Oct 29, 2011
Decided to sleep in today, but apparently I woke up having slept through fall and gone straight into Winter. Not much accumulation on the ground here, but it’s coming down. The real concern is there are many outages on power. We’re pretty good here so far, but if the blog disappears, you’ll know why. I have about 50 minutes on UPS if things go south, so I’ll update in that case, assuming it doesn’t happen in the middle of the night.
My relatives up in Connecticut are reporting 7 inches. I’m hearing reports from New Jersey that it’s more like 4 inches there. We’re in the “Wintery Mix” zone, which means we’re getting wet, heavy slush like accumulation. My only concern is my trees still have their leaves, and freezing water over that large a surface area, with wind gusts, is a lot to ask of a tree. And much like the Money Pit, we have very weak trees.
Been working on getting some performance tracking working for the new server. I never really cared that much previously, but I decided to put some time into getting some MRTG tracking working. This way if we get a traffic spike while I’m not paying attention I at least have some data to analyze. Here’s some preliminary stats if anyone is interested.
Oct 28, 2011
I’m not a fan of this guy, and I wouldn’t blame the State of Texas for revoking his instructor certification:
“We will attempt to teach you all the necessary information you need to obtain your [Concealed Handgun License],” the ad says. Then towards the end, it adds: “If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision under the law.”
And then: “If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you, and God bless America.”
I’m not of the opinion that Second Amendment rights are limited to Christians or Republicans, and if you’re licensed by the state to administer a concealed carry class, you should do it without regards to race, religion or national origin. I agree that this man has a right to be a bigot, but he doesn’t have a right to be a government certified bigot. To treat every non-Christian Arab or muslim as a potential cold blooded killer is exactly the same kind of bigotry that’s perpetrated against many law-abiding gun owners by the folks who hate gun ownership. It’s not going to help us, and it’s definitely an example of how not to win.
Oct 28, 2011
Bitter, putting on a sweater, “It’s really starting to get cold.”
“Well, the furnace doesn’t kick on until it drops below 66 degrees,” I note, “But it should stay warmer in here because of the computers running.” Putting my hand over the running machine, “Though, they aren’t doing much now so it’s not putting out much heat.”
Bitter quips, “Maybe you should try to get a link from Glenn Reynolds so it will work harder, and generate more heat.”
“Think Glenn would be responsive to a pitch that goes something like ‘Hey, I need my server to work harder so we’re not so cold in here. Could you spare a link?’” I ponder.
“If an Instalanche doesn’t make the server put out enough heat, Fark probably would,” Bitter notes.
“Hmm,” I ponder, “using computers for both communication and heat? I could probably sell it as a green jobs initiative and get a fat check from the Obama Administration. It could also be a recycling initiative for all those old AMD chips that take heat sinks the size of the Eiffel Tower.”
Oct 28, 2011
From Jewish Week, comes Guns and the Holocaust:
The idea that Jews or any of the other persecuted groups facing the Third Reich, the most lethal killing machine in human history could have somehow blasted their way out of Germany or German occupied territory with handguns or rifles from their homes is profoundly absurd.
Yes, armed partisan groups that contained Jews were effective in fighting the Nazis. With perhaps as many as a million fighters interspersed in Europe, they were like an additional army and yes, guns made them effective. But for the most part they worked in coordination with the Allies who provided arms and intelligence. Less organized resistance didn’t fare as well.
I think they are vastly understating the effectiveness armed resistance had against the Nazis. To put down the uprising in Warsaw, for instance, the Germans had to bring in crack SS troops, who during that period were not on the front fighting the Americans or the Russians.
But aside from that, Jewish Week is, quite improperly in my view, looking at this through a lens of military effectiveness. I could care less whether individual resistance to a murdering regime makes a huge difference in the overarching military picture. I do care greatly about an individual person’s right to decide if he’s going to die, he’s going to die a free man, and to take at least a few of those bastards out with him. If everyone was imbued with that attitude, what would it take to wage genocide?
I think can speak for many of us when I suggest that no one is going to stuff me into a cattle car alive. So just using a single individual as an example, not examining any greater resistance movement, what kind of resources would it take to get compliance to implement a Nazi-like final solution? You can’t send a few Gestapo agents to knock on the door and haul someone off, because they’ll all end up shot. You can send Stosstruppen to break down the door, and try to take someone by surprise, but now you’re already having to expend more resources, and I’m betting odds a prudent man would still be able to shoot a few members of the raiding party before being killed himself. I suppose they could always just bomb the house, or send a shell into it, but then you have one tank, or one plane, or one artillery piece that’s not serving on the front line. How many tanks, bombs, or artillery pieces would be needed to clear out an entire neighborhood?
I’ve long said, you won’t stop your government from killing you if that’s what it means to do, but you can raise the cost of doing so to an unacceptably high level. It’s not really about winning militarily, so much is it’s about allowing people to maintain their person dignity, and raising the cost of mass murder. That’s what Jewish Week is overlooking.
Oct 28, 2011
This time in North Carolina court:
The trial court concluded that, when Heller said that bans on felon possession of guns were “presumptively valid,” this presumption could be rebutted, and in this case it was rebutted, given the age of Johnston’s conviction and his apparently blameless life since then. The court also suggested that its analysis might also apply to people whose last convictions were as recent as seven years ago, especially when the convictions were for nonviolent crimes; but it didn’t have occasion to issue any specific holding on that point.
I agree that not all felony convictions should be disabling, especially when you have lawmakers that want to do things like mislabeling syrup to be a felony. It’s also interesting that the Court noted:
There are additional and substitute procedural safeguards which could go far towards preventing the erroneous civil deprivation, or continued civil deprivation, of a citizen’s rights under the Second Amendment. For example, a felon’s potential subjection to the civil disability could easily be dealt with in felony sentencing by findings of fact and rulings on the civil deprivation of the right after giving the felon an opportunity to be heard on the issue. An expansion of the persons allowed to ask for review, and a provision allowing such review at a meaningful time on the issue of whether the person poses a continuing threat to public safety, can satisfy a procedural due process requirement for a meaningful post-disqualification review. The fiscal and administrative burdens that these procedures would entail would not be great if the issue of future dangerousness and consequent civil deprivation of a fundamental liberty were dealt with in the sentencing phase of a trial or plea. The burden of an expanded procedure for review of a felon’s continued dangerousness may only be excessive if all felons continue to be deprived of firearms rights by conviction alone. If, however, that deprivation is limited to those who are found to pose a continuing danger in the sentencing phase after having been given an opportunity to be heard on the issue, then the additional burden of allowing periodic review of the continuing validity of that determination should not be unduly burdensome for a government that seeks to preserve the fundamental rights of its citizens.
I’m glad to see this, because I have always believed a blanket ban on felons is an improper means of handling the issue, and that a prohibition on firearms possession should be something placed on a person convicted during sentencing. Of course, legislatures would be free to require this punishment for certain crimes, but not necessarily all crimes. It’s hard to see how public safety is served by a blanket ban that also covers non-violent felonies.
Oct 28, 2011
This is more a 14th Amendment case, but the State Appeals Court tossed a conviction for having an unlicensed gun, arguing that it violated equal protection, and his right to bear arms. Eugene Volokh notes:
This independent focus on the Second Amendment is important because the Supreme Court has read the Equal Protection Clause as barring most (but not all) state discrimination against noncitizens; the federal government remains generally free to discriminate against noncitizens. But if the Washington Court of Appeals is right that legal aliens are protected by the Second Amendment, that means that even the federal government may not ban them from owning guns.
This would basically mean that anyone who’s in the country legally has a right to bear arms. Current federal law severely curtails the right for non-resident aliens, so this could be interesting if it makes its way to federal court.
Oct 28, 2011
The Sacramento Bee is angry at some members of the California Congressional delegation for wrong-think, in embracing HR 822. They want to get them back into right-think:
Central Valley representatives who have made the wrong-headed decision to embrace the measure include Democrat Dennis Cardoza of Merced and Republicans Wally Herger of the Chico area, Tom McClintock of Elk Grove, Jeff Denham of Atwater, Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield and Devin Nunes, who represents Tulare and Fresno counties.
They hold up Rep. Dan Lungren, who was the only Republican committee member to vote against the measure, as the poster boy of right-thinking, and proof that Republicans can stand up to the wrong-think of the NRA.
“I believe in the Second Amendment. I also believe in the 10th Amendment,” Lungren, a former California attorney general, said after casting his no vote.
In Lungren’s view, California’s law governing concealed weapons may be too restrictive. But he also said: “That is part of the reality of dealing with what some people call federation and others call states’ rights.” States have rights.
No, Congressmen, states do not have rights. People have rights. States have powers which are delegated to it by the people, who in turn delegate certain enumerated powers to the federal government (at least in theory). One of those enumerated powers is the power to pass laws to protect the civil rights of Americans. Americans, through our constitutional system, have not delegated our right to bear arms to Government, but unique among nations, we have retained it for ourselves. California has no more power to restrict this right than Colorado, Alaska, or New York, and enforcement of this right against the states is very much part of our federal system.
I also believe in the 2nd and 10th Amendments, Congressman, and passionately so. But I also believe in the 14th Amendment with equal passion.
Oct 28, 2011
Looks like they think his days are numbered, as the number of members of Congress calling for his resignation is growing quickly:
Attorney General Eric Holder’s tenure in the Obama administration may be coming to an end. At least eight members of Congress have now called on Holder to resign over the growing Operation Fast and Furious scandal.
I would tend to doubt the Attorney General will go gently. The media, for the most part, hasn’t been paying much attention to the scandal. Pretty much Fox News and CBS News are the only two outfits that have covered it any depth. Holder’s resignation would be something the rest of the media would have to report, and they’d also have to report why. His resignation would be an admission of guilt as well, which makes it harder for the Administration to claim this is nothing but a partisan witch hunt.
On the other side of the coin, if Holder was the only cabinet official at fault here, his resignation could dispose of the issue for the Administration, whereas Holder continuing could drag the scandal into election season; probably something that team Obama is not going to be too keen on. So I could see it go either way, but if I had to bet, I don’t think Holder will go gently.
Oct 27, 2011
Listen here. After listening to that, I am quite happy to be on the opposite side from Ladd. He pretty much spends the entire time mischaracterizing or making hyperbolic arguments that are ridiculous. He is the king of erecting straw men, and tearing them down. I think the best thing I heard out of Ladd was this:
But I think part of the gun control movement’s challenge right now is to become a little more sophisticated in messaging, and to have the type of strong messaging that the NRA has. One thing you can credit the NRA with is that when Wayne LaPierre become the leader of the NRA, he developed a very sophisticated marketing approach to the way they message and do their business, and I think they’ve had a great deal of success in selling their brand, as this brand based on American values — Freedom, Independence, Liberty, and self-reliance — getting people to think about the American values they agree with, so they never have to get to the point of looking at what the NRA is really advocating for. I think there’s a lot of power in that.
He speaks of Independence, Liberty and self-reliance as if it were a bad thing. But I think this is one of the more insightful things I’ve heard out of Ladd, because this is pretty much how NRA markets itself. The problem is, what American value can you sell with gun control? I mean, Independence, Liberty and self-reliance could arguably be the three principles that sum up this country. What American value involves ignoring its Bill of Rights and taking people’s freedoms away? So far the best they’ve been able to come up with is “common sense,” and we can see how well that’s working for them.