17 November 2007

Police to search for guns in homes

People ask me why I live in Texas. Well, for starters, I'd like to think that a bogus search for guns without a warrant would never happen here.

Boston police are launching a program that will call upon parents in high-crime neighborhoods to allow detectives into their homes, without a warrant, to search for guns in their children's bedrooms.
How utterly and completely ridiculous. This is about disarming the public, plain and simple.

Sadly, those in the positions of power in Boston don't agree with a retired Boston cop, who now teaches college:

"I just have a queasy feeling anytime the police try to do an end run around the Constitution," said Thomas Nolan, a former Boston police lieutenant who now teaches criminology at Boston University. "The police have restrictions on their authority and ability to conduct searches. The Constitution was written with a very specific intent, and that was to keep the law out of private homes unless there is a written document signed by a judge and based on probable cause. Here, you don't have that."
What's to keep your neighbors from ratting you out - either to leave you defenseless in your own home or to retaliate against a real or perceived threat? Lord knows my neighbors here have seen me walk in and out of the house with gun bags. Imagine the consequences! This folks, is what you call a slippery slope.

16 November 2007

Big Bend

Home from a week in the backcountry of Big Bend National Park. For those of you who have never been there, it's something that I think everyone should do at least once. I've been there several times now, and each time is something special.

Sunrise and Sunset are always a great time to view the Park.

Here's a couple of pictures taken from our first campsite at McKinney Springs of sunrise on our first morning at the Park.

In addition to hitting some of the backcountry roads, we did three hikes as well. First hike was a 10 mile round trip out to the Chimneys, which have been used by American Indians as a sacred site in the past. After a few miles of hills and small canyons, you'll hit a long, gradual climb up to the Chimneys, which you can see from a couple miles away.

On the hike to and from the Chimneys, it's easy to see how desolate and empty the desert is; part of the charm of Big Bend, if you ask me. This view is looking southwest to another prominent feature of the Big Bend, the Mule's Ears. You can see the Mule's Ears slightly off center in this next image.

As I mentioned earlier, the sunsets and sunrises alone are worth the price of admission and the sunset on our third night was just fantastic from our campsite at Grapevine Hills.

In addition to the desert hikes, we hit the popular Window trail. It's downhill on the way out and all uphill on the way back. This hike has been kicking my ass since about 1980 or so, and it sure beat me up again this year. But the view is quite worth it! This year was a treat - for the first time that I can ever remember, there was actually water in the Window's canyon.

We also took in the Dugout Wells, where all that remains of a thriving community is a lonely windmill. And a great view across the park of Boquillas canyon.

Camp that night was in a far backcountry campsite at Paint Gap. The campsite itself was in a small valley which overlooked the north part of the park. While the view as not as grand as some of the other campsites, it was still quite stunning.

Our last hike was into Dog Canyon, which was so named by early Spanish explorers. Compared to our two earlier hikes, this one was quite easy - a flat 2.4 mile walk from the car to the canyon and back. But the views of the canyon were, like the rest of the park, fantastic.

This year's trip could have been pretty rough - we suffered through one flat tire on the Old Ore road on our first foray into the backcountry. The next day as we continued our journey on the Old Ore road, we got another flat tire, forcing us to put the first flat tire - which was holding onto about 20 lbs of pressure thanks to a can of fix-a-flat - and nurse the 4x4 out of the backcountry for another 10 miles or so. We had to re-arrange parts of our trip to stay on safer, and easier backcountry roads, but all things said and done, it was a fantastic trip, and I can't wait to go back again.

Flyer told to change outfit poses nude

Ya know, at first I was sympathetic to this woman. Now? Not so much. Why? She's just using the notoriety to make some money. Meh.

12 November 2007

Hunt gift adds 2 more women’s scholarships

"The more I got involved in it, the more I got to know the kids in the program and what it stands for," Mike Hunt said. "We feel we get tenfold what we give to the program."