June 29th, 2003

Sheila

Catching up after a week away

I spent most of the last week in San Diego and LA. It was a long trip.

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One comment I can't make as a reply because wbwolf is more interested in preaching to the choir than having a real discussion: When he points out that the Second Amendment calls for a "well-regulated" militia and takes the NRA to task for overlooking the "well-regulated" part, he, in turn, overlooks the fact that the modern meaning of "regulated" is quite different from the meaning of the word in 1789. When the Bill of Rights was written, "well-regulated" meant "well-trained and well-equipped". FWIW, I have no problems with requiring safety training before allowing someone to buy a firearm, so long as 1) it's not a covert gun owner registration system, 2) it's totally nondiscretionary, and 3) the requirements are reasonable enough that anyone can pass the test after receiving the appropriate training. Something else he may not be aware of is that the NRA has been calling for years for a national database of those prohibited from owning firearms under the 20,000 existing laws on the subject, and the Left has consistently opposed such a database. This reveals their true agenda: it's not about preventing the wrong people from owning guns as the average person would define "wrong people"; it's about defining "wrong people" as anyone who's not in the elite.

I'm going back to the range in a little while. (I'm now a member, so now I can go shoot. Whee.) I pulled my shots to the left consistently when shooting yesterday evening, and that bothers me.
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Dammit

On Texans and Oregonians

...and other left-wing Pacific Coast kooks.

wbwolf tars every Texan with the same brush. He thinks we're overconfident, boorish, and worst of all to his worldview, conservative. Gasp! The horror!

While I think he's politically closer to Berkeley than Portland, the fact remains that this is too broad an overgeneralization. Texans come in all political leanings, from John Birch to Mickey Leland and Sheila Jackson-Lee. There are parts of the state that are way too liberal for my taste, yet there are people who flock there and claim the rest of the state is out of its gourd. Austin springs to immediate mind, as well as the Montrose district of Houston and some parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Yes, Texans call for the death penalty more than any other state. This is not a bug. In general, we feel that there are some crimes for which no lesser penalty is appropriate. Don't want to get a lethal injection in Texas? It's easy. Don't do the crime. Same thing for prisons: Don't like them? Behave yourself and stay out of them. It is worth noting that the death penalty is not automatically handed down just because the prosecutor asks for it, either; they must prove that the person is a continuing threat to society, and juries scrutinize the question closely.

While we're making sweeping generalizations, I could say that those on the Pacific coast are rabid environmentalists intent on preserving bugs and weeds at the expense of people, and giving all of the money belonging to the rich (which they define as making more than they do) to the poor, whether or not they are poor because of their own choice.

I will not go so far as to say I'll never again set foot on the Pacific coast, however, as I recognize that there is a range of opinion there, as there is everywhere. (Even the People's Republic of Taxachusetts isn't completely made up of leftists, despite the fact that they re-elect Ted Kennedy by massive margins every 6 years.) If wbwolf will shed his unreasoning prejudice - something he is quick to decry in others - he might find that Texas is a pretty nice place. Hell, I'll even give him a tour of the Hill Country.
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Splut

Where's this letter from?

Name the source of this letter to the editor:

We need a war against barbarism of personal terrorism, too
The recent brutal murders of a 15-year-old boy, a mother and her two children, and a 79-year-old woman lead one to a question: Isn't there something wrong with a society that permits these kinds of crimes to occur? The question isn't whether the murderers will ultimately be brought to justice, or what the nature of that "justice" might be. Rather, the problem is that these crimes ever took place, that our society allowed them to occur. The people who committed these murders share one thing in common: a total disregard for the value of human life. Can you imagine yourself beating a 79-year-old woman to death? I can't. The time has come to stop listening to the excuses for such behavior generated by its socio- and psychobabbler apologists. Such people are simply and totally beyond the pale of civilized life. They are barbarians. People who exhibit such a love of violence and callous disregard for life can't be that hard to spot. They should be identified from an early age and separated from the civilized majority so as not to be able to do their evil deeds. Such a policy would be analogous to the "doctrine of pre-emption" in the war against terrorism. We've got to get back to having a civilized society. What we need is a war against barbarism.

According to wbwolf, this is the kind of thing a Texan would write. (Or so I assume, from his repeated public comments.) Wrong-o:

George Dyke
Maiden Rock, Wis

As printed in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press today.

What's next, wbw? Gonna stay out of Wisconsin, too?
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