Friday, April 24, 2009

US Supreme Court Restricts Police Searches of Cars

US Supreme Court lays down rule forbidding warrantless car searches except in cases of officer safety or evidence protection

Arizona v. Grant Upheld, 4th Amendment Rights Restored

In a decision which seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the major news media, the US Supreme Court on Tuesday narrowed the permissible scope of warrantless automobile searches.

The high court’s 5-4 decision upheld a 2007 Arizona Supreme Court ruling which cited the 1969 California v. Chimel US Supreme Court case concluding that police must obtain a warrant before searching a car in the absence of any threat to officer safety or ability of the suspect to destroy evidence.

The Arizona ruling went counter to a nationwide trend diminishing constitutional protections against unwarranted searches.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority, citing former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor:

"Lower court decisions seem now to treat the ability to search a vehicle incident to the arrest of a recent occupant as a police entitlement rather than as an exception justified by the twin rationales of Chimel."

Since a 1981 decision, New York v. Belton, effectively threw the fourth amendment out the window—at least where traffic stops are concerned—police have been able to use “officer safety” or “protection of evidence” as an excuse to search a vehicle even though the vehicle is unoccupied and there is, therefore, absolutely no threat to the officer or evidence.

The new ruling does not completely overturn New York v. Belton but narrows its implications, preventing police from using unrelated minor offenses to justify drug searches without probable cause: Car searches without probable cause are valid only "if it is reasonable to believe that evidence of the offense of arrest might be found in the vehicle" or if the suspect might be able to access the car for weapons.

The case at hand spent nearly a decade bouncing through the Arizona courts, beginning 25 August 1999 when two Tucson police officers received a "tip" that drug activity took place at a certain location. Police went to said location and questioned Rodney Gant who happened to open the door. After leaving, the officers looked up Gant's record and found an outstanding arrest warrant for driving under a suspended license. Big-time criminal, he.

The officers waited for Gant to return to the house, arresting him after he parked his car safely in the driveway. Gant was placed in the back of a squad car within minutes and without incident. Police then proceeded to search Gant's car where they found a small plastic bag containing cocaine.

A majority lead by Justice Stevens found the search of Gant's car unconstitutional.

"The state seriously undervalues the privacy interests at stake. Although we have recognized that a motorist's privacy interest in his vehicle is less substantial than in his home, the former interest is nevertheless important and deserving of constitutional protection. A rule that gives police the power to conduct such a search whenever an individual is caught committing a traffic offense, when there is no basis for believing evidence of the offense might be found in the vehicle, creates a serious and recurring threat to the privacy of countless individuals. Indeed, the character of that threat implicates the central concern underlying the Fourth Amendment—the concern about giving police officers unbridled discretion to rummage at will among a person's private effects."

The high court did leave police with a broad prospect for conducting warrantless searches but closed the door to searches based solely on traffic violations.

"Although it does not follow from Chimel, we also conclude that circumstances unique to the vehicle context justify a search incident to a lawful arrest when it is reasonable to believe evidence relevant to the crime of arrest might be found in the vehicle," Stevens wrote. "In many cases, as when a recent occupant is arrested for a traffic violation, there will be no reasonable basis to believe the vehicle contains relevant evidence."

Less than a day after the decision was released, the Michigan State Police issued guidance to officers on how to bypass the supreme court's new limitations:

"While this ruling will impact how searches of vehicles incident to arrest are conducted, officers may still conduct a full search of a person incident to a lawful arrest… In addition, officers may search vehicles using other exceptions to the warrant requirement.” (e.g. probable cause, inventory, tricking a motorist into giving consent).

A copy of the Supreme Court's decision is available as a PDF file: 07-542 Arizona v. Gant (4/21/2009)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Army halts use of WoundStat | Stars and Stripes

Service pulls blood-clotting product in war zone over health effects

Note: I am reprinting this article from Stars and Stripes because it may have far-reaching consequences for Paramedics, First Responders and other emergency services personnel.

By Mark Abramson, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Thursday, April 23, 2009

Photo courtesy of TraumaCure

The US Army has halted use of a powder designed to control bleeding only months after approving it because of concerns about its health effects.

WoundStat was dropped because a study by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research showed it could injure the lining and walls of blood vessels, Army officials say.

WoundStat is a clay-based agent that is poured onto a moderate-to-severe wound and held in place until it sticks to the wound, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which approved the product.

The Army announced in October 2008 that it would start using it downrange, but drastically changed course on WoundStat in an All Army Activity Message dated April 17.

"The risk inherent in WS (WoundStat) use outweighs its benefits as a back-up hemostatic agent to combat gauze," the message reads. "CG (combat gauze) remains the recommended hemostatic agent for current combat operations."

The granules in WoundStat could travel throughout a patient’s body, and it does not appear to be any more effective than combat gauze, the message indicated. WoundStat granules were found in the lungs of two lab animals during testing.

The message also orders Army units to turn over their WoundStat supplies to their supporting medical supply support activity. The Army is collecting information about the casualties who were treated with WoundStat and wants to examine them.

Almost 18,000 units of WoundStat were ordered, which is enough to equip every U.S. military medic in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a news release from the manufacturer, Bethesda, Md.-based TraumaCure.

TraumaCure officials refuted the Army’s findings, citing a Travis Air Force Base, Calif., study that tested WoundStat on pigs.

"The Army study wasn’t done by surgeons; it was done by physiologists," said Steve Berberich, a public relations consultant for TraumaCure. "We feel that the Army test is not conclusive and they are being cautious at this time."

"[Army officials] have sort of reversed themselves. They pulled them from the field. They haven’t sent them back" to the company, Berberich said about the WoundStat packs the Army received.

The preliminary data in the Air Force’s study suggested that WoundStat may be safely used on service members and civilians, but recommended additional studies to determine its overall safety.

The Army’s move to yank WoundStat from service comes less than a year after the FDA approved its use.

"WoundStat was developed to address an unmet need in battlefield, ballistic and traumatic injuries. A similar need exists in rural areas where there is a delay in obtaining medical care," an FDA summary on the product stated.

According to the FDA document, "WoundStat for Rx use has been previously demonstrated to be as safe and effective as marketed wound management devices." The FDA went on to recommend that WoundStat be cleared for marketing in the United States.

Before WoundStat was pulled from Army service, a committee of medics from that branch, Navy corpsmen, surgeons and others recommended that it should be used if bandages do not work in treating casualties, the Associated Press reported.

"This product is designed to quickly stop the bleeding ... it has been shown to be effective. It has worked in a number of cases," Berberich said.

The Army ordered both Woundstat and a granular substance called Quik-Clot for all troops downrange last fall. Army medical officials say Quik-Clot works, but can cause severe burns, the Baltimore Sun has reported.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reason Or Force

A reprint of an article by Marko Kloos

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

Marko’s original essay is posted at this link: “Why the gun is civilization.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

All in a Good Cause by Orson Scott Card

Note: With the kind permission of Mr. Card, I am reposting one of his articles on the "Global Warming" disgrace: Sadly, it is just as relevant today.
All clickable links are my additions—not those of Mr. Card.

All in a Good Cause
by Orson Scott Card
This article was originally posted at the Rhino Times
March 08, 2007
Here's a story you haven't heard, and you should have.
An intelligence source, working for a government agency. He's not a spy, he's an analyst. He uses computers to crunch numbers and at the end of his work, out pops the truth that was hiding in the original data. Let's call him "Mann."
The trouble with Mann is, he has an ideology. He knows what he wants his results to be. And the original numbers aren't giving him that data. So the agency he works for won't be able to persuade people to fight the war he wants to fight.
Well, that's not acceptable.
Cooking the Figures
He starts with his software. There are certain procedures that are normal and accepted in his line of work. But if he makes just one little mistake, his program does a weird little recursion and if there's any data at all that shows the pattern he wants it to show, it will be magnified 139 times, so it far overshadows all the other data.
He can run it on random numbers and it gives him the shape he wants. Unfortunately, the real-world numbers aren't random – they have a very different shape. All the numbers. Even his jimmied program won't give the results he wants.
All he needs is any data shaped the right way. And so he looks a little farther, and ... here it is. It looks, on the surface, like all the other data that he's been working with. Other researchers working in his field, just glancing at it, will assume it is, too.
But it isn't. Because the source that gathered this batch of data had some other key information that takes it all away. The numbers don't mean what they normally mean. In fact, this number set is absolutely false.
If you use these numbers along with all the other data, however, the clever little program will pick them up, magnify them radically and voilá! The final report shows exactly the shape he needs the numbers to have.
The trouble is, these numbers are supposed to be doublechecked. Anybody who looks closely at his numbers and at his program will see what he's done. It's not hard to find, if you have the original data sets and can examine the program. He will be exposed as a fraud. It will do his cause more harm than good, if it's made public.
But he's not afraid. He knows how this works.
He doesn't show the program or the lists of his data sources to anybody.
Second, he is given a big boost by the fact that another researcher – we'll call him "Santer" – had his own ax to grind. He was also the author of a questionable report and got himself appointed to a position that allowed him to get to the final report before it was published, delete all statements about how "there is no way to reach a definitive conclusion," and replace them with his own conclusion, which is absolute.
And it works. Santer's report is accepted, even though it has since been proven false. Mann's report continues to be relied on, and no one questions it. The government agency issues the report which they know has been altered to fit preconceived conclusions.
Vast sums of money are expended on the basis of what he claims to have found. People's lives are put at risk.
Mann and Santer didn't do it for the money, though grants do flow in their direction.
They did it for the cause. It's a noble cause. And even though the data don't actually say what they wanted them to say – in fact, they say the opposite – they are untroubled by that. Because the government actions that are being taken are the Right Thing.
Santer and Mann are true believers. They don't need evidence. Evidence is just something you create to persuade other people.
Here's the amazing thing about Mann's original report: He's not the only researcher working in this field. In fact, it's the job of many hundreds of researchers to refuse to accept his data at face value. After all, his findings disagree with everyone else's. Before they accept his results, they have a duty to look at his software, look at his data and try to duplicate his results.
But nobody does it. Not a soul.
Nor, when it goes public, does anyone in the press check the results – because they want him to be right, too.
Steve the Canadian Businessman
Not until a Canadian businessman – let's call him "Steve" – took a look at the stats and got curious. Now, it happens that Steve is in the mining business; he also happened to be a prize-winning math student in college. He knows how to read number sets. He knows what good analysis looks like.
He also knows what cooked figures look like. He has seen the phony projections that companies use when they're trying to swindle people. Their results are too perfect. Mann's report looks too perfect, too.
So Steve starts digging. First, he reads Mann's original report. He finds it an exercise in obscurity. From what he published, it's very, very hard to tell just what statistical methods Mann used, or even what data he operated on.
This is wrong – it's not supposed to be that way. Scientists are supposed to leave a clear path so other people can follow them up and replicate their research.
The fact that it's so obscure suggests that Mann does not want anyone checking his work.
But Mann used government grants in his research. Which means he has an obligation to disclose. Steve contacts him, asks for the information. He gets a runaround. He gets pointed to a website that does not have the information. He tries again, and again gets a runaround – in fact, Mann sends him a very rude letter saying that he will no longer communicate with him.
Why should he? Steve isn't a legitimate researcher in that field. He's just a businessman.
But Steve is now sure there's something fishy going on, and he doesn't give up. He gets other people to help him. Finally they are pointed to a different website, where, to their surprise, they find that someone has accidentally left a copy of the FORTRAN program that was used to crunch the numbers. It wasn't supposed to be where Steve found it – which is why it hadn't been deleted.
Also, there was a little more carelessness – there is a set of data labeled "censored." Steve can't see, right away, what's significant about it, except that a score or so of data sets are left out of the censored data.
Steve looks at the program. He finds the glitch rather easily. He tries the program on random numbers and realizes that it always yields the distinctive shape that has caused all the stir.
Sorting out the data sets is much harder. He contacts a lot of people. He does what anyone checking these figures would have to do, and he realizes: If anyone had tried to check, a lot of this information would already have been put together.
He realizes: I am the first person ever to attempt to verify these astonishing, anomalous, politically hot results. Out of all the researchers in this field who had a responsibility to do "due diligence" before accepting the data, none of them has done it.
Finally he has all the original data put together. It includes more than just real numbers – it includes "extrapolated" data, which means that sometimes, where there were holes, Mann just made the numbers up and plugged them in. This is sloppy and lazy – but it's just the beginning.
What's crucial is that Steve now understands why the "censored" data sets are smaller than the ones Mann used. The full source data includes those misleading results that shouldn't have been used. But the "censored" data sets leave it out.
This means that Mann knew exactly what he was doing. This was not an accident. Mann ran the program on the data without the misleading numbers, and then he ran it with the misleading numbers. What he published was the results that made his ideological case.
Where's the Press?
This story is true.
Anybody who cares to can verify the story. In fact, one of the leading science journals was prepared to publish Steve's results. But then, before publication, they kept cutting back and cutting back on the amount of space they would let Steve's report take up in the journal.
Finally the space they were going to allot was so small that they concluded Steve could not tell his story in that number of words, and therefore they decided not to publish it at all.
Meanwhile, serious publications did publish Mann's savage response to what Steve was saying on the website where he was putting up his results for everyone to read.
Notice: Steve is making all his work transparent to the world – anyone is free to check his data.
Mann is still hiding, denying, attacking – but not providing the full information. You still have to do detective work to ferret it out.
Now, if you were a reporter – you know, those brave guys and gals who are committed, body and soul, to "the public's right to know" – wouldn't you smell a rat? Wouldn't you jump on the chance to expose such an obvious fraud?
After all, there are now governments all over the world basing their decisions on Mann's false report. Crucial decisions are being made. Schoolchildren are being terrorized with dire projections of what will happen if Mann's report is not believed and acted upon. Vast sums of money are being spent. People are treating Mann's cause as a crusade – and his fake results are the chief weapon they use to prove their case.
Where's the press? Why am I able to tell you this story in full confidence that very few who are reading it will have ever heard it before?
Because Mann doesn't report to the Bush administration. The government agency for which the result was filed was a UN agency – specifically, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
And Mann's report is the famous "hockey stick" that "proves" that global warming not only is happening, but right now we're in the warmest climate period in the past thousand years.
Ah! You've heard of that report, haven't you! The press has been all over that one! Your kids are being taught about it in school!
You have friends who look at you like an idiot or the scum of the earth if you don't get energized by it, frightened by it, determined to act on that information. Don't you care about the future of the environment?
Why haven't you joined the cause? Why doesn't the Bush administration act to save the world from the most terrible threat imaginable?
It's like the opening of the "Talk of the Town" section of the Feb. 12 New Yorker: "Except in certain benighted precincts – oil-industry-funded Web sites, the Bush White House, Michael Crichton's den – no one wastes much energy these days trying to deny global warming."
This statement is not just false, it's stupidly false. It speaks of such deep ignorance at The New Yorker – ignorance that they're actually proud of – that it makes one despair, for this is a magazine that once prided itself on knowing what it was talking about.
"By the time the I.P.C.C. publishes an assessment, it has been vetted by thousands of scientists," says The New Yorker – but we know that in fact nobody vetted the Mann paper, and nobody checked Santer except, of course, Santer – while he went ahead and removed statements of some of those "thousands of scientists" (p. 27).
In other words, whoever wrote this New Yorker piece did not check. He or she just spouted.
What is really being said here is, "We believe in the IPCC and anybody else who supports global warming. We believe it so much that we refuse to listen to anybody who says otherwise."
The only difference between this and Jim and Tammy Bakker on the old PTL Club is that nobody says "Jesus." It's all faith, no science.
They're like 4-year-olds putting their fingers in their ears and chanting "La la la la" until the person talking to them goes away.
The Hockey Stick Hoax should be a scandal as big as the discovery of the Piltdown Man Hoax. Bigger, really, since so much more is at stake.
But because the media are dominated by true believers, they are doing everything they can to maintain the hoax, to keep the public from learning the truth.
What were those bad numbers Mann plugged in to get his fake results? Modern bristlecone pine tree-ring data in which recent tree rings showed the widths that would normally mean unusually warm weather.
However, these trees were located near temperature recording stations that showed lower than usual temperatures. So instead of being a sign of warmer temperatures, the tree rings are actually responding to the increased CO2 levels.
Even the heading on this bristlecone pine study clearly stated that the wider tree rings did not indicate higher temperatures. But Mann plugged them in as if they did, producing the one data set that showed "warmer weather" (i.e., wider tree rings) in recent years, allowing the defective software to produce its hockey-stick result.
The bristlecone pine study was real science. Mann's use of it was deliberately fraudulent.
How Can We Know What's True?
All this can be checked. I didn't even change the names. "Mann" is Michael Mann; his co-writers on that hockey stick report are Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. "Steve" is Stephen McIntyre, and the writer of the report I'm working from is Ross McKitrick, who is a climate scientist. Their report is a chapter in Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming, edited by Patrick J. Michaels.
Do you know how true believer scientists respond to this? Just like the ignorant New Yorker writer. There's no attempt to answer any specific charge. They simply dismiss any disagreement by saying, "All the smart scientists agree that global warming is happening; anybody who denies it is just a crank, and you should ignore them."
This is exactly the kind of bias that President Bush's enemies accuse him of having during the run-up to the Iraq War. They claim that Bush and his people only believed the intelligence reports that told them what they wanted to hear, and ignored the rest, claiming that "everybody knew" things that were false.
That's not what happened with Bush (but you don't actually have to prove accusations against President Bush these days). But with the Hockey Stick Hoax it can be proved – yet the very same reporters pay no attention at all. It's "not a story."
In other words, the very people who attack Bush as a liar are actually behaving exactly as they accuse Bush of behaving.
Global Warming vs. Climate Change
If you pay close attention, you'll find that global warming alarmists are not actually saying "global warming" lately. No, nowadays it's "climate change." Do you know why?
Because for the past three years, global temperatures have been falling.
The thing is, we've had 20 years since the alarmists first raised the banner of global warming. They told us that "if this goes on" by 2010 or 2020, sea levels will be rising so high that coastal cities will be flooded, famines will cover the earth, and ...
Oh, you know the list. They're still making the same predictions – they just move the dates farther back.
It's like those millennarian religious cults in the 1800s. Religious leaders would arise who would predict the Second Coming of Christ in 1838. When Christ didn't oblige them by showing up, they went back to their visions or scripture calculations or whatever they claimed and report that they miscalculated, now it was going to be 1843. Or whatever.
Here's the raw truth:
All the computer models are wrong. They have not only failed to predict the future, they can't even predict that past.
That is, when you run their software with the data from, say, the 1970s or 1980s, and project what should happen in the 1990s or 2000s, they project results that have absolutely nothing to do with the known climate data for those decades.
In other words, the models don't work. The only way to make them "work" is to take the known results and then fiddle with the software until it finally produces them. That's not how honest science is done.
Why are so many scientists so wrong?
First of all, there aren't all that many scientists. You hear about how "everybody" agrees about global warming. But who is "everybody"?
I had somebody at a conference get very angry with me for even raising a question. "I have a friend who's a climate scientist and he says that the Everglades are definitely drying up!"
But that's not the question, I said. Global warming isn't even the question. The question is, what is causing global warming or cooling or climate change? Is it human carbon dioxide emissions or something else? Your friend is studying aquifers in one specific area. In what way is he qualified to speak about global climate?
The only answer I got was the answer you always get when you challenge the roots of someone's religion – fury, dismay and a refusal to talk about it any more.
That's what happens over and over. Who are the scientists who are qualified to speak? There aren't that many. It's the relatively few scientists who are studying the paleoclimate and those who are working on contemporary data collection and collation and analysis.
And here's where it almost gets funny. Even the IPCC, which was so heavily biased in favor of global warming alarmism, could not get its pet scientists to agree that global warming in recent decades is even probably caused by human activity.
What Is Driving Global Climate?
Science isn't done by consensus. It's done by rigorous testing. When a hypothesis – or a computer model – fails to correspond to the actual real-world data, you throw them out.
That's what the real climate scientists are doing. They have found, in recent years, a very close correspondence between global climate and variations in the amount of radiation the Earth receives from the Sun.
The light and heat we get varies depending on the distance and position of the Earth and the amount of radiation the Sun puts out. The Earth's distance and position seem to determine the big cycles – the ice ages – and the Sun's variations seem to determine the smaller climate cycles.
We have historical data indicating several global warming periods. There was one during the heyday of the Roman Empire; then there was a global cooling during the Dark Ages (beginning about 600 A.D.) The medieval warming kicked in about 950, followed by the Little Ice Age beginning about 1300.
The Little Ice Age ended in about 1860. You'll notice that most reports on our modern global warming set that as their base point, and leave out all prior warmings.
But those warm periods are real, as are the cool periods. Ice core samples from various places around the world back it up, as do ocean floor samples. In fact, the predictions based on the 1,500-year (approximately) solar cycle are borne out everywhere.
There's now at least as much real-world evidence supporting the solar cycle as the cause of climate variation – including all of today's climate variation – than there was for, say, tectonic plates or the asteroid-caused extinctions at the time when they were first plastered all over the media as the hottest science news of their day.
It's not that it's really a secret. The book Unstoppable Global Warming by Singer and Avery tells us what the media could easily have reported to us:
"On 16 November 2001, the journal Science published a report on elegant research, done by unimpeachable scientists, giving us the Earth's climate history for the past 32,000 years – along with our climate's linkage to the sun" (p. 8).
They quote Richard Kerr of Science:
"... the climate of the northern North Atlantic has warmed and cooled nine times in the past 12,000 years in step with the waxing and waning of the sun."
And Kerr quotes glaciologist Richard Alley of Penn State:
"The ... data are sufficiently convincing that [solar variability] is now the leading hypothesis to explain the roughly 1,500-year oscillation of the climate seen since the last ice age, including the Little Ice Age of the 17th century" (p.8).
We're not talking about fly-by-night whackos. We're talking about leading scientists doing solid research.
And other scientists have found data that correlates closely with their findings all over the world. In other words, these solar oscillations account, completely, for the global variations.
The opposite is the case with the global warming alarmists. Their human-emitted carbon dioxide hypothesis is made ludicrous by the fact that most of the warming since the 1860s occurred before 1940, an era when human CO2 emissions were not significant. And we had significant global cooling between then and 1970, precisely the period when CO2 emissions were steeply rising.
CO2 really is rising, though. Any greenhouse heat effect seems to be dissipated by a newly discovered "Pacific heat vent." Moreover, CO2 emissions are probably involved in fertilizing vegetation wherever CO2 levels have risen.
Global Warming "Solutions"
We can't stop global warming or cooling. We simply don't have the power to do it. We can't heat up or cool down the Sun; we can't jiggle the Earth in its orbit or change its position. We'd be idiots to try, even if such unimaginable powers came within our reach.
So we'll continue, as long as the human race persists, to have ice ages and warm periods, with relatively minor oscillations (like the Little Ice Age and our current warm period) in between.
In fact, what we have right now, while we are not yet as warm as the peak of the medieval warming (a fact that Mann and others have tried to deny or obscure), is a superb climate that is making life better for people all over the world. It's the cold periods that cause famines and population drops, and promote plagues and floods.
We should be grateful.
Instead we are being hit with dire warnings, every one of which is either false or a normal part of the Earth's history; our business should be to adapt to the unavoidable solar-caused warming, not to destroy the worldwide economy in order to prevent something that human activity is not causing.
Because the "solutions" proposed by the alarmists do not solve anything – and they admit it! The drastic proscriptions of the Kyoto Protocols, even if anybody were actually following them, would not have had any effect on global warming, even if it had been caused by human CO2 emissions.
Do you understand that? When Al Gore goes on and on about what we must do to save the Earth, he knows – and everybody involved with the global warming alarmist movement knows – that none of their drastic proposals would have the slightest effect on global warming even if it worked the way their fantasies say it does.
So why do they propose it? There are many personal motives, of course, but when you look at the non-solution "solutions" they propose, the pattern is clear: They are not trying to stop global warming. They are trying to punish the Western democracies for being richer than the rest of the world.
There are solutions to that problem (and I believe it is a problem), but they involve stabilizing bad governments, increasing international trade and making unsafe parts of the world safer so they can take part in the global boom.
Not only that, but many of the programs the alarmists advocate are actually needed for completely unrelated reasons. It is a mark of our folly and blindness that we continue to be so ridiculously oil-dependent all these years after the oil embargo of 1973.
For national security, environmental, futuristic and personal-happiness reasons we should be working hard to change our automobile centered culture into more civilized patterns that invariably make people happier wherever they are tried.
It can't be done by cutting back on automobile emissions or even by raising taxes on gasoline – especially because these changes are hardest on the poor and the marginal middle class.
But I'll write about how and why we need to cut back on our destructive love affair with that faithless mistress, the car, in another column.
What matters right here and now is that it is time for the world's scientists to apostatize from the Church of Global Warming. It is a false religion. It is based on lies, and its leading prophets know that it is because they're the ones faking the data or stretching it to ridiculous lengths to pretend that the real world hasn't already ruled against their claims.
It is time for our school systems to stop accepting the gospel of that false religion and start doing their due diligence. Our children should be taught about the demonstrable solar cycles and the whole human-caused global warming theory, along with the Hockey Stick Hoax, should be taught only as another example, after Piltdown Man and pre-Copernican theories of planetary movement, of how science can be corrupted when ideology gets ahead of the data.
It is time for us to laugh at the ideologues who try to pretend that any criticism of global warming alarmism is idiotic and unscientific. They are the ones who ignore the data; they are the ones who believe on faith alone, without evidence; and, most important, they are the ones who are trying to stifle the opposition without answering it.
The global warming alarmists are the anti-science religion that is trying to forcibly indoctrinate and convert everyone while suppressing dissent. And the news media are their patsies, their stooges, their puppets.
Right now, let's start demanding that whenever the local newspaper or TV stations say anything about global warming, they back it up with actual data that takes into account the solar oscillations, the real climate history of the earth, and the facts about what CO2 actually does in the atmosphere.
It's time to stop letting them pass along other people's lies. It's time for the news media to stop doing cocktail party "research" and dig down into the science and get it right.
Read It For Yourselves
I could not possibly array all the evidence here; you must read the books for yourself. Unstoppable Global Warming is a highly accessible book written for ordinary educated readers. It's the book I recommend most highly.
Shattered Consensus, on the other hand, uses the language of various disciplines of science to a degree that makes some chapters fairly difficult for untrained readers, though the key chapter I cited here, on the Hockey Stick Hoax, is quite readable and worth looking at by everybody.
S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years.
Patrick J. Michaels, ed. Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming.. (See especially: Ross McKitrick, "The Mann et al. Northern Hemisphere 'Hockey Stick' Climate Index: A Tale of Due Diligence," pp. 20-49.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Congressman Calls For Investigation Of DHS Report

US Representative Pete Hoekstra, (Republican, Mich.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, asked the Director of National Intelligence Ombudsman to investigate the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis report on “rightwing extremism” for evidence of unsubstantiated conclusions and political bias.

Congressman Hoekstra stated:

“This report has significant analytic shortcomings and does not deserve to be called an intelligence product… Our nation’s veterans and hardworking families that may be facing tough times should not be viewed as a threat and neither should citizens who oppose out-of-control federal spending and tax hikes.”

The House Intelligence Committee is responsible for authorizing funding for DHS Intelligence and Analysis, as well as conducting oversight of the office. Hoekstra sent his letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano with a copy sent to Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair. The DNI Ombudsman’s office is responsible for reviewing concerns about the quality and potential politicization of intelligence analysis.

Hoekstra was dismayed by the report’s sweeping generalizations about returning combat veterans and the suggestion that they would be susceptible to joining violent extremist groups. Hoekstra, who has sponsored a Constitutional Amendment to protect the rights of parents to raise their children, was also disappointed by the report’s assertion without substantiation that unemployed parents may foster “rightwing extremist” beliefs in their children.

Hoekstra added:

“Beyond apologizing for its obviously offensive references, the administration needs to get to the bottom of how and why a report like this was written, and put standards in place to keep it from happening again.”

You may download or view Congressman Hoekstra's letter to Napolitano as a PDF here.

You may download or view a copy of the DHS report as a PDF here.

Law Center Sues Napolitano Over DHS Report

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced that it filed a federal lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The lawsuit claims that her Department’s “Rightwing Extremism Policy,” as reflected in the recently publicized Intelligence Assessment, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” violates the civil liberties of combat veterans as well as American citizens by targeting them for disfavored treatment on account of their political beliefs.

The Law Center claims that Napolitano’s Department (DHS) has violated the First and Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights of these three plaintiffs by attempting to chill their free speech, expressive association, and equal protection rights. The lawsuit further claims that the Department of Homeland Security encourages law enforcement officers throughout the nation to target and report citizens to federal officials as suspicious rightwing extremists and potential terrorists because of their political beliefs.

Napolitano tried to blunt the public furor over the Report with a half-hearted apology to veterans, but left out of her apology all the other Americans her Department targeted because of their political beliefs.

In fact, officials in DHS now admit that their internal office of civil liberties objected to the language in the extremism report, but the Department issued it anyway.

You may download or view a copy of the report as a PDF here.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center stated:

“Janet Napolitano is lying to the American people when she says the Report is not based on ideology or political beliefs. In fact, her report would have the admiration of the Gestapo and any current or past dictator in the way it targets political opponents. This incompetently written intelligence assessment, which directs law enforcement officials across the country to target and report on American citizens who have the political beliefs mentioned in the report, will be used as a tool to stifle political opposition and opinions. It will give a pretext for opponents of those Americans to report them to police as rightwing extremists and terrorists. You can imagine what happens then.”

Thompson added:

“The Obama Administration has declared war on American patriots and our Constitution. The Report even admits that the Department has no specific information on any plans of violence by so-called ‘rightwing extremists.’ Rather, what they do have is the expression of political opinions by certain individuals and organizations that oppose the Obama administration’s policies, and this expression is protected speech under the First Amendment.”

The Report specifically mentions the following political beliefs that law enforcement should use to determine whether someone is a “rightwing extremist”:

  • Opposes restrictions on firearms
  • Opposes lax immigration
  • Opposes the policies of President Obama regarding immigration, citizenship, and the expansion of social programs
  • Opposes continuation of free trade agreements
  • Opposes same-sex marriage
  • Has paranoia of foreign regimes
  • Fear of Communist regimes
  • Opposes one world government
  • Bemoans the decline of US stature in the world
  • Upset with loss of US manufacturing jobs to China and India
  • …and the list goes on

Friday, April 17, 2009

The New White House Enemies List – Are You On It?

DHS brands millions of honest citizens, veterans, as right-wing extremists

Update: Quite a scandal DHS has caused with their hateful document. A law center is suing Napolitano over the report and Congressman Hoekstra, (among others), is demanding an investigation.

There are some disinformationalists on the internet and in the media who are shouting that said report was begun under the Bush administration, (and so it was), and that the report is, therefore, solely a Bush administration document. Nonsense. The DHS report was revised by DHS under the Obama administration, reviewed by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and approved for release by her—despite objections from the DHS Office of Civil Liberties. Whether the report was begun under the Bush, Truman or Washington administrations, it was revised, approved and released by the Obama administration and Napolitano has attempted to stand by all of it. Then most of it. Then some of it.

The Department of Homeland Security has released a report titled: Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.

The report, reviewed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano before its release, has outraged veterans groups, upset Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Bennie Thompson, (Dem. Miss), and appalled just about everyone else.

You may download or view a copy of the report as a PDF here.

Let’s go over some excerpts from the DHS report, such as:

Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment [sic] groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.

So. The DHS can find no indication that the groups and individuals of which they seem to be concerned, plan to carry out violent acts. Just how does this constitute a “threat?” Well, it doesn’t. Look at the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of threat:

    1. an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage
    2. one that threatens
    3. an indication of something impending <the sky held a threat of rain>

Now look at the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of rhetoric:

    1. the art of speaking or writing effectively: as a: the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times b: the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion
    2. a: skill in the effective use of speech b: a type or mode of language or speech ; also : insincere or grandiloquent language
    3. verbal communication : discourse

In other words, people are conversing and they really haven’t made any threats.

Therefore, a copyeditor or English professor might re-write:

Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.

to read:

There is no evidence that any group—even those we label extremist—is planning unlawful or violent acts.

Um, okay. Well, gee, I’m scared, aren’t you?

“… violent antigovernment groups… have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.”

Just who are these unnamed “groups,” why are they classified as violent since the DHS says they aren't planning any violence and—if they are really, really, really thought to be such a potential threat—why on Earth aren’t they named in a document intended to brief law enforcement agencies?

Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit…

Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of US jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. [Emphasis mine]

Now wait just a darn minute! In one line the DHS report acknowledges the reality of, “… a prolonged economic downturn… real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit…” and in another line pontificates, “Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of US jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures.

Perceived? In that first quote, the DHS agrees that the world-wide economic debacle is real, yet in the next quote it is merely perceived. Napolitano actually read this before she released it?

Here’s some “chatter” from the New York Times—not exactly a bastion of “rightwing extremism:”

I might stress that I have found no reports indicating that the New York Times plans to carry out violent acts. Maybe the DHS will investigate them anyway—just in case, you know?

Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.

I’m a little confused—they’re talking about the Republican Party here, right?

Way back in that first quote, the DHS says, “…and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts” and here, the DHS says, “but they have not yet turned to attack planning…” which seems to presume—based on no evidence whatsoever, according to the DHS’s own report—that they will turn to “attack planning.”

There’s a term for this… let me think… no, don’t tell me.. oh, yeah, that’s it… paranoia.

Or is it just an excuse to limit civil rights?

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and
adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Thus, according to this DHS report, if you are:

  • a member of any religion, because—let’s face it—all religions hate the others, but more specifically, perhaps:
    • a Protestant who hates Satanists
    • a Catholic who hates abortion
  • a governor who—like Brian Schweitzer, (Democrat, Montana)—rejects federal authority in favor of state or local authority
  • a Libertarian who is anti-government

well, Sir—or Ma’am—you are a rightwing extremist! That certainly is a broad definition. Thank you, DHS!

Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.

Whether you are a veteran or not, I’m sure you'll agree this outrageous insult to American troops stands on its own.

Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical [sic] election as a recruitment tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment.

They’re still talking about the Republicans?

Most statements by rightwing extremists have been rhetorical, expressing concerns about the election of the first African American president, but stopping short of calls for violent action.

Translation: A lot of people don’t like Obama but they’re not doing anything unlawful. “… but stopping short of calls for violent action” seems to be deceitful, inflammatory rhetoric.

Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States.

And I guess they were right.

Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico.

And I guess they were right.

Many rightwing extremist groups perceive* recent gun control legislation as a threat to their [Constitutional] right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.

Many rightwing extremist groups perceive* recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms…” well, of course it does, and so the US Supreme Court has consistently agreed.

“… combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.” I think, rather, that the new administration’s heightened level of extremist paranoia is of far greater concern. You think the Patriot Act was a bad idea? This DHS document has Prior Restraint and Unconstitutional written all over it.

* “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

—Inigo Montoya.

This disgraceful report adds:

A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the armed forces.”

This refers to the so-called Southern Poverty Law Center, which is not at all a civil rights organization, but a money-making machine with a bizarre, hateful agenda about which you may read here, here, here and here.

US News and World Report has an interesting twist on this story at: DHS Report on Leftists Not Like Napolitano Report on Right-Wing Extremism

For comments or questions related to the content or dissemination of this document, please contact the
DHS/I&A Production Branch
at,, or

I suggest you do so and register your revulsion. You should also contact Janet Napolitano and your Congress Critters:

Write Your Senators

Write Your Representative

Department of Homeland Security Comment Line: 202-282-8495

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
US Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

And when you do, don’t forget to ask, “How much did this idiot report cost, anyway?”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

American Crew Retakes Hijacked Ship

Somali pirates today hijacked the 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama, a US-flagged cargo ship with 20 American crew members onboard.

The Maersk Alabama was carrying emergency relief to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was hijacked. It was the sixth ship seized within a week.

Latest reports from the Pentagon indicated that the four hijackers were overpowered by the vessel's crew. The crew has at least one pirate in their custody are the others are off the ship.

The Maersk Alabama's company headquarters stated that at 11AM EST, they received a call from the crew confirming that they had retaken the ship.

The Pentagon has also confirmed the retaking of the vessel, saying other details are unknown at this time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Is Obama Smooch Impaired?

Passes on supermodel, hesitant with co-ed

Sarkozy coerces Obama into accepting kiss from girl


Kissing confusion and protocol faux pas were in abundance during Obama’s latest embarrassment French sojourn.

The first clumsy moment, (yes, yes, this administration has consisted almost entirely of clumsy moments, but let’s focus on this one); the first clumsy moment came when Obama and… his wife… ah… I’ll think of it… Michelle—who appeared, yet again, to have dressed in the Salvation Army donation bin—were greeted in Strasbourg by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his main squeeze, Italian Supermodel Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Outside the Rohan Palace, (not the Rohan Palace from The Lord of the Rings), Carla gave Mrs. Obama that european, double-mandible kissy-kissy, while the hubbies made-do with manly-men-type pats on the back.

Or they were both choking.

Swapping sides, (no obvious political pun intended), Sarkozy kissed both of Michelle’s upper cheeks, while Carla leaned toward Obama's jowl.

Obama balked.


Carla, her offer of a kiss spurned—likely for the first time in her life—pulled away and offered her hand.

While Sarkozy and Michelle were locked in embrace, Obama and Carla pumped paws.

“A handshake instead of a kiss?” Carla wondered to herself. “Could it be… my breath?”

Already having embarrassed himself and offended the First Lady of France, Obama was again reluctant as he and Sarkozy—ever the posing politicians—took to the streets and worked a crowd.

Cecilia Dervogne, a student whose name—unlike Strasbourg or Sarkozy—actually sounds French, called out to Obama.


"I said in slightly hesitating English… 'A kiss for me?' " Dervogne recalled. "He showed me his bodyguards,” (which is when you know you’ve got a guy’s attention), “who were surveying everything. I think there was a security gap we were supposed to keep to," she said, ending her sentence with a preposition.

After a somewhat longer clumsy moment than the first one of the day, Sarkozy peered at Obama and said, "What, you're not going to give her a kiss?"

"He offered his cheek timidly, and I gave him a kiss," Dervogne said, ending her sentence with a noun.

As Mlle. Dervogne noted, Obama does seem timid around girls: Perhaps he thinks they have cooties.

China Still A Police State - Media Drops The Ball

Inept media concentrates on trivia, ignores human-rights violations

Here is what the Reuters news agency recently reported, verbatim:

Exam cheaters jailed on state secret charges

Fri Apr 3, 12:38 pm ET

BEIJING (Reuters) – Eight Chinese who used high-tech communications equipment, including mobile phones and wireless earpieces, to help their children cheat at university entrance exams have been jailed on state secret charges, local media said.

The eight, from the wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang, got together in 2007 to plot how to help their children as "they knew their achievements were not ideal," the official Legal Daily said.

One of the parents hired university students to provide answers which were sent to the children via wireless earphones while they were in the exam room, the report said.

big brother

But their ruse was discovered after police detected "abnormal radio signals" near the school, the newspaper said.

The parents were given jail terms ranging from six months to three years after being found guilty of illegally obtaining state secrets, it added, without saying what happened to their children.

China's college entrance exams, or "gaokao," are fiercely competitive tests.

Stories of cheating surface every year, despite stiff penalties. Students reportedly pay for leaked exam papers, smuggle in mobile phones and electronic dictionaries, or pay others to take the exam for them.

Here is the real story, which Reuters completely ignored:

Chinese police are actively engaged in monitoring the cellphone and radio conversations of ordinary citizens—even schoolkids.

Don't depend on the media to keep you properly informed, folks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Was Binghamton Massacre Aided By Current Gun Laws?

At a 3 April news conference, New York Governor David Paterson said that 12 or 13 people had been killed, after a gunman opened fire in a civic center where immigrants were taking a citizenship exam.

The shooter has been identified as 41-year-old Jiverly Wong or Voong of nearby Johnson City, NY—recently laid off from his job at Shop-Vac. Wearing a bulletproof vest, Voong barricaded the rear door of the building with his car, entered through the front door and began shooting.

With no way out of the building—no way to escape the sudden, savage horror taking place—over 40 people sought whatever hasty refuge they could find—however inadequate. Dozens of defenseless men and women huddled shaking, terrified, behind machinery, under desks, in dark closets: They listened to the deafening gunshots and to the blood-curdling screams of the wounded and of the dying and of those doomed souls with no escape and awaited their turns to die—like menial prisoners in a Nazi death camp.

Reports indicate that—of the over 50 people in the building—Wong was the ONLY one in the building with a firearm!

Trapped with an enraged madman, not one of the innocent people in the civic center had the capability of self-defense. The police arrived only after all the murders had been committed—as, indeed, is almost always the case.

Only the criminal had weapons: The law-abiding citizens were completely unarmed—made defenseless—as a direct result of the vile, outrageous, unconstitutional and sinister laws passed by the lunatic fringe in the United States government and championed by the lunatic fringe in Hollywood and the media.

Had just ONE of those citizens been carrying a firearm, the death toll would likely have been considerably less. Had many of them been armed, that would have been a certainty—one, well-placed head-shot would have ended the massacre.

The following are the partial results of a comprehensive study released in 1999; the full report with footnotes and references may be viewed here. I submit that, likely, nothing has changed proportionally since this report was released. Please note that emphasis is mine:

Guns save more lives than they take; prevent more injuries than they inflict

  • Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year—or about 6,850 times a day. This means that each year, firearms are used more than 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives. Of the 2.5 million self-defense cases, as many as 200,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse.
  • Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606). And readers of Newsweek learned in 1993 that "only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The "error rate" for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high."
  • Of the 2.5 million times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, the overwhelming majority merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8% of the time, a citizen will kill or wound his or her attacker.
  • Handguns are the weapon of choice for self-defense. Citizens use handguns to protect themselves over 1.9 million times a year. Many of these self-defense handguns could be labeled as "Saturday Night Specials."

Concealed carry laws help reduce crime

  • One-half million self-defense uses: Every year, as many as one-half million citizens defend themselves with a firearm away from home.
  • Florida: In the ten years following the passage of Florida's concealed carry law in 1987, there were 478,248 people who received permits to carry firearms. FBI reports show that the homicide rate in Florida, which in 1987 was much higher than the national average, fell 39% during that 10-year period. The Florida rate is now far below the national average.
  • Do firearms carry laws result in chaos? No. Consider the case of Florida. A citizen in the Sunshine State is almost twice as likely to be attacked by an alligator than to be assaulted by a concealed carry holder. During the first ten years that the Florida law was in effect, alligator attacks outpaced the number of crimes committed by carry holders by a 146 to 88 margin.
  • Nationwide: A comprehensive national study determined in 1996 that violent crime fell after states made it legal to carry concealed firearms. The results of the study showed:
    • States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%; and
    • If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and over 11,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly.
  • Concealed Carry v. Waiting Period Laws: In 1976, both Georgia and Wisconsin tried two different approaches to fighting crime. Georgia enacted legislation making it easier for citizens to carry guns for self-defense, while Wisconsin passed a law requiring a 48 hour waiting period before the purchase of a handgun. What resulted during the ensuing years? Georgia's law served as a deterrent to criminals and helped drop its homicide rate by 21 percent. Wisconsin's murder rate, however, rose 33 percent during the same period.

Criminals avoid armed citizens

  • Kennesaw, GA: In 1982, this suburb of Atlanta passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to the modest 10.4% drop in Georgia as a whole.
  • Ten years later (1991), the residential burglary rate in Kennesaw was still 72% lower than it had been in 1981, before the law was passed.
  • Nationwide: Statistical comparisons with other countries show that burglars in the United States are far less apt to enter an occupied home than their foreign counterparts who live in countries where fewer civilians own firearms. Consider the following rates showing how often a homeowner is present when a burglar strikes:
    • Homeowner occupancy rate in the gun control countries of Great Britain, Canada and Netherlands: 45% (average of the three countries); and,
    • Homeowner occupancy rate in the United States: 12.7%.

Rapes averted when women carry or use firearms for protection

  • Orlando, FL: In 1966-67, the media highly publicized a safety course which taught Orlando women how to use guns. The result: Orlando's rape rate dropped 88% in 1967, whereas the rape rate remained constant in the rest of Florida and the nation.
  • Nationwide: In 1979, the Carter Justice Department found that of more than 32,000 attempted rapes, 32% were actually committed. But when a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of the attempted rapes were actually successful.

Justice Department study:

  • 3/5 of felons polled agreed that "a criminal is not going to mess around with a victim he knows is armed with a gun."
  • 74% of felons polled agreed that "one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime."
  • 57% of felons polled agreed that "criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police."

Police cannot protect—and are not required to protect—every individual

  • The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. D.C. the court stated "courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community."
  • Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police responded to only about 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities. Smith was asked why so many citizens in Dade County were buying guns and he said, "They damn well better, they've got to protect themselves."
  • The Department of Justice found that in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence which were not responded to by police within 1 hour.
  • Currently, there are about 150,000 police officers on duty at any one time to protect a population of more than 250 million Americans—or almost 1,700 citizens per officer.

Poor track record

  • Washington, D.C. has, perhaps, the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, and yet it has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.
  • Objection: Critics claim criminals merely get their guns in Virginia where the laws are more relaxed. This, they argue, is why the D.C. gun ban is not working.
  • Answer: Perhaps criminals do get their guns in Virginia, but this overlooks one point: If the availability of guns in Virginia is the root of D.C.'s problems, why does Virginia not have the same murder and crime rate as the District? Virginia is awash in guns and yet the murder rate is much, much lower. This holds true even for Virginia's urban areas. The murder rates are:
City 1997 Murder rate
Washington, DC 56.9 per 100,000
Arlington, VA 1.6 per 100,000
(Arlington is just across the river from D.C.)
Total VA metro area rate: 7.9 per 100,000
  • Guns are not the problem: On the contrary, lax criminal penalties and laws that disarm the law-abiding are responsible for giving criminals a safer working environment.

Criminologists turning from anti-gun position

  • Dr. Gary Kleck: A criminologist at Florida State University, Kleck began his research as a firm believer in gun control. But in a speech delivered to the National Research Council, he said while he was once "a believer in the 'anti-gun' thesis," he has now moved "beyond even the skeptic position." Dr. Kleck now says the evidence "indicates that general gun availability does not measurably increase rates of homicide, suicide, robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the US."
  • James Wright: Formerly a gun control advocate, Wright received a grant from President Carter's Justice Department to study the effectiveness of gun control laws. To his surprise, he found that waiting periods, background checks, and all other gun control laws were not effective in reducing violent crime.
    • Wright says at one time, "It seemed evident to me, we needed to mount a campaign to resolve the crisis of handgun proliferation." But he says, "I am now of the opinion that a compelling case for 'stricter gun control' cannot be made."
  • Every scholar who has "switched" has moved away from the anti-gun position. Dave Kopel, an expert in constitutional issues and firearms research, categorically states that, "Every scholar who has 'switched' has 'switched' to the side that is skeptical of controls. Indeed, most of the prominent academic voices who are gun control skeptics—including law professor Sanford Levinson and criminologists Gary Kleck and James Wright—are people who, when they began studying guns, were supporters of the gun control agenda."
    • Kopel continues: "I do not know of a single scholar who has published a pro-control article who started out as a skeptic of gun control. This suggests how heavily the weight of the evidence is distributed, once people begin studying the evidence."

Waiting periods threaten the safety of people in imminent danger

  • Bonnie Elmasri: She inquired about getting a gun to protect herself from a husband who had repeatedly threatened to kill her. She was told there was a 48 hour waiting period to buy a handgun. But unfortunately, Bonnie was never able to pick up a gun. She and her two sons were killed the next day by an abusive husband of whom the police were well aware.
  • Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross: She bought a gun (in a non-waiting period state) and used it to kill an attacker in self-defense two days later. Had a 5-day waiting period been in effect, Ms. Ross would have been defenseless against the man who was stalking her.
  • Los Angeles riots: USA Today reported that many of the people rushing to gun stores during the 1992 riots were "lifelong gun-control advocates, running to buy an item they thought they'd never need." Ironically, they were outraged to discover they had to wait 15 days to buy a gun for self-defense.

Background checks do not disarm the violent criminal population

  • A Justice Department survey of felons showed that 93% of handgun predators had obtained their most recent guns "off-the-record."
  • Press reports show that the few criminals who get their guns from retail outlets—most do not—can easily get fake IDs or use surrogate buyers, known as "straw purchasers," to buy their guns.

Prior restraints on rights are unconstitutional

1. Second Amendment protects an individual right

Report by the US Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution (1982):

  • "The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."
  • Supreme Court admits "the people" in the Second Amendment are the same "people" as in the rest of the Bill of Rights—In US. v. Verdugo-Urquidez the Court stated that "'the people" seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution… [and] it suggests that "the people" protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community."

2. Courts agree that rights should be free from prior restraints

  • Near v. Minnesota: In this case, the Supreme Court stated that government officials should punish the abuse of a right and not place prior restraints on the exercise of the right.
  • What about yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater?: The courts have stated that one cannot use his "freedom of speech" to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. And yet, no one argues that officials should gag everyone who goes into the theater, thus placing a prior restraint on movie-goers. The proper response is to punish the person who does yell "Fire." Likewise, citizens should not be "gagged" before exercising their Second Amendment rights, rather they should be punished if they abuse that right.

The Brady registration law is NOT working

General Accounting Office Study:

  • The Brady Law has failed to result in the incarceration of dangerous criminals. After the first year and a half, there were only seven successful prosecutions for making false statements on Brady handgun purchase forms—and only three of them were actually incarcerated. With only three criminals sent to jail, one can hardly argue that the law is working to keep violent criminals from getting handguns on the street.
  • The Brady Law has ERRONEOUSLY denied firearms to thousands of applicants. Over fifty percent of denials under the Brady Law are for administrative snafus, traffic violations, or reasons other than felony convictions.
  • Gun control advocates admit the Brady Law is not a panacea. According to a January, 1996 report by the General Accounting Office, "Proponents [of gun control] acknowledge that criminal records checks alone will not prevent felons from obtaining firearms."
  • Criminals can easily evade the background checks by using straw purchasers: "Opponents of gun control note that criminals can easily circumvent the law by purchasing handguns on the secondary market or by having friends or spouses without a criminal record make the purchases from dealers."

Licensing or registration can lead to confiscation of firearms

  • Step One: Registration. In the mid-1960's officials in New York City began registering long guns [rifles and shotguns]. They promised they would never use such lists to take away firearms from honest citizens. But in 1991, the city banned (and soon began confiscating) many of those very guns.
  • Step Two: Confiscation. In 1992, a New York City paper reported that, "Police raided the home of a Staten Island man who refused to comply with the city's tough ban on assault weapons, and seized an arsenal of firearms… Spot checks are planned [for other homes]."
  • Registration and Confiscation in California: The Golden State passed a ban on certain semi-automatic firearms in 1989. Banned guns could be legally possessed if they were registered prior to the ban. In the Spring of 1995, one man who wished to move to California asked the Attorney General whether his SKS Sporter rifle would be legal in the state. The citizen was assured the rifle was legal, and based on that information, he subsequently moved into the state. But in 1998, California officials reversed course and confiscated the firearm.
  • Foreign Countries: Gun registration has led to confiscation in several countries, including Greece, Ireland, Jamaica and Bermuda. And in an exhaustive study on this subject, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership has researched and translated several gun control laws from foreign countries. Their publication, Lethal Laws: "Gun Control" is the Key to Genocide documents how gun control (and confiscation) has preceded the slaughter and genocide of millions of people in Turkey, the Soviet Union, Germany, China, Cambodia and others.

People in imminent danger can die waiting for a firearms license

  • In 1983, Igor Hutorsky was murdered by two burglars who broke into his Brooklyn furniture store. The tragedy is that some time before the murder, his business partner had applied for permission to keep a handgun at the store. Even four months after the murder, the former partner had still not heard from the police about the status of his gun permit.

The power to license a right is the power to destroy a right

  • Arbitrary Delays: While New Jersey law requires applications to be responded to within thirty days, delays of ninety days are routine; sometimes, applications are delayed for several years for no readily apparent reason.
  • Arbitrary Denials: Officials in New York City routinely deny gun permits for ordinary citizens and store owners because—as the courts have ruled—they have no greater need for protection than anyone else in the city. In fact, the authorities have even refused to issue permits when the courts have ordered them to do so.
  • Arbitrary Fee Increases: In 1994, the Clinton administration pushed for a license fee increase of almost 1,000 percent on gun dealers. According to US News & World Report, the administration was seeking the license fee increase "in hopes of driving many of America's 258,000 licensed gun dealers out of business."

Officials cannot license or register a constitutional right

  • The Supreme Court held in Lamont v. Postmaster General (1965) that the First Amendment prevents the government from registering purchasers of magazines and newspapers—even if such material is "communist political propaganda."

Definition of real "assault weapons"

  • According to one of the preeminent experts in the field of firearms, Dr. Edward Ezell, a key characteristic of a true assault weapon is that it must have the capability of "full automatic fire." Similarly, the US Defense Department defines real assault weapons as "selective-fire weapons"—meaning that these guns can fire both automatically or semi-automatically.
  • Anti-gun loonies in recent years have managed to define "assault weapons" as semi-automatic firearms which only externally resemble a military firearm. Dr. Edward Ezell notes that true assault weapons "were designed to produce roughly aimed bursts of full automatic fire"—something which a semi-automatic firearm does not do.

Semi-automatic "assault rifles" are no different than many hunting rifles

  • Officer William McGrath: "These [semi-automatic assault rifles] are little different than the semi-automatic hunting rifles that have been on the market since before World War II. The main difference between an assault rifle and a semi-automatic hunting rifle is that the assault rifle looks more 'military.'"
    • "The term 'assault' rifle is really a misnomer as a true assault rifle is a selective fire weapon capable of switching from fully automatic to semi automatic and back with the flip of a lever."
    • "The charge that the assault rifle holds more rounds than a 'legitimate' hunting rifle shows either a lack of knowledge or a deliberate twisting of the facts, as 10, 20 and 30 round magazines for 'legitimate' hunting rifles have been on the market for decades without the world coming to an end."

So-called assault weapons have never been the "weapon of choice" for criminals

(All of the following figures pre-date the "assault weapons" ban passed by Congress in 1994)

  • Police View: Over 100,000 police officers delivered a message to Congress in 1990 stating that only 2% to 3% of crimes are committed using a so-called "assault weapon."
  • New Jersey: The New York Times reported that, "Although New Jersey's pioneering ban on military-style assault rifles was sold to the state as a crime-fighting measure, its impact on violence in the state… has been negligible, both sides agree." Moreover, New Jersey police statistics show that only .026 of 1 percent of all crimes involve "assault rifles."
  • Nationwide: The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 1993 that violent criminals only carry or use a "military-type gun" in about 1 percent of the crimes nationwide.
  • Knives more deadly: According to the FBI, people have a much greater chance of being killed by a knife or a blunt object than by any kind of rifle, including an "assault rifle." In Chicago, the chance is 67 times greater. That is, a person is 67 times more likely to be stabbed or beaten to death in Chicago than to be murdered by an "assault rifle." [Let’s ban cutlery!]
  • Cops' own guns more deadly: So-called assault weapons are not menacing police officers nationwide. The FBI reports show that before the 1994 ban on semi-automatic "assault weapons," no more than three officers were killed in any one year by such guns. In Contrast, police officers were more than three times as likely to be killed by their own guns than by "assault weapons."
  • It would seem one can't have it both ways. If Congress wants to ban weapons that are dangerous to police, then it should begin by pushing for a ban on police officers' own weapons, since these guns kill far more often than "assault weapons." The same is true with knives and blunt objects. These instruments kill policemen more often than semi-automatic "assault weapons."
  • Sarah Brady's own figures show that so-called assault weapons are not the criminal's "weapon of choice." A study published by Handgun Control, Inc. in November of 1995 shows that the overwhelming majority of guns used to murder police officers are not "assault weapons." The irony is that HCI uses a very inflated definition [a lie] of "assault weapon" and still can not demonstrate that they are used in over 50% of the crimes.
  • Does tracing of crime guns show that "assault weapons" are the weapons of choice for criminals? No. Gun control advocates will often make the claim that so-called assault weapons are frequently used in crime. To justify this claim, such advocates will cite as "evidence" the fact that law-enforcement run a high percentage of traces on these types of firearms. But this is a classic example of circular reasoning: law enforcement arbitrarily run a high percentage of trace requests on "assault weapons," and then this figure is used to justify the "fact" that these guns are frequently used in crime. Consider the following:
    • Tracing requests are not representative of all guns used in crime. The Congressional Research Service states that, "Firearms selected for tracing do not constitute a random sample and cannot be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals." Moreover, BATF agents themselves have stated that, "ATF does not always know if a firearm being traced has been used in a crime."
    • Tracing requests are not random samples. CRS notes that "ATF tracing data could be potentially biased because of screening conducted by local ATF agents prior to the submission of the tracing from." This means that police could, if they wanted, only trace so-called assault weapons. Would this mean that they are the only guns used in crime? No, it would just mean that law enforcement have a particular interest in tracing "assault weapons" over other guns.
    • Tracing in L.A: That tracing is an unreliable measure of a gun's use in crime is clear. For example, in 1989 in Los Angeles, "assault rifles" represented approximately only 3% of guns seized, but 19% of gun traces.

Semi-automatic "assault weapons" are excellent for self-defense

Police Capt. Massad Ayoob:

  • "The likelihood of multiple opponents who move fast, often wear body armor, know how to take cover, and tend to ingest chemicals that make them resistant to pain and shock, are all good reasons for carrying guns that throw a whole lot more bullets than six-shooters do."
  • "All four of these factors make it likely that more of the Good Guys' bullets will be expended before the Bad Guys are neutralized. All of these factors, therefore, militate for a higher capacity handgun in the hands of the lawful defenders."

1. Drugs and alcohol can make criminals resistant to pain

  • Arkansas: A drunk opened fire on an officer, who responded by firing 29 shots—15 of them striking the criminal. It was only the last—the 15th—bullet which finally killed the drunk and effectively stopped him from shooting.
  • Illinois: Police shot a drug-induced criminal 33 times before the junkie finally dropped and was unable to shoot any longer.

2. Hi-capacity semi-autos can help decent people to defend themselves

  • Los Angeles riots: Many of the guns targeted by so-called assault weapons bans are the very guns with which the Korean merchants used to defend themselves during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Those firearms proved to be extremely useful to the Koreans. Their stores were left standing while other stores around them were burned to the ground.
  • The Korean merchants would probably agree with Capt. Massad Ayoob. When one is facing mob violence and the police are nowhere to be found, one needs a gun that shoots more than just six bullets. A ban on large capacity semi-automatic firearms will only harm one's ability to defend himself and his family.

The Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own military rifles and handguns

Report by the US. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution (1982):

  • "In the Militia Act of 1792, the second Congress defined 'militia of the United States' to include almost every free adult male in the United States. These persons were obligated by law to possess a [military-style] firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment… There can be little doubt from this that when the Congress and the people spoke of the/a 'militia,' they had reference to the traditional concept of the entire populace capable of bearing arms, and not to any formal group such as what is today called the National Guard."
  • The Supreme Court: In US. v. Miller, the Court stated that, "The Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense… [and that] when called for service, these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."

There is more—so much more: Download the PDF and read it. Google the appropriate keywords and phrases and you will find literally mountains of data showing that gun laws are the cause of the problem, not the cure.

The bottom line here is:

The police cannot protect you. It is your duty to you and your family to protect them and yourself.

Join and support the NRA.

Vote the anti-gun, anti-self-defense lunatic fringe out of office and keep them out.

Buy a high-capacity handgun and learn how and when to use it.

And if you have to use it, use it fast—without hesitation—and keep shooting the bastard until he stops wiggling.

It’s literally his funeral or yours: Which family do you want gathered around the casket?

No more Binghamtons, no more Virginia Techs.