Is Chicago the source of Toronto's guns?

So one the few places where handguns are banned in the US is the source of Toronto's illegal guns? This story is almost too amusing. Of course, Illinois has strict gun control regulations (e.g., requiring a FOID card to buy guns):

The Chicago source of Toronto's guns
National Post
Published: Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Chicago gun shop owner believed to be a source of guns used in crimes across Southern Ontario was arrested in the same sweep this week that resulted in 443 charges against 36 individuals accused of gun smuggling and drug trafficking. Dubbed Project Blackhawk, the investigation began in 2006 as a result of a tip from U. S. law enforcement officials that 237 handguns had been smuggled into Canada. Details of the case against the gun shop owner, Ugur ''Mike'' Yildiz, a Turkish citizen in his mid-30s, were laid out in an affidavit filed in U. S court this week. . . .



Baseball Fans will Love this: Ambidextrous hitter against ambidextrous pitcher

Baseball fans will love this video here and here.

The pitcher, with a custom-made glove, switched hands each time the batter switched sides of the plate, seeking an edge based on the conventional baseball wisdom that left-handed batters fare better against right-handed pitchers and vice versa. In frustration the teams asked the umpires for a decision. The umpires decided that both sides could switch once per time at bat, but that the batter had to decide first, giving the pitcher an advantage. The pitcher used his right arm to strike out the batter, batting right, on four pitches to end the game.


PETA is attacking Jessica Simpson

PETA is attacking Jessica Simpson here:

Animal rights protesters have launched a series of angry campaigns against A-list carnivores. They are shifting their focus from celebrities who wear fur to others who encourage the "exploitation" of animals by eating them. In its latest campaign, Peta – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which became infamous for dousing fur-wearers in red paint – has launched an attack on the singer Jessica Simpson. . . .

jessica Simpson is wearing the right kind of t-shirt.

UPDATE: More silliness.

Jessica Simpson, who was slammed this week by Pamela Anderson for wearing a T-shirt that said "Real Girls Eat Meat," has gotten her revenge on the former "Baywatch" babe by beating her to the top spot in InTouch Weekly’s 2008 Best Breast poll. . . .

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South Carolina enacts sweeping Reciprocity Bill

Permits from any other state will be honored in South Carolina:

STATUS: In Senate Judiciary Committee
This bill requires out-of-state permits to carry concealable weapons held by a resident of another state be honored by South Carolina. The legislation eliminates the current provision that South Carolina honors only out-of-state permits issued by a state with which South Carolina has reciprocity.

It is nice that Governor Mark Sanford signed that bill, though it is disappointing that he also vetoed a school choice bill.



Even more confirmation that the Obama Campaign and Austin Goolsbee lied about his contacts with the Canadians over Nafta?

Obama has backed away from his promise to renegotiate NAFTA:

In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine's upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn't want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA.
"Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified," he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake," despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.
Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself," he answered.

This heat of the campaign argument isn't really accurate because Obama advisor Austin Goolsbee and the campaign itself discussed the campaign's position over weeks. Confirming earlier evidence, it is now very clear that Goolsbee really did tell the Canadians that Obama was not being honest with the voters and that they could ignore the claims that he was making in the campaign. Goolsbee of course flatly denied that he had made these claims to the Canadians ( “It is a totally inaccurate story”). So will anyone in the press ask the Obama campaign if it is true that the Obama campaign lied about Goolsbee not making the famed comments to the Canadians? That Goolsbee also apparently was less than forthcoming and covered up what he had done? Why didn't Nina Easton ask not just about the change in positions but whether the Obama campaign had lied about their earlier denials about the statements to Canada?

Remember the Obama campaign slogan that "Only Barack Obama Consistently Opposed NAFTA."

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Ugh?: "12-Year-Old Grounded for Too Much Internet Use Gets Punishment Overturned in Court"

I assume that this court decision will be overturned on appeal (at least I hope so). Yet, it is bizarre that this case is even in court.

A Canadian court has overturned a father's punishment for his daughter after she refused to stay off the Internet, his attorney said Wednesday.

The girl, 12, took her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on Web sites and then posting "inappropriate" pictures of herself online using a friend's computer, AFP reported.

The punishment was for the girl's "own protection," according to the father's attorney, Kim Beaudoin, who is appealing the ruling.

"She's a child," Beaudoin told AFP. "At her age, children test their limits and it's up to their parent to set boundaries. I started an appeal of the decision today to reestablish parental
authority, and to ensure that this case doesn't set a precedent."

Otherwise, she continued, "Parents are going to be walking on egg shells from now on."

According to court documents, the girl's Internet usage was the latest in a rash of disciplinary problems. But Justice Suzanne Tessier, who was presiding over the case, found the punishment too severe.


Utah likely to grant 40,000 Concealed Hangun permits this year

KSL TV 5 in Salt Lake reports:

Utah's concealed-weapons permit under scrutiny
June 18th, 2008 @ 5:42pm
Richard Piatt reporting

Utah is on track to grant more than 40,000 concealed-weapons permits this year; that's way up from about 28,000 last year.

And so far this year, nearly half were granted to out-of-state residents. So what is the next step? As you can imagine, there is a sharp difference of opinion about this matter. One democratic senator says this is a matter of public safety. More conservative lawmakers say there is no problem.

Utah's concealed-weapons permits are among the least expensive and widely recognized in the nation. And to get one, out-of-state residents don't even have to set foot in the state. Today, state law enforcement officials say they're being overwhelmed by demand for the permits. Richard Townsend, with the Department of Public Safety, said, "We are having a very difficult time administering the out-of-state component to this issue."

Well, the ability for out-of-state individuals to get permits in this way is true for Florida and has been true in the past for Pennsylvania. No problems have been reported in either place.

Gov. Jon Huntsman has recently asked the Department of Public safety to seek clarification of the law, but is it working? Is it a good idea? It was exclusively democrat lawmakers asking those questions at a legislative meeting. In particular: application of rigorous background checks for gun permit applicants. Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City, said, "That same process that doesn't exist for any permit that leaves the state of Utah. And goes to a resident that isn't a resident of the state of Utah."

Dee Rowland, with the Gun Violence Prevention Center, said, "Utah residents have a daily background check, I think that's good, I think until we can do that kind of thing with out-of-state permits, we are taking a great risk with other people's lives."

Defenders of gun owners' rights say Utah's law and permit system is working so well, in fact, that it's an example for other states. The majority of this committee hinted that future legislation on the issue is premature.

Clark Aposhian, with the Utah Shooting Sports Council, said, "We have yet to see a problem, let alone a pattern of problems with people being issued permits in other states. The ability to defend oneself should not stop at the border of a state."

Some examples of systematic problems would be useful before advocating some changes to the law.

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A good week on Fox News for me

Two of my pieces have gotten good placement. One on "No Profits, No Oil" and the other entitled "Is it really a $3 Trillion War?" at the top of the "Latest News" section.


The Chicago Tribune's John Kass on the inequities in Chicago's Handgun Ban

It is an interesting piece:

That Washington, D.C., gun ban that the Supreme Court should toss out any day now because it is unconstitutional is often compared to the handgun ban in Chicago.

But what's not often reported by the decidedly pro-gun-control media is that since Chicago's anti-handgun law went into effect in 1982, only two classes of people have had ready access to firearms:

The criminals. And the politicians. . . .

In Chicago, our politicians often go around surrounded by armed bodyguards on the city payroll. Or they walk our streets strapped. Or they know a guy who knows a guy in some suburb, and they become deputized peace officers so they can carry. . . .

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Note on InBev's bid to take over Anheuser-Busch

A friend of mine from Brazil forwarded me this message about InBev, which is trying to aquire Anheuser-Busch.

Subject: A little more spice (InBev x Anheuser-Busch)
(google translation)

You knew that Ambev (InBev group, on Brazil) was a major donor campaign to prevent the Brazilian citizen possessing arms and ammunition?

Note that here it is almost impossible to bear arms legally, apparently not satisfied with it Ambev donated $ 400000.00 (four hundred thousand reais) to support the campaign to prevent even the possession of weapons by the Brazilian citizen, in the referendum of 2005.

Will be ironic attend a North American funding the anti-gun groups each time that drink a beer.


Julibio David Ardigo, Dr.Eng.
Professor of Udesc and Unisul

Sources (in potuguese): here, here, here, and here.



Hair salon fined for requiring it hairdressers show their hair

The owner of the salon won the discrimination part of the case, but lost on the issue of hurt feelings. From the UK's Telegraph:

A Muslim teenager has been awarded £4,000 for "hurt feelings" after the owner of a hair salon refused her a job because she wears a headscarf.

Bushra Noah, 19, told a tribunal she was "devastated" at being turned down for a job as a stylist at a trendy hair salon, and claimed she was a victim of religious discrimination.

But salon owner Sarah Desrosiers, 32, told the hearing in central London that it was an "absolutely basic" job requirement for stylist to have their own hair on show.

"I never in a million years dreamt that somebody would be completely against the display of hair and be in this industry," she said. "I don't feel I deserve it. I feel it is a bit steep for what actually happened. It's really scary for a small business."

The hearing was told Mrs Noah, 19, of Acton, west London, got an interview for a job as a junior assistant at the Wedge salon in King's Cross, central London. But when she arrived for interview in May last year she claimed Ms Desrosiers was clearly shocked that she wore a headscarf.

Mrs Noah had told the tribunal: "Ms Desrosiers stated that as it was a hair salon it was essential that I did not wear a headscarf.

"She then said how uncomfortable she felt with me being around. I wasn't sure how to respond. I was extremely offended and felt that her questions were insulting, both to me and to my religion."

Ms Desrosier said she insists all stylists wear their hair in "alternative" ways. . . .

Obama has also gotten into an absurd controversy over the fact that Obama's campaign wouldn't let women with head scarfs stand behind Obama at a rally. Laura Ingraham has the story here. As Laura says, if a Republican campaign had kept muslims off the stage, it would have created all sorts of problems and controversy.


Extended Unemployment Benefits will increase the Unemployment Rate right before the Election

The NY Times has the article here:

House leaders struck a bipartisan deal Wednesday night on a major spending measure that would provide money for the war in Iraq through the end of the Bush administration, establish a significant new education benefit for veterans and meet Democratic demands for added unemployment benefits. . . . .

In response to a Democratic push to aid laid-off workers whose unemployment pay is running out, the bill would extend jobless benefits for 13 weeks in all states, according to Congressional officials briefed on the contents of the measure. . . .

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Animal Rights Terrorists Strike Again at UCLA

While his statement isn't bad, I wish that UCLA's chancellor, Gene D. Block, would have been even stronger. "Extremist" isn't a strong enough term. The Chronicle of Higher Education has this:

Animal-Rights Militants Say They Torched a UCLA Van

The Animal Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for the burning of an empty van that belonged to the University of California at Los Angeles, apparently the latest in a series of attacks aimed at faculty members and institutions that conduct research on animals.

The incident, on June 3, is being investigated by the university police and the FBI. Earlier this year, activists set off a firebomb at the home of a UCLA professor whose research includes the use of animals. Nobody was injured in that attack.

The torched vehicle, which was part of a fleet of 150 vans providing commuter service to UCLA faculty members, was set on fire while parked overnight in a park-and-ride facility in nearby Irvine. Nobody was injured, but the vehicle was declared a total loss.

The militant animal-rights group claimed responsibility through an anonymous communiqué sent to the magazine Bite Back and later uploaded to the Animal Liberation Front’s Web site.

The university’s chancellor, Gene D. Block, said in a written statement, “The extremists have crossed yet another threshold and directed violence at individuals and property not associated with animal research.”


An interesting discussion about police harassing open-carry people

I hadn't actually thought about this point, but it is nice to see it being made. From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Gun toters want cops to holster harassment
By María Villaseñor
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 06/18/2008 01:32:14 AM MDT

WEST VALLEY CITY - With his Smith & Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic holstered on his right hip, Travis Deveraux addressed the mayor and City Council on Tuesday.
Deveraux says he has been harassed by West Valley City police for carrying that gun and treated like a criminal.
"A criminal does not want [police] attention, and they will not openly carry a gun," Deveraux said.
With 10 other gun-toting civilians - who came from as far as Bountiful, Santaquin and Lehi - to support him, Deveraux told the council that their police department has consistently overreacted to his gun carrying. And in one occasion last year, he said, the police officers violated his civil rights. . . . .

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"Armed customers capture would-be bank robber"

I covered this story before, but it is great to see that this got covered by Fox News. This is a great story, and you would think that if it was anything other than guns, it would get a lot of news coverage.

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Fox News: "House Democrats call for nationalization of refineries"

Well, this will obviously solve all our energy problems. The discussion is here:

House Democrats responded to President's Bush's call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. This was at an on-camera press conference fed back live.
Among other things, the Democrats called for the government to own refineries so it could better control the flow of the oil supply.
They also reasserted that the reason the Appropriations Committee markup (where the vote on the amendment to lift the ban) was cancelled so they could focus on preparing the supplemental Iraq spending bill for tomorrow.
At an off-camera briefing, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said the same. And a senior Republican House Appropriations Committee aide adds that "there were multiple reasons for the postponement" including discussion on the supplemental. But the aide said there was the thought that Democrats may wish to avoid a debate today on energy amendments.
Here are the highlights from briefing
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), member of the House Appropriations Committee and one of the most-ardent opponents of off-shore drilling
We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market

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The LA Times' abuse of Judge Alex Kozinski

Susan Estrich has a nice piece about how the LA Times covered the recent accusations against Judge Alex Kozinski:

But what has come out since is more troubling than the original accusations. Not only did the Los Angeles Times make a mountain out of a molehill, wrongly characterizing a popular and much-viewed piece of bathroom humor (literally) as bestiality, but it failed to reveal that the source of the story was an angry litigant, and that he had made them aware of it months earlier. Consider the source, my mother always used to say, and she didn’t run a newspaper. This week, Judge Kozinski’s wife of thirty years wrote an email to a popular local blogger, Patterico.com, defending her husband and, in the course of her defense, calling into question the fairness of the Los Angeles Times.

It has now been confirmed (by the man himself) that the source for the Los Angeles Times story, not disclosed in the story itself, was Cyrus Sanai, a local lawyer whose mother was party to a very contentious divorce in the state courts of Washington, which her son believes was improperly handled by those courts; he has since begun a crusade to attack what he sees as the corruption of the Washington state judiciary.

When he failed in his efforts to reverse the judgment in the state courts, he initiated a federal lawsuit, which resulted in an order from Judge Thomas Zilly enjoining future filings by Sanai: “Plaintiffs’ conduct in this litigation,” Judge Zilly found, “has been an indescribable abuse of the legal process, unlike anything this Judge has experienced in more than 17 years on the bench and 26 years in private practice: outrageous, disrespectful, and in bad faith.” The Ninth Circuit, in a decision in which Judge Kozinski did not participate, upheld the dismissal of Sanai’s complaint.

So why is Sanai out to get Kozinski? Because the Judge wrote a column for a San Francisco newspaper defending the panel’s decision. Not only did the Los Angeles Times fail to disclose that the source of its information about the Judge’s home server was a much criticized disgruntled litigant, but it apparently sat on the story for months, timing its publication to the opening statements in the obscenity case. If it was a story, it should have been a story three months ago. If it wasn’t news, which is certainly my view, the obscenity case didn’t make it news. And if you were going to wait, why wait until the jury had already been selected, with the result that everyone’s time was completely wasted?

Mr. Sanai has now responded to the criticism, but in the process, raised further questions about the Los Angeles Times’ reporting. He admits that he was the source of the story, and makes clear that it was some months ago that he accessed the Judge’s website, and provided information to the local paper of record. What’s worse, he himself says that his criticism of Judge Kozinski is part of a broader “litigation strategy” to address his complaints about the adjudication of his parents’ divorce, and that he himself didn’t really take issue with the pornography as much as he did the fact that the Judge’s column defending his colleagues was also on the server (Mr. Sanai also claims that there were mp3 files which the Judge was sharing in violation of copyright laws, though no one else has ever confirmed this).

Would the Los Angeles Times have run a similar story if it found pictures of naked cows, or women, on the home server of the liberal Judge Reinhardt?

I have seen enough of liberal politicians treated badly by the supposed liberal media to question the willingness of conservatives to ascribe ideological bias to the media, but in this case, one has to wonder. Federal judges cannot be blamed, however, if the lesson they take from this episode is that no good deed goes unpunished. Judge Kozinski’s “sin,” in the eyes of the man who attacked him, was not his taste in humor but his willingness to speak out publicly about legal issues, in this case, the lawsuit brought by Mr. Sanai, and the abuse of process it involved.

That willingness is precisely what makes Judge Kozinski a unique treasure in the federal judiciary. Instead of encouraging others to do the same, which is what the so-called liberal media should be doing it, the sloppy if not vicious reporting of the Los Angeles Times is sure to encourage just the opposite. The first amendment is not well served. I can only hope that Judge Kozinski doesn’t decide to take a pass on the Federation debate, and others like it, next year as a result.


Drew Johnson (a former intern of mine) does it again with Gore

So much for the claimed energy savings from all the green efforts that Al Gore engaged in for his home. You would think that the energy savings might even be exaggerated because Gore's life is so closely examined. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research report can be seen here:

Energy Guzzled by Al Gore’s Home in Past Year Could Power 232 U.S. Homes for a Month
Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations

NASHVILLE - In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.

“A man’s commitment to his beliefs is best measured by what he does behind the closed doors of his own home,” said Drew Johnson, President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment, judging by his home energy consumption.”

In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month.

In February 2007, An Inconvenient Truth, a film based on a climate change speech developed by Gore, won an Academy Award for best documentary feature. The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research uncovered that Gore’s Nashville home guzzled 20 times more electricity than the average American household.

After the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gore’s massive home energy use, the former Vice President scurried to make his home more energy-efficient. Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul.

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration. . . .

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So much for predatory pricing

Craig Newmark has a posting about Braniff's claimed predation attempt against Southwest Airlines. It reminds me of my book on how difficult predatory price is.

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John Fund on corruption in congress

John Fund has this interesting piece of information at today's WSJ's Political Diary:

A glaring loophole in Congressional disclosure rules has been revealed in the wake of news that both Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd received preferential treatment that saved them thousands of dollars on their mortgages from Countrywide Financial Corp.

It turns out that nothing, literally nothing, about the mortgages or homes of Members of Congress is required on the disclosure forms that everyone in Congress fills out every year. The only exception is if the property generates rental income. Otherwise, the rates paid on mortgages, the size of any home loans and the companies that handle the mortgages are exempt from reporting requirements. . . .

The loophole certainly facilitated Countrywide's "Friends of Angelo" program that allowed CEO Angelo Mozilo to shower Washington potentates with "VIP service" that he told his loan officers "should knock their socks off." Senator Dodd acknowledged yesterday that he was told in 2003 that he was a beneficiary of the VIP program, but assumed it was due to his status as a longtime Countrywide customer. Mr. Dodd said there "was no red flag" that he'd gotten special treatment.

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New Op-ed at Fox News: No Oil, No Profits

The entire piece is available here:

If a product is in short supply and if you really wanted more to be produced quickly, would you want companies to think that they could earn a lot of money making it?

You would think that the answer is pretty obvious: No profits, no oil. To encourage more production, companies need to think that there are more profits to be made. With all the anger over high oil prices, more production to lower prices would seem to be a high priority.

But outside of most congressional Republicans, particularly those in the Senate who successfully filibustered a new wind-fall profits tax on oil companies, no one wants to admit what profits do. . . .

Some comments on the piece can be found over at Hugh Hewitt's page here.

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Concealed Carry Permit Holder Stops Bank Robbery

This story about a robbery stopped in a bank by a concealed handgun permit holder from the Detroit Reporter:

Good Samaritan with concealed weapon thwarts would-be bank robber

Canton, MI -- June 17, 2008 -- A would-be bank robber is expected to be arraigned Tuesday after his attempt to rob a Canton bank ended with a bank customer pulling his concealed pistol and arresting the man.

According to police:

A 54-year-old Washtenaw County man walked up to the teller and handed her a hand-written note stating he had a bomb strapped to his body and demanded money. The clerk hit the silent alarm and began putting singles into a bag when the suspect demanded “bands of 50s and 100s”.

An adjacent teller witnessed the transaction and alerted the customer to the robbery. The long-time customer asked the teller if she was sure and the teller stated, “Yes”.

The customer then turned toward the bank robber pulled a concealed handgun, pointed it at the robber and racked a round into the chamber stating, “You are not robbing this bank!”

The robber replied, “But, I have a bomb." The patron stated again, “I don’t care; you are not robbing this bank!” The patron then escorted the would-be robber over to a chair, sat him down and held him at gun point until police arrived.

There were no injuries reported, there was no bomb found on scene, and there were no issues concerning the patron’s Concealed Pistol License (CPL). The suspect was taken into custody and the Canton Police along with the FBI are continuing with their investigation. . . . .

Thanks to my cousin Bob Lott for sending this to me.

WXYZ-TV has the same story here.
Gun Beats Bomb in Bank Robbery, June 18, 2008

He tells WXYZ.com he pulled out a .9 mm handgun (for which he had a CCW permit), racked a bullet in the chamber, pointed it at Webster and announced, "You are not robbing this bank!" . . .

Police tell WXYZ.com there were no injuries, no issues with Fawzi's CCW permit, and no bomb found at the scene.

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Texas Beans Turkish style

When I was in Turkey the first restaurant that we stopped at in Istanbul was an Italian one. I just couldn't help ordering the "Texas Beans." Anyway, here is what "Texas Beans" at an Italian restaurant in Istanbul looks like. It actually tasted pretty good, though I am not sure what made it Texan.

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Concealed handgun opponents focus on no training requirement in Georgia

It would be useful if the opponents could point to specific problems from this provision. It would also be nice if they included the long list of states without training requirements (e.g., Pennsylvania being the largest).

Some opponents believe this new gun bill will cause huge problems. Unlike many other states, Georgia doesn't require you to have any type of practice or training to get a gun permit. . . .


Alex Kozinski's wife attacks the LA Times for malicious reporting

The AP story is available here:

A federal appeals court judge under scrutiny for sexually explicit videos and photos posted on a personal Web site is the victim of distortions and "outright lies" published by the Los Angeles Times, his wife charged Monday.

Marcy Jane Tiffany, wife of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, described some of the material stored on the home computer as raunchy and juvenile. Only a handful of files among hundreds had a "sexual aspect," but they were not pornography, she said. . . .

From what I have seen, I would have to agree with her.


The Not so Wild, Wild West

Here is the link to an old but still very interesting article by Terry Anderson and PJ Hill. It turns out that the wild west before they had public law enforcement was actually not that wild or dangerous of a place.


James Pethokoukis nails Obama's Economic Speech

Read Pethokoukis's whole statement, but here is the most important gist:

Obama thinks climate change is gradually becoming a political negative. Obama's climate-change plan would make reducing carbon emissions the fundamental organizing principle of the American economy. But he mentioned it only once in his long speech on economic policy—and merely in passing at that. Can you imagine a Reagan speech in 1980 with only a single, brief mention of tax cuts? But you can't really blame Obama. Do people actually want to hear about why they should be paying even more for energy with gas at $4 a gallon? . . .

Plenty of liberal and conservative economists think corporate taxes make little sense. They hurt national competitiveness and reduce worker wages. Yet Obama views cutting taxes on employers—using controversial Exxon Mobil as the poster company for all of corporate America—just the same as cutting taxes for wealthy folks. He could easily pay for corporate tax cuts by using the proceeds from his carbon cap plan, but those trillions are already promised elsewhere in his plan. . . . .

I didn't hear anything about what government can do to lessen the tax or regulatory burden on investors or employers, only about how Uncle Sam can spend money on research and infrastructure investments that will supposedly create 5 million green jobs. Hey, if the government spends billions on anything, jobs will be created. That's no biggie. But you are only shifting jobs from elsewhere in the economy. New jobs are not the same as net new jobs.

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Lars Larson Show at 6:20 PM EDT

I will be on the Lars Larson show at 6:20 PM EDT. We will talk about my new piece on the cost of the Iraq war at Fox News.

I did G. Gordon Liddy's show earlier today at 10 AM EDT.


New Analysis piece up at Fox News: Is It Really a '$3 Trillion War'?

The new piece is pretty good. I spent a large amount of time doing the interviews for it. You can read the whole piece here:

What is the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? To many, the answer, at least from 2001 through 2007, is $473 billion – about a quarter of total defense expenditures over those years. It has averaged less than one percent of GDP.

$473 billion is probably an underestimate simply because the fighting has already lasted past 2007 and some wounded veterans will require long-term care. But how much more is it?

In a new book, The Three Trillion Dollar War, Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes argue that this emphasis on what the government has already spent dramatically understates the true cost of the war. At roughly six times the defense department’s numbers, their $3 trillion estimate has generated much news coverage and controversy. . . .

I found a related piece by Amity Shlaes here.

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Why can't the government let Sirius Satellite and XM Satellite Radio figure out what their customers want

This is something that occurred during a Republican administration? Why does the government have to force Sirius Satellite and XM Satellite Radio to offer noncommercial channels as a condition of their merger? Why can't consumers decide what they want? The story is here:

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is recommending approval of the $5 billion merger between the nation's two satellite radio broadcasters in exchange for concessions that include turning over 24 channels to noncommercial and minority programming. . . .


NJ Moving on 50 caliber ban

David Hardy has the information here.



McCain Supports End to Ethanol Corn Subsidies

I am glad to hear this in Fox News:

The United States has “committed a series of errors in not adopting a sustainable energy policy,” McCain was quoted as saying. “One of those is the subsidies for ethanol from corn.”
McCain blamed the price supports for “destroying the market” and “causing a serious problem with inflation.”
The Republican also blasted U.S. tariffs on Brazilian ethanol imports, saying that the Brazilian product made from sugarcane “is much more efficient than ethanol from corn.”
Critics of the U.S. subsidies say spurring the planting of corn for use in ethanol has added to a sharp spike in global food prices. . . . .

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What to look for in Heller v. DC

The Heller case before the Supreme Court will be decided sometime during the next seven and a half days. A website called Concurring Opinions has a very nice summary of what is at stake in the case and how the court is likely to rule. The site is well worth visiting for this discussion.

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Obama changing his positions for the general election on economic issues

The LA Times has an article about how unions are upset about Barack Obama's new chief economic adviser, Jason Furman. The claim is that he is sympathetic to free trade, Wal-Mart, private Social Security accounts and the policies of Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

WASHINGTON -- Labor union officials and some liberal activists were seething Tuesday over Barack Obama's choice of centrist economist Jason Furman as the top economic advisor for the campaign. The critics say Furman, who was appointed to the post Monday, has overstated the potential benefits of globalization, Social Security private accounts and the low prices offered by Wal-Mart -- considered a corporate pariah by the labor movement.

Officials from several labor organizations phoned the Obama campaign to complain about the appointment and circulated e-mail messages containing quotes from some of Furman's work. Campaign officials responded that some of the quotes were inaccurate or out of context. They expressed confidence in Furman's abilities and said that Obama would be listening to an array of advisors. . . .

Personally, I believe that Obama's views during the campaign are much closer to his voting record in the Senate and much closer to his true views, but it will be interesting to see if the media gives him any grief for appearing to change his positions.

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More on the Irish rejecting the EU treaty

I was stunned to read that the EU "is the source of about 85 percent of the new laws passed in Europe every year. . . . " The piece in the International Herald Tribune noted that "many people feel, the Union is remote, undemocratic and ever more inclined to strip its smaller members of the right to make their own laws and decide their own futures." Given the first statement, that seems only natural and well justified. It appears to me that too much is being made of the fact that Ireland is the only country that has rejected the treaty. It seems pretty obvious that other countries have not put the new treaty up for a popular vote precisely because they feared that their voters would defeat the treaty. Indeed, the EU has long ago gone beyond being an organization for allowing free trade and gone on to reducing competition between the countries in the organization. Allowing competition over laws prevents any country from passing laws that can be too harmful.