Archive for June, 2006

Moral Relativism and Rail-Riding Killers (UPDATE!)

June 28, 2006

(You might have to register at the Houston Chronicle site to read some of the stories mentioned. Try BugMeNot. Scroll down for update.)

As I write this, infamous rail-riding serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz is likely being carried out of the death chamber in Huntsville, executed for the rape and brutal murder of Houston clinical geneticist Claudia Benton. Our local paper, the Beaumont Enterprise, ran a story on Mr. Resendiz today, and in it, was this quote from a member of the Beaumont chapter of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty:

We have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher standard than he held himself to…

Higher standard, eh? Well, just for grins, let’s see exactly what kind of standards Angel Maturino Resendiz held himself to when woselecting methods for the mayhem he wreaked (emphasis mine –ed.):

Benton’s murder, which catapulted Maturino Resendiz into headlines and launched one of the largest manhunts in recent American history, was outstanding for its brutality. Benton, 39, died of multiple stab wounds, one of which completely penetrated her chest, and head injuries resulting from a beating with a 2-foot-tall bronze statue. The attack snapped her right arm and shattered bones in her face.

Another standard:

the scene inside the house was unspeakable. In a back room, Sirnic, 46 (Norman Sirnic, minister of Weimar Church of Christ — ed.), and his wife, 47, lay side by side on the bed, their heads crushed by a sledgehammer.
Karen Sirnic had been posthumously sexually assaulted.

And another:

Police in northeast Texas became convinced Maturino Resendiz was implicated in the October 2, 1998, murder of Leafie Mason, 87, bludgeoned with an antique iron at her home in Hughes Springs.
Then, in the first week of June, the bottom fell out.
In Houston, the body of Rice University graduate student Noemi Dominguez, 26, was found in the bedroom of her home in the 6900 block of Van Etten, a short distance from railroad tracks. Dominguez, described as “the sweetest, nicest teacher — a darling who went the extra mile,” recently had left her job at Franklin Elementary School to complete her master’s degree.
In Fayette County, the body of Josephine Konvicka, 73, was found in her rural home, just 3 1/2 miles from the scene of the Sirnic killings.
Both women had been slain with a pickax. Fingerprints linked the crimes to Maturino Resendiz.

And another:

…police in tiny Gorham, Ill., reported that retired prison guard George Morber, 79, and his daughter, Carolyn Frederick, 51, had been murdered in their home, a short distance from the railroad tracks. Morber was slain with his own shotgun, which then was used as a club to kill his daughter (come to think of it, I’m surprised the Bradys aren’t all over that one today –ed.). Maturino Resendiz’s fingerprints were found at the scene.

So here we have Mr. Resendiz using various, quite painful, grisly methods of killing…
…and tonight the State of Texas is putting him to sleep using a painless cocktail of chemicals…
…and yet we’re holding ourselves to the same standards that he held himself to.
If there’s a better example of the moral relativism emanating from the port-side “thinkers” in this country today, I have yet to find it. I am not surprised, but I am sickened nonetheless. Better example? Sorry, dude. I think this is the perfect example. I don’t want my tax dollars feeding this sonofabitch three squares a day for the rest of his life. Put that rat bastard down like the rabid dog he is and be done with it. Really, I think justice would have only been fully served if one of his potential victims (and better sooner than later) had put a bullet in his head before he could have killed again, but, well, as a taxpayer, I’ll take what I can get.

UPDATE
: Reading this morning’s Chron, I came upon another quote from death penalty opponent/moral relativist David Atwood, of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (emphasis mine — ed.):

Atwood said in a written statement, “executing Resendiz accomplishes nothing for the citizens of this state.”
Counting Maturino Resendiz, Atwood wrote, Texas has executed 368 killers since 1982, when executions here were resumed.
“The only thing they have done,” he said, “is help politicians get elected and satisfy the cries for vengeance from some of its citizens.”

Well, I’d say that what Resendiz’s execution did for the taxpayers of Texas was rid them of a cold-blooded killer, but, well, that’s just one crazy Texas blogger’s opinion…
On a more serious note, though, I was reminded, when I read this, of another far worse episode involving Atwood and a victim of another savage band of killers Atwood wanted to keep fat and happy in the Texas penal system:

Date: MON 11/17/2003
Section: A
Page: 15 MetFront
Edition: 3 STAR

Victim’s dad, death penalty foe in heated debate

By ANDREW TILGHMAN
Staff

PERHAPS DAVID ATWOOD picked a touchy time to debate the death penalty with Randy Ertman.
Atwood, of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, was hanging out on the eighth floor of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center last week, right after a judge set an execution date for one of the men who raped and killed Ertman’s daughter.
“You’re not proving anything with the death penalty,” Atwood told Ertman. “You’re just repeating what was done to your daughter.”
“I think he’s a piece of crap who deserves to die,” Ertman told Atwood, referring to his daughter’s killer, Raul Villarreal.
Ertman was on his way out of the courtroom, where he had just saluted Judge Mike Anderson for setting Villarreal’s execution date for June 24, the 11th anniversary of the rape and murder of Ertman’s 14-year-old daughter, Jennifer, and her 16-year-old friend, Elizabeth Pena.
“The death penalty’s not good for anybody,” Atwood told Ertman, a painter.
“Well, it’s good for me,” Ertman said, looming over Atwood.
“It’s vengeance,” Atwood said.
“I’m not into vengeance,” Ertman said.
“You are, too, into vengeance,” Atwood insisted.
“If you’ve got something to say to me, you want to say it outside?” Ertman asked.

“I’m not into vengeance.”
“Are too!”
Such arrogance leaves me speechless. Repeating what was done to 14-year-old Jennifer Ertman and her friend, 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena? Take a look at one of the Houston Chronicle reports from 1993…

According to a source, the girls were forced to submit to “just about every sex act you can imagine, and a few you just couldn’t imagine.”
Statements by some of the suspects say that after the girls stopped moving, the six took turns jumping up and down on their bodies, to make sure both were dead.

According to other news reports from the Chronicle, Ertman and Pena were strangled with shoelaces and a belt, and various suspects stomped on their throats to make certain they were dead. And, again, the animals who committed these sadistic acts were to be put to death, one more time, boys and girls, with a painless cocktail of chemicals. Yet according to self-righteous moral relativists like David Atwood, by killing monsters like these, we’re just repeating the horrible deeds they committed. It’s a damned good thing it was not my face Mr. Atwood got into. I’d have broken his nose and maybe punched out some teeth. “You feel that, you cocksucker? My baby girl’s pain was a thousand times worse!

Clarification:
I guess I really should explain that last thing. It might make me sound like a violent, unstable person, hardly the type to be owning or carrying a firearm, but the truth is that I am a very calm and easygoing person. But honestly, if I’d had the fate that befell Jennifer Ertman had befallen my beautiful little girl (if I had one), and I’d had some asshole come up to me and shove his agenda in my face, knowing the pain I was feeling, I just am not so sure that I’d be able to hold back. Maybe I would have just told him to get the hell out of my face, but I just found Atwood’s actions to be downright unconscionable. Judas, whatever happened to letting people grieve in relative peace? Think about that, those of you who read this and actually agree with what Atwood did.

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Get us out, indeed…(UPDATE!)

June 28, 2006

Much has been written about the UN small arms talks in New York City. The folks in charge of the conference say that its aim is to find better ways to curb the illegal trade in small arms and they don’t want to take Americans’ weapons (never mind the fact that we find the requirements they want to impose on us, far too onerous to tolerate — licensing, government-approved storage, andonandon) BUT! It seems as though one of the attendees, the Indonesian representative at the conference, has let the cat out of the bag:

We believe that no armed group outside of the State should be allowed to bear weapons.

Now, what can you say to that? After the utterly dismal history of the 20th century, in which various States disarmed, enslaved and murdered some 170 million of their subjects, we still have people who work for The State say that all the guns should be in the hands of The State. After all of the failures of this bureaucratic clusterfuck when it comes to stopping The State, whoever it may be, from slaughtering its people, or various groups from slaughtering their countrymen, these people are still advocating stripping the vulnerable of their last line of defense against their extermination??? What is it that many say, Get US out of the UN? It’s long past time that has happened, as it’s just a snakepit, full of tinpot dictators, tyrants, nanny-state socialists and anti-Semites. They need us a hell of a lot more than we need them, and it would be nothing but good if the United Nations was neutered, kicked to the side of the road and left to rot. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and thanks for the memories…or, y’know, not.

UPDATE: David Codrea, once again, drives the point home even better…

It’s time we chased these monsters from our shores, razed the UN building, pulled down their obscene twisted gun barrel sculpture (and melted it into something useful–like personal defensive arms) and pried off all those “World Heritage Site” placards desecrating revered locales like Independence Hall.

Amen, brother.

Must-See Video

June 24, 2006

No doubt many Texas gunnies recall the name Suzanna Gratia Hupp; she was the lawmaker whose parents were killed by madman George Hennard in the 1991 Luby’s massacre in Killeen, the incident that spurred the passage of the Texas concealed-carry laws. Via THR, here is her testimony before Congress, from 1993, I believe. Quite emotional, awe-inspiring stuff, I thought — which is why it was quite infuriating to see New York Senator Chuck Schumer sitting there with his hand propping up his head, looking like he was thinking, “yeah, whatever, lady, hurry the hell up, you’re cutting into my three-martini lunch…” I’m sure I’m not the only one who wanted to, as Frank J. from IMAO would say, punch him in his dumb monkey face. 😉 Or at least slap him and say, “Wake the hell up and listen to her, you statist prick!”

Playing With Fire

June 22, 2006

I know it’s late, but still worth a blog. From last week’s Evans & Novak report, via THR:

Meeting after the big failure (of the Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage — ed.) at the offices of the social-conservative Family Research Council, the top leaders of the marriage movement — Catholic, Protestant and Mormon leaders among others — discussed the possibility of an unprecedented Constitutional Convention. Two-thirds (34) of the state legislatures would have to call for such a convention — which could be done only with great difficulty. Even then, no one knows what such a convention would look like or what sort of amendments could result from it. Article 5 of the Constitution is quite vague on the subject.

A Constitutional Convention? (heretofore referred to as Con-con) Just who in the bloody hell do these self-righteous jackasses think they are? We conservatives rightly raise a stink about judicial activism all the time, on issues from gay marriage to lawsuits against gun manufacturers and here we have an even worse form of activism from people who claim to be on our side — lobbying by what could arguably be called an extreme minority group, accountable to no one but its own extremist members, lobbying for a convention at which the entire Constitution could be re-written, because they’re not getting their way in Congress. Yes, that’s right. Once a Con-con is called, it’s open season on the whole thing. Do these meddling morons have ANY IDEA of what that could mean? Think of the possibilities. Just off the top of my head…

An official state religion.
A “right to employment,” and a “right to strike.” (that last thing is actually in the European Union constitution)
“The right of the people to be free of the fear of gun violence shall not be infringed.”
A “right to affordable healthcare.”

And there are plenty more where that came from, but you get the general idea — a Con-con would arguably open the door to our country, the last, best hope of free men (and women) on earth, potentially being transformed into another one of the socialist, nanny-stater crime-ridden shitholes that too many European countries have turned into. Some might think I overstate the possibilities, but no doubt they’re there. We have justices on the Supreme Court saying that international law should be taken into consideration when deciding cases here in the United States — and the travesty of Kelo v. New London (incidentally, a year ago tomorrow that decision was handed down). We see the leftists in Washington and elsewhere howling about how corporations are gouging the little man, and not paying him enough (they also say, “Raise the minimum wage!”) showing what little regard they have for the free market and the laws of supply and demand. And God only knows how many people in charge are listening to the folks at the UN, Handgun Control, the VPC, IANSA and the various and sundry other victim-disarmament organizations. Were we to rewrite our Constitution for any reason now, all of these people would be given a seat at the table and a voice in the proceedings — which, strictly speaking, is how it should be (that is, to the extent they represent the viewpoints of the American people, which I would submit, is NOT to any great extent — ed.) — but with the way the American people have been brainwashed by the public schools and the media, the above-mentioned people and groups would arguably have the run of the convention, and by the time they were finished, if the product of their unholy alliance were to be ratified, I submit to you here and now that it would be nothing short of the end of the United States of America. The grand experiment isn’t in the best shape now, and hasn’t been for a long time, but it’s still far, far preferable to what could come out of something like a Constitutional convention in this day and age. The religious rightists are playing with fire, and they need to be stopped at all costs. What they are proposing is nothing less than a Faustian bargain with the result being a Pyrrhic victory, with the sacrifice being the Republic itself and the further result of everything our forefathers and ancestors fought, shed blood and died for, being rendered to be in vain. All their sacrifices, for NOTHING. All so two men and two women won’t be able to get married. I don’t particularly like the idea of gay marriage myself, but if it comes to be that same-sex marriage cannot be proscribed by Constitutional Amendment as laid out in Article V, then that’s just the way it’s going to have to be, for the good of the Republic. Damn it, people, for the sake of our fair Republic and our descendents — leave the Constitution the fuck alone! It’s worked for us for more than 200 years!

New Heights (or depths) of Hysteria from the GFWs

June 19, 2006

From The High Road comes this, from apparent enuretic gun-fearing wuss David Ignoramus Ignatius of the Washington Compost (emphasis mine):

The NRA is also proposing federal legislation that would make it a crime for cops to disarm lawfully gun-toting citizens during emergencies.
Even by NRA standards, this is a bad idea — not just divisive but downright dangerous. Does the gun lobby really want to remake America in the image of Iraq? The proposal was apparently motivated by the lawlessness in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, but if there aren’t enough cops to patrol the streets, then hire more cops. When individual citizens, even “law-abiding” ones, decide to go it alone, the result is anarchy.

Given the gun lobby’s usual success in muscling special-interest provisions into law, you might expect to see politicians rushing to sign the America-as-Baghdad pledge.

As David Codrea might say, “Leftist gun-hating journalists. Is there anything they don’t know?”

But…Whoa. Just…whoa. Talk about new heights of hysteria. Now it’s not just blood in the streets, now they’re saying our natural right to arms has the potential to make the country into a war zone. And don’t you just love this guys youthful, oh-so-naive idealism? “Just hire more cops.” Never mind the cities’ budget shortfalls, spending the money on other things like basketball arenas (and gun registries), and then we’re not even getting into the cops walking off the job and taking part in the looting and such, and does anyone remember New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass’ remark?
“If I put you out on the street and made you get into gun battles all day with no place to urinate and no place to defecate, I don’t think you’d be too happy either… Our vehicles can’t get any gas. The water in the street is contaminated. My officers are walking around in wet shoes.”
This is yet another case of some clueless idiot sitting up there spouting crap from his air-conditioned office about something he knows nothing about. You wonder why newspaper circulation is on the wane these days? It’s because they’re chock-full of such abject idiocy as this. Please stay where you are right now, Ignatius. We don’t need your kind of idiocy here in Red America. Heaven knows it’s screwed up Blue America beyond all recognition.

UPDATE: Welcome, visitors from The War On Guns! My main page may be found here. Pull up a seat and stay a while!

One of the Ironies of Skynyrd…

June 19, 2006

So I was spinning some Lynyrd Skynyrd (All-Time Greatest Hits) earlier this evening, finishing off the pot of coffee I drank as I was reading the Sunday edition of the Houston Chronicle. As I was doing so, I was flipping through the liner notes to the cd, and the author of the essay contained therein talked about the song “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe” and its illustration of how the blues “captured the imagination of a generation of white, Civil-rights-era Southern youngsters, transforming both their consciousness and their music.” Most of you know the song, I am sure…

“People said he was useless, them people all were fools,
‘Cause Curtis Lowe was the finest picker to ever play the blues…”

I think that’s probably as elegantly simple a denunciation of racism from any period that you’re ever going to see. And I was well aware of the Skynyrd hit “Saturday Night Special”; in fact, it’s one of my favorite songs from them, even though it’s not a portrayal of responsible gun ownership. So you can imagine my surprise when I heard about the racist origins of the term “Saturday Night Special”. Now, given something like “Curtis Lowe,” I really don’t think the guys were racists, but still, I wonder if they knew about those ignominious origins, or if they or anyone else back then or now appreciated the irony — I bet you ole Curtis probably had him one o’ them Saturday Night Specials to keep the lynch mobs away. (Yes, I know Curtis Lowe wasn’t a real person, but there were a few black musicians who fit his description…) And, of course, being the Southern boys they were, I’d like to think that Ronnie and the gang knew good and well that a handgun was not in and of itself an evil object, and not just “made for killin’.” I don’t know if I’ll ever find out for myself, though…maybe one day.

The Whittler LIVES!

June 18, 2006

New pearls of wisdom from the great Bill Whittle! Go. Read now.

A taste:

To the Untrained Eye it looks like Western Civ is going to hell in a hand basket; each of its former stalwarts marching silently into the sea, our only consolation as Americans being that we appear to be at the back of the line, leaning to the side of the queue to see which part of Europe takes the Big Drink first; our own progress towards oblivion being delayed somewhat by the usual band of Right-Wing Gun Nuts, Morality Hypocrites, Talk Radio Blowhards and Chickenhawk Bloggers – all four categories of which, thanks to Hugh Hewitt and Kim Du Toit, I now find myself in.

More from your humble author later this evening…

Thoughts: SF Gun Ban Flameout

June 14, 2006

So, as we all know by now, the San Francisco gun ban has gone down in flames, and as Tam said, the victim disarmament advocates are furious

“We’re disappointed that the court has denied the right of voters to enact a reasonable, narrowly tailored restriction on handgun possession,” Dorsey said. “San Francisco voters spoke loud and clear on the issue of gun violence.”

As the old saying goes, same shit, different day. But this is a clear window into the way these people think. “Reasonable” to them means taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens — taking the guns out of the hands of the people who aren’t the problem. It hasn’t worked in Chicago, it hasn’t worked in Washington, D.C., it hasn’t worked in Great Britain, what the hell makes the morons who run San Francisco think their city’s going to be — or, rather, would have been — any different? Just because they see things through different lenses than the rest of us doesn’t mean that view is reality. I know that’s perfectly obvious to most people outside the San Francisco city limits, but I still don’t understand why they think the way they do, on the issue of violence perpetrated with guns or anything else. Justice was served, no matter what those leftist jagoffs and their slimy attorneys think. We should all hope it remains so, because even if San Fran is chock-full of wrong-headed people, they’re still humans, with all the concomitant rights and responsibilities.

Now, as for the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, who brought the suit to strike down the gun ban, David Codrea brings up an interesting question that he’s raised before, that apparently has yet to be answered:

Here’s the NRA statement on the legal defeat of the San Francisco handgun ban:

This ruling supports the premise of NRA’s argument.

The NRA filed it’s lawsuit soon after Proposition H passed…

The NRA is determined not to see this gross injustice happen again…

Meanwhile, true to form, here’s the statement from SAF:

“We’re proud to have worked once again with the National Rifle Association…”

Once again, SAF shares credit and NRA claims it all for themselves.

Why
does this
keep happening?

I have a feeling I know why: because the NRA is, arguably, the largest kid on the gun-rights-advocacy block, and they want to keep that title so as to keep the lion’s share of gun owners’ dues-and-donations money. And if they started giving any credit to the other organizations they worked with, it might cause more than a few gun owners to look into these organizations and find that their less moderate — less-compromising, shall we say — stance on the natural right to arms is more to their liking and shift their NRA dues and donations to those other organizations. Is it right? Hell no, it’s not right. And I think every NRA member deserves to know, straight from Wayne LaPierre and the other folks in Fairfax just what the hell they’re afraid of. Dave and any other NRA member reading, have you asked them why this is? I am. We deserve to know. And in any event, I really, really think it’d be to the benefit of gun owners everywhere if all the gun-rights-advocacy organizations joined and worked together on Capitol Hill. I am just one person, but I will do my part, with what limited funds I have, to make that happen. As Ben Franklin said,
“We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Exciting Music News, From the Mailbag…UPDATE! Well, Maybe Not

June 14, 2006

This might be considered ancient history to some folks, but on Memorial Day weekend two years back (May 29, 2004 to be exact) three big names in American music — George Strait, Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett — played a one-off show at Texas Stadium in Irving, where the Cowboys play ball. Through a couple twists of fate, I was lucky enough to be off work that weekend and have enough extra bucks in my pocket to score a ticket a couple of weeks before the show. It was every bit as good as fans of those three gentlemen might expect, with some unique moments that might well never be repeated — Strait and Jackson dueting on “Designated Drinker,” Strait and Buffett singing a duet of “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” (which, incidentally, was the only time I’d ever seen Strait do that one live in the 10 times I’ve seen him thus far) and the grand finale of the evening, the three of them belting out Buffett’s signature song, “Margaritaville.” The possibility was mentioned that there’d be a live recording of the show for sale at some future undetermined date. With the drudgery of life getting in the way between then and now…bad relationships, college, hurricanes, you know the drill…that live recording slipped to the back of my mind and almost off the radar completely. Well, last night as I was navigating the Web, the following message showed up in my inbox:

“Rumor has it that the JACKSON STRAIT BUFFETT Live at Texas Stadium CD (apparently a CD-DVD combo!!–ed.) will be issued by MCA Nashville and is currently scheduled for a June 13th release.”

A search for it at Amazon.com turned up this. It said the release date was Feb. 7, and that’s come and gone. But I am guessing that cover art wasn’t Photoshopped, as the cd has also been mentioned at BuffettNews.com, a Parrothead-run site that Buffett himself visits and has mentioned on Radio Margaritaville. In any event, I am very, very excited. More on this one as it develops…

UPDATE: Went to the FYE in the mall yesterday, and no Jackson/Strait/Buffett cd to be found. I haven’t a clue of the release date and was, quite frankly, too ticked off to ask. Maybe I’ll go today. I was so looking forward to it…

New Fun With an Old Friend

June 11, 2006

Two of my last three acquisitions have been 1911s (more on the third when I get a little more time), and that’s what I’ve been shooting almost exclusively for the last couple of months. But, the Springfield GI 1911 was not the first .45 I ever picked up. That honor belongs to the Ruger P90, the “big old brute of the P-Series line,” as Dick Metcalf of Shooting Times called it. I picked up this gun in early August of last year, not quite three weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit, and made it my home defense gun. I took it out every week between then and February, feeding it a steady diet of 230-grain hardball and Federal Hydra-Shok, cycling a mag or two of Hydra-Shok through each week, as I liked to keep the ammo in it fresh as possible just in case a goblin came calling.
Well, I am ashamed to say, once the 1911s came along, that regimen fell by the wayside, save for the weeks my Springfield was back in Geneseo in March getting a new extractor to fix its stovepipe jams. And last week, I was thinking, you know, I really should get reacquainted with that gun, plus get the ammo out of the mag that had been sitting there since the last week in March. So I took her out, oiled her up and it was off to the races — or, rather, to the range — after a trip to Shooter’s Supply in Beaumont to pick up a set of Hogue rubber grips for her:

100 rounds of 230-grain Magtech, and about 16 rounds of Hydra-Shok (that stuff is expensive! I try not too shoot too much of it at a time), and not one malfunction of any kind. And, save for a couple of instances of slide stop engagement due to limp-wristing the first time out, so it has gone for over 2,000 rounds since I picked it up. God, I love that gun. It may be big and inelegant, but it shoots like a dream. (And yeah, a lot of people do think it’s ugly, but as for me, I don’t share that opinion…it ain’t a 1911, but as I’ve said elsewhere, compared to the Glock, the Ruger P-series pistols are the sidearm equivalent of Sophia Loren. ;-)) My pistol experience is still quite limited, I’ll admit, but if you’re in the market for a good non-1911 .45, you could hardly go wrong with a Ruger P90.