Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Couple Finance Related Links...

...that I think are worth your while.

The first is from The Whited Sepulchre, a North Texas Libertarian who really does have his head on straight. His post?


Next, from 2A Musing, we have some Friday financial fun. If you are a casual stock trader, this is an important read.

If you have any money in the markets, or any interest in the future of our economy, give them both a read.

On an unrelated topic. If you are one of the folks who read "A Keyboard and a .45", and have the forethought to put away a thing or two for "Justin", you may just find 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago interesting.

H/T to Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest for that last link.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pharmacist Who Shot Man Robbing Store Charged With Murder

That is not a headline you expect to see coming from an incident where a goblin meets his just deserts in Oklahoma. Unlike states along the coastline, Oklahoma has it together when it comes to folks defending themselves. There must be more to the story:

From Fox News:


OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City pharmacist who shot and killed a 16-year-old would-be robber was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder.

Jerome Ersland, 57, was being held without bail in the Oklahoma County Jail.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said in an afternoon news conference that Ersland was justified in shooting Antwun Parker once in the head on May 19. But Prater said Ersland went too far when he shot Parker five more times in the abdomen while Parker lay unconscious on the floor.
That does sound like a bit much, but First Degree Murder? There has to be more.

At an afternoon news conference, Prater showed a security video in which two men burst into the pharmacy and one is shot.

Ersland is seen chasing the second man outside before returning, walking past Parker to get a second gun then going back to Parker and opening fire...

...Jacobson said the suspect who ran away from the pharmacy was armed, but no gun was found near Parker.

"Ersland shows no concern for his safety as he walks by Parker, and turns his back to Parker as he walks behind the pharmacy counter," Jacobson said. "Ersland is then seen to put the pistol he is carrying on the counter, and retrieve a second pistol from a drawer."

Ersland used this pistol to shoot Parker on the ground, the detective said.
This is how self defense turns into first degree murder. If this account is accurate, and it should be seeing as how they have it on video, then the pharmacist did step way over the line and the charges are warranted.

Update: Motor-T, in the comments, provided the link to the video.

Update #2: Guess I should read my blog list more often. Firehand commented on this yesterday with Unless the prosecutor has some evidence to prove the pharmacist lying,

Latest update: Xavier has more with Robbery Victim Charged with Murder

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Texas Campus Carry and Parking Lot Bills Update

The deadline for getting a bill to the Texas House floor is midnight tonight. SB 730, a bill "Relating to an employee's transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee's employer" (AKA the Employer Parking Lots Bill) is on page 34 of the 38 page Supplemental House Calendar scheduled for today. Seeing as how on routine legislative days, the House can get through 3 or 4 pages of the Calendar in a day, we can pretty much consider SB 730 to be dead in the water. This bill is going to be left pending on the Calendar, just as last sessions Parking Lot Bill was.

If you are looking for SB1164, a "Bill relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education", it is not there. SB1164 never even made it to a calendar.

The Democrats have done a fine job of putting a strangle hold on House business in an attempt to keep SB362, a bill "Relating to requiring a voter to present proof of identification" off the house floor. This bit of political chicanery has hammered the final nail into the coffin built for our gun bills, but the coffin itself was built around these bills by a couple high ranking Republicans.

If these bills had not been held up in committee, they could have been a done deal weeks ago.

I think it would be a great move if Governor Perry called back to back Special Legislative Sessions for each and every bill left on any House Calendar. There are major bills from both sides of the isle that will not make it to the House floor by midnight tonight. Making sure that all bills left on the Calendar are allowed their time for debate would not be seen as a partisan maneuver, but as a life lesson for our legislators. Maybe a lesson that will keep tactics like this from happening in future legislative sessions.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"On Eternal Patrol"

Submariners Prayer

Lord God, our power evermore,
Whose arms doth reach the ocean floor,

Dive with our men beneath the sea;
Traverse the depths protectively.

O' hear us when we pray, and keep
Them safe from peril in the deep.

There are no roses on a Sailor's grave,
No lilies on an ocean wave.

The only tribute are the seagulls' sweeps,
And the teardrops that a sweetheart weeps.

The Cold War Submarine Memorial

My service in the Navy was on, in, and around Submarines. So forgive me if I take a moment this Memorial day to honor my Submariner Brothers who sacrificed their lives in Submarine Warfare.
"We, who survived World War II and are privileged to rejoin our loved ones at home, salute those gallant officers and men of our submarines who lost their lives in that long struggle. We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the line against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds.

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN
Thank you to all of you who serve or have served in all branches of our military. Your sacrifice, and the sacrifice of those who have gone before, has secured our liberty and V and I thank you for all you have done.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Slowly Goes the House

The Texas House is slowly, very slowly, taking care of business. Texas Democrats are using every means possible to prevent the Voter ID bill from reaching the House floor. Each and every order of business in the House is being dragged out as long as possible. This delay tactic using the rules to eat up time is called "chubbing".

The bill the Democrats are working against is SB362, a bill "Relating to requiring a voter to present proof of identification." To me, requiring a picture identification to vote is a no brainer. I guess the Dems disagree.

This move places our gun bills in further jeopardy of not making it to the House Floor. SB1164 made it out of the Public Safety Committee last night and is now in Calendars. SB730 was the first item on the general calendar for today, but left over business from yesterday has placed it on Page 23 of 27 pages of bills to be considered in the House. Not looking good for the home team.

SB 1164 does still have a chance if we can get it placed on the Major Calendar for Tuesday. Midnight Tuesday is the deadline for House consideration of Senate bills.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Song to..

...open this Memorial Day Weekend.

Sometime in between the barbecues, the events, and the get togethers with family and friends, take a few moments to remember those who gave their all so that we could enjoy the blessings of being Americans.

While you are at it, thank a Veteran. Thank the men and women who did serve, who put their lives on the line, and who are still with us today to stand in for those who are not.

Growing up

Exodus over at 2A Musing has some thoughts on the concept.


A short, worthwhile read.

SB 730, The Employer Parking Lot Bill...

...has been placed on the House General Calendar for consideration tomorrow.

Having a bill placed on the General Calendar this late in the session is pretty much a death blow to that bill. SB 730 is right there next to SB 204, a bill "Relating to a prohibition of foods containing trans fat."

This is potentially the same fate that awaits SB 1164 (Campus Carry) when it gets to Calendars. I will let you know when it is time to put pressure on the Calendars Committee concerning SB 1164.

For now, here is this morning's fax to Rep. Brian McCall:

J R
xxxx Xxxxxxx
Arlington, TX xxxxx
May 22, 2009

Representative Brian McCall
Chair, House Committee on Calendars

I am writing today concerning SB 730, a bill relating to an employee's transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee's employer. This bill is commonly referred to as the "Employer Parking Lot Bill". This morning SB 730 has been placed on the House General Calendar after being stalled in Calendars for over two weeks. This is unacceptable, especially for a bill that passed the Texas Senate with a unanimous vote.

SB 730 should have been placed on the House Major Calendar where it would have had a chance for open debate and a vote on the House floor.

Placing SB 730 on the General Calendar is a procedural trick designed to kill this important bill, again, a bill that passed the Texas Senate with a unanimous vote.

It is a shame that a bill with so much bi-partisan support in the Texas Legislature can be killed by one small committee. It is a larger shame that a Republican Chair of a House Committee would go to such lengths to suppress legislation that is specifically supported in the Texas Republican Party Platform.

During this last election cycle I was a Volunteer Voter Registrar, a Senate District 10 Delegate and an Alternate Delegate to the Republican State Convention. I worked with the Texas Victory PAC and was a campaign volunteer who spent a few weekends walking North Texas neighborhoods, knocking on doors to get out the Republican vote.

To say that I am disappointed with the way SB 730 has been handled by the House Republican leadership would be an understatement.

Let us hope that SB 1164, when it reaches Calendars, receives the attention that it deserves and is fast tracked to a debate on the House floor.

Sincerely,

J R

xxx.xxx.xxxx
Now to send something to the Texas Speaker of the House.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Texas Legislative Session is...

...almost over. The good news is that you will only be called upon to make a few more phone calls and send out just a couple more faxes to the Texas Legislature then we will be done for a couple years. The bad news is that there is not much time to get our bills voted on in the Texas House.

Right now we need to work on getting SB730 (the parking lots bill) out of the Calendars Committee and placed on the House Major Calendar. It is too late in the session for a bill placed on the House General Calendar to reach the floor for debate, so it is very important that SB730 be placed on the House Major Calendar.

SB730 has been in the Calendar Committee for over two weeks. This is unacceptable. Other bills are passing through the committee in 2 to 3 days, and this bill which passed the Texas Senate with a unanimous vote is being held up.

SB730, a bill "Relating to an employee's transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee's employer", passed the Senate with a vote of 31-0. The entire Texas Senate voted in favor of this bill, and it sits in a house committee.

Representative Brian McCall is the Republican Chair of the Calendars Committee. Rep. McCall, and all the other members of the committee, need to hear from us right away. Tonight send them faxes and emails, tomorrow give them a call.

Representative Brian McCall - Chair

(512) 463-0594
(512) 463-5896 Fax

Representative Eddie Lucio III - Vice Chair

512) 463-0606
(512) 463-0660 Fax

Representative Norma Chavez

(512) 463-0622
(512) 478-6755 (Fax)

Representative Garnet Coleman

(512) 463-0524
(512) 463-1260 Fax

Representative Byron Cook

(512) 463-0730
(512) 463-2506 Fax

Representative Brandon Creighton

(512) 463-0726
(512) 463-8428 Fax

Representative Charlie Geren

(512) 463-0610
(512) 463-8310 Fax

Representative Jim Keffer

(512) 463-0656
(512) 478-8805 Fax

Representative Lois W. Kolkhorst

(512) 463-0600
(512) 463-5240 Fax

Representative Edmund Kuempel

(512) 463-0602
(512) 480-0391 Fax

Representative Jim McReynolds

(512) 463-0490
(512) 463-9059 Fax
(877) 796-0581

Representative Allan Ritter

(512) 463-0706
(512) 463-1861 Fax

Representative Burt Solomons

(512) 463-0478
(512) 463-2089 Fax

If you have any energy left, please contact the Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Straus. His contact information: (512) 463-0686 or (512) 463-1000 if the first number rolls over into voice mail, and (512) 463-0675 Fax. We need to let the Republican leadership know that we expect Republican led committees to support legislation that is in accordance with the Texas Republican Party Platform.

If you do not have access to a fax service, email me and I may be able to help.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Breaking News!

SB1164, a bill relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education, has passed the Texas Senate. The final vote was 19-12 for this bill.

This bill is off to the House. As mentioned previously, this bill's first stop will be in the Public Safety Committee. We should be able to move through this committee quickly and without further amendments.

Once through the Public Safety Committee, the bill goes to Calendars. The Chair of the Calendars Committee, Representative Brian McCall, pretty much killed the House version of this bill and is working to kill the Employer Parking Lot bill, another bill that has passed the Senate.

If this bill is to see debate on the House floor, we will need to focus our efforts on contacting the members of the Calendars Committee and the House leadership to let them know that we want to see this bill on the Calendar early enough that will receive a fair debate and a vote by the full House.

There was some more good news from the Texas Senate this morning. HB1020, a bill "relating to the use, exhibition, or possession of a firearm by public school students participating in certain school-sponsored programs and activities sponsored or supported by the Parks and Wildlife Department", passed the Senate and is on it's way to the Governor's desk to be signed into law.

I commented on HB1020 in a recent Texas Legislation Update. This bill opens the door to allow school sponsored shooting sports in our public schools. Both the author of this bill in the house, and the sponsor in the Senate, are Democrats. I would like to thank Texas State Representative Joe Deshotel for authoring this bill, and State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa for sponsoring this bill in the Senate.

One final note on HB1020. This House Bill passed without a companion Senate Bill being introduced. Just a little tidbit that I found interesting.

Yesterday's Texas Senate Vote on Campus Carry

The Journal for yesterday's Texas Senate has been published, and you can read the proceedings that led up to SB1164 being passed to engrossment. Five amendments that would have gutted this bill were defeated, and one amendment that basically acknowledges current Texas law was adopted.

The votes for and against final engrossment were as follows:
CSSB 1164 as amended was passed to engrossment by the following vote: Yeas 20, Nays 10.

Yeas: Carona, Deuell, Eltife, Estes, Fraser, Harris, Hegar, Hinojosa, Huffman, Jackson, Lucio, Nelson, Nichols, Patrick, Seliger, Shapiro, Uresti, Wentworth, Whitmire, Williams.

Nays: Averitt, Davis, Duncan, Ellis, Gallegos, Shapleigh, Van de Putte, Watson,
West, Zaffirini.

Absent-excused: Ogden.
If your Senator is in the "Yeas" column, give them a call and thank them for their continued support of SB1164.

You may note that some TSRA A-rated Senators voted against SB1164. These Senators have major universities in their districts (Averitt - Baylor, Duncan - Texas Tech, Ogden - A&M, Watson - UT).

To achieve their "A" rating, I have to assume that they indicated that they would support Campus Carry Legislation when filling out the TSRA candidate survey during this last off session. I do not know this for a fact, but I do believe that support for this legislation was necessary to receive the "A" rating.

If you live, work, or go to school in one of the Senate Districts represented by the "Nay" voting Senators, please give them a call and let them know that you are one of their constituents, that you support SB1164, and that you expect them to do the same.

One last note. Senator Gallegos helped bring this bill to the Senate floor. His was one of the votes necessary to get SB1164 to the Senate floor for debate. He is against the bill and voted against it's final passage, but he did understand the importance of allowing an open debate and vote on campus carry by the Texas Senate. If you call Senator Gallegos, please be sure to thank him for helping get the bill to the floor.

The third reading and final vote should happen today (if all goes well). The session starts at 11:00. After being at work for a couple of hours, I decided that I needed to take the rest of the day off to watch the proceedings and see how they go.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Look Back at Blackwater Chow Hall Music

I've been posting a lot of Texas legislative information of late, so for a quick break here is a video highlighting the music played at the Chow Hall at Blackwater USA. I know I've posted it before, but what the heck. Enjoy

video

Every meal, breakfast lunch and dinner, this song was playing. I'm sure if they served mid-rats, you could get your Slip Knot on then also.

To Paraphrase Mark Twain -

Rumors of the Texas Campus Carry Legislation's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Today the Senate surprised me by by taking SB1164 through it's second reading. Even better yet is that our Senators defeated several amendments to the bill that would have pretty much defeated it's purpose. The final vote at the end of the second reading was 20-10 for.

As the vote was 20-10, this bill should very well pass on the third reading and be sent on to the House. Hopefully the third reading and final vote will take place tomorrow.

Once SB1164 is passed by the Senate, we still have a very long row to hoe to get campus carry passed into law during this legislative session.

When SB1164 reaches the house, it's first stop will be in the Public Safety Committee. We should be able to move through this committee quickly and without further amendments.

Once through the Public Safety Committee, the bill goes to Calendars. The Chair of the Calendars Committee, Representative Brian McCall, pretty much killed the House version of this bill and is working to kill the Employer Parking Lot bill that has also passed the Senate.

If you are up for a couple of phone calls in the morning, please call Senator Uresti and Senator Lucio. Thank them for their support of SB1164 and encourage them to suspend the rules to allow the third reading of SB1164 tomorrow and also to vote for this bill (SB1164).

Senator Uresti 512.463.0119.

Senator Lucio 512.463.0127.

Once this bill makes it out of the House Public Safety Committee, it will be time to flood the entire Calendars Committee with emails, calls and faxes. We do have some good people on that committee, we need to make enough noise that their voices have a bit more strength than they do now.

Employer Parking Lot Bill Update

It appears that Representative Brian McCall, Chairman of the House Calendars Committee, has tagged SB730 and will either not let it out of Calendars Committee, or set it so late on the calendar that it will not make it to the floor in time for debate and a vote.

Brian McCall is a Collin County Republican who needs to hear from us.

SB 730 passed the Senate with a unanimous vote of 31-0. The Texas Senate sent this bill to the House expecting it to be passed in short order, and this one individual is holding it up.

Please take a moment to contact the office of Brian McCall and firmly, and politely, let him know that we expect SB730 to make it to the House floor in time for a vote. It is to late for emails. Phone calls and faxes are the order of business unless email is your only avenue of communication.

(512) 463-0594

(512) 463-5896 Fax

After calling Rep. McCall's office, call the Calendars Committee at (512) 463-0758 with the same message.

Next on the list would be Speaker of the House Joe Straus. He is the ranking Republican and it should be in his interest to see to it that legislation that is in agreement with the Texas Republican Party Platform, and has the support of a majority of the House, make it to the House floor.

His contact information: (512) 463-0686 or (512) 463-1000 if the first number rolls over into voice mail, and (512) 463-0675 Fax

If you are a Texan gun owner, you need to step up and make these calls.

Thanks.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gun rights bills fade in Legislature

I do believe that Campus Carry legislation, for this Texas legislative session, is dead. There was an attempt to attach an amendment to a different piece of legislation that would have decriminalized the carrying of a concealed handgun by a CHL on the campus of public or private college or university. That attempt also failed on a "point of order".

This from Lubbock Online:

By Enrique Rangel


AUSTIN - Texans with concealed-weapon licenses will have to wait at least two more years before they can carry their firearms on college campuses.

The same goes for people expecting a sales tax holiday for the purchase of guns, shotguns, rifles and ammunition the last weekend of August. And workers who were hoping they could take their firearms to work as long as they left them inside their car or truck can forget it.

Texas may be one of the Second Amendment-friendliest states in the Union, but in this session the Legislature has pretty much decided that even in the Lone Star State gun rights have limits.

That's because, barring an 11th-hour surprise, in the last two weeks left of the current session, for all practical purposes a series of bills that drew all kinds of attention, not to mention strong opposition, are dead.

"My bills are toast. They are dead," said Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, whose most controversial bill was the one that would have allowed Texans with concealed-weapon licenses to carry their firearms on college campuses. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, filed an identical bill in the upper chamber but it has not gone to the Senate floor for a vote.

Driver, like Rep. David Swinford, R-Dumas, and other lawmakers who support gun rights, said such bills are dead because they never got out of committee or only passed in one chamber.

Had those bills gone to the House floor for a vote they would have passed, or at least the one that would have allowed people to carry firearms on college campuses, Driver said.

"I had 76 votes," which is the minimum needed to pass a bill, said Driver, who in 2007 was the House sponsor of the "castle doctrine" bill that passed overwhelmingly in both chambers and Gov. Rick Perry signed into law. The law, which does not mention firearms, allows Texans to use deadly force against would-be attackers whether at home, office or car...
The Employer Parking Lot Bill is not quite dead, yet. SB 730 has passed the Senate and still has time for a House vote.

Campus Carry on the other hand, is dead. Part of what we had going against us was the public perception of campus carry. Here is one of the comments to the Lubbock Online article:

I am a member of the NRA and own several firearms. I wholeheartedly support laws that allow for concealed carry and home defense. However, I do have a serious concern about firearms on college campuses. Many students tend to abuse alcohol and get seriously inebriated. Alcohol tends to cloud one's inhibitions and common sense. Such students with guns in their rooms could be a very dangerous thing. I am glad this bill stalled.
If this individual really holds the beliefs stated, then this individual is really misinformed. A Texas CHL can only be had by an adult, 21 years of age or older. How many adults who are responsible enough to obtain a CHL live in a dorm? How many adults responsible enough to obtain a CHL spend their time abusing alcohol and becoming seriously inebriated? We have two years to change this public perception, because as was pointed out in the article:

...What's more, even if the bills are not revived in the last two weeks of the session, these issues will be back in the 2011 session, Burnam predicted.

Driver agreed, saying he will introduce the same bills again.
There is an election between now and the next legislative session, pro-rights candidates need our support in both the primaries and the general election.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gunz in Mexico

David shows what regular readers should already know, U.S. 'gun control' not the answer to Mexican crime.

Head on over and give this Gun Rights Examiner column a read.

My Shoot House Video

This video is of my shoot house run at Blackwater during the Gun Blogger Weekend with Todd Jarrett last summer. I didn't do to bad. I neutralized all the targets and did not put any holes in the no-shoots. I blew my magazine changes. I had enough magazines on hand that I could have changed mags on the move between rooms but still shot my pistol dry every time. This weekend was one of the highlights of my year, and I have you folks who voted for me to thank for the opportunity.


video

So why haven't I posted this video earlier? Basically because I am a bit embarrassed by my weight. I have put on 90 pounds or so over the last 8 years, most of it since I stopped smoking.

How did I gain so much weight? Silly question. I ate to much and exercised to little. My main problem is my affinity for fast food during lunch and a good beer or two after work.

It is time for that all to change, I need to lose the weight.

This morning I joined the Medifast VIP Program and ordered my first month of Medifast meals. When the package arrives, I will get with the program and lose this weight. I've got 90 pounds to lose and I will be succeed.

Beer, especially the beer I like, is very detrimental to success in this program. So this is going to be a hedonistic foodie and beer weekend before I start on the program. I have a six pack of Oaked Arrogant Bastard, a bottle of the regular Arrogant Bastard Ale (which I am enjoying right now), and a bottle of Mephistopheles' Stout for the weekend. I most likely won't get through the six pack (so DW should come on over and have a beer sometime this weekend), but these are my favorites that are available locally so what the heck.

I do have a question for you guys. When I get started on the program, are you interested in keeping up with my progress? I don't want to turn this into a fat guys weight loss blog, but if you are interested, I can post a bi-weekly progress report or something along those lines.

Oh, hope you enjoyed the video. Todd Jarrett is a blast to hang out with. When I reach my goal weight I will talk with TJ over at Tiger Valley and see if I can get some video running through his shoot house to compare before and afters.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It is a Sad State...

...of affairs when legislation is required to get certain cities to enforce United States immigration laws. One such piece of legislation that would attempt to do away with the "Sanctuary City" for illegal immigrants concept here in Texas has made it through committee and, as I understand it, is one vote short of reaching the Senate floor.

SB 358, a bill relating to the enforcement of state and federal laws governing immigration by certain governmental entities, passed the Senate Transportation & Homeland Security committee with a vote of 5 to 4.

Enforcing our immigration laws, detaining and deporting illegal immigrants, does reduce violent and other crime. Illegal immigration is a major problem and doing away with "Sanctuary Cities" will go a long way towards removing the welcome mat for illegal immigrants.

Call your state Senator today and ask that they help get SB 358 to the Senate floor.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two Sentence Beer Review - Lobotomy Bock

I was excited to find the 10.5% ABV Doppelbock at a good price, but Lobotomy Bock was quite the disappointment. No head, no body, no character - micro brew fail.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Campus Carry Update

The Texas House just called a dinner recess until 7:15. HB 1893, the House version of the bill, is on the Calendar to be heard by the House. The only problem is that the Calendars Committee placed it so far down the calendar that it is likely time will run out before the bill is addressed.

The Senate version of the bill, SB 1164, has passed the State Affairs Committee with a vote of 6 to 3. SB 1164 now needs the votes of 21 Senators to make it to the Senate floor. With the likelihood of HB 1893 being left on the calendar, the Senate Bill is our best chance to get this legislation passed. First, we need the 21 votes to get it to the floor, then we need a simple majority to get it passed the Senate.

So please contact your Senator and let them know that SB 1164 deserves a vote on the Senate floor and that you would appreciate their support for this important bill.

Urgent!

The Senate version of the Texas Campus-Carry bill (SB1164) was voted favorably from the Senate State Affairs Committee. We now need 21 Senators to vote to get this bill to the Senate floor for debate and an up-or-down vote.

It is vitally important that you call your Senator and ask that they support SB 1164. Now that this bill has made it through committee, Senators who had backed us are turning against us. It appears that some politicians backed this bill when they thought it did not have a snowballs chance in Hades of getting to the floor. Now that we are being successful, they are turning against us.

I'm still at work so this is all I have time to post right now

Monday, May 11, 2009

Body Armor Poll

Parade Magazine has posted a poll on body armor. The question is "Should sales of body armor be regulated?" The short article that accompanies the poll is titled "Why Criminals Are Buying Body Armor" and has a quote from one of our favorite anti's:

"There are no background checks, no federal regulations unless you are a violent offender—and even then you can buy them at gun shows or online," says Daniel Vice, senior attorney at the Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence.
It seems the antis are anti... well... pretty much anything to do with self defense.

The current poll results indicate that 81% of Parade Magazine readers are for regulating sales of body armor.

If you find these results as silly as I do, head on over and hit that poll.

H/T to SailorCurt

DoubleTapper on Obama's Plan Concerning Israel

What with the Obama Administration (OA) taking over automobile manufacturers, nationalizing much of our monetary system and merrily leading us down the Primrose Path towards Socialism, it has been easy to lose focus on how the OA has been treating our friends and allies.

Even before the election we understood that Barack Obama would not be much of a friend to Israel. DoubleTapper points out that the OA's stance towards Israel may go far beyond just giving them a cold shoulder in Obama's Plan to Destroy Israel.

Give it a read.

Update: While reading through my blog list I found that Rustmeister posted a complementary column that fits in quite well here - More Anti-Israel Shenanigans.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fear Factor: White House Edition

From The Foundry:


“…I am indeed fearful writing this. It’s really a bad idea to speak out. Angering the President is a mistake…” What country would you expect to hear a citizen make this statement? Venezuela? Cuba? Russia? Nope, those are the words of prominent hedge fund manager Clifford Asness, who wrote a now-famous and widely circulated open letter this week describing the intimidation techniques used by President Obama and his administration.

Why did the President have to resort to such enhanced techniques of intimidation? Mainly because he was asking financial lenders to engage in the same unscrupulous acts his administration has been engaging in since January...
Head on over and read the whole thing. I wonder how long it will be before Hedge Fund Managers join us on the Obama Terrorist Watch List?

H/T to Kiana Kwon

What's a Blogger to do...

...for his Mom on Mother's Day?

Why give her a free blog ad of course.


Visit my Mom and Dad for all of your Southern California real estate needs. They are true professionals who know the market and will do you good.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Peter Notes That...

...The lunatics have taken over the asylum - again!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Fifty Caliber Institute...

...has announced the rifle up for grabs in their latest drawing.

The winner of this drawing will receive an EDM Arms Model 96 Bolt Action .50 caliber rifle along with a hard case to carry it in.

Click for a full size image

This rifle would be a nice addition to any collection, and the proceeds go to a great cause in supporting our right to keep and bear arms. While on the FCI site, go ahead and sign up for their email alerts. These alerts are few and far between, they do not abuse your email address.

Texas Campus Carry is Moving Forward

HB 1893, our Texas Campus Carry bill, has been set on the General Calendar. This means that the House will have an open debate and a vote on HB 1893 next week. Texas Legislature Online indicates that this could happen as early as Monday.

Now is the time for you to contact your Rep (again) and ask them to support HB 1893 and oppose any amendments not considered favorable by the bill's author Rep. Driver.

In an email from Tara Reilly (our NRA lobbyist for Texas):

Dear Campus Carry Supporter:

On Friday, the House Calendars Committee took an important step and set HB 1893, landmark pro-Second Amendment legislation, for a vote next week by the full House.

House Bill 1893 by State Representative Joe Driver (R-Garland) would allow Concealed Handgun Licensees to protect themselves on the campuses of public colleges and universities. Campus settings are not "crime-free" zones. Adult students, faculty, staff and visitors who are 21 or older, who pass an extensive state and federal criminal records check, and who complete a rigorous handgun training course, should not be denied their right to self-defense simply because they study, live, work on or visit a college or university campus. CHLs have been lawfully carrying handguns for protection virtually everywhere in Texas for more than a dozen years, and there is no statistical data or evidence that they would suddenly transform into irresponsible criminals if legally allowed to enter a college or university setting.

This important self-defense reform needs to pass this year, before the anti-gun extremists in Washington gain momentum that filters down to the state level. Please call and email your State Representatives and urge them to SUPPORT HB 1893 on the House floor and to OPPOSE any amendments not supported by the bill sponsor.
It is important to take a moment or two and check here to see if your rep is a sponsor/author of this bill. If they are, please be sure to thank them for their support in your communications. I think it is also important to add a fax to your communication efforts. Faxes and emails over the weekend, followed up with calls on Monday morning will be the most effective way of expressing your support for this bill.

On the Senate side of things, SB 1164 is still pending in the State Affairs Committee. A quick note to these committee members would also be helpful to getting this important legislation passed and signed in to law.

The Latest Evil Black Accessory for Your...

...Evil Black Rifle.




A crossbow that mounts on your AR-15 lower.


From the Precision Shooting Equipment website:

Precision-built performance, ground breaking engineering, and a revolutionary concept... Introducing the new TAC 15™ Crossbow by PSE. Forget everything you thought you knew about crossbows, the TAC 15™ sets new standards for accuracy, performance and shootability.

A marvel of innovation and engineering, only PSE could bring you the new TAC 15™. Designed to fit on any AR-15 lower receiver, the TAC 15™ is packed with innovative features that will have to be experienced to be believed. It all starts by incorporating the incredibly strong X Tech™ limbs into an extremely compact platform. The ultra-high performance twin-cam design shoots an amazing 412 fps and is capable of unprecedented accuracy. Plus, the TAC 15™ converts any AR-15 quickly and easily from a gun to a crossbow!

It's awful pricey, but way tacti-cool. Check out the video here.

H/T to Tactical-Life.com

Friday, May 08, 2009

An Informal...

...music poll here.

A Couple Saterdays ago was...

...V's birthday and we went out to dinner at a restaurant in Victory Park. Victory Park is the development that has been built up in the area leading up to the American Airlines Center. Initially the developers attempted to make this an extremely upscale neighborhood. That concept failed and now there are new developers looking for tenants that are upscale, but not ridiculously so.

The restaurant we had dinner at was the Medina Oven and Bar. If you are at all interested in Moroccan Cuisine, or just a nice place to try something different, Medina would be a great choice for you. The atmosphere is comfortable and friendly. Sam, the co-owner and manager, greets all the guests and insures that your meal is exceptional. All of the food was cooked to perfection and the Za’atar Grilled Lamb Chops were excellent.

Celebrating V's birthday with family is reason enough to make the evening memorable, but on this night we saw something that you don't see every day, something quite different.

Following dinner we decided to walk around and see the night sights of Victory Park. Outside of the main entrance of the "W" was parked one of these:

Seeing a Bentley in Dallas is not usually reason to comment, but this Continental Flying Spur was just sitting there with it's engine running and the driver's door open. The closest people to the car, other than us, were two police officers standing about 15 yards from the vehicle, but I could have grabbed that car if I were so inclined. Who leaves a car that is worth twice the value of my house unattended and idling on the sidewalk?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

4H Shooters in the News

The 4H shooting sports program is a great vehicle for introducing kids to firearm safety and the shooting sports. Daughter #3 was involved with the 4H and competed with everything from air rifles to .50 caliber black powder rifles. In pistol classes she shot .22's and Bullseye with a Kimber Match Grade .45.

It always pleases me to see the 4H shooting sports in the news.

From the San Saba News & Star:

By Sara Hedley


And now, the results you all have been waiting for! Drum roll, please.

San Saba County 4-H Shooting Sports Team’s scores in the Texas 4-H Extravaganza! The biggest annual Texas 4-H Shooting Sports competitions are held every year at the 4-H center in Texas. Teams from every county in the state visit for a weekend to participate in this extraordinary event. This year’s event was held Saturday, April 18th. Entering from our county was the Shooting Sports team’s finest: Wyatt Deans, Seth Bishop, Caelob Hardman, Ron Gerhart, Sara Hedley, Melanie Hedley, Brendon McDuffee, and Anthony Montalbo...
Good job guys, hope you make it to the State Games this Summer.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Need Ideas...

...for your fax to the House Committee on Calendars?

Here is what I have sent the Republicans on the committee. The Dems got a slight modification.

Representative Brian McCall
Chair, House Committee on Calendars

Dear Representative McCall:

I am writing you today concerning two bills that are in the House Committee on Calendars. HB 1893, a bill relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education, and SB 730, a bill relating to an employee’s transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee’s employer.

Both of these bills deserve an open debate and an up or down vote on the House Floor. They are very important pieces of legislation that should not be left to languish in Calendars.

As you know, SB 730 has already passed the Texas Senate. As the Senate has debated on, and voted for SB 730, the House should have that opportunity.

HB 1893 is authored and coauthored by 76 members of the Texas House. 76 of our representatives want to see this bill debated on the house floor. Calendars should not prevent this public debate followed by an up or down vote by the full House.
Your Republican constituents (along with many Democrats) want you to see these bills debated in the House. Campus Carry and Employer Parking Lot bills are so important that mention of these issues is made in the Texas Republican Party Platform:

“...We believe the Legislature should enact legislation: allowing: Concealed Handgun License holders to carry concealed weapons on publicly owned institutions of learning; and, preventing employers from prohibiting Concealed Handgun License holders from storing their concealed handgun in their vehicle while on a company parking area, and removing civil liability from property owners who do not prevent Concealed Handgun License holders from carrying on their premises."

Please send HB 1893 and SB 730 to the House.

Sincerely,

JR
As you can see, I'm not the best of letter writers. It is not the eloquence that matters, it is the letter.

Campus Carry Video

PSA in Support of Campus Protection Act (Texas).



H/T to Say Uncle

Say Uncle also has College students and guns, head on over and give it a read.

Monday, May 04, 2009

A Great Cover

I really liked this song when the Clash did it. The Nouvelle Vague version is several magnitudes of greatness better.



H/T To Which I Replied

Update: America's Last Stand called my preference for the Nouvelle Vague cover "Blasphemy".

I don't think so. Here is the Clash version:



So I'll leave it to you, my loyal readers. Which version do you like best?

It is Rapidly Approaching Crunch Time...

...in the Texas Legislature.

May 11th is the drop dead date for legislation left in committee. If legislation does not make it on the schedule for debate on the Texas House or Senate floor by then, it is dead.

Two important firearm related bills are still in committee, Campus Carry by CHL's and the Employer Parking Lot Bill.

The bills relating to Campus Carry are hung up in committee. On the House side, HB 1893 is in Calendars. On the Senate side, SB 1164 is stuck in the State Affairs Committee. It is a shame that the State of Texas makes a student or a parent who has jumped through all the hoops to obtain a CHL decide between being a law abiding citizen or being a criminal for having the most efficient tool available on hand to defend themselves and those around them.

If you feel that passing a Campus Carry bill is important, contact the members of the Calendars Committee for HB 1893 and the members of the State Affairs Committee for SP 1164, and ask them to send these bills to the full House or Senate for an open debate and a vote.

If you only have time to contact two people, then contact the Chairs of these committees.

The Employer Parking Lot Bill has passed a Senate vote and is now sitting in the House Calendars Committee. This bill will pass and become law if it makes it to the House floor. Please contact the members of the Calendars Committee and ask them to send SB 730 to the floor for open debate and a vote of the full House.

Time is running out. It is time to act. If you want to see individual liberty acknowledged in Texas, make the calls and send the faxes. These issues can be resolved by a groundswell of activity by the citizens of Texas.

Go ahead, give them a call.

We Received...

...our "2009 Property Value Notice" from the Tarrant County Appraisal District over the weekend. When I saw that letter in the mail, I was all set to get "irked" over Tarrant County increasing the value of the property so they can get more taxes out of us at the end of the year.

As it turns out, the county did the right thing and reduced our appraised value. As a matter of fact, the appraised value went down 3.9%. That is 3.9% less I have to pay for property taxes next year (time for the happy dance). Seeing as how our property taxes all add up to 2.55% of the appraised value of the house, that is a nice reduction.

On a side note, the appraised value is still more than what I paid for the house. Have I mentioned that I got a good deal on this house?

Friday, May 01, 2009

This Evening V...

... and I are volunteering to help with the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life event here in Arlington. Maybe a more accurate statement would be that V is volunteering, and I am going to hang out with my Sweetie.

What is Relay For Life?
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity. It offers everyone in a community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Relays are an overnight event, up to 24 hours in length.

Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people to:

Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.

Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.

Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease
Our time slot for helping out is the ever popular 10:00PM to 6:00AM shift.

For Those who are Interested,

...my thoughts on the Swine Flu Fear Pandemic.

Tarrant County has taken a very proactive stand against the Swine Flu breakout, some would say too proactive seeing as how there are only 5 confirmed cases and 21 probable cases of the Swine Flu in the county.

Right now all Fort Worth and Cleburne ISD schools are closed for at least a week. One of the larger charity fund raising events of the year has been canceled, and more closures and cancellations are being announced with every news break.

This reaction to the Swine Flu is interesting. From all accounts, the Swine Flu has the same symptoms and treatments as our routine Asian Flu that sweeps through the nation a time or two each year. This "routine" flu outbreak infects anywhere from 5 to 20% of the population and is responsible for an average of 36,000 deaths in America each year.

So we have a flu that acts and reacts pretty much the same as our normal flu outbreaks, and this flu has infected a very small number of people (a whopping 141 confirmed cases in the entire country as of this morning). Why all the hysteria?

Leaving politics and the media's penchant for "creating" crisis aside, I see two reasons for our local reaction to this flu outbreak.

First is the fact that there is no vaccine for this variant of the Swine Flu. A lack of a vaccine means that there are less barriers to the spread of the flu and that there is the possibility that more people will catch it. I could not find any hard facts about just how many adults get flu shots, but it appears that somewhere around a third of us are vaccinated each year. If the vaccine is targeted correctly, that is a significant barrier to the spread of the flu. It is quite possible that without a vaccinated population, this flu could spread and infect many more people than a 'normal' flu outbreak. Since this flu acts and reacts similar to the 'normal' flu outbreaks, more infections should result in more deaths. Slowing down the spread of the flu could save lives.

The second reason for our local reaction to this flu outbreak might well be an exercise to determine just how effective our preparations for an Avian Flu outbreak have been. The "Bird Flu" is still out there, and it is a very real potential viral disaster. Treating the Swine Flu as a serious threat and implementing the programs that have been put in place to combat the Avian Flu will highlight any deficiencies in those programs.

Yes, I think our local officials are over reacting to the Swine Flu. I also believe that this over reaction might be justified and will help the local .govs to better prepare for a more serious outbreak.

The Governor of Montana Affirms States Rights

Armed and Safe is Giving credit where it's due: Montana's Governor Schweitzer does the right thing.

A similar bill, HB 1863, has been introduced here in Texas. HB 1863, a bill Relating to exempting the intrastate manufacture of a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition from federal regulation was considered in a public hearing on the 27th and was left in committee. If you would like to see this bill advanced, you need to contact the members of the Public Safety Committee and ask them to release this bill to Calendars.

It will be very interesting to see how the Feds react to Montana's new law.