May 31, 2009
Marko shares the five most embarrassing albums on his iPod. Let’s see here, and go through that which I am not proud. Not much really, but let’s go ahead anyway:
- Not one, but two Meatloaf albums.
- Duran Duran’s Greatest Hits.
- At least one Elton John album.
- Two operas by Gilbert and Sullivan (H.M.S. Pinafore and the Pirates of Penzance, and I know the lyrics to just about all the songs)
- I have a Hanson album. But it’s not the Hanson you’re probably thinking.
UPDATE: Tam and I seem to share at least one of our top five.
May 31, 2009
Thanks to Instapundit for this great article by P.J. O’Rourke:
Forty years ago the pimply kid down the block, using $3,500 in saved-up soda-jerking money, procured might and main beyond the wildest dreams of Genghis Khan, whose hordes went forth to pillage mounted upon less oomph than is in a modern leaf blower.
It is an excellent story on American’s relationship with the automobile, which is now turning into the worst story of America’s relationship with its dysfunctional government.
May 30, 2009
There were some real shocking yes votes on the Coburn National Park carry amendment, highlighted in this CQ Politics article:
At least 11 House Democrats (not including freshmen) who have typically sided with gun-control advocates on past votes this time around favored allowing state and local gun laws to take precedence over federal law in national parks.
Those 11 were Reps. Adam Smith of Washington, Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Joe Courtney of Connecticut, Gregory W. Meeks of New York, Shelley Berkley of Nevada, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Hank Johnson of Georgia, Melissa Bean of Illinois, Patrick J. Kennedy of Rhode Island and Diana DeGette of Colorado.
“It was a mistake,” said DeGette’s deputy chief of staff, Kristofer Eisenla.
Meeks said he sided with the NRA “by accident.”
Several of them are expressing remorse over the vote, but I have to wonder, are things at Brady HQ so dour these days they don’t even have the energy to get someone up to The Hill and get their ducks lined up? Granted, the votes here wouldn’t have made a difference, but having traditional allies fall out of line doesn’t exactly make your organization look good. Just look at how quickly NRA responded to Bredesen. If you’re an advocacy group, you can’t have your folks wandering off the reservation, even accidentally, especially accidentally. I would have imagined this is something even a phone call to their office should have been able to fix.
Cheer up Brady Campaign. Are things really that bad? Someday you might have an overwhelmingly Democratic congress, and President in the Oval Office from a gun unfriendly urban stronghold. Oh wait…
May 30, 2009
Jennifer has a very good post on judicial empathy, using as her example the case in Oklahoma where a pharmacist is charged with first degree murder for finishing off a kid who tried to rob his store, as he apparently laid bleeding and unconscious on the ground. I am not an advocate of there being no empathy in law. It’s an important component for having a justice system, rather than just having a legal system.
But in our system of law, judges need to stand as impartial arbiters of the law. The empathy should not come from the judge, it should come from the prosecutor, in his decision as to whether or not to bring charges, and it should come from a jury, in their duty to stand in judgment as peers of the defendant.
It was John Jay, the first Cheif Justice of the United States who said, “The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” I would also say not just the law, but also to judge it’s particular application. Jennifer makes a good point about empathy. Put either of us on that jury, and I don’t think we’d convict. By the letter of the law, the man would appear to be guilty of murder, but justice would not be served by him being separated from his family, and sent to prison. He did not ask to have his store robbed, and his life threatened. He was not the person that created the lethal circumstances. I’ll be surprised if there’s a jury in Oklahoma that will convinct him of these charges.
May 29, 2009
This is the June edition of Mr. Completely’s E-Postal Matches. Many thanks to Manfred for hosting last e-postal.
My recent play with flight simulators got me in the mood for an aviation themed match this month. The flying ace was any fighter pilot who managed to down five planes over the course of his fighting career. World War I and World War II saw a lot of aces, but in recent years, with the decline of air-to-air combat, we haven’t heard much about flying aces. Our e-postal match this month puts you in the cockpit, and try to take down some planes.
The target for this month’s match is here (click to download):
(Click here to download)
Many thanks to Bitter for creating the target for me on short notice. Note that this target needs to be printed in landscape. If you try to fit it in portrait mode, it’ll be impossibly difficult.
Place the target at 10 yards or 25 feet, whichever is available at your range. Your goal is to hit enemy planes and dirigibles around you without shooting your own plane, and see if you can become a flying ace. Fifteen planes means you could be an ace three times over! The large plane in the center is your plane, the smaller ones around it are enemy aircraft. There are fifteen planes on the sheet, and you have 25 shots total for the match, so you can try to hit a plane more than once, but you may not fire more than twenty-five rounds in the match. This is a test of accuracy.
Scoring in this match is a bit unusual, because your goal is to become a flying ace without getting shot down. Each enemy plane hit counts as a single point. If you get five planes, you get an ace bonus, which is to add five points to your total score. If you get ten planes, you get two ace bonus points, and if you get all fifteen three ace bonus points!
But here’s the catch. If you shoot your own plane, you can lose bonus points. Any shot on the wing, guy wires, or tail, and you lose one ace bonus. Any shot landing on the round fuselage part, the landing gear, or the propeller, and you lose all your ace bonus points. This means if you shot all fifteen planes, but hit the propeller, you scored 15 points. If you shot all fifteen planes, but shot the wing, you lose one ace bonus point for a score of 25 points. If you shot all fifteen planes, but shot the wing twice, you lose two ace bonus points for a total of 20 points. Now, if you shot 5 planes, but shot the fuselage, you still have 5 points. Hitting your own plane only causes loss of the ace bonus points. Enemy planes with holes always count for one point. Maximum score is 30 points. Standard scoring rules apply, meaning anything that touches part of the target counts as a hit.
Shooting position for all classes is offhand standing, unsupported, one or two hands allowed.
CLASS ONE: Rimfire – Iron Sight. Any rimfire handgun with no more than a 12″ barrel. Optical sights such as red dots, lasers, or scopes are not allowed.
CLASS TWO: Rimfire – Optic Sight. Any rimfire handgun with no more than a 12″ barrel. Red dots sights, lasers, or scopes can be used.
CLASS THREE: Centerfire – Iron Sight. Any centerfire handgun with no more than a 12″ barrel. Optical sights such as red dots, lasers, or scopes are not allowed.
CLASS FOUR: Centerfire – Optic Sight. Any centerfire handgun with no more than a 12″ barrel. Red dots sights, lasers, or scopes can be used.
I’ll also score anyone who wants to enter with an air pistol, but e-mail me if you want to do this category. I will be happy to shoot it with someone, so we at least have two entries.
MULTIPLE ENTRIES: One entry will be taken per gun per class, though you may shoot the match as many times as you like, and submit your highest entry. You can make multiple entries in a single class as long as you use a different gun. You can use the same gun in two classes if you add or subtract optics.
Don’t worry if your score is low. This match is meant to be difficult, and will be especially difficult for centerfire pistol shooters. There’s no embarrassment in scoring low, only in not submitting an entry!
Entries should be mailed to snowflakesinhell at gmail dot com by midnight on the 29th of June, which is a Monday. Results will be posted soon after.
May 29, 2009
One of the provisions of the new German gun laws, passed in response to the mass shooting at a school:
Under the new law, the government plans to increase to 18 from 14 the minimum age at which people can use large-caliber weapons at shooting clubs.
Did the previous killer go berzerk at a shooting club? What possible relationship does what caliber a kid uses under supervised conditions of a gun club have to do with kids who steal guns from their parents and go on a shooting spree?