Archive for January, 2005

January 31, 2005

Heh!

From a thread at arfcom, a reader who is filling out his NFA tax form to legally make a short barreled rifle asks about Form 1:

3. 4i, “State Why You Intend To Make Firearm”….I don’t think “Because I want to” would go over too well. What have you other guys who applied (and got approved) put?

Response:

Because the voices keep telling me to….

Should be noted that an appropriate response would be to enhance collection or other lawful purposes.

Safest big city?

That’s what Michael Daly claims New York is. It’s an emotional piece playing on the sympathies by the actress who was recently killed during a robbery. It’s a tragic event. Daly concludes with:

Until we do something about handguns there will be no real safety even in the safest big city in the safer America.

NY has some of the most restrictive handgun laws in the nation, if not the strictest. Not a single one saved this woman. Any place can be dangerous at any time whenever some hoodlum is running around.

Underdog Rescue

Mrs. Xrlq is making a difference.

Gun Lawsuit Bill

The gun immunity bill likely won’t get far this year. Last time, it was killed because the anti-gunners kept adding anti-gun bills to kill it. They added a renewal of the assault weapons ban and a ludicrous armor piercing bullet ban (which would have effectively made every rifle round illegal). Looks like that will continue to be the case:

Gun-rights advocates are hoping freshman senators will make the road smoother this year for gun makers and dealers pushing a bill that would relieve them of lawsuits brought by families of gun-violence victims.

But one of those pro-Second Amendment senators said that is unlikely. “As an outsider, and at this point, I am still new enough to call myself that, it appears to me that part of the Senate’s difficulty with passing anything is that all the bills become Christmas trees to be decorated,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican. “I would suspect those same amendments would cause the same problems as before.”

Traffic Camera Update

Michael Silence notes that the traffic camera issue is heating up. Local officials want them to increase revenue. An issue I have is the method of payment to the maker of the cameras. I recall reading where one city gave a percentage of fines to the manufacturer so they could defer the cost of these things (which is apparently pretty steep). The manufacturer was then accused of having rigged the cameras to nab people who didn’t violate traffic laws to generate more fines and thus more revenue.

And these cameras have been shown to increase the accident rate.

Taking land for fun and profit

Not only has Eminent Domain been used to take land from one private party to give to another private party for development, now an attempt to abuse it for natural resources is in the midst:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this week asked a Senate committee for the power of eminent domain in the siting of liquefied natural gas facilities, a move which could potentially impact the city, Mayor Edward M. Lambert Jr. said Thursday.

Lambert said an LNG expert retained by the city believes the recommended vapor exclusion zone for Hess LNG’s proposed project is not large enough because a vapor cloud could extend beyond the property where the company hopes to build its LNG facility, meaning that the power of eminent domain might be needed to go forward.

More taking of property to make someone else money.

Also, here’s a case of a water district that is concerned about a bill that makes it harder for them to take land:

Beaver Water District officials are concerned about the implications of a bill making it harder for public water suppliers to use eminent domain to condemn private property to protect water quality.

The bill provides a voluntary alternative to condemnation and allows water utilities to use the power of eminent domain only as a last resort. Senate Bill 230 was filed Thursday and is assigned to the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee.

In every case, ED should be used absolutely as the last resort.

Old for a blog

Publicola just turned two.

At least she didn’t shoot her

In SC, an officer used a taser on a 75 year-old nursing home patient. I’m all for tasers provided they’re used when appropriate. However, tasering an elderly lady who could have very likely been controlled in another manner is atrocious.

It’s official

Kids today are pussies:

Older adults seem better able to cope with chronic pain than younger adults, say researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of South Florida.

Their study of 5,823 black and white adults found those under the age of 50 appear less able to cope with chronic pain and to be more prone to depression associated with chronic pain than adults over age 50.

The researchers blame it on expectations and stress level in younger folks (always looking for the depression angle so you can get on Prozac or some such). I’m no scientist or anything but maybe a factor is that, as one gets older, their little nerve endings become a bit less responsive. As such, pain is a bit more intense if your nerve endings are newer. Just a guess though as I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about.

January 30, 2005

8 Million

Today, an estimated 8 million Iraqis voted, about 60% of eligible voters. They did this despite threats. They did this despite nine bombings. They did this despite 44 people being killed.

January 29, 2005

Indeed

Brent:

I’d like to ask a favor: Regardless of one’s political inclination, irrespective of your confidence in the electoral process employed, or the decision to invade and occupy Iraq, no matter what the outcome, let us all stand united in our admiration for those courageous Iraqi’s who will brave gunfire, RPGs, bombs, and reprisal, to determine their own fate? For they choose to do so in bold defiance of promised violence and certain intimidation.

Hats off to them!

January 28, 2005

Lysander Spooner was right

I’ve often tracked packages online via FedEx and UPS and was amazed at the accuracy. Once, at the office, I checked and it said it wasn’t there. I hit refresh a minute or two later and it said it was delivered. Sure enough, I walked out to receiving and there was the UPS guy pulling away.

The US Postal Service has online tracking too. It’s just like UPS and FedEx, only it sucks. I ordered some gun parts that were shipped via USPS last week. They came from Colorado. All the USPS site ever said was the package was received in Colorado (where the package originated from). Yesterday, they arrived at my home but the site still says that they’ve only been checked in Colorado. I wonder if the USPS system thinks it’s not delivered?

FN 5 7 Update

Jed has the latest update on the non-controversy surrounding the 5-7. The gun is available publicly but the armor piercing ammunition is not as it is illegal. It should be noted that the 5.7X28 round is a rifle round and almost all rifle rounds penetrate vests, which are only designed to stop handgun ammunition.

Can you survive lawyers?

Patterico notes that bloggers may be ill-prepared to deal with lawsuits.

TABOR Update

Looks like Phil Bredesen isn’t just a Republican in disguise after all:

Gov. Phil Bredesen said he is adamantly against putting a proposed “taxpayer bill of rights” into the state constitution, but he will not actively oppose an amendment to forbid gay marriage.

Questioned during an interview about proposed state constitutional amendments, the governor said he thinks popular election of the state comptroller, treasurer and secretary of state is a bad idea but is less strongly opposed to permanently banning a state income tax.

The “taxpayer bill of rights,” also known by the acronym TABOR, is modeled after a provision in the Colorado Constitution. Bredesen said it is “a disaster” in that state today after “some short-term success” in prior years.

“I think the taxpayer bill of rights is a bad thing that goes to the heart of my ability to operate government day-to-day as opposed to some of the other things that are out there,” he said.

I support anything that limits the government’s ability to tax. Bredesen has brought some long needed fiscal conservatism to Tennessee government. His opposition could indicate the first step in raising taxes or implementing new taxes.

More on Canada’s pending dog ban

Rick Smith:

Since 1983, 23 people have died across this country as a result of dog attacks, 23 people over 21 years. 55 dogs were involved in those attacks.

Only one – only one of those 55 dogs would be banned under Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant’s proposed so-called “pit bull” legislation – one dog in the last 23 years.

I’m convinced that breed-specific legislation, specific breed band (sic) do not work and this proposal according to prominent Canadian defence lawyer Clayton Ruby could well be challenged in a court of law because it doesn’t clearly define a pit bull. Says Rudy, “The legislation has got to have enough certainty so that you as a citizen have a right to understand its meaning”. He said “It’s limited to one breed, two breeds, and other dogs that are similar – whatever the hell that means.”

I’ve got this bag of parts . . .

Speaking of taking things apart, anyone know how to put a Crosman 1077 air rifle back together?

More eminent domain abuse

And, again, in California:

Jo Stringfield knows her home is neglected. She hasn’t been able to muster the energy to finish projects since learning that the city wants the land and if she won’t sell, it will be taken by eminent domain.

“I was going to do a little repair work, a little upkeep,” Stringfield said. “But why do it, when I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay?”

Grand Terrace officials want the 1.9 acres Stringfield’s house sits on in the 2200O (sic) block of Barton to build Town Center, a shopping complex with a grocery store, restaurants and a new city library.

Another case of transferring property to businesses.

Modular Shotgun

Dave at DefenseReview has a piece on Remington’s new modular 870, which goes from combat shotgun to breeching system. No goose gun attachment, though.

All about the SKS

Head has info on the SKS, with pics.

Knife blogging

The Geek ponders a new blade. I carry a Henckels or an Old Timer.

Feeding the beast

Not content with taxing damn near everything, some lawmakers are looking into vanity taxes:

Lawmakers trying to plump up the bottom line are considering a “vanity tax” on cosmetic surgery and Botox injections in Washington, Illinois and other states.

Who knew?

Alanis Morissette is kinda hot. A couple of ads on that site are NSFW.

Today’s idiot

Australian Justice Virginia Bell:

Justice Virginia Bell, of the NSW Supreme Court, has called for the internet to be purged of any material likely to prejudice a trial in order to prevent jurors conducting their own investigations into cases on which they are sitting, according to The Australian.

The judge made the proposal at a conference of Supreme and Federal court judges from across Australia, but there were apparently few takers.

Independent research by jurors is already illegal in Australia.

Well, let’s just type del *.* on the whole Internet. Why is it a bad thing for jurors to do their own, you know, thinking anyway?

Couple of oddities

Putting the kiddie gloves on:

An Oklahoma senator hopes to revive cockfighting in the state by putting tiny boxing gloves on the roosters instead of razors.

Also, I think we should just make it illegal to be a dumb ass:

Those flashy new hubcaps that look like they’re moving even when the car is stopped are a little too eye-catching for some in the Iowa State- house.

State Rep. Doug Struyk, a Council Bluffs Republican, has proposed legislation that would prohibit wheel covers that continue to rotate – or appear to rotate – when a car is not in motion.

Why?

Struyk blames a set of spinners for a near-accident he had before Christmas. He said he was driving along a rural road when he saw another car stopped at a four-way-stop with spinners.

“I couldn’t tell if the car was going to stop or not because he had spinning hubcaps,” Struyk said. “So I jammed on the brakes and had my trailer (nearly) jackknife on me.”

Here’s an idea, look at the vehicle relative to the ground.

January 27, 2005

Linkitude

Inspired by James’s post about Climbing the Pyramid , I bring you a link to Paul Graham’s Essay Page.

Dr. Graham has a pretty impressive resume, so I respect what he has to say, even if he does love Lisp. He doesn’t publish new essays to the site very often, but if you’re a Computer Geek of any sort, they’re worth the wait. Enjoy.

The NRA: Threat or Menace?

Via Instapundit we have this article criticizing Michael Crichton’s latest book. The authors of the article, Profs Gregory Benford and Martin Hoffert, are physicists who study climate change, and they say that in his attempt to argue “against the reality of climate change,” Crichton misrepresented their work, and the work of others.

I’m not intending to weigh in on this matter; Profs Benford and Hoffert and Dr. Crichton are all smarter and better edumacated than I is. I won’t even roll my eyes here at B&H’s rationale for “climate skepticism”–“the reality of climate change triggered by continued fossil fuel burning – and increasingly coal – threatens entrenched energy interests”–that follows their pooh-poohing of “a vast conspiracy – involving the editors of Science, Nature, Scientific American and some dozen other peer-reviewed journals – to exclude and reject climate skeptics papers.”

No, the thing that made me do a double take was this:

The reality of climate change triggered by continued fossil fuel burning – and increasingly coal – threatens entrenched energy interests. Some of these lobby against it with the ferocity of the National Rifle Association.

Let’s even skip the question of what the antecedent of “it” is (Big Oil is lobbying against reality?). Why is it that these guys think the NRA is the epitome of ferocious lobbying? I bet if you polled the bloggers list under Say Uncle’s “Guns” blogroll, you’d find a hefty percentage think the NRA is all too willing to sell out the interests of gun owners.

Palestinian Authority Outlaws Carrying Weapons

The AP:

The Palestinian leadership banned civilians on Thursday from carrying weapons, its latest step aimed at reining in militant violence, as the Palestinian leader said he was awaiting Israel’s response on a proposal for a mutual cease-fire declaration.

If enforced, the ban on weapons would be a strong move against militant groups, whose gunmen often openly brandish their automatic weapons in the streets of Gaza and the West Bank — reflecting the lack of control by the Palestinian security forces.

Heh!

Sound like someone you know?

Hate is a strong word

That which I fail to understand or agree with must be hatred. After all, I’m a reasonable, sane and normal person. At least that’s a rationale, I suppose. KTK, in describing someone who disagrees with him, uses the words: hated, bigotry, wingnuts, hatred, and homophobia. Not words one should use if trying to reach hearts and minds. He referenced both gay marriage and our national Ponzi Scheme err social security.

As someone who supports gay marriage (or rather one who questions why contract management is a government issue other than in a court of law), I know a lot of folks here in East Tennessee who oppose gay marriage. They don’t hate gays. Most of my friends have the Seinfeld variety of gay tolerance (not that there’s anything wrong with that). They don’t oppose gay marriage because they hate gays. They oppose it due to their religious beliefs (though one guy I know opposes it for biological reasons). It’s not hatred really but it is asserting religiosity into government, which is a no-no. After all, the bible says man-on-man love is an abomination (chick stuff is apparently cool, though) but it also says the same thing about shellfish.

Do people hate social security? Probably. I do. I’d rather have my money, thanks. But it’s not a profound, irrational hatred of a safety social net or the elderly. It’s a profound love of free markets and the choice to do what I want with money I earn.

Referring to those that disagree with you as hateful does not win hearts and minds. Period. You’re doing your cause a great disservice with such rhetoric. It’s hateful.

While I’m picking on Leanleft, there have been two recent instances in which Kevin has referred to someone as un-Christian or questioned someone’s Christianity. I find this troubling and a bit odd from someone who gets upset whenever another person refers to anyone with a D after their name as unpatriotic.