ABC News…your bias is showing

September 14, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Media Bias, Politics 

Shocking, I know.

Newsbusters story is here, and the transcript is here.

The money quote, I think (the bolded portions are the ones that were dropped from the interview):

PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.

GIBSON: But, Governor, we’ve threatened greater sanctions against Iran for a long time. It hasn’t done any good. It hasn’t stemmed their nuclear program.

PALIN: We need to pursue those and we need to implement those. We cannot back off. We cannot just concede that, oh, gee, maybe they’re going to have nuclear weapons, what can we do about it. No way, not Americans. We do not have to stand for that.

Finally!  Someone who is going to say, and I quote, “No way, not Americans. We do not have to stand for that.”

On the plus side, I was approached by a woman at the gas station who told me “I love your (McCain/Palin) bumper sticker,” and went on a 5 minute tirade about how wrong the way she was being treated in the media.

H/T to Sebastian.

Quote of the day

September 13, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Quote of the day 

Today’s quote of the day comes from Tam:

Hate animals“? No, no! Palin loves animals. With mashed potatos.

Heh!

Gun show today

September 13, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Americana, Gun Fun 

I’m heading to the Charlotte gun show today.  See you there.

Tyrrany of the majority

September 12, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: RKBA 

In local news, Wesley Chapel, NC just unanimously passed an ordinance effectively outlawing target practice within the village.  The new law prohibits the discharge of a firearm except in self defense, by a law enforcement officer on duty, to kill a dangerous animal, or by a licensed hunter.  Target shooting is prohibited.

The ordinance is aimed at preventing one man, Dr. Michael Land, from using his private shooting range.  Dr. Land bought his land in 1991, well before the current suburban encroachment.  After safety complaints, Dr. Land had his range inspected by the NRA.  The NRA found that the range was “no threat to the neighborhood.”  But after complaints of noise, the village finally voted on the ordinance.

Dr. Land should have been protected by the North Carolina Shooting Sports Range Act of 1997, which prohibits lawsuits on the basis of noise complaints.  The village chose to dodge the law, and instead of prohibiting the range, they simply chose to prohibit the USE of the range.  Dr. Land has promised to respond legally.

Can’t find a link to a current article, but here is a link to an older story about the controversy.

If I were Dr. Land, I would have an awful lot of unsuccessful hunts on my land.

Understanding half the problem

September 12, 2008 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: RKBA 

Bitter has linked to a letter in the Philadelphia Inquirer that appears to be from a woman whose child was murdered in Philadelphia.

My beloved son was stolen from me on Oct. 4, 2006. I say “stolen” because that’s what happens. Our children aren’t “lost,” they are stolen from us by a horrid evil that lives in the hearts and minds of some human beings.

She then goes on a diatribe about how the NRA is to blame.

Who need guns to prove how tough they are – why don’t we put the blame where it truly belongs? They are an open, festering, rotten wound on the soul of this country that will never heal until something is done about them.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, they call themselves the National Rifle Association! We’ll continue to have a gun problem as long as we have people who are afraid of their own shadows.

No one in this nation is safe. No one!

Yesterday, I posted about my experience on 9/11, and how it took three planes crashing into buildings before I understood what was happening. Our minds reject horrible things…some things are so horrible that we simply reject the obvious explanation. The author of this letter suffers from this problem. She gets half of the problem right:

they are stolen from us by a horrid evil that lives in the hearts and minds of some human beings.

and later

No one in this nation is safe. No one!

Yes, that’s true. And unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to stop that.  The UK has found that out.  When you ban guns, you don’t stop the violence…it just becomes violence with knives, or hammers, or fists.  And that is a very, very hard thing to face.  It’s hard to face because it means that there isn’t a simple solution.

The only way, I believe, to stop violence is to make it ineffective.  Make it costly.  Make sure that anyone who plans to visit violence on another human being knows that they will have violence visited right back upon them.  We need to make the thugs in this world as afraid of us as we are of them.  And that takes the will and the fight and the courage to realize what is happening, and then resolve to do something about it.  And that, my friends, is very hard thing to face indeed.

UPDATE:

I should have known.  Turns out that there is more the story.

H/T to Days of Our Trailers

One last 9/11 post

September 11, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: 9/11 

Daughter: “Daddy, why does today make you sad?”

Me: “I’ll tell you someday, sweetheart, but not today.”

From Dod at American Manifesto:

“How do you explain evil and its apologists to a little girl?  That’s a tall order.”

Another 9/11 post…

September 11, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Americana 

…this time from Marko.

Thoughtful and beautiful as always.

A presidential address

September 11, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Americana 

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.

For all his mistakes, and there have been many, George W. Bush helped heal the nation that night. I can’t forget the moment when he went to round zero. Standing atop a pile of rubble he began to address the rescuers working on the still smoldering rubble. “Can’t hear you!” one of the rescuers shouted.  GWB answered back:

“I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

Oh, and to the truthers…

September 11, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Idiots 

Go fuck yourselves.  Seriously.  I remember the acrid smell of burning jet fuel that permeated the city for weeks afterward.  I lost friends in those attacks.  Your silly conspiracy theory nonsense is not just tiresome, it’s offensive.

If you need to review the details, Ahab has linked to a Purdue computer model.  Popular Mechanics has debunked most of the popular myths here and here.  The truthers respond by coming up with more wacky theories.  And the lack of evidence just proves the consipiracy, man!

Seriously, knock it off.

The day the towers fell

September 11, 2008 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Safety 

Seven years ago today, my life changed forever.  I lived in New York City at the time.  I worked for a software company in the financial services industry and spent nearly every day down on Wall Street.  I was in the towers the day before the attack.  I was scheduled to be in the towers on the day of the attack before a meeting was cancelled.

At 9:03 am on the morning of the attack, I had just arrived in the City and was heading to the office.  As I looked down 5th avenue, I could see a lot of smoke downtown.  I asked a passerby what was happening, and he told me “There is a fire in the Trade Center.”  I made a note that I would have to check on my meeting down town later that day.

As I made my way crosstown, I passed the Fox News building at 47th and 6th, and the display outside had their news feed going.  I didn’t stop to watch, but noticed the ticker “Second plane hits Trade Center”  I still didn’t realize what was going on.  “That’s weird,” I thought, “I know that a plane hit the Empire State Building in the 40′s, but a plane has never hit the Trade Center before…their fact checkers must be wrong.”

I finally made my way to the office, and it was there that I learned what had happened.  At first, everyone thought “plane” meant some sort of little private plane.  We assumed that it was only some sort of horrible accident.  Even once we learned it was passenger planes, we still believed it was some sort of error.  A colleague’s wife worked downtown, across from the Trade Center, and she was texting her husband, describing the scene…the people jumping for their lives from the upper floors of the towers, and the fire and smoke and panic.   Even after all of this, I still didn’t believe what was happening.  It was only after we heard that the Pentagon had been hit that my mind clicked, and I thought “Oh my God, we are under attack!”  I ran to a friend’s desk and said, “Time to go!”

We ran out of the building…it was one of the larger buildings in the City and we didn’t know how many more planes were out there.  Several things went through my mind.  Would they close the city and not let anyone out? (Not hard to do on an island.)  Should we shelter in place…get a hotel room before they are all gone?  Should I try to rent a car and get out of there?  How many other planes were out there?  Would people panic and riot?  What if there were other attacks?  Where was my wife?  Where was my family?

Cell phone service was really, really spotty, but I managed to call my sister and tell her that I was OK.  My friend called his wife to tell her he was coming home, and to tell where their investments were in case he didn’t make it.  We tried to form a plan of action, and decided that we would walk to Grand Central Station and see of the trains were still running.  If they were, we would get on the first train going anywhere.  If not…we would start walking.

We got to Grand Central, and foud out that the trains were not running.  We also saw a news feed, and learned that one of the towers had collapsed.  That was the first time, I think, that the enormity of the situation had sunk in.  I really, really wanted to get away from Grand Central, or any other landmark, for that matter.  I thought of the old Viet Cong tactic of planting a bomb, setting it off, then setting off a second one once the rescuers got there.  I thought it would be a great tactic to bomb the egress points…so I planned to avoid them.

I realized that we didn’t have any water, and that would probably be our most important consumable, so we stopped at a deli and got some bottled water.  And…we started walking.  As we walked slowly uptown, we kept hearing rumors….a plane had hit the Capitol….there were four more planes unaccounted for…two planes had been shot down on their way to New York.  We really didn’t know what was going on.  Eventually we made our way to the 125th street train station and were told that the trains would be running again in 10 minutes.  We agreed to wait 10 minutes, no longer.  (I was still worried that the City would be closed and no one allowed to leave.)  10 minutes later, a train arrived, and I made my way home.

I took a picture from the station that day:

I said at the beginning of this post that my life changed forever, and that was not artistic device.  For the first time in my life, I realized that there were people out there who hated me, and would do their best to try to kill me if they had the chance.  No amount of persuasion will dissuade them.  Whether Islamic fascist terrorist, or petty thug, there are people whom can only be dissuaded with force.  A simple realization, to be sure, but an earth shattering one.

Second, I realized that New York was not the place for me.  I had to move my family to a safer place.

Third, I realized that every day is a gift.  I never, ever leave the house, or get on an airplane, or go to bed without telling my family that I love them.  I am haunted by the recordings of the passengers of United 93 calling their families for the last time.  I shudder to imagine being huddled in the rubble of the tower, sending a farewell to your family on your Blackberry.   So, I make sure that I tell them that I love them every day…just in case.

I learned some tactical lessons, as well:

  • Your brain will reject even overwhelming evidence that something is wrong if you haven’t considered the possibility that you are experiencing what you are experiencing.
  • The fight isn’t over until it is over.  People who had been evacuated from Tower Two after the first plane hit returned to the building.
  • You need to have a bug-out bag on your person at all times with a flashlight, a radio, and a multi-tool.  A flashlight was the single most valuable piece of equipment for escaping the burning towers.  A radio ensures that you can get news updates and make sound decisions.  There are numerous other sources for other suggested items for a BOB, but that is my bare minimum.

I remember.  I will never forget that day, and I will never forget the lesson of 9/11.  Take some time today to tell the people that you love how important they are to you…you may not get another chance.

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