Saturday, September 17, 2005

More stupid criminals

A home robbery attempt in Rochester lead to a very dead burgler. Stopping to chat with his buddies gets the Essex kidnapper of a 13 year old girl a stolen car (by the victim) and an arrest. Road rage at 53 in Mount Laurel, N.J., leads to a high school student bouncing off the old man's Mercury Sable. The high school football player (at 6 foot 6 and 300 pounds) then walked around and hit the guy twice in the head. He died as well. (HT: Wizbang)

A little inside baseball

Sorry, I just couldn't resist after the Senate hearings. A good friend of mine, Richi, is an independant marketing consultant, PR guy, and writer in the email space. For those of you who are curious as to why many of us state that challenge/response is not only not a good solution to the spam problem but is a terrible idea from the start..... read here. For more detail, go to his previous post on it which he references.

When will you people figure it out? In nice, simple language:
1. Challenge/response causes spam
2. If you use it, you're a spammer
3. If everyone used it, email wouldn't work!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


If you need a laugh today or are interested in small peculiarities of rural populations half way around the globe, read this post on 365.

Monday must have been a good day

Hugh Hewitt found an article in Newsday telling us that the Chief of Disaster Recovery for the state of Louisiana spoke at a symposium on Monday.
Good to know that things are under sufficient control in Louisiana that the state's chief of disaster recovery has time to appear at a symposium in New York. If his judgment is so faulty as to think it made sense to leave the state to attend a panel discussion, is it any wonder that the preparedness effort was so, well, unprepared?

I have a slightly different view. It's part of Bush's plan. There is an old saying that "the productivity lost by every day you take in vacation is more than made up for by the day your boss takes off". This is generally considered true but must be doubly true in a place where senior management is both clearly corrupt and massively incompetent. So my guess is that a lot of progress was made in disaster recovery in Louisiana given his absense. Should we start a vacation fund for the Governor, the N.O. Mayor and some others? One MD-80 full of the "right" people sent to the Bahamas for a couple of months and the whole of the south will be back up and running better than before. (Tongue in cheek for the humorless).

D-La William Jefferson misuses National Guard

From Hurricane Katrina coverage on LGF:

Sept. 13, 3005 Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned.

If this turns out to be true, not only should this guy not be elected again, he should be in prison somewhere.

Many people have complained that the POTUS didn't show up on scene as quickly as they would have liked. One of the reasons that Presidents don't rush into disaster scenes is that it bleeds away important resources to protect him. I am sure Karl Rove would have loved to have a photo op record of President Bush at the Superdome the day after the hurricane and the day after the floods. I cannot imagine that it was even considered or would have been by Bill Clinton or George H. W. Bush or Jimmy Carter when they were in the oval office. It isn't done and it isn't done for a VERY good reason.

It has been pointed out that President Bush showed up in Louisiana the very same length of time after the hurricane that he showed up in NY after 9/11. And, frankly, showing up that soon probably stretches resources inappropriately but the American people demand it.

Steyn on Flight 93

Mark Steyn has written what I was feeling about two separate things here. Both the courage and historical importance of the people on the flight who prevented attack number four that day are illuminated. He then goes on to express a view that I share that the proposed monument at the site of the crash is a slap in the face to those brave individuals.

Allied D-Day memorial so misconceived in its spirit of reconciliation as to be called the Swastika of Embrace.

If you are Mark Steyn fan keep reading past the break on "The Left's Extras".

White People are affected by Hurricane too

Wizbang has a great article on the lack of coverage (particularly TV coverage) to Katrina's destruction outside of New Orleans parish. He goes on to explain that he believes this unbalanced coverage caused people outside of that narrow zone to get much less help than their counterparts. With no further information to go on, his explanation seems entirely likely to me.

Towards the top he has this political/journalism question:

St. Bernard Parish is (was) 90% white but not a single federal person stepped foot into the parish for almost a week. They still have been largely ignored. And the whole parish was basically destroyed. I read that they were going to bulldoze a section of the Parish that was 4 miles long by 2 miles wide (think about that) and do it before the home owners could even try to retrieve any possessions. They are just going to bulldoze the whole area. If someone wanted to bulldoze that many homes owned by black people, it would be an international scandal and the UN would want to step in. But they are white people so you won't see Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton whining on CNN. They'll be no cries of racism. It will just happen.

It may or may not be right or wise to do what he suggests is going to happen. But his point that we won't see protests on TV only because these people are mostly white and not mostly black rings true to me.

Before I get the hate mail, I think the right answer in this case is that the facts be made public and government officials be forced to publicly explain why they would level someone's home without allowing them to try to salvage personal belongings. It is not bad that Jesse Jackson has made this sort of this thing happen for black communities. It is astoundingly bad that our journalists only show up in these cases when there is a cry of racism. They should be there ahead of Jesse Jackson in the black communities and the white ones. The fundamental right of "freedom of speech and journalism" is there so that we can force politicians to act in the daylight.

Absolutely toooooooo funny

From Wizbang:

For as long as I can remember, Wal-Mart has been The Great Satan to unions. Their fierce resistance to allowing unions into their stores and facilities has been a thorn in their side, and the retailing behemoth's rise to the top of the food chain has driven them to fits of outrage.


So the United Food And Commercial Workers (UFCW) has decided to shame the giant into complying. They've organized a picket at a Wal-Mart in Las Vegas.

But protesting, especially in Vegas, is hard work. It's hot -- often over 100 degrees. The days are long, the sun beats down brutally, and traffic fumes are vile. So the union did what so many other businesses do -- they outsourced the picketing.

In order to draw attention to Wal-Mart's paying its workers an average of $10.17 an hour with benefits, the UFCW hired a bunch of temps at $6.00 an hour with no benefits. And while the oppressed, exploited Wal-Mart workers slave away in air-conditioned comfort, those blessed with the Union paychecks walk up and down outside in the sun until they get blisters on their feet. The Wal-Mart workers are coerced into taking regular breaks in a private area; the Union employees are dropped off at the beginning of their shift and left to fend for themselves for the entire day.

More on the hearings

From Wizbang:

Biden also tried to rake Roberts over the coals on a position he took on Title IX in 1982. The Reagan administration interpreted Congress' law one way and the Supreme Court agreed with the administration's position, which Roberts articulated. Once Roberts pointed out that Congress had written the law that way and the Supreme Court agreed that Roberts was right about its interpretation, Biden's criticism fell a little flat.

This has been the enjoying part of the hearings. One would guess that the Democrat Senators have a bunch of staffers, most of whom are smarter than their bosses. One would further guess that they have spent a lot of time going over Robert's writings and cases to find the points they felt were most likely to cause harm to the Robert's nomination. He is either the most careful, squeeky clean guy to ever face confirmation or he is so smart that there is nothing they could make up that he couldn't sidestep.

The water-soluble Constitution

Go read Vox Day's reaction to the calls that the President should have "taken over" New Orleans after the hurricane. I disagree with Vox as often as I disagree but he is much better read than I am on ancient society and philosophy and makes his points with a lot of flare that I enjoy. It is especially enjoy it when, as in this case, I agree with his fundamental point.

Recently, we have also learned that it is a water-soluble document, which dissolves any time a federal or state official declares a national emergency or even a hypothetical threat to your life. These officials are, of course, interested in nothing but helping you. The mere notion of the concept that such Constitution-overriding declarations might happen to increase their own power has never even begun thinking about entering their petty, bureaucratic little minds.

Stepdad robs teenage supermodel

From Newsday:

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- The stepfather of supermodel Maggie Rizer has been ordered by a Jefferson County judge to pay her more then $3 million in restitution for funds he stole from her bank accounts.

The agreement approved by Jefferson County Judge Kim H. Martusewicz on Friday concludes the criminal case against John R. Breen Jr., who pleaded guilty Oct. 22 to first-degree grand larceny, second-degree grand larceny, third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheming to defraud and two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Breen had been accused of stealing millions of dollars from Rizer, over whose bank accounts he had power of attorney. He claims to have spent much of the money playing Quick Draw at local bars.

I find this article interesting for two reasons. First, it is another example of a parent not only abrigating parental responsibility but living on the backs of his child.

Second, how do you spend millions of dollars playing Quick Draw at local bars? And if you have millions of dollars, why are you playing Quick Draw in the first place?

Hooker turns arsonist

From the Washington Post:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A prostitute who torched a civic leader's home because she was angry that newcomers to the neighborhood were hurting her business was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Dusty Simmons, 45, had never been to prison despite 83 prior convictions for prostitution, drugs, robbery and bail jumping. The judge sentenced her on the arson conviction as a habitual felon, noting Simmons had lived outside the law most of her life.

How does that happen? I know prostitution is a misdemeanor in a lot of places. How do you get convictions for drugs, robbery, and bail jumping on top of that and stay out of prison? She has something on the order of 3 convictions per year since being a teenager and has never been in prison?
Her defense attorney said Simmons would appeal. Friends and relatives asked for leniency, saying that since being released on bail, Simmons had been drug-free and earned an honest living on her uncle's shrimp boat.

Excuse me, but the argument that she should get lienency because she has followed what must have been standard bail agreements after burning down a guy's house in a drug induced rage falls a little short. It falls even shorter in view of her past convictions.

Michigan catching up with Texas?

From the Detroit News:

Michigan residents could fatally shoot someone who breaks into their home or vehicle without facing criminal or civil prosecution under proposed legislation.
The two-bill package, which is opposed by anti-gun violence groups, would assume that a person who forcibly enters or intrudes in a home or occupied vehicle intends to kill or hurt the owner or occupant. It is patterned after a law signed earlier this year in Florida.
The bills, introduced Wednesday, also would eliminate the requirement that people who are being attacked have to retreat before responding, as long as they're in a place they legally have a right to be.

It amazes me that this hasn't been the law everywhere in the US my entire lifetime.

Carolynne Jarvis of the Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence criticized the bills. She was an opponent of a 2001 law making it easier to get a Michigan license to carry a concealed weapon.
"When concealed carry was expanded in Michigan, the rationale was that guns only would be used as a last result. This is basically saying guns are going to be the first resort," she said. "It's more likely you're going to end up shooting your son coming home late from a date ... than you are an intruder."

If they had actual journalists, we would know from the article if the claims that gun crime would increase with the passage of that 2001 bill happened. Of course, we don't know from the article and I don't have the time and inclination to go look. Any bets on this?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Judge Roberts' confirmation process, day 1

All of the members of the Senate Judiciary committee spoke, Judge Roberts was sworn in, and Judge Roberts gave his opening statement. Of all the speakers, I believe Judge Roberts spoke for the shortest time (6.5 minutes).... and said more than all of the 18 Senators combined.

I am sure the text will be up soon but the analogy he used to describe his philosophy is an interesting one. A judge is the umpire in the baseball game of politics. His job is to make sure the game is played fairly and call balls and strikes. He is not there to play the game, to pitch or hit. He ended with "No one has ever gone to a baseball game to see the umpire."

The Democratic Senators then rushed out of the room to talk to the press some more.

Is anybody shocked?

Not that anyone has asked me for my advise to them, but they might want to go find something interesting to say before they rush off to bloviate. The last several elections have indicated that a majority of Americans tend to agree.