Posts filed under Missouri
Good Friday Tornado Track

St. Louis Good Friday 2011 Tornado

Filed in PersonalTags: Missouri, Saint Louis, Tornado, Weather

The St. Louis Good Friday tornado ended up being a rather close call for us. The storm track is in red; our location is in yellow:

Good Friday Tornado Track

St. Louis Good Friday Tornado, 22 April 2011

Unlike the 2010 Saint Ann tornado, this one did major damage in the area. Thankfully for us, though, the worst thing we suffered was a 12-hour power outage.

Saint Ann Tornado

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Missouri, Saint Louis, Tornado, Weather

This past Saturday afternoon (while my parents were visiting from Indiana, no less!), I live-tweeted our tornado-warning adventure (see here, here, here, and here). The storm was really fast-moving, and came and went in about 30 minutes.

At the time, we were aware of a confirmed tornado about 8 miles from our house, at/near the West County mall in Des Peres. However, it has now been confirmed that the storm spun off a second tornado - one whose path came within about 1/3 of a mile from our house!

Below is the damage-path of the Saint Ann tornado:

Saint Ann Tornado 24 April 2010

Saint Ann Tornado 24 April 2010

Fortunately, it appears that the tornado was dying out by the time it was nearest to us - but someone tell my Dad that next time, he should stay in the basement instead of going outside to see the storm!

St. Louis Rally To Support Pro-Democracy Honduras

Filed in PoliticsTags: Constitutional Rights, Missouri, Saint Louis

Tonight at Papagayos in Maplewood, MO, pro-democracy Hondurans and Americans rallied in support of the constitutional government and President Roberto Micheletti, and against would-be dictator Manuel Zelaya and the despicable actions of the Obama administration. I had the honor of being present, and standing with the St. Louis Honduran community in support of their desire for freedom and constitutional democracy.

[flickr album=72157622436108284 num=4 size=Medium]

I estimated approximately 50-60 in attendance. No counter-protesters showed up. The passing traffic seemed mostly supportive and/or apathetic. I only saw one car that shouted expletives at the rally crowd.

The rally featured several speakers, including Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit.

More from Gateway Pundit

Missouri Rescinds Terrorism-Militia Report

Filed in Politics, Social IssuesTags: Constitutional Rights, Missouri

Under intense pressure of citizen outrage, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has rescinded the MIAC report that linked the threat of domestic terrorism to the modern militia movement, conservative political beliefs, and (right-wing) third-party political candidates.

From the KC Star report:

The Missouri Highway Patrol this week retracted a controversial report on militia activity and will change how such reports are reviewed before being distributed to law enforcement agencies.

The Highway Patrol also will open an investigation into the origin of the report, which linked conservative groups with domestic terrorism and named former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin.

The Highway Patrol’s announcement followed a news conference in which Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, suggested putting the director of public safety on administrative leave and investigating how the report was produced.

More 'sphere coverage: Lew Rockwell, St. Louis Council of Conservative Citizens, Doctor Bulldog, AnnaZ, The Blue Eye View, Webster's Blogspot, WorldNetDaily, Visionary Womanhood

(H/T: Drudge, Lucianne)

George Orwell’s Missouri

Filed in Politics, Social IssuesTags: Constitutional Rights, Missouri

Scary; truly scary.

Via Gateway Pundit (with h/t to American Thinker), the Missouri Information Analysis Center - part of the Missouri State Police - has compiled a report ostensibly intended "to help Missouri law enforcement agencies identify militia members or domestic terrorists". According to this report, yours truly now fits the profile of a potential extremist.

Here is a PDF scan of the report: The Modern Militia Movement

So what are my issues with this report? First, the report conflates the so-called "militia movement" with both "right-wing" ideology and domestic terrorism; second, the report socially and politically profiles potential terrorists according to its conflation of the "militia movement" and domestic terrorism. In so doing, the report libels and falsely accuses innocent Americans as being potential terrorists.

The report indicates that, at its peak, the "militia movement" included some 850 groups; yet, it identifies only 10 "noteworthy" militia events between 1995 and 1999, 8 "noteworthy" militia events between 2000 and 2008, and indicates that only 60 "rightwing extremist" plots were uncovered between 1995 and 2005.

Clearly, such plots represent not the mainstream of such groups, but rather the extreme. Therefore, the conflation of the "militia movement" with any risk of domestic terrorism is clearly unjustified. Thus, the report doesn't even have standing for the specious correlation-causation profiling of militia members as potential terrorists.

By comparison, compare the 60 militia plots uncovered between 1995 and 2005 with worldwide Islamic terrorism since September 11, 2001:

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

(Further diminishing the report's faulty conflation, two of the "noteworthy" incidents aren't applicable: the 1996 bombing of Atlanta Olympic Park by lone-acting Eric Rudolph, and the 2008 mailing of anti-New World Order propaganda to National Guard/Reserve facilities, with which the report fabricates a whole-cloth connection to hoax-anthrax mailings to state governors' offices.)

The report then proceeds to detail various "militia" causes and ideologies as potential motivators, as well as training and communication/recruitment methods.

  • Causes include ammunition registration, the potential economic collapse of the US, a possible Constitutional convention, national sovereignty (a "North American Union", and presumably NWO), a compulsory national service program, and mandated human RFID.
  • Ideologies include Christian Identity, White Nationalist, Sovereign Citizen, militant anti-abortionism, tax resistors, and anti-(illegal-) immigration.
  • Training methods of the "militia movement" include Military Simulation training and survival training.
  • Means of communications implicated include short-wave radio, internet (forums, groups, blogs, social networking sites, websites), and talk radio, and various recruitment venues including gun shows.

The report goes on to describe the various organizational methods of the militia, and in so doing, implies that even the most open and public of militias that claim to exist solely to assist local law enforcement and service organizations act to encourage underground and otherwise subversive activity.

Then, under "Implications for Law Enforcement", the report states that all militia organizations operate under a "Law Enforcement is the Enemy" philosophy.

Then, perhaps most chilling of all, the report identifies various symbols and forms of political speech associated with the militia:

Political Paraphernalia: Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups. It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material. These members are usually supporters of former Presidential Candidate: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr.

Anti-Government Propaganda: Militia members commonly display picture, cartoons, bumper stickers taht contain anti-government rhetoric. Most of this material will depict the FRS, IRS, FBI, ATF, CIA, UN, Law Enforcement, and "The New World Order" in a derogatory manor (sic). Additionally, Racial, anti-immigration, and anti-abortion, material may be displayed by militia members.

Militia Symbols: Gadsden Flag [ed: "Don't Tread On Me"]: created by General Christopher Gadsden and utilized in colonial America. This is the most common symbol displayed by militia members and organizations.

Literature and Media Common to the Militia: Zeitgeist the Movie and America: Freedom to Fascism.

Interestingly, note that the report includes the UN and NWO as organizations subject to "anti-government propaganda", as well as racist, anti-(illegal-)immigration, and anti-abortion material.

Throughout, the report belies an obvious left-wing bias. (Note the ample references to "right-wing", the mis-identification of anti-illegal-immigration beliefs as "anti-immigration", and the report relies heavily upon information from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).) The report also falsely associates all causes and ideologies, universally, to "right-wing" extremists. In fact, the socialist and anti-semitic beliefs of the referenced White Nationalist group are clearly left-wing ideologies.

Most critically, this report to law enforcement has conflated many perfectly innocent and inherently constitutionally protected viewpoints with the terrorist actions of some extremist militia groups, putting adherents of those viewpoints at risk by endangering their relationship and interaction with law enforcement.

To the extent that this report is internalized by Missouri Law Enforcement, lawful militia members will be assumed "armed and dangerous", and innocent Missouri citizens will be (at a minimum) under suspicion simply for exercising their constitutionally protected rights with respect to various social and political causes.

More on the report: Smoking Argus Daily, Lucianne, Libertoad, Bob McCarty, Justbkuz, Bungalow Bill (with a follow-up), Kayak2U, Rip On Politics, Lew Rockwell, Red Pills, Right Side News (will update to add more as I find them).

An Unusual Sighting

Filed in PersonalTags: Missouri, Republicans, Saint Louis

My normal route home from work takes me right by the airport. It's not unusual to see planes taking off or landing.

However, it is quite unusual to see the following aircraft a mere 50-100 feet off the ground, on an approach:

Air Force One

Air Force One (Image found at PlaneBuzz)

The plane touched down on Runway 11-29 right next to I-70, right before I exited onto Cypress.

A Boeing 747 painted in light blue with the words "United States of America" on the fuselage is pretty unmistakable; still, I hadn't heard anything about President Bush making any appearances in Missouri today. I thought perhaps it could have been picking up some dignitaries from last night's VP candidate debate.

As it turns out, it was President Bush, after all.


Filed in PersonalTags: Missouri, Saint Louis

So I'm not crazy. I woke up a little after 4:30 this morning, with the sensation that the house was rocking. I jumped out of bed to investigate, but found all well and normal.

Turns out it was a 5.2-magnitude earthquake.

USGS Shake Map of 5.2 Magnitiude Earthquake 04/18/2008

Post-Dispatch and Tribune-Star stories here.

The U.S. Geologic Survey Web site says the quake was centered near West Salem, Ill., or about 40 miles northwest of Evansville, Ind.


The quake occurred in the Illinois basin-Ozark dome region that covers parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas and stretches from Indianapolis and St. Louis to Memphis, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Also, apparently, the quake was felt in Grand Rapids, MI,, Cincinnati, OH - and even 450 miles away in Des Moines, IA.)

Of course, I couldn't get back to sleep - so I'm going to be a bit tired today!

Newborn Boys Switched at IL Hospital

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Missouri, Saint Louis

We will definitely not be using this hospital:

State public health officials say two babies were accidentally switched at a southern Illinois hospital, with one of the infants sent home with the wrong family.

Officials say the mistake happened in March at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion and involved two newborn boys.

Hospital workers soon learned of the error and immediately contacted the family.

Apparently, this hospital gives free car seats to all babies born there. Just make sure you're putting the right baby in that car seat!

Church Search: Grace Church of St. Louis

Filed in Personal, ReligionTags: Christianity, Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Missouri, Saint Louis

We have been looking for quite some time, to find a church home suitable for Stephanie, Lily, and me - somewhere that we can get involved in the church ministries, outreaches, and service as well as somewhere that can meet our needs: worship service with which we can relate and be both fed and challenged, an excellent children's program, and small-group ministry to facilitate building relationships and friendships with other people our age and in similar life circumstances.

We have tried several churches, trying to keep an open mind about non-essential things such as membership size and style of worship, while at the same time looking for unity in the things we consider essential: namely, doctrinal matters. For the past couple months, we have been attending Grace Church of St. Louis, and have connected well enough that we have decided to go through the four-week membership class to determine how well this church might fit for us.

We will be considering several things, including the details of the church's doctrine, the dynamics of a smaller group (our class has about 70 people, which is considered "small" for a church the size of Grace), the ministry/small group/service opportunities, and the emphasis/mission of the church (missions, evangelism, discipleship, etc.).

If we have one concern thus far, it is the somewhat overwhelming size of the church. While I would be perfectly comfortable, provided that we can find smaller groups with which to get involved, Stephanie is not quite so comfortable. That is why the nature and dynamics of the church's small group ministries will be critical to our decision.

Please be praying for us in our search for a church home - that God will show us where He would have us to be, and especially that He will enlighten us with respect to Grace Church through this membership class.

Lily at the Park

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Missouri, Photos, Saint Louis

So, you wouldn't know it from the ten inches of snow we got yesterday, but this past weekend was gorgeous. Sunday was about 77 degrees and sunny, and we got the chance to take Lily to the park, to enjoy the weather - and the infant swing:

Lillian 09 Months - March 019

I'm too cute!
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Lillian 09 Months - March 033

Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Lillian 09 Months - March 025

Hey, I think I really like this!
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

As the weather continues to get nicer, and Lily gets closer and closer to being a year old, I'm really looking forward to playing together outside in our yard, and more trips to the park!