BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Wednesday - June 30, 2010

Interesting But Slightly Flawed

More gun stuff

I ran across a post at The Daily Beast (TDB) where the author attempts to predict which states will feel the pressure to change their gun laws now that McDonald v. Chicago has incorporated the Second Amendment. He tried to get there by seeing how many guns per person there might be in any given state. His approach was to use NICS data from the past 18 months. That is an interesting approach, but a flawed one. NICS has been around for 12 years now, and even a poorly made firearm can last longer than that. I took a look at his numbers, then ran my own using the whole 12 years worth of NICS data. That changed the ranking of many of the states, but didn’t really impact his conclusions. My population data was from a different source than his but that had only a small impact; our population numbers were different, but not hugely different.

Looking at the raw data provided by the FBI shows that Kentucky is a major anomaly. Either some change in that state’s bureaucratic process caused their NICS numbers to more than triple in 2006 and then double again in 2007, or some kind of economic impact at that point caused Kentuckians to put their guns in and out of hock on a nearly constant basis.

I took things a step further, given my awareness of the longevity of firearms and the relative shortness of the time that NICS has been with us, and created a column of “likely legal guns per 100,000” in which the numbers based on the full NICS data are multiplied by 2.5. I have no way of estimating the number of illegal firearms out there, but I can guarantee you it is a stunningly huge number, and I can further guarantee you that states that have large urban zones with high crime rates and high gang membership will have the highest illegal firearms numbers. That is not to say that all of those “illegal” guns are used to commit crimes, just that a great number of the people in those areas have armed themselves without going through the proper government channels. Let’s be real here: if it costs you a few hundred dollars to get all your paperwork done and another few hundred or thousand to properly buy a proper firearm, and you happen to be poor, the odds are strong that you are just going to buy a $75 gun off the street. And that might even get you a decent weapon; guns are cheap when they’re hot.

Bottom line? Mr. TBD has pretty much the right idea that states with higher legal gun ownership will feel pressure from their citizens and likely push for less stringent gun laws, while states with lower legal gun ownership will push for tighter gun laws. I’d change that a little, and say that the lower rated states will probably leave their laws alone, but the states with the highest illegal ownership will be the ones trying for the tougher laws, regardless of the pressure they get from the legal owners in that state.

More bottom line? Once again the states that are controlled by the left have the lowest rates of legal ownership. In that I agree with Mr. TDB. Using the full NICS history, it looks to me like 19 states have at least one gun for every other person, and 38 states have one gun per every three persons. My “likely ownership” estimation changes those numbers drastically, showing 26 states with at least one gun per person, 45 states with one gun for every other person, and only 4 states with less than one gun for every three persons. And no matter how you slice it, New York and New Jersey come out at the bottom of the “legal” lists, though if “actual” numbers could be found they would be near the top. Hell, I live here, and just about everybody I know owns a gun. And I don’t know any criminals or any folks who live in really rough neighborhoods.

data beneath the fold for those interested.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/30/2010 at 02:56 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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Skunked

Ratz. We got trampled at bowling league last night, 0-7. We were in first place for 1 whole week. Alas, no more. If I can ever stop totally sucking at this game maybe we can get it back. The cash prize for first is “huge” in this little league, a whole $100. The league started with 7 1/2 teams, which was 8 teams in the rotation. That’s the perfect size for a 15 week season; everybody plays each team twice, then you have 1 week for the finals. That didn’t last. Now it’s 6 teams, and at least 1 pre-bowls each week. And the schedule is all screwed up too. I guess they made the adjustment by just snipping out the teams that dropped or something, I don’t know, but we’ve played a couple of the other teams twice already while not playing the last team at all yet. And 5 doesn’t go into 14 evenly, so there will be 1 team we only play twice. Bah. But that’s summer league sometimes. I’m starting to think that the Wednesday night group might be better, as they have 18 teams. The Tuesday night league might be dying.

If I ran things, I’d get all the teams together on one night, but have several small leagues of 8 and only 1 week of position rounds. That way you get a fair rotation. 18 teams in a 15 week season means there will be 4 teams you never even bowl against, and that’s BS. It’s 1 team worse when such a league does the typical 2 weeks of position rounds.

We played that family team last night, the folks we opened the season with. The ones who were sandbagging it totally. Looks like they have stopped doing that; they creamed us by 126 the first game, then hung back in the second game waiting for us to finish and then beat us by 2. We tried to rally in the 3rd game and were actually ahead in most of the first 9 frames, but then they “miraculously” came from behind with a 10th frame that was mostly Xs and took us by 20 or something. I didn’t even bother to note the score.

There are an infinite number of ways to bowl. There is no one style or method that gets the job done best. There are crankers and strokers and tweeners, but those are only loose categories that fit the better bowlers. In a rinky dink league like this one you see everything under the sun. It can be interesting and amusing to watch, but anyone who has had a bit of training in the classic methods can find it irritating after awhile. Especially when they get their asses whupped by Ugly Bowling. That was us last night. Arrggh! I did get one domino strike that provided some comic relief.

This family team does everything “wrong” and that makes me grind my teeth. They do it consistently though, so it works for them!! Dad weebles up to the foul line, his timing varying by hours. He plants his left foot, comes to a stop, and then slangs the ball, coming over the top and around the ball so far that his right arm goes horizontal. His throw looks like he’s wiping down a table. Every bit of coaching I’ve ever had says that this is a disaster waiting to happen. And yet his ball hooks, and goes into the pocket. Son uses a pinch grip that squeezes the ball between his thumb and middle finger. He races to the line, almost running as his arm swings out and away from his body like a sidearm pitch in softball. And then he fires the ball down the 15 board as his hand comes up and makes a window wiping arc to his left. Another disaster in the making? Once again, every bit of training I’ve ever had says yes. But that arc and that wipe put a bit of counter-clockwise rotation on the ball, thumb hole to the rear, and with it’s great speed the ball flares in a few boards and hits like a thunderclap. He rolled a 223 last night. Big sister is their least bowler and uses something like a classic straight ball approach, throwing from near the right gutter down and across the lane into the pocket. She isn’t putting any sideways rev on the ball and I don’t think it’s even rolling forward faster than the ball is moving. Her throw isn’t fast, isn’t slow, and isn’t superbly accurate, but if her ball finds either pocket most times it will strike. The part that makes me roll my eyes is that she can nail the headpin square on and also get strikes. This isn’t supposed to happen. Or is only supposed to happen once in a while. She manages it more than half the time. Maybe her ball weighs 30 pounds or something. Little sister throws through the deepest oil. She uses a luggage throw, the weakest possible release that will impart a little rev on the ball. 3 step approach, stop, ball swings forward at waist height, thumb comes out and ball falls off her stiff fingers. It gets about 4 spins in as it goes down the lane. Her release point is right down the 20 board, dead center in the lane, and my guess is that she aims somewhere down the 15 board. But with a slow throw, those 4 little revs are enough to move the ball in, and since she launches through the deep oil, the ball moves in late. Into the pocket. For a strike. But her ball is going at the wrong angle!! Every bit of coaching, training, or pity aid I’ve had from the alley employees tells me the same thing: to get a strike you want your ball to come in to the 1-3 pocket at a 19 degree angle to the center line, revving axis 45 degrees to the left, so that deflection is minimized and the ball hits the 1-3-5-9 pins. At best she is hitting 1-3-6-9. But that gets her strikes and her average is higher than mine.

Wonder boy, the kid who lives and works at the alley, threw another 300 last night. He’s a super cranker, and throws out between the 3 and the 4 arrow, really deep right out to the edge of the lane. We’re talking his 2 board, or even his 1. But he revs the daylights out of his ball, and it comes back hard. It accelerates into the pocket, parallel to the front row with a matching angle on the ball and a perfectly vertical rotation. Which means his ball (he’s left handed) take out 2 fulls rows by hitting the 1-2-3-5-6-9-10 and usually blasts 2 messengers from each side across the deck and back. Without trying too hard he usually carries a 245 average. At 23 I think he has over 200 perfect games to his credit. Bastard.

I have decided that there are no experts or coaches worth listening to. Everything that they say is a bad thing is actually a great thing for somebody. I don’t think it matters a jot how you throw the ball as long as you can repeat that throw frame after frame. Use the heaviest ball you can hang onto and just chuck it. The pros you see on TV? Bah. They’re just the pretty style boys and girls, all throwing minor variations on the classic methods. I really am beginning to doubt that they bowl any better than the ham handed oafs who trounce us at league. And I’m beginning - no, long past just beginning - to come to the conclusion that my years worth of trying to learn those styles has been a total waste of time.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/30/2010 at 11:33 AM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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calendar   Tuesday - June 29, 2010

That Takes Balls

Is it April Fool’s Day again already? No? Then this really takes the cake. Kim-chee Jong mentally-Il, suffering from a terminal case of ESS.


North Korea: You owe us $65 trillion



Cash-strapped North Korea has demanded the United States pay almost $US65 trillion ($AU75 trillion) in compensation for six decades of hostility.

The official North Korean news agency, KCNA, says the cost of the damage done by the US since the peninsula was divided in 1945 is estimated at $US64.96 trillion.

The compensation call comes on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the start of the 1950-1953 Korean War.

KCNA said the figure includes $US26.1 trillion arising from US “atrocities” which left more than 5 million North Koreans dead, wounded, kidnapped or missing.

The agency also claims 60 years of US sanctions have caused a loss of $US13.7 trillion by 2005, while property losses were estimated at $US16.7 trillion.

The agency said North Koreans have “the justifiable right” to receive the compensation for their blood.

It said the committee’s calculation did not include the damage North Korea had suffered from sanctions after its first nuclear test in 2006.

WTH, what with Obama in the White House, he’s got an even chance of collecting.



thanks to Rich K!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/29/2010 at 06:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Stoopid-PeopleTyrants and Dictators •  
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A Dye Job For The Poodle Shooter

Sorry, but this smells like BS to me.


Army Goes Green

Fields Environmentally Friendly Lead Free Bullet

Because protecting the environment is their #1 concern when fighting a war crazy



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The new wonder bullet, the M855A1 EPR

aka What’s Wrong With This Picture?



Picatinny Arsenal, Rockaway NJ: The Army announced this week that it has begun shipping its new 5.56mm cartridge, the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round.

The ammunition will replace bullets that have been used since the early 1980s and will be more dependable, have improved accuracy, reduced muzzle flash and a higher velocity, the Army said in a statement.

Those readers who have been paying attention to my ammunition posts will immediately guess that this means the Army is using a faster powder. Experienced reloaders will look at the above picture and shake their heads in wonder, because the cannelure is on the wrong end of the bullet. Look how much case volume is lost because this low density slug has to be so deeply seated in the already minuscule 5.56 NATO case (the case is smaller than your little finger)! No way a merely faster powder could do the job. Ergo, the Army is using a special long duration “magic” powder you and I don’t have access to, probably similar to that “Leverevolution” “Light Magnum” stuff Hornady is loading these days.

The projectile represents the most significant advancement in general purpose small caliber ammunition in decades, according to Lt. Col. Jeffrey K. Woods, the program’s product manager.

The Enhanced Performance Round contains an environmentally friendly projectile that eliminates up to 2,000 tons of lead from the manufacturing process each year, the Army statement said.

Woods said the effort is an example of how “greening’’ a previously hazardous material can also provide performance improvements.

Army Smart - killing our enemies while making Mother Earth happy!®
Oh, and do the math. This bullet replaces the 62 grain M855 bullet, which used perhaps 40 grains of lead. At 7000 grains to the pound, 200 million of those doesn’t come close to using 4 million pounds of lead. They have to be implying that a bullet of similar style will be put into place for the heavier 7.62 NATO cartridge which uses bullets in the 150-200 grain range.

Picatinny Arsenal’s Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems, Chris Grassano, manages the M855A1 program.

“The Army utilized advanced science, modeling and analysis to produce the best 5.56mm round possible for the warfighter,’’ Grassano said in the Army statement.

The new bullet is tailored for use in the M4 Weapon System but also vastly improves the performance of the M16 and M249 families of weapons, the Army statement said.

“tailored for the M4 weapon”. Which uses a really short 16” barrel, instead of the normal 20-24” barrel on regular M16 rifles. Short barrels result in reduced muzzle velocity and increased muzzle flash and blast, as I’ve been telling you. The fix is usually a shift to a much faster powder that burns up quicker. The downside is that such a powder almost always gives lower muzzle velocities when used in the more traditional longer barrels. Once again, unless the Army somehow has “magic” gun powder, the ONLY way they can get better results from the stubby M4 and “vastly” improve velocity on the longer M16 is to raise chamber pressures by quite a bit. And the 5.56 NATO already runs at significantly higher pressure than the otherwise identical .223 Remington cartridge, which is the civilian name for this cartridge. Military rifles generally have bigger chambers and longer throats, which alleviates some of that high pressure. But still. Use your head here.

During testing, the Army fired more than 1 million rounds to ensure the new cartridge met or exceeded expectations. It is the most thoroughly tested small caliber round ever fielded, Woods said.

The Army plans to procure more than 200 millions rounds over the next 12 to 15 months, its statement said.

The M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is the first environmentally friendly bullet resulting from a larger “greening’’ effort across the Army’s Small Caliber Ammunition programs. Other greening efforts include 5.56mm tracer, 7.62mm ball and green primers, the statement said.

Soldiers in Afghanistan will begin using the new, improved round this summer, it said.

Hey, I’m glad the thing is so well tested. But it had to be; this ammunition was supposed to be released an entire year ago, but that had to be pushed back because of major problems when the stuff was fired at high temperatures. The kind of temperatures you’d see in hot places, like summer in Iraq or Afghanistan. Or when your gun gets hot from shooting it a lot, like when you’re in a war. D’oh!

Temperature issues arise for lead-free slug

By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Aug 10, 2009 17:40:21 EDT

The Army is scrapping the latest design for its eco-friendly 5.56mm ammo after some of the bullets began to show trajectory problems when exposed to hot temperatures.

Army ballistics officials halted production of the M855A1 Lead Free Slug ammunition in mid July, launched an investigation and decided to replace the bismuth-tin alloy slug with another material, said Lt. Col. Jeff Woods, product manager for Small Caliber Ammunition.

“We are currently evaluating alternate lead-free materials, and we will resume qualification once a selection is made,” Woods told Army Times.

In the M855A1 LFS bullet’s design, the bismuth-tin alloy sits beneath a steel penetrating tip. A copper jacket encases all but the point of the bullet. The round was designed to work specifically with the M4 carbine. Army officials have maintained that the new round will provide more “consistent performance” than the current M855 round and perform better against hard targets.

The problem surfaced when some of the bullets did not follow their trajectory or planned flight path.

“During ballistic testing of production LFS cartridges, we noticed that some projectiles occasionally varied from the intended trajectory,” Woods said.

The plan was to start issuing the first of 20 million rounds in August, replacing the standard M855 lead round.

One thing the Army is sure of is that “this will delay fielding of the new round,” Woods said.

This is not the first hiccup to occur in the quest for lead-free ammunition, a program the Army has invested tens of millions of dollars in since the mid-1990s. The first attempt featured a tungsten-nylon bullet that didn’t perform well and proved almost as harmful to the environment as lead. This new wrinkle in the program appears to be linked to “higher temperatures,” but ballistic officials would not describe the specific temperature at which the problem occurs.

I love that “some projectiles occasionally varied from the intended trajectory” line. That’s Army-speak for “accuracy totally shit the bed when things got hot”. And no kidding: these lead free bullets are much less malleable than lead cored ones, which means they do not squish up to seal the bore upon firing (under the intense pressures inside a firing gun barrel, all metals are elastic, but the stronger ones much less so). Lead by itself is highly elastic; this squishing up effect is what made the Minie Ball work in the Civil War. Lead surrounded by a copper or brass jacket is much less deformable, but still can be squished up a little. Solid copper, steel, or bismuth bullets aren’t really malleable at all at similar pressures. When guns get hot their steel barrels get hot too. And expand a little. Which means that the bore, that hole in the middle of the barrel that the bullet slides down, also gets a little bigger. And that means a looser fit for an inelastic bullet. Loose fit equals lousy accuracy. D’oh!

So I’m really hoping that the new EPR bullet uses a softer and more elastic copper alloy, or at least is made 0.001 - 0.002” larger in diameter, to mitigate this problem.


So, is it effective? The Army wants you to believe so. The previous “solution” to the 5.56’s lack of hitting power was supposed to be solved by everyone switching to the M855 bullet, the so called SS109 Penetrator with it’s much heavier 62 grain construction and a hardened steel core. That was back in the early 80s. Using that bullet required putting new barrels on every rifle in service, because the bigger bullet needed a much faster rifling pitch to stabilize it, compared to the even older Vietnam era M193 55 grain bullet. All of which goes to show that our military has long been aware that the 5.56 cartridge isn’t quite enough gun to do the job. And so this week we have yet another stop gap effort, another dye job for the old poodle. Let’s hope that this shade of Nice ‘n Easy™ can turn the poodle into a pit bull.

But guess what? The Marines aren’t buying into it. They don’t want this new gee-whiz projectile at all. Oh no. Instead, they now have their own wunder-poodle-fixer-upper bullet!

The Marine Corps, however, doesn’t share this confidence. The Corps has dropped its plans to field the Army’s M855A1 and approved the new SOST round for Marines to use in Afghanistan. SOST, short for Special Operations Science and Technology, is SOCom’s enhanced 5.56mm round . It isn’t green, but it is deadlier than the current M855 round and it’s available now, Marine officials say. The Corps’ decision to purchase about 2 million SOST rounds in September illustrates the growing frustration with the M855’s performance on the modern battlefield. The M855 was developed in the 1970s and approved as an official NATO round in 1980. In recent years, troops have widely criticized it. They complain it is ineffective against barriers such as car windshields and often travels right through unarmored insurgents, with less than lethal effects.

SOST rounds have similar ballistics to the M855 round, meaning combat troops don’t have to adjust to using the new ammo, military officials say. Using an open-tip match round design common with some sniper ammunition, SOST rounds are designed to stay on target better than existing M855 rounds after penetrating windshields, car doors and other objects.

Compared with the M855, SOST rounds also stay on target longer in open air and have increased stopping power, according to Navy Department documents obtained by Marine Corps Times.

At 62 grains, they weigh about the same as most NATO rounds, have a typical lead core with a solid copper shank and are considered a variation of Federal Cartridge Co.’s Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw round, which was developed for big-game hunting and is touted in a company news release for its ability to crush bone.

Despite the popularity of the SOST, the Army isn’t backing away from its goal to perfect its green M855A1 round. “SOST is a good round, but SOST is not a lead-free slug,” said Lt. Col. Tom Henthorn, chief of the Small Arms Branch at the Soldier Requirements Division at Fort Benning, Ga. The Army will continue to develop an environmentally friendly 5.56mm, as well as a lead-free 7.62mm bullet, Henthorn added, “because we care about the environment.”

[eye roll] Oh God. About the only ground where ground water runoff could be contaminated with lead put there by bullets would be the rain water that drains off the dirt berms behind the shooting ranges at military training camps. Those same berms that have been in use since about ... 1915? I looked it up - there is no lead contamination in Rock Creek, the waterway that drains the Gettysburg battlefield, where millions of pure lead bullets each the size of your thumb were fired in 1863. Probably 100 tons worth in a 1 square mile area. Spending tens of millions of dollars to develop a new “earth friendly” bullet is asinine. Spending that money to develop a more effective, more lethal bullet makes a bit more sense, though the “green sell” seems rather hypocritical.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/29/2010 at 03:59 PM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryWar On Terror •  
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Gang Way

Oh, now isn’t this special?

FBI: Gangs Commit 80% of US Crime



While reading this post, keep this flashback from 2007 in mind:

ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) conducted a threat assessment survey of all field offices:

“The results of the assessment showed that most major metropolitan areas were experiencing a surge in gang activity. Additionally, the survey showed that membership of these violent transnational gangs was comprised largely of foreign-born nationals.”

Source: ICE “Operation Community Shield” Fact Sheet June 6, 2007

• Gang members in the United States: 800,000
• State and local police in the United States: 708,000

Source: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California); hearing testimony June 5, 2007



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.
...
“A rising number of U.S.-based gangs are seemingly intent on developing working relationships” with U.S. and foreign drug-trafficking organizations and other criminal groups to “gain direct access to foreign sources of illicit drugs,” the report concludes.

The gang population estimate is up 200,000 since 2005.
...

The violent Salvadoran gang MS-13 has cells, or “cliques,” in 42 states. States reporting no MS-13 presence:

• Alaska
• Delaware
• Maine
• Minnesota
• North Dakota
• New Hampshire
• New Mexico
• Vermont

Source: FBI

I’m a bit surprised that New Mexico has no MS-13 activity. The other states mentioned seem obvious; Salvadorans, especially those with wild facial tattoos (an MS-13 affectation) would really stand out there. Maybe they’d stick out like sore thumbs in New Mexico too?

Now, I don’t know how the feds came up with this 80% number. I don’t know how they have “crime” defined, and I don’t know if they have analyzed the data in terms of locality; how much of it is urban and how much is ex-urban. But I’m sure murder/spontaneous homicide must count as one of those crimes, and the last I heard about half of that was committed by “disaffected urban youths” in “economically challenged racially homogeneous urban environments”. Surely all those people can’t belong to gangs?

And the stock response from our local government in nearly all cases is to create more laws that restrict the law-abiding citizens from arming themselves. Gee, that helps a lot, doesn’t it?

Perhaps it is time for the people to rise up and deal with this. Back in days of the Old West the townspeople would just form a posse and take care of things. That’s a bit more difficult to do these days, but the times may call for it.

Update: CRAP. I just noticed that this article was from a year and a half ago. WTF? Serves me right for getting a post idea from some email sent to me by one of those “send us money so we can fight for your gun rights” groups. Still, recent article or old, the gang problem is getting worse by the day. They have filled the criminal niche left open by other organized crime groups. Some solution needs to be created. These are highly violent people with no respect for any kind of law or civilized behavior. I think a national eradication program could be the answer, but to avoid the infinite legal expenses involved a very large part of such a program would have to be sub rosa, a look-the-other-way-and-don’t-ask-questions situation.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/29/2010 at 01:05 PM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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calendar   Monday - June 28, 2010

Such A Help

Hey, remember a few weeks back, when it was Global Environment Day or some such crap, and I posted on how the farmers in Haiti were “celebrating” that event by burning a whole shipload full of seeds that an eeeviil corporation had sent them, because after the earthquake the Haitians were hungry and had eaten all the seeds? And how one moonbat blogger had posted on how wonderful this was, and how her fervent wish was that Cuba would be helping Haiti out completely, since there was so much food in Cuba and nobody ever went hungry?

Well ... this might just indicate a) how totally full of daydreams and dogshit® your typical leftist moonbat blogger really is, and b) just how much excess food there really is in Cuba. ie, none.

Rice Riots in Havana port, Cuba

June 25 - Reports are starting to emerge of violent clashes between dockers and secret police in Havana, Cuba over a shipment of rice bound for Haiti, claiming it should stay on the island instead. Below is a translation of an article – date 16th June – being circulated in Spanish:
In the last few days we have been receiving reports of a serious incident that took place in the loading docks in the port of Havana, in which a large group of dockworkers emphatically refused to sanction the departure of a cargo of rice, bound for Haiti. The dockers protested violently, shouting that they were not prepared to assist the loading of the ship when their children were dying of hunger (rice apparently being effectively unavailable in Havana).
Confronted with the refusal of the dockworkers, “political police” arrived at the harbour and detained the most vocal protestors. According to reports, the ship was finally loaded by reservists from the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR).
Seeing as how no “independent journalist” (those who report on the “activities of the opposition”) has covered this, we had to find our own means of proving it. Today, having consulted various sources – including residents in the neighbourhoods of some of the detained individuals, such as El Calvario – we can confirm it as true.

Shiptalk

I guess that’s one more pile of ashes for the dustbin of history. Dream on moonbats, dream on.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/28/2010 at 02:01 PM   
Filed Under: • CommiesDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat Leftists •  
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Maritime Messes

Somali Pirates Strike Yet Again

Pirates hijack ship full of anti-freeze




NAIROBI, Kenya—Somali pirates hijacked a Singaporean-flagged ship early Monday [3:27am Greenwich time] with 19 Chinese sailors onboard and a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze, officials said.

The Golden Blessing was seized off the northern tip of Somalia inside the internationally recommended transit corridor in the Gulf of Aden that is patrolled by the anti-piracy naval coalition, said Lt. Col. Per Klingvall, a spokesman for the European Union’s anti-piracy force.

All 19 crew are reported to be safe, he said. The ship was reported to be on its way from Saudi Arabia to India.

Klingvall said the 14,445-ton chemical tanker was carrying a cargo of glycol ethylene—which is used in antifreeze—when it was captured approximately 60 miles off the northern Somali coast. The vessel was moving toward the Somali coast after the hijacking.

The hijacked ship is owned by Golden Pacific International Holdings Ltd. and is chartered out to Shanghai Dingheng Shipping Co. Ltd.

In a statement, the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority said it “is working with relevant government agencies and the ship owner, and is monitoring the situation closely.”

The “Golden Blessing” was hijacked in the morning of June 28, 2010, approximately 60 nautical miles off the northern Somali coast. The EU NAVFOR German warship Schleswig-Holstein immediately launched their helicopter and reported sighting suspected pirates on board the vessel which was carrying a cargo of glycoethelen. The “Golden Blessing” has a crew of 19 Chinese; no reports of injuries. The vessel is under pirate control but remains unmoving at present.



MV Golden Blessing, IMO #9539016, also known as the Qian Jin 6, is a small tanker ship, 116m (LAW) by 17m. (139.3m LOA). From what I can gather, it’s a brand new vessel, having gone down the ways in China in early January. I can find the telephone number for the bridge and the ship’s email address, but this is the only pictures of the ship that I can dig up.

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The rest of the world calls “glycol ethylene” ethylene glycol; it isn’t used in antifreeze, it is used AS antifreeze. Whatever.

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In other pirate news, the audacity of some Nigerian pirates is amazing, yet can be bested by the hope of some crews. Talk about primitive; get a load of this one:

Twelve robbers in two speed boats attacked a bulk carrier at anchor. They fired with hand made guns and attempted to board the ship using hooks attached to ropes. Ship‘s crew raised alarm, directed search light and attacked the robbers with sling shot. Robbers fired several shots and finally aborted the attempt and moved away. One crew wounded but not serious.

Home made guns? What’s next, rocks?

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Good news everyone!™ It looks like that little Ro-Ro ship full of suspicious military weapons that India seized the other day, you know, the story you didn’t hear about at all ...

The “Aegean Glory” was intercepted by security forces on June 25, 2010, in the Hooghly river channel near Diamond Harbor. It was carrying consignments of arms and ammunition for Nepal and the Pakistan Army and was destined for Karachi. It had departed Monrovia on May 27 and anchored at Port Lui in Mauritius onJune 4 June before coming to Chittagong port on June 15 June. It is now in Diamond Harbour under tight security. The military consignments were used by the UN peace-keeping force in Liberia. The 551-ton military cargo containing smoke bombs, anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers, were loaded in Monrovia port. The ship would be brought to Kolkata Dock System where customs officials will open all the containers to carry out a thorough search. The 19 crew members from Romania, Greece and Ukraine and its Greek captain are being interrogated.

turned out to be Ok. It was actually chartered by the UN to return military gear to Pakistan. Why? Because the UN military mission to Liberia is complete, so they are sending the extra guns and bombs and stuff home to the countries that supplied them. Phew, I’m glad that got straightened out. Looks like the whole incident was a paperwork SNAFU.

The military hardware, with full knowledge of UN authorities, was being transported under their arrangements and not by Pakistan.

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MV Aegean Glory




Um, did anyone even know that the UN had a military mission in Liberia? They went there in 2003 at the end of the Liberian civil war, when Liberian president Chuck Taylor, the only world leader ever named after a pair of sneakers, resigned.

Police earlier said the MV Aegean Glory, bound for Karachi, contained a “huge quantity” of explosives, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns and some bombs in two large containers.
...
The UN sent 15,000 troops into Liberia in 2003 after 14 years of civil war that claimed roughly 270,000 lives.

In April, the UN peacekeeping force in Liberia (UNMIL) began scaling back its presence after a UN and government assessment in 2007 that the country was gradually moving towards peace and stability.

I don’t know how many of those troops are our guys. Numbers run from 200 to 1200, the ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) has been involved there, and that the military mission has shifted from training Liberia’s army and police force to building roads and buildings and feeding the hungry.

Draw down for the Liberian Mission should be just about complete by now, so hopefully that means more Marines coming home.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/28/2010 at 12:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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Today Is The Day

Still waiting ... keep your fingers crossed.

McDonald v. Chicago Ruling Expected Today

Supreme Court To Rule On Gun Rights




Update 6 and final: Black Robes Smackdown. If nothing else, read justice Scalia’s concurrence, starting on page 52, in which he lays into justice Stevens’ dissent, and tears it apart point by point. Total. Pwnage. Sic ‘em Fang! Reading through it as Scalia takes Stevens apart brick by brick, in my head I keep hearing “and Brutus is an honorable man!” Mwahaahahahahahahaaa!

It is a thing of beauty. No, more than mere beauty, it is pure art, because in deconstructing Stevens Scalia also tears down judicial activism and the entire liberal mindset, showing how their reasoning is circular, childish, one-sided, and only applicable in piecemeal.

JUSTICE STEVENS abhors a system in which “majorities or powerful interest groups always get their way,” but replaces it with a system in which unelected and life tenured
judges always get their way. That such usurpation is effected unabashedly - with “the judge’s cards . . . laid on the table,” - makes it even worse. In a vibrant democracy, usurpation should have to
accomplished in the dark. It is JUSTICE STEVENS’ approach, not the Court’s, that puts democracy in peril.

Horry Clap, somebody call Smokey the Bear ... there’s so much burnage going on here that there has got to be a forest fire in DC. Hey Stevens, DLTDHYOTWO! Loo. Zer.

Scalia for president? Scalia/Palin 2012, with Bolton as Secretary of State? Ah, such a dream that would be.


Update 5: At last, at last, thank God Almighty, at last!

Read ye the magic words and rejoice:

In Heller, we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense. Unless considerations of stare decisis counsel otherwise, a provision of the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the Federal Government and the States. We therefore hold that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller. The judgment of the Opinion of the Court is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

It is so ordered.





Update 4: the two-facedness of Democrats knows no bounds, nor has it ever. Truly, it is their fundamental approach. Reading through the McDonald decision, I come across a bit where southern Democrats were complaining how Union troops disarmed them during the Civil War, yet at the very nearly the same time were passing those Jim Crow laws that disarmed blacks. Even then their audacity hypocrisy was boundless.
Abolitionists and Republicans were not alone in believing that the right to keep and bear arms was a fundamental right. The 1864 Democratic Party Platform complained that the confiscation of firearms by Union troops occupying parts of the South constituted “the interference with and denial of the right of the people to bear arms in their defense.”
The laws of some States formally prohibited African Americans from possessing firearms. For example, a Mississippi law provided that “no freed-man, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife.”




Update 3: “reversed and remanded”. Such sweet sweet language. In your face Mayor Daley!
Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. ___, this Court held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense and struck down a Dis-trict of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home. Chicago (hereinafter City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws effectively banning handgun possession by almost all private citizens. After Heller, petitioners filed this federal suit against the City, which was consolidated with two related actions, alleging that the City’s handgun ban has left them vulnerable to criminals. They sought a declaration that the ban and several related City ordinances violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Rejecting petitioners’ argument that the ordinances are unconstitutional, the court noted that the Seventh Circuit previously had upheld the constitutionality of a handgun ban, that Heller had explicitly refrained from opining on whether the Second Amendment applied to the States, and that the court had a duty to follow established Circuit precedent. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, relying on three 19th-century cases—United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, and Miller v. Texas, 153 U. S. 535— which were decided in the wake of this Court’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause in the Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36.
Held: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.

Full text of decision, 214 pages, here.


Looks like full incorporation to me, at least so far:

We have previously held that most of the provisions of the Bill of Rights apply with full force to both the Federal Government and the States. Applying the standard that is well established in our caselaw, we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.

Now that is worth a serious woo-hoo. Hell, I’d ring the Liberty Bell if it still worked and I could reach it from here.





Update 2: Is this incorporation, but maybe with some limits?

A 5-4 conservative majority of justices on Monday reiterated its two-year-old conclusion the Constitution gives individuals equal or greater power than states on the issue of possession of certain firearms for self-protection.

“It cannot be doubted that the right to bear arms was regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as states legislated in an evenhanded manner,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito.

The court grounded that right in the due process section of the 14th Amendment. The justices, however, said local jurisdictions still retain the flexibility to preserve some “reasonable” gun-control measures currently in place nationwide.

“Today marks a great moment in American history,” said Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association. “It is a vindication for the great majority of American citizens who have always believed the Second Amendment was an individual right and freedom worth defending.”




UPDATE: IT’S A WIN !!

Reporting from Washington —
The Supreme Court reversed a ruling upholding Chicago’s ban on handguns Monday and extended the reach of the 2nd Amendment as a nationwide protection against laws that infringe on the “right to keep and bear arms.”

The 5-4 decision appears to void the 1982 ordinance, one of the nation’s strictest, which barred city residents from having handguns for their own use, even at home.

The ruling has both local and national implications.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the five justice majority saying “the right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner.”

Voting went exactly as we all figured, with the 5 Americans voting for the reversal, while the 4 communists voted against it.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the opinion for the Court. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas joined to form the majority.

Now I have to go and read the actual decision. Don’t want to start partying until I know some actual details. Updates to follow as I learn stuff and as I have time. Links and opinions welcome in the comments.

Woo hoo? God, I hope so!

image

The Supreme Court will release its opinion on the McDonald v. Chicago gun ban case on Monday. The opinion will decide whether the 2nd Amendment applies to the states.

Will we see “incorporation” today? Or will we see a willy-nilly wienie wank of weakness, where the court backs away from making a bold, sweeping, clear, final, and history-making statement, and just wobbles along a drunkard’s walk out in no-man’s land somewhere between the two camps? I don’t know. And that really bothers me, that something so clear, so obvious, so American could be blunted to the point of uselessness.

Wait and see. This post will be updated as the news comes in.

On the other hand, Americans know what their rights are. We know what the truth is. And many millions of us will simply choose to ignore the flatulations of eight old wheezers and one wise Latina should they come out strongly against our beliefs.

I’m hoping for boldness, though I know that’s a fool’s errand. “Damn right it’s incorporated Skippy” and “what part of Shall not be infringed” don’t you weasels understand?” is too much to hope for, but I’m holding onto that straw anyway. I want to see Scalia kick ass and take names.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/28/2010 at 11:56 AM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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calendar   Sunday - June 27, 2010

Pictorial tribute to B. Hussein Obama, alleged Presidente of the Estado Unidos

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 06/27/2010 at 07:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Obama, The One •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Weekend Women

Apologies to peiper. I hope he returns to do this onerous duty soon.

Posted below the fold because… well, there’s no actual nudity… just being cautious…

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 06/27/2010 at 06:00 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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The normal functions of government

I’m really amazed at all the little nuggets of wisdom one can glean from fiction books. Still reading David Eddings works, now working through The Demon Lord of Karanda, book III of the Mallorean series. In this we discover the normal functions of government:

“The imperial palace,” Zakath said indifferently. He frowned. “What have you done over there?” he asked Brador, pointing at a long row of tall buildings rising near the south wall of the enclosed compound.

Brador coughed delicately. “Those are the bureaucratic offices, your Majesty,” he replied in a neutral tone. “You’ll recall that you authorized their construction just before the battle of Thull Mardu.”

Zakath pursed his lips. “I hadn’t expected something on quite such a grand scale,” he said.

“There are quite a lot of us, your Majesty,” Brador explained, “and we felt that things might be more harmonious if each bureau had its own building.” He looked a bit apologetic. “We really did need the space,” he explained defensively to Sadi. “We were all jumbled together with the military, and very often men from different bureaus had to share the same office. It’s really much more efficient this way, wouldn’t you say?”

“I think I’d prefer it if you didn’t involve me in this discussion, your Excellency,” Sadi answered.

“I was merely attempting to draw upon your Excellency’s expertise in managing affairs of state.”

“Salmissra’s palace is somewhat unique,” Sadi told him. “We like being jumbled together. It gives us greater opportunities for spying and murder and intrigue and the other normal functions of government.

(emphasis added)

Sigh… don’t you wish the Obamaskyites would content themselves with the ‘normal functions of government’ and leave the rest of us alone?


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 06/27/2010 at 04:16 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentHumorLiterature •  
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seditious behavior

An Unwarrantable Jurisdiction



Get a load of Chris Muir’s Day By Day strip for today.

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It’s not a bad idea, this hobby that Sam has of writing out longhand the fundamental documents we have based our nation on. Not only does that make you read them, and read them fully, but by writing them down yourself a few times their meaning becomes both clear and ingrained. And recall that this particular document was both rationalization and justification for an armed revolution.

I do not suggest trying to make your own longhand copy of the health care bill. That would probably take you the better part of a year.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/27/2010 at 12:29 PM   
Filed Under: • HumorPatriotismPolitics •  
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calendar   Saturday - June 26, 2010

rural renewal region

What A Dump





If you live in Afghanistan, this is the mall.

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Horry Clap.




Hey Ophony - Get to work over there. Find our enemies, kill them, their friends and their families, and then bring our troops home. Anything else is a waste of blood and treasure. I take it back - you can bomb Afghanistan back to the stone age; all it takes is a single firecracker. The only reason they aren’t chipping stone knives out of flint is because they’ve forgotten how.

picture from Theo’s of course


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/26/2010 at 02:46 PM   
Filed Under: • TURD WORLD •  
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Flirting With Disaster

Unclear If Tropical Storm Alex Will Hit Oiled Gulf

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MIAMI—Tropical storm Alex formed in the Western Caribbean Saturday, and forecasters said it was unclear if it would hit the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Saturday that the storm has maximum sustained winds of about 40 mph. Most storm prediction models show Alex traveling over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico over the weekend, but they no longer have it going across the oil spill once it reaches the Gulf, hurricane forecaster Jack Bevens said.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Belize and the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s too early to tell if the storm will hit the northeastern part of the Gulf, where the spill has spread over the past 10 weeks, Bevens said. While the current forecast track has the storm shifting away from the spill, Bevens noted that could change.



Am I the only person who sometimes gets the idea that the Chicken Little Weather Wienies™ are rooting for this to happen? I swear, to be a meteorologist you have to love weather, but you also have to have a darker side. They THRIVE on predictions of Doom & Gloom. They WANT this event to happen. It makes me wonder what their political and psychological makeup is. I think they may all be left wing hippie children who revel being the heralds of Gaia’s Revenge. And if that’s the case, the only question is how many seconds it will take for them to declare that such an event, a hurricane disrupting the oil spill efforts and spreading the mess even further, is Bush’s fault because of Global Warming. I’ll put my dollar in the pool and go with 53.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/26/2010 at 02:14 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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