Something to think about this Memorial Day Weekend

For the price that is paid by people fighting to keep us safe please click here. I sometimes wonder how many people actually know what this weekend is about, but this news clip will give you something to think about.

UPDATE: It would be nice if these types of cases discussed here got more attention. The brutal torture of others by Al Qaeda should revolt many, but the stories need to get more press coverage than they do. I did a Google search on the words "U.S. Military Rescues 42 Iraqis Al Qaeda" (I did not use quote marks around the words so any combination of these words should have produced a hit), and I got only two news stories when I searched at 8 PM on Sunday, May 27th. One story was in the Detroit Free Press and another was with WCSH-TV in Maine.

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Yet, another benefit from drinking coffee

Boy stops wild hog as big as buffalo

This is one scary animal. It weighs as much as some buffalo and appears to be longer than most. I am no expert on this this, but one sad thing about this boy shooting the wild hog is that possibly it could have been caputred and used bred to produce larger pigs for sale for food.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Hogzilla is being made into a horror movie. But the sequel may be even bigger: Meet Monster Pig. An 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.

If the claims are accurate, Jamison Stone's trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004. . . . .

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US alone in trying to stop the G8 from pushing for greenhouse gas rules

At least on this issue, thank goodness for the Bush administration putting up a fight. When you consider that man accounts for only 3 percent of greenhouse gases and that the Sun plays the most important role in determining the earth's temperature (one could also note the earth's orbit and tilt of its axis). Even if someone believed that the Sun did not account for any of the earth's changes in temperature, cutting greenhouse gases by 50 percent would lower the total level of greenhouse gases by 1.5 percent. Of course, the sun is important, and a more reasonable estimated impact from manmade greenhouse gases is just a small fraction of one percentage. What is not asked by the other members of the G8 is how much poorer the world will be from the policies that they are pushing and how many people more will die because of that loss in wealth. For example, how much medical research would have been obtained from this increased wealth?

Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to use Germany's presidency of the G8 to secure a major climate change deal, including:

Agreement to slow the rise in average temperatures this century to 2C

A cut in global emissions by 50% below 1990 levels by 2050

A rise in energy efficiency in power and transport by 20 percent by 2020. . . . .

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Racial discrimination story, anarchy in a middle school

This is a very disturbing story on many levels. It is not only disturbing for the abuse that this teacher suffered, but also because her students' behavior was excused because it was part of their black culture. I suppose that it is that second part that bothers me by far the most. I don't think that we do kids any favors by excusing this type of behavior by simply saying this is the culture that they live in at home. If these kids are going to be able to function in the world as adults, they must learn what the boundaries of appropriate behavior are. You can watch a news clip of the story here.

I was also surprised that this teacher's middle school students were primarily 14, 15, and 16 with some 13 year olds. Even if the middle school goes up to 9th grade, these events apparently happened in the fall so a lot of 15 and 16 year olds were just starting 9th grade. The one document that I found indicated that middle school only goes to eighth grade.



Judge Silberman warns DC on the Parker case

UPDATE: This post is pretty important. Some basics: Only DC can appeal the circuit court decision because they lost at that level. A Supreme Court decision is necessary to make the ruling binding on the whole country.

ORIGINAL: From Bob Levy: "Yesterday the DC Circuit granted DC's unopposed motion to stay the mandate in the Parker case until August 7, the deadline for a cert petition. In an extraordinary statement (see attached), Judge Silberman warned DC that it would have been inappropriate to request a stay if DC did not intend to file for cert."

Sliberman, Senior Circuit Judge: Although the District's motion for stay only indicates it "may" petition for certiorari, since appellants did not object, I assume it is understood that the District intends to petition for review in the Supreme Court. If it did not so intend, in my view, it would be inappropriate for it to have sought the stay."

There are rumors floating around DC that DC and the gun control groups getting cold feet and believe that they will lose if they go to the Supreme Court. A couple of different people told me about this last night at the annual CEI dinner. My own guess is that if DC doesn't appeal after making so much noise about doing just that, gun control groups will suffer a serious black eye and will be taunted with that decision for years. For them not to go forward, they must be really worried about suffering a very serious loss at the Supreme Court.

UPDATE: More on the Parker Case:

Another piece of intel on Parker:

Just now I heard DC's mayor, interviewed on the local NPR show for the last hour, say the following re: the Parker decision:

1) he represents DC, and "the community" wants him to appeal
2) it would be bad precedent for the circuit court decision "that makes no sense" to stand without challenge in the US
3) there may be a risk to NYC and Chicago, Boston, etc. laws if a pro-2A ruling happens at USSC, but "he has to do what's best for DC"
4) BUT he said he was still weighing the options, and should be announcing a final decision on what DC is doing in the next few weeks.

The discussion was in the last ten minutes of the KoJo Nnamdi show, linked here:

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Nebraska creating more gun free zones

Bad news on the safety front.

(5/24/2007) LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) A loophole in the state's concealed-gun law was closed by state lawmakers Thursday -- and then some. The Legislature amended a bill (LB97) to include colleges and universities on the list of places concealed handguns cannot be carried.

A law passed last year allowing people to carry concealed handguns includes a long list of places concealed guns cannot be taken, including schools. But Attorney General Jon Bruning said colleges and universities are not considered schools under the law.

Colleges and universities reacted by posting signs banning handguns. Those signs can soon come down because of Thursday's vote.

They may also come down in hospitals, which lawmakers added to the banned list today. Emergency rooms and trauma centers were already off-limits. . . . .

Sen. Russ Karpisek says he’s a gun-loving redneck.

And he gets a lot of business at his meat market from hunters.

“I’m not intending to anger the NRA,” the Wilber senator said, “but why on earth would you need a concealed weapon in a hospital?” . . . .

Thanks to Richard F. Griffiths and Allen Forkner.


David Hardy has some interesting posts

Brady Campaign has released a paper (pdf) arguing that universities should allow neither faculty nor student holders of CCW permits to carry arguing, among other things, that universities might increase legal liability. The paper got some traction in the Chronicle of Higher Education today. . . . .

I hope the DC Examiner got the story wrong, but it claims the Gov. is "troubled that Virginia law allows any individual to stockpile ammunition with no way for authorities to monitor the cache," because Cho had 377 rounds of ammo. . . . .

377 rounds of ammo is nothing. It is very easy to go through that in a few hours of leisurely target shooting with either a semi-automatic or even a bolt action gun. Doug Hoffman writes that the machine gun mentioned by Hardy could get through the ammunition in just a very short period of time.


How to properly celebrate Rachel Carson's 100th Birthday

today millions of people around the world suffer the painful and often deadly effects of malaria because one person sounded a false alarm. That person is Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 best selling book Silent Spring. Many have praised Carson for raising concerns—some legitimate—about problems associated with the overuse of chemicals. Yet her extreme rhetoric generated a culture of fear, resulting in policies have deprived many people access to life-saving chemicals. In particular, many nations curbed the use of the pesticide DDT for malaria control because Carson created unfounded fears about the chemical. As the world commemorates the 100th birthday (May 27, 2007) of the late Rachel Carson, it is time to acknowledge the unintended, adverse effects of Carson’s legacy and find ways to correct them.


Ugh, Minimum wage increase about ready to occur

President Bush was expected to sign the bill quickly, and workers who now make $5.15 an hour will see their paychecks go up by 70 cents per hour before the end of the summer. Another 70 cents will be added next year, and by summer 2009, all minimum-wage jobs will pay no less than $7.25 an hour.

How do you get a higher wage for people? Well, if you increase people's productivity, that is the obvious way. But the way that the minimum wage and unions do it is by throwing people out of work. If you reduce the number of people able to work, than the productivity of the marginal worker will increase. When you throw out enough workers from the job, the workers' productivity will rise by enough that it will cover the higher minimum wage.

Who gets thrown out of work? The least skilled of the workers' whose wages were previously below the new minimum wage.

Are the workers who get the new higher minimum wage really better off? Some are, but others are actually worse off. How could that be? Well, you have a lot of workers competing for a reduced number of jobs. The workers will compete against each other to get the job and they will try to do so until the benefits from getting the job are dissipated. This is the same type of competition that occurred when government imposed price controls on gasoline. People sometimes had to wait hours in line at gasoline stations to try to make sure that they were the ones who got this artificially cheap gasoline.



Christopher Buckley's Great Talk at the Annual CEI dinner tonight

Some of the funny things said tonight:

1) There are two political parties: the stupid party and the evil party. I am a member of the stupid party. Every once in a while we get bipartisan legislation where we are able to obtain legislation that is simultaneously stupid and evil.

2) Apparently Buckley a former speach writer for George H.W. Bush complained about how speach writers are always treated as the lowest group of people in any administration. A "true" story that Buckley claimed had occurred during LBJ's administration:

LBJ had a speach writer who kept on trying to return to Harvard, but LBJ kept on insisting that he stay on. Apparently, multiple times he had turned in his resignation only to have it not be accepted. Finally, in desparation he tried again, and LBJ insisted on the speach writer write one more speach because LBJ had a big speach coming up. In front of a giant crowd (I believe in Texas), LBJ was reading from speach:

Can we stop the war? I am going to tell you how we are going to do it!
Can we end poverty? I am going to tell you how we are going to do it!
Can we give everyone in America equal civil rights? I am going to tell you how we are going to do it!
The crowd was going wild. LBJ turned the page:

The page read simply: "You are on your own now."

3) Buckley apparently went to an all boys catholic boarding school. Wayward boys were apparently punished with some type of corporal punishment. But what Buckley says scared him the most was the fact that he never got any real "personal" attention from the Monks. This lack of attention has created some really deep-seated fears. He now looks back and worries that the problem might have been that he simply wasn't attractive enough.

4) As one who grew up in the 1960s, Chris remembered a time when people were actually thrilled to find white powder in an envelop.

If there are any errors here, they are completely mine. Buckley was very funny and I may be missing a little on the delivery.


Giuliani changing his position on guns?

For a couple of weeks people were asking if Giuliani was switching positions on abortion (I don't really think that he was), but now I wonder whether the press will give him the same trouble on guns, where I actually believe that there is more of a change occurring. If I were convinced that Giuliani was really changing his views, I think that it would be an important advance for safety., But given the various links to videos that I have posted and other statements of his, I have a hard time that he really believes this. Would he put hundreds of dollar fees on free assembly or before someone could speak on an issue (that was the licensing fee in NYC for guns)? Would he require that newspapers register themselves?

"The Constitution of the United States in the Second Amendment gives you an individual right to bear arms; that individual right is as strong as your individual right to free speech, free assembly, being safe against unreasonable searches and seizures."

-Rudolph Giuliani
While stumping in Vermont

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A new low for even Michael Moore

A youtube presentation by Michael Moore is just completely nuts going after the police that the way he does in this video.

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Are Gun Owners Planning on Voting Differently Than Non-gun Owners?

Obama is the strongest Democratic Candidate for President

Book News: Free copies of Freedomnomics, Top 10 Books Pelosi should read, and Books to Read this Summer

France's Sarkozy stays on bold course

Israelis Support U.S. Invasion of Iraq


Breaking News: Frearms in immigration bill

This part of the immigration bill reminds me of RICO. RICO was originally designed for organized crime (just as these new gun laws are supposedly designed for), but it soon became clear that the RICO requirements could be applied to any company. What does it mean below to say "an ongoing group, club, organization, or association of 5 or more persons"? Could that be a gun club?

(a) DEFINITION OF CRIMINAL GANG– Section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality
Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)) is amended by inserting after subparagraph (51) the following:

“(52) The term “criminal gang”
(a) means an ongoing group, club, organization, or association of 5 or more persons--
(1) that has as 1 of its primary purposes the commission of 1 or more of the criminal offenses described in subsection (b); and

(2) the members of which engage, or have engaged within the past 5 years, in a continuing series of offenses described in subsection (b);


Rodents that were claimed to be extinct for 11 million years are very much alive

Something to remember the next time someone claims that some animals are on the verge of extinction.

A few months after researchers on one team thought they had discovered a new family of rodent, another group snatched their glory by identifying the critter as a member of a family thought long extinct.

Last year, scientists described the body of a squirrel-like rodent found for sale in a meat market in Laos. They believed it belonged to a previously undescribed family and named it Laonastes aenigmamus. [Locals call the rodent kha-nyou, according to The Associated Press.]

But they failed to fully inspect the fossil record. Upon closer analysis of the creature's teeth, a second group of researchers determined it was a member of the previously known rodent family Diatomyidae.

So a family thought to have died out 11 million years ago is still alive and kicking, the scientists report in the March 10 issue of the journal Science.


"Idaho Teens Tote Loaded Guns Around Town Legally"

When I was a kid I remember seeing teenage boys walking down our street carrying guns. No one said anything about it. It was no big deal. It is too bad that even in Idaho this is not possible without someone calling the police.

POST FALLS, Idaho — Two home-schooled teenagers in this northern Idaho town say they are carrying loaded guns to the library, grocery store and other public areas for self-defense, as a crime deterrent, and to educate others about their rights.

Zach Doty, 18, carries a loaded Glock handgun on his hip. His 15-year-old brother, Steven, carries a .22-caliber rifle in a sling on his back.

Police have been called on several occasions to question the teens but have not found the teens to be in violation of the law.

In Idaho, residents 18 and older can openly carry a firearm in public. And those ages 13 to 17 who have parental permission can carry a rifle in public.

"I certainly don't anticipate that I'll need to use it, but I'd rather have it and not need it than to not have it and need it," Zach told the Coeur d'Alene Press. "There's no reason for me to hide a weapon."

Zach was stopped April 17 on his way to Bible study. On Friday, police again responded when someone reported the brothers with guns in a park. But police left after confirming it was the Doty's. . . .,

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Boise State not a gun free zone for Professors and Staff

Clayton Cramer tells me that Boise State in Idaho does not prevent Professors and Staff from having guns on school property. Clayton has taught there and says that he carefully read through the facutly handbook.

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Mark Levine has a great interview with Fred Thompson

Mark Levine has a great interview with Fred Thompson here.

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New Op-ed on Campaign Finance Regulations at FoxNews.com

Campaign finance regulations have wrecked havoc on the American election system, entrenching incumbents and reducing voter turnout. But the worst may be yet to come in 2008. If news reports last week are correct, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is planning on spending $1 billion to win the presidency. He would vastly outspend Republican and Democratic nominees, even if they forego public financing.

Campaign finance laws have resulted in lots of millionaires getting elected to office. Wealthy individuals, who can only give $2,000 to someone else who is running for office, face no donation limits to their own campaign.

For example, Steve Forbes wanted to donate to Jack Kemp's presidential campaign and if Forbes could have donated what he wanted, Kemp may have run for president. But he couldn’t, so he ran himself. . . .,

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Sandy Froman on Gun rights and homeschooling

Tennessee Bill to Let Permit Holders Carry Concealed Handguns in Parks Dies

"Swiss Would Back Tougher Gun Laws"