Concealed Carry Savior

Citizen With Concealed Carry Permit May Have Saved Lives During Oregon Mall Shooting

The shooting last week at the mall in Clackamas, Oregon has been overshadowed by the tragedy that unfolded Friday morning at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. In Oregon two innocent human beings lost their lives, but perhaps the carnage would have been worse if not for Nick Meli, who has a concealed carry permit and was in the mall when the gunman opened fire. Meli pulled his weapon, but did not shoot the gunman because there were bystanders who could have been injured. The gunman saw Meli, an armed citizen, and rather than shoot more innocents he pointed his weapon at himself.

“He was working on his rifle,” said Meli.  ”He kept pulling the charging handle and hitting the side.”

The break in gunfire allowed Meli to pull out his own gun, but heportland_oregon_mall_shooting never took his eyes off the shooter.

“As I was going down to pull, I saw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and I knew if I fired and missed, I could hit them,” he said.

Meli took cover inside a nearby store.  He never pulled the trigger.  He stands by that decision.

“I’m not beating myself up cause I didn’t shoot him,” said Meli.  “I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.”

Oregon mall shooting victimsWe don’t know how many lives Meli may have saved by pulling his weapon and making the shooter aware that he wasn’t the only person in the mall with a gun. But something tells me the left won’t be giving Meli any medals. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them demand he be prosecuted. But it’s quite possible (probable) that Meli saved lives that day.

We need more law abiding, level headed citizens like Meli walking among us, not fewer of them.

Via Instapundit, and more thoughts on this from the Bulletproof Patriot and The Truth About Guns.

More Christmas Decor

Brooklyn, New YorkBrooklyn, New York

Buecken, Lower Saxony, GermanyBuecken, Lower Saxony, Germany

christmas lights - house in Melksham, Wiltshire, EnglandMelksham, Wiltshire, England

Ocala, FloridaOcala, Florida

Queens borough of New YorkQueens borough of New York

Richmond, VirginiaRichmond, Virginia

Unable to compete with her neighbour, Kristina Green opted to decorate her home with an illuminated Ditto sign and an arrow pointing to Eric Cyr's 20,000-light Christmas display, in Maricopa, ArizonaUnable to compete with her neighbor, Kristina Green opted to decorate her home with an illuminated Ditto sign and an arrow pointing to Eric Cyr’s 20,000-light Christmas display, in Maricopa, Arizona

Attribution: UK Telegraph

The Newtown Massacre

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Tragedy struck in Newtown Connecticut Friday. Actually it wasn’t tragedy that struck, but a whacked out twenty year old young man.

It’s not to say that the situation is tragic, it is. As a parent, I can’t imagine what the parents and siblings of the little victims are going through. No parent should ever have to bury a child and certainly not like this.

I was in my office when I first heard the news. I didn’t feel sadness as much as anger. Inewtown-shooting recall feeling the same way when I heard of the movie theater shootings in Colorado, the Columbine massacre and even 9-11.

As the day progressed and the body count grew, we began to reflect on the unspeakable act. Toward the end of the day a few in my office and I discussed the situation.

The overall theme was of course sadness for the loss of life and the poor kids that will have to live with the memory.

The over-arching question was how could anyone do such a thing, why would they?

The easy and cowardly reactions of those like New York Mayor Bloomberg and countless others are both loathsome and all too typical. Blame the guns. Call for stricter gun controls. The president claimed now (the day of the shooting) was not the time for stricter action. (Update: The Columbine shootings occurred during the previous assault weapons ban. That did a lot of good).

With now a few days gone by, the president and virtually all left-leaning outlets are in fact out rightly calling for or intimating stricter gun control.

If we just take away the guns there will be no situations such as this and if we just took away all the hammers, no one would ever smash their thumbs and the world will be safe.

Normally, when someone commits murder I don’t care why he or she did it, just that they did. Let justice be served and hope they get what they deserve. However, as I told the folks in my office, there is a pattern forming and it needs to be examined.

Columbine, Colorado, Connecticut and others. What do these massacres have in common? shooterOver the past several years, relatively young men have perpetrated most if not all of these mass killings.

I contend these incidences are all a product of the “Chickification” of our society. A society that teaches children that self-esteem is more important than anything else. Little Johnny is taught that 2+2 = 5, if it makes him feel better. We don’t keep score at children’s sporting events any longer, or the outcome is always a tie. Win or lose, every child gets a trophy. The use of red ink to correct schoolwork is being done away due to it’s “negative” effect on poor little Johnny. More and more schools are doing away with the graduation valedictorian and salutatorian. You see, it makes the average children uncomfortable. We can’t have that.

Well, we’ve all heard the saying “life isn’t fair”. There are, in fact, winners and losers. If your team loses the game you don’t get a trophy and you must deal with it. If you’re not the smartest or most popular kid in school, deal with it. So you’re not the valedictorian; most are not. Deal with it.

For decades now children haven’t just been nurtured, they’ve been coddled. Parents, teachers and society in general attempt to insulate our kids from reality. We attempt to shield them from every conflict or negative encounter. They must not know disappointment, not at a young age.

Well then, what happens when our children bump up against it (disappointment) later in life? The answer is, they have no idea how to handle it.

A small problem to any well-adjusted person is escalated into a massive calamity, in their mind, because they’ve never been taught to deal with that inefficacy.

This is why, in my estimation, we’ve seen the senseless violence in recent years. That and the desire to be famous just to be famous; the Kardashian effect, as it were.

The government can enact all the idiotic, knee-jerk laws it wants. That won’t solve the problem. It will just disarm the good people.

But hey, that’s what Hitler and Stalin did and that worked out great!

Deep Space Fly-By

A Chinese spacecraft has carried out a deep space fly-by on an asteroid four and a half million miles away from the Earth.

The Chang’e-2 probe successfully conducted the mission to scan the surface of the asteroid Toutatis.

It happened on December 13 at 16.30om Beijing Time, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense announced today.

The Chinese space probe flew got around two miles away from the asteroid Toutatis, officials saidThe Chinese space probe flew got around two miles away  from the asteroid Toutatis, officials said

At 2.7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, astronomers say it is considered a potentially hazardous asteroid  because it  makes repeated passes by the Earth, about every four years.

In comparison, the asteroid that is thought to have destroyed the dinosaurs was approximately 10 km (6 miles) wide.

The flyby was the first time an unmanned spacecraft launched from Earth has taken such a close viewing of the asteroid, named after a Celtic god.

China followed in the footsteps of the U.S.,  the European Union and Japan by using an spacecraft to examine an asteroid.

Chang’e-2 came as close as 2 miles from Toutatis and took pictures of the asteroid at a relative velocity of 10.73km per second, the SASTIND said in a statement.

Sources with the administration told the Xinhua news agency that Chang’e-2 is continuing its deep space travel and will reach a distance of more than six million miles away from Earth in January next  year.

Chang’e-2 was launched on October 1, 2010,  from Xichang Satellite Launch Center and later orbited the moon in a more ambitious mission than its predecessor Chang’e-1.

Chang’e-2 left its lunar orbit for an  extended mission to the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrangian point on June 9, 2011, after  finishing its lunar objectives, which collected data for a complete lunar  map.

Here is a graphic showing the moment the spacecraft passed within two miles of the asteroid ToutatisHere is a graphic showing the moment the spacecraft  passed within two miles of the asteroid Toutatis
Chang'e-2 was launched on October 1, 2010, from Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Here is mission controlChang’e-2 was launched on October 1, 2010, from Xichang  Satellite Launch Center. Here is mission control
China claims it was the first to closely observe the asteroid Toutatis, although other space missions have pictured itChina claims it was the first to closely observe the  asteroid Toutatis, although other space missions have pictured it

The probe departed from L2 this year and  began its mission to Toutatis.

Since its blast-off, Chang’e 2 has become the first to capture full coverage map of the moon with a resolution of seven meters.

full coverage map of the moon

China claims it was also the first object ever to reach the L2 point directly from lunar orbit; and being the first to closely observe the asteroid Toutatis.

China early this year published a full coverage map of the moon, as well as several high-resolution images of the celestial body, captured by Chang’e-2. The resolution of the images is 17 times  greater than those taken by Chang’e-1.

‘The success of the extended missions also  embodies that China now possesses spacecraft capable of interplanetary flight,’  said Wu Weiren, chief designer of China’s lunar probe program.

Chang’e-2’s extended missions, which were conducted millions of miles away from Earth, have tested China’s spacecraft tracking and control network, including two newly built measuring and control  stations in the northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and northeast  Heilongjiang province, according to the SASTIND.

However, China still belongs to the second  tier in lunar probe internationally, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist for  China’s lunar orbiter project, adding that the U.S. and Russia are still leading  nations in this field.

Wu Weiren stressed the need for international cooperation in lunar probe mission, saying it is a shared responsibility of  world scientists to work together in lunar and deep space exploration for the  common good of the human race.

Attribution: Leon Watson, Daily Mail

A Population Crisis

The US Population Crisis Will Be Worse Than We Thought

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by: at Godfather Politics

There is a real population crisis. Too few people are being born.

Back in 2008, when demographers projected trends and predicted the make  future age breakdowns of the population in the United States in the near future,  they calculated a rather grim outlook.

But now  it seems that their expectations were too optimistic. Birthrates in 49 out  of 50 states have been flat-lined or declining. The only exception was North  Dakota (which, in raw numbers, is minute compared to the deficit in other  states).

birthrate“The recession has had a drastic impact on US  birth rates, and there are also fewer immigrants. Both these things have brought  down population projections substantially, according to the latest population  projection from the Census Bureau. This has far-reaching implications for  already unwieldy programs such as Social Security, where fewer and fewer workers  will be tasked with paying for a comfortable retirement for Baby Boomers.”

There are other causes as well.

“Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau,  a research outfit, notes that couples have been getting married ever later in  life; in 2011 the median age at first marriage was 28.7 and 26.5 for men and  women respectively, the highest on record. A rising share of women in their  early 40s are childless. In this respect America may bsocial-securitye following the experience  of Europe.”

It is amazing that we get admission like this from the government and even in  the mainstream news, and then it simply gets forgotten for a few years while we  hear massive amounts of propaganda about how bad it is that people all over the  world are having babies. This is especially insane since the United States, like  most other Western Nation-States, has taught citizens to depend on a pension  (Social Security) for retirement. How can that possibly work when the old  outnumber younger workers.

Worse, this sort of shift in customs is not easily reversible. Even if our  liberal culture would allow a policy that encouraged more children (which would  be a miracle by itself!), the evidence we have is that getting people to change  back to a previous generation’s form of behavior probably  won’t work. The government of Singapore got the idea it needed to Singapore birthratereduce  population, and started a program of propaganda, legal (perhaps even rewarded)  abortion, and financial and legal incentives to stop women from having as many  babies. They were so effective they realized they were destroying the country  and tried to reverse course with laws and incentives going the other way.

They didn’t work. As Jonathan Last wrote  in the Weekly Standard, “Despite all the incentives, all of the public  campaigns, all of the pleading, the average woman in Singapore can barely be  bothered to have a single child.”

As is true of its economy, the United States’ demographics look good compared  to Europe. But that is not worth feeling good about. We have depopulated  ourselves and we still won’t acknowledge how foolish we have been.

No Weed in School

So, is this where the United States is headed? With the relaxed stance of many in this country regarding the use of marijuana, I wouldn’t doubt it.

Amsterdam this week became the first city in the Netherlands to ban students from smoking marijuana at school.

The city’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan introduced the law after school chiefs complained about pupils turning up to classes high after rolling up outside the grounds.

Marijuana is widely available in Holland as, although it is technically illegal, police can’t prosecute people for possession of small amounts.

The Netherlands' relaxed drug policy means some youngsters are turning up to classes stoned, prompting a ban of its use near schoolsThe Netherlands’ relaxed drug policy means some youngsters are turning up to classes stoned, prompting a ban of its use near schools

But it has also had the unwanted side effect that Dutch children are frequently exposed to the drug in public areas.

City spokeswoman Iris Reshef says schools have always forbidden pot, but found it difficult to enforce the policy when students smoked on or near campus and challenged administrators to do anything about it.

‘It’s not really what you have in mind as an educator, that children would be turning up for class stoned, or drunk either for that matter,’ she said.

‘But it has been a problem for some schools.’

Tolerance: Amsterdam is known for its 'coffee shops', where marijuana can be purchased and smoked Amsterdam is known for its ‘coffee shops’, where marijuana can be purchased and smoked

After a change in national law, the city will now be able to declare as of January 1 ‘no toking zones’ – areas like schools and playgrounds where weed-smoking is forbidden by law.

The move is closely paired with a decision by the new government to ditch plans for a national ‘weed pass’ that would have blocked tourists from buying marijuana.

That was a measure years in the making, and greatly desired by southern cities such as Maastricht that have been flooded with dealers from Belgium and Germany who drive across the border to buy weed in bulk.

Marijuana has been tolerated in Holland for decades, attracting many tourists who travel there to enjoy the drugMarijuana has been tolerated in Holland for decades, attracting many tourists who travel there to enjoy the drug

But the weed pass was opposed by Amsterdam, where drug tourists are not generally seen as causing many problems.

Last month, Van der Laan proclaimed that coffee shops would stay open for tourists after all.

In a letter Wednesday, he noted that one in three tourists who come to Amsterdam try marijuana while they’re here, more than previously estimated.

Attribution: Sam Webb

Gummy Light

An artist has created a colorful chandelier constructed almost entirely out of 8,500 hand-cast acrylic gummy bears.

Kevin Champeny spent months creating ‘Candelier’ for home furnishings company Jellio and was behind the sweet-inspired furnishings in the bedroom of Carly Shay, the main character in Nickelodeon’s hit teen sitcom iCarly.

Mr Champeny creates large artworks that look like sculptures or mosaics, but a closer investigation reveals they are made of hundreds or thousands of tiny objects, often individually cast by the artist.

Light snack: A chandelier made from over 8500 gummiy bears has been created by artist Kevin ChampeneyLight snack: A chandelier made from over 8500 gummiy bears has been created by artist Kevin Champeney
Tasty art: His sculpture take months to complete and straddle the line between sculpture and mosaicTasty art: His sculpture take months to complete and straddle the line between sculpture and mosaic
Intricate: None of the gummy bears were painted and each batch had to be cast in the perfect colour
Intricate: None of the gummy bears were painted and each batch had to be cast in the perfect colour
None of the gummy bears were painted and each batch had to be cast in the right color

His artwork ‘Flag is an American flag made up of 44,450 urethane army men cast in red, white, and blue, while ‘What Remains’ is a five foot wide skull mosaic made up of more than 35,000 tiny flowers.army men flag

‘A Rose By Any Other Name’ is another candy-themed work and uses more than 15,000 acrylic pieces of candy and weighs 75lbs.

He starts by building silicone moulds of the original pieces, then casts them in color, meaning nothing is painted, each hue has to be mixed and cast using various resins.

The final objects numbering in the tens of thousands are then painstaking glued to a surface piece by piece, meaning that the entire process for each artwork spans several months to design, sculpt and cast.

Good enough to eat?: Those with a sweet tooth will be disappointed to learn the treats are cast in acrylicGood enough to eat?: Those with a sweet tooth will be disappointed to learn the treats are cast in acrylic
Art: Other works by Mr Champeny include a human skull made from tiny flowers and a rose created using various types of sweets
Other works by Mr Champeny include a human skull made from tiny flowers and a rose created using various types of sweets

Attribution: Sam Webb

Eye Catching

When you think of an eyeball, you probably think of a smooth marble-like sphere.

But these remarkable pictures seem less like a part of human anatomy and more like pitted cratered landscapes.

They show the complex and intricate textures hidden within the iris that give our eyes our unique and enchanting character.

Eye catching: This incredible picture shows a close up of a human eye, revealing in remarkable detail the structures of the irisThis incredible picture shows a close up of a human eye, revealing in remarkable detail the structures of the iris
The windows to the soul: But seen so close they seem less like human anatomy and almost like the landscape of an alien worldBut seen so close they seem less like human anatomy and almost like the landscape of an alien world
Fibrous: The pictures show the front pigmented fibrovascular tissue known as a stromaThe pictures show the front pigmented fibrovascular tissue known as a stroma
Unique: The macro ocular portraits were taken by Armenian physics teacher Suren Manvelyan, 36, using his friends, colleagues and pupils as modelsThe macro ocular portraits were taken by Armenian physics teacher Suren Manvelyan, 36, using his friends,  colleagues and pupils as models
Enchanting: We often think of our eyes as smooth spheres, but Mr Manvelyan's photos show they are anything but We often think of our eyes as smooth spheres, but Mr Manvelyan’s photos show they are anything but
Hues: The term iris is derived from the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, due to the many colours they can have The term iris is derived from the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, due to the many colors they can have

Thin circular structures, our irises are responsible not only for giving our eyes their color, but also controlling the diameter of the pupils to determine how much light reaches the retina.

The macro ocular portraits were taken by Armenian physics teacher Suren Manvelyan, 36, using his friends, colleagues and pupils as models.

‘It is quite natural when you shoot macro shots of insects and plants, but to try to make a picture of the eye? I did not expect these results,’ he said.

‘I was not aware they are of such complicated appearance. Everyday we see hundreds of eyes but do not even suspect they have such beautiful structure, like surfaces of unknown planets.’

Spectrum: In humans irises have been known to be green, blue, brown, and in rarer cases, hazel, grey, violet, or even pinkIn humans irises have been known to be green, blue, brown, and in rarer cases, hazel, grey, violet, or even pink
The iris is divided into two major regions: The pupillary zone is the inner region whose edge forms the boundary of the pupil. The ciliary zone is the rest of the iris that extends to its origin at the ciliary bodyThe iris is divided into two major regions: The pupillary zone is the inner region whose edge forms the boundary of the pupil. The ciliary zone is the rest of the iris that extends to its origin at the ciliary body
Secrets: Mr Manvelyan, who started experimenting with photography when he was 16 and is now a leading photographer for Yerevan Magazine, is reluctant to share his techniques Mr Manvelyan, who started experimenting with photography when he was 16 and is now a leading photographer for Yerevan Magazine, is reluctant to share his techniques
Aglow: The light from his flash nevertheless betrayed by the red glow in the skin of the subject of this portraitThe light from his flash nevertheless betrayed by the red glow in the skin of the subject of this portrait

Said to be the windows of the soul, the eyes gain much of their character from the unique structure of each person’s iris.

The term is derived from the name of the Greek goddess of the rainbow, due to the many colors they can have. In humans irises have been known to be green, blue, brown, and in rarer cases, hazel, grey, violet, or even pink.

Mr Manvelyan’s pictures show the front pigmented fibrovascular tissue known as a stroma. Beneath that lies pigmented epithelial cells, with the whole structure connected to muscles which control the size of the aperture of the pupil.

The iris is divided into two major regions. The pupillary zone is the inner region whose edge forms the boundary of the pupil. The ciliary zone is the rest of the iris that extends to its origin at the ciliary body.

Mysterious: The extreme close up of this picture makes the shot one of the most alien looking in the setThe extreme close up of this picture makes the shot one of the most alien looking in the set
Green eyes: The color of green eyes does not result simply from the pigmentation of the irisThe color of green eyes does not result simply from the pigmentation of the iris. Rather, its appearance is caused by  the combination of an amber or light brown pigmentation of the stroma,  given by a low or moderate concentration of melanin, with the blue tone  imparted by the Rayleigh scattering of the reflected light

The work is literally eye-catching, but Mr Manvelyan, who started experimenting with photography when he was 16 and is now a leading photographer for Yerevan Magazine, is reluctant to share his technique.

‘The process of taking these pictures is my secret,’ he says.

Attribution: Damien Gayle

Joke of the Day

Dad buys a LIE DETECTOR ROBOT which slaps people when they lie.

He decides to test it at dinner.”Son, where were you today?”

bugs robotThe son says “at school dad.” Robot slaps the son! “OK, I watched a DVD at my friends house!” “What DVD?” “Toy story.”

Robot slaps the son again! “OK, it was a %&%*o”Dad yells “What! When I was your age I didn’t know what %&%* was!”

Robot then slaps the dad!

Mom laughs “HAHAHA! He’s certainly YOUR son.” Robot then slaps the mom….