Quote of the day—Stephen Miller

Sanders is a kookily proud outsider and self-declared Democratic Socialist who joined the House of Representatives in 1988 and the Senate in 2005. In the quarter-plus century he’s served in federal office, only 3 bills he’s sponsored have ever made it into law. Otherwise, he was that guy you would occasionally see yelling about rapine capital or the unnecessary proliferation of deodorant brands to an empty chamber of Congress on C-Span during midday break sessions. And this has been Bernie’s professional life for the past 35 years. Get up. Go to Congress. Fight with Lamp. Declare victory.

Stephen Miller
February 1, 2016
Culture Club: How Media Makes a Meme
[H/T to Ed Driscoll.

I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

Nothing points out the bankruptcy of our nation’s gun-control debate better than the mythologies that surrounds it.

Prior “common sense” proposals are perpetually abandoned. The so-called “news” media adopts each new absurd gun-control scheme dutifully, promotes it uncritically, then drops it like a hot potato when it is proven worthless and runs to the next latest greatest bit of hoplophobic (morbid gun fear) ridiculousness.

In effect the nation endures a serial mythology, with new myths invented constantly, so we lose sight of each established myth as new ones spring into the public eye.

Alan Korwin
December 21, 2015
KORWIN: America’s Real Gun Problem – The Gun Myths
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]


We have an admitted socialist running for president and making a “good” (for certain definitions of “good”) showing. People don’t really seem to get what socialism means. Recently I had a college student tell me that, “A little socialism is good.” Rather than hammer them into the ground and destroy a friendship I mildly disagreed with their claim and changed the subject.

Unless you are of the opinion that we need to destroy our country before we can save it we need to destroy the idea that socialism in any form is “good”. Socialism and communism have been attempted and failed more times than any other political system. While many of the failures have only resulted in general malaise, economic stagnation, and lower standard of living the most extraordinary political failures in history occurred under socialist systems. National Socialism of Germany, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Peoples Republic of China being the most well know of those with their approximately 100 million dead.

I’ve talked to people that have lived under socialism. They know better than the naïve people in this country who have lived all their lives in a somewhat free market economy. I’m not the only one who has talked to the survivors of these regimes. One of my children’s high school teachers, Don Kaag, posted this on Facebook a couple days ago:

My old VW mechanic Dieter in Pullman, WA, is in
his 80’s, retired now, and has turned his shop over to his son Georg. In the late 1950’s, Dieter, as a young East German, “came over the wire”. He escaped from the German Democratic Republic’s “Socialist Paradise” with nothing but the clothes on his back and some mechanical skills he could use to earn a living in the West.

He worked as a car mechanic in West Germany, in Scandinavia, and then immigrated to South Africa, where he met his wife, and where they started their family. Finally he relocated to Canada and then at last to the U.S., earning his way with his talented mechanic’s hands and his brain.

He hates what Socialism did to his homeland.

I was stationed in southern Germany—in Bavaria—in the early to mid-80’s, an Armor officer and tank company commander guarding the inter-German border against a possible invasion by the USSR…and for those of you who were not there and privy to the secret briefings, you have no idea what a very near thing it was. Our tanks had their war-load of ammo on-board 24/7/365.

The border was a sobering sight. Twenty-foot-high barbed wire fence on concrete posts topped with concertina wire. On the fence, pointed back into East Germany, were command-detonated claymore mines. Past that, 100 yards of ground was defoliated, plowed and planted with pressure-sensitive anti-personnel mines. Then further into the GDR there was yet another barbed wire fence with a gravel patrol road behind it, and with hexagonal concrete guard towers every quarter-mile. They had powerful searchlights mounted on them, and machine guns, both pointed into “no-man’s land”.

There’s a point to all of this, I promise. All of this was built TO KEEP EAST GERMANS IN, not to keep West Germans and Americans out.

My friend Dieter was one of the lucky ones—thousands of East Germans died on that wire, or lost their lives to the minefields or machine guns, or to the killer guard dogs trained to attack would-be escapees—Dieter made it, he got out.

Dieter and I have seen the ugly face of “true Socialism” firsthand. He suffered under it and risked his life to escape from it, I only watched it slowly destroy a people through my binoculars and tank sights.

When the Wall in Berlin came down in November 1989 such was their hate for that wall that Germans from both sides attacked the ugly barrier by hand with sledge hammers and picks.

The moral to this little tale of obscure Cold War history is this: America, be very, very careful about electing an avowed Socialist as President of the United States.

Bernie Sanders seems a harmless old duffer, and he promises free goodies for everyone, but in the final analysis he represents those who still think, despite all historical evidence to the contrary, that Socialism is the “wave of the future”. (Look at the U.K. before Lady Thatcher, or at Cuba and Venezuela right now… “Iron Maggie” once said, “Socialism works great until you run out of other people’s money.”)

Socialism and communism needs to be swept into the dustbin of history and given as much respect as witch burning—which it closely resembles.

Quote of the day—Maj. Gen. Robert Scales

Presidential involvement in small arms has been strategic and game-changing in our history. Obama comes along and tells the Army that, in this administration, money is going into small arms to build — not a deadly weapon, not an effective weapon, not a dominant weapon, not a lifesaving weapon, not a technological cutting-edge weapon — but a weapon that prevents accidental discharge. Give me a break.

Maj. Gen. Robert Scales
Former commandant of the U.S. Army War College
January 31, 2016
Obama’s eye-opening order to Pentagon: Make combat weapons safer, not more lethal
[He is doing just what he said he would do. He is fundamentally transforming our country.—Joe]

Our next fight?

I don’t like this:

Proponents of President Barack Obama’s executive orders in the area of gun control point to OSHA’s General Duty Clause as a possible basis for a national “no guns at work” policy.

The General Duty Clause requires employers to maintain a safe workplace, including the implementation of policies that may be necessary to further that goal. Proponents argue that this significant increase in workplace violence coupled with the expansion of concealed carry laws would be the basis for this regulatory change. Moreover, because a General Duty Clause already exists within the OSHA statute, there would not be a need for congressional approval.

This would be another chilling effect on our rights. I frequently go to the range at lunch time or after work. And I know a lot of other people go hunting before or after work. And OSHA creating a regulation such as this would have to make exceptions for a many of places of employment. Police stations, security firms, gun manufactures, gun ranges, gun stores, any place which hires armed guards, etc.

I can see it being a valid concern for guns to be prohibited in some places of business (I’m thinking of oil refineries and other places where “high energy events” could be triggered). But it should be up to the business to decide if they have an overriding set of circumstance where firearms are just too high of risk to allow.

This could be our next fight for our right to keep and bear arms.

Quote of the day—David E. Petzal

The forces acting upon the gun industry are Armageddon, for which we are all tooling up, and our Peerless Leader, who has sold more firearms than even Bubba Clinton, and The Horror That Is Hillary, who is lurking in our future like the Wicked Witch of the West.

David E. Petzal
January 25, 2016
SHOT Show 2016, Part I
[Via Caleb who has a much different, but entirely valid, angle on Petzal’s post.

As others have observed, if Obama and his friends want to reduce the number of guns being sold in this country they should resign from politics.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Azathoth @ArkhamRealty

The 20th C Left had to shoot people en masse to get them to obey.

The 21st C Left plans on using dick jokes.

Azathoth ‏@ArkhamRealty
Tweeted on January 13, 2016
[This is only true because it’s the best the Left has available at this time. If they had the power to murder people en masse they would.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Craig DeLuz

The right to keep and bear arms is not up for popular debate. It’s a constitutionally enumerated civil right.

Craig DeLuz
Firearms Policy Coalition spokesman
January 12, 2016
Gun debate: Californians support more gun control, poll finds
[Technically he is correct. But from a practical standpoint he is wrong. If a large majority wish to hurt us any way they can, as one person in the article said regarding buying ammunition, “Anything that slows the process down, I’m all for,” the local courts will ultimately find some weasel words to allow it. We have to change the culture or we need some very strong rulings from higher courts.

With dwindling percentages of gun owners in the most oppressed states and significant obstacles for bringing new people into our camp changing the culture is probably nearly a lost cause in these areas.

Therefore getting a pro-freedom president in the Whitehouse next January is our do or die battle for states like California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, etc. Otherwise the Supreme Court will, for all intents and purposes, eviscerate the Heller and McDonald decisions.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Gary Kleck

The term ‘loophole’ suggests that it was a minor, unintended flaw in the design of the law, something inadvertently overlooked by lawmakers, when it was actually the very intentional result of a carefully worked-out political compromise between those who wanted background checks on all gun acquisitions and those who did not want any at all.

Gary Kleck
January 7, 2016
PolitiFact Sheet: 3 things to know about the ‘gun show loophole’
[This article does a good job of explaining the facts about the “gun show loophole”. I particularly like this part:

Our findings show that there is, in fact, an exemption in the law. But the exemption pertains to who sells the guns rather than where they sell them.

And that distinction is critical. The anti-gun crowd uses deliberate deception (it’s part of their culture) in an attempt to get laws passed which would be far less likely to get support if they were to be truthful.

I also found this to be of interest:

Professors at Northeastern and Harvard universities conducted a gun survey in 2015 that isn’t yet published. The national survey of 4,000 non-institutionalized adults found that 22 percent of the people who purchased guns — at gun shows, stores or elsewhere — underwent no background check, said Matthew Miller, professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology at Northeastern University and co-director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

When researchers excluded purchases between family and friends, that number dropped to 15 percent, which equates to approximately 5 million gun owners whose most recent purchase did not involve a background check.

I sent an email to Miller that said, in part:

I have some questions about the study referenced.

When will this study will be published?

A “background check” is not a black and white activity. Did your study consider the seller requiring the purchaser possess a concealed carry license a “background check” or not? There are other indirect “background checks” possible as well. For example, some gun organizations require a concealed carry and/or background check for membership. Hence any member of the organization has had a background check at some point in the not too distance past.

It’s unclear, but implied, that the way study was conducted was to ask 4,000 people if their most recent gun purchase was made without a background check. Is this true? If so, that raises an important issue as in the following scenario.

Suppose collectors of antique firearms purchase almost exclusively from private individuals at a rate of five firearms per year. If most people with only one (or very few) firearms purchase almost exclusively from licensed dealers, then it’s not possible to discern the overall number of sales without explicit background checks. In this situation there is a bias which results in an underestimation of the number of sales without explicit background checks.

Other scenarios are also possible that can give a bias in the other direction. Additional information is required to arrive at the true rate of explicit background checks.

But in any case, it would appear there is data which puts the upper limit on private firearm sales to people of unknown eligibility at about 15 percent. This is in contrast to the common, long known to be erroneous, claim of “40 percent”.

Now I wonder when (if?) this study will be released and if the anti-gun people will revise down their claims of the prevalence of firearm sales without background checks. Particularly when Miller receives a lot of money from the Joyce Foundation.—Joe]

Update: I sent the email to Miller four days ago on January 11th. No response yet.

Anti-gun mental ill health

Via email from Miles I received this bill introduced in Missouri by Representative Stacey Newman.

The TLDR version is, in Miles words:

It would create restrictive guidelines that a person must follow to purchase a firearm in the state of Missouri.
Basically you can only buy from an FFL that’s at least 120 miles away from your residence, after getting a psych eval signed off (I assume at the buyer’s expense), watch a 30 minute anti-gun video and take a tour of a trauma ER on a weekend between 10pm and 6am when there’s actually a patient being treated for a gunshot wound, visit two families who have had a family member shot and visit two “ local faith leaders” who have performed a funeral service for a teenager who was shot and killed in the last year. Oh, I almost forgot, I have to have my 91 year old father and 89 year old mother sign off on the purchase too as there’s no age limit for the required parental permission slip (and what happens if one is an orphan?).

Many anti-gun people have mental health issues. I have to believe this another one. It’s hard to believe someone, even the most evil, if they are rational, can imagine this would pass muster in the courts let alone with a majority of their fellow politicians. Even in the most generous of scenarios, signaling her virtue to other anti-gun people, you would have to conclude, “this is crazy talk”.

How does someone like that even get elected? They must have stopped taking their meds after winning the election.

I’ll believe it when the cell door clangs shut behind her

Via Glenn Reynolds, Don Surber says FBI headed for a showdown over Hillary :

“I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless [Lynch] agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an attorney general. It will be like Watergate. It will be unbelievable,” DiGenova said.

Speculation? Sure. We shall see.

By the way, you can run for president from federal prison. Keith Russell Judd received 41 percent of the Democratic primary vote in West Virginia in 2012 while sitting in a federal prison in Texas.

You might find it odd that people are speculating about her running for president while in prison. But, as in the case mentioned above, prison is frequently a credential for certain groups of people. It appears to have strong correlation with people who vote for democrats. Marion Barry and Judd, above, are but two examples. Victimhood is a sought out by these people and just as Hillary sought that with her claim of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” in the 1990’s she will claim arrest and prosecution for her crimes as a valid reason to vote for her.

I am quite willing to believe Hillary has engaged in more than sufficient criminal activity to put someone away for years if it had been committed by any ordinary person. Her husband didn’t spend any time in prison after all the crimes he committed. Why should it be any different for Hillary? I’ll believe she spends time in prison only after the cell door clangs shut behind her.

Quote of the day—Kurt Schlichter

I’m not advocating violence – I am warning liberals that they are setting the conditions for violence.

And that better worry them, for the coastal elites are uniquely unsuited to a world where force rules instead of law. The Serbs were, at least, a warrior people. The soft boys and girls who brought us helicopter parenting, “trigger warnings” and coffee cups with diversity slogans are not.

I know the endgame of discarding the rule of law for short-term advantage because I stood in its ruins. Liberals think this free society just sort of happened, that they can poke and tear at its fabric and things will just go on as before. But they won’t. So at the end of the day, if you want a society governed by the rule of force, you better pray that you’re on the side with the guns and those who know how to use them.

Kurt Schlichter
April 5, 2015
Liberals May Regret Their New Rules
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Tyler Durden

If Obama wants to truly curb gun ownership at the national level, the solution there is also simple, as the following chart from the NYT reveals:


He should resign.

Tyler Durden
January 1, 2016
Obama To Unveil “Multiple Gun Control” Executive Actions Next Week
[I’m not sure it would reduce it but it stands a chance of slowing the growth.—Joe]

It’s not an open loop system

In control systems and electronic amplifiers engineers design things to be self correcting. Think of the simple control system for the heating system in your home. You set the thermostat to a particular temperature and it will turn the heat on it if gets too cool and off when it reaches the desired temperature. This is a closed loop system. There is a sensor which provides information about the current status of the system and this information is used to control the heat source and keep the temperature within acceptable limits. The system has a feedback loop from the output (the room temperature) back to the input (the heat supply).

Without such a feedback loop it would be very difficult to maintain a system at a stable temperature. When the outside temperature changed the inside temperature would change too. If someone left a window open the interior temperature would change.

I have often thought our planet must have one or more feedback loops to maintain it’s temperature at something very close to the same (averaged the entire surface over the entire year) temperature. I knew one feedback loop, which the climate change people seldom, if ever, mention, was that plants are CO2 starved. At our current concentration of about 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere it’s not easy for the plants to absorb and then pull the carbon apart from the oxygen to build plant matter. In fact, at current atmospheric pressures, photosynthesis shuts down at between 150 ppm and 200 ppm. As atmospheric CO2 increases plants grow faster. Faster growing plants mean more energy is absorbed from the sun, reducing atmospheric heating, and more CO2 is absorbed from the air. Hence the green house effect, atmospheric warming, from increased CO2 is counteracted, at least in part, by the feedback mechanism of increased plant growth.

There are other feedback systems as well. One of which only very recently was discovered:

According to a study by the Institute of Catalysis and Environment in Lyon (IRCELYON, CNRS / University Lyon 1) and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), the oceans are producing unexpectedly large quantities of isoprene – a volatile organic compound (VOC) – which is known to have a cooling effect on climate.

Our planet temperature is not an open loop system. If it were then the global warming/cooling climate change people would be right to be concerned. But it is, almost, obviously not. Closed loop systems are much more difficult to upset and are much more stable. We have a closed loop system with many feedback loops. These loops make the system extremely difficult to model but don’t tell me climate is changing until you can explain to me how the inputs to the system have the potential to break the feedback loops which stabilize the temperature.

Quote of the day—Samuel P. Huntington

If the railing cry of the English Parliament was no “taxation without representation” today’s slogan ought to be “no representation without taxation” since it is the latter that best incentives participation.

Samuel P. Huntington
From The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama.
[I only have the one QOTD from this book. And then it was only when the author quoted someone else. But it is an excellent book. I found it fascinating.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Cynthia M. Allen

I have yet to see a gun-control proposal that persuasively purports to do this or even one that would have stopped any of the recent high-profile events.

Usually, policymakers prescribe proposals that apply to a recent policy failure, but in the case of gun control, the proposals don’t even address the margins.

Cynthia M. Allen
December 10, 2015
Please, please convince me gun control will work
[Yup. And the only answer I can come up with for this behavior is that they have some other motivation than stopping the high-profile events we are seeing.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Patrick J. Buchanan

… the media have played right into Trump’s hand.

They constantly denounce him as grossly insensitive for what he has said about women, Mexicans, Muslims, McCain and a reporter with a disability. Such crimes against decency, says the press, disqualify Trump as a candidate for president.

Yet, when they demand he apologize, Trump doubles down. And when they demand that Republicans repudiate him, the GOP base replies:

“Who are you to tell us whom we may nominate? You are not friends. You are not going to vote for us. And the names you call Trump — bigot, racist, xenophobe, sexist — are the names you call us, nothing but cuss words that a corrupt establishment uses on those it most detests.”

What the Trump campaign reveals is that, to populists and Republicans, the political establishment and its media arm are looked upon the way the commons and peasantry of 1789 looked upon the ancient regime and the king’s courtiers at Versailles.

Patrick J. Buchanan
December 3, 2015
Why Liberal Media Hate Trump
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ken White

Republicans! Don’t get me started. You can’t sneer at constitutional rights for a decade and a half and then expect them to be a credible shield when you abruptly decide they matter again. With few exceptions, Republicans arguing about Second Amendment rights resemble a kid becoming a sudden rules-lawyer halfway through a game of Calvinball.

Ken White
December 7, 2015
Talking Productively About Guns
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]