Thursday, September 30, 2010

Man sentenced 90 days for egg toss

At a judge.

Although a man has issues with a judge that he has faced during a dispute with over child support, Agim Demiri, threw an egg at a DuPage County (IL) judge and was sentenced to 90 days.

(If he had been the police chief, maybe he would have only got probation. Just sayin')

This guy causes $646.78 and ends up pleading guilty to aggravated criminal damage, a felony.

Unless that egg was tainted with salmonella, this seems odd to me.

Getting out the vote

In a campaign coup, Iowa's Sen. Grassley to appear on 'Dr. Phil'

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Will they or won't they?

In state senate District 37, which is it?

NRA endorses Staci Appel?

NRA endorses Kent Sorenson?

Earlier this year, Sorenson talks about being threatened by the NRA for attempting to attach stronger rights amendments to the various bills at the statehouse.

I wrote at What should be the end of the NRA in Iowa
The NRA told one of the most vigorous and loyal 2nd Amendment politicians in the state that they would back his opponent in the 2010 election if he wouldn't sit down, shut up and quit offering stronger pro-gun-rights amendments to their pet bill. Yeah, that's politics.

Listen to an interview between Steve Deace of WHO radio and Rep. Sorenson
Based on that interview, it wouldn't surprise me if the NRA endorsed Appel.

With politics beings a dirty sport, and because of the bad blood between gun rights groups and the NRA, it also wouldn't surprise me that this "endorsement" was leaked knowing that it would be jumped upon, with the result of making us look like gullible rubes.

But that's the cynic side of me again.

And that brings me to the ridiculous part of the whole thing: Who gives a rat's behind who some conglomerate lobbying organization or some celebrity politician (Palin) endorses anyway?

I'll support who I want to and vote my conscience.

And I will continue to vote the bums out:

Former Van Meter police chief gets probation

The former police chief in the central Iowa town of Van Meter has been sentenced to two years probation stemming from felony misconduct charges.

That sound fair.

Previous post:
Van Meter police chief fired

Tea Party backs Branstad?

16 years of tax increases, bloated state agencies, ignored infrastructure and flip-flop on gambling. And self described "Tea Party" members back Branstad by 90%?


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gun endorsements for governor

This is no surprise because of Chester's signing of SF2379 into law that changed our permit process to make it more uniform from county to county. The law will reduce, but not eliminate sheriff's discretion when issuing concealed carry permits.

In a Des Moines Register article: NRA will urge Iowans to vote for Democrat Chet Culver we also find a list of other big name candidates the NRA had endorsed this year.

A new ad campaign has been released by Chris Cox of the NRA. Really it's just a parody, or maybe it isn't. You be the judge at Cliffs of Insanity, I'm the NRA!

In other news, Iowa Gun Owners has endorsed former Gov Branstad because he returned a questionnaire to their 100% satisfaction, while Chester didn't return one. Iowa Gun Owners endorses Terry Branstad, criticizes Chet Culver

And a final note, the coveted and irrelevant Stranded in Iowa endorsement goes to ...

Neither. I have no plans to vote for either one of them.

In my search for a candidate that I can vote for (as opposed to against) I'm looking at the independent candidates that are running.

And I'm waiting for the questionnaire created by David Codrea to be returned.

Iowa Outdoor Trust Amendment

On November Second, we Iowans have a choice not only for the candidates for office, but there are several other issues we voters need to decide upon.

We can decide if we want our lifetime-appointed judges should be retained to sit on the bench - I always vote to recall out of principle that judges should be termed and not there until they retire or whither away.

We also have a rare amendment to vote on: Iowa Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund Amendment, also known as Measure 1.

If passed by a simple majority, when the legislature approves a sales tax increase, 3/8ths of a cent will have to go into a trust fund to be used around the state for conservation efforts... or recreation... or tourism... or...

Considering that fees used for hunting and fishing in the state was supposed to be used for conservation, additional funds could go even further.

Has there ever been a state run trust fund that wasn't used as a slush fund for political cronies? If not, please name it.

Will this money be siphoned away (see the Social Security "lock box" - it's empty) for pet projects or the general fund? Other funds were raided during the Vilsack tenure and I'm sure both Branstad or Culver would do the same.

In-state groups like Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited, as private groups, have purchased land for conservation efforts without the state interfering. Why mess that private effort up with a layer of bureaucrats?

My concern is that the natural progression of a bureaucracy would end up forcing private landholders into what they can and cannot do on their own land. Build a pond, or terrace? Not without permits and permission by a Des Moines clerk. They could go the opposite and order the landholder to build a watershed at his/her own expense. Why not? They will have the power of the state to back them up.

The short-term advantages of rebuilding habitat (that may eventually be off limits to hunters) could have the longer-term consequences of another arm of the DNR (aka Damn Near Russia) regulating land to the point that a farmer would not turn a profit, deny access to one's land, or deny repair of a levy to return farmground to a more natural state. This happened in Louisa county after the floods of 93 and 08.

Many have visions of abundant game and expanding hunting seasons, cleaner water and large catches of fish.

I have a vision of some bureaucrat sitting on their hind-end who has never raised a shotgun to bring down a bird, setting rules how my land (if I had any) or my neighbors' land should be used for conservation purposes.

Not that hunting should be a prerequisite for this trust. I'm sure all that book lernin' up at that state U makes up for that.

But those of us who are the closest to the land, who have toiled to make a profit or walked it in search of game, are some of the best stewards we have here.

I don't think we need another state agency telling us what to do.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Loebsack, Miller-Meeks on Iowa Press

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Mount Vernon) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa): September 24, 2010, Iowa Press Iowa Public Television

Misconduct cases taint justice in Iowa

Prosecutorial misconduct by U.S. attorneys in Iowa has triggered serious consequences in felony cases involving drug distribution, bank robbery and other major crimes, resulting in reduced sentences, costly new trials and an acquittal, court records show.

Misconduct cases taint justice in Iowa

Friday, September 24, 2010

David Codrea on Freedom

Hell of a thing, freedom. It's not perfect. Its benefits come with costs. Without responsibility, problems can arise.

It sure beats the hell out of the alternative though, doesn't it?
From David's War on Guns post: A Walk in the Park

Updgrade - Fail

Last night, the upgrade I tried to perform on one of our systems went like this:

Gotta love IT.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wisdom of Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn is one man that doesn't mince words and displays such logic and clarity as to bring out the jealous side of me. I wish I could write like that guy.

Take this no-name pastor from an obscure church who was threatening to burn the Koran. He didn’t burn any buildings or women and children. He didn’t even burn a book. He hadn’t actually laid a finger on a Koran, and yet the mere suggestion that he might do so prompted the President of the United States to denounce him, and the Secretary of State, and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, various G7 leaders, and golly, even Angelina Jolie. President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in.
There are many quotes from the mind of Mark Steyn, such as:
The same people who tell us "Islam is a religion of peace" then turn around and tell us you have to be quiet, you have to shut up because otherwise these guys will go bananas and kill a bunch of people.
Please take the time to read this.

H/T Western Rifle Shooters Association

Why are some gun owners afraid of permitless concealed carry?

David Codrea nails it again from his Examiner article, Why are some gun owners afraid of permitless concealed carry?
All rights come with responsibilities. Exercising them knowledgeably and appropriately is the responsibility of free adults--not government bureaucrats who charge a fee to dictate whether or not they approve, and under what circumstances and where a supplicant will be permitted to exercise them.

Unpermitted "idiots" already brandish and shoot innocents. We call these people "criminals." It's the permitted carriers the antis are gunning for--as evidenced by Violence Policy Center's "Concealed Carry Killers" project. It's every time a gun owner with a CCW license commits a crime of violence that the gun grabbers have a "we told you so" field day.
David points out the false dependency that some gun owners have on the NRA
As for the gun grabbers having all they need, molon labe, baby...and that requires not letting the assertion "everything we have worked for in the NRA will be undone" go unaddressed. It's a variant of "If not for the NRA, we'd have lost our gun rights years ago."

Anyone who actually believes that has already prepared themselves to surrender theirs.
Many of us in Iowa fought hard for permit-less carry in the state during this past year, both with and without Iowa Gun Owners help. The NRA (after ignoring Iowa for years) came in and helped pass a permit-uniformity bill that gave us a few compromises to get passed.

I personally witnessed open hostility from gun owners to those of us who didn't want to compromise on a lesser bill. (And I know there is animosity towards promoters of the NRA bill.)

I reserve my contempt to the NRA.

I heard from Iowans that we couldn't get a Constitutional-carry bill passed just days before Arizona passed theirs.

What does that say about gun owners in this state?

Conlin, want to close the deficit?

Democrat Roxanne Conlin said the way to close the federal budget deficit is by collecting billions in unpaid taxes, letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire and stop subsidies for big oil companies.

Conlin is running to unseat U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Conlin considers options for closing federal deficit
Maybe she should look at the ones who got away without paying "their fair share:"
Obama cabinet tax cheats

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Iowa's 1st Congressional District debates

Details here:

Braley, Lange agree to debate at Wartburg

Ben Cashner has been keeping an eye on Congressman Braley and Ben Lange:

Cold Hard Cashner, Bruce Braley

Cold Hard Cashner, Ben Lange

Canadian gun registry still a go

House of Commons votes to save long-gun registry

What's that saying about beating a dead horse?

Tracking sales

Do people not realize that in order to track stolen property, they will have to track all property.

Law enforcement is asking for an additional tool in Bettendorf, IA called LeadsOnLine, a national database used to track down stolen property.

Bettendorf considers program to curb sale of stolen items

This may sound like a good idea on the surface, but consider how many honest transactions take place at a legitimate business like a pawn shop verses the number of illegal sales. We don't really know the numbers.

Speaking with a local pawn shop owner in Cedar Rapids recently I found out what I would expected: They really don't want to buy illegal merchandise. They are there to make a profit and it does not profit them to buy illegally obtained merchandise and then have it later confiscated by police.

Serial numbers from guns and high ticket items are passed to Cedar Rapids police as required by local ordinance. Des Moines also has this requirement.

Bettendorf will be taking this one step further by cooperating with a national database.
The proposed ordinance change would require businesses that buy items such as electronics, jewelry and coins to participate in an online program called LeadsOnLine, which allows police departments across the country to track stolen merchandise.
I'm not aware of too many items like jewelry or non-certified coins that have serial numbers to track them with.

In order to see if my Winchester Model 70 that I sell to a pawn shop because I have to pay for my bills, the clerk will have to run the serial number through an online database to see if my legally purchased rifle hasn't been stolen. But I purchased that rifle at a DNR auction a few years ago (an auction that sell confiscated guns) that may have been used in a crime.

Can we be assured that the database is current?

Or maybe my Remington 870 was reported stolen as a fraud against the owner's insurance, but I bought it at a gun auction.

Can I get that cleared up without going to jail?

I can see the merits of recovering stolen property, but I don't like being treated as though I've committed a crime with my own property.

Headlines, 9/22/10

New snitch line open: Now you can text to crimestoppers.

This is the reason we encrypt laptops: Man Steals Electronics From Hospital, Gets Crack Cocaine In Return

Muscatine joins the traffic camera bandwagon: Muscatine traffic cameras get go signal

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

FEMA logic

A group that oversees the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids has agreed to comply with a ruling from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to put a new heating system in the basement, even though the basement was filled with floodwaters in 2008.

FEMA weighs in on Cedar Rapids flood-damaged site
This building is on an island in the middle of the Cedar River with no flood protection. If the river rises, there's no way to stop it.

The city wanted to put the boilers in the stage area that is no longer in use. But to FEMA, that didn't matter. That decision would ruin the historical value of the building: "a loss in historical value so significant that they can't live with it."

Obama seems to be missing something

Obama: We are endowed with certain unalienable rights but not from our Creator. Or something like that.

H/T to Badger Blogger

Monday, September 20, 2010

1st District candidates opinions

Opinions on three issues the Register thinks are the most important ones to worry about: Healthcare, Stimulus and Energy.

3 key issues: Braley says yes, Lange, no

And there are other candidates in the district, but the Register apparently doesn't think they are important enough to talk to. Jason Faulker, Independent and Rob Petsche, Libertarian.

Thank you to the Register for informing us of all the candidates on the ballot.

Great thoughts from academia, 9/20/10

From a "professor emeritus", we have an essay published in AthensOnline, Fear of 'them' is bringing out the worst in us. This former "working" professor from Grinnell College in Iowa intends to lecture the American public from his perch.
We now seem to have approached a condition of neurotic fear that this dangerous but ill-defined category may include just about everyone. Here is a partial “enemies list,” drawn from widely different spheres: the entire Muslim world, undocumented immigrants, defenders of gay rights, advocates of gun control, supporters of legal abortion, “European” approaches to health care, environmentalists, the “liberal elite,” even (or especially) our own government.
"Widely different spheres," eh? These are all criticisms of the right and then he has to toss in the the hyperbole throughout the whole article.

Another "educated idiot" as my dad would say, who was an English professor at Grinnell, wrote poetry and has what appears to be a left-leaning outlook on life.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Halftime at UNI

The better half, number 2 son and I went up to UNI to watch a game between UNI Panthers and Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. The Panthers came up short 22-20 after committing crucial mistakes. (Two fumbles on long runs within their opponent's 5 yard line.)

Number 1 son is not a football player, he's a member of the marching band.

There he is just below the logo:

And about the 35 yard line:

UNI marching band sharing the field with Waverly-Shell Rock high school band. Number 1 is near the 45 yard line:

I don't know if you can tell, but everyone says he looks just like me.

(I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures taken from my phone, but our good camera died and I'm in search of another.)

Iowa's own Police Academy

The director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy is coming under fire from sheriffs, police chiefs and deputies.

Academy Director E.A. "Penny" Westfall has faced harsh criticism from officers around the state who say the academy is suffering under her leadership. They question Westfall's leadership, management style, teaching techniques and communication skills.
Chiefs criticize Iowa's top police trainer

One of a series of allegations:
They reported allegations that Gil Hansen, a longtime instructor at the academy, told a class that he once falsified a police report to make it appear that a colleague on the Waterloo police force had died of an accidental gun discharge rather than suicide. Hansen allegedly told the class he did it to "protect the brotherhood" and "would do it again today" if faced with the same circumstances.
It seems that not having real-world experience as an officer doesn't stand in the way of being in charge of our state's police academy.

Sound familiar?

Late edition of Sunday (not so) funnies, 9/19/10

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Teach your kids well

What lessons do you think this child is taking from being expelled from school (second grade) for have a toy gun in school?

David Codrea has more on an 8 year-old not being allowed back in school after a year's suspension for showing a toy gun to a fellow student.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday (out of) steam, 9/17/10

CB&Q No. 3003 located just north of the Burlington, IA depot in downtown Burlington.

I have to admit that it's been a lot of years since I've been at the depot where my father worked out of, so it may not be there.

For more details on this old steam engine, go to Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR No. 3003

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Speed cameras (Ka-ching) coming to Cedar Falls

With the success of the speed and red-light cameras in Cedar Rapids, IA, a neighboring city to the north: Cedar Falls looking at speed cameras.
"It should be an enforcement tool, not a revenue generator," [Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff] Olson said.
In a sense that would make this extortion, as in one is forced to pay up.

As for issuing warnings instead of $100 fines:
"We talked about a tryout period to just issue warnings. But we have to keep in mind the company isn't going to give us $60,000 in equipment to issue warnings and not generate revenue," Olson said.
What just a sec, here. I thought he said it was about enforcement of laws, not revenue. Then he states its about generating revenue and not issue a warning.

But he didn't mention it's really about safety, safety, safety.

This guy has some kind of luck

Man jumps from the Quad Cities I-74 bridge into the Mississippi River and survives.

Then becomes unruly during rescue and has to be tased.

Then he leaps from a moving ambulance and suffers a head injury.

(It could be argued he was already suffering from a head injury, but eh...)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sam is back

Looks like Sam and Mom are back from the Gun Blogger Rendezvous.

And they didn't come back empty handed. Congratulations, Bea.

Sam also reminds us for the reason behind the rendezvous.

Iowa's Gubernatorial Debates, No. 1

The first one was last night.

(Sorry for my lame photoshop skills)

What was really said:
First (Fake) Gubernatorial Debate

What was broadcast:
Iowa gubernatorial debate

Congressman Hare receives endorsement

From a left wing organization: National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
The national group is the second-largest lobbyist organization in the United States that advocates for legislation on behalf of senior citizens, said Max Richtman, the executive vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based committee.
Their name sounds like they are trying to preserve benefits for our retirees who've worked hard all their lives.

Possibly. But look at who they contribute to. In 2006 they contributed 90% to Democrats and this year have given over $236,000 to Democrats in the House ($10,000 to Nancy Pelosi) while giving $6000 to three Republican representatives. And overwhelmingly to incumbents.

Congress totals:

That sounds non-partisan to me.

Remember who Phil Hare is?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do we really want this for our next senator?

Conlin to Grassley: The debate is set; YOU be there!

Yep, more Thug Politics.

Chicago politics - HHS style

HHS To Insurers: Stop Bad-Mouthing ObamaCare Or Else!
Health insurers have recently blamed ObamaCare’s new regulations for rising premium costs, which has prompted Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to go medieval on them. In a letter to the industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans, Sebelius warned, “There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.”

And if you don’t do what you’re told, you’re going to get kneecapped.
And from Micheal Barone:
The threat to use government regulation to destroy or harm someone's business because they disagree with government officials is thuggery. Like the Obama administration's transfer of money from Chrysler bondholders to its political allies in the United Auto Workers, it is a form of gangster government.

"The rule of law, or the rule of men (women)?" economist Tyler Cowen asks on his blog. As he notes, "Nowhere is it stated that these rate hikes are against the law (even if you think they should be), nor can this 'misinformation' be against the law."
Pure Thuggery.

Pure Chicago Politics (with the big stick of Washington behind them).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hi $ Fall Sportsman's Auction, 2010

Jerry Wohler's, Hi Dollar, semi-annual sportsman's auction will be held on September 25 and 26 this year.

Held twice a year in Sigourney, IA, Jerry and crew put in a lot of time and energy to host this.

Day One: Knives lures and miscellaneous.

Day Two: New and used, collectible and shootable firearms as well and ammunition.

They will be using Proxibid for those who can't attend in person with details on the web site.

I've been going for nearly 6 years, both as a buyer and seller (gotta pay those tuition bills) and I think they have one of the best auctioneering businesses in eastern Iowa. An unsolicited endorsement from me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New ads hit the airwaves

The radio spot is better but this one hit the TV airwaves for Branstad:

And Gov Chester's reaction?

Compared to this whiny Culver ad:

"I've grown on the job" - his girth, maybe.

I don't like either one of these guys, so looking at this objectively, the Branstad ad knocked in a couple runs while the Culver ad was a ground-out dribbler to second.

Medal of Honor to Iowan

The event occurred Oct. 25, 2007, in eastern Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. Giunta was a specialist at the time and rifle team leader. He served in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based out of Vicenza, Italy.

Giunta overcame being separated from his unit, evaded potential enemy captors and risked his life to rescue two fellow soldiers. His unit was divided during the gun battle. One fellow soldier was exposed to enemy fire when Giunta left his cover to pull the soldier to safety.

Obama to Award Medal of Honor to Living Afghan War Vet
From his own words:
“There was a task that had to be done, and the part that I was gonna do was to link alpha and bravo teams. I didn’t run through fire to save a buddy  —  I ran through fire to see what was going on with him and maybe we could hide behind the same rock and shoot together. I didn’t run through fire to do anything heroic or brave. I did what I believe anyone would have done.”

Excerpt from the book “War” by Sebastian Junger
"This respect that people are giving to me? This was one moment. In my battalion, I am mediocre at best. This shows how great the rest of them are."

To save his comrades, Medal of Honor nominee rushed headlong into an ambush

Friday, September 10, 2010

The best defense?

Windsor Heights police department is sponsoring a self defense class for women called Rape Aggression Defense or RAD. On the surface, this sounds like a good idea. Let's look at what the class offers:
The RAD program encompasses 12 hours of education and awareness topics mixed with hands-on, active self-defense techniques and strategies. In the final class three separate, active simulation scenarios are given to students to apply what they have learned.
Live fire?
"The objective of the basic RAD program is to develop and enhance the options of self-defense so that they become viable options for a woman who is attacked," said Police Chief Dennis McDaniel, a certified RAD instructor. "We work with our students to educate them on general awareness issues and also work to create confidence in the application of some basic self-defense techniques."
Enough confidence to take a firearms training class?

I'm reminded of the great work that Oleg Volk has produced through the years, like this over at A Human Right

I'm also reminded of a column written by Mike Royko about a would-be rapist that was stopped by an elderly woman who took matters into her own hands (so to speak) and nearly neutered an "alleged" rapist. Royko chronicled the trial and conviction of the schmuck and his humiliation at the hands (sorry) of this brave woman.

With one hand grasping his virilité, and her other firmly hold of his Testikel*, she attempted to separate each from the t'other. She "led" him out the door where he scampered away, conveniently leaving his pants and wallet behind. The woman did fire a few rounds at the fleeing "alleged" perpetrator and police found him at home, packed in ice.

There's no indication one way or the other whether this class will offer any meaningful defense such as firearm training or lessons from this encounter.

That would be a shame.

In any event, according to the article, there will be "hands-on, active self-defense techniques and strategies." (sorry, again)

If nothing else, I'll call it the Royko Defense. Lacking any other options, I hope any woman uses it as a last resort.

*(Trying to add a little culture here by digging deep for my inner French and German ancestors)

Property rights

Fellow Iowan, Randy, forwarded a copy of a letter to the editor he wrote about a small town event in Mt. Zion, IA.

The details he shared:
An individual who lived in a tiny unincorporated town had two pet cows he had been keeping for years. They are kept in a rather small pen but well fed and watered. With all the rain we have had he moved the pen to higher ground, onto an old road bed, so the cows would not be knee deep in mud, however it was visible from the road. He had not cleaned out the pen so it was 2-3 feet deep in uneaten hay and manure. There was such an outcry about abuse the sheriff and county attorney threatened animal abuse charges if something was not done. Thus I put this letter in our county papers.
His letter:
If someone purchases a cow and TV and places them in their front yard in neglect, until each parishes from the elements, who is harmed more than the person that destroyed their own property? But it’s not the same you say. The cow is a living entity which has feelings. Even though it’s existence is little more than sitting on death row awaiting butchering and consumption. But how is anyone who witnesses this to feel? It is inhumane, it is immoral you say. By who’s standards of morality is this judged? The law makers, the bureaucrats, by society/the collective? The very entities we are told are not capable of, or permitted to judge the morality of infidelity, illegitimacy, or homosexuality? By who’s standards of morality are we allowed/permitted to feel good or bad, and voice our position or take action?

I bring this up with regard to the cow pen and poop issue in Mt. Zion. In this country, this state, this community not so long ago, those concerned would have offered assistance. They would have come together to clean out the cow’s holding pen. They would have brought food and made a social event of it, having a positive affect on the neighborhood. But “times have changed” everyone say’s, not really understanding the depth and breadth of those changes. “Times have changed” has become a non-answer to any question much as the term “who’s John Galt” was in Ayn Rands novel Atlas Shrugged. You need not be for animal abuse if you are for property rights. It is not an either or, but when we allow how we feel to invade our understanding of rights specifically outlined in both the federal and state constitutions we have abandoned reason for guilt.

When people revel in forcing their neighbors to comply with the brute force of Government instead of offering assistance, times have indeed changed. This path from “Constitutional Republic” to “Socialist Democracy” is not nearly as fraught with obstacles as it should be. More people must ask “why have times changed” and to what end.
I searched online for his letter to local papers in SE Iowa and couldn't find it or any article regarding the incident. It could be that I didn't have a thorough enough search, though. But I have no doubt of the incident.

Because this happens all the time in towns large and small in this country everyday. The coercive power of the state to force compliance to another's will.

Granted, no one wants the smell of manure close by, but Randy is right. If this gentleman's livestock had to be moved because of circumstance, where were his neighbors to assist?

At least he didn't have the same outcome as this guy:
Bay County officials are investigating an animal control employee who apparently did not follow proper shelter procedures. He reportedly took home a pig that had been surrendered to the facility, butchered it, then ate it. Animal lovers are outraged, while county officials are embarrassed and looking for answers.
From Sailorcurt What's this country coming to?

Which also shows an out of control bureaucrat who thought he could do whatever he wanted.

A good old fashioned tar and feathering would be in order.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday (out of) steam, 9/9/10

Last night I had a good evening with Sam and his lovely mother, Bea. Although, I think I talked way too much, we exchanged stories of jobs, families and life in Iowa and Illinois. I hope I was as entertaining to them as they were to me. (Thanks, Sam for the Ernie Pyle books)

Swapping stories and telling jokes. Not a bad evening at all. I think this constitutes as my first "blog" meet. Hmmm...

Timing being everything, while leaving I was trying to remember where I parked when I got a call from work.

Yada, yada, yada, it's 2:00 in the morning.

The above picture of a homemade steam "tractor" is from an upcoming auction in Walford, IA on October 1st by Duwa Auction Service

Not one of my usual steam engines, but I just had to.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Phil Hare revisted

Using a local political machine on Canton, IL, Congressman Hare, of the famous "doesn't matter to me" about the Constitution fame, is bullying the removal of a local billboard in support of his opponent. A group calling itself Veterans for the Constitution, formerly Veterans for Schilling (Hare's opponent), put up the billboard and the "...idea was to communicate that Mr. Schilling respects the Constitution."

The Quad Cities Online is calling the group "Friends of the Constitution"
Mark Rauschert of Friends of the Constitution, a Bushnell-based group seeking to oust Rep. Hare, said Wednesday that Canton officials have told the group its billboard there must be removed by Sept. 2. He shared an e-mail from Marla Diden, an agent of the city, stating the sign violated Canton's ordinance limiting signs to 30 days before an event; the election is Nov. 2.

Mr. Rauschert said he sought advice from Lamar Advertising, owners of the billboard. An e-mail from Glenn Tiede of Lamar provided by Mr. Rauschert said the company saw no need to remove the anti-Hare message because the Canton ordinance contains specific language stating billboards were not included in it.
It would seem that local pols want to silence a group's First Amendment rights.

And it seems that Hare is falling in the polls:
A few months ago, Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) was an obscure backbench Democrat in a safe House seat, in the president’s home state. With each passing day, however, it becomes clearer and clearer that his big government voting record and apathy toward the Constitution has led to a real race.

Rep. Phil Hare is Starting to Panic
In case we forgot who Phil Hare is:

Hare doesn't want to give up either:
Election law complaint alleged against veterans PAC and Schilling

This is racist?

The citizen-led groups that want the public to decide the future of red light cameras are racist, according to lawsuits filed by American Traffic Solutions (ATS) in a pair of Texas cities.
Texas: ATS Labels Anti-Traffic Camera Initiatives Racist

Logic is gone in America if this holds true.

Risk Factors - Suicide prevention

Apparently being male, having guns and being unemployed makes one a threat to yourself and others. At least from this story:
The average number of suicides in a given year in the U.S. is 1,000 to 1,500 according to the Violence Policy Center. Because they have been so rare in the past, the numbers of whole family murder-suicides (familicides) have not been counted and therefore are unknown. Ninety-five percent of all murder-suicides are male-on-female crimes; the majority take place following a threatened break-up by the female wife or partner. According to Jacqueline Campbell who has conducted extensive interviews with the families of victims of domestic homicide, access to guns and male unemployment are key risk factors involved. If suicidal ideation is present, the result likely will be a murder-suicide.

The Economic Factor in the Rash of Murder-Suicides
I at no time minimize the tragedy of suicide or murder-suicide, but using the VPC and then Google as in "Today we have a rash of murder-suicides, as a google search of this topic instantly reveals." makes me wonder if this is a valid study.

You be the judge.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Seems like the FBI needs to clean house

An agent involved in two standoffs in 18 years, finally was removed from service after allegedly attempting to purchase a 50 cal rifle to murder his wife and former supervisor.
A former special agent in charge of the Dallas FBI office said he tried to fire Carlos Ortiz 18 years ago after the troubled agent was involved in a seven-hour armed standoff with SWAT team members.

But Oliver "Buck" Revell said his recommendation was rejected by his FBI superiors in Washington because Ortiz, who is currently accused of plotting to kill his wife and his former boss, was deemed fit for duty by psychiatrists.

Revell said. "My recommendation to headquarters was unequivocal that this man was not qualified to be an agent or carry a weapon and I want him out of my office. They said, 'Well that would be a discriminatory action.' "

Ex-official wanted to fire FBI agent held in murder plot after 1992 standoff
Don't we want "discriminatory action" when it comes to idiots with authoritah? I guess being a minority (psycho) has its benefits.

And the bureau has known about their lack of getting rid of bad seeds for a while.
The FBI came under fire in 2004 when Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, accused the bureau of trying to keep an internal study of agents' misdeeds from becoming public. The study was written in 2000 and chronicled misconduct and crimes dating back more than a decade. It found that 63 percent of agents that were eventually fired for egregious acts – including covering up the murder of an informant, revealing classified information and rape – exhibited a history of misconduct. Nearly half had a record of previous disciplinary action.

"These findings raise concerns about whether the FBI was dealing with problem agents soon enough and rigorously enough, possibly because of a reluctance to impose severe discipline," Grassley said at the time.
Rape and murder? Over 63% of those fired had a "history of misconduct?" Although we don't have the N number of agents fired, it may indicate that the agency keeps bad apples around for a while.

Comparing the agency with private businesses, it may be at the same percentage-wise for dismissing employees after a history of misconduct. I know its sometimes difficult to git rid of non-performers and out-right crooks from a private business. The FBI is probably no different in that respect. But I think we should hold public-sector employees to a higher standard.

Especially if they carry a badge and a gun.

A busy summer for Buffalo Drug Task Force

According to information released by Buffalo Drug Task Force (BRDTF) Commander Troy Appel, more than half of the 42 guns allegedly stolen from a firearms shop in Vail, Iowa, have been recovered. Authorities are asking anyone who may have knowledge of the others to contact law enforcement.

Task force recovers stolen weapons
Soon after the theft (no allegedly here - the guns were stolen) of Pete's gun shop, a Vail, Iowa gun shop, in late May, the task force and the ATF were looking at Felix Mendez and Jose Osario-Mendez as suspects in the robbery.

That investigation didn't stop the Mendez gang from robbing the First State Bank of Rushmore, MN in July. According to the timeline from the article, the task force spent the month of July and August searching two different properties and finding something new each time.

My first impression is that the task force doesn't know how to search a property. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe they are understaffed, or the batteries on their metal detector ran out. But it seems that they spent several trips and finding only shell casings or a few buried guns on each search. (Just wondering about that.)

Important to note is that the Mendez gang sold nearly half of the guns they allegedly stole from the Vail gun shop and the task force is asking for assistance from anyone who has purchased a firearm from these alleged criminal masterminds. Private sales still being legal here in Iowa, I would imagine that Attorney General Tom Miller will be making political hay of this very soon.

Another thought, if you are a known associate of these two and possibly have felony criminal record, wouldn't returning stolen property be difficult? Due to the fact that a felon isn't supposed to have a firearm in their possession.

Here's my time line of the summer:
May 31 - Pete's Gun Shop robbery

June 8 - ATF is lost so ask for help from this task force. All signs point to two morons

July 2 - authorities allegedly allow the Mendez pair to allegedly rob a bank and the pair are arrested

July/August - after numerous searches to alleged property of the alleged criminals the task force discover buried guns, shell casings, a dead cat in a shoe box and Blackbeard's treasure chest

Back to being serious, these guys were suspects very early after the initial gun shop theft. Two guys who probably have a long criminal record (one was convicted of attempted murder as a juvenile.) Maybe they should be put away for awhile.

One final thought, with all this searching to find guns buried under trees, and in the back yard, no mention of recovering money from the bank heist.

Hmmm, where's my shovel?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Borepatch tax analysis

Borepatch lays it out so that even a congressman could understand.

We pay too much!

(I simplified the title, "I'm in misery of my prostrate, what?" The Immiseration of the Proletariat by the Progressive State for my understanding)

Read one of the smartest guys on the net.

Sunday (not so) funnies, 9/5/10

Alvie at Cliffs of Insanity gives us Barry Poppins:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thomas Sowell - Dismantling America

Dr. Thomas Sowell is not trying to dismantle America, but the subject of this interview is.

“It doesn’t matter how smart you are, unless you stop and think.”

I encourage everyone to view or listen to this interview.

Via - Spike at Burlington Derailed

Red light "safety" revisited

Reader and fellow Iowan, Charles, points to an article that debunks the idea that red light cameras are all about safety, safety, safety.
After a year of use, red light cameras have failed to deliver the promised safety benefits in Baytown, Texas. The Houston suburb activated the majority of its cameras on July 13, 2008. Since then, the number of accidents at eight camera locations has increased 40 percent, contrary to predictions from city officials. The increase in accidents has not been in minor "fender benders," as is frequently claimed by photo ticketing advocates. Rather, the number of collisions resulting in an injury jumped 75 percent. Rear end collisions increased 39 percent. Results from comprehensive, independent studies elsewhere in the country have yielded similar results.

"Clearly this shows no remedial effect on driving habits over time," Byron Schirmbeck, the leader of a grassroots effort to ban the cameras in Baytown, told TheNewspaper.
(Emphasis mine)

Red Light Cameras Increase Accidents in Baytown, Texas
This source has a helpful page of several university studies that debunk the camera=safety theory.

In comments to previous posts I placed on this subject, Curt of Sailorcurt, noted that increasing the length of time for a yellow caution light, results in less accidents. This study from the Texas Transportation Institute, seems to back up that assertion.
The Texas Transportation Institute examined concerns that red light cameras were being used by cities that had not first exhausted available engineering alternatives such as improving signal timing and visibility. They studied individual police accident reports from 181 intersection approaches across three Texas cities over three years to determine the most effective solutions for problem intersections.
That was published in 2004, way before Iowa decided to allow this cash cow in the state code. Over three years of data and they also came to this conclusion:
The study also found that the vast majority of red light camera tickets are issued within the first second a light is red -- in fact, the average ticket is issued when the light has been red for half a second or less. Yet right-angle crashes, which account for the majority of red-light related collisions, "with one exception, all of the right-angle crashes occurred after 5 seconds or more of red" (5-16). In other words, tickets are being issued primarily for split-second violations where collisions are not occurring.
I'm convinced that red light and speed cameras have nothing to do with this:

A camera didn't stop a University of Iowa Hawkeye lineman from an accident in Iowa City this past week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Bill of Rights - really

Another late night fiasco at my place of enslavement. (Remember, this is where I work.)

Please enjoy a Demotivational Poster now instead of on a Sunday (not so) funnies post.

Something to think about.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I got nothin'

I have several projects in the works, but for now, I've got nothin':

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Iowa gun shows, September 2010

Sept. 10-12 Cedar Rapids, Hawkeye Downs
Sept. 18-19 Westphalia, Fire Dept. Gun Show, St. Boniface Parish Ctr
Sept. 24-26 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