Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Thought of the Day
Victor Davis Hanson
Gotta love the Borg extended allusion.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Saturn in Opposition
Notice the storm in the high temperate zone north which extends almost all the way around the planet.
The teal thin line across the middle of the photograph are rings which throw a shadow on the south tropics. Although all the planets in our solar system past Mars have these rings, only Saturn's are easily seen.
Labels: Saturn by Cassini
Saturday, April 27, 2013
They're pretty good to eat.
Labels: Hunting Report; Turkey
Good News and Bad News and Worse News
The good news is that the closest any of them will get is about 5.76 million miles.
The worse news is that we didn't see the small meteor that exploded over Russia coming.
We do know about 1400 asteroids but the rest is a known unknown. Some people speculate there are thousands we won't see until they hit our upper atmosphere, that is, too late even to warn people to duck and cover.
(h/t Space Weather)
Labels: Near Miss Asteroids
I dined on salmon I froze last year (unfortunately farm raised, and not that well raised) along with leeks in a Italian cheese sauce and roast Brussel sprouts. I made enough for my eldest daughter but she didn't show for dinner without calling before hand. I love her, but she's not the most thoughful roomie ever. The food was pretty good, washed down with Lynchburg lemonade. Yum.
I've watched a few more episodes and they're pretty good, perhaps slowly getting better. The main character is familiar, a lot of another marshall, Dillon on Gunsmoke with a big hunk of Sheriff Taylor (the country bumpkin who always manages to see through the city fellows' lies) and a little of Paladin in his gun prowess. I grew up watching the basic ingredients of this show. It's a good, not a tired, familiar.
UPDATE: Indeed the marshalls are taught to use anti-armor but they have upped the ante and now do two to the chest, two to the head. Two double taps to center mass and center face. I like it.
Labels: TV shows; Justified
Friday, April 26, 2013
NYT Editorial Board--Still Ignorant
But there is another building, far from Dallas on land leased from Cuba, that symbolizes Mr. Bush’s legacy in a darker, truer way: the military penal complex at Guantánamo Bay where Mr. Bush imprisoned hundreds of men after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a vast majority guilty of no crime. (Emphasis added).Are the political prodigies on the Left so afflicted with partisan tunnel vision that when they see the words "penal" or "prison" or derivations from those words, they can only think of the concept of crime and punishment? Because there are prisons which have nothing to do with either crime or punishment. We keep enemy soldiers captured during a war imprisoned not as punishment for any crime but so they don't return to the battlefield and kill more of our guys. We keep them until the war ends. Here is how it works--during a war, when your side captures an honorable enemy combatant, according to the 4 Geneva Conventions, you have to imPRISON him in a camp or PRISON, all the while granting him certain rights as a real PRISONer of War (POW). See what I'm doing there? It sadly won't help those who will not see.
These captured enemy soldiers often haven't committed any crime at all, but merely engaged in war (declared or not) generally while they have the 4 "badges" lawful combatants must have to get POW status under the GCs. If you're waging war internationally but you don't have all the four badges, then you're almost certainly an unlawful enemy combatant; and all we have to do for those guys is follow the 8th Amendment and Ex Parte Quirin before we execute them. The unlawful enemy combatant hasn't committed a crime per se, but he has failed to do the things necessary to get him POW status. This is really basic stuff, and I'm sure 10 minutes of google time would have informed the NYT editorial board of the truth of my statements here. I am also sure that either the authors of the piece don't know this basic history or cynically are ignoring it. Their ignorance doesn't stop there, however.
There are still 166 men there — virtually all of them held without charges, some for more than a decade. More than half have been cleared for release but are still imprisoned because of a law that requires individual Pentagon waivers. The administration eliminated the State Department post charged with working with other countries to transfer the prisoners so those waivers might be issued.These men are not protected by the GCs because they are unlawful combatants, but we treat them as if they were POWs nonetheless (a mistake, but I say that only because I want us to win the war being waged against us by Muslim Fanatics). That's not good enough for the brainiacs at the NYT. Many of the unlawful combatants we have released from Guantanamo returned to the war against us; so perhaps it is a good thing that we hold on to the ones no one else will take off our hands. Although this is a piece ostensibly about President Bush, it's not really clear in the editorial what administration closed the office seeking to free the unlawful combatants. I'll help out there with this link. If you doubt me, all I can say is that my source was the New York Times. More willful ignorance follows.
That prison should never have been opened. It was nothing more than Mr. Bush’s attempt to evade accountability by placing prisoners in another country. The courts rejected that ploy, but Mr. Bush never bothered to fix the problem. Now, shockingly, the Pentagon is actually considering spending $200 million for improvements and expansions clearly aimed at a permanent operation.A less blinded-by-bias observer might admit that President Bush wanted to imprison (rather than quickly execute them after a military tribunal) these deadly terrorist away from America so as not to endanger American citizens further. The courts did not reject any such "ploy" but stated that military tribunals were fine (with some completely unnecessary and ill thought-out tweeks based on a fundamental misapprehension of the concept in the GCs of civil war). Oh, and again, is it George Bush who is expanding the POW camp now or has another administration secretly been in place for over 4 years? At whom exactly are the NYT strategic geniuses "shocked"? Is it just some rogue generals inside the Pentagon thwarting the Executive will? Or could it be the current Commander in Chief? (Forgive me for asking the bleeding obvious). The egregious ignorance of the editorial board then disguises itself as the Energizer Bunny.
But whatever Mr. Bush says about how comfortable he is with his “tough” choices, the country must recognize the steep price being paid for what is essentially a political prison. Just as hunger strikes at the infamous Maze Prison in Northern Ireland indelibly stained Britain’s human rights record, so Guantánamo stains America’s.
Why the challenge quotes around the word tough? Complete mystery to me. And in what way is Guantanamo a political prison? This statement is not merely historically ignorant but plain stupid as well. You mean like the prisons in Marxist-Leninist countries with dictators who fill them with their guiltless, political rivals? That sort of political prison? Like the ones in Cuba and North Korea and Burma? Are the intellectual wizards writing this piece comparing the terrorist bombers and killers in Gitmo to Aung San Suu Kyi and Mahatma Ghandi? Really? Generally political prisoners are people who are in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country. Is there a single person in Guantanamo who opposed George Bush or the Republicans in an election, or who was a member of the Democrat Party? In what conceivable way is Guantanamo now a political prison, I ask again, rhetorically?
And the final idiocy. I happen to be familiar with Maze Prison and the ten who died of a hunger strike there in 1981. I think that if you did some Jaywalking and asked about the "indelible stain" of the Maze Prison Hunger Strike, you would get a lot of blank stares; and the ones who actually know the history of the reprehensible terrorists of the IRA and INLA held in Maze back then don't think of their imprisonment as anything other than a good thing. It's the IRA and INLA indiscriminate bombing and gun murders which carry the stain to reasonable, well informed people. Of course, the Mensa members at the NYT probably think that murder, manslaughter, possession of explosives and possession firearms by convicted felons is no stain on the guilty but is one on those punishing the guilty.
OK, so I have one final question. Who is worse, the guy who creates the POW camp out of necessity forced upon him by others, but who thinks it is the right thing to do, or the guy who continues to operate the prison even though he thinks the mere existence of the prison is immoral, un-American and a hinderence to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States?
Yeah, the NYT really called out President Bush this time.
Labels: NYT idiocy; Guantanamo
Second Thought of the Day
Labels: Brendan O'Neill quote
Thought of the Day
Walter Russel Mead, discussing the recent, imminent collapse of the European Union's carbon trading market (ours collapsed years ago)
Labels: Walter Russel Mead quote
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Also, what's up with the neo nazis? Lot more church goers than skinheads in Harlan, although I believe they could have set Breaking Bad in Harlan if they had a mind to. Just as Firefly was a western set in space, this is a western set in modern Appalachia. I've always liked the lead, Tim Olyphant, in fact I like all of the feds in the show much better than I like any of the mere citizens and bad guys, Walton Goggins excepted. It's a show that takes guns seriously, and I like that as well. We'll see.
Labels: TV shows; Justified
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Divinyls - Boys In Town
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Hell of a Place
Where do they put people who talk on the phone during movies?
Thought of the Day
Princess Fluffy Bunny worldview! Who else but Steyn could write that?
Friday, April 19, 2013
Why I Call David Sirota a Racist Idiot
He wrote, paraphrasing a TV appearance:
I said that because most of the mass shootings in America come at the hands of white men, there would likely be political opposition to initiatives that propose to use those facts to profile the demographic group to which these killers belong.For support for his statement, he referred to the Mother Jones article on mass shootings in America which analyzed 62 mass shootings between 1982 and 2012. It is not a complete list for reasons difficult to fathom. 60 of the profiled mass shootings were by lone gunmen and two had two guys shooting. So the total number of shooters was 64 of which 44 were white men (only 1 was a woman) and 19 were men of another race. For guys of Sirota's ilk, with the stupendous intellects, that means that white men are doing most of the shootings and it must be some defect of character latent in their race that causes them to be the most. Or it might just mean that the number of pathetic and/or crazy white psychopaths who do mass murders represents roughly the number of whites in America as opposed to other races. Let's see.
44 divided by 63 (I left the one woman out of it) is 69.84%. What is the percentage of white people in America? Well, according to the 2010 census, it's 78.1% in 2011. Just over half of white Americans are women, of course, but I've left out women so the percentage of white men would be very similar, comparing apples to apples, that is, only American males. So actually the number of white male mass murderers is a small distance below the number expected of that demographic, assuming the desire to shoot a lot of people is equally distribited across the races. What about black mass murderers? There were 9 or 14.3% of the 63 murderers. Blacks made up 13.1% of Americans in 2011. So they're a little under-represented in the mass murder category according to Mother Jones. What about the rest, who are Asians? They're above 15% of the mass murderers but Asians only represent 5% of the American population. That ain't so good.
But you see the problem with Sirota's assertion right off the bat. There are so many white mass murderers, not because of something wrong with them, but because there are so many whites in the population. Nothing more.
If Sirota had talked instead about why women are so under-represented in the list, I would have listened--yeah, what's up with that? But he didn't. He made a facile and specious analysis of numbers, came to a wrong conclusion, and then proceeded to be even more foolish as he continued writing. Really.
Any honest observer should be able to admit that if the gunmen in these mass shootings mostly had, say, Muslim names or were mostly, say, African-American men, the country right now wouldn’t be confused about the causes of the violence, and wouldn’t be asking broad questions. There would probably be few queries or calls for reflection, and mostly definitive declarations blaming the bloodshed squarely on Islamic fundamentalism or black nationalism, respectively.As an honest observer I guess I would analyze the incidence of muslim or black shooters just as I have above to see if the numbers involved in mass shootings had any relation to their numbers generally in the population before I would ask any questions or throw out any blame. Sirota skipped that step. It's a basic first step only a moron would skip. And I still don't throw out any blame for the 300% above expectation representation of Asians on the list. I just go hmmmm? Sirota's not finished being stupid though.
...the conservative movement has exposed its desperation — specifically, its desperation to preserve its White Victimization Mythology.The reason no one, but Sirota, is calling for profiling all white males for potential security threats (specifically for mass shootings) is that white males commit such horrible crimes less often than one would expect for their representation in the population. It would be stupid to profile those who are less likely to commit the crime you're seeking to prevent. It's probably stupid to profile for mass shootings as they are very rare events, althoug more sad and tragic, it seems, than single murders, which are also rare in America compared to many other countries.
In this mythology, the white man as a single demographic subgroup can never be seen as a perpetrator and must always be portrayed as the unfairly persecuted scapegoat. In this mythology, to even reference an undeniable truth about how white privilege operates on a political level (in this case, to prevent a government profiling system of potential security threats even though such a system exists for other groups) is to be guilty of both “injecting divisive racial politics” and somehow painting one’s “opponents as racist” — even when nobody called any individual a racist.
What Sirota has stupidly done is assert that white men are defective in some way because they commit so many mass shootings (but at a rate less than their representation in the population). That's racism, saying a race is different and worse than other races. So that's why I call Sirota, and always will in the future, a stupid racist. He is.
UPDATE: Mr. Cook came to the same conclusion (with slightly different numbers) earlier than I at the NRO. Money quote:
In his book Race and Crime, Anthony Walsh joins Jenkins in taking apart the “myth” that whites are over-represented, noting that “white (Anglo) males are actually slightly underrepresented in the serial killer ranks in terms of their proportion to the general male population.”
Thought of the Day
The truth is that the NRA, and other supporters of the Constitution, calmly and effectively opposed measures designed to hinder only the law abiding from acquiring firearms.
Mr. Conason's wish here that the nation will think the right soft on crime for this recent triumph of civil liberty is less likely to come true than poor dumb racist David Sirota's recent wish that the Marathon bombers be white American males.
Beneath nearly every liberal's skin is a totalitarian dying to get out.
Secular Prayer Not Answered
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Excitable Boy, They All Said
First, we had the heartfelt sorrow of the surviving parent talking about his heartfelt sorrow as if it should mean something to the supposedly cerebral task of writing laws which actually produce the desired result. Emotion doesn't help that process. Then the President spoke. He seemed more angry than he ever did talking about the incident in Benghazi. I put that down to frustration at not getting his way.
The President can be a petulant little bitch, can't he?
Here are my notes (and responses in parentheses):
The purpose of the laws proposed (all of which failed to get the 60 votes, as Senate rules require when the opposition asks) was "to protect the lives of all our children." The minority in the Senate decided it wasn't worth it. (Not that they had principled objections to the proposed legislation, they were morally bankrupt, lazy cowards who probably like dead 6-year-olds).
"They blocked common sense gun reforms even while these families [of the dead in Connecticut] looked on from the Senate gallery." (See, heartless to vote against the laws the President supports).
This "distortion of Senate rules" blocked the proposed legislation. (No, Mr. President, the votes fully complied with the Senate rules, the same rules you used, liked and supported to block Republican supported legislation during the few weeks you were actually present in the Senate).
The two Senators Manchin and Toomey, who are "fierce defenders of the Second Amendment" and "A" rated by the NRA showed a lot of courage to put together a common sense compromise on expanded background checks. The President thanked them for their courage--"that was not easy given their traditional strong support for Second Amendment rights." (Wait, what? If the law was good, constitutional, commonsense and popular, why was it not easy vis a vis traditional strong support for the Constitution? Something wrong there).
No one could honestly claim that the Manchin-Toomey package infringed on Second Amendment rights. (Sure we could--if the government does anything to stop, slow or make more difficult my keeping or bearing a gun, then it necessarily has impinged on my Second Amendment rights. And what's with the poll tax on my exercise of an enumerated right and my God given right to armed self defense? Maybe the Republicans were voting against it because of their oaths to uphold the Constitution).
The President repeated the worthless, outdated poll that alleged 40% buy guns from non FFL holders. Most people with actual knowledge know this statistic is false.
Then the President said the "gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill." He said opponents claimed it would create a Big Brother gun registry even though the bill specifically outlawed such a registry. (We never said this bill contained a registry but it would pave the way--now background checks are made effective by laws which require FFL holders to keep meticulous records, so there would eventually have to be just such a registry with expanded, checks by citizens who do not keep any records--otherwise it's pointless without the FFL like record keeping. Two years later, who knows if there was a background check on that particular gun without record keeping?)
This pattern of spreading untruths intimidated the Senators who despite their good hearts could not offer any cogent reason not to prevent criminals and dangerously mentally ill from obtaining guns. (I've got a few cogent reasons--it won't work; no prohibition of items people want is successful (Prohibition, drug laws); it is an unconstitutional infringement on Second Amendment rights and a general diminution of freedom and an unwanted growth of Government).
The President objected to this politics of fear which caused the cowardly Senators to cave. He tried then to debunk the objections of the legislators: 1) It wouldn't do what it said it would do (to protect the lives of all our children) but he said that was not a problem because no single law could do that but 2) plenty of laws could (So it's not totally irrational to think that some of these laws were mere first steps towards registration, and then confiscation--for the children of course). After all, if it saves one life then isn't it worth it? (So allow armed self defense everywhere then--that will save more than one life).
He couldn't understand why failure of the bill was seen as a victory (for supporting the Second Amendment, for upholding "shall not be infringe,"' for advancing freedom, for less expansion of government bureaucracy--any of these ring a bell?) After all the polls all said expanded background checks were popular "Who are we here to represent?" (How about the oath to uphold and protect the Constitution?)
He railed against calling the families with murdered children props or "emotional blackmail" and called the vote a pretty shameful day for Washington (Not for me).
He believed we can reduce gun violence with executive orders (yeah, by expanding concealed carry everywhere and outlawing gun free zones). The President also talked about "emergency plans to protect our children in their schools" (What? with gun toting guards? Your supporters think this is not only stupid but so apparently stupid as to be almost madness).
To reverse this stunning loss, the President proposed that his supporters put political pressure on the no-voting Senators. (But isn't that just the politics of fear you didn't like the opposition using to thwart your favored legislation? Logically consistent this guy ain't).
He called this stunning and complete defeat Round One (yeah, in which he suffered a TKO). And he ended it as he started by appealing only to emotion not pre-frontal cortex like analysis--"The memories of these children demand it."
Who said this guy was a great speaker?
UPDATE: Jacob Sullum on the same subject. Money quote:
Of course [the victims' families] have a right to speak their minds. But no, their emotions are not relevant when it comes to empirical questions such as the impact of background checks, "assault weapon" bans, and limits on magazines. Their pain tells us nothing about the effectiveness or constitutionality of such measures. To the contrary, it obscures those issues with an impenetrable emotional fog.
Obama does a fine job of empathizing with the parents of Adam Lanza's victims. But that is something any decent human being should be able to manage. Where he has trouble, despite his lip service to the idea of putting himself in the other guy's shoes, is in empathizing with his opponents. He not only says they are wrong, which is to be expected. He refuses to concede that people who disagree with him about gun control are acting in good faith, based on what they believe to be sound reasons—that they, like him, are doing what they think is right. His self-righteous solipsism is striking even for a politician.
UPDATE 2: Neal Bortz puts the blame for the failure where it belongs, on Obama. Money quote:
So … it failed. Perhaps the people do want stronger background checks. That may well be. But they flat-out DON’T want you to be the person in charge of writing those rules and regulations. Even Democrat lawmakers in Washington were uncomfortable with that idea.
You failed, 0bama. You waited, you planned, you obfuscated, you lied, you schemed, and you pounced when you thought the time was right. You used the grief of the people of Newtown to advance your agenda. You exploited the memory of those children who died at the hands of a lunatic to advance your big government dreams --- and you failed. Too many lies, too much ham-fisted government, and too many bizarre and irresponsible rules and regulations.
Voices of the Defeated
High-capacity magazines have only one purpose: to kill a lot of people quickly. They were designed for war zones, not civilized societies.
What they call high capacity are actually normal capacity magazines. The high capacity ones, the drum magazines, are apparently unknown to these to gun geniuses. All magazines do have only one purpose--to hold a number of cartridges. You can use the gun with, say, 30 rounds in tis magazine, to shoot targets, to plink, to hunt small animals. There is no requirement that you use the gun to shoot people. It is absurd to say the only purpose of the box magazine is to kill a lot of people quickly. At best this is a mistake, but more probably is a cynical lie. Next idiocy.
In Aurora, Colo., a high-capacity magazine made it possible for the gunman to shoot 70 people, killing 12, in only a few minutes. His 100-round magazine jammed. Imagine how many more lives would have been lost had the drum not jammed.
Wait, his gun jammed because he was using a high capacity magazine, a drum magazine? (They do know about them.) Imagine how many more lives would have been lost had he used the normal sized magazines which rarely jam? The Senator and Representative seem to have missed the real lesson of the Aurora movie theater shooting. Next idiocy.
At Virginia Tech, the shooter killed 32 people and wounded 17 with guns equipped with high-capacity magazines. These magazines enabled Seung-Hui Cho to commit the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.The evil psychopath at Va Tech used a Walther P22, which uses a 10 round magazine, and a Glock 19, with a 15 round magazine. He shot 49 people. He must therefore have reloaded. How would two guns with only 10 round magazines changed a thing? The legislators seem to have missed the inconvenient fact that one gun used just the magazine they want us to have and double down on their gun ignorance by asserting the extra 5 rounds for the Glock, per magazine, was the essential deadliness of the attack. It's absurd. He could have done the very same thing with the OK 10 round magazines, he did just that with half his arsenal. Last idiocy.
And in Newtown, the shooter was able to fire 154 rounds from his assault rifle and multiple high-capacity magazines in less than five minutes, killing those twenty beautiful first-graders and six heroic educators. It has even been reported that 11 students were able to escape their classroom while the shooter reloaded, suggesting more children might be alive today had he needed to reload more often.The dirty secret of that shooting is that the evil psychopath did not empty many of his 30 round magazines before he changed them out for a full one. He did not shoot any bullets from 3 of the 10 magazines he brought along. A ban on greater than 10 round magazines would have made no difference at all because he actually self limited the cartridges his magazines carried and 26 still were murdered. It is reported that some of the children were able to get away when he loaded a new magazine backwards and it wouldn't feed. Size had nothing to do with the escape. Speculation is so much useful than knowing the facts here.
You two can blame the NRA, the gun industry, or anyone else you want, for your legislation's complete failure, but the unpleasant truth for your ilk is that you guys blew it with unhelpful, proposed laws based on ignorance.
Getting a Clue
If recent history is any guide, if the bomber ends up being a white anti-government extremist, white privilege will likely mean the attack is portrayed as just an isolated incident — one that has no bearing on any larger policy debates. Put another way, white privilege will work to not only insulate whites from collective blame, but also to insulate the political debate from any fallout from the attack.This is rich, given Mr. Sirota's earlier description of America under a "consistent barrage of of attacks from domestic non-Islamic terrorists" with a supporting link to an article written by fellow leftist David Neiwert just after the Rep. Giffords shooting in Tucson. Mr. Neiwert listed 19 incidents of "domestic terrorism from the extremist American Right" during a 2 and 1/2 year period.
Included on that list was Jared Loughner, a left leaning completely crazy person not in any way on the 'extremist American Right'.
It also included the guy who attacked a Pentagon Metro stop, John Patrick Bedell, a crazy Democrat 9-11 Truther, not on the 'extremist American Right'.
It also included they guy who shot a guard in front of the Holocaust Museum in DC, James Von Brunn, an anti-Semite 9-11 truther not on the 'extremist American Right'.
It also included the guy who flew a plan into an office building, Joseph Ray Stack, who protested taxes but was not on the 'extremist American Right'.
It also included career criminal Byron Williams who hates Soros and his lefty network but is just as comfortable with Green Party loon David Icke and 911 truther loon Alex Jones.
Indeed, the most common connection between the listed, so-called extremist right wingers was that they were crazy.
Others made the list mainly because their victims were black or Muslim, as if there is no racism or anti-Muslim feelings on the left or among the apolitical. The list also includes two people who shot up churches (one to kill an abortionist), not an activity usually associated with the Republicans.
Does anyone want to bet me I cannot find 190 violent criminals in any 2 and 1/2 year period in the last 50 years who spouted lefty talking points before or after committing their crime? Here's a partial list of actual lefty political violence in America from 1963 to 2008 and here is the very disturbing partial list of world political murder by leftists during the 20th Century.
Beam, mote, etc.
UPDATE: Here is a good take on the article from Red State.
UPDATE 2: James Taranto also has a lot to say worth listening to on the subject.
UPDATE 3: Roger Kimball has an admirable analysis of the Sirota article and the situation generally. Money quote:
If Timmy McVeigh blows up a government building, says Mr. Sirota, only he is blamed. If Mohammed does it, Muslims are likely to be “collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse).”
What do you think of that argument? I think it’s hooey. For one thing, categories like “white male privilege” are a sort of Leftist version of phlogiston: hypothetical explanatory devices that have the unfortunate attribute of not actually existing. For another, there’s plenty of “collective slander” of Christian fundamentalists (you know, those “bitter” small-towners who “cling to guns or religion”) going around.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Forgetting the Limits of the Law
After the Newtown atrocity, the NRA formed a commission to assess school safety. To no one’s surprise, it failed to recommend a single measure that would have made it more difficult for Adam Lanza to get the military assault rifle he used to murder 20 first graders and six adults.Adam Lanza first murdered his mother in order to get the guns (including pistols) he wanted to use as an evil psychopathic mass murderer of children. What else could we do to make it more difficult for him to get access to the country's most popular rifle? One of the strongest societal prohibitions, against matricide, was not enough. Laws prohibiting murder, backed up with a death penalty (repealed in Connecticut) were not enough to prevent what happened. We need to pass some other law? A magic law to prevent future mass murders by evil psychopaths, perhaps? Really?
I supect that Mr. Marshall is an absolutist about first amendment protections of the press and speech. The second smendment must be different somehow from the first.
You can't get through UVA without encountering a lot of Mr. Jefferson's wisdom. Here's a bit Mr. Marshall seems to have missed.
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. … Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. — (Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764...)And a final thought from Cicero in Pro Milone: Inter arma enim silent leges
Labels: Will Marshall; gun law ignorance
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Thought of the Day
Barack Hussein Obama
Is that all they're trying to do, make it just a little harder to shoot children?
Sunday, April 07, 2013
The Gallego Flour Mills, or what was left of them, in Richmond, VA, April, 1865. The "turn around pool" of the Kanawha Canal looks like a snowfield in front of the ruins. All of the industrial area between the Kanawha Canal and the James River were similarly destroyed by fire.
Since the advent of modern warfare, the loser's capital city always ends up looking like this.
Labels: Civil War; Richmond; Total War
Saturday, April 06, 2013
Thought of the Day
Labels: Mark Steyn quote
Friday, April 05, 2013
I've Seen the Bullet and the Damage Done
First, let's try this thought experiment. Imagine that the founders were truly, and not without reason, fearful of a coup d'état by a professional army or by a tyrannical government with army support. To counter that threat to liberty, the founders, we imagine, created a supposedly equally important citizen Militia, which was all the men between 17 and 45, and ensured, through the Second Amendment, that the members of that Militia would never be without modern firearms of their choice. It happens to be true (Federalist #26, #29 and #46) but bear with me. So the supporters of the Second Amendment are, in our thought experiment, merely carrying on the clear intentions of the founders and therefore are patriots and the defenders of liberty. In this light, members of the government, who pass worthless gun banning laws which only effect the law abiding and help create greater freedom or safety not at all, they would be the exactly the people the founders feared, that is, they would be the ones attempting to give a monopoly of force to the government, which action historically always leads to less freedom and ultimately to tyranny. OK, now to the editorial.
President Obama is being shouted down by the gun lobby. He and Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. have spent weeks crisscrossing the country, making a forceful case for a package of laws that would reduce gun violence.
They weren't shouted down; they were unpersuasive. This is classic projection. The right generaly politely listens; the left tends to shout people down. The laws the president and vice president hawked would not have reduced gun violence at all but would merely have partially disarmed the law abiding and sane.
At every stop, including one on Wednesday in Denver, he has demanded that Congress require universal background checks, ban assault weapons and large ammunition magazines, and prohibit gun trafficking. He has invoked the bloodshed in Newtown, Conn., and the daily toll that adds up to 30,000 gun deaths a year.
Is gun trafficking something other than the legal sale of guns on the open market? If it's defined as illegal sales, then it is already prohibited. Why include the 18,000 gun suicides per year with the murder and accident statistics? Does any of the proposed laws prevent in any way a suicide? This unjustified mixing tend to inflate the number and make it seem worse than it is? Are they fooling anyone?
But the president has been unable to break through the blockade set up by one of the most powerful and relentless lobbies in Washington. The assault weapons battle has already been lost, and it is increasingly doubtful that there will be enough votes in the Senate to support the expansion of background checks, the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s agenda.
Blockade? Relentless? What the NYT editors means is that the president has been unable to convince most of the Democratic Senators up for re-election next year to commit political seppuku by supporting gun control legislation. He's losing! We're losing! Waahh! I've seen six-year-olds take a loss with more grace.
(Sixty votes will be required to break the filibuster promised by the most extreme Republican senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah.) Even the gun trafficking provision, which seemed the easiest to pass, is being torn apart by the National Rifle Association, which put forward a substitute version that would eviscerate the prohibition on straw purchases of guns.
Extremist Cruz and Lee are actually the political leaders in our surging attempt to preserve our Second Amendment rights and prevent a Fabian loss of our freedom. They are the good guys here, following in the footsteps of the founders. The anti-trafficking law the Democrats proposed was terrible--unworkable, impenetrable, overbroad and unduly burdensome on the law abiding gun owners. It made felons of the most casual non-criminal human actors around guns. See overview criticism here.
The gun lobby is a combination of forces that includes manufacturers, hunters and hobbyists, political opportunists, and a fanatically active faction that believes guns are needed to fight off the conquest of freedom by the government. That faction is represented by the group Gun Owners of America, which has spent the months since Newtown doing tremendous damage, insisting that expanded background checks will lead to a gun registry that will assist a secret plan by the president to seize every firearm.
First let's remember every citizen has a First Amendment right to petition the Government for redress of grievances. (I would prefer the airing of grievances). So generally people who use their right to lobby for or against pending legislation are OK, but not these guys. They are opportunist or fanatically active. Those aren't so good. Rather than doing unspecified "damage" the various organizations supporting the Second Amendment have prevented the thin end of the wedge and kept true to the desires of the founding fathers. They've done good. And because background checks without record keeping (which the federal firearm license holders must do) are a huge waste of time, it is a reasonable fear that to perfect the purpose of the private background checks a gun registry, government kept records of private sales between citizens, will necessarily follow.
This is the group that said the blood of Newtown was on the hands of lawmakers who create gun-free zones around schools. Its executive director, Larry Pratt, considers the United States government to be largely unconstitutional, and says that gun rights come directly from God. “When we’re talking about firearms,” he said in 2010, “we’re not really talking about a right but an obligation, as creatures of God, to protect the life that was given them.”
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life... I guess Larry Pratt is as radical and fanatical as Thomas Jefferson. And if you create a gun free zone but don't provide security and an evil psychopath comes in and shoots about two dozen people you have kept vulnerable, then their blood is on your hands. Gun free zones without replacement security are both pathetic and naive all the while being dangerous to the disarmed within.
And yet this twisted radicalism is playing an outsized role in the current debate. As Jennifer Steinhauer reported in The Times on Thursday, the gun group’s demands helped pressure Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to back out of negotiations on the background-check bill, depriving it of crucial Republican support. The group has helped push the N.R.A. and several members of Congress further to the right, and Republicans say fear of its retribution is preventing a deal.
Yeah, the twisted radicalism of each of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Pushing Congress to the right, that is, to supporting the Constitution and defending against tyranny, is a good thing. Which Republicans say fear of retribution is preventing a deal? Name one. It is the Democrats in the Senate who fear an election payback for supporting gun or box magazine bans, not the Republicans. OK, big finish:
Polls show that more than 80 percent of Americans support universal background checks, but where are those Americans in this debate? The best-organized voices that officials have heard are those thwarting common sense on guns, forcing lawmakers to curl up and cower.
Common sense? To ban new magazines but not ban the many millions that already exist is common sense? Hardly. To ban some semi-auto rifles that look mean (or cool) but not the more traditional looking versions which are exactly the same inside is common sense? Not where I live. Do most people want evil and insane people to be unable to buy guns from a federal firearm license holders? Of course. Do most people want to have to ask the government for permission to sell a gun to a trusted neighbor? I think not. Does the editorial board of the NYT want to have to get a license and permission of the government in order to publish and hawk the paper? Of course not, that would violate the First Amendment. Somehow, the Second Amendment must be different.
I left out the last sentence a shameless argumentum ad miseracordiam. I'm getting a little tired of those as I've always preferred logic to bathos.
Labels: New York Times; Whining
I will tell you these are ammunition -- bullets -- so the people who have those now they are going to shoot them, and so if you ban -- if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won't be any more available.
She took some criticism for that gun idiocy.
Here is the response to that criticism from my congresswoman, in her latest opinion piece in the Denver Post. She whines. But let's examine her statements to see if they contain any logic.
As I have learned in two decades of work on gun violence prevention issues, the gun lobby takes every opportunity to intimidate, and attempt to silence, anyone who stands up to fight to make our families safer.
If a high-capacity magazine ban is put in place, there would be a reduction of magazines in circulation, simply because they would no longer be available for lawful purchase.Ah, I see, if a law bans an item, it goes away. Of course, during Prohibition there was no more alcohol; the illegal drug ban has been a complete success and there are no more illegal drugs out there. It's just that simple. I think that all she seeks to do is turn gun owners, who are using completely legal and ordinary magazines, into criminals. Wow, evil crazy people kill people and the law abiding can't buy or sell normal sized box magazines anymore. What a brilliant idea. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. She says:
While those who currently have high-capacity magazines would be able to keep them and reuse them if they wished, they would not be able to purchase new high-capacity magazines or transfer them to others. The availability of these assault magazines to criminals and the mentally ill would thus be greatly reduced over time.OK, so there are tens of millions box magazines out there that hold more than 7, 10 or 15 cartridges and we who own them can keep them. However, she thinks the criminalization she want to create will shrink that huge inventory. How? How will it keep criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining them? The evil psychopath in Connecticut killed his mom and stole her weapons and normal sized magazines. The law that bans something only prevents the law abiding from owning the thing banned. The criminals and the mentally ill don't care--don't obey the law. Does she not know that? And what is the shelf life of a metal or plastic box magazine. A hundred years? Two hundred? A thousand? Despite the particularly stupid thing she said earlier this week, time and normal activity does not use them up. Banning new manufacture and sale will not dent the millions out there, will not prevent ownership by criminals and the mentally ill. It's magical thinking to believe it will.
After spending two paragraphs saying look over there, the congresswoman gets to her especially non-logical thinking.
A high-capacity magazine ban will not stop an individual intent upon doing harm, but would give those victims in their sights a fighting chance when the gunman has to stop and reload.
Think long and hard about her first clause. Read it again. OK. So she perseveres in thinking that in the two to five seconds it takes to change out a magazine, the unarmed victim has a "fighting chance" Really? So seven, ten, fifteen victims are perfectly OK, but giving in theory 2 to 5 seconds between shots to the victims beyond that number, whatever it is, is in her mind, "taking the 'mass' out of 'mass shooting.' " What? First you have to believe the next evil psychopath will not be able to get one of the millions of normal sized magazine. Very doubtful. And then you have to believe that in the two to five seconds it takes to change out a magazine, the intended victims actually have any additional chance to get away or overwhelm the armed psychopath. Again, extremely doubtful. What if he has two guns (like the evil psychopaths lately did have)? If you rush the guy, he shoots you with the other gun and then keeps the other intended victims covered as he continues to change out the magazine. If you run away, the guy shoots you with the other gun and then keeps the other intended victims covered as he continues to change out the magazine on his one empty gun.
As someone who has a working knowledge how quickly a magazine is dropped and a new one inserted and a new round seated, I know the idea Ms. DeGette has that making an armed psychopath change magazines, if he wants to shoot more than seven, ten or fifteen people, gives the super-numeric, intended victims a "fighting chance" is fantasy. It is idiocy clothed in bathos. It is pathetic.
While the gun lobby may utilize smear tactics this week to make the focus about me, this debate is not about a misspoken turn of phrase.
Does she mean smearing her was pointing out that she said something particularly stupid about the box magazines she seeks to ban? Is rightfully criticizing stupid statements now smearing? Hmmm? She admitted that what she said was "inartfully stated" perhaps or "misspoken", but now people who said it was certainly inartful and misspoken are not only trying to intimidate and silence her, now they are smearing her. What a whiner. And all she wants to do is protect the lives of children (at least the 8th, 11th or 16th in a group) by pushing a completely useless and certainly unconstitutional law. So we who disagree with the method she chooses are no doubt in favor for more dead children. Lefty logic at its finest.
And I haven't even mentioned her idiot, smug and deadly advice not to defend yourself but wait the 14 plus minutes it takes the police in Denver, on average, to get to you in a life threatening situation. What could happen in 14 minutes? More lefty logic, if that word actually applies.
Labels: Diane DeGette: Lefty Logic
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Labels: Ironic Graffiti
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Read it and weep, alarmists!
The reconstruction on the right generally looks like a famous Greenland ice core reconstruction below:
Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the 20th-century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions. (Emphasis added).
What we’ve found is that temperatures increased in the last hundred years as much as they had cooled in the lst six or seven thousand. In other words, the rate of change is much greater than anything we’ve seen in the whole Holocene.
Sure sounds like the fraudulent 20th Century spike was certainly the basis for their conclusion, despite their Easter Sunday admission.
Hinderaker also is waiting in vain for the myriad media outlets to correct the false impression their coverage of the fraud has left on the public.
Days go by and still I think of you...