We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, March 23. 2013
Photo from a deep-sea diver
The inevitable result of amoral, secular progressivism: Half of all first children born out of wedlock
Confessions of a person with a worthless degree (audio)
Florida Atlantic Student Suspended For Refusing to Step on Jesus
NYC real estate: $20 million condos selling like hotcakes
Massachusetts abolishes boys and girls
Krauthammer has a plan for entitlement reform
The MSM finally realizes that Obamacare is a job-killer
ObamaCare Turns Three: 10 Disturbing Facts Americans Have Learned
Europe Is Full of Unique, Bad Situations - They're all a little bit different. But at bottom, it's the same, bad deal.
Radical Record of Labor Nominee Tom Perez
Another Horrifying and Depressing Look at the Human Cost of the Welfare State
Tracked: Mar 24, 09:30
"Behead those who refuse to diss Jesus Christ"
Florida Atlantic Student Suspended For Refusing to Step on Jesus … ”Faculty and students at academic institutions pursue knowledge and engage in open discourse. While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for...
Tracked: Mar 24, 11:10
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The Millions of Kids link and the Epic Pro-2nd Amendment Testimony link both point to the same page.
It's getting to be like global warming research: We'll point to twelve different authorities that support us, without telling you that #2 through #12 are simply echoing the first.
Step on Jesus: Prof is a Dem. No surprise there. How about writing Mohammed and stepping on that?
All is politics: They have always been at war with East Asia. Cannot allow themselves to think differently, or accept anyone who does think differently.
Mass. abolishes sex: Perhaps I should move there and declare myself a black transgendered Polynesian-Islander woman.
Obamacare: "Last week I discussed how another mainstream outlet, the Associated Press, had also come to discover the flaws in the healthcare law three years after its passage. During the debates about the bill, Nancy Pelosi warned that we would have to ”pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” It seems the mainstream media were also operating under that impression–that the bill would have to be passed before it could be accurately reported on." Well, I think that last lind is actually true. But the AP took 3 years to report on it--when did they start?
Climate change causes floods, sho nuff! The great Missoula ice dam broke ~15K years ago, changing the course of what we now call the Mighty Columbia River. Climate change--it's a caution, fer sher.
John F'n Kerry is an idiot. But then we always knew that, and it's worked wonderfully for Algore [he didn't even have to marry a fabulously wealthy widow to become fabulously wealthy, acquire a ginormous carbon footprint, and avoid millions in taxes].
That headline "Nine Percent" have been paid for sex - misleading.
The self-selected survey population was 40 students. They all were in a event on questions about sexual boundaries. 9% is THREE students. Were those just females or where there males responding too?
The statistics and the sampling do NOT tell us much about the Yale student population's hooker-ness.
Would a Yale woman command a higher price in the market than say a Stanford or Harvard woman? How about a woman enrolled at North Idaho College?
Millions of kids shot down by Assault Weapons. Well I would like to see the link, but gun banners will say anything. Listened to Joe Biden lately? He out-Quayles Quayle. The really dedicated control advocates don't care what the facts are. Senator Feinstein. By now she ought have a sophisticated technical understanding of the subject, especially because her first bill was hamstrung by a pervasive technical ignorance about the objects to be controlled.
Listening to her lately it's clear that she hasn't learned a thing. She still sounds like your grandmother worried about kids shooting up marijuana. And if the new bill avoids the first bill's pratfalls, it's still an arbitrary illogical mess.
Her ignorance is the tell: she doesn't care whether the bill works or makes sense. And she hates guns too much to sully herself with obscene knowledge.
I was working in Congress when the first assault weapons bill passed. Control advocates kept quoting a statistic like "every day 5,000 children are exposed to gun violence". Somebody did the math; eventually it turned out something like that for purposes of the study that produced the stat "child" meant kids up to 18 (might have been 21) and "exposed to gun violence" meant seeing it in a movie, reading about it in the news, etc etc.
The impressive thing was that for a long time they didn't stop using the stat, even after the media picked up on it. They didn't care how absurd it was. They didn't care about 2nd Amendment issues. They wanted the foul things banned.
Back then they were also much more frank about the ultimate goal, which was a general ban. Somebody from one of the control groups, referring to Feinstein's bill, actually used the expression "the camel's nose under the tent" - in a favorable way. They learned a thing or two about PR after that; "Gun Control, Inc." became the Brady Campaign, etc.
My boss reluctantly voted for the bill; he owed somebody a favor, I think. I didn't know much about "Assault Rifles" before that, nor did he. We both grew up in the same area and both of us were familiar with the usual gamut of hunting shotguns, rifles, and common handguns. I knew more about military rifles, but mostly older bolt-action rifles like Mausers and Lee-Enfields. I was never interested in things like the AR-15, mainly because it was ugly. I thought it was a weird exotic and a ban on civilian ownership didn't bother me because it was so far out of the scope of normal gun use.*
For one reason or another it fell to me to research the topic. 2nd Amendment issues weren't normally my purview. I already knew the civilian rifles in question weren't fully automatic, though a lot of people didn't seem to get that. I was surprised to learn that the AR-15 was in .223 caliber, a little larger than a .22. The bullet was jacketed and heavier, with a larger powder charge and higher muzzle velocity, but shot-for-shot it was not as powerful (especially at distance) as the .270 Winchester I used to hunt deer with. Hollywood, and the control crowd would have you believe they were small canons. And, of course, crime stats showed they were of nil concern, and there weren't any reliable stats that showed they were becoming a problem. Back then, and now, FBI / DOJ statistics report that most years more people get beat to death than killed by rifles of all kinds.
Before that I was generally pro-gun rights, but I thought the NRA erred by being over zealous and paranoid, and that "common sense" gun control policies were possible and that they were actually being proposed. What I discovered was the control groups were far more zealous and irrational than the NRA and much, much more dishonest. What's worse, people like Feinstein were so ignorant about the subject they wouldn't know a common sense gun control proposal if it bit them. I was also bothered by the developing tone of the rhetoric - tending to associate not just people skeptical about gun control but anybody who owned guns with the criminal, stupid, or insane.
I also realized that before my research I had been exactly the kind of person the assault rifle bill was designed to snooker: people who thought they weren't suited for any kind of normal civilian use - and were ugly. A ban seemed inconsequential and - "common sense".
That episode was a political education for me. I was about 25. I decided that, even if somebody actually proposed a "common sense" control law, it would be an error to allow people like Feinstein and her allies to get what they wanted when they were so dishonest about their ultimate goals. And I started to wonder to what other issues and to whom else that principle might apply. If Feinstein's willing to Legislate With Ulterior Motives on guns, where else will she? What laws and policies I support are championed by consciousless weasels with their eyes on an unstated prize?
I didn't get paranoid but I did become more - wary. More savvy to media manipulation, and very impressed by the power of raw emotion in politics. It also started me down a more conservative political path, because that episode (and others) began to make me despair of the hope that a vigorous activist government could be run dispassionately with reason and logic. Like I said, I was a kid.
So this recent round of assault weapon fever has been an especially frustrating and irksome nostalgia trip. For me it encapsulates many things that went wrong with Liberal politics, or were never really there - a collapse of reason; an expression of mere political willpower; an empty promise of pragmatic government.
*Ban something and people will buy it. The market for rifles like the AR-15 went from being a fringe to a substantial chunk of the market. People found out that the AR-15 and similar rifles are pretty handy for many uses. Recoil is a lot lighter that rifles that shoot heavier rounds like the .30-06. It's accurate. Short and light so easy to carry. And the recoil thing. Biden's recent comment - that women should get a shotgun for self-defense instead of an assault rifle - a good example of demagogueing while ignorant. He suggested that a shotgun was easier for women to handle. Most self-defense shotguns are pump action; a 12 gauge pump of any kind gives you a good hard kick, more so than 12 gauge semi-auto hunting shotguns. And way more than a semi-auto rifle firing a .223 or similar round. If anything most women would find an AR-15 easier to handle than a pump. That wasn't all that was wrong with what Biden said - his advice was legally questionable, too, in terms of self-defense - but mostly it was a galling example of a politician saying anything, with no regard to truth or harm - just to get his way.
Biden liked the double-barrel for the ladies. The extra barrel weight and two-shot capacity being just the thing for the little woman. When reminded that women are smaller and lighter than men, the VP snarled, "I DENY being a made-man in the Gambino crime family!"
Step on Jesus:
The first response would be "How about Allah instead?"
The Second would be "How about you (professor)?"
But that would be petty, defensive, narrow minded.
I say My God can take your abuse.
Bring it. He already took it.
RE: The Dem war on guns
Interesting article in the WaPo linked by Drudge regarding deaths by firearms, with this money quote:
"Gun deaths are shaped by race in America. Whites are far more likely to shoot themselves, and African Americans are far more likely to be shot by someone else."
What the WP cannot bring itself to write is that the "someone else" in their statement is usually another black person. Black on black gun homicides is far more common than white on black killings. The country doesn't have a gun problem; it has a serious black crime problem, a lot of which has to do with a black gang problem and a black drug problem in our "chocolate cities." We don't need bans on "assault weapons" but on black criminals who use guns to terrorize their neighborhoods and to assault law-abiding black citizens.
You didn't tell us the happy ending. Was your boss back then thrown out of office after his vote? Please say yes.
Re: Obamacare is a job killer... refers to company paying 108,000 a year to insure 90 employees. I a sure they must have said per month and the Times made another mistake.
extremely cheap insurance w/b $8,000 a year x 90 = 700,000+
If insurance only cost $1,200 a year per employee nobody would be complaining.
No. Outside the A.R. bill he had a good rating with the NRA, and he was popular in his district.
Remember the angle the control advocates were working - most people, including most gun owners, which included my boss, didn't know much at all about Assault Rifles.
I was an enthusiastic hunter & shooter when I was a kid, interested in everything. I knew a lot about old military stuff, but not past the WWII era.
Neither I nor anybody I knew owned or knew anybody who owned something like an AR-15. They were unlike any weapons that most people were familiar with unless they had served in the armed forces after 1965.
Mostly, what people knew about them was limited to movies, TV etc. So, a lot of people thought they were all full auto and fired stupendously powerful bullets.
Further, - this is important - I wasn't interested in them because they were ugly. Plastic?! Weird. They looked like a specialist's weapon. Not something you went into the woods to shoot deer with.*
The control crowd knew this. There's a reason outfits like Gun Control Inc., which had focused on handgun control, suddenly switched gears and pounced on Assault Rifles. They could pick the target and polarize it. It was their opportunity to ban something and get people used to the idea that some weapons were too bad and scary to be in civilian hands.
It worked. It worked on my boss. He didn't have any problem with people owning guns in general, but I remember him wondering early on why anybody would want an Assault Rifle. He thought they would tear a deer to pieces.
Like I said the whole episode was a real political lesson.
*I cannot stress how catastrophically the Assault Rifle ban failed. Couple of years ago I was at home visiting a friend & when he was returning from deer hunting with his daughter. About 16 or 17 years old. He was carrying an old .30-30. She had an AR-15 style rifle with camo stock. They are very versatile; he bought it for her with a .22 Long Rifle conversion kit. So she used it when she was younger as a .22 rifle; when she got a little older he converted it back to .223.
In many places they've gone from the weird ugly exotic to just one of the rifles you might have around, nothing to blink at.