Category Archive 'Uncategorized'
29 Oct 2014

“People May Not Always Understand Why, But an Armored Vehicle is Almost a Necessity Now”

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ArmoredCar

The town of Stettin, Wisconsin sent 24 cops and an armored car to collect a civil judgement from a 75-year-old man. The sheriff captain explained that the old man was known to be “argumentative.”

Journal Sentinel story

Reason story

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

29 Oct 2014

Shit Happens

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ShitHappens

Hat tip to Fred Lapides.

29 Oct 2014

While You Were Sleeping

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Hat tip to Kuriositas.

29 Oct 2014

Finnish Humor

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WinterWar
The Winter War, Finland vs the Soviet Union, took place between 30 November 1939 and 13 March 1940, lasting 3 months, 1 week and 5 days. Finland suffered 70,000 total casualties. The Soviet Union suffered 323,000 total casualties.


A large group of Russian soldiers in the border area in 1939 are moving down a road when they hear a voice call from behind a small hill: “One Finnish soldier is better than ten Russian”.

The Russian commander quickly orders 10 of his best men over the hill where Upon a gun-battle breaks out and continues for a few minutes, then silence.

The voice once again calls out: “One Finn is better than one hundred Russian.”

Furious, the Russian commander sends his next best 100 troops over the hill and instantly a huge gun fight commences.

After 10 minutes of battle, again Silence.

The calm Finnish voice calls out again:

“One Finn is better than one thousand Russians”

The enraged Russian commander musters

1000 fighters and sends them to the other side

of the hill. Rifle fire, machine guns, grenades,

rockets and cannon fire ring out as a terrible

battle is fought…. Then Silence.

Eventually one badly wounded Russian fighter crawls back over the hill and with his dying words tells his commander, “Don’t send any more men……it’s a trap. There’s two of them.”

29 Oct 2014

Hillary Clinton: “Corporations Don’t Create Jobs.”

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ChelseaClinton1

“NBC created a job for Chelsea, so there’s at least one corporation that created a job.” Chuck Lane, Washington Post

28 Oct 2014

Maybe Corporations Really Do Create Jobs After All

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HillaryTakesItBack

Hillary Clinton’s remarkable denial that corporations create jobs in the course of a campaign speech for Martha Coackley in Massachusetts last Friday produced sufficient mockery and loud guffaws that Hillary was yesterday at pains to revise and extend her remarks.

Daily Mail:

Hillary Clinton tried her best on Monday to walk back her controversial economic body-slam from a speech on Friday, explaining away her claim that it’s not ‘corporations and businesses that create jobs.’

The talking point three days later: ‘So-called trickle-down economics has failed. I short-handed this point the other day, so let me be absolutely clear about what I’ve been saying for a couple of decades.”

“Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in America and workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out – not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.’

But the damage has been done. Conservatives have a new rally cry – ‘Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s, you know, corporations and businesses that create jobs,’ she said – and campaign consultants will have a new advertisement drawn up if Clinton runs for president in 2016.

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Alinsky-ite propagandists like Hillary decry the idea that limiting the percentage of a nation’s economic wealth confiscated and squandered by government leaves more capital available for investment and increases the likelihood that that nation’s economy will grow, and socialists smear the notion that a growing economy raises all boats by applying the derisive term “trickle-down economics.”

When people like Hillary sneer at the idea of capitalistic growth as “trickle-down economics,” they are, in fact, shamelessly denying the obvious history of their own country, the same history which Hillary herself lived through a significant piece of, right along with the rest of us.

Just compare the condition of a working-class family a hundred years ago with the condition of a similiarly-situated family today. In 1914, chances are that a working class family used an outhouse, lighted their home with a kerosene lamp, heated their home with the cookstove in the kitchen, owned no automobile, and (obviously) did not enjoy air-conditioning or computers. It’s actually pretty amazing all the stuff that has trickled down from the once-upon-a-time point when they either constituted fabulous luxuries available only to the rich, or were not yet even existing at all, to becoming routine features of the life of practically everyone.

It was remarked with a certain amount of bemusement, back in 1991, during the Los Angeles Rodney King riots, that, in America, when the poor riot, they leave air-conditioned homes, with computers and color televisions behind, and get in their cars to drive downtown in order to riot.

So-called “trickle-down economics” may not be as speedy in results as rubbing a magic lamp and making a wish, but that kind of economics really has, over just a few generations, made ordinary people richer in many ways than kings and emperors used to be.

The alternative to “trickle-down economics”, of course, is socialism. There are plenty of well-known examples as to just how effective in promoting general economic well-being all the best exemplars of Hillary Clinton’s preferred Robin Hood “Steal-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor” economic philosophy have proven: Argentina, Cuba, North Korea, the late Soviet Union.

28 Oct 2014

Local News Highlights National Habit of Overreacting to Fears and Obsessions

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SchoolLockdown
A school lockdown in Connecticut

Regular readers may possibly recall that I am currently blogging from our vacation place/300-acre farm in Central Pennsylvania.

Yesterday, the sounds of low-flying aircraft were heard from our cabin in the morning, and when Karen went into town, late in the afternoon, to get mail from the post office, the small town of Tyrone was buzzing with stories of a shooting in our own neighborhood.

The 10/27 Daily Herald (serving Tyrone, Bellwood, and Surrounding Areas since 1866, but not on-line) reported:

State Police at Hollidaysburg have confirmed a shooting at 260 Van Scoyoc Hollow Road in Snyder Township this morning.

Unconfirmed reports say that a 13-year-old female Tyrone student has been shot in the chest or shoulder at her bus stop near the Tyrone Sportsman’s Club. Reportedly the weapon was believed to be a shotgun.

The Tyrone Area School District went on full exterior lockdown as a precaution.

The school web-site said: “Based on conversation with the state police we have been informed that there is no threat to the school. We are merely taking precautionary measures by instituting the secure exterior lockdown

Due to shooting in the community, which is currently believed to be a hunting accident, the district is currently in a secure exterior lockdown.”

State Police were still investigating the area with metal detectors and ran infrared by helicopter looking for possible suspects around the Sportsman’s Club at 10:30 a.m. The bus stop and a wooded area across the road were heavily investigated.

The victim has reportedly been taken to UPMC Altoona and is in stable condition. State Police and the Game Commission were still on the scene, the shooter was not located and no further information was available at the time of press other that it is believed to have been a hunting accident.

So… What struck me about all this was the craziness of a school lockdown off in the borough of Tyrone, miles away from the scene of a shooting thought to be a hunting accident. This kind of response typifies a contemporary style of “cover your ass at any cost” bureaucratic formalism which characteristically reacts, not so much to threats, as to memes, with preposterous and pretentious brain-damaged forms of completely useless gestures.

I needed, of course, to investigate the facts, so I phoned up the State Police in Hollidaysburg this morning, explaining that I was inquiring about the Snyder Township shooting in my capacity as an Internet journalist.

I learned that what happened was: a 12-year-old girl accidentally dropped a .22 rifle while in the process of putting it away inside her house. The rifle went off, and the girl was struck by a bullet in the abdomen. The young lady is recovering from her unfortunate accident in hospital.

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Oddly enough, some news agency was actually reporting the story accurately this morning:

Police: Girl, 12, shot after mishandling rifle

TYRONE, Pa. (AP) – State police say a 12-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the abdomen after mishandling a .22-caliber rifle in her home.

Police aren’t releasing the name of the girl who authorities first believed had been shot outside her home Monday as she left for school about 7 a.m. That prompted the Pennsylvania Game Commission to investigate whether the girl might have been wounded by a hunter’s stray bullet.

But police now say the girl had grabbed the rifle and was returning it to a safe when it fell and discharged in her Snyder Township home.

The Tyrone Area School District was on an exterior lockdown after the shooting, meaning classes operated normally but no visitors were allowed on school property. The lockdown was lifted about 11 a.m. Monday.

Police were continuing to investigate Tuesday.

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All of which demonstrates the propensity of all forms and flavors of American officialdom these days to react Pavlovianly to popular cultural memes (e.g., “Child Shooting!” — “School Shooting!”) demonstrating a pathologically overly-enthusiastic eagerness to wield authority, deploy personnel and equipment, play with gadgets and weapons, and to act out fantasies in public.

Yesterday, we had two government agencies sending armed men scurrying about the landscape, helicopters searching the forest with infrared, and a school system, miles away, undergoing lockdown (“Sorry, Mr. Jones, you can’t deliver milk for the school lunch today. We’re on lockdown!”), along with a grand search for an imaginary hunter, all in response to a one-party accident that took place inside a private home.

Perhaps we all tend to idealize the past. I could be wrong but, when I think back to when I was young, decades ago, I have a lot of trouble picturing the American adults I grew up among getting into lathers of this kind and responding to emergencies with so much panic and excessive overreaction in defiance of all the facts.

I do think that if somebody came along and said to Sister Daniel, the principal of St. George School in Shenandoah back in 1960, “Hey! you better lockdown the school. There has been a hunting accident over in Brandonville.”, Sister Daniel would have said, “What are you, some kind of a nut?”

27 Oct 2014

More Ottawa Shootout Details

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The National has a full play-by-play description of exactly how Kevin Vickers took down Michael Zehaf Bibeau.

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What Pistol did Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers use?

S&W_5946
Smith & Wesson 5946

(Dean Weingarten identified it.)

Bibeau was using a Model 1894 Winchester .30-30 lever-action carbine, with a tubular magazine holding six rounds (in addition to a round in the chamber). Retired Mountie Kevin Vickers took from his desk the RCMP standard sidearm: a Smith & Wesson Model 5946 9mm semiauto, almost certainly with a 15-round magazine (plus one in the chamber).

Vickers had Bibeau decidedly outgunned. Vickers could fire 16 shots as rapidly as he could press the trigger. Bibeau had only some portion of seven rounds left, and needed to work the lever to eject the spent cartridge case and chamber a new round before he could get off another shot.

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Mike McDaniel doesn’t like the Double-Action semiautos designed for the police market (and I agree).

[M]ost police officers [today] are not gun guys and girls. Many officers shoot their issued handguns only when necessary for qualifications–commonly only once a year–and clean their weapons far less often. Many police officers don’t own personal weapons, and many don’t carry any handgun off duty. Skill with handguns, and particularly revolvers requires constant and serious practice. Most police officers aren’t willing to do that.

Police executives were scared to death of the pistols available in the 70s, which were primarily the Colt 1911 and Browning Hi-Power, both single action pistols correctly carried “cocked and locked.” The sight of those cocked hammers sent shivers up their spine and made their knees weak, so manufacturers developed double action mechanisms so that they functioned more or less like revolvers, except they didn’t. After the first, vague, long and heavy double action trigger pull, the second and subsequent shots have a short, light pull, generally making the impact points of at least the first two shots far apart indeed.

Col. Jeff Cooper called double action pistols “an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem.” And so they were.

But Kevin Vickers clearly had fired that Smith & Wesson at a range many times in police practice sessions. He was familiar with his weapon and proved quite capable of shooting it accurately at a man-sized target.

27 Oct 2014

SNL Mocks Obama

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26 Oct 2014

Denver Post Critic Deplores Union Station’s Racist Architecture

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DenverUnionStation
Denver’s Union Station.

Denver is in the process of renovating its long-neglected Union Station, built in 1914 in the Beaux Arts style. Denver Post Fine Arts Critic Ray Mark Rinaldi has serious issues with the renovation of a building designed exclusively in European styles, which thus inevitably celebrates European culture and civilization, while neglecting to represent all those various peoples of colors which our liberal friends all tell us are destined very soon to displace us as the American majority. Evidently Mr. Rinaldi thinks that Denver ought to be consigning European culture, architecture & European history to the ash-heap of history right now.

Union Station is a neo-classical mix of styles — European styles. The symmetry, arched windows, ornate cornice and stacked, stone walls have their roots in the glory days of France, England, Greece and Rome, in empires that were nearly absent of ethnic minorities and who felt fully at ease invading, exploiting and actually enslaving the people of Africa, subcontinent Asia and South America.

Yes, that’s all in the past; things have changed. But the $54 million renovation of Union Station doesn’t take that into account. It restores the symbols of an old world with no updates. The gilded chandeliers have been rewired, the marble polished, but there’s no nod to the present, no interior walls in the bright colors of Mexico, no Asian simplicity is in the remix. There are no giant sculptures by African-American artists bonused into the lobby, no murals on the basement walls.

Would any of those updates have made Union Station more welcoming, made it “Ready for the Next 100 years,” as its marketing proclaims ? Could they still?

A preservationist might object to physical updates. Restoration is about the exact, the original. History has its ups and downs, the thinking goes, and you can’t blame buildings for the good or bad that happened. But a preservationist just might end up with a building that draws mostly white people — with a Union Station.

The present restoration harkens back to Union Station at its height, in the first half of a 20th century when many Americans suffered the social indignity and economic disadvantage of a segregated America. Denver’s neighborhoods, parks, schools and social amenities were divided sharply by race. Denver’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan, one mayor a member, kept things in their place.

The trains themselves were not officially segregated here, but you can bet many people on them boarded or disembarked in stations where blacks entered in separate doors and rode in restricted cars.

Denver’s bigshot bigots are gone, schools and workplaces desegregated. But the structures of back then look the same — are they to be honored or altered to make the past palatable for everyone?

The programming does little to mitigate the obstacles. The local restaurants and chefs that made it onto Union Station were the city’s highest-profile operators whose establishments serve mostly white clientele, and their fans have followed along. Minority businesses were part of the station’s redevelopment, but many of the key players were white, too. These people are not racists. They are our among our best, most creative thinkers.

Still, something is missing. There’s no traditional Mexican restaurant, no soul-food restaurant, no sushi bar, as if no one noticed that the Mexican-American, African-American and Asian-American families that own and operate those places across the city are also our best food purveyors. …

Union Station is programmed toward wallets. You need a password to use the Wi-Fi. Its product is elegance, even exclusivity. You can’t even find the Cooper Lounge unless you know where you are going; it’s set up for insiders. Exclusivity has its own historic baggage. Whether it’s about keeping Jewish people out of a subdivision or gay people out of the military, it historically benefits the majority.

That’s only part of it, of course. Because today’s Denver has a growing middle-class of minorities. Plenty of blacks and Latinos could afford to play at Union Station. The surrounding neighborhoods are diversified with residents who could simply bike over or take the light rail or downtown shuttle. There is no one at the door looking folks over. The workforce is mixed. There’s no open policy of exclusion.

But there may be an institutional one. RTD had a thousand choices when it was rehabbing the station. It could have put in a farmer’s market or a suite of micro-offices. It could have let its imagination run wild and installed a basketball court or a rec center, day-care facility, museum, a theater that any group could rent, an indoor playground, or yes, a Subway.

But it chose a different path. RTD, whose buses and trains are the most diverse places in Denver, created a monster of separation. You can’t keep private enterprise from doing this sort of deed, but a public entity, a common asset, might have more democratic obligations.

Union Station will make plenty of money and that will help keep our transportation system solvent. But how much is lost?

This really was a chance to define today’s Denver, to show off to the world, to say we are as interesting and relevant as anywhere you can name. But this project has defined us narrowly, darkly, negligently. There is danger in that, too.

26 Oct 2014

The Wisdom of Hillary Clinton

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Appearing on Friday at a Boston rally in support of behind-9-points-in-the polls Democrat gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley at the Park Plaza Hotel, Hillary Clinton dismissed the idea that businesses create jobs. I guess Hillary must simply be projecting her family’s life experience, that all wealth is derived from politics, onto universal reality.

26 Oct 2014

Utah Man Called Suicide Prevention Hot-line, So SWAT Team Arrived and, Naturally, Killed Him

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CalzadaHouse
Police mill around in front of the late Jose Calzada’s house in Roy, Utah last Tuesday.

Opposing Views:

Jose Calzada called a suicide hotline from his home in Roy, Utah, at about 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, but by 11 a.m. he was shot dead by a SWAT team.

After Calzada called the suicide hotline, the SWAT team arrived and negotiated with him for hours (video below).

“At some point those negotiations failed and unfortunately the SWAT team was involved in a shooting, and the subject is now deceased,” Officer Matt Gwynn, public information officer for the Roy Police Department, told Standard.net.

“There were people in the home at the time the [suicide] call was placed,” Officer Gwynn told ABC4 News. “They left the home shortly thereafter.”

There was no hostage situation, but news reports say that something happened in the home’s garage that caused SWAT officers to shoot Calzada.

“It seem like there was one shot, and then a pause, and then four or five shots after that, that were very rapid,” said neighbor Ron Smith. “The pause after the first shot was really brief. After that I went inside and shut the door.”

The Weber County attorney’s office is investigating the shooting. The officers who fired their guns at Calzada have all been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

The Roy Police Department’s advice to suicidal people struck an ironic and chilling tone.

“We encourage those having suicidal thoughts or tendencies to contact a physician or expert that can talk them through it,” stated officer Gwynn. “In this particular case he attempted to do that, it’s unfortunate and sad that it failed.”

In numerous press reports, Police Spokesman Gwynn is simply quoted verbatim. Although he is obviously being evasive why the police thought it was necessary to fire on Mr. Calzada, the press incompetently fails to insist on that obvious question being answered.

25 Oct 2014

Ottawa Shooter Could Not Legally Own a Gun

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canada-shooting-cartoon

The Montreal Gazette observes that there is no possible way that Michael Zehaf Bibeau could have legally purchased or owned a firearm in Canada.

A leading firearms expert and criminal defence lawyer says he would have been “shocked beyond words” to learn that Ottawa shooting suspect Michael Zehaf Bibeau had obtained his gun legally in Canada.

Solomon Friedman, who was locked in his downtown office for much of the day Wednesday as Ottawa police attempted to secure Parliament Hill and the surrounding buildings, says several layers of safeguards are in place to ensure that a person like Zehaf Bibeau does not have legal access to firearms. The former Quebecer, who shot and killed a reservist guarding the National War Memorial before moving up to Parliament’s Centre Block and opening fire, had a criminal record that included convictions for drug possession, uttering threats and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

“Anytime you’re convicted of any type of serious criminal offence — anything dealing with drugs or violence — the judge has an opportunity to impose a firearms prohibition on you,” Friedman explained. “They exercise that regularly.”

RCMP confirmed late Thursday that Zehaf Bibeau had indeed been banned from owning a gun.

“Even if you don’t get a weapons prohibition, you still need to fill out a licence application (in order to purchase a gun) where there’s a rigorous background check. I can tell you from personal experience that individuals with records like that simply get denied,” Friedman said. “I would be shocked beyond words if this individual had a firearms licence.”

In addition to his criminal record, Zehaf Bibeau had recently had his passport revoked by the federal government. Friedman said that based on a grainy photo of the 32-year-old that began circulating on Wednesday evening, the weapon in his hands was probably a lever-action 30-30 hunting rifle. RCMP have also confirmed that theory.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to the Gun Feed.

25 Oct 2014

“A Nigerian Prince Called Islam”

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IslamistNonbeliever

Dan Greenfield (very amusingly) compares the Western elites determination to believe in “the Religion of Peace” with Nigerian email investment opportunities, and finds that the root of those elites’ delusion lies in their determination to pretend that the world we are all living in is the same as the world they desire.

Western elites, who fancy themselves more intelligent and more enlightened than the wise men and prophets of every religion, and who base their entire right to rule on that intelligence and enlightenment, are not in the habit of admitting that they have been played for fools. …

In 1993, Israel cut a land-for-peace deal with a greasy Egyptian bloke named Yasser Arafat. The Cairo-born Arafat would turn his gang of terrorists into a government and police force, and rule over an autonomous territory, in exchange for ending the violence. Clinton smiled beatifically as hands were shaken and a new era of peace was upon us.

The era, however, has yet to show up.

Over two decades of terrorism have not shaken the belief of the American or Israeli establishments in the “Two-State Solution”, which has solved absolutely nothing, except perhaps the problem of how to make the Middle East into an even worse place. As the violence increased and the pathways to peace decreased, American Presidents and Israeli Prime Ministers redoubled their concession offers and their faith in the Two-State Solution—now an article of faith in most circles. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt; it also laps at the shores of Tel Aviv, flows out to the English coast and floods cities across Europe.

Ask a Eurocrat for the time of day and he’ll calculate how much to charge you for the subsidies to the artisanal clock farmers that it will take to answer that question. Ask him about Islamic integration and he will instantly tell you that everything is going smoothly and the problems only exist in the minds of a few bigots and the pages of a few sensationalized tabloids.

Muslim integration into Europe is going swimmingly, much like the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Arab Spring. It’s going like a house on fire, not to mention a bus, a lot of cars and two towers on fire—on the other side of the Atlantic. Whatever problems there are, as with the peace process and the spring process, are undoubtedly the fault of someone who isn’t a Muslim. …

Most people project their own desires and motivations on to others. Americans assumed that Muslims just wanted democracy, free enterprise and apple pie. Muslims assume that Americans are conspiring to destroy them through a byzantine series of plots and conspiracies, because that is what they would do in our place… and that is what they are trying to do.

Good article, read the whole thing.

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