Toast

I realize that predictions can be hard. Well, predictions are easy, but making accurate ones is a bit more difficult.

This week, the Chicago teachers union went on strike, turning down a 16% pay increase (4% per year for four years), even though they are one of the most highly compensated districts in the nation, while simultaneously turning in bottom quintile performance. Teachers unions are one of the most rabid pro-Obama groups out there. On the the other side of the dispute is Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, infamous for hard-nosed, in-your-face negotiation.

In Lybia, the US embassy was attacked and Ambassador Stevens was killed, and I’m now seeing reports that embassy security was being provided by Libyan nationals, who may have helped in his murder, NOT US Marines (the two that were killed there were last second additions when things got violent).

Obama has told Israel to take a flying leap in so many different ways recently it’s not easy to list them all, and it looks like they are getting itchy to pull the trigger on dealing with the Iranian nuke thing.

Prediction: If Obama doesn’t pull some serious magic out of his hat in the next week or so on at least two of these issues, he’s toast. Not just lightly toasted, but burned-to-a-crisp toast. Utterly humiliated. A defeat that will be compared to Carter for the rest of US history. Something that most American’s can’t stand is weakness in a leader, and pretty much all the options he might take on these three issues to appeal to his base will repel the undecided middle. On the other hand, any sort of strong action that might sway the persuadable middle his direction will infuriate much of his base, and do nothing to change minds among the conservative base. The optics are horrible for him no matter which way he goes, and the campaign spots nearly write themselves. Of course, he’s got the Mainstream Media flying air-cover for him, but even they can only do so much, and when it looks like he’s on a failing course they will turn on him to save the liberal ideology (by saying it was the messenger, not the message).

So, barring some actions he has so far shown absolutely no ability to perform, I think we are seeing a major turning point in the election.

Brains, learning, and school

I had started writing a essay on learning and the brain and
current understandings about it, and realized as it grew HUGE that it revolved around examining some rhetorical
questions. Here are some of the core questions, with their import and details left
as an exercise to the readers and commenters, unless there is significant
interest in a particular one being addressed in some future essay.

Compare and contrast data,
information, and knowledge.
                Why do people use them
interchangeably, and what problems arise when people do?

Compare and contrast school
and education.
                Must one imply the other
(or the other, one)?

Compare and contrast smart
and educated.
                Why do educated people get
them confused so much more often than smart people (both in themselves and
others)?

Compare and contrast teaching
and learning.
                How do you measure the
effectiveness of a teacher?

Compare and contrast knowing,
understanding and wisdom.
                How does one get turned
into the other?

Compare and contrast intrinsic
aptitude
and interest.
                Can one be leveraged into
the other, or are they merely randomly connected?

What is the most important thing a human should learn?
                Rank, in order, the top 10
things one should learn by voting age. Why?

How can you tell truth from falsity?
                How often do you ask
yourself “how do I know that? What
are my assumptions?”

At its most basic (biological) level, what is learning?
                What makes this happen?
How are repetition and strong emotional tagging different?

Is it important for children or young adults to learn how the brain learns and works at some point, before they become an adult?
               How could learning this help children in school?

How can a neural connection be strengthened, or made more interconnected
with others?
                Compare and contrast a
single, strong connection, with highly interconnected knowledge.

How many strong emotional “tags” are there in a very safe,
nearly risk-free, environment?
                Would this present a
challenge to learning?

What makes the brain think something is important enough to
learn (that is, remember and think about enough to apply the knowledge later)?

What is the brain designed to do, and in what sort of
environment?
                WHY? HOW? Can we use this to help teach and learn?

The Science is Settled

As we all now know, if you want to answer a question scientifically, you take a poll.  That’s the New Scientific Method.  Scientific American magazine took such a poll regarding anthropogenic Gluball Worming (that’s Kim Du Toit’s term, IIRC) and since they didn’t like the results, it would seem Reasoned DiscourseTM has kicked in.  I suppose the New Scientific Method will have to be amended – you take a poll of Open Society socialists only.  Then you’ll get the right results.


This from Hockey Schtick, which has ostensibly maintained a link to the unwanted results.  Take it for what you will.  Do your own investigation.  Myself, I find it hard to believe even though I know the left like the back of my hand and therefore such things should come as no surprise.  I heard of this poll on the Dennis Prager show last week, and figured I should share.


I used to subscribe to Scientific American, until I received the impression that desperate academics were using it merely as a vehicle for getting published.  I got tired of wading through so much evidence of non-inspiration, just to find the few interesting tidbits.  Still I’ll give them credit for being the only place I’d heard of superfluids, pre internet.


To me it’s not terribly important one way or the other.  The left has been crying “Wolf!” for generations now and it has worn thin, and worn out, for me decades ago.  The planet Earth was supposed to run out of oil in the 1980s, and so we were supposed to adopt more socialism.  The “Population Time Bomb” was going to get us by then too, we were told as elementary school students, and so we were supposed to adopt more socialism including forced population controls.  The planet was going to freeze up in a new ice age, we were told back in the 1960s, and then it became Glueball Worming, and now it’s “Climate Change”.  Those are just a few highlights, but this crap has been non-stop for what – about 150 years?  They’ve lost control of the narrative now.  What will happen as a result?


I figure it’ll have to get more down to the point – It’ll have to be plain old threats from the left at some point.  When the spoiled child’s attempts at lying and manipulation fall flat, the all-out tantrums come next.  The best we can do I suppose is ignore them, but when they start breaking things it gets difficult.

We Get it, Already

This is an open letter to all the talk show hosts, pundits, party hacks, cheaters, scumbags, sick twisted freaks (you know who you are) and pro-freedom bloggers.  We could spend the rest of our lives cataloging the outrageous behavior of nasty, America-hating, ignorant, self-loathing, cultist, freedom-hating, anti-human, leftist politicians including Progressive Republicans.  We know they’re bad, OK?  If there are three or four people who still don’t get it, that’s all right.


I’d rather try to figure out how we’re going to get some principled Americans nominated so we’re not always forced to choose between bad and worse– between more socialism slower, and more socialism faster.  This last national election was a real puker.  The Republican Party is, at the moment, just as lost, dumbfounded, selfish and clueless as ever.  They’re a herd of does, staring blankly into the headlights of an on-coming truck, and the worst part of it is; they don’t even suspect that they’re clueless.  They in the Republican leadership think they have some really clever answers, which amount to more of what got us into this mess.  I recently heard it described as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  That fits very well.  The Republicans have some really super great, super ultra smart ideas for rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  No really, listen…  (all the while we have this simple, proven model for success, and it’s being ignored.)


We need to change that.  You need to change it.  I need to change it.  There isn’t anyone else.  I suppose, since it’s up to us, it will have to be on the local level for most of us, being as we’re not billionaires.  That’s OK.  We can still do what we can do.  A lot of people are jazzed up right now.  They just need somewhere to start.  Well, pick a place, a local issue or a local politician that needs a hand (or a very public spanking) and get to it!


That there are clueless people is not the issue.  There will always be the clueless.  They’ll sit on the sidelines, worrying about who likes them and who doesn’t, trying to figure out where the “center” is so they can position themselves in it and claim superiority for having done so, while someone else does the lifting.  Are you a sitter or a lifter?


I have a bad feeling that things could come to blows before this government is brought under control, and I really don’t want that to happen.  Do you?  This country is far too important in the grand scheme of things.


And with that; I don’t have much more to say on here, other than to repeat myself or talk about the weather and what I did last weekend, unless it’s to tell you what I’m doing on the local level to influence politics.  Now I think I have some calls to make.


(Note that I placed this in nearly every one of Joe’s categories. It’s relevant to everything we do and every opportunity we want for our kids in the future)

I’m glad we went the other way

England took a wrong turn. The evidence is so glaring obvious that I’m sure most of them, at some level, realize it as well:



In May this year, the Met launched Operation Blunt 2, another high-profile initiative to tackle knife crime – again using special stop and search powers in high-risk areas and airport-style metal detectors. The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, announced a £5m package to tackle violent crime. Since then, 27,000 people have been searched, 1,200 arrested and 500 knives seized. Of those arrested, 95% have since been charged with weapons offences, the Met said.


Uncle has more evidence.


The problem is, even with the overwhelming evidence, they have too much invested in the decision. It’s too psychologically uncomfortable to admit they were wrong. It takes a great deal of character strength to admit you were wrong when you have invested 100’s of millions (billions?) of pounds and who knows how many lives lost in a scheme that was counter productive to your stated goal. They don’t have the strength of character to do that. Very few people would. It’s particularly difficult when you have social support for your conviction. There will be more and more proselyting for this failed belief system until they hit a very firm and undeniable dead end. That will likely be a exceedingly repressive police state. Getting themselves out of that will not be easy or pretty.


I’m so glad we managed to avoid that path into the abyss.

Humans are pack animals

The observation that most humans are “pack animals” and conformists leads me to conclude that in addition to having the obvious detrimental effects of forcing conformity to harmful and even dangerous beliefs there are ways this human characteristic can be exploited to the advantage of freedom loving people. In essence we need to align the pack norms with our principles rather than let the anti-freedom movement align them for us.

I haven’t read it, but I suspect Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes would be very insightful. In the absence of my doing the proper research here are my speculations on the gun issue and how we might take advantage of this human characteristic:

  • The more gun owners “come out of the closet” the more difficult it is for the anti-gun bigots to herd the pack in the desired direction.
  • The more times you take a new shooter to the range the less people there will be who accept the implied characterization by the bigots of all gun owners as actual or imminent criminals.
  • Every time you speak up when someone else is denigrating gun ownership you make it more difficult for others to agree with the anti-gun position.
  • Every time a piece of pro-gun legislation is introduced and/or passed it makes it harder for the anti-gun forces to introduce their legislation even if it is mostly unrelated to the pro-gun law. Hence getting a state preemption law passed (YEAH Mike!) helps prevent “assault weapon” legislation from getting a toehold. Another example would be a law requiring the ownership of firearms in one city throws into question a proposal in another state or city to limit gun ownership.
  • Every court ruling that says gun ownership, no matter how narrowly defined and incremental from the existing group think, is a right protected by the constitution it makes it harder for the bigots to get critical mass for restricting some other aspect of gun ownership.

We need to create a “pack” where gun ownership and freedom is the predominant viewpoint. When the forces of anti-gun bigotry and socialism are viewed with justified contempt the forces of freedom can then advance and turn back the terrible cloud hanging over our country and the world.

When Prophecy Fails also gives us insight and ideas for breaking people out of the pack

Are there any pro-freedom psychologists and sociologists out there that can contribute more on this topic?

Just Ask Hamas

When faced with important decisions, it helps to understand the situation as completely as possible.  In light of all the facts, and with an understanding of history, one can usually see the right choice, or the right set of options, with little difficulty.  Knowing Hamas and their ideology, it then becomes impossible to understand why anyone would want to compromise with them without coming to the conclusion that it is only because of an overwhelming desire to avoid reality.

This from our friend in Jerusalem:

Friends:
The Palestinian Authority’s President, a Hamas member, is in Iran.  He says Hamas will never accept the State of Israel.  More, the only acceptable way to be rid of Israel is by force of arms. 
BELIEVE HIM.
Howard

Land for peace anyone?  I’ve spoken with several Leftists who either don’t know what the Jihadis are saying, or do not believe them, or do not believe that their words are actually their words.  They instead attribute their hatred for the West to silly things like U.S. foreign policy or our “taking” (like we never pay for it– to the tune of billions) of mideast oil (the fact there is, America is their best customer– they should love us).

I suggest that if you want to know why they hate us, you might try listeneng to them.  Oh, but I understand that that wouldn’t let you blame the U.S. and the Jews, or G.W. Bush, which seem to be the main goals for some Americans.

The Fruits of “Peace Talks”

 

While we’re making plans for the holidays, and while we’re listening to political ads about which party will fight the most politically-correct war against the Jihad (no, wait, no one is saying anything about Jihad in Washington.  Its “terror”– they’re fighting a war against an emotion) the missiles are landing regularly in Israel, and the Israelis are bracing for more violent attacks.

 

Decades of “peace talks” and “summits” and trading “land for peace” have led us to this point.  They’ve led to an enemy that has increased confidence and increased capabilities.  For this I place the blame squarely on the Left.  I also blame the “Conservatives”, for being too much like the Left.

 

What we need are warriors, not politicians.  When are we going to learn that our enemies must be defeated before we can “negotiate” peace with them?  They must be thoroughly convinced, beyond all hope, of their total defeat.  Only then will we have any hope of peace.

 

This is from my friend (I call him a friend, though we’ve never met) a marksmanship instructor in Israel:

Friends:

 

Basically this entire week is considered the Id al-Fitr Moslem Holiday.  Wonderful for those of us living in northern Jerusalem because it would appear that through this morning, there is virtually no rush hour traffic.  Hard for me to believe, but if the horrendous rush-hour traffic jams renew once the holiday is over, then one can conclude the congestion is caused by an unreal number of vehicles coming from the villages and towns north of Jerusalem.

 

The signs of impending conflict are growing.  Everyone is waiting the holiday’s end as if it signals the start of the terrorism season – a new, improved terrorist violence with the terrorists possessing new, advanced weapons, huge stockpiles of ammunition and munitions and a year’s preparation time well spent.

 

Hamas and the other terror groups want to “Lebanonize” the Gaza Strip.  They are well on their way.  During the last few days Israel has certainly “upgraded” its operations against the terrorists in the Gaza Strip.  There have been some successes, either the terrorists were preoccupied and got sloppy or the IDF got lucky.  Or there is simply so much terrorist preparation and activity going on that it was inevitable an IDF patrol would bump into a terrorist force.

 

It may all be brinkmanship.  There is a lot of talk of a Hamas “preemptive” strike across a wide front, employing everything from West Bank based cells, to barrages of missiles and commando style raids with terrorists emerging “behind the lines” from underground tunnels.  Who knows.

 

Avigdor is now a government minister and deputy prime minister.  The government is going from left to right faster than the Labor party can make excuses for why it remains in the government.   The Chief-of-Staff made a surprise visit at 07:00 yesterday morning to a base on the Golan Heights to “check alertness.”  Syrian positions all along the Golan Heights are preparing for an Israeli attack.

 

I probably should start figuring out where I would like to be (and cover as a reporter) if violence renews.  Interesting thought. One which I shall ponder.

 

Have a good day and stay safe,

 

Howard

Regulating CO2

From the Seattle Times:

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear arguments on whether the federal government must regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, a case that could have broad implications for utilities, auto manufacturers and other industries nationwide.

The high court agreed Monday to consider whether the Bush administration must regulate carbon dioxide in order to combat global warming.

CO2?????  If it weren’t for it being a violation of the various rights (sometimes I wonder why I should respect the rights of those that don’t respect my rights to keep and bear arms) the way I would reduce CO2 emissions would be to encourage the environmental wackos to stop breathing.  This attack from the wackos is not about “global warming” or “climate change”.  The man-made effects on the global climate are so small it’s almost impossible to measure.  Therefore the motivation for these attacks can only be attributed to something else.  Possible candidates for the real reason include anti-capitalism, a scam to make money by the proponents of these claims, and mental disorders.  I’m partial the mental disorder hypothesis myself–When Prophecy Fails successfully explains many of these nut cases.

Did you know that water vapor is a bigger contributor to the green house effect than CO2?  See also Jeff’s post on this subject.  And that when gasoline or diesel is burned it produces more water vapor (by volume, not mass) than it does CO2?  Of course we could always limit water vapor emissions from the wackos as well.

Understanding Bush derangement syndrome

Putting on my engineer/scientist hat…

Problem:
Why do so many of the people on the political left make such outlandish claims that no rational person could believe them?

Given:
Bush derangement syndrome describes some of the symptoms in general terms. It does not explain why it occurs and hence is of little use in prevention and cure.  Other, more specific, examples of irrational beliefs include:

Solution:
The best explanation to date is, in the simplest possible words, When Prophecy Fails.  This isn’t a perfect fit but the underlying mechanism appears to explain the symptoms.  Let me explain.   When people commit to a political viewpoint they frequently don’t just adhere to a set of beliefs they claim are “good” they also frequently claim their opponents are “evil”.  This is, in almost all cases, not true.  Because I am so familiar with the issue of gun control I’ll use examples from that particular public debate to illustrate. Without any data to support one side or the other there are two hypothesis that, at face value, appear to be worth exploring:

  1. Easily available weapons is good public policy because they enable innocent people to defend themselves against violent criminals.
  2. Easily available weapons is poor public policy because they enable violent criminals to commit violent acts against innocent people.

Some people promoting hypothesis 1 go beyond claiming they are trying to save lives by enabling self-defense.  These people may claim their opponents have the intent to enable evil acts (socialism, communism, genocide, etc.)  Some people promoting hypothesis 2 go beyond claiming they are trying to save innocent lives by removing weapons from potential criminals.  These people may claim their opponents do not care about the loss of innocent lives and are motivated by money from gun and ammunition sales or the mere enjoyment of their hobby.

In the process of promoting their beliefs both sides will make predictions (prophecies) about the consequences of agreeing and/or not agreeing with them.  When those predictions fail to come about they are in the situation of a failed prophecy as described by the book.  Those people, given certain conditions, will not admit they were wrong and change their beliefs but will instead increase their promotion (proselyting) of their belief system and make new, typically even grander, predications of the adverse results if people fail to adhere to their belief system.

Hence, people opposed to the Bush administration end up claiming President Bush is the equivalent of Adolf Hitler and the gun controller types ban certain types of clothes when gun bans fail to reduce crime.

Quote of the day–Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Iraqi

We want to give you the joyous news of the martyrdom of the mujahed sheik Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The death of our leaders is life for us. It will only increase our persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme.

Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Iraqi
Identified as the deputy “emir” or leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.
June 6, 2006
Quad Cities Times–Spiritual adviser led to al-Zarqawi
[Note the goal, that the word of his God to be supreme and hence the end of human rights as we know them.  It also sounds to me like a example for When Prophecy Fails.–Joe]

Scholar? Expert?

One of the hazards of being a scientist is allowing your personal biases enter into your work.  It is exceedingly easy for people to believe what they want to believe.  This can take many forms.  It can be rejecting data that does not fit your conclusion.  It can be using subjective measurements of your data (particularly easy when assessing mental conditions–“Are you happy today?”).  One of the most common is forgetting/overlooking that correlation does not mean causation.  Just because birds fly north (in the northern hemisphere) before summer does not mean birds flying north caused summer weather.  Just because a most people die in hospitals does not mean hospitals cause most deaths.  And just because guns are present in “unstable” countries or cities does not mean guns caused the instability.  This is the mistake “expert” Wendy Cukier makes here:

Scholars fight arms flow, violent culture
Toronto has its work cut out, halting the gun run from the U.S., which owns one-third of the world’s 700 million guns
Jan. 3, 2006. 05:42 PM
OLIVIA WARD
STAFF REPORTER

Canada needs tough gun control laws, says a Toronto expert, but lawmakers are up against a global arms “epidemic” that has circulated millions of weapons around the world, destabilizing countries and undermining cities.

And, says Wendy Cukier, professor of justice studies at Ryerson University, the latest Toronto police figures — obtained through a Freedom of Information request — show that 52 per cent of handguns seized as “potential crime weapons” in 2004 came from the United States.

“The majority of those guns come from over the border,” she says. “And the ones that are reported as legally registered in Canada may also be manufactured in the U.S.”

Now, it’s possible that Cukier view of a “stable” city or country is a iron fisted police state but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on that.  In areas of high crime or oppressive governments the people act in their own self interest and obtain weapons to defend themselves.  The guns didn’t cause the crime rate or the oppressive government.

Cukier became involved in the ant-gun movement after several women were killed by a woman-hating Muslim extremist using a rifle in Montreal 1989.  I suspect it was psychologically difficult for her to lay the blame where it really belonged–on a minority extremist.  It was far more politically correct to blame the availability of the rifle.  Once she took that step and pursued that path for several years it was even more difficult to back down from that position.  She would have to admit she was wrong for all those years.  That is an extremely difficult thing to do.  This has been known and studied for decades.  From this research we also know what comes when irrefutable proof for the error occurs–more proselytizing of her mistaken belief.  It is psychologically easier for her to find more converts to her belief system, hence giving her psychological support, than it is to admit she was wrong.  Read When Prophecy Fails–Cukier could be a case study.  And given her first hand experience with it perhaps that should be the field where she is considered a scholar and an expert.  She’s not an expert on guns or cause and effect.

Former mayor Barry, meet When Prophecy Fails

Former Washington D.C. mayor Marion Barry was robbed at gun point in his home–where guns are banned.  Alan Gottlieb has the appropriate response in this same article, but Barry is insane.  How can he push for tougher gun control laws when guns are already completely banned?

“It’s time, to tell anti-gun city leaders like Barry that ‘we’ve tried it your way, and it was a disaster; now let’s try it a different way.’ It is time for citizens in Washington, D.C. to once again be secure in their homes and businesses, and the only way to accomplish that is to make it possible for them to fight back,” Gottlieb said.

“If the gun ban had worked, Marion Barry would still have his wallet,” Gottlieb concluded.

Barry has vowed not to move from his home in Southeast Washington’s Ward Eight, which he represents in the city council. Instead, he said he’ll push for tougher gun control laws, the Associated Press reports.

Barry should read When Prophecy Fails–it describes his mental difficulties.

Orwell’s was only off by a few years

1984 versus 2014, what’s 30 years when you are writing about society nearly 40 years in the future?

From Bruce Schneier we get this news:

Britain is to become the first country in the world where
the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national
surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.

Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing
number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements
so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a
driver has made over several years.

The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which
are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day
to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as
towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts.

By next March a central database installed alongside the Police
National Computer in Hendon, north London, will store the details of 35
million number-plate “reads” per day. These will include time, date and
precise location, with camera sites monitored by global positioning
satellites.

Already there are plans to extend the database by increasing the
storage period to five years and by linking thousands of additional
cameras so that details of up to 100 million number plates can be fed
each day into the central databank.

And that’s just the beginning.  Here’s the future:

The new national surveillance network for tracking car
journeys, which has taken more than 25 years to develop, is only the
beginning of plans to monitor the movements of all British citizens.
The Home Office Scientific Development Branch in Hertfordshire is
already working on ways of automatically recognising human faces by
computer, which many people would see as truly introducing the prospect
of Orwellian street surveillance, where our every move is recorded and
stored by machines.

It’s a slippery slope.  The government takes the guns
away “to reduce crime” and when that doesn’t work they conclude more
government power over the people is needed and when that doesn’t work
they need still more power. They never give consideration that giving
power back to the people could be a good idea.  As Lyle points
out, only when government involved do people conclude that their
failures mean we should give them more money.  It’s a classic When Prophecy Fails case.  It’s also an extreme failure of the Jews in the Attic Test.

This is extremely scary stuff.  I gives me shivers and just drains the energy from me.

It’s sad when they are delusional

One of the peace activists recently kidnapped by the Islamic extremists was written about in tomorrows Washingon Post.  It’s so sad to read the words he wrote before going to Iraq and what his friends here are saying now:

As Tom Fox headed toward the end of his first week in captivity in Iraq, friends said the 54-year-old musician and peace activist was well aware of the dangers he faced in the war-ravaged country.

He was so realistic, in fact, that he devised a written plan he distributed to friends and co-workers that they should follow if he were taken hostage. Don’t pay ransom for his return, he wrote in an October 2004 e-mail, and reject the use of violence in trying to win his freedom. Don’t “vilify” the abductors, he said, but instead “try to understand the motives of their actions.”

“We are very worried about our four friends,” Christian Peacemaker Teams said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. “We fear that whoever is holding them has made a mistake. [They] are four men who came to Iraq to work for peace and explain their opposition to the occupation. They are not spies.”

At the service in McLean, where Fox’s e-mail from 2004 was read aloud, his friends reminisced about his ideals. One woman said that just before Fox left for Iraq, he told her, “Too many are willing to die for war and too few are willing to die for peace.”

“Try to understand the motives of their actions”?  The motives are, “You are not Muslim or you are not the right flavor of Muslim.  You must convert or die.”  “Explaining your opposition to the occupation” isn’t going to yield the desired results.

And who has ever said they were willing to die for war?  I’ve heard or read about people willing to die for country, freedom, honor, family, way of life, and a lot of other things but I’ve never heard it said they were willing to die for war. 

These people are living in an alternate reality.  It’s sad their introduction to reality will likely be in the form of a box full of sand covered body parts.  Don’t expect it will convert many of them.  They are prime canditates for When Prophecy Fails mention.

Four million illegal guns in Britain

From The Independent:

Up to 4m guns in UK and police are losing the battle

‘IoS’ investigation: Another week, another horrific shooting. The culture of illegal firearms is running out of control

By Sophie Goodchild and Paul Lashmar
Published: 04 September 2005

And is anyone surprised?  Did anyone think the ban would be any more effective than the ban on recreational drugs?  The only thing they accomplished with the ban was drive the number of valid defensive use of firearm in protection of innocent life to almost zero.  And what do they think the proper solution to this is?  Why it’s as if it came out of the book “When Prophecy Fails“:

After many years of campaigning by the gun control lobby, a ban finally came into force in May 2004, making it illegal to own a blank-firing replica gun without a firearms licence.

I shake my head in amazement at why the politicians over there are still allowed to breath.

So much for gun control

Ahhh…. It’s nice to see editorial writers whacking the anti-freedom liberals with a clue by four–even if it is in Canada instead of the U.S.:

When we first read the headline in last Thursday’s Sun – “Feds taking aim at gun violence” – we thought that there must have been some mistake.

Gun violence? What gun violence? We have a very expensive national gun registry that was put into place to ensure that every firearm in Canada can be tracked. We have cumbersome regulations in place that make it more difficult for Canadians to buy guns. We have armies of bureaucrats shuffling paper to and fro to make sure that everything related to guns in this country is all very above-board and law-abiding.

So there can’t possibly be any gun violence in Canada!

Back in late 1994, when then-justice minister Allan Rock first unveiled the gun-control program, he declared, “This tough new gun-control program will improve public safety and also send a strong message that the criminal misuse of guns will not be tolerated.”

Eleven years later, the Liberals are suddenly worried about gun crime because Toronto has been blitzed by gun violence. In a more sane country, Toronto would realize that the gun registry has been exposed as an expensive waste of money and would punish the Liberals for lying to them by voting them out. And the Grits would shut down their useless registry and put the money into actual police officers fighting crime.

As we said, these lessons are all going to go unlearned.

True.  The lessons will go unlearned.  But at least whacking them alongside the head a few times and giving them a special mention for When Prophecy Fails provides some satisfaction.

Update: American Realpolitik comments on this same editorial about the succession talk in western Canada inspired in part by the oppressive anti-gun laws imposed on them by the east.

Right to murder bill

Florida’s bill, soon to become law, which explicitly says you may use deadly force to defend yourself from serious injury or death is being called a “right to murder” bill by the anti-freedom people:

“It’s literally mind-boggling in its audacity,” said Arthur Hayhoe of Wesley Chapel, president of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “If I make a mistake, all I have to do is repeat the NRA’s magic words: “I feel threatened.’ ” I call this the “right-to-murder’ bill.”

I suspect the real problem is that Mr. Hayhoe is feeling threatened.  After this law has been in effect for a couple of years and the crime statistics come in he will loose all traction with the population at large.  He will be like the crazy guy predicting the end of the world on the street corner.  No one will pay him any attention and that will be a very uncomfortable position to be in.  And of course after making these crazy predictions of the end of the world and being proved wrong he will make even more predictions and push his crazy, disproven viewpoint even more.  It must really suck to be an anti-freedom fighter these days.