Saturday, May 31, 2014

2 meter J-pole in a tree

Finally, finally, finally getting around to installing an antenna for the Yaesu FT-1900R two meter radio I got for Christmas last November.

Copper J-pole is completely obscured by leaves. 
I didn't want to hang one off the house house, or in the attic. And I didn't want an elaborate antenna mast.

My house sits down in a hole. For most cellphone carriers, service is spotty. So for two meters, I knew I'd want at least a some height.

So I settled on a tree about a hundred feet from the back porch. The backyard has a gentle upward slope, so I gain height with every foot of cable run.

Mounted the J-pole on an 11.5 foot PVC mast, the first 10 feet is 1 1/2 inch PVC, the final foot and a half downsizes to one-inch. The J-pole is attached to the one-inch PVC. I used a ladder to get about 20 feet up the side of the tree, then hoisted up the mast so that the base of the mast is mounted at that 20-foot point. A series of metal air-duct clamps on the lower three feet of the mast now holds it in place.

Before installing the mast, I spray painted it a khaki color.  The paint didn't really stick well, and tends to scape off, but that almost seems to enhance the inadvertent camo effect. You really have to get up on this thing to see it.

I also put up a 10 meter dipole not far away. It's not nearly so stealthy. It hangs from a nylon cord hung between two trees. Got the cord over some branches by duct-taping it to a softball, and doing some underhand high pitches.

Update:  Mixed results when I hooked up transceivers. The 10 meter dipole works perfectly. Strong signals, and near perfect SWR readings. But there was high SWR (close to 2.5) on the 2 meter antenna. Part of the problem may be the proximity to the tree. But I also used cheap coax for the final leg of the cable run. Up in the tree. Live and learn, as they say.

Update 2: Checked out the cables except those making the climb up the tree, and still get bad readings using two different radios and a dummy load antenna. I suspect now it's the SWR meter that's bad, or perhaps just out of its range. Will look to acquire or borrow a better meter later in the week. For now, the 2 meter antenna will stay in place as is, pending further testing.

Update 3/Monday, June 2: Bought a Diamond SX-200 SWR meter at Ham Radio Outlet. According to the meter, the 2 meter antenna has a 1.1:1 SWR on a 146 mhz frequency I spot checked. Looks like the antenna build-out was perfect, the failing over the weekend was in the SWR meter initially used for check-out.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Are we there yet?

"The collapse foreseen by anxiety-ridden doomers has already happened, financial Armageddon is behind us, only the details of realization remain." - Ol' Remus at the Woodpile Report

Military options to quell U.S. domestic disturbances

Don't let it be said Mr. Obama doesn't have a plan. 

Waxing philosophical...

Sorting through some decades-old personal papers last night while fiddling with a just-as-old shortwave radio, I was reminded how fulfilling life could be even before the Internet and cable TV.

So much of what we call "living" today is just noise.

Lawsuit: VA cops delivered fatal blow to impatient patient

First show this story in the Washington Times.

It's being alleged 65-year-old vet Jonathan Montano grew tired of waiting for dialysis treatment at one Veterans Administration facility, and wanted to see if things would move faster at another. But staff at the first facility called in-house police to prevent his exit.

Montano's family claims his death resulted from a beating by police that included stomping on his carotid artery that triggered a stroke.

KTTV/Los Angeles was apparently the first to report the story.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Obama fails to impress the New York Times

The Times pans O's foreign policy address big time:
The address did not match the hype, was largely uninspiring, lacked strategic sweep and is unlikely to quiet his detractors, on the right or the left.

Pulse protection

From Chris Muir's Day by Day Cartoon:

Gearing up for radio play

Back from Cincinnati, and have jumped into a couple of long put-off projects before re-immersing in a regular routine.

One long-desired goal is to have a ham radio shack up and operational, and I've made strides in that area.

I've opted for the classic Kenwood TS-520s or 520se as a high frequency rig. I found one of each on eBay for less than what a new bells 'n whistles HF set would cost.  They're still inbound, so I can't speak to their actual condition, but the idea is that one will be the base station, while the other will be tucked away as a back-up, perhaps stored in an EMP protected Faraday cage type package.

Meanwhile, I've scouted antenna sites, and will initially go with a wire dipole cut for 10 meters to be hung between some trees in my backyard (I'm only working under a technician class license). Getting coax out out to the site is about a 140 foot cable run. Coax isn't cheap. But I'll make the run mostly with RG-213.

Eventually, I'll probably bury the coax where it runs across the yard, but for initial set up and testing, I'm just going to skim out a narrow trench about a half inch deep and secure the cable with landscaper's sod stakes.

I've also scouted a tree where I'd like to hang a 2 meter j-pole antenna I bought last year, similar cable run, but I'm going with lower loss LMR-400 coax there.  For a 2 meter radio, I have a Yaesu FT-1900 still in the box from last Christmas.

I got my technician class license last November, and this is my first step doing anything serious with it. I did pick up a used Icom handi-talkie type 2 meter rig when I got first got the license, but the teenie-tiny digital display is almost impossible for my aging eyes to read, so I haven't tinkered with it much.

One rig I have enjoyed is 40-year-old Icom IC-502 (Not the modern marine radio) on 6 meters. Picked it up through the classifieds at Pretty darn primitive, but I've engaged in DX listening when the the band "opens up." No contacts with it yet, however. Most guys I'm hearing on the band say they're running multi-element antennas and pushing some high wattage. If my 502 is up to specs, it'll do no more than 3 watts, and I'm mostly using the built in whip antenna.

I will say, the IC-502 seems to run forever on a set of C batteries. I'm still on the first set of alkalines I popped in it back in December.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

We laid dad to rest this week

Part of his obit as it appeared in the local Cincinnati/Hamilton papers:
Mr. Rink was a veteran of the U. S. Army and was the flight engineer and gunner in a B-29 Bomber in the U. S. Air Force, serving in World War II and Korea. He had worked in the fingerprint division for the FBI. He also had worked at General Electric, serving in the Apollo Space Program and the Lunar Module Program at the Kennedy Space Center. Mr. Rink was tax commissioner for the City of Springdale for many years, was a long time member of Atonement Lutheran Church, and a member of the VFW in Fairfield. He passed away Friday May 16, 2014.
Dad turned 92 last year.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 21, 1917

We're just a few days away from the anniversary of the Great Atlanta Fire (No, not the one started by General Sherman).

The 1917 fire stretched from Decatur Avenue on its south side to Ponce de Leon on its north.

The New York Times covered the story as breaking news.

Friday, May 16, 2014

More arming up at USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is shopping for ballistic body armor, which appears to dovetail nicely with its desire to acquire an untold number of submachine guns.

Update (5/17): A particular requirement draws a keen eye.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Manufacturing's not hiring now. It's apparently waiting for cheaper workers.

This is one of those WTF? stories.

A titan of industry believes American manufacturing has capacity to hire 600,000 immigrants if Congress can manage to pass immigration reform this year.

From The Blaze:
Jay Timmons, the president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said he believes an immigration bill will pass near the end of this year. He said creating some pathway to citizenship for non-legal residents is “absolutely essential” for manufacturers to help bring skilled workers to the United States. 
“There are 600,000 jobs in manufacturing that are going unfilled today. This immigration bill can go a long way toward helping us fill those positions,” Timmons said. 
Why the hell not hire 600,000 U.S. citizens now?

Seriously, what's up? What kind of deep technical skills do today's illegal immigrants, or immigrants who've yet to arrive, have that aren't available to employers today?

Business seems to want "immigration reform" solely to drive down wages.

Third world wages right here in the U.S., and it's the union-backed Democrats who are the ones pushing hardest to make it happen (though John Boehner and Jeb Bush get credit for wanting Republicans to get some credit for this insanity).

Have we lost the ability to do linear thinking?

Can no one see we're plotting a course for deeper dismantling of America's standard of living?

The push for immigration reform has nothing to do with "social justice."

The real driver is the oligarchs wanting a bigger labor pool who will work cheaper to leverage against the American worker.

It's just that simple.

Updated at 1:35 EDT to add "and Jeb Bush"

Things are probably worse than you realize

"As the governments in most of the rest of the world are incompetent, Washington’s incompetence doesn’t stand out, and this is Washington’s salvation." - Paul Craig Roberts

H/T: Woodpile Report

Expecting trouble down on the farm?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has a requirement to pick up a supply of submachine guns.

How many, and for what purpose, USDA isn't saying. But it's posted its desire to acquire online:
Solicitation Number:
Notice Type:
Sources Sought 
Added: May 07, 2014 2:03 pm
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, located in Washington, DC, pursuant to the authority of FAR Part 13, has a requirement for the commerical acquisition of submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burts trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsilbe or folding, magazine - 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.  NO SOLICITATION DOCUMENT EXISTS.  All responsible and/or interested sources may submit their company name, point of contact, and telephone.  If received timely, shall be considered by the agency for contact to determine weapon suitability.
And what the heck does NO SOLICITATION DOCUMENT EXISTS mean?

H/T: Sipsey Street 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Obama's dangerous immigration games

We do not have a government that can be trusted with immigration reform.

What we have is a government that plays immigration games that jeopardize public safety and national security.

From CBS News:
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 36,007 convicted criminal aliens last year who were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings, according to a report issued Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies. 
The group of released criminals includes those convicted of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault, according to the report, which cites a document prepared by the ICE. 
A majority of the releases were not required by law and were discretionary, the organization says.

Snellville's small town authoritarians

So, apparently Snellville, GA now considers requiring a permit for your kids to knock on a neighbor's door to door to sell stuff mandated by public school fundraisers (and other non-profit endeavors).

From WSB Radio:
The ordinance, in its current form, would require potential solicitors to first obtain the one-year permit by going to the police department and submitting their information.  They would also undergo a free background check which usually takes a day to process.  Minors selling their wares would not be required to undergo a background check but their parent would and as well as have to accompany their children door-to-door.
Can't begin to tell you how many school related fundraisers kids are required to participate in. Football .... Basketball... Cheerleading has them... Orchestra... And sometimes there's school-wide fundraising.

Then there's the non-school athletic stuff like rec league or travel ball sports... scouting...

And Snellville wants to require permits and parental background checks before kids can begin complying with mandated fundraising? Not everyone has deep pockets or extended family to meet these fundraising obligations.

Think again, Snellville. If some of your residents object to knocks at their doors, tell 'em to put up a "no soliciting" sign. If you must enact additional regulation, confine it to clearly commercial ventures, not kids trying to gain life-building experiences.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I like my guns...

Via Twitter:

Polling on the Georgia GOP U.S. Senate contest

A recent poll from St. Leo University puts the GOP contest to replace retiring Saxby Chambliss in this order:
(David) Perdue tops the field with 26 percent. Jack Kingston (16 percent), Karen Handel (15 percent), Paul Broun (13 percent), and Phil Gingrey (8 percent) have some ground to make up as the campaign enters its final week. A total of 21 percent are undecided or said they supported some other candidate. The survey was taken of 689 likely primary voters May 5-6 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
The eventual winner of the Republican contest will go on to face the Democrats' choice, presumably Michelle Nuun.

Interesting that Perdue, positioning himself as a political outsider, is front runner on the GOP side, while Kingston, first elected to Congress in 1992, is running second.

What's caught my eye this morning is an exchange on Twitter outting Perdue's record, or lack of one, for voting in Republican primaries. Even a staunch Perdue loyalist seems to admit that the first time Perdue cast a GOP primary ballot was just two years ago.

Does this mean Perdue didn't turn out  in Georgia primaries where his cousin Sonny was running for governor?  

There's something to be said for being a political outsider in these perilous times. But there's also potential danger when someone's too much of blank slate.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Phil Gingrey and last year's gun control comments

Congressman Phil Gingrey is among those vying for the Republican nomination in the Georgia U.S. Senate race.

But do you recall how Phil Gingrey seemed eager to compromise on gun control last year?

From the Marietta Daily Journal, January 11, 2013:
“There are some problems, and maybe these huge magazines even for someone who says, ‘look, I just use an AR-15 for target practice,’ but do you really need to be standing there shooting at a silhouette a shot a second or even quicker with that kind of weapon? For what purpose?” Gingrey asked. “I would be willing to listen to the possibility of the capacity of a magazine.” 
Gingrey, who took the time to praise Adventure Outdoors owner Jay Wallace as the gold standard for running a responsible gun retail business, said he is also open to revisions of the so-called gun show loophole. 
“What it is basically, if you go to a gun show and there’s somebody out there in the parking lot, and they’re getting out of their car, and they’ve got an A-15 on their shoulder or …. John Q. Public wants to sell a handgun or whatever, then there’s no background check,” Gingrey said. “You know, you’re buying a used weapon from somebody and then basically no background check.”
Sorry Phil, seems to me you shot yourself in the foot trying to sound "reasonable" to the gun control crowd.   

Our continued right to keep and bear arms may hinge on who we send to Washington next year, and I want a candidate willing to stick to his guns when it comes to protecting it. 

The bigger the gun-free zone, the more tempting the target

While Michelle Obama and her celeb friends pose for pouty selfies denouncing Boko Haram and its abduction of Nigerian school girls, I've seen no references in U.S. media that have bothered to mention that the violence in Nigeria takes place in a nation that bans civilian ownership of all but the must rudimentary of firearms.

While some African media merely say the Nigerian police must do more to enforce gun bans (while admitting efforts to date haven't worked), there are other voices who have long been calling for wider availability of guns in civilian hands for self-defense.

Best I can tell, Nigeria's government remains unwilling to consider allowing its law abiding people access to firearms as a means of self defense. In recent years, the government has actually become more restrictive in its limited licensing of civilian arms.

Update: Dave Workman at reports some Seattle area media  have included restrictive Nigerian gun control in coverage of Boko Haram developments.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Still think Boehner's serious?

Or just dishing up more DC theater side show?

From The Hill:
The House has held Lois Lerner in contempt, but it won’t use its power to place the former IRS official under arrest, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Sunday... 
The contempt charge has been referred to the Justice Department, and Boehner said it is up to Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute Lerner.
Yeah, right.

That would be the same Eric Holder previously held in contempt by a House of Representatives vote in June 2012. Don't hold your breath for a Lerner lock up.

Mothers Day, 1923

From the Harris and Ewing photo collection at the Library of Congress:

On Mothers Day, May 13 (1923). thousands of Philadelphia veterans of the American Legion journeyed to Washington to honor the mother of the unknown soldier

Utahans ride to protest BLM policy

No militia at a protest this weekend on public lands in Utah. Just some folks waving flags and riding ATVs. Still, the Bureau of Land Management is vowing prosecution for those in this group who dared violate BLM decrees, according to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune.

The Trib story includes video and an extensive photo set of the protest.

California and drought

There's an assertion going 'round that the drought California is now experiencing may be the worst in 500 years.

Mother Jones magazine earlier this year gave coverage to the drought, reporting everything from wine production, to vegetable cultivation, to drinking water supplies were impacted.

But it strikes me the political left fails to acknowledge that modern California exists because of man-made water infrastructure.

Biggest problem California has now is that "environmentalists" have largely prevented the state from pursuing water infrastructure projects that would have expanded capacity to meet the needs of a growing population.

The Left merely blames climate or climate change, failing to honestly assess that population has outstripped man-made access to water in California that was largely put in place in the first half of the 20th century.

Yes, droughts do happen. Some are significantly worse than others. But in the era not but a few decades ago, civil engineers made allowances, and took preparations in advance to deal with them. Today, too many people act as if they're taken by surprise when a naturally occurring event like drought takes place, failing to understand drought is something that could have been planned for in more comprehensive manner.

Yes, conservation should be part of any water plan. But you can't let population (and industry) outrun water infrastructure.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

While the Obamas fret over bad guys in Nigeria...

The first couple seems to ignore the violence and bloodshed that's an everyday occurrence in their Chicago hometown.

Fifteen people were shot in Chicago between Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning.

Outting Common Core

Common Core consists of a dangerous concentration of power that will lead to deeper national stagnation in our educational institutions and systems.

Four more "Pinocchios" for the Liar in Chief

Of this claim made by the president:
"Here’s what’s more disconcerting. Their [Republicans'] willingness to say no to everything — the fact that since 2007, they have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class just gives you a sense of how opposed they are to any progress — has actually led to an increase in cynicism and discouragement among the people who were counting on us to fight for them.
The Washington Post says this:
On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous. 
We realize that Senate rules are complex and difficult to understand, but the president did serve in the Senate and should be familiar with its terms and procedures. Looking at the numbers, he might have been able to make a case that Republicans have blocked about 50 bills that he had wanted passed, such as an increase in the minimum wage. But instead, he inflated the numbers to such an extent that he even included votes in which he, as senator, supported a filibuster.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The intolerant Left

HGTV cancels planned show over the hosts public expression of traditional, consevative Christian viewpoint.

HGTV can do what it wants. The channel apparently has a large gay viewership.

But the events surrounding the Benhams cancellation showcases an increasingly bold enforcement of intolerant attitudes by the political left.

All the Left's former preaching of tolerance is showing itself to be a ruse. It was only used to gained acceptance for its favored minorities - who now turn around and wield their new clout in ways to persecute others for having political or religious viewpoints in disagreement with today's thought police.

Too much stuff on plates today

No Don and Doug today (May 9th) on BlogTalkRadio.

We expect to return with a fresh program on May 16.

Opposition to NY gun control is spreading

Twenty-two states now express opinions that New York's so-called SAFE Act is bad law.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Not necessarily the news...

“The news is not about news anymore. It’s about protecting some people, destroying others and shoving a socialist agenda down the collective throats of America.” - Charlie Daniels,  as quoted here.

How far we have fallen...

Daniel Greenfield has a gift for seeing and communicating about the troubled times we live in.

This is part of a recent post at Greenfield's Sultan Knish blog:
In a Brooklyn housing project, Andre Robinson, a typical denizen, was caught kicking a cat. Robinson had a string of previous offenses, including a knife point robbery, but that didn't outrage anyone. Viral videos of the Knockout Game being played were ignored or denounced as a racist hoax. Andre's video was mild by the standards of World Star Hip Hop which is crammed full of videos chronicling violence against human beings. 
If Andre Robinson had been taped kicking a man, no one would have thought about it twice. But he was filmed kicking a cat. And "the internet", a term which sites specializing in viral videos use refractively to refer to themselves, sprang into action to track him down. And track him down they did. Robinson will probably serve more time for kicking a cat, which is okay, than he did for his knife point robbery. Because we are a moral society. We are the best people in the world. 
Around the same time another viral video was making its rounds. Emily Letts, a personable abortion counselor, filmed her abortion to show a "positive abortion story." 
That strange long lost America of a century ago, whose people really might have been the best people in the world, would have considered Emily a much worse monster than Andre. But that society sometimes seems to have vanished as far into the past as Ancient Rome. It hasn't really, but it has been banished thoroughly from our public spaces. Its brand of morality no longer informs us. Instead it is passed down precariously through families and communities as a local form of dissent.
The decline of our society is happening right in front of us, but most folks are too busy to notice. Or too distracted. Or they've been told not to notice, and they think that gives them a pass as they turn their heads and look the other way.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

If you hate zombies, but love cats...

I read a delightful piece of zombie apocalypse fiction this week.

Zombies, Cats and Heroes by Brett A. Fernau.

Not nearly the gore-fest most zombie tales obsess with. And it's a cat lovers delight as well. Cats have a much more active role in the tale than zombies do.

I was also pleasantly surprised at the book's positive references to prepping, but it's done in a light-handed, gentle manner. Nobody's preaching here.

Firearms are also presented in positive light, but there's no obsession with heavy duty armaments or massive firepower. Just some basics in gun philosophy and hardware suffice.

Again, this isn't a how-to prepper book disguised as fiction. It's a fictional zombie tale with a post-apocalyptic feline twist. It's the kind of book that makes for a light beach or pool-side summer read.

If you fan of zombie tales, and love cats even more, make some time to curl up with this book.

Zombies, Cats and Heroes in an independently published work, and is available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.

Gowdy targeted with threats

It seems there are people who are very unhappy that some in Congress dare challenge the White House narrative on Benghazi.

From Politico:
The U.S. Capitol Police are investigating threatening emails against Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican recently tapped to lead a special panel probing the Benghazi terrorist attacks. 
The investigation comes after POLITICO reporters and journalists at other outlets received two emails on Tuesday warning that Gowdy would be harmed because of his role in investigating the 2012 attacks. 
The Capitol Police would not comment on the scope of the investigation but Officer Shennell Antrobus confirmed that there is “an active, open investigation.”
Just another milepost showing we're driving deeper into a fundamentally transformed America.

Hillary's not happy

"I think again we're way out of balance. I think that we've got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime." - Former Sec. of State and presumed 2016 Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton

Update: Okay, it was bad enough Hillary said it. What's over the top is is the way CNN frets and tries to spin her way out of it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Productive Tuesday

Acquired a new, more functional bicycle today.

Actually, it's a 30-year-old 10-speed that will be more functional than what I have now once a few mods are made.  Saw the bike, a Nishiki with 27-inch wheels, near the checkout at a thrift store. Cost out the door: $31.75 with tax.

Gears and brakes function well, some minor surface rust seems to be cleaning up with a copper scouring pad dipped in some Marvel Mystery Oil. Only a light test ride so far cuz the tires are scary old, probably original, and their rot is obvious.

Still, the bike is of a solid build. Components are metal, plastic very scarce. Comfortable to ride.

Getting an old bike into shape gives me motivation to get in better shape, build endurance to ride it.

Always good to have a project that reinforces fitness and basic mechanical skills.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Do you follow the market?

Assessment of ammo prices is increasingly taking on tracking trappings not unlike those associated with other commodities.

Meanwhile, there's Gunbot. About as close as you can get to a real time ammo market ticker.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The more I hear out of Washington DC...

The more I feel like we now live in a sequel to Idiocracy.

Today's jaw dropping headline: Non-English Speakers Fast-Tracked For Federal Disability Approval

Pass the Brawndo, It didn't 500 years to get here after all.

Bunkerville town hall meeting

"The day the militia [came] was the day I felt safe again in Nevada," said one participant.

For those interested in follow-up events after the Bundy Ranch stand-off, KVVU-TV has a report and video from a town hall meeting earlier this week. 

Observation made last fall:

"The longer the Obama presidency continues, the more America's status as a superpower ebbs away." - Con Coughlin, writing at the UK Telegraph

Friday, May 2, 2014

Comedian sees America sliding into fascism

And he's not joking.

Twenty months after the Benghazi attack...

But just four says before his Ohio primary, House Speaker John Boehner says he will move to establish a special committee to investigate the attack that killed our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in September 2012.

Time should tell if this is a serious investigative push by the speaker, or if it's just something intended to save face, and to be used in GOP primarily for fundraising going into November's general elections.

Update: Word is Trey Gowdy of South Carolina will be tapped to chair. Putting Gowdy in a leadership role gives me some hope this may turn into some more than an election year gimmick.

More Americans are 'going Galt'

But bureaucrats twist the stats, pretending they show an economic surge.

Update: Peter Schiff gives some excellent commentary on this week's economic data updates. Things are ugly, ugly, ugly. And getting uglier.

Facts can be persuasive

Who's winning the gun control debate in New York?

If polls taken at a college campus debate in upstate New York are any indication, it's the pro-gun side.

The Daily Star in Oneonta, NY reports:
Near the end of the debate, the professors answered several questions from the audience. By the end vote, the number of students who felt there should be restrictive gun laws decreased to 33 percent, with 50 percent opposing gun laws and 36 percent saying they were undecided.

Cops 'n guns 'n booze

Ruh-roh. NYPD seems to be seeing a spurt of gun crimes - among the ranks of its officers:
Cops, cars, booze and bullets - put them all together and you get a recipe for disaster. It's a lesson the New York Police Department learned this week after three off-duty NYPD officers were linked to separate shooting incidents, each involving some drunk driving.
It's the person, not the gun, that commits the crime.  But remember these examples for the next time some gun control advocate insists police should be the only ones packing in public.

This makes me smile:

Seeing Media Matters for America bash ABC, NBC and others over yesterday's coverage of a House committee Benghazi hearing.
Mainstream media distorted Ret. Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell's Benghazi testimony to the House Oversight Committee, seizing on a partial remark that "we should have tried" to rescue the victims...
Dear Leader's palace guard seems a little thinner than usual this morning regardless of how loudly Media Matters protests.

Report: The White House had role at Bundy Ranch

How much news can be hidden in just one paragraph?

KLAS-TV, News 8 in Las Vegas gives it a shot in an after-action report on Bundy Ranch:
When the Bureau of Land Management mobilized to go after Bundy's cattle two years ago, they did so under an administrative order. This time, it was considered a criminal matter, and the I-Team has learned that order went all the way to the White House for approval.
If the report is accurate, I glean the following:

The Obama White House had direct involvement in events that transpired with the Bureau of Land Management at the ranch.

If the White House and BLM deemed this a criminal matter, why didn't BLM show up with, and execute criminal warrants at the start of the operation?

If a crime's been committed, make it a crime on the record. Don't go name calling, or engage criminal prosecution tactics over what's officially a civil matter. The TV report seems to overlook it was paramilitary style government force deployed over a civil matter that put the protest movement in motion.

The KLAS report goes on to report law enforcement claims that Bundy ranch protesters had the means to unleash a bloodbath targeting officers at the scene. But the report also says no one in the demonstration crowd who did have a gun didn't so much as put a finger on a trigger. The claim could just as easily be made that law enforcement had the means to massacre protesters. Our emotions are being toyed with here.

What's most important in assessing things here is the bottom line: That neither side fired a shot.

Still, it was clear by all accounts that things came dangerously close to a shooting range war the other week. Why's this local TV station seem to just now figure that out?

With tensions now seemingly subsided, we wait to see how BLM and local law enforcement make any next moves.

Seems a tad ironic to me

"Black Women for Obama" object to race being mentioned in political robocall, saying race should be unimportant in a political contest. 

BTW, no one seems to know who's behind the robocall in question.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Team Obama outs colleges and universities over sexual harassment complaints

Now this is interesting: The federal government today outed a list of 55 colleges and universities it says are being investigated over sexual abuse and harassment complaints.

The Department of Education release says, in part:
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released today a list of the higher education institutions under investigation for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints. 
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. In the past, Department officials confirmed individual Title IX investigations at institutions, but today's list is the first comprehensive look at which campuses are under review by OCR for possible violations of the law's requirements around sexual violence. 
"We are making this list available in an effort to bring more transparency to our enforcement work and to foster better public awareness of civil rights," Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon said. "We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue. I also want to make it clear that a college or university's appearance on this list and being the subject of a Title IX investigation in no way indicates at this stage that the college or university is violating or has violated the law."
Making such a list public is unprecedented, according to the release, and the move is being sold to the public as being in the interest of "transparency." I have to ask, what - if anything - has the Obama administration done purely in the interest of transparency?

Strikes me, the Obama administration's intent may be to up its level of intimidation, an attempt to push colleges and universities to make rushed, one-size-fits-all, centrally-planned policy changes as designed by Obama allied progressive bureaucrats.

Obama bureaucrats seem to use each and every "in" they can find to push their fundamental transformation. Just because colleges and universities are generally in the hands of the political left, those in higher education shouldn't fall into a belief that they too won't be targets of change as Team Obama attempts to reshape America in a step-by-step, institution-by-institution process.

Assessing Obama's little war on Libya

"Simply put, perhaps overly so, the new-normal in Libya was a former intact country now
fractured and divided along many lines of diplomatic, economic and military power in
desperate need of organization toward self rule in the post-Qaddafi environment." - Brig. Gen Robert W. Lovell, USAF (Ret), in testimony submitted to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Keep Calm and Carry On

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