Tuesday, June 30, 2009
If ever there were a threat to the reputation of ’60s British sports cars as the most heartbreaking form of transportation sold in America, it probably would have come from Fiat.
Like classic Austin-Healeys, MGs and Triumphs of the bell-bottom era, Fiats could be lovely to look at and delightful on the road. In particular, they were loads of fun when driven with urgency — ideally with the engine screaming at maximum revs and with minimal regard to the tires’ limits of adhesion.
But they also carried the stigma of being unable to return home from dinner and a movie without an alternator dying, a fuel pump expiring or a head gasket blowing.
"The ads say that Virginia is for lovers, but increasingly, Virginia is for gun lovers!"
Yeah, that sort of thing.
They interview an agent for BATFE, Mike Campbell, who offers an interesting reason for the number of guns from Virginia recovered in New York, and it has nothing to do with straw purchases or trafficking. It's due to the large number of military personnel in Virginia. Many of these people buy guns in Virginia (often at gun shops located nearest to military bases) and a year later they may be transferred to Illinois or New York, the gun stolen and used in a crime, and traced back to Virginia. And opportunistic pols claim that these guns are being deliberately trafficked, when they have actually been stolen. That portion of the show is about 9 minutes in.
Thanks to VCDL for providing the link.
Monday, June 29, 2009
That's what Second City Cop did recently.
On June 26th, WBBM 780 reported on a fatal car crash at 3:30AM that took the life of a boy who was one of five passengers in a Jeep which collided with a van. Two other boys in the Jeep, ages 13 and 14, were hospitalized. The other two passengers were hospitalized in critical condition.
Another news source reported the ages of the critically injured "passengers" as 15 and 15.
Then the hospital announced the age of the dead passenger: 13.
Second City Cop made a phone call and discovered that the Jeep was stolen.
IMO the real story is that five teenagers were joy-riding in a stolen car at 3:30 AM. But what's the follow-up story?
Family: 'Wonderful Boy' Made Bad Choice
A troubled Garfield Park teenager killed when the stolen Jeep he was riding in crashed and caught fire just yards from his home was a good kid who made a bad choice, family friends said Sunday.SCC comments, and I agree:
He'd planned to spend the summer playing in a youth baseball league. Now his family is planning his funeral.
The ability to justify any behavior perpetrated by criminals regardless of age, is astounding of late. The death of personal responsibility continues.Oh, and the van? It was fleeing an armed robbery. The two men in the van were badly burned. One is in custody.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I biked over to a little spot I know, just to practice my fly casting. I haven't had the opportunity in years. This is in my home town and just a quarter-mile from the Beltway, although you'd never know it. It's surrounded by trees and not a car in sight. I had a couple of bites from the tiny fish who live here, but I wasn't really interested in catching anything, so back they went. I had an enjoyable two hours of casting and trying different flies. I love to see the loops of line curling through the air, and there was plenty of space for long casts.
As I was packing up, I saw this little brown snake giving me the eye.
“This country started by people gathering together in churches and complaining about taxation and about their current government, King George the third, taking armaments that they had,” said Chesley Kemp, 61, a family doctor with his Kimber .45 auto at his side.Dr. Kemp drove two hours from Bowling Green to attend a gun celebration here inside the New Bethel Church, believed to be the first such event in modern times.
I left a comment and I doubt they'll allow it so here it is:
That Kimber .45 that Chesley Kemp was carrying was made in Yonkers.Another example of New York supplying guns to Kentucky.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
"Boy, I am so mad at Farrah Fawcett-Majors! She has never even called me, once. Not even ONCE! And after the hours I spent holding up her poster with one hand!"
Thursday, June 25, 2009
A VCDL member spotted it and an email alert went out on Tuesday at 11:18 PM.
By Wednesday at 4:27 PM, there were 926 comments.
There are now 1,642 comments.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Other regular readers may be struck, as I was, by the odd juxtaposition of ads placed by some well-meaning but clueless ad-bot:
Civil libertarians, too, have concerns about the list. "There's no way to find out if you're on the list or not, and no way to assure that you can see the evidence that got you on the list or got you off," says Chris Calabrese, counsel for the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Project in New York.
"There's no reason why it couldn't become a political list," he says.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Driving Like Crazy | Cato Institute: Book Forum
Here's a brief highlight:
Saw some buzzards.
And lots of dilapidated old buildings, like this barn.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
D.C. has expanded its list of "approved" handguns in order to avoid a lawsuit. Previously, only handguns on the California list of "approved handguns" could be registered. City Council passed emergency legislation to expand this list to include handguns approved for sale in Maryland or Massachusetts, as well as California.
So, some good news in the MSM this AM.
I'm still fuming about that Bob Herbert piece. Damn!
A double-hit from the NYT today. First there was Bob Herbert's loathesome op-ed tying gun owners to hate groups. Now they're giving prominent coverage to Sen. Frank Lautenberg's introduction of a bill to give the U.S. Attorney General (currently the virulently anti-gun Eric Holder) the discretion to deny gun purchases to persons on the terrorist watch list.
The TWL is secret, of course, and there have been some very odd people whose names have turned up on the list, from Ted Kennedy to Cat Stevens. And people whose names are on the list, or even just closely resemble a name on the list, have a damnably hard time figuring out what on earth is going on; they have to sue in federal court just to find out if they're on the list at all. It's a Kafkaesque situation that we ought not to have in the U.S. It ought to be easier for citizens to challenge the TWL.
Lautenberg's bill will probably not make it out of committee, thank goodness, but this crafty old gun-hater has gotten around that obstacle before, by offering a last-minute amendment on the Senate floor to a larger bill that the leadership wants passed without delay. And it could happen again.
Sorry, no link - posting from Blackberry.
An absolutely disgusting diatribe.
I can't link to it from my Blackberry, but you can find it if you really need to feel some outrage this morning.
[Edit: here's the link.]
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Absolutely amazing little gadget. It's a pen with an audio recorder inside it. Big deal. But it also has an infrared camera near the point, which records everything you write or draw. And it indexes your notes to the audio, so you can point your pen at a diagram you drew and the pen will play back the audio it recorded as you were drawing the diagram. You can upload your notes via USB cradle, page by page - the pen recognizes when you turn a page. You can word-search your notes and listen to the contemporaneous audio recording.
It uses special note paper, but it's not that special: you can print out all you want on your own printer.
The 1-gig version is $150 and the 2-gig version is $200.
New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has a fascinating article on how dissidents are communicating with the outside world. Kristof highlights the programming work of Shiyu Zhou, a computer scientist and leader in the Chinese effort:
Mr. Zhou, the son of a Chinese army general, said that he and his colleagues began to develop such software after the 1999 Chinese government crackdown on Falun Gong (which the authorities denounce as a cult). One result was a free software called Freegate, small enough to carry on a flash drive. It takes a surfer to an overseas server that changes I.P. addresses every second or so, too quickly for a government to block it, and then from there to a banned site.
Freegate amounts to a dissident’s cyberkit. E-mails sent with it can be encrypted. And after a session is complete, a press of a button eliminates any sign that it was used on that computer.
An image of the gun, owned by O'Neil's family, will be projected on a screen at auction because Chicago bans handguns and automatic weapons within city limits. Anyone who wants to view the gun must go to Shore Galleries at 2218 W. Devon in Lincolnwood, where it is stored. Potential bidders must comply with state and federal gun laws.
A Colt Army Special revolver used by East Chicago, Ind., police Capt. Timothy A. O'Neil (inset) to fatally shoot John Dillinger is going up for auction next month.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
... she might have been a trifle peeved. After 75 rds of 180-gr, 1200-fps torture, the rear sight has given up the ghost. Specifically the big adjustment screw fractured right down the center.
You can see it a little better here. The screw is an interesting piece of work: the underside of the head has eight tiny, shallow depressions drilled into it to act as "click-stops".
So it's off to the gunsmith for the poor Witness.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything – and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
That guy can make a strong point in two sentences!
From The Volokh Conspiracy.
And check out One Toke Over The Line from the Lawrence Welk Show. Surely the First Amendment was not written to protect such things!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I can think of several likely consequences for legalizing MJ in the USA:
1) The price of MJ in the USA would drop drastically.
2) There would be thousands of Americans freed from jail.
3) Spending on law-enforcement, courts and prisons could be re-directed to treatment and rehabilitation.
4) Thousands of young men would no longer be able to make a living as street dealers.
5) Mexican drug cartels would find that there is no profit to smuggling MJ into the USA.
6) Americans would try to smuggle MJ from the US (where it is cheap and legal) into Mexico and Canada (where it is illegal and expensive).
7) Monsanto would create a genetically-modified MJ ("Roundup-tolerant") and patent it.
8) Some users of other drugs (cocaine, meth, etc.) would switch to MJ because it gave them a similar experience but was cheap and legal.
9) Pigs would fly.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Just a guess on my part but with all of the changes to U.S. currency in the last ten years, especially the $100 bill so beloved by generations of counterfeiters, I would surmise that large-scale counterfeiters are having a tough time of it, and are turning to documents that don't change appearance so often. But counterfeiting a $500-million bill? Puh-lease!
The Smallest Minority has got everything.
On Friday, Ms. Knox appeared in Perugia’s Renaissance-era court house to tell her side of the story for the first time. Dressed in a white shirt and tan slacks, her long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, Ms. Knox said that ....
OK, now that we have that out of the way, this is the part I like best:
Driving much of the media attention are the conflicting portrayals of Ms. Knox, who is alternately described as a pot-smoking, sex-crazed girl gone wild, and a hard-working college student who saved her money to study in Perugia only to find herself in jail for more than a year and a half for a crime she says she never committed.
On Friday, Ms. Knox appeared confident, ebullient and in good humor throughout the day-long hearing. She spoke in both English and fluent Italian, with a command of the subjunctive that allowed her to navigate the many hypothetical clauses in her testimony.
See, that's what O.J. Simpson needed: a command of the subjunctive.
Gadhafi, a self-styled feminist on his first trip to Italy, arrived at the auditorium dressed in traditional robes and surrounded by his female bodyguards. After his speech, he reached out to the veil of a woman in his entourage and used it to wipe the sweat off his brow.
Awfully decent of him!
AP via NYT.
Brett Bellmore: The thing is, it's a constitution that's over 200 years old, written for an agrarian society, by people who held some beliefs which are fairly uncommon today. Any honest reading of it is going to occasionally sound crazy to modern ears, because it IS crazy by modern standards on some points.
djung: And that's a decent test. If it sounds crazy by today's standards, then it's time to change the standards back.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
All I had was one of his oldest ones, THE oldest in fact.
But he was so gracious to sign it, even signing it over his own photograph from 1974.
As for the Free Lunch, I recommend the chicken and Romaine wrap. The sandwich made with focaccia (spell-check recommends "Fibonacci"!) bread was also good.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Doug Pennington, spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said statistics actually show reported violent crime decreasing. According to the FBI, violent crimes reported to police decreased 2.5 percent between 2007 and 2008.
On the other hand, Brady statistics show that violent crime increases when people legally carry concealed guns.
Caption: Utica Pledger prepares to load her weapon during the firing range portion of the concealed weapons permit class at Bob's Gun Shop in Norfolk last week.
Comment: isn't that the new Ruger Plastivolver?
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sotomayer's reading of Miller was consistent with the rest of the courts at the time it was written (2004). Whether or not individual rights proponents like it or not, and setting aside the semantic games people play with the unresolved nature of Miller, the Supreme Court had indicated that the 2nd Amendment did not create an individual right (if an individual right existed, the issue of military use would not have come up - the referral for a determination demonstrates that the court viewed it as a militia protection).
But Heller overturned that precedent - it's Brown for Plessy. There is now an individual right to bear arms, whether the militia-interpretation proponents like it or not. Granted, it's a right that is vague and will need to be fleshed out by subsequent decisions, but Heller is pretty clear - you have a right to self-protection.
Given that Heller came four years after Sanchez-Villar, perhaps Sotomayer would now rule differently. Or perhaps she will push to overturn Heller and return to the Miller precedent. But I don't think Sanchez-Villar is a good indicator because she clearly relied on the Miller guidance from the highest court.
Or: Heller is to Miller what Brown is to Plessy.