Oct 31, 2014
I really liked the week in Oklahoma, but I do have to say, not as much singing as I expected.
How many states can say their official state song was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein? Sadly, I hear Mr. Chips has been waiting by the swinging chair for me to return:
The barn cats all seemed to take a liking to me, especially Mr. Chips.
Oct 29, 2014
Sorry for the lack of posting, but we had to take a trip to Bitter’s home town, a place where the corn grows as high as an elephant’s eye (actually, down there it’s more like the cactus rather than corn). Bitter’s grandfather, who she has not seen in 17 years, called on her. I’ve now met three of Bitter’s grandparents, all of whom are still alive, but obviously her grandfather is struggling at nearly 90. All my grandparents were gone by the time I was 30.
In that one picture, that’s probably about as close as I’ve been to horses in my life. We stayed at her Uncle and Cousin’s. Her cousin owns a horse ranch and riding school.
Oct 24, 2014
This is a bit off topic, but news is slow on the gun front today. I ran out of energy for arguing over what libertarianism is and isn’t in my late 30s, but for the sake of a conversation starter, I thought I ask the question of whether a mandatory quarantine is compatible with libertarian principles, however you want to define them.
I suppose some would argue that a quarantine violates the non-aggression principle. Others would probably argue that spreading a disease to someone is initiation of force, and so the state is justified in preventing it. But really, there’s only a risk if you go out in public that you’ll spread a disease. What level of risk constitutes aggression?
These days I’ve learned to like Prof. Randy Barnett’s argument that having a theory of the state police power is important. Under that idea, quarantine would typically fall under a traditional police power the states have held. However, since the federal government lacks a police power, it’s only quarantine powers would be related to international travel, and interstate movements. Some would argue, I believe convincingly, that if you’re a dedicated originalist, the federal government probably has no quarantine power at all, since the Constitution only gives Congress the power to control naturalization of persons, and not their movement.
Oct 22, 2014
I keep saying I want to wrap up with this current client, but things keep coming up. So I’ve been in “I think I can wrap this whole thing up in the next few weeks” mode for the past two months. So I dare not say things should be returning to normal in a few weeks, but maybe! At some point, the project will end and I’ll be on to other things. Anyway, here’s some news links. Not too many this time, because to be honest, I haven’t even had time to gather links:
Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.
What’s wrong with Oregon Republicans? Oregon is dominated by the Portland Metro area, so there’s not much hope for the GOP there. The GOP’s weakness in Pennsylvania, however, is almost entirely the fault of the GOP. The party in this state is sclerotic.
Holder: gun control among biggest failures. Happy to disappoint ya there Eric. I would imagine it was a tough thing to weigh his greatest failure.
John Richardson points out some other players in the I-594 initiative in Washington State.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a gun forfeiture case.
Glad to see Clayton Cramer has been doing better, but he’s still having some ups and downs. Hitting the tip jar would probably help. Money may not buy happiness, but the lack of it can certainly bring on a lot of misery.
Just another Everytown grassroots spokesperson who happens to work pretty high up for the Mayor’s office in New York City. It’s astroturf as far as the eye can see!
DC gets smacked down by the judge who ruled their carry ban was unconstitutional, but their new ordinance still has to have a hearing. Let’s hope the judge has read this.
A civil rights victory in Idaho! Ban on carrying guns on Army Corps of Engineers land is struck down. Right now this only affects the District of Idaho.
Mass shooting in Canada. Multiple shooters would seem to suggest terrorism.
Oct 22, 2014
This comes by way of Legal Insurrection:
Confront them everywhere they appear. Never let them own the field.
Oct 22, 2014
Ace has a pretty decent write-up on the controversy on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court surrounding Justice Seamus McCaffery, who got in trouble for sending around raunchy e-mails on state computers. Apparently Justice McCaffery and the Chief Justice Castille don’t get along too well with each other. At the end, Ace notes:
Philadelphia Magazine says the war is partly about the power to supervise all of Pennsylvania’s state courts — power Castille doesn’t trust McCaffery with.
I don’t really have much of an opinion on the controversy, and perhaps Chief Justice Castille has legitimate reasons to be worried about Justice McCaffery. But I should note there’s a gun angle to this, in that Justice McCaffery is friendly to the Second Amendment, and Chief Justice Castille, a former Philadelphia District Attorney, has not been.
Supreme Court justices are elected in Pennsylvania, and McCaffery has carried an NRA Endorsement, and has spoken NRA Annual Firearms Law Seminar. I thought his talks were entertaining and funny, as Supreme Court justice presentations go.
Oct 16, 2014
Unlike the federal government, but like many other states, Pennsylvania’s constitution has a germaneness requirement for bill amendments. Article III, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states:
No bill shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title, except a general appropriation bill or a bill codifying or compiling the law or a part thereof.
My concern about the addition of A10397, the preemption enhancement, to House Bill 80 is that H.B. 80 is about metal theft. That would seem to violate the germaneness requirement. Now, I suspect, though I’m not certain, that because the Senate attached this amendment to a House Bill, that it will go to conference, and the House can strip out the metal theft language and essentially make H.B. 80 a preemption bill only. If the legislature is intent on having a metal theft bill, they can always pass it later with a different bill number, or in a different session. But I do still believe there is a way to save the preemption enhancement on the germaneness issue.
We are, however, getting really close to the election, and this also could have been a last ditch effort for lawmakers to get on record so NRA’s lobbyist will release their grades. I’m not sure what there’s time to do or not. It’s looking like Corbett is going to be toast, and I think it’s a safe bet Tom Wolf will veto the measure. But Corbett will still be able to sign as a lame duck. To me the important thing is we get this done.
BTW, the pigeon shooting ban passed the Senate 3 to 1. NRA is opposing the pigeon shooting ban, but I personally think they are fighting a losing battle on that topic. Wayne Pacelle, head of the phoney-baloney Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is no doubt pleased, even if it still has an uphill climb in the House. If you think those people are going to stop with pigeon shooting, you’re a fool. HSUS is an anti-hunting group, and any victory they get is a step closer to their goal of ending hunting. Unlike the anti-gun groups, they are very well funded, and have a highly motivated, rabid, and broad base of grassroots activists. That’s one reason I believe that, long term, hunting in the United States is probably doomed if trends among hunters keeps going the way it’s going. The time to stop arguing about what hunting is, and stand together, was yesterday.
Oct 14, 2014
There’s a long way to go, but I-594, the Washington State initiative than would ban private transfers, even handing a gun to someone else on a private range, for instance, to teach them to shoot, is losing public support. These next few weeks will be critical for reaching low information voters. Without reaching those people, we don’t stand of a chance of winning. Both sides will be vying for their votes. Hopefully this ad will help:
I used to hate class warfare until certain classes started to think they were entitled to rule. I think the jab at Seattle billionaires who are backing this measure will resonate.
Oct 14, 2014
From a poem written about dead North Korean dictator King Jong-Il:
So this is the Gun
that in the hands of an inferior man
can only commit murder,
but when wielded by a great man,
can overcome anything.
As history has shown,
war and carnage belong
to the weak.
General Kim Jong-il,
the General alone,
is Lord of the Gun,
Lord of Justice,
Lord of Peace,
Lord of Unification.
Ah, the true leader of the Korean people!
The propagandists for the North Korean regime understand what it means to be a disarmed people, and trick the people into rejoicing in it. They get the symbolism. Our opponents the gun control movement do too. They would happily write similar poems. Perhaps their ideal state would not be Kim-Jong Il; it would be a happier state, for your own good, and all. But they at least are philosophically sympathetic to the idea expressed in this sycophantic poem.
Oct 8, 2014
Are you better off than you were a decade ago? In terms of real wages, I’m making about what I did when I was 26, and I’m now 40. Granted, a lot of that is self-inflicted, so I really can’t complain. I gave up salary for flexibility, and the opportunity to take risks on new and interesting things with bigger potential payout down the road. But I have to admit, as I get older, it gets harder and harder to sacrifice for uncertain future rewards than when I was in my twenties.
That’s the one side of the coin. As I’ve have to be more careful about finances, the other side of the equation is undeniable: inflation. The powers that be decided that food and energy prices are too volatile, so they should not be calculated into the official rate of inflation. If you listen to those charlatans, inflation has been non-existent. But when I look at my own finances, the big things that stand out (other than the mortgage and taxes) are food and energy. I’m spending way more in those categories than I was a decade ago, as a percentage of my income.
In 2011, when I lost the high-paying job after the company went tits up, we decided to start eating more meals at home, and eat out less. Sure, it did save money overall, but my grocery bill shot way up to compensate. It was still a net savings, but the grocery bill offset more than I expected! Ordering out some pizza or cheesesteaks every once in a while, it turns out, is reasonably competitive with cooking at home.
Sure, if you can subsist on a diet of hot dogs and ramen, you can do pretty well, but if you cook meals at home as to not bore yourself, it will cost you some money. Eating on the outside of the grocery store? Yeah, that’s some shit invented by rich hippies with money to burn. I don’t find it to be cheap, even if you’re good at meal planning. I realized this summer I am mostly priced out of the beef market. I usually like to smoke a brisket at least once in the BBQ season, but not this year. Last summer we enjoyed several nights of grilled ribeye, but not this year. I haven’t had beef that wasn’t ground in some time. Fortunately, my mother taught me how to make a mean meatloaf, but I have to admit to missing steak.
How is the great recession treating you? Are you better off now than a decade ago? Is food and energy inflation pinching you? And let’s not even get into whiskey prices! It’s almost enough to turn a fella into a populist!