Gun control – a sensible approach

Bring it On! » Blog Archive » Let’s Complicate Some Issues!

I saw this on Fark this morning. This guy presents a pretty good argument for coming to a compromise on gun control (and rewriting the ambiguous Second Amendment). He compares a gun to a car. Both are capable of killing people if used incorrectly (Or even by accident when used properly), but both become much safer as people learn to use them responsibly.

A big part of his point is that the utter refusal to compromise by the Democrats and Republicans (Beyond “I’ll vote for your bill if you vote for mine” because my constituents don’t really care about your bill) means that, too often, we’re stuck with one extreme or the other, even if most people who understand the issue agree that both extremes are wrong.

Unfortunately, there’s no chance anything this sensible would ever happen in Washington. Oh, well.

Maybe this will help get rid of spam

I’ve just activated Akismet, which is supposed to help prevent comment spam.  If you enter a comment that doesn’t show up for a few days (I moderate all comments until you’ve had one approved, so it won’t show up right away), email me and let me know.  If your comment actually is spam, then please go play in traffic on the highway.

Is it wrong to enjoy Husseins trial? – Hussein: Shoot me if found guilty – Jul 26, 2006

I can’t wait for the movie version of his capture and trial.  It will be like Saving Private Ryan plus A Few Good Men, except ten times awesomer.  The media coverage of this makes it sound like Hussein is playing the charismatic lunatic really well, ranting and raving and refusing to give up on his principles.  Sometimes it gets easy to forget that the guy slaughtered his own people when it suited him, and that he doesn’t like us Americans very much.

But when I read that he said he should be shot like a military man, not hung like a criminal, I envision the end of _Lionheart _that I just saw on TNT the other day where Van Damme is standing over the big bad guy he just beat and the blond woman who runs things is standing next to him looking like she’s trying to inhale herself out of her dress because it’s so tense, and Van Damme is about to kill the guy, but then he doesn’t.  If that guy was Saddam Hussein, and Van Damme was George Bush, and the blond woman was maybe Condi or someone . . . Hussein looks Bush in the eye and says, “Shoot me”.  And for a second you think Bush is going to do it, but then he relaxes and turns around and walks away.

Or maybe you like the Lethal Weapon/Bad Boys/Die Hard ending, where they think the guy is toast, but then he has another gun and as Bush is walking away, Hussein pulls the gun out in slow motion, and then Dick Cheney shoots him in the face.  Bush could smile and say, “Thanks, Dick”, and the audience would laugh. I should be a screenwriter.  This would be the best movie ever.

Pre-Vegas timeline of incompetence and sorrow

Thursday 1:00PM – Leave work, giddy with anticipation 3:30PM – Leave home, Sam in tow, to pick up Evan 3:36PM – Return home to feed cat so fiancée can go to happy hour 4:00PM – Arrive at Mike’s office to carpool to airport 4:11PM – Arrive at Dulles Airport 4:30PM – Check in, breeze through security 4:32PM – Realize that our flight is delayed. 4:45PM – Realize that we will now miss our connection in Dallas 5:30PM – Find out there are no more flights from Dallas to Vegas 6:03PM – Leave airport, new boarding passes for Friday morning in hand 6:15PM – Arrive at restaurant to drown our sorrows 6:30PM – Very nice waitress tells us “dead baby” jokes to try and raise our spirits 7:00PM – Our spirits slightly raised, we go our separate ways. 8:00PM – Join fiance at happy hour Friday 1:30AM – Leave bar, fiance convinces cab driver to go through Wendy’s drive through 2:15AM – Arrive home to sleep 4:45AM – Alarm goes off, time to do it again 4:46AM – Unbeknownst to me, receive a call at work from American notifying me that my flight is delayed 4:49AM – Evan gets the same call from American. 5:30AM – Arrive at Mike’s office again, break the news that we have a new flight, but it’s out of National Airport. 6:03AM – Arrive at National Airport for a 7:17 flight 6:10AM – Begin horror of checking in for an America West flight bought with an American Airlines ticket 6:10-7:14AM – Made three runs back and forth between counters, cutting in line and getting yelled at each time (Thanks, Evan) 7:14AM – End horror of checking in for an America West flight bought with an American Airlines ticket and proceed to security 7:19AM – exit security, thirty yards from our gate, only to find that the plane that was supposed to be waiting for us has just pulled away. 7:20AM – Gnashing of teeth, screams of anguish, various cursing 7:22AM – Return to American counter, beaten and depressed. Get booked on Continental flight at 11 8:00AM – Mike throws in the towel. 8:15AM – Nutritious breakfast at Cinnebon accompanied by really bad coffee 9:45AM – Mike leaves the airport, refund in hand. Evan, Sam, and I head to security. 10:00AM – Evan, Sam, and I, one right after the other, are selected for “random” expanded security screenings 10:02AM – Very pleasant gay man gives me a wanding and a pat down 10:15AM – Arrive at our new gate 10:15:02AM – Sit down at airport bar for beer, screwdrivers 10:30AM – Realize our flight is delayed again, and we’ll miss our connection 10:31AM – Wonderful Continental agent gets us on another flight which has already boarded 10:34AM – Surprised flight attendant finds us some empty seats seconds before the doors close 12:00PM – Arrive in Cleveland, slightly surprised Continental agent prints our boarding passes since the first agent had kept them 2:30PM – Arrive in Vegas, start drinking heavily. It sure is nice when your boy has $12 margaritas waiting for you at the pool bar.

Ooh, a direct hit

Take this, American Airlines. This is what you get for costing me sixteen hours of bachelor party in Vegas. What follows is my letter to the airline that I mailed this morning. They’re going to be sorry if they make me bust out the BBB. You don’t mess with a man’s bachelor party.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to tell you about the worst airline experience I have ever had. On July 20th, I left with my brother and two friends to fly from Dulles Airport in Virginia to Las Vegas, Nevada for the weekend. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:26PM, arriving in Las Vegas via Dallas, Texas at 10:40PM. Our troubles began when the first flight was delayed, and we were told that we would miss our connection in Dallas, and that there were no more flights to Las Vegas from Dallas, either that night, or the next morning. Rather than risk being stranded indefinitely in Texas, we returned home after being booked on an America West flight through Phoenix the next morning.

Unfortunately, in the morning, our flight was again delayed, such that we would miss our connection. American called one of my fellow travelers, and we managed to get a flight for the four of us from Washington National airport through Newark. We rushed to National and arrived approximately one hour before our scheduled departure at 7:17AM. When we got to the America West counter, we were forced to literally run back and forth between the American counter and the America West counter, trying to get the proper documentation so that our boarding passes could be printed. At approximately 7:14AM, we had our passes and rushed to security, assured by the America West counter agent that the flight knew we were coming and would wait for us.

However, this was a lie, and the flight was already backing away from the gate when we arrived at approximately 7:19AM. We returned to the American counter and were booked on a flight through Continental at 11AM. Continental finally provided us with good service. When our 11AM flight was delayed, again making us miss our connection, the Continental agent found us another flight that left immediately and brought us to Las Vegas, through Cleveland, arriving at 2:30PM the day after we were scheduled to arrive.

I can understand delays. I understand that they happen sometimes, and sometimes there is nothing the airline can do. But when we are forced to change flights three times, change airports, and do all of the running back and forth to get the proper documentation ourselves, it becomes unacceptable. At no time did any employee of American Airlines apologize. At no time did any employee acknowledge that we had been subjected to unreasonable delays. The only thing that American employees did was dump us off on other airlines, hoping the problem would go away.

I have already written to you using the complaint submission form at However, the 1500 character limit did not allow me to fully explain the situation. The reference number is XXX.

I travel a lot. My fiancée’s family owns a travel agency. At this point, I have no interest in ever flying with American Airlines again. You have made a mistake, which is understandable. But you have done absolutely nothing to fix it, which is unacceptable. Please contact me as soon as possible if you have not already done so as a result of my complaint online.

Thank you very much

I’ll keep you all posted on what transpires. I also submitted a thank you through’s web form, because I figure I shouldn’t only contact the company when they screw up.

Look, the ABA agrees with me – ABA: Bush violating Constitution – Jul 24, 2006

A little while back I wrote about how some people thought President Bush’s signing statements might be overstepping the bounds of his position:

Honestly, when you have prominent Republicans like Specter saying that our Republican President is overstepping his bounds, we’re all in trouble.

And now the American Bar Association, which might know a thing or two about the law, says that, sure enough, President Bush is doing “grave harm to the separation of powers doctrine”.

Perhaps more worrisome is that those very same people who may lose power to the President are backing him in this.

The ABA report said President Reagan was the first to use the statements as a strategic weapon, and that it was encouraged by then-administration lawyer Samuel Alito — now the newest Supreme Court justice.

That suggests that the Supreme Court might not fight back very hard if something relating to this pracitce came across their respective desks.  It also means that the signing statements might carry more weight if the Supreme Court thinks they’re okay.  Now, that may be reading too much into what could be a coincidence.  But when it comes to the Bush administration serving its own interests under the guise of fighting terror and at the expense of our freedoms, I’m not inclinded to give much benefit of the doubt.

Im back

And boy, do I have some complaints for you.  I have complaints about American Airlines first, who decided that I didn’t need to get to Vegas Thursday night, but that getting me there Friday afternoon without so much as an apology was just fine.  I have complaints about the place where we’re getting married, who have now charged my credit card twice when they were only owed once, and a complaint about Discover, who blocked the first charge, then let a duplicate charge go through two weeks later, putting me over my limit.  I also have complaints about Vegas, primarily that it was way too hot and I didn’t win every time I played craps, but those are probably not really so legitimate.

In any event, I will be posting the saga of our trip out there soon.  It’ll be fun, just wait.