Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

Random notes: April 14, 2014.

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Don’t forget: tomorrow is National Buy a Gun Day. I’m not sure I’ll be observing it on the 15th this year, but we’ll see how things go…

I see Lawrence’s killer paramedic, and raise: 77 arson fires in a Virgina county over five months. Serial arsons are kind of interesting on their own, but who did it and (allegedly) why, is the twist here.

In the past four days, the NYT has run two stories bemoaning the closing of J&R Music World. Just saying.

e-Haggadah
.

“There is a place for using apps and all kinds of technology to prepare for the holiday, but I would prefer to do that beforehand so that when you’re actually at the Seder you’re actually speaking to one another,” said Rabbi Daniel Nevins, the dean of the rabbinical school of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, which ordains rabbis in the Conservative movement.

I think Rabbi Nevins is on the mark with this. But:

The use of the electronic Haggadot comes just as Conservative rabbis are embroiled in a debate over whether to make e-readers permissible on the Sabbath. Rabbi Nevins wrote a paper last year saying that such devices violated the spirit of the Sabbath and the holidays, traditionally viewed as a sanctuary from the workaday world.

If it is okay to read books on the Sabbath, why is it not okay to use e-readers? (Please note: while I have a great admiration for the Jewish religion and people, I am not Jewish, nor am I a Torah scholar.)

Lawrence also suggested at dinner the other night that I do a comprehensive prison personæ for the city of Bell: basically, a quick reference guide to who’s been convicted of what, and how much time they’ll serve. I may do that in the next few days, but I want to hold off a bit: Robert “Ratso” Rizzo is supposed to be sentenced on his tax charges later today, and sentenced on the other charges related to his role as Bell city manager on Wednesday. I will update here once Rizzo’s sentences are announced.

By way of Popehat on the Twitter: NYC’s Brecht Forum is closing. No, this wasn’t a place where folks sat around and sang “Mack the Knife” and other songs: that would actually have been kind of cool.

The center’s mission, according to its website, is to “create, within existing society, a counter-hegemonic culture of working people and their allies, who are capable of challenging the capitalist agenda, prefiguring new ways of thinking and of self-organization, as well as creating new ways of relating to each other and nature.”
Figures like Noam Chomsky, William Greider, Lewis H. Lapham and Naomi Klein have spoken at events at the forum. Affiliated groups include the Institute for Popular Education, the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory and the Strike Anywhere Theater Ensemble.

Yeah, Donnie, they’re Marxists.

“Rising Manhattan rents forced us to Brooklyn, but we have incurred debts and costs that are insurmountable,” the board members wrote, saying that they had decided to close the forum “with dignity” and the hope that “the larger project we all care so deeply about may survive in a different form.”

Awwwww. But where will they go now?

Plenty of serious discussion about politics and philosophy took place in the brick building on West Street, but the activists who gathered there had a lighter side, too, sometimes playing foosball or a Marxist version of Monopoly, called Class Struggle.

I was hoping to be able to provide an Amazon link for “Class Struggle”, just in case you have any children in your life that you hate. Sadly, it appears that “Class Struggle”, produced by Avalon Hill (!), is out of print and used copies are pricy. Here’s BoardGameGeek’s page.

Your Yee update.

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Mike the Musicologist forwarded an amusing article from the Sacramento Bee about indicted California Democratic State Senator Leland “Uncle” Yee.

Among other things, “Uncle” used campaign funds for his trips to the Philippines, where he allegedly tried to arrange his illegal gun deals:

“Senator Yee said when he arrived, he was surrounded by numerous armed guards carrying automatic rifles,” the affidavit said. “Senator Yee advised the Philippines was a very corrupt country and (the agent) needed to be prepared to pay people at every level during the lifecycle of the deal. Senator Yee reiterated he had been to Mindanao and had an opportunity to shoot some of the weapons discussed with (the agent.)”

Also interesting: “Uncle” spent a total of $62,000 in campaign funds at the New Asia restaurant in San Francisco. I believe this is the New Asia in question.

Last week’s criminal complaint mentions the restaurant as the venue for many events hosted by Chee Kung Tong, an alleged criminal group headed by Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who also was arrested.

Yeah, you were waiting for “Shrimp Boy” to show up, weren’t you? And by the way, the owner of New Asia is charged with receiving and transporting stolen property: specifically, 15 cases of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Edited to add: I was finishing up this post as I was coming off my lunch hour, so I pushed research duties to Mike the Musicologist. For those of you (like me) who aren’t that up on your Johnnie Walker label colors, Blue is at the highest end of the Walker line in regular production (as opposed to the occasional special edition/one off runs). Wikipedia says it goes for $200 – $300 a bottle, but the prices Mike and I turned up were more like $1,000 for a case (six bottles). So we’re talking $15,000 worth of blended Scotch. Not exactly something to sneeze at, for sure, but it seems kind of petty compared to “Tell me about the rockets, Leland!” and contract killers.

Plus, you know, this probably puts New Asia’s liquor license in danger. And what’s a liquor license in San Francisco worth? I bet a lot more than $15K.

FAQ 2.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

“Who’s Packing What: The Weapons in the Leland Yee Scandal”

Or, as we’ve taken to calling him, indicted California Democratic State Senator Leland “Uncle” Yee.

By way of Mike the Musicologist, who observes that indicted California Democratic State Senator Leland “Uncle” Yee and his friends have bad taste in weapons.

“Chow described how he like to carry two 9mm and a .45 caliber [pistols],” the affidavit reads. “Chow described that a .22 caliber is an assassin’s gun, but he liked carrying something that had real power and would stop someone if you had to use it on the street.”

Two 9s and a .45? I wonder how loud the clank was as he walked.

Also. (By way of Robb Allen.)

FAQ.

Friday, March 28th, 2014

In case you’re coming into the Leland Yee/Raymond “Shrimp Boy” scandal late, and haven’t been reading this blog or Battleswarm, the LAT has a handy guide to the affair, which answers many of the burning questions (such as “why is he called ‘Shrimp Boy’?”).

(I cannot tell a lie: I enjoy typing Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow. Almost as much as – no, strike that, I enjoy it even more than typing Robert “Ratso” Rizzo.)

Also, in case you were wondering, the California state Senate has suspended Sen. Yee without pay. The same august body has also suspended Sen. Roderick White, who was convicted of perjury and voter fraud, and Sen. Ronald Calderon, indicted on bribery and corruption charges.

It just gets better and better.

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

More information about the charges against Leland Yee is trickling out.

As you may recall from yesterday’s post, Senator Yee advocated “tighter restrictions” on “semi-automatic weapons”. Well, guess what? The charges against Senator Yee include “conspiracy to traffic in firearms”.

The full complaint is available from the SFGate site. By way of Overlawyered, we found a summary from San Francisco Magazine (complete with bonus “The Wire” references!):

…he offered to set up an arms deal with Islamic rebels for $2 million in cash.

[The agent] asked about the availability of shoulder fire missiles or rockets. Senator Yee responded ‘I told him about the rockets and things like that.’”

Tell me about the rockets, George Leland!

“In addition to his relationship with Chow and the Chee Kung Tong, Jackson is also a close associate with, and has a long-time relationship with, Senator Yee. Keith Jackson owns and runs a business called ‘Jackson Consultancy,’ a San Francisco based consulting firm. During the time frame from at least May 2011 through the present, Keith Jackson has been involved in raising campaign funds for Senator Yee.”

I single that out because Keith Jackson is apparently a well known “political consultant” and political figure. And he was a former president of the San Francisco Board of Education. And the charges against him, other than gun trafficking and “wire fraud of honest services”, include involvement in a “murder for hire” conspiracy.

I didn’t link to Overlawyered earlier because I wanted to save the best part for last: Yee was named to the “Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll” by the Brady Campaign. Seriously, I am not making this stuff up.

Flames! Flames!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

State Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco was arrested Wednesday as part of a public corruption probe after a series of raids by FBI and gang task force officials Wednesday, a law enforcement official told The Times.

Of course, these are just charges, and Senator Yee hasn’t been convicted yet. But I wanted to make note of this arrest, and:

Dan Lieberman, Yee’s press secretary, told The Times his office would not comment on the FBI raids, which were reportedly linked to the arrest Wednesday morning of Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

I didn’t insert “Shrimp Boy”; that’s in the actual LAT article.

I’d really like to know how he got that nickname.

More from the SFChron, which describes “Shrimp Boy” as “a notorious former San Francisco gangster”.

In 1992, the Hong Kong-born Chow was indicted with two dozen others on racketeering charges for their alleged involvement in everything from underage prostitution to the international heroin trade.
Chow was subsequently convicted of gun charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison. In 2003, however, he was released after he cut a deal with the government to testify against a high-ranking associate.

So “Shrimp Boy” served time on gun charges, and is apparently a close friend of Senator Yee. By the way:

Yee has drawn both praise and controversy for his efforts to tighten restrictions on semiautomatic rifles.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

Am I crazy?

Friday, March 14th, 2014

I know, I know, but seriously: am I crazy?

John Gruber linked to an interview with “The Setup” (“What do people use to get stuff done?”) by John McAfee. Yes, that John McAfee.

In the photo, it looks like he’s holding one of those GSG MP-5 clones in .22 LR. I’ll admit I could be wrong about that: it may be one of the Umarex guns instead, but I am 99 44/100ths percent sure it is one of those two .22LR clones. (The magazine is a dead giveaway.)

Quoth Mr. McAfee:

My tools for national security consulting are primarily a semi-auto .22 rifle with a silencer. They are virtually completely silent and can pierce car doors and other light armor. They are perfect for urban environments.

I will confess that I have not had a lot of occasion in my life to shoot through car doors. After all, I am not a tactical operator operating tactically in operations with tactics.

But a silenced .22 penetrating one? Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m going to have to see the Box of Truth or somebody shoot through a car door with a silenced .22 before I believe that.

You know what China needs?

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Strict knife control.

A group of knife-wielding men attacked a train station in southwestern China on Saturday, leaving at least 27 people dead and another 109 injured, the official Xinhua News Agency said, making it one of the deadliest attacks in China in recent years.

You come at the King (City), you best not miss.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The LAT has a second-day story on the King City PD arrests, noted in this space yesterday.

There are several interesting new aspects to the story:

Lord of the I Told You So Dance.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The Saxet gun shows in the Austin area are on again.

Note my careful phrasing there. Saxet did not make a deal with the Travis County commissioners. Instead, the gun show is now in Hays County; specifically, in Dripping Springs.

Travis County has lost over 100 thousand dollars with the shift of Saxet’s contract.

The next show is March 29th and 30th; Saxet does not currently have any shows listed other than that one, so we’ll see how things play out.

(And Dripping Springs is a little less convenient for me than the Travis County Expo center. But I used to drive out to Dripping on a regular basis, so it isn’t a deal breaker.)

Obit roundup: February 24, 2014.

Monday, February 24th, 2014

There will be more to say about this tomorrow, but Harold Ramis is dead. I liked this line from the Chicago Tribune:

Ramis also left behind a reputation as a mensch and all-around good guy.

I didn’t post this yesterday, because I couldn’t find any obits I wanted to link to. While this has been well covered, I wanted to mention the passing of Maria von Trapp, last of the singing von Trapps.

And I missed this earlier in the week, but Richard Cabela, founder of the eponymous chain, passed away.

Mr. Cabela was a vocal supporter of the National Rifle Association. In a video posted on the group’s website this week, Mr. Cabela was asked what he would say to someone who identifies as a hunter but who does not belong to the N.R.A.
“How are you going to hunt without a gun?” he responded. “These guys protect your right to own a gun. That’s what it’s all about.”

Still here. Just quiet.

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Nothing really worth writing about. I don’t even have any interesting beef jerky and Michael Jackson fueled dreams to discuss.

(Possible addition to The Rules Of the Gunfight: Never bring beef jerky to a gunfight.)

Speaking of being quiet, is it just me, or did the NBA have their All-Star Game this past weekend…to massive public indifference? I don’t think there was even a FARK Sports tab thread.

Two random movie related notes:

  1. I’ve pretty much reached the limit of my tolerance for the trailer for “Cheap Thrills“, as well as the movie itself. I don’t care if it marks me as an old man; I’ve already fully embraced my old man status, and I’m just tired of movies about horrible people doing horrible things to other people.
  2. Dear Tim League: I totally get that you like Wes Anderson movies. I, personally, would not have made 4% of my desert island movie list Wes Anderson films; I’m not even sure a Wes Anderson film would be in my top 100. But de gustibus non est disputandum.
    And the trailer for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” does look interesting; it almost seems like Wes Anderson trying to do his own version of “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” It is possible that I’ll actually pay money to see this at the Drafthouse. (I’m not sure if it helps or hurts the cause that I accidentally stumbled across and read a complete plot synopsis online. Even after that, I’m still not sure what Harvey Keitel is doing in this movie.)
    But could we please lose your interminable introduction to the frigging trailer, for crying out loud? Hand to God, I think your introduction is as long as the trailer itself. Put it on YouTube or something, but don’t make me sit through it again. Let the trailer stand on its own.