Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tennessee Handgun Carry: Belle Meade Still Honors Permit

#tnguns .
After going around the horn of argument with several other permit holders about the Belle Meade City Ordinance (2010-2) Belle Meade acted on today and reading the differing reports of what it means, I decided to go to the "horse's mouth" and phoned the Belle Meade PD. The person* answering the phone affirmed what I and others thought: This has nothing to do with Handgun Permits and Belle Meade PD will honor valid permits as they always have. (*The officer answering the phone gave his name and permission to be quoted but I'll keep his name out of this public forum.)

The issue is about the old way the ordinance was worded that allowed - and, in fact, mandated as the only carry allowed - carry "in open hand" of 19th century style black powder "Army and Navy" pistols. The new wording strips this from the city ordinance. This was brought to the fore by the actions of Leonard Embody that we wrote about earlier here and here.

So, despite the email sent by NRA-ILA, Belle Meade has not banned Handgun Permit holders from exercising their self defense rights in their city.

SayUncle -
I sent an email to some folks to see if they had heard of it and ACK posted about it. Turns out (via ACK), not so much:

The current Belle Meade municipal code includes a section on firearms and weapons that says “it is unlawful for any person to carry in any manner whatever, with the intent to go armed and razor, dirk, knife, blackjack, brass knuckles, pistol, revolver or any other dangerous weapon or instrument…”

It also includes the phrase “except the army or navy pistol which shall be carried openly in the hand.”

The new ordinance deletes the exception that would include the Navy black powder pistol Leonard Embody carried when he walked down Belle Meade Boulevard in mid-February.

The author, Sherry Phillips, continues:

Embody, who is active on many gun rights blogs, first gained attention in December when he brandished a loaded AK-47 pistol at Radnor Lake State Park.

Embody may be active, but his activity consists mostly of getting banned and ridiculed on those "gun rights blogs" which are mostly online message forums and not blogs...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Corporate Idiocy and Unpaid Vacations

The way corporations finance themselves and figure their budgets leave me unsurprised that so many fall short of their earning estimates and/or are broke.

Here is the situation at my employer, who while unnamed, could be guessed by anyone a tad knowledgeable about the industry wherein I work (and no, I'll not say what the name or industry is in this post). Over the past three or four years we have been shedding employees via layoffs, unfilled positions, etc... Last year my company forced all of us to take a one week unpaid "furlough" in each of the first two quarters. They are doing it again in the first quarter of this year.

Now, since there have been so many layoffs (10% last year, 8% the year before) we've been running on "skeleton" crews when "fully" staffed. In fact, I've had as much overtime as I have wanted last year and this to make up the short fall. In the last several months I have worked enough overtime to offset the week I'll be off with no pay - and more. In fact, when I get back I have the ability to work gobs of overtime to make up for others that are on furlough.

What sense does this make? The company is disrupting the economic schedules of all its employees just to pay them MORE when they come back. How does that save money? Let me illustrate further... Last year some of us took our furlough one day per two week pay period over five pay periods. I took mine the first week of the pay period and my co-manager took his the second week. The second week I covered his furlough day and the first week he covered my furlough day. So, both of us worked 80 full hours, except that we had one week of 48 with the accompanying 8 hours overtime (which pays time and a half) and the second week of 32 hours. The company ended up paying us each 72 hours of regular time and 4 hours of overtime. To say it another way, to have the furlough the company paid each of us the equivalent of 84 hours' pay for 80 hours' work just so they could say they saved 8 hours of pay in one week, or 40 for the quarter.

And they are doing it AGAIN this quarter. And thinking about doing it in the second quarter...

Here's another stupid thing that the company does: My co-worker broke his arm at home on his own time last year. The company has a disability plan that paid him to stay at home at full pay for the two plus months he was out. I broke my arm at work doing a job outside my job description but that was demanded to be done by my supervisor's supervisor after I told him it was too dangerous to do. The company would only pay 2/3 salary for the time I was out, and would only pay the first week I was out if I was out over two weeks. So, get hurt at home and the company will pay your entire salary while you are out, but if you are hurt at work you only get 2/3 salary and forget the first week unless you're hurt bad enough to miss serious time.

I explained the situation to my doctor and he released me back to regular duty - with the stipulation I use one arm for the better part of two months - after eight days. The doctor was flabbergasted. But that is the law here in Tennessee for Worker's Compensation. That's all they have to pay. I checked with my attorney - who was floored when I told him the situation - but after researching the law confirmed it. Which is why I told the doc to release me back to work. I'll do the job one handed - which is better than most of the others do with two - and get my full salary. I used sick leave to cover the days I was out.

To pour salt into the paycheck wound the company's insurance sent me a $41 check for the time I was out... $41. That's what a broken arm pays. I'm tempted to frame the thing instead of cashing it.

Corporate idiocy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Taser International SOLE Defendant in a Law Suit for the First Time

#taser .
Taser International was named as the sole defendant - a first for the company - in a law suit over a man who was tased in the chest and went into cardiac arrest after three Taser shocks. Steve Butler of Santa Cruz, California subsequently lost almost all short term memory. The law suit alleges Taser knew the risks of chest shots prior to the 2006 incident:
John Burton explains, “We can prove that by early 2006, but we suspect they had all the necessary data since 2005, since they were funding the study."

A spokesperson with Taser International says the stun guns have repeatedly passed medical studies and are safe to use.

The company did, however, put out a directive last year instructing police officers to no longer aim for the chest area.
Taser International says the studies "prove" the Taser device is safe... How many subjects in the studies were intoxicated, high, or had cardio problems, OR ALL THREE? None, I suspect. I haven't seen any that included that type of subject. It will be interesting to see if Taser knew that chest shots were potentially harmful - or lethal - as early as the suit alleges.

Taser Use Needs Regulation
About Time - Police Can't Use Tasers At Will
Taser: Avoid Chest

Chess Opening Quandry

#chess .
So I received the event announcement for the next ICCF Higher tourney that I entered... And I find that two of my White opponents have already sent their first move. Each of them have chosen the Reti which has been my choice of late. I was hoping for some 1.e4 to try out a new system for that as Black I have been exploring. Oh, well.

But, their choice also points out a reason I have for re-vamping my opening repertoire as White; everyone is playing the Reti or another cousin in the 1.Nf3 realm. The London and related Torre and Colle systems are out. They get destroyed (or, at least very strenuously tested) at this level and higher of correspondence play. As White I have been experimenting with the English, Scotch, and traditional Queen's Gambit lines. Each of those represent a five to ten year period of chess playing for me with the Scotch being an old favorite. The trouble with 1.e4 openings is that one rarely gets to play them as Black opponents choose Sicilians, Frenches, and Caro Kanns well over 70% of the time according to most databases.

At any rate, I've got to make the choice quick as opponents have begun sending moves and the official start date is next week.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

About Time - Karpov to Seek FIDE Presidency

#Chess #FIDE .
After nearly fifteen years of rule by Kalmykian dictator Kirsan Ilyumzhinov it seems that someone capable of taking away the title of FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or World Chess Federation) President has come forward. Former World Champion GM Anatoly Karpov, who lately has been involved on the legislative level of Russian politics, has stated that he will seek the top spot in FIDE.
Anatoly Karpov will put forward his candidacy to become FIDE President, according to reporters of Russian news agency SarInform. “It is necessary to restore order,” the 12th World Champion reportedly said yesterday.

Sunday night Anatoli Karpov landed at the airport of Saratov, Russia for a simul and a meeting with the local governor. There, according to local news agency SarInform, Karpov announced that he has the ambition to become FIDE President.

“It is necessary to restore order,” Karpov was quoted. “The problems with the World Championship, the calendar, changes of decisions, changes during a cycle, this didn’t happen before. Besides, the prestige of the World Champion should return to its old level.”
One can only hope the FIDE delegates have the guts to do the right thing.