Saturday, November 27, 2004

Evening thoughts

It's turning cold again after a nice day and-a-half, and there's a chance of more rain tomorrow afternoon. Oh joy. At least I got the yard mowed this afternoon before it got too dark, though I hope it'll be dry enough tomorrow to let me use the weedeater around the stone edging I built around the beds in front.

A cat in the lap is warm, but can make it damn hard to type.

The dog loves a thick bed of straw in the house, but drags a lot of it out as she enters and exits. Good thing I have the rest of the bale.

James Doss is a good writer, and Charlie Moon is a fine character. So is his aunt Daisy.

I could go broke in an evening on Or Brownells. Or Museum Replicas. Or...

I'm so glad I got the furnace taken care of BEFORE it turned cold. And wet.

I got rid of a lot of stuff when I moved eight years ago, and again when I moved here. Ever notice how the crap multiplies?

I need to put a shed in the back yard for various tools. And I'd like to have some kind of storm shelter; sometimes the wind doesn't just sweep down the plains here, it vacuums too.

Celtic Crossing, just a shot or so, goes very well in pecan pie.

And I need to get to the range. It always burns off some stress, and I enjoy it.

I STILL want to see a good picture of Sondra K. Hey lady, I gave you one of me! How 'bout it?

That's it for now.

Interesting stuff

One of the odd things that's always interested me is the subject of poisons, and how they work. Lots of stuff in movies and books- most of that of little or no accuracy- and lots of folklore.

Barking Moonbat Early Warning System found an article about a poison old in its region, new to everyone else(which is often how it works). From a tree, effects much like foxglove, but not detected the same way. Next edition of 'Deadly Doses' is going to have to add this in.

Also at BMEWS, Christmas Controversies

The Wisconsin hunter murders

Gunwatch has some more info on the mess, and it adds a whole new dimension to it. Go there, and read the whole thing.

Hate crimes

Having finally digested the Thanksgiving dinner that some friends forced upon me/you don't think I'd eat that much all on my OWN, do you?/, I want to put some thoughts down.

Ann Althouse has a piece about a show 20/20 was doing about the Matthew Shepard murder. Basically, it points out that it was a lot less due to the supposed hate of homosexuals, and a lot more to do with simple robbery and murder related to drugs. And about all the screaming by people who've used the 'approved version' of the murder to push their political vision, and don't want their tear-jerking fund-raising story challenged.

For a lot of people, it's not enough that it be a horrible murder; it has to be a horrible murder committed for the 'right' reasons, so it can be used to push an agenda. Which is another reason I don't like the idea of hate-crimes laws.

This was, no mistake, a terrible act. But it's supposed to have been worse because, in the way it was originally put forth, it was committed because Shepard was homosexual. He's no more dead because the reason for the act was one thing or another; it was no more or less horrible a way to die; but we're supposed to be especially outraged because of what the murderers had in their minds when they did it.

This would mean that a: we're supposed to figure out exactly what someone was thinking when an incident happened, and b: that there are classes of victim that are more important than others. The one is usually impossible, and the other is despicable.

Someone punches another guy; turns out the guy punched was gay; therefore it's a worse crime than if a straight guy was punched? Horsecrap. Besides the fact that he's no more damaged than anyone else, how the hell to you prove what the puncher was thinking? He may have punched for some reason that has nothing to do with with sex, but it will be automatically assumed by many that it did. Especially by those who stand to gain; a prosecutor making a reputation as a 'defender of minorities', activists who need someone new as a victim to trumpet, and so forth.

There's a reason our laws are based on what you do, not what you think. Thinking about something is not a crime; actually planning an act can be. There's a big difference. If you commit an assault or murder, I don't really care what was in your mind, I care that the crime be punished, the punishment being for the act, not for your supposed thoughts.

Yes, I know that someone can plan to do something for a stupid/evil reason. Doesn't make what they did to someone any worse. If someone plans to torture someone to death because of something they are, it doesn't make the act any worse than if they picked someone at random. It can show that the actor had premeditated the crime, and that should affect punishment. But to me, that should be the extent of it.

For what it's worth.

Update: Althouse says the 20/20 piece was less than convincing to her. I didn't see it, so I can't say. Doesn't affect my opinion on the matter of 'hate-crime' legislation. Whether as part of a robbery or because Shepard was homosexual, or a mix of both, he's dead. And the ones who did it are in prison with the maximum penalties a jury would give. Saying their state of mind at the time of the crime was unapproved wouldn't change either the death or their punishment.
Another thing that bothered me was that when it was announced that 20/20 was going to do this segment, they caught a lot of grief from people, basically for daring to put out something that challenged the 'approved' version of the story. Happily, they went ahead. If their information is bad that'll come out, and if they put out information people should know about this, that's to the good. I do not like news being censored either by screaming or by people in a newsroom more concerned with being PC than with getting facts out.

Further update: Clayton Cramer has some more on this, and saw the 20/20 piece a bit differently than Althouse.

More: forgot about this article at Reason on the Shepard case

Thursday, November 25, 2004

And a politician admits it

Next time you read something about how the media is prejudiced toward conservatives, remember this. Wizbang has the link to a Democrat politician saying this:
SANCHEZ: I agree with Jesse. I agree with my colleague. I believe that we made mistakes. The media certainly is not in our hands any longer, and, in particular, radio talk shows where that is completely in the opposition's hands, and they use it effectively against us.
BLITZER: But, Loretta, when you say the media -- when you say the media is not in your hands, are you saying that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN are hostile to Democrats?
SANCHEZ: No, that's not what I said. I'm saying that -- if you would let me finish -- that the majority of people are now receiving a lot of their information out of radio. And the radio isn't in the hands of the Democrats anymore.

"The media is certainly not in our hands any longer". Here's a Democrat politician stating flatly that it was in their hands up 'till now.

As they say, 'Read the Whole Thing'


is one of the diseases that tends to bring out the horror in people. It's one of the nastiest ones, with no real treatment.

'Till now.

Ann Althouse links to an article about a girl who was successfully treated for rabies after she had developed gross symptoms. Which is amazing; up until very recently, if you developed any symptoms before getting the vaccine, you were dead. In this case, she being too far along for the vaccine, they induced a coma to help her survive while the disease ran its course.

The vaccine for animals is now much better, there's even a form that can be given orally; I've read that they put it in bait and air-drop in areas to treat the wildlife in areas where it is/is becoming a problem. The vaccine given to humans before symptoms show is 100%. Some things are definately getting better.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

By the way... can one small cat produce so much stuff in a litterbox.

And so much smell?

Hard to hunt when you're sinking

Into the ground, that is. It's STILL raining off & on here, and the woods are as soggy as a sponge just taken out of the water. Was able to spend a few hours out yesterday. I can take wet, and I can take cold; when they combine, it gets to be a little too much. When the mist and the occasional drop or two turned to rain, I gave up and hiked in.

There's some real nice hunting rain gear out there, but it's a bit expensive, like a couple of hundred dollars. I don't have enough chance to use it to be able to justify paying that. Besides, when the weather kicks up like that the deer bed down, and unless you trip over one, you'll never see them. Woods that are normally alive with stuff, I saw one squirrel.

Well, the season continues for a bit, so there should be more chance to get out. And it's actually supposed to stop raining this afternoon, at least for the next few days. Damn time, too, according to what I've read we are now either tied or have surpassed some records for November rainfall.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Dan Rather is going!.....


Just heard on the news that he's going to step down- in the SPRING- but will stay on 60 Minutes.

Ok, so after one more piece of BS reporting, this involving counterfeit documents and coverups, there's still no investigation by C BS that we're aware of, and he's stepping down from the evening news in SEVERAL MONTHS but staying on the payroll on a NEWS SHOW.

To be blunt, I call bullshit. It's more 'now all you peasants go away and shut up'.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ah, encouragement from your 'friends'

The neighbors of Iraq are saying they need to decide if the Iraqi elections will take place on time. Including the comment that "Dates are not sacred. What is sacred is the process.".

Number one, dipsticks, it's not YOUR decision to make, it is the decision of the Iraqi interim government.

Second, there's nothing 'sacred' about the process you want to follow, which is basically telling the Iraqis how they will run their country. Screw you.

Lastly, "If the elections took place but were boycotted, there would be a lack of equilibrium in the Sunni representation," he warned. That was from an arab delegate who requested anonymity. Again, screw you. If a bunch of the Sunni boycott the election, then they won't get to vote. Period. The people calling for the boycott are the same ones who support the terrorists who think torturing and murdering aid workers shows their devotion to God (and their devotion to staying on top of the country, let's not forget that part). They don't want to vote? Fine. They'll let the Shia and Kurds and Christians and Jews and whoever else select the national government.

And you think that government will be real tolerant of the crap the Sunni troublemakers are causing? Somehow, I don't think so.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


...are one thing I do truly enjoy. At least when the weather allows.

I'm fairly flexible on weather. I don't like getting caught in rain- I have issues with traction- and hail is definately not fun. Too cold keeps me off; coldest I've ridden in is about 25F, had to get to work and the bike was my only transport, and yes, I DID freeze my bahoogies off(or at least it felt like it). I wouldn't like a serious highway trip below, say, 45; even with chaps, boots, etc., it gets too damn cold. But above that, not too bad, just put on the chaps, gloves, etc. Not going too far? Can do without the chaps, then.

I admit I'm a bit chicken about riding in cold anymore, may hands stiffen up. But cool is a delight. One of the finest mornings I ever had was coming back from Dallas. At highway speeds before the sun came up was a touch cool, almost uncomfortable. But the sun did come up and after that... it was wonderful. The wind was light, traffic on the interstate was light, no black&whites around, I repeat, wonderful. Especially going through the Arbuckle Mountains. Curves, uphill & down, and nobody in the way. I found that a Vulcan 750 will cruise at 80 through this with no strain, and on the level ground a throttle lock is very nice to have.

I've never had a Harley. Most of them, used in good condition or new, cost too much, and I haven't really cared for the styling; also, up 'till the last few years they tended to leak. I've owned Hondas and now a Kawasaki, the above-mentioned Vulcan, and they've all worked well. Now that Harley has solved the leakage problems I may look at one for my next bike; most of the cruiser-style bikes at other makes are big, heavy, and I don't really care for their looks.

I've been real happy with the Vulcan. In cool-cold weather, the liquid cooling lets it warm up better than air-cooled bikes I've ridden. The shaft-drive is very nice, no chain or belt to adjust and lube. The only problems I've had were a:, the seat and b: the charging system.
After one trip to Texas I swore I was going to replace the factory seat, and it now sports a Mustang; much better. And the charging system, especially in cold weather, doesn't seem up to keeping the lights running and the battery at full charge. I've found a site that has a fix for the electrical problem, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
I do wish more after-market parts people made stuff for the 750; I'd really like some hard saddlebags, but the Kawasaki ones are small and won't hold much, and I haven't found any others that I can be sure would fit without a lot of fiddling.

Come spring, I'll be putting on new radiator hoses and a new clutch, and with any luck next summer will find me at Sturgis. I'd like to see that rally.

Neat sites & links

Just ran across FreedomSight, if anyone's out there they ought to take a look. It includes the following quote:

"Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a public safety hazard don't see the danger in the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the constitution they don't like."
Alan Dershowitz

and a link to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
He also had a nice takedown of one of those clowns who claims to be for gun ownership, and then goes on to say all the guns he thinks should be banned.

I'm sitting here adding these because it's raining lightly- again- and the fog has developed, and it's the fifth or sixth day in a row with some level of rain, and the bloody grass is going to have to be mowed again /if it ever dries out/ and I can't fire the forge, and .... to quote somebody, "Just Damn!"

Froggy Ruminations, a blog by a former SEAL and customs agent. Good stuff here.