Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Nearly a year after Minnesota implemented a statewide smoking ban, the new law is getting high marks from residents. A new survey released today by ClearWay Minnesota, a strong nonprofit advocate of the ban, shows that 77 percent of Minnesotans support it with 41 percent indicating strong support.
In fact, the smoking ban is more popular than the Mall of America (69 percent) and State Fair Pronto Pups (69 percent).
The lobbying group primarily responsible for stealing this particular property right from private property owners says the theft is popular.
And they would never lie.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Reading the top article... what a way to live. In constant fear of everything. That bloke will be dead of stress and anxiety, but his corpse will be safe inside his little fortress. A bit over the top to say the least.
I'll be dead of stress for suggesting people be aware of their surroundings and lock their doors and windows before going to bed. Interesting.
When 50 of you go to Eddington's, blocking others, filling the aisle, and otherwise being rude, it makes your entire cause look like jerks. Hey, stupid people, you were wearing Al Franken stickers. I know who you were representing.
Real people, adults that is, say "please" and "thank you" and occasionally, even "excuse me".
If "excuse me" doesn't work, for the sole reason that you are a jerkface, I'll have to demonstrate my elite crowd-maneuvering skills, learned in the festival seating sections of the finest death metal concerts.
And no, I won't admit to hanging a sign on the wall about Al Franken and gerbils. What he does in the privacy of his own stuffing room is his own business.
And Sarah Palin can kick his ass.
We had tried. Hard. Often. For years, off and on.
We tried training wheels.
We'd go to the park, and I'd hold on to the seat and watch him panic every time the bike leaned over, just a bit.
We'd go until he was crying and I was completely frustrated, then his bike would get parked for a few months, until we both forgot.
The last time-on the way home-he said, "Dad, I'm sorry, but I want to throw my bike away."
After he went to bed, I did some research, to figure out exactly what I was doing wrong. The answer was "everything". The traditional methods of teaching a kid to ride a bike...suck.
I found an ebook, titled, Riding Made Easy. It cost $15, which is a lot for a pdf file.
I wanted my son to learn how to ride a bike. To experience the freedom of exploring the neighborhood with his friends.
I knew that, if he didn't learn, he'd regret it later in life.
I wanted him to have the fun.
I bought the book.
The next morning, I told my son that we would try again that evening, with no stress and no tears. He agreed to one more try.
I followed the instructions in the book. No training wheels or holding the seat.
Two hours later, my son rode his bike home, and has been on his bike every day since.
Riding Made Easy is quite possibly the best $15 I have ever spent.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
A few years ago, I had a self defense encounter.
My beautiful wife was having trouble sleeping, shortly after our son was born. She was in the living room, watching TV at 4AM. I was tucked into bed, sound asleep.
Suddenly, the cats went nuts. They started hissing at the door and windows. Their fur stood up. Angry cats. Then my wife saw a shape run past our bay window.
She ran in to get me. I jumped out of bed, grabbing a sword(I didn't own a gun at the time) and the telephone. I handed the phone to my wife and told her to call the police. I checked on my son, then checked the rest of the house. From the windows, I couldn't see a problem in the yard.
My wife, on the phone with the police, looked out our front window, to see the prowler, across the street, going from one house to the next.
Bravely, ignoring the safety of my home, and the tactical advantage of waiting for the police, I ran out of the front door, bearing a sword and wearing only my boxers.
I saw the prowler, lurking in front of my neighbor's front door.
I held the sword aloft and fiercely shouted,"You don't belong here!"
To which the prowler replied, "I'm delivering your paper!"
That was the week we started tipping him heavily.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
We’re going to discuss using a layered approach to improving the security of your home. Using a layered approach provides two primary benefits. First, it makes your home too much work for the “casual” burglar. Most burglars will take the path of least resistance. Multiple layers of security remove your home from that path. Second, each layer adds to your reaction time, either by warning you of an intrusion, or slowing down your intruder. This gives you time to get your family to safety and call 911. Every second counts.
Before we get into the options for home security, I want to define layers, in the context of security. A security layer is anything that provides notice of intrusion, or anything that slows or prevents said intrusion. In plain English, if it slows down an intruder, or convinces an intruder to go elsewhere, or alerts you to an intruder's presence, we’ll consider it a security layer. These layers can be anything from the streetlight on the corner eliminating shadows in our yards, to the monitored alarm systems with sensors on every possible entrance to our houses, to the family dog. Our goal is to convince the intruder to seek easier prey, or failing that, to slow them down enough that we can get to safety and wait for the police without fearing for our lives. We’ll be approaching the layers in the same manner as an intruder, from the outside in.
The first layer an intruder will encounter is an intangible that will never be noticed. This is the most important element in any security system. I’m talking about planning and awareness. The best security system in the world will accomplish nothing if you don’t get it installed before there is an incident or if you don’t know what to do when it is activated. The loudest alarm won’t help if you’re not paying attention when is shrieks.
Plan ahead. Get the alarm installed before you need it. Trim your bushes back, reinforce your front door, and most importantly, develop a plan of action for you and your family. Have a plan of action for your family in the case of a home invasion/hot burglary, much like you would for a fire. Conduct “Invasion Drills” as often as you would conduct Fire Drills. Everybody in the family should know what to do and where to go in the event of a home invasion.
Be alert. If your dog barks, investigate the bark. That’s why you have a dog. If your security lights turn on, look out the window and find out what caused it. Lock your doors and windows if you know you’re going to be less aware for a time. That means lock the door when you take a nap or a shower, or when you will be listening to loud music. Many people let down their guard at home, assuming nothing bad can happen there, that nothing bad can happen during the day. This is simply not true. If you are aware of what is going on around you, you are much less likely to be victimized. I’m not suggesting constant hyper-vigilance 24 hours per day. People need downtime to relax. I am, however, strongly suggesting you take basic precautions before you unwind.
Friday, September 19, 2008
There was one particular kid, a boy who's father wasn't around, who was a particularly spoiled brat. He always insisted on getting his way. If any of the other kids disagreed, he would threaten them. The threats were never violent; he'd threaten to withhold some favor from them.
The day that stands out in my mind was shortly before his 5th(6th?) birthday. He wanted to play one game, the other boys wanted to play a different game. Boy #1 said, "If you don't do what I want, you can't come to my birthday party.
That was the day I realized I knew God, and he was a five year old brat.
Thus began my departure from Christianity.
I had always been agnostic, from the age of four. I came home from Sunday School one week, crying because nothing made sense. None of the stories added up, and a lot of them contradicted each other. "Mom, how can I know that God is real?" There is no answer to that question that can stand up against the most cursory scrutiny, even if the person doing the scrutinizing is four.
A couple of decades of study and introspection didn't make things more clear.
I spent some time identifying myself as a pagan, but I was pagan in a way that made other pagans twitch and run for the stake and kerosene. It was a fairly pathetic solipsist pantheistic multi-theism masquerading as religion. "I'm god, you're god, this is god, that's god, all that groks is god." It sounds good to a hippy, but it doesn't come with any answers, just questions and BS.
I'm still most likely to identify myself and an agnostic pagan, just to make people twitch.
Now, I'm hesitant about making the jump into atheism. My religious philosophy can best be summed up as:
I don't know who's cranking, but I hope he doesn't stop.
Whether he's natural laws, Jehovah, midichlorians, or the Great Green ArkleSiezure, I just want him to keep on keepin' on.
Proselytes, stay away. I have no urge to be converted.
Besides, as I told the Mormon kids playing missionary on my doorstep, I'm set.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill, proportional to current tax demographics, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20."
So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?" The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being "paid" to eat their meal.
So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same percentage amount, so he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.
But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20, but he got $10." declared the sixth man, now pointing to the tenth man.
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!"
"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered a really shocking thing. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes do get the most benefit from a tax reduction.
Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.
David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D
Distinguished Professor of Economics
536 Brooks Hall
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia 30602-6254
That's income redistribution, without even bothering to sugar coat it. So, Mr. Biden, how did you set up the loopholes for yourself and your friends?
My Fellow Patriot Guard Riders,
This email is going to be a little different than any other you have seen. In the past you have encouraged you to attend any mission you could, and been reminded that we do not expect you to do more that what you feel you can. There are some that can make it to missions on a regular basis. There are others that can only make it to one or two a year. There are others that can't make missions at all, but can and do pray for the families of those that are touched by loss. There are still others that post condolences in the mission threads.
It's never easy for me to ask anyone for anything. This time is no different. However, I'm going to ask, because I have been told if you don't ask you don't stand a chance of getting. I am not asking for myself, but for those we serve.
You are on this list because at one point in your life you felt the tug at your heart. You knew you had to make a stand for those families that were suffering. We could not allow the protesters to disturb the families during their most difficult time. Our mission has remained true. We still stand as a shield of love around the families whenever we are asked to do so. We have done so countless times. We also serve the families of those killed in action, wounded soldiers and veterans in need. We have done these things as Patriot Guard Riders through our Help on the Homefront program.
Most of you are probably aware and others may not be of the fact that there are a few individuals that are trying to take our name - Patriot Guard Riders - away from us. Those individuals believe that it is ok for them to profit personally from our mission. They are not content to serve others without personal gain. They want to use our name and logo to start a similar organization that will put money in their pockets. Legal proceedings are already taking place. The proceedings were not started by Patriot Guard Riders. They were started by one individual that challenged our right to use Patriot Guard Riders and the related logo. A few have suggested we let him have it and then start another organization.
It has taken us years to build our reputation within the ranks of military public affairs, casualty assistance officers, law enforcement, funeral directors, politicians, and most of all, our Gold Star families. You earned this reputation. You worked hard, prayed hard and answered the call. There are tremendous consequences if we do not fight this legal fight. Although we are incorporated as a legal entity in Minnesota and have our own board of directors, we are Patriot Guard Riders. This affects us equally. We, too, would have to change our name.
Those who seek personal gain would then be able to profit from our reputation, but they would no longer act out of selfless service, but rather that of personal profit. We seek to remain a 100% volunteer organization across the nation.
The following was taken from the front page of our national website. Please give it your attention.
If each member of the Patriot Guard Riders was to send in just $10.00, we should have more than enough to cover any and all legal expenses. We all know this is not a realistic expectation since many people registered are not active members. Still I would like to ask all members and supporters to consider a donation to the Legal Defense Fund to help save the legal name and logo for PGR. If you can give $10 to $20 that would be great, but any amount is adds to what is needed. If we lose our name and logo it will have a tremendous affect on our ability to continue our mission as we know it, and to generate funds that are used to meet the needs of those we serve.
As an FYI, when you make a purchase at Twister's Store or the PGR-PX, you are in effect making a donation to their legal defense fund and supporting their lawsuit against Patriot Guard Riders, Inc.
I know that you have already given much of yourselves and it troubles me to suggest that you give more, but I strongly believe this is the time for me to ask.
FROM THE NATIONAL WEB PAGE
"Dear Fellow Patriots,
As you have probably noticed by now there is a new button on the home page just below the navigation pane on the left hand side. This button will enable you to make a donation to our Legal Defense Fund. It's labeled Defense Fund, as not to confuse it with the "Donate To PGR" button below it. This is a PayPal account and 100% of donations will go to pay our legal costs for the trademark issue. Our leadership was truly hoping it would not come to this, but they need your assistance in keeping the "Patriot Guard Riders" in the possession of its members, not one person. The board has tried at length to negotiate this issue, but their efforts have fallen on deaf ears and are left no other option but to follow all legal avenues available to them.
This is not something the BOD asks lightly. Our members already pay all of their own expenses to honor the fallen, to attend every mission. They pay for the privilege to ride in the rain or in the cold, and the Board of Directors does not wish to further add to their burden. Since the PGR is a 100% volunteer organization, it counts on donations from members and other concerned citizens to help keep us up and running.
If it appears the donations are approaching the amount of the legal costs, the button will go away. We don't want to raise one extra penny this way; our members give so much already.
If there is any amount raised in excess of the legal fees, 100% of the surplus will be given to the HOTH program.
You can find the Legal Defense Fund donate button on the left hand side of the main Patriot Guard site, www.PatriotGuard.org. Checks may be made payable to "Patriot Guard Riders, Inc." and mailed to: Patriot Guard Riders, PO Box 822513, Vancouver, WA 98682. *Please* note on the check if it is for the Legal Defense fund.
I understand that there are some that are not in a position to give, but for those that can I am asking you to support our organization. In no way is this is a requirement and there are no negative consequences if you choose not to - well - except for that fact that we may be under funded for this legal battle.
It is no easier now for me to hit send than it is to ask you to join with me in funding this legal battle. However, I am able to do so because I am convinced that this organization and its mission is worth fighting for.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them of either the board or the missions team: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
With respect and appreciation for all you do...
MN State Captain
Patriot Guard Riders
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Women On Target is designed to create more hunting and shooting opportunities for women. There are currently about two million American women who hunt and an additional four million who enjoy target shooting. These numbers are steadily increasing.
If you'd like to ...
- Learn how to safely handle a firearm
- Learn about safe storage options for your home
- Learn about modern or historic firearms
- Learn in the company of other women
- Learn in a safe, friendly environment
- Learn about competitive shooting and hunting basics
... then Women On Target® is right for you!
And a good time was had by all.
44 women got to try dozens of guns...shotguns, handguns, Evil Black Assault Rifles capable of loading themselves and going on solo rampages...with the help of 10(?) instructors.
Not only is it a blast to teach eager new shooters, but this is grass-roots level activism at its best. These women will most likely never vote for a gun control advocate, now that they've been thoroughly exposed to these "evil" inanimate objects. This is the best way to spread the gun culture.
The women had fun, the instructors had fun.
A big thanks to Rick and Jan for setting it all up, headaches and all.
A few pictures.
Jan took over 60 and of course we cannot post all, so not all of those that helped will be shown, but here are a few anyway.
selurcspi watching closely
Pricewally helping with the basics
Tracy working the AR-15's and spotting on the steel
Matt getting the lady to dust the clays
Don L working the revolvers
The whole gang
It was very worth doing.
I recommend it for all women. For $20 you get get premium, one-on-one instruction, and an opportunity to try dozens of guns.
I recommend it for all instructors. There's nothing better than teaching an eager beginner how to shoot. Except, possibly, teaching an eager female beginner how to shoot. Times 44.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Chavez ordered the U.S. ambassador to leave Venezuela within 72 hours on Thursday....
Good. Now, quit selling us oil, dickhead. Your economy depends on us. You safety depends on us. Your entire government system is propped up on the backs of our capitalist ideals.
Instead, Spielberg gives him a slap and says “You Chinese people bombed our Pearl Harbor, get out of here.”
The astonished Chinese man replied “It was not the Chinese who bombed your Pearl Harbor, it was the Japanese”.
“Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, you’re all the same,” replied Spielberg.
In return, the Chinese gives Spielberg a slap and says “You sank the Titanic, my forefathers were on that ship.”
Shocked, Spielberg replies “It was the iceberg that sank the ship, not me.”
The Chinese replies, “Iceberg, Spielberg, Carlsberg, you’re all the same.”
This particular joke won an award for the best joke in a competition in Britain.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Now, I'm a heartless bastard. She apparently didn't know I was "like that", because I'm "not rich enough to be a Republican".
It must be nice to vote on emotion and pretty commercials.
Friday, September 5, 2008
In Ramsey County, 716 people were arrested in RNC-related incidents this week, according to a preliminary tally from the Ramsey County sheriff's office. With the 102 arrests in Minneapolis on Wednesday, the total number of people arrested stood at 818.
On Thursday, 396 people were arrested, with 90 percent of them misdemeanors, according to the Ramsey County sheriff's department. However, some of those arrested Thursday had guns or other weapons, Harrington said.
On Thursday, the anti-war demonstrators, facing their last chance at a national audience before the elections in November, finished with a flourish.
The day's events began with police closing the High Bridge at 9:45 a.m. because of the high volume
A lot of people were arrested last night, due to marching after the "permitted" time. They had a protest permit that expired at 5PM.
First of all, protest permits are bullshit. If you are protesting government action, getting a permit for the protest is kind of silly. Civil obedience while committing civil disobedience? I don't get it.
However, if your actions, your "right of the people peaceably to assemble", or your "freedom of speech" is designed solely to disrupt someone else's right to peaceable assembly, or their right to freedom of speech, you are no longer protesting, your are criminally violating another person's civil rights. Your rights do not, can not, conflict with mine or they are not rights. Rights are not mutually exclusive and do not convey a positive obligation on another.
Your freedom of speech does NOT give you the right to be heard. It does not convey upon me an obligation to pay attention. I am perfectly in my rights to ignore you for the idiot you obviously are.
If your idea of the right to peaceably assemble includes brick-throwing, window-smashing, dissenter-stomping, urine-throwing, poop-smearing, car-torching, or any number of other violent activities, your assembly is not peaceable and is a ripe target for justified police action.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Idiot, if "this is what a police state looks like", you would be on your face with a boot on your neck for carrying the flag like that. The freedom in which you profess to disbelieve is the same freedom allowing you to disrespect your country like that.
Republican candidate Sen. John McCain hugs his running mate Gov. Sarah Palin standing next to, from right, her husband, their daughter Bristol, who is pregnant, and the father-to-be Levi Johnston.
Amid the "controversy" regarding her daughter's pregnancy, Mrs. Palin brings her and her fiance to the RNC. That's a wonderfully big f*** off to everyone pissing and moaning about irrelevancies.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Army SGT. Marcus Kuboy
SGT Marcus Kuboy joined the Minnesota National Guard 3 years ago and since joining has been on active duty for most of that time. In March, 2007, Marcus was wounded in a humvee explosion while serving in Iraq.
His multiple wounds consist of both of his legs being damaged to the point where he can walk only for short periods of time and only with assistance of a walker. The rest of the time, Marcus relies on a wheelchair. He also suffered TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), broken arm, back and jaw are among the many injuries he has suffered.
After spending months at Walter Reed Medical Center recovering, he continues to work on his rehabilitation in a VA Rehabilitation center in St. Paul. With the help of CUNA, National Journal and Co-Op Financial Services, Homes for Our Troops will be building Marcus a home where he can live a more independent life and focus on his future.
Thank you to everyone who has supported SGT Kuboy's new home!
Marc Kuboy is a good friend of a good friend, and a great guy to spend time with. Yesterday, amid much fanfare, he was presented a home, custom built to meet his needs. It was very moving.
Today, I set up a monthly donation to Homes For Our Troops, to help make sure they can continue to help our wounded vets.
"We think it's unconscionable. We think it's out of control," said Gina Berglund, an attorney and legal observer coordinator for the guild's Minnesota chapter. "The response by the police was completely out of proportion with what they were faced with."
The police were faced with vandals, thugs and hooligans. They attacked an 80 year old man, with something caustic. They attempted to torch a police car...with the police inside. They attacked a bus full of Cub Scouts.
These thugs are still breathing. The response was proportioned in your favor.