December 30, 2012

Quick Suggestions on Buying an AR
— Russ from Winterset

Last night I noticed that one of the Facebooking Morons was looking for suggestions on "how to go about buying an AR". Considering that I bought a kit to build one myself about a year ago (back when stripped lower receivers were going for less than $100, rather than the $300 or even $800 that people are asking for them right now), I'm going to try to give some advice.

Two things to remember: I wrote this off the cuff with no edit, just stream of consciousness. If I start talking about longbows, just smile and nod. Second, IANAGOAL (I Am Not A Gunsmith, Or A Lawyer). Caveat Emptor, people. Live it, learn it, know it. more...

Posted by: Russ from Winterset at 09:21 AM | Comments (153)
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December 29, 2012

College Game Stuff
— Dave in Texas

I was busy..

my bad. I was at the mall. Pity me some.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:06 PM | Comments (127)
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Open Thread
— DrewM

Oh, you were expecting content? On a weekend? You must be new here.

Here's some good news, George H.W. Bush is doing better and is out of ICU.

Added: Via @AppFlyer, HOLY CRAP. Video of a plane crash in Moscow today. more...

Posted by: DrewM at 11:57 AM | Comments (274)
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Overnight Open Thread (29 Dec 2012)

Dumbasses. Take A Powder, You Voted For Him. more...

Posted by: CDR M at 04:58 PM | Comments (590)
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Next Phase Of The Gun Control Fight....Gun Shows
— DrewM

It's NY and all but still.

In an open letter sent to the Times Union on Thursday, Petronis, president of New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates (NEACA), said those working to stop the show were "trying again to steal a little piece of freedom from our grasp."

It was followed Friday by an online petition created by Robert LeClair, a Hudson Falls gun owner. His effort at asks City Center officials to keep the gun show. It states: "The sudden knee-jerk need to ban a perceived threat by the uninformed, ignorant few who have no understanding of what they want banned will have widespread repercussions against the constitutional rights of our children and their children."

Their efforts came five days after Susan Steer started a petition asking the City Center to cancel the gun show out of respect for the victims and families of Newtown, Conn. Her petition says community members were horrified over the massacre at the elementary school and shocked at the thought of someone being able to purchase a semiautomatic weapon along Broadway at the City Center. The center is operated by an authority whose members are nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

Organizers are caving a bit by "asking" vendors not to bring AR-15s with them or display them discretely.

Of course the lunacy of all of this as the show's promoters points out is there are 15 gun stores within a a half hour of the convention center. Like the newspaper that published the list of permit holders, this is nothing more than rank harassment and an effort to marginalize people for daring to exercise their rights.

At the moment, the anti-gun show online petition is over a thousand "signatures" while the pro-show petition is only at about 400 or so. So, if you're so inclined....

Posted by: DrewM at 08:01 AM | Comments (151)
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Municipal bankrupty, disease or cure? [Purp]
— Open Blogger

Looking for that fresh thread smell? You've come to the right place...

...because these guys are working with a not so fresh smell.


Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:00 PM | Comments (81)
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Shakespeare was correct [CharlieBrown'sDildo]
— Open Blogger

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". - (Henry VI part 2, Act IV, Scene II).

The most delicious part of this is that if the Connecticut school shooting suit is approved (and that has yet to be decided), the plaintiff's attorney may very well call a representative of the NRA to explain how the presence of a $600 tool and the minimal training required to operate it may have been able to prevent this massacre.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 09:30 AM | Comments (317)
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Saturday Morning Open Thread
— andy

Last one of the year. And in keeping with tradition, this post is 110% content-free.

Posted by: andy at 02:17 AM | Comments (258)
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The Passing Of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., USArmy
— Dave in Texas

A New Jersey kid, the son of Ruth Allen and Herbert Norman. His name was later amended to H. Norman. And in his time, after serving in Vietnam where he earned three Silver Stars, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, he stayed with the Army and rose to greatness.

This is an except of his service (granted, Wiki, but sourced) about leadership and taking care of the men in your command.

In Vietnam in March 1970, Schwarzkopf was involved in rescuing men of his battalion from a minefield. He had received word that men under his command had encountered a minefield on the notorious Batangan Peninsula, and rushed to the scene in his helicopter, as was his custom while a battalion commander, in order to make his helicopter available. He found several soldiers still trapped in the minefield. Schwarzkopf urged them to retrace their steps slowly. Still, one man tripped a mine and was severely wounded but remained conscious. As the wounded man flailed in agony, the soldiers around him feared that he would set off another mine. Schwarzkopf, also wounded by the explosion, crawled across the minefield to the wounded man and held him down (using a "pinning" technique from his wrestling days at West Point) so another could splint his shattered leg. One soldier stepped away to break a branch from a nearby tree to make the splint. In doing so, he too hit a mine, which killed him and the two men closest to him, and blew an arm and a leg off Schwarzkopf's artillery liaison officer. Eventually, Schwarzkopf led his surviving men to safety, by ordering the division engineers to mark the locations of the mines with shaving cream.

They don't hand out Silver Stars for showing up.

RIP General. And Godspeed.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at 05:33 AM | Comments (301)
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December 28, 2012

Mark Steyn: Laws Are For Little People
— Ace

Great column.

Just so the various know-nothings in the media, such as Howard Kurtz, understand this:

Some laws punish people strictly for possessing a thing declared contraband. There is no mental state required to be thrown in jail, apart from voluntarily possessing the contraband. You might be able to get off if you can prove someone sneaked the prohibited item into your luggage without your awareness. But the police have heard that an awful lot, and tend not to believe it.

There is no additional criminal intent required -- voluntarily possessing the prohibited item is all the criminal intent that's required.

Now, some laws do require an additional criminal intent. With drugs, you can get hit with the lesser charge of possession, or the more serious charge possession with intent to distribute.

But there is no "with intent to [x]" attached to most gun laws. With most gun laws, simple possession is enough to constitute a breach of the law.

Now, there are additional laws for using a gun in the commission of a crime. But straight up possession? Requires no additional crime beyond possession, just as a straight-up drug possession charge requires no additional crime beyond possessing the contraband.

So yes -- David Gregory is innocent of having any additional criminal intent -- just like 90% of all people arrested for gun violations are themselves guilty of no additional criminal intent beyond simple possession.

David Gregory is precisely as innocent as most people arrested for a gun infraction-- and just as guilty, too.

Now, the idea being put forth by the media -- that you should only be arrested for possessing a gun (or part of a gun, like a magazine) if you have the additional criminal state of intending to commit a crime with that gun (or gun part), is, how can I say this? A radical gun-nut rightwing notion. I think Ted Nugent might very well agree that gun laws should always be limited to situations where guns are used in the commission of the crime or possessed with the future intent of committing a crime.

Does Howard Kurtz embrace that understanding of gun laws? Does Glenn Thrush? Do the various other know-nothings in the media -- who know both nothing about law and nothing about guns, but opine with great force and velocity on gun laws -- embrace this conception of gun laws, that gun laws should never target simple possession but only possession during the commission of a crime or possession with intent to commit a crime?

If not -- if they are less the right-wing gun nut than Ted Nugent (and even the Nuge might find this position too "extremist" for his taste -- then they are duty-bound to demand David Gregory's prosecution, as they would demand that any other Citizen Not On Television would be prosecuted.

They are endeavoring to explicitly create a High Caste with greater privileges than the lower castes, and immunities to the laws the lower castes suffer under, and that is a blood anathema to any real American -- and will be treated as such.

Posted by: Ace at 02:03 PM | Comments (334)
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Obama, Who By the Way Has Schemed to Take Us Over the Cliff For a Year, Is About to Take Us Over the Cliff;
Will Address Nation at 5:45 Eastern

— Ace

The big meeting resulted in nothing but a photo op for Obama, which was his goal.

Despite claims he would offer a counter-offer, he did no such thing, and simply demanded that Boehner pass his original offer.

Posted by: Ace at 12:35 PM | Comments (383)
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In the Future, Every Cat Video Will Be Viral for Fifteen Minutes
— Ace

This rant is a bit unedited, but I think I still agree with it, despite it being more of a cri de couer than a precisely argued point.

His point seems to be this: The internet has created simple ways to measure penetration/popularity of an article, or a LOLcat picture: Number of pageviews, number of likes, number of video views, number of RTs. Because these standards are so ubiquitous and everpresent, we're beginning to be have as if page views equal actual quality, as if hit-whoring represented something besides hit whoring.

I think we're starting to care more about popularity and financial success than legitimate quality. All right, so that's hardly news; that's always been the case, as a general rule, for most of humanity's reign. But now the smart people are doing it: People who should know better. I'm talking about you, dear reader: You, me, all of us.

You see this everywhere, from box office results to online pageviews to Nielsen ratings to freaking Twitter followers. More people watch the NFL on television than any sport so therefore IT IS THE BEST SPORT. You have fewer Twitter followers than the person you're criticizing? YOU'RE A HATER. You don't like that album that went platinum? YOU JUST JEALOUS. BuzzFeed has put a bunch of pictures of kittens together in a way that is easily passed around by idiots? THEY HAVE FIGURED OUT THE INTERNET THEY ARE SUCH BRILLIANT PACKAGERS OF CONTENT THE FUTURE OF MEDIA. We have become a culture that, because we can quantify things in a way we've never been able to before, are acting as if those numbers are all that matter....

.Just because a bunch of morons and teenagers are watching The Voice doesn't mean that the rest of us have to give a shit.

But we do! ... Because we can see the numbers, and everyone has collectively decided that this is what we should be doing, that this is the point of all this....

We have all lowered the bar for ourselves. There was a time we didn't give a shit how popular something was, by the way; there was a time that "selling out" was considered the worst thing you could do. Now, we were all pretty stupid about that back then, too—eventually, it turns out, money does in fact come in handy—but there was at least a principle behind it. There was a recognition that you should at least try to follow your own muse. But why would anyone do that now? The pageview counter and Twitter followers and Nielsen ratings tell what is Working, and what isn't. Quality and passion, there's nothing wrong with them, necessarily ... but they're sort of beside the point.

I think he's basically right (I think). "Creating Buzz" or "setting the narrative" used to be the province of PR strategists, advertisers, and of course the idiotic liberal media. But now we can all join in.

But should we? Did anyone ever establish as his life's ambition to "create some buzz" over something? It's actually an extraordinarily trivial and shallow thing, when you consider it.

thanks to @comradearthur.

Posted by: Ace at 11:36 AM | Comments (262)
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British Doctors Call For a Ban on Kitchen Knives, To Reduce Stabbings
— Ace

Good Lord.

A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.

None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.

What? They claim that chefs claimed that chefs' knives were without usefulness?

Um, I use a chefs' knife. So too do I imagine the chefs. In fact, I'm almost 80% sure of that, given that they're called chefs' knives, and I see chefs using them on TV cooking shows.

This is getting pretty scary, huh? They truly are determined to control people to the point where they can't (their theory goes) do anything bad, ever, simply because their freedoms and permitted choices are so limited.

This logic ultimately runs to this: Since no human being needs to do anything besides work and eat, we might as well mandate that people take a powerful narcotic sleeping pill immediately after their evening meal, so they simply slumber until the next work shift.

That way, you're pretty sure no one can really do much of anything at all in their non-working hours. And then at last we will have Paradise on Earth.

via @joethefatman1

Posted by: Ace at 10:19 AM | Comments (400)
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Department of Things You Already Knew: Sean Penn Is an Illiterate
— Ace

Meghan McCain is, by comparison, a much more fluid and accomplished author.

His worldview is odious and evil -- but so too is his grammar.

And also, his ability to properly choose between "illusion" and "allusion."

Indeed, the actor now also self-identifies as a writer. In his 2009 paean to Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez published on the Huffington Post, Penn begins with typical humility: “The disadvantages of being a writer, who is often written about, are numerous.” And another disadvantage is that, because you are often written about, certain editors allow you to write.

Reading Penn’s journalism is not unlike consuming a Castro speech: it’s unbearably long, always rambling and tedious, and frequently incoherent. Take this latest dispatch from Penn’s Huffington Post blog, where he coughs up this furball: “Ostreicher, whose innocence was maligned by an arrest where only vague illusions to money laundering have been shown to be fabricated by corrupt officials within the Bolivian judiciary, whose motivation has proven to be extortion.”

Or how about this stew of words, which is apparently related to the shootings in Newtown, Conn.: “This can, and is, being very easily exampled with newly invigorated discussions with attention on the recognition and treatment of mental health, and certainly that is a priority. And to be responsible to that priority, we too have to recognize its applicability to the mental health of our American community at large.”

But I'm told it all reads much better in the original Retardese.

Posted by: Ace at 09:13 AM | Comments (354)
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Marc Thiessen: The Country Voted For Big Government. Now It's Time They Paid For It -- Let Taxes Go Up on the Middle Class.
— Ace

I have this thought a lot -- deficit spending allows a lot of hiding of the true cost of Obama's mega-government. Those who'll pay for it aren't conscious of that. Either they're not of voting age yet, or -- this is the bigger category -- they are of voting age, and just don't realize that in four or five years the tab they're running up comes due, in one way or another.

So maybe we should be deficit hawks first, prioritizing that over tax-cutters. If the public votes for big government, they at least should be required to understand the cost of it all.

How can we expect people to care about the growth of government if it doesn’t cost them anything?

Instead of paying for the current miasma of spending, we’ve been borrowing the money from our children and grandchildren. The national debt has grown by nearly $6 trillion in the four years since Obama took office. That generational theft cannot continue. We must not keep financing big government by passing the bills on to the next generation. Ideally, we would stop the spending binge and live within our means. But if the nation is not up to that, then we should all pitch in and pay for it — all of us.

Sorry, taxing the rich won’t solve our problems — that’s nothing but fiscal snake oil the president has been selling. He is demanding $1.3 trillion in higher taxes on the wealthy over 10 years. Imagine he got it. We are adding nearly that much to the national debt every single year. Taxing the rich would not put even a minor dent in our debt. It would pay for less than three weeks of federal spending every year. The only way to pay for the current expansion of government is to raise taxes on the middle class.

So let’s do it. Let’s all of us experience the true cost of big government in the form of a bigger tax bill.

He argues that it was a strategic mistake for Republicans to force Obama to extend the Bush tax cuts -- they were the only thing keeping the economy from going into another nosedive, due to his policy choices, and they're popular. Obama got the benefit of them while continuing to argue against them and blame everything on Bush.

Posted by: Ace at 08:38 AM | Comments (191)
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Hobby Lobby To Defy ObamaCare's Abortifacient Requirement
— Ace

I have heard from numerous Media bien pensants that if one's intentions are good, and in the public interest, you get to ignore the law.

n attorney for Hobby Lobby Stores said Thursday that the arts and crafts chain plans to defy a federal mandate requiring it to offer employees health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill, despite risking potential fines of up to $1.3 million per day.

Hobby Lobby and religious book-seller Mardel Inc., which are owned by the same conservative Christian family, are suing to block part of the federal health care law that requires employee health-care plans to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency contraception pills.

The companies claim the mandate violates the religious beliefs of their owners. They say the morning-after pill is tantamount to abortion because it can prevent a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in a woman's womb.

Posted by: Ace at 07:29 AM | Comments (284)
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Shocking No One, Initial Reports Of Body Armor In Newtown Proved Incorrect
— andy

Just like in Aurora, the press heard that the shooter was wearing a vest and prepended "bulletproof" to it. I blame the demise of the three-piece suit.

[He] went into the Sandy Hook Elementary School wearing a utility vest, not a bullet proof vest, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said Thursday.

“It was a fishing type vest, a jacket with a lot of pockets; it was not a bullet-proof vest,” Vance said.

Here's an example from Orvis, the well-known purveyor of Semiautomatic Assault Vests:

So. Scary.

Dwayne Harrison, a Bridgeport police officer and president of the National Association of Government Employees, R1-200, International Brotherhood of Police Officers in Bridgeport, noted the utility style vest that Lanza wore is readily available, and not something that would have aroused suspicion.

Ummm. Yeah.

But that doesn't keep super-geniuses like this guy in The Atlantic from thinking that all we need is some serious monitoring of every item everyone purchases to find a pattern that will lead us to the brave new world of pre-crime interdiction of the next mass killer.

Big data might have stopped the massacres in Newtown, Aurora, and Oak Creek. But it didn't, because there is no national database of gun owners, and no national record-keeping of firearm and ammunition purchases. Most states don't even require a license to buy or keep a gun.

That's a tragedy, because combining simple math and the power of crowds could give us the tools we need to red flag potential killers even without new restrictions on the guns anyone can buy. Privacy advocates may hate the idea, but an open national database of ammunition and gun purchases may be what America needs if we're ever going to get our mass shooting problem under control.

As Ben Domenech said in the Transom, which is where I got that link, marketing guy should learn the term "false positives". Hell, every time I go anywhere that sells ammo, I pick up a few boxes. Couple this with that dangerous accumulation of school backpacks for the kids from L.L. Bean, and data guy would have the cops camped out on my doorstep.

But, hey, what's a little invasion of privacy for such a laudable goal. And by little, I mean massive.

And all in an effort to solve a problem that appears to be a completely random event (again, from the Transom).

What does this mean? It suggests that there is no evidence of clustering beyond what you would expect from a random process. In other words, the occurrences of mass shootings from 1982-2012 are consistent with the assumption that shootings are independent events, occurring at an average rate of 2 per year.

Gee, maybe if people were also randomly allowed to be armed in the "gun free zones" where all these events seem to occur, they might have a fighting chance. Crazy talk, I know.

Posted by: andy at 04:58 AM | Comments (496)
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Overnight Open Thread (28 Dec 2012)

Thank God it's Friday. Time to enjoy the weekend. So git yer drink of choice and let's get the ONT started.

OMG, someone Turned In Two Rocket Launchers for cash earlier this week in the Los Angeles gun buyback program. Funny thing is, those are empty, used launchers that are nothing more than nice souvenirs. They did publish an update after realizing how ridiculous it was to make it sound like folks are turning in live, ready to fire rocket launchers although they still try to make it sound like they could still be dangerous if only they were loaded with projectiles. These are fire and forget weapons. Once the weapon has been fired, they're discarded. They can't be reloaded.

Oh, BTW, you can Buy One if you want to.


Posted by: CDR M at 04:36 PM | Comments (598)
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Top Headline Comments 12-28-12
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Friday.

For the second time this month, a man was pushed onto the tracks ahead of an approaching NYC subway train. He's dead. Authorities are looking for the "mumbling woman" who pushed him.

Iowa will not be giving driver's licenses to aliens who were allowed to remain in the U.S. only through the DHS "deferred action" program that is modeled on the failed DREAM Act legislation. "State law does not allow it to issue driver's licenses or identification cards to people who are in the country illegally."

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:51 AM | Comments (301)
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December 27, 2012

Breaking: US evacuates embassy in Central African Republic [Purp]
— Open Blogger

One article
Another article
And another

CAR President appeals to France/USA to help stop rebel advance. UN staff appears to be bugging out too.

President Francois Hollande said Thursday France would not use its troops stationed in the country to interfere in the conflict.

"If we are present, it is not to protect a regime, it is to protect our nationals and our interests, and in no way to intervene in the internal affairs of a country," Hollande said. "Those days are gone."

US Dept of state issues travel warning same day they bug out.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to the Central African Republic at this time. As a result of the deteriorating security situation, the U.S. Embassy in Bangui suspended its operations on December 28, 2012, and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in the Central African Republic.

Obama waiver supporting usage of child soldiers DOES NOT apply to CAR.

So where is this joint anyway?
Wiki entry
CIA World Factbook entry

Hard to get to, screwed up, and bordered by equally hard to get to and screwed up places. Bunch'a folks at State/DoD not getting any sleep tonight...

Its 3:00am and the phone is ringing...

UPDATE1 Protesters demanding French intervention ummm..attacked the French embassy Obviously not graduates of a Dale Carnegie how to win friends and influence people seminar...

UPDATE2 Central African Republic has OIL, Gold, URANIUM, and Diamonds.

UPDATE3 US ambassador and staff have fled to Kenya.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:53 PM | Comments (151)
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