Friday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesThe Taliban has hit Marin County (indirectly).  Marin County is headquarters for Roots of Peace, an admirable charity that seeks to advance agricultural development in poverty-stricken areas.  It has an outpost in Afghanistan, where it seeks to enable the Afghani people to feed themselves.  The Taliban can’t have that kind of thing happening in its country.  It therefore sent off some foot soldiers to attack the Roots of Peace Kabul office, killing a child in the process.  If radical Islam had a cable-TV station, it’s motto would be “All war, all the time.”  One wonders if this will be a bit of reality that mugs that peaceniks who are so self-centered that they cannot envision cultures that have, as their core value, a desire for perpetual warfare.

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David Clarke, Milwaukee’s Sheriff, made a splash when he encouraged Milwaukee’s beleaguered citizens to arm themselves:

Police chief get a gun

I think Clarke may have found a kindred spirit in Detroit Police Chief James Craig. During a press conference in which he discussed the rising numbers of homeowners (successfully) using arms to defend themselves, he had this to say:

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a press conference last week that in his 37-year career, he’s never seen as many homeowners defending themselves by shooting intruders. Craig told The News in January he felt the crime rate could be lowered if more “good Americans” were armed, because he said criminals would think twice about attacking.

“It does appear more and more Detroiters are becoming empowered,” Craig said. “More and more Detroiters are getting sick of the violence. I know of no other place where I’ve seen this number of justifiable homicides. It’s interesting that these incidents go across gender lines.”

We want more law enforcement like Clarke and Craig, and less like Marin’s Second Amendment-challenged sheriff.

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I also want more of this:  An Ebony magazine editor went on a rant against conservative blacks; got called on it; claimed that the person calling her out was a white racist; when she learned that the person calling her out was black apologized for calling him white; and then doubled down on rants that were both anti-conservative black and anti-white.  (That’s not want I want to see more of.  It’s this next thing I like.)  Normally, Republicans would run away screaming from this type of confrontation, leaving the racist Leftist in control of the field.  This time, the RNC demanded an apology . . . and got it.

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Speaking of the Left’s racial obsessions:  Any half-sentient being knows that Stephen Colbert’s shtick is that he created a faux-conservative character who is pathologically dumb, racist, sexist, etc., and that Colbert, a marginally-talented generic Leftist, uses this character to claim that all conservatives are pathologically dumb, racist, sexist, etc.  That’s why it’s hysterically funny that, when his show tried to  highlight (non-existent) Republican racism by having his character ostensibly tweet out a crude anti-Asian stereotype, the Asian community got riled and demanded that Colbert be fired for being an anti-Asian racist.  Asians should stop getting their knickers in a twist about stupid TV shows and should start looking at where their real politic interests lie.  (Hint:  It’s not the Democrat Party.)

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Leland Yee has been around forever as a fixture in Bay Area politics.  As his name implies, he’s Asian, he’s hard Left, and he represents San Francisco and parts of San Mateo in the California legislature.  Since Sandy Hook, Yee’s been very vocal about being anti-guns.  He also just got indicted for gun running, including trying to sell arms to Islamist groups.  The MSM has been trying hard to ignore his story, as it’s been trying hard to ignore a bunch of other stories about spectacularly corrupt Democrat figures.  Howie Carr therefore serves a useful public service when he calls out the media, the Democrat party, and the crooks.

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Speaking of crooks, Harry Reid claims never to have called Republicans liars when it comes to Obamacare, despite footage of him calling Republicans liars because of Obamacare.  There’s some debate on the Right about whether Reid’s gone senile or is just trying out his version of The Big Lie.  My theory is that we’re seeing malignant narcissism in play.  As I’ve said a zillion times before in speaking about Obama, malignant narcissists never “lie” because their needs of the moment always dictate the truth of the moment.  That is, if they need to say it, it must be true.  (It’s nice to be your own God.)

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Keith Koffler identifies the four roots of Obama’s disastrous foreign policy.  I agree with him, although I would add a fifth, which is that Obama desperately wants to see America knocked down to size as punishment for her myriad sins.  Perhaps Obama should read the DiploMad, as he explains why Russia, the country before which Obama is now weakly doing obeisance, has always been much worse than America could ever be, both as a protector and an enemy.

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Adm. Jeremiah Denton, Jr. has died at 89.  The public learned about Denton during the Vietnam War when, during one of the forced confessions that the North Vietnamese liked to televise to the world, he blinked out a Morse code message — “T-O-R-T-U-R-E” — thereby providing the first proof America had that the Commies were torturing American POWs.  During the same interview, he bravely said he supported his country, a statement that led to more torture.  Denton was also America’s longest-held POW, spending almost 8 years in the Hell that was the Hanoi Hilton, and various related prisons.  During that entire time, he was brutally and repeatedly tortured and he spent four years in solitary confinement (where he was tortured).  My heart bleeds when I read what happened to him.  But Denton came home and he got on with a full, rich life, including six years in the U.S. Senate.  If anyone deserves to Rest In Peace, it is Adm. Denton.

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I don’t think much of Stanford.  It’s nothing personal.  I think all the big universities (and most of the small ones) have become intellectually corrupt.  However, Prof. Michael McConnell, at Stanford Law School, has somewhat restored my faith in Stanford by writing one of the clearest analyses I’ve yet seen of the problems facing the government in the Hobby Lobby case.  Of course, law and logic will not sway Ginsberg, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer, all of whom are activists much more concerned with making policy than with applying law.  As happens too often, Anthony Kennedy will cast the deciding vote — a reality that places way too much power in the hands of a man who seems too often to blow, not where the Constitution takes him, but wherever his fancy for the day alights.

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And to end on a light note, two more ridiculously funny Kid Snippets, offering an inspired combination of kid wisdom lip synched by some remarkably talented adult actors:

 

Marin County Sheriff: I love everything about the 2nd Amendment, except the part where it lets people carry guns

Heading into Marin CountyIt turns out that even in Progressive Marin County, law-abiding residents want to carry guns on their persons.  In the weeks since the 9th Circuit (!) held that county’s cannot condition concealed-carry permits on the sheriff’s determination that the applicant has made a credibly showing that he or she is in fear for his (or her) life, the upswing in concealed-carry applications has even reached true blue Marin (emphasis mine):

As Californians in some locations have flooded sheriff’s offices with applications and inquiries for permits to carry concealed guns, in Marin, sheriff’s officials say they have been fielding more calls than usual.

Demand is being driven by a federal appeals court ruling last month that made it easier for some residents to obtain the hard-to-get permits. About 56,000 Californians have a concealed-weapons permit in a state of 38 million residents. [Prior to the ruling] In Marin County, the sheriff’s office has issued only 21 concealed weapons permits.”

Those in Marin afraid of guns, though, need not worry that their perfectly nice neighbor, the one who brings casseroles when they’re sick and helps prop up fences in winter storms, will be packing legal heat any time soon.  Although the 9th Circuit may have spoken, that’s not good enough for Marin’s Sheriff:

Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle said he doesn’t plan to loosen how permits are issued until the issue has been conclusively decided by the courts. He said he’s not sure how may people have applied for permits since the ruling as most of the inquiries in Marin have been phone calls.

“We’ve had more requests than usual since the ruling. We’ve told people they can apply, but we’re going to apply the same standard of demonstrating ‘good cause’ until it’s finally been decided by the court,” Doyle said. “The decision has basically been put on stay for three weeks to give the parties time to respond.”

Color me cynical, but I’m willing to bet that, if Sheriff Doyle had been in charge, Marin would have been issuing same-sex marriage licenses within minutes of the 9th Circuit’s decision striking down California’s Prop. 8, the much-maligned law holding that marriage is between one man and one woman.  A foolish consistency, though, is never the hobgoblin of Leftist minds.

What’s so incredibly funny in all this is Sheriff Doyle’s position on gun rights:

Doyle said he’s a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but believes concealed-weapons permits should be reserved for those who have some sort of verifiable threat in their lives.

“I don’t agree with the adage that the more guns we have, the safer we are,” Doyle said. “We do have business owners that have been robbed and some people that carry large sums of money in the course of their employment carrying concealed guns.”

Properly translated, what Doyle is saying is that “I strongly support the Second Amendment, except for the part where it says that the right to carry arms is inherent in the people, and not dependent on the whim of the government.  But otherwise, if I decide someone deserves to have a gun, I might actually give that person permission.  Maybe.”

I shouldn’t poke too much fun at the sheriff.  He is, after all, a perfect reflection of the county he serves.  Everyone here claims fealty to the Bill of Rights, provided that it’s eviscerated to conform with Leftist norms.

Even if Doyle is, as I suspect, a very nice man, I’d rather have Milwaukee’s Sheriff Clarke in charge of our concealed-carry licensing program:

Police chief get a gun

George Washington understood why we have a Second Amendment *UPDATED*

George Washington and the 2nd Amendment

Hat tip: Caped Crusader

UPDATE: If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.  Thanks to Earl, I know that Washington actually said this:  “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others, for essential, particularly for military supplies.”  It’s a great quotation in support of arms, but not quite as punchy.

Remember, when it comes to guns and gun crimes, never believe the media *UPDATED*

No gunsMike McDaniel, who blogs at Stately McDaniel Manor, is one of the blogosphere’s go-to guys when it comes to guns.  Not only does he know his stuff, he’s a wonderful writer.  Today, he’s brought his knowledge and skills to bear on the recently released final report about Adam Lanza’s attack on Sandy Hook.  Unsurprisingly, given that the only source for information was the MSM, just about everything you thought you knew was wrong — except for the fact that Sandy Hook elementary school was a gun-free zone. For Adam Lanza, it was an irresistible target.

UPDATE:  This story about an armed bystander stopping an attempted mass shooting seems apropos.

You can’t argue with an ideologue — the gun control edition

NRA LogoSince the Sandy Hook shooting, I’ve written several posts about interactions with liberals who refused to believe the facts I cited them about guns.  (The facts I rely upon are here; a good example of a fight with liberals is here.)  Clearly, I am not persuasive.

As I learned today, though, when you’re arguing with an ideologue, nothing is going to be persuasive.  Today was the day I opened my “real me” Facebook page and saw, much to my surprise, that one of my uber-liberal friends (someone with whom I was once very close, so I continue to “friend” on Facebook), had linked to this article from Mediaite (a hard left-leaning outlet):

A study published in the latest issue of the academic journal Applied Economics Letters took on many of the claims made regularly by advocates of stricter gun laws. The study determined that nearly every claim made in support of stronger restrictions on gun ownership is not supported by an exhaustive analysis of crime statistics.

The study, “An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates,” conducted by Quinnipiac University economist Mark Gius, examined nearly 30 years of statistics and concluded that stricter gun laws do not result in a reduction in gun violence. In fact, Gius found the opposite – that a proliferation of concealed carry permits can actually reduce incidents of gun crime.

Along with the link, my friend included his own statement to the effect that this was certainly food for thought, but that he still believes that guns should be as tightly regulated as cars.  I couldn’t resist adding my mite to this, because I thought that, with his having cited the article himself, his liberal mind might be opening just a crack to let in the light of pure reason.  We ended up having a polite back and forth that I’ll summarize so as not to destroy his privacy.

I noted, as I always do when the car comparison comes along, that cars are not constitutionally protected, while guns are accorded the highest protection possible (“shall not infringe”).  Otherwise, you can compare cars and guns:  both are useful, both are fun, and both are dangerous.  I added that life overall is dangerous and governments are the most dangerous of all.  I even threw in the fact that, as a predicate to committing mass murder against their own people, totalitarian governments always disarmed them first.

My friend replied that he wants a constitutional amendment so that guns can only be in the hands of people the government pre-approves.  He believes government can commit mass murder without first disarming its people.  To him, it was irrelevant that those governments that actually (not hypothetically) murdered their people all began with disarming them.  Somewhere, somehow, he’s sure there’s a government that successfully committed mass murder against its own well-armed citizens.   He then threw in the usual trope that guns are made solely to kill, while cars are not.

That last comment left me with an opening:  his statement seemed to belie the very study that he had posted in the first place.  It said that fewer people are killed when more people of good will had guns.  That means guns are made for protecting people, not killing.

My friend’s response was to launch into a laundry list of shooting stories — drive-bys, robberies, fights, etc., all of which explain (to his mind) why guns should be banned.  Once again, he’d totally forgotten about the study he cited.  He then repeated that guns are meant only to kill and that the only way to save society is to get rid of guns.

I came back with fact:  as the study he cited shows, places that ban guns have more crime, including gun crime.  Places that once banned guns and then un-banned them (as happened in Washington, D.C. after the Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller) had less gun crime.

He opted for sarcasm:  So, do we give everyone a gun?

I suggested that doing so is reasonable, based on the conclusions from the study he cited.  I also said that Hollywood is a problem.  Even as its people demand gun control, they make pictures rife with guns and hide behind armed guards.  They might want to change the message in their movies.  I also pointed out that gun crime is an inner city problem and that we should look at the culture there, rather than at the guns themselves.

His bottom line had the virtue of being honest:  I don’t really care about the study.  Guns are bad and should be done away with.

And that’s why you can’t argue with an ideologue.  Data is irrelevant.  Blind faith is everything.

Americans used to have guns without shame

Fred and RitaThere are very few bad Fred Astaire movies, but there are a few. You’ll Never Get Rich definitely falls into that category.  Even Rita Hayworth, who is at her most lovely, cannot save this pathetic wreck of a movie.  The plot is convoluted, which is normal for an Astaire movie, but the movie makes the fatal mistake of casting Astaire as a cowardly, dishonest man.  Nobody expects a macho Fred, but nobody wants a quivering, cowardly, lying Fred.  The dancing is lovely, though, and TiVo means that you can just fast forward to the good parts.

There was one scene in the movie, however, that merited watching.  I’ll try setting it up as briefly as possible:  An unwitting Rita Hayworth opens the morning paper to discover a false headline saying she was engaged to Astaire.  She believes (erroneously) that Astaire planted the headline.  Hayworth’s fiance, a Captain in the Army, then calls her and, when he learns the headline is a lie, heads over to her apartment while wearing his civilian clothes.  Astaire also heads for Hayworth’s apartment to berate her, since he believes (erroneously) that Hayworth planted the headline.  The Captain reaches Hayworth’s apartment first.  When he, Hayworth, and her roommate hear Astaire banging at the door, Hayworth shoos the Captain and her roommate into the bedroom.  And here’s where this mess of a plot momentarily gets interesting.

Once in the bedroom, the Captain says something along the lines of “I’ve got a great idea to prank this guy.”  He then turns to the roommate and (I quote) asks, “Have you got a gun?”  Without so much as a blink, she replies “It’s in that drawer.”  He opens the drawer and grabs a large revolver.  Armed with his gun, the Captain bursts into the living room, pretending to be Hayworth’s outraged Southern brother demanding that Astaire marry his “sister.”  Astaire rabbits out of the room.  In the next scene, an agitated Astaire is telling his boss, who’s the real culprit behind the newspaper headline, about the threat to his life.  His boss says, “Buy yourself a gun.”

Can you imagine any Hollywood movie today showing a woman having a revolver just hanging around in her vanity drawer?  Can you imagine a gun being used as a playful joke in a happy musical?  And can you imagine that a Hollywood movie would show someone terrified of being attacked getting advice from a colleague to “buy a gun”?  It’s inconceivable (and I know what that word means, too).

And while we’re on the subject of guns, Charles C. W. Cooke notes that everything the Progressives tell you about the necessity for gun control laws is a lie.  Since all the elaborate registration requirements and background checks currently on the books don’t prevent mass shootings, small wonder then that Second Amendment supporters suspect that increased registration requirements are simply a predicate to gun confiscation or otherwise criminalizing gun owners.

I did mention, didn’t I, that the dancing is lovely?

Consider boycotting Super Bowl advertisers to show your support for the Second Amendment

NFL super-bowl-2014

Commercials — they’re big money in America and they’re super-dooper big money at the Super Bowl.  For the upcoming Super Bowl, advertisers are paying $3.8 million dollars per 30 seconds of air time for commercials.  You know what commercial you won’t see, though?  One supporting the Second Amendment.  Here’s the ad that the NFL refused to show:

Mulling over the NFL’s craven retreat from supporting a core constitutional right, my first thought was “Hey, we ought to boycott the Super Bowl.”  Only a second’s reflection made me realize that there was no way Americans would refuse to watch the Super Bowl over something like this, even pro-gun Americans.  It is, after all, the Super Bowl, and it will take a bigger insult than a banned commercial to make people abandon one of the year’s great pleasures.

When I heard yesterday about the price for advertising on the Super Bowl, however, it occurred to me that Americans can take a stand without sacrificing their viewing pleasure:  Second Amendment supporters should let it be known that they will boycott any service or product advertised during the Super Bowl.  After all, while you and the players focus on the game itself when you think of the Super Bowl, for the NFL honchos and the advertisers, it’s all about the money.

According to Forbes, the following companies have already signed on to those exorbitant ad rates:  “Anheuser-Busch InBev; Butterfinger; Chevrolet; Doritos; GoDaddy.com; Hyundai; Intuit; Jaguar; Mars; Oikos; PepsiCo Beverages; and Wonderful Pistachios.”  There will eventual be

None of those are essential products that people must have in order to survive.  If you’re a Butterfinger or Mars fan, consider the fact that a boycott will help you with that diet you’ve been meaning to start.  Same goes for the Doritos nibblers among us, the soft drink consumers (PepsiCo), or the beer drinkers.  And honestly, as a luxury car, aren’t Jaguars just the slightest bit, well, old fogey-ish?  If you’re looking for a luxury car, pick one that isn’t giving almost $13,000 per second to an organization that considers the Second Amendment controversial.  I’m willing to bet that, subject to a few exceptions, every single advertised product will be something that you can do without.

I’m sure there are those among you who will say “It’s just a commercial” or ask “Why is one commercial such a big deal?” or something like that.  In years past, I might have agreed.  But this year is different.  This is the year in which Organizing For America is telling Americans to have Sandy Hook anniversary gatherings in order to fire up anti-gun sentiment.  This is the year that children across America were attacked by school authorities for chewing pizza into gun shapes or pointing their fingers at each other and saying “bang.”  Moreover, this is the administration that has been open about its desire to ban guns in America and that has at least another year to pursue that goal.

In other words, this is a year when Americans cannot afford to sit back and say “whatever” when a major American institution cries craven on the Second Amendment.  So please, think about making a fairly painless, but very principled stand against an institution that refuses to accept a very low-key commercial celebrating a constitutional right.

How to shut down a Facebook conversation

A friend of mine put up a Facebook comment about the shooting at LAX, in which he spoke movingly about the very nice TSA people he’s met there, as his job requires a great deal of travel.  The very first comment to his post about a personal tragedy said, “We need to acknowledge that America has a problem not currently being addressed, and find a way to solve it.”

I somehow divined that this guy wasn’t talking about inadequate care for the mentally ill, but about guns, so I put in my two cents:  “I completely agree with you, Roger.  If we had more good guys with guns, bad guys with guns wouldn’t be able to get away with this kind of thing.”

*Crickets*

Incidentally, I later read that LAX had only recently removed its armed guards from the area where the shooting occurred:

3:13 p.m. Months before Friday’s shooting at LAX, officials removed armed police officers from their permanent assignments protecting TSA checkpoints,  one veteran airport police officer told The Times.

John Lott will be at Berkeley for a debate on October 25

Unfortunately, I have a prior engagement that I can’t avoid, but I wish I could go.  John Lott brings common sense and sound data to information about gun ownership and gun use in America.  This forum sounds so good it would even be worth lifting, only temporarily, of course, my self-imposed ban on going into Berkeley, my least favorite city and my least favorite college, in America.

John Lott at Berkeley

Hat tip: Jose