I believe you have my stapler.
It’s good to be the guy in charge of ordering supplies.
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Posted by Jake on July 28, 2013
This is still a developing story, and the veil of lawyer-advised silence is descending, but TJIC has again been targeted by the repressive government of Massachusetts and/or his local government. This time, they’ve dragged his fiance into it, confiscating her legally owned firearms after he applied for a new MA LTC. From Tam, who has been in direct communication with the TJIC household:
Well, TJIC got his Massachusetts FID* reissued, and has reapplied for an MA LTC**.
Now the local po-po*** is surrounding his crib, wanting to inspect the premises. Without a warrant. In the suburbs of Boston. On Independence Day.
More from Tam, in various comments to her original post:
Jenn was like “There’s a cop looking at me through the window with a flashlight and his hand on his holster!”
I’m on the phone with Jenn; she’s walking through the house with the officer. They’re seizing her guns as we speak.
They’re already in contact with counsel.
TJIC himself chipped in a little info:
I had an EXCELLENT gun lawyer on speed dial. It took half an hour to get a callback on a vacation day, but after that, he was with us every step of the way.
I repeatedly refused the cops’ requests for a voluntary walk-through of the house.
I repeatedly refused to answer any questions.
The cops repeatedly told me that if I had nothing to hide, I should just allow a walk-through, and if I was a good guy, I’d have a “conversation” with them.
In the end they illegally seized my FID (just plan CAN NOT do it, but they took it and wouldn’t give it back) and they illegally seized Jennifer’s firearms. My lawyer was appalled but not surprised.
Jennifer and I have been talking about moving out of MA in 3-6 years.
We are officially looking for real estate tomorrow; I will not spend one more day than is necessary in this totalitarian hell hole.
At the end, some of the cops who ransacked the house tried to shake hands with me. “No hard feelings”.
I refused and said “Gentlemen, please think about what you’re doing. On the fourth of july, the day we celebrate freedom, you stole legally owned firearms from a women who is engaged to a guy who made a joke you don’t like. You are not the good guys. You are ‘just doing your jobs’. Look in the mirror. You’re the bad guys.”
Response: “I’m sorry you feel that way. Have a good Fourth.”
My lawyer says that there’s a decent chance I may yet be arrested.
And with that, I should probably go radio silent for a while.
Words do not describe how wrong this is. Tam seems to have the direct scoop for now, keep your eyes open there for new information.
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Posted by Jake on July 4, 2013
Just very, very busy. New job, housework, etc. I’ll try to put something substantial up soon. In the meantime, here’s a Nyan Cat for you.
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Posted by Jake on July 1, 2013
Good story, good pacing, good acting. Good movie!
The Kryptonian vs. Kryptonian fight scenes are very well done, and met my expectations of what that kind of fight would look like – bursts of super-speed, use of terrain as a weapon, and truly epic levels of property damage.
I think Henry Cavill did a good Superman, and will do well in the next film, too.
Directors should be fined (say, 5% of gross) for every instance of “shaky-cam” in a movie.
If your theater has older digital projectors that suffer from motion-blur issues, try to find a theater with better projectors (or one that still uses film, if you can) to see this movie in. Motion blur is very noticeable in this film, and not just in the action sequences. Sadly, my local theater has those issues.
Very good movie, IMHO. You should see it, if you haven’t already.
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Posted by Jake on June 16, 2013
Almost a good movie, but wait for the video.
(A longer review, with some spoilers, is below the fold. SPOILERS, I SAID!!! You were warned!)
Posted by Jake on May 17, 2013
Linoge linked to a couple of articles last week, and one of them – once I finally got around to reading it – tripped one of those switches in my brain that said “Oh! Now I get it!” regarding the deceptively clumsy phrasing of the Second Amendment.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. – U.S. Constitution, Amendment II
The relationship between the two clauses, and how or even if they cause the Right to relate to militias, has been debated for at least a century. A popular argument among those who favour gun control – whether outright bans on all guns, or bans of “assault weapons” – is that the 2nd Amendment is preconditioned on membership in a militia, and that the National Guard and/or the advent of professional police forces has superseded the founder’s model of local militias. As a result, they argue, the 2nd Amendment does not apply to ordinary citizens, only to police and National Guard members.
While this argument certainly ignores the fact that the unorganized militia is still embodied in US law, it is flawed on a much more basic level – the 2nd Amendment clearly and specifically assigns that right to the people, not to the militia or members of a militia. This is the classic dependent/independent clause argument – that the reference to a “well regulated militia” explains the necessity of protecting the right of the people to keep and bear arms, but does not limit that right to membership in a militia.
But there was a point in reading that article where something else clicked for me, though I can’t point to any one sentence or paragraph and say “this is where I understood”. It’s a surprisingly simple concept.
When the Right for each and every citizen to own, possess, and carry arms is restricted, a militia cannot be formed without those people first going out and obtaining arms. If the government is allowed to restrict how, when, and if a citizen can purchase firearms – yes, even military weapons – then the government can restrict or prevent the formation of any militias.
But why, you ask, in our modern society, would anyone need to form a militia so quickly that they couldn’t wait for the government to approve it if it truly was needed?
Leaving aside the assumption that the government a) would approve it in the first place, and b) would do so quickly enough to do any good, it also ignores the speed in which bad situations can develop. A perfect modern day example of this is the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, and the events that took place in Koreatown during those riots.
With the police overwhelmed (and, by all accounts, not terribly motivated to intervene in that neighborhood anyway), it fell to the citizens there to defend their homes, livelihoods, and their lives themselves. They banded together in small groups for their own defense – the very definition of an unorganized militia. Once the riots started, they didn’t have time to go to a store and buy a gun. They didn’t have time to sit through a background check. They were dependent on the guns they had at the time.
Without the protections afforded by the Second Amendment, Koreatown would have been destroyed by the rampaging mobs.
What would have been more effective in Boston last month – unarmed citizens cowering in their homes with the police and National Guard imposing martial law (lite! with only half the jackboots!) while searching house to house, or armed citizens standing watch over their own neighborhoods while directing the police towards any suspicious activity?
I’ll say it again. The Second Amendment Right to keep and bear arms does not depend on membership in a militia, it is what allows us to form militias where and when they are needed.
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Posted by Jake on May 8, 2013
A couple of things I’ve been meaning to comment on but never got around to:
On the passing of Midnight
I’d like to give a belated thank you to those who gave their sympathy on the recent death of my cat Midnight. It was appreciated.
As a bit of a surprise, a few days after that, I received a sympathy card from the vet. Now, I suspect there are many veterinary clinics that will send such cards, but what was really surprising was that this one had a very nice and personalized hand written note from the veterinarian that actually attended us that night.
Sometimes it’s the little touches that can make such events bearable.
The Great Gas Experiment – a hiccup
Due to a combination of bad timing and the fact that there is only one gas station in my area that has alcohol-free gas, I had to put $5 of alcoholic gas in the car yesterday. I’ll run it close to dry before filling up again to try and minimize the impact. Before I left for the gun show, my car was reporting an average mileage of 24.8 mpg, up from the previous 24.5 mpg. After the gun show, which involved driving on the interstate, it shot up to 25.3 mpg, but that’s not really useful data here because of the difference in driving styles.
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Posted by Jake on April 29, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, just as the gun-control debate in the Senate was heating up, a nameless attention-whore decided to take a shotgun and shoot up the local community college satellite campus. This is MY community college, the one that I am currently taking classes at. Thankfully, he didn’t manage to kill anybody, and only managed to wound two people (which is probably the only reason the anti-Rights blood-dancers didn’t jump all over it).
I call him an attention-whore because he actually posted his intent on 4chan before he started, and posted the address for the local emergency services internet radio scanner, telling people to listen to the chaos he was about to inflict. As a result, the maintainer of that scanner has discontinued it (I assume that’s the reason, based on the note at the link, which says “Due to recent events that have taken place in my community, I have decided to discontinue this feed.”). This is highly irritating to me, since I frequently used it while at work to see if there was a major emergency nearby – usually when I would hear multiple police/fire/EMS sirens. That scanner feed is how I learned about that particular incident, and how I learned about the murder of Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek Crouse, which occurred only a couple of blocks from my office.
Speaking of learning about these incidents, I also learned (or verified, really, since I already knew) that you cannot rely on those fancy text/email alert systems that most colleges have put in to warn people about emergencies. It wasn’t until about 20 minutes after the shootings that I got the first text message from the college, and that only said that the college was “closing immediately at both locations”. The first message alerting students that “administrators have unconfirmed reports of a shooting” at the mall campus didn’t go out until 40 minutes after the shootings.
In other words, by the time I got the emergency messages, the emergency was long over. I don’t know whether the delay was in getting the message to the administration, the administration waiting to send it, or simply the cellular networks getting overloaded by the sudden batch sending of about 5,000 text messages, but it was essentially useless as an actual emergency alert system. Like always, you are on your own when it comes to your own safety.
And, of course, the school’s policy is to disarm students and staff under penalty of expulsion/firing, and make their campuses into
Gun Free Victim Disarmament Zones. It worked just as well in this case as it always does.
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Posted by Jake on April 29, 2013
Six years ago today, horror struck Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Most of those who were freshmen at the time will be graduating, and most of the upperclassmen are gone, but the memories remain with the faculty and staff, the town residents, and especially with the police and EMS providers who responded.
The killer shot his first victims around 7:15 a.m. in West Ambler Johnston Hall. At about that time, the killer entered the room that freshman Emily J. Hilscher shared with another student. Hilscher, a 19-year-old from Woodville, Virginia, was killed. After hearing the gunshots, a male resident assistant, Ryan C. Clark, attempted to aid Hilscher. Clark, a 22-year-old-senior from Martinez, Georgia, was fatally shot. Hilscher survived for another three hours.
The killer left the scene and returned to his dormitory room. While police and emergency medical services units were responding to the shootings in the dorm next door, the killer changed out of his bloodstained clothes. Police receive information leading them to consider Hilscher’s boyfriend as a suspect.
Almost two hours later, he walked to the nearby downtown post office and mailed a package of writings and video recordings to NBC News; the package was postmarked 9:01 a.m. He would then go to Norris Hall.
At about 9:40 a.m., just over two hours after the initial shootings at West Ambler-Johnston, the killer entered Norris Hall, which houses the Engineering Science and Mechanics program among others, and chained the three main entrance doors shut. He placed a note on at least one of the chained doors, claiming that attempts to open the door would cause a bomb to explode. Shortly before the shooting began, a faculty member found the note and took it to the building’s third floor to notify the school’s administration. At about the same time, the killer had begun shooting students and faculty on the second floor; the bomb threat was never called in.
At about 9:41, within one or two minutes of the first shots, the first 9-1-1 call was received. Because it came from a cell phone, it was routed to the Blacksburg Police dispatch center instead of the Virginia Tech Police. Despite some initial confusion, it takes only about one minute for the dispatcher to recognize that the call is coming from on campus and transfer the call. The first police officers arrive within three minutes of receiving the first 9-1-1 call, but cannot enter because the doors of all three exterior entrances are chained shut. Attempts to shoot out these locks are unsuccessful.
The killer’s first attack was in an advanced hydrology engineering class taught by Professor G. V. Loganathan in room 206. The killer first shot and killed the professor, then continued shooting, killing nine of the 13 students in the room and injuring two others. Next, the killer went across the hall to room 207, in which instructor Christopher James Bishop was teaching German. The killer killed Bishop and four students; six students were wounded. He then moved on to Norris 211 and 204. In both of these classrooms, the killer was initially prevented from entering the classroom by barricades erected by instructors and students. In room 204, Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, forcibly prevented the killer from entering the room. Librescu was able to hold the door closed until most of his students escaped through the windows, but he died after being shot multiple times through the door. One student in his classroom was killed. Instructor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak and student Henry Lee were killed in room 211 as they attempted to barricade the door.
The killer reloaded and revisited several of the classrooms. After the killer’s first visit to room 207, several students had barricaded the door and had begun tending the wounded. When the killer returned minutes later, Katelyn Carney and Derek O’Dell were injured while holding the door closed. The killer also returned to room 206. According to a student eyewitness, the movements of a wounded Waleed Shaalan distracted the killer from a nearby student after the shooter had returned to the room. Shaalan was shot a second time and died. Also in room 206, Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan may have protected fellow student Guillermo Colman by diving on top of him. Colman’s various accounts make it unclear whether this act was intentional or the involuntary result of being shot. Multiple gunshots killed Lumbantoruan, but Colman was protected by Lumbantoruan’s body.
Students, including Zach Petkewicz, barricaded the door of room 205 with a large table after substitute professor Haiyan Cheng and a student saw the killer heading toward them. The killer shot several times through the door but failed to force his way in. No one in that classroom was wounded or killed.
Hearing the commotion on the floor below, Professor Kevin Granata brought 20 students from a nearby classroom into an office, where the door could be locked, on the third floor of Norris Hall. He then went downstairs to investigate and was fatally shot by the killer. None of the students locked in Granata’s office were injured.
At about 9:50, using a shotgun, police shoot open the ordinary key lock of a fourth entrance to Norris Hall that goes to a machine shop and that could not be chained. They hear gunshots as they enter the building and immediately follow the sounds to the second floor. As they reach the second floor, the killer fires his final shot, killing himself.
At about 9:52 a.m., the killing is over. The killer shot himself in the head just as police reached the second floor. Investigators believe that the police shotgun blast alerted him to the arrival of the police. The killer’s shooting spree in Norris Hall lasted about 11 minutes. He killed 30 people in Norris Hall, and wounded 17 others. It is the worst mass killing by a single gunman in U.S. history.
The horror continues. The police work to clear the second floor of Norris Hall. Two tactical medics attached to the Emergency Response Teams, one medic from Virginia Tech Rescue and one from Blacksburg Rescue, are allowed to enter to start their initial triage. Police are carrying out victims and handing them off to waiting Rescue Squads, still unsure if there is a second shooter waiting inside. High winds have grounded rescue helicopters, meaning that the most seriously wounded victims must instead be transported 30-45 minutes by ground to the closest Level 1 trauma center in Roanoke, Virginia. False reports of gunshots throughout the rest of the day mean a continuation of the fear and psychological trauma for students and local residents.
In the hours and days following the shooting, makeshift memorials to those killed or injured began appearing in several locations on the campus. Many people placed flowers and items of remembrance at the base of the Drillfield observation podium in front of Burruss Hall. Later, members of Hokies United placed 32 pieces of Hokie Stone, each labeled with the name of a victim, in a semicircle in front of the Drillfield viewing stand. This makeshift memorial was later made permanent.
(Information for these posts came from Wikipedia and from the Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel. The killer’s name is deliberately omitted, and shall never pass my lips nor contaminate my keyboard, save for the strictest necessity. He shall remain nameless to all men and women of honor, his identity cursed, and forever denied the infamy he sought.)
[This post is a consolidation of a series of posts I wrote for this date in 2010, with each post originally scheduled to appear at the same time that the events described within began.]
Posted by Jake on April 16, 2013
Update – 1609 hrs: The Christiansburg Police chief spoke at a press conference this afternoon, and stated that there were two people injured – one flown and one taken to the local hospital – and a suspect in custody. It is believed that there is no more danger. No further information is being released at this time.
Ignore the stupid reporters calling him a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy. That’s definitely a CPD uniform, and you can see the eagles on his collar even with the poor quality streaming video. The press, as usual, is ignorant.
That third link is to the Roanoke Times, which seems to be having issues at the moment, probably due to high traffic.
This is in Christiansburg, VA, right next to Blacksburg and Virginia Tech.
Initial reports are that the shooter is in custody, and that one person was flown out. The media has no reports of other injuries at this time. The police have a press briefing scheduled for 1500hrs EDT.
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Posted by Jake on April 12, 2013