Posts Tagged ‘shooting’

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

August 6, 2012

First the good. The rover Curiosity landed safely on Mars. Perhaps that doesn’t seem so big a deal, but each time a Mars probe succeeds in landing safely is a technological miracle. Reaching Mars is easy enough, but landing on a planetary surface is difficult, especially when you have no control over the spacecraft and there is about an eighteen minute delay in communications. Here is more from Foxnews.

 In a show of technological wizardry, the robotic explorer Curiosity blazed through the pink skies of Mars, steering itself to a gentle landing inside a giant crater for the most ambitious dig yet into the red planet’s past.

Cheers and applause echoed through the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory late Sunday after the most high-tech interplanetary rover ever built signaled it had survived a harrowing plunge through the thin Mars atmosphere.

“Touchdown confirmed,” said engineer Allen Chen. “We’re safe on Mars.”

Minutes after the landing signal reached Earth at 10:32 p.m. PDT, Curiosity beamed back the first black-and-white pictures from inside the crater showing its wheel and its shadow, cast by the afternoon sun.

“We landed in a nice flat spot. Beautiful, really beautiful,” said engineer Adam Steltzner, who led the team that devised the tricky landing routine.

It was NASA’s seventh landing on Earth’s neighbor; many other attempts by the U.S. and other countries to zip past, circle or set down on Mars have gone awry.

The arrival was an engineering tour de force, debuting never-before-tried acrobatics packed into “seven minutes of terror” as Curiosity sliced through the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph.

President Barack Obama lauded the landing in a statement, calling it “an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future.”

Over the next two years, Curiosity will drive over to a mountain rising from the crater floor, poke into rocks and scoop up rust-tinted soil to see if the region ever had the right environment for microscopic organisms to thrive. It’s the latest chapter in the long-running quest to find out whether primitive life arose early in the planet’s history.

The voyage to Mars took more than eight months and spanned 352 million miles. The trickiest part of the journey? The landing. Because Curiosity weighs nearly a ton, engineers drummed up a new and more controlled way to set the rover down. The last Mars rovers, twin Spirit and Opportunity, were cocooned in air bags and bounced to a stop in 2004.

Right after that, President Obama reminded the engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that they didn’t build Curiosity all on their own. Someone else made it happen.
This is exciting and the only thing that would have made it perfect would be if it had been a manned mission. I would really like to see a human on Mars in my lifetime.
Now the bad. Yesterday,  a man named Michael Page shot and killed 6 people at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee. The motive is unclear since Page himself was killed by the police. He appears to have been involved with white-supremacist groups.

The children were downstairs, in Sunday school.

The women were in the kitchen nearby, cooking the weekly meal that is free to all.

And the gunman was striding into the wide-open Sikh Temple, bent on killing as many people as he could.

Then came the shots, ripped off, according to a weapons instructor who lives nearby, “as fast as you can pull the trigger.”

By the time the shooter was done, six people lay dead or mortally wounded in what Oak Creek police said was being treated as a domestic terrorist incident – if so, one without precedent in Wisconsin.

Counting the gunman – fatally shot by an Oak Creek police officer – the death count stands at seven.

“This,” a temple leader said later, “is insanity.”

It is also the most deadly U.S. attack on Sikhs – who often have been mistaken for Muslims and targeted in hate crimes – in recent memory.

Within three hours of the mass slaying at the five-year-old temple, built on S. Howell Ave. to accommodate the Milwaukee area’s growing Sikh community, a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement officers was gathering on the scene.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, which is, in some ways, a blend of Islamic and Hindu traditions. It was founded by Guru Nanak in the Punjab about 500 years ago. Although Sikhism has spread throughout the world, the majority of Sikhs still live in the Punjab. People in in that region are generally considered to be Caucasians or white, so I am not sure why a white supremacist would target them, unless they weren’t white enough for him. Then again, a lot of those people hate Jews, who look as white as anyone. Maybe he meant to kill Muslims. Sikhs have been targets for hate crimes by the ignorant since 9/11. His motivation will have to remain as something of a mystery since he apparently didn’t leave behind any notes or manifestos.

And now the ugly. As one might expect, much of the ugliness in today’s discourse comes from the tolerant Left, the ones who incessantly lecture the rest of us about civility. I won’t bother to mention some of the vandalism directed at Chick-fil-A, this past week. Here are two stories I read today. First, Anti-hunting mob urges Team USA shooter Corey Cogdell to shoot herself

Corey Cogdell is a Trap Shooter who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and competed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

She also participates in trophy hunting (hunting of wild game animals).

After Cogdell published photos on Facebook of herself posing alongside animals she killed, anti-hunting activists took to Twitter to express their strong displeasure.

Natascha Bracale @TaschaB13

@CoreyCogdell pity the bus didn’t crash. You are a waste of oxygen and an embarassment to the human race.Karma is a bitch.

Konejira @Konejira

@CoreyCogdell please go shoot yourself in the knees. YOU ANIMAL MURDERER!! you’re a disgusting human being.
@pablito_honas

@CoreyCogdell I hope that someone someday shoot your whole familly just practicing.—
Pablo Honney (@pablito_honas) August 02, 2012

Nice people.

Then there is the latest action by the tolerant Atheist community.

26-foot tall cross emblazoned with the message “Jesus Saves” has become the center for more First Amendment debate in Indiana.

The cross stands on a public plot of land in the small Hoosier State community of Dugger, and has Americans United for Separation of Church and State threatening to sue.

“It’s a pretty flagrant display of the government saying ‘this is a Christian town,'” Gregory Lipper, the group’s senior counsel, told FoxNews.com. “Everyone gets freedom of religion …just because Christianity is this country’s religious majority doesn’t mean that they get to put their thumb on the scale and use taxpayer dollars.

“It doesn’t matter what religion the government is endorsing … it’s a clear violation of the Constitution.”

The land that the cross sits on is valued at about $3,000, and the little 955-person town cannot afford legal fees to save such a small spot of land.

“We’ve given the church 60 days to make a decision,” Dwight Nielsen, Dugger Town Board president, told FoxNews.com. “We may sell the land to a group of [churches].”

The cross was erected two years ago on behalf of the town’s Faith Community Church. The fixture sits on town-owned property near a high school baseball field, but the town approved the build.

“We wanted people to be able to see what the message of the cross represents and get it out to the world in need,” Shawn Farris, head pastor at the Faith Community Church, told FoxNews.com.

Farris does not believe that the town made a religious endorsement by letting the church put up the cross:

“We knew it was okay because when you look at the separation between church and state, it’s just a fact that the government couldn’t tell people how to worship … it would be the same if they allowed a crescent moon to be put up,” he continued.

The town will soon hold a meeting to discuss and finalize the future plans of the cross, officials said.

Religious freedom means they cannot put up a cross? How is anyone hurt by this? Would anyone object if some other religious symbol were erected? Why don’t the people at the Americans United for Separation of Church and State get a life, and stop harassing people?

 

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More Foolishness about the Aurora Shootings

July 24, 2012

 

 

The day before yesterday, I suggested that people, especially politicians not use the shootings in Aurora Colorado to push their political agendas.  But, being politicians, they can’t help themselves. Its what they do. I was mostly concerned with gun control advocates, but people on the other side can say stupid things too. Witness the statements of Congressman Louie Gohmert.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Friday that the shootings that took place in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater hours earlier were a result of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter.

During a radio interview on The Heritage Foundation‘s “Istook Live!” show, Gohmert was asked why he believes such senseless acts of violence take place. Gohmert responded by talking about the weakening of Christian values in the country.

Gohmert also said the tragedy could have been lessened if someone else in the movie theater had been carrying a gun and took down the lone shooter. Istook noted that Colorado laws allow people to carry concealed guns.

“It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?” he asked.

I am as much an advocate of second amendment rights as anybody, yet I have to question whether it would have been a good idea to start shooting in a darkened, crowded theater, not knowing precisely what was going on. It seems to me that someone trying to stop the shooter would be more likely to hit a bystander.

On the other hand, have you ever noticed that these sort of events never happen at gun shows, or police stations, or really, anywhere where there are armed people who are prepared to use their weapons? It seems that although Colorado allows concealed carry of firearms, the city of Aurora is more restrictive and the theater chain did not allow guns on the premises. Is it possible that the shooter considered these factors when choosing where to strike?

What rep. Gohmert may not understand is that the purpose of bearing arms is not really to engage in shootouts, but for deterrence. Honest, law-abiding people arm themselves in the hope that they will not have to use them. The idea is that one is less likely to be attacked if the assailant knows his potential victim can fight back with deadly force.

Moving on, Mayor Bloomberg continues his streak of idiocy by suggesting that the police go on a strike for gun control.

One of the few points that President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on is that they’re both determined not to let gun control become an issue in the election, despite Friday’s theater shooting in Colorado. However, their attempts to dodge the issue have only emboldened Mayor Bloomberg, who was rather bold to start with. After warming up on Monday’s Morning Joe, Bloomberg ended the day by suggesting on Piers Morgan Tonight that law enforcement should take a drastic stand on the issue. “I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say we’re going to go on strike,” Bloomberg said. “We’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”

Earlier, Bloomberg said, “I think there is a perception among the political world that the NRA has more power than the American people. I don’t believe that.” However, there’s evidence that the NRA isn’t the only impediment to passing stricter gun laws. The New York Timesreports that support for gun control has hit a new low. An October Gallup poll found that gun control laws were less popular among people of all political persuasions, and for the first time a majority (53 percent) opposed banning semiautomatic guns and assault rifles. Representative Peter King told the paper, “The majority of American people are very attached to their guns. They look on any attempt to regulate or control them as an infringement.”

 

First, such a strike would be illegal in most jurisdictions. The police may not endanger public safety by going on strike and allowing criminals to rum rampant, and I cannot believe that many police officers would be so unprofessional as to agree with such a course of action.

Second, Mayor Bloomberg really suggests that the police blackmail the public into supporting policies it does not want. The tide of public opinion on this issue has shifted dramatically against gun control in the last two decades, which might be why Bloomberg is so eager to suggest extra-legal methods to achieve the policies he wants. Ultimately the precedent set by such a police strike might end in a situation in which the police have first say in every piece of legislation, hardly a democratic method.

Finally, and here is the important point, note carefully Mayor Bloomberg’s idea of the relationship between the police, the government, and the people. To him, it seems that the problem is that too many people are armed, and likely to attack the police. He makes no distinction between criminals and law-abiding citizens. All are equally under suspicion and no one should be trusted to defend themselves. When you consider also his incessant nanny-statism, it is clear that Mayor Bloomberg’s America is an America composed of lowly serfs who are incapable of caring for themselves and who must be grateful that their betters take an interest in saving them from themselves. There is the real evil.

 

 

A Modest Proposal Concerning the Tragedy at Aurora

July 22, 2012
English: New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

Shut up!

I have been busy at work these past two days and have not had the time or energy to post anything about the horrible events at the theater in Aurora Colorado. I don’t have anything to add to the many news reports and commentaries, except to urge that people resist the temptation to blame anybody other than James Holmes, or to use this atrocity to push their political agendas. In particular, I wish that the gun control advocates would not exploit the shooting to call for stricter gun control laws which would not have stopped that madman.

I see that it is too much to ask. New York Mayor Bloomberg is leading the chorus in calling for gun control.

Some may argue for steering clear of political agendas in the wake of the shooting massacre at a Colorado movie theater—but for Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the issue is crystal clear: We need more gun control.

The New York City mayor called early Friday for both presidential candidates to go beyond offering condolences and say where they stand on the issue.

“Soothing words are nice,” said Bloomberg, “But maybe it’s time the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they’re going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country.”

I wish that for once in his life, this demented control freak would just mind his own business.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon is joining in the act.

In comments posted on his Twitter account on Saturday, Calderon offered his condolences to the United States after a gunman went on the rampage with an assault rifle at a midnight premier of the new Batman film in Aurora, Colorado.

But Mexico’s president, who has repeatedly called on Washington to tighten gun controls to stop weapons flowing from the United States into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, said U.S. weapons policy needed a rethink after the killings.

“Because of the Aurora, Colorado tragedy, the American Congress must review its mistaken legislation on guns. It’s doing damage to us all,” Calderon said.

The presidency of Calderon, who leaves office at the end of November, has been overshadowed by his efforts to crack down on the drug gangs. Fighting among the cartels and their clashes with the state have killed more than 55,000 people since 2007.

Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, yet somehow this has not prevented drug cartels from turning sections of that country into war zones. If President Calderon is really interested in stopping the flow of arms to Mexico, perhaps he should ask President Obama about Operation Fast and Furious.

Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, Presidente de México.

You too

 


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