Saturday, June 5, 2010

My opinion of Sir Paul's comments

Recently, Sir James Paul McCartney, member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), who lives in New York City, felt it prudent to weigh in on the performance of the President of the United States, by insulting a past President, "After the last eight years, it's great to have a president who knows what a library is." (Paul McCartney Makes Fun Of George W. Bush, Praises Obama At White). Ironically, as the Gulf Coast is awash in oil, our President “Rocked the night away"; at least Nero played an instrument. Did Sir Paul forget that Obama shipped a bust of Winston Churchill back to the English, gave copies of his speeches to the Prime Minister, gave the Queen an i-Pod, and failed to invite her to D-day remembrances? That is audacity.

When will Sir Paul comment about Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II?

Never; such behavior is considered blasphemous to the citizens of the Empire. Elizabeth's personal fortune has been the subject of speculation for many years. Forbes magazine estimated her net worth at around US$450 million in 2009 (von Zeppelin, Christina (19 August 2009), The 100 Most Powerful Women #42 Queen Elizabeth II, Forbes, , retrieved 11 March 2010). Has he forgotten that as a MBE that he is part of this Constitutional monarchy, in which a king or queen acts as Head of State but the ability to make and pass legislation resides with the elected Parliament, not with the Monarch (What is constitutional monarchy).

What a lesson in government waste we can tell about this outdated form of government that remains steeped in the practices of the past - can you say change? Consider the budgetary waste involved in keeping this sham afloat. Then again, it is “their choice” it is the "British way". They alone can change it; perhaps that is why in 1776, we decided to free ourselves of the “Throne of England” and their orthodoxy.

Has, Sir Paul participated in our form of government? He has not voted in our elections since he is NOT a citizen; that act is how we as citizens make a difference in our form of government. Although his two past wives and his current “partner” are or were American citizens, he has and never will not likely become a citizen of the United States - he would have to renounce his title, as did Anthony HOPKINS (Hopkins `Loses' His Title Of `sir' To Become U.s. Citizen). He pays property and sales taxes but is not required to pay income taxes. To be fair, he likely pays a hefty amount in taxes in the city and state of New York.

Others have been more harsh in their commentary of this event using expletives that are normally deleted in press accounts. I will only say, when Sir Paul, becomes an American citizen and renounces his fancy title, only then will I give credence to his commentary on our country and it’s form of government. He can say what he wants but I’ll not listen. Sir Paul wants to reap the benefits of being an American citizen, including those of the First Amendment, but wants none of the title of being an American citizen. Has anyone noticed the current debate over immigration? There are plenty of folks, literally dying, to get into this country; they envy his Permanent Resident Visa. He needs to have both feet on one side of the fence or in this case the pond; otherwise he’ll likely suffer permanent injury (from the fence) or drown (in the pond.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update on shooting

James Grooms III
GROOMS, James III, departed this life July 15, 2009. He is survived by his four children, Shilique, Anquanne, Jaya and Makayla; parents, Peggy Harris and James Grooms (Goldie); siblings, Tisha Grooms, Tracy Harris, Demetra McLauren (Timothy), Shawn Sheppard (Richard), Brittany Grooms and Kadeem Grooms; grandmother, Lillian Goode; five nieces, two nephews, two aunts, four uncles; special friend, Shanelle Whitaker; two best friends, Jason and Michael James; other relatives and friends. Remains rest at Mimms Funeral Home, 1827 Hull Street Rd., where the family will receive friends Monday, 6 to 7:30 p.m., and where funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 21, at 11 a.m. Rev. Ronald C. Taylor officiating. Interment Oakwood Cemetery.

The Gun Owners version

1. Exclusive: I met with the gun owner who saved lives in the Richmond Golden Market shooting last week

On Friday I received a surprise call from the gun owner who has been in the press this week for saving lives at a Richmond store. The gun owner used a replica 1875 Remington Army .45 Long Colt with a 7 1/2 inch barrel to stop a criminal who had shot the store's owner.

He wanted to remain anonymous, but called so that the story could be set straight, as much of what was in the press wasn't accurate.

Board member Dennis O'Connor and I ended up meeting with him today (Saturday) at the Golden Market store, where the shooting had taken place one week earlier.

Besides being able to actually see the layout of the store, Dennis and I got to see the security videos of the shooting!

We also got to meet the store owner who had been shot twice during the hold up, but is now back at his store. More on this great man later.

Here is what we know from talking to the gun owner and watching the videos:

The gun owner (GO) was in the store waiting in line to pay for an item when the bad guy (BG) came in wearing dark sunglasses and trying to coverup his face while brandishing a revolver. The BG yelled for everyone to get down and before anybody could react, immediately walked over to the store owner and in a cold-blooded fashion shot him twice. The owner then dropped down behind the counter. It wasn't more than 2 seconds after the BG first walked in the doors that he shot the store owner.

Those shots at the store owner missed a teenage boy's head by inches.

The GO yelled for the BG to drop his gun as the GO drew his gun. The BG opened fire on the GO. The GO returned fire, hitting the BG as the GO dove hard for the floor behind some barrels full of ice and drinks.

The BG ran towards the back of the store, aiming his gun at an innocent man laying prone on the floor. Luckily the BG was too distracted by the GO to shoot the man. There is no doubt in my mind that the man would have been shot in cold blood that day if it weren't for that GO returning fire.

The BG kept trying to get to the front of the store by walking up various aisles and firing shots at the GO as he did so. At one point cans of tinned meat exploded on a shelf as the BG took a shot at the GO.

What was bizarre was that the BG actually was strutting around like he owned the place while under fire! As he approached the front of one aisle, he again pointed a gun at a person on the ground and was about to execute him, when he was again distracted by the GO.

Finally the GO spotted the BG at the front of an aisle standing in the open.

Much to his surprise, the GO discovered that when he dove hard for the floor he had somehow broken the trigger on his gun!

But the gun was a single action, so the GO pushing himself up with one arm, aimed the gun, pulled the hammer back and let it fly forward - twice.

Although seriously wounded three times, the BG came at the GO. The BG tried to grab the GO's gun since the BG's gun was out of ammunition. A life-and-death struggle began. The GO got a grip on the BG's gun and the GO hit the BG twice hard on the temple with the 7 1/2" barrel on his rather heavy gun.

The BG finally broke off the engagement, tried to run out the front door, but collapsed at the door.

The GO secured the BG's gun and keeping an eye on the now unconscious bad guy, called 9-1-1.

The BG has now died (he was in critical condition since the shooting).

The police showed up a minute or so after the 9-1-1 call and initially had everyone in the store at gun point and handcuffed some until they could figure out who was who.

What really impressed me was that on the surveillance video, the owner, while shot twice by the BG, was walking around making sure that all of his customers were OK after the shooting had ended. He only let himself collapse after he was sure they were OK! Words fail me on this. I am so glad that he made it. What a dichotomy - a BG who shoots an innocent person without provocation, almost killing a teenager while doing so - caring for no one but himself. And then the store owner who, while seriously wounded, making sure his customers were OK. Evil exists and so does Good. Both were on display in those two minutes of terror. Luckily only the bad guy was killed. The owner was walking with a limp, clearly in some pain. :-(

A lot of people owe their lives to that GO. However, he is having none of it, saying that he simply did what he had to do.


The GO wanted me to share the following points:

* Buy a quality gun - don't use some cheap $90 gun to protect your life. He considered his gun to be a good one and even then the trigger broke under the extreme stress of a life-and-death battle.

* Practice with your gun, get training, and be good with that gun.

* More and more BGs are choosing to kill in cold blood to get what they want. If they can't live the "good life, " then they don't care if their crimes send them to jail.

* He also noted that fewer and fewer BGs are getting any jail time.


Here are my thoughts from watching that tape:

* Talk about a cold-blooded, fast attack where an innocent was shot without warning! Unbelievable. Situational awareness is really important. Luck doesn't hurt, either.

* Open carry was an advantage in this case because in the video I saw just how fast the GO managed to draw his gun and begin to return fire. You always hear about how open carry is so bad tactically - you'll be the first one shot, etc. Oh, yeah? The GO had a HUGE gun in plain sight and he was NOT shot. Who got shot first? An unarmed store owner.

* I am betting that the BG was on drugs, big time. He was hit with THREE 45-CALIBER BULLETS, with at least two of those hits causing grievous injury, and he continued the fight as if he had not even been hit at all! In fact he was strutting like a peacock who owned the place as he was walking up and down the aisles trying to get to a position where he could shoot the GO. As a gun owner, you need to be prepared for that eventuality and keep shooting the BG in his center of mass until he stops his attack. Don't think one shot, or even two shots, are going to do it. And a head shot might well be what it takes to stop such an attack quickly.

* If you are out of ammunition, a gun does make a great weapon with which to bludgeon someone in hand-to-hand combat.

* This shooting bolstered both sides of the argument about how much ammunition one should carry. The good guy got off only four shots (of course his gun had a broken trigger and that didn't help). The bad guy got off six shots and ran out of ammunition (thankfully). But in my mind, and having had some advanced training, I think an extra magazine for a semi-auto, or a reloader for a revolver, is a good idea. WIth someone like the BG above, if you run out of ammunition before he does, he will execute you. Period.

Richmond Store owner grateful for man who shot robber


Published: July 15, 2009

Three days after Mustapha Kassou was shot in an attempted robbery in his store in South Richmond, he said that he owed his life to the man who ended the ordeal by shooting the robber.

Yesterday, Kassou returned to Golden Food Market on Jefferson Davis Highway for the first time since he was shot there Saturday afternoon.

Kassou said the masked robber walked into the store shortly after 1 p.m. and seemed startled to see about eight people inside. The robber told everyone to get on the floor, and then he fired at Kassou and hit him twice, he said.

"When the guy shot me, I was waiting for him to finish me," Kassou said. "I was knocked down behind the cash register."

The other armed man pulled a six-shot revolver from his holster and told the robber to drop his weapon, Kassou said. When he didn't, authorities say, the man shot the robber once in the torso, took the robber's gun and called police.

Witnesses told police it appeared the robber ran out of bullets and tried to reload. Some people in the store told the man to finish off the robber, witnesses reported.

"Everyone was telling him to kill him," Kassou said, "but he said, 'I can't do it.'"

Saturday's incident was the second such shooting at the store in a month.

The two shootings at Golden Food and the fatal shooting of a shopkeeper last month in another store just blocks away have alarmed some nearby residents, although police say the number of violent crimes along the Jefferson Davis corridor has been declining since May.

Councilwoman Reva Trammell, whose 8th District includes the corridor, and police Cmdr. Steve Drew will hold a public safety meeting for Jeff Davis-area business owners tonight from 6 to 8 at the Satellite Restaurant, 4000 Jefferson Davis Highway.

Kassou was released from the hospital Sunday, but he was limping and in obvious pain yesterday. He sat inside his store with family members, but he kept the front door locked. He said the shootings have made him scared of almost everyone.

He said he was struggling with whether he should reopen the store. He does not know how he would support his wife and two children if he chooses to keep the store closed.

Kassou said he is considering returning to his native Morocco. He said he is an American citizen and has lived here about 20 years and loves this country.

"It's not worth it anymore," he said, adding that he will arm himself if he reopens the store.

Kassou said he still is alive because of God -- and because of the man who drew a .45-caliber Western-style revolver and ended Saturday's robbery by shooting the gunman.

"He saved a lot of lives," Kassou said. "He was like an angel who came to save everybody."

Authorities say the robber was wounded after he shot Kassou and fired on customers.

Neither Kassou nor the police would identify the man who shot the robber. Authorities said an initial investigation indicates the man acted lawfully when he shot the robber.

Police have charged James Grooms III, 30, of South Richmond with attempted robbery, use of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon.

He remained in critical condition last night at VCU Medical Center.

A woman who said she is one of Grooms' relatives declined to comment when reached by phone yesterday.

Contact Reed Williams at (804) 649-6332 or .

Armed Citizen Prevents Bloodbath

Two Shot in South Richmond Store

July 12, 2009

A gunman who had wounded a shopkeeper and opened fire on several customers was stopped yesterday when another man shot him at the store in South Richmond, authorities said.

The violent attempted robbery took place shortly after 1 p.m. at the Golden Food Market at 2701 Jefferson Davis Highway, the same store where another man was shot last month–and only three blocks from the scene of another robbery in June that left a shopkeeper dead.

Owners of as many as a dozen Jefferson Davis-area businesses flocked to the scene of the shooting, and many were rattled by such a brazen daylight attack, said Councilwoman Reva Trammell, whose 8th District includes the Jefferson Davis corridor.

Trammell, who arrived outside the store shortly after yesterday’s shootings, described a frenzied scene. One man told Trammell that the man who had shot the robber was a guardian angel.

“Whoever did it probably saved their lives in there,” Trammell said of the shooter.

Police did not identify anyone involved in yesterday’s shootings.

The man who shot the robber is a friend of the store owner, and he was wearing a holster with a Western-style revolver, said Managing Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland.

After the suspect shot the store owner and opened fire on patrons, the owner’s friend shot the suspect once in the torso, took his gun and called police, Thorne-Begland said.

Thorne-Begland said it appeared that the shooting of the suspect was justified, although he emphasized that the investigation was in the early stages.

Police said they expect to file charges against the suspect.

The store owner’s injuries did not appear life-threatening, authorities said, but the gunman’s injuries were said to be life-threatening. No one else was hurt.

Anthony Gregory, who lives near Golden Food, said he was in the store about 15 minutes before the shootings, and that while he was there, he saw a man with a baby making a purchase.

Gregory said the owner told the baby, “Welcome to the world. This is a dangerous world, so be careful. But don’t worry, God will protect you.”

Police Cmdr. Steve Drew said officers had been patrolling up and down Jefferson Davis yesterday and recently have bolstered their presence in the area. He said it was unusual for a commercial robbery to happen so early in the day.

The previous shooting at Golden Food took place late the night of June 12. And three nights earlier, a co-owner of the Come and Go Food Market, which is about three blocks north of Golden Food on Jefferson Davis, was shot and killed in a robbery.

Authorities said it was too early to know whether any of the three shootings on Jefferson Davis are connected.

A few hours after yesterday’s shootings, Said “Sam” Messaf, the man who was shot June 12 at Golden Food, was at the store to help another man shut down the market.

Messaf described how he had been helping out at the store June 12 when two robbers came inside. One man opened fire, reaching over the counter and shooting as Messaf cowered behind it, he said. Messaf was shot six times in his legs.

He said he suffered nerve damage in his left leg and has trouble sleeping.

Trammell said residents and business owners were scared by the recent violence but have faith that police are doing their best to stop it.

“I’m still shook up,” Trammell said. “I’m not afraid, but we’ve worked so hard on Jefferson Davis — so hard in that area to bring crime down.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

In the wake of the "stimulus," unemployment grows

In the wake of the "stimulus," unemployment grows

Thursday, July 9, 2009
"Today’s unemployment insurance benefit claims data from the U.S. Department of Labor reveals another record number of Americans collecting unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The almost 9 million currently collecting UI benefits is an increase of 1 million from the level before the so-called stimulus bill. This counts the 6 million receiving State UI benefits (payable for up to six months) and the almost 3 million collecting Federal UI benefits (payable for up to another 12 months). The current total of 8.9 million unemployed workers collecting UI benefits in the week ending June 20, 2009 – the most recent week of complete data – is triple the number (2.9 million) who collected UI benefits just one year ago."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What cap and trade means to homeowners - it's not pretty

The cap and trade bill was over a thousand pages when it reached the floor of the House for a vote. At 3:00am the night before debate, Democrats filed a manager's amendment to the bill that contained hundreds of pages of technical changes with virtually no time to read and digest what those changes would mean for the average American consumer. Now that the dust has settled from the House vote, information is beginning to leak out on what is actually in the cap and trade bill as passed by the House. With each passing day, it becomes even more clear why Congressman Shuster voted no on cap and trade.

One of the arguments made by House Republicans during the debate on cap and trade was that it stamped a one-size fits all mandate for home energy efficiency standards with a load of unfunded mandates on the states. Essentially, it would take California's building code and apply it to all 50 states, from Maine to Alaska and Pennsylvania. A post on the American Issues Project's blog goes into more detail on what this actually means to homeowners. If you own a home, or are in the market for a home, read this post.