Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thugs w/ Shields #1

So you want to play, Part Deux

Yes, you can pass an unconstitutional tax. You can even try and enforce it.

You may, however, get unexpected results.

See: California

If you make things unpleasant enough, businesses move or shut down...or their vendors cut them off. They refuse to build new or expand operations in your region.

Something about not being captives to be milked for cash. You can tax, but there exists a threshold beyond which the benefits of remaining or expanding in your jurisdiction are outweighed by your tax and regulatory practices.

Catch a clue, eh?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yes, Virginia....

The government of the State of California and its many subordinate jurisdictions and agencies CAN collapse in a heap of smoking rubble.

When an entity (public or private) spends more than it takes in, makes every effort to drive revenue sources away, and is de-rated by every reputable credit agency - and then tries to pay its' debts with irredeemable promissory notes....soon or late, folks catch on.

They stop doing business with such a body. They find jobs out of state. They find ways to migrate their businesses out of state. And as jobs and businesses leave, revenue drops...and when California refuses to cut programs to accommodate its newly straitened circumstances, attempting to raise new revenue by increasing taxation...we see another round of flight and failed businesses - the ones that try to stay but could not compete with other businesses operating in friendlier environments.

Yes, Virginia...California can crash'n'burn.

The lights will probably stay on. But I wouldn't give odds against the inner cities burning again as the benefit checks start bouncing, particularly if it's about the time that Officer Friendly's check begins bouncing. Or against doctors refusing to participate in public medical schemes. Or Cartel violence floating across a nearly unguarded border into San Diego and points north.

Being the 6th largest economy doesn't exempt you from economic reality. It just means you leave a much larger crater when you crash.

All good things...

Some days, it's easier to just shrug and assume our nation is spiraling towards fragmentation and civil war at best...and suffering our fundamental principals to go whimpering into the night without even the courtesy of a token resistance at worst.

Seems the D.C. City Government isn't really hip on open meetings...or freedom of the press...or...

And worse yet, D.C. Police are supporting this our nations capital.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Round of Catching Up...

Followup to yesterdays post on the NY Gay Marriage thing, complete with knuckle-headed theocratic bigotry in the comments. Marriages set to begin in late July...

As Farmgirl predicted, the law of unintended consequences strikes...resulting in the closing of slaughterhouses actually INCREASING the suffering of horses.

And we have a DEA agent threatening to sue folks for revealing his foolishness after he declared on video, in a high school classroom, that he was the only one in the room competent to carry a firearm...and proceeded to shoot himself...

Lends a whole new spin to "elitist thug", doesn't it?

After an epic clusterfuck, San Francisco Pride is pulling out of a DEEP hole, both in terms of finances and leadership. Now if Seattle Pride would just do the same....

And from the land of Obama's origin's, we hear an honest voice expressing the views of the Chicago elite...

Speaking of Chicago elitists, meet the new and thoroughly anti-gun Obama nominee to head up BATFE...

And while we're on the subject, we find the BATFE (having promised not to retaliate) busy about the process of retaliating...

Moving along, we have a classic example of political foot-shooting...when California attempts to impose sales tax on out of state retailer Amazon, legislators discover that same action would result in Amazon severing relations with 25,000 "associates" in California and significantly damage San Francisco based Ebay.

Texas may be lighting up our lives...with their own incandescent light bulb production plants...

And a glass staircase? Whatever could go wrong?

I don't recall if I've shared it before, but the dignity and class of our Vice President making Dan Quayle look good.

A liberals view of Sarah Palin and her relationship with the mainstream media...

And from the "c'mon, guys" department....

Ok, that takes care of the light clean-up chores....we'll touch on some of the more substantive stuff later...

A few thoughts on Pride Parades & History

I first wrote this in 2008 in this blog, and have written similar articles five or six times since 1996. I'm re-editing this a bit, and cutting out some dated material not relevant to the present...


However, having staggered across a post in a blog I read fairly regularly (a now-vanished post) gently deriding Pride as counterproductive and continuing with the "why can't they just keep it in their bedrooms" meme, I figured it was time for another meander down History Lane.

Yeargh. Over the years, I've written this post in different words, at different times, and in different places at least five separate times, and I'm really not eager for round VI. However....

Pride didn't happen spontaneously, and it didn't originate in a grandly festive party in a world that celebrated folks of LGBT persuasion. It didn't originate among a bunch of buttoned-down straight-laced LGBT folks campaigning for incremental change - it originated in a decidedly run-down bar in New York, the Stonewall Inn - frequented by drag queens, escorts, and sundry down on their luck gay folks, and was anything but a celebration.

Things were different then. It was 1969 and the times were tumultuous - anti-war protests, the civil rights movement, race riots combined with a hot summer to leave far too many neighborhoods a roiling incendiary stew merely waiting for a spark to detonate it.

It was still common for police to raid LGBT bars and events, beating up patrons and staff before hauling them off on "infamous charges" that ended careers and destroyed lives. It was not especially uncommon for bar owners and event sponsors to pay protection to police in order to ensure they and their patrons would be either not harassed, or harassed less often.

Bashing, though it still occurs today, was far more common and more frequently lethal in those times.

Those who by their very nature ("born outside the closet with the door locked behind them") stood little chance of hiding successfully, were particularly vulnerable - and such were the patrons of the Stonewall Inn. The very existence of gay bars in New York had only been legal since 1965, prior to which the gathering of three or more gay folks in a bar was grounds for that bar to lose its' license.

Reparative therapy ("We can De-GAY you or your offspring!") had not yet been shown to be the cruel fraud that we know it today, and its' regimen of aversion therapy (or torture, if you care to be honest) still stalked the land unchallenged, with uncounted victims - suicides, nervous breakdowns, and a wide varity of otherwise damaged folks - still being abused by that abhorrent cottage industry from Hades.

Debateably relevant was the death of gay icon Judy Garland the day before, contributing to the emotional ferment in the streets. Certainly, in latter day accounts, this has been considered a factor in events.

In the midst of this flammable emotional concoction, nine officers of the NYPD (one uniformed, 8 not) began a raid of the Stonewall Inn at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning - June 28, 1969.

It did not go well. Debate continues on when and how precisely the fun began, but in almost all accounts, a flashpoint was hit inside the bar, and for the first time, the gays fought back. First, with drag queens heating pennies with lighters before flinging them at officers, and proceeding rapidly to thrown bottles and full-out brawling. Before the evening was out, the officers were barricaded inside the Stonewall Inn as it was being set alight by its patrons. Four days of rioting followed.

The LGBT community had, quite simply, had enough. The Mattachine Society, an early body of polite gay activists, was soon done and the "Gay Liberation Force" was born. The time for asking nicely was over.

Soon, in more and more cities, Pride Celebrations sprang up to commemorate Stonewall - first in protests, and then in celebration as things got better over a period of decades - there was less to protest, and more to celebrate...and it was safer to celebrate.

The theme might be said to be shifting, even today, from Twisted Sisters anthem "We're not going to take it" to "Wasn't that a Party" by the Irish Rovers, and more than once the argument for one thing or another between the LGBT community and various governmental sorts has boiled down to "Would you rather the party, or the protest?".

Many of the pioneers of the Stonewall era are still with us, rebels and protesters slightly ameliorated by age, but as a result of the AIDS epidemic blowing the guts out of an entire generation of potential community leaders, only now barely beginning to step away from the leadership roles in the community in favor of younger folks, and still possessed of a grim determination that as a community, we never want to return to the dark days of the pre-Stonewall era.

That's the history. The present reality is increasingly the community "letting it's hair down", not dissimilar to Mardi Gras or Seafair (before the bluenoses got hold of it), in a vast and mighty party of increasingly commercial nature. That it *can* is a good thing, as that means the tense protests of yore are less necessary. That it could revert to its' roots of angry protest is part of our protection as a minority community.

To address those who claim that we choose our sexuality, I'd ask - "Um, when did you choose to be heterosexual?" And continue with inquiries about what person in their right mind would choose to self-select to be harassed, discriminated against, and generally get a bonus ration of crud in far too many places in the world and our nation...

As far as I can tell, some folks are born rigidly hetero; some rigidly LGBT; and most, depending on their environment, circumstances, and dumb luck fall someplace on a Bell Curve between those two extremes, coming at some point to a self-definition that "feels right/truthful" to them (or a mighty deep closet in which to wallow in guilt, self-hatred, and assorted drama).

For me, the first Pride I attended in about '90 or so was a revelation - my god, there were "other people like me", and I was not the "only one", and not everyone was "living the stereotype" - there were lots of just regular folks having a good time in a positive environment. Surely, there are excesses, but no more so than at Mardi Gras. It was as if a gorilla had climbed off my shoulders, and it was "ok to be me".

And finally, Pride isn't a collection of saints, either. It's a whole bunch of folks, almost all of whom have spent some portion of their lives hiding their identity from themselves and others, letting their hair down and celebrating in what, for a day or two, is a space we feel as our own, and safe - not surprisingly, some folks get a little harm (no blood), no foul.

I have my issues with certain pride organizers, but not with Pride. It combines celebration, community safety, and the role of the canary in the proverbial coal mine (and makes for one major fundraiser for community organizations, if done right) into a single joyous package.

I continue to hope that in Seattle we again see Pride Events that support the core LGBT business community on Capitol Hill. A parade on Broadway, and a festival in Volunteer Park. But to the attendees of Pride? Enjoy...and remember.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

#7! #7! #7!

Equality before the law, a funny sort of thing, grinds slowly forward - and to my associate on Facebook who asked "State by State? How's that gay marriage thing working out for you?" answer is pretty damned well.

It's not been all roses and sunshine, certainly, but beginning in the dark days of 1993 (well, more the light gray days, really...'93 was still a screaming improvement over pre-Stonewall) with a ruling by the Supreme Court of Hawaii that the pre-existing ban on LGBT marriage was unconstitutional - followed by the people of Hawaii amending their constitution just so the state legislature could reinstate the ban.

Massachusetts - May 17, 2004

The next big change was again the result of a court decision, Goodridge vs. MA Dept' of Public Health, where it was ruled in part "Barred access to the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage, a person who enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our community's most rewarding and cherished institutions. That exclusion is incompatible with the constitutional principles of respect for individual autonomy and equality under law."

Although the U.S. District Court in Boston ruled in two related cases on July 8, 2010, that the provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act barring federal recognition of legally married same-sex couples are unconstitutional, the final judgment is stayed pending the federal government's appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.[2] Such an appeal was filed on October 12, 2010, by the U.S. Justice Department; consequently, Massachusetts same-sex couples are not eligible to receive federal recognition of their marriages, pending the outcome of the appeals process.

California June 16, 2008 - November 5, 2008, ?

The period of granting such licenses began on June 16, 2008, due to a ruling by the Supreme Court of California based on an equal protection argument and ended November 5, 2008, due to the passage of Proposition 8,[1] an amendment to the California Constitution that limited marriages to those between one man and one woman (Wikipedia).

Subsequently, Proposition 8 has been ruled unconstitutional by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker (now retired) - this decision, however, has been stayed pending further appeals.

Connecticut 11/12/2008

Another victory by judicial fiat, the Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut struck down that states Civil Union law and ruled that same sex couples have the constitutional right to marry.

Iowa - April 3, 2009

Again by judicial fiat, the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa ruled that same sex couples have the same right to marry as couples of differing genders.

More recently in Iowa, an attempt to amend that states constitution to bar same sex marriage was passed by the Iowa House of Representatives - it faces a stiffer fight in the Iowa Senate, and must survive a vote by the people before taking effect.

Maine - May 6, 2009-November 3, 2009

Passed into law on and signed by then-Gov. Balducci on May 6, 2009 same sex marriage was repealed by voters on Nov. 4, 2009.

New Hampshire - June 3, 2009

In the first legislatively passed acknowledgement of LGBT marriage rights, famously conservative New Hampshire passed landmark legislation with the proviso that no religious institution could be sued for refusing to perform marriages repugnant to their faith.

GOP Conservatives, determined to lose the 2012 presidential race, promise to make LGBT marriage an issue in that states primary and to attempt to repeal the laws authorizing it in 2012.

Vermont Approved - April 7, 2009 Effective: September 1, 2009

Arguably the first state to pass same sex marriage legislatively, the Vermont legislature passed the authorizing legislation over the governors veto on April 7 of 2009.

Washington, D.C. - December 18, 2009

legalized on December 18, 2009, when mayor Adrian Fenty signed a bill passed by the Council of the District of Columbia on December 15, 2009. Following the signing the measure entered a mandatory Congressional review of 30 work days. Marriage licenses became available on March 3, 2010, and marriages began on March 9, 2010.[1] The District became the only jurisdiction in the United States below the Mason–Dixon Line to allow same-sex couples to marry. (Wikipedia)

New York June 24, 2011 (Takes effect July 24th, 2011)

The hostiles are circling their wagons, but right now it looks like New York is going to be the ninth major jurisdiction to legalize gay marriage...and hopefully the 7th to keep it!!

Finally, Hope

The cold may have broken!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Have been ill (and busy).

Am recovering.

Mucinex is an AMAZING product...

I don't drink and I don't smoke, so this isn't an entirely fair comparison. However, my buddy who does and came down with this crud a day or so before I did...was laid out bed-ridden for three days with this head'n'chest vileness. And he's a gym-bunny.

The difference? I'm not in the least bit shy about modern medicine. I have a REALLY good idea how bad this shit can get. So while I was hit while too busy to think of making the magic Garlic Chicken Soup of Doom...I did manage to grab my now-standard bottle of Mucinex from the cabinet and resume a recent friendship.

Whatever anyone else may say, it is simply dandy stuff for both loosening up crud in your chest...and for keeping your chest from getting stove up once you know you're mid-seige.

Cold still sucks mightily, but at least I'm now semi-coherent.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


No matter the group you are involved with, there will be those that vastly disappoint. And those, having vastly disappointed, try and trumpet their twit-hood as some kind of bizarre virtue.

A case in point, Breda-Gate.

A blogger, gunmart (link intentionally not provided) decided he needed some traffic, or thought he was being funny, or both. He snagged a pic of Breda off her blog, and posted it with the title Breda-Porn.

Now, me, crude soul that I am, would likely respond to a post of such "GC-Porn" with a raised eyebrow and publicly expressed doubts of the posters sanity, taste, and intake of recreational chemicals.

Breda, however, is a lady of no small beauty, culture, and is naught but graciousness personified (well, until you cross her). She took offense at the pirating and subsequent mis-use of her copyrighted image as what in her view was a derogatory depiction.

Given that this was a picture of her (no modeling release signed) and taken by her husband (his intellectual property), Breda is on pretty darned solid ground to demand the picture be taken down (and it "sort of" was, now there exists a link to the picture on Breda's blog in a bit of sea-lawyering childishness) and the references change to omit linking Breda with Porn (a fairly solid argument from an ethical point of view).

It is not required that you necessarily understand or agree with *why* someone is offended - merely that, barring other considerations (say, *intent to offend*) that one cease being offensive and apologize with such graciousness as the situation allows.

Regrettably, the proprietor of Gunmart lacks the couth to realize this and the courage to face his critics (preferring to delete comments more harsh than "perhaps you shoudln't've").

Happily, there exist others who may be able to be more persuasive than mere bloggers - his advertisers and those who've mistakenly doled out awards to him. Please feel free to contact them below, urging they terminate association with Gunmart and publicly disown all prior association.
Toll Free: 888.722.2129
Fax: 623.258.4135

Business Hours:
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m MST

Gun-Up (and their sad little comment form)

Lucky Gunner
Phone - 800.317.9506 (please see the note below)
Fax - 800.901.3309
E-mail -
Snail Mail - P.O. Box 32747, Knoxville, TN 37930

Sinclair International Inc.
200 South Front Street
Montezuma, Iowa 50171
Ordering: 800-717-8211
Technical Support: 260-482-3670
Fax: 260-482-3735


Sometimes I'll save tabs of things I want to write about...and about the time the laptop starts crashing, realize I've fallen way behind. So, to clear the slate, mini-posts.

From RedState we have the tale of Sen. Reid (D-Nev) trying to slime pro-gun measures to death.

We have a City Manager ordering bad press on their own city because the voters wouldn't pass a tax increase the City Manager wanted.

Gov. Scott of Florida signs a bill requiring potential welfare recipients to pass a drug screen prior to getting benefits. Welfare is not a right, and those that pass it out can set what requirements they like. If you don't like it, move.

No, it's not any better just because you're the one doing it. Bigotry isn't nice, no matter who's holding the handle. Conversely, a private association has the right ("freedom of association") to admit to membership and activities (or not) whomever they want, for whatever reason they want. They are not entitled to a shield from social opprobrium (or applause, as case may be), but membership and participation policies should surely be beyond the litigatory pale.

And in quite possibly the most outre reading of the First Amendments protection of Freedom of Religion I've yet to see, we see a Federal Judge barring public prayer or mention thereof.

In what may be a sign if incipient sanity, folks are starting to question "Zero-Tolerance" policies, and in some instances even back away from the crazy.

The twists and turns of Weiner-Gate never cease to amuse. Breitbart and the press conference.

A smashing good idea, from Linoge.

The JPFO's take on the problems with the NRA.

And Shall-Issue carry in Sacramento, CA.

And that clears out *most* of the backlog (don't worry, we have Breda-Gate to comment on, yet.)

On Hoplophobe Orgs

Good article here...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Extortion and the TSA

In Texas, legislators tried to take a stand during their regular session, criminalizing the searches without probable cause using either backscatter radiation devices or the enhanced "fondle-searches" where TSA agents are instructed to be especially offensive - apparently in order to "teach the proles a lesson".

Such a bill, if passed, would obviously have national impact.

The bill advanced, only to be derailed in backroom dealings by the Lt. Governor after threats by the fine folks at TSA and Homeland Security of cutting off all flights in or out of Texas airports.

The response from the people of Texas...was less than resoundingly approving. And now the bill is alive again in Texas...and has grown a clone in Utah.

Could get interesting...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Could sanity be erupting?

Founded on a idealistic dream (like most utter disasters), on July 5th of 1948 Britain's National Health Service launched a hugely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all at the cost of abolishing provider independence.

Hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under a single bureaucratic empire to provide services without charge to all, financed entirely from taxation.

Far more detailed histories of the NHS exist elsewhere, some even generous. However, practical experience combined with the logical inference where one scandal is reported, likely ten more exist, does not offer a particularly cheery outlook for those doomed to NHS care with its bureaucratic directives and jealously guarded petty empires.

With minimal research, we learn of a lady in 2008
denied treatment
- because she'd had temerity to purchase prescriptions from a private source - and in 2001, wait times of up to 51 hours. Apparently, being able to afford better is an intolerable offense. In 2010, reports of at least 1200 needless deaths at Mid-Staffordshire hospital hit the headlines - and those were the obvious ones.

For a seemingly endless list, google "NHS Scandal". This, oh joy, is what we have awaiting us with ObamaCare if it is not repealed.

Meanwhile, in formerly Great Britain, after 63 years and driven by fiscal reality Ministers are beginning to nibble around the edges of the ungainly behemoth. Perhaps this is the first sign of a retreat from Britain's post-war descent into socialism and "communist-lite" policy and industry nationalizations.

Perhaps there is hope.

Monday, June 6, 2011

On Weiner...


You know, Mr. Maher...

If you hate the country that much, you are more than welcome to get your goodies together and get out.

For most of us, "that anybody can be President" is rather a point of national pride. If you can get enough folks to vote for you (and meet the other requirements) it doesn't matter if you're Dem/GOP/Differently Pigmented/Male/Female/Gay/Straight/etc - if you get those votes, you get to be President...and that beats the hell out of systems that require leaders to be a part of some political elite, or members of the right family.

But until you leave? Y'all can just go f#%%k yourself.


Yes, I write letters to the Editor...

Variations on a theme - Schadenfreude

You know, it's oddly satisfying when you discover that someone you've long assumed was an unethical SOB (note, ethical standards may vary from person to person), in fact, a demonstrably unethical SOB.

Thank you, for that moment of satisfaction, American Entertainment Industry!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Can we end the silliness

More and more, out there amongst the voters, the notion that the "War on Drugs" is a counter-productive tragi-comedy accomplishing only the massive over-funding of violent black-marketeers and the incremental obliteration of civil rights is becoming increasing obvious to all but the very most oblivious.

A Craigslist ad like this might just be a hint to the electeds that they've ridden this particular horse right into the ground...but then again, they don't appear terribly good at listening on other topics, either.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Misbehaviour II

At this point, I think we've all heard of the killing of Jose Guerena (also here, from ABC News)by members of the Pima County Sheriff's SWAT team (under the top quality supervision of one Sheriff Joe Dupnik - here, here, here, etc).

In light of the changing story (first Guerena fired a weapon, then he didn't; then the weapon was found feet away, on safe; next?) one is almost forced to wonder about the possibilities of cover-up when a law-abiding father and husband soaks up 60 rounds of police fire...and the best the officers can come up with is that he possessed perfectly lawful to own clothing, armor, guns, and ammunition.

For an insightful analysis of events on that fateful day, visit ConfederateYankee. Until then, I'm with Tam in describing Pima County SWAT as thugs wearing clown shoes. It's bad enough to greet St. Peter prematurely. To have to explain you were sent by thugs wearing clown shoes is a bit much.

Hopefully, Dupnik can be abolished in the next election...and a thorough house-cleaning take place shortly after.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Schadenfreude, distilled...


Eroding taboo's...

We hear a lot from the whole "guns are icky" crowd in the media, in the upper reaches of many large (and eastern, mostly) police departments, and from the deeply misguided anti-human-rights sorts over at the VPC and the Brady Crowd.

It's a little more unusual to see a New York rag doing a mostly favorable story (if you cut through the patronizing terminology) on the increased involvement of women with the firearms community and the shooting sports.

Commence being moderately cheered.