of weapons while I was there, including Uzis and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

I don't have any problem with hunting, although blowing away animals with high-powered weapons seems a pointless, no-contest affair to me. I suppose I would enjoy the fellowship of the experience with other friends who are hunters.

Now, how would one disarm the American population? First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty.

Hunters would be able to deposit their hunting weapons in a centrally located arsenal, heavily guarded, from which they would be able to withdraw them each hunting season upon presentation of a valid hunting license. The weapons would be required to be redeposited at the end of the season on pain of arrest. When hunters submit a request for their weapons, federal, state, and local checks would be made to establish that they had not been convicted of a violent crime since the last time they withdrew their weapons. In the process, arsenal staff would take at least a quick look at each hunter to try to affirm that he was not obviously unhinged.

It would have to be the case that the term "hunting weapon" did not include anti-tank ordnance, assault weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, or other weapons of war.

All antique or interesting non-hunting weapons would be required to be delivered to a local or regional museum, also to be under strict 24-hour-a-day guard. There they would be on display, if the owner desired, as part of an interesting exhibit of antique American weapons, as family heirlooms from proud wars past or as part of collections.

Gun dealers could continue their work, selling hunting and antique firearms. They would be required to maintain very tight inventories. Any gun sold would be delivered immediately by the dealer to the nearest arsenal or the museum, not to the buyer.

The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.

Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for "carrying."

The "gun lobby" would no doubt try to head off in the courts the new laws and the actions to implement them. They might succeed in doing so, although the new approach would undoubtedly prompt new, vigorous debate on the subject. In any case, some jurisdictions would undoubtedly take the opportunity of the chronic slowness of the courts to begin implementing the new approach.

America's long land and sea borders present another kind of problem. It is easy to imagine mega-gun dealerships installing themselves in Mexico, and perhaps in more remote parts of the Canadian border area, to funnel guns into the United States. That would constitute a problem for American immigration authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard, but not an insurmountable one over time.

There could conceivably also be a rash of score-settling during hunting season as people drew out their weapons, ostensibly to shoot squirrels and deer, and began eliminating various of their perceived two-footed enemies. Given the general nature of hunting weapons and the fact that such killings are frequently time-sensitive, that seems a lesser sort of issue.

That is my idea of how it could be done. The desire to do so on the part of the American people is another question altogether, but one clearly raised again by the Blacksburg tragedy.

Dan Simpson, a retired diplomat, is a member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
This is why our state department can't work to defeat our enemies. The diplomatic corps believes, not in the values expressed in the Constitution, but in dictatorships, in totalitarianism, in oppression, in absolute control of the individual and it was well expressed here by a career diplomat. Be afraid, be very afraid, Mr. Simpson's ideas were incubated in the US State Department.


  Surrender Monkeys Out in Force
As noted here Iraq war dominates first Dem. presidential debate the Dem/S candidates all jetted down (in separate private jets) to the "debate" site and conducted their press conference. Of course this is all over the news with "in depth analysis" which misses the mark. The main point was that they would all surrender. That is the one reason that you absolutely should never vote for any one of these people. they would give your children and grandchildren to the radical islamists.

April 26, 2007
BY NEDRA PICKLER Associated Press
ORANGEBURG, S.C. -- Democratic presidential hopefuls flashed their anti-war credentials Thursday night, robustly criticizing President Bush's Iraq policy in an unusually early first debate of the 2008 campaign.

"If this president does not get us out of Iraq, when I am president, I will," said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, one of eight contenders on the debate stage.

Sen. Barack Obama shares a laugh with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton prior to the start of the Democratic presidential primary debate of the 2008 election hosted by the South Carolina State University.

But Clinton found herself on the receiving end of criticism moments later when former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said she or anyone else who voted to authorize the war should "search their conscience."

Edwards, in the Senate at the time, also cast his vote for the invasion, but he since has apologized for it.

Of eight rivals participating in the debate at South Carolina State University, four voted earlier in the day to support legislation that cleared Congress and requires the beginning of a troop withdrawal by Oct. 1. The legislation sets a goal of a complete withdrawal by April 1, 2008.

"We are one signature away from ending this war," said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. He said if Bush won't change his mind about vetoing the bill, Democrats need to work on rounding up enough Republican votes to override him.

In addition to Clinton and Obama, Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut also cast votes earlier in the day in favor of the legislation.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio also took part in the debate.

Bush is barred by the Constitution from running for re-election next fall, and the result is an extraordinarily early start to the campaign to succeed him.

The debate was 90 minutes long without opening or closing statements from the candidates. Instead, each of the eight fielded questions in turn.

While Iraq dominated the debate's early moments, Edwards was asked about having paid for a $400 haircut from campaign donations rather than from his own wallet.

"That was a mistake, which we remedied," he said. A wealthy former trial lawyer, he recalled once having gone to dinner at a restaurant as a young child and having to leave because his father could not afford the prices.

"I've not forgotten where I came from," he said.

Five of the eight -- Gravel, Biden, Dodd, Kucinich and Richardson -- raised their hands when moderator Brian Williams of NBC News asked whether they had ever had a gun in their home.

Asked about a recent Supreme Court ruling that upheld a ban on so-called partial birth abortions, several of the contenders replied they would not impose a litmus test on their own nominees to the high court.

At the same time, they stressed their support for abortion rights, and said their nominees would reflect their own values. "Any of my appointments to the high court would necessarily reflect my thinking," said Kucinich, who did not mention that he opposed abortion rights until he ran for the White House in 2004.

There were moments of levity, as when Williams referred to Biden's reputation for "verbosity" and asked whether he had the discipline to be a player on the world stage.

"Yes," the Delaware lawmaker replied with uncharacteristic brevity.

Asked why he was not supporting an NAACP ban on travel to South Carolina while the Confederate flag flies on the grounds of the State Capitol in Columbia, Biden noted that Rep. James Clyburn, a black member of Congress from another part of the state, had invited them to the debate.

The flag "should be put in a museum," added Obama, running the most competitive race in history for a black man.

The debate was about 40 minutes old when Clinton made the first mention of her husband, the former president. Responding to a question about the recent shooting spree at Virginia Tech, she began by saying, "I remember very well when I accompanied Bill to Columbine" -- the Colorado high school that was the scene of another shooting spree a decade ago.

Not surprisingly, Bush's Iraq war policy found no supporters on the debate stage.

"I am proud that I opposed this war from the start," said Obama -- a jab at those on the stage who voted to authorize the invasion.

"I would withdraw all of our troops by the end of our calendar year," and invite Iran and Syria to a regional security conference, said Richardson.

"The president has a fundamentally flawed policy," said Biden. "The president should start off by not vetoing the legislation he says he will veto."

Dodd said Bush was pursuing a "failed policy."

Kucinich jabbed at the senators on stage, saying it made no sense to oppose the war and then turn around and vote for more money as they did. The Ohio lawmaker voted against the legislation that cleared Congress earlier in the day.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Thursday, April 26, 2007
  Letter to Senator Jim Webb
Senator Jim Webb voted today on a "funding" and pork bill that puts a timeline to the war "in Iraq". So, I was motivated to write him, again, on the subject.
I notice that you say that you're proud to represent the citizens of Virginia. You must not be proud of representing me or any of the sservice people who live in the Commonwealth. Your vote today, trying to usurp the command and control of the US armed forces while giving aid and comfort to our enemies is reprehensible. Are you familiar with the term "quisling"? I suggest you bone up on your history. You might see a bit of what you're doing AND you might actually learn that it always harms the nation that tries it.
Please note that I notice that while Speaker Pelosi can travel half way 'round the world to treat with the Syrian dictator but can't spare 15 minutes to get briefed by the US commander in Iraq. I noticed that Senator Reid has decided, unilaterally, that we are defeated.


  For Fun... Sometimes a picture says it all...

But some people say it better:

Why Did it Have to be ... Guns?
by L. Neil Smith lneil@lneilsmith.org

Over the past 30 years, I've been paid to write almost two million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came back to the issue of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I've thought about the issue a lot, and it has always determined the way I vote.

People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn't true. What I've chosen, in a world where there's never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician—or political philosophy—is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center.

Make no mistake: all politicians—even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership—hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it's an X-ray machine. It's a Vulcan mind-meld. It's the ultimate test to which any politician—or political philosophy—can be put.

If a politician isn't perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash—for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn't your friend no matter what he tells you.

If he isn't genuinely enthusiastic about his average constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking anybody's permission, he's a four-flusher, no matter what he claims.

What his attitude—toward your ownership and use of weapons—conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he doesn't trust you, then why in the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?

If he doesn't want you to have the means of defending your life, do you want him in a position to control it?

If he makes excuses about obeying a law he's sworn to uphold and defend—the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights—do you want to entrust him with anything?

If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil—like "Constitutionalist"—when you insist that he account for himself, hasn't he betrayed his oath, isn't he unfit to hold office, and doesn't he really belong in jail?

Sure, these are all leading questions. They're the questions that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any given politician—or political philosophy—is really made of.

He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who shouldn't have a gun—but what does that have to do with you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn't you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left public school—or the military? Isn't it an essentially European notion, anyway—Prussian, maybe—and certainly not what America was supposed to be all about?

And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.

Try it yourself: if a politician won't trust you, why should you trust him? If he's a man—and you're not—what does his lack of trust tell you about his real attitude toward women? If "he" happens to be a woman, what makes her so perverse that she's eager to render her fellow women helpless on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped create? Should you believe her when she says she wants to help you by imposing some infantile group health care program on you at the point of the kind of gun she doesn't want you to have?

On the other hand—or the other party—should you believe anything politicians say who claim they stand for freedom, but drag their feet and make excuses about repealing limits on your right to own and carry weapons? What does this tell you about their real motives for ignoring voters and ramming through one infantile group trade agreement after another with other countries?

Makes voting simpler, doesn't it? You don't have to study every issue—health care, international trade—all you have to do is use this X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld, to get beyond their empty words and find out how politicians really feel. About you. And that, of course, is why they hate it.

And that's why I'm accused of being a single-issue writer, thinker, and voter.

But it isn't true, is it?

(Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the author—provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and appropriate credit given. )

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  Donald Walters, Lori Piestewa and Shoshana Johnson
I thought I'd written about these two soldiers who were in the same firefight as Jessica Lynch and who's respective stories might have been rolled up into the Army's one story about PFC Lynch.

As you know, PFC (USA, Ret.) Jessica Lynch testified that the Army misled the public about the truth of her circumstances and she pointed out that others were the true heroes. Some have criticized her for not speaking up sooner. Frankly, I can't remember one instance where I heard her contradict her testimony. I think she was the first I heard say that she never fired a shot and I heard her a way back then say that others had done more to resist. As she has said, her fellow soldiers, SGT Walters and Specialists Piestewa and Johnson were the heros of that particular action and its aftermath.


  USC students hold off gunman
The full title is Cops: USC students hold off gunman AP April 24, 2007
LOS ANGELES --Students wrested a gun away from a University of Southern California student who had been asked to leave an off-campus party after threatening a young woman, police said Tuesday.

Zao Xing Yang, 19, was arrested early Sunday and is being held without bail, Chief William Bratton said at a news conference.

Some students at the party, held at a student's home, overheard Yang making intimidating statements to the woman and threatening her with violence about 3 a.m. Sunday, Bratton said.

Yang began arguing with the host, who noticed Yang was holding a gun, he said.

"Several students wrestled the gun away from Yang and held him until campus security and then LAPD officers arrived," Bratton said.

Detectives searched Yang's off-campus room Monday and found a safe containing methamphetamine packaged for sale, a .44-caliber Magnum revolver and several hundred dollars in cash, Bratton said.

Yang is charged with making criminal threats, assault with a firearm and personal use of a handgun. If convicted, he faces up to 18 years in prison.

Defense attorney Nina Marino declined to comment.

Of course there will be comparisons to the Virginia Tech students. I feel I have to point out some likely (emphasis) differences.

First, some of these fellows were likely (again, emphasis here) enjoying some adult beverages which lower inhibitions. Clearly not to excess or they wouldn't have succeeded. Students going to class likely weren't affected by drugs or alcohol and so were more intimidated.

Second, they were in very close proximitiy to one another which has been proven to give soldiers greater confidence. The VT students, sitting at the desks or other furniture used in many classrooms, were/felt isolated and their movements restricted which made it easier to intimidate them.

Third, they probably were also in close proximity to the gunman and there were likely a number of them close to the gunman. At VT the students closest to the killer were likely at least 6 feet from him. While it isn't true in fact, 6 feet seems a great distance to the untrained.

I think, too, the USC kids were aware of what happened at VT and had changed or strengthened resolve. I'd like to hear from the students involved but I don't know that they want to be quoted. I know my kids would not want me to know that they were at a party at 3 AM!


  Name Change
If you actually come here, not accidentally, you might notice the name has changed. That's because both Hobie (me) and Old Ironsights are old soldiers. 1+1=2 and all that. Just to maintain accuracy in reporting...


Wednesday, April 25, 2007
  We Forgot Korea and 30+ thousand dead and now...
we're apparently forgetting about Afghanistan. Troops are still there in Afghanistan, some are being wounded or killed. Strength was recently increased. There is even a push on in the mountains near the Pakistani border. But little news. Apparently there is also little support for the surviving families of service people killed in Afghanistan.

Well, we forgot about Korea pretty quickly it seems to me. 36,516 service men and women were killed during the conflict out of 1-3/4 million who served in theater. They were largely forgotten as well. Sometimes I meet veterans of Korea and they ask if I know about it. I do (I spent 4 years 9 months and a few days in the Republic of Korea). You can tell that they think nobody knows about or values their efforts. Now we hear that the families of the KIA in Afghanistan are forgotten. Will the surviving veterans be next?


  Global Warming, Climate Change or Whatever...
Can you say scam? Well global warming or global climate change is one. Oh, I don't doubt that there are changes in climate here and there in the world. But I do doubt that changing anything that humans do is going to change anything at all. After all, climate change is what created a land bridge from Asia to the Americas permitting human migration here. Anyway, there's a real push on in the media to convince Americans that they are solely responsible for this and this includes the "chanteuse" Sheryl Crow who believes that we can save the world using only one square of toilet paper at a time. However, like Al Gore, Sheryl has a pretty nice house that consumes much more than she'd allow the rest of us.

Frankly, as has been said before, all I keep seeing is rich Dem/S telling everyone else what to do. I see that Al Gore was embarrassed by his wealth so he's adding solar panels to one of his mansions and making some other changes. But that's only one home.

Of course economic decisions are something we all have to do. I'm going to install a new hot water heater in my 81 year old home. I figure that with the tax rebate, higher efficiency heater, and updated piping I might cut my gas bill a bit and improve the saleability of my house. There's nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is being TOLD how and when and where to spend my money. It is just another form of tax...


  Welcome Old Ironsights
I'd like to welcome Old Ironsights to this blog as, I hope, a regular poster. I'm looking forward to his posts.


  Details, Details...

The first Broadside from Old Ironsights...


There is an old saw that claims that: "A Conservative is a Liberal who has been Mugged". However, I have found that is often not the case, particularly when it comes to "Ivory Tower" Liberal Utopians. Utopians are a strange lot. For them, impossibility is simply not a concern. Take, for example, the recent article published on CNN.com by Tom Plate, former editor of the editorial pages of the Los Angeles Times, and current professor of communication and policy studies at UCLA, titled "Let's lay down our right to bear arms".

Really? Lay down our RIGHT to bear arms and, by definition, get rid of our guns?

Sure Tom. Have you thought about this at all?

In the wake of the recent tragedies, many emotional people like yourself, as well as the regular political ideologues, have voiced that "We need to get rid of our guns."

What a magical quick fix to deep sociological problems that would be!

But, all 2nd Amendment questions aside, I have only one question to people like Tom... "How?"

How are you going to get rid of guns? With the “magic wand” of a Constitutional Amendment or a "War on Guns"?

The Volstead Act created Bootleggers, built the Mob (and the Kennedy Clan...) and gave us toxic home-made bathtub gin.

The "war on drugs" gave us "Mules", Gangbangers and Suburban Meth labs.

But, just as with Booze & Drugs, if criminals can't get smuggled or stolen guns, they will make their own.

The simplest firearm in the world to make is a fully automatic 9mm submachinegun. Mr. P.A. Luty, a British Subject, proved this can be done with hand tools, stock steel tubing and a few hours work.

Why try to steal a snubby when you can make a machinegun? They would both be just as illegal.

How are you going to get rid of guns?

What level of Kim Jong Il style authoritarianism are you willing to impose on honest citizens to attempt this? How much are you willing to impose on yourself?

How are you going to get rid of guns?

With Waco/Ruby Ridge/Elian Gonzalez style police raids on the homes of every American - in the off chance some of the MILLIONS of lawfully held firearms in this country aren’t turned in?

Even assuming you could legislate a nationwide turn-in, how are you going to take guns away from criminals and crazies?

They aren’t allowed to have them now, so they don't have to turn them in... that would violate their Right to eschew self incrimination (unless, of course, the turn-in is of the "no questions asked" variety - allowing criminals to turn in evidence for destruction...).

How are you going to get rid of guns?

You aren't. Ever.

You are only going to impose an authoritarian bureaucracy on the Law Abiding citizens of America... and criminals will still kill with "illegal" guns.

So much for Utopia.

(Note: This article was published in a slightly shorter & edited form as a Letter to the Editor in my local paper...)


  Dem/S Contribute to Global Warming...
Let's call this satire.


Monday, April 23, 2007
  When a Shooter Meets Armed Resistance
Said so much better than I can manage, Classically Liberal posts:
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
When mass killers meet armed resistance.

It took place at a university in Virginia. A student with a grudge, an immigrant, pulled a gun and went on a shooting spree. It wasn’t Virginia Tech at all. It was the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, not far away. You can easily drive from the one school to the other, just take a trip down Route 460 through Tazewell.

It was January 16, 2002 when Peter Odighizuwa came to campus. He had been suspended due to failing grades. Odighizuwa was angry and waving a gun calling on students to “come get me”. The students, seeing the gun, ran. A shooting spree started almost immediately. In seconds Odighizuwa had killed the school dean, a professor and one student. Three other students were shot as well, one in the chest, one in the stomach and one in the throat.

Many students heard the shots. Two who did were Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges. Mikael was outside the school having just returned to campus from lunch when he heard the shots. Tracy was inside attending class. Both immediately ran to their cars. Each had a handgun locked in the vehicle.

Bridges pulled a .357 Magnum pistol and he later said he was prepared to shoot to kill if necessary. He and Gross both approached Odighizuwa at the same time from different directions. Both were pointing their weapons at him. Bridges yelled for Odighizuwa to drop his weapon. When the shooter realized they had the drop on him he threw his weapon down. A third student, unarmed, Ted Besen, approached the killer and was physically attacked.
But Odighizuwa was now disarmed. The three students were able to restrain him and held him for the police. Odighizuwa is now in prison for the murders he committed. His killing spree ended when he faced two students with weapons. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance.

You wouldn’t know much about that though. Do you wonder why? The media, though it widely reported the attack left out the fact that Bridges and Gross were armed. Most simply reported that the gunman was jumped and subdued by other students. That two of those students were now armed didn’t get a mention.

James Eaves-Johnson wrote about this fact one week later in The Daily Iowan. He wrote: “A Lexus-Nexis search revealed 88 stories on the topic, of which only two mentioned that either Bridges or Gross was armed.” This 2002 article noted “This was a very public shooting with a lot of media coverage.” But the media left out information showing how two students with firearms ended the killing spree.

He also mentioned a second incident. And while I had read many articles on this shooting for an article I wrote about school bullying not a single one mentioned the role that a firearm played in stopping it. Until today I didn’t know the full story.

Luke Woodham was a troubled teen. He felt no one really liked him. In 1997 he murdered his mother and put on a trench coat. He filled the pockets with ammunition and took a handgun to the Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi. In rapid succession killed two students and wounded seven others.

He had the incident planned out. He would start shooting students and continue until he heard police sirens in the distance. That would allow him time to get in his car and leave campus. From there he intended to go to the nearby Pearl Junior High School and start shooting again. How it would end was not clear. Perhaps he would kill himself or perhaps the police would finally catch up with him and kill him. Either way a lot more people were going to get shot and die.

What Woodham hadn’t planned for was the actions of Assistant Principal Joel Myrick. Myrick heard the gun shots. He couldn’t have a handgun in the school. But he did keep one locked in his vehicle in the parking lot. He ran outside and retrieved the gun.

As Myrick headed back toward the school Woodham was in his vehicle headed for his next intended target. Myrick aimed his gun at the shooter. The teen crashed his car when he saw the gun. Myrick approached the car and held a gun to the killer who surrendered immediately. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance.

So you didn’t know about that. Neither did I until today. Eaves-Johnson wrote that there were “687 articles on the school shooting in Pearl, Miss. Of those, only 19 mentioned that” Myrick had used a gun to stop Woodham “four-and-a-half minutes before police arrived.”

Many people probably forgot about the shooting in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. It was a school graduation dance that Andrew Wurst entered to take out his anger on the school. First he shot teacher John Gillette outside. He started shooting randomly inside the restaurant where the 240 students had gathered.

It was restaurant owner James Strand, armed with a shot gun, who captured the shooter and held him for police. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance.

It was February 12th of this year that a young man entered the Trolley Square Shopping Mall, in Salt Lake City. The mall was a self-declared “gun free zone” forbidding patrons from carrying weapons. He wasn’t worried. In fact he appreciated knowing that his victims couldn’t defend themselves.

He opened fire even before he got inside killing his first victims immediately outside the front door. As he walked down the mall hallway he fired in all directions. Several more people were shot inside a card store immediately inside the mall. The shooter moved on to the Pottery Barns Kids store.

What he didn’t know is that one patron of the mall, Kenneth Hammond, had ignored the signs informing patrons they must be unarmed to enter. He was a police officer but he was not on duty and he was not a police officer for Salt Lake City. By all standards he was a civilian that day and probably should have left his firearm in his vehicle.

It’s a good thing he didn’t. He was sitting in the mall with his wife having dinner when he heard the shots. He told her to hide and to call 911 emergency services. He went to confront the gunman. The killer found himself under gun fire much sooner than he anticipated. From this point on all his effort was to protect himself from Hammond, he had no time to kill anyone else. Hammond was able to pin down the shooter until police finally arrived and one of them shot the man to death. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance.

In each of these cases a killer is stopped the moment he faces armed resistance. It is clear that in three of these cases the shooter intended to continue his killing spree. In the fourth case, Andrew Wurst, it is not immediately apparent whether he intended to keep shooting or not since he was apprehended by the restaurant owner leaving the scene.

Three of these cases involved armed resistance by students, faculty or civilians. In one case the armed resistance was from an off-duty police officer in a city where he had no legal authority and where he was carrying his weapon in violation of the mall’s gun free policy.

What would have happened if these people waited for the police? In three cases the shooters were apprehended before the police arrived because of armed civilians. At Trolley Square the shooter was kept busy by Hammond until the police arrived. In all four cases the local police were the Johnny-come-latelys.

Consider the horrific events at Virginia Tech. Again an armed man enters a “gun free zone”. He kills two victims and walks away long before the police arrive. He spends two hours on campus, doing what is unknown. He then enters another building on campus and begins shooting. He never encounters a police officer during this. And all the students and faculty present had apparently complied with the “no gun” policy of the university. So no one stopped him. NO ONE STOPPED HIM! And when he finished his shooting spree 32 people were dead. It was the killer who ended the spree. He took his own life and when the police arrived all they dealt with were the dead.

There were many further victims that day. The shooter never met with armed resistance.
Labels: gun control

posted by CLS at 4/18/2007 01:14:00 AM

And Classically Liberal is such. He complains of George Bush as being a facist but hides his face and name on his (?) blog. Still, the obvious logic doesn't get by this blogger. Firearms are freedom from fear just as much as unfettered access to vanilla extract.


Saturday, April 21, 2007
  I'm just so glad there's young people to carry on...


  The Copycat Effect - A MUST Read
First, read Mr. Coleman's blog, then buy his book, "The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines".

You can save the crying for our country until later.


Friday, April 20, 2007
  From Stop the NRA...
My heart continues to ache for the victims, their families, and the Virginia Tech community. After my husband was shot by a deranged man, our lives were never the same. But at some point, Jim and I decided to stop hurting and take action.

Eight years ago today was the horrific tragedy at Columbine High School. And in that eight years, no significant action has been taken in our country to prevent gun violence.

Elected officials continue to ignore our gun violence problem. It’s time for them to answer one question: "What are YOU going to do about it?"

We’re waging a campaign to ask our nation's leaders . . . the President, the Congress, the presidential candidates, state officials and local governments . . . asking them, "What are YOU going to do about it?"

32 people were murdered on Monday at Virginia Tech
32 people are murdered every day by gun violence in America

As a nation we must do better

A clever donor has started her own email campaign asking her contacts to contribute $32 or more today to help sustain our campaign to ask our nation’s leaders, "What are YOU going to do about it?"

What a great idea. Will you join her by making a gift today and asking your contacts to join you?

Right now, we are focusing on the Presidential candidates all of whom have been disturbingly silent on the issue.

Call those who want to be President, and ask them "What are YOU going to do about it? What we're doing now is not working. Doing nothing is not an option. Please take action now."

Your support is the life of our campaign. This is an unbudgeted project that can only be sustained with your generous support today.

We can no longer wait and we must take action . . . too many lives are being lost. So today, I respectfully ask, "What are YOU going to do about it?"

Warm regards and growing optimism,

Sarah Brady, Chair
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Well, I'll tell you what I'm going to do Sarah. I'm going to contact 32 friends and ask them to each contribute $3.20 or $32 or $320 or $3200 as they can afford to a pro-gun organization of their choice and to contact 32 of their friends to do the same. You see Sarah, it might just have been that if a student had not been denied his/her CHP use on campus or the magistrate had not made Cho's committment voluntary or if... well it goes on and on but the upshot is that a gun didn't do the deed, Seung-hui Cho killed those people. He was insane. Hinckley was insane. Do you see a pattern? Maybe you ought to go round up 32 crazy people. Might be more efficient. And since doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is insane perhaps you can check in to a facility yourself. IF you need references, just point to the gun-"free" zones in Washington, D.C., Virginia Tech, New York City where criminals still committ the criminal act of murder against the defenseless due to misguided attempts to disarm the lawabiding while criminals obey no laws.


  "Dumb" Blonde? I don't think so....


  Quisling Reid Still Gets My Goat

“I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week.” Senator Harry Reid, April 19, 2007

This still chaps my ---. Sorry, but that we have such idiots (?) and/or traitors in our Congress much less in leadership positions in that body just ticks me off. This moron thinks that when we attacked the enemy wouldn't resist as best they could? No, I think he did expect that the enemy would resist our stepped up attacks and waited until 100s of Iraqis had died (and the Virginia Tech shootings started to rotate out of the news cycle) before he came out with this statement of his opinion. But, I don't believe him. I believe he knows the "surge" is working. He knows that we are hurting them and they are struggling to resist. I think he knows we could win the "war". I think he knows he can hurt the stability of the Iraqi government with his statements. Harry Reid knew the "surge" would work when he called for it before he opposed it (in direct opposition to the POTUS's opinion). In short, I think Harry Reid knows exactly what he's doing and he is happy to do it. In short, I think Harry Reid is a traitor.

Now, all you folks who sent the POTUS a "message" by not voting or voting for one of the Dem/S (blue dog or not), kiss your babies and grand-babies good night every chance you get. Oh, and pray for them.


Thursday, April 19, 2007
  Quisling in Chief Declares War Lost
Iraq war is 'lost': US Democrat leader

I guess Reid had to do something to draw attention away from Pelosi who's been getting so much press he tried to hijack her press conference the other day. Of course he can be counted on to do something stupid. I can hear him now, "I've go to do something to get back in the news cycle..."


  Thanks Grandfather
My 10X great grandfather who was here and to whom, along with other of my grandfathers, I owe a debt of gratitude for making it possible for me to live in this country these past 52 years.


  From another, 10 second gun control argument...
"You know... killing people is illegal."


"We should ban guns. After all that's how we eliminated illegal drugs from this country."

(followed by a rolling of the eyes and walking away)

Pretty much says it all.


  Now Cho's Famous - Good or Bad?
Well, Cho was a good publicist for sure. He thought to forward a selection of video and photos (digital of course) to NBC so that we are now inundated with images of him mumbling, raging, posing and so on.

So, the question is, will this encourage other ill persons to do something similar? What a reward, in their minds, to finally matter, to be important. Or... are we learning something from this that will help prevent another incident?


Wednesday, April 18, 2007
  Worst School Attack and Other Random Thoughts
From Wikipedia:
The Bath School disaster is the name given to three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, USA, on May 18, 1927, which killed 45 people and injured 58. Most of the victims were children in second to sixth grades attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history. The perpetrator was school board member Andrew Kehoe, who was upset by a property tax that had been levied to fund the construction of the school building. He blamed the additional tax for financial hardships which led to foreclosure proceedings against his farm. These events apparently provoked Kehoe to plan his attack.

On the morning of May 18, Kehoe first killed his wife and then set his farm buildings on fire. As fire fighters arrived at the farm, an explosion devastated the north wing of the school building, killing many of the people inside. Kehoe used a detonator to ignite dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers started gathering at the school, Kehoe drove up, stopped, and detonated a bomb inside his shrapnel-filled vehicle, killing himself and the school superintendent, and killing and injuring several others. During the rescue efforts, searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol planted throughout the basement of the school's south wing.

Now, just how would "gun control" have prevented this? Please note, that this was in 1927.

But in Grundy, VA, on Jan. 16, 2002, a dean, professor and student were killed and three wounded by recently dismissed student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, at Appalachian School of Law. Odghizuwa was stopped by other students. The school then was forced to settle 4 lawsuits:
Once again the deep pocket pays for the crime: at the end of last year the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. agreed to pay $1 million "to settle four lawsuits over a deadly shooting rampage by a struggling student. ... The lawsuits accused the [school] of ignoring repeated warnings that Peter Odighizuwa was a threat before he opened fire in 2002, killing the dean, a professor and a student and wounding three other students. Odighizuwa pleaded guilty earlier this year and is serving six life sentences. ... The plaintiffs had argued that the school should have foreseen the violence because the 46-year-old Odighizuwa -- who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia -- had a history of outbursts, threats and other disruptive behavior." On the other hand, the Nigerian-born Odighizuwa "told The Associated Press in an interview earlier this year that the students should not get any money from the school. 'The law school isn't a psychiatrist. It doesn't know what's in my head,' he said."
So, I suppose we can look for Virginia Tech to be sued by one or more families as Cho was indeed identified as a threat and allowed to continue at the school and to live in the dorms. (Please note that he kept his guns in the dorm in violation of the school policy. Again, the criminal ignored prohibitions.) However, I think the school should end the policy of prohibiting carry by CHP holders on campus as part of any settlement. Fat chance of that though...


  CHP Holder Dis-Armed Courtesy of Virginia Tech
Unarmed and vulnerable by Bradford B. Wiles
Wiles, of New Castle, is a graduate student at Virginia Tech.

On Aug. 21 at about 9:20 a.m., my graduate-level class was evacuated from the Squires Student Center. We were interrupted in class and not informed of anything other than the following words: "You need to get out of the building."

Upon exiting the classroom, we were met at the doors leading outside by two armor-clad policemen with fully automatic weapons, plus their side arms. Once outside, there were several more officers with either fully automatic rifles and pump shotguns, and policemen running down the street, pistols drawn.

It was at this time that I realized that I had no viable means of protecting myself.

Please realize that I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the commonwealth of Virginia, and do so on a regular basis. However, because I am a Virginia Tech student, I am prohibited from carrying at school because of Virginia Tech's student policy, which makes possession of a handgun an expellable offense, but not a prosecutable crime.

I had entrusted my safety, and the safety of others to the police. In light of this, there are a few things I wish to point out.

First, I never want to have my safety fully in the hands of anyone else, including the police.

Second, I considered bringing my gun with me to campus, but did not due to the obvious risk of losing my graduate career, which is ridiculous because had I been shot and killed, there would have been no graduate career for me anyway.

Third, and most important, I am trained and able to carry a concealed handgun almost anywhere in Virginia and other states that have reciprocity with Virginia, but cannot carry where I spend more time than anywhere else because, somehow, I become a threat to others when I cross from the town of Blacksburg onto Virginia Tech's campus.

Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness.

That feeling of helplessness has been difficult to reconcile because I knew I would have been safer with a proper means to defend myself.

I would also like to point out that when I mentioned to a professor that I would feel safer with my gun, this is what she said to me, "I would feel safer if you had your gun."

The policy that forbids students who are legally licensed to carry in Virginia needs to be changed.

I am qualified and capable of carrying a concealed handgun and urge you to work with me to allow my most basic right of self-defense, and eliminate my entrusting my safety and the safety of my classmates to the government.

This incident makes it clear that it is time that Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia let me take responsibility for my safety.

Oleg Volk's response(s)...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
  CBS, First with a Hit Piece Directed at Gun Owners?
As I type this CBS is airing a 48 Hours look at the Virginia Tech tragedy but the first 10 minutes was really a hit piece on gun owners and the Glock pistol as an "ideal" weapon for "mass murder." I can only recommend that if you listen to such folks you know how to identify any or all the logic faults. They've hit a few already.

I may have to buy a Glock just to protest this stupidity. It will be another of my guns that has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car or maybe even Al Gore's house.


  Virgina Tech Fallout...
Already today, from our "friends" at Stop the NRA...
Yesterday, we witnessed America's worst mass shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech. Thirty-three students and faculty were killed, including the gunman. At least fifteen more were wounded.

How many deaths and injuries must we endure before our nation's elected officials act to end gun violence? We must ask our leaders: "What are you going to do about it?" What are you going to do to make our schools, workplaces, and communities safe from gun violence?

President George W. Bush said yesterday that schools should be a place of "safety and sanctuary for every student," but he and other national leaders do nothing to ensure that safety. They provide condolences, and then do nothing to stop future tragedies.

Eight years ago this week, we watched in horror as students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado fled a mass shooting. Twelve students and one teacher were killed. Just seven months ago, five girls were gunned down in a school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

These aren’t isolated incidents. February 12, 2007, Salt Lake City: A teen opens fire in a mall killing five and wounding four. On the same day in Philadelphia: Three men fatally shot and a fourth wounded at a board meeting. January 11, 2007, Indianapolis: A man shoots four fellow employees. The list goes on and on.

There are common threads in all of these tragedies — it is much too easy for the wrong people to get high-powered, deadly weapons and our leaders fail to do anything about the problem.

It is urgent that you email or call your elected officials today.
They must hear that you want action to keep guns out of the wrong hands
The truth is that screened, legal and licensed owners of handguns might have been between Seung-Hui Cho and at least some of the 32 killed IF the school had permitted them to be on campus. Unfortunately, CHP holders being the law abiding citizens they are, there were none. Killers, by definition being the law breakers they are, Cho had no problem sliding past police officers and security locks on dorms to kill.

As a CHP holder I've been vetted. I've been fingerprinted and thus IDed as a the same person who was a soldier for 27½ years. My record as a law abiding citizen has been reviewed (as it was for my security clearance) and I've been found to be responsible. I've shown that I've had some training to make me a safe handler of firearms. AND I've given up some anonymity to register myself as a carrier of a concealed handgun. It is highly unlikely that I would do anything wrong, very likely that I would put myself between danger and the unarmed.

Unfortunately, the VA Tech administration's approach was shown to be unsound, and the defeat of a bill in the Commonwealth's legislature that would force this government school to adhere to state law was shown to be unsound and there was no one there, immediately there, to help those students and faculty. If, say, Professor Librecu had had a five shot revolver, he could have stopped the killer right there. How many MORE would he have saved than he did? Perhaps himself and all those killed after him?


  VT Shooting Update
It has been announced that the shooter was 23 year-old Cho Seung-Hui (Cho being the surname), a South Korean here as a resident alien. Also reported is that two pistols, one 9mm and one .22 caliber, were recovered. The serial numbers on the two weapons had been filed off, the officials said.

Apparently he immigrated with his family as a child and had no military service. I should note that I expect that Cho's parents and all other family members are likely mortified as well as grieving for their son.

Now it has been reported that Cho was found with a backpack containing a receipt for a Glock 9mm pistol that he had bought in March. Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-hui reportedly left a note listing his grievances against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans." The Chicago Tribune reports the note was found in Cho's Harper Hall dorm room on the Blacksburg, Va., campus. Cho, 23, a legal permanent resident who came to the United States in 1992, was described as a loner by university spokesman Larry Hincker. Also that it may have been he who was testing the security with multiple bomb threats in the last month. That he was on medication to treat depression.


  Men of Honor - Liviu Librescu and Ryan Clark
We are very saddened that to add Professor Liviu Librescu to our list.

Today it is being reported that Professor Librescu held a classroom door closed to the Virginia Tech shooter while students exited/escaped through the 2nd floor windows of that classroom. It is also being reported that he was a holocaust survivor.

Ryan Clark was a Resident Assistant who heard shots as Emily Wilscher was shot and ran towards them to help. Clark was called "Stack" by his friends, many of whom he met as a resident assistant at Ambler Johnson Hall, where the first shootings took place.

We honor Professor Librescu and Ryan Clark as a representative of all who made personal sacrifice for others in this horrific incident. We continue to pray for the victims, their families and friends.


Monday, April 16, 2007
  VA Tech Shooting and Comments

HB 1572, which would have allowed handguns on college campuses, died in subcommittee.

By Greg Esposito

A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly.

House Bill 1572 didn't get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. It died Monday in the subcommittee stage, the first of several hurdles bills must overcome before becoming laws.

The bill was proposed by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Gilbert was unavailable Monday and spokesman Gary Frink would not comment on the bill's defeat other than to say the issue was dead for this General Assembly session.

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

Del. Dave Nutter, R-Christiansburg, would not comment Monday because he was not part of the subcommittee that discussed the bill.

Most universities in Virginia require students and employees, other than police, to check their guns with police or campus security upon entering campus. The legislation was designed to prohibit public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun."

The legislation allowed for exceptions for participants in athletic events, storage of guns in residence halls and military training programs.

Last spring a Virginia Tech student was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class, despite having a concealed handgun permit. Some gun owners questioned the university's authority, while the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police came out against the presence of guns on campus.

In June, Tech's governing board approved a violence prevention policy reiterating its ban on students or employees carrying guns and prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus facilities.

If there had been just one CHP person there perhaps not so many would have been shot. There are supposed to have been 32 killed by a single gunman in two different locations on campus. We can only hope that all the facts will be made public.

However, I think it incomprehensible that the administration would have such a unrealistic view of reality that they actively opposed permitting vetted CHP holders to be armed on campus. Of course, they couldn't stop illegal carrying or use of a firearm or, need I point out that this is already illegal everywhere, murder.

May God see fit to help us all...


  Men of Honor - Members of the 116th Infantry Regiment
These three men are or were members of the 116th Infantry Regiment. I am honored to have known them and couldn't continue my Men of Honor series without mentioning these fellow Stonewallers.

Army Captain John Robert Teal. KIA Iraq October 23, 2003.

Army Staff Sergeant Craig W. Cherry. KIA Afghanistan August 7, 2004.

Army Sergeant Bobby E. Beasley. KIA Afghanistan August 7, 2004.


  Logic and blogging...
I actually don't know what to title this post. But, then again, it isn't as if anyone is really reading my puny little blog. No, folks are reading Rosie O'Donnell because she's a celebrity or others who are combining their interests with politics like Lawdog or perhaps they're looking for a bit of skin (and I'm stretching it here because I'm not familiar with "skin" blogs) like Oleg Volk. Yeah, some folks will read blogs like John Lott or David Hardy but we're talking the masses. And it isn't just the readers, more so it is the bloggers, and I'm including the posters on various forums who might be called interactive bloggers. All post to vent/express their opinions but the latter post on somebody else's venue and any given one might express some wild opinions. Many of those opinions aren't based on logic. The reasoning might be riddled with any or all the logic faults. It is somethime painful to read the complete post.

Are people no longer taught HOW to reason? How much will this affect our society, government, and thus our future? I don't think it bodes well for us. Being unable to solve problems, even those with obvious answers, is at the least damaging. I'm afraid it might kill the USofA.


  Want to see what our enemies believe?
Visit Rosie O'Donnell's blog.

Which brings me to a related subject, above...


Saturday, April 14, 2007
  Eject, Eject, Eject
I found this at Oleg Volk's blog. This guy can write. He is funny and smart at the same time and he's right about Leonard Nimoy! I feel better about myself after reading it. I thought I was the only sane one out here (there)...


  Victoria Cross - Private Johnson Gideon Beharry

Tommy Atkins is a fine fellow when you're up against it and Private Johnson Gideon Beharry is proof of that. I think it only right that I mention this hero even if he is a Brit.

His citation:
"Private Beharry carried out two individual acts of great heroism by which he saved the lives of his comrades. Both were in direct face of the enemy, under intense fire, at great personal risk to himself (one leading to him sustaining very serious injuries). His valour is worthy of the highest recognition.

"In the early hours of the 1st May 2004 Beharry’s company was ordered to replenish an isolated Coalition Forces outpost located in the centre of the troubled city of Al Amarah. He was the driver of a platoon commander’s Warrior armoured fighting vehicle. His platoon was the company’s reserve force and was placed on immediate notice to move. As the main elements of his company were moving into the city to carry out the replenishment, they were re-tasked to fight through a series of enemy ambushes in order to extract a foot patrol that had become pinned down under sustained small arms and heavy machine gun fire and improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade attack.

"Beharry’s platoon was tasked over the radio to come to the assistance of the remainder of the company, who were attempting to extract the isolated foot patrol. As his platoon passed a roundabout, en route to the pinned-down patrol, they became aware that the road to the front was empty of all civilians and traffic – an indicator of a potential ambush ahead. The platoon commander ordered the vehicle to halt, so that he could assess the situation. The vehicle was then immediately hit by multiple rocket-propelled grenades. Eyewitnesses report that the vehicle was engulfed in a number of violent explosions, which physically rocked the 30-tonne Warrior.

"As a result of this ferocious initial volley of fire, both the platoon commander and the vehicle’s gunner were incapacitated by concussion and other wounds, and a number of the soldiers in the rear of the vehicle were also wounded. Due to damage sustained in the blast to the vehicle’s radio systems, Beharry had no means of communication with either his turret crew or any of the other Warrior vehicles deployed around him. He did not know if his commander or crewmen were still alive, or how serious their injuries may be. In this confusing and dangerous situation, on his own initiative, he closed his driver’s hatch and moved forward through the ambush position to try to establish some form of communications, halting just short of a barricade placed across the road.

"The vehicle was hit again by sustained rocket-propelled grenade attack from insurgent fighters in the alleyways and on rooftops around his vehicle. Further damage to the Warrior from these explosions caused it to catch fire and fill rapidly with thick, noxious smoke. Beharry opened up his armoured hatch cover to clear his view and orientate himself to the situation. He still had no radio communications and was now acting on his own initiative, as the lead vehicle of a six Warrior convoy in an enemy-controlled area of the city at night. He assessed that his best course of action to save the lives of his crew was to push through, out of the ambush. He drove his Warrior directly through the barricade, not knowing if there were mines or improvised explosive devices placed there to destroy his vehicle. By doing this he was able to lead the remaining five Warriors behind him towards safety.

"As the smoke in his driver’s tunnel cleared, he was just able to make out the shape of another rocket- propelled grenade in flight heading directly towards him. He pulled the heavy armoured hatch down with one hand, whilst still controlling his vehicle with the other. However, the overpressure from the explosion of the rocket wrenched the hatch out of his grip, and the flames and force of the blast passed directly over him, down the driver’s tunnel, further wounding the semi-conscious gunner in the turret. The impact of this rocket destroyed Beharry’s armoured periscope, so he was forced to drive the vehicle through the remainder of the ambushed route, some 1500 metres long, with his hatch opened up and his head exposed to enemy fire, all the time with no communications with any other vehicle. During this long surge through the ambushes the vehicle was again struck by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. While his head remained out of the hatch, to enable him to see the route ahead, he was directly exposed to much of this fire, and was himself hit by a 7.62mm bullet, which penetrated his helmet and remained lodged on its inner surface.

"Despite this harrowing weight of incoming fire Beharry continued to push through the extended ambush, still leading his platoon until he broke clean. He then visually identified another Warrior from his company and followed it through the streets of Al Amarah to the outside of the Cimic House outpost, which was receiving small arms fire from the surrounding area. Once he had brought his vehicle to a halt outside, without thought for his own personal safety, he climbed onto the turret of the still-burning vehicle and, seemingly oblivious to the incoming enemy small arms fire, manhandled his wounded platoon commander out of the turret, off the vehicle and to the safety of a nearby Warrior. He then returned once again to his vehicle and again mounted the exposed turret to lift out the vehicle’s gunner and move him to a position of safety. Exposing himself yet again to enemy fire he returned to the rear of the burning vehicle to lead the disorientated and shocked dismounts and casualties to safety. Remounting his burning vehicle for the third time, he drove it through a complex chicane and into the security of the defended perimeter of the outpost, thus denying it to the enemy. Only at this stage did Beharry pull the fire extinguisher handles, immobilising the engine of the vehicle, dismounted and then moved himself into the relative safety of the back of another Warrior. Once inside Beharry collapsed from the sheer physical and mental exhaustion of his efforts and was subsequently himself evacuated.

"Having returned to duty following medical treatment, on the 11th June 2004 Beharry’s Warrior was part of a quick reaction force tasked to attempt to cut off a mortar team that had attacked a Coalition Force base in Al Amarah. As the lead vehicle of the platoon he was moving rapidly through the dark city streets towards the suspected firing point, when his vehicle was ambushed by the enemy from a series of rooftop positions. During this initial heavy weight of enemy fire, a rocket-propelled grenade detonated on the vehicle’s frontal armour, just six inches from Beharry’s head, resulting in a serious head injury. Other rockets struck the turret and sides of the vehicle, incapacitating his commander and injuring several of the crew.

"With the blood from his head injury obscuring his vision, Beharry managed to continue to control his vehicle, and forcefully reversed the Warrior out of the ambush area. The vehicle continued to move until it struck the wall of a nearby building and came to rest. Beharry then lost consciousness as a result of his wounds. By moving the vehicle out of the enemy’s chosen killing area he enabled other Warrior crews to be able to extract his crew from his vehicle, with a greatly reduced risk from incoming fire. Despite receiving a serious head injury, which later saw him being listed as very seriously injured and in a coma for some time, his level-headed actions in the face of heavy and accurate enemy fire at short range again almost certainly saved the lives of his crew and provided the conditions for their safe evacuation to medical treatment.

"Beharry displayed repeated extreme gallantry and unquestioned valour, despite intense direct attacks, personal injury and damage to his vehicle in the face of relentless enemy action."


  Freedom is Not Free
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform.
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him,
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom is not free.
I heard the sound of "Taps" one night,
When everything was still.
I listed to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That "Taps" and meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom is not free.

- Cadet Major Kelly Strong, Air Force Junior ROTC
Homestead Senior High School, Homestead, FL 1988


Friday, April 13, 2007
  Sunshine for Nancy
(If you decide to contact Ms. Moore, be firm, but polite)

The Free Lance-Star has decided that they would like to continue with what we at VCDL think is the very bad practice of publishing concealed handgun permit holder's names and addresses in their paper.

Well, we don't want the Free Lance-Star to feel left out of the sunshine that they so dearly want to shine on law-abiding citizens, so we've decided to start letting the rays of public information shine on the paper's staff.

Today we'll start with Nancy S. Moore, Managing Editor of the Free Lance Star.

Nancy lives at 314 Princess Anne St. in Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401.

Her home phone number is 540-373-2973.

Nancy's house was built in 1826 and is 2,583 square feet. The foundation is masonry and the exterior walls are brick/stone.

Nancy's house has a total of six rooms including 2 bedrooms, two full baths and three fireplaces.

Gee, Nancy. I hope you have inserts in those fireplaces, you wouldn't want all the heat going out the chimneys!

There's a full basement with a total of 720 square feet and the finished portion is 540 square feet which leaves 180 square feet unfinished.

Outside of the fireplaces, the house is heated with natural gas and hot water. Sewer is public underground. And, thankfully, Nancy's house, which was built in 1826, has been upgraded with air-conditioning for those hot summers in Fredericksburg.

On the financial side, for 1999 the total tax value was $214,000 and 2007 saw a very small increase to $217,300 (!). I wish I'd had so little appreciation in the assessment, is there something going on there?

That reflects a land value of $48,000 and an improvement value of $169,300.

This is just the start of our campaign of sunshine on the Free Lance Star. I expect we'll have more interesting tidbits about Nancy, soon.


  Culture of Corruption - Barack Obama

Reported on Drudge Report is this "little" faux pas. Seems Barack Obama was using his Senate office for political purposes in violation of Senate ethics rules. Where's Grandma Pelosi on this?


  Those 72 Virgins Might Not be What Was Expected


  LTC Guy Lofaro's Speech
Mr. Completely has posted a speech by LTC Guy Lofaro at which I wish I might have been present. It is a long post but a short speech and well worth your time to read it.

After you do so, perhaps you'll think on why and how it is that we have men and women like LTC Lofaro at the same time we have men and women like Jesse Jackson, Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore. And please, join me in my quest to discover how COL Murtha has gone to the dark side...


  "The Imus Affair" or "Death of Free Speech"
CBS fired Don Imus. Although considerably better off financially than brother Fred, Don will now know how it feels to be at loose ends for being a putz. The only problem is that Imus didn't insult advertisers, didn't do something immoral, he ran afoul of those two arbiters of morality, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. He did it by echoing, along with the unmentioned Sid Rosenberg, popular black cultural jargon in an attempt at humor. These two men, above the title of racist or race baiter because they are not Caucasians have long records of opportunistic activities which have harmed others and I'm not talking hurt their feelings either.

Jesse Jackson. Jesse sees racism in everything. He has defended the guilty because they were black, oppressed the innocent because they were not black and stolen from all who supported his Rainbow Coalition because he had child support to pay (for a "love child" begat with a Rainbow Coalition employee. He hasn't bothered to limit himself to the USofA either. But the thing that most disturbs me is how he used the death of Martin Luther King to rise to national prominence.

Al Sharpton. There's the Tawana Brawley incident. Was Mr. Sharpton a drug dealer? Did he skim campaign contributions?

Both of these men are "Reverends" which means they are supposed to be leaders of those reverent of the most high God. I don't see that, for certain. Clear too is that they intend to use blackmail to silence critics. I think it is more than ironic that they moved first against Imus. Sure he's always been tasteless but he's been slavishly (more irony, huh?) supportive of liberal causes. He supported Clinton, Kerry, and every possibly potable communist to come down the political pike. That they worked so hard to rid themselves of one of their own is intended to throw the fear of God (yet more irony whether you get it or not) into every radio and TV talker out there, even if they are not on the public airways.

As for those of you who support the decision to persecute Imus (although you've let him slide for years) let me ask you where your new found zero tolerance policy will take us. No errors by anyone for any reason even if you are trained to perform in exactly that manner.

There is one other net result of this and follow-on attacks against free speakers and that is an end result of further polarization of society in the USofA. It could also move us closer to the end of free speech for everyone in the country. We've been moving this way for years. Even as the proponents of things such as the McCain-Feingold Anti-Free Speech Campaign Finance Reform Act tell us that they support our 1st Amendment rights they plan to destroy them. Oh, it is a slippery slope we're all on and the slide has begun and is accelerating...


  I Should Not be Surprised...
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine broke his leg in a hit-and-run automobile accident en route to a meeting with fired radio host Don Imus and the Rutgers University women's basketball team, a spokesman said on Thursday. Ok, so I'm glad this isn't life threatening. However, what the heck was he doing, as Governor of the state of New Jersey doing mediating between Don Imus and the Rutgers womens' basketball team? Doesn't he have something important to do? Are we to believe that Imus was going to intimidate these women? That these women were going to whup up on Don Imus? I guess the Governor was heading for his own Jackson-Sharpton moment...


  Oh really!
In February, an 18-year-old was convicted of a murder near Staunton, Virginia, after he made obscene gestures in court while being questioned by a prosecutor about a rap he composed in jail that made reference to the killing.
I had no idea that this had happened.


Thursday, April 12, 2007
  There's my girl...
Grandma Pelosi went to Damascus, donned the scarf and pursued a separate Dem/S type foreign policy and lied about doing so. She also lied about Israel's position to Syria. Fortunately, her bestest buddy, Tom Lantos (Rep for CA's 12th district) owned up to the truth, apparently with some pride. These quislings are willing to betray you and me. Oh, yes, and our grandchildren. Grandma Pelosi, I'm so very proud of you.


  Duke LaCrosse Players Declared "Innocent"
Now what will happen. Nifong should be prosecuted. The accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum should be prosecuted. Prosecutors, police officers, and citizens must not be allowed to falsely accuse and thus ruin the lives of other citizens without sanction.

Most particularly I'm angry that a politician, the prosecutor, Mr. Nifong, used his position of authority to use this incident to get re-elected and thus ensure his continued income. Apparently there was no other reason to continue to pursue the case. This sort of bare-faced prosecutorial misconduct has to be stopped.


  Blair Blames Black Culture for Crime...
Blair blames spate of murders on black culture

· Political correctness not helping, says PM
· Community leaders react angrily to comments

Patrick Wintour and Vikram Dodd Thursday April 12, 2007 The Guardian

Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture.
I love this, Tony Blair manages to make three (3) mistakes in one go. First, crime is crime and murder is murder. Changing the implement from knife to gun to spear to hammer to hands to foot to auto to odd-heavy-object matters not one bit. Second, Mr. Blair wraps all blacks (and I don't like that term either) together regardless of nation of origin. Apparently, so do the others quoted. hmmmmm... Even among their friends, the black community (sad that they aren't a part of the community at large) is lumped into one cultural group even when they come from at least a dozen different nations and tribes. Third, poverty is not necessarily a precursor to criminal behavior especially murder but it is a reason for Communists/Socialists to promote the redistribution of wealth from the performers to the non-performers (theft by the state).

What is correct is that you can often tell by age 5 if a particular child will be a problem. Children without fathers are at greater risk of criminal behavior. And in this quote, "We need to stop thinking of this as a society that has gone wrong - it has not - but of specific groups that for specific reasons have gone outside of the proper lines of respect and good conduct towards others and need by specific measures to be brought back into the fold," he gets it right. Britain's society is no longer homogenized (was it ever?) as one might remember it pre-WWII and they are experiencing the same lack of assimilation of the new immigrants that the USofA is experiencing.

In that similarity is the concern. Is this where we are heading?


Wednesday, April 11, 2007
  Men of Honor - Danny Dietz
This is a photo of the controversial memorial statue of Danny Dietz whose story follows...
Navy SEAL from Colorado dies in Afghanistan

Associated Press

LITTLETON, Colo. — One of two commandos found dead in Afghanistan after disappearing last month grew up in Littleton and probably would not have wanted to die in any other way than trying to protect his country, his wife said.

The body of Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny P. Dietz, a SEAL who joined the Navy three months after graduating from Heritage High School in 1999, was recovered Monday, the military said Wednesday.

The body of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., also was recovered Monday in Kunar province, where the men were conducting counterterrorism operations, the Navy said.

Dietz, 25, was assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two, based at Virginia Beach, Va. Murphy was assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One, based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

They were part of a four-member team that disappeared on June 28. A transport helicopter sent to rescue the four was shot down the day the team disappeared, killing all 16 U.S. servicemen aboard. It was the deadliest attack against the U.S. in Afghanistan and the largest loss of life ever for the elite force.

One member of the team was rescued but the fourth was still missing Thursday.

Dietz’s wife, Maria L. Dietz, said in a statement that he “was not just my husband, but he was my other half, my friend, my role model and my hero.”

Recalling when her husband deployed in April, she wrote, “The same day he left for Afghanistan, as tears rolled down my cheeks, he told me with sparkles in his eyes, ‘All the training I have (undergone) for years is going to pay off with this trip, and I am going to do something special for this country and for my team.”’

Heritage teachers remembered Dietz visiting in full uniform after becoming a SEAL, said Diane Leiker, a school spokeswoman. He played football his senior year and spent time lifting weights and swimming because he realized strength and swimming would be important in realizing his goal of joining the Navy and becoming a SEAL, she said.

Outside Dietz’s parents’ home in Littleton - where a yellow ribbon was wrapped around a tree — neighbors signed a card of condolence.

“God bless you and help you in this difficult time,” one person wrote on the white card. “We are sorry. Words can’t express,” read another.

Fallen SEALs receive Navy Cross

Navy Secretary Donald Winter presented the widows of Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson and Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Danny Dietz with their husbands’ Navy Crosses on Wednesday evening at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The ceremony, held next to the “Lone Sailor” statue, honored the sacrifice Axelson and Dietz made June 28, 2005, when they died in the mountains of Afghanistan during a mission to “capture or kill” a high-level militia leader. Despite being mortally wounded during a firefight after the group of four SEALs was spotted, the two continued to fight, killing numerous enemy fighters and allowing one of the their teammates on the ground to escape the swarming, numerically superior force.

During his speech, Winter invoked the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and the importance of special operations troops like Dietz and Axelson in the current war.

“They were precision weapons that are defeating a ruthless enemy,” Winter said.

The outdoor ceremony was attended by the SEALs’ families, friends and fellow sailors, including a contingent from Dietz’s SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2, and Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command.

Chief of Naval Operations Mike Mullen and members of Congress also attended.

Former teammates of each SEAL spoke of their lives and stressed their character.

Gunner’s Mate 1st Dave Albritton emotionally remembered Axelson, a member of SEAL Vehicle Delivery Team 1, as a quiet man who led by example, loved to play golf and showed quickly at SEAL training that he was a cut above.

“No matter how hard I worked at something, he was better,” Albritton said, adding that Axelson was a person who could handle adversity with a typical coolness. “Very rarely would you see him upset.”

Lt. Brad Geary gave Dietz’s tribute, describing the petty officer as a doting husband to wife Patsy and a man as selfless in life as he was in death. After qualifying for a coveted spot in sniper school, Dietz chose instead to go to the less glamorous communications school because of a greater need.

“Danny was a man of integrity. He was a loyal guy,” Geary said. “He treated all as equals. He was humble; he did not have an ego.”

Dietz and Axelson are the fourth and fifth SEALs to be awarded the Navy Cross since 2001. The SEAL saved by their actions, who is still on active duty and has not been identified by the Navy, received the award in July in a private ceremony, according to the Navy.

The awards are the first publicized from the deadly incident in the mountains, in which a helicopter carrying eight SEALs and eight Army special operations troops shot down while attempting to come to the aid of the group on the ground. It was the deadliest day in the history of the SEALs, and the worst loss of life in one day for Navy special operations fighters since World War II.

Lt. Michael Murphy of Delivery Vehicle Team 1, the fourth member of the ill-fated team, was also killed in action.

“These were my men,” said Maguire. “These were our men.”

The two other unnamed SEALs have been awarded the Navy Cross for actions earlier in the conflict in Afghanistan.

Hospitalman Luis Fonseca Jr. is the only other sailor to receive a Navy Cross since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, earning the honor during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003.

By Philip Creed, Times Staff Writer

Sadly, there are some real maroons in Littleton, Colorado who can't distinguish, nor teach their children to distinguish, between evil monsters who killed children and brave men who gave their lives defending children. Fortunately, the maroons are outnumbered, for the moment, by those who can tell the difference and are making the first step in teaching all the children of Littleton, Colorado that difference.

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  Men of Honor - Gene Takahashi
I thought that I'd begin a Men of Honor series as a sort of counterpoint to the Culture of Corruption stuff.

I was recently honored to be of some second-hand assistance to Mr. Takahashi in his search for a uniform which he might wear to an award ceremony. Likely any award he receives is richly deserved as you will read here...
The Two Gene Takahashis
Forbes, by David Halberstam 03.22.07, 6:00 AM ET

Some two years ago I went out to Westport, Conn., to interview Gene Takahashi for a book I was writing about the Korean War. There were, it soon struck me, two Gene Takahashis, the first the former IBM executive, quiet and exceptionally modest, the model citizen of a prosperous Connecticut suburb; and then another Gene Takahashi, someone whom almost none of his neighbors knew anything about, who on the night of Nov. 25, 1950, was the commander of a platoon of American troops in Love Company of the Ninth Infantry Regiment of the Second Infantry Division.

Love Company had the dubious distinction of being one of the units on the furthest eastern flank of the Eighth Army, almost uniquely vulnerable as the United Nations troops raced for the Yalu River in freezing temperatures in North Korea, their commander confident that the Chinese troops would not enter the war.

As such, the second Gene Takahashi happened to be there the night when some 200,000 Chinese soldiers struck the Eighth Army. If the first Gene Takahashi seems in many ways a very ordinary man, the prototype of the good American citizen, and core of the community, then the second one, the Gene Takahashi who is a genuine war hero, is among his Westport neighbors a kind of invisible man, whose existence few of them know about. I happened to know about him because of my book, but he is a man who rarely, unbidden, tells his story to others, because it is an extremely painful story to tell, and not many people were interested in hearing it when he was younger.

The Gene Takahashi that I know joined the Army in 1945 at the age of 17. His parents were Nisei Japanese, and they had spent a considerable amount of time interred in the World War ll camps. At the end of the war, greatly admiring the courage and patriotism of the famed Nisei 442 Regimental (Go for Broke) Combat Team--famously brave, and famously decorated--Takahashi had asked his parents for permission to join the American Army. Permission had been granted, but with only one two provisos, one explicit, one implicit. The explicit one was that he was to do nothing to disgrace the Takahashi name; the implicit one was that nothing in the long run was to interfere with his college education

From the start of my book, I had been intrigued by Takahashi's story because it is so American, at once good American and bad American. Tak, as his men called him, had not had an easy time in the Army. As a young lieutenant, he had served under a racist superior, a captain who was a West Point graduate and who seemed to think that the final victory of World War ll would be his ability to drive Gene Takahashi out of the United States Army.

The captain gave Takahashi and his platoon every miserable assignment the company had. But if anything, Tak later decided, there was nothing like the uses of adversity to strengthen you, and the abuse--or hazing, whichever you wanted to call it--had only served to make him a much better, much tougher officer. It was as if he came to enjoy the challenge and see it as a kind of mano-a-mano struggle with a darker force in America.

In addition, even though orders had come down earlier from President Truman to integrate the Army, Takahashi commanded a unit that was a relic of the past, an all-black platoon in an all-black company. That too, he decided, had made him a better officer--he had to be more subtle in the way he issued orders, because there was often an innate wariness in the minds of his men. Too many of them had been ordered around for too long, and in this new Army life they wanted to understand why they were being asked to do certain things. He became good not merely at giving orders but at explaining them as well.

When the Chinese struck that night, with perhaps a full regiment or about 3,000 men, Love Company had about 170 men, including Tak's platoon of 45. The Chinese quickly overran the company, but Takahashi had tried to hold together first his own platoon, and in time the entire company, if for no other reason than to buy time for other units just south of them. A young officer named Dick Raybould, a forward artillery observer assigned to Love Company, had met Tak that day and became a lifelong friend; he remembered his friend's bravery in those desperate minutes, this slim figure telling his men, as everything else collapsed around them, "Fall back on me! Fall back on me!"

Takahashi held out until he was completely surrounded by the Chinese and was finally captured. (That made him, he decided, one of the rare men who had been taken prisoner by two formidable nations, the United States and China.) But that night, in the chaos of the battle, he managed to escape. A few days later, he managed a second escape when much of the Second Division was mauled heading south from a place called Kunuri. When he was able to regroup with other members of Love Company near Seoul a few days later, there were about 10 of his men left there.

I sat with Takahashi that day in Westport, and it was easy to envision him as Dick Raybould had seen him that fateful night, brave and quietly fierce, absolutely certain of what his duty was, sure he was going to die that night but determined to do the right thing right up to his last breath, and do it as honorably as he could. There would be no disgracing of a family name. At the same time, in stark contrast to that image of Tak fighting the Chinese, I could see him as his neighbors saw him, a pillar of a pleasant genteel community, always to be depended on during local fund-raisers; an exceptional family man; and a successful executive at a major company. In short, all the good things you're supposed to be.

As we sat and talked, it struck me that Tak was as good an exemplar of the American Dream as anyone I know--he was in the best sense of this country a self-made man who had been able, often against often-difficult odds, to control his own destiny as he might not have in many other countries.

It was a long way from the Nisei internment camps of the '40s to his lovely home in Westport. He had during his journey triumphed over some of the crueler prejudices of our culture, harsh experiences that might have embittered other men, and he had survived the worst of a very tough war and a battlefield experience that might have broken other men. He had managed to educate himself well, first at Western Reserve and then later at the University of Illinois. His marriage to a fellow Nisei, Violet, has been strong and enduring, and their four children had all been educated well and done well professionally and personally.

Most important of all, he had, as his parents intended, succeeded well beyond their possibilities--and done it as so many other Americans have, in just one generation. His parents had been farmers in the Imperial Valley and then had run a small grocery store there; to them, a house in a wealthy suburb like Westport was more a dream than a possibility.

To me--we know something about this in my own family--that remains at the core of the American Dream, the social fluidity of this country and the ability to rise in one generation above the level and the possibilities of those who went before you. If there is anything that is important in America, it is that your life can be richer than that of those who went before you, and that you are not a prisoner of the past.

In the old country, it struck me when I was younger (and I'm sure it's changing to some degree now), it was very different, and there was dramatically less social fluidity. A young man tended to be what his father was: If your father had worked for the railroads, you worked for the railroads at roughly the same level. If he had been lucky enough to go to an engineering school, then you could go to the engineering school too. If he had been a tailor, you were supposed to be a tailor.

Not surprisingly, it was those who came to this country first--in my case, the generation of my grandparents, coming in the late 19th century--who did the real dreaming and matched their dreams with a willingness to take a chance on the unknown, and if need be, to fall momentarily in their own economic status, even as they bet on their children and grandchildren to surpass them.

The greatest generation, you might call them. They were willing to come here and if necessary sacrifice themselves in order to break a cycle in their native countries that seemed without possibility of change. They sensed that in the new world the generations that came after them would be able to break out and reinvent themselves--that they were giving the subsequent generations a world with no ceilings.

Like so many other immigrants, Tak's parents had understood the opportunities this country offered from the start. As such, the dream was as much--or more--theirs as it was his. As they had valued education, he had valued education. As they had been disciplined and purposeful--always purposeful, for nothing was to be wasted--he had been disciplined and purposeful and wasted nothing, least of all a chance for a better life. And in the end he had done well and not disgraced the Takahashi name.

David Halberstam is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historian, the author of books including The Best and the Brightest , The Powers That Be , Summer of '49 , The Reckoning and The Fifties. His next book, The Coldest Winter (fall 2007), is an account of a key early battle in the Korean War.
Sadly, Mr. Takahashi died May 15, 2007. Our condolences to his family and friends.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
  Beer and Taxes
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20, "declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got TEN times more than I!" "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.

In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

* * * * *

My wife wonders why I don't bust a gut to make lots of money. Well, I've what I need and the government, meaning my representatives, people such as Emmett Hanger, think that I, a retired soldier, and my wife, an elementary school teacher, are rich. So rich that after we've upped our witholding 3 years running, after all our deductions and charitable giving, we're still going to owe the Federal government $2000. Frankly, I think that's a bunch of crap. I'm not rich. 40 years ago nobody would have thought of retired soldiers or school teachers or the two living together as rich. Well, not in this country. Taken in context of all living humans we're in the top 1% for income, as I'm sure you are if you're reading this on your computer, even if you have to use a public library or school computer. Perhaps our government, the Dem/S, are happy to tax us for the one-world government. What do you think?


  Virginia State Police will Keep CHP List Confidential
It is enough to say tht the Commonwealth's Attorney has decided that the DB of CHP holders in VA isn't for public consumption and the State Police have decided to take his advice and remove it from public access. Good. About time. Now, have they gotten the old list out of Google's archives?


  Where are You Jim Webb?
Senator Jim Webb, a "strong" 2d Amendment supporter (according to Jim Webb) has still not signed on to the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act of 2007, a bill to restore Second Amendment rights in Washington, D.C. I bet that he wouldn't because I think he's nothing more than a lap dog for the Dem/S. Blue Dog or Yellow Dog, no, LAP dog yes. Quisling on the war, quisling on gun control, traitor to Virginia voters. George Allen got my vote in the election because he's an honorable, truthful person who fulfilled his promises. Jim Webb is still what he is... It seems I'm more thankful for his son's service than he is...


  Don't Fight for Your Life?
I don't care if you're a woman or a man, a child or an adult, young or old, rich or poor, black or white or something else, the Indiana State Police's advice on dealing with assault is stupid and insulting. Stupid because it ignore the reality that predators don't respond to anything but overwhelming force and not always. Insulting because your life and health is given less value than that of the criminal in the act of harming you.

Sadly, this is symptomatic of our society as controlled by elitists. Don't believe me? Just look at the Dem/S in Congress and what they want to do, not do, to those who've already harmed us.


  Don Imus and Hypocrisy
To the point, Don Imus talked trash about the Rutgers women's basketball team. He made some nasty remarks including that they were "nappy headed hoes", "jigaboos" and that they looked like men. He's been criticized because that was considered racist not because it was just nasty. Jesse Jackson, who stole money from Rainbow Coalition to pay off the mistress who had his child, demonstrated his hypocrisy by demanding Imus' firing/suspension. I think a thief, even when aided by the board of trustees, should also be fired, etc. but what do I know. Al Sharpton, the Tawana Brawley BSer, did the same. I haven't heard that Rosie O'Donnell, who's working to create a reputation as the most clueless TV commentator with her outrageously stupid comments about any given topic regarding the war on terror and 9-11, has said anything on the subject but I imagine it is only a matter of time.

But the hypocrisy doesn't stop with the "Reverend" Jackson and Sharpton but extends to Don Imus himself who rushed to apologize. What gets me is that Imus is as liberal a radio "personality" as there is. Demonstrably so with his fawning support of John Kerry during his presidential run. He's also been pretty vocal about "free speach". So, the "I" man has been hypocritical both in making the comments AND in apologizing. What a woos (or is that whus?).

I guess you either believe in free speech moderated by common decency and common sense or not. I'm a little tired of all the hypocrisy demonstrated by folks who hold themselves up as examples for the rest of us.

Here's some video of Daddy Don...


Today the Rutgers team insulted by Imus has a press conference. In it they say that they are "scarred for life". Oh, come on! Some radio putz of an old man so bedevils you with a few words just this side of something you've heard from your brothers or cousins or high school friends out of hearing of your parents and you're scarred for life? Amazing. Just think what will happen when your husband/significant other runs off with your life savings.

What's worse is that some one of the players read (?) a statement that seemed to have been written by a high school freshman, not a college student. Poor grammar but certainly up to "Reverend" Sharpton's standard. Just sad. Much better to have come out with a single statement expressing lack of regard for Imus' show and opinions and move on to exploit the victory and college education (such as it is).

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Sunday, April 08, 2007
  Media Bias - Cold Case
The show is "Cold Case" on CBS at 9 PM EDST. Tonight the episode was about a 1919 murder of a sufragette society girl. Twists and background aside, the ultimate confrontation was between the 18 year old girl (victim) and her mother afraid of the changes the sufragettes would bring. However, at the end, the show apparently attempted to insert a reference to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House as a continuation of the suffragette movement. Interestingly, I'd been sympathetic to the suffragettes right up until that moment. Should I now associate suffragettes with socialists? With quislings? With those who would destroy the USofA in the quest for power? Do the producers and writers and network see the Dem/S as a continuation or an evolutionary product and heir (heiress?) to the suffragette movement? Interesting indeed. But there were also sideline characters.

The lead detective's (Detective Rush) mother is an alcoholic and looking for a man to keep her from being claimed by her disease. The great-great-great grandaughter is taking a women's studies class. Her instructor is agressive in her tracking of the improvement in women's condition to the point that she knows that Rush is the only woman homicide detective in Philadelphia, the setting for the series. The victim's family maid was afraid of losing her child to her abusive husband.

I don't know quite what to make of the show but that it was a subtle (perhaps not so much) attempt to promote a cause. Is this media bias?


Saturday, April 07, 2007
  It can't be!

Apr. 6: Iraqis relax and picnic in the shade at Baghdad's al-Zawraa public park.

It can't be. Peace in the middle of Baghdad? No way! The surge isn't working. Our soldiers and the Iraqis are ineffective. Nobody is safe there. Must be staged or published by one of those damn right wing facist publications. Yeah, that's it!

I guess I should give credit for the Washington Post's Day in Photos, April 6, 2007.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007
  We would all like our little girls to think so of us...
Daddy's Poem

Her hair was up in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school,
and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats.

One by one the teacher called,
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
a man who wasn't there.

'Where's her daddy at?'
She heard a boy call out.
'She probably doesn't have one,'
another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
'Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day.'

The words did not offend her,
as she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.

'My Daddy couldn't be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I'm not standing here alone.

'Cause my daddy's always with me,
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he'll forever be in my heart'

With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,
her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but its message clear and loud.

'I love my daddy very much,
he's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
but heaven's just too far.

You see he is a Marine
and died just this past year
When a roadside bomb hit his convoy
and taught Americans to fear.

But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away.'
And then she closed her eyes, and
saw him there that day.

And to her mothers amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.

'I know you're with me Daddy,'
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her, was a
fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far.


  Pajamas Media Presidential Straw Poll
Look to the right side-bar and vote in the straw poll. Currently my personal favorites in the two major parties Bill Richardson and Fred Thompson are leading. Please, feel free to vote...


Tuesday, April 03, 2007
  The Roanoke Times Incident Continues...

CNN's Coverage

This coverage is surprisingly even but they get some things wrong. First, while the CHP/CWP is widely considered as a privelege it really is a right.

Also, Trejbal reported threats and there was a police response. This is the WAV of that call...


  What do you know about this?...
"They bought me a box of tin soldiers,
I threw all the Generals away,
I smashed up the Sergents and Majors,
Now I play with my Privates all day."


  Quisling Report
Quisling: 'kwiz-li[ng], noun, Etymology: Vidkun Quisling died 1945 Norwegian politician who collaborated with the Nazis; traitor; 1 : one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
2 : one who commits treason or collaborator; to cooperate with or willingly assist an enemy of one's country and especially an occupying force.
Some of the quislings...
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Senator John Kerry
Senator Christopher Dodd
Representative Frank R. Wolf
Representative Joe Pitts
Representative Robert B. Aderholt
US Senator Arlen Specter
Representative Henry Waxman
Senator Bill Nelson

I tried to get a complete list but I note that the news organizations won't list the other members of the "delegation" other than the Republicans. I had to pick out faces from TV news footage! I'm also including those who plan to make the visit and those who have visited.

This is the business of the POTUS and the State Department (the Executive branch). These guys are only going over there, to our detriment, to promote themselves or their destruction of the USofA as we know it. What is it about these people that makes them want to destroy our country or not care that their antics will destroy this country?


For us, the American ideal is personified in the concept of self-reliance, work ethic, honesty/forthrightness, decency, personal property rights, family, religion, an ability to defend oneself from criminals and crooked politicians, and personal responsibility.

Whoop-ti-do, the forum for the rest of us...

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