Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good shoot

A homeowner in Cocoa, FL got into a gun-fight with four intruders.

Bad news - the homeowner was shot, but it was not life-threatening.

Good news - all four intruders were shot.

Folks, this is why one needs 30-round magazines and semi-automatics for self-defense. I'd feel almost unarmed without one.

Even folks in other countries get it...

Citizens in India are pushing their government to make firearm ownership less cumbersome.


Quoted from the article, India's current gun laws are holdovers from British occupation and were designed to keep the Indian subject from uprising.

Hmmm... just like every other gun law - designed to enslave subjects, not to free people.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Let me just leave this here...

Speaks for itself...

Bad job test...

Jeff Foxworthy has a test to see if you are a redneck. If you meet one or more of the criteria, chances are that you are a redneck (I have lost count of how many I meet).

I have developed a similar test. This is for all those scams out there, passing themselves off as jobs. My heart goes out to the young men and women who work there, looking for ways to make life easier.

Some scam job test criteria to determine if you work in a scam-job:

1. If your company is located in the bad part of town and employs people on commission-only...
2. If your interviewing manager has not bathed in three or more days...
3. If you post on all the local career web sites multiple times per week...
4. If your company is on its fourth name in the last 18 months...
5. If your company shares office space with a scam job company...
6. If your paper job application is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy...
7. If your company actually encourages people to smoke in the office...
8. If salaries and commission levels vary week-to-week...
9. If one of the first five questions you ask in an interview is "when can you start?"...
10. If you find yourself selling candidates on why they should work for you...
11. If the boss frequently knocks on the bathroom door - disturbing your weed-smoking session - to ask about something work-related...
12. If the longest tenured person in the office has been there a whopping four months...
13. If the longest tenured person you know of in the company just celebrated their fifth month with the company...
14. If you don't actually have a business license, yet have an office...
15. If more than one person in your office wears phony cowboy boots with the suit...
16. If you actually like the candidates who wear phony cowboy boots...
17. If everybody in the office frequently works over 60 hours, but nobody even gets minimum-wage-for-40-hours paychecks...
18. If everybody in the office has 'dated' everybody else...
19. If your company is the only company in that office building...
20. If you measure hiring successes by
a) what percentage of people actually show up for the first day, AND:
b) what percentage of people actually stay after getting their first paycheck...

... then you might just work at a scam-job!

Family Condition

I have been long overdue in blogging about this.

Last week, my mother was admitted to the hospital with rapid heartbeat. She reacts to caffeine and my initial thought was this was the culprit, as that has been the case several dozen times over the last few years.

This time, though, the situation was different. Earlier in the week, my mom underwent double-bypass surgery as a precaution against possible heart-attack and congestive heart failure. Also, the doctors repaired a leaking artery.

They had also been scheduled to perform a "Dor" procedure - the removal of a dead segment of the heart and insertion of a graft to take its place - similar to a skin graft. However, during the operation, the doctors decided against this procedure as the part that looked dead actually started looking better after the artery leakage was sealed off.

Those who pray to God above, I humbly ask for your prayers for her speedy recovery.

Those who do not pray to God above, I offer my prayers to you that you may come to know Jesus. My mom does and that provides me with peace that cannot be understood by those who do not know my Lord.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Great email from a friend:

I got this email as a response to a silly forward showing a lot of the Geico cooglie-eyed money saying that is what Obama has spent.
(edited for content, language)

"It never ceases to amaze me the way politics work in this country. Everyone was so [hacked] off, they voted for this guy even though he told everyone what he was going to do and how. Now that he has done what he said he was going to do, they are [hacked off] at him. The question is why?

1. They didn't listen to what he said. All they heard was "change", and considered it no further.

2. Blame was placed on the Republicans, even though the Democrats are the ones who created the tools and situation by which the economy crisis developed.

3. They voted the wrong people out and replaced them with someone worse than those who created the problem in the first place.

There are [a couple of possible] solutions:
1. Get rid of "Extremism", both Right and Left.
2. Educate ourselves on History, Politics, and our Constitution, and vote accordingly."

The only alternative my friend mentions to doing either solution 1 or 2 above is going down a road I think we can all agree we'd rather not.

This was reprinted from a personal email with permission. Any inaccuracies are my fault. I have removed some content in the effort of maintaining a family-friendly blog.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another funny one from the job search front lines...

I am at an interview once. I find out the recruiter who was scheduled to meet with me was out sick and a co-worker would take her place.

No problem. Or so I thought.

New Recruiter looks at my application and sees "sales" as the position I am applying for. I put that there because the first recruiter did not tell me the name of the company or the name of the position. That's common with recruiters so that candidates don't go around behind their backs.

Then the replacement interviewer looks at my reason for leaving my last job. I had written - "Position Eliminated - laid off."

Recruiter - Why were you laid off. Were your numbers not so good?

Usagi - "My numbers were fine - top five, in fact. The ENTIRE DEPARTMENT was let go in a cost-cutting measure."

*Two minutes later*

Recruiter - "Why were you the one laid off?"

Usagi - "It was nothing personal... just a whole department thing. Big companies do that sometimes. I don't like it, but the company wanted to cut costs. They let our ENTIRE DEPARTMENT go. Dozens of people."

*Three minutes  later*

Recruiter - "I need to come up with something to tell the client about why you are not with your former employer so they don't realize your numbers weren't there."

Usagi - "Did you not listen to a word I said? Seriously? It was the WHOLE DEPARTMENT. Not just me. Do the words 'cost-cutting measure' mean anything to you? Besides, I was at 140% of quota - my numbers were there."

Recruiter (blank face - you can tell she isn't listening to anything today) - "Oh."

Five minutes after arriving home, I applied with the company directly as I have no faith whatsoever in that other recruiter to do anything that resembles her job.

Update - job search

I have generally avoided the bad jobs this time around. Now and again, one will slip through as I push forward in the interview process. Here a few of the ones I have seen that are worthy of note:
(remember I am in sales, by trade)

Job "A"
This company had a position for "outside sales" (selling to other businesses). Unusual things:
- Possibly illegal interview question 1: "You don't have any disabilities, do you? The person for this job will need to be of able body."
- Possibly illegal interview question 2: "You aren't going to need special religious days off will you? We work Mon-Fri every week."
- This company snapped my photo. This is a great way to get sued as an employer on the basis of discrimination (regardless of whether discrimination actually happened!).
- This employer sent out a mass email to candidates that "made it through to the second round," inviting them to call for appointment times. This is not the problem. The problem was that they did not hide the email addresses. This is a violation of privacy law.

Job "B"
Interesting things:
- Interviewer (CEO of company) said that "consultative selling never accomplished anything. He needed high-intensity sales people." I am a consultative salesman. I sold over $2.6 Million in products last year on my own. His whole company sold $3.1 million - with 12 people in sales.
- Interviewer said he did not use behavioral interview questions because he did not like canned answers. Behavioral interview questions, by nature, get the candidate talking about specific times and events... not generalizations and canned responses. The man then proceeded to ask me 16 canned questions.
- Interviewer already had his mind made up on what I did at my previous employer. I was a marketing rep for an insurance company. He just knew that I was really an agent... "having sold policies to customers and now leaning toward riding my renewals." I explained it to him. And he forgot exactly 3.5 minutes later when he made another generalization of how I would not understand a certain aspect of his business because I was used to renewal revenues. Jeesh!

Job "C"
Puts me through 4 rounds of interviews. Then I get a letter saying that I did not have the qualifications for the job. When I wrote to ask why... they said I had no discernible sales experience.
- Why put me through 4 rounds of interviews?
- I guess the last 11 years of sales have all been in my head.
What's sad is that job was actually on my top 10 list.

more to come, soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another picture worth a thousand words.

A "Scandal" Created

Recently, ABC News learned that Trijicon, a supplier to the US Military, has been inscribing Bible Verses on their products.

Link to article from ABC.

Trijicon produces optics, and has a government contract to supply some optics (scopes) for US Military small arms (M16 and M4 rifles). Their specialty is the production of the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG). These ACOG's are very rugged, provide 3-4 power magnification, have an illuminated reticle, and most have calibrated additional aiming dots for longer range shots (100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 yard marks).

Trijicons are of the highest quality and a single optic often has a price of over $1000. The reason for the price also includes the fact that the optic stays on all the time... no batteries. Trijicon makes the optic run on a low grade radioactive substance, tritium. While harmless to people, the tritium provides the "battery power" for years in the optic.

Wikipedia on ACOG's.

Funny thing in all this is the gun fans out there (like me) have known about the Bible verses for years. ABC must have just discovered this fact and decided to run with it.

Quoted in the article, on page 2 is a man by the name of Michael Weinstein. Link to him on Wikipedia. He seems to be a very anti-Christian man. He does, however, use a term I like. He calls the US Military Rifles with the ACOG's on them "Jesus rifles." I like that term. I think I'll use that one!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things I say to fellow martial artists...

A few days ago, I posted about what I'd like to say to parents of kids in the martial arts. On the other side of the coin, here are some things I tell fellow martial artists, when needed.

Please note, I teach karate and jiu-jitsu. Most of these apply to both, but some may not.

1. Hygiene is good. Really good. Manners are, too.
I enjoy my daily shower and you should too. Nobody likes being paired up with that one guy known as the "stinky guy." Hygiene extends to your uniform and clothes! Don't forget, wash that belt, too! Be polite and have fun with training partners.

2. Less is more when strength is involved.
Most proper martial arts moves do not require a tremendous amount of strength to make them effective... especially holds and locks in grappling arts like jiu-jitsu. When I say you should need very little strength to make this work... I mean like the amount of strength a 10-year-old girl has.

3. Timing is everything.
Really. It is. Doesn't matter if we are talking about punching and kicking, or when to attempt a submission hold. Do it at the wrong time and you will fail. Time it right and you will succeed. It is that simple.

4. Positioning is everything.
In striking, this is called having the proper angle. In grappling, it is called having the right postue or position. Either way, without timing and positioning, any move is doomed to fail.

5. Those who can... teach.
In most everything else the phrase is "those who can't... teach." In martial arts, the teachers are the ones who can. Listen to them and you will find great nuggets of information. Also, seek out different teaching methodologies. Two people describing the same things will do so in different ways... one of those ways may make more sense to you on a given day.

6. Understand the purpose.
Back in the day, martial arts were for killing the enemy. Since we don't kill folks much anymore, the arts have modernized. Sports have formed of the arts. Techniques have been refined. More techniques added. Understand the purpose of the technique. Understand because if you do ever have to use your self-defense art for self-defense, there are some moves that are better than others.

7. Don't hop.
Some people train a little here, then a little there, and so on. The result is a jack of all trades and a master of none. This is a dangerous place to be. Master one art or style first and foremost, then go back and add other stuff. Stick with stuff!

8. Don't be a one-dimensional player.
Opposite side of the coin from #7. Don't languish in one art only. Broaden your horizons and learn other stuff, too.

9. You learn best by teaching.
Don't knock teaching... even if you aren't the "teacher type." You actually learn more when teaching. You learn more about the moves. You learn how different people respond to those moves. You learn more about yourself, too.

10. Pass it on to the next generation.
If you enjoy something, chances are that others do, too. It was no surprise to anybody when my son started martial arts at age 3. Invite your friends and family, too. But understand not everyone will enjoy the martial arts. Nothing is for everybody.

Monday, January 18, 2010

For the record...

In my most recent post: LINK
I discussed some things I wish I could convey to parents of kids in the martial arts.

I guess these things could be said for parents of kids in any sport or activity. Don't believe me? Let me invite you to Sunday School with me and Right Minded will agree with me. You should hear some of his baseball coaching stories!

Things I wish I could say to parents of the new kids in martial arts...

I was observing the mother and grandmother of a new boy in my son's Taekwondo class today. I have written down some of the things I wish I could have said to them.

Understand, I have been in the martial arts since 1982. I began assistant-teaching in 1986. I have been the head instructor in some capacity since 1988. I have seen thousands of new people... and parents.

1. Not every kid will like martial arts.
It is true. Listen to your child. In their own way, they will tell you what they like and do not like. Some say they don't like things when they really do. Hey, it's your kid, you should know when they're doing that... I sure do.

2. Not every kid will like every martial art.
There are different kinds of martial arts out there... just like there's different kinds of food. You never know what you'll like until you try it. Remember, every instructor is different, too. I actually picked my son's martial arts school by instructor foremost... at first I did not want to take him to Taekwondo for personal reasons - but that has changed.

3. Sticking with it for a week is not really sticking with it.
If only I had a quarter for every time I saw a parent, who in love for their child was critical of the child and the development the child displayed (or did not display), and wound up pulling the child out of class because they thought there was no improvement. WRONG! The boy I saw today was in his third class ever... and I could see the improvement over the first time I saw him. Granted, it was not a lot, but there was definite improvement. To hear the mom talk to the grandma, you would never know it. I predict this boy will be pulled form class in 6 weeks at the most. This would be sad.

4. If you bring your child for the discipline, expect it!
My son's TKD teacher is really good with the kids. Really good. He gets kids form time to time that have never had any discipline in their lives. Parents often don't know what to make of this. Sometimes, they pull their child out because they are embarrassed with their child's behavior. These are the children that need to stay the most!

5. Believe it or not, the instructor has dealt with a child like yours before.
So many folks believe for some reason or another that their child is unique. This is true. However, there is nothing new under the sun and the same holds ture for personality traits, temperments, and unruly children who need some love and discipline in their lives. I have seen a parent try to "help the instructor deal with their child" all the while completely unaware that I have seen that same instructor deal with 15 children just like him in the past two weeks... many of whom are now high-ranking belts (and whose attitudes are completely different).

6. Belive it or not, the instructor does know best.
I saw a few months ago, the parents of a new boy bring their child on Friday - which my son's TKD teacher advises against, as he reserves Fridays for sparring. New students are not ready to spar. The boy naturally wanted to get in on the action, but the teacher wisely disallowed it, knowing it could be dangerous and possibly demoralizing for the child. The father asked the instructor, and the instructor wisely and seriously stated why he did not allow it. The father allowed his son to pitch a fit and act up the rest of class. For some reason, they never returned. What he didn't know is that the week prior, the same thing had happened and the teacher allowed the child to spar a bit too soon. That chaild got frightened by it as he had never been hit before in his life. That child never returned out of fear (he did not get hurt).

7. If it is your child acting up - it is not because of your child.
Seriously. It is not. You can tell who the parents are that love their children by giving them appropriate boundaries. The children who act up most are the ones whose parents always give in to the whining. The behaviors that are tolerated are the ones the child learns as being expected of them. Any child only does as expected. Be embarrassed if this is your child - but be embarrassed of yourself. Then go and do some parenting. Seriously. And the worst kids are the ones that never see mom and dad because of work, then try to medicate junior because of perceived ADD or some crap like that. Let me tell you, I've seen kids come off of ritalin just because mom or dad took some time out of their busy schedule to spend with the child.

8. Reward behavior you want. Punish behavior you don't want.
It. Is. Just. That. Simple.
Really... it is. Unless you have a child with a serious, life-shortening ailment (like Downs Syndrome, or worse), the child will respond beautifully to limits and boundaries. That's why martial arts work! Martial Arts Instructors set up good boundaries and stick to them. If they didn't, they'd never make black belt.

9. Back up the instructor.
It is not us (parents & instructors) versus them (children). However, if you are bringing your child to a martial arts school to get more discipline, then start with yourself. Allow yourself to understand that maybe you seek discipline for your child because you have not provided them any yet. Start now. Work with the martial arts instructor and your life will be changed and you will be rewarded.

10. Enjoy it.
Your child will be young for a limited time. And that time is flying by. Enjoy the successes. Enjoy the failures. Yes - enjoy the failures. Enjoy it all. Take it in. Later, you will wish you did. And try to talk that mom or dad next to you into staying. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The challenge is issued.

This evening, I decided to take my Governor's race a bit more seriously. I was getting bored with watching the Governor's forum, as all the politicians were sounding so political. I hate "political" answers... they do not have the time to go into depth to explain what they really intend to do.

So I decided to take action. I emailed all four of the Republican candidates for Governor that have not yet communicated directly with me or this blog.

Here is the letter:
Mr. (Wamp, Ramsey, Gibbons, Haslam),
Recently, Gubernatorial candidate Joe Kirkpatrick took the time to respond to some questions I had about his 2nd Amendment positions. The responses can be read on my blog:

I am familiar with responses you gave as quoted in the recent article form the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

My question is if you would like to add any more on the subject for concerned Tennesseans to read as they make their decision for Governor?

As such I invite you to respond to this email. Or, please feel free to respond on the blog if you wish the responses to be made available for the rest to see so that you may distinguish yourself from the "pack" of candidates.
"Usagi" (I did give my real name).
xxx-xxx-xxxx (I'm not giving everybody my phone number!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This caught my attention:

As one might imagine (if they have read more than a post or two off this blog), I enjoy things that go "boom." As such, I have been to many gun shows. I remember when my father used to take me to gun shows as a kid. My brother and I (and my sister once or twice) really looked forward to them.

These days, I attend gun shows as a matter of business. I have not actually been to one since last summer, as I have not been in need of anything I might purchase at a gun show. Occasionally I'll go with a friend just to see what's there.

Needless to say, I feel right at home when I attend a gun show - commonly referred to as a "fun show" by those comfortable around guns.

I came across a blog post by a self-described "godless, gunless liberal." It was truly fascinating to see what he thought of attending a gun show. Whereas I always look forward to them as a child might look forward to a trip to the toy store, this man actually had a lot of reservations. Whereas I always feel right at home among people who share most of my opinions, this man knew his beliefs were out of place.

Link to blog post - WARNING - LANGUAGE.

I am always intrigued by seeing how someone who has different beliefs to my own sees the world... and that blog post was no different.

I'll just leave this here...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Narrowing the Field Part IV - Update!!!

Joe Kirkpatrick, candidate for Governor of Tennessee, has answered the gun control questions posed by the Commercial Appeal to the other gubernatorial candidates. What's more - he has done so directly to the Usagi Blog!

Since Mr. Kirkpatrick has answered these questions as a response to my previous post, I would like to put them up here, completely in context, for my readers to see. Following are his responses to the questions. For the sake of clarity, I have interjected the questions so as to improve the flow and understandability of the responses.

1. A Nashville judge has struck down as “unconstitutionally vague” the law passed by the legislature in 2009 allowing people with handgun-carry permits to take guns into places serving alcohol. The bill’s sponsors say they will ask the legislature to approve a new version. Do you support or oppose a bill to allow handgun-carry permit holders to take guns into places that serve alcohol?

A -
I support it although I consider it unnecessary and so long as it expresses the qualification I mentioned about private property rights of the establishment owner.

2. The legislature approved a law last year allowing handgun-carry permit holders to take guns into city, county and state parks — but it gave city councils and county commissions authority to designate one, some or all of their parks off limits to guns. Gun advocacy groups and some legislators say they will ask the legislature to remove the authority of local governments to “opt out” of the law — in effect, opening all local parks to guns whether local governments want that or not. First, do you support or oppose repealing the law that allows guns in state parks? And do you support or oppose removing the “opt-out” provision for local government?

One cannot opt-out of the 2nd amendment. So, I oppose the former.

3. The legislature last year delayed action until 2010 on a bill requiring businesses to allow employees with handgun-carry permits to take their guns onto the company’s parking lot if the gun is left in the employee’s locked car. Gun advocacy groups support the bill. A coalition of business groups opposed the bill. Do you support or oppose the bill?

A - I believe carry permits are unconstitutional, a violation of privacy, and an illegal tax.

4. The legislature also enacted the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act last year, which declares that guns made in Tennessee and sold in Tennessee are not subject to federal firearms laws and regulations. In July, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) notified all federally-licensed firearms dealers in Tennessee that federal law supersedes the new state law and all existing federal laws and regulations applying to gun sales are unchanged in Tennessee. Do you support or oppose the Firearms Freedom Act? Should the act be repealed?

A - Yes, I also believe the 11th Amendment, which was upheld most recently, denies the US Government the recourse to prevent "nullification" of ANY extra-Constitutional federal mandate. We just have to be willing as a state to refuse any funding contract that waives the larger right.

5. A bill that would close public access to all information in public records identifying people with handgun-carry permits failed in the legislature by one vote this year. Its supporters say they will ask the General Assembly to try again. Do you support or oppose closing these records to the public? Do you support or oppose a bill that would prohibit Internet posting of searchable databases of gun-carry permit holders?

A -
I adamantly support sealing any records which were already illegally obtained. In fact, I would call for the destruction of any such databases.

6. Bills have been filed in the legislature allowing handgun carry permit holders to carry their guns on college and university campuses. Do you support or oppose this bill?

A -
State universities must by law allow them; private universities have the choice to allow or forbid them.

7. Acting on a request by a member of the Tennessee legislature, the state attorney general issued an advisory opinion in October that says a landlord can prohibit tenants — including those with handgun-carry permits — from possessing firearms within their leased premises. Do you support or oppose changing the law so that landlords could not prohibit tenants from possessing firearms in leased property?

A -
Renting or leasing accords the rights of private property to the tenant, any landlord who wishes otherwise must plainly so state that any such tenant must waive those rights in order to enter into a contract.

8. Do you support or oppose stronger penalties in state law — including mandatory jail terms — for people convicted of crimes involving guns?

A -
No, crime is crime, a pencil qualifies as a deadly weapon if you shove it into someone's eye socket, does it not?

9. Are there other changes in state gun laws that you advocate?

A -
I would repeal them all, quite frankly and refer to the US Constitution.

Captain Obvious

Mark McGwire, former Home Run King, admitted he used steroids. His steroid use encompassed his 1998 season when he hit 70 home runs, setting the then-single-season record.

Link to story.

In a moment of candor, McGwire remarked, "It was foolish and it was a mistake." True words.

I am curious how this will affect his Hall-of-Fame candidacy?

From a more abstract point of view...

As a US Citizen, I believe in the Constitution as a source of Law. As it was written. The Constitution is not a living document in the sense of different interpretations. It is a living document in the sense that WE THE PEOPLE may amend it, or change it, as we see fit through due process. The original US Constitution and the Amendments passed, do not restrict the people, but restrict and define what the government can and cannot do.

If all men are created equal - a concept I think we can all agree on - then the ultimate rights in this world are individual rights. Governments have, and always will have, the propensity for evil because people must serve in government. Government service, by definition, extends to the government-employed individual a certain amount of authority - or power, if you will. The saying is that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. This saying is popular because it is accurate.

Therefore, I believe the only restrictions any government has the right to impose on the individual are restrictions on the individual to do harm to another individual. In a very broad definition, the methods of doing harm are:
- harm by theft, or stealing.
- harm by death, or killing.
- harm by destruction.
I know it is a broad brush, but these three definitions can be understood to contain any sort of harm that an individual may inflict on another - intended or unintended.

In all other aspects of the law, the punishment and limitations revolve around the action that causes harm. Never the device - except when it comes to guns (and in limited cases with illegal drugs). This is because inanimate objects cannot harm a person. Only the actions of a person, with or without an object, can harm. Included in the definition of "actions" would be negligence and the failure to act as a reasonable person would act.
- Meth (a drug) cannot, by itself, case harm. To cause harm the drug must be ingested.
- A knife cannot cause harm. It would require the action of a person to cause harm with the knife.
- A car cannot by itself cause harm. It would take the action of a person to cause harm with a car.
- A gun by itself cannot cause harm. It requires the action of a person to cause the gun to discharge.

So from this we can see that the action of harming another is what should be restricted and punished. Not the inanimate object. We do not (and should not) restrict the ownership of cars, nor the consumption of alcohol. However, we do (and should) restrict the operation of a motor vehicle while alcohol is being consumed or immediately after alcohol has been consumed (DUI). Let us as a world and as the people of the world restrict criminal activity and punish those criminals. It is pointless to restrict the objects the criminals use in their crimes.

Further, since the power of being in government corrupts, either overtly (wanting to become powerful - like a dictator) or covertly (wanting to do something to gain more votes to be re-elected and continue to have the power); then we should understand that the government cannot inherently set appropriate standards as to who may and may not do something, or own something. Every conceivable restriction would be inherently unfair to certain otherwise-"deserving" individuals.

Therefore, I do not trust any government to tell any individual who can and cannot own firearms. This includes especially those individuals and governments who say we should only allow law-enforcement or the military to have firearms. Particularly when those law enforcement and military persons are under the authority of that controlling force of government.

Additionally, it is worthy of mention that gun control here in the US started as a result of racism - one of the ugliest forms of harming other human beings. Link to my thoughts on this. I am not saying that all gun control is inherently racist, but what I am saying is that wanting to force another human to live in circumstances against their will is one of the fundamental ugly truths of racism, and it is shared by the gun control movement, as well as tyrannical leaderships everywhere. Chew on that one, then tell me you have a good reason to tell another person how they should live.

And that is my final point on this topic - the ability to force another to live a certain way. It is not right. There is a big difference between the restrictions we need to have about causing harm to others, and simply forcing our will on others in "non-harmful" ways. To ensure mutual welfare, we need restrictions on harming others. We do not need restrictions on others. I don't want to tell another person whether they must or must not purchase any inanimate object. I have no right to, either. And what's good for the goose, as they say, is good for the gander.

Narrowing the Field, Part IV

Right Minded posted a great article yesterday about the questions asked by the Commercial Appeal of the Tennessee Gubernatorial candidates with regards to the 2nd Amendment.

This article is the basis of the pdf file I mentioned in "Narrowing the Field III." The pdf file has four questions. The article in the Commercial Appeal had those four plus five more to make nine questions.

Following up my comments from Narrowing the Field III, I stated that of the four questions in the pdf file, Gibbons answers mirrored the Democrats all four times. Not surprisingly, Gibbons' responses mirrored the Democrats' responses in all nine questions.

Add to Haslam's inconsistencies the fact that his answer to HCP holders being allowed to carry on campus was unacceptable. In all fairness, his answers to the other questions sound good. I fear he may be a wolf in sheep's clothing, based on his other voting records and statements on the subject, though.

Ramsey remains my favorite of the four.

Wamp was as solid as one could hope for... especially considering he has spent the last 16 years in Washington.

I'd love to see Joe Kirkpatrick's take on these issues!

Narrowing the Field - Part III

Here is an excellent pdf file that has some questions and answers with the major candidates for Governor of Tennessee.


- All of the Democrats are gun-grabbers. Big surprise!
- Gibbons' answers are lock-stock-and barrel with the Dems... Another big surprise (NOT!).
- Haslam states something that is not true, and he contradicts himself. More below.
- Wamp is OK.
- Ramsey is spot-on.
- Kirkpatrick is not listed, but has views similar to Ramsey's

OK, so how did Haslam contradict himself?
In the pdf file, he is quoted as saying, in response to a question on "guns in parks" :
"I support the new law allowing handgun-carry permit holders to take guns into parks and I would oppose its repeal. "

However, in September, 2009, he is quoted as saying:
"The intersection of greenways and gun-free zones such as schools would make repealing the ban impractical. I think the best course of action would be to keep the ordinance we have."
Folks - this ban on carrying firearms in Knoxville was already in place and the city council voted to keep the ban in place.

Oh, and that is where Haslam stated something not true. In the pdf file, he is quoted as saying:
"I’m proud of the fact that Knoxville is the only big city in the state where there is no criminal penalty for legal gun permit holders carrying in parks."

But we just read where Knoxville lawmakers voted to keep their ban in place. How can both be true?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Where was this when it mattered?

Senator Harry Reid made some racially unacceptable comments on then-candidate Obama back in 2008.

Yet, MSNBC refrains from reporting until today. Link.

Why is that? (rhetorical question)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Not an improvement

Judo is a classical Japanese sport - derived from the art of Jiu-jitsu (yes, I know there are multiple spellings of the word!). In general, Judo players attempt to throw one another to the ground using all manners of techniques.

There is also a certain amount of ground-grappling permitted during which a player may pin or submit his opponent. Submissions allowed are limited to chokes and elbow locks. Many years ago, Judo instituted rules limiting the players time on the ground, so victories using ground techniques are limited in scope. While this change minimized many of Judo's self defense strategies and techniques, it did make for a more visually enjoyable sport. Nonetheless, this rule change limited Judo as a sport and changed it from what it had originally been.

Well, this year, the IJF, Judo's governing body, implemented a new series of rule changes. These changes were intended to differentiate between Judo and (Freestlye) wrestling.

Link to video of the changes.

Unfortunately, in the majority of the Judo community, these changes are unwelcome as they prohibit some of the most effective techniques. Many Judo players have crafter their entire game around using primarily the attacks that are now forbidden. In other words, Judo is about to have another major change from what it originally was.

Not that I want everything to be stagnant, but I am getting sick of all kinds of "hope and change!"

Monday, January 4, 2010

But wait, that's a gun-free zone!

Today, a gunman took a shotgun into a Federal Courthouse and opened fire. As guards returned fire, one guard was injured and another was, sadly, killed in the exchange. The gunman was killed as well.

Yet again, the criminals never obey the law. Federal Courthouses are "gun-free" zones. Of course, that's what makes them so effective for criminals to target... no civilians can fight back - so the criminal only has to worry about the guards.

Thankfully, this time, one of the guards shot the criminal.

Sadly, one of the guards was killed in the exchange.

Link to story.

College Football III

So we have made it to the big bowl games. Let's get to the action:

In the Fiesta Bowl, #1 Alabama takes on #12 seeded Florida.
This rematch of the SEC championship plays out as it did before as Tebow lacks any big-time play-makers other than himself. More tears are shed as the Crimson Tide eek out a 31-28 victory.

The Orange Bowl pits #3 Cincinnati vs. #8 Georgia Tech.
The ramblin wreck prove they are just that. Five turnovers leads to 28 points for Cincy as the Bearcats cruise in a 45-27 romp.

The Citrus Bowl sees #4 TCU vs. #6 Oregon.
This rematch of an early season game has the same outcome. 55-31 TCU wins going away.

The Cotton Bowl sees #2 Texas vs. #10 East Carolina.
The underdogs nearly pull off the victory, but fall just short - losing 42-38 in OT. Texas is on to bigger and better bowls... but will they survive?

The Sugar Bowl plays host to #2 Texas vs. #3 Cincinnati.
This is an offensive shootout. Neither team has a defense, but Texas has too much offense, walking away with a 62-42 win.

The Rose Bowl welcomes #1 Alabama vs. #4 TCU.
Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, Alabama has a defense that is ranked #1 for a reason. 28-3 as a final score does not do it justice. Alabama has their way with TCU and marches into the championship...

Held at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium - new home of the Cotton Bowl - Texas and Alabama get to spar.
Hold that. Texas has no Defense, and the offense has never played a stout defense. This is a one-sided sparring match. Alabama wins 27-7. Only allowing a late touchdown when reserves are in the game, Alabama cruises to destiny.

For the record: I am a Tennessee fan and do not like Florida or Alabama. But , facts is facts and FL and AL are the two best teams in college football by a wide margin this year. Texas is a distinguished, but distant third - but is comfortably ahead of all the others.

More on College Football

One kind reader wrote in and wanted me to extrapolate on the College football playoff system I suggested in this post. So here goes...

First, we seed the teams according to my suggestions. For cross reference, here is where I found rankings.
1. Alabama
2. Texas
3. Cincinnati
4. TCU
5. Boise State
6. Oregon
7. Ohio State
8. Georgia Tech
9. Central Michigan
10. East Carolina
11. Troy
12. Florida (next highest in BCS standings - not a conference Champion)
13. Iowa
14. Virginia Tech

Numbers one and two (Alabama and Texas, respectively) get a first week Bye.

#3 Cincinnati vs. #14 Virginia Tech.
This game is a close game in the first half. Then Cincinnati's offense takes over in the second half. Cincy wins 42-28.

#4 TCU vs. #13 Iowa.
Iowa never knows what hits them. TCU races to a 42-7 halftime lead and cruises to a 62-34 victory. Iowa only scores a couple when TCU calls off the dogs in the 3rd quarter and puts in the reserves.

#5 Boise State vs. #12 Florida.
Played on the Blue Field in Oregon, Tebow and company find the Gator blue uniforms blend in. Or at least, that's the excuse used by Boise state as they get blown out 52-23.

#6 Oregon vs. #11 Troy.
This game goes down to the wire. Everybody knows PAC-10 football is way overrated - including Troy, who holds a 24-19 lead late. It takes a miracle drive as time expires for Oregon to secure a 25-24 win.

#7 Ohio State vs. #10 East Carolina.
Ohio State gets shell-shocked. Big 10 football takes another post-season hit as the Buckeyes fall to the upstart East Carolina team 31-30.

#8 Georgia Tech vs. #9 Central Michigan.
Rushing the ball is rarely flashy, but it is effective. Georgia Tech builds a 17-0 halftime lead and runs the ball and the clock just enough to hold off Central Michigan and their three field goals. Final score - 17-16.

Next Post - Round 2!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

College Basketball

While I am on the subject of college sports playoffs, the NCAA basketball tournament is generally done well. Nobody ever disputes who the champion is.

I would propose one change, due in no small part to the fact that I attended a smaller college and got to see the injustice done to smaller schools in the selection process.

In the field of 65, there are 31 automatic bids. I would suggest that any conference champion automatically receive a seeding be seeded no lower than 12. I am tired of seeing a school that WON its conference having to play in the "play-in" game or get a #16 seed. That is just disrespectful.

Let teams selected at large play the "play-in game" and have to face powerful conference champions in the first round. You'd get to see really quickly whether they really deserved to be selected since they could not or did not win enough to EARN an automatic bid.

In the big picture, this would change nothing as the eventual champion would largely remain the same. But it would make for some more interesting matchups and upsets - particularly in the first two rounds.

College Football

College football really needs a championship playoff like all the other college sports have. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching the "Bowl Games," but a playoff would determine things where they should be determined - on the field.

But how to do it? That seems to be the big question. I think we have almost all of the pieces in place. Here's how I would do it:

Every conference is mandated to have a conference championship game. 

14-team playoff.

There are 11 major and mid-major conferences. 11 Conference champs get automatic bids. They are seeded according to their BCS standings.

Three at-large bids. These go to the top three schools in the BCS standings other than conference champs. This is how schools without conference affiliation may get into the tournament (ie- Notre Dame, Navy, Army). The three at-large schools always get the lowest seeds: 12-13-14 - no exceptions.

First round:
Has 6 games (12 teams). The top two teams, according to the BCS standings get a bye. These first-round games are NOT named bowls, though the bowl cities may bid to host them. Rotate where these would be played.

Second round:
Has 4 games (all 8 remaining teams), all "Named Bowl Games."
- The #1 seed plays the lowest seeded team remaining.
- The #2 seed plays the second-lowest remaining seed.
- The next highest remaining seed plays the next lowest remaining seed.
- The two remaining teams play each other.

Has two "Named Bowl Games."
- Highest seed remaining faces lowest seed remaining.
- Remaining two teams face one-another.

National Championship Game is held between the two winners. Possible a consolation game for the two runners-up.

"Named Bowl Games" are the following:
- Rose Bowl
- Sugar Bowl
- Fiesta Bowl
- Cotton Bowl
- Orange Bowl
- Citrus Bowl
Which Bowl carries which playoff game rotates annually. The National Championship game also rotates annually between the six bowl locations.

All other Bowl games invite whomever they wish.

Great Video

Here is a video that explains a lot. Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates in the modern world. Why?

Every citizen has a government issued rifle in the home. They are all part of the Militia - the civilian defense force. Should the country ever need to defend itself, each man (and most women) has a government issued rifle and ammo to use.

Link to video.

My favorite quote from the video comes from the man being interviewed:
"The key to freedom is the ability to defend yourself... the tool for self defense is the gun."

Government issued combat rifles. Now that is the only "Socialist" idea I think I could approve of!