Thursday, October 28, 2010

Minnesota Sheriff Endorsements by GOCRA-PAC

csReceived by email:

GOCRA-PAC (the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance Political Action Committee) is strongly endorsing the following candidates for sheriff in their respective counties:  
Matt Bostrom in Ramsey County
With service in law enforcement over three decades, Commander Matt Bostrom of the St. Paul Police Department is now running for sheriff with support across the political spectrum.  Of particular interest to our members is "The Bostrom Pledge" --  Bostrom has pledged to audit the permit program, including the high fees and expenses, and to bring Ramsey County's high permit denial rate in line with the rest of the state.

Bostrom is running against Sheriff Bob Fletcher, who GOCRA-PAC has declined to endorse.

Mitch Scott in Dakota County
By reputation a solid, service-oriented street cop who has gone on to get both his BA and MA in administration, Mitch Scott, a sergeant in the Apple Valley Police Department, is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act.  His own pledge is a breath of fresh air in Dakota County, because, according to the figures that the Dakota County Sheriff's Office itself has provided to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Dakota County has amassed almost half a million dollars in excess carry permit application fees, which can, by law, be used only to administer their carry permit program.  Scott, like Bostrom, has promised to audit the books when he takes office.  

Scott is running against Sheriff Dave Bellows, who GOCRA-PAC has declined to endorse.

Derek Lee in Carver County
A longtime supervisor and patrol officer in the Carver County Sheriff's Office, Derek Lee has received GOCRA-PAC's endorsement for Carver County Sheriff.  Like Bostrom and Scott, Lee has taken the pledge to handle his responsibilities, once he becomes sheriff, according to the law.

Joel Brott in Sherburne County
Joel Brott became sheriff by appointment last year; he is the only appointed incumbent that GOCRA-PAC is endorsing this year.   

He is running against Bob Bushman, formerly of the Department of Public Safety during the Metro Gang Strike Force fiasco; GOCRA-PAC has declined to endorse Bushman.

Rich Stanek of Hennepin County
Running essentially unopposed for his second term of Sheriff, Stanek was the first sheriff during this election year to receive GOCRA-PAC's endorsement.  To quote John Caile, Chairman of GOCRA-PAC, "endorsing Rich was an easy, easy call -- he's done a terrific job as sheriff, and the fact that he has no opponent on the ballot shouldn't -- and hasn't -- prevented our enthusiastic endorsement."

But What If I Don’t Live in Dakota, Ramsey, Carver, Hennepin or Sherburne?
You don’t live in all five of these counties, and you may not live in even one of these . . . but you do have friends and family who do.  Please share this email with them, and with your friends all over the state.

These candidates are the good guys; when they take office, they’re going to make us proud we supported them.  Support these sheriff candidates, and the other candidates that GOCRA-PAC is also endorsing -- and watch for our next email, on Friday.  

Remember:  Bostrom, Scott, Lee, Brott, and Stanek on election day.

For more information visit

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

McDonald v Chicago, Part II - My Opinion

Here are my impressions of the decision.

First: Held: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.

This is a win. The 2nd Amendment now officially applies to cities and states. However, the devil--and the nuances--are in the details. The local gun-panic group says the decision allows for gun control, but that email came out less than 20 minutes after the 214 page opinion was released. That leads me to believe that, as always, they are full of shit.

According to Alito's majority opinion, incorporation happened under the Due Process Clause, which, according to someone smart than I, "allows the Courts maximum flexibility in the future (since DP has no basis, it has no limits -- it's all just "make it up as we go" judicial legislation)."

Update:  Not only have I been too busy to read the entire opinion, but many, many others have beat me to it.

Wally out.

McDonald v Chicago

The short version:  We won!
From SCotUSBlog:
The opinion concludes that the 14th Amendment does incorporate the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller to keep and bear arms in self defense


Stevens dissents for himself. Breyer dissents, joined by Ginsburg and Sotomayor.

The majority seems divided, presumably on the precise standard

The majority Justices do not support all parts of the Alito opinion, but all five agree that the 2d Amendment applies to state and local government.

Alito, in the part of the opinion joined by three Justices, concludes that the 2d Amendment is incorporated through the Due Process Clause.

Thomas thinks the Amendment is incorporated, but not under Due Process. He appears to base incorporation on Privileges or Immunities.

The difference between the majority and Justice Thomas doesn't affect the fact that the Second Amendment now applies to state and local regulation.

It should be noted that, in the guns case, the Court says explicitly in Alito's opinion that it would not reconsider the Slaughterhouse cases, which almost completely deprive the Privileges or Immunities Clause of any constitutional meaning.

The opinion leaves the fate of the Chicago gun ordinance in the hands of the 7th Circuit on remand.

The scope of the Chicago gun ordinance in question in McDonald is very similar to that of the DC gun law struck down in DC v. Heller in 2008. Therefore its fate is probably already determined by applying Heller's reasoning to it.

Let the hand-wringing commence!

Be Prepared or Be Me

We had some nasty storms roll through over the weekend. There was a lot of tornado-ish activity, 70 mile-an-hour gusts of wind, hail, and an electrical blackout. For almost 24 hours, we were living in the stone age, with nothing but smartphones for internet, and high-lumen flashlights being used to see. With no cartoons for the girls, we were forced to read them bed-time stories, while my son and his friends were forced to use their imaginations to entertain themselves.

Every time we called, the electric company added 12 hours to their estimated repair time. Amazingly, they came in 7 hours ahead of schedule, if you don't count the first two revisions.

By Saturday afternoon, we were out shopping for things we should have already had ready.

For years, we had discussed buying a generator. For some reason, it never became a priority. We have a large freezer and refrigerator full of food. With no electricity, a generator was suddenly prioritized. All of the places near us were sold out of budget-priced generators when we decided it was better to drop $400 on that than to lose $600 worth of food. We did find one, eventually, but it would have been better to take it out of the garage than have to shop for it when we needed it. Naturally, 10 minutes after we got it home, the power came on. Do yourself a favor: if you own a home and have a small corner available for storage, start shopping for a generator. Pick one up on sale instead of waiting until you have no real choice.

We have a ton of batteries. It's one of the things we stock up on when they are on sale. Unfortunately, our broadest-beam flashlight takes a 6-volt battery, and we don't keep a spare. By the end of the night, it was getting pretty yellow and dim. Another night would have killed it completely. This wasn't a widespread blackout, so there was no shortage of batteries, but it would have been nice to have the spare already at home. Check your emergency supplies and make sure you have replacement batteries that fit everything you need.

The one thing that would have improved the night most is a good lantern. We had our 5, plus two of my son's friends all trying to play board games by flashlight. A lantern could have been set on the entertainment center and lit most of the room.

For everything we were without due to the blackout, the one thing I truly missed was the air conditioner. When the storm died, so did the wind. Completely. Opening all of the windows didn't help at all. Other than that, it was nice to have everyone forced to interact. Nobody was whining about being bored and we were all having fun.

I want to schedule a pseudo-blackout more often.

Cross-posted here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gene Simmons Military Tribute

Found via Breda.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy StarWars Day!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


It's a good thing they put this sign up.  I'm sure it's all that has stopped me from keying every car in the lot.


How long-winded do you have to be to write a "Idiot's Guide" to a plain-text, easy-to-understand document?  This is a 200 page book to explain a 3 page document.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quote of the Day

Remember: If you are prepared for the dead to walk the earth in search of human brains, then a hurricane or attempted mugging is no big deal.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Influencing Politicians

I seem to be on a TED kick. It must be the 50+ videos I have queued.

Letter formula:
Paragraph 1: Show your appreciation, even if it's just appreciation for having a hard job.
Paragraph 2: Get to the point. Don't attack the person, attack his tactics.
Paragraph 3: Provide a fix.
Paragraph 4: Offer to help.
Sign it with your title to demonstrate that you can help with his influence and personal perservation.

Finally, mail the original to the district office and a copy to the main office to get your letter into the politician's actual to-do pile.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I don't have problems.

This is a video on the emotional motivation to build prosthetics for soldiers.

I've got 50+ TED videos in my newsreader right now.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Menaissance


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rifleman's Prayer

A Rifleman’s Prayer

Oh Lord, I would live my life in freedom, peace and happiness, enjoying the simple pleasures of hearth and home. I would die an old, old man in my own bed, preferably of sexual overexertion.

But if that is not to be, Lord, if monsters such as this should find their way to my little corner of the world on my watch, then help me to sweep those bastards from the ramparts, because doing that is good, and right, and just.

And if in this I should fall, let me be found atop a pile of brass, behind the wall I made of their corpses.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When faced with two choices...

...simply flip a coin.  It works not because it settles the question for you, but because, in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh, Poop

The Facts About Poop

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Self Defense Plan

Caleb has a good, well-rounded plan. I really need to discuss this with my wife again.
  • Option 1: we both run away like little girls and call 911 from a safe place.
This is my favorite option.  “You always win the fight that never happens”.  But what if running away isn’t an option?  What if there are multiple attackers and one of them is blocking your retreat?
  • Option 2: Disable the guy that’s blocking our retreat, then run away like little girls and call 911 from a safe place.
Any time the situation turns to violence, we’ve reached “undesireable options”.  However, sometimes violence is inescapable, so it’s best to have a plan on when and how you plan on resorting to force.  Of course, sometimes you can’t retreat at all, which leaves us to option 3.
  • Option 3: My wife runs, I buy time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Your bias is showing.

The offensive text from my newsreader:
Police said a robbery sparked Wednesday's murder in Minneapolis, but it wasn't the robbers who did the killing.
Police said three men went to a home near Irving and Plymouth Avenues on Wednesday night to get money they thought was owed to one of them.

Travis Koehn, 25, and Curtis Harrell, 19, and Orlando Nunn went in the house and in the basement where the intended robbery victim and his friend were hanging out.

The men started fighting, and Nunn pulled a gun out and pointed it at the victim and ordered both men to get down on the ground and get their money out.

Police said at some point Nunn got too close to the victim with the gun and the victim grabbed the gun, struggled for a bit, then shot and killed Nunn.
At this time, the robbery victim does not face any charges for killing Nunn.

That's a happy ending, even if the reporter seems sad that the intended victim isn't charged with murder.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quote of the Day

When people tell me that they have no need for a firearm, I don't argue with them. I simply ask them if they'd thought about how quickly that can change. It may be that when you left for work, you had no need for a firearm. That you had correctly assessed that the odds of your having to deal with a violent encounter were trivial. Still...
You may well get home and find one of your wife's college friends on the couch, hiding from an abusive husband. Are you going to be able to obtain, and to learn how to effectively and safely use, a firearm, before said abusive husband starts breaking in your door five hours later?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Go away, Sparkles

Sarah awoke to find Edward staring at her creepily from the foot of her bed
“Uh, what? What the hell are you doing here?” she said, bewildered.
“I was just watching you sleep. Isn’t that dark and brooding and romantic?” Edward brooded darkly.
“No. That’s just creepy.” Sarah turned on her Stanley 3-in-1 Tripod with Mini-Tripod Keychain, which she always kept at her bedside. “Aren’t you that weird emo kid from the woods? Holy crap, are you sparkling?”


Friday, January 15, 2010

I will too

I looked down at little Nuggey, his damp eyelashes long and dark batting at me, his tiny bottom cradled in my hand, his soft, chubby legs thrown over my arm, his body entirely dependent on mine as I held him in my lap, and I could see the future. Nuggey, a grown boy, sporting a football jersey and facial hair, walked out of the bathroom. It was going to happen, and soon. And while I knew there would be joys with that time in my life, when our young children are teenagers and beyond, it struck me like a ton of bricks.

When that time comes, I'm gonna miss this.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Adventures of Jesse the Wonderpoodle

This morning, it was brought to my attention that the Adventures of Jesse the Wonderpoodleis no long on the first when you search for "Jesse the Wonderpoodle".

That means thousands of people(maybe dozens) are missing out.  That needs to be corrected.

Without further ado, I bring you The Adventures of Jesse the Wonderpoodle:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reason #36546513

To carry, every day, every where. 

A gunman armed with an assault rifle stormed a power company this morning in north St. Louis, shooting at least three people. At least one shooting victim is presumed dead. Some employees at the business ran to the rooftop to escape the gunfire. At least one man barricaded himself in a maintenance room.
Now tell me, why would anyone want to carry a gun at work? Oh yeah, now I remember!  It's because you can't predict evil.

Why do I want this?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

News Roundup

Illinois: Sheriff, family face charges in murder-for-hire plot
Imprisoned Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond Martin, his wife and adult son are facing charges of solicitation of murder for hire.


Arizona: An advocate for immigrant and civil rights has started using text messages to warn residents about crime sweeps by a high-profile Arizona sheriff. 
An advocate for immigrant and civil rights has started using text messages to warn residents about crime sweeps by a high-profile Arizona sheriff.
Lydia Guzman, director of the nonprofit immigrant advocacy group Respect/Respeto, is the trunk of a sophisticated texting tree designed to alert thousands of people within minutes to the details of the sweeps, which critics contend are an excuse to round up illegal immigrants.
Guzman said the messages are part of an effort to protect Latinos and others from becoming victims of racial profiling by sheriff's deputies. Deputies have been accused of stopping Hispanics, including citizens and legal immigrants, for minor traffic violations to check their immigration status.
"Everyone is responsible for sending it out to their own networks, and that is how it spreads like wildfire," Guzman said of the text messages.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has repeatedly said his deputies do not engage in racial profiling, and he publicizes the details of his crime sweeps ahead of time. He said he suspects the real goal of the text messages is to help illegal immigrants avoid arrest.

Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia police officer implicated in the shooting of a 21-year-old during a block party in Port Richmond the weekend before Thanksgiving is being suspended and will likely lose his job.
Florida: A Tampa police officer shot and wounded a man after he tried to pass counterfeit cash, according to a TPD statement.
 Texas: Is the Collin County District Attorney building his own SWAT Team?