Archive for September, 2004

September 30, 2004

300,000,000 in this country and these are the two best candidates?

50 minutes into the debate and I am done with it. Same thing, over and over.

Bush: Kerry is inconsistent.

Kerry: Bush guarded oil wells and I have a plan (one I can’t talk about, apparently).

The first thirty minutes I would call a Kerry victory, which is not good for Bush since he’s viewed as the stronger wartime candidate and this is the war debate. The last twenty minutes, both droned and repeated their talking points. The droning will be good for Kerry because as long as he refrains from saying anything stupid, I think he can win this one.

Update: Meanwhile, the Boston Globe called the debate for Kerry 7 hours before the debate actually started.

And, by the way, this is probably the most animated and charismatic I have seen Kerry.

Chain of events

First, CBS had the bogus draft story. Then NBC. Now, Rock The Vote:

“Rock the Vote”..supposedly a “non profit” organization are recruiting young Americans to register to vote with scary “your gonna get drafted unless you vote” tactics. Check out this pack of “non-biased”, “non profit” lies.
Here is a synopsis of the first propaganda “educational” film:

Young Black guy: “I just got this sweet job. Hopefully in 6 months I can start my own business”
Young Black girl: “Thats if you dont get drafted first.
Young black guy: “Drafted?”
Young black girl: “Drafted…for the war.
Young black guy: “They can do that?”
Voice over…
“One of the many issues that can be decided this election”

Read the whole thing

Kevin is just on a roll lately. Go read the whole thing. Yeah, I mean his whole blog.

Bush and guns

The Constitution Party is criticizing Bush for his silence on the DC gun ban repeal:

At various campaign stops around the country, President Bush has said, to applause, that he stands “strongly for the Second Amendment, which gives every American the indivisible right to bear arms.” But, his failure to support Rep. Mark Souder’s (R-Ind.) legislation which would repeal all of Washington DC’s laws which prohibit private gun ownership shows that when it comes to the Constitutionally-protected right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms, Mr. Bush is all talk and no action.

As recently as September 28, 2004, the “Washington Post” reported White House spokesman Claire Buchan as having “declined to comment on the specifics of Souder’s bill.”

Bush, after saying he’d support the AWB, was also criticized for his silence on the issue by the anti-gunners. Then, his campaign basically lied after the ban expired and said they pushed for the ban.

I’m sure the Senate would pass the gun ban repeal bill if Bush prompted them to do so. OK, Mr. Pro-Gun President, let’s see it.

Oh no

Apparently, Jack Daniel’s has started watering down its whiskey:

If you’ve noticed that your Jack Daniel’s is carrying a little less kick these days, you’re probably right.

The famed “sippin’ whiskey,” which advertises a recipe traced back to the nation’s first registered distillery, has lowered the alcohol content of its flagship brand, Old No.7 Black Label.

The whiskey now registers 80 proof, instead of 86 (or 40 percent alcohol versus 43 percent), and some drinkers feel betrayed.

“You can’t screw with a legend like that and get away with it,” said Frank Kelly Rich, editor of Modern Drunkard magazine. “I’m sure Jack is spinning in his grave.”

The company says the switch was made because most customers prefer the less potent mix, which was marketed first in a few states and some overseas markets. The transition was completed earlier this year.

Those who want a stiffer drink can buy specialty versions like Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel at 94 proof, the company said.

If anything would bring about a cultural revolution, it’d be this.

BSL Petition

Via XRLQ, go sign this petition to stop BSL in North Carolina.

Tougher pit bull law passed

Well, that’s the headline. If by tougher, they mean not based on anything useful:

Pit bulls and certain breeds of dogs are now more expensive to keep in Coulee Dam and may be on the way to being banned altogether.

The town council last week passed changes to the town’s pet ordinance that names “pit bulls” as dangerous dogs and imposes strict conditions on their owners.

The issue arose last month when Holly Street residents said a neighbor was planning to raise pit bulls, a breed famous for its ability – some say vicious propensity – to fight other dogs.

“I had to have my fence made solid because they were trying to get at me through the fence when I mowed my lawn,” Connie Babler said.

Pit bulls are defined in the ordinance as dogs older than six months with Staffordshire bull terrier, American bull terrier, American bulldog or American Staffordshire terrier breeding.

It’s official, Politically Incorrect Dog is now a pit bull, somewhere.

Owners may now keep only one such dog, must keep it indoors or in a secure, locked pen with a roof and buy a $250,000 surety bond in case it hurts someone.

Those restrictions were even more stringent than the changes proposed by Police Chief Pat Collins, who has been working with tribal police on a policy that both departments would find enforceable.

But proponents found support on the council for an even harsher proposal – an outright ban.

A ban simply won’t be effective. Additionally, basing the determination for viciousness on breed is not objective nor is it effective.

DC Gun Ban

The US House passed the DC gun ban repeal. This gesture is mostly symbolic because the Senate likely won’t take the issue up. As I said, it keeps the anti-gunners on the defense instead of offense. The VPC, pulling out every knee jerk misrepresentation they can think of, issued a press release:

Bill Would Repeal DC Handgun Ban, Allow Semiautomatic 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles and Assault Rifles to be Carried Throughout City

Since its passage, repeal of the DC handgun ban has been the National Rifle Association’s Holy Grail. This effort is being undertaken without regard for the safety of DC residents — or our national leaders. This bill not only repeals DC’s handgun ban, but also legalizes semiautomatic assault weapons and 50 caliber sniper rifles in the District of Columbia. One out of five police officers slain in the line of duty is killed with an assault weapon. Yet this bill legalizes the possession of all assault weapons in DC and even removes restrictions on armor-piercing ammunition. Under the bill, AK-47s and AR-15s can legally be carried on city streets or virtually any other place in the District.

I have never seen this many of the VPC’s hysterical, misleading lies in one place before (italicized for your convenience). Ain’t it something? Additionally, they have a misleading tirade about 50 calibers but at least they don’t allege they can shoot planes out of the sky.

Quote of the day

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero:

democracy abhors undue secrecy

Marrero struck down a provision of the Patriot Act that allowed the FBI to demand, unchecked, confidential customer records, such as credit info, internet service records and other things.

Update: Apparently, the law overturned is not part of the Patriot Act says one of the Volokhs (they all look the same, you know).

September 29, 2004

Heh!

Check the graphic, yo.

Einstein vs. The Romans

“You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”
— Albert Einstein

“If you wish for peace, prepare for war.”
— Roman Proverb

I recently saw the Einstein quote on a bumper sticker (along with, I think, a Phish sticker and maybe a Dean sticker). Now, according to the quotations page I have linked up there, this is “attribtued” to Einstein, so I guess maybe he didn’t actually say it. Remember also another Roman quote:

“They made a wasteland and called it peace.”
— Publius Cornelius Tacitus

So, maybe the Romans had a different brand of peace in mind than did Prof. Einstein. As an informal poll of our audience, who do you side with here? One of the greatest minds of the 20th Century, or some dead Romans? Both? Neither? Discuss!

You’re kidding?

CBS apparently will never learn. They ran a story about the latest political bogeyman, the draft. The story was based on bogus and debunked internet email hoaxes.

Krugman reads Bubba?

Krugman and Bubba both predict that, well, I’ll let Krugman explain:

Let’s face it: Whatever happens in Thursday’s debate, cable news will proclaim President Bush the winner. This will reflect the political bias so evident during the party conventions. It will also reflect the undoubted fact that Bush does a pretty good Clint Eastwood imitation.

Let’s face it, guys, Kerry is not a charismatic man (even less so than the almost robotic Al Gore). He also doesn’t have a single noteworthy thing that I can think of attributed to him in his decades in the Senate. Kerry will probably lose because Kerry is Kerry.

Methinks Krugman and Bubba are taking the safe bet. Predicting Kerry will lose so that later they can tell people I told you so.

Speechless

Dear lord. I am literally without speech. Via Spoons.

Bias Bill?

Jeff details one of the dumbest ideas I’ve seen:

In the wake of CBS News’ “60 Minutes” controversy, an influential Republican on Tuesday said he wants to convene a Capitol Hill hearing on TV news operations after the Nov. 2 election.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), chair of the House Commerce Committee, told a meeting of the TV engineering trade group MSTV in Washington that broadcast network news divisions “need to have safeguards to prevent reporters from infusing their opinions into news reports.”

The lawmaker said he wanted to hear from execs of all the nets — not just CBS — and threatened to introduce legislation requiring TV news operations to impose safeguards against partisan bias seeping into reports. He backed off the threat of legislation when pressed for specifics.

There’s a fine line between regulating bias (think of the bloggers that will be out of work!) and outright limits on free speech. Actually, I kid. There’s no fine line. An attempt to regulate bias would be an blatant violation of free speech protections.

Additionally, how the hell do you measure bias?

It’s hard to rally the troops

Gunner is distraught. He had a good idea for a protest and no one participated. I meant to blog it but it got put on the back burner, then I got busy, yada yada yada. Actually, I’m not joking. That really happened. I’ve been busy.

It’s hard to rally the blogosphere (unless you’re one of the huge bloggers) because there are just so many of us. Don’t take it personally, buddy, but lots of people read lots of blogs. It’s hard to read them all and participate in every cool idea that comes along (and yours is a cool idea). Just keep trying, you are making a difference even if it is one person at a time.

Now, get over there and participate in his banned book drive.

Al Gore advises Kerry on debating

You remember that episode of Seinfeld where George does the opposite of what he would ordinarily do and suddenly his life turns around for the better? Yeah, that’s what I think of Gore’s advice to Kerry.

SCOTUS to hear eminent domain case

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of eminent domain in New London, CT (which I’ve written about a few times):

The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide when governments can seize homes and businesses for economic development projects, a key question as cash-strapped cities seek ways to generate tax revenue.

At issue is the scope of the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property through eminent domain provided the owner is given “just compensation” and the land is taken for “public use.”

Susette Kelo and several other homeowners in a working-class neighborhood in New London, Conn., filed a lawsuit after city officials announced plans to raze their homes to clear the way for a riverfront hotel, health club and offices. The residents refused to budge, arguing that it was an unjustified takeover of their property.

I’m not too optimistic, given how the court has generally let the people down lately. At issue is whether or not a city can take from one private individual and give to another (which is not public use) to develop businesses.

Last post on the DC Gun Ban Repeal (for today)

The proposed repeal is a good thing (even if it doesn’t pass) because it keeps the anti-gunners working to maintain. While they work to maintain the status quo, they devote less time to affecting new laws. So, call your congress critters and tell them you support repeal of DC’s draconian gun laws.

Have to lie or mislead to get what they want

Brady Bunch press release:

If the bill passes, it will be legal in the District of Columbia:

* For teenagers and adults to openly carry a loaded semiautomatic rifle, including an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, on city streets without a permit [H.R. 3193, sections 7-8, repealing D.C. Code sections 7-2502.02, 7-2502.03, 7-2507.02]

Perusing the code, there is no mention of semiautomatic assault rifles. It seems to me that DC would, like most of the rest of the country, allow minors to own weapons provided that their parents bought them for them. There was no mention that I found in the three laws that specified someone could carry and AK-47 down the street.

They also go through some other ridiculous points (that are comparable to gun laws in most states, I might add) and they include the phrase semiautomatic assault weapons in each one of them. More hysteria from the anti-gunners.

AWB Letter to the editor

A good letter to the editor about coverage of the assault weapons ban:

Naturally, you do not question the ban’s constitutionality. Second Amendment aside, its basis is the Constitution’s “commerce clause,” yet no one has proved these weapons affect interstate commerce. Liberals would never use the commerce clause to support federal censorship of the media, which would subvert the First Amendment.

No one of importance seems to question the constitutionality of anything these days.

Do you sacrifice a lamb to appease?

This article makes an interesting statement:

The bill lifting the gun ban in the District of Columbia is expected to pass the House. But Senate leaders likely won’t touch it, largely out of fears that it would restart debate about the 10-year semiautomatic assault weapons ban that GOP congressional leaders and the White House let expire earlier this month. Most Americans support the weapons ban, according to opinion polls.

I suppose they assume that a bill restricting gun control would have gun control bills (like the AWB) attached to it, much like what happened during the gun industry immunity bill.

I’d like to see the DC gun laws ban gone. But I can’t say I’d be willing to trade it for the AWB.

Quote of the day

In comments over at Publicola’s, bjbarron writes:

All pets go to heaven…if they don’t, I don’t want to live there.

September 28, 2004

He Makes Car-Commerical Music, Right?

Ok, I’m a little behind, but it’s still funny. Via William Beck of Two–Four, we have this hysterical screed from “Moby”:

in 1994 bill clinton passed a law banning the sale of automatic assault weapons.
now under george bush the law has lapsed, so it is now, as of today, legal to buy fully automatic assault weapons in the u.s.a. yes, now there can be more mass murders at the hands of lunatics with fully automatic ak-47’s purchased legally over the internet.

Yeah…as Mr. Beck says, PLEASE send me a link where I can buy “fully automatic ak-47’s…legally over the internet.”

The power of blogs

I posted this earlier today looking for high err regular capacity 7.62 AR mags. I now have access to ten of them (though I’m debating if I need that many). Pretty cool.

Thanks, airboss.

Why can’t they protest like that here

In England, there was a protest:

Pro-hunt demonstrators dumped animal carcasses and women went topless amid noisy protests on Tuesday outside Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Labor Party conference.

Blowing horns and waving signs that read: “Fight Prejudice, Fight the Ban” and “Fox-Off Blair,” about 8,000 demonstrators against plans to outlaw fox-hunting marched along the Brighton seafront, flanked by hundreds of police in riot gear.

Several women dressed in black bathing suits removed their tops and jumped into the chilly English Channel waters as part of the protest. They were joined by members of “Surfers 4 Hunting” riding surfboards.

See, that’s a protest that could keep someone’s attention. Nudity tends to do that. Here, all we get are smelly hippies and guys in pajamas.

Info needed

I am looking for some USA 7.62 AR15 magazines, commonly called Frankenmags, or equivalent (which are basically an AK47 style mag bottom slapped onto an AR15 style mag bottom). I’m having trouble finding them. If anyone has any ideas, leave a comment.

On the meaning of the second

This post debates (and leaves open ended) the meaning of the second amendment. Publius concludes the second amendment’s meaning is indeterminate, which I heartily disagree with. But I’ll let an expert (Roy Copperud) address it’s meaning:

[Copperud:] “The words ‘A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,’ contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitutes a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying ‘militia,’ which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject ‘the right’, verb ‘shall’). The to keep and bear arms is asserted as an essential for maintaining a militia.

[Schulman:] “(1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to ‘a well-regulated militia’?”

[Copperud:] “(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people.”

[Schulman:] “(2) Is ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ granted by the words of the Second Amendment, or does the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right ‘shall not be infringed’?”

[Copperud:] “(2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia.”

The fact is, the collective rights interpretation is a relatively recent phenomenon created with a desired end in mind. No such support for this view existed prior to the 1940s, perhaps even the 1950s.

That aside, Publius states that us gun types aren’t crazy (thanks, though I think people willing to give up their rights are lunatics) and questions whether armed citizens could actually successfully counter the government’s military:

My traditional response had been that these people are living in 1789. First, I had assumed that the notion of armed revolt in the 21st century seemed absurd. Our government would never do anything to justify that. And as a matter of probability, Iíd rather take my chances with a narrow Second Amendment rather than allowing urban areas to become infested with lethal weapons in the post-9/11 era where much havoc could be wreaked. Besides, in the age of nuclear weapons, there wasnít a whole hell of a lot we could do about it anyway. If the government wanted to take us out, it would.

The paleocon [I’m not up to date on my political propaganda, so I don’t know what a paleocon is – Ed] response to my point was that I was assuming that just because things have been a certain way for a long time, thereís no reason to believe they will continue being that way. In other words, just because the government hasnít grown corrupt yet (and I mean to the point of justifying armed revolt), that doesnít mean it never will. Just look at history. Second, the point of bearing arms is more about the credible threat than revolt itself. From an economics perspective, it raises the costs of potential abusive policies, thus making them less likely to happen.

A few quick points. First, it seems some people in Iraq armed with small arms are keeping the US military machine at bay. The reason for this is that the US isn’t nuking them, much like they wouldn’t nuke their own citizens. You don’t kill everyone to save them.

Second, an citizenry armed with guns would do a better job than citizens armed with sticks and rocks.

The third, and more critical point, is that just because a right may no longer be popular, or may be an anachronism, or may be rendered meaningless by some technological advances the government makes, it doesn’t mean that I or you should be willing to give it up. Period. Ever.

Today’s idiot

is brought to us by Kevin.

New gun, better round

Head has some info on the XM8. The Geek concurs. The XM8 was on Mail Call the other night and some LTC pretty much said it was a go. During the segment, they said it used 5.56. We’ll see if they change that to 6.8.

I hope H&K markets a civilian version, but I’m not holding my breath.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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