June 28, 2008

When Heller Freezes Over

What if Colt made a big show of offering Senator Obama a custom engraved 1911 to celebrate Heller? If he accepts it, his base is up in arms, no pun intended. If he declines it, well, let's just say that 5-4 vote will look a little more frightening to everyone not in his base. Seem like a win-win to me.

DOWNDATE: An Instalanche! Thank you, sir. One subsequent thought -- I know this is a cheap theatrical stunt, but isn't that basically what the presidential campaigns are made of these days?

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:33 PM | Comments (23)

June 26, 2008

Resistance Is Futile

This month's IEEE's Spectrum is a special issue with ten articles on the technological singularity. You can join IEEE (if you qualify) or learn more here.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:31 PM | Comments (0)

So, Citizens Should Not Enjoy the Rights of Violent Criminals?

I've seen a couple of references to Colbert I. King's column today wherein he writes:

There's one group of District residents absolutely unfazed by today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling shooting down the District's strict handgun ban: the dudes who have been blowing away their fellow citizens with abandon since the law was put on the books 32 years ago.

Operating under the notion that it's better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission, our shooters long ago decided not to wait for the high court's thoughts on the matter. They simply arrogated to themselves the right to keep and bear arms and, with that right, license to shoot and kill, with impunity, whatever and whenever the evil spirits moved them.

Set fazers to stun. But wait, there's more:

If D.C. street thugs are pleased by anything, it's probably the fact that five of the justices -- a slim majority, but that's all it takes to win -- have come around to seeing things their way.

That's almost funny in a sad sort of way, though I missed his column last week about how terrorists around the world are pleased that five of the justices -- a slim majority, but that's all it takes to win -- have come around to seeing things their way.

Still not enough for you? Well, Billy Mays has nothing on Mr. King, he's not through by, pardon the pun, a long shot:

Scalia also wrote this hymn to the handgun: "The American people consider the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." He went on to argue: "There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: it is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long rifle; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid."

And if machine guns one day should become the weapon of choice for home protection -- what say ye then, Justice Scalia? With the exception of that reference to dialing the police, D.C. street thugs' response to Scalia's ode to the handgun was undoubtedly, "Hear, hear!"

See how easily Mr. King goes from Justice Scalia writing that a complete prohibition on handguns in the home is invalid to implying that Justice Scalia would be down with gang bangers having machine guns? What an ass.

Mr. King finishes with:

So now it has come to pass that D.C. residents can keep handguns, as well as rifles and shotguns, in their homes. A well armed, informal militia we shall be -- ready to fire back in self-defense at the shooters who believed they had the right to their guns all along.

Flush with victory, a giddy National Rifle Association has announced its intention to file lawsuits in other jurisdictions with tough handgun laws. For starters, the NRA has taken aim at San Francisco and Chicago. See what we have unleashed, D.C.?

America, more body bags, please.

If the body bags are for Mr. Colbert's precious thugs, I won't be shedding any tears. Maybe we can just use the body bags for them that have been used for citizens up to this point. Mr. King's apparent ignorance of actual crime statistics where guns are allowed and refusal to consider the deterrent factor of armed citizens speaks poorly of the Washington Post's decision to allow him to beclown himself on this issue with an op-ed as full of emotion as it is devoid of reason.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)

Utterly Depressing

That's how it feels to note that liberty wins 5-4. Until the next vote anyway, at which point no one will be able to be heard over the stare decisis cacaphony. Am I supposed to celebrate because liberty, not me or what I want, mind you, but liberty prevailed by the thinnest of margins? Imagine, just one more vote, or perhaps a little more growth by Justice Kennedy and Drudge's headline might have read "Second Amendment Dies" instead.

Note these headlines:

Supreme Court says Americans have right to guns

Weird, huh? I thought it was the US Constitution that said that. The Supreme Court's job is just to make sure that Congress doesn't usurp it.

Americans have right to guns under landmark ruling

Again, it's not the ruling that gives us the right, although I understand the confusion of people who believe in the living, breathing, ever-mutating constitution. But hey, don't get cocky, kids:

Pelosi Says D.C. Should Continue Gun Regulation
Mayors: Gun ruling won't stop prevention efforts

At least Tackleberry finally gets his wish.

DOWNDATE: While Heller has given the citizens of Washington, DC, the right to protect themselves with firearms once again, it has effectively killed The Volokh Conpiracy blog. Just an observation.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:49 PM | Comments (1)

June 25, 2008

Fair DNCum

Pelosi Supports 'Fairness Doctrine'

Well, duh. And since she's in charge, guess who gets to decide what's fair?

Obama Does Not Support Return of Fairness Doctrine

Well, duh. Could you imagine if Big Media were forced to to postpone their adoration of Lord Hope, the Marquis of Change to give John McCain equal time? But who wouldn't pay money to hear Chris Matthews say, "We interrupt this funny feeling in my leg to bring you equal time for John McCain"?

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:10 PM | Comments (1)

Free At Last, Free At Last

Thank Mammon almighty, he's free at last!

U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, a conservative Republican who lost his primary to an opponent who accused him of not being conservative enough, said Wednesday that his defeat frees him to move on to pursue other opportunities.

I know nothing about Representative Cannon, but it is hard to believe he will be missed.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

Rocky Mountain Sigh

RTWT. It's the only way to appreciate the lunacy of people who imagine reality is whatever they want it to be.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:37 PM | Comments (0)

If No Sitcoms Were Made In the Forest, How Would We Know?

The Film Actors Guild is not happy:

The Screen Actors Guild on Wednesday accused major Hollywood studios of offering a contract deal worth less than an agreement approved by the leaders of a smaller actors union.

SAG executive director Doug Allen told The Associated Press the offer to the guild was worth tens of millions of dollars less than the tentative contract reached with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

The deal with the federation was reached during a temporary halt in the talks between SAG and the studios.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

Your Proposal Is Acceptable

Remember the alien in Men In Black when challenged by the doofus played by Vincent D'Onofrio? That's what comes to mind when hearing this:

"If we all register and vote, we will have the first black president in the history of America," Sean "Diddy" Combs told the crowd Tuesday at the Shrine Auditorium before chanting "Obama or Die"

Disclaimer, I don't want anyone to die. It's a joke. Sorry I had to explain it.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

Race As a Social Construction

Apparently Senator Obama should "talk black" like, um, Ralph Nader?

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader accused Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic Party nominee, of downplaying poverty issues, trying to "talk white" and appealing to "white guilt" during his run for the White House.

You really can't make this stuff up.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

Because I Said So

Nope, it still doesn't sound good coming from an authority figure:

The Supreme Court declared Wednesday that executions are too severe a punishment for raping children, despite the "years of long anguish" for victims, in a ruling that restricts the death penalty to murder and crimes against the state.

The court's 5-4 decision struck down a Louisiana law that allows capital punishment for people convicted of raping children under 12. It spares the only people in the U.S. under sentence of death for that crime two Louisiana men convicted of raping girls 5 and 8.

...

However devastating the crime to children, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion, "the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child." His four liberal colleagues joined him, while the four more conservative justices dissented.

I beg to differ on the law and the morality. The thing is, if these bastards don't deserve it who does? Oh, that's right, no one.

I hope they have comfortable beds at my reeducation camp.

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:17 PM | Comments (1)

Up, Up With People Primates

There the best kind of folks we know...

Spain's parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.

Any guesses at what rights come next?

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:10 PM | Comments (2)

BES

Bush Estrangement Syndome.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

PEV

Policial Ennui Vertigo.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2008

The Pendulum Has Stopped Moving

Which means it is headed back the other way:

The environmental movement, only recently poised for major advances on global warming and other issues, has suddenly found itself on the defensive as high gasoline prices shift the political climate nationwide and trigger defections by longtime supporters.

About time.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:39 PM | Comments (1)

Global Warming

Is there anything it can't do?

The tomato scare that has sickened 170 people and is the worst food scare since the E. coli/spinach outbreak is being blamed by some environmental activists on climate change and the need for more food grown with the help of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:31 PM | Comments (1)

Crypto-Racism

Republican Huckabee says don't denigrate Obama

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

Obey!

Al Gore endorses Obama! Well, duh, but considering the rather late nature of the endorsement, why is this news? All in all, a rather curious display of, ahem, leadership, wouldn't you say? But then leadership isn't Mr. Gore's strong suit when it comes to setting an example, is it?

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

Self-Referential Journalism

NY Times article:

Michelle Obama to get subtle makeover

Beginning with the NY Times article.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:19 PM | Comments (2)

Hugo Would Be Proud

It's the government's world, we just live in it:

Among other things, the Democrats called for the government to own refineries so it could better control the flow of the oil supply.

For control, one can only read constrict since they seem to be unwilling to do anything to increase it. Can you say rationing? Sure, I knew you could.

The race to the bottom is picking up speed.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2008

No Means No

Except when it doesn't:

The long campaign to forge a new dispensation for the European Union descended into panic and uncertainty yesterday when Ireland turned its back on its 26 EU partners and voted down the Lisbon Treaty.

EU leaders in Brussels and governments across the union, particularly Germany and France, were stunned by the Irish verdict, which amounted to a huge vote of no confidence in the way the EU is run.

The referendum in Ireland was the sole popular vote in the EU on the grand plan to give Europe a sitting president and foreign minister, and reconfigure the way the EU is governed. The result left the project severely wounded, perhaps fatally.

The Irish voted by a 7% margin, 53.6 to 46.4, against the treaty, which has already been ratified by 18 EU countries and is expected to be endorsed by the other eight.

Ratified in 18 EU countries without a vote. Funny how that works. One man, one vote, one time, once they get the right answer, of course.

Everything suggested that Europe's key leaders were urgently conferring on a scheme to steamroller their blueprint through despite the Irish rejection, a course likely to trigger protest from Eurosceptics and deepen Europe's democratic legitimacy problems.

The EU is lucky they aren't attending Oberlin as they won't take no for an answer as they keep trying to screw their people.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:54 AM | Comments (1)

What Is It About Gore?

Not Al, Vidal:

It will take the United States a century to recover from the damage wreaked by President George. W Bush, US writer Gore Vidal said in an interview published on Saturday.

"The president behaved like a virtual criminal but we didn't have the courage to sack him for fear of violating the American constitution," Vidal told the El Mundo newspaper.

The author, a trenchant critic of the US-led invasion of Iraq, said it would take the United States "100 years to repair the damage" caused by Bush.

"We live in a dictatorship. We have a fascist government ...which controls the media," he said.

The good news is that if Iraq was "Vietnam all over again, man," then at least we will be over Vietnam in another 68 years. But, hey, I'd like to know how Mr. Vidal managed to smuggle out his comments from the gulag.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:42 AM | Comments (1)

Schismism

Say goodnight, grace:

Male priests marry in Anglican church's first gay 'wedding'

The Anglican church is done. Just ask Christopher.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:35 AM | Comments (2)

Anticipating Keith Olbermann

Get Osama Bin Laden before I leave office, orders George W Bush

More proof that the 2004 election was fixed, since Bush had to wait until now to issue this order.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

Mass Miss Marketing

I see a lot of people are panning M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening. I haven't seen it and probably won't. Something about the marketing of the movie, "The first ever R-rated movie by M. Night Shyamalan," was more than sufficient to convince me that the producers knew they had a clunker.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2008

Apparently, Because the Games Are Too Fast at Three Hours and Fifteen Minutes

ESPN reports that Major League Baseball may put instant replay in place by August of this year.

Pathetic. More gimmicks driven by the gabbmeisters at ESPN. Absolutely pathetic.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

It's the End of the World As We Know It

ABC News asks:

Are we living in the last century of our civilization?

Well, that would depend on how we define civilization now, wouldn't it?. Since Lord Clark admitted that he couldn't define it, I'm not sure I can either. However, I am certain that civlization, as I understand it, is more likely to end if these neo-Luddites get their way than it is otherwise. But I digress.

So, what is civilization, and how useful is it to try and project it out one-hundred years? If you could go back in time and grab a half dozen people from 1908 and whisk them back to the present, how many of them would recognize America, or much of the world, as it is now, as the same civilization?

Here are just a few events and differences to think about from 1908:
- Pre-WWI geopolitics, lots of royalty, no communist states, the British Empire is peaking (though this is far from obvious at the time), the Congo Free State is annexed by Belgium.
- Artists in France begin to demonstrate their out of the box thinking via, ahem, Cubism.
- The First International Congress of Psychoanalysis is held in Salzburg.
- No Hollywood; no TV; no radio; Google and YouTube? Please.
- No X-Rays in the hospital emergency rooms, much less CAT Scans, MRIs, etc.; no antibiotics; perhaps 40,000,000 people were yet to die worldwide in the Influenza pandemic ten years later; no blood was yet stored for transfusions.
- Experiments in Vienna indicate that polio is infectious.
- The state of Georgia votes to abolish peonage the following year.
- The first Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line; optimists believe automobiles will solve the pollution problem New York City has with horse manure; General Motors files papers of incorporation.
- The discovery of oil in Texas just eight years earlier had reduced the price of it down to $0.03 a barrel; in some boom towns water cost $0.05 a barrel. In another 30 years oil would be discovered in Saudi Arabia.
- Glenn H. Curtiss is awarded the Scientific American trophy for a public flight of over 1 km!
- Barney Oldfield establishes a new world record for a mile in 51.8 seconds.
- The 46th star (for Oklahoma) is added to the United States flag.
- The Games of the IV Olympiad in London featured 22 countries competing in 22 sports.
- The Hydrox cookie first appeared. [ed. note: Kellogg discontinued it in 2003.]
- If you were a white male, your life expectancy just hit 50 years. If you were a non-white male, you should expect to dead by age 34.
- No man had ever set foot on the North Pole or the South Pole.
- Veterans gathered to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. [ed. note: We are 64 years away from D-Day.]
- There are approximately 10,000,000 phones in the United States, or about one for every 10 people on average. [ed. note: Approximately 135,000,000 cell phones were thrown away last year.]
- A few folks born in 1908: Edward Teller, William Randolph Hearst, Jr., Milton Berle, Lyndon Johnson, Simon Wiesenthal, and Edward R. Murrow.
- The nuclear model of the atom had not yet been released by Ernest Ruthford or Niels Bohr.
- The Chicago Cubs won the World Series! [ed. note: Now there's a portent of the end times.]

But of course, it isn't technology, transhumanism, or radical Islamism that has ABC News' panties in a bunch, but ..., wait for it ..., anthropomorphic global warming and the usual "we're running out of everything" hysteria.

Sigh. But I feel fine.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:27 PM | Comments (1)