Saturday, March 30, 2002

Here's a picture of actress Helena Bonham Carter in her costume for Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes.

And here's a picture of Michael Jackson.

Just a fanciful coincidence? I think not! Like Clark Kent and Superman, the two are never seen or photographed together.

I just wonder which one is supposed to be the "secret identity".
A terrorist network that disguises itself as a legitimate government. Hijacking of American transportation, only to have it used against us. The greatest of heroism as our armed forces muster to invade the Islamic world and fight the terrorists at their home base.

Just what you can read in your daily newspaper, you say? Well, sure it is. Except I'm talking about something that happened over two centuries ago, during America's war with the Barbary Pirates.

We should have done a proper job the first time around.

Friday, March 29, 2002

There's been some discussion over the past few days about Google removing a webpage from it's search engine that is critical of the Church of Scientology. Now this news story reports that Google has replaced the listing.

The C of S has long had a history of bullying critics. Usually they sue people who dare to speak out against the organization, but there's rumors of strong arm tactics. Countries that don't have Constitutional garauntees for religion have been quick to pursue legal avenues against C of S, but there's plenty of love to go around here in the U.S.

This time they threatened Google with a lawsuit, saying that the web page in question was using too much C of S material that had been copyrighted. Takes guts to ignore that kind of pressure, since the C of S has an enormous legal fund.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

I just read where the suspect in the recent Paris shooting rampage has killed himself while in police custody.

When I was working for the police we had a few old timers around who would fondly remember when you could get away with something like that. Looks like the Paris cops need to clean house.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Something has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. We all know about brain-eating zombies. But if a vegan becomes a zombie, what does it eat?
Last month a study published by Harvard purportedly showed that "the mere presence of firearms leads to violent death amongst children". It got a lot of media attention.

What didn't get much attention at all was this rebuttal in, an online news service which I have to admit is hardly unbiased about these matters.

Today I see that another installment has been printed.

Go read both installments and make up your own mind.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

My family on my mother's side emigrated to the United States from Ireland a few years before the first World War. My paternal ancestors arrived from England in the 1920's. We've always lived in the northern states.

I mention this because I've come across a news item that reports on a lawsuit to gain reparations for slavery. The idea being that the labor of slaves was of great economic value, and now the descendants of slaves need to be fairly compensated. Another point that reperation proponents make is that slavery was so devastating for those involved that they still haven't fully recovered.

The problem I have is that I certainly didn't have anything to do with slavery. Not only did my ancestors arrive after slavery was abolished, they settled in an area of the country that had been known for it's anti-slavery stance. If I happen to own stock in the companies that are named in the lawsuit, or my retirement fund has stock, then I'd be unfairly punished for something that I wasn't responsible for.

Another point to consider is that I'm descended from Germans. Even though all of my ancestors left Germany before the Holocaust an arguement can be made that they benefitted from the same culture that eventually caused so much horror. Am I to be blamed for that as well?

How many people will claim that I'm responsible for things that I had nothing to do with?

Monday, March 25, 2002

Just read in the news that Israel is facing a shortgage of handguns.

Arms embargos by European countries have led to a shortage of defensive weapons, as well as the ammunition to feed them.

Heck, Smith and Wesson has been in dire financial straights ever since they sold out to the Clinton administration. Seems like a golden opportunity to me.
It would seem that undercover investigators were able to smuggle weapons on board commercial flights on a regular basis. Guns, knives and fake bombs were routinely smuggled past security, and investigators were able to gain access to "secure areas" without challenge by security.

The driving idea behind airport security is an attempt to create a "sterile environment". This doesn't mean that it's someplace suitable to have your appendix removed, but that it's free from all weapons.

There's one big problem with that philosophy. Everything is a weapon. Everything.

I recently visited a friend in San Diego (home of Steven den Beste, who should be read by everyone every day). When I boarded the plane I had a spare pair of socks in one pocket and two rolls of quarters in another. I was planning on tasting a terrorist's brains before the plane pancaked in to a Pennsylvania cornfield.

There's only three ways to make sure that everyone is helpless when they board the plane. Every passenger's arms and legs can be surgically removed before boarding, and all of their teeth pulled. Or you can resort to less drastic measures such as drugging every passenger unconcious for the duration of the flight. Or everyone can be placed in a straight jacket and strapped to a handcart like Hannibal Lector.

Or they can reverse their insane attempts to make every member of the most successful predator species on the planet helpless before travelling by air. They can let a few of the guard dogs have their teeth. Those that are willing to undergo background checks and take training can have expanding batons, chemical mace or other non-lethal weapons. Pilots can have handguns behind reinforced cockpit doors. Police officers can be allowed to carry their firearms on board if they load them with frangible ammunition.

Frankly I don't expect the powers that be to take these common sense steps. I figure that they'll just start confiscating any spare socks or change that people have before they board. That will be fine. Guess what you get when you break a CD in three pieces? The guys in prison call it a "shank".
I just watched Rosie O'Donnell on The O'Reilly Factor. In fact I'm watching the program right now.

She talked about gay couples adopting children. The thing I found admirable about her was when she said that she only wanted the same criteria to be applied to gay couples when children are being placed. This agrees with my own views, since I believe that people should be judged equally no matter their religion, national origin, race or sexual orientation.

Even so I can't help hating that bitch. She stated in the past that all gun owners (like myself) should be jailed, simply for owning a firearm. Besides trying her best to demonize people (like myself) who think that a firearm is the best way to protect others, she actively campaigned to end private gun ownership while hiring armed guards to protect herself and her family. This proved that she was the worst kind of elitist, since she and hers were important enough to be protected while me and mine (or anyone else too poor to afford private protection) weren't worth the same consideration.

That was then, this is now.

In an attempt to be fair she DID say that she wasn't acting in her right mind. She said that she was reacting emotionally, "As a mother", when she saw the Columbine massacre. She also said that she has a problem with depression, and it was a bad time for her. So she went too far in stating her views but that it wasn't really her fault.

Fine. Whatever. Actions speak louder than words, though. She spent money and used her influence to try and make every average citizen helpless in the face of an armed attack. I want to see her do something other than cry a few mea culpas. It's too much to ask her to host a fundraiser for the NRA, but she can do some good with her millions. She can start an organization that offers free self-defense courses for victims of violent crime, or even for anyone who asks.

After all, that's what I do and I'm not a millionaire.
I just read this news story. Seems that some tribal leaders in Pakistan are warning the U.S. to stay out of the area, even though we want to search for escaped Taliban there.

Here we go again. I can hear the Euroweenies oiling up their bitchin' machines from here. I'm just waiting for them to say that our troops won't be able to function in mountainous terrain, especially during the brutal Pakistan summer.
From James Randi's website we get a report of a haunted coffee maker!

Seems that some appliances can pick up radio stations, and coffee makers are more likely to do this than others. Some people claim that it's actually the spirits of the departed, trying to communicate with the living.

This is absolutely true! A ghost keeps ringing my doorbell in Morse code, trying to give me an important message. Although my friends keep telling me that it's just the neighborhood kids, I'm sure that it's much more significant than that. So far the ghost has tapped out "crjtyp", an obvious reference to code.

And to think that some people don't take this stuff seriously.
It seems that a link has been uncovered between Arafat and Iran. Iran would provide money and arms while Arafat would provide suicide bombers to kill innocent civilians.

Looks like the U.S. will have to include some new members in the Axis of Evil.
It seems that the Brits are upset at Isreal (again). Now they're bitchin' cause the Israelis used modified British tanks during it's recent armored invasion of the occupied territories.

Luckily for Israel the Brits aren't going to do anything that will make a difference, like stop selling arms. But if Israel isn't careful they might suspend it's Commonwealth membership for a year.

Oh, wait! Israel isn't a member.

Never mind.
The recent elections in Zimbabwe were a complete sham. But not to worry! The British Commonwealth is taking decisive action by suspending Zimbabwe's membership for 12 months!

And to think that some people claimed that the world outside the U.S. was unable to do anything of any note.

Take that, President Mugabe! The days left to your reign of terror is numbered now that the Commonwealth is on the case!
It would seem that the United Nations wants even more money for developing nations. If they don't get it, then they say that the Third World will become a breeding ground for terrorists.

Sounds suspiciously like a threat to me.
Banning private ownership of guns wasn't enough. Now the Brits are going to ban hunting with dogs.

I can't think of anything that's more British unless it's drinking tea and eating buttered pieces of smoked fish for breakfast. But all is not lost. I came across an op-ed story by David Cameron, a member of Parliament. I probably wouldn't vote for him if he was running for office here in the States, but he does sound refreshingly down to earth.