Friday, December 31, 2004

A Conundrum

The UN's loudmouth, Jan Egeland calls us stingy at the same time that India is telling us No thanks, we don't need your help. Now, to be honest, I don't want to give six cents to any UN initiative and think we can adequately find ways to assist in the region without pouring more dollars into a corrupt, and largely useless (other than to disarm, rape, murder and otherwise create havoc in the world) organization but I have to admit to being surprised to read that India's Prime Minister had this to say about the United States:

``If and when we need their help, we will inform them,'' Manmohan Singh said. ``Several countries have offered assistance to us. The president of the United States spoke to me; several other countries' statesmen have also spoken to me.

Well, ok, you daft bastard, bury your dead and feed your hungry on your own. Here's hoping the New Year finds the survivors ready to elect someone just a wee bit more on the sane side.


Half-Dead, Fully-Crazed PITA

I decided to check out my "pirate name" - never mind the reason why I'd fill my time on New Year's Eve with that bit of silliness. It came back thusly:

Captain Bess Read
Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Even through many pirates have a reputation for not being the brightest souls on earth, you defy the sterotypes. You've got taste and education. Arr!

Through? Though, maybe? Sterotype? Is that different than stereotype?

I was surprised the name didn't come up Half-Dead Fully-crazed PITA... a lot of people would more than agree with the assessment.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

It is almost impossible to conceive...

Of whole towns, areas, islands, even, gone. These are sets of true color set of photographs, taken six months, five days apart.

Below is Banda Aceh, the provincial capitol on northern Sumatra in Indonesia, before and after. There are more than 3,000 dead at the time of this post.

Images courtesy DigitalGlobe

Sri Lanka Beach - the "pull back" of the wave. Some 28,000 dead in that country at the time of this post. 343 meters is approximately 1125 feet.

I teach geology at a local community college and I continue to view this tragedy from so many different perspectives.

Part of me looks at it coolly. This happened thus and triggered this, which triggered that and from there we came to more than 120,000 people dead.

Another part of me stands bathed in awe and horror at the power and devastation that can explode in moments, in seconds, without any of us having the ability to predict where and when everything could end for us.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Oklahoma Legislators Get It Right

In Oklahoma, HB2122 passed and was signed by the Governor.

This new law allows Permit/License holders to carry onto private parking lots their concealed firearm and store it in their locked vehicle. The Bill States, "No person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business entity shall be permitted to establish any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person, except a convicted felon, from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for any vehicle."

The law was enacted to prohibit the creation of a rule or policy that would not allow a person, except a convicted felon, from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for any vehicle. It makes complete sense and the law is both concise and well-written.

Full November 27th Story from NW Arkansasa News
Excerpts (emphasis mine):
VALLIANT, Okla. — In late summer of 2002, Steve Bastible put three bullets into a dying cow at his ranch, threw the emptied rifle behind the seat of his pickup and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, the rifle cost him his job of 23 years.

That Oct. 1, in a surprise search, Weyerhaeuser Co. sent gun-sniffing dogs into the parking lot of its Valliant paper mill. Bastible and 11 other workers were fired after guns were found in their vehicles. The timber company said the weapons violated a new company policy that extended a longtime workplace gun ban to the parking area. The fired workers said they knew nothing of the new rule.

Meanwhile, several of the paper-mill workers have filed wrongful discharge lawsuits against Weyerhaeuser and its subcontractors, which employed the workers. "This is a heck of an injustice that needs to be fixed," said their Tulsa lawyer, Larry Johnson.

The debate transcends partisan politics. Nearly 90 percent of voters in the county are registered Democrats, and yet 66 percent of county voters cast ballots for George Bush for president, in part because they viewed him as more pro-gun.

Ellis, a former mill worker, counters: "These are good, hardworking, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens. I just wish these big companies could understand that these people are not a threat to anybody."

Hearing of the case, the National Rifle Association referred the workers to Johnson, a longtime gun-rights advocate. Johnson contacted Ellis, and together they crafted what was to become the new law.

The law remains on hold as the legal dispute unfolds in court.

They sent gun-sniffing dogs in against their own employees. What complete jackasses.

Three points here....

(1) I'll do my best to never spend another dime on anything mfd. by Whirlpool or Weyerhaeuser (and I know Weyerhaeuser won't be easy) and I don't personally care that Whirlpool backed out.

(2) Despite the reasonable comments from pro-gun advocates that I have read recently, it simply doesn't change the facts. Employers don't own the cars. They need to understand staying the hell out of their employees personal lives. They have no business telling employees what they can or cannot have in their car as long as it's legal. If it's not legal and they have a reason to suspect its presence on company property then they can go ahead and report it to the police but making some intrusive workplace rule that extends far beyond what is really any of their business is simply not acceptable.

(3) This relates to #2 above. I've watched this issue for a short period of time and am just nauseated by the people who seem to have supported firearms rights in the past but now can't see beyond their own little declared fiefdoms to reognize that firearms rights do go beyond their limited speres of control - and damned well ought to.

Nobody has the right to tell me what I can or can't have in my car as long as it is legal. Nobody. Not my employer, not my spouse, not my kid, not anyone. Under the workplace rules even some so-called pro-gun business owners put forth, issuing me a paycheck allows:

Catholic employers can tell us no condoms in our purses.
Moslem employers can tell us no SlimJims hidden in our purses for a snack.
Christian employers can tell us no mezuzah or six-sided stars.
No bumper stickers supporting the opposing party during election cycles.
No anti/pro-gun bumper stickers.
No crosses worn as jewelry.
What else?
No employee may use birth control?
No employee may think impure thoughts?

Employers do not, by law, always have a choice what employees they hire, and I am not talking just about discriminatory practices (i.e. race, sex, etc.) in hiring. There are instances where an employer must meet certain other requirements.

Michigan State Law has some Criminal Enterprize Zones built into the Concealed Carry Law. However, they have also modified the law to make clear that parking lots are not part of the forbidden zone and firearms may be carried there. Any employer who cannot recognize that his or her employees are entitled to carry what they darned well please (within the confines of statute) in their motor vehicle are simply not thinking. Any employer who believes that he or she has the right to dictate to an employee on issues such as this has taken their God Complex to a new high. And anyone claiming to be Pro-Second Amendment that doesn't get "shall not be infringed" needs to go back and do some reading on the subject, starting with the Constitution and its authors' followup discussions and statements and moving right on to the recent Department of Justice's paper that declares "The Second Amendment secures a right of individuals generally, not a right of States or a right restricted to persons serving in militias."

Frankly, I don't buy the idea that an employer has absolute power over employees. This isn't just a private property issue. One doesn't lose one's rights to an employer just because that employer give one a job. In some cases, even as the God-Like power some of the selectively pro-gun business owners I know appear to be claiming the employer has the right to be, that kind of behavior could get your butts slapped in jail.I count some of these folks my friends but cannot grasp how they can believe that their rights override Constitutional Law. The claim is that it's their property and our State is an "At Will" employment state so they can make any rule they choose.

Rule #1 - Employee must not carry any firearms onto company property, even safely locked inside the employee's motor vehicle.
Rule #2 - Employee must endeavor to circumvent federal import-export laws as periodically required by the employer.
Rule #3 - Employees deemed to have full, ripe lips shall, as periodically required by employer, kneel and perform fellatio.

You can see how stupid this claim to total employer autonomy is.

I hope we do see this OK law resolved soon, and I also hope we can see it (or something like it) here in Michigan.

I also hope more pro-gun advocates will be able to one day see firearms rights as the Constitutional issue it is, rather than isolating this or that part of firearms rights according to their particular acceptance level.

"A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

'Nuff said.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

It's no laughing matter, Officer Fox...

Today I went over to Shelby Twp, in Macomb County, MI and had a very scary experience. Because one of the places I was going today was a college campus and I would be in a classroom, I did not have my carry pistol with me.

On the way home, I stopped at CostCo to try to find some dog food. I drove around looking for a spot to park and suddenly, someone was backing out of a spot, so I flipped on my blinker to pull into a spot on my right.

A man suddenly came charging from across the aisle to my left and ran around and sort of half climbed onto the front right side of my vehicle. He was screaming something but, up to that point, I had my radio going and the windows rolled up (it's mid-December, after all) and I couldn't hear what he was screaming. My first thoughts were a jumble of get off, look back, anyone behind me, blocked in, go forward would mean hitting him, sh*t!

I gestured as though waving him off and screamed, "Get off!" a couple of times but he only became more irate. I couldn't figure it out. He was in a parking space, in a parked car when he first jumped out and came after me so what the heck was going on?!?

I still couldn't hear what he was saying, still couldn't move without running him over and sure as heck wasn't going to roll a window down or open a door and politely ask what he wanted. He simply would not move, wouldn't let me move.

I reached down, without taking my eyes off him, and got my cell phone and dialed 911. I got a dispatcher on the line and started explaining the situation and she transferred me over to another department (geographically) and I began again.

Still, the guy is all over my car, won't let me move and frankly, is worrying me a whole bunch since he's obviously not stable, a good 6'2" tall and weighing in around 220 and also is more like 30 years old to my 50. And I'm unarmed, damn it, because college classrooms are Criminal Empowerment Zones in the State of Michigan. As a certified teacher with several degrees, I cannot understand anyone's fear of me carrying my firearm, especially since I am licensed, trained, and have undergone the necessary background checks, etc., but I'll leave that for another day to discuss.

The dispatcher takes a description, tells me she'll send an officer and there I am, still stuck and no way to move. I was blocked by traffic behind and to go forward would have meant running him over. Not that I wouldn't have eventually, to be honest, but it just wasn't to the "deadly force" point yet, in my judgment.

The next thing this crazy man does is signal to someone behind me to come around and this really lit a fire under me. I screamed for him to get off my car, which he still would not do, and there on the side of me was a big green SUV, which he now directed into the spot in front of me.

This lunatic had risked his life and mine to give someone a parking spot.

It wasn't his vehicle, he was never in it, he came from another parked vehicle and, I eventually found out, he had two children and his wife in his own SUV across the way while he was doing all of this. Amazingly stupid. One might even say deranged.

While he was waving this other vehicle in, I again looked back to see if I could back away from him and escape, but I was still blocked in by other vehicles. With the SUV he had signaled to blocking me in from the front, he ran to his own vehicle. Frankly, now I'm thinking he's going for a gun, but what he actually does, to my complete amazement, is grab a small boy, about 2 years old, out of the back seat, and come running back to my vehicle, screaming, with one hand reaching for my door.

All the other doors were locked but mine was not so I just flipped my arm up and slammed the lock down with the back of my arm.

I wanted out of there badly, but I was still blocked by other vehicles and now to get past this guy, I'd have had to hit him and this small boy in his arms.

His wife (or the woman he was with, whomever she was) got out of their vehicle and hollered something to him, and at that point, he simply turned around and walked casually away and into CostCo.

My God.

I parked my car about two rows down and went to where the police dispatcher had told me to wait. I was still on red alert, believe me, but I didn't want to just walk away and let this lunatic go free to attack someone else less prepared or more vulnerable.

Since my digital camera is always in tow, and police can be slow to respond, I decided to sneak and get a couple of quick shots of his license plate and vehicle, which I did.

If you live in the area or in SE Michigan, this is a vehicle you want to keep half an eye out for. It's a black, newer model Dodge Durango, as you can see, with the license plate as shown, etc. A dark haired male, about 6 feet tall or so, black hair, olive complexion, winter coat is blue and black, but predominately royal blue, and he is volatile.

Think about it. He risked being run over and then brought a small child into the situation, for someone else to get a parking spot.

That's not sane.

Eventually, an officer showed up. It was approximately 15 minutes after the incident ended and it was a very nerve-wracking fifteen minutes. I was, after all, asked to stand in an open area, accessible to the same lunatic that went on the attack in the first place, and wait, without any means of self-defense, for an officer to arrive.

When he did arrive, he took my statement then asked me to follow him into the store to attempt to identify the man. I did so. The man had taken off his coat and stuffed it into his cart and put some things on top of it, but I still knew him to be the man who had acted so irrationally.

In perhaps five minutes the officer returned to me and two other officers joined him. They proceeded to tell me that there was no problem, that the guy was just trying to get someone a parking spot and that I was overreacting. They laughed at me being fearful for my safety and took me to the front of the store and explained that I was overreacting and he just felt he deserved the parking space. "It's crowded, people want to park, he felt he should be able to park there."

No, I countered, he was already parked. This crazy man did this, trapped me so I couldn't go anywhere, climbed all over my car, eventually charged the side of my vehicle with a small child in his arms and terrified me for someone else to get a spot?!?!?!?

And you Officers of the Law don't see a problem with that?

I asked for a report number, wrote down the officer's name and badge number and the officer, whose competence I definitely doubt by now, asks me if I am going to go shopping here.

Eh? What? Shopping here?

No, I am not.

He offers to walk me out to my car. I say yes, like it or not. I now have zero respect for him, but I am forced, by circumstances beyond my control, to rely on him to get me safely to my vehicle.

We walk to the front of the building, exit, and I head to my car, with him behind me.

I think.

After a few more steps, I turn to ask him where I can get a copy of the police report and when, and he is gone.

He has left me alone, unprotected, with this man a few hundred feet away who was already irrational, who now knows I have called the police on him.

What can he have been thinking? As I went past the second SUV, the one the man risked his life to get a parking spot for, I quickly memorized the license plate. It's easy because it's a personalized plate - BUDZKY - on a green Dodge Durango. I hustle back to my car, jump in and drive away.

As I drive, heading in the general direction of home, it all finally hits me. I'm not one to panic or cry or any of that while something is happening, but now, after a few moments, I am weeping, my heart is pounding, I keep thinking how easily someone could have been hurt or even killed and I call the Shelby Township Police Department and ask to speak to someone because I want to file a citizen's complaint against this officer.

After some soothing chat from the Lieutenant in charge, who still doesn't seem to get the point any more than his officer did, that I was threatened and detained against my will by this man, he tells me he'll talk to his officer and get back to me. I was ok with that because I believe in the system, basically, although it appears I was much too hopeful and far too naive.

I made it home safely and took pictures of my vehicle with the side all cleaned off where he'd been climbing on it and the dust, etc. had been rubbed clean and the fingerprints all over the top of the vehicle where he had been "holding" onto it to keep me from moving or going anywhere. The officer, by the way, had declined to look at my vehicle at all. He was too entertained, I guess, by the idea of me being intimidated by this big, irrational local boy.

As you can see, the side is wiped clean by his being all over it and the fingerprints clearly show he was on the vehicle. Would the officer been happier, I wonder, if I had chosen to drive over this man's feet to get away, or if I had panicked and stomped on the gas, throwing him off the vehicle and possible running him over and injuring or killing him? Certainly, this had the potential to go in that direction but the officer seem fine with that and even amused by the whole incident.

His Lieutenant called me back and proceeded to justify everything the officer did, and then basically called me a liar.I asked him to mail me a citizen complaint form which he refused to do, telling me I had to come into the station there to file a complaint. He told me I could come in, write a statement and that he would take care of it.

I asked him where I could get the complaint form online or if it could be mailed to me and he refused, saying they weren't online, that the department didn't mail them and that I should just come in and give him a statement.

I told him again that it would be a hardship for me to come in, that I did not feel safe in Shelby Township since I knew that this irrational man was roaming around free and that I would like to have it mailed to me. He once again refused, and told me to come in again.

I won't be doing that. Instead, I have decided to write up my statement, include the pictures, send it in to the Chief of Police there, Robert L. Leman, and then copy the whole thing and forward it both to the State Police, the township's trustees and to Attorney General Mike Cox's office. Perhaps someone in one of those places will act on the matter. I don't know. If anyone reading this has any ideas of where it ought to be sent other than those I've listed, please email
me and let me know.

Lt. Woelkers tells me he will send Officer Fox back out to CostCo and see if there are any tapes of the parking lot available. I do not believe him, to be frank. I don't think any further investigation will happen unless the department is somehow forced to do so and even then, I doubt the officer will do anything more than file a report that is completely favorable to this young lunatic that came after me.

Police reports are public information, I believe. I will be attempting to get a copy of the report to see what resemblance it bears to what actually happened and what the officer claims to have told me, etc. I doubt it will be forwarded to the prosecutor as promised and I am angry that the department is taking the stance that this is not a problem and that the second vehicle, the one with the personalized plates, is being viewed as having been "credible witnesses" when the black male driving very clearly benefited from this lunatic's actions.

The one thing I would like to add is that even though I will never willingly set foot in Shelby Township, Macomb County, Michigan again and I have zero respect for this officer and the others involed, including Lt. Woelkers, who was certainly deeply interested in covering his, and his officer's, butt, but really didn't give a damn about a citizen being attacked on his turf, I remain 100% supportive of the law enforcement community. Mostly good people trying to do a good job.

But someone needs to start worrying about the kinds and levels of violence that man's two young sons are being exposed to. It's a sad situation, in my opinion, very sad, and very dangerous.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Stop that; it's silly

Although I found the Basil Fawlty bit amusing on the face of it, the route it took to me was via what I felt was a sort of snide comment on my politics. Granted, I was feeling a bit touchy because some woman I work with had told me to "take my white ass back to Bush Country" the day before, but there was a little more history.

I ended up sending back the following meander to the little group that were on the original recipients list.

That is so cute....

With true "fawlty" logic, the folks in the towers have apparently missed a few things... without much regard to order but just as things come to mind, I'd like to respond a bit to those foolish folks over there looking down their noses at the majority of good folks who voted their conscience and belief systems 19 days ago...

1. 60,645,844 votes for Bush.
2. Entire population of the British Isles - 60,270,708 - and most of them do not have guns even for the purposes of putting meat on their tables nor are they willing to get off their Socialist arses (how's that for Queen's English?) to do so, let alone come prancing over here to take someone else's.
3. Accent. Despite some Brits’ inability to distinguish them as such, Australia and the like are not wholly owned subsidiaries of England. Australians do not speak with an English “accent” any more than citizens of the United States do. There are dialects, of course, but that's not quite the same thing. Folks will have to learn to say what they mean before they can rightfully expect anyone else to understand what they mean. Here’s the rundown, to save you from going to the dictionary. A fellow from France who is native speaking French has an accent when he is in the United States but Aussies and Brits only exhibit dialects of English, much the same way people in varying areas and social strata in England’s speech patterns exhibit dialectic differences.
4. While on the subject of "indian giving", the UK must strive to remember that they discarded those Aussies a fairly long time ago when they put their criminals and adjudged lowlifes on a boat and shipped them off telling them never to darken their door again. Too late to get them back now. Same goes for the descendants of those chased off for refusal to worship as ordered when ordered. Fair's fair, after all.
5. Re #8 - see numbers one and two above. More American Citizens voted to reelect the man they believe in and judged most capable to do the job than populates the entire conglomerate of the UK. With only 44 million voters in the UK, and a subset of only an estimated 60% of them willing to participate in the process, and far too many of the gentlemen that hope to gain a meager percentage of those votes punching each other in the noses, that whole name-calling business seems a bit over the top.
6. Re #4 - ok. The folks in Hollyweird don't represent the US populace any more than Benny Hill represented the UK. It's fine with me if any one of the many British actors who have deserted merry old England to make their homes in the United States is hired to play either criminal or good guy. In addition, I hope that the UK will broaden its point of view a bit and attempt to understand that the majority of the United States has become unutterably bored with politically correct and rather enjoys laughing at the foolishness of grown men who pretend to be capable of running a country or five punching each other in the nose. We're good with the humor as well, for the most part, and we're more than willing to send an extra dentist or two to take care of some of the nastier and more visible problems of those English actors that wish to gain employment in the movies produced and paid for by people in the United States.
7. No going back on the national anthem thing. We kicked the King and his various progeny out a long time ago and that means we get to pick the songs we sing when we play our silly games, just as the little fellows in shorts do right before they and all their audience members break out into a public
brawl. Oh, and if we ever decide we do want to run England, my vote is no more Beatles (or lame imitations thereof) from that day forth.
8. Number 11. Ok. Massachusetts has a far too high ninny quotient, as this is a state whose voting public will elect and reelect drunken sot murderers and other part-time politicians with voting tendencies so far out of step with reality that even they can't figure out if they support an issue or not. "I voted for it before I voted against it," indeed.
9. Number 14. There's been a misunderstanding. The 60-75 million gun owners in the US are not the group that hires 10,000 lawyers to stand by on the off chance there will be anything for them to do one day in November. Gun owners just get out and vote. The Party that the vast majority of them belong to is also not the Party that has members that refer to Condaleezza Rice as the President's "House Nigga" (see
Michelle Malkin and Left Leaning Ted Rall for an explanation of my outrage on that issue) and it is also the Party whose elected head actually does have the politically correct "people of color" in positions of responsibility. They are also not the group that turns to therapy or attorneys for every issue. Please note that "PEST" is not a disorder that afflicts any of my Republican brothers and sisters but I, for one, was inordinately pleased to see this "disorder" labeled with such an appropriate acronym. While you're at it, Google up "10,000 lawyers" and see if the Party of my affiliation was the one putting down retainers.
10. Number 9. Nuclear vs nook-u-lar. We understand your frustration. Some of us want him to quit that as well, but, coming from a country that calls a bathroom a loo, a truck a lorry, an elevator a lift, an umbrelly a brolly, and has somehow turned a sneezy noise like "chuffed" into an alternative word for pleased, you'll forgive us for thinking it's really beyond the pale for you to point out such minor failures in communication. At least our country has a leader who can do more than ride through the streets of the most populace city twisting his/her hand back and forth in frozen, and decidedly aging, beauty queen fashion. The Queen is a charming idea, but all those pounds sterling wrapped up in supporting one family that keeps interbreeding with other plug uglies when the rest of the nation suffers from a pretty devastating lack of income, employment and dentistry issues, is a pretty silly focus point, in my not all that humble opinion.
11. Number 7. Well. No. You see, the people who wrote our Constitution had the forethought to include a Bill of Rights, quite deliberately crafted to enumerate rights that were presumed to be inherent and that should not be abridged, abrogated or ignored. This applies to firearms, of course, in the same exact way it applies to word processors and the equally important right not to be required to tattle on one's self. There is the assumption of innocence here in the US and that means that until one is convicted of a crime, one must not be assumed to be ready to commit a crime, despite the possession of tools that might one day be used in a criminal activity. Oh, and we will not be allowing countries not a party to our Constitution to outlaw guns, cards, dice, automobiles, kitchen knives, computers, cameras or baseball bats because they might one day be used in a criminal manner, either. And of course, the outlawing of anything we do, either as individuals or a country by a non-existent "government" in the form of the (dis)United Nations is simply not going to happen, like it or not. With the grace of God and support of the finest all volunteer fighting forces in the world, our government, by virtue of its Constitution, has promised us that UN troops will never occupy our nation and
roast kiddies for lunch.
12. Combining a concept here. First part. Being on our knees to a Queen went out with the Clinton Era. We also saved your pimpled behinds in two World Wars so, while we appreciate your government’s support in recent world security issues, we hope you understand by now “taking back” anything from us isn’t really an option worth considering. Again, think 60,645,844 and keep in mind that even a few of the rest of the folks here might rise up in irritation should you fellows show up on our shores expecting to see a white flag.
13. Number 11. As an aside, there are many members of the "reigning" Party in the US that are offended by the caricatures being drawn of us. We are tired of being accused of only putting "people of color" in prominent positions as "tokens" by a Party whose membership doesn't put them in any prominent position for ANY reason. We are also offended by the idea that people find us uncharitable and unwilling to help our fellow citizens in times of need when, in reality, many of us simply understand that there is little more racist or sexist than not believing that a group, by virtue of its ethnicity or lack of possession of a Y chromosome has been, again, solely by virtue of possession of those characteristics, rendered incapable of building a productive life without supervision and facilitation by those whose egos are so swollen that they feel that the aforementioned groups cannot adequately function without their organized intervention. See the
Generosity Data and, in more condensed form, the graphic at Michelle Malkin's blog for clarification. Those of us who are looked down on for our "down home" attitude and moral stance would like to remind those folks who identify with ideas such as the public dole and various other entitlement programs that for true charity to have meaning it must come out of their pockets voluntarily, not mine by what amounts to Legislative force. I have worked my behind off over the years to attain a position in life via hard work and diligent effort that pays more than they think I should have based on my membership in a political Party.

BTW, my husband and I file our income taxes together and pay what we are required to pay. It is a curiosity to me (and others) why, as an example, Mr. Kerry and his wife dodge tax bills the way they do by filing separately. I do understand the wish to save money but when you've got $500 million or so in your pocket and your husband is constantly harping on how bad tax cuts are for the nation, it seems a tad hypocritical at best.
14. In a nation that has outlawed the basic right to self defense and will jail elderly farmers who end up killing career criminals who invade his home and then compound that offense by (1) providing the dead criminal's equally criminal partner with the funding to sue said farmer and (2) deny the same farmer parole because he might pose a threat to other career criminal burglars, there aren't a whole lot of people that really have much to say to me about firearms that I'm interested in hearing. Despite the arrogance of some across the sea who have lost the concept of basic human rights, those of us on this side of the pond capable of logical thinking will not soon be abandoning our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Oh, and while the people bought and paid for by one foreign born gentleman are busy claiming fraud, etc., I will go by my own experience -
Election Fraud in Wayne County, MI - in looking at the Party that apparently believes that violence and intimidation is a valid voter influence tool.

Comedy is entertaining and I have always enjoyed the British sense of rather dry humor. However, I draw a very sharp line at being told how I should behave by elitist snobs who somehow imagine that because they have attained a position for no other reason than the ability to read a line as written or the accidental possession of a pleasing visual arrangement of the features God (or random theories, as the case may be) has bestowed upon them, that they are now entitled to some importance being attached to their opinions.

Happy Sunday, kids, it's been a great weekend for me. I just helped 17 people qualify for concealed carry permits, including two women, one of whom is disabled and used to live in fear of not being able to outrun an attacker due to cystic fibrosis. I say good on her for not giving up or giving in.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Lest I forget....

I was sitting at my desk this evening at about 5:40 when I got an email notification. Doc had sent me a link with this message:

I'm beginning to think that all but me in the entire world knew about this little video. Perhaps you also did not. It is a large file but, in my opinion, well worth it. It is a memorial to Canadian veterans but is applicable to our own heroes as well.

Well, I didn't. I was having a rough day, pitying myself a bit and certainly wanted to be home rather than sitting here at work, grading an interminable pile of papers, poor me.

I turned up the volume on my speakers, flipped over to the
video's web site and watched and listened and wept.

A Pittance Of Time

Written by Terry Kelly © Jefter Publishing - SOCAN

They fought and some died for their homeland.
They fought and some died, now it's our land.
Look at his little child; there's no fear in her eyes.
Could he not show respect for other dads who have died?

Take two minutes, would you mind?
It's a pittance of time,
For the boys and the girls who went over.
In peace may they rest, may we never
forget why they died.
It's a pittance of time.

God forgive me for wanting to strike him.
Give me strength so as not to be like him.
My heart pounds in my breast, fingers pressed to my lips,
My throat wants to bawl out, my tongue barely resists.

But two minutes I will bide.
It's a pittance of time,
For the boys and the girls who went over.
In peace may they rest.
May we never forget why they died.
It's a pittance of time.

Read the letters and poems of the heroes at home.
They have casualties, battles, and fears of their own.
There's a price to be paid if you go, if you stay.
Freedom's fought for and won in numerous ways.

Take two minutes, would you mind?
It's a pittance of time,
For the boys and the girls all over.
May we never forget, our young become vets.
At the end of the line,
It's a pittance of time.

It takes courage to fight in your own war.
It takes courage to fight someone else's war.
Our peacekeepers tell of their own living hell.
They bring hope to foreign lands that hate mongers can't kill.

Take two minutes, would you mind?
It's a pittance of time,
For the boys and the girls who go over.
In peacetime our best still don battle dress
And lay their lives on the line.
It's a pittance of time

In peace may they rest,
Lest we forget why they died.
Take a pittance of time.

Thanks, Doc.
Love, MLM

Sunday, November 14, 2004

I'm not sorry and neither is he..

There's a web site that professes to apologize for the actions of the majority of voters in the United States. It's pretty lame but the pictures are sort of entertaining and answer a lot of questions for me about the LLLLs. I laughed out loud at the pouty little faces and the fellow who is holding a sign proclaiming that 49% of the US is sorry we voted to reelect our president. Uh, hey, dropout, that's 48%. Of the Registered Voters. And a lot of people who didn't care, didn't want to get involved or were A-OK with letting the rest of us take responsibiity for their lives. Wimps.

The other 60,480,957 of us are pretty darned happy, in fact.

I found a site I like much, much better so I decided to send them a nice picture my husband and me originally taken by
Oleg Volk and then shamelessly photoshopped by me.

Go visit
We're Not Sorry and then send them your own picture.


Post Election Selection Trauma, or PEST, as I am sure it will forever be labeled, especially by those of us who do happen to see these smuts as PESTs, is being treated as though it were actually a serious disorder.

The Florida-based American Health Association has released symptoms of what it calls "post-election selection trauma," or PEST, which include: feelings of withdrawal, feelings of isolation, emotional anger and bitterness, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, nightmares, pervasive moodiness including endless sulking, and being excessively worried about the direction of the country.
"Post-election selection trauma affects many people and they have a right to be taken seriously and to seek counseling," psychotherapist Rob Gordon of the AHA told the Boca Raton News. "This is a real need and we're a charity. This is not a matter of Republicans and Democrats.

I can agree with that. It's not a matter of party affiliation or political choices. It's a matter of making a PEST of yourself and the LLLLs are doing an excellent job of that.

Want some examples?
A young fellow, bastion of braininess, I guess, informs his cellmates at the
Democratic Underground, "the war is on" and then describes how, since our President was re-elected, every time he sees a Sports Utility Vehicle with a B*** sticker on it, he "hawks a loogie" on the windshield.


Bill Maher's official message board there is a 20+ page long discussion of the following:

At this point in time, would it be morally defensible to apply a "final solution" to republicans?

Let's face it, when Grover Norquist is doing the media rounds...when his agenda of eliminating all taxes on billionaires and letting the poor pay all taxes and carry the debt burdon, and let them scounge around in the garbage for food...builds character.....when THIS type of criminal extreme right wing "thought" is entering the's time for extreme action.

GW Bush and the American right wing Taliban are endangering the entire planet. If the rest of the world had a say, Bush and Cheney would be in jail.

Is it now morally excusable to organize midnight raids on republican groups in the red states and "terminate" them with extreme prejudice?

Watching Bush's acceptance speech on wednesday, with the Cheney's on stage as well....who would not have liked to see a bomb go off under the stage and wipe out the whole despicable slimy lot of them? And hopefully the shrapnel would have gone to the second deck and blown Mary Matalin's head off as well.

Be honest. Who would not like to see Karen Hughes run over by an 18 wheel truck? Who wouldn't like to see her carcass scattered all over highway 99?


And on the
Computer Hardware Forum (a normally relatively serious discussion board about computer hardware issues):

On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 19:56:21 -0400,Michael Patterson wrote under the topic header GEORGE BUSH SUCKS DICK!:

FUCK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!


They're all over the place it seems and I, for one, am tired of them.

On the other hand, I must say that if they really want to try organizing midnight raids, they should remember - we have all the guns.

And the balls, frankly, so I'm not real worried.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Liberals Don't Get It....

We keep saying it, and they keep pretending it's not so.

GUN CONTROL POLITICS AND THE 2004 FEDERAL ELECTIONS by Chuck Cunningham, NRA Federal Affairs Director

Of the 18 candidates for the U.S. Senate endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the NRA-endorsed candidate won in 14 of these races

Says something, doesn't it?

Net gain of four pro-gun seats in the U.S. Senate with gains in Florida, Lousiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and South Dakota, and a loss in Colorado

Of the 251 candidates endorsed by the National Rifle
Association for the U.S. House of Representatives, the NRA-endorsed candidate won in 241 of these races

The 109th Congress will begin with Members with the following ratings: 235 "A"-rated, 27 "B"-rated, 15 "C"-rated, 17 "D"-rated, 138 "F"-rated, and 3 "?"-rated

In Senate races, the Brady Bunch supported for reelection Senator Tom Daschle and targeted for defeat Senators Kit Bond and Arlen Specter, and their endorsed candidates lost in all these Senate races

I can't say I'll miss you, Daschle, but I can say a few more need to go right along behind you.

In House races, the Brady Bunch targeted for defeat Congressmen Rick Renzi (AZ-1), Bob Beauprez (CO-7), Mark Kennedy (MN-6), Heather Wilson (NM-1), and Jim Gerlach (PA-6) and supported Virginia Schrader (PA-8), and their endorsed candidates lost in all of these House races

Three anti-gun Republicans -- Doug Bereuter (NE-1), Amory Houghton (NY-29), and Jim Greenwood (PA-8) -- will be succeeded by pro-gun congressmen

Pro-gun upgrades in Senate seats: anti-gun Senator Bob Graham is succeeded by pro-gun candidate Mel Martinez, unreliable Senator John Breaux is succeeded by pro-gun congressman David Vitter, anti-gun Senator John Edwards is succeeded by pro-gun congressman Richard Burr, and anti-gun Senator Fritz Hollings is succeeded by pro-gun congressman Jim DeMint, and anti-gun Senator Tom Daschle was defeated by pro-gun former congressman John Thune

Pro-gun freshmen in the Senate will include:

Mel Martinez (FL), Johnny Isakson (GA), David Vitter (LA), Richard Burr (NC), Tom Coburn (OK), Jim DeMint (SC), and John Thune (SD)

Pro-gun freshmen in the House will include:

John Salazar (CO-3), Connie Mack (FL-14), Tom Price (GA-6), Lynn Westmoreland (GA-8), Mike Sodrel (IN-9), Geoff Davis (KY-4), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1), Virginia Foxx (NC-5), Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Dan Boren (OK-2), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Charlie Dent (PA-15), Bob Inglis (SC-4), Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Ted Poe (TX-2), Mike McCaul (TX-10), Mike Conaway (TX-11), Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Thelma Drake (VA-2), and Cathy McMorris (WA-5)

Now, how can anyone look at those numbers and think the NRA doesn't speak for a whole lot of voters?

Teachers and the Lies They Tell

This Seattle Times article discussing yet another teacher's attempts to influence the young voters in her charge set me off, I must admit.

Judy Baker, a teacher at Henry M. Jackson High School, showed the anti-Bush documentary last week to students in her government class as part of a lesson in propaganda and politics.
The [local GOP] office also sent a copy of "FahrenHYPE 9/11," a movie that responds to and critiques Moore's film. Cheshire, the principal, said he'd approve the film if Baker requested its use.
Filmmaker Michael Moore's condemnation of Bush's actions regarding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon became the first documentary to top the $100 million mark domestically. In the film, Moore examines the Bush administration's alleged financial ties to Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden family.
First, allow me to remind you that I am a teacher. In the Public School System. And many of my brethren are not thinking and it amazes me. But back to the article.

I've got several problems with this idea.

First, using a film such as this, when labeled a documentary, is dishonest. I think all of us have read and been made aware of fantasies and fallacies of this film. About the best discussion of it that I have seen is Dave Kopel's
Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911 Kopel is clear, concise and definitely on target with this issue. Moore is free to generate whatever trash fiction he chooses to but calling this, or most of his other hate-filled work documentaries, is not something honest, thinking people do.

Second, using films as a substitute for teaching is an action I cannot agree with. As a teacher, I use excerpts of films here and there to demonstrate a point or explain, visually, a concept, but putting a 122 minute long film in the player and letting someone with a grudge and deep pockets he's looking to fill teach your class for you is a shame. Moore is a liar and a buffoon.

And he could use a bath, a shave and some clean clothes but that's for another day, I think.

Moore has now put out a "teacher's guide" for watching the movie. It is filled with the same kind of venom and pointlessness as the movie and, were I a parent of a child being shown this movie, I would be disgusted with any teacher so lazy and lacking in thinking ability that he or she would use this as a substitute for actual teaching.


According to the Boston Globe, tens of thousands of protesters showed up along Bush's inaugural parade route to proclaim that he and Vice President Dick Cheney had "stolen" the election. Bush chose not to partake in the traditional walk to the White House.

Why was this not more widely publicized? Why would news networks choose not to highlight such a large demonstration? While Bush continues to be protested virtually everywhere he goes, especially in foreign countries, why do we see so little of this in the national media? Has the media been fair or have they been guilty of failing to report many negative aspects of Bush’s presidency?

Bush's "War on Terrorism" has cost the nation billions of dollars in an effort to beef up security. In March of 2003 roughly 180,000 personnel from 22 government organizations became part of the Department of Homeland Security. It's said to be the largest government reorganization since the onset of the Cold War. The DHS's many activities include keeping out terrorists, criminals and dangerous material, strengthening seaport security, and improving security at airports.

With all this DHS activity, how do you explain the fact that a single Oregon state trooper is assigned to patrol a 1,400-square-mile territory that includes 100 miles of roads on the central coast? Why is it that passengers are allowed to take four books of matches and two lighters on an airplane? Have you or someone you know carried something on an airplane you shouldn't have?

Beyond the obvious slant of the questions (which is egregious enough), why does this not address our President by his title? Why would any teacher ask a child to implicate him or herself in a crime? Why would a teacher not make clear that the Federal Government does not assign State Troopers anywhere? Why, Why, Why? Why would any teacher use this film as a so-called teaching tool? Ms. Baker and the District should be ashamed.

What Michael Moore and his rabid followers do not seem to understand even now about the election and our President is simple enough. The majority of the voters have faith in his leadership. The majority of the voters support Conservative issues. The majority of voters are not off in La-La Liberal Land.

And last time I checked, majority rules.

But, frankly, it's ok with me if the Left wanders even further left because that means the next time the polls close, there will be even more votes supporting the issues the majority of us believe in.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

11-11-11 (part 2)

I went to Elmwood today because I wanted to see our young men and women in the JROTC Color Guard pay their respects to the veterans buried there. The celebration, first organized by Beulah Ware Hamilton, is conducted in Section S of the cemetery, where 19 members of the 102nd Colored Infantry are buried. The 102nd U.S Colored Infantry Regiment was formed in the summer of 1863 as the Volunteer First Michigan Colored Infantry. It was renamed the 102nd after mustering into the Union Army in 1864. Members of the 102nd served with distinction in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Mrs. Hamilton first conceived of the idea 20 years ago, while visiting her husband's gravesite. Her husband had been a local historian and often led groups to the cemetery on guided tours. Mrs. Hamilton became unhappy with the fact that the veterans interred there were not recognized other than by plain granite headstones. There were no ceremonies, not even an American Flag flew at the site. "To honor their legacy and the legacy of my husband, I decided to hold a Veteran's Day ceremony there every year," Mrs. Hamilton said.

Now, every year, 11-11, there is, because of Mrs. Hamilton's love and respect for both her husband and country:
    - A presentation of the American flag;
    - A presentation of wreaths honoring the 102nd Colored Infantry, including two Native Americans from Michigan who served in the Civil War, and all veterans - living and deceased - who have served our country;
    - A roll call for the 102nd Color Infantry and the Native Americans as the Color Guard places a single red rose on each of those graves;
    - The playing of "Taps" as the cadets of the Color Guard of local High School JROTC platoons stand silent, at attention, with quiet faces, honoring past veterans and those who serve today.

Today there were more than 500 of them.
You've seen pictures of men and women in uniform, stiffly at attention - I won't repeat that experience, but the young people and their leaders seen below left me with a warm heart and moist cheeks.

I asked the young cadet above if I might take his picture.
"Yes, ma'am."
I pointed to where I would like him to stand and he stepped into place without prompting. When I asked him if he would like a copy of the picture, he replied, "Yes, ma'am. I believe my mother would as well."
I got a little misty over that one. Mom has much to be proud of in that young man.

The young man's respect for his Commander is obvious.

I decided, while I was there, to just pick one of the stones and see if I could find out anything about the man beneath it who had served his country. I decided it would be one of the 102nd and was caught by the name of a young sharpshooter, John Jacko. Such a cavalier sort of name. The stone lying flat in the ground identified him as John Jacko, Pvt. of Company K, First Michigan Sharpshooters, born 1841, died 1870. The upright headstone, however, was different. It said Jacko Nat-Bah-Me-No-Linc.

As it turns out, John, aka Nat-Bah-Me-No-Linc, was one of the two Native Americans buried there from Company K of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. Company K, it seems, was comprised of Ottawas and Chippewas primarily from Michigan and Wisconsin. John enlisted February 14, 1865 at Grand Rapids but was actually from the tiny village of Horton's Bay (now known as Horton Bay) and he was 20 years old when he volunteered. He mustered out a few short months later on July 28, 1865, at Delaney House in Washington, DC, three months after the war ended at Appomattox.

John died when he was 29 years old. In my short historical journey, I didn't find records of how he lived or how he died. What I did find was his grave, honored by the young people who have chosen to wear the uniform of the Country John served. They do us proud, the young people I saw today. I thank them, their officers, their parents and the schools that support their presence.

And I thank You, Nat-Bah-Me-No-Linc.

Honor a Veteran Today and Every Day. Support our troops.

Bug Eyed Earl

The guy who writes this strip has got to be a very strange man. Got to be.

Bug Eyed Earl is the kind of person I'd want to be if I were totally adrift on the sharpened edge of the world.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Tomorrow, 11-11 at 11:00 AM, we should all take a moment and remember why we have the freedoms we do and to whom, exactly, we owe them.

In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England's Westminster Abbey and France's Arc de Triomphe as an unknown soldier was buried in each nation's highest place of honor.

While I no longer hold France in any great esteem, despite it being the land where my father's father and mother came from, I do, and always will, honor its veterans.

These memorial services all took place on November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918, which was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It was named Armistice Day and eventually became Veterans Day.

On June 1, 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans. In 1968, legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. Soon it became apparent that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. In 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

Official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day center around the Tomb of the Unknowns. To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil. At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes "Present Arms" at the tomb. The nation's tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath and the playing of "Taps."

On Memorial Day (which honors U.S. service people who died in action) in 1958, two more unidentified American war dead, one from World War II and the other from the Korean War, were buried next the unknown soldier of World War I. A law was passed in 1973 providing interment of an unknown American from the Vietnam War, but because of the improved technology to identify the dead, it was not until 1984 that an unidentified soldier was buried in the tomb.

In 1998, however, the Vietnam soldier was identified through DNA tests as Michael Blassie, a 24-year-old Air Force pilot who was shot down in May of 1972 near the Cambodian border. His body was disinterred and reburied by his family in St. Louis, Missouri.

Tomorrow I will leave my job and go watch our JROTC Color Guard stand at attention and honor our service men and women at a small graveyard in Detroit. Each of them does their country and our school a great honor by volunteering for this duty.

I'll take pictures and thank the young cadets. I will pray for peace for our veterans' souls. I expect I will shed a tear as well.

My thanks to all who serve. I owe you everything.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Happy Birthday to the Marines

You've done a hell of a job for 229 years and we thank you for every 120,362,400 or so minutes of it.

You rock!

Part of my problem is...

I just keep thinking.

I was driving over my daughter's house tonight and she was not in a great mood, caught once more in the battle that is family sometimes, so I snagged her and we went for a short ride to talk. Subjects are mother-daughter privileged but at one point, we stop at a party store (a Michigan euphemism for a liquor store) and go in.

I don't see anyone and my daughter says, slightly above a normal tone, "Helllo?"

At which point, I really do realize I can't see a freaking soul and I grab her arm and say, low but firm, "Let's get out of here - NOW."

My brain is screaming red alert and I'm backing up, hand under my jacket and pulling her with me, when the idiot that runs the store finally pops up from behind the counter, cell phone stuck to his ear and gapes at us like we're from some other planet.

I wanted to kick his behind for scaring me that bad.

Here's a piece of advice, despite the positive outcome this time. If you ever walk into a Party Store, convenience store, whatever you want to call it, and you can't see anyone anywhere - GET OUT. They aren't called stop and robs for nothing and I'd rather look a little silly than get caught in the middle of something.

Kim Dutoit is a BAD Influence - yeah!

It began with me seeing a link on my own forum site that a member had viewed on Kim Dutoit's site. I decided to write the VPC (Violence Policy Center, run by Nazi Bitch, Kristin Rand) and let them know how much I appreciated the list. It kind of took off from there. I'll give you this, and then I promise to update it and add some additional stuff. Seems more than one or two people have been writing and frankly, it's pissing off the folks at VPC. And that's A-OK with me.

----- Original Message -----
To: Neva Li
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 2:13 PM
Subject: Thank You!
As a teacher in the public school system and a certified firearms instructor there is some crossover and I am occasionally asked what type of firearm might be appropriate for a child. I have never researched it to any great degree but am now blessed with your fairly extensive list. I have printed it out and will distribute it to the parents wishing to teach their children about responsible firearms usage in the future.

Neva Li


----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 2:53 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You'll just have to hope this isn't your kid:

Associated Press
December 20, 2003

2 Youths Held in Web Site Threat

Two youths, including one who had asked for a gun for Christmas, were arrested after allegedly making death threats against high school athletes.

"I have a bag full of bullets waiting for you," authorities said one of the students allegedly wrote on the Web site.

The Web site also said one of the two liked killing, playing video games and "burning" and "butchering" Jews, police said.

Police do not believe the two had access to weapons, but one was about to get a weapon as a Christmas gift.

"One of the fathers told us that the kid had asked for a firearm for Christmas and the father said he purchased it for him last Saturday," he said. "The kid didn't even know he had it coming. The father said based on this information he was obviously not going to get it."


At 03:04 PM 11/5/04 -0500, you wrote:

Dear Kristen,

Thank you for your response.

Of course, it never would be one of my children since I would always teach my child responsible firearms usage and none of my children is filled with disabling hatred as spewed and taught by the Radical Left.

I do not have "kids", by the way, but do know other responsible firearms owners who keep goats. They never allow them to handle firearms, though.

Neva Li


----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 3:13 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You must have a very empty life if this is how you spend your time. If you aren't filled with hate, you wouldn't bother us with your silly little missives.


At 03:42 PM 11/5/04 -0500, you wrote:
Dear Kristen,

Thank you for your response.

I do wonder why on earth would you assume that my life was either empty or filled with hate? I've already explained that I am a teacher, which is actually quite a loving profession and certainly one which would never prompt anyone to describe my life as empty.

I wrote you because I am very happy to be able to make educated recommendations on firearms appropriate for youth use. I thought you would be happy to know that people who are committed to teaching our youth to be responsible in handling firearms appreciate having this information so readily available.

Please take my missives in the spirit in which they are intended.

Neva Li


----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 3:49 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

I guess because you spend your time participating in a silly little coordinated campaign to harass us.


At 04:24 PM 11/5/04 -0500, you wrote:

Dear Kristen,

Thanks once again for your response. Dialogue on the issues is always so gratifying.

Please try not to overreact. My gratitude is my own and despite what may seem to be a "coordinated campaign" of some kind, I am sure that you can appreciate that I have found your list useful and that I am quite happy that you have provided it.

Thanks again for your efforts on our behalf in educating young firearms advocates and enthusiasts in available choices of firearms that work best for their age group.

Neva Li


I guess it's just a coincidence we got 30 virtually identical emails in one day. Here's one example. Do you also spend your time dressing up in suits of armor like Sean does?

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 13:04:15 -0800 (PST)
From: "Sean D. xxxxxxxxx"
Subject: Youth Guns list
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

I wanted to thank you guys (and gals) for your handy
list of long guns suitable for youths.
one criticism though. you failed to include both
prices and links to the manufacturers.
how can we be responsible comparison shoppers without
this info. as it is, the only firearm on this list i
have any personal experience with is the Henry Lever
Youth Model 22, which my Mom (5'0" tall, 62 years old)
owns. while it is undoubtedly a fine firearm, and very
accurate out to about 100 yards, i find that i might
like to consider a rifle without the exposed hammer.
when shooting woodchucks at very close range (for
anything over 100 yards we have a bigger rifle that i
got at the tender age of 15) i find that the movement
of the hammer tends to disturb my shot. it isn't
enough to miss if it was the only gun my mom could
find to shoot an intruder (she has a pistol for that)
it does make small animals like the woodchuck a bit
so how about it? prices, and links to the
Sean, 34 Richmond, VA
Sean xxxxxxxxx
check out my photos @


Dear Kristen,

As a science teacher, I have a fairly good grasp of mathematics as well. Perhaps not as good as I'd like, but still functional.

To address your question, I suspect it would be a pretty incredible coincidence if you only receive perhaps 35 or 40 emails a day, but I rather suspect that the VPC receives many, many more email communications than that.

If you get 3,000 emails a day, for instance, I believe that the assumption might be that one percent of those might be fairly close in content.

In any case, I believe that you will receive many, many more emails thanking you for providing this list. It's a fine service to those concerned with the education of young firearms enthusiasts.

I'm not sure I see the depth of similarity in Sean's email to you and my own but I suppose since we have both taken the time to thank you for the efforts VPC has put forth in compiling this list, there is at least some small similarity. I see Sean would like links added for manufacturers and prices. I'd be happy to volunteer to provide that data to you for inclusion.

As to your question on the suits of armor, I have told you what I do with my days, or most of them. I am a high school science teacher devoted to the education of our young people. That doesn't involve armor, but I do have to dress up to some degree.

Kristen, I don't mean to criticize, but do you really think that it is entirely ethical to forward Sean's complete email, including his private email address without his permission? If he were a public figure as you are, that might be acceptable, but as simple, private citizens, I would think that your organization would be more circumspect in actions such as this.

Neva Li

----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You and all your little friends are pathetic.

----- Original Message -----
From: Neva Li
To: Kristen Rand
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: Thank You!
Dear Kristen,

Thank you once again for your response. It speaks well of you that you are willing to have an open and honest exchange. As I've said previously, dialogue is good, however, I feel you have misunderstood, somewhere, somehow, the meaning of pathetic. According to my sources, it means deserving or inciting pity; perhaps even "a hapless victim" and I am happy to say, none of my friends could be described as such.

In discussions with others about the list, though, we did come up with some ideas we feel would be useful. I will outline them for you and, as I offered previously, I would be happy to collect that data for you and see if we can't improve the list just a bit. I know you want to offer good, solid information to the public on firearms issues.

1. Links to manufacturers - useful to further information collection and decision making.
2. Retail prices - this way, people will know a price range when they shop for these items. I suspect there is a wide range in prices of these firearms.
3. Photographs - people always want to know what the product's appearance is before they commit to a purchase
3. Details on options and possible options - a friend of mine suggested it might be a nice addition to have information on scopes that fit or whether a particular rifle, for instance, might hold a scope.

Of course, I am offering to help you on a strictly voluntary basis. I know that an organization such as yours cannot really support adding on staff, especially with the recent downturn in support of your issues.

Please consider me a resource for assisting you any time something like this list is going to be offered to firearms enthusiasts - it's a great service you offer.

Neva Li

----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You really don't expect me to read your drivel. Go away.

----- Original Message -----
From: Neva Li
To: Kristen Rand
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

Dear Kristen,

I don't know that I can really thank you for this response. It seems almost rude but I have every confidence that you didn't really mean it that way. I hope you're not having a stressful Monday - that always bodes badly for the rest of the week, I think. Perhaps your experience is different than mine, though. I certainly hope so because I would not like to think of you sitting at your desk upset and suffering from stress. I hope this outburst is not on my account, but rather something minor such as a bad drive in with Monday traffic or some other minor annoyance. Why, we've chatted so much over the past days, it almost feels as though I know you.

I'll bet we could be friends if this keeps up. Funny, isn't it, how the internet can bring people so close and allow such open communications.

In any case, I hope you'll consider my offer seriously. The list is a great one but any effort can always use a helping hand and I am certainly willing to lend you a hand in getting this message out to the public.

Neva Li

----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 12:18 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You really need to get a life.

----- Original Message -----
From: Neva Li
To: Kristen Rand
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 12:58 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

Dear Kristen,

Thank you so much for your concern. It goes a long way toward helping me feel better. I was worried that you were deliberately being rude to me but now I feel better.

I have a life, but I want to tell you more about it. I teach high school in Detroit (but I think I already told you that!) and I am the Senior Class Sponsor as well. It's a terrific job, although it is lots of work. I like the idea of being able to educate the young people of our state and know that little by little, I am changing minds and helping them grow.

But there's more to life than a job, of course. I'm also a National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor. I am based in Michigan, but as I am also a Utah certified instructor, I do get the chance to travel some and help people across the nation learn about firearms safety. I also teach Refuse To Be A Victim seminars as well as Eddie Eagle. I really do enjoy these. Helping young adults and children be safer in their every day life is a delight.

I do a lot of volunteer work as well, in areas such as the recent election. I was a poll challenger. Have you ever done that, Kristen? It wasn't a lot of fun but it was gratifying to feel that I was part of the process and I did help enforce the law. I was shocked to find some people actually felt that they had the right to violate the law on election night, but I did my duty and reported those I had taken pictures of and gathered evidence on and turned them over to the proper authorities. I'm sure you were busy, too, over the last weeks with the election. We all know how important it is to have the right leaders in office.

One of the other things that I enjoy doing is introducing new and young shooters to the sport and to the legal issues surrounding our Second Amendment rights. I love the enthusiasm I see in any new shooter's eyes, young or old, when they begin to sharpen their skills and begin hitting the target successfully. Having that opportunity to teach what Second Amendment Rights can mean to us as a nation is a wonderful "two for one" opportunity.

I like to read and I also enjoy photography. One of my favorite books is by the author, John Lott. I like Ann Coulter and Joyce Malcolm, too, although she may not be as well known as the first two. What authors do you like, Kristen? As for photography, I am working hard to improve my skills and have been getting some great pointers from a young Russian émigré named Oleg Volk. He even came up to Michigan a while ago (he lives in Tennessee) and gave me a lot of pointers. If you'd like, I can send you some links for some of my photographs that are online. What kinds of things do you enjoy when you have time off to relax?

I'll bet we do have lots in common. I really do think we can be the best of friends!

Neva Li

It's all about being a thinking woman...

I'm not sure what prompts folks to start a blog or even what's up with this one except lately I've been having stuff I want to say, out loud and yet not inflict it on the people on my forum. I view the forum at cpltrainer as not completely mine, you see, in an odd sort of way, even though I both own and maintain it.

The forum began when I knew that eventually another forum that many of my friends and acquaintances inhabited was nearing melt-down. There was a lot of censorship, banning, secrets and general weirdness coming from the top down so I decided to open shop on someplace that would be basically a self-censoring (if most of the people there don't like what you say, they either give you a buttload of crap or totally ignore you) and other than light maintainence and adding whatever sort of cool things I could find to it, just let it free flow. It's worked for almost a year, hope it has a good run.

I'm a middle aged woman and for some, that says it all. However, I am also a National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor, a Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor and a Second Amendment activist. I'm a Conservative, I believe in the Constitution, I'm a Republican and I'm also a former bleeding heart, Anti-Gun, Liberal. Over the coming days or months or however long I actually keep up with this, I'm sure I'll tell you how I got to where I am from where I was and a whole lot about the stops in between.

I'm a mother (of three), a grandmother (of five) and a high school science teacher. I'm also sister to two living women and one living man, but was once a sister to a veritable tribe. If cancer and other such nastiness hadn't killed so many of them, I'd be a lot happier.

Maybe the best thing I do, the happiest thing I do, is be a wife to Felix. He is bright, funny, patient and endlessly kind. He is also the love of my life, which is a very cool thing to be able to say when you're a kind of not so young babe. Or, come to think of it, not much of a babe at all.

We just finished up a wonderful, victorious election but frankly, I'll talk about that more as time goes by. I really just want to get this first post out of the way, finally!

And then get my youngest kid out of the house and over to his sisters so my husband and I can watch Get Shorty. How can my husband have never seen Get Shorty, for heaven's sake. Of course, I've never sat all the way through Das Boot in German before, either.

So.... more later.... personally, I think I have some pretty good stories to tell but for heaven's sake, if you're anti-gun, anti-US, anti-freedom, anti-practicality, go the hell away now.