It must be global warming: Rare Icebergs floating further north, first reported arctic gull visiting Southern California, November snow in Florida

Ohio concealed handgun permit holder stops robbery

Cleveland police said a suspected robber tried to hold up a barber shop Wednesday night, only to find the barber was armed. The attempted robbery happened at Ray & Wendell's Barber Shop on East 125th Street and Buckeye Avenue, NewsChannel5 reported.

Ray Williams and his customers said they cooperated as the suspect took their wallets and jewelry. However, Williams acted fast to protect his business and customers. He spoke exclusively to NewsChannel5.

"Guy came in with a ski mask and a gun and told everybody to give him their money and their wallets and jewelry, watches," Williams said. "As soon as he turned his head, you know what I'm saying, I just pulled out my gun and started firing."

The suspect is a 47-year-old Cleveland man who is being treated for his gunshot wound at Huron Road Hospital.

Police hope Williams' action sent a message to other robbers. . . .

For other comments on the story please see this discussion by Mike Kinsey.


Soros campaign finance regulations allow his money to dominates political campaigns

Campaign finance regulations and the increase in negative campaigning. I would have written up this piece differently, but I believe that the general bottom line is correct.

Many of us feel the loss was due to what I call "McCain-Soros."

Ever since the passage of McCain-Feingold, money has poured into organizations such as MoveOn.org, which in turn demonizes Republicans, painting a portrait of them as the incarnation of evil. The ads have had as their goal one thing: leaving a sour taste in the mouth of the electorate over anything Republican, conservative or religious. It has worked. The soft Republican, such as Sen. Lincoln Chaffee, went down with the tough Republican, such as Sen. Rick Santorum.

These ads, paid for by George Soros, Peter Lewis and other multi-millionaire leftists are the direct result of, and have been made possible by, the passage of McCain-Feingold, which opened the door to unlimited spending by left-wing fat cats on behalf of liberal candidates and causes. Until its passage, contributions were, basically, limited to the political parties and candidates themselves, but with a cap. Until the passage of McCain-Feingold, a cap was placed on how much Soros could underwrite in his lust for power and influence. . . .

The purpose of the ads is not to illuminate their political positions. It is to destroy the Republican candidate and officeholder, the persona of the conservative. Through osmosis -- after a five year daily barrage of ads on radio, TV and in newspapers -- it appears to have worked.

Republicans, on the other hand, don't begin serious campaigning until the month before the election and have never learned the Goebbles technique so familiar, and comfortable, to Democrats: demonize the person, demonize the group. Do so every day, until respectable people find it offensive to be associated with, let alone vote for, such terrible people. The Muslims are doing it against Israel, against Jews, and they are indeed swaying Europe, prevailing. . . .

New York Times tells those in national parks to find a ranger for protection

The New York Times berates Senator George Allen for putting up a bill that would allow concealed handgun permit holders to carry guns with them in Federal parks. Not surprisingly, the NY Times' solution is more money:
If Americans want to feel safer in their national parks, the proper solution is to increase park funding, which has decayed steadily since the Bush administration took office. To zealots who believe that the Second Amendment trumps all others, the parks are merely another badland, like schools and church parking lots, that could be cleaned up if the carrying of private weapons were allowed. . . .

So how many park rangers does it really take to protect people from wild animal attacks or people who threaten to harm them? If police, who are important in fighting crime, almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred, what would park rangers do regarding a bear attack. Here are two very quick examples:

A northern Idaho baby sitter shot and killed a 422-pound black bear that broke into a backyard where three toddlers were playing. . . .

A Baker County grand jury says an Idaho man acted in self-defense when he shot a man who was headed straight for him in an all-terrain vehicle. Fifty-two-year-old Marvin Sauer of Boise shot Vancouver, Washington resident Everett Durst, in the leg following a Labor Day dispute near Phillips Reservoir. . . .


Airbus: How governments build airplanes

Only a government owned operation would build a product with these types of considerations. The problem is, as the article points out, that the losses that Airbus is suffering may mean that it has neither jobs nor product in the end.

The contribution of the United Kingdom taxpayer alone towards the A380 programme is £530 million. In return for that, Broughton in North Wales and Filton near Bristol get to make the wings. But it also means that each completed set of wings has to make a remarkable journey to the final assembly site in France by way of container ship, river barge and specially adapted road trailer. With the main fuselage having to travel from Germany and the tailfin from Spain, no wonder Christian Streiff, the man who was drafted in to head Airbus in July, commented that there must be a simpler way.

Streiff will be hoping President Chirac wasn't right at the launch of the A380 when he said: "This veritable ocean liner of the sky will go down in history like the Concorde." . . .

This shows how hard it is to fix the problems:

If France has the upper hand in the EADS boardroom, Germany fears it could be forced to bear the brunt of any cut-backs.

The Toulouse-based Airbus believes it must fund the development of its proposed A350 extra wide body (XWB) passenger aircraft to help meet the challenge from a resurgent Boeing.

The British government is expected to be asked to provide some launch aid for the A350 because of Airbus's extensive UK interests. The company employs 12,000 people in the UK, mostly making aircraft wings. However, any launch aid is likely be linked to promises that Airbus does not cut back its UK manufacturing sites. . . .


What causes disease?

Scientists have discovered a dramatic variation in the genetic make-up of humans that could lead to a fundamental reappraisal of what causes incurable diseases and could provide a greater understanding of mankind.

The discovery has astonished scientists studying the human genome - the genetic recipe of man. Until now it was believed the variation between people was due largely to differences in the sequences of the individual "letters" of the genome.

It now appears much of the variation is explained instead by people having multiple copies of some key genes that make up the human genome.

Until now it was assumed that the human genome, or "book of life", is largely the same for everyone, save for a few spelling differences in some of the words. Instead, the findings suggest that the book contains entire sentences, paragraphs or even whole pages that are repeated any number of times.

The findings mean that instead of humanity being 99.9 per cent identical, as previously believed, we are at least 10 times more different between one another than once thought - which could explain why some people are prone to serious diseases. . . .

News media systematically leaving out defensive gun use from story (Ohio)

According to the Dispatch account, when attacked, Miles "tried to block the bat with his arm, then was struck in the leg and went down. The attacker also hit Miles' dog before Miles pointed the gun at him. The attacker said something to Miles and left, he said." WCMH 4 reported that he was "told to drop the lawsuit" against a Pennsylvania businessman.

While the Dispatch story acknowledged that "Miles has a permit to carry a concealed weapon", this fact was omitted from the Associated Press account of the story, which has been posted on WCMH 4's website and read in their TV news coverage of the attack. News stories featured by TV news stations WBNS 10 and NewsCenter 6/28. also omitted the fact that Miles defended himself with a legally concealed firearm.

This incident is noteworthy since it is the first known case of a defensive handgun use by a citizen with a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) in central Ohio (a radio personality with a CHL was working as a security guard was also involved in an incident, but that was in the scope of his armed employment).

When the TV news stations were called for comment, WBNS 10 reporter Angela An explained that an editorial decision had been made by the producer to omit the defensive handgun use portion of the story. She explained that it was not worth mentioning because defensive handgun use is so common in Columbus and that anyone could verify this by "asking any police officer".

WCMH 4 stated that they were unaware that a gun was used to stop the shooting or that a person with a CHL was involved. They were referred to the Dispatch article and said that they "would look into it." NewsCenter suggested we speak with reporter Carol Luper, but calls were not returned. . . .

Thanks to Chad Baus for sending this to me.

Fairfax County (Virginia) Police Want to Ban Permitted Concealed Handguns from Police Stations

Fairfax County, Virginia officials are trying to get a ban on carrying weapons into police buildings. (I live in the county.) The inspiration:

"Michael Kennedy, a mentally ill 18-year-old, drove behind the police station in Chantilly last May and fired more than 70 shots with several weapons. Two officers died from gunshot wounds."

First of all, the main problem with these kinds of laws -- "gun-free zones" -- is that they're more like "sitting duck zones." Criminals know no one will be armed there, so a disproportionate number of multiple-victim shootings actually happen in them.

The exception with a police station, of course, is that there is "armed security" all over. I would guess this kind of situation is basically unheard of, so banning civilian guns there won't hurt the law-abiding. That's why I don't care much if the law passes.

However, look at the case that inspired it. The shooting happened outside the building. This law wouldn't have prevented the attack, even if the mentally ill man bent on killing cops had obeyed it. . . .

Thanks to Robert VerBruggen for sending me this post from his blog.

Global Warming Alert: Snow hits Central Florida in November

I remember that a couple of years ago Gore was blaming the very cold temperatures on global warming, so I figured that this was additional proof of global warming. At least it is occuring in the middle of November and not waiting until some obvious month such as February to occur.

Snow Reported In Central Florida

POSTED: 4:19 pm EST November 21, 2006
UPDATED: 10:37 pm EST November 21, 2006
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Snow flurries were reported in Seminole, Orange, and Volusia Counties Tuesday night. We even saw some snow at Channel 9's Orlando studios.

The last time it snowed in Central Florida was reportedly January 24, 2003. Before that, it hadn't snowed since 1989.
A blast of cold air is moving into the state this week, state emergency officials said.

Wind chills may drop into the 20s in parts of north Florida and high temperatures may only reach the 60s as far south as the Keys on Wednesday, state meteorologist Ben Nelson said. . . .

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Which pollsters did best?

Are you interested in seeing how accurate the different polling organziations were in this past election the WSJ as a nice website here.

Mason-Dixon wasn't able to correctly predict two Senate races, and exactly nailed the percentage in one race.
Rasmussen wasn't able to correctly predict two Senate races, and exactly nailed the percentages in 3 races.
Zogby wasn't able to correctly predict one Senate race, but didn't exactly nailed any races.
SurveyUSA wasn't able to correctly predict three Senate races, but didn't exactly nailed any races.

Breathalyzers standard in all new cars?

Wow, things are really getting out of control here. My guess is that it is the threat of litigation that is forcing the auto makers to consider this move. What about the cost to everybody else in terms of time? What about problems when we have yet another part that can malfunction?

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is asking automakers to join the fight against drunk driving. An average 13,000 people are killed in car accidents each year while a driver involved was legally drunk. . . .

But many of the major automakers are talking about taking it one step further and making breathalyzers standard for all new cars. . . .

"No Jail For Elderly Driver In Market Crash"???

An 89-year-old man whose car hurtled through a farmers market, killing 10 people, was let off on probation Monday by a judge who said he believed the defendant deserved to go prison but was too ill. . . .

The judge noted that Weller had enough control of his vehicle to avoid cars and trucks within the farmers market.

"Mr. Weller chose to steer into the people, plowing into the crowd and literally launching bodies into the air as his car sped 2½ blocks," the judge said. The judge also called Weller's apologies hollow. . . .

"I believe the courts have to be practical as well as principled," the judge said. "I don't see any purpose of sending Mr. Weller to jail or prison. It wouldn't do anybody any good." . . .

What? Isn't this guy even confined to his house? Isn't his driver's license revoked? No good? Wouldn't the penalty at least discourage other people from doing this type of crime? How about higher insurance requirements?


Criminal charges for self-defense in New Zealand: Dangerous gun lock laws

What are you supposed to do when someone is threatening to attack you with a machete? Call the police and hope that they arrive in time? Should the victim here have behaved passively and given the crazy guy with a machette the guns that he was demanding?

Greg Carvell, 33, is a firearms dealer and father of two.

He is facing a criminal charge after he shot and wounded a man inside his father's shop.

The man, 29-year-old Ricky Beckham, allegedly entered the shop brandishing a machete, demanding a gun and making threats to kill.

Carvell and shop manager Bruce Motley were in the office at the time working on orders.

"He [Beckham] was waving [the machete] around in the air saying 'I'm going to kill you'," says Motley.

Carvell says he reacted the only way he could. He grabbed a semi-loaded pistol kept in the office drawer and repeatedly demanded Beckham put down the machete.

He eventually shot him in the stomach.

"Then when he [Beckham] started screaming 'give men the guns or I'll kill you' and then he come at Greg and Greg fired. [Greg] lowered his gun deliberately from his chest area to a place where he was going to wound him," says Greg's father and shop owner Ray Carvell.

Ray Carvell, who was not on the premises at the time, believes the ramifications of inaction would have been much greater.

"If he [Beckham] did get out there and he started killing people with these things...it would be terrible. I couldn't live with myself if this happened I can tell you that now," he says.

Motley also believes Greg did the right thing.

"I don't see he had any other option to do what he did otherwise probably both of us would have been sliced up...No doubt at all," he says.

Now almost four months later Greg Carvell faces a criminal charge, which if proven in court carries a possible prison sentence of up to four years.

He faces a charge under the Firearms Act, not for the shooting, but for unlawfully possessing the firearm which was used in the shooting. . . .


Oh never mind, horror stories about the Antarctic ice caps melting aren't true

It goes to show you the problems with extrapolating out from short term trends:

Wingham et al. report that "overall, the data, corrected for isostatic rebound, show the ice sheet growing at 5 ± 1 mm year-1." To calculate the ice sheet's change in mass, however, "requires knowledge of the density at which the volume changes have occurred," and when the researchers' best estimates of regional differences in this parameter are used, they find that "72% of the Antarctic ice sheet is gaining 27 ± 29 Gt year-1, a sink of ocean mass sufficient to lower [authors' italics] global sea levels by 0.08 mm year-1." This net extraction of water from the global ocean, according to Wingham et al., occurs because "mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica." . . .

Contrary to all the horror stories one hears about global warming-induced mass wastage of the Antarctic ice sheet leading to rising sea levels that gobble up coastal lowlands worldwide, the most recent decade of pertinent real-world data suggest that forces leading to just the opposite effect are apparently prevailing, even in the face of what climate alarmists typically describe as the greatest warming of the world in the past two millennia or more.

Senior Democrat Congressman Calls for Reinstating Military Draft

A senior House Democrat said Sunday he will introduce legislation to reinstate the military draft, asserting that current troop levels are insufficient to sustain possible challenges against Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

Rangle seems to have the notion that it is easier (read "cheaper") to expand the military with a draft. What he fails to understand is that while direct government expenditures will be lowered, you will be taking workers away from jobs where their value added to society is higher. You don't want to draft a surgeon who can earn $250,000 a year. People are paying him that much because they value what he produces so highly. The draft will make the country poorer. If you are worried that the size of the military is too small and you aren't getting enough recruits, increase their pay.