Friday, January 31, 2014

Sodomy Laws: Only For Punishing Rape?

It has become an article of faith in some circles that the early sodomy laws were only to punish homosexual rape.  I have never found this a particularly plausible claim; when Maryland decapitalized sodomy in 1809, they reduced the maximum sentence to ten years, unlike rape of a woman, which still carried a potential capital punishment.  It seems hard to believe, if the purpose of sodomy statutes was to punish homosexual rape, that it would be a lesser sentence than raping a woman.

This Vermont statute passed March 8, 1787, starting on p. 74, is very clear that only voluntary participants of legal age could be punished:

The Seriousness of Sabbath Breaking

There's a section of the Vermont statutes defining the powers and responsibilities of town constables, starting on page 30.  Not surprisingly, constables are authorized to arrest various felons without warrant "where no justice of the peace is near at hand" but also "such as are overtaken with drink, guilty of profane swearing, Sabbath breaking; also vagrant persons, and unseasonable night walkers."  (The last would appear to refer to those out and about at night without a good reason.)

And here is the Sabbath breaking statute, from pp. 155-157:

Vermont Adultery, Polygamy, and Fornication Statute

Another reminder of how different Revolutionary America was is this adultery, polygamy, and fornication law passed March 8, 1787, from p. 16 of that same book:

Freedom of Religion Bill in Idaho Legislature


16 CENSE -- CERTIFICATE OR REGISTRATION. (1) No occupational licensing board or
17 governmental subdivision or entity shall deny, revoke or suspend a person's
18 professional or occupational license, certificate or registration for any
19 of the following and the following are not unprofessional conduct:
20 (a) Declining to provide or participate in providing any service that
21 violates the person's sincerely held religious beliefs or exercise of
22 religion except where performing emergency response duties for public
23 safety.
24 (b) Refusing to affirm a statement or oath that is contrary to the per-
25 son's sincerely held religious beliefs or exercise of religion.
26 (c) Expressing sincerely held religious beliefs.
27 (d) Providing faith-based services.
28 (e) Making business-related decisions in accordance with sincerely
29 held religious beliefs or exercise of religion including, but not lim-
30 ited to:
31 (i) Employment decisions;
32 (ii) Client selection decisions;
33 (iii) Financial decisions.
34 (2) This section is not a defense to and does not authorize in any way
35 the intentional infliction of emotional or physical injury upon any person.
36 (3) This section does not authorize any person to engage in conduct that
37 violates the emergency medical treatment and active labor act, 42 U.S.C.,
38 section 1395dd, or the religious land use and institutionalized persons act,
39 42 U.S.C., section 2000cc-1,as of the effective date of this section.
Essentially the goal is to make sure that governmental licensing will not be used to force businesses or individuals to violate their religious beliefs because they disapprove of a person's behavior, choices, or lifestyle.  (Think of the cake business in Oregon.)  Predictably, the Democrats are in an uproar about this, because force is the only way that Democrats have to imagine the world.

I would prefer that it not be so narrowly defined.  There are, surprisingly enough, many people who disapprove of homosexuality for reasons other than religious beliefs.  But it is a start.

Going Through Vermont Statutes Published in 1791: Imagine This Oath of Office Today

The book is very old: published in 1791.  The copy that I borrowed from the University of Georgia Law Library entered their collection April 10, 1900 -- by which it was already a very old book.  Rather than scan it, and possibly damage the binding (which has clearly been rebound since 1791) or the paper with a bright light, I used my new Canon 16 megapixel camera and a tripod to take pictures without a flash.  Here's the title page:

From the 1786 Vermont Constitution, this requirement that members of the legislature had to take:

Even the most insistent of social conservatives would not insist on such an oath today!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

FBI Report: "Active Shooter Events from 2000 to 2012"

Well worth reading.  Based on 104 such incidents, 17 were stopped by victims, three by gunfire, 14 were "subdued."  I wonder how many of those "subdued" were subdued by the threat of gunfire.  Even three out of 104 is a strong argument for concealed carry.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pennsylvania Decapitalizes Robbery, Burglary, Sodomy and Buggery

In 1790 they reduced these from capital crimes to forfeiture of all property and ten years at hard labor.

Concealed Carry on Campus

Idaho bill S.1254 would allow enhanced concealed carry licensees to carry on public college campuses, except in dorms, and entertainment facilities seating more than 1000 (sports stadiums, effectively).  It also provides enhanced penalties for carrying on a college campus, even with a permit, while intoxicated.

I really do not think limiting this to the enhanced concealed license was necessary or appropriate, but I can understand the reasoning: the 21 and over requirement and the training requirement will make the nervous nellies a bit less scared.  I'll keep my eye on this bill, and go and testify in support of it, of course.  As usual, gun rights sorts in Idaho never ask my opinion or suggestions on this sort of thing.

I Never Find Such Cool Stuff Going Through Old Boxes

From January 27, 2014 KTVB:
BOISE – Boise Police bomb technicians were called to a home in northwest Boise Monday afternoon after the couple living there found a World War II-era hand grenade.
The home is in the 8100 block of N. Dodgin Avenue, which is north of State Street and to the east of Horseshoe Bend Road.  The street was blocked off as a precaution and residents living in that area were told to stay inside their homes.
A spokesman for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office tells KTVB that the couple was going through a box of old stuff when they came upon the grenade.  It is unclear if it still works.
World War II-era means that this hand grenade has been sitting in a box for sixty-eight years -- and it was not even hidden, just forgotten.  I sometimes hear gun control advocates argue that if we ban guns now, eventually they will all fall of out of circulation.  This discovery makes me suspect that it would take a long time for guns that were actively hidden from the police state to actually get found.

Income Equality: Back To Bush

James Lindgren points to data on income equality, and points out that George W. Bush seems to have done a better job of that than any other recent president:
George W. Bush was the most successful of our recent past presidents in achieving very substantial increases in incomes for the poorest quintile (+18.4%), while keeping gains for the richest quintile and richest 1 percent at modest levels. For example, under Bush the Younger, the incomes of the richest 1 percent rose only 6.5 percent in eight years, compared to a staggering 84 percent under Clinton and 91 percent under Reagan.
Something tells me that is not going to come up in the State of Union speech.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Republican Proposal For Obamacare Replacement

From Dr. Coburn (who is also a U.S. Senator).

Finally.  There were some serious efforts to fix this ten years ago by Republicans, but the "moderate" (corrupt) wing of the party was too busy doing what the health insurance companies wanted to take this seriously.

Magnetosphere Weakening: Where's My Tinfoil Hat?

The January 27, 2014 Daily Mail has one of those slightly panicked articles that I have come to expect from that sort of tabloid, but there is a rather important point buried in the article:
Deep within the Earth, a fierce molten core is generating a magnetic field capable of defending our planet against devastating solar winds. 

The protective field extends thousands of miles into space and its magnetism affects everything from global communication to animal migration and weather patterns. 

But this magnetic field, so important to life on Earth, has weakened by 15 per cent over the last 200 years. And this, scientists claim, could be a sign that the Earth’s poles are about to flip....

The Earth's climate would change drastically. In fact, a recent Danish study believes global warming is directly related to the magnetic field rather than CO2 emissions.
The study claimed that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.

TWA: Flight 800: Very Disturbing Documentary

I caught this on Netflix recently.  I generally find conspiracy theories not very interesting, because to make them work, you need a lot of people to keep their mouths shut -- and how often does that happen?  In this case, people are not keeping their mouths shut about what was at least evidence tampering -- and it does not much matter, because nothing is happening.  (I have followed this story since 1996, and have been deeply troubled the whole time.)

For those who are too young to remember what happened: in 1996, TWA Flight 800 left from New York City to Paris, and crashed shortly after takeoff into Long Island Sound.  Dozens of witnesses reporting seeing what appeared to be at least one, perhaps two missiles come up from the surface and hit the plane, at which point it exploded, killing more than 200 passengers.  And these were not just ordinary fools on the street who might not know what they were seeing.  They include an Air National Guard pilot who was in a helicopter when this happened.  They include a private pilot in the air in a small plane not far away -- who could see a missile come up from below him and pass his altitude.

And yet, the National Transportation Safety Board eventually ruled that Flight 800 suffered a mechanical failure -- an empty center fuel tank exploded because there was some fuel in that empty tank which vaporized, and an electrical short caused an explosion that destroyed the plane -- decapitating it, causing the now headless airliner to rise many thousands of feet, thus confusing all the many dozens of witnesses who were certain that they saw one, perhaps two missiles rise from the surface, collide with the plane, at which point there was a fireball.

Huh?  This documentary includes interviews with NTSB investigators, TWA employees, the Suffolk County medical examiner, all presenting a disturbing story of intentional alteration of data to cover up what was apparently a missile strike.  Some of the NTSB investigators describe catching both FBI agents and a newly hired NTSB employee (now in charge of the agency) entering a locked hangar in the middle of the night, and changing tags on scraps of the airplane to change where these scraps were found.  They describe an incident in which a piece of the center fuel tank was examined which had residue on it that was swabbed, and initially found to be positive for nitrates -- and then the FBI hurried them out of the test lab, and later reported that the initial test showing nitrates was a false positive (as were several others), but the final result was no nitrates.

They provide strong evidence that the metal scraps removed from the recovered bodies did not match the claims of a fuel tank explosion -- and by the time the FBI returned the metal scraps, they were so jumbled together that they were no longer useful for reconstructing what happened.

Most impressive of all is the radar information from the night of the crash that appears to show fragments leaving the explosion downward at Mach 4 or greater -- not at all plausible for a low velocity explosion of jet fuel in a tank, but quite plausible for a high velocity explosion, such as would fit the dozens of eyewitness accounts of a missile rising from the sea.

There is so much that screams coverup here, including FBI agents attempting to pressure witnesses into changing their statements, and encouraging a woman who had applied for citizenship to say nothing, for fear that it might be a problem for her application.

Watch it.  And remember that this is the same FBI that worked to cover up BATF and FBI malfeasance at Waco.

They Learn Slowly, But They Do Seem To Learn: 63% Don't Think Obama Usually Makes Decisions For The Public Good

From the January 27, 2014 Washington Post:
Q: How much confidence do you have in Obama to make the right decisions for the country's future - a great deal of confidence, a good amount, just some or none at all?
35% answered "none at all" and 28% answered "just some."  Only 37% answered "a great deal of confidence."

The worst president in my lifetime.  Arguably the worst president since President Buchanan, whose actions certainly made the Civil War more likely and more ugly than it had to be.  Of course, Obama has almost three years to provoke Civil War: The Sequel, and I think his incompetence and greed for the billionaires could accomplish it.

Why Progressives Hate Free Markets

It interferes with the 0.1% getting richer.  Shawn Steel, former California Republican Party chair, pointed out in the January 20, 2014 San Jose Mercury-News that Republicans who think that shutting up the social conservatives will make it easier to lure the "wealthy, libertarian-minded tech entrepreneurs" of Silicon Valley into the Republican Party are kidding themselves:
Aside from a few high-profile Ron Paul bundlers, 80 percent of the valley's political contributions go to Democratic candidates. All but two of the tech executives recently invited to the White House backed President Barack Obama's reelection campaign.
"The tech moguls may be the first large capitalist constituency outside Hollywood to identify almost entirely with the progressives," argues author Joel Kotkin. Other authors point to a new philosophy of "peer progressivism" that is sweeping the valley.
These tech progressives embrace planned communities, where corporate institutions control every aspect of daily life. Employees at Facebook and Google hop on company buses to reach their corporate compounds. They can enjoy a gourmet meal and drop the kids off at daycare all by going to work, and without having to interact with the help.
Contrary to the myth, the Silicon Valley isn't full of individualistic free-market capitalists. Tech companies are largely building wealth from government contracts. This summer's revelations by government whistleblower Edward Snowden detail how the biggest tech companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook and Yahoo, cooperated with the NSA's Prism data collection program.
This article from the January 26, 2014 Mother Jones describes a class-action suit that it is being allowed to go forward that really shows how much contempt the progressive billionaires have for free markets:
filed on behalf of over 100,000 tech employees whose wages were artificially lowered — an estimated $9 billion effectively stolen by the high-flying companies from their workers to pad company earnings — in the second half of the 2000s. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied attempts by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the lawsuit tossed, and gave final approval for the class action suit to go forward.
....The companies argued that the non-recruitment agreements had nothing to do with driving down wages. But the court ruled that there was “extensive documentary evidence” that the pacts were designed specifically to push down wages, and that they succeeded in doing so. The evidence includes software tools used by the companies to keep tabs on pay scales to ensure that within job “families” or titles, pay remained equitable within a margin of variation, and that as competition and recruitment boiled over in 2005, emails between executives and human resources departments complained about the pressure on wages caused by recruiters cold calling their employees, and bidding wars for key engineers. 
I can't claim to be too terribly surprised.  Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776) pointed out that businessmen can hardly meet without conspiring to restrict competition to drive up prices.  Add in the progressive hostility towards free markets, and there should be no surprise here.  No wonder the obscenely rich are so reflexively in support of people like Obama, intent on crushing the middle class down into the proletariat.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Prohibiting Theatrical Entertainments

In 1789, Pennsylvania repealed its law against theatrical entertainments (at least in Philadelphia).  I don't recall where I saw the act passed, but it was in the 1780s.

John Boehner Working Hard To Create The Permanent Democratic Majority

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders are expected to release a one-page statement of immigration principles this week at their annual retreat in Cambridge, Md., according to aides with knowledge of the plan. The document is expected to call for border security and enforcement measures, as well as providing a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, the aides said.
Oh yeah, and the permanent legal status "but not citizenship" will last right until the Democrats regain control of Congress.  And that won't take long, as large numbers of Americans (including many Democrats who are out of work) decide that there is no point in voting, because the only choice is between a party that brings in low wage workers to take away your job, and a party that brings them in to take away your job and give them voting rights.  

UPDATE: Glad to see others in the Republican Party can see this.  From Sen. Sessions's January 26, 2014 USA Today piece:
House Republicans should reply to the president's immigration effort with a simple message: Our first duty is to help struggling Americans find good work and rising wages.
The president's own economic adviser, Gene Sperling, recently noted that there are three unemployed people for every job available. Wages today have been flat since 2000. Last year, a record one in five American households received food stamps.
This is a national emergency.
There is a real opportunity for Republicans to deliver a devastating blow to the Democrats.  Run ads through this election campaign emphasizing that the poorest working Americans have the most to lose from amnesty for illegals -- that Obama represents corporations trying to get everyone crushed down to minimum wage.  But too many Republicans like Boehner represent those same big corporations that control the Democratic Party.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I Suppose We Should Be Pleased He Doesn't Have Enough Fellow Lactose Lewds To Form A Social Movement

From the Januuary 17, 2014 Philadelphia Inquirer:
THE NEARLY weeklong saga of Mayfair's "Swiss Cheese Pervert" is over, and the man allegedly behind the lactose lewdness was being grilled by police yesterday.

Chris Pagano, 41, was arrested outside his home on Noble Street near Airy in Norristown early yesterday by officers from the borough's police department and detectives from Philadelphia police's Special Victims Unit....
Pagano has been charged with stalking, indecent exposure and related offenses stemming from three incidents in Mayfair, police said.

In those encounters, Pagano allegedly approached women with his genitals exposed and asked them to perform sexual acts on him using a piece of Swiss cheese.

The rest of the article I will not quote -- it is a little too graphic.  It is so weird that not many people will call this guy anything but a pretty messed up pervert.  But what makes this perversion, while some of the other sexual deviations that used to be regarded as this weird are now generally accepted by Americans as normal, even praiseworthy?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Another Unsellable Article

BATF Enforcement Tactics: Are There Not Enough Gun Criminals?

A lot of gun rights activists have developed a rather jaundiced view of the mainstream news media, and I confess that I often share that cynicism.  You can therefore imagine my surprise at this astonishing investigative report in the December 7, 2013 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about BATF’s techniques for taking bad guys with guns off the street.  I will not say that I am pleased to read it, because it reveals some really troubling behavior by federal law enforcement, but at least it shows some serious journalistic efforts to bring accountability to an agency that has a really bad history.

This article started out as an attempt to find out if some odd and dangerous behavior by BATF in Milwaukee was really just one rogue operation, or reflected a wider strategy.  Earlier this year, the Journal-Sentinel published a report about how BATF hired a brain-damaged man (with an IQ in the 50s) for an undercover operation, asking him to try and find guns in the neighborhood.  

Not surprisingly, Wright was soon bringing guns to the undercover operation, many of them purchased from gun stores, transferred to Wright, who then sold them to BATF.  Why?  Because BATF was paying twice the retail price for the guns.  Wright, who had a felony conviction in 2007, was therefore a felon in possession of a firearm (even if only for the purpose of selling them to BATF) – and BATF prosecuted him for that reason. Not surprisingly, when it went to trial, Wright received probation because of his mental incapacity.

So, was this just something that the BATF office in Milwaukee dreamed up?  Apparently not.  BATF in a number of parts of the country befriended “mentally disabled people to drum up business and later arrested them.”  In Wichita, Kansas, for example, where BATF referred to such a person as “slow-headed.”  In Albuquerque, where they “gave a brain-damaged drug addict with little knowledge of weapons a ‘tutorial’ on machine guns, hoping he could find them one.”

In a number of places, like Milwaukee, “agents offered sky-high prices for guns, leading suspects to buy firearms at stores and turn around and sell them to undercover agents for a quick profit.”  (And of course, for subsequent arrest.)  Running fake pawnshops in some cities, their “no questions asked” policy of buying electronics and bikes are described as “spurring burglaries and theft.”  In Atlanta, this included guns stolen from police cars just hours before the thieves showed up to sell them.  (BATF: making a crime wave wherever they went.)

Did BATF actually cross the line into entrapment?  I am sure that they were usually careful not to actually suggest that their “customers” go break the law – but not always. In some cases, it appears that they did cross the line: in Wichita, “agents suggested that a felon take a shotgun, saw it off and bring it back – and provided instructions on how to do it.”  Of course, that turned a simple felon in possession charge into many more charges: possession of an unregistered National Firearm Act weapon, unlawful manufacture, and probably a few more charges that I cannot immediately dream up.

All of this leads me to ask: did BATF have that hard a time finding felons already in possession that they had to go to such elaborate steps to get someone to arrest?  Did they really need to take advantage of mentally retarded people, not once, but in several different cities?  Did they really need to provide alcohol in underage youths, and damage buildings that they rented (then stiffed the landlords for the repairs)?  I do not doubt that BATF’s work removes guns from criminal hands in many cases, but reading the above makes me wonder if they are reducing crime as much as they are causing it.  And of course, there is the slight embarrassment that BATF in Milwaukee lost a machine gun.

There is a legitimate function that BATF performs.  But they sure do not seem to be covering themselves in glory or honor with tactics like these.

Anyone In Boise Area Have a Microfiche Reader That I Can Borrow For A Couple of Weeks?

It is so twentieth century, but one of my research projects involves reading some Revolutionary War period statute books, and they have arrived on microfiche.  The CWI library doesn't have microfiche readers, so if I can't borrow one, I will have to go to BSU library to read the microfiche.  I would prefer not doing that if I can avoid it.

I am told that one of the other interlibrary loan requests is a 1791 Vermont statute book... and it is old, and smells bad.  This could be entertaining.

Amazing How Much Traffic Some Blogs Get

I had a dramatic spike in traffic a couple of days back because SurvivalBlog had something nice to say about me.  It really makes me realize how tiny of an audience I have.  Of course, SurvivalBlog is focused on the possiblity of the end of civilization as we know it -- and pretty obviously, a lot of people think that is a real likelihood.  I confess, watching shows like Doomsday Preppers and the number of customers that such businesses have makes me wonder if I am being way too optimistic about the future.

Any Struts 1 Experts Out There?

There are several JSPs that share some forms, but not others. The first of these, w_psi_s1_11.jsp (great name, what?) has access to offenderEmploymentForm. From this JSP, we call an action method OffenderEmployment.editEmployer. This action method transfers control to w_psi_s1_16.jsp (another great name), which has access to offenderEmploymentForm and employerSearchForm. The user hits the add button, which does a submit over to action method OffenderEmploymentAction.findEmployer. (Yes, the class is not the same as the other action method that I have already mentioned.) The findEmployer action method transfers control to w_psi_s1_14.jsp, where the user gets to add a new employer to the list. This JSP also has access to offenderEmploymentForm -- however, the action method that it calls on save,, does not have access to offenderEmploymentForm.

The problem is that when the submit on this last JSP happens, I need to update the employerId field in offenderEmploymentForm. I have the employerId visible in the JSP, but it does no good to pass it to the action method, because that class does not have access to the session form offenderEmploymentForm. I can read offenderEmploymentForm.employerId from the JSP -- but how do I write it from the JSP?

I have looked at a variety of methods around this. I thought that I could pass the offenderEmploymentForm using setAttribute in the JSP and getAttribute in the method -- but no, Struts 1 can't pass objects, and I really need to to update the existing session offenderEmploymentForm.

Our Struts expert is out sick, and I am running out of strings to Google to solve this.

UPDATE: I found a solution, but it was not very pretty.  I now understand how you switch from one action block to another.  The trick was to switch from the findEmployer action to the offenderEmployer action, invoking an action method in the offenderEmployer action.  Also, request.setParameter("employerId", the Form.getEmployerId()); in the action method from where I was forwarding, and request.getParameter("employerId") in the receiving action method.  Ugly.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Informix SQL Bug?

A statement like

select * from emplyr where emplyr_name MATCHES "*MC[ ]*D*"

should match any emplyr_name that has MCD in the middle of it, as well as MC D, because [ ]* is supposed to be zero or more of the characters inside the brackets.)  At least, that is what the Informix website would indicate.  However: it does not.  It only returns emplyr_name rows with MC D in them -- apparently [ ]* turns into one or more matches.  Now, if I do this:

select * from emplyr where emplyr_name MATCHES "*MC[ A-z0-9']*D*"

That works pretty much as expected.  My guess is that brackets require more than one character inside of them for zero or more characters to match.  It would be nice if I could figure out a way to enter an escape sequence that says "everything that isn't a blank" instead of A-z0-9'

I tried:

select * from emplyr where emplyr_name MATCHES "*MC *D*"

But that returns only MC D and not MCD rows.

It is possible to do a UNION like this:

select * from emplyr where emplyr_name MATCHES "*MCD*"
select * from emplyr where emplyr_name MATCHES "*MC D*"

but this complicates the matter, because the select statement is inside an SPL, and the SPL would have to decide whether to do a single select or a union of two selects depending on whether the search string contains blanks.  That's ugly.

UPDATE: Ugly solution, but I did it like this:

-- This is ugly.  We need to do a UNION of SELECT statements in the event
-- that there are any blanks in the search strings to create wild carding for
-- zero or more blanks.  To do this, we find out if any of the search strings
-- contain blanks, and if so, make a version with the blanks removed.  If
-- the blanks removed version is different from the original, do a UNION of
-- SELECTS with both versions of the search string.  However: there are
-- several different strings that could contain blanks.  Rather than create
-- multiple FOREACH loops, it is simpler to UNION these together, regardless
-- of whether the blank replacement did anything.
LET l_noblank_emplyr_name = REPLACE(i_emplyr_name, " ", "");
LET l_noblank_addr = REPLACE(i_addr, " ", "");
LET l_noblank_city = REPLACE(i_city, " ", "");
FROM emplyr
WHERE emplyr_name MATCHES i_emplyr_name
 AND (addr_long MATCHES i_addr OR addr_long IS NULL)
 AND (city MATCHES i_city OR city IS NULL)
                 AND (st MATCHES i_st OR st IS NULL)
   AND (area_cd MATCHES i_areacode OR area_cd IS NULL)
                          AND (ph_num MATCHES i_phonenumber OR ph_num IS NULL)
FROM emplyr
WHERE emplyr_name MATCHES l_noblank_emplyr_name
 AND (addr_long MATCHES l_noblank_addr OR addr_long IS NULL)
 AND (city MATCHES l_noblank_city OR city IS NULL)
                 AND (st MATCHES i_st OR st IS NULL)
   AND (area_cd MATCHES i_areacode OR area_cd IS NULL)
                          AND (ph_num MATCHES i_phonenumber OR ph_num IS NULL)
ORDER BY emplyr_name

Note that inside an SPL, you can UNION two selects, but only the first SELECT can have an INTO clause, and only the last SELECT can have an ORDER BY clause.  Ugly squared.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Why You Should Never Carry In A State That Does Not Allow It

I know that it might be tempting, when crossing a state where you do not have a concealed carry permit, to just figure, "It's a hassle to unload and store it in a way that conforms to the Firearms Owners Protection Act. What are the chances that the police will search my car?"  At least in Maryland -- shockingly high.  Truth & Commonsense reports on a Florida man who was driving through Maryland.  From the January 12, 2014 Tampa Tribune:

He did not have a gun with him, and it was a good thing.  One of the automated license plate readers in Maryland grabbed his Florida plate, matched it up with Florida's concealed weapon permit files, and then the excitement started:
Finally the patrol car's emergency lights come on, and it's almost a relief. Whatever was going on, they'd be able to get it over with now. The officer — from the Transportation Authority Police, as it turns out, Maryland's version of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority — strolls up, does the license and registration bit, and returns to his car.

According to Kally and John (but not MTAP, which, pending investigation, could not comment), what happened next went like this:

Ten minutes later he's back, and he wants John out of the Expedition. Retreating to the space between the SUV and the unmarked car, the officer orders John to hook his thumbs behind his back and spread his feet. “You own a gun,” the officer says. “Where is it?”

“At home in my safe,” John answers.

“Don't move,” says the officer.

Now he's at the passenger's window. “Your husband owns a gun,” he says. “Where is it?”

First Kally says, “I don't know.” Retelling it later she says, “And that's all I should have said.” Instead, attempting to be helpful, she added, “Maybe in the glove [box]. Maybe in the console. I'm scared of it. I don't want to have anything to do with it. I might shoot right through my foot.”

The officer came back to John. “You're a liar. You're lying to me. Your family says you have it. Where is the gun? Tell me where it is and we can resolve this right now.”
And yes, the police state of Maryland thoroughly searched the car, separated John and his wife for 90 minutes of interrogation -- and then wrote them a speeding ticket. (They say that they weren't speeding, because they were being following by a police car, and knew it.)  Maryland, being a liberal controlled state, is fascist.  I can't imagine ever driving through it.  And I sure would not do it with a gun on me.  I do not think I would even do so if the gun were possessed in accordance with the Firearms Owners Protection Act.  It sounds like Maryland police might just load the gun so that they would have a reason to arrest you and confiscate the gun.

It sure will be nice when Maryland joins the United States, and the Bill of Rights starts to mean something to them besides gay marriage. 

VMWare Player Apparently Can't Run On Windows 7 32-bit

Disappointing.  I was planning to buy a 64-bit quad core notebook at some point, perhaps after I have retired and have more time to spend on stuff that is interesting, but of limited economic value (like writing software).

More Fast & Furious Scandal?

No Lawyers -- Only Guns and Money pointed me to this January 21, 2014 CBS News report about signs that a third rifle was present at the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry -- and apparently one of the guns that BATFE allowed to "walk" into Mexico:
The Justice Department, which oversees ATF and the FBI - and which is investigating Terry’s murder - has steadfastly denied the existence of a third gun. Court records have previously only mentioned two weapons: Romanian WASR AK-47 type rifles found at Terry’s southern Arizona murder scene on Dec. 14, 2010. Both weapons were sold to suspects who were under ATF's watch in the agency’s controversial gunwalking case. Also, a ballistics report only mentions the two WASR rifles and states that it's inconclusive as to whether either of them fired the bullet that killed Terry.
But references to a missing third weapon, a Soviet-made SKS rifle of the same caliber as the WASR’s, have persisted since the crime.  CBS News previously obtained and reported on secretly recorded conversations referencing such a gun. The tapes were recorded approximately mid-March 2011 by the primary gun dealer cooperating with ATF in Fast and Furious: Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Ariz.
In the audiotapes, ATF’s lead agent on Fast and Furious, Hope MacAllister, tells Howard that a third weapon recovered at the Terry murder scene is an SKS rifle. It's unclear why a weapon would be absent from the evidence disclosed at the crime scene under FBI jurisdiction. If it’s proven to exist, sources familiar with the investigation say it would imply possible evidence-tampering for unknown reasons.
As I have mentioned previously, there are disturbing reports that the U.S. government (and not just under the Obama Administration) assisted the Sinaloa drug cartel against its competitors.  If so, it might explain the need to tamper with evidence, to hide this quite corrupt association.

The First Campaign For Slavery Reparations

Interesting article at History News Network about Solomon Northup (the subject of the autobiography and recent film Twelve Years a Slave) and the first effort to seek slavery reparations -- in this case, for Northup:
Moved by the troubling content of Northup’s lectures and his slave autobiography, abolitionists in upstate New York and elsewhere initiated a campaign in the latter part of 1853 asking Congress to compensate Northup for his years in slavery. As his family’s primary breadwinner, this period had left him and the members of his household in a financial quandary. Abolitionists argued that his time away from his family and the loss of his liberty was worth many times his value as slave property, estimated at $1,700. They crafted and circulated petitions to Congress seeking a reasonable indemnity for Northup. - See more at:
Right at the time slavery ended would have been the time to demand reparations -- and from those who directly benefited from it, the slave owners.  Even more so for Northup, who was unlawfully held as a slave.

Idaho Concealed Carry Reciprocity Changes

The Enhanced Idaho Concealed Carry license is bearing some fruit.  This list on the Idaho State Police web page shows which states recognized both the standard Idaho concealed carry license, and the new enhanced license:


Note that Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington State recognize only the enhanced license.  If you only have the standard license, and especially if your current license is coming up for renewal in the next few months, you might want to seriously consider taking the class required for the enhanced license.  Nevada and Washington are just a hop skip and a jump from Idaho, so even if you do not think you would ever visit those states, think real hard about it.  My friend T. Allen Hoover teaches the required class every month or two.