Happy Independence Day

I showed Bitter some new settings to use on her digital camera that allow setting the exposure time to a few seconds and opening the aperture a little.


Just twirling your standard sparkler. We’re sitting out on the patio watching what little fireworks the neighbors are bringing out. Bitter needs to move farther south where I can crack out shotgun launched pyrotechnics without having to worry about the police showing up.

National Mall Evacuated

No… not because of terrorists, but because of a tornado warning.   Apparently funnel clouds were spotted as the storm was approaching DC, so the park service decided to clear the mall.   I like thunderstorms, but Bitter, being from Oklahoma, does not.  There are also reports of golf ball sized hail.  Here things don’t look too terribly bad.

Oh well, there’s no reason for this to interrupt my drinking, which is, after all, the best way to celebrate our independence.

OSHA’s Justification

Dave Hardy has this to say about OSHA’s reasoning for regulating the ammunition industry out of business:

One commenter points out that OSHA cites, as a reason for the rule, a 1947 explosion. As OSHA admits, that was a huge detonation of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. I know a bit about it because it gave rise to a Supreme Court case construing the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Basically, in order to get fertilizer to Europe after WWII, the federal government cut a lot of corners. It allowed the stuff to be bagged when it was too hot for safety, allowed it to be put in waxed sacks (more waterproof, but if the wax melts it becomes the equivalent of fuel oil in a ANFO bomb), etc., etc.. The port of Texas City was full of boxcars of the stuff when some of it spontaneously ignited, then detonated — the resulting explosions essentially levelled the town.

Some people sued the government — it had, after all, ignored all the standard industry safety standards. They lost because the Supreme Court ruled that the situation fell under the “discretionary function exception” to the FTCA. The agencies that ignored the safety standards had discretion to do so, and had essentially made judgments that speed of production was worth the risk to life, and that was that.

A rather strange case to invoke for an argument that government regulation is necessary in order to make us safer.

She’s All About the 60s

Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer apparently think a million of my tax dollars are well spent on a museum dedicated to Woodstock:

$1 million for the Museum at Bethel Woods, which is dedicated to recreating the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival experience and will feature “An interpretation of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Arts Fair” exhibit in 2008, according to the museum’s website. The earmark is at the request of New York Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer.

One of the sad disappointments that associated with the advances in medical science, is that the Baby Boomers are going to be with us a long time, and will have many more years to impose this self-absorbed crap on younger taxpayers as they start hitting their retirement years. If aging hippies want a museum dedicated to Woodstock, they can have a friggin bake sale, and raise the money themselves.

ATF Court Smackdowns

SayUncle has a good post up about the ATF getting smacked down by federal courts over the “one a machine gun always a machine gun” and their AOW regulations. What do to?

Well, probably not much. It would help, I think, if we had a President who was interested in getting the various federal bureaucracies, including the ATF, under control. I think, though, that there’s been too much proliferation of federal law enforcement in general, and it would be beneficial to eliminate some of them. As I’ve said before, if I were dictator for a day, I’d eliminate the ATF, FBI, and Secret Service and roll their functions and agents into the Marshall service.

I don’t think this would automatically solve problems, but it would present the opportunity to get some new leadership into the bureaucracy, which hopefully would effect change in the long run.

Holiday Posting

Posting might be kind of light around this holiday and on into the weekend.  I’m taking Thursday and Friday off, and will be spending it in Virginia.   Work is letting out early today, but I have a flurry of things I need to do before I go.   Getting vacation is painful for me, because there’s really isn’t anyone else in the company that can do my job.

California Sticks it to Hunters

Dave Hardy has the scoop.   California has passed the lead ammunition ban.   Looking at the groups that are behind it, it looks like a total “screw you” to hunters and sportsman courtesy of the California legislature.

Our government at all levels is out of control.   We have to do something or we won’t be a free people in a few decades.

This is a Republican Administration Right?

Gun Law News warns us of a proposed OSHA rule that could do some serious damage to the ammunition manufacturers.   This is more evidence that Bush is asleep at the wheel in terms of controlling the federal bureaucracy.  Someone still needs to explain to me how this stuff is not violating separation of powers.