Sunday, December 30, 2007

LA Gang F13 Accused of Targeting Blacks

I saw this news item and it struck me as something unusual, or at least something I'm not familiar with.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - In a murderous quest aimed at "cleansing" their turf of snitches and rival gangsters, members of one of Los Angeles County's most vicious Latino gangs sometimes killed people just because of their race, an investigation found.

There were even instances in which Florencia 13 leaders ordered killings of black gangsters and then, when the intended victim couldn't be located, said "Well, shoot any black you see," Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.

"In certain cases some murders were just purely motivated on killing a black person," Baca said.

Authorities say there were 20 murders among more than 80 shootings documented during the gang's rampage in the hardscrabble Florence-Firestone neighborhood, exceptional even in an area where gang violence has been commonplace for decades. They don't specify the time frame or how many of the killings were racial.

When I think of racially motivated killings, I don't think of Hispanic gangs targeting Blacks. Perhaps that's just me, but this strikes me as unusual.

I also have a hard time thinking someone fiddled the numbers to show a trend that isn't there. First off, to what benefit? Second, since this seems counterintuitive; there's easier ways to slip in manipulated data than with counterintuitive data.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Penguin Gets Promotion

I saw this, and thought it was a joke. Turns out, not so much.

A Penguin has been promoted to Colonel in Chief of the Royal Norwegian Guard

Nils Olav received a promotion on Wednesday to Colonel in Chief of the Royal Norwegian Guard. Yes, this high rank in the Norwegian military has in fact been bestowed on a penguin.

In 1962 young lieutenant in the Royal Norwegian Guard Niels Egelien visited Edinburgh Zoo and was quite taken with the penguins. On a return visit in 1972, he arranged for his regiment to sponsor a king penguin which they adopted and awarded the rank of Lance Corporal. The name was chosen on behalf of the lieutenant who first got excited about the penguins and the then king of Norway, King Olav. Since then, every time the soldiers have come to visit, Nils Olav has received a promotion.

More here.

So far, I don't know of a reaction from the Penguin Liberation Front, who have some of the coolest logos ever.

Happy Caturday

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sear and Hammer

Just came across the Sear and Hammer Blog.

Obviously I like them, since their motto is "Self Defense is a Civil Right". Mostly, it seems to have some great graphics:

There are also articles on gun and self defense topics. Worth a look.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Yet another reason CCW permits make sense

SoCal woman mauled to death by pit bulls

BARSTOW, Calif. (AP) — A packed of pit bulls surrounded a woman and mauled her to death, authorities said Wednesday.

Police found Kelly Caldwell, 45, lying in the street around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, and was taken to a hospital, where she later died, the San Bernardino County sheriff's department said.

After the mauling, the dogs ran to a nearby house. Deputies shot one dog to death when it returned to the scene and acted aggressively as paramedics were trying to save Caldwell's life, authorities said.

A second dog was shot to death Wednesday morning when it too returned. Deputies said it became aggressive as an animal control officer was trying to capture it.

Authorities said at least one dog belonged to a neighbor. No arrests were immediately made.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Yep, it's Christmas

Santa arrested for DUI

The driver -- 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds -- was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, in this case a misdemeanor, police said. In addition to a red Santa hat, he wore a blond wig, red lace camisole, purple G-string, black leg warmers and black shoes.

"We are pretty sure this is not the Santa Claus," Deputy Chief Ken Garner said.

Police identified the man as Rick Carroll, 53, of Long Beach. Officers administered a Breathalyzer test at the scene, and Carroll's blood-alcohol level measured just above the legal limit of .08%, Garner said.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Caturday

... The Christmas edition.. hope everyone who read this has a good one!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Everyday Normal Guy

John turned me on to this... funny in a slacker kinda way.

Shotgun ammo effectiveness

I was digging through my hard drive for something else, and came across this. It's a bit of testing I did with my shotgun when I was trying to find out which loads worked best.
width height Area (square inches) Hits Percent hit
Winchester Super-X 17.5 20 350 8 89%
13 18 234 6 67%
15.25 20 305 8 89%
18.5 21.5 397.75 8 89%
18 19.25 346.5 8 89%
Total Average 326.65 84%
Remington LE RR 10.25 13 133.25 8 100%
9.25 11.75 108.6875 6 75%
13.25 12.5 165.625 8 100%
14 8.5 119 7 88%
12.75 12 153 8 100%
Total Average 135.9125 93%
Hornady TAP 15 13.5 202.5 8 100%
5.75 4.5 25.875 8 100%
13 8.5 110.5 8 100%
12 12 144 7 88%
8 4.5 36 8 100%
Total Average 103.775 98%

Some explanation is required. I was testing at an indoor range, so environmental factors should be limited. All targets were at 25 meters.

Height and width were calculated by measuring the furthest pellets hits on paper. Area is a simple multiplication of height and width; not exact of course, but close enough to compare different rounds. Percentage of hits on target are those pellets which hit a human silhouette.

In all cases, the same shotgun was used. It has an 18 inch barrel with an improved cylinder ( i.e. open ) choke.

As you can see, the reduced recoil loads ( the Remington and the Hornady TAP ) have significantly tighter patterns than the regular 00 buckshot, even without a more restrictive choke. That's a feature I like, since in anything other than an open choke you risk damaging your barrel if you shoot deer slugs.

Also, my shoulder appreciates the lessened recoil.

So, while the reduced recoil ammo might be a bit more expensive than standard 00 buckshot there is an increase in performance that I find worth the cost.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Oracle Internet Directory

Ye Gods is Oracle Internet Directory some arcane, byzantine software. I've spent the past few days at work, in between other projects, trying to get OID online.

Keep in mind, we're only using OID to resolve Oracle service names. Until now, the Oracle Names Server has done a great job at that. Relatively easy to configure, straight forward to maintain... no worries.

Naturally, this had to change. We're more blunt edge than bleeding edge at work, but even we have to drag ourselves shambling into the modern era... and in the modern era the names server has been relegated to the dustbin. Oracle 10g and higher clients just won't talk to it.

So, with the go ahead from our management that the licensing was worked out, I downloaded the software, brought out the manuals and had at it. How hard could it be, right?

Translating the Necronomicon from ancient Arabic seems trivial by comparison. A full second Oracle instance is required, along with another HTTP server and Oracle Applications server. Then, once all that is set up, one can get OID working. Unless you can't, since the provided documentation is bollocks. The classic moment was when the test to confirm connectivity worked, but the actual command didn't and complained of invalid credentials. Yes, I used the same credentials both times.

Kudos to Dizwell Informatics. His write up on Oracle Internet Directory and it's associated processes is well worth a read if you, like I, found the Oracle documentation lacking. Thanks to his notes, I now have a working OID instance ( at least in test ) that's serving up service names via LDAP.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Gun Violence in the UK

I had a long, well written, insightful post on the subject.

Then I saw this cartoon:

I realize humor says more than wordy discourse this time.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Steven Wright

Just found out that today is Steven Wright's birthday. Hope he has a good one.

If you're not familiar with him, or even if you are, enjoy:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gang members in the US Military

As seen on another forum:

Perhaps a bit sensationalist, but may have a point.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Attention Whore: Trifecta Complete

In two previous posts we discussed allegations of criminal behavior which turned out of have been perpetrated by the alleged victim.

In the first a Jewish woman was drawing swastikas on her dorm room door. In the second a Otterbein College student fabricated a story that she was attacked.

The trifecta is now complete.

Fire Dept. Suspends Apprentice For Noose, Note

The Baltimore Fire Department has suspended a paramedic apprentice who admitted placing a threatening note and a rope shaped like a noose inside a firehouse.

Fire officials say the paramedic, Gary Maynard, is the one who initially reported finding the note and the rope. Fire department spokesman Kevin Cartwright says Maynard confessed to city police that he left the note and the rope.

A statement from Fire Chief William Goodwin says Maynard's scheme was "meant to create the perception that members within our department were acting in a discriminatory and unprofessional manner."

The note was believed to refer to a cheating scandal involving black firefighters. Maynard, who is black, has not yet been charged with any crime.

Two of these seem to be "there is racism here, if only I could prove it" thinking. The thought that if there was racism one could prove it without fabricating evidence doesn't seem to enter into it. At the least, that the fabrication was uncovered indicates the organizations involved take such allegations seriously, investigate the allegations and are competent at the investigative processes.

One just seems a cry for attention, although all three cases could be a cry for attention, when you think of it.

Those who allege racism without proof... what else could that be? The institutions they defamed discovered their fabrications in short order; they don't seem the type to tolerate racist behavior.

It's not as if the allegations do anything to improve the climate at those institutions. With these fabrications, future allegations will be suspect of course. That makes legitimate allegations that much more difficult to prove.

Quite a disservice to the causes these people purport to support.

Saturday, December 1, 2007