Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Gang Problem

An interesting statistic.

Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials.

So how does infringing on the rights of the average law-abiding citizen to keep and bear arms solve the problem of rampant gang-related crime?

Answer- it doesn't. Particularly when the vast majority of guns used by criminals are not purchased at gun stores where a criminal background check is a requirement. And it's already illegal for a person to make a straw purchase on behalf of a criminal.

The Birthday Present

Not often we get to hear good news so this is worth looking at-

Gabriel Hurles celebrated his sixth birthday by unwrapping the best present ever - his father home on leave from Iraq.

I particularly liked this part-

After Hurles sat down and ate a cupcake with the birthday boy, teacher Dawn VanSickle presented him with a banner from the class that read, 'Welcome Home. Thank you for your service.'

VanSickle told the Nevada Appeal she was happy to arrange the reunion in her classroom.

'One of the first things Gabriel shared about himself was that his dad was in Iraq and that he was waiting for his dad to come home,' she said. 'He talks about his dad all the time.'

Comparative Costs

Via Hot Air, this graphical representation of the cost of the Democrat porkfest stimulus bill by Suitably Flip. Spread it around.

So how big is the resulting $1.2 trillion spending package? Big enough to dwarf any government program in history, even after adjusting for inflation. It's bigger than the New Deal and the Iraq War combined. The interest alone will be costlier than the Louisiana Purchase or going to the moon.

Letting Al Qaeda Go Free

I have never understood the demands to release enemy combatants- terrorists not eligible for treatment under the Geneva Convention- while the war on terrorism continues. This is why-

Before he was released from Guantanamo, a Saudi detainee insisted he had only wanted to help refugees and was not a fighter. Now, as an Al Qaeda field commander sporting a bandolier of bullets, he is threatening the United States and has been hailed by a militant Web site as a veteran guerrilla and “a fomenter of war.”

The story of Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi underscores the dilemma Barack Obama’s administration finds itself in: Keeping men locked up without trials invites global criticism but releasing them without a fair and diligent process to distinguish enemies from noncombatants exposes the U.S. and its allies to danger. It also shows how hard it is to separate truth from lies.

Like it or not America is at war- releasing enemy fighters to appease the global community's politically correct desires is foolhardy in the extreme. And a direct danger to the citizens of the United States.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Glasgow Knives

Steve at The Firearm Blog noted a story from the BBC on how Glasgow police are searching social networking sites for pictures of people posing with knives. If the photo has been taken in a public place the law has been broken. However, take note of this-

Even when pictures are taken in private, though, which isn't technically breaking the law, he says the weapons are so dangerous his officers pay a visit to the people involved.

Question one- how do they track these people down? Presumably they don't have their names and addresses published for all the internet to see. Having broken no law, how can the police justify tracking them down? Bebo and Facebook say they are all for helping to cut crime- does this mean they are handing out the private details of users to police. Even if no crime has been committed?

"We show the parents their pictures," he explained, "recover the weapons and make sure they know that behaviour is unacceptable.

So police go to the homes of people who have broken no law and lecture them that they are behaving in a manner unacceptable to the police. Nice.

"We have large kitchen knives, axes, samurai swords, baseball bats, a huge number and different type of weapons - in simple terms weapons that can kill."

So, let me see if I've got this straight- those people taking pictures in private have broken no law. Yet the police use their time and resources- at the taxpayers' expense- to track them down. We're no quite clear what legal authority they have to request the private details of UK citizens who have not committed any crime. They then state that they "recover" the "weapons". By recover I presume they mean confiscate- but the so-called weapons are legal to own and taking a picture with one in a private place breaks no law. So how can they possibly justify confiscating private, legally-owned property? Furthermore, the confiscated property isn't always a scary-looking knife- kitchen knives, axes and baseball bats may be used to kill but they are all perfectly legal-to-own tools available to buy all over the country. So, why are the police confiscating them? And what gives them the right to do so?

Why are the police wasting their time, money and resources tracking down and talking to people who have not broken the law?

For the record, the British government began a high-profile anti-knife campaign last June. Since then knife crime has continued to increase.

Crisis Or Opportunity?

If I didn't have serious misgivings about their competence I'd have to think that Democrats were motivated by malevolence. The US is suffering from an economic crisis- so they craft bill to spend a trillion dollars on pork and pet projects, all the while virtually ignoring the problem the bill is supposed to correct. Then, intent on repeating the mistakes of the past- mistakes that even I learned about in high school history class- they now want to create "buy American" policies.

As if the Democratic Porkfest Bill didn’t do enough damage on its own to the long-term prospects for the American economy, the Washington Post reports that it could set off a trade war that would bring the global economy crashing, too. Democratic protectionists loaded up the bill with “Buy American” clauses that shut out foreign producers of steel and iron. Just as in the Depression, however, that will force other nations to close their markets — which will virtually recreate the Smoot-Hawley fiasco that made the Depression exponentially worse.

Are they really this stupid? Or should we bear in mind the words of Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel-

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste, and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you didn't think you could do before."

The Obama Standard

I guess we have a pretty good idea now of how the Obama administration is going to act.

While he lectures Americans that they will have to turn down their heating, he keeps the White House so hot he can work in his shirt sleeves in the depths of winter.

While he talks of a "shared sacrifice" and of gives speeches about the terrible economic crisis facing America, he dines on wagyu steak and comes up with a nearly trillion dollar bill which is packed with pork for Democrat's pet causes and essentially ignores the crisis it's supposed to fix.

While Obama campaigns he promises that lobbyists "won't find a job in my White House" but when he gets to Washington he promptly does just that.

While he campaigns he softens his extreme views on abortion with the promise that he will support legislation to reduce the number of abortions taking place- but when he's inaugurated one of the first things he does is to provide Federal funding for abortions overseas, a move guaranteed to increase the number of abortions.

The Obama standard- say one thing, do another.

Obama's Bash

Barack Obama has branded Wall Street bonuses "shameful" this year.

That's rich coming from the man whose economic "stimulus" plan spends nearly a trillion dollars on projects, the majority of which have absolutely nothing to do with directly stimulating the economy.

And who then throws a cocktail party complete with waygu steak- a $100 a serving delicacy.

Shameful, Obama? I don't think you know the meaning of the word. Shameful is claiming that because America faces the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression that it's essential he plunges the United States into debt for the sake of...what exactly? Buying votes for Democrats? And then throwing a lavish party to celebrate.

I guess he doesn't have a problem with double standards- one rule for him, and another for you. I mean, he's already lectured the US on turning down the thermostat- before promptly turning the temperature in the White House up. David Axelrod tries to explain that he does it because "he's from Hawaii". Hasn't Obama spent, oh I don't know, about twenty odd years living in Chicago?

The most expensive inauguration in US history wasn't enough either- Emperor Obama needs his hothouse temperatures, his swish parties and expensive delicacies too.

Can you even begin to imagine the media outrage if President Bush had done this?

Say Goodbye To Freedom

So much for freedom in Britain.

A member of the House of Lords invited Wilders to a private meeting in London and intended to invite her colleagues in the Lords to meet Wilders there and see a screening of Fitna, followed by discussion, questions and debate, the way things normally go in a free society.

But what happened instead is that Lord Ahmad, the Labour-appointed Peer pictured above found out about the invitation to Wilders. He then actually threatened to 'mobilize 10,000 Muslims' in the streets to prevent Wilders from entering London and threatened to sue the Peer who was organizing the event.

Wilders was subsequently disinvited and the showing of Fitna was jubliant, and Lord Ahmed praised Allah for delivering ‘ was cancelled. The Pakistani Pressa victory for the Muslim community’.

A Labour peer threatens to unleash a mob onto the streets of London to prevent his colleagues from meeting another politician?

Astonishing. The sentiments of the Muslim mob trump the rights of others. Whatever happened to "Great" Britain?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bankrupting America

The Obama-Reid-Pelosi plan to plunge the United States into colossal debt has very little, if anything, to do with saving the economy from crisis. Right now Republicans should be doing every interview they can with the media and telling them that a pork-laden bill which has more spending on non-stimulus items than anything else is the last thing the country needs. The last thing that American taxpayers need. The US is supposed to be in crisis- and all Obama and his cohorts can come up with is a plan to funnel money to their pet-projects?

We’ve looked it over, and even we can’t quite believe it. There’s $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make “dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy.” Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There’s another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.

Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these projects aren’t likely to help the economy immediately. As Peter Orszag, the President’s new budget director, told Congress a year ago, “even those [public works] that are ‘on the shelf’ generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy.”

This is not the hope and change you were looking for. Obama wants to spend $825 billion (or more than one trillion by the latest estimates) when a mere $90 billion would suffice for the bill's supposed aims? And we'll ignore for now the fact that this spending won't come in time to make a difference. He's been in office for a week and he's essentially bankrupting the nation- not out of necessity's sake, but because Democrats have gone on a self-indulgent spending frenzy that has no regard for the current economic climate, let alone any concern for the future stability of the nation.

Wow- if only some people had highlighted his complete lack of experience in running anything, his urge to redistribute wealth and his own pork tendencies before election day.

Oh, wait, we did.

One last thought- how long will pass before Democrats, ably aided by the media, re-write history to place the blame for the gargantuan deficit they're creating now at the feet of Republicans?

The Stimulus Con

I find it hard to believe that the American public are not furiously complaining to their so-called representatives in Washington about the pork-laden stimulus bill. If the situation is dire and calls for emergency action why are politicians playing games with the bill? Why is the majority of the money not going to be spent until after this year?

On Monday night, the Congressional Budget Office sent out a full analysis of the House stimulus bill — elaborating on the partial number-crunching that were disseminated last week by Republican Hill sources. The new report elaborates on what the first one illuminated: the vaunted infrastructure spending will take years and years and years to kick in. Just 7 percent of the total $800 billion-plus stimulus funding would enter the economy by the end of this year.

In fact, the bill seems to have now passed the one trillion dollar mark. No doubt largely due to pork projects like this which have no bearing on saving the economy- $75 million for stopping smoking programs. Which is going to stimulate the economy how?

It seems to me that the stimulus package is the biggest and most expensive con job ever pulled on the American people- and the US economy will be in worse shape in years to come because of it.

The Democrat Example

Following the example set by Democrats during the Bush years RWJ lists how he will support Obama.

Here's a sample-

I support him as much as Code Pink supports our troops.

I support him as much as Al Gore supports cutting down on his personal carbon footprint to save the world.

I support him just as much as he supports the right of a baby who survives an abortion to not spend its only living moments waiting to die in a storage room.

Fair's fair after all. I mean, Democrats have spent the past eight years claiming that dissent is the highest form of patriotism, haven't they?

Holy Cow

Remember that bank bailout?

While the Obama administration hasn't asked Congress for more money yet, some experts warn that government spending on support for struggling financial services companies will ultimately reach into the trillions of dollars.

"The amount of working capital you'd expect the government to take into this would be around $3 trillion to $4 trillion," said Simon Johnson, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and author of its Baseline Scenario financial crisis blog.

Four trillion dollars- and that's not counting the pork-laden kickback stimulus bill.

A massive government deficit is a way to fix the economy?

Crippling The CIA

A quick follow-up to a previous post.

Former Bush speech-writer Mark Thiessen commented that Obama was recklessly endangering the USA by shutting down the CIA's interrogation program. He was attacked by an op-ed in the Washington Post which he described as the "pinnacle of near perfect ignorance". His response is an enlightening read on just how effective "enhanced interrogation" has been at keeping America safe.

An excerpt-

Zubaydah was captured in a gun battle and severely injured. The CIA arranged medical care, saving his life. After he recovered, Zubaydah provided what he thought was nominal information—including that KSM's alias was "Muktar," something our intelligence community did not know. But he soon ceased all cooperation. It was clear to his interrogators that he had received interrogation resistance training, and
the traditional methods were not working. So the CIA employed alternative interrogation techniques. And Zubaydah started talking.

He provided information that led to the capture of Ramzi bin al Shibh—one of the key plotters of the 9/11 attacks and a close associated of KSM. Bin al Shibh was the mastermind behind a plot for a follow-on attack to hijack airplanes in Europe, and fly them into Heathrow airport. Now he was off the street and the Heathrow plot was setback.

Information extracted from them both led directly to the capture of KSM himself- a man who only gave up information after being waterboarded. I strongly suggest you read the whole thing.

Now Obama has prevented the CIA from using the program to gather intelligence from terrorists who have been trained to resist traditional questioning methods. Terrorists, remember, who adhere to an ideology of "martyrdom" as a path to Paradise. It's not hard to imagine that they are resistant to softer lines of questioning. There's talk of a "ticking time bomb" scenario- would a CIA interrogator break the rules then to get the information he needed? We don't know. Perhaps a brave man would risk his career and his freedom to break the law in order to prevent another 9/11. But here's the problem- the ticking time bomb scenario is undoubtedly going to be a rare occurrence. Capturing a high-value terrorist leader with knowledge of on-going plots is not. As Thiessen amply demonstrates it can and has happened.

But now Obama has tied the hands of those questioning such a terrorist. They can no longer use techniques proven to work- so what if a terrorist is being held with knowledge of one or several terrorist plots to attack America or her allies? Well, now the CIA will not find out about it. They will not be able to track down and capture the terrorist's comrades, men who might know of the whereabouts of other high value terrorists or of other plots to commit the mass-murder of American civilians.

So the rights of foreign terrorists to be treated nicely outweigh the rights of the American people to live in safety. At least, it does according to Obama.

Personally, I'm disgusted.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just Give Them What They Want

That's the advice that people are given when confronted by criminals by those in the police and government who believe that ordinary citizens should not try to defend themselves, their families or their property. Hecate's Crossroads demonstrates why relying on the good nature of criminals is foolhardy.

A rangemaster at gun school who was also a sheriff's deputy once told me about a nurse who had serious ex-boyfriend problems. After responding to one of her 911 calls, he told her she should get a handgun.

She said she'd think about it, and asked her hospital colleagues what they thought. Thoroughly indoctrinated in pacifist attitudes, they were horrified and told her she should get a whistle instead. That was what she decided to do, and the deputy said he could not talk her out of it.

When her body was later found in the hospital parking lot, the whistle was still between her teeth. She had blown it until it filled up with blood as she died.

Just give them what they want? But what if they don't just want your wallet, watch or car- what if they want to take your life?

A Time of Testing

Michael Bane on the new era of "hope and change".

For our part — those of us who profoundly and fundamentally believe that the Second Amendment is the defining plank of American liberty — our time of testing has come. It is important to remember that we have stood here before; we have seen the dark days come, and we have seen them go. We must truly, as the new President said, remain true to our forbearers and to our founding documents, because I fear he will not. We must be strong, because those who hold public office will likely be weak. We must be focused because surely our enemies will be.

A few days ago The Smallest Minority wrote about the Tottenham Outrage- an incident one hundred years ago when two armed robbers went on a shooting spree in England. Chased by police, members of the public not only joined in the pursuit but offered the unarmed cops their own firearms. In the space of just a century the UK has gone from a place where guns were so commonplace that an event like this occurred, to one where gun ownership is rare indeed and heavily regulated. Handguns and semi-auto rifles are completely banned. All it took was a series of laws which I'm sure were called common sense regulations at the time. A licence requirement to carry a weapon in public, then a licence to buy handguns, then registration...

Every gun control measure is a step towards the eventual disarmament of the public at large- house to house searches aren't necessary as the UK can show the world. Sometimes all it takes to kill a thriving gun culture is a series of slightly more onerous obstacles to obtaining a firearm.

Bear that in mind and be prepared to fight against every single attempt to infringe the right to keep and bear arms. If you don't your grandchildren may grow up in a country where only a tiny minority are sanctioned by the state to own certain classes of firearm.

Kickback Time

ACORN did everything they could- up to and including voter fraud- to get Obama elected. Now here comes the kickback.

House GOP leader John Boehner’s office reports that the left-wing voter fraud/illegal alien/housing entitlement racketeers at ACORN “could get billions” more in federal taxpayer funding from the Democrats’ stimulus bill.

Thus ensuring their support come the next round of elections.

Fight For Your Rights

More from David Codrea's Gun Rights Examiner.

My bottom line? If Obama wants "childproof guns," let's see him mandate them for his Secret Service protection detail first. I'll still be against the idea, but at least we'll see he actually believes in a technology he would impose on you and me.

And here's another- one that should make all NRA members question just why that organisation is not fighting the nomination of Eric Holder as AG.

HOLDER:...I think you had asked me earlier about the regulations that I thought might still exist, post-Heller. And I had mentioned, I think, closing the gun show loophole, the banning of cop-killer bullets and I also think that making the assault weapons ban permanent would be something that would be permitted under Heller, and I also think would be good for my law enforcement perspective.

As always, help to spread the word on this column. With Obama in the White House and Democrats in charge of Congress the time has come to do everything you possibly can to defend your gun rights. To think that Democrats won't act on their anti-gun tendencies because of electoral defeat in the past is a mistake- remember, Obama himself is calling for a permanent AWB. And if HR1022 is anything to go by, it won't just be black rifles that are banned.


We heard endlessly about President Bush's approval ratings (with less attention paid to the Democrat controlled Congress' figures). Here's news on Obama's-

Barack Obama might have been in office for less than a week, but the euphoria is beginning to wane.

The new President's approval ratings have fallen from a stratospheric 83 per cent to a more modest - although still impressive - 68 per cent.

A 15 point drop in a week- a week in which he went from being President-Elect to President it must be pointed out. So just by being sworn in he's begun to sink in the polls.

One can only wonder what these ratings will look like when the American people at large realise that his so-called stimulus plan does nothing to help the economy and everything to plunge America into tremendous debt.

Importing Terrorists

Obama wants to close down Guantanamo Bay. Joe Biden reassures the US press that there are no plans to allow the released prisoners to remain in America (but that's only until their lawyers start claiming that they'll be persecuted if sent anywhere else). And now the EU is offering to take some of those released-

Britain moved closer to taking in foreign terror suspects last night as it emerged the EU may accept up to 60 Guantanamo Bay detainees.

France has drawn up plans for EU countries to offer homes to dozens of the inmates so Barack Obama can shut the camp.

There are 245 prisoners left at the military base, but U.S. authorities are unable to send many of them back to their home countries amid fears they will face persecution.

Proponents of relasing these people argue that their rate of returning to terrorism is only about 12%. As if that makes it okay to let them back into society. So let's say that six or maybe seven of the 60 the EU wants to take return to terrorism- what damage will they cause and how many victims will they be able to claim?

How dare these EU leaders put their citizens at risk like this.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Coming Soon

A couple of movies worth looking out for- thanks to the guys over at Quiet Earth for highlighting these.

The first is the sequel to parkour action-fest District 13- Banlieue 13- Ultimatum.

Next up is the rather frightening looking avian-flu apocalypse thriller Carriers. Survivalists, take note- this could be interesting.

Twisted Values

It boggles my mind that so many liberals- who proclaim to love freedom, equality, tolerance, etc- are so devoted to Hamas and their murderous ilk. Here we have terrorists who delight in blowing up innocent people in coffee shops and on buses, who have brutally murdered a heavily pregnant woman and her young children, and who have fired thousands of rockets at civilians. These are the people liberals come out to defend when Israel responds to their aggression? I just don't get it.

In a bizarre reversal of all their commitment to human rights and the struggle of men and women for independence and self-determination, the European Left has chosen again and again to side with the bullies and to condemn a small nation struggling to survive in a hostile neighborhood. It is all self-contradictory: The Left supports gay rights, yet attacks the only country in the Middle East where gay rights are enshrined in law. Hamas makes death the punishment for being gay, but “we are all Hamas now.” Iran hangs gays, but it is praised as an agent of anti-imperialism, and allowed to get on with its job of stoning women and executing dissidents and members of religious minorities. If UK Premier Gordon Brown swore to wipe France from the face of the earth, he would become a pariah among nations. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to do that to Israel and is invited to speak to the UN General Assembly.

Israel guarantees civil liberties to all its citizens, Jew or Arab alike, but it is dubbed “an apartheid state”; Hamas, ever the bully, kills its opponents and denies the rest the most basic rights, but we march on behalf of Hamas. The Left prefers the bully because the bully represents a finger in the face of the establishment? Almost no one on the Left has any understanding of militant Islam. Their politics is a politics of gesture, where wearing a keffiyeh is cool but understanding its symbolism is too much effort even for intellectuals.

SMG Lee SHOT Show 2009

Thanks to tipster prado camp for pointing out that SMG Lee's superlative SHOT Show coverage is being hosted this year at the M4 Carbine Forum. I had been aware of his "SHOT Show pictorial" but I thought that was it- boy, was I wrong. He actually has a whole sub-forum dedicated to the show.

Head on over to check out the images.

Speaking of the Show, I was a tad disappointed that Magpul didn't wow us with some cool new gadgets. Previously they've shown off their bullpup PDW (whatever happened to that?), their race-winning quad and the awesome FMG. Come on guys, bring us some new concept goodness next year. The auto industry does it, so why not the gun makers too?

Highlights of the show for me this year were the Shrike system and Knight Armament's ChainSAW. What do you guys think?

The Slaughter of Innocents

Via Michelle Malkin-

…To anyone who kept his head, the string of Christmas cracker mottoes booming through the public address system on Washington’s National Mall can only excite scepticism. It is crucial to recall the reality that lies behind the rhetoric. Denouncing “those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents” comes ill from a man whose flagship legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, will impose abortion, including partial-birth abortion, on every state in the Union. It seems the era of Hope is to be inaugurated with a slaughter of the innocents.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ignoring Advice

Over at NRO Marc Thiessen writes about Dick Cheney's advice to Obama that he spend some time reviewing the policies and institutions that the Bush administration had put into place to protect the nation. Not so long ago Obama responded by saying that this was "good advice". As has been noted before though, all of Obama's stances come with an expiration date.

Less than 48 hours after taking office, Obama has begun dismantling those institutions without time for any such review. The CIA program he is effectively shutting down is the reason why America has not been attacked again after 9/11. He has removed the tool that is singularly responsible for stopping al-Qaeda from flying planes into the Library Tower in Los Angeles, Heathrow Airport, and London’s Canary Warf, and blowing up apartment buildings in Chicago, among other plots. It’s not even the end of inauguration week, and Obama is already proving to be the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office.

We can only hope that terrorists do not take advantage and launch an attack against America. But hope is a poor substitute for a robust defence.

Importing Criminals

It's long been recognised that the immigration system in the UK is broken. Unfortunately, the government seems unwilling to do anything at all about it.

Eighty foreign killers are exploiting the chaotic asylum system to set up home in Britain, it was revealed yesterday.

The convicted murderers from Albania have been given British passports despite being officially listed as 'wanted' by Interpol.

And it doesn't just end there-

The scandal came to light when Albania's chief of police complained that 100 criminals from his country have been granted British citizenship and now live here.

The police chief said the criminals have been allowed to stay even though the Albanian government has informed the Home Office of the true identities of the men and their crimes, which also include rape and robbery.

Of course the usual canard about their human rights is trotted out as a reason that they cannot be simply removed from the country. The government seems entirely oblivious to the human rights of British citizens who may be at risk from these criminals.

Padding the Budget

When is an economic crisis not a crisis? When the people tasked with finding a solution to it decided to spend a tremendous amount of money on trivial cosmetic features and a minuscule amount on one of the powerhouses of the economy- small businesses. If they aren't taking it seriously, then surely the problem can't be as bad as they're saying.

On the provisions of the stimulus package aimed at small business: "There is actually only 2.7 percent of this bill that is aimed at small business tax relief. In fact, for every dollar being aimed at small business in this bill, there are four dollars being spent for new grass in Washington."
He is there referring to the fact that the bill contains $400 million on upgrades to the Smithsonian, National Mall, and Monuments (including landscaping) and only $41 million in tax relief for small businesses.

So how much of the nearly trillion dollars Obama wants to spend will actually be used to good effect? And how much will be wasted on projects like this?

Obama's Abortions

The US is facing, according to Obama, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. So what's one of the first things he does as President? Why, he signs an executive order to use American taxpayers' money for foreign abortions.

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option.

Money out of your pocket and into the hands of foreign abortionists.

"President Obama not long ago told the American people that he would support policies to reduce abortions, but today he is effectively guaranteeing more abortions by funding groups that promote abortion as a method of population control," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mengele's Twins

This has to be one of the strangest stories I've read in a long time. An historian believes that Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death at Auschwitz, is responsible for the astonishing number of twins born in a South American town.

For years scientists have failed to discover why as many as one in five pregnancies in a small Brazilian town have resulted in twins – most of them blond haired and blue eyed.

But residents of Candido Godoi now claim that Mengele made repeated visits there in the early 1960s, posing at first as a vet but then offering medical treatment to the women of the town.

The normal rate for twins is one in eighty.

The Obama Snub

Telling, isn't it?

Another milestone for our new President: he’s the first President in 56 years to snub the American Legion’s “Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball.”

I guess Obama thinks hanging out with Medal of Honor recipients is less important than having all those Hollywood celebrities to schmooze with.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Worst President Ever?

Obama arguably won the election because of the economy and voters' belief that he was the best man to fix those monetary problems.

I guess the stock market didn't get that memo.

US stocks were on course on Tuesday for their worst inauguration day performance since the assassination of John F Kennedy, led by more heavy losses among banks.

Give Thanks

Thank you President Bush for your service and for having the courage to make tough decisions.

Here's hoping that America remains as safe under Obama's leadership.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Beginning

Brace yourselves for Wednesday.

Three aides said Obama is planning an ambitious first week that will include several other high-profile moves: a Wednesday meeting with military brass to map out a change to the mission in Iraq, appointment of at least one envoy to deal quickly with the Mideast crisis and issuance of executive orders on issues ranging from the environment to the detainment of terror suspects.

The bulk of the executive orders are not likely to be issued Tuesday because the incoming administration, in the words of one top aide, "does not want to cloud the first day" by overshadowing the historic swearing-in of Obama as the first African-American president.

Obama's FEMA

Expanding his power bit by bit. Obama's "permanent campaign" to put pressure on Republicans and Democrats alike who won't toe the line is already suffering from some mission creep.

In what would be another unprecedented step, Obama's political staff is deciding whether to create a service organization that would use the vast corps of its grass-roots campaign supporters. As described by one source knowledgeable with the discussions, this nonprofit arm would be used to help victims of natural disasters, but would do so under the Obama umbrella while continuing to build the overall network's massive e-mail database.

Where will it all end?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alien Trespass Trailer

Thanks to the folks over at Quiet Earth here's the trailer for the upcoming '50s style invasion movie Alien Trespass. This looks like a lot of fun.

Global Warming

There's a whole heap of global warming going on in the US right now- and quite frankly I'm glad we don't get temperatures like that over here.

Much of the country was in extremis Friday, with temperatures dropping to record lows in parts from Minnesota to Vermont.

"After it's 10 below, what difference does it make?" asked Wendy Schlueter of Babbitt, Minnesota, where the temperature hit 48 degrees below zero Friday.

The cold set records in Maine, Vermont, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, said Bruce Terry, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland.

Jennifer Flesher, a 20-year-old CNN iReporter and student at the University of Illinois, said Thursday that the temperature was "unbelievable."

"I went outside to use the snow blower, and my lungs actually started hurting," she said.

Surprisingly, there isn't a single mention of global warming or climate change in the entire article- something you always get when the weather becomes a bit balmy.

Odd that, isn't it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

SHOT Show Goodness

Still no sign of any SMG Lee coverage at the SHOT Show this year. Which is a real shame. In the meantime a couple of new products caught my eye.

First up is a carbine conversion for the Ruger Mk II/Mk III .22 LR pistol from Ares Defense called the 22RCU. This is a very neat idea.

Next we have a sporting lower attachment for AR uppers called the Herring Modular Sporting Rifle. Quite a good idea. No details on how it works- there doesn't appear to be any room for the buffer tube. Perhaps one for those of you with piston driven uppers?

Camille - Money Note

Another of my "albums of the moment" is French singer Camille's Music Hole. Here's the video to the song "Money Note". Quite frankly she seems a little bonkers.

SHOT Show Again

More SHOT Show goodness, this time from Ken Lunde. He's got good images of the new Colt Delta Elite, the Colt sub-compact AR, some comparison shots of the Microtech MSAR and Steyr AUG, and the new Sig .380ACP among others.

While you're over there you should also check out his page devoted to the awesome Busse range of knives.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spending Like Crazy

Obama sure is taking the US financial crisis seriously- and he's leading by example by saving the taxpayers as much money as possible...wait...only kidding, he's actually spending over twice as much as George Bush on his inauguration.

Barack Obama's inauguration next week is set to be the most expensive ever, predicted to reach over $150m (£102m). This dwarfs the $42.3m spent on George Bush's inauguration in 2005 and the $33m spent on Bill Clinton's in 1993.

It wouldn't do to show some fiscal restraint during the crisis he claims is the worst to face the US since the Great Depression. Nope, the One must have his big event.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

War on the Constitution

The war on gun ownership in the United States- a right enshrined in the Constitution let's not forget- continues.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you H.R.45, Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009, introduced in the House one week ago today by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL).

And the details?

If passed, this bill would require that anyone wishing to purchase, own, or possess a "qualifying firearm" - that's any handgun, and any long gun capable of accepting a detachable magazine - would have to be licensed by the state or the federal government in a licensing program managed by the Attorney General. To get a license you would have to prove you're you, provide a passport-style photo, a thumbprint, and take a written exam which includes questions about firearms safety, safe storage, the risks of firearms ownership, and anything else the Attorney General deems appropriate.

Read it all and spread the word.


The BBC is wailing about the horrendous torture apparently inflicted upon the 20th 9/11 hijacker Qahtani. When I watched the news the person talking about the details of the "torture" said that the treatment doled out to him was shocking. She actually seemed genuinely appalled as she began to talk- describing how Qahtani was questioned for 18 hours at a time, kept in cold conditions and *gasp* forced to wear women's clothes. The Washington Post has more-

"For 160 days his only contact was with the interrogators," said Crawford, who personally reviewed Qahtani's interrogation records and other military documents. "Forty-eight of 54 consecutive days of 18-to-20-hour interrogations. Standing naked in front of a female agent. Subject to strip searches. And insults to his mother and sister."

At one point he was threatened with a military working dog named Zeus, according to a military report. Qahtani "was forced to wear a woman's bra and had a thong placed on his head during the course of his interrogation" and "was told that his mother and sister were whores." With a leash tied to his chains, he was led around the room "and forced to perform a series of dog tricks," the report shows.

Please note- this man is not a US citizen, he's a terrorist who has none of the same rights afforded by the Constitution or the Geneva Convention. And note too the details of the very real torture suffered by two US soldiers-

...two U.S. servicemen — in Geneva Convention-approved uniforms — have their hearts cut out, their testicles cut off, their penises cut off and stuffed in their mouths, arms contorted and eyes gouged? THIS is torture.

Precisely- and yet the world's media is aghast as the mistreatment of a terrorist involved in a plot which led to the mass murder of over 3,000 people. When two US soldiers are tortured, mutilated and murdered the media is lacking in the same outrage they afford a terrorist. It's a revolting double standard. Calling a terrorist's mother and sister names is not torture. Neither is threatening a man with a dog or putting women's underwear on him. Sure, it's humiliating and under normal circumstances (i.e. when dealing with a US citizen or an actual POW) it should never be countenanced- but to label mistreatment like this torture is preposterous.

Worth mentioning here too is this news on just what those released from Gitmo get up to-

According to the Pentagons report up to 61 of its former detainees have returned to a life of terrorism. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said 18 former detainees are confirmed as "returning to the fight" and 43 are suspected of having done in a report issued late in December by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Ruger LCR

It's SHOT Show time and while we all wait patiently for SMG Lee's coverage to appear head on over to Gun Blast. They're first out of the gate with a look at Ruger's new .38 Special Lightweight Compact Revolver.

Also remember to stay tuned to the Gun Blast SHOT Show page for more updates.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Another from War On Guns "just give them what they want" files.

Robbers shoot, kill bartender execution-style.

When you're confronted by an assailant you never know what their intentions are- do they just want your wallet or purse or do they have more nefarious plans in mind? Giving them what they want might involve your virtue or your life.

Less Than Three Rounds

Speaking of Gun Rights Examiner, here's a column by Daniel White on the topic of debunking common gun control myths. It's an interesting presentation of the facts and worth reading and disseminating to others. One in particular caught my attention and I thought it bore repeating here-

Gun Fact: The number of shots fired by criminals has not changed significantly even with the increased capacity of handguns and other firearms. Indeed, the number of shots from revolvers (all within 6-8 round capacity) and semi-automatics were about the same – 2.04 vs. 2.53. In a crime or gun battle, there is seldom time or need to shoot more.

One to remember the next time a ban on high-capacity magazines is called for. Which might be sooner than you think.

Gun Rights

David Codrea's latest Gun Rights Examiner is up. I trust that you're all reading these columns already? And telling all your friends about it too?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Invasion of Privacy

The UK's descent into a totalitarian police state continues unabated.

THE Home Office has quietly adopted a new plan to allow police across Britain routinely to hack into people’s personal computers without a warrant.

No warrant, I hear you ask- so what will they require?

A remote search can be granted if a senior officer says he “believes” that it is “proportionate” and necessary to prevent or detect serious crime — defined as any offence attracting a jail sentence of more than three years.

Ah, so no room there for misuse and abuse by the "Only Ones"?

Richard Clayton, a researcher at Cambridge University’s computer laboratory, said that remote searches had been possible since 1994, although they were very rare. An amendment to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 made hacking legal if it was authorised and carried out by the state.

He said the authorities could break into a suspect’s home or office and insert a “key-logging” device into an individual’s computer. This would collect and, if necessary, transmit details of all the suspect’s keystrokes. “It’s just like putting a secret camera in someone’s living room,” he said.

Police might also send an e-mail to a suspect’s computer. The message would include an attachment that contained a virus or “malware”. If the attachment was opened, the remote search facility would be covertly activated. Alternatively, police could park outside a suspect’s home and hack into his or her hard drive using the wireless network.

So much for privacy and the rule of law- it seems to have been replaced now by the "beliefs" of police officers and an expectation that the serfs of Britain should simply accept whatever rules their overlords government deems fit.

Stonehenge Rave

As with dinosaurs there seems to be a new theory about Stonehenge every few months. This latest one is quite interesting.

The mysterious Stonehenge was a dance arena for ancient revellers listening to 'trance-style' music, according to one professor who is an expert in sound.

Quite the party spot- and the acoustics expert who came up with the notion tested his theory in the US.

The most exciting discoveries came when he and colleague Dr Bruno Fazenda visited a full-size concrete replica of Stonehenge, which was built as a war memorial by American road builder Sam Hill at Maryhill in Washington state.

He said: 'We were able to get some interesting results when we visited the replica by using computer-based acoustic analysis software, a 3D soundfield microphone, a dodecahedronic (12-faced) speaker, and a huge bass speaker.

'We have also been able to reproduce the sound of someone speaking or clapping in Stonehenge 5,000 years ago.

'The most interesting thing is we managed to get the whole space (at Maryhill) to resonate, almost like a wine glass will ring if you run a finger round it.

He notes that the stones were shaped or curved as if to reflect sound. While I can't see the construction as being purely for a neolithic rave, it doesn't seem beyond possibility that the site was perhaps enhanced to maximise the acoustic properties for whatever rituals were held there.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Home Remedy

Blogging has been light to non-existent lately because I've been struck down by a particularly nasty throat infection. I never knew a sore throat could be this painful. I've tried all sorts of remedies (gargling vinegar or salt water), over-the-counter medications, sprays- and none of it has worked. Some ibuprofen took the edge off a little once in a while but swallowing pills was a major event itself. One thing that did help- bizarrely- was salt and vinegar flavour crisps- Walkers brand to be precise. Actual salt and vinegar was useless but the crisps did the trick. Don't ask why because I haven't a clue.

School of Seven Bells

Another album discovered through Amazon's wonderful "Recommended For You" list. School of Seven Bell's album Alpinisms is an absolute delight with great music backing up the beautiful voices of the twin sister vocalists. This tune, Conjurr, is one of my favourites on the album. I'm eagerly looking forward to further releases from the group. Buy the album here.