California Talk Trip this coming week

Monday, April 16th
Chapman University Law School -- noon -- The Bias Against Guns
Western State University Law School-- 5 PM -- Debate on gun control

Tuesday, April 17th
Loyola University Law School -- noon -- The Bias Against Guns

Wednesday, April 18th
OC Federalist Society -- noon -- The Bias Against Guns
Whittier University Law School -- 5 PM -- Affirmative Action in Law Schools


Laurie David and Sheryl Crow Nailed in CNBC Global Warming Interview by Joe Kernen

Great video from CNBC interview with “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Laurie David and Sheryl Crow on Global Warming (scroll down here for a link to the video). The host, Joe Kernen, just nails them. The website link also has a discussion about how upset David and Crow were after the interview. This is a great interview and well worth watching.

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So you really believe in Gore's hype about Global Warming?: Well here is a chance to put your money where your mouth is

The encouraging thing is how long the odds are on this

NORFOLK, VA., — Think global warming will raise the oceans enough to submerge Cape Hatteras, N.C.? Want to bet on it?

An online gambling service has started taking bets on global warming, including whether it can submerge some of the East Coast's top vacation spots. The odds that Virginia's Cape Henry will be under water by 2015 — 200-to-1 at BetUs.com. Its odds for Cape Hatteras flooding by the same date — 300-to-1. . . .

I will have to start searching more for these betting opportunities. Here is another story on this site:

BetUS.com spokesman Reed Richards said the company will personally back numerous bets, or "propositions," posted on the Web site related to global warming.

"It's part of a campaign we've been doing for the past two and a half years called 'pop culture gaming,'" Richards said. "You can wager on things in the headlines."

One bet gives members 1-to-5 odds that scientists will prove global warming exists beyond any scientific doubt by the end of this year.

Another gives 100-to-1 odds that polar bears will be extinct by 2010.

(A complete list of all the global-warming related bets is listed at the end of this article.)

Richards said "thousands" of people have already placed money on the company's global-warming bets, with $10 being the average wager. . . .

the bets are "designed to part fools from their money." . . .

Someone actually thinks that there is a one percent chance of polar bears going extinct in the next three years? Anyway, it seems like the extreme environmentalists are the ones who will be parted from their money.

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Arizona possibly reducing penalty for forgetting to have concealed handgun permit with you

Carjacking stopped by Concealed handgun Permit Holder

Man shoots assailant

WARREN (Ohio) — A 55-year-old man thwarted a carjacking Tuesday morning after exchanging gunfire with the would-be thief. The victim told police he had pulled his vehicle into his Youngstown Road driveway about 12:45 a.m. when one of three men who was walking past his home started shooting at him.

The victim, who police reported has a conceal-carry gun permit, returned fire. The would-be thief jumped into the victim's car and backed into a street sign. He drove forward, went through a fence and slammed into a junk vehicle. The gunman jumped back over the fence and got into a car that had pulled up to the scene. The victim suffered a cut hand, but police say he wounded his assailant, who is in a Warren hospital pending filing of charges.

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Kansas Gov Vetoes Change in Right-to-carry law

Topeka — Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today vetoed legislation that would have prevented cities and counties from restricting concealed gun permit holders. . . .

The article is pretty one sided in that it only presents the governor's explanation for the veto and not the explanation behind passing the law. Legislators plan to attempt an override. They had to do the same thing to get the original right-to-carry law passed.

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Kurt Vonnegut: RIP

Kurt Vonnegut wrote many interesting pieces, but this is one I enjoyed the most. "Harrison Bergeron" was written by Vonnegut in 1961, but the warning that it gives is just as timely now. Sorry, on second thought, in a time when children's sports often no longer give awards for the winners, I think that the essay is even more important now.


Ohio Sheriff sues to stop Right-to-Carry group from getting names of permit holders

This is a weird case, but it seems as if the sheriff is upset about having to provide the names of permit holders to one of the groups that fought for right-to-carry laws. Presumably the group is asking for the names so that they can organize permit holders (fund raising, fight for legislation, etc.). Unlike the mainstream media that has made the names of permit holders public, it is doubtful that the right-to-carry group has that intention. I have two thoughts on this:

1) If the right-to-carry group runs a website or has a newsletter, I don't see how they couldn't be defined as a journalists.
2) I doubt that the sheriff would have brought the suit to stop a "real" media organization from getting these names.

County Sheriff Phil Stammitti sued Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann on Wednesday, asking a county judge to declare unconstitutional a 2004 state law that requires Stammitti to provide the names of those who apply for concealed carry permits to journalists.

The lawsuit also asks the court to determine whether Ohioans for Concealed Carry President Jeff Garvas, who also is named in the suit, is a journalist.

Stammitti wants county Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi, who was assigned the case, to decide whether he should be allowed to disclose the names and other information of permit holders to anyone, including journalists.. . . .



Crime Surge in England: Tony Blair Blames Black Culture

Possibly Bill Cosby could get away with something like this, but politicians really take a big risk discussing these topics. Black on black crime, whether it is in the US or the UK, inflicts a massive cost on the black community. My own belief is that a stricter law enforcement system with more real penalties would help. If you increased arrest and conviction rates in those communities, my guess is that crime would also go down there.

Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. His remarks angered community leaders, who accused him of ignorance and failing to provide support for black-led efforts to tackle the problem. . . . .

Giving the Callaghan lecture in Cardiff, the prime minister admitted he had been "lurching into total frankness" in the final weeks of his premiership. He called on black people to lead the fight against knife crime. He said that "the black community - the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law abiding people horrified at what is happening - need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids".

Mr Blair said he had been moved to make his controversial remarks after speaking to a black pastor of a London church at a Downing Street knife crime summit, who said: "When are we going to start saying this is a problem amongst a section of the black community and not, for reasons of political correctness, pretend that this is nothing to do with it?" Mr Blair said there needed to be an "intense police focus" on the minority of young black Britons behind the gun and knife attacks. The laws on knife and gun gangs needed to be toughened and the ringleaders "taken out of circulation". . . .


More on Pregnant woman who defended herself with a gun

A video report of the pregnant Minneapolis woman who used a gun to protect herself and her two year old is here.



Some progress regarding people keeping guns in the home

With all the garbage put out in the media, it is amazing to me that people's perception of the benefits of having guns in the home have been increasing. Going from 35 percent in 2000 to 47 percent in 2006 is a real change, though I feel sure that if this poll had been done in the 1950s it would have been in the 70 or 80 percent range.

When asked whether a gun in the house makes the house safer or more dangerous, 47% said safer in October 2006 - up from 35% in August 2000 and 42% in October 2004.


Opposition to statue honoring fallen Navy Seal

Here is an amazing story of anti-gun people oppose a statute to honor a Navy Seal who won the Navy Cross saving the lives of three of this fellow soldiers shot in a firefight. The anti-gun people are upset that this Navy Seal is being depicted with a gun.


On the G. Gordon Liddy Show tomorrow

I will be on the G. Gordon Liddy Show at 11:30 AM Wednesday morning.


Illinois State Police rely on incorrect statistics regarding gun control

The Illinois State Police gives some amazingly bad advice that doesn't seem to be based on anything:

Use of a firearm to protect yourself or property is not recommended.

-Guns stolen from residences are a primary way of getting guns into the hands of criminals.
-Half of all the women that fire a gun trying to protect themselves shoot someone they do not want to, i.e. friend, neighbors, relatives, etc.

But for quite different information see page 9 of this BJS report for information that 9.9 percent of criminal guns came from theft or burglary. Purchased, obtained from family or friend, and rented or borrowed were all much more common sources.

I have called up and asked about both claims. At least on the second claim they had a source, but the source that they pointed to claims that they didn't provide the information. The state police were then called back to figure out where it came from, but so far no source.

The website also advises women to fight their attackers:
Concentrate on these areas only when combating an assailant.


For information on the safest course of action see this link.

I was sent this link for the Illinois State Police a few days ago and I apologize for forgetting who sent this to me, but I did appreciate it.

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Pregnant woman shoots attacker

Felons getting the right to vote

`On April 5, 2007, Governor Crist persuaded Florida’s clemency board to restore voting rights to about 800,000 former prisoners.

Crist’s action was vigorously opposed by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, as well as by former governor Jeb Bush. Under the new rules, about 80 percent of the disenfranchised whose crimes were not classified as “violent” will automatically have heir voting rights restored, so long as they have paid any restitution to victims and have no pending criminal charges.

This measure will largely exclude about two hundred thousand people defined as “violent career criminals,” murderers and sexual offenders, who must submit to an investigation of their cases and a hearing before a clemency board. In practical terms, the vast majority of these former prisoners will never vote again. This raises a basic question about the “limits” of American democracy, and the danger in restricting the electoral franchise. . . .

Personally, I still think that it is strange that this is the only "right" that Democrats want to restore to felons. All the information that I have seen indicates that felons care much more about other issues (jobs, self defense). But what baffles me completely is how some people such as this author think that American Democracy is at stake because we are not letting murderers and rapists vote. What is the deal there? The same people who push for voting rights being restored to violent felons would never think of restoring the right to own a gun to those who were convicted of even just simple misdemeanors.

Thanks to Jack Langer for sending me this link.


New Op-ed on What Should We Advise Women who are being Stalked?

Sonya Jones and I have a new op-ed on the recent failure of restraining orders in protecting women: Flawed Laws Help Stalkers Victimize Women.

What do you do when the police can’t protect you?

Police may be the single most important factor for reducing crime, but there is something the police themselves understand: They almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred.

Expecting people to trust the police to protect them and to behave passively is a recipe for disaster.

The last couple of weeks have seen a couple prominent murders where restraining orders did women little good. Numerous news organizations, such as ABC News, have run headlines asking "How Do You Stop a Stalker From Killing You?"

Unfortunately, despite acknowledging that "many women find themselves on their own," the media are drawing the wrong lessons. To simply advise that women "Get the hell away from him" often doesn't go anywhere near far enough. . . .

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Elizabeth Edwards is scared of "rabid, rabid Republican" Neighbor

Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, is scared of the "rabid, rabid Republican" who lives across the street from her home. This guy must really be way out there politically. You can tell how extreme that he is politically since he has a "Go Rudy Giuliani 2008" sign on his fence. Given how extremely far right New York city is, I can understand her concerns. She doesn't want to meet the man and because he owns guns she is worried about the safety of her children.

While I couldn't find any sites that provided help for phobias regarding Republicans, here is a site that deals with Hoplophobia.


Advice of DC police officer to citizen fearful of crime: get a gun

Richard S. Lindzen on Global Warming

Lindzen doesn't pull many punches in this piece in Newsweek.

Judging from the media in recent months, the debate over global warming is now over. There has been a net warming of the earth over the last century and a half, and our greenhouse gas emissions are contributing at some level. Both of these statements are almost certainly true. What of it? Recently many people have said that the earth is facing a crisis requiring urgent action. This statement has nothing to do with science. There is no compelling evidence that the warming trend we've seen will amount to anything close to catastrophe. What most commentators—and many scientists—seem to miss is that the only thing we can say with certainly about climate is that it changes. The earth is always warming or cooling by as much as a few tenths of a degree a year; periods of constant average temperatures are rare. Looking back on the earth's climate history, it's apparent that there's no such thing as an optimal temperature—a climate at which everything is just right. The current alarm rests on the false assumption not only that we live in a perfect world, temperaturewise, but also that our warming forecasts for the year 2040 are somehow more reliable than the weatherman's forecast for next week. . .

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Romney could use some new advisers on guns

I have commented on this before, but the people advising Romney on guns seem to be the same people who advised Kerry. Going shooting or becoming a lifetime NRA member are nice, but they aren't what matters to most of the people who care about the gun issue. What matters is that the candidate understands the issues. Romney is such a smart guy. I have been impressed by so many of his answers on many questions, but on the gun issue there are just a few minor things that he could do to convince people that he understands the issue. For example, when he starts talking about "assault weapons" I am sure that many gun owners instantly know that he doesn't have a clue about guns.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was wrong to suggest he was a lifelong hunter even though he never took out a license, campaign rival Mike Huckabee said Sunday.

"I think it was a major mistake," said Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor. "It would be like me saying I've been a lifelong golfer because I played putt-putt when I was 9 years old and I rode in a golf cart a couple of times."

"I think American people are looking for authenticity," Huckabee added. "Match their record with their rhetoric." . .

While I was traveling last week through Texas, I heard Huckabee on the radio. No one is going to be to his right on the gun issue. He could have given you an hour discussion on why the guns covered by the so-called assault weapon ban were not machine guns and why statements that no one would ever using these so-called assault weapons for hunting show that the people who make them don't know guns. Fred Thompson and Huckabee (and even Ron Paul) will be dividing some of the same vote, but in the Republican primary it is a bigger vote than what is being divided by McCain, Giuliani, and to some extent Romney.

If Romney wants to put his Massachusetts gun record behind him, one big thing that he could do is change his position on assault weapon bans. There is an easy way to do it: point to the fact that the claims about crime going up after the ban was sunset didn't occur. I have tried offering other simpler advice to Romney people, but I have found a completely unreceptive audience.

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O’Connor on the possible end of Affirmative Action

Sandra Day O’Connor, the retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and author of the majority opinion in a landmark 2003 decision upholding the legality of race-conscious college admissions, acknowledged in a speech today that she is not confident the court had preserved affirmative action in higher education for much longer.

Speaking at Washington’s National Press Club at a symposium on diversity at colleges, Justice O’Connor said, “The future of affirmative action in higher education today is certainly muddy.” As the basis for her observation, she cited Michigan voters’ adoption last fall of an amendment to that state’s Constitution banning affirmative-action preferences, as well as the passage of similar measures in California in 1996 and Washington State in 1998, and current efforts to place preference bans on several states’ ballots in 2008.. . .

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Happy Easter

Another unintended Consequence of government regulation

If you happen to be buying a new windows machine these days and you get upset about how long it takes to start up, know that about a minute of that three minute start up time when you turn your machine on occurs because Microsoft can no longer control part of the user experience and that is true thanks to the Department of Justice.

Walt Mossberg says his Vista startup experience was pretty horrid because of the tons of ads and other things that OEMs load onto the OS. They do that to try to make a few extra bucks on each machine sold. Microsoft can’t stop them because the DOJ made it impossible to push around the OEMs and keep them from ruining the startup experience. . . .

It appears from Walt Mossberg that the start up time for Vista would still much slower than Macs even without this extra software, but an additional minute when you are having to already wait 2 minutes for your machine to start seems pretty long.

Restarting took over three minutes, and a cold start took more than two minutes. That suggests the computer is loading a bunch of stuff I neither know about nor want. By contrast, a brand new Apple MacBook laptop, under the same test conditions, restarted in 34 seconds and did a cold start in 29 seconds. . . .

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With Hillary Slipping in the Polls, will she soon have trouble with her fundraising?

Coming from nowhere, without any strong pre-existing donor base, Senator Barack Obama’s sensational showing in the first quarter — amassing $25 million in campaign contributions — has left the Clintons sputtering. And his astonishing bottom line is only part of his surprise upset in beating Hillary. While she narrowly edged out the new kid on the political block in the total amount raised, Obama outscored Hillary 2:1 where it really counts: the number of individual donors. This is a big win for Obama and demonstrates both the depth of support for an attractive alternative to Hillary, as well as the finely tuned organizing skills of the first term senator.

In the first three months of 2007, 100,000 people gave Obama money, while Hillary’s fund-raising base was only half as large with 50,000. That’s a big difference. . . .

Hillary won’t disclose how many of her donors have reached the maximum of $2200 for the primary, and $2200 for the general election. But, reports of her fund-raising tactics suggest that she squeezed her donors dry. In practical terms, this means that she has fewer donors to go back to for later donations. . . .

With polls such as this and this, Clinton has something to worry about. She is so much better known than her opponents that she has almost nowhere to go but down.