Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Yes Virginia, They Are After Your Guns

Via a VCDL alert, here's the list of Virginia Democrat Party proposals for 'Fighting Gun Violence'.

Nothing about criminals, enforcing current law, or penalties for violence, just restricting those who follow the law and banning guns.

Any questions?

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Ancient Dread: The Lizard City


Noting that I have no reflection in the pool, I see I have lost the deep tan and returned to my normal skin tone. Intuition tells us that we ‘shouldn’t’ leave w/o finding out what caused the loss and that they are w/ our goal. Concentrating, we can feel the direction of where they are. We notice a shadow watching us. Moving towards it, it flees into the jungle. Roughly the same direction as the pull. We follow, clearing a path.

During a pause, Rod prays to the Dragons for guidance. She hears that we are on a primal plane, dedicated to the hunt therefore we should act as hunters do. Ackdor picks up a trail, boots, avg. height, and follows it. Eventually we find a cave. The tracks lead into it. The tracks are the same size as each member of the group. We decide to follow, lighting torches for those whose eyes are deficient.

The opening is about 25’. The darkness seems to swallow us like a liquid pool of black. Our natural abilities to see in the dark do not work. Ackdor takes the light gem and steps inside. No light or sound transfers through the wall. The darkness does seem to move away from the light. We move inside. Our voices are muffled by the darkness. We are not leaving tracks nor does my gem of direction yet work.

Coming upon a wall, we discover paintings of a reptilian nature. Rod recognizes them as Pith, the Snake God of the Southern Jungle Pantheon. Ackdor disappears as we walk ahead. I move to follow him. Blinding light greets me. As the rest of the party follows, we are back in the jungle. A rushing sound in the distance. Tracks are on the ground. The Pull has also returned, towards the rushing sound. A river, quite wide. The Pull is upriver. Eventually stone structures are visible in the distance. Closer we get, it is a city, peopled, so to speak, w/ a reptilian race, identical to the ones we saw on the cave wall. There seems to be two different species, tall/stocky and shorter/slender. We cross the river, wishing to avoid a confrontation.

Of course, shortly beyond where we cross, the jungle clears to more city. We hear Elvish being spoken. Settling in until night, we decide to try and make a run through the city in the dark. Muffling our feet w/ my old cloak, we move through the city as silently as possible, crossing the river once again to head towards the ‘Pull’. A large step pyramid and complex, likely dedicated to Pith. We make it to the courtyard w/o incident. The cobblestones are smooth and well fitting. Pillars line the sides. Several guards are between us and the steps of the temple. I quietly move along the pillars to triangulate. A guard smells me out. He dies w/ an arrow through the throat. I call the rest of the group forward. They encounter another guard. Echo imitates the voice of some locals but he comes closer and draws a weapon. Ackdor and Echo quickly dispatch him.

There are guards on the steps and the walls are too smooth to climb. I levitate up w/ the ropes and the group climbs. A wandering guard notices the blood of one of the other guards. Two arrows drop him. We need to move quickly up the rest of the ziggurat. The last step I make up to find a grappling hook strike me in the neck. Melina heals me quickly but I am unable to speak.

The bodies are discovered and a general alarm sounds. Time to fight.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WISQARS vs UCR: The Numberings

So the Brady's put out this little bit of trite:
Senator Jeff Sessions has repeatedly voted against expanding lifesaving Brady background checks. He has been a champion of the evil PLCAA law that strips gun violence victims of their day in court. And during his time representing Alabama in the Senate, gun homicides have risen 29 percent in his home state.
So I hop over to the Alabama UCR and 'Disaster Center' and note that while there was a little bit of difference between the two, both showed a decrease in overall homicides since '97 when Sessions was first elected. Neither, however, showed 'gun homicides' separately.

So where did the Brady's get their info from?  I figure it's from the 'GunPolicy' site, their usual source, and they utilize the CDC's WISQARS.

Note the differences in the UCR compared to WISQARS on 'Homicides'.
2011: 311 to 392
2012: 325 to 405
2013: 342 to 417
2014: 270 to 374
2015: 353 to 473

and it goes all the way back actually showing an increase in homicides from '99 (the year WISQARS started and two years after Sessions took office, near the end of a drop in homicides from their peak years earlier).  A difference of 20-30% higher numbers than the state and FBI provide. Not a small error.

So whom to believe?

Update: Discrepancy likely found. Medical examiners determine 'Homicide' as " the death of a person comes at the hand of another person."  iow including justifiable, police, and accidental whereas the UCR's use the definition of "violent acts subject to criminal prosecution"  . The exact reason the CPD tries to redefine them as 'accidents' etc because fewer people use the CDC numbers.

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Ancient Dread: Welcome To The (Real) Jungle

We have been moving up the river for the last few days, heading SW to the inlet and march NW through the woods towards what we believe is the main village.  Chants from the natives put the crew on edge.  Rod has questioned them and they tell her that it is a challenge… “Come to the game” and invoking Cha-Qloa, a name we have not heard before.  King says it is the ‘Spirit of the Hunt”.  Counter songs have no effect.  It seems too easy.  We know there are many of the enemy out there but they are letting us pass and rest up from the volcano.  The watchers at night though disturb our sleep.
About a day or so from the inlet,  midday, standing on an outcropping rock, stands a man, wearing a skull like mask, headdress, and staff  who stares at us. Refusing to respond, he radiates evil and magic.  We pass underneath him . He does nothing but watch.  

Dawn approaches as does the inlet and beach.  The old man is there, along w/ near a score of armed warriors.  Sensing his emotions show anticipation.. fear… expectation.  We beach the boat and step off.  When the rest of the crew attempts to leave, the others get very excited. We stop.  The old man beckons just us forward asking us to set down our weapons.  We do and move to him, intuition telling us that this is a parlay. He is the ‘Speaker’.  He tells us that they have what we want but that they have hidden it.  Since we have performed their ‘ritual’ at the volcano, we are under safe passage.  We must find the ‘Hunt’, survive, and then we will leave w/ our prize.  The Speaker places a symbol on our foreheads in some sort of substance.  It tingles.  A wave of vertigo passes over us.   They turn and leave.  King informs us that the symbol is ‘of the hunt spirit’ and will keep us from being attacked by the locals. We are now part of the ‘hunt’ and will face ourselves in the ‘Deep, Dark, Jungle’.   The ‘other lands’, the land of spirit. 

We beach the boat on the north side of the lagoon and set off,  only the five of us, into the JUNGLE.  Strongbow, Echo, Rod, Ackdor, and King.  Cloying heat surrounds us.  Everything seems to radiate magic. Rod says she feels off… dizzy.  Echo, King, and Ackdor also feel it but not I.  Rod says the world feels ‘empty’, as if all the people are gone.  Night falls and we camp.  Minor annoyances only.   In the morning, an aerial reconnaissance by Rod shows we are surrounded by jungle as far as the eye can see.  There is no sun, only light.  Strongbow’s Gem of Direction spins incoherently.  Planning for our future, we spot bananas and coconuts along w/ fresh water. 

Eventually we come to a clearing.  In the center, about a half mile across, is a lake. In the center is a small island containing some trees and a smoking campfire.  No presences are noticed other than the Jungle, itself radiating.  Tracks show it as a local watering hole. Where then did the campfire come from?  The trees seem to contain some sort of fruit.  It is decided to get over to the island in various ways.  The fruit are mangoes.  The campfire has no tracks around it.  We rebuild the fire.  

A pair of tigers visit the lake during my watch.  We seem to share a common goal.  They stay in my mind.  Rod tries the water, feeling refreshed but notices no reflection for a moment before it seems to reappear.  A scream by Echo causes King to wake her. She had fallen asleep and dreamed of falling towards the sky.  King wakes us in the morning.  Echo, tasting the water, tells us it tastes like water from the pure elemental plane.  We all take our fill and decide to rest for the day. 

The next night, I sit in reverie, imagining a time before time, when Elves were one w/ nature. Thinking of Melina, I snap out of it, somewhat disappointingly.    King wakes us up in a panic.  There are large bubbles in the middle of the lake and Echo is missing.  Rod and I dive in after her.  I am disoriented but Rod reaches Echo who is about 30’ below the water’s surface and pulls her to the shore.  After she (Echo) recovers she tells us she doesn’t know how she ended up in the water.  We just notice that Rod is in her natural form.  I seem to have developed a tan.  Sensing magic, the fire registers.  I pour out the water onto it, extinguishing the smolder.   We decide to move on. 

Things appear darker, more ominous. We feel more a part of the jungle than before. A huge spider nest is avoided as we move deeper into the woods and make camp.  We are woken up by thunder and lightning.  Our Environmental Tents provide protection although the morning is like walking in a swamp.  Later we discover some more fruit.  Nothing untoward happens through the day.  We camp and enjoy some roast pineapple. The night is quiet. 

In the morning, we are low on water.  We strengthen our resolve and let Echo purify morning water.  A search turns up some coconuts around a small pond, about a ¼ mile across.  W/ fresh water and many coconuts, we move on.   A distant river is heard… Right at the edge of a cliff.  A tree has fallen across it.  We easily make it across and camp for the night and feast.  The morning is darker, much darker than it was before.  Almost as if it is a different place.
We come across another clearing.  

 Cobblestones, long set, have grass growing between them.  Large obelisks, obsidian and smooth, jut out from the ground.  In the center is an oval pool about 15’ wide and 7’ across.  It seems a holy place.  Calling to us. It wants us to drink. The water is deep and blue. We drink.  It flows through me, pulling something along inside. Our reflections in the water are gone.
Drums.  Drums in the jungle.

The hunt has begun.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

'Snuffy' Phleger Needs To Turn Around To Find The Source Of Crime

So the 'Father' known for threatening the lives of politicians and firearm shop owners marched on Chicago to protest the large numbers of homicides last year.  Where did he march?  Why the 'Magnificent Mile', a high end, low crime shopping district in the city.  Nowhere near where the overwhelming majority of murders are occurring. They carried crosses engraved w/ the names of the victims.  The article highlights four of them.

 Regular readers of this blog probably know what's coming.

The first homicide of 2016, Deandre Holiday.  This was splashed over all the papers. The February before he was arrested for having a gun w/ a defaced serial #. I'm going to bet no FOID or CCW as well.

A relative of his, Derrick Canady, was killed in an alley at night in August. He was on parole for armed robbery and had a history of vehicle theft and drugs.

Another victim, Isaiah Hurley, was shot in the middle of the night in October.  He was on parole for multiple drug felonies and was a documented gang member.

Only one of the four victims highlighted in the story did not have a criminal record and he was killed by a carload of gangbangers.

So 75% of the 'victims' were living the 'thug life' and died the way they lived.  The last was the only real victim and it's due to the violent gang sub-culture rampant, and encouraged, in the city.

To find out why these homicides keep happening, Phleger needs to turn around and start questioning the families of the ones following him. They knew their sons etc. were acting stupidly. How many of them instead were blaming the police, the NRA, and anyone else instead of seeing reality?

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