Thursday, May 27, 2010

They call it riding the gravy train

If this story is exactly as reported, something never assured with the press, it's just another sign of how venal and contemptible we've become as a people.


Woman says she fell asleep, woke up alone on plane
May 27, 2010 (5:44p CDT)

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - A Michigan woman who fell asleep on a United Express flight to Philadelphia says she woke up and was shocked [!] to find she was alone on the plane.

Ginger McGuire said no one had awakened her when the plane landed more than three hours earlier. She said she paced the aisle for about 15 minutes early Tuesday until the locked door opened and police demanded identification.

"Waking up to an empty airplane and not being able to get out - it was very horrifying," [Yeah, if you were a 10-year-old child, not an adult of 36.] McGuire, 36, told reporters Thursday as her lawyer announced a lawsuit. [Ride that gravy train, girl!]

McGuire said she simply fell asleep after a long trip that stretched from Detroit to suburban Washington and, finally, Philadelphia. She said the plane landed Tuesday about 12:30 a.m. EDT.

United Airlines spokeswoman Sarah Massier declined to comment because the incident has led to a lawsuit. A message seeking comment was left at Trans States, based in Bridgeton, Mo. The Transportation Security Administration said it was investigating.

The United Express flight is operated by Trans States Airlines in partnership with United Airlines.

McGuire's attorney, Geoffrey Feiger, said his law firm filed a lawsuit against United and Trans States, alleging negligence, false imprisonment [Oh, come on!] and distress. McGuire lives in Ferndale, a Detroit suburb.

"For a crew to leave her there and lock her is beyond a gross abuse," Fieger said.


Granted, the airline was negligent in not thoroughly checking to see if all the passengers had disembarked, but no real harm was done, so why sue?

Because, of course, they, McGuire and her lawyer, smell an easy payday. She was oblivious to her "false imprisonment" for all but 15 minutes, so how much distress could she have experienced? I hope this lawsuit gets laughed out of court, but it will probably be taken seriously and the (supposedly) aggrieved party will get many thousands of undeserved dollars.

McGuire may have a legal leg to stand on in today's litigious climate, but that doesn't make what she is doing right. People make mistakes, and when those mistakes cause physical injury to another party through negligence, be it intentional or otherwise, I'm all for bringing suit. But this case is ridiculous, and what McGuire is doing is immoral.

Take care.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A victory for CCW holders in Colorado (and hooray! for Sheriff Maketa)

Via a recent court decision, Colorado has become a bit safer for college students. Here's part of an editorial in The Gazette addressing the issue.


[All following emphasis mine.]

The dangerous new gun ban at Colorado State University is gone, thanks to a wise decision by the university’s board of governor’s Wednesday to rescind it.

Gun bans remain at most other campuses in Colorado for now, including the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said he will undermine the UCCS gun ban until it goes away.

“Nobody’s coming into my jail on that charge,” Maketa told The Gazette’s editorial department. “I will not cooperate with that in any way because in my view it’s not a legitimate and arrestable offense.”

The Colorado State board rescinded its gun ban because of a ruling by The Colorado Court of Appeals April 15 that said the ban at another institution, the University of Colorado, violates the Colorado Concealed Carry Act of 2003. The ruling revives a lawsuit brought against CU by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus that had been dismissed last spring by El Paso County District Judge G. David Miller. The CU Board of Regents has not rescinded its ban and may appeal the appellate court’s decision to the Colorado Supreme Court. The regents can appeal all they want and they will ultimately lose. What then?

“One has to comply with the law,” said CU Regent Kyle Hybl, a Colorado Springs attorney.

That means we can expect all state-campus gun bans to disappear in Colorado. They are illegal for good reason.

“The legislature protected concealed carry so that governing entities would not create safe havens for criminals,” Maketa said. “Gun bans tell criminals the risk is low. Criminals weigh risk versus reward, and they are comfortable with gun-free zones. We have more than 15,000 active concealed-carry permits in El Paso County and the number is growing. I like it when that gets out because it enters the mind of a criminal who’s contemplating a crime against a person.”

The Legislature did nothing to exempt students or campuses from the protections of the Concealed Carry Act, and the appellate court accepted none of CU’s arguments.

Campus gun bans get students killed because killers don’t obey them. It’s hard to know how the Virginia Tech massacre might have been different if all law-abiding adults hadn’t been disarmed. We know that psychopath Seung-Hui Cho disobeyed the gun ban and killed 33 students over a span of nearly three hours without resistance because nobody within sight or earshot of the carnage was armed.

Soon all campus gun bans will be gone in Colorado. Someday society may look back with disbelief regarding rules that made sitting ducks of young adults on campus.


All I can say is that this action is past due. It's nice to savor this victory not because it's a pro-gunner vs. anti-gunner thing, but because it's a logic vs. illogic issue.

Take care.

Mother's Day

Hot on the heels of the last post, although they are in no way related, I'd just like to wish all good mothers a happy Mother's Day. Being a mother, from my perspective, means incurring a debt that will never be completely repaid. It's far too often a thankless task, and the good ones are rarely appreciated until they are no longer there, be it temporarily or permanently.

If your mother is still alive, give her a hug and, if possible, spend some time with her and let her know the positive impact she had on you. I'll be visiting my mother today, but, unfortunately, she will never again hear my words of thanks.

Take care.

Let's cut the Gordian knot

"Since September 11, 2001, it's been clear that terrorists who hate America will exploit our weaknesses in order to destroy us." (Excerpted from an NRA-ILA e-mail alert.)

What's missing from this statement? The reason WHY the terrorists hate us: our foreign policy, aka foreign entanglements. The childish simplicity of the above quote as it is written is exasperating, yet that seems to be the extent and depth of understanding of the problem by too many Americans. Another off-shoot of the statement actually gives a reason, simplistic as it may be: "The terrorists hate America because it is so good."

Right. As if a bunch of brainwashed morons could even find America on a map, much less articulate anything accurate about its culture.

Let's get this straight. Terrorists only know us through our military presence and our support of Israel. (Okay, to a lesser extent they think they know us through whatever of our pop (aka crap) culture filters through to them...more's the pity for us.) If we were to sever all foreign entanglements in that region, Israel would have to sink or swim on its own. Israel, with the assumption they have them, something I believe they've never admitted to, might have to resort to the nuclear weapons option to survive, something I would have little to no problem with. Fifty million + dead enemies of Israel might go a long way in changing the Muslim mindset that preaches death to all Jewish peoples.

But as long as the US keeps a short leash on Israel via its foreign aid and assistance--which I don't see how we can afford to since we are so profoundly broke--the nuclear scenario will not happen. The problems in the Middle East will continue ad infinitum. Actually, the terrorists had better be glad that the US is involved in the area. It keeps Israel from being forced to make a choice between utter annihilation and using nuclear force.

Take care.

P.S. What started me thinking about this subject was a podcast I listened to where the host stated basically the same thing about our foreign policy being the problem. He also stated that, while he supports Israel, our support of any foreign country should not compromise our American system and way of life. If you doubt that it is compromising our traditions and values, what do you call the so-called Patriot Act, the searches at airports, etc?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stand fast, AZ

Let all correct-thinking Americans hope that Arizona will stand fast and not be bullied by those who criticize Arizona's recent immigration law, but who offer no substantive alternative to a state besieged by criminals. Below is an example of what AZ is enduring, along with my comments. Stick to your law, AZ, this will blow over, eventually. Of course, never discount the morons in DC figuring out some kind of end run to vitiate or eliminate your law. That's always a possibility when an employee shows his boss for the inept fool he is.


Arizona law sparks calls for action on immigration
May 2, 2010 (6:09a CDT)
By SOPHIA TAREEN (Associated Press Writer)

CHICAGO - Protesters nationwide vented their anger over a new Arizona law to crack down on illegal immigrants by calling on President Barack Obama to [get off of his butt and] immediately take up their cause for federal immigration reform. [AKA a-blind-eye-towards-anyone-south-of-the-border-who’d-like-to- give-living-in-America-a-try-without-the-legal-hassles reform.]

From Los Angeles to Washington D.C., activists, families, students and even politicians marched, practiced civil disobedience and "came out" about their citizenship status in the name of rights for immigrants [in a country with some guts, this would have made deportation of much easier], including the estimated 12 million [at least] living illegally in the U.S.

Obama once promised to tackle immigration reform in his first 100 days, but has pushed back that timetable several times. [Surprise!] He said this week that Congress may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration [what he actually means is that immigrants are the Democrat party’s last hope for the fall elections and Congress doesn’t want to do anything to anger them] after going through a tough legislative year. However, Obama and Congress could address related issues, like boosting personnel and resources for border security, in spending bills this year [that would be nice, perhaps those resources could come from, say, Afghanistan].

A congressman was among 35 people arrested during a protest at the White House. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, was taking part in a civil disobedience demonstration.

Protests elsewhere were largely peaceful. No arrests were reported at most demonstrations; two were arrested near the march route in Los Angeles, but police said neither suspect appeared to be connected to the rally.

Police said 50,000 rallied in Los Angeles, where singer Gloria Estefan kicked off a massive downtown march. Estefan spoke in Spanish and English, proclaiming the United States is a nation of [legal] immigrants.

"We're good people," the Cuban-born singer said atop a flatbed truck. "We've given a lot to this country. This country has given a lot to us."
[That’s not the point, Gloria, but thanks for muddying the issue. You’re here legally, and no one is talking about legal immigrants. This law affects only illegal immigrants. You understand that, of course, but apparently you ignore it for some unknown reason. By the way, you're not even connected to Mexico, you're from Cuba, so why are you even saying anything? Is this about illegal immigrants or Hispanic solidarity? I suspect the latter.]

Anger, particularly among immigrant rights activists, has been building since last week when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation. The law requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally. It also makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally. [You mean it wasn’t already?]

The law's supporters say it's necessary because of the federal government's failure to secure the border [BINGO!], but critics contend it encourages racial profiling and is unconstitutional.

"It's racist," [Actually, there are three races: Mongoloid, Caucasoid, and Negroid. Hispanic peoples fit into the Caucasoid category, as do so-called white people, so if what’s transpiring in Arizona is racist, it is against all Caucasians. It might be fairer to call it illegal immigrantist.] said [dimwit] Donna Sanchez, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen living in Chicago whose parents illegally crossed the Mexican border. [INS/ICE, you may want to check on her parents’ status and act accordingly.] "I have papers, but I want to help those who don't." [Hmmm, aiding and abetting criminals, that should earn her at least a record, if not some time in the pokey; it won’t, of course.]

Organizers [surely an unbiased source of information] estimated about 20,000 gathered at a park on Chicago's West Side and marched, but police said about 8,000 turned out.

"I want to thank the governor of Arizona [me too] because she's awakened a sleeping giant," said labor organizer John Delgado, who attended a rally in New York where authorities estimated 6,500 gathered [that’s really not a whole lot of people out of a city of many millions].

Chicago's event resembled something between a family festival - food vendors strolled through with pushcarts - and a political demonstration with protesters chanting "Si se puede," Spanish for "Yes we can." [A phrase borrowed from Bob the Builder? Yes, you can what? Circumvent immigration laws? Put one over on legal immigrants and native-born Americans?] A group of undocumented students stood on a stage at the park and "came out" regarding their immigration status.[“Undocumented?” No. Illegal? Yes.]

Juan Baca was among those students. Baca, 19, whose parents brought him from Mexico illegally when he was 4 months old, said he has had to drop out of college and work several times already because he can't qualify for financial aid. [Boo hoo! There should be no financial aid for college for anyone, Juan, regardless of any factor.]

"It's been a struggle," he said. "I missed the mark by four months." [No problem, just don't miss the bus back to Mexico.]

In Dallas, police estimated at least 20,000 people turned out. About a dozen people carried signs depicting the Arizona governor as a Nazi and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his tough illegal immigration stance, as a Klansman. Organizers were asking sign holders to discard those placards. [Militancy doesn’t fit with the downtrodden image “organizers” (propagandists) are trying to culture.]

Juan Hernandez, the Hispanic outreach coordinator for Arizona Sen. John McCain's unsuccessful presidential run, attended the Dallas rally. He said Arizona was once considered by those south of the border to be a model state with particularly close ties to Mexico . [Apparently, unfettered illegal immigration forges closer ties with foreign nations.]

"It went beyond what most states do," [which is essentially look the other way while grabbing their ankles] he said. "Now they are a state that goes beyond what the Constitution says you should do."

Juan Haro, 80, was born and raised in Denver, where about 3,000 people rallied. He [stated the obvious when he said] he thinks Arizona's new law targets Mexicans. [Ya think? Mexico is where the problem stems from so, yes, it’s logical to target Mexicans. But he’s using the term interchangeably with Hispanics, a disingenuous sleight of hand. This is about illegal Mexican immigrants, not legal Mexican immigrants, and not native-born Hispanics. A big part of the problem is that too many native-born Hispanics identify themselves as Mexican because they have roots in Mexico. They are American. Period. A Mexican is someone born in Mexico, and that’s what this law is all about.]

"This country doesn't seem to be anti-immigrant," said Haro, whose family is originally from Mexico. "It seems to be anti-Mexican." [No, anti- illegal Mexican, Haro.]

In downtown Miami, several hundred flag-waving demonstrators - many with Cuban and Honduran flags, but mostly American ones - called for reforms. [What does “called for reforms” mean? Reforms to strengthen the border, or to loosen immigration law enforcement even more? What lousy reporting.]

Elsewhere, an estimated 7,000 protesters rallied in Houston, about 5,000 gathered at the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta and at least 5,000 marched in Milwaukee. About 3,000 attended a Boston-area march. [Again, unstaggering numbers.]

And in Ann Arbor, Mich., more than 500 people held a mock graduation ceremony for undocumented immigrant students near the site of Obama's University of Michigan commencement speech. [Once again reinforcing my assertion that college students and clear thinking are too often unacquainted.]

In Arizona, police in Tucson said an immigrant rights rally there drew at least 5,000 people. Several thousand people gathered in Phoenix for a demonstration Saturday evening.

A smattering of counterprotesters showed up at rallies. In Tucson, a few dozen people showed up in support of the new law and Brewer. A barricade separated about two dozen counterprotesters from a pro-immigrant rights rally in San Francisco.

Counterprotesters there carried signs that read, "We Support Arizona" and "We Need More Ice At This Fiesta," an apparent reference [no, it’s actually a quite clear reference] to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

May 1 - International Workers Day [a Communist holiday, by the way] - is a traditional date for political demonstrations. Immigration advocates latched onto that tradition in 2006, when more than 1 million people across the country - half a million alone in Chicago - protested federal legislation that would have made being an illegal immigrant a felony. That legislation ultimately failed. [Pity.]

Take care.

Another innoculant (I hope)

In practically every life, some rain will fall and some sun will shine, often without warning. A few days ago, my wife gave me one of those out-of-the-blue, ray-of-sunshine moments.

One of my wife's friends, for reasons known only to her--never look a gift horse in the mouth--asked said wife if I could teach her something about handguns. My wife relayed this lagniappe to me and, of course, I instantly said, "Yes." I absolutely love teaching people about guns, although I've only ever trained one other adult (again, one of my wife's friends).

Other commitments will prevent me from assuming this responsibility until June, but I am already looking forward to it, mainly because I enjoy teaching others. But I will also enjoy it because it will add one more person to the ranks of the enlightened about guns. If/when this comes to pass (life being unpredictable), I'll blog about it and let everyone/anyone who happens to still read this intermittently-updated tome know how things went.

Take care.