the journal news and gawker media pull a commercial appeal

Not having a dog in this particular fight, I can only sit back and laugh at how quickly The Journal News and now Gawker Media are realizing that private American citizens enjoy their… well, privacy. Extra bonus points got to Gawker for labeling all firearm-owning New Yorkers as "Assholes" – way to make friends and influence people, especially in New York.

On the one hand, a fair argument could be made that these lists endanger firearm owners – after all, firearms are high-value items that are typically useful to criminals for a variety of reasons, and The Journal News and Gawker just provided those criminals with a shopping list of locations where firearms are stored.

On the other hand, a fair argument could be made that these lists endanger folks who do not own firearms – after all, criminals generally like breathing (shocking, I know), and may avoid homes where they are likely to be shot, instead hitting up homes they know are disarmed and defenseless.

On the gripping hand, absolutely no argument could be made that publishing these lists was necessary or good, or that any good could come of doing so. Just replace "firearm owner" with "blacks" or "gays" or "Jews" and tell me all the good that can come of those lists.

What is that you are saying? Neither Gawker nor The Journal News published addresses? So? Using nothing more than their first and last names, I was able to dig up home addresses, phone numbers, and home property tax information on the entire staff of the Commercial Appeal, a newspaper here in Tennessee that oh-so-very-kindly published a searchable database of handgun carry permit holders. Put I had to pay money to pull up all that information, right? Wrong. All of that information is publicly available on the internet, through free sources, and required nothing more than first and last names to begin searching.

So to John Cook, the editor of Gawker, who is whining about people posting his address, I can only say, "Suck it up, you privacy-invading wanker."

Speaking of the Commercial Appeal, though, I guess I should look into updating its database, since the information there is nearly four years out of date.

In the intervening years, of course, they have had a little turnover in their staff. Most notably, Joseph Pepe and Karl Wurzbach appear to have been fired (could not happen to nicer people), but, since the original handgun carry permit database was posted and maintained during their watch, their names will remain in this counter-database, as will all of the names of folks employed at CA during that period. In fact, Stephen Tomb is about the only "Vice President" to survive whatever culling the Commercial Appeal went through recently, and no one has stepped up (or been allowed to step up) to fill Joseph’s and Karl’s now-empty positions. One can only hope the bird cage liner newspaper is slowly augering its way into oblivion.

Likewise, people, like Otis Sanford, have moved; their addresses and information have been appropriately updated.

Joseph Pepe, Former President and Publisher
3195 Wetherby Cv S
Germantown, TN 38139

901-737-8784
Home Property Tax Information

Stephen M. Tomb, VP of Operations
1846 Wildcreek Cv
Collierville, TN 38017

Phone Unpublished
Home Property Tax Information

Chris C. Peck, Editor
21 Belleair Dr
Memphis, TN 38104

901-276-8314
Home Property Tax Information

Otis Sanford, Former Editor/Opinion & Editorials, Current "Free-Lance Columnist"
3094 Flint Drive
Memphis, TN 38115

901-368-5599
Home Property Tax Information

Eric Janssen, Former VP of Digital Media
8996 Stratfield Cv
Germantown, TN 38139

901-358-7007, Home
901-212-3597, Cell
Home Property Tax Information

Michael B. Erskine, Director of Digital Media
1898 Parkview Cv
Memphis, TN 38104-7634

901-274-2571, Home
Home Property Tax Information

Scott Sines, Former Managing Editor
2136 Wentworth Ln
Germantown, TN 38139

Phone Unpublished
Home Property Tax Information

Louis E. Graham, Managing Editor
228 Rhonda Cir E
Cordova, TN 38018-4326

Phone Unpublished
Home Property Tax Information

Gary L. Robinson, Managing Editor, Digital
Current information unknown.

Daniel R. Moehle, Former VP/Chief Financial Officer
3172 Devonshire Way
Germantown, TN 38139

901-757-5911
Home Property Tax Information

Karl D. Wurzbach, Former VP of Sales and Marketing
3098 Bentwood Run Dr
Collierville, TN 38017

901-853-4892
Home Property Tax Information

Robert Jiranek, Former VP of New Business Development
400 Forest Ridge Road
Earlysville, VA 22936-9218

434-202-1724

Robert L. Pinarski, Former Advertising Director
3961 Herons Landing Ln
Arlington, TN 38002

901-867-5294
Home Property Tax Information

Denise Holman, Former Manager of Classified Advertising
Current address/information unknown.

Paul A. Jewell, Marketing Director
1439 Vance Ave
Memphis, TN 38104

901-272-1458
Home Property Tax Information

(NOTE: Gary L. Robinson seems like the only one who keeps all his information private.)

Again, I stress that all of this information was put together from free, public sources using nothing but the above persons’ first and last names (and a healthy bit of guesswork) as a starting point. If I can assemble that much data on these folks in just a few minutes, how much do you think a dedicated stalker or identity thief can put together?

And as a final point regarding these various and sundry assholes publishing the information of who owns or carries firearms in their respective states, I give you this quote from Gawker commenter "K-leigh" (link intentionally omitted):

The journal posted my address and name for my gun ownership. My past stalker saw this. I haven’t heard from him in two years, because I disappeared. Now he is back and calling me……thanks to people like you bunch of assholes, looks like I will have to protect myself from becoming a murder victim. Gracias.

Whether or not her story is true is somewhat immaterial; the point stands. Numerous people own firearms precisely because of past negative experiences, and lists like these only serve to facilitate those who inflicted negative experiences on others – stalkers, abusers, etc. Once again, the list works both ways – it can help stalkers find old prey, but it can also help stalkers learn their current or past prey is unarmed.

And lest you think I am exaggerating:

Law enforcement officials from a New York region where a local paper published a map identifying gun owners say prisoners are using the information to intimidate guards.

Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco, who spoke at a news conference flanked by other county officials, said the Journal News’ decision to post an online map of names and addresses of handgun owners Dec. 23 has put law enforcement officers in danger.

"They have inmates coming up to them and telling them exactly where they live. That’s not acceptable to me," Falco said, according to Newsday.

When even the Only Ones, and New York’s Only Ones at that, think you did something stupid… well…

Flagrantly violating hundreds of thousands (millions?) of law-abiding citizens’ privacy and security serves no rational purpose to anyone this side of the law, and I cannot say as though I am terribly fond of those who aid and abet criminals. It could be argued, I suppose, that I am doing exactly the same thing right now, but if those folks listed above believe one’s personal information should be made public on account of lawfully exercising one’s Constitutionally-protected rights… well, I am merely assisting them in fulfilling their desires, am I not? If it is good for one right protected by one Amendment, it is good for another right protected by another Amendment.

Don’t start nothin’; won’t be nothin’.

not a value judgement

Hypothetical time:

Say a lone gunman walks into a local Wal-Mart at 0100 on Black Friday when the store is at the most packed it is likely to be that year. Say he walks up to one of the floor managers and empties a magazine into the man’s chest, for whatever reason. Say two on-the-ball private citizens who happened to be lawfully carrying sidearms at this Wal-Mart made the hard decision and stopped the threat posed by the gunman before he had the opportunity to shoot anyone else. Say, in the process of doing so, one concealed carrier discharges nine rounds and the other seven. Say nine of those shots hit the gunman, killing him, while three more shots hit bystanders and six other people were wounded by fragments from the bullets or the things they were hitting (this sums to more than 16 rounds due to overpenetrating bullets).

Can you imagine the hell those concealed carriers would be in afterwards? They would be facing countless charges apiece, ranging from "reckless endangerment" all the way up to various flavors of murder or manslaughter depending on the mood of the prosecutor and would probably go directly to jail, do not pass go, immediately after the cops arrived and controlled the situation. To pile on top of that, the anti-rights cultists would be dancing in the blood of the wounded victims, proclaiming this to be "proof" that no one should be trusted with carrying a firearm around in public, and they would be tallying up those casualties as further "gun violence" "victims" to exploit in the future.

With that hypothetical situation fresh in your mind, what do you think will happen to the two NYPD officers who shot down the Empire State Building shooter, and who wounded nine other people in the process? Specifically, how do you think their consequences will differ from an average citizen in similar circumstances?

Like others, I am not going to come out swinging for or against the NYPD, but I am going to say that if the police officers do not face similar consequences that a private citizen would if he or she had just done the same exact thing (and you and I both know they will not), there is something very broken in the system.

But you already knew that.

be smarter than the equipment you use

So far, we, the American people, have spent somewhere in excess of sixty billion (yes, with a "b") dollars on a "security" farce that results in mind-bending idiocy such as this:

The TSA’s bungling reached a new low yesterday when a JFK Airport terminal had to be evacuated and hundreds of passengers marched back through security screening all because one dimwitted agent failed to realize his metal detector had been unplugged, sources told The Post.

The stunning error led to hours of delays, two planes called back from the runway and infinite frustration for furious passengers.

“The truth is, this is the failure of the most basic level of diligence,” a law-enforcement source said.

Apparently TSA agent Alija Abdul Majed is even stupider than your average employee of that particular disaster of a governmental agency – which is no mean feat, given their long, long list of failures and not a single "success" to their names – and somehow managed to not realize that his metal detector was not plugged in.

Seriously.

confusedmalHow can you be that stupid and remember to breathe? I have seen the backs (and fronts) of metal detectors, and while I cannot say as though I spent a great deal of time examining them in tremendous depth, I can say, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, that all metal detectors not only have lights indicating whether or not someone has metal on their persons, but also lights indicating whether or not the bloody thing is actually on. Simple lights. Lights that would be on if it were plugged in. Lights that would be off if it were not.

This is not rocket science folks. This is something that damned near every electronic or electrical device has and has had for about as long as we have had electronic and electrical devices. And the morons the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters hire are so moronic they could not even figure that out.

In some other situations, this kind of idiocy would be cause for a hearty round of pointing-and-laughing, but given that (a) Alija almost unquestionably will not be fired, (2) arguably millions of dollars was lost in terms of people’s time, aircrafts’ time, fuel expenditures, and the efforts necessary to evacuate an international terminal of one of the busiest airports in America, and (iii) this is not exactly unusual job performance for an "agency" that has become the laughing-stock of the world… Well, it is not so funny any more, is it?

The TSA is a product of the fears and phobias of the American people, and it will remain in place, screwing up everyone’s lives and molesting elderly women, until such time as we, the American people, decide we have had enough and inform our duly-elected representatives that it is time to get rid of this waste of money and space. Unfortunately, even with incidents such as these becoming more common, I do not see that happening any time soon…

what if you held a protest and no one cared?

Apparently some self-absorbed collectivists are making some sort of attempt at not-very-"civil disobedience" on Wall Street in New York City by getting together, protesting, demonstrating, and generally whinging that some people are more economically successful than they are.

No, seriously. If there is any message discernible in the hailstorm of nonsense being spewed forth from that… auspicious… gathering, it is, "Rich people suck, and they should give us money/jobs/etc."

Yeah. Good luck on that.

Doubly good luck with that when you quit your job to protest over economic inequality:

Wiljago Cook, 33, of Oakland, Calif., who joined the protest on the first day, said "exposing police brutality wasn’t even really on my agenda but my eyes have been opened."

She and her boyfriend and two neighbors all quit their jobs to come and planned "to stay as long as it seems useful," said Cook, who had worked for a nonprofit theater group.

Really? You quit your job to come and protest about… people not having jobs? *headdesk*

Another common theme I have been seeing on Twitter is a complaint amongst the "Occupy Wall Street" statists that corporations do not pay taxes. Uh, no kidding, moron. Corporations, in fact, do not pay taxes – they simply pass the charge on to you, the consumer, or stockholder, or employee, as a "cost of doing business". The very notion of requiring corporations to pay taxes boils down to nothing more than an idiotic, self-inflicted, with-malice-aforethought gunshot wound to your other foot… you know, the one the Federal Government does not already have a shackle around.

The one semi-message of the "protesters" I can definitely agree with, however, was the misappropriation of federal tax funds to pay for corporate bailouts – there is no such thing as a "company too big to fail", and spending your and my money to keep those companies afloat when the market dictated their death was a horrible abuse of government powers, and an egregious misuse of our funds. But, sadly, that complaint is all-but-buried beneath the non-stop stream of "Rich people shouldn’t be rich" or whatever the hell it is they are going on about today.

Look, I get that times are tough and that the economy has been trodding all over a lot of people’s dreams, but the simple truth is that standing around in a street in New York City is not going to change any of that – you are not going to find a job that way, you are not going to employ anyone else that way, and you are not going to correct any of the injustices you perceive… mainly because those "injustices" are entirely in your head and stem from your own personal greed and inveterate sense of entitlement. Hell, the "official" site for this shindig* (inasmuch as there is one) is claiming that they are "currently low on food." Maybe that is because you are depending entirely on the largesse of whatever supporters you might have? Or maybe it is because you are so insufficiently organized that you do not even know specifically what you are protesting about?

Oh well. No skin off my nose, and any American citizen is free to peaceably come together with any other American as they both so desire… but I am also free to point out just how stupid they are being.

(* – Speaking of, I guess an event comprising hundreds of protesters and demonstrators advocating "resistance" and "American Revolution", and which has already had hundreds of arrests, is not "insurrectionist" enough for some people.)

(9 News story courtesy of Glocked and Loaded.)

ten years later

Today marks the decade anniversary of the horrible atrocities committed at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon outside of D.C., and a field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. 

But you already know that. 

I think the best comments for today came by way of Tam

Ten years after Pearl Harbor, we had reduced Japan to a glowing pile of radioactive cinders and then rebuilt it and were buying cheap Japanese consumer goods by the shipload. Ten years after New York City was attacked by foreign enemies, all I see as evidence around Indy are a maudlin memorial being erected downtown, TSA probulators and porn-O-scans at the airport, and the occasional young man with an empty sleeve or trouser leg.

Dude, where’s my country?

Honestly, I have no idea. 

(And if you do not like this post, you are more than welcome to browse my previous yearsposts on this day.) 

quote of the day – ellen

Back in the summer of 2002, I had the honor of being attached to the USS Iwo Jima as she participated in the first New York City Fleet Week event following the World Trade Center mass murders, and, at the time, the thing that made the single biggest impact on me as a young(er) midshipman* was the massive hole left behind after the cleanup and reclamation process. In all seriousness, pictures do not really do the crater justice, and when you are there, it is very difficult to grasp not only the magnitude of the excavation, but also the mass of the buildings that used to be there.

At the time, the continuing presence of the hole did not really concern or surprise me, given that they were still recovering remains while we were there. Now, over ten years later, however, I have to question why that hole is still nothing more than a hole. While Ellen’s explanation for this lack of construction may not be wholly accurate, the sentiment behind it certainly is:

Of course the World Trade Center is still a hole in the ground. The Moslem world will go on a murderous spree if we deface their monument.

Unfortunately, that is the sad truth – the holes left behind by the attacks on the 1 and 2 World Trade Center towers will apparently stand forever empty as a mute memorial to the terroristic, destructive, and murderous actions of 19 Islamic radicals on that fateful day back in 2001. I cannot say as though I am particularly pleased, at all, with this outcome, but I can guarantee you that the terrorist sympathizers around the world are gorramed ecstatic about it.

* – The third-biggest impact that trip made was being hugged by Jennifer Love Hewitt, and yes, I have photographic proof.

begging permission to exercise a right

It is starting to look like New York City wants their authoritarian gun laws challenged in a court of law:

Under proposed revisions to the police department’s handgun, rifle and shotgun permit procedures, the NYPD can reject gun license applicants for a number of reasons, including:

If they have been arrested or convicted of almost any “violation,” in any state; having a “poor driving history”; having been fired for “circumstances that demonstrate lack of good judgment”; having “failed to pay legally required debts”; being deemed to lack “good moral character”; or if any other information demonstrates “other good cause for the denial of the permit.”

Taken individually, have you ever been even so much as arrested or charged (not necessarily convicted) for a misdemeanor or city ordinance violation? Well, I guess you can no longer own firearms in NYC, despite not having a criminal record, not being a felon, and not even necessarily having broken any laws. After all, jaywalking is an ordinance offence in some/most cities – is that sufficient cause to abridge a person’s Constitutionally-protected rights?

Have you ever been at-fault in an accident that was legitimately accidental, and did not involve alcohol, drugs, or other complications? Did you ever forget to update the insurance card in your car, and get pinged at a sobriety checkpoint (for that, not for DUI)? Have you ever been snagged by revenue cameras (and we all know how accurate those are)? If so, your rights become null and void once you cross into the Big Apple.

Have you ever had a falling-out with your boss right before you leave a company, or been fired due to one such disagreement? Obviously you are undeserving of exercising your natural rights, and the NYPD will be more than willing to relieve you of your lawfully-purchased property.

Have you ever accidentally bounced a check? Has the IRS or your state sent you paperwork erroneously indicating that you underpaid your taxes, and they would like more money please, and then had to go through the hassle of challenging it? Whoops, I guess your rights are no longer yours – I guess NYC repossessed them.

Have you ever visited a strip or chippendale club (amusingly, the latter is generally better than the former in NYC, at least on the budget of a midshipman)? Have you ever gambled? Do you drink in moderation? Well, depending on the personal preferences of the NYC official who witnessed/knew about you doing those things, your rights are now up for debate.

And do not even get me started on “other good causes”…

Oh, the best part – who is honestly going to tell me that each and every one of those checkpoints cannot and will not be abused? Do you have an NRA sticker (or a memorial) on your car? Whoops. Given NYC’s registration scheme, if you are already in the system, the police know where you live and who you are… and if all it takes is an arrest

We already have a good, if controversial, method for ensuring that “undesireables” do not procure firearms – felony convictions. If the government of NYC has insufficient evidence to procure one of those against a person, then they additionally have insufficient evidence to arbitrarily, whimsically, and unilaterally abridge that person’s Constitutionally-protected rights; it is as simple as that. Now that I say that, watch jaywalking turn into a felony… But to put it in perspective, just imagine if your right to vote was subject to the same standards? Or how about the Fifth Amendment – “Look, Guido, you’ve been arrested too many times already. You can’t hide behind the Fifth any more, and we’re not going to give you another public attorney, so tell us what we want to know, or we’re gonna make you!” I guess that would simplify police officers’ jobs,

Of course the good folks at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership are positively ecstatic over these proposed regulations… remind me again how they are supposedly not out to ban guns? Oh, sure, they may not say those exact words, but their actions speak significantly louder than their voices do anywise. And that is exactly why freedom-minded Americans like me continue to oppose their every advance on ever field – they will not rest until the entirety of our country has the same “gun control” laws that New York City is currently considering, they will not cease until every American’s rights are subject to the whims and personal prejudices of police officers, meter maids, and other public servants, they will not stop until average American citizens’ property can be stripped away from them for no better reason than “good causes”.

Will you?

As the saying goes, sure, you can confiscate my guns… but you will have to accept delivery of the ammunition first.