Friday, February 24, 2006

How the system ought to work

(Via The High Road)

The headline reads:

Jury clears homeowner who took cop for intruder

A jury took less than 30 minutes to determine a homeowner did no wrong when he shot a police officer two years ago.


This is almost a month old, but I just found it on THR tonight. I'm glad the Mr. Barcia has been found innocent, even though the last two years of his life have been wasted by the criminal justice system.

I'm also glad the cop was OK. Hopefully, he learned a cheap lesson--stupidity is often fatal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dies the Fire: a mini review

I've been a fan of S.M. Stirling since I read his Draka works. But in Dies The Fire, the man quite simply outdoes himself. This may be the best post-apocalyptic science fiction that I have ever read, and I've been reading this genre obsessively for over 25 years.

Maybe this will help you get a feel for exactly how good this book is: This is the first book I've ever read that gave me a case of the screaming me-me's.

I read the book at night, over a week or so (despite my intense urge to read it in a single sitting). Every time I picked it up, I could feel my blood pressure rise and my adrenal glands dumping their contents. My fight or flight reflex was triggered by this book. Writing this and thinking about the book, I can feel that clenching in the pit of my stomach.

The story is deceptively simple. A storm off Nantucket Island, a searing bright flash seen, apparently, world-wide, and then nothing. (Hey, Mr. Stirling--any chance this is what happened on the other side of Island in the Sea of Time?) Absolutely nothing. Nothing electrical works. No lights, no radios, nothing electrical at all.

"Yeah, yeah," you say, "So it's a big EMP blast. What's new with that?"

Alien Space Bats. At least that's what one of the characters calls them, when searching for an explanation for why guns and explosives no longer work. He supposes that the ASBs have changed at least a few of the laws of physics.

Any survivalist, hard core or otherwise, is now having their own case of the screaming me-me's. No guns? How do we defend ourselves from the spikey-haired mutant welfare cannibals?

Bows and arrows and cold steel. War has returned to being up-close and entirely too personal.

Time to go to the bookstore, folks. $7.99 in paperback.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Others' thoughts on the BATF hearings

I've babbled on enough on this week's hears on the BATF-Richmond Showmasters gun show hearings of this week. I thought you might want to read what some others are saying.

The Farce on Capitol Hill

At the end of the hearing, Chairman Roble (ah guys, that's "Coble"--FH) mentions that the ATF will be present at a subsequent hearing on the 28th to answer questions. It is interesting to note, however, that the Congressional calendar shows no events listed for the 28th, ATF-related or otherwise. Will this future hearing be public, or a closed-door "inquiry" that is nothing more than a farce?

Congress Told of ATF Seizures, Threats to Gun Buyers

Agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), allegedly acting without warrants or legislative authority to do so, seized firearms from at least 50 gun show patrons in Virginia according to congressional testimony and an agency document made public Wednesday. Witnesses also testified that African-American and female gun buyers in Richmond, Va., and Pittsburgh, Pa., were profiled based on their race or sex and some in Pittsburgh were threatened with arrest by ATF agents for alleged actions that are not violations of law.

I find it interesting to note that the legacy media is totally mute on this story.