Wednesday, March 28, 2018

 

In Support of Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens



We haven't heard from Justice Stevens in a while. He retired after nearly 35 years on the Supreme Court in 2010 and is now days away from being 98 years old. He certainly has the years in to be very wise. And recently he put in his support for the Know-Nothing Children's Crusade Against Guns with this article* in the New York Times which says it's time to repeal the Second Amendment.

There's a lot of drivel in it but I applaud the stand he's taking. It supports the rule of law and the proper way to amend the Constitution (not by Justices finding new rights in the penumbras and emanations of the Constitution). And in short I say this:

Yes, gun haters, amend the Consitution to take away rights, no matter how unprecedented that is. Amend it to repeal the Second Amendment.

Do it right now.

What are you waiting for, ya' wussies?

Kids are being shot to death! Have you no heart?



* The article has photos of two firearms, a Brown Bess musket and an AR-15 (perhaps a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 but the pistol grip looks wrong). The NYT corrected its prior mis-identification of the musket (smooth bore, accurate to about 20 yards) as a Kentucky rifle (spiral grooved inside the barrel, accurate to about 200 yards). But they didn't correct the mis-identification of the AR-15 as an assault rifle. The AR-15 is not full auto (the back side of the selector switch is a tell); and you have to be capable of fully automatic fire, have a removable box magazines and use an intermediate round in order to be classified an assault rifle (think STG 44, AK 47, M 16/C 4). Double evidence of the pig ignorance about guns the editors at the NYT display.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

 

Thought of the Day



Don’t go to law school. In fifteen years, robots will probably be doing most of what lawyers do today, and most of them will probably wear better suits. Getting a law degree in 2018 is like getting a phrenology degree in 1918.


Kurt Schlichter, echoing my thoughts lately

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Friday, March 16, 2018

 

Social Physics Laws



For every act of projection there is an equal and opposite, probing reaction.

I'm 64, pretty old, and I guess I've been politically aware, with varying degrees of intensity, for about 46 of them. I followed Watergate and to a far lesser degree the Iran Contra affair. The 2000 recount fascinated me. I've read about some pretty stupid political moves on both sides through the decades. I've seen corruption in office by both sides. In some of those cases justice was done and in others the corrupt politician skated.

But I have never witnessed an investigation blow up so devastatingly in the faces of the investigators.

I have held the FBI in pretty low esteem for a long time now. I think they are way too often long on arrogance and short on competence. But what is finally coming to light in the past year or so is very disappointing, to put it in its best light.

The go to guy for me about what's been happening has been former DOJ prosecutor Andrew McCarthy at National Review. He knows what he's talking about from experience and he is very smart. But even he had to confess that he had underestimated the malfeasance of the DOJ and FBI.

To paraphrase George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove: And although I hate to judge before all the facts are in, it's beginning to look like certain leaders in the FBI and DOJ are in need of a RICO prosecution.

McCarthy nailed why the bad actors thought they could get away with it. Everyone thought Trump would lose and Hillary would not only shield the bad actors from investigation but would actually reward their efforts to help her win.

But it didn't happen that way.

Had the bad actors gone back actually to trying to catch malum in se criminals after the election rather than double down on politicization of our federal investigative and prosecutory arms, I seriously doubt the low energy Republicans would have discovered the damning evidence we have been seeing lately. Most of the press was studiously ignoring Democrat bad acts, as usual. But they kept doing bad things including a transparently groundless investigation of Russian collusion by Republicans (there was Russian collusion by Democrats--didn't interest Mr. Mueller in the slightest), and the Republicans actually got off their butts and uncovered stuff, ugly stuff. See the second law of social physics above.

James Comey has been fired. Mr. McCabe was fired just today. Nobody in our bloated Washington bureaucracy used to get fired no matter how badly they acted. I hate to get my hopes up too high but I recall that the Watergate investigation took a full two years to start producing indictments. I do foresee a lot more firings. The future is too mist shrouded now to say if there will be indictments of FBI and DOJ personnel or of a past unsuccessful candidate for President perhaps. Probably not.

But there should be.

Karma can be pretty heartless, right?



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New Song

Based on the reaction of the singer on American Idol whom Katy Perry kissed, her new song on the subject should contain the lyrics: "I kissed a boy; he didn't like it."


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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

 

Imagining Civil War

Despite my firm belief that it will never happen, I've been thinking about a second American Civil War lately and I wonder what model from history it would most be like.

I think it would be most like the Irish Civil War in the early 1920s.

And Republicans will absolutely kick Democrat ass.

Kirk Schlichter is having the same ominous thoughts. His best paragraph on the subject:

Let’s talk terrain and numbers. Remember the famous red v. blue voting map? There is a lot of red, and in the interior the few blue splotches are all cities like Las Vegas or Denver. That is a lot of territory for a counter-insurgent force to control, and this is critical. The red is where the food is grown, the oil pumped, and through which everything is transported. And that red space is filled with millions of American citizens with small arms, a fairly large percentage of whom have military training.

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Monday, March 05, 2018

 

Oscar Prediction Results 2018

I did OK. The ones with a red background are the ones I missed followed by the winner. 19 out of 24 and only one was an important miss and I mentioned the actual winner as a possibility.



The big nine:


Best Picture-- Three Billboards (could be Shape of Water, outside chance for Get Out) It was Shape of Water
Best Leading Man-- Gary Oldman
Best Leading Lady-- Frances McDormand
Best Supporting Actor-- Sam Rockwell
Best Supporting Actress-- Allison Janney
Best Foreign Film-- A Fantastic Woman (about a trans-sexual, the cause de jour)
Best Director-- Guillermo del Toro
Best Screenplay, Original-- Get Out
Best Screenplay, Adapted-- Call Me by Your Name


Somewhat difficult calls:

Cinematography-- Dunkirk It was the new Blade Runner
Animated Feature-- Coco
Art Direction-- Shape of Water
Original Song-- Remember Me
Film Editing-- Dunkirk
Sound Mixing-- Baby Driver (because sound editing is completely different from sound mixing) It was Dunkirk
Visual Effects--  the new Blade Runner
Score-- Shape of Water
Makeup-- Darkest Hour



Here are the not easy at all rest:

Sound Editing-- Dunkirk (always go with the loudest movie in this category)
Costume Design-- Phantom Thread
Documentary-- Icarus

Here are the next to impossible to call:


Animated Short-- Dear Basketball (but it could be any of them)
Live Short-- DeKalb Elementary (but it could be any of them) It was The Silent Child
Documentary Short-- Edith + Eddie (but it could be any of them) It was Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405

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Saturday, March 03, 2018

 

Fact Checking Anti-Gun Statistics



I read a few lefty sites everyday. One is GoodShit by Fred Lapides. He is certainly on the left but has a wide array of interests, many of which coincide with mine.

What hit me today was a paragraph from an article he linked to about guns. The title of the article was: The best available evidence suggests NRA-backed gun policies are making crime worse.

Here is the paragraph:
There is moderate evidence, for instance, that “stand your ground” laws, which remove the requirement for gun owners to attempt to retreat from a situation before using lethal force, increase total rates of homicide. A 2013 study, for instance, found that states passing such laws saw 6 percent to 11 percent increases in their total homicide rate. Another study found that Florida experienced a significant 24 percent increase in total homicides and 32 percent increase in firearm homicides following enactment of the stand-your-ground law in 2005. (Emphasis added).

That didn't sound right. So I checked. Here are the stats I used from something called the disaster center. I tried to double check them from the FBI stats on crime but Florida wasn't in the murder stats by state there. Just not there at all.

But using the disaster center numbers, from 2000 through 2005, when Florida had the old self defense law (run away if you can safely do so), the on average murder rate was 5.4 per 100,000. The rate did jump up in 2006 through 2009 although change in the law regarding self defense was certainly one of a thousand factors in that rise in crime. But for the years 2011 through 2016 the average was 5.13 per 100,000 and for the whole period 2006 through 2016 the average was 5.52 per 100,000.

Math is not my strong point but I don't think that's a 24% increase. I think that's a 2.2% increase and statistically meaningless.

So how can we have an honest conversation about gun violence if the left won't be honest about numbers we can check?

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Friday, March 02, 2018

 

Take 'em to the Bank Oscar Predictions




For some reason, this year is very hard to predict, probably because most of the nominees were indistinguishable from small indie movies or just plain sucked.

The big nine:


Best Picture-- Three Billboards (could be Shape of Water, outside chance for Get Out)
Best Leading Man-- Gary Oldman
Best Leading Lady-- Frances McDormand
Best Supporting Actor-- Sam Rockwell
Best Supporting Actress-- Allison Janney
Best Foreign Film-- A Fantastic Woman (about a trans-sexual, the cause de jour)
Best Director-- Guillermo del Toro
Best Screenplay, Original-- Get Out
Best Screenplay, Adapted-- Call Me by Your Name


Somewhat difficult calls:

Cinematography-- Dunkirk
Animated Feature-- Coco
Art Direction-- Shape of Water
Original Song-- Remember Me
Film Editing-- Dunkirk
Sound Mixing-- Baby Driver (because sound editing is completely different from sound mixing)
Visual Effects--  the new Blade Runner
Score-- Shape of Water
Makeup-- Darkest Hour



Here are the not easy at all rest:

Sound Editing-- Dunkirk (always go with the loudest movie in this category)
Costume Design-- Phantom Thread
Documentary-- Icarus

Here are the next to impossible to call:


Animated Short-- Dear Basketball (but it could be any of them)
Live Short-- DeKalb Elementary (but it could be any of them)
Documentary Short-- Edith + Eddie (but it could be any of them)

Not watching the show; don't care any more.

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