Would gun control have stopped the VT massacre?

Apr 19, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Good question and normally my reaction would be "probably not, because people who want to get guns will normally get them no matter what".
But in this case I have to say "maybe". As more background on this Cho character surfaces, it turns out he was a complete mental case with a trail of giant flapping red flags a mile long in his background. He bought the gun(s) legally from a gun shop in Virginia who apparently didn't do a thorough enough background check because it's really not needed. If the law was changed so that the person wanting to buy the gun had to wait 2 weeks and a thorough check needed to be carried out, Cho probably wouldn't have had those guns legally.

But would he have been able to get them illegally? Maybe not, being a student. If the law was different, would the shop have bothered with a background check or just made him sit it out for two weeks then given him a gun anyway? Who knows.

I think the biggest change could be making the gun shops accountable for not doing the checks. For example if they said they did, but didn't, and then a nut job like Cho went on a shooting rampage, the shop that sold the guns should be held accountable for not doing its job properly.

Of course my overall opinion is that guns in the hands of private citizens is a disastrous way to run a country and by and large, the US proves that point daily.

Bush's memory shrinks to goldfish proportions.

Apr 18, 2007 | | 0 comments |

Yesterday: Bush tells everyone (again) that the democrats war funding plan (linked to a troop withdrawl) is bad for the troops in Iraq because it would make the dems responsible for extending all the tours of duty, a move which Bush stated in no uncertain terms was "unacceptable to me, unacceptable to veterans and unacceptable to military families." A rousing speech to be sure, which he triumphantly punctuated by saying "In order for this country to be credible, when the president says something, he must mean it."

Today: Bush's secretary of defence, Bob Gates extends all the tours of duty from 12 to 15 months.

To put this into perspective, on thursday last week, White House officials admitted that Bush was unaware of defence plans to immediately extend Army combat tours when he originally began criticising the Democrats budget plans. So he became aware of that on thursday yet yesterday apparently had forgotten all about it again. Only to be reminded of it again today.

Hooooookaaaaayyyy.

I'm not sure what's more worrying - that he doesn't remember stuff from last week or even yesterday, or that he wasn't aware of what his own defence secretary was doing in the first place. The President is, after all, only the commander in chief - why would he know what his military was doing?

To add a twist to the already inserted knife, we also found out today that 5 4-star generals have turned down Bush's new "War Tsar" position too stating that "the government doesn't appear to know what they're doing".
The War Tsar would cut through all the bureacracy because apparently, bureaucracy is why America is losing so badly. In fact, to try to make the position more appealling (I guess), Bush is changing the name to 'execution manager.' Seriously - I'm not making any of this up!

Moving swiftly on then.....

Day of the copier pt.2

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Ok what the hell?
I needed to use that stupid photocopier again this morning, this time to copy something simple - 3 sheets of paper. So I stacked them in the document feeder, right side up and pressed 'go'. The machine woke up and spent about 5 minutes sounding like a diesel tractor, then the screen went blank and up popped an error message : "Document handler unavailable - please remove documents".
?
Ok so I removed the sheets of paper and it spent another minute or so making horribly mechanical noises and then the screen went blank and up popped an error message : "Document handler empty - please insert documents."
Anger rising.
Fine. I put the paper back in the document feeder. Click. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrr. "Document handler not available - please remove documents."
At this point I gave up and opened the top to try to do each sheet one at a time and even this came at a price. It couldn't sense the regular 8.5x11 paper I'd put in even though it was on the proper side of the glass, oriented correctly and ink-side-down. I had to manually tell it what size paper to use and even then it bitched that the paper tray was empty. I pulled it out and guess what ? Brim-full of paper.
So I unplugged it and waited a minute or so then plugged it back in. Despite still being 'warm' it went through another 5 minutes of diesel-like noises before it was ready to cock everything up again. This time the document feeder worked, but only for the first two sheets. It couldn't/wouldn't feed the third one so I had to do it by hand. I ended up with two copies on one type of paper and the third on a different type of paper because apparently, buried in the guts of this idiotic machine there are two different types of paper.

Miami Vice - another 80's memory destroyed.

Apr 15, 2007 | | 0 comments |

We rented Miami Vice on DVD last night and watched it. There's 2 hours of my life I'll never get back. It was appallingly bad. Apart from the fact that it had nothing at all to do with the original TV series, the acting in it was just awful. The action was so-so and the camerawork was good, but that's about it. If you've not seen it yet, don't waste your time. If you have, well - sorry.

This "God Is My Copilot" thing has to stop.

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Living in Utah as we do, we're surrounded by mormons - lots of them. And for the most part they appear to live by the driving rule that "I'll be OK because God is looking after me". Well you know what? That's a flawed policy. Basing your fate whilst driving on the Greatest Work Of Fiction ever written is a really bad idea because you know what? Quote-unquote God isn't watching over you. The number of mormons killed in traffic accidents every day ought to be as good an indicator as any of that fact.
And another thing - indicate then brake. Don't suddenly stomp on the brakes in the middle lane and then indicate your intentions. Because next time you might be being followed by another mormon who also believes they'll be just fine no matter what. And when two drivers with the same flawed attitude, both not concentrating, try to take up the same piece of road, you're both going to die.

Better yet, if it looks like you're going to miss your turn because you were asleep / on your cellphone / breast-feeding on of your huge litter of mormon kids, then here's an idea - use your fucking head and go to the next intersection and turn around.

I've never known ABS come on on a dry road before. Quick reactions on my part, some fine Honda engineering and an empty road behind me saved the stupid fucking mormon woman in the silver Dodge Neon in front of me. Not God.

And yes, she was a mormon. The LDS stickers all over the back of her stupid car were a dead giveaway.