Saturday, 28 June 2008

In Passing

Wow! I didn’t know that...

...the Army offers a marksmanship qualification badge for flamethrower.


(I wonder if flamethrowers qualify under Heller?)

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Friday, 27 June 2008

In Passing

Heller 4


“Staghounds” (at Tam’s place):
Gun-Control Supporters Show Outrage


Who KNOWS what they might do if they had guns!

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In Passing

Heller 3

The issue behind the issue.

Carl Bogus, in an online debate at The Federalist Society:
I read Justice Scalia’s opinion with both great interest and trepidation to see whether he embraced insurrectionist theory, that is, the argument that the Founders adopted the Second Amendment as a check against governmental tyranny.  What’s more repugnant to constitutional democracy and the rule of law – not to mention traditional conservatism – than the idea that the people should be armed to potentially go to war with their own government?  Nonetheless, this theory has animated much of the individual right literature.  Its popularity has undoubtedly disturbed the sleep of giants on both sides of the Atlantic.  Surely, insurrectionism has had both James Madison and Edmund Burke spinning in their graves.

Clearly, Justice Scalia tried to be careful not to expressly embrace insurrectionist theory.  Yet he alludes to it gingerly – a sort of toe in the water. He writes that “when able-bodied men of a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better able to resist tyranny.”  Call me foolish, but I was hoping that the conservative Court would expressly repudiate insurrectionist theory.  Somewhere, Robespierre is smiling.

“AnonLawStudent,” in a comment at Volokh:
The irony of Bogus citing Robespierre in support of the idea that “a check against governmental tyranny” is “repugnant to constitutional democracy and the rule of law” is just too much.  I also note that he conveniently omitted Thomas Jefferson from his not-so-carefully plucked list of historical figures.

The Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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In Passing

Heller 2

“God protects fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.”

Bill Quick:
The brutal truth is that the Second was saved today thanks to the actions of conservatives who rebelled against George Bush and forced him to put Roberts and Alito on the court.  Had his preferred nominees, Alberto Gonzales and Harriet Miers, been nominated and ratified, the decision we would have seen today would have been 5-4 in the opposite direction, with Gonzales joining with the other four liberals to respect the Bush administration’s request that the DC law not be overturned.

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In Passing

Heller 1

The American Experiment

Roberta X:
The United States just got uniquer  (footnote: Yes! Not a word and not even a logical notion. Work with me here!).  We were already just about alone in the world with respect to firearms; and now we’re the only nation I know of where previous restrictions of the inalienable, inherent right to self-defense and the keeping of arms have been rolled back.

Think of it for just a moment: your shooting hobby -- let alone carrying for self-defense -- would be nearly impossible in most of the “First World” countries save Switzerland, utterly impossible in a few; and hardly easier in the next tier of nations.  Nope, the States are just about alone in this wonderful idea that you have a right to defend yourself against aggression using the most effective means the human mind and hand has yet produced.  Here, even The Fed’ral Gummit has admitted your life has value and you’ve a right to the best tools to protect it.  Everywhere else, well, y’might be dog food.

The baddie you stop in Britain may get you haled up on criminal charges for preserving your own life in your own home...  I like a place that doesn’t prevent me stopping rapists and strongarm robbers right at the source.

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Thursday, 26 June 2008

In Passing

More end-of-term cluelessness

Becoming Bill Clinton II?

President Bush said Thursday he will lift key trade sanctions against North Korea and remove it from the U.S. terrorism blacklist, a remarkable turnaround in policy toward the communist regime he once branded as part of an “axis of evil.”
Question:  Has North Korea suddenly satisfied all of the previously announced requirements for getting sanctions lifted?

Answer:  No.

Question:  Then why...?

Via: Daily Pundit

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

In Passing

One way to make money on DTV converters

From a thread at Consumerist:

They tried this dual deal on me, I passed and decided not to buy, asked them to cancel the transaction.  The next day went to BestBuy only to find Circuit City had claimed the $40 from the Gov card.  Went I went back to the Circuit City, the “manager” said if I didn’t calm down he'd call the cops, then asked me to leave the store.  I said no, go ahead and make the call.  I wasn’t yelling or raving but I was upset.  I’ll never do business at a CC again.  This has to be a corporate initiative of some sort because two other folks I know in this town were treated the same way. - “cybrbkr” at 11:12 PM on 06/22/08
Appears that when you redeem one of those HDTV converter “coupons,” Circuit City presents you with what looks like a charge card slip that reads “The cardholder agrees to the credit card amount shown hereon and agrees to perform the obligations set forth in the cardholders [sic] agreement with the issuer.” (Except it isn’t a credit card, it’s a “coupon.”  That’s what the government calls it.)

So customers wonder why they’re required to sign two charge slips, get suspicious, and cancel the transaction. And Circuit City conveniently “forgets” to reverse the coupon redemption.  And if someone starts asking questions, they threaten to call the cops.

Excellent business model: Get $40, deliver nothing!

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Friday, 20 June 2008

In Passing

“Do public schools no longer teach critical thinking skills?”

The Anchoress reads the comments to a Washington Post piece and wonders.

Meanwhile, the president of the American Federation of Teachers writes a letter to The Wall Street Journal:

The idea that we could build 25% more bridges and roads by scrapping Davis-Bacon is ludicrous, especially in light of the spectacular example of the $2.4 billion Wilson Bridge renovation project in the Washington, D.C., area, which came in on time, on budget, and paid the workers prevailing wages.[1]

Doesn’t appear they know much about logic, either.

[1] Wall Street Journal: June 19, 2008: Letters To the Editor: “Davis-Bacon Helps Workers, Society With Higher Wages” by Edward J. McElroy

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Thursday, 19 June 2008

In Passing

HDTV converter picture fuzzy

The government’s program to subsidize purchase of HDTV converter boxes for consumers with standard-definition analog televisions has been a less-than-stellar success so far, according to testimony given to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's “Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet” on June 10th.

While the National Telecommunications and Information Administration reported[1] that more than 16 million coupons– each worth $40, expiring after 90 days– have been issued to over 8½ million households, so far the actual redemption rate is below 50%[7]:

As of June 3rd, 839,966 coupons have reached the end of their 90-day life cycle. Of these, 350,419, or 41.7 percent, have been redeemed.
There’s presently no provision for expired coupons to be renewed/replaced, and no one address can receive more than 2 coupons. So the question is:  Why did over half the people who went to the trouble to apply for coupons, and will (presumably) have no television reception after February 2009, wind up not using them.  While some non-redemptions may reflect upselling by retailers (who are beginning to offer less-expensive sets that receive HDTV, although they display it in less-than-full-definition[2], others may reflect my experience.


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Monday, 16 June 2008

In Passing

McCain meets with Clinton supporters, wobbles on judges

So what else is new?

After his public conference call with Clinton supporters... Saturday, John McCain met privately with some 75 of those supporters at his Virginia headquarters...

[One Democrat present] said he’d liked McCain’s answer on judges, in which he “pointed out that he supported Bill Clinton with both Ginsberg and Breyer.” - Ben Smith

Mickey (“You actually believed that stuff about Roberts, Alito and Scalia?”) Kaus

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 17:28:13 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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