Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cedar County Cow War

Completely unaware of the period known as the Cow War, I decided to use the internet for more information. Isn't that what it's for?

What started as a protest against state intrusion onto their farms, the so-called Cedar County Cow War resulted in mostly civil unrest and minor violence. No one was killed in the few months of 1931 during which hundreds of Cedar County farmers prevented state veterinarians from inspecting their cattle for bovine TB. The only casualty was a guardsman who accidentally shot himself in the foot or maybe shot himself in the stomach while cleaning his rifle. Once the National Guard was called out, the movement fizzled.

Read more at:
The Cedar County Cow War of 1931

Iowa Cow War

The papers of Grant White at the University of Iowa - a collection of news releases from the late 20's and early 30's chronicling Cedar County incidents. But you're going to have to go to Iowa City to read them.

Why didn't these farmers rise up in violence against the state?

One reason would be the 1400+ National Guard troops, as staring down the barrel of a gun with a fixed bayonet tends to change one's outlook. But another possibility could be the Quaker history of the county and their roots in non-violence. Breaking windows, and pelting the veterinarians with eggs seems to have been it. Taking up arms against fellow Iowans would have required a much larger leap.
"...we are first of all peace loving American citizens, and we do not want, unless forced by further arbitrary confiscation of our property, to enter into controversy with the officers and young men of the state militia, who, we feel, do not understand our grievences."
From Milo Reno, Farmers Union pioneer By Roland A. White which contains a detailed, but slanted, history of the Cow War in Iowa.

It's worth the read. From the link:
Oh yes they put it over
And they have us on the run
They're the doctors, judge and jury
And appraisers all in one.

What can you do about it
When your choicest cow they kill?
Just pretend to like it
While your taxes pay the bill.

From Knights of the Squirt Guns - J. S. Stamp
Other counties in Iowa held their own protests during this period, but it seems the biggest rabble rousers were from Cedar County and from Sioux City.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Insurrection in Iowa? Iowa farm history lesson

The Des Moines Register gives us a glimpse back to one the bleakest times in Iowa's agricultural history.

I listened to many of these same stories from my father and grandfathers. But I hadn't heard of the posting of machine guns at intersections in an effort to keep the farmers in check.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Misadventures in job search fail


Two phone interviews and one on-site-three-and-a-half hour long interview (as well as a ten hour car trip that day) and it looks like I didn't make it through.

This was one of the toughest job interview process I have ever had and I know exactly when the crash took place.

Disappoint, I am.

The crossroads I posted about earlier, is about the decision to join the job market in an already tough and competitive environment. I know there are many out there out of work (my brother among them) who would gladly take what I have, but working 24+ hour stretches when vendors can't get their product right is taking its toll. And the unresponsive management when requesting reciprocity isn't helping.

So, as Sam reminds us every Monday, it's, "Back To The Old Grind!"

Except mind seems to be almost every day of the week...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'll be groped for Christmas



By Des Moines artist Roxi Copland

"It's got to stop"

And putting these two in prison for life is a good start.

SE Iowa counties consider gun bans

With Iowa's preemption law prohibiting local municipalities from enacting gun control measures, this may be a tough row to hoe.

Des Moines, Henry and Lee counties are considering banning weapons within their control:
Regarding the Des Moines County Courthouse, Des Moines County Sheriff Mike Johnstone, a vocal opponent of the new law, said he will meet with supervisors today to discuss security options at the North Main Street building.

"I encourage anyone coming in the courthouse not to come armed," he said.
Does that include law enforcement personnel?
Lee County Sheriff Jim Sholl said he's not planning any adjustments in Lee County's courthouses in Keokuk and Fort Madison.

"I know our county attorney is prepared to propose an ordinance before the board which basically states no weapons on county property or on county buildings," Sholl said.
And Henry county?
In Henry County, Sheriff Allen Wittmer said he and his deputies make periodic runs to the courthouse to check security. As far as making adjustments, he shares the opinions of Johnstone and Sholl.

"I urge (the board of supervisors) to talk to the county attorney and get some guidance from him on what could or could not be done," Wittmer said.
I wonder why there is such hostility towards regular common folk by the Des Moines county sheriff:
"There is a law against intimidating public officials or creating disturbance inside a public building," Johnstone said. "There's going to be discussions across the state regarding this (possible ordinances.)"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Out of steam, 11/21/10


Upgrade weekend that lasted longer than planned (and I prepared for an extended downtime).

With only 3 hours of sleep, I'm definitely out of steam today.

****************************************************************
Update 11/23 - the upgrade introduced a whole host of new and exciting features like:
Random disconnects to the database.

Permission change that prevents users from saving work.

"Informative" notices to users of non-existent network/server errors.
So the past two days have been spent dealing with these unresolved issues.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sombody is looking at the wrong cookbook

Regarding the new carry permit law:
"It's a recipe for disaster," [Sheriff] Johnstone said.
And the old canard:
"This is like a return to the Old West," Supervisor Dan Cahill said, calling the relaxed permit standard "a step backward" for civilization.
A step back for civilization? Really?

Back to when men were men and women were women. Where Winchester and Colt ruled the West.

Keep in mind this is Des Moines county that has been ruled by Democrats for the last 50+ years.
"I'm required to sign (permits)," Johnstone said. "Even for those I know in my heart should not be carrying."
How nice that his heart is in protecting us mere citizens. (Sigh) And how many permits has this fine protector of the weak signed recently?

In 2008 it was 211 non-professional permits from over 40,000 residents.

But his heart is in the right place.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Backlog in carry classes in Iowa

According to this article at KCRG regarding the carry law going into effect January 1, there is a backlog of 6 to 8 weeks to get a class.

In response to concerns of local sheriffs, a director of one of the companies conducting classes had this to say:
“As long as the person has done the firearm safety course that’s required and can successfully complete the background check, I don’t think it’s really about personal opinion,” [Rob] Shewmake said.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2nd Amendment Forum at Southern Illinois

I missed getting this out earlier
The issue of gun ownership rights in Illinois will be the focus of a forum next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

"The Second Amendment in Focus," will be at 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 15, in the Student Center Auditorium. The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is sponsoring the event. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.

Forum at SIUC will focus on Second Amendment
The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is run by David Yepsen, long time political hack writer for the Des Moines Register. (For more insight into Yepsen look at State29.)

For those of us who missed the forum go to Second Amendment in Focus:

Part One:


Part Two:


Part Three:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pistol grip shotgun definition

Mike Vanderboegh reminds us of the current ATF definition of a pistol grip shotgun by emailing the ATF and demanding enforcement of the regulation?
The November 2009 FFL Newsletter (found at http://www.nfaoa.org/documents/ffl-newsletter-2009-11.pdf) states that a "Pistol Grip Firearm" (generically, a pump action shotgun with a pistol grip) is not a "shotgun." An October 27, 2010, letter from the Firearms Technology Branch ruled that such a firearm, with a 17" barrel and 26-1/4" overall length, was not subject to the National Firearms Act.
By ATF definitions, they would be classified a "any other weapon" along the lines of a sawed off shotgun.
S.T. 779 further states that "The test described by the [National Firearms] for determining whether a particular weapon comes within the classification of 'any other weapon' . . . is not the length of the barrel, but whether the weapon is capable of being concealed on the person," and that the foregoing gun met the definition of "any other weapon" under the NFA.
The potential legal ramifications come up if the use of such a weapon is prosecuted and then the precedent is set.
There are millions of such "pistol grip firearms" that have been lawfully owned by millions of law-abiding citizens for many years, and they are manufactured by a variety of firearms manufacturers. If these firearms were ruled to be NFA firearms, they would be instantly and involuntarily converted into illegal contraband. Moreover, under current law, there is no legal mechanism to enable their continued legal possession except by (1) registering them as NFA firearms during an amnesty established by the Attorney General, or (2) a change in the NFA law, which must be enacted by the Congress and signed by the President.
Something to think about.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The SPLC's war against the "right"

Being off on my misadventures this past week, I need to spend some time to catch up.

David Codrea gives us a three part series:
What this video does is intentionally widens the “us vs. them” divide between citizens and police, heightens the paranoia, and makes the most innocuous of encounters much more dangerous. Now, thanks to SPLC, something as simple as having a political bumper sticker on your car, supposedly protected speech, takes a heightened alert situation and urges police to view non-leftist political sentiment as a potentially lethal personal threat. Because with all the conflation, what message will be enough to trigger a protective reaction?

Did SPLC just make it dangerous to have a ‘conservative’ bumper sticker?
Click here for Part Two: "Is ATF's Cavanaugh a credible SPLC spokesman?"

Click here for Part Three: "Violent leftists agree with SPLC and 'Waco Jim' on threat from the armed right"

Sunday (not so) funnies, 11/14/10



Saturday, November 13, 2010

War stories - Verne Seidel

Captured by the enemy: Raymond veteran recalls his WWII POW experience

Sheriffs will comply with new permit law

This ace cub reporter at the Des Moines Register dishes out the dramatic adjectives to bring a compelling story to our attention:
Many Iowa sheriffs still have grave concerns about a new state gun law, but they will follow its requirements on issuing permits to carry weapons, two leading sheriffs said Wednesday.
"Grave concerns". In other words, these sheriffs expect death and destruction because of the new permit law.

No real investigation regarding the current law or the history of the changes:
The sheriffs association said sheriffs currently issue more than 36,000 weapons permits statewide a year, and deny few permits.
Tell that to the citizens of Johnson, Louisa, Des Moines or the other counties where the sheriff routinely turned people down. The number of denials would steadily go down because people wouldn't waste their time.

The title of the article is ridiculous: County sheriffs say they'll comply with gun law

You mean sheriffs were ready to not comply?

I think those who have voiced their "concerns" understand that if they didn't "comply" they would have to defend themselves in front of a judge at some point. Just ask Osceola County Sheriff Douglas L. Weber how that went.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Unknown outcomes

I should know early next week if my adventures in traveling yesterday will result in this "happy train":
Or this:



But for right now, I'm out of steam.



Late night on tap to implement a new system and get ready for a version upgrade.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On the road


Heading solo towards Northwestern Iowa today and then back home late tonight.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Domestic violence in Iowa

Some truth revealed in this article"
But they also acknowledge that no document is powerful enough to bind abusers intent on causing harm or worse.

"It's a piece of paper," said Andrea Charlow, associate dean of Drake University Law School. "If someone is willing to come close enough to be a threat, the protective order is only as good as how fast the police can respond."

Survivors of abuse know threats loom
You may judge this:
Generally, victims' advocates recommend against getting a gun for protection.

"It's an option we don't really discuss," said Stark, of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "Things can backfire. If the batterer gets control of that weapon, then what happens? It's just a bad idea to bring a weapon into the situation."
And I didn't know Iowa registered gun owners
Lara O'Neal describes herself as a domestic abuse survivor rather than a victim. She is a registered gun owner, but the day her estranged husband attacked her at her mother's home, the gun was out of reach.

"I could get a conceal-and-carry permit, but it's not an end-all, be-all solution," she said.
(Hint: that would be no)

I would agree with her statement on carry permits, it isn't the end but rather the beginning. Training and the will to use it in the event an attacker would take your life or another. And the most powerful handgun in the world doesn't do one any good if it is out of reach.

I've advocated for training and carry for all women to protect themselves from the worst of society. Men too.

Tax us more

After listening to commercials stating the "Clean up Iowa" amendment was not a tax increase, the Des Moines Register is calling for a tax increase to fund it.

Creating a special fund (with the next sales tax increase) and bureaucracy to manage it, this was approved by over 60% of voters. I think most people voted in favor of it because a clean environment sounds good, not thinking that someone enforces it.

Anyone who has had to deal with the state DNR would attest to their sometimes arbitrary rules and the spider web of regulations one has to go through.

Private property rights in Iowa died on November 2nd, 2010.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Iowa gun shows for November 2010

Nov 5-7 Des Moines, Adventureland

Nov 12-14 Cedar Rapids, Hawkeye Downs

Nov 19-21 Ottumwa, Bridgeview Center, 102 Church St

Nov 26-28 Des Moines, Iowa State Fairgrounds
*** I get this list from the link below and other searches and I can't guarantee the accuracy of the list. If anyone notices a show that needs to be corrected, please let me know in the comments.

For more details go to Iowa Gun Shows

State29 post election recap

While I'm on a (sort of) hiatus, enjoy State29's postings about our election:

Not That Much Really Changed In Iowa

Staci Appel's Landslide Loss

More About Judicial Retention In Iowa

Thursday, November 4, 2010

At the Crossroads


Like many of us, the Stranded household is coming to a crossroads of sorts. At a point in time that I refer to as "IF." Similar to the programming statement whose results could go in diverging directions based on IF, THEN, OR ELSE.

I've been at a crossroad many times before and if I had gone down a different path, I wouldn't be here. And I was supposed to be here, in this place, at this time. And I think I know why. Years from now, I will understand better.

Now I'm coming up to another crossroad and I'm not as prepared as I would like.

If we take the right path, this could be a very good thing.

Or it could end up very ugly, too.

To my regular visitors, please be patient, I'll return to my regular cynical self soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Badger Guns lawsuit, part II

My previous look at the current lawsuit against Badger Guns of the greater Milwaukee Metro area, outlined a brief history of some of the vilification that has been waged against the gun store.

I've said since day one that if they are actually guilty of something other than following the rules, the ATF would have been all over them.

Today I'll begin my examination of the lawsuit itself. Please understand, I'm not an attorney and offer no legal expertise except that from a common cynical perspective.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examined the lawsuit and graciously pointed out that it ain't gonna fly:
A lawsuit against Badger Guns filed Thursday by Milwaukee police officers wounded with guns from the store will face several high hurdles, the first if it is allowable under federal law, legal experts said.
Something about that lawful firearm commerce act or some such thing. As long as a dealer follows the law, they can't be held liable for criminal activity based on a purchase.

Seems straightforward to me. Except this is economic warfare we are dealing with.

As I pointed out before, the local politicians, police chief, and a congress critter, have all wanted the owner's head. All because of this:
It argues that the store employees knew or should have known that Jose M. Fernandez was a daily drug user and could not legally buy the guns. It said another red flag was that Fernandez bought the guns six days apart, avoiding a federal reporting requirement. It also alleges that Badger Guns is a public nuisance and seeks action to change that.
The first part, known or should have known: My local gun dealer would reasonably know or should know that I am a daily user of di-hydro oxide. Why? When I walk into his store, I'm fairly well kept and wear unstained clothing. Would he know or should know that I may be a daily user of a chemical substance (C12H22O11) outside of any obvious withdrawals (sugar high), I wouldn't think so.

If someone checks the No box on a 4473 form to the question asking if they use illegal pharmaceuticals, how the hell is a gun dealer supposed to know one way or the other? Is there a followup question asking who their dealer is? Make people give a urine sample as a way to prove ourselves worthy?

Next, the six days apart scenario: I've purchased a firearm from a dealer, then later I returned on the same day and purchased a second one because the price was right.

By that logic, I'm an evil straw purchaser. Just because I bought more than one gun in a arbitrary time frame.

Lastly, Badger Guns is a nuisance: A legal business, selling a legal (and highly regulated) product is a nuisance, just for existing. This article doesn't pursue that angle, but I suspect that the nuisance they are talking about is the firearm itself.

Gunning officers down with illegally obtained firearms should bring full judgment and retribution against the perpetrator who pulled the trigger. On that, I think we can all agree.

Until evidence is shown (beyond a reasonable doubt, not some civil court's "preponderance of evidence" rules) I think this has been an effort to drive gun dealers out of business. If that happens, all we will have left is the overpriced Gander Mountains. If that.

This is a drive against private sales as well. How could an individual defend themselves if they sold a firearm that ended up being used in a murder?

I really doubt that anyone from Badger Guns willingly and knowingly would sell to someone if they had a reasonable suspicion it would end up in the wrong hands. And at the same time, say "no sale" if/when the person passes the NICS check. There'd be a civil rights lawsuit there.

If Badger's if found guilty in a criminal court, they deserve what they get.

In civil court, it looks like an effort to use them as an example to the rest of us.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blame the Dealer

Kurt Hofmann points to an article by the Washington Post:
The Washington Post has, over the course of this week, run what they're calling an "investigation"--a multi-part hit piece on gun dealers, blaming them for "gun crime."
With Brady Bunch getting their knickers in a twist about a gun store in Milwaukee, and the Post describing non-violating violations, could there be a pattern developing?