Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Mr Qandil: Please work on your own country and leave mine out of it.

I have been watching the current protests and violence over a really crappy piece of amature film making for several days.  I keep noticing that what is purported to be a peaceful religion is constantly burning down buildings, threatening to kill people and actually killing people.  Normally, I am ambivalent to their issues because generally they burn down their own cities in other countries.  And generally, their death threats are just that, unless someone is stupid enough to visit one of those countries, at which point I site Darwin and call it a day. 

However, when our embassy is violated, I become irate.  When our ambassador and citizens are killed, I go beyond into flat out pissed off.  And when our commander in chief doesn't park a carrier off that coast post haste, I am just beside myself.  This is the reason that I wish we still had battleships in fleet service.  No, they are not practical for modern warfare.  However, when you park a ship in the harbor capable of throwing sixteen inch shells so far that the gunners must take the curvature of the earth into account while aiming, it sends a message.  The Tomahawk Missiles were just added benefit.

Still, I realize that the attack in Benghazi was likely to happen no matter what, since they were well prepared on short notice.  Timing of the attack was just waiting for the opportunity.  I am more disappointed with the lack of security in a country that "lost" almost the entire armoury of the previous standing army.  Overall, I blame our government, from the top down, and will hold them responsible when it comes time to vote in November.

So as I am reading further on the BBC World News website, I see an interview by BBC Arabic's Khaled Ezz El-Arab with the Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil regarding the unhappiness over the film.

"KEA: When you say a balance between freedom of expression and not insulting other people you know there been a lot of calls recently, not from official corners in the Egyptian government but from other public figures, calling for the US to put laws in action that would prevent such a movie, a similar movie taking place in the future. Do you think this is reasonable to ask the US to do this?
HQ: I think we need to work out something around this because we cannot wait and see this happen again. This is a small group number of people doing irresponsible work and everybody's paying the price for these peoples' work and we have to do all it takes to stop this happening again.
KEA: Just so I've got this right are you calling for the US and other countries to take another look into their existing laws and...?
HQ: I'm calling on them to take the necessary measures to ensure insulting billions of people, one-and-a-half billion people and their beliefs, does not happen and people pay for what they do and at the same time make sure that the reflections of the true Egyptian and Muslims is well in the Western media."

While I will be the first to admit that my country is not perfect, do not suggest that my countrymen and I should change our laws or behaviour just because it might offend the followers of islam in your country.  Do not preach to me that islam as practiced around the world is "peaceful" when its followers are putting people to death for saying something bad about your prophet or depict him in any way.  It has just as much blood on its hands as does all other major religions.  You want to stop the violence?  Try taking all of those islamic leaders calling for the protests and violence and put them in jail for inciting their followers to violence.  That will likely cut down on the violence.  Might bring up property values as well. 

While you may not like it, we have free speech guaranteed in the document that frames our government, in the same entry that guarantees freedom of religion. I do notice that the followers of islam in the US have managed to avoid buring down any buildings or killing anyone.  Amazingly enough, if you want to look for peaceful followers of islam, you apparently can look to America.  Funny, ain't it?

Monday, September 10, 2012

All this technological advancement...

I was reading the news and came across and article about a southern California family that lost everything in their home when it was siezed for forclosure.  The home was boarded up, the contents taken away to the dump.  Only one problem:  They didn't have a loan on the house.  Its a minor detail, I guess, since banks have been doing it for years.  However, this led me down another rabbit hole that i didn't think about, incorrect demolition. 

I saw a story on a house in Little Rock that was incorrectly demolished.  A quick google search showed immediate results in Texas, Pittsburgh and one in Georgia where the demolition company did not relay on pesky thinks like an address written on a document, they had GPS coordinates!  GPS coordinates do you no good when you have no idea what side of the street it is on.  Guess who guessed wrong?  (Perhaps they could speak to Lawdog about GPS...)

Is it really so hard to get an original copy of the order on paper, even, and maybe confirm the address?  Oh, wait, don't tell me, they have an app for that?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ah, the peaceful utopia...

Annnnd once again we are entertained by the place where Great Britain used to be...

Although the details are light, even lighter if you look at the police website, four men decided that a rural farmstead would be a great place to conduct a burglary.  They were untroubled by the possibility that someone may be home.  After all, this is the very unarmed British Empire. 

This illusion was shattered for them by the farmer and his wife, who were for some reason unwilling to be victims.  And based on what I have read (again, not deeply detailed) they registered their unwillingness to be victims with a legally owned shotgun.  Unfortunately, this is where the laws of Not So Great Britain take over.  Although I applaud the local police for arresting the burglars, they also arrested the victims.  The victims are being charged with "suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm".  The four men intent on burglary have been charged with Burglary. 

So, for those of you playing along, the victims currently are charged with a crime (for defending themselves with a legally owned shotgun) that would see them put in prison for years (3 to 16, depending on the application of law) while the actual criminals stand to spend 6.5 months to 6 years in jail.  And, even if the victims are not found guilty, even if they are found to be justified in their actions, I guarantee that they will never be allowed to keep that shotgun (or any other firearms) for the rest of their lives. 

Don't think so?  Go ask Tracy St Clair Pearce, a 50 year old cancer patient.  When travellers set up camp nearby, they trespassed on her property, destroyed her property and threaten her life when told to leave.  The police response?  Why, you go and confiscate the shotguns owned by the victim.  The shotguns that never left the safe.  The shotguns that were never even thought to be used or mentioned in the altercation.  Those shotguns.  Even better was the statement by the top officer in that department that the police had acted correctly.  The best part was that they were considering revoking the firearms certificate.  For being victimized and calling the police, as people are instructed to do.  And the criminals?  Oh they already planned to move on and basically avoid facing the charges.  Way to go, Britain, that'll show criminals that you mean business!

This is the sad state that has befallen the once great empire.  Sad really.

Update:  Apparently, common sense does prevail, as the victims are not going to be charged.  No mention of returning the shotgun, tho...

I guess it depends on who's buying...

I read today that (apparently) people are up in arms over the fact that the Social Scurity Administration is purchasing 174k bullets for its investigators.  The CNN article quotes several "right wing" bloggers predicting mass homicide.  Interestingly, Pelosi and her crowd are silent about this massive influx of devastating bullets. 

Still, when one combines simple math with camparisons of what various bloggers state is their usual round count when going to the range, we see a different story.  I have never read a blog entry that states a round count of less than 100 rounds.  A number of my favorite bloggers double or triple that, depending on the caliber being used that day.

As the agency states, they have 295 investigators, all of whom will need range time.  The simple math shows that 174000 rounds divided between those agents equates to 589.8305084745763 each, so we'll round to 590.  Figuring that they all use high capacity magazines for their service pistols, we'll say that 90 are reserved for duty use and 500 are for range time.  If they fire 100 rounds per session, that is a mere 5 trips to the range to maintain proficiency with their firearm.  As recent events in NYC showed, proficiency with your pistol is paramount when preserving your life and the lives of those around you requires the use of deadly force. 

In reality, that bullet count seems a little low...