Sunday, December 31, 2006

George Bush Is a Hero

George Bush Is a Hero
Edward I. Koch
Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006

President George W. Bush, vilified by many, supported by some, is a hero to me.

Why do I say that? It's not because I agree with the president's domestic agenda. It's not because I think he's done a perfect job in the White House.

George Bush is a hero to me because he has courage.

The president does what he believes to be in the best interest of the United States. He sticks with his beliefs, no matter how intense the criticism and invective that are directed against him every day.

The enormous defeat President Bush suffered with the loss of both Houses of Congress has not caused him to retreat from his position that the U.S. alone now stands between a radical Islamic takeover of many of the world's governments in the next 30 or more years. If that takeover occurs, we will suffer an enslavement that will threaten our personal freedoms and take much of the world back into the Dark Ages.

Our major ally in this war against the forces of darkness, Great Britain, is still being led by an outstanding prime minister, Tony Blair. However, Blair will soon be set out to pasture, which means Great Britain will leave our side and join France, Germany, Spain, and other countries that foolishly believe they can tame the wolf at the door and convert it into a domestic pet that will live in peace with them.

These dreamers naively believe that if we feed the wolves what they demand, they will go away. But that won't happen.

Appeasement never works. The wolves always come back for more and more, and when we have nothing left to give, they come for us.

Radical Islamists are very much aware that we have shown fear. For example, we have allowed the people of Darfur — dark skinned Africans — to be terrorized, killed, raped, and taken as slaves by the supporters of the Sudanese government, radical Islamists.

The countries surrounding Iraq — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan — made up of Sunni Arabs, know that for them, the wolves who are the radical Shia are already at their door. The New York Times reported on Dec. 13, 2006, "Saudi Arabia has told the Bush administration that it might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq's Shiites if the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq, according to American and Arab diplomats . . .

"The Saudis have argued strenuously against an American pullout from Iraq, citing fears that Iraq's minority Sunni Arab population would be massacred . . . The Bush administration is also working on a way to form a coalition of Sunni Arab nations and a moderate Shiite government in Iraq, along with the United States and Europe, to stand against ‘Iran, Syria and the terrorists."

This Saudi response will take place notwithstanding that until now, according to the Times, "The Saudis have been wary of supporting Sunnis in Iraq because their insurgency there has been led by extremists of al-Qaida, who are opposed to the kingdom's monarchy. But if Iraq's sectarian war worsened, the Saudis would line up with Sunni tribal leaders."

The Times article went on to state the opinion of an Arab expert, Nawaf Obaid, who was recently fired by the Saudi foreign minister after Obaid wrote an op ed in The Washington Post asserting that the Saudis were prepared in the event of an American pullout to engage in a "massive intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis."

Obaid went on "suggest[ing] that Saudi Arabia could cut world oil prices in half…a move that would be devastating to Iran."

The Times reported, "Arab diplomats . . . said that Mr. Obaid's column reflected the view of the Saudi government." When writing about affairs of state in distant places, unless you are on the scene talking to knowledgeable participants, the most reliable sources to support conjecture with "facts" are the superb reporters of the great international newspapers like The New York Times.

Surely this turn of events in Saudi Arabia undoubtedly replicated in other Sunni-dominated countries — Sunnis are 80 percent of the world's Muslim population. This will give support to my proposal, advanced nearly a year ago, that we tell our allies, regional and NATO, that we are getting out of Iraq unless they come in.

That may well work, and they will come in, in large part and share the casualties of combat and the financial costs of war.

Doing what I suggest is far better than simply pulling out, which is the direction in which we are headed, notwithstanding the president's opposition. I think at the moment simply getting out and not making an attempt to bring our allies in is supported by a majority of Americans and would be supported by a majority of Democrats in the Congress.

For me, staying is clearly preferable, provided we are not alone and are joined by our regional and NATO allies, aggressively taking on the difficult but necessary task of destroying radical Islam and its terrorist agenda if we don't want to see radical Islam destroy the Western world and moderate Arab states over the next generation, or as long as it takes for them to succeed.

Two other requirements are needed to bring the war in Iraq to a successful conclusion: First, require the Iraqi government to allow greater autonomy for the three regions — Kurd, Sunni, and Shia. The second requirement is that the national Iraqi government enact legislation that will divide all oil and natural gas revenues in a way similar to that of our own state of Alaska.

The Alaskan state government takes from those revenues all it will need to finance government and provide services and the balance is divided among the population of Alaska, in a profit sharing program. That would settle the major Sunni problem which has been being cut out of oil revenues because the country's oil is located only in Kurdish and Shiite areas.

If the Iraqi government refuses our demands, our reply should be "Goodbye. You're on your own." This proposal was suggested to me by Mike Sheppard in Chapel Hill, N.C.

It won't be easy to implement this proposal. But President Bush has courage.

Now is the time to use it.

Edward I. Koch, author, lawyer, and talk-radio host, was a member of the U.S. Congress and, for 12 years, the 105th mayor of New York City.

Current Mood: Awake
Current Music: None
Current Gun: EAA Witness .45ACP

Friday, December 29, 2006

Ding, Dong, the Witch is dead

CNN reported at 10:35PM Eastern Daylight Time, that former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein is dead. Execution by hanging was the chosen method. Frankly, I think it was TOO humane for him. If there was ever a reason to bring back the old "hanged, drawn and quartered" method, this man WAS the reason.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: NONE
Current Gun: EAA Witness .45ACP

Monday, December 25, 2006

I have a new hate

In case you've not run into it, SORBS is my new hate. Under the guise of "fighting SPAM," SORBS has made it impossible for me to send email. For some odd reason, my web hosting service is using SORBS, why? I don't know.

I found out rather rudely when I tried to send an email and got the following response:
An error occurred while sending mail. The mail server responded: Dynamic IP Addresses See: Please verify that your email address is correct in your mail preferences and try again.

Naturally, the zeros were not what was in the message. It had my actual IP address. Thing is, I KNOW my IP address is a dynamic address. My normal ISP is AT&T (Formerly SBC). It seems that SORBS is blocking the entire line of IP addresses from AT&T, as possible SPAM spewers.

Frankly, I find this whole thing insulting. Since today is Christmas, I will give my web hosting service time to sort it out, but if this is not taken care of soon, I'll be moving my domains and my email service somewhere that doesn't use SORBS.

It's really a shame. I like my webhosting service, otherwise.

Current Mood: Pissed off
Current Music: None
Current Gun: Taurus PT92AFS 9x19mm

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A letter to the editor

This is a copy of an email I sent to the Nanaimo News, concerning a story titled, " Something completely un-Christmas." (Hint: The title of this article is a direct link to the story.)
From the story published on December 23, 2006, I read the following comments.
"I know I’d hardly feel safe knowing that someone (anyone – given our equal rights climate, it would undoubtedly be unconstitutional to give the right to bear arms to women only) walking towards me on the sidewalk could be packing heat.

Putting more guns and hot lead into more people’s hands – even legally – isn’t going to make anybody safer. It’ll do exactly the opposite.

We've got enough problems already with illegal possession of firearms.

And given society’s ever-increasing inclination toward uncontrolled extreme anger (road rage, anyone?) putting firearms within easy and legal reach is a recipe for disaster."
These comments above are the same, stupid statements we heard here in Michigan over 5 years ago, when we were preparing to go from being a "May Issue" state to a "Shall Issue" state, with regard to concealed carry permits. Practically every state in the union has heard the same lame arguments when they considered going with Shall Issue concealed carry permits.

The overwhelming fact that most of the left wing liberals (US Liberals, not the Canadian Liberal Party) seem to overlook, those of us who apply for such permits are generally law-abiding citizens. Statistically, we have a higher rate of obeying the law, and a much lower rate of breaking the law than the general public. No, we're not perfect, no one is, including the much vaunted police forces. But, in general civilians have a higher rate of stopping criminals than law enforcement officials do, and a much lower rate of hitting the wrong person, than law enforcement officials also.

Yes, Canada does have a method of distributing concealed carry permits to it's citizens. However, so far, only those with real connections ever get one. And generally speaking, it's not the person with the LEGAL permit to carry you have to worry about. It's the criminal element who don't worry about getting a permit, that carry regardless, that you SHOULD be worrying about. It's like having a sea of sheep, with many wolves in sheep's clothing, and hardly any sheep dogs to protect the real sheep.

The USA is not perfect either, but the right to bear arms is not one of our imperfections. Only the haphazard way in which it is afforded to us, is in need of fixing. Canada has a chance to get it right on a national level, something I fear we will never do.

The right of self defense is a natural, basic HUMAN right. It needs no enumeration in a constitution. It exists, whether we acknowledge it or not. Along with that right is the ability to implement it. If we have the right of self-defense, then we MUST have the right to own the tools necessary to exercise that basic human right. Therefore, we MUST have the right to keep and bear arms, as many of our (USA) state constitutions say, "for the defense of themselves and of the state."

To deny these basic rights, you may as well surrender now, to some fascist/socialist dictator, and submit yourself to slave status. Because, that is what will eventually happen anyway. Our world is full of such examples. All you have to do is look.

Current Mood: Awake
Current Music:None
Current Gun:Taurus PT92AFS

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Interesting quote, from a Kansas State Lawmaker

The quote below is in reference to carrying a gun in court. On Jan. 1, Kansas plans to permit judges and whomever they designate to carry concealed firearms in the courtroom. State senator Phillip Journey introduced the bill, and he is a practicing attorney.
"If I had a judge's permission, I'd do it every day," he said of bringing a gun into the courtroom. "Guns are like lawyers: Better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it."

I would not be one to say that Judges should not have the right to protect themselves. But what about the rest of us? Even in states that HAVE to issue a CCW permit (SHALL ISSUE, i.e., unless the issuing authority can show you are dangerous, or have some hidden infraction that would keep you from carrying) they still keep most, if not all of us untermensch* from carrying in places like courtrooms, schools and such. For some reason, unless you're one of the Übermensch**. You know, police, judges, district attorneys, actors and actresses, Chicago City Aldermen and women, and such.

Oh, but "we don't need protection, we're not Special!" I don't mean to belittle the jobs these people do (except for the actors and actresses, THEY are no better than I am. They just have "special" connections.), But that doesn't make their lives more precious than mine. By the same token, any cop or judge can go crazy just as much as I can. So why am I being deprived of my right to self defense in their presence?

*=under, or Sub human
**=Super human,

Current Mood: Amused
Current Music: Patti Smith - Because the Night
Current Gun: EAA Witness .45ACP

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

About Free Speech

Forbidden sale sign is focus in free speech case


December 6, 2006

CINCINNATI -- The car Chris Pagan wanted to sell is long gone. But he kept the "For Sale" sign in case he might need it as evidence in a three-year federal court battle over his right to use the sign on a public street.

Today, Pagan's case will be debated in an unusual hearing before all 14 judges of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lawyers helping Pagan with his case predict its outcome will gain national influence over freedom of speech issues and could redefine commercial speech rights for 32 million people in the court's four-state territory -- Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

The case stems from Pagan's 2003 attempt to sell his 1970 Mercury Cougar. He put a "For Sale" sign in the car's window and parked the car in front of his home in Glendale, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb.

Glendale police threatened to cite him under an ordinance forbidding such signs on vehicles in public areas. Pagan, who practices law, tried to negotiate, but village officials wouldn't budge.

Pagan removed the sign. Inquiries about the car dried up because nobody knew it was for sale, Pagan said.

"I sold it under market value, because it was the best deal I could get," he said.

Pagan filed a federal lawsuit, launching a freedom of speech crusade against the village's half-century-old sign regulation.

"This is not a trivial thing. Glendale was seeking to throw me into the criminal justice system and subject me to jail time -- and they can't do that when they're violating the First Amendment," said Pagan, who could have been fined up to $250 and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

The Arlington, Va.-based Institute of Justice said it believes that if the village of Glendale wins the case, then "governments will be able to ban even the most harmless speech just because they feel like it," said Jeff Rowes, an institute lawyer.

"If they can ban totally harmless speech on a whim, what happens when more controversial speech comes along? If we decide that putting someone in jail is the right way to deal with ordinary speech like a 'For Sale' sign, the First Amendment is in grave jeopardy."

Glendale's attorney, Larry Barbiere, did not return telephone requests seeking comment.

Copyright © 2006 Detroit Free Press Inc.

This has to make you wonder. If you can't advertise your car, by putting a sign in it's window, what's next?

Current Mood: Awake
Current Music: None
Current Gun: CZ-52 7.62x25mm

A gun in every home

Small-town Pa. councilman calls for a gun in every house
By DANIEL LOVERING, Associated Press
Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at 5:53 pm

CHERRY TREE, Pa. — In this tiny community of clapboard houses nestled along the banks of a Pennsylvania river, many residents own guns for hunting or self-defense.

But a local councilman, inspired by steps taken by an Idaho town, has proposed an ordinance that recommends all households keep the weapons and ammunition to ward off would-be burglars and prevent crime from creeping into the area.

Council members in Cherry Tree, a borough of about 430 people, are set to meet Wednesday to discuss the Civil Protection Ordinance put forth by Henry Statkowski, a 59-year-old retired U.S. Army master sergeant and Vietnam veteran.

Talk of the proposal, which also seeks to offer firearm training at the borough hall, has elicited cautious support and bitter rebukes from area residents, many of whom commute to jobs elsewhere.

Gun-control advocates say such a measure would risk putting guns into the hands of criminals and increase gun violence.

Statkowski maintains the ordinance would keep crime down — “way down” — in Cherry Tree, a quiet village where streets are marked with wooden signs and residents say crime is largely limited to drugs, vandalism, trespassing and speeding drivers.

“This is rural America,” Statkowski said in a phone interview. “You want to break into someone’s house here, you might not like the consequences.”

The ordinance is meant to be a proactive measure to complement the borough’s police force, which consists of a handful of part-time officers who also have day jobs, Statkowski said.

“They can’t be everywhere,” he said. “When you need help, you need it now.”

Statkowski said he decided to float the idea after learning of a similar ordinance passed last month in Greenleaf, Idaho, a town of about 850 residents where an estimated 80 percent of adults already own guns.

That ordinance asks people in the pacifist Quaker-founded town who do not object on religious or other grounds to keep a gun at home in case they are overrun by refugees from disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

Based on an unenforced 1982 law in Kennesaw, Ga., Greenleaf’s law originally required all homeowners to own and maintain a firearm. The town of Bowerbank, Maine, enacted a similar regulation 12 years ago.

The Cherry Tree measure would not be the first gun-related ordinance in Pennsylvania. In 1994, Franklintown repealed a law enacted 12 years earlier requiring each household to own a gun and ammunition.

Statkowski acknowledged that Cherry Tree, a one-time logging center about 70 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, does not have a crime problem.

“We don’t want one,” he said, citing a recent break-in 12 miles from the borough and a drug raid five miles away.

Gary Talerico, co-owner of a local insurance agency, said he saw no need for such a measure. He described the borough as a bedroom community that relies mostly on state police for law enforcement.

“When I first heard it, I had to stop and think if we were going back to the Western days, when everybody carried a sidearm,” he said. “Pros and cons? In the business we’re in, I can see a lot of cons,” including possible vigilante shootings.

But Esther Long, 59, a retired caregiver from neighboring Clymer, said she supported the idea, and that her two brothers and their children — all Cherry Tree residents — already have guns for hunting or protection.

“You just feel safer,” she said. “All of them keep a loaded pistol. I even do, and I live in an apartment complex.”

Retired coal miner Bill Schrock, 66, said he believes everyone should own a gun, but that the proposed ordinance was unnecessary.

“I think that guy just wanted to get on TV,” said Schrock, who lives in a nearby town. “It ain’t that bad around here. Might have a few sticky fingers around, that’s all.”

Diane Edbril, executive director of the gun-control advocacy group CeaseFirePA, said that “increasing the number of households with firearms will only increase the number of tragedies involving firearms in that community.”

She said it would also create the potential for burglars to steal guns when they otherwise might have taken only a stereo.
Copyright ©2006, The News Journal.

Sounds like a good idea to me. Now if we could get a much bigger town to enact such a law, that would REALLY make a statement.

Current Mood: Hopeful
Current Music: None
Current Gun: EAA Witness .45ACP

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Common sense, from the Chicago Tribune???

Concealed weapons in the wilderness
by Steve Chapman

Published November 26, 2006

Lots of kids, when very young, worry about monsters under the bed. Even when Mom or Dad comes in to reassure them, the kids may still worry. But as they get older, they begin to check under the bed themselves. And eventually, after many monster-free nights, they figure out that the danger is purely imaginary, and they stop worrying.

You would think by now gun-control supporters would have made the same progress on one of their most fearsome demons: the licensing of citizens to carry concealed firearms. But they seem to be trapped in a recurring nightmare that exists only in their minds.

So imagine their alarm at a bill recently introduced in Congress that would allow people with concealed-carry permits to take weapons into their home state's national parks. The indefatigably anti-gun New York Times warned that the measure is a step toward "nationalizing the armed paranoia that the National Rifle Association and its cohorts stand for" and "can only endanger the public."

Such fears may have been plausible once upon a time--when Americans were generally not allowed to carry firearms. But since 1987, when Florida decided to let law-abiding citizens get concealed-carry permits, that has changed. Today, some 40 states have such "shall-issue" laws. They've become the norm, and the fears they inspired have proved unfounded.

As it happens, serious crime has waned in the intervening years. Murders are now at their lowest level since the 1960s. Violent crime has been cut by nearly 60 percent since the peak year of 1994. Gun crimes have plunged as well.

It may not be true, as some experts believe, that America has gotten safer because more people are legally packing heat. But it's impossible to claim that the change has made us less safe.

At the outset of this experiment, gun opponents forecast that hot-tempered pistoleros would spray bullets at the slightest provocation, requiring the rest of us to wade through rivers of blood just to cross the street. In fact, one of the most conspicuous facts about handgun licensees is their mild temper. It's rare for them to commit crimes, and even rarer for them to use their firearms to commit crimes.

A report by the Texas Department of Public Safety found that in a state with more than 200,000 people licensed to carry guns, only 180 were convicted of crimes in 2001, and most of those crimes didn't involve firearms. Only one licensee was convicted of murder. Florida, which has nearly 400,000 permit holders, revoked only 330 licenses last year--about one out of every 1,200.

This record should not be surprising. As a rule, concealed-carry licenses are off-limits to anyone with a history of crime, substance abuse, drunken driving or serious mental illness, and most states require safety training. In any case, people who are inclined to commit mayhem generally don't seek state licenses to carry guns, any more than they ask permission to break into houses or beat up girlfriends. It's the law-abiding folks who apply for licenses.

Why would these peaceable souls want to take their guns when hiking or camping in a national park? Same reason they might take them other places: a desire to protect themselves. Though federal lands are mostly safe, they sometimes play host to crime. In fact, park rangers are far more likely to be assaulted or killed than FBI agents.

The Times says, "If Americans want to feel safer in their national parks, the proper solution is to increase park funding, which has decayed steadily since the Bush administration took office." Maybe that would help, but we can't put a park ranger at every bend in the trail. And if you run into a thug in the backcountry, you can't expect the police or anyone else to come to the rescue.

For some people--solitary women in particular--having the means of self-defense in the woods can be not only a comfort but a lifesaver. It's fine to trust in one's fellow man. That doesn't mean it's paranoid to have a Plan B.

Judging from a wealth of experience, adopting this new policy would be a non-event, with no unwanted repercussions. The only danger it poses is to criminals, who would lose some easy prey, and anti-gun zealots, who would once again be proven wrong.


I hope that this guy keeps on working for the Chicago Tribune.

Current Mood: Surprised
Current Music: Heavy Metal (Takin a Ride) Don Felder
Current Gun: EAA Witness .45ACP