Sunday, November 30, 2008


Here is a story from CBS 60 Minutes that is too good to be true. Gerald is a small hick town in Missouri with only one police officer on each shift. The town of 1,200 residents had a drug problem its tiny police force had troouble handling. Unexpectedly, one day a knight in shining armor rode into town claiming to be a federal narcotics officer. Bill Jakob offered his assistance and it was eagerly accepted.

During the two months Jakob worked in Gerald, his investigations led him to bust around 20 people for illegal drug activities. Then it was discovered that he was a phony with a history of prior con-jobs. He was arrested by the FBI and subsequently pled guilty to impersonating a federal officer and guilty to 22 additional charges. Jakob will be sentenced next month and faces 5-6 years in the slammer.

The knight had turned into a nightmare. 60 Minutes reported that "Now the town of Gerald is paying the price. The police chief and two other offficers were fired. And because of Jakob's involvemennt, no one he arrested has been charged. Instead, many of them are suing the town for tens of millions of dollars for violating their civil rights."

Sorry, but I laughed throughout the whole 60 Minutes segment on Jakob. Those country bumpkins bought the Brooklyn Bridge. I've reproduced that part of the transcript which shows how this con-artist fooled Gerald's mayor and police chief. Like I said, it's too good to be true. You can find the complete transcript on the 60 Minute website. Here is the partial transcript:

CBS 60 MINUTES - November 2, 2008


Like many small towns across the country, Gerald, Mo. was struggling with a tiny police force and a big drug problem. Then a man, known as "Sgt. Bill," showed up.

Bill Jakob flashed a badge and announced his credentials: an undercover federal agent sent to clean up the town in a county with one of the highest number of methamphetamine labs in the country.

He quickly helped police round up dozens of suspects and was welcomed like a conquering hero. As Katie Couric reports, it all seemed just a little too good to be true.

"I didn't just wake up one morning and decide I was Batman or Superman. I found myself in Gerald," Jakob says.

Jakob, driving his own undercover police car, arrived earlier this year in Gerald, a rural town so small there's only one traffic light for its 1,200 residents.

"I woke up everyday with the intention of, 'Hey, I'm really doin' some great things here.' And I fed off of it and I enjoyed it. And you know, I slept good at night. I really did. I thought, man, 'I'm putting drug dealers out of business,'" he tells Couric.

Jakob says making these arrests gave him an adrenaline rush. "But that isn't really the thing that I focused on, the most, was just every bust it was, it was a good bust."

No one shared that sentiment more than Ryan McCrary, the new police chief who was struggling to control a growing drug problem with only four cops. Now he had a big time agent with the "Multi-Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force" doing surveillance around the town and rounding up suspects.

"Once everything started unfolding, he was the drug expert, pretty much, from the task force," McCrary recalls.

The police chief says it felt "pretty good" to actually have some back up from what appeared to be the federal government.

In two months, Jakob and Gerald police arrested about 20 people and, more often than not, Jakob says he got them to confess.

Mayor Otis Schulte told 60 Minutes the town was grateful. "A lot o' people in town were. They thought that things are getting done. We got some help. I mean, a small town, we have one police officer on at a shift," the mayor explains.

"So, in a way, for a period of time, Bill Jakob was like a guy on a white horse comin' in to save the day a bit?" Couric asks.

"To help out, yes," Schulte says.

"I was very effective," Jakob says. "I think part of it was the fact that they were out of their comfort zone. If you're used to dealing with a three-man or four-man police department out in the middle of nowhere in Gerald, Missouri, and all of a sudden you find yourself across the desk from a federal officer, that's intimidating."

But Jakob wasn't a fed, had never been a fed, and wasn't even a certified cop.

Bankrupt and unemployed, the closest he'd ever come to the feds was when he had worked as a security guard in the parking lot of the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis. But he was creative, and he concocted an elaborate scheme to con the entire town of Gerald into believing he was an agent working with a federal task force.

Jakob says he told the police chief he worked for the "Multi-Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force."

Asked how he came up with that, Jakob told Couric, "You know, actually it sounded good. I've heard that it was used in a movie."

That movie was "Beverly Hills Cop 2."

"I've seen that movie. Maybe I had it subconsciously in the back of my head," Jakob says.

He also got an official looking six-point star badge with the task force name on it from the Internet, as well as business cards with the Justice Department logo on them.

Jakob says it isn't hard to make a business card. "I had to have these things. I mean, I was becoming this person."

And soon he'd convinced the police chief to formally request his help from the Department of Justice: Jakob gave him a phony fax number and arranged for a female friend to answer the phone.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


In Texas, football is king and what would King Football be without those erotic routines by scantily costumed cheerleaders to rev up the guys in the stands. Among the high schools, competition for a position on the cheerleader squads equals, if not surpasses, that of the comptition for a place on the football team.

Most of you may recall the "Texas Cheerleader Mom" who, in 1991, tried to hire a hitman to kill the mother of a girl who was competing with her daughter for a place on the same cheerleader squad. She wanted the mother murdered because she thought the other girl would be so distraught over her mom's death that she would withdraw from the competition.

Anytime you have an elite group - cheerleaders, fraternity members and spcial op military units for example - the candidates for such groups or their "newbies" are likely to face some sort of degrading initiation rite. That degradation is known as "hazing" and acts of hazing have been outlawed throughout the United States.

Now, seven Texas teenaged high school cheerleaders from the Houston suburb of Katy are in the news after having been charged with pushing several bound and blindfolded junior varsity cheerleaders into the swimming pool at a private residence. The seven girls have been charged with a misdemeanor and, if convicted, face a punishment of up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

One of the newbies, along with her parents, made a complaint because she could not swim and, once in the water, feared she was about to drown. Guess what's happened to the traumatized victim. She is the one that is being punished. The poor girl has been ostracized by her fellow students and both she and her parents have received all kinds of threats..

Gerald Treece, Professor of Law and Associate Dean at South Texas College of Law, maintains that the offending cheerleaders should have been charged with aggravated assault, a felony. He believes that when they threw the bound and blindfolded junior varsity cheerleaders into a swimming pool, they put the victims' lives in jeopardy, thereby committing a felony.

On the other hand, the defendants' attoneys say that the seven cheerleaders should never have been charged with anything beause no one ended up being hurt and thus no crime occurred. According to the attorneys, they are guilty only of using bad judgement and there is no law against that.

Bad judgement, my ass! When an attorney talks to the press with a straight face and insists that in this case no crime has been committed, he is just another example of the only difference between a lawyer and a liar - the spelling. The cheerleaders committed a crime bordering on a felonious assault.

The fact that the newbies consented thereto does not absolve the perpetrators. If a chronic pain patient begs you in front of 10 credible witnesses to take his life, you will be brought up on a murder charge if you go ahead and put him out of his misery. At best, consent may serve to mitigate the extent of punishment if the cheerleaders are convicted.

When all is said and done, this will have been an extremely expensive experience for the accused cheerleaders. Even if they are acquitted by a jury, their parents will have accumulated a ton of legal bills as each defendant is represented by a different attorney. And, there is always the possibility of a civil lawsuit for damages to follow. Come on girls, how about doing some of those erotic gyrations and let's hear some of those great cheers!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


In my recent blogs on gun control, "Anti-Gun Control Garbage" (11-18-08) and "Conservative Jurist Slams Heller Decision" (11-23-08), I called attention to the fragility of the Supreme Court's D.C. v. Heller decision which, by a razor thin 5-4 margin, held that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms applied to indivicual citizens. I suggested that we pro-gunners may have celebrated a bit too soon.

So far, Chicago pro-gunners have absolutely no reason to celebrate the Heller decision. Steve Chapman, a columnist, editorial writer and member of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board, has written a column on Mayor Richard Daley's obstinate defiance of that Supreme Court decision. Here is Chapman's column:

Chicago Tribune

by Steve Chapman

November 27, 2008

Since the Supreme Court upheld the individual right to own guns last summer, one municipality with handgun bans after another has faced reality. Washington, which lost the case, changed its law. Morton Grove repealed its ban. So did Wilmette. Likewise for Evanston. Last week, Winnetka followed suit.

Then there is Chicago, which is being sued for violating the 2nd Amendment but refuses to confront the possibility that what the Supreme Court said may apply to this side of the Appalachians.

When it comes to firearms, Mayor Richard Daley is no slave to rationality. "Does this lead to everyone having a gun in our society?" he asked after the ruling came down. "Then why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West, where you have a gun and I have a gun and we'll settle it in the streets?"

From listening to him, you might assume that the only places in North America that don't have firefights on a daily basis are cities that outlaw handguns. You might also assume that Chicago is an oasis of concord, rather than the site of 443 homicides last year.

So it's no surprise that Daley refuses to make the slightest change to the handgun ordinance, preferring to fight the lawsuits filed by the National Rifle Association. He is not impressed that 1) the law almost certainly violates the Constitution, which elected officials are supposed to uphold, and 2) it would cost taxpayers a lot of money to fight lawsuits the city is bound to lose.

The Chicago ban dates back to 1983, when no one had to worry about the forgotten 2nd Amendment. The ordinance prohibited the possession of all handguns (except those acquired before the law took effect).

It had no obvious benefits: Homicides climbed in the ensuing years and by 1992 were 41 percent higher than before. But the policy rested undisturbed until last summer, when the Supreme Court ruled that Washington's ban on handguns violated the individual right to use arms for self-defense in the home.

If that logic applies to the Washington statute, it very likely applies to Chicago's law. The city, however, notes that the nation's capital is a federal enclave, and that the court did not say states must respect the 2nd Amendment. That's true. The court's ruling also did not say that China is in Asia, which doesn't make it part of South America.

Once upon a time, the Bill of Rights restricted only what the federal government could do: States were free to restrict free speech, conduct unreasonable searches and impose cruel and unusual punishments. But nowadays the court says that because of the 14th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, states must respect virtually all the rights set out in the Constitution.

There is no reason to think the justices would exempt the 2nd Amendment from that rule. Ronald Rotunda, a constitutional scholar at Chapman University law school, thinks the Chicago ban has no more than a one in five chance of surviving court review.

That might be worth the gamble except for all the money the city is asking to be relieved of. The losing side would not only have to cover the costs of its own lawyers, but also pay the winning attorneys. In the Washington case, the amount has not been settled, but the lawyers who handled the suit asked the court for nearly $3.6 million, while Washington offered $800,000. So if Daley insists on fighting all the way to the Supreme Court, the total tab would probably run into multiple millions.

The city says this is not necessarily money that can be saved, because even a revised ordinance could face a court challenge. But sensible changes might deter opponents from pursuing a lawsuit and, if not, at least the new version would stand a good chance of being upheld. Judging from its lawsuit, the NRA is aiming only at eliminating the city's ban on handguns, which is what the Supreme Court would almost surely demand anyway.

Daley's recalcitrance may be viscerally satisfying to him and some others, but it doesn't change the choice the city faces. It can change the law now, or it can change it later. Later would be a lot more expensive.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


In today's, Jonah Goldberg had a column, "The True School Scandal," about why President-elect Barach Obama and other politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, choose to bypass the public schools when they get to Washington, opting instead to send their kids to expensive private schools. Goldberg blames much of what ais public education on the teachers unions. I believe he is exactly right.

As a former educator with some 28 years of experience, I feel that I can speak with a bit of authority about the teaching profession. When I was a teacher (1954-56) at South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, public school standards were much higher than they are today. And many teachers were a lot better too. There were no teachers unions as such. Then along came school integration.

I want to make sure everyone understands that I do not blame African-Americans for the downfall of our public school standards. WHITE SOCIETY IS TO BLAME FOR THAT. When schools were segregated, white society shamefully neglected our black schools. Many black teachers were ill prepared to carry out their assignments. Thus, blacks received an inferior education compared to that of most white students.

When you threw the whole mix together - black and white students and teachers - it was the beginning of a downward spriral for public education. Schools in cities with high concentrations of minorities suffered from a complete breakdown of discipline. The curricula for inner city, suburban and rural schools was watered down with the replacement of some core courses by multiculturalism and diversity courses. White flight to the suburbs resegregated inner city schools, re-establishing the inferior education blacks received during the segregation era.

Before continuing, I want to insert some exerpts from Goldberg's column:

".....most Washington public schools are hellholes.

According to data compiled by the Washington Post in 2007, of the 100 largest school districts in the country, D.C. ranks third in spending for each student, around $13,000 a pupil, but last in spending on instruction. More than half of every dollar of education spending goes to the salaries of administrators. Test scores are abysmal; the campuses are often unsafe.

Michelle Rhee, D.C.'s heroic school chancellor, in her 17 months on the job has already made meaningful improvements. But that's grading on an enormous curve. The Post recently reported that on observing a bad teacher in a classroom, Rhee complained to the principal. "Would you put your grandchild in that class?" she asked.

'If that's the standard,' replied the defensive principal, 'we don't have any effective teachers in my school.'

So if Obama and other politicians don't want to send their kids to schools where even the principals have such views, that's no scandal. The scandal is that these politicians tolerate such awful schools at all. For anyone.

The main reason politicians adopt a policy of malign neglect: teachers unions, arguably the single worst mainstream institution in our country today. No group has a stronger or better-organized stranglehold on a political party than they do. No group is more committed to putting ideological blather and self-interest before the public good.

Rhee has been pushing a new contract that would provide merit pay to successful teachers. The system is voluntary: Individual teachers can stay in the current system that rewards mere seniority or opt to join a parallel system that pays for superior performance. Many talented teachers would love the opportunity.

Alas, the national teachers unions insist that linking pay to results is an outrageous attack on the integrity of public schools. They have insisted that D.C. teachers not even be allowed to vote on the contract."

The teachers and their unions keep blah, blah, blahing sanctimoniously about the fantastic job they're doing under the most trying circumstances, their dedication to teaching students, their commitment to teaching excellence, their love for students, the extra time they put in, and the sacrifices they have to make because of inadequate salaries.

Whatever teaching problems they experience are blamed on excessive paper work, on uncaring or unaware principals and administrators concerned only about their own asses, and on little or no back-up from above when complaints are lodged against them. Hey, that's exactly the same line cops use when bitching about their problems and higheer-ups.

The truth is that the teachers unions are much more concerned about protecting the jobs of teachers than they are about how well or how poorly students are educated. Sad to say, there are quite a few border-line illiterates in the teaching profession. Instead of helping to root incompetent teachers out of the system, the unions do everything they can to protect the jobs of these misfits .

Goldberg is correct when he says "most Washington public schools are hellholes." But Washington is not the only place with those kinds of schools. The same description can easily apply to many other urban school systems. Those hellholes will never be cleansed of incompetence unless and until the teachers unions are reigned in. Good teachers, of which there are many, do not need the job protection offered by the unions.


Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch.

The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.

Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

EDITOR'S NOTE: OK, so I digressed from my usual blogger fare. What's wrong with a little humor, espcially in these trying financial times? Thanks to whoever came up with this little jewel and a Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


A lot has been written and litigated on the separation of church and state. Leave it to Walker, Texas Ranger to come up with one of the best discourses I've ever read on the subject. Chuck Norris' columns have left me with no doubt that he is a hard-core Christian conservative. Nothing wrong with that. Of course, being Jewish, I tend to see things somewhat differently from Chuck.

I think it is very unfortunate that municipalities, either through intimidation or court orders, have stopped displaying Christian symbols on public property, especially during the Christmas season. It has never bothered me to see the Nativity scene of the manger with the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three wise men displayed on the courthouse lawn. Nor am I offended by the display of a cross. The reality is that the vast majority ouf our citizens are Christians and I do not think they should be precluded from displaying their religion, even if that might offend some members of other faiths.

I cannot understand why so many people are upset by the addition, in 1954, of the phrase "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. Personally, I do not think it was necessarey to add that phrase, but what's the big deal? I am certainly not bothered by the imprinting of the phrase "In God We Trust" on our currency and coins. The only people who should be offended by the phrases "under God" and "In God We Trurst" are atheists, and I don't think they really give a rat's ass about that.

What has bothered me is my experience with prayer in public schools. I went to high school in Marshall which is right in the "bible belt" of East Texas. Every morning, I think it was during the home room period, prayers were offered in every classroom. But instead being non-denominational, each prayer ended with " we ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior." I was not offended by that, but it did make me feel very uncomfortable.

Why didn't those good Christians have the decency to consider the possibility, in my case the fact, that someone in the classroom was not of the Christian faith? Why couldn't they have prayed just to God without invoking Jesus' name? That would have met the needs of all faiths that believe in only one deity - Christians, Muslims and Jews.

My first college experience was much worse. Right after graduation from high school, I attended East Texas Baptist College in Marshall. I lived in a dorm and shared a room with a theological student who made me join him in prayer every night before going to bed. Being an upper classman, he whacked me hard with a paddle, or occasionally with a broom, if I did not get on my knees and invoke the name of Jesus.

Some of the professors intimidated me into accompanying them to the local Baptist church for Wednesday night prayer meetings and sometimes for services on Sundays. I recall sitting in church with all eyes turned on me at the end of each service to see if I would answer the call to come forward for Jesus. Even before I graduated from high school, I had planned to join the Army the day I turned seventeen. So it was a great relief to trade the shit I had to put up with at ETBC for the shit I had to take in basic training.

What I'm getting at is that I have no problem with the public display of a particular religious faith, as long as no one is trying to ram that faith down my throat. I also do not have a problem with prayer in public schools if those prayers are to God, concluding with a simple "Amen" and not ending "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost/Spirit" or "in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior."

Now, back to Chuck Norris. In this instance his presentation is dispassionate, unlike presentations in some of his previous columns. He goes into considerable detail on what Thomas Jefferson really meant when he advocated the separation of chuch and state. Norris also quotes Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. All in all, Chuck's column from WorldNetDaily is a very reasonable and sound discourse on the separation of church and state and he directs it at members of all faiths. Here it is:

November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving: A violation of church and state?
by Chuck Norris

Is government observance of Thanksgiving a violation of the separation of church and state?

In a culture on the fast track of secular progressivism, I knew sooner or later I would read or hear a news report that proclaimed there is something constitutionally errant with the state recognition of Thanksgiving, a holiday that is at its heart about thanks-giving to God. With the Christmas culture war almost pass̩, it was only a matter of time before the day that honors the Christian Pilgrims came under attack. Secularists seek to seize your nativities Рand now they are trying to steal your turkey.

Last week a Newsweek/Washington Post editorial labeled presidential Thanksgiving day proclamations "cracks in the wall of separation." The author explained, "The problem with these proclamations, it seems to me, is that they pave the way for public acceptance of gross violations of the constitutional separation of church and state. …" What?!

Forget for a moment that nearly every president since George Washington and the Continental Congress before them have given Judeo-Christian proclamations for Thanksgiving (except between 1816-1861), as well as declared other national days of fasting and prayer. Secularists (like the author of the editorial) get almost giddy every time they highlight that Thomas Jefferson rejected the notion of proclaiming Thanksgiving speeches and prayers. But the truth is Jefferson was far from the modern-day secularist they make him out to be.

Sure, Jefferson was adamant (as we all should be) that there should be no federal subscription to any one form of religious sectarianism. That is largely what the First Amendment is all about – establishing the free exercise of religion, and restricting sectarian supremacy in government as well as government intrusion in churches.

But secularists make two grave mistakes when it comes to Jefferson and the First Amendment. First, they misconstrue his understanding of separation. Second, they overlook how Jefferson himself endorsed and intermingled religion and politics, even during his two terms as president. Let me explain, as I believe it is a timely reminder as we experience new rounds of battles in our Christmas culture war, too.

Liberals would have us believe that the First Amendment establishes a "separation of church and state." But that phrase appears nowhere in the First Amendment, which actually reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The phrase "separation of Church and State" actually comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists. He told them that no particular Christian denomination was going to have a monopoly in government. His words, "a wall of separation between Church and State," were not written to remove all religious practice from government or civic settings, but to prohibit the domination and even legislation of religious sectarianism.

Proof that Jefferson was not trying to rid government of religious (specifically Christian) influence comes from the fact he endorsed using government buildings for church meetings and services, signed a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians that allotted federal money to support the building of a Catholic Church and to pay the salary of the church's priests, and repeatedly renewed legislation that gave land to the United Brethren to help their missionary activities among the Indians.

Some might be completely surprised to discover that just two days after Jefferson wrote his famous letter citing the "wall of separation between Church and State," he attended church in the place where he always had as president: the U.S. Capitol. The very seat of our nation's government was used for sacred purposes. As the Library of Congress website notes, "It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church."

Does that sound like someone who was trying to create an impenetrable wall of separation between church and state? If everything the American Civil Liberties Union said about the First Amendment were true, Jefferson would flunk their religious-state separation test. Liberal groups like the ACLU don't want Americans to know that for the founders, Judeo-Christian belief and practice and government administration and policy were not separated at all. Denominational tests for public office were prohibited, but the idea that Judeo-Christian ideas and practices had to be kept separate from government would have struck them as ridiculous. The very basis for the founders' ideas was rights that were endowed upon all of us by our Creator.

The ACLU and like-minded groups are not preserving First Amendment rights; they are perverting the meaning of the Establishment Clause (which was to prevent the creation of a national church like the Church of England) and denying the Free Exercise Clause (which preserves our rights to worship as we want, privately and publicly). Both clauses were intended to safeguard religious liberty, not to circumscribe its practice. The framers were seeking to guarantee a freedom of religion, not a freedom from religion.

As Judge Roy Moore of Alabama reminded us, "The issue was addressed 150 years ago when the Senate Judiciary Committee, while considering the congressional chaplaincy, said, '[The founders] had no fear or jealousy of religion itself, nor did they wish to see us an irreligious people; they did not intend to prohibit a just expression of religious devotion by the legislators of the nation, even in their public character as legislators; they did not intend to spread over all the public authorities and the whole public action of the nation the dead and revolting spectacle of atheistical apathy.'" Yet groups like the ACLU are spreading that "revolting spectacle of atheistical apathy" across our land, and in doing so they are not only changing our laws but revising our history.

So, would Jefferson have regarded any government observance of Thanksgiving as a violation of the separation of church and state? Absolutely not – though he personally preferred to demonstrate his own allegiance to (and freedom under) the First Amendment by declining Thanksgiving proclamations. To say he would have avoided Creator-language in any and all civil addresses is ludicrous. Remember, after all, he did write the Declaration of Independence with all of its Creator-language – a most supreme theistic treatise or proclamation, if you will.

In an 1808 letter to Rev. Samuel Miller, Jefferson consented it was to protect the church from the state (not vice versa) that was at the heart of his motivation: "I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. … But it is only proposed that I should recommend not prescribe a day of fasting and prayer."

Let's face the present Thanksgiving facts. President Bush will likely give the last explicit Judeo-Christian Thanksgiving proclamation that Americans will hear for the next four to eight years, as President-elect Obama will likely coddle a form of godliness in his Thanksgiving addresses (if he indeed gives them) that appeases the masses with a deity that fits every politically correct dress.

But I'm an optimist. And, since so much attention is being given right now by the media and the president-elect himself regarding his parallels to and lessons learned from President Abraham Lincoln, I recommend Obama heed Lincoln's Thanksgiving wisdom. Don't mince or milk down the God of the pilgrims, as is being done in public schools across this land with the retelling of that first Thanksgiving. Boldly proclaim, as Lincoln and nearly every other president, thanks to our Creator for His providential care (even through tough economic winters).

Obama doesn't even need a speech writer for Thanksgiving 2009. He can simply recite Lincoln's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, in which he thanks the Almighty for America's bountiful blessings (despite enduring a time of war and grave economic hardships). The content seems divinely timed for even such a wintery season as ours:

"No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the most high God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."

Whatever your religious persuasion, don't hesitate this Thanksgiving to bow your head, give thanks to God and follow Lincoln's advice. And, when you do, don't forget to say a prayer for our troops and their families. While they serve us so we can safely serve our Thanksgiving dressings, the least we can do is serve them a little honor and remembrance.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


All of us pro-gunners applauded the recent Heller decision of the Supreme Court which held that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. But in my blog, "Anti-Gun Control Garbage" (11-18-08), I warned: "And don't forget, the Supreme Court ruled that we could keep and bear arms only by a razor thin 5-4 margin. If Obama can appoint just one new liberal Justice, that decision could easily be reversed."

In his column today, George Will described a conservative jurist's highly critical opinion of the Heller decision. After you read his column you will see that the Heller decision is quite fragile and will lead to "an utterly predictable torrent of litigation" and restrictive legislation. Perhaps we may have celebrated a bit too soon. Here is the column:

by George Will

WASHINGTON -- Of conservatives' few victories this year, the most cherished came when the Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. Now, however, a distinguished conservative jurist argues that the court's ruling was mistaken and had the principal flaws of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 abortion ruling that conservatives execrate as judicial overreaching. Both rulings, says J. Harvie Wilkinson, suddenly recognized a judicially enforceable right grounded in "an ambiguous constitutional text."

Writing for the Virginia Law Review, Judge Wilkinson of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Heller, like Roe, was disrespectful of legislative judgments, has hurled courts into a political thicket of fine-tuning policy in interminable litigation, and traduced federalism. Furthermore, Heller exposed "originalism" -- the doctrine that the Constitution's text means precisely what those who wrote its words meant by them -- as no barrier to "judicial subjectivity."

The Second Amendment says: "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." Until June, the question was: Is the right guaranteed to individuals and unconnected with military service, or only to states as they exercise their right to maintain militias? The court held, 5-4, for the former view.

In Roe, the court said the 14th Amendment guarantee of "due process" implies a general right of privacy, within which lurks a hitherto unnoticed abortion right that, although "fundamental," the Framers never mentioned. And this right somehow contains the trimester scheme of abortion regulations.

Since 1973, the court has been entangled in the legislative function of adumbrating an abortion code, the details of which are, Wilkinson says, "not even remotely suggested by the text or history of the 14th Amendment." Parental consent? Spousal consent? Spousal notification? Parental notification? Waiting periods? Lack of funding for nontherapeutic abortions? Partial-birth abortion procedures? Zoning ordinances that exclude abortion facilities? The court has tried to tickle answers for these and other policy questions from the Constitution.

Conservatives are correct: The court, having asserted a right on which the Constitution is silent, has been writing rules that are detailed, debatable, inescapably arbitrary and irreducibly political. But now, Wilkinson says, conservatives are delighted that Heller has put the court on a similar path.

In Heller, the court was at least dealing with a right the Constitution actually mentions. But the majority and minority justices demonstrated that there are powerful, detailed, historically grounded "originalist" arguments for opposite understandings of what the Framers intended with that right to "keep and bear arms."

Now the court must slog through an utterly predictable torrent of litigation, writing, piecemeal, a federal gun code concerning the newfound individual right. What trigger locks or other safety requirements impermissibly burden the exercise of this right? What registration requirements, background checks, waiting periods for purchasers, ballistic identifications? What restrictions on ammunition? On places where guns may be purchased or carried? On the kinds of people (e.g., those with domestic violence records) who may own guns? On the number of gun purchases in a month?

Judicial conservatism requires judges to justify their decisions with reference to several restraining principles, including deference to the democratic branches of government, and to states' responsibilities under federalism. But, Wilkinson writes, Heller proves that when the only principle is originalism, and when conscientious people come to different conclusions about the Framers' intentions, originalist judges must resolve the conflict by voting their policy preferences.

It has been said that the most important word in the Supreme Court's lexicon is not "liberty" or "equality" or even "justice," it is "five." But whereas in baseball a tie goes to the runner, in controversies about the constitutionality of legislation, a tie between serious arguments should, Wilkinson says, tilt judicial judgment to the democratic side -- the legislature.

When rights are unambiguously enumerated, courts should protect them vigorously. But Wilkinson says that when a right's definition is debatable, generous judicial deference should be accorded to legislative judgments -- particularly those of the states, which should enjoy constitutional space to function as laboratories for testing policy variations.

Roe and Heller, says Wilkinson, diminish liberty by "handing our democratic destiny to the courts." Many libertarian conservatives disagree, arguing that the protection of individual liberty requires robust judicial circumscription of democracy.

So, regarding judging, too, conservatism is a house divided. And as Lincoln said (sort of), a house divided against itself is really interesting.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


In this litigious society, if they value their jobs, cops need to be extra careful in how they react to provacations, whether by lone criminals or by protesters during civil demonstrations. A case in point is last year's May Day pro-immigration demonstration in Los Angeles.

When a few troublemakers within the huge but largely peaceful crowd threw bottles and other objects at the police, the cops reacted by using their batons and firing rubber bullets at the protesters, injuring hundreds, including a number of children, the elderly and even bystanders who did not sympathize with the demonstrators. The incident cost a number of officers and supervisors their jobs, and the city ended up agreeing to pay $12.85 million in damages.

All major American cities and many small towns have been plagued with damage suits for the excessive use of police force and in most instances they settle out of court. The days when cops could kick the shit out of people with impunity ended the day that cities had to start paying extensive damages for what is thought to be police misconduct.

Here is the Los Angeles Times report on that multi-million dollar settlement:


L.A. to pay nearly $13 million over May Day melee, sources say

The settlement would mark one of the largest payouts ever made to resolve LAPD misconduct. Department has sanctioned officers and trained force to prevent another such incident.

By Joel Rubin
November 20, 2008

The city of Los Angeles would pay nearly $13 million to immigration protesters and bystanders injured by Los Angeles police officers during a melee at MacArthur Park last year, according to sources familiar with a tentative settlement reached by both sides.

If approved, it would mark one of the largest payouts ever made to resolve LAPD misconduct. Further payouts are likely to journalists who also sued, charging that they were roughed up by the LAPD while covering the event.

A settlement in the case would go a long way toward closing an embarrassing and damaging chapter in the LAPD's recent history, department observers said. The proposed agreement still must be approved by the City Council, the mayor and the judge overseeing the claims against the city.

Longtime LAPD observer Merrick Bobb, executive director of the Police Assessment Resource Center, said a settlement, following the punishment of officers and changes in LAPD procedures, is a necessary last step for the department.

"It allows the LAPD . . . to move forward having learned its lessons and tied up the loose ends it opened," Bobb said.

Sources familiar with the deal declined to provide details and spoke on condition that their names not be used because the terms of the agreement were confidential pending the council's approval. Several of the sources, however, confirmed the size of the proposed deal at $12.85 million.

The council was scheduled to discuss the settlement in private Wednesday, but emerged without voting on whether to approve it. The council is expected to take up the matter again in the near future.

City Council members, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William J. Bratton all declined to comment. Representatives from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a major Latino advocacy group that has been involved in the settlement talks, also declined to comment.

Last year, as a May Day pro-immigration march was concluding in the park west of downtown, lines of police in riot gear moved in to clear the area. Reacting to what authorities described as a pocket of agitators throwing bottles and other objects, officers from the LAPD's elite Metro Division used batons and fired rubber bullets into the largely peaceful crowd. Hundreds of demonstrators and journalists and 18 officers suffered injuries. No one was killed.

Many protesters and bystanders -- ranging from children to senior citizens -- filed lawsuits, alleging that they had been injured by police. One woman said she subsequently suffered a miscarriage. Some alleged physical and emotional distress from the incident.

In the immediate aftermath, Bratton removed two command-level officers from their posts; one later resigned. And in September, after a long internal investigation, Bratton announced plans to suspend 11 lower-ranking officers and called for the termination of four others for excessive use of force, failing to rein in other officers or lying to investigators during the inquiry.

Investigators were unable to identify several other officers who probably would have been punished for their roles in the incident.

A scathing internal LAPD report blamed poor leadership and planning as well as the overly aggressive tactics by officers in the field.

With graphic images of the violent chaos recorded by photographers and television crews in the park, the clash gained immediate worldwide attention. It dealt a serious public relations blow to a Police Department that under Bratton has made a deliberate effort to shake a reputation for brutality that stemmed from the Rodney G. King beating, the Rampart scandal and other incidents.

The fallout also strained Bratton's relationship with leaders of the union that represents rank-and-file officers, who criticized him harshly for his comments about the officers' conduct.

Eager to avoid another such misstep, the LAPD retrained all its officers in basic crowd control tactics and overhauled the way it prepares for and manages protests and other major events.

This year's May Day marches -- as well as other tense protests such as those following voters' decision this month to ban same-sex marriage -- went smoothly.

The proposed settlement would resolve a class-action lawsuit and several individual lawsuits filed in federal court -- the majority of the more than 300 claims against the city.

It does not include, however, lawsuits filed in state courts by journalists, a source said.

Under the proposed terms, the amount paid to each person would vary dramatically from several hundred thousand dollars to a few thousand dollars based on the extent of their injuries and medical expenses, sources said.


I am using the insensitive term "dumb Mexicans" knowing full well it will outrage Latino activists who, along with their civil rights allies, will condemn me as a racist. Of course, I know that most Mexicans are not dumb, but the ones who served on a South Texas grand jury, those were dumb Mexicans.

A crazed prosecutor convinced that grand jury to indict Vice President Dick Cheney and former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on charges of abusing the inmates of a federal detention center that is operated by a private company. Had there been any smart Mexicans on that jury, instead of indicting Cheney and Gonzales, they would have laughed the prosecutor out of the room and called for the bailiffs to cart him off to the funny farm for an early retirement.

Here is The New York Times report on the indictments:


A Prosecutor Indicts Foes, and Cheney and Gonzales


Published: November 19, 2008

HOUSTON — The longtime district attorney in Willacy County, Tex., is not retiring from public office quietly after a defeat at the polls this year. Instead he has issued a flurry of indictments against his local political enemies, and then for good measure filed charges against Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.

Mr. Cheney was charged with "engaging in an organized criminal activity" in connection with the 2001 beating death of an inmate by two fellow inmates at one of the privately run federal detention centers in the county, which is near the Mexican border, court officials said.

The indictment, brought by the district attorney, Juan Angel Guerra, asserts that Mr. Cheney has some culpability in what happened because he had invested in the GEO Corporation, a company in Florida that owns and operates the federal detention center in Raymondville where the death occurred.

For his part, Mr. Gonzales is accused of using his influence to stop an investigation into corruption during the building of another federal jail used by marshals. The indictment also says both Mr. Cheney and Mr. Gonzales "committed the crime of neglect" because, it contends, illegal immigrants were ill-treated at detention centers.

A lawyer for Mr. Cheney, Terrence O’Donnell, said the vice president had no direct investments in the GEO prison company but did have money invested in a mutual fund that might have invested in the company. He called the charge that Mr. Cheney had something to do with the assault or the running of the detention center "bizarre."

George J. Terwilliger III, a lawyer for Mr. Gonzales, said, "This is obviously a bogus charge on its face, as any good prosecutor can recognize."

Mr. Guerra was under indictment on charges of theft and tampering with records for more than a year and a half, until a judge (Manuel Banales, Presiding Judge of the Fifth Admiistrative Judicial Region of Texas) dismissed them last month. During that time, Mr. Guerra, a Democrat who has been in office 12 years, lost a re-election bid. He leaves office on Dec. 31.

He also has been acting rather oddly since his arrest in March 2007. At one point, he camped outside the county jail in a trailer with a horse, three goats and a rooster, daring the sheriff to arrest him. Convinced that local law enforcement officers had aided the investigation against him, he threatened to dismiss hundreds of criminal cases in retaliation.

Then on Monday, Mr. Guerra, 53, persuaded a grand jury to issue indictments against people he said had something to do with the investigation against him, charging them with wrongful arrest and abuse of office.

Those charged included two local district court judges, the Willacy County court clerk, a special prosecutor appointed to investigate him and a former assistant United States attorney.

In a separate case, Mr. Guerra brought an indictment against a political rival, State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., a Brownsville Democrat, charging that he accepted money from a company that handles the day-to-day operations at the Raymondville detention center.

"It’s just retaliation," the county court clerk, Gilbert Lozano, said. "He’s not happy with some of the officials he had indicted."

On Wednesday evening, a judge set an arraignment date for Friday for Mr. Cheney and Mr. Gonzales, but said they could have their lawyers appear on their behalf. The judge, Manuel Banales, said he would not listen to motions to quash the indictments until that hearing, because Mr. Guerra was not in court.

Since no one knew where Mr. Guerra was, the judge sent Texas rangers to his house to check on his well-being.

Now that you've read The Times report, this is why I referred to the grand jorors as dumb Mexicans. Willacy County is located just north of the Mexican border city of Brownsville. The county's population is 85.69 percent Latino and almost all of its elected officials are Mexican-Americans. So, it stands to reason that the majority of grand jury members were Mexicans. If I am wrong, then I apologize for calling them "dumb Mexicans." But when the grand jurors indicted Cheney on the basis of an accusation that he had invested in the GEO Corporation, that was not only dumb, it was downright stupid!

For some time, Guerra has been misusing his office to seek vengeance against his political enemies. And now that he has been defeated for re-election, he has obtained the Cheney and Gonzales indictments as his last hurrah.

During a chaotic hearing yesterday, a tempermental Guerra complained about the judge's handling of the case and asked Banales to recuse himself. The Associated Press reported that Guerra pounded the table and accused Banales of giving the defendants special treatment in allowing motions to quash the indictments to be heard before the defendants were arraigned. "Now all of a sudden there is urgency," Guerra shouted. "Eighteen months you kept me indicted through the election."

The jury system is the cornerstone of our criminal justice system. While petit (trial) juries have generally received a clean bill of health, the O. J. Simpson jury being an exception, the same cannot be said for grand juries which have been widely criticized for being putty in the hands of prosecutors.

When a crazed local lame-duck prosecutor can obtain a prisoner abuse indictment of the American Vice-President from a group of dumb Mexicans because of an investment in a private prison company that may not even have been made, then it's high time that we reinvent the wheel and consider abolishing the grand jury system altogether.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I did not vote for Barack Obama, but now that the election he clearly won is over, it is time to stop bashing our president-elect. He will be our president and as such deserves our support. That's what I plan to do until he does something that I cannot support. As my readers know, my main concern has been that an Obama administration will make a sharp turn in favor of the Palestinians because his foreign policy advisors have had a long track record of taking anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian positions.

Several e-mails from liberal Jews have been forwarded to me in which they salivated over the appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Obama's chief of staff. They alluded to Emanuel's strong Jewish faith and to the fact that his father, a Jerusalem-born physician, had been a member of the Irgun. The Irgun, a Zionist terrorist group, operated against the British in Palestine from 1931-48 and played a major role in the fighting that gave birth to the Jewish State. The salivaters offered Emanuel's appointment as proof that Jews can trust Obama's declared friendship for Israel. What fools they be.

I believe that because Emanuel is Jewish, he will bend over backwards to avoid any appearance of being biased in favor of the Israelis. If I am correct, that does not bode well for the State of Israel. And now it is almost certain that Obama will appoint Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State. Jews should take no comfort in that, considering Hillary's embrace of Suha Arafat in 1999. A reminder is very much in order.

At the time, an outraged Jewish reader declared that an article by Yedidya Atlas "details what Hillary 'Terrorist Enabler' Clinton did that showed what she really loves. Here is something that you (Jews) should never forget about her." The article that so enraged him is from (11-7-2000) and this is what Atlas reported:

"In November 1999, while on a purported State visit to the Middle East, she (Clinton) publicly appeared with Yasser Arafat's wife Suha. With Hillary at her side, Suha Arafat made the deliberately false allegation that "Our [Palestinian] people have been submitted to the daily and intensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children." Mrs. Arafat also accused Israel of contaminating much of the water sources used by Palestinians with "chemical materials" and poisoning Palestinian women and children with toxic gases.

Instead of reacting with outrage, Hillary Clinton sat by silently - and gave her a hug and a kiss when she finished speaking. Later, many hours after the event, and only after a media furor put her on the spot for what many view as a bit more than a mere political "faux pas", Mrs. Clinton called on "all sides" to refrain from "inflammatory rhetoric and baseless accusations" - including Israel, whose leaders made no such accusations. Glossing over this remarkably repugnant affair, Mrs. Clinton has yet to specifically contradict and denounce the monstrous lies uttered by Yasser Arafat's wife in her presence."

78 percent of the Jewish vote went to Obama. So, all of you salivating liberal Jews, now it's time to wake up in the real world and stop dreaming. Obama chose Emanuel not because he is Jewish, but because "Rahm-bo" is a proven political hardball player. The best that you can hope for is that Emanuel will keep his nose out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If he doesn't, I see him leaning toward the Palestinian side. And Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, will be no friend of Israel either. Sorry, but that's why I still don't trust Obama.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


If you've been reading my blogs, you know that criminal justice professor Mike Adams is one of my favorite conservative columnists even though I do not always agree with his positions. I really like his comments on the political correctness games being played in academia, especially those by feminist factions. In today's, Adams answers a letter he received from a young lady who was obviously upset by "the hate-mongering and fear-spreaading used by the Right." His response contains the usual sarcasm found in his columns.

Here is Mike's column in today's


Dear Deb,

Thanks for taking the time to write me from your personal email address, which I am including here ( for interested readers of my column. I am responding below to each of the three paragraphs of your brief email:

"I am extremely concerned about the hateful tone of pundits who make money from stirring up needless division and spreading misinformation."

Deb, it may surprise you but I agree. That is why I’ve stopped reading the New York Times and all of its local affiliates, including the Wilmington McTimes, here in Wilmington, North Carolina. I have also blocked access to The Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and on all of the computers in my home. I’m really trying to do my part. So far, I have no problem with anything you’ve written.

"The hate-mongering and fear-spreading used by the Right to try to salvage its power has frightened perfectly normal members of my family into thinking that the Obama presidency will bring us a totalitarian government. If you are really a scholar, then you know that this is all hokum."

Again, Deb, although I am a right-winger myself, I am in total agreement with you (except I doubt that every member of your family is "perfectly normal."). The Obama presidency will not bring about a totalitarian government. The reason for this is pretty simple: The 46% of us who voted for John McCain are presently arming ourselves to the hilt.

Since I already have enough firearms to overthrow several Latin American governments, I’ve purchased five firearms and given them to friends and neighbors since it became apparent that McCain would not win the election. You did not ask me to but I’ve listed those five guns below as well as my reasons for giving them away:

REMINGTON 870 12-GUAGE. The kid next door had his 14th birthday so I gave him an 870 with a 26-inch barrel. I told his dad that every family needed one. I suggested he buy an 18-inch barrel for home defense. I like having an armed neighbor just next door (just in case I run out of ammunition). Generally, I keep about 12,000 rounds on hand but you can’t be too careful these days.

GLOCK 19. Just as the 870 is the best "family gun", the mid-sized 9mm by Glock is the best "girl gun." It has enough stopping power to castrate a potential rapist. But there’s not too much kick for the compact to medium-sized chick. I bought one for a girl I know who lives alone.

SMITH AND WESSON MODEL 686. Aside from attending the same church, there is nothing better for a marriage than shooting the same gun. For the husband, the .357 round is just fine. But the wife will want to use the tamer .38 "special" round, preferably in a 125-grain hollow point. This is a great "couples gun" for those who agree with my assertion that no "man" relies on another man working for Brink’s Home Security to defend his home and wife for him. Since one of my buddies complained about he and his wife "growing apart" I thought it would be nice to buy them one.

MARLIN 30-30 LEVER-ACTION RIFLE. This is a hunting rifle for the whole family. The rounds are cheap and the kick is not bad at all. I used one to kill my first deer. I only wish I had it earlier when a pack of wild dogs came on my family’s property and nearly killed our dog. This gun will down a pit bull. It will even take out a black bear. And it’s cheap. Every hunter needs one. Spend a few extra bucks and get it in black walnut finish. I bought one as a wedding present for a friend from Alabama.

RUGER 10/22. I have a friend who likes shooting guns all the time. We spend a lot of money on ammo every time he’s in town. Once, I found myself thinking "I wish he had a .22 so we could save money at the range." So, one Sunday afternoon, I bought him one. In return, he shot some squirrels and showed me how to make squirrel stew. Sounds a little redneck, I know. But it beats the hell out of possum.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: I would have chosen similar purpose guns from other firearm makers.)

"I hope that you will use your place of respect to call a halt to this campaign of hate and fear. Sincerely, Deborah Lagutaris."

Yes, Deb, I will. I hereby call on all of the following groups to stop with their post-election tactics of hate and fear:

Gay rights activists who tear crosses out of the hands of little old ladies.

Gay rights activists who invade church services in Michigan.


Gay rights activists who are attacking the Mormons who had the decency to accept the 1879 Supreme Court ruling saying that states had a right to help confine marriage to one man and one woman by criminalizing bigamy.

And, finally, gay rights activists in California who are trying to use the court system to nullify the rights of the people and "disenfranchise" the majority of American voters.

I don’t think we’re actually headed for totalitarianism, Deb. But if we get much closer, I’ll have to buy a few more guns for insurance. Have a nice day,

Mike S. Adams

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


A lot of the political propaganda I get, whether from the right or the left, turns out to be bogus when checked out with Recently I received an anti-gun control piece which must have originated from someone fearing that the new Democratic congressional majority will pass new gun control legislation and that President Obama will sign it.
No one is more anti-gun control than I am. I would have forwarded this piece except for the fact that it is full of garbage. Before I tell you why, here is that anti-gun control piece:


In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. >From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated' people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

List of 7 items:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent.

Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent.

Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

You won't see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans, before it's too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.

With guns, we are 'citizens'.

Without them, we are 'subjects'.

During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

If you value your freedom, Please spread this anti-gun control message to all of your friends.

OK, there you have it. Let's look at the garbage.

Starting near the end, here is one of the most ridiculous and absurd statements I've ever heard: "During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!" What a crock! The fact is that the Japanese, while they could bomb Pearl Harbor and overrun South East Asia, did not have the logistical capability to successfully invade the United States, period!

Now for the next stupid statement: "Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated." This one is of special interest to me since I came to this country in 1936 as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. I lost both sets of grandparents in the Holocaust.

How can anyone in their right mind really believe that the Jews would have been able to defend themselves with small arms against the heavily armed SS or the Wehrmacht? Maybe a handfull, but even that is very doubtful because Germany's Jews, unlike those in Poland, were not concentrated in a ghetto. Remember, even the Warsaw ghetto uprising ended with the deaths of all the participants.

And had the dissidents of the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia been armed with pistols and rifles, they would still have been exterminated. It would be a serious mistake to believe that because we successfully revolted against the British, that those dissidents would have been able to do the same thing against the Soviets, the Chinese and the Cambodians.

I checked about the Australian statistics. While Snopes did not declare them to be false, it pointed out that few Aussies owned guns before the government ban, only semi-automatic and pump-action weapons were banned with exceptions made for those showing a need to keep such firearms, and the stats offered covered too short a time frame to be actually meaningful. So, even though the Australian stats were not false in and of themselves, it would appear that their validity in the gun control argument is highly suspect.

I too fear the possibility of new gun control legislation. And don't forget, the Supreme Court ruled (D.C. v. Heller) that we could keep and bear arms only by a razor thin 5-4 margin. If Obama can appoint just one new liberal Justice, that decision could easily be reversed. I just wish that my fellow pro-gunners would come up with something better than the above garbage.

Monday, November 17, 2008


With the housing market at the root of the economic collapse and going from bad to worse, you can hear the hue and cry for a government backed bailout of homeowners in imminent danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. The problem arose when lenders were encouraged by the government to make the American dream of home ownership come true for all. Thus the advent of subprime mortgages - home mortgages granted to people who, due to low incomes or outstanding debts, ordinarily would not have qualified for a mortgage loan.

The question is, do those in danger of losing their homes deserve to have their mortgages restructured through a lower interest rate and a longer life of the loan? My answer is, yes and no, depending own which homeowners we are talking about. The economic downtourn has led to a dramatic increase in unemployment. People who have worked hard for years in a well paying job, are suddenly finding themselves in the unemployment line with little hope of finding a new job anytime soon. These unfortunate souls, who have made their house payments on time for years, are the only ones who deserve some kind of bailout.

Not so for most of the homeowners with subprime mortgage loans. I am talking about those folks who never should have been given one of these loans in the first place. In order to make those loans, lenders did not bother to look into whether or not the borrower would have the means to keep up with the payments, regardless of how they were structured or at what interest rate. Worse yet, quite a few lenders encouraged high risk applicants to falsify their employment and income records so that they would qualify for a subprime mortgage.

Now the credit card industry is facing a collapse similar to that of the housing market. People are stuck in a quicksand of credit card debt. And who is to blame for that? Both the banks and the credit card holders. The banks have been offering their cards to everyone but pet dogs and goldfish. The card holders have been making credit purchases with reckless abandonment. With overly generous lines of credit granted by the banks, countless card holders have maxed out their accounts, accumulating so much debt that they can only afford to make the monthly minimum payments.

Consequently, the banks, backed by consumer interest groups, are proposing that they forgive up to 40% of the credit card debt owed by those consumers who are close to bankruptcy. These consumers would then get five years to pay off their remaining card debt, interest-free. At first, banks would make this offer to 50,000 consumers, then to tens of thousands of others if the initial program proved to be a success. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks, said no to the plan because of a clause that would let banks defer paying income tax on the forgiven debt until the rest of the debt was paid off.

Not so fast. Now the banks are proposing that they be rewarded for facilitating the swamping of their card holders in a sea of debt. And consumer interest groups want the card holders rewarded for going on undisciplined and unafordable spending sprees. What about those of us who have always kept up with our payments? No rewards for us, only for deadbeats. Now that makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

As with the housing market, responsible card holders through no fault of their own, suddenly find themselves out of work and with no health insurance. These victims of the economic collapse rapidly empty their checking and savings accounts and are then forced to pay all their bills, including some for astronomical medical charges, with their credit cards. These people have run up huge credit card debts out of desperation. They are the only ones who deserve a credit card bailout.

A society that takes its responsible homeowners and credit card holders for granted while rewarding its irresponsible lenders and its deadbeats is a society that has lost its way. Homeowners who never really qualified for a mortgage in the first place do not deserve protection from foreclosure and irresponsible lenders deserve to be punished, not rewarded.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A good friend, formerly in charge of a state police unit on the Mexican border, send me an article from The Monitor, a McAllen, Texas newspaper. The story illustrates why it is unwise for American tourists to visit Mexican border towns. My friend called attention to the fact that over 4,000 people have been murdered in Mexico near our border during the past year. He wrote: "Another gringo gets ripped off in a border town and is surprised. He is lucky that they didn't keep his truck and kill him. Nuevo Progresso was the last tourist town that was relatively safe."

CSI: MEXICO - Unlike our phony TV shows, this is the real deal. The Mexican cops in Rio Bravo accused an American tourist of stealing his own truck because they found his fingerprints inside it. Now that's what I call outstanding CSI work.

Here is that article:

The Monitor


NUEVO PROGRESO — Thomas Knutson was dumbfounded.

He had just told U.S. customs officers that Rio Bravo police had confiscated his stolen truck, accused him of stealing it himself and forced him to pay a bribe to avoid a weeks-long jail term for vehicle theft.

"They said this happens all the time," he said of the customs officers. "I didn't know what to do."

Knutson, 61, of New Braunfels, said he was leaving a dentist's office in Nuevo Progreso with his brother and sister-in-law, both Winter Texans from Illinois, when he realized his truck was missing from its parking spot. He called Nuevo Progreso's police station to file a report, but officials there told him the truck had already been recovered in nearby Rio Bravo.

The three made a trip to the Rio Bravo police station with Nuevo Progreso City Hall staffer Joe Adellano, who served as a translator for them. Adellano told Knutson the Rio Bravo police didn't believe the truck actually belonged to him and claimed he had stolen it himself and was trying to get it back from the authorities.

"The police said that he tried to steal it," Adellano said. "He was saying one thing and then he said another. ... The police, they don't buy it. They think (Knutson) made it up."

Adellano said the police believed Knutson was lying because he first said he parked the vehicle and left it unattended for several hours, later changing his story and saying he had only made a quick stop at a 7-11 convenience store. They also suspected he had stolen the vehicle because they had found his fingerprints inside it.

But Knutson said their accusations were part of an extortion scheme.

"They said I've got to cough up some money," he said. "They said that if I didn't agree, I'd have to pay more for a judge and for the chief of police (in bribes) so that I could get out of jail."

Numerous calls to Rio Bravo police officials were not returned Friday.

Knutson said officers haggled with him for several hours while his family waited outside and that police took his passport and threatened to confiscate it if he did not comply with their requests.

Eventually, he paid the officers $510, of which police claimed $120 was a towing fee, and he was given his truck back and allowed to leave the station.

"It was total intimidation," he said, shaking his head nervously. "I'd never felt so helpless, so discouraged, so intimidated. I felt like I was being raped."

Friday, November 14, 2008


If you have any self respect, you will surely spend a lot of money on personal hygiene products. There are a lot of products out there and some of them are quite costly. And of course, some are better than others. Use of personal hygiene products is often a matter of personal choice. Being in my eighties and having tried many products over the years, here are my personal choices:


In my younger years I shaved the old fashioned way - shaving soap and razor blades - with its time consuming lathering, razor burn and frequent cuts. Phooey on that! When electric shavers became popular, you could only get the slotted cutter types. I tried the Schicks and the Remingtons, but they did not give me a satisfactory shave and left me with ingrown hairs under my skin. Back to the Gillette safety razors until Sunbeam came up with an electric shaver using a real blade. That one worked for me. I started out with the original single blade shaver, then graduated to the later model with three blades.

Then along came Philips Norelco with its rotary shavers. Voila`! I have been using them ever since Norelco came out with the triple head model. They give me a smooth shave and that's all any man can ask for. And, a one-hour charge lasts me at least three weeks. Several months ago, I gave my son a Norelco to try out. He was reluctant to try it because of the ingrown hairs he got from other electric shavers. No ingrown hairs with the Norelco as he continues to shave with it.

Of course, there have been a number of model changes since I first started using the Philips Norelcos. The latest model is the "arcitec." At first I thought this really odd looking model was just a marketing gimmick, but this shaver proved to be a real improvement over Norelco's other models. In particular, the arcitec's flexible head is outstanding at surmounting the contours of one's face and neck. And its new slender design makes it very easy to hold. I highly recommend it. Get the basic 1050X model - it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the other arcitec models, so it is somewhat less expensive.

A word about care and cleaning of the Norelcos. Replacement razor heads will cost you over thirty dollars. You can avoid this cost by rinsing the razor heads under hot tap water after each use and let the shaver air dry. The supplied cleaning brush should only be used to clean the shaver's trimmer. Once a month, I spray the razor heads (while they are running) with an electric shaver lubricant. Norelco makes one, but I prefer Oster "KOOL LUBE 3" which I buy at a beauty supply store. I've never had to replace any razor heads since I started using the models that can be rinsed out.

One word of caution and this is my only complaint about the Norelco shavers. Recharging takes one hour. That's good. But here's the rub. Once the shaver is fully charged you cannot leave the shaver in its charging stand IF THE STAND IS PLUGGED IN or you will shorten the life of the battery. To be safe, I don't keep the stand out, using it only to recharge the shaver.


For years I, like most others, used a manual toothbrush. I started using Oral-B brushes after my dentist gave me a sample brush. Of course, I had to switch to an electric toothbrush once those devices became popular. I can't recall the name of the brand I used for several years. I do remember that, to keep from damaging the instrument, you were required to use the special toothpaste supplied by the maker of the device. Phooey on that!

I switched brands when Braun teamed up with Oral-B and the Braun "Oral-B ProfessionalCare" electric toothbrush arrived on the market. It has a round brush head that rotates back and forth. The small brush head easily gets to every part of every tooth. I found it to be superior to the standard brush heads and highly recommend it. Again, get the basic model without all the bells and whistles.

A word about care and cleaning. After each use, I rinse off the whole instrument under luke warm tap water while the brush is rotating. After I've turned it off, I remove the brush head and rinse off the inside of its base. Unlike the Norelco shavers, you can leave the Oral-B in its charging stand while it remains plugged in without damaging the battery. Every six month I let it run until the battery is completely discharged. That will extend the life of the battery.


After trying several different brands, I long ago settled on Arm & Hammer "PEROXI-CARE" toothpaste. It contains baking soda and peroxide and that's what sold me on it.


I have used Listerine Antiseptic mouthwash for years and years. I use the original formula, not the newer mint flavor type. It doesn't taste worth a shit, but it works for me.


I use Old Spice "High Endurance" stick deodorant. I do not use an anti-perspirant.


Don't laugh, but I use "Ultra Palmolive Antibacterial" concentrated dish liquid soap to wash and shower with instead of regular hand soaps. I also use it instead of shampoo. For years I used Dial soap and Selsun Blue shampoo. The Palmolive dish soap really gets me clean and it smells good too. It also works just as well as any shampoo I've ever used.


I use the Carlisle 40021 hand and nail scrub brush. It really gets the hands and under the nails clean. Although the bristles are quite hard, I also use this 5" long brush to scrub my face and to scrub my scalp while shampooing my hair. The Carlisle 40021 can be ordered from a number of outlets over the internet.

There you have my personal hygiene product choices. Make what you want of them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Recently, a cop buddy of mine sent me a copy of a Los Angeles Times story on the proposed ban against off-duty LASO deputies drinking while armed. That reminded me of a situation back in the '70s. At the time, League City was a small bedroom community in Galveston County (Texas) that unintentionally hosted a bunch of hard drinking off-duty cops from a neighboring county.

Why were those cops drawn to this sleepy little town? It was because the sheriff and the police chiefs in neighboring Brazoria County had issued orders forbidding any off-duty officers from drinking anywhere within the county. So what did the cops do? They discovered the La Oficina in League City, a bar that happened to be owned by a police officer.

Just about any night, but especially on weekends, the La Oficina was reminiscent of the old wild-west frontier saloon. Off-duty cops engaged each other in drunken knock-down and drag-out brawls. There were several shooting incidents inside the bar. It got so bad that the local police chief called on the sheriff and police chiefs of Brazoria County to issue orders forbidding their off-duty officers from coming to League City.

Police work has been described as 95 percent utter boredom and five percent sheer terror. It's the five percent that makes policing stressful. That's why cops drink a lot - alcohol is a great stress reliever - and that's why cops suffer from a high rate of alcoholism.

I used to teach my students that cops are most likely to get in trouble over wine, women and guns, not necessarily in that order. When you mix excessive drinking with guns, you have a potential disaster in the making. I am not a fan of LA sheriff Lee Baca, but in this case he is taking the right approach to an obvious problem.

Here is the Los Angeles times story:


LOS ANGELES – The sheriff of Los Angeles County plans to prohibit his off-duty deputies from carrying their guns while drinking because several have been accused in recent years of firing weapons while intoxicated.

Sheriff Lee Baca says there has been a disturbing rise in alcohol-fueled misbehavior among his deputies in the nation's largest sheriff's department.

Since 2004, more than a dozen deputies have been accused of brandishing or shooting a gun while under the influence of alcohol. At least 61 have been arrested this year on alcohol-related charges, 39 of them for driving under the influence, and most of them were armed at the time.

In April 2006, a rookie deputy who had at least 11 drinks while celebrating his return from Marine duty in Iraq shot and killed a friend.

It was unclear what caused the increase in incidents, but sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore noted Tuesday that the number of sworn deputies in the department has increased to more than 10,000. It also may be that other police agencies are making more arrests of intoxicated deputies instead of covering for them as they might have in the past.

"Thirty, 40 years ago, perhaps they would drive (deputies) home," Whitmore said.

He said the policy could be in place as early as January.

The deputies' union opposes the restriction. Union leader Steve Remige says it would let criminals know that deputies who had put them away would at times be unarmed.


Traditionally, presidents nearing the end of their term in office usually grant a number of last minute pardons to criminals in prison or on parlole, and even to those who have already completed their sentences. Many of these pardons have been political paybacks. Who can forget President Clinton's shameful and absolutely unjustified pardon of convicted fugitive Mark Rich, a reward to Rich's ex-wife for raising and pledging funds to build Clinton's library.

In yesterday's, Debra J. Saunders, a conservative columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, called on President Bush to commute the life sentence of a convicted drug dealer. Although viewed by some as a conservative Republican, Saunders consistently opposed the War on Drugs. She also supports same-sex marriage. Compared to her, John McCain is not much of a maverick.

As a former narc, I do not have much sympathy for drug offenders, including those serving time for marijuana offenses. If what Saunders says about Clarence Aaron is correct, I would have to agree with her that this convicted drug offender is deserving of a sentence commutation. Here we have a dumb-ass college student convicted along with five co-defendants for a nine kilogram cocaine transaction. Now that's a very substantial amount of cocaine, deserving of a long term behind bars. But, there's a catch in Aaron's case.

Aaron, 23 at the time, was a first time offender. The others were career criminals. Strange as it may seem, the long-time drug traffickers, being wise to the ways of the criminal justice system, escaped with far lighter sentences than did Aaron. They admitted their guilt and testified against him, while he insisted that he was innocent and refused to testify against them. While the nine kilogram cocaine trasaction merited the life sentence Aaron received, apparently he was not aware that he would have received a much lighter sentence had he pled guilty and testified against his co-defendants.

Since Aaron has been imprisoned since 1992, and considering the circumstances of his conviction, I believe that a commutation of his sentence by President Bush would serve the interests of justice in this particular case. Aaron is certainly more deserving of a break than Mark Rich was when that crook was given a politically motivated pardon by President Clinton.

Here is Saunders' column:

FREE CLARENCE AARON by Debra J. Saunders

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Nov. 2 on the effort to petition President Bush to commute the sentence of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to accepting some $2.4 million in bribes. The president has the constitutional power to pardon federal offenders by wiping clean their prison records for sentences served or by commuting the sentences of inmates in federal prison.

Before Bush even considers such a request, he ought to take a long look at the thousands of petitions for a presidential pardon filed by inmates who have never served in elective office. He could start with the case file of Clarence Aaron, who at age 23 in 1992, while a student at Southern University at Baton Rouge, made the criminal decision to introduce two drug dealers, which resulted in a transaction involving 9 kilograms of cocaine.

Aaron broke the law and the fitting consequence for that is a serious prison stay. But because Aaron was a newbie to the drug trade and did not have the experience with the criminal justice system that would have led him to testify against the trade kingpins in exchange for a lighter sentence, and because his five co-conspirators knew enough to 'fess up and turn on him while he wrongly and stupidly denied any guilt, Aaron was handed the longest sentence in the group. He was a first-time nonviolent drug offender -- but a judge sentenced him to life without parole.

Having entered prison as a young man, he will die there unless a president pardons him. There is something rotten to the core in a justice system that puts a twenty-something first-time nonviolent offender away for life, while meting out lighter sentences for career criminals who know how to game the system. Life without parole also is the same sentence imposed on FBI-agent-turned-Russian-spy Robert Hanssen, except that it is worse for Aaron, who was sentenced in 1992. Hanssen was arrested at age 56.

It turns out Aaron's most heinous offense was not the drug deal, but not having spent years getting arrested and learning how to roll through the criminal justice machine.

I know that I will hear from law-and-order types who will argue that all drug dealers should go away for life. I do not think many would feel so sanguine about such a term for a white college student. (Aaron is black.) As it is, the world is not a safer place with Aaron behind bars. It is a poorer territory that throws away people because of a warped sentencing formula that ensnares the unwitting and spits out the truly dangerous.

Aaron, now 39, has admitted his wrongdoing and taken responsibility for the actions that put him behind bars. He has a clean prison record. In 2005, two wardens recommended that he be moved to a lower-security facility.

Bush has a pretty stingy record when it comes to granting presidential pardons and commutations. He has granted a mere 163 pardons -- a figure far lower than President Ronald Reagan's 406 back when the federal prison population was much smaller.

No doubt, President Bill Clinton's sleazy fire-sale pardons on his way out of the office -- which were roundly and deservedly criticized -- have made Bush reluctant to use his absolute power of pardon.

Also, as Texas governor, Bush was burned when he pardoned a one-time misdemeanor drug offender so that he could work in law enforcement, only to watch Steve Raney be arrested for stealing cocaine during a roadside arrest four months later.

For all of the above reasons, critics in the pardon community pretty much have given up on Bush commuting Aaron's sentence. They have put their hope into clemency from President-elect Barack Obama, who has been critical of the draconian federal mandatory minimum sentencing system. They believe that Bush will reserve his pardon power for political operatives, and ignore excessive sentences imposed on the unconnected.

So far, the critics have been right. Last year, Bush commuted the 30-month prison sentence of former vice presidential aide Scooter Libby because it was "excessive." But he has yet to commute the sentence of Clarence Aaron. Aaron should be spending this Thanksgiving and Christmas with his mother and his family. And only President Bush can make that happen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The other day, a friend sent me a news release from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a gun owners rights organization which takes a less controversial approach than the National Rifle Association. The CCRKBA has spent much of its time fighting gun restriction laws in the courts. The news release expressed concern over the possibility that the Obama administration and the Democratic congressional majority are set to attack the right of gun owners to keep and bear arms.

I forwarded the news release to the people on my e-mail address list. This is the reply I received from one of my friends who happens to be very liberal: "Nothing like a little more [right-] wing nut propaganda. Ted Kennedy has been going to take my guns for the past 40 years and I still have them. Nothing like the politics of fear."

My lefty friend conveniently ignores the fact that Ted Kennedy and his left-wing buddies in Congress failed to succeed in their quest to restrict gun ownership only because they were stopped by the Republican and conservative Democratic members of the house and senate.

I believe the CCRKBA and gun owners have every right to be concerned about our gun onwrship rights now that the political landscape has shifted sharply to the left. That is why I am blogging the news release on this day, the day set aside to honor the military veterans who have served in our nation's wars. Here it is:




BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today called on Democrats to "be honest" with America’s 90 million gun owners and "tell us whether your campaign claims of adherence to the Second Amendment were all lies."

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said gun owners are legitimately alarmed that president-elect Barack Obama has selected virulent anti-gun-rights Democrat Rahm Emanuel as his White House chief of staf f. Emanuel was "point man" on gun ban efforts for the Clinton Administration.

"Scores of Democrats, including Senator Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, assured voters over the past several months that they ‘support’ the Second Amendment," Gottlieb stated. "Well, America ’s gun owners do not merely ‘support’ the Second Amendment, we live by it every day. We value the right to keep and bear arms, and will zealously protect and defend that right, as much as we value the rest of our fundamental individual civil rights, and that is something Democrats need to understand. To think otherwise is a monumental mistake.

"Mr. Obama, whose history on gun rights is abysmal, appears to be considering his party’s most extremist gun control advocates for key positions in his administration," Gottlieb continued. "That is not a sign of goodwill toward gun owners or their rights. It’s a red flare warning of high winds and rough weather looming on the political horizon.

"Our nation is in serious trouble," he observed, "and we all need to be working together to solve our fiscal crisis and our energy problems. The fastest way to alienate tens of millions of productive, loyal and hard-working American citizens is to attack one of their constitutionally-protected civil rights.

"We wish our new president smooth sailing in his new ship of state, because we are all along for the ride," Gottlieb said. "But we caution his crew that the eyes of every American gun owner are on you. Democrats have an opportunity and an obligation to prove they mean what they have been saying about protecting the Second Amendment, or to demonstrate to the nation that they truly are the party of extremist gun control."