Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's Lonely At the Top

But mostly just because anyone else up there won't bother to glance twice in your direction. A British man died while climbing Everest. Tragic. The terrible part is that there are reports of up to 40 other climbers passing him by without offering assistance. The climbers say they would have put themselves at risk if they tried to help him. So they let him die. Is it more important to get to the top? Would you rather summit the world's biggest mountain or help someone live? I really can't believe that 40 people passed him by. This isn't a story about one selfish asshole, it is a condemnation of our society.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Nature of Justice

The reactions to the recent jury deliberation over the fate of Zacarias Moussaoui had some ideas that I would like to address. Several of these ideas i picked up form the net, others spurred other ideas of mine, i will try to reference the ones i remember. The first one is the simplest and easiest to see the incorrect thought and was addressed here by Bob Kurm (via Say Uncle)

I’m sorry, but those who wring their hands over state executions, while laughing at the idea that prison gang bangs are a convict’s just reward, lose their right to claim human rights as a motivating force for their objection to the death penalty.

While I don't remember reading anyone in particular who felt that way, I am sure there are some out there.

Secondly, there are the ones who seem ecstatic that Moussaoui is not going to die. That idea also strikes me as wrong.. Who's side are they on anyways? I am not saying that you have to support the death penalty, but it seems backwards and wrong to support murders.

Additionally, there are the ones who perform reason backwards from the punishment then explain why life is worse than death. A good example of this is here.


You may be right, and it is sad ’tis so.

I can think of no better punishment for Moussaoui than spending his life in solitary confinement, limited in his contact to only his warders.

Imprisonment was the right decision, no question in my mind about that. That statement has nothing at all to do with my opinion of the death penalty.

Even if he had been captured at the controls of an aircraft on its way to the White House, I would have spoken against the death penalty.

Deprive him of the status in both life and death that he believed was his due as a martyr.

Let him live - let ANY terrorist live - in imprisonment after due process of law. Remind him every day and every night that he FAILED. He failed his beliefs, he failed his Prophet, he failed his God… as long as he is alive he failed.

True justice is independent of a person's situation. For this person's opinion to change, it sounds like all Moussaoui has to do is decide that he wants to live or even that he likes prison and does not want to go home.

Many people have a hard time with justice, i think some people even fear it. Justice in it's purest form is not vengeance. It is the entire goal of America's justice system. Ideally justice is done by an impartial third party, but in our case the best we can do is a group of humans.

Another quality of justice is that you cannot arrive at the correct and just punishment by coming in the back door. It considers the crime and only the crime, it cannot consider political climate, actions of accused after being caught, what others will say, what other countries will say, what they enemy will say. A just punishment stands up under scrutiny. A just punishment is consistent with the crime. A just punishment will apply to all who commit the crime.


Listening and Reading

Right now I am listening to Broken Boy Soldiers by the Raconteurs. I am reading Black Holes and Time Warps, Einstein's Amazing Legacy by Kip Thorne. Thumbs up on both. The Raconteurs is headed up by Jack White, and although he has more instruments at his disposal it doesn't quite measure up to his White Stripes stuff. But still good. Kip Thorne is a physicist, and does a good job of explaining things for those of us that aren't. The book has tons of interesting information, but nothing that you really need to know if you plan on staying on Earth.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bears One, Monkeys Zero

An Amsterdam zoo rethinks its cohabitation plans after bears capture and eat one of the macaques living in their area. Sad but funny, read more here.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Alien News Not Involving Mexicans

According to a South African story a UFO crash landed into the ocean. A search was conducted, but no craft or aliens were recovered. There were no reports of any missing or overdue human aircraft. This once again brings up licensing issues, with a small but vocal group insisting that alien visitors must pass a UN flight test to be able operate their vehicles in Earth airspace. As the number of UFO crashes continues at a steady rate, I am starting to side with them.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Alligators and Alcohol

The Onion has recently published a new scientific study detailing new behavioral insights into alligators and their relationship to humans.

I don't know if i should publish this to the net...

....but the other night i could have shot Garth Brooks.

I had heard that Garth Books lived in town. My office mate's girlfriend, his girlfriend's mother, and his girfriend's sister have all seen him.

But the other night was my moment. He wasn't all dressed up like a cowboy and that was a little disappointing. He was just in a ball cap, t-shirt, and jeans. He was also not as tall as i thought he would be. I did not bother saying hi. I was eating and explaining to my girlfriend how useless a marriage license is.

A couple of my friends suggested that I call him by his wrong name. The funniest name suggested was Lyle Lovett. Now that would have been somthing worth blogging about.



If you see a man lose the ablity to walk, help him, but ask him for his shoes. He does not need them any more.


Yea right.

Roberto Arreola, 30, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, addressed the council before the decision.

"We are not criminals and it doesn't make sense for the city to pass a law against us," said Arreola, speaking in Spanish with a translator.

Illegal, but still not criminal. yea right.


Almost the frist draw

A few weeks ago, I was in a situation where I almost drew my pistol in self defense. I would like for you to lend me your time and mind as I share what I learned.

It was easter morning and I was seeing a family member off for a long absence. My parents and I had said our good byes and were looking for a church to end our easter morning. We where having problems finding the church which I had mapped out, then transcribed the directions. It was a hassle and we were doing the typical lost tango. U-turns and slow driving was our dance. It was made a little more difficult because were were in two vechiles. I was in my truck and my parents were in their car.

My typical lost and found algorithm is slow, but comprehensive. I will do a lot of short peaks down a road to see if it is the one i need. I did a short peak down a potential sleepy 2 lane road and realized I was going down the wrong street. I pulled into a driveway one the left hand side of the road to do a 3 point turn. As I was putting it in reverse from point one going to point two, i saw a car coming down the road I had just traveled.

I thought about waiting for the car to pass, but I was in a hurry and flustered from not being able to find my way. Secondly, the car was far enough away I thought i could finish my second point and get straighted out and onto my side of the road before we met. Well i was wrong on the second point and the car had to slow down a good bit to allow me to clear the way. As I straightened out, I saw the car stop behind me and the driver opened the door and start yelling at me. Their were two passengers, both were young and black. They were in a late model Lexus. The driver was also wearing a baggy wife beater. He yelled and waved but did not get out of the car.

Here is what I did: I turned around and flashed him the meanest look i could muster while putting my hand in the position to open the center console and draw my gun. After I flashed him the look, i put the car in gear and and drove off. I drove off quick enough to let the guy know i was leaving, but not quick enough to look like i was running. He also left, and it looked like he left quickly, but honestly I don't know because I only made sure he was not following me.

Normally, if it was just me I probably would not have even bothered with the look, i would have just left as quick as possible, but the problem was that he was stopped between my car and my parents who were also in the process of turning around.

There are a few lessons that I gathered from this experience. One was that real life confrontations will seldom match up to your preconceived notions. I had always imagined the threat coming from the front or the side, never directly from behind. Which if I was unable to run and had to defend myself, would be a tough situation to get out of, because I would be a huge target if i tried to get out on the driver's side.

Another thing i noticed was that I did not make myself as ready to defend as possible. I could have opened and pulled out the pistol in case the young gentleman started firing. I just moved to the ready position, I did not actually make myself ready.

Of course, the worse case situation I was the most unprepared for. If they young man had opened fire, should I have ran, which I was in a great position to do, or should I have attempted to to attack and protect my parents, whom he was in between. I could have used my truck as a battering ram, parked it at an angle and used it as cover, I could have tried to flank him in my truck and then attacked, or i could have tried to exit using my third door as cover to shoot from. The fact is that if he would have started to fire, i would not known what to do. That was the final point that was driven home, the importance of training.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Let's play a game. This game is a fun one to play with your children in the car on longish road trips. It is kinda inspired on this comment here

"I dont expect we'll see any "bad things" happen as a result of big government databases any time soon. But if the trends continue, someday that entire database could be availible on the laptop of every squad car (technically, its achievable today) so that when your pulled over an officer would know you purchased four cans of diced pineapple at the local supermarket fifteen minuets ago using your visa, and called X five minutes ago, passed through lane 6 of the I-56 toll, and.... " and the book by , John Twelve Hawks

Who has your SSN?

The Goverment (IRS, Social Security Agency)
The state goverment
My Bank
My Work
My student loan company
My car loan company
My Credit cards.
My Insurance Agency.
My Cell Phone company.
My 401 k company.
Ohh and the gun show where i buy all of my weapons...

What about you?


Monday, May 15, 2006

The First Step

The White House has announced plans to activate the National Guard to secure the Mexican border. No matter what you think should happen to the illegals that are here, this is the first step to confronting the problem. Securing the border will help stem the drug trade and make the country safer from possible terrorists crossing over from Mexico.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Check links

If you don't read Justus For All (link at right), then you should. There is some really good discussion happening over there.

Kill them all.

I just saw this on the O'Reily Factor. There is a group that shows up at the funerals of people killed in Iraq and saying, "I am happy that your son/daughter died." They are happy that soldiers are dying because this is God's way of punishing America. I am not in favor of the war, and I normally don't condone violence, but I would beat the shit out of these people if I ever saw them. I am in favor of rounding up these people and releasing them into Iraq. I don't hold many things sacred, but respect for the dead should be universal. You can speak your mind about them, but not at a funeral.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Today I was "talked to" about my internet usage at work. Don't worry I am not hooked on the porn, just reading the news, checking my mail, logging into the bank, and reading a few choice blogs. So what is a man to do....RSS baby. Thank you if you have an RSS feed. If you don't please try them out. Funny think is that my open source email client (thunderbird) that work installed handles RSS like email. I don't know how the RSS registers with work's tracking software, but I think I am going to find out.

Funny thing is, you want belive how much i cut back on the web and still i was "Number one". I don't know if that is company wide or not, but I probably was.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gas is a gas

"Consumers around the nation have expressed concerns about what they have perceived as anticompetitive or otherwise unfair conduct by the world's major oil companies," said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. Their letter said federal agencies had substantially increased efforts to monitor, detect and prevent any violations of the law.

Something occurred to me that changed my opinion of the basic idea that the fuel market has any unfair or anticompetitive practices. I DO dismiss the record profits by oil companies because of the facts. More people than ever are driving thanks to richer countires. There are more cars than ever before thanks to richer countires. America has not added any new refineries since the 70s. The record profits are partly due to inflation. Lastly, centralization of oil and gas companies leads to large numbers.

Though i cannot readily dismiss the concerns of consumers. American consumers are probably the most astute and aware consumers in the world.
If a lot of Americans think somthing is fishy in the gas market, then I am inclined to at least hear out their concerns. Unfortunately, it has to be played out on the national scene.


A Pool Story

Link"It's not clear why young African Americans, males in particular, are more likely than other racial groups to drown. But the new findings point to the places where prevention efforts are most needed, according to the investigators, led by Dr. Gitanjali Saluja of the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development."

Let me tell you a story....

NOTE: I heard this story second hand from Sandcastle himself. Names have been changed...yada, yada, yada.

It was high school graduation summer and several friends were over at Dustin's house. One of the friends named Ruby did not know how to swim. He was a linebacker for the school about 5'9'' and built. He was also black. Well he hopped into the deep end because some friend were going to teach him how to swim. Well, he sank to the bottom like a rock. (Don't worry he did not drown.)

I was just realating the story because the researchers seemed to overlook body composition in the drowning deaths.

"Researchers have speculated that the higher drowning risk among African Americans has to do with income; lower-income families are less likely to be able to afford swimming lessons. However, Saluja's team found that the racial discrepancy persisted even when they factored in income. More research, they say, is needed to understand the underlying reasons.

The researchers lacked information on whether drowning victims had ever had swimming lessons, but they point out that pediatric experts recommend that all children age 6 and older learn to swim."



My May Day Celebration

How i celerbrated May Day and a belated BAG (Buy a gun) day.

A used Mossberg 500 at the local gun dealer $200.
The pride knowing that i bought it with tax refund money...priceless.


Monday, May 01, 2006

These guys need some cash

"If the government doesn't build security fencing along the Mexico border, Minuteman border watch leader Chris Simcox says he and his supporters will."

send these guys some money.

"Reid, D-Nev., said the administration should be taking the lead, but instead is relying on Germany, France and Great Britain to convince Iran to end its uranium enrichment program. "It is hard to comprehend," Reid said Tuesday in Reno. "We should be involved at trying to arrive at a diplomatic solution. ... Not just these three countries.""

You mean like we did in Iraq.

The fact is that Germany, France, and Great Britain have more to lose than the US if Iran goes nuclear, because Iran's missiles can actually reach them.


Americanizing them fast,8599,1184831,00.html

"In the wake of reports of workers being laid off and students being suspended after attending immigration rallies on company and school time, a number of immigration rights groups across the country are now viewing May 1 with the same wariness. Rather than looking at this day as an opportunity to paralyze the country, many coalitions are instead starting to promote activities that will coordinate with the workday, promote economic growth and help educate the public. That includes talking to their children about immigration before dropping them off at school, organizing a work lecture on voter registration, taking family to an evening vigil and, by all means, breaking out the wallet, especially for a community fundraiser. "People need to channel their energies in a positive direction," says Juan Carlos Ruiz, of the National Capital Immigration Coalition in Washington, D.C. "If other groups decide they want to do a boycott, we respect their strategy, but it is not one we chose.""

May day will quickly becoming like the day where you wear a pink ribbon or a red ribbon for you disease. Looks like these illegals are becoming americanized fairly quickly. Real Americans work, they don't protest.