"More trust means more votes"

Picture this: Suppose making voters show some secure ID increased turnout in Milwaukee?

The partisan trench lines on photo identification run the other way now: Democrats say that since driver's licenses are rarer among poor people, black men and the elderly, such voters would be discouraged. They say Republicans back ID to suppress turnout. Republicans counter that they're eager to suppress turnout by guys named Mickey D. Maus whose home address turns out to be the Wisconsin Ave. viaduct.

Either way, the presumption is for fewer votes in Milwaukee.

John R. Lott Jr. suggests otherwise. He's an economist who raised eyebrows some years ago with data showing that more legal gun possession can reduce crime. He published a paper last month looking for effects from voter-ID requirements.

He didn't find much evidence about mandatory picture IDs, since such rules are new and rare in this country. But he did find signs that other tough anti-fraud rules, similarly criticized, didn't hurt turnout among minorities, the poor and the elderly. And while ID rules didn't affect turnout much overall, he says, they appeared to increase it in what the bipartisan American Center for Voting Rights identified as fraud hot spots.

Milwaukee made that list in the center's report, by the way, which suggests that tightening up here could have just such an effect.

What underlies the numbers, says Lott, is that while ID rules may both suppress legitimate voters or comb out fakes, a third thing may be happening: Voters gain added confidence that their votes won't be negated by fraud. More people vote if they know the vote is fair and accurate, and this effect would be highest in places with the worst reputations.

He says the numbers show that's what's happening.

And there is evidence about mandatory photo IDs as well, he says: Mexico has required them since 1991. Turnout has risen since.. . .

For those with HBO, a rave review for The Wire, on tonight

I got this email today from:

The fourth season of The Wire delves into the realities of our disastrous public school monopolies. Anyone who cares about our children, inner cities, and America’s future must see this series. And if Simon hits a home run the way he did in the first three years, viewers with the courage to watch will understand why our public schools cannot be fixed, why our children need charters and vouchers to escape, and why Hollywood liberals, the unions, and the politicians they buy refuse to tell this story.

Despite the show being politically incorrect, the NY Times and the LA Times supposedly have rave reviews also.

Amusing Reagan Joke

Concealed Handgun Permits in action in NYC: Wheelchair-bound woman

This from the September 8th Associated Press:

NEW YORK Margaret Johnson might have looked like an easy target.
But when a mugger tried to grab a chain off her neck Friday, the wheelchair-bound 56-year-old pulled out her licensed .357 pistol and shot him, police said.
Johnson said she was in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood on her way to a shooting range when the man, identified by police as 45-year-old Deron Johnson, came up from behind and went for the chain.
"There's not much to it," she said in a brief interview. "Somebody tried to mug me, and I shot him."
Deron Johnson was taken to Harlem Hospital with a single bullet wound in the elbow, police said. He faces a robbery charge, said Lt. John Grimpel, a police spokesman.
Margaret Johnson, who lives in Harlem, has a permit for the weapon and does not face charges, Grimpel said. She also was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and later released.

This story is amazing in multiple respects. 1) Most people probably believe concealed handgun permits are not granted in NYC so this case should probably come as a surprise. 2) The AP rarely runs even the defensive gun use stories that get local coverage. A defenseless 56-year-old woman who was in a wheelchair should make this very newsworthy. That said, it is still a very short story. Compare it in length to cases where a gun is used in a crime.

UPDATE: Apparently the woman just had a permit to own a gun and was in the process of going to a shooting range when she was attacked. It is too bad that she doesn't have the option of protecting herself at other times as well.
Also, thanks to Curt Howland for pointing out a typing mistake in my earlier post.

Utah Supreme Court Shoots down University of Utah Gun Ban

The state's highest court ruled Friday that the University of Utah has no right to ban guns on campus, rejecting the argument that prohibiting firearms is part of the school's power to control academic affairs.
Writing for the 4-1 majority, Utah Supreme Court Justice Jill Parrish said case law "is incompatible with the university's position."
"We simply cannot agree with the proposition that the Utah Constitution restricts the Legislature's ability to enact firearms laws pertaining to the university," Parrish wrote.
In a dissent, Chief Justice Christine Durham said policies that are reasonably connected to the school's academic mission are within its autonomous authority over academic affairs. Under the majority analysis, she said, "the university may not subject a student to academic discipline for flashing his pistol to a professor in class."
But no one will be permitted to carry a gun anytime soon on the campus, home to more than 44,000 students, faculty and staff members. Friday's ruling resolved only the state issues involved in the matter; the case now goes back to U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City for litigation of federal constitutional issues.
The delay is welcome to Landon Smith and Minna Shim, U. students who say they support the ban, which has been in place for almost three decades.
"It scares the hell out of me," said Smith, a senior in communication. "I don't want some cowboy coming to class with a gun."
Shim, an undeclared freshman, said, "I don't feel a threat here now, but if there are concealed weapons around, I'd be afraid." . . .

These last comments are a perfect example of how right-to-carry laws can effect people's views. It is not clear to me why these students are not equally fearful off of campus where concealed handguns are allowed, but, whatever the reason, their predictions about what will happen on school property will be quickly tested. Some people have to be shown in each venue that there will not be problems from law-abiding citizens with guns. But just as with all the other places that allow concealed handgun laws, the data makes me confident that these problems that these students fear will not occur.


Another reason that the government shouldn't control broadcast licenses

Democrats threaten ABC stations with losing their broadcast license if they don't broadcast what the Dems want. Of course there were the stories of this being done during Pres. Johnson's administration and Nixon to a lesser extent, but I had thought that this type of extreme threat was no longer viable because people would be outraged. I don't see the media turning on the Democrats for making this threat. If Republicans made this threat, what do you think would happen?

ABC is frantically recutting its $40 million miniseries about 9/11 amid a blistering backlash over fictional scenes that lay the blame on the Clinton administration.
Also feeling the heat was Scholastic, which yanked a classroom guide tie-in to the program.

Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, the former head of the 9/11 commission and a paid consultant on the ABC miniseries, told the Daily News yesterday that some controversial scenes in "The Path to 9/11" were being removed or changed. . . .

Unmollified, Democrats continued to demand that ABC yank the two-night docudrama that former President Bill Clinton's spokesman called "despicable." It is scheduled to start airing Sunday. . . .

Several top Democratic senators, including Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, accused ABC boss Bob Iger in a letter of airing "right-wing political propaganda" and obliquely threatened his broadcast license. . . .

Some amazing research on the brain

The doctor's statement that "I was absolutely stunned" says it all.

According to all the tests, the young woman was deep in a "vegetative state" -- completely unresponsive and unaware of her surroundings. But then a team of scientists decided to do an unprecedented experiment, employing sophisticated technology to try to peer behind the veil of her brain injury for any signs of conscious awareness.

Without any hint that she might have a sense of what was happening, the researchers put the woman in a scanner that detects brain activity and told her that in a few minutes they would say the word "tennis," signaling her to imagine she was serving, volleying and chasing down balls. When they did, the neurologists were shocked to see her brain "light up" exactly as an uninjured person's would. It happened again and again. And the doctors got the same result when they repeatedly cued her to picture herself wandering, room to room, through her own home.

"I was absolutely stunned," said Adrian M. Owen, a British neurologist who led the team reporting the case in today's issue of the journal Science. "We had no idea whether she would understand our instructions. But this showed that she is aware." . . .


Girls learning confidence and self-defense with guns

MINTURN, Colorado
"Stop! I have a gun. Leave my house," shouted the 11-year-old girl.

And with the words barely out of her mouth, Noel Smith opened fire.

Any intruder would be dead on his back, but this was just practice. Noel, along with seven other women, was practicing her marksmanship at a session of Girls and Their Guns, a summer-long program that teaches women how to shoot and about gun safety.

On the crisp Saturday morning at the Minturn firing range, shots echoed across the valley leaving the smell of gunpowder lingering in the air.

Noel cocked her head, squinted her eyes, placed one leg in front of the other and squeezed the trigger. Five women lined up next to her in variations of the same stance.

"I've always wanted to know what guns were like and how they were used," said Noel, who's been shooting for nearly two years and learned of the program from her karate teacher, Mathew Bayley, who teaches the gun class. "When I heard he was doing this, I really wanted to try it. ... I've been stuck to it ever since." . . .

Thanks very much to Matthew Ledyard for sending me this link.

Will NY Adopt a Right-to-Carry Law?

While attempts to make New York adopt an objective standard for concealed weapons permits have failed for almost a dozen legislative sessions in Albany, gun enthusiasts will resume their campaign for a change in the law.

"We will be pushing for that legislation," the president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Thomas King, said. "The exact specifics of the bill, we're still working on."

The change being sought is at the core of the constitutional right to bear arms. In New York, a citizen's right to bear arms is frustrated, gun advocates say, by regulations limiting the ownership of guns. The proposed legislation would automatically oblige state authorities to grant licenses to all those who apply.

Gun control supporters, who say concealed weapons are incompatible with New York culture, call "concealed carry" legislation a danger to public safety.

Such safety fears have led New York to become one of eight "may issue" states, where officials can decide whether a person should be given a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Forty states have "shall issue" provisions on their books, by which anyone who meets objective criteria — taking into account criminal background and marksmanship training — must be given a concealed weapon permit. Wisconsin and Illinois completely prohibit citizens from carrying firearms. . . .


"The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin"

I guess that there are some people that even experts shouldn't be able to be around wild animals.

"Noted feminist critic Germaine Greer" claims that the late Steve Irwin "deserved his fate."


Hugh Hewitt: Did ABC Edit "The Path to 9/11?"

This is sad that Disney/ABC gave into this type of pressure at all.

The Disney execs met all through the weekend - unheard of in this business - debating what changes would be made and what concessions should be given. Here is what looks to be the conclusion:

- There will be a handful of tweaks made to a few scenes.
- They are minor, and nuance in most cases - a line lift here, a tweak to the edit there.
. . .

The story here is the backlash that the Disney/ABC execs experienced was completely unexpected and is what caused them to question themselves and make these changes at all. Had this been the Bush Admin pressuring, they wouldn't have even taken the call. The execs and studio bosses are dyed in the wool liberals and huge supporters of Clinton and the Democratic Party in general. They had no idea any of this could happen. As I understand this, the lawyers and production team spent literally months corroborating every story point down to the sentence. The fact that they were the attacked and vilified by their "own team" took them completely by surprise; this is the first time they've been labeled right-wing, conservative conspiracists.

The scramble caused by this backlash was so all consuming that the execs spent their holiday weekend behind closed door meetings and revamped their ad campaign. But at the end of their mad scramble, they found only a handful of changes they could make and still be true to the events. The changes are done only to appease the Clinton team - to be able to say they made changes. But the blame on the Clinton team is in the DNA of the project and could not be eradicated without pulling the entire show. A $40 million investment on the part of ABC is enough to stem even Bill Clinton's influence. . . .

Why not just lock up the criminals?

Europeans claim that the US is a bigger threat to world stability than Iran

Civilians with machine guns

Firing machine guns for fun:

Automatic weapons attract all types.
At the Hernando Sportsman's Club, you'd expect the camouflaged commandos toting long, mean-looking weapons.
But there's also the weekend warrior wearing a polo shirt, khaki shorts and house shoes, firing 100 rounds a minute.
Two spots down on the range is the elderly gentleman who adjusts his glasses before popping off shots from a gun that spits fire from the muzzle.

Then there's Patty Mitchell. With her ponytail pulled back by pink elastic, the slim 22-year-old shouldered her machine gun and let loose with the best of them. It was her first time with automatic weapons.

"It was overwhelming, but extremely fun," Mitchell said with a huge grin splitting her freckled face. "I was excited, really excited."

For 10 years, the club located off U.S. 19 has hosted the Labor Day machine gun shoot to raise money for its facilities. The club has a variety of ranges ranging from 200 to 10 yards for firearms, an archery range and a barn for cowboy shows. . . . .

Where have all the tough guys gone?

Where are today's John Wayne's?

Look at Gregory Peck in, say, "Twelve O'Clock High" or Clark Gable in "Command Decision," two movies of leadership agonistes set against the strategic bombing missions of World War II. In both cases -- you could add dozens more -- they were men who made decisions that cost other men their lives; they were hated, even loathed; they lived and drank alone. Their courage wasn't physical, it was almost metaphysical. They had the strength within themselves to ignore (though not really; underneath it cut bad) the will of the consensus and pleadings for such shady attributes as "compassion" and "humanity." They knew the job came first.

That certitude had vanished from many places, but nowhere more vividly than the top of the guy star pile in Hollywood.

Mel Gibson, who played an action hero, seems to have morphed into director, producer and madman, melting down in a pool of seething angers and resentments. Then there's Tom Cruise, recently dumped by Paramount for (1) personal oddnesses and (2) delivering a movie that may only make $400 million worldwide when everyone knew it should have made $500 million. Down but not out, each actor, you can bet, will hasten to a film highlighting redemption, earnestness, decency and love of fellow man. Don't bet on either guy's next movie to co-star a submachine gun. In short, they're no longer going to be John Ford heroes but Frank Capra heroes. Mel in "Mr. Goldstein Goes to Washington." Cruise in "Meet Tom Doe, Episcopalian Social Worker."

So who's left? Almost nobody. Eastwood is too old to kick you know what, Arnold is too Republican. Harrison Ford is ancient, Sylvester Stallone too kitschy as well as too old.

Let's look at a younger generation: Matt Damon? Folks, folks, I was only joking. Good God, Johnny Depp? Well, possibly his potential as an action hero was summed up when no less an important cultural figure than John Mark Karr revealed he had hoped Depp would play him in the movie. Ben Affleck? Too pretty, really. Leonardo DiCaprio? Again, I joke! . . . .

Want to honor labor?

It has always puzzled me that people honor labor by taking the day off. It would seem like the best way to honor labor would be to work hard.


Waiting and waiting and waiting for socialized medicine

Last week Ottawa-based Decima Research released results of a poll designed to answer the ultimate question in Canada: "How many wait too long for health care?" The firm says its survey of 3,070 Canadians "reveals that more than one in three Canadian households has tried and failed to get timely access to at least one health service within the last three months."

Nearly half (46%) of those waiting to see a specialist said they experienced an "unreasonable" wait time, as did 30% of those waiting to confirm a diagnosis. Of those who sought emergency hospital treatment, 44% said their wait was too long. According to Decima CEO Bruce Anderson, "In the case of some services, the number of people satisfied with the speed of service is virtually equaled by the number of people who are dissatisfied."

The Vancouver-based Fraser Institute's "Waiting Your Turn" annual report has documented Canada's waiting-time crisis in health care for 15 years. In 2005 it found "total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces, was 17.7 weeks." . . . .

As Mr. Anderson put it, "These results confirm that millions of Canadian households, in the last three months alone, experienced the anxiety of waiting what they felt was too long a period of time for a health service."

Evidence of Voter Fraud and the Impact that Regulations to Reduce Fraud have on Voter Participation Rates

This is some new research that I have recently completed.

The results provide some evidence of vote fraud in U.S. general elections. Regulations that prevent fraud are shown to actually increase the voter participation rate. It is hard to see any evidence that voting regulations differentially harm either minorities, the elderly, or the poor. While this study examines a broad range of voting regulations, it is still too early to evaluate any possible impact of mandatory photo IDs on U.S. elections. What can be said is that the non-photo ID regulations that are already in place have not had the negative impacts that opponents predicted. The evidence provided here also found that campaign finance regulations generally reduced voter turnout.

A copy of the research can be downloaded by following the above link.

Labels: ,

Thanks: Over 500,000 unique visitors, 0ver 840,330 page views

Thank you all for taking the time to visit my website.

Allan J. Lichtman (Professor at American University) arrested for pushing his political views "too far"

I have had a vigorous debate with Lichtman about the Florida 2000 Presidential election. Here is my paper and Lichtman's response. Apparently Lichtman was willing to get arrested to further his Democratic political views. Lichtman's bio lists his frequent use as an unbiased expert analyst by "CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, CNBC, C-SPAN, Worldnet, Voice of America, the BBC, and many other networks worldwide."

Importance of the 2nd Amendment

Lawrence A. Stich writes me about a very poignant post making the case for the 2nd Amendment--with far more gravity than the usual.

Thanks to Lawrence A. Stich for sending me a link to this post.