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 people 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:
1. Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent
2. Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent
3. Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
4. 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!
5. 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.
6. There has also been a dramatic increase in break- ins and assaults of the ELDERLY.
7. 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’.
Posted by Jock on Nov 11, 2008 6:34 PM
Friday, November 14, 2008
How I Spent Election Night in a Baltimore Jail
By Michael M. Hughes, Baltimore City Paper. Posted November 14, 2008.
On a night of historic celebration, Baltimore city police arrested revelers without cause or provocation.
It was sometime between 2 and 3 a.m., and I was handcuffed and sitting inside a Baltimore police paddy wagon.
"Officer," I yelled.
"What?" a cop brusquely answered from outside the van.
"Officer, I need to use the bathroom. I really have to go." It was the third time I'd asked since my arrest, over an hour earlier. It was no joke -- my bladder felt as if it was going to rupture.
"You'll have to wait 'til we get downtown," he answered.
I grimaced. Behind my back, my wrists chafed against sharp, plastic cuffs. I squeezed my legs together. "I think I'm going to piss myself," I said to my only companion, a skinny kid in khakis and a pink oxford with a popped collar. He shook his head but didn't answer. My entire body began shaking, and I doubled over, sliding to my knees on the floor in pain. I remembered reading about a study in which volunteers were paid good money to piss their pants, and none could do it -- such is the power of social conditioning.
"Fuck," I said, and felt warmth spreading between my legs.
It struck me, then -- the pathetic and surreal absurdity of my situation. Why was I, a 42-year-old husband and father of two young daughters, a senior employee of Johns Hopkins, a freelance journalist, and a law-abiding, civic-minded guy, sitting in my piss-soaked underwear in the back of a paddy wagon outside the Northern District police station?
The day had begun with such promise.
That day I served as a Baltimore City election judge. I didn't do it for the measly paycheck but considered it a chance to connect with my neighbors. A handful of people were lined up when I arrived at 5:45 a.m., and an hour later the line stretched around the inside of the school and out along the sidewalk. The mood was electric. I saw lots of familiar faces and many, many new ones.
Some I'll never forget. A bearded 75-year-old white man holding a Noam Chomsky book said to me, "I didn't think I'd be around for the last election. And I know I won't be around for the next one. But this one … " he smiled.
A visually impaired black woman asked me and another judge to read the ballot for her. We read it all (yes, every last word of the bond issues) and when we finished, she pressed the button and turned to us with tears in her eyes. "That's the first time I ever voted," she said, and hugged us. My eyes welled up, too.
A smiling blonde woman approached the polls and explained to us that she had flown home to vote, in person -- from Sudan.
As soon as the polls closed, I put on a bootleg Obama T-shirt I'd bought on Greenmount Avenue. It was over-the-top -- an enormous image of Barack's face covering most of the shirt.
Later that night, I watched on a friend's television as a wave of blue swept over America. Eight of my friends had gathered, and after Obama's acceptance speech in Chicago, we heard car horns, whooping, and cheers from 33rd Street.
"Let's go," my friend Dan said.
I haven't seen such spontaneous celebration in the streets since the Ravens won the Superbowl. All around us cars honked, while people cheered and chanted "Obama!" and "Yes, we can!" We noticed an enormous gathering in North Charles Village, and as we approached several of the people in the crowd saw my Obama shirt and started cheering.
"This is amazing!" Dan said.
And it was. The crowd was an amalgam of the forces that had swept Obama into power: multiracial, young, old, straight, gay, with one commonality -- they were all smiling. Students were holding American flags aloft with pride. Students! Ecstatic! About a presidential race! Strangers hugged and danced and high-fived one another. Tears flowed.
I need to write about this, I thought. I need to remember all of it, and document it, because it will never happen again.
Even the police were swept up in the mood, smiling and posing for photos. An occasional handful of students would venture into the streets to high-five enthusiastic, honking motorists, only to be waved back by the police, but otherwise, it was as peaceful and well-behaved as a high school pep rally.
Then I looked up the street, to where the police had blocked off St. Paul Street with almost a dozen cruisers. A phalanx of about a dozen cops had lined up.
They began marching, and I saw one of the cops holding a pile of plastic flexicuffs. No one had a bullhorn or a PA. They just moved into the crowd and started yelling at people. There was no clear officer in charge, just a group of belligerent, angry police.
My brother came running up the sidewalk. "Some guy just got tasered!" he said. I saw some cops walking back toward us, so I crossed the street to stay out of their way. The first arrestees were being led to the paddy wagon. I pulled out my cell phone and started snapping pictures.
A beefy officer saw me taking photos and approached. I held my hands at my side and said, "I'm a journalist. I'm just taking pictures."
He slapped my cell phone out of my hand and grabbed my shirt. "Well, write a nice, long story about this," he said, spinning me around as another officer cuffed me. I was in the paddy wagon before I could even comprehend what was happening. After processing at Northern District I was thrown into a concrete cell, strip-searched, fingerprinted, and subject to the singular degradation of a long night spent in Central Booking.
To the Baltimore City Police: I have met plenty of decent, respectful cops in this city. I could single out those who arrested and cuffed me, but I won't. This isn't about individuals -- throughout the ordeal, I met many who were appalled at the behavior of their comrades. One complimented my Obama T-shirt and loosened my cuffs. Another strip-searched me while shaking his head in disgust. "Welcome to the Baltimore City Police," he said.
To Mayor Dixon: I hold you accountable for the appalling, irresponsible behavior of your police force. They turned a peaceful, orderly, euphoric celebration of democracy into a brutal, embarrassing fiasco. People spontaneously celebrated in cities across our country -- indeed, the world -- without major incidents. Baltimore failed. Shame on you if you don't address this and apologize. And oh, by the way, thanks for not returning any of my calls despite promising to do so.
Most importantly, to the voters of Precinct 12, Ward 8, and the students, professors, teachers, and other citizens who gathered in Charles Village to celebrate the end of eight years of divisiveness and toxic politics and to inaugurate the beginning of an era of new possibilities: thank you. Because of you, I know my country, and my city, is in good hands. You made me proud.
Finally, to the officer who dared me to write about my arrest: Here you go, sir -- as requested. I just hope you read it.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Oh dear... the nature of this video is pretty telling. It might lead one to conjecture that it was captured by agents of the responsible authority. Consider the camera positioning... perfect to catch both events in detail... they start already zoomed in on the structures and then zoom out to catch the action... consider that it would appear that there are two cameras involved.
Yes, chilling. Documentation for the archives, with backup, no less... how professional... how creepy. Speaking of creepy, note in the North Tower set the remnant of the spire of pulverized 5-inch thick steel core columns, which are blown away in the wind by the time the person pans back up. The squibs in WTC7 are much clearer here than in previous evidence.
Strange that it's only coming out now from an anonymous source. I don't quite know what to make of that, but we'll probably find out in time. I've downloaded the hi res versions but have yet to view them. Need to figure out where the camera was. The original post at Veoh is in two parts, on YouTube they are together. Slightly better quality there than at YouTube. Sigh.
Props to Rick Phillips for the lead off his excellent Squidoo news lens. And thanks to Rick for recommending High Strangeness again :-)
Added: November 03, 2008
UPDATE: New details have emerged about these videos. Please see the following article for more information:
This footage was posted to video sharing network Veoh.com on November 1, 2008:http://www.veoh.com/videos/v16415017F...
To download higher quality WMV files of these videos, please use the following links:
North Tower: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=YGWWCV3E
For detailed analysis of these videos, please stay tuned to:
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Could unknown Okanagan creature be baby Ogopogo?
Kent Spencer, Canwest News ServicePublished: Monday, November 10, 2008
VANCOUVER - A TV documentary crew has added to the mystery surrounding Ogopogo by finding an unknown biological specimen in the depths of Okanagan Lake.
"I told a radio station tongue-in-cheek I thought it was the baby Ogopogo," monster-watcher Bill Steciuk of Kelowna said Monday after the History Channel completed a nine-day shoot.
"It was all curled up. The features were really hard to see. You could see a little head tucked in and a straight tail with no fins.
"It's a huge mystery. We have no idea what it is," said Steciuk, who helped organize the shooting locations.
The unidentified specimen has been shipped to the University of Guelph in Ontario for DNA tests, but Ogopogo buffs will have to wait until February to find out more, when the Monster Quest program weighs in on the legendary mega-serpent.
Ogopogo, first sighted in the 1870s, is reputed to be 12 metres long with multiple humps and a small head.
The History Channel, which had a bigger budget than previous expeditions, mounted a thermal infrared imaging camera on a helicopter for the first time. It picked up an unidentified shadow on the lake, while sonar spotted something over three metres long moving in the water.
"That's pretty big for a fish," said Steciuk.
But divers made the most interesting find in an underwater cave on the west side of Rattlesnake Island.
"I couldn't recognize it," said Steciuk. "Nor could anyone else. Maybe a new species has been found."
Photographs of the specimen were shown to local expert Arlene Gaal, who has earned the title of Ogopogo-ologist after writing three books on the subject. She is not sure that the son of Ogopogo has been found.
"The Ogopogo is real, but I don't know what this is," she said.
"I had my doubts when the crew presented me with their findings. It looked to me like a decomposing ling cod."
She said the crew's best efforts were wasted on choppy waters.
"It was not the time for sightings," she said. "The Ogopogo likes warm weather and sunshine."
Producers departed with dramatic re-enactments of past sightings - but no catch of the century.
Steciuk said the program may have been defeated by the primitive snake's reserve.
"The Ogopogo is a shy animal," he said. "There is no question we have an aquatic animal on our lake. Okanagan residents are starting to come to grips with it."
© Vancouver Province 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Refusing to be Muzzled by LA Auto Show, AFS Trinity Pulls 150 MPG SUV out of Show; Will Exhibit Elsewhere in LA During Show
Company says carmakers continue to seek tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, ostensibly to develop fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, but their conduct is evidence they are reluctant to embrace solutions they didn't invent.
Nov. 7, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Nov 07, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- AFS Trinity Power Corporation today announced it pulled its 150 MPG plug-in hybrid SUV prototypes out of the LA Auto Show but will independently exhibit and demonstrate the super fuel- efficient vehicles on their own elsewhere in downtown LA during the show.
The company's decision followed actions by the LA Auto Show to muzzle AFS Trinity from highlighting the 150 miles per gallon fuel economy of its XH150 prototype vehicles. "The suppression by the automakers of information about technologies such as this raises serious questions about the judgment, vision, intentions and capabilities of the leadership of these companies," said Edward W. Furia, Chairman and CEO of AFS Trinity. "Such conduct by the automakers, who are currently seeking tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, ostensibly to develop fuel efficient vehicle technologies, is evidence they are reluctant to embrace solutions they didn't invent."
First shown at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January, 2008, two XH150 prototypes have toured the country for the last ten months and received positive reactions from the American public, national media (see coverage at http://www.afstrinity.com/
Furia explained that, when AFS Trinity sought exhibition space on the main floor of the LA Auto Show, the only space that show management offered was the Kentia Hall basement (Note: the LA Auto Show is "owned" by the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association, which, in turn, is closely associated with the major auto makers in Detroit). To address AFS Trinity's concern that the Kentia Hall basement space was much less likely to attract visitors to the XH150 exhibit, show management offered the company a package of floor space in Kentia, advertising space in the auto show program and billboard space on the main floor of the convention center, suggesting that AFS Trinity could use the ad and billboard to attract visitors to the basement exhibit.
"There was just one hitch," Furia said. "Before we could proceed, the content of our ad and billboard had to be submitted to auto show management for approval. When we told them that the ad and billboard content would essentially be the same as what the company has used in its web site for the past ten months and which we used at the Detroit Auto Show in January, they responded that our mileage claim of 150 miles per gallon would not be permitted."
Furia quoted an email from LA Auto Show management that said, "We cannot approve this content ... the mileage claim is of primary concern to us. Manufacturers are forced to quote EPA verified mpg numbers in their advertising, and ... [your] 150-MPG figure is an estimation. A banner like this one in the lobby is likely to generate unfavorable reactions from manufacturers, which is something we will take action to avoid." (Email from LA Auto Show Assistant General Manager, Scott Webb).
In response, AFS Trinity observed that EPA does not certify mileage estimates of show cars and prototypes, but nevertheless offered to modify its billboard and ad content with new text, stating, "150-MPG is an estimate, not EPA-certified ...your mileage may vary."
The email AFS Trinity received in response from LA Auto Show management, according to Furia, reads: 'We will not accept any billboard or program advertising that mentions AFS Trinity's 150-MPG claim, including references as part of the graphics on the vehicle. This is no longer a topic for further discussion."
Explaining AFS Trinity's decision to pull out of the LA Auto show completely, Furia said, "We had no choice but to pull out of the show when they refused to let us state our 150-MPG mileage estimate, as it is the most important and popular feature of our technology. Indeed, I believe our fuel economy would be the main reason that people would go to the trouble to find us at the auto show," he said. "Being in the basement was bad enough. Forcing us to be silent about our key benefit was simply unacceptable."
Ignoring the solution
Furia said, "No one questions the sales potential of a 150-MPG SUV that can carry a whole family and provide better acceleration than similar gasoline models. Every single person who has driven these cars loves them and wants one. We have built two XH150 prototypes and demonstrated them across the country. Yet, none of the major automakers has accepted our invitation to see and drive them, let alone license the technology and mass produce them. They usually claim that they are going to come up with something of their own in the future. In other words, they reject breakthroughs they didn't invent."
"In the meantime," Furia said, "American auto plants are closing, men and women who are among the best trained, most productive auto workers in the world are losing their jobs in record numbers, and America is in danger of losing the last vestiges of its heartland heavy industrial base altogether. We want people to know that a super fuel-efficient automotive solution to our dependence on oil already exists, which the driving public enthusiastically supports and that major automakers can license and mass-produce within an estimated three years."
Furia said, "Our desire to deliver this message in spite of the effort to muzzle us is why we decided to bring our exhibit trailer and prototypes to downtown L.A., the American city that, probably more than any other, understands the environmental, energy and economic implications of this technology. The anticompetitive behavior by the automakers is troubling because Americans still appear willing to buy new cars if they are offered the right ones. Now is the time to embrace new fuel efficient vehicle technologies, not stifle them."
EPA and prototypes
According to Furia, "The reason the LA Auto Show gave for prohibiting our 150 mile per gallon estimate -- which we have widely used in other auto shows and which has been broadly reported by the media worldwide -- is that EPA has not certified this mileage, but this is a weak and transparent excuse, as EPA does not certify mileage for show cars or prototypes. Certification does not happen until a car is much closer to being commercially produced."
AFS Trinity's 150-MPG mileage estimate is based on a typical week of driving: 40 miles, 6 days per week and 80 miles on one weekend day each week. The first 40 miles of every day are electric, with gasoline being used only for distances beyond 40 miles. For this driving profile, the XH-150 uses up to 2 gallons of gas to travel 320 miles, which works out to 160 mpg, which the company rounds down to 150 miles per gallon.
Furia explained that the difference between the AFS Trinity approach to energy storage in a plugin hybrid and that of other developers is the use of ultracapacitors and proprietary control electronics to solve the power and life cycle limitations of batteries. AFS Trinity has been developing sophisticated energy storage and delivery technologies for 18 years working with a variety of private and government entities, including DARPA, NASA, the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Transportation, California State agencies, Oak Ridge National Labs, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Lockheed, Honeywell, Mercedes, Ricardo and others.
"We applaud attempts by carmakers and others to develop a new battery that might be able to overcome the inherent reliability and durability problems related to the duty cycle demanded of a plugin hybrid, but waiting for it -- especially as it may never emerge or may emerge at an impossibly high cost -- is risky business, particularly when the auto industry needs an energy storage and power management solution for plug ins now," Furia said. "We have a solution today that we have demonstrated and that only requires mass production engineering in order to be put into commercial production in a wide range of cars, trucks and SUVs."
Implications for Auto Industry Stimulus (aka "Bail-out") Package
Furia noted that the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday that Detroit automakers are once again on Capital Hall in Washington, D.C. seeking a bail-out and forecasting their own demise if they don't get it. "This is certain to be a major issue that the new U.S. Congress and President-Elect Obama will consider. An emergency bail-out could even become an issue in the remaining days of 2008 for the current U.S. Congress," he said.
"The action that the LA Auto Show took to muzzle AFS Trinity has implications for such a bailout," Furia said. "The idea that the Detroit automakers, through their LA Auto Show agents, would seek to suppress interest in a super-efficient vehicle technology developed by a small company such as AFS Trinity truly challenges the imagination, particularly given the global energy security landscape through which America must navigate in the next several decades," Furia said.
Whether the behavior of the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers, and, by implication and association, the carmakers they serve, is based on NIH ("not-invented-here") considerations, or something else, it raises questions about whether the current leadership of the American auto industry possesses the perspective, character, capability and vision to escape the death march in which they currently appear to be locked, no matter how large a bailout the next Congress and President-Elect Obama are willing to support.
"As dangerous as Detroit's problems may be, they also represent an enormous opportunity to reject antiquated attitudes and behaviors and create millions of new jobs and feed unprecedented economic growth, precisely because these problems are so large and so critical to address. Simply put," Furia concluded, "a stimulus package that allows current auto industry leadership to remain in control of the destiny of this critically important industry as it confronts this unprecedented crisis -- and opportunity -- is something that the new Congress and President-Elect Obama should really think twice about."
About AFS Trinity
AFS Trinity develops Fast Energy Storage(TM) for vehicular, spacecraft and stationary power systems utilizing batteries, ultracapacitors, and flywheels. The Company has conducted programs with private and government organizations including DARPA, NASA, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. DOT, California Energy Commission, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Lockheed, Honeywell, Mercedes and Ricardo. AFS Trinity's patent-pending Extreme Hybrid(TM) drive train utilizes ultra-capacitors, batteries and proprietary power and control electronics for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Ricardo, the world's leading independent automotive engineering firm, with over 1900 engineers in facilities around the world, has assisted AFS Trinity in building the first XH-150 prototypes and is a preferred supplier to AFS Trinity for drive train integration support. For more information visit www.afstrinity.com and www.ricardo.com.
Some statements in this news release are forward-looking. These statements may be identified by the use of words such as "will," "expects," "believes," "targets," "intends," and words of similar import. Actual results may vary depending on circumstances both within and outside the control of the Company including market acceptance of products, technology development cycles and other risk factors. AFS Trinity Power Corporation takes no responsibility for updating any forward-looking statements made in this release. Extreme Hybrid(TM), ExtremeFleet(TM), XH(TM), XH-150(TM), XH-250(TM), Fast Energy(TM), Fast Energy Storage(TM), Just Plug It In(TM), Powered by Fast Energy(TM) are trademarks pending of AFS Trinity Power Corporation. Patents Pending. All Rights Reserved. (C) 2008 AFS Trinity Power Corporation.
SOURCE AFS Trinity Power Corporation
Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
Posted by: "Remy Chevalier" remyc at prodigy.net
Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:41 am (PST)
CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION!
DEMAND A HALT OF ONE-HALF MILLION GALLONS OF RADIOACTIVE WATER
BEING DUMPED INTO HUDSON RIVER !
Local Citizens and organizations around the nation, including Rock the Reactors, Green Nuclear Butterfly, Fuse USA, and Citizens Opposing a Radioactive Environment (CORE) have united to immediately halt the ongoing dumping of 500,000 gallons of radioactive water into the Hudson River through the end of this year - 2008.
According to a July 31, 2008 report, "Indian Point Safety Evaluation," the Entergy-owned Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant implemented plans to drain Fuel Pool 1 by the end of 2008 as "an effective path" to solve the problem of underground fuel pool leaks. Known radioactive contaminants in the water include: Tritium, Strontium, Cesium, and Cobalt. An Entergy employee newsletter admits that "Concentrations of Sr-90 are much higher in the IP1 spent fuel pool than in the IP2 spent fuel pool." These are very Dangerous!
In the Requests for Hearing and Petitions to Intervene legal action filed October 1, 2007 with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the States of New York and Connecticut, Riverkeeper, Inc., Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the Town of Cortlandt, NY, Connecticut Residents Opposed to Relicensing Indian Point, and Westchester County, NY, current leaks of radioactivity from two spent fuel pools at "higher than acceptable" levels into both groundwater and the Hudson River are a serious concern for impacts of the contamination on the Hudson River fish and shellfish.
Despite Entergy's claims that a program was initiated beginning in April, 2006 to reduce the concentration of radionuclides in the Unit 1 Pool's water via demineralization water filtration process, such filtrate treatment is incapable of removing radioactive Tritium and very fine radioactive particles from water.
In a paper prepared for the Department of Energy by the Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Tritium within water evaporates and is released into the atmosphere. A radioactive isotope of Hydrogen with an effective life of over 240 years, Tritium can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled, and ingested in water and food. Particularly vulnerable are children under 20 and pregnant women. Diseases associated with Tritium exposure include: cancer, asthma, allergies, hormone dysfunctions, leukemia, nervous system disorders, birth defects, Down's Syndrome, defective sperm, and neonatal deaths.
According to a 2008 American Cancer Society Report, 1 out of 2 men and 1 out of 3 women can be expected to face cancer in their lifetime. The citizens of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey are particularly at risk due to Entergy's dumping of 500,000 gallons of contaminated water into the Hudson River, with radioactivity subsequently evaporated into the air and flowing down the Hudson River, washing ashore along Atlantic coast beaches.
Concerned citizens are urged to immediately contact: NY Governor Paterson (518) 474-8390, and your representatives both in the NY State Senate (518) 455-3216, and the NY Assembly (518) 455-4218 and demand an end to the dumping of 500,000 gallons of radioactive water into the Hudson River!