Archive for September, 2005

September 30, 2005

Another politico blogging

Harry Reid has a blog called Give ‘Em Hell Harry.

Are factual statements racist?

Bill Bennett said:

But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could—if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.

Think about it for a moment . . . time’s up. While this statement is offensive and, honestly, stupid to make, it’s factual. Of course, you could also say the same thing and substitute the word Southern for black. Or male for black. Or poor for black. Bennett was not advocating doing such a thing.

Bob Krumm, in a must read, says:

Instead of being shocked that he said it, we should be shocked that it’s true.

If I say, more black people suffer from sickle cell anemia, would the response be that I am racist or that maybe we ought to look into why this disease is found almost exclusively in blacks? I’d hope the latter. And, no, I’m not calling crime a disease nor am I saying that there’s some sort of genetic predisposition to criminal behavior inherent in black folks. I’m saying that if something affects people of a particular race, maybe society should be serious about addressing it and not automatically offended when someone mentions it. Bennett chose a rather poor and offensive way of expressing his point.

Meanwhile, Stacey Campfield, noting that the Black Legislative Caucus restricted members based on race, said:

My understanding is that the KKK doesn’t even ban members by race

I don’t know anything about the KKK or its rules. For the sake of argument, let’s assume it is a true and factual statement. Is it racist? I tend to think it’s not. Sure, no one likes to be compared to the KKK but it is not an inherently racist statement. And it may even be true.

Anti-gun hysteria officially out of control

Via Ben, comes this from a NYC teacher:

Today in our weekly PD it was mentioned that the region doesn’t want us to use the term “bullet points” anymore because it has a negative connotation.

I guess we need to start calling them Nerf points?

Losing my libertarian street cred

There was a discussion a while back at the Knoxblab about socialism and how it is the best (or at least most viable) solution to some issues. In other words, governmental ownership or control of an industry or process by pooling tax payer dollars is a more efficient or, at least, less problematic means of addressing issues. Some items listed were education, the military, roads, transportation, and, of course, someone had to mention healthcare. I think with the exception of healthcare, I don’t disagree.

Obviously, governmental control leads to some issues of spending and efficiency (for example, our bloated military industrial complex, the declining quality of education, highway dollars are prized by everyone, and Canada’s free healthcare for everyone). I don’t think most people would think it’s a good idea to have privately owned roads that you’d have to pay to use every time. I really hate when I’m on travel and have to pay a toll on a highway. It’s inconvenient and time consuming. Additionally, I think a privately owned military industrial complex would be very scary, like Tank Girl kind of scary.

What other issues are best handled this way? What issues currently handled this way should be abandoned? What criteria should there be for such a decision?

The Plain Squealer (again)

Buckeye Firearms catches The Cleveland Plain Dealer lying or engaging in sloppy reporting:

As can be easily determined by anyone who bothers to read this portion of House Bill 347, the bill would simply make Ohio law mirror a federal statute with regard to drivers’ licenses, by allowing people to opt out of the public records provision if they swear under threat of perjury that they have reasonable cause to believe having their information made public could endanger them or a member of their family.

CCW In Wisconsin

I’ve predicted it for a while but it looks like it has started again. Owen notes those opposed to the measure are up to their usual dirty tricks.

Fake cops

Looks like a good portion of the cops in New Orleans may not have really existed:

One story is that officials may have lied about their force size to be eligible for federal programs. Another possibility is that the missing cops are a sign of corruption. It will be interesting to see if those paper cops were cashing paychecks.

I think Eddie Compass is going to go down for a lot of things.

Whoa!

Yesterday, I filled up the tank. It cost $70.05. Seems like just yesterday it broke $50.

No confiscations mentioned

I asked about the lack of media coverage of the New Orleans police department. This article on the investigation of police misconduct in NO doesn’t mention the confiscations either.

September 29, 2005

Meet the new boss

Roberts has been confirmed. I share the Geek’s assessment.

Quote of the day

Frank Cagle:

Bush may still be popular with the branch of the Republican Party that only cares about abortion, stem-cell research and displaying the Ten Commandments, but the fiscal-conservative small-government don’t-tread-on-me wing of the party has had enough.

Aimpoint v. EOTech Deathmatch

Arguably, the two most popular holographic sights on the market are the Aimpoint Comp and the EOTech. Here’s the Aimpoint:

Here’s the EOTech:

Price: The EOTech can be had from about $175 (if you get the Bushnell version which lacks some bells and whistles) to $400. The Aimpoint can be had starting at $329 up to $450. The EOTech comes with a mount. With the Aimpoint, plan on dropping another $80 to $150 on a mount. Advantage: EOTech.

Battery life: EOTech from 200 to 1,100 hours. Aimpoint: 12,000 to 50,000 hours. Advantage: Aimpoint.

Ergonomics: The Aimpoint’s controls are twist knobs. The EOTech is push-button friendly. The Aimpoint is more like a rifle scope in feel whereas the EOTech is like a fighter jet targeting system. Advantage: Draw.

Reticle: Aimpoint has a 2 or 4 MOA red dot. The EOTech has a 1 MOA dot inside a 65 MOA circle. The circle can be used for a SWAG of range finding since it’s about the size of a man at 100 yards. Also, the large circle is adequate for close applications. Advantage: EOTech.

Glass Breakage: If you break the glass on your Aimpoint, game over. The EOTech will function when the glass is broken. Advantage: EOTech.

Cowitness: Both will cowitness on an AR-15. Only the Aimpoint will cowitness on an AK, if you use an UltiMAK mount. The EOTech with its built in mount sits too high for cowitnessing on the AK. Advantage, Aimpoint because cowitnessing on an AK is huge.

Night vision compatible, brightness, clarity: both come in night vision models, have brightness controls and are crystal clear. Advantage: Draw.

Environment: The Aimpoint functions at lower temperatures than the EOTech. The Aimpoint is submersible to five meters. The EOTech is supposedly waterproof (not sure how that’s defined). Advantage: Draw.

Flash: The Aimpoint dot can be seen from the other side as it projects a dot from the rear. There is a kill flash made for it. The EOTech does not project a light signature. Advantage: EOTech.

Adjustments: EOTech 0.5 MOA per click. Aimpoint 1 MOA per click. Advantage: EOTech.

By a score of 5 -2 – 3, SayUncle calls it for the EOTech. But it’s a close 5 – 2 -3.

Not concerned about kids, just anti-gun

Via Alphecca, comes this bit of news:

Eddie Eagle – a feathered National Rifle Association cartoon character who teaches children how not to handle guns – could actually be harmful, says an alderman opposed to a Police Department plan to use Eddie in programs for children.

The City Council will decide Tuesday whether the Racine Police Department can order hundreds of coloring books from the NRA for no charge and use them in conjunction with lectures the department holds with children.

[…]

Opposition Alderman Pete Karas, who is leading the charge against the police department’s efforts, said the booklets are harmful and ineffective, teaching children that guns are for adults, which could further a child’s interest in the weapons.

“These are things that usually aren’t brought up to children,” Karas said. “This is an introduction.”

In other news, if you don’t talk to your kids about drinking, smoking, drugs, playing with matches, and sex; they’ll never drive drunk, smoke, get high, set your house on fire, or become parents in high school.

Kids should be educated about many dangerous things and guns are one of those things. Eddie Eagle teaches kids how to react to finding guns and has been credited with saving lives. What Eddie Eagle teaches is, if you find a gun:

  • Stop
  • Do not touch
  • Leave the area
  • Tell an adult
  • Why Pete Karas is such an idiot, I don’t know.

    Update: David has more on Mr. Karas:

    But this is the kind of nonsense we’ve come to expect from Racine’s Green Party Alderman Pete Karas, who is organizing a demonstration demanding his constituents be disarmed under force of arms–and he no doubt will have a gaggle of ninnies with him bleating in agreement.

    Here’s Pete’s site.

    Terror disarmed?

    The IRA has disarmed (and had some nice hardware, apparently). Or maybe not.

    Interesting is one word

    Unconstitutional would be another:

    [ “anticipatory” search warrants] anticipate the defendant doing something in the future . . . and essentially find that, while there is no probable cause right now, upon the defendant’s doing the anticipated action, there will be probable cause in the future, so let the warrant issue now, to be executed only after the anticipated act. The minor problem is that the Fourth Amendment clearly says “no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause.”

    I don’t think that’s a minor problem. I think the problem is that someone thinks this is 1) a good idea and 2) not unconstitutional. So, where’s the division of future crime? I want my minority report.

    VOIP and You

    Adrian on the pending FCC regulation of VOIP:

    And the less the FCC touches my VOIP service, the cheaper my bill will stay.

    Read it all. I may need to look into VOIP.

    Corporate Subsidies

    Chris has the skinny on the Supreme Court taking the case of DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno:

    The Cuno case could change all that. A group of Ohio taxpayers challenged a multi-million deal to lure DaimlerChysler, who promised to build a Jeep plant in Toledo. The plaintiffs challenged that the subsidies were a violation of Commerce Clause, which protects “free trade between the states” (since the goal of incentive deals is to keep plants from opening elsewhere). The lower court shot down the challenge, but on appeal the 6th U.S. Circuit Court ruled against DaimlerChrysler and the subsidies last October.

    Powerful business interests quickly sprung into action, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several leading corporations filing supportive briefs for DaimlerChrysler’s request that the Supreme Court overturn the 6th Circuit Court’s decision. The Supremes agreed, taking on Cuno as one of just 11 cases they’ll consider in their new term starting Monday

    Software to be FBI approved?

    Gunner thinks this is bad:

    According to the three-page document, to preserve the openness that characterizes today’s Internet, “consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.” Read the last seven words again.

    Ronnie Earle

    Der Commissar is seeking the facts regarding Ronnie Earle, his partisan bona fides, and his prosecution of Tom DeLay.

    No surprise

    One of those political tests, via everyone:
    Read the rest of this entry »

    September 28, 2005

    Republican Shake Up

    First, Frist is accused of, basically, insider trading. Now, DeLay:

    A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.

    DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay’s national political committee.

    The indictment against the second-ranking, and most assertive Republican leader came on the final day of the grand jury’s term. It followed earlier indictments of a state political action committee founded by DeLay and three of his political associates.

    So, what’s the deal?

    There were gun confiscations in New Orleans. The mayor and police chief have denied that they occurred, even though some were caught on tape and some guns have been returned. Now, the New Orleans Police Chief (Eddie Compass) has resigned.

    Is there a relationship there? Beats me. But the confiscation is conspicuously absent from most press coverage of the resignation (a few smaller media outlets excepted and a mention by the NYT with no follow ups). Also, the NRA victory in getting a restraining order against the police to stop confiscating arms has not received any major news coverage (again, smaller outlets excepted).

    So, where’s the damn coverage? Wholesale violation of constitutional rights, cover-up, and resignations – yet not a mention of the event that proceeded said resignation? Feh.

    Ebay Sillies

    Standard Mischief tells us about a particularly dumb Ebay seller. Read to the end, it’s hysterical.

    Bubble burst

    The burst of the housing bubble has been predicted for a while. I think the impetus for it will be the hurricanes combined with the recent Fed Rate hike. Lumber, sheetrock, concrete and other building materials will be in high demand on the Gulf Coast. Also, some housing products are petroleum based (like roofing materials) and will rise as oil prices do. I think we may still be six or so months away from the burst since full-fledge rebuilding hasn’t really started yet. It will also take appraisers a while to recognize the increase in costs, making your existing home worth less on paper.

    Anyone tried buying OSB lately? We planned on building this fall. We may have to wait for a few months or a year.

    Carnival of Liberty

    The latest is up at Forward Biased.

    Crime stats

    Zendo Deb tells us that only 6% of violent crime is committed with guns:

    Even better, this 6% figure would make it difficult for them to demonize an object, a tool, and force them to look at root causes, and other solutions for violent crime.

    Since firearms are used in most murders, I think that’s what anti-gunners will pimp.

    Gunblog milestone

    Tam hit the 1,000 mark. Let’s go for 2,000. Go on, click over there. It don’t cost nothing. You can take a political test, learn about WW1 rifle sights, and hear about her AR (she really should put up pics of the thing).

    Weekly Check on the Bias

    Jeff has the latest.

    No new taxes before an election year

    Tennessee Governor, and very infrequent blogger, Phil Bredesen has stated he would not seek an income tax. B4B rounds up reactions from the Tennessee blogs.

    The war on drugs

    Pete reports that weed is now the drug of choice for financing terror:

    Saudi security sources said Sunni insurgents have been smuggling illegal drugs from Iraq to Saudi Arabia to finance insurgency attacks against coalition forces.

    The sources said the drugs being smuggling now tend to be cannabis.

    “In the space of one year, border police intercepted 10 tons of cannabis coming from Iraq,” a Saudi source said. “In the past, the [smuggled] merchandise used to consist of alcoholic beverages and prohibited drugs.”