Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chicago's Texas Ranger Approach to Handguns

The powers that be in Chicago must have read that apocryphal story about the Texas Rangers and "One Riot, One Ranger"

Otherwise, why are they proposing a one handgun limit in response to losing the McDonald case?

It wouldn't surprise me if Chicago tried to mandate what type of handgun you can own and in what caliber. It would probably be a Thompson-Center Contender in .22 Long Rifle given how they think and I use the word think loosely.

Kagan Confirmation Hearing Reactions, Part 2

The snark continues in reactions to Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings. Stephen Stromberg, writing in the Washington Post's PostPartisan blog, suggests that one could get better answers from an octopus named Paul that predicted Germany's World Cup win over England than from Kagan herself.

On her judicial philosophy:

Would Kagan be a "progressive" justice? The nominee objects to the terminology. Paul can express no such qualms. After coming to terms with the metaphysical crisis that no doubt attends when your only means of communication consists of consuming morsels of seafood from one of two labeled containers, Paul would have no doubt selected the one that read "yes."

On gun rights:

What is Kagan’s approach to gun control? The nominee wouldn’t touch the Heller ruling. Paul would have inked his way toward the "right to bear arms is a collective right, but if the court determines that it is an individual right it ought to be incorporated" container.

On learning anything out of the hearing:

Of course, the White House would never allow an octopus to serve as a surrogate for Kagan. Because if senators asked Paul whether the proceedings were a vapid farce, all eight tentacles would surely embrace the "yes" container.

Kay Hagan's Trent Lott Moment

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), who is a U. S. Senator only by the grace of Obama's landslide and the incredibly inept re-election campaign of Liddy Dole, has now had what the blog Red State is calling her Trent Lott Moment.

In a wonderfuly satirical piece, Ben Howe compares Hagan's praise of the late Senator (and Klansman) Robert Byrd to the birthday comments made by Senator Trent Lott in honor of Strom Thurmond.

Make sure to read the whole thing!

On a side note, as a North Carolinian, I have found Hagan to be a not ready for prime time player. Until recently, she was a total failure at constituent communication. If I wrote her a letter, I had to wait six months or more for a response. And even then, it was a response to maybe one in ten letters.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Move Over Dale Peterson!

Dale Peterson made quite a splash earlier this year with some of his ads for Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture featuring Dale riding off into the sunset atop his horse and carrying his Winchester 94.

Well, I think it is time for Dale to move over for Pamela Gorman of Arizona. She not only safely handles a firearm (unlike Dale) but does it in full auto.



BTW she is running in the Republican primary to replace Congressman John Shadegg who is retiring.

Reactions to the Kagan Confirmation Hearings

From the Washington Post

The Judiciary Committee grills Elena Kagan

The best - and most innovative - suggestion was made Patricia Wald, the former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Kagan will undoubtedly be a smart justice, though I am no clearer now than before as to what kind. How about, as an alternative to hearings, embedding a Rolling Stones reporter traveling with the candidate and her entourage for a few weeks before confirmation?

The Next Case: Bateman et al v. Perdue et al

Alan Gura's next case has a name. The official title is Bateman et al v. Perdue et al, Case No. 5:10-cv-265, and it was filed yesterday with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division.

The named plaintiffs are Michael Bateman, Virgil Green, and Forrest Minges, Jr as well as Grass Roots North Carolina and the Second Amendment Foundations. They are seeking to overturn the North Carolina General Statue that forbids the carrying, possession, sale or purchase of firearms and ammunition during declared states of emergency.

Specifically, they are asking the U. S. District Court for:

An order permanently enjoining defendants, their officers, agents, servants,
employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the injunction, from enforcing N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-288.7, 14-288.12(b)(4), 14-288.13(b), 14-288.14(a), and 14-288.15(d), forbidding the carrying, possession, sale or purchase of firearms and ammunition during declared states of emergency.
In February 2010, the City of King and Stokes County declared a state of emergency due to heavy snowfall and local power outages. The proclamation from the City of King forbade the sale or purchase of firearms and ammunition, as well as the possession of firearms and ammunition off an individual's premises. If you had a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit, it didn't matter as the state of emergency proclamation superceded it.

I have posted the entire complaint and other filings on Scribd. You can read the main filing here.

Bateman v Perdue 1-Main


UPDATE: Paul Valone, President of Grass Roots North Carolina and the Charlotte Gun Rights Examiner, has more on the background of the case in his column.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Alan Gura's Next Target - North Carolina's Emergency Powers Gun Bans

I just found this on the Second Amendment Foundation's website.

SAF SUES TO OVERTURN NORTH CAROLINA’S 'EMERGENCY POWERS' GUN BANS

The Second Amendment Foundation along with Grass Roots North Carolina and three individuals are suing to overturn the law in North Carolina that allowed the Town of King to impose a ban on possession and sales of firearms due to ... lots of snow.

Having read the law and seen when it was adopted, I've always felt it was a racist reaction to the civil unrest on college campuses during the late 1960s. The General Assembly was especially interested in tamping down any civil unrest at the historically black colleges and universities. This was very true in my hometown of Greensboro where the authorities kept a much closer eye on historically black NC A&T State University than on Women's College (now UNC-Greensboro).

A McDonald Decision Round-up

Two years and two days ago, the Supreme Court found that Dick Heller had the right to own a handgun to protect his family in his home in the Federal enclave of the District of Columbia. The Court held that the Second Amendment was an individual - not collective - right. Today, the Supreme Court held that Otis McDonald had that same individual right and that the Second Amendment was incorporated through the Fourteenth Amendment to the states. A plurality thought the Second Amendment was incorporated through the Due Process Clause while Justice Thomas thought the Privileges or Immunities Clause incorporated this right.

The Decision

The full opinion of the Court, the concurring opinions, and the dissents cover 214 pages. You can order a paper copy for FREE directly from the Supreme Court. It is called a slip decision. Just call 202-479-3211 ext. 1 and ask for the slip opinion in Case 08-1521. This makes a nice memento!


Reaction of the participants



And now Hizzoner Mayor Daley.



Reaction from the Second Amendment Foundation. 

And the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Both the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association were instrumental in bringing this case.

The NRA, which was given time to argue as a respondent on behalf of the plaintiff but were not a part of the McDonald case, issued this statement.

From the Gun Bloggers

Sebastian of Snowflakes in Hell Blog has spent most of the day reading and analyzing the decision.

Live Blog - The Decision

Scalia’s Concurrence

Reactions

Thomas’ Privileges or Immunities Opinion

Says Uncle has some interesting posts in his quick and to the point manner.

VPC on McDonald.  And if you have the Violence Policy Center, then you have to have Brady.

Breda of The Breda Fallacy has this reminder, Congratulations, Chicago

And in a short post Michael Bane has this to say, SCOTUS Rules! Second is Fully Incorporated....

The great Dave Hardy in his Of Arms and the Law Blog notes the number of citations of many of the Second Amendment scholars in the decision.

The Law Bloggers were not to be outdone

The Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, has a number of posts.

Very interesting to see both the majority and Justice Thomas reference the racist roots of gun control so strongly. Also, while Alan Gura didn’t win on the privileges and immunities argument, he did better than he might have. And by arguing that way, he made due-process incorporation of the Second Amendment, which looked radical not too long ago, look moderate by comparison!

He offers his first impressions here. And he links to this interesting post on the power of paradox.

Reynolds and other bloggers are featured in a discussion on the case in the New York Times.  And as a sidebar here, I'd love to have the gun collection pictured in the New York Times story!

The lovely Professor Ann Althouse weighs in here.

The Volokh Conspiracy has a number of important posts from their collection of law professors on the case.

Predicting the Impact of McDonald

What Now for Limits on Gun Possession by 18-to-20-Year-Olds?

McDonald v. City of Chicago and the Standard of Review for Gun Control Laws

Why Not the Privileges Or Immunities Clause?

And finally, the SCOTUS Blog has a number of posts on the case.

McDonald: big victory for liberty

McDonald impact: slew of new legal challenges

Still fighting the last war on the blog is Professor Jack Rakove of Stanford, A challenge of Heller’s historical interpretations

Thomas’ concurrence on the Privileges or Immunities Clause

Privileges or Immunities Clause alive again

Analysis: Gun rights go national McDonald, et al., v. City of Chicago, Opinion recap

And that sums it up for the evening. While there are a ton more posts opining on the case, I'm whupped!

Wait - just one more! The Law Blog in the Wall Street Journal calls Clarence Thomas's concurrence potentially his finest hour.

Court's Opinion in McDonald v. Chicago

The Court found for McDonald that the 14th Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment to the states. The majority opinion bases this incorporation on the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Justice Thomas writes a concurring opinion arguing for the Privileges and Immunities Clause as the reason for incorporating the Second Amendment.

The full opinion is here.

Chicago Loses, McDonald (and America) Wins

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held for Otis McDonald and his fellow plaintiffs. They reversed and remanded the case back to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

As SayUncle noted, "Chicago, Welcome to America".

I'll have more later with a complete roundup of comments from around the blogosphere.

This makes Alan Gura two and oh in the Supreme Court.

SOCOM Cancels Mk-16 SCAR

FNH-USA can't like this report from Military.com that SOCOM (Special Operations Command) is canceling the Mk-16 SCAR (5.56x45  variant) project so as to spend allocated monies exclusively on the Mk-17 (7.62x51 variant).

Military.com has the details.

I saw both at the NRA Annual Meeting. FNH-USA was pushing the military adoption of the Mk-16 as a selling point over the Bushmaster ACR.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Concealed Carry Gains Momentum in Illinois

The Belleville News Democrat ran a good story today about the movement towards concealed carry in the state of Illinois.

With 15 killings in six months, East St. Louis is on track to once again earn the label of one of the deadliest cities in the country.

But residents there, like all Illinois citizens, cannot legally walk around with a concealed pistol for protection.

Steve King, who operates the Belleville Indoor Shooting Range, says law-abiding residents of East St. Louis and throughout Illinois should be able to legally carry concealed handguns to defend their lives.

"Much of the crime in our area is in East St. Louis," said King, "This is not meant to be derogatory toward East St. Louis. There are many law-abiding people there who have their backs against the wall who must risk breaking the law to protect themselves. They should be allowed to protect themselves."

And some top metro-east lawmen agree. They urge that a law be adopted in Illinois to make it legal for qualified persons to pack a handgun. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states to entirely ban concealed firearms.

St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus, Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz and Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay all said they would support a concealed-carry law for trained persons who could pass an extensive background check.

Read the full story here.

This issue is of particular interest to me as the Complementary Mother-in-Law lives in St. Clair County. Having driven around East St. Louis, I always pray that I never have car trouble as the place reminds me of a Third World country. If you've read John Ross's Unintended Consequences, you know what I mean.

UPDATE: Here is a link to IllinoisCarry 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My First Battle Rifle

I now have my first battle rifle. It is a FN-FAL that was assembled for me by CMP Armory.

CMP Armory is a small gunsmithing company located in Dallas, NC. They came highly recommended and they did a fantastic job for me. Both Moses (aka Johnny) and James were easy to work with.

I had purchased an Imbel parts kit from a private ad on the FALFiles Message Board. The guy selling it decided that after getting the parts kits and most of the compliance parts that his interests lay elsewhere. I then obtained a DSA Inc. Type II upper receiver which is American made.

CMP assembled the rifle, refinished it in matte black KG Gunkote, did a trigger and accurizing job, and then added their own Hurricane flash hider to it. Jim Rawles on the SurvivalBlog has spoken very highly of this flash-hider.

I would have posted pictures of the fine job that they did but the Complementary Spouse is out in St. Louis with her mother (aka the Complementary Mother-in-Law) and she took my digital camera with her. A cell phone picture wouldn't do this rifle the justice it deserves.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tossing A Few Legal Queries Into The 'Void'

Tossing A Few Legal Queries Into The 'Void' - IBD - Investors.com

George Will has some interesting questions that no doubt will NOT be asked of Elena Kagan by either Democratic or Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. More's the pity.

Hobby Businesses and the Tax Court

This case caught my eye because it involved fishing!

When Taxpayers Go Fishing For Deductions


A Norman Rockwell-esque "Gone Fishin'" sign on a business may provoke nostalgia of halcyon middle America. It probably means something altogether different to Steve and Janice Lowe, taxpayers who recently went to U.S. Tax Court but came home with an empty creel. To put it in fishing nomenclature, they got skunked. The case is a good summer read, plus a roadmap of how taxpayers fare in hobby loss cases and which mistakes can prove fatal.

If you have a hobby that you'd like to turn into a business, make sure to read the whole article. It's good!

HR 5175 Passes House

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed HR 5175, the DISCLOSE Act, by a vote of 219 to 206 with 8 not voting. The full title of HR 5175 is "Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act." I can't conceive of a more Orwellian title than that.

I wonder if the next jobs bill will be entitled the "Arbeit Macht Frei" Act.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

McDonald v. Chicago Decision Due Monday

The Supreme Court released seven of the remaining 11 undecided cases today according to the SCOTUS Blog. McDonald v. Chicago, the case that we hope will incorporate the Second Amendment to the states, was not one of them.

It looks like Monday is the day. That is the last day of this year's October Term. Also, since Justice Ginsburg issued the opinion in Skilling v. United States, the betting is that Justice Alito will write the decision in the McDonald case.

Given that he was called "Machine Gun Sammy" by the Brady Campaign during his confirmation hearings, I hope this will be good for our side. Sebastian at the Snowflakes in Hell is ambivalent about that given that Justice Alito is a Jersey boy and is not part of the gun culture like Justice Scalia. Time will tell.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tax Court: Geithner/TurboTax Defense Doesn't Cut It

While I am a financial planner, I am not a tax professional. I do use Turbo Tax and have for over ten years. That said, if you have a complicated situation, it is best to seek the advice of a tax professional (CPA or Enrolled Agent).

Otherwise, you could face the situation that this taxpayer faces:

Tax Court Rejects Geithner/TurboTax Defense

The Tax Court specifically reject the Geithner defense saying:

Regardless of the facts and circumstances relating to the case to which petitioner refers involving U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, petitioner is required to establish on the basis of the facts and circumstances that are established by the record in his own case that there was reasonable cause for, and that he acted in good faith with respect to, the underpayment for each of his taxable years 2005 and 2006 that is attributable to his failure to report self-employment tax.

Great Moments in Political Satire

The Iowahawk has done it again with his latest missive from T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII.

I'm Beginning to Believe This Obama Fellow Is Unequal to the Task

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Credit Card Penalty APR Study

CardHub has done a study on credit card Penalty APR policies of the top ten credit card issuers. They wanted to see if the new disclosures mandated by the CARD Act made it easier for consumers to understand.

Penalty APR is the annual interest rate that credit card companies state they will charge if you are delinquent in your payments.

Read the whole study here and see how your credit card company ranks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Time to Bork Kagan?



The Bork judicial confirmation hearings were where civility and respect were first thrown out the window by the liberal members of the Senate including our current Vice President Joe Biden.

To say that they were a good thing for "constitutional democracy" is ludicrous. Serious inquiry was replaced with ideological fervor and we as a nation have paid for it ever since. Serious jurists with strong opinions as judges in lower courts have been replaced by shadowy figures whose true intellect and true judicial philosophy never comes to fore until after they are appointed to a lifetime position.


The National Review has examined papers released by the Clinton Presidential Library from the time that Elena Kagan served Bill Clinton as Deputy White House Counsel. Amongst these papers were notes that said the NRA and the KKK were equivalent organizations. While not signed by Kagan, the handwriting appears to be very similar to her handwriting. I'm sure a handwriting expert could say for sure. Robert VerBruggen who broke the story has more here and here. Nonetheless, to equate the NRA with the KKK is repugnant.

Kagan seems to have no regard for Second Amendment rights nor the organizations that defend them. Moreover, she has no judicial experience, no trial court experience, and a mediocre research record. And, finally, she doesn't seem to understand the United States is a representative republic and not a constitutional democracy.

Awaiting the McDonald v. Chicago Decision

McDonald v. Chicago, the case that we hope will incorporate Second Amendment rights at the state and local level, is still one of the few cases yet to be decided for the Supreme Court's current term. Custom has it that each justice is assigned at least one opinion per two-week sitting.

The February sitting has two unresolved cases - the Chicago case and one involving the former Enron CEO Jeffery Skilling - and two justices who have not authored an opinion for that sitting. They are Justices Alito and Ginsburg. Dave Hardy has more at the Of Arms and the Law Blog.

The SCOTUS Blog has the statistics on each of the sittings for this October term of the Supreme Court. Note that this "stat-pack" hasn't been updated to include decisions released today.

It should be noted that Justice Alito was in the majority on the Heller Case and Justice Ginsburg voted against the Second Amendment as an individual right. However, we could all end up being surprised by having Justice Ginsburg write an opinion incorporating the Second Amendment based upon the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment. And pigs can fly, too.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Gun Blogger Glossary

A Horse Thief presents a Gun Blogger Glossary.

Here is one sample:

ASSAULT WEAPON - A weapon that defies definition because there is no such thing. See also "Shoulder Thing That Goes Up"

Cong-Fu

Leave it to Iowahawk to put Rep. Bob Etheridge's stupid assault on two students in perspective.

Enter the Dragon

A Pact with the Devil

On August 23, 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, as the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union was unofficially known, was approved by Stalin and Hitler. Less than two years later, Hitler unleashed Operation Barbarossa upon Stalin's Soviet Union. Russian losses in the first few months, including killed, wounded, or taken prisoner, ran into the millions. This is what happens when you make a pact with the devil.

The NRA has made such a pact with the House Democrats on HR 5175, the DISCLOSE Act, in which in return for a carve-out exempting them from it provisions they will not oppose it. Congressman Heath Shuler (D-NC 11) has submitted an amendment to the DISCLOSE Act that will reportedly exempt 501(c)4 nonprofit political organizations that have "more than one million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations". The DISCLOSE Act is the Democrat's reaction to the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case.

According to the Center for Competitive Politics, the DISCLOSE Act proposes legislation that:

would ban many companies from airing political ads, give candidates a windfall subsidy in ad time to respond to independent ads, regulate long-protected issue advocacy with more restrictive coordination rules and force nonprofits and trade groups to disclose their donors-even if donors don't intend their funds to be used for influencing elections.

The NRA has obviously started to feel heat from conservative groups as well as their members. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action released this statement by email yesterday evening:

Statement From The National Rifle
Association On H.R. 5175, The Disclose Act

The National Rifle Association believes that any restrictions on the political speech of Americans are unconstitutional.

In the past, through the courts and in Congress, the NRA has opposed any effort to restrict the rights of its four million members to speak and have their voices heard on behalf of gun owners nationwide.

The NRA's opposition to restrictions on political speech includes its May 26, 2010 letter to Members of Congress expressing strong concerns about H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act. As it stood at the time of that letter, the measure would have undermined or obliterated virtually all of the NRA's right to free political speech and, therefore, jeopardized the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding American.

The most potent defense of the Second Amendment requires the most adamant exercise of the First Amendment. The NRA stands absolutely obligated to its members to ensure maximum access to the First Amendment, in order to protect and preserve the freedom of the Second Amendment.

The NRA must preserve its ability to speak. It cannot risk a strategy that would deny its rights, for the Second Amendment cannot be defended without them.

Thus, the NRA's first obligation must be to its members and to its most ardent defense of firearms freedom for America's lawful gun owners.

On June 14, 2010, Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged that H.R. 5175 would be amended to exempt groups like the NRA, that meet certain criteria, from its onerous restrictions on political speech. As a result, and as long as that remains the case, the NRA will not be involved in final consideration of the House bill.

The NRA cannot defend the Second Amendment from the attacks we face in the local, state, federal, international and judicial arenas without the ability to speak. We will not allow ourselves to be silenced while the national news media, politicians and others are allowed to attack us freely.

The NRA will continue to fight for its right to speak out in defense of the Second Amendment. Any efforts to silence the political speech of NRA members will, as has been the case in the past, be met with strong opposition.
 The NRA thinks of its own needs first and I understand that. They didn't get to be the 800-pound gorilla of gun rights by being selfless. However, and I say this as a Life Member of the NRA, they are thinking in "Inside the Beltway" terms which may be tactically sound but strategically unwise. Local and regional gun rights groups who are much more agile in responding to state and local threats to gun rights will be hung out to dry.

Instead of playing with the Democrats, the NRA should heed the advice of Niccolo Machiavelli.
A prince, therefore, being compelled knowingly to adopt the beast, ought to choose the fox and the lion; because the lion cannot defend himself against snares and the fox cannot defend himself against wolves. Therefore, it is necessary to be a fox to discover the snares and a lion to terrify the wolves.
The Prince, Chapter XVIII
Those proposing the DISCLOSE Act are nothing but wolves and the NRA should make the vote on HR 5175 a graded vote. They need to be the Lion and quit trying to play the Fox.

UPDATE:  Pelosi has pulled the DISCLOSE Act.

UPDATE #2: Put up for a vote on June 24th and it passes.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-NC Channels his Inner Dale Earnhardt

From Snarky Bytes comes a video of Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge assaulting a student who asks him a question on the streets of DC.

I guess Congressman Bob Etheridge who represents the Second District of North Carolina is trying to become known as "The Intimidator" a'la the late Dale Earnhardt.

Mr. Etheridge is rated F by both the NRA and the Gun Owners of America. He must be trying to make sure that those he assaults cannot fight back.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Parade Magazine Puff Piece for Lautenberg's "Terrorist" Bill

This Sunday's Parade Magazine ran a puff piece of Senator Frank Lautenberg's attempt to use terrorism as excuse to suppress gun rights.

Convicted felons and the mentally ill aren't generally allowed to buy weapons, but suspected terrorists are. Now city mayors and politicians on Capitol Hill are working together to change that policy.
 They fail to note that the "city mayors" are Mayor Bloomberg's anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. They refer to them as a non-partisan coalition of big city mayors.

They also are running a poll asking if "suspected terrorists should be allowed to buy guns?" Fortunately, at this time the majority of people are seeing through this biased poll.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's the Habitat (and Marshes), Dummy

Since the Deepwater Horizon disaster how many pictures of oily pelicans struggling and dead porpoises have you seen on TV? Probably a whole lot. It is sad and heart-rending and misses the whole issue.

Tom Gresham on his weekly radio show, GunTalk, gave an impassioned explanation of why it is the marshes and other habitat that is the critical issue and not the pelicans. (starts at about the 23 minute mark) Tom's dad, the late Grits Gresham, did his masters degree in wildlife conservation at LSU. His thesis topic was on the marshes of Louisiana. Later Tom assisted Grits on article decrying the destruction of the marshes in Louisiana and the impact it would have on wildlife as well as the human population. Remember Katrina?

Today's Outdoor Wire had an interview with Dr. Bob Shipp of the University of South Alabama who also serves as Chairman of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

He makes many of the same points about the importance of habitat and the marshes that Tom did.

"The thing that's scary is the habitat. If you destroy the habitat, then they won't be able to snap back. That's what we're worried about over the long term - destruction of habitat. If we lose a year class of snapper, it's bad, but next year we'll have another year class. The same is true for blue crabs and mahi mahi. If the sargassum or grass beds or oyster reefs are destroyed, then we have a really, really bad long-term problem.

Shipp thinks the focus now is to do whatever we can to save the habitat and not worry too much about what's going on with individual species.

Shipp then speculates on what will happen if the spill isn't stopped quickly.

"Let's say they don't get control of this until August," he said. "I suspect almost all the Gulf will be closed to fishing. I think most of the estuaries and inshore waters will be closed to fishing. I don't know about Texas, but I suspect they will catch it. The (Florida) Keys will catch it. They're already talking about the Tortugas being closed. Then some of it will go up the East Coast. So if it's not closed until August, there's going to be no fishing this year.

"And that's just the beginning, because it's going to destroy a tremendous amount of habitat. It will take years to recover is this leak isn't stopped in the next week or so."

Shipp expects the impact of the spill will show up initially in the marshes, oyster reefs, grass beds and sargassum.

"I think the offshore reefs won't be impacted as much early on," he said. "The hard-bottom stuff won't be impacted as quickly. That will be OK for a longer period of time. The impact there will be the species themselves - the juveniles, the larvae during the spawning season. But that habitat will be the least damaged and quickest to restore compared to the vegetative-type habitat.

"With grass beds, if the blades die and roots stay alive, they can come back fairly quickly. But if the roots die, it takes a long, long time for the grass beds to come back. It's similar to the marsh. The one positive about the marsh, is it's very, very deep. Even if you lose the outside part of it, the inside may be OK."

Shipp said major complications would occur if a tropical storm or hurricane churns into the Gulf and makes landfall in any of the areas affected by the spill.

"If it overcovers the marshes and beaches, it's going to be a major problem," he said. "The oil could go way back up into the marshes or even up into freshwater habitat. If you get a funnel of bad water going up Mobile Bay or Pensacola Bay, suddenly we're talking about freshwater habitat being impacted.

"It's just so complex. There are so many variables. None of the outcomes appear to be particularly good."

And so while all of this is going on, President Obama is threatening to kick asses, blaming George Bush, having three major parties at the White House, and still hasn't called Tony Hayward, CEO of BP.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Robbed while Open Carrying?

Man Legally Carrying Gun Robbed at Gunpoint

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a man was robbed at gunpoint while legally open carrying. Since Wisconsin is one of only two states without any sort of concealed carry law, open carry was his only option. The reporter of this story wants to make it seem like he was targeted since he was open carrying which I think is doubtful

It is a shame this article didn't go into the specifics of just how he was held up. I will go out on a limb and say this incident points out the need to for two things - situational awareness and more training.

Hat tip to Say Uncle.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

They Know Too Much About Me!

Last week, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express on business. Upon seeing my room number, I began to think they know too much about me.

Is College Tuition the Next Bubble to Burst?

Naked Law speculates that college tuition is the next speculative bubble to burst and gives eight reasons.

Given the rate of tuition increases, the cost of attending college on average will double every nine years. Moreover, many students are saddled with student loan debt that can equal the cost of a house.

I graduated from a private, liberal arts college where tuition, room and board, fees, and books ran about $4,000 a year. By comparison, the flagship state university would have cost me about $2,500 a year. However, when one compared the after-financial aid cost of the two, they were about equal. I graduated with $300 in student loan debt that my Mom insisted we pay off the week after I graduated.

The cost of attending my old college is now $36,000 a year at the minimum. Costs of attendance there have risen on average 7.3% annually. Frankly, while I am proud to have graduated from there, I'm not sure I could justify sending my child - if I had one - back to my alma mater. I just don't see the economic value of it.

Follow-up on Fake Vietnam Vet Richard Blumenthal

As a follow-up to a blog post I wrote on Connecticut Atty General and Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate Richard Blumenthal, we now have a member of his staff saying that he lied to the staff member, a former Marine himself, "face to face".

Richard Hine, State Asst Atty General for Connecticut, has worked for Blumenthal for the last 20 years in the Attorney General's Office. He says:

Hine said Blumenthal first lied to him about his service record while attorney general as Hine was making preparations for service during Operation Desert Storm, the first Iraq War.

According to Hine, Blumenthal expressed concern about his family should he be sent to Iraq and made sure he would be available to Hine’s family should they need him.

“He then said that ‘you as a major would have it easier than I did as an enlisted man in Vietnam’,” Hine said, recalling that the conversation that happened in Blumenthal’s office on the seventh floor at 55 Elm St., Hartford. “I knew right there that he was lying.”

Although shocked, Hine said he did not say anything at the time because he was indebted to Blumenthal for his kindness toward his family.

Hine served for 13 years as a Judge Advocate in the Marines and was honorably discharged.

He goes on to say:

he felt he had to come forward after Blumenthal’s recent actions.

“This has to do with integrity, has to do with qualifications for office and with a very personal conversation back in January or February, 1991,” he said.

Surrounded by the mementos of his own life as a Marine, Hine said what Blumenthal did went against the code of being a Marine.

“As a Marine, you don’t lie,” he said. “He has forgotten whatever he learned at Parris Island.”

God Texts Moses

The Complementary Spouse sent me this today.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl

no1 b4 me. srsly
dnt wrshp pix/idols
no omg’s
no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
pos ok – ur m&d r cool
dnt kill ppl
:-X only w/ m8
dnt steal
dnt lie re:bf
dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. Or dnkey. Myob

A Brit on the British Shooter in Cumbria

Perhaps Derrick Bird's deadly rampages aren't so 'inexplicable' after all

Yet another gun massacre is followed by yet another typhoon of psychobabble, sentiment and bogus declarations that ‘this must never happen again’, when everyone knows that it will.

It’s difficult to argue for tighter gun laws, since they’re already so tight, though I’m sure the authorities will think of something suitably irrelevant and futile, as they did after Hungerford and Dunblane.

They are determined to make sure nobody in this country is armed, apart from criminals and terrorists, the invariable effect of ‘tough’ gun laws that trouble only the law-abiding and have no impact on illegally held weapons at all.

I'm amazed that anyone left in the UK still had enough good sense to recognize this.

The truth is that until 1920, Britain’s gun laws were so relaxed they made Texas look effeminate, but we had virtually no gun crime. That only really began to increase here after we abolished hanging.

But that truth doesn’t fit the Leftist dogma which has ­everyone, including the Tories, the media and the police, in its grip, so the facts will be ignored.

What can we learn from the Cumberland murders? Well, first of all that the police are no use to anyone once a crime has been committed. They never were and they never will be, except if they can do first aid
.

The British Empire may have faded but their writers can still figuratively wield a very sharp pen.

H/T to Dave Hardy for the link.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stupid Company Policies

Knives!? We Don’t Need No Stinking Knives!

If ever there was a company policy that should have been ignored for safety reasons, it was the no knife policy of Transocean, operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Survivors of the rig explosion who were in a life raft almost burned to death because they didn't have a knife to cut the rope holding the raft to the burning rig.

Given the wide variety of sailor's knives, I am astounded that any maritime company had a no knife policy. Knives are essential tools for working with lines and rigging as well as a safety tool.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Even Messiahs Can be Boring Sometimes

Or often. Watch the kid over Obama's left shoulder in the last row.


Nikki Haley of South Carolina

If you live in Western North Carolina two of your three major television stations come out of the Upstate of South Carolina. As a result, I haven't been able to turn on the TV for the last few months without seeing a political ad for the South Carolina gubernatorial race. You get the occasional Democrat but most of the ads have been for one of the Republicans - Nikki Haley, Gresham Barrett, Henry McMaster, or Andre Bauer.

Thus, I "know" that Gresham went to the Citadel, that Henry will assert South Carolina's state's rights, that Andre has been endorsed by Mike Huckabee, and that Nikki is against the power of the legislature and has been endorsed by Sarah Palin.

South Carolina Republican politics are also some of the most brutal in the country. Nikki Haley has been accused of having an affair with a blogger and a consultant for Andre Bauer (which she has strenuously denied), Gresham Barrett has been dumped on for voting for TARP, Henry McMaster has been accused of being a professional politician, and Andre Bauer is just a weasel. Oops, that last comment was mine but appears to be true.

However, this is a gun blog so where do they stand on the Second Amendment is important to me. The NRA has not endorsed any of the candidates nor has published their current grades. However, having examined the websites for all four, I'd guess that they would all get an A or A+ from the NRA. Of the four, the one that impresses me the most is Nikki Haley. She not only has a concealed weapons permit (CWP) but thinks that the South Carolina laws are too restrictive on where you can or can't carry.



I find Haley's response to be refreshing.

By the time this is published, voting in the SC Primary will be almost over. Polls have shown that Haley is the clear leader and that the other three are hoping to force her to a runoff. The accusations of infidelity have not hurt Haley but have, in fact, rebounded in the opposite direction. If Haley is forced to a runoff by failing to get 50% (a tough standard - most states now use the 40% rule), I am guessing that it will be either McMaster or Barrett and not Bauer.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Presidential Seal - revised edition



The New Economy

Parents may want to rethink telling their kids to turn off the video game and start studying if they have hopes of getting a job and making money.

Major League Gaming or MLG Pro has been sponsoring video game tournaments for the last few years. These tournaments are held around the country and attract thousands of spectators and participants. This past weekend they held a tournament in Columbus, Ohio which was expected to have about 12,000 spectators.

As the Columbus Dispatch notes:

Founded in 2002, Major League Gaming has 64 active pros, three or four of whom will make $100,000 in a year, Jantzen said. More will make between $50,000 and $80,000 a year and the rest, between $20,000 and $30,000.

Corporate America has woken up to the profit potential of all these kids playing video games. Major sponsors of both teams and the MLG tournaments include Doritos, Dr. Pepper, Old Spice deodorant, Hot Pockets sandwiches, Bic shavers, and more. In past years, major sponsors have included Microsoft and Boost Mobile cell service. Dr. Pepper is even sponsoring a $10,000 college scholarship for the best college player over the summer.

Oh, and by the way, the brothers Kyle and Aaron Elam, who are featured in the pictures from the Columbus Dispatch, are the Complementary Spouse's nephews. Their teams came in first and fourth respectively for the tournament.

Just Because He Ran a Big Campaign.....

Obama 2008: I ran a big campaign, so I can handle a Gulf emergency

Oh, how those words are coming back to haunt Obama and his Administration.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Texans Aren't Stupid

Democrat running for governor could find simply owning a gun isn't enough for Texas voters 

Bill White, Mayor of Houston, is the Democratic nominee for Governor of Texas. He thought that Texas gun owners might be impressed that he owns a Springfield 9mm and a shotgun. He also thought they might forget that he was aligned with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns until 2009. That was when he sought his first statewide office and was running against a pro-gun Democrat.

White says he quit because the group opposed a federal law that would have allowed conceal-carry permit holders to carry their firearms across state lines.

Perry spokesman Mark Miner questioned White's reason for leaving the group, saying he only quit after he caught flak from pro-gun Democrat John Sharp when both were running for the U.S. Senate. White's name had appeared earlier on a letter opposing the expansion of rights for conceal-carry permit holders.

"He's totally lying," Miner said. "He is anti-gun and he'll do anything including lying to try to get elected."

Unfortunately for Mayor White, he is running against Rick Perry who not only has a concealed carry permit but used his Ruger LCP to kill a coyote that was threatening his daughter's Labrador Retriever pup.

Perry is rated A+ by the NRA and has been endorsed by the Texas State Rifle Association.

"He (White) went outside of the state of Texas and aligned himself with out-of-state mayors for heaven sakes," said Alice Tripp, legislative director of the Texas State Rifle Association.

I guess that about says it all.

Reflections on D-Day - 66 Years Later

June 6, 1944

So many years now, and so many with the memories of that day now gone. We look back on D-Day and the other horrific set-piece battles of World War 2 with an air of unreality, through goggles of the omnipresent media...perhaps the epic celluloid battles against the Sith or the dinosaurs of Jurrasic Park are more "real" to us than our fathers', or our grandfathers, great sacrifices. As Americans, I believe we cannot look back at D-Day, at the Second World War, without a sense of utmost reverence, a profound sense of the power of good to triumph over evil even in the face of unimaginable pain, suffering and death.

Excellent post from Michael Bane on the 66th anniversary of D-Day. Read the whole thing.

Sometimes Old-Fashioned Methods are More Reliable

Glitch shows how much US military relies on GPS

DENVER (AP) - A problem that rendered as many as 10,000 U.S. military GPS receivers useless for days is a warning to safeguard a system that enemies would love to disrupt, a defense expert says.

The Air Force has not said how many weapons, planes or other systems were affected or whether any were in use in Iraq or Afghanistan. But the problem, blamed on incompatible software, highlights the military's reliance on the Global Positioning System and the need to protect technology that has become essential for protecting troops, tracking vehicles and targeting weapons.

"Everything that moves uses it," said John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, which tracks military and homeland security news. "It is so central to the American style of war that you just couldn't leave home without it."

GPS, whether hand-held or in the car, is a wonderful tool. However, as the quote from the article above illustrates, GPS is technology dependent and can fail when you need it the most. The ability to read a map and use a compass are skills that everyone needs to learn.

I am blessed with a good sense of direction as well as geographic memory (I remember places where I've been). That said, the skills I learned in the Boy Scouts on how to read a map and how to integrate a compass with that map have been invaluable.

Books such as Bjorn Kellstrom's Be Expert with Map and Compass: The Complete Orienteering Handbook and David Seidman's The Essential Wilderness Navigator: How to Find Your Way in the Great Outdoors, Second Edition are good starting points on how to learn to use a map and compass.

Among the compasses that I own include a Suunto M-2 and a Brunton 15-DCL. However, virtually any compass from Suunto, Brunton, or Silva is good. I don't have experience with the military lensatic compasses so I can't speak to them.

So for under $10 for a compass and a trip to your public library, you can get started learning how to reduce your dependence on technology that can fail when you need it the most.

Apollo 13, the Gulf Oil Spill, and BP

Harrison Schmitt, former astronaut, Senator, and geologist, has written a very perceptive article contrasting how NASA reacted to the Apollo 13 disaster and how BP and Obama are reacting to the Gulf oil spill.

Mr. Tony Hayward, CEO of British Petroleum, has again used the 1970 Apollo 13 experience as analogous to the effort to contain and cap the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama’s administration’s and the supportive media have done the same, repeatedly. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The response after an oxygen tank explosion in the Apollo 13 spacecraft on its way to the Moon illustrates how complex technical accidents should be handled. It stands in sharp contrast to the Gulf fiasco. Solve the problem first; then investigate objectively; apply the lessons; and then, if absolutely necessary, worry about responsibility.

Nothing in the government’s response to the blowout explosion on the Deepwater Horizon and its aftermath bears any resemblance to the response to the Apollo 13 situation by NASA and its mission control team at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.

Read the rest.

You can solve the problem quickly or you can assign blame quickly. Unfortunately, for the residents of the Gulf states - and indeed for all Americans - the Obama Administration (and other politicians) are more interested in the latter than the former.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hitting Rehearsal

Baseball team renames 'BP' to protest oil spill

I guess there are no adults in charge of that team.

Ultimate Guide to Tactical Pants

This is really Tacti-COOL! If you want to know about the various brands of tactical pant, this is the place to go.

I will admit I have a few pairs of the 5.11 tactical pants as well as the Woolrich Covert (no cargo pockets) tactical pants. The one company that they missed was LAPolicegear.  I like their Operator Tactical Pants. They are lightweight and very comfortable.

Padding the Jobs Report Numbers

Inspector General’s Memo: Census Says It Hired More Workers Than It Needed As a ‘Cost-Saving Measure’


(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Census purposefully hired more workers than it needed, telling the Office of the Inspector General of the Commerce Department that it did so as a “cost-saving measure,” according to a memorandum that Todd J. Zinser of the inspector general’s office sent to Census Bureau Director Robert Groves last week.

If the Obama Administration thought the financial markets would react well to the padding of the jobs numbers, they were sadly mistaken. On Friday, all the major stock indices were down by over 3% with the Dow Industrials losing 323 points. Even bonds were down on the news. The only thing that went up was gold. Go figure.

Anyone who thought that stock traders would just look at the aggregate numbers of the jobs report and not delve a little deeper into composition is a fool. When 411,000 out of 431,00 "new jobs" are due to the U.S. Census, it does not mean the US economy is expanding. Stunts like this may have worked in Chicago but it doesn't work for the rest of the world.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Homes Owners in Chicago -Two; Crooks - Zero.

Yet Another Chicago Resident Defies Gun Ban, Shooting a Home Invader!

Fortunately for the home owner, there is this (though the home owner will have to deal with Mayor Daley's moaning and groaning):

The Illinois Legislature addressed city gun bans after Hale DeMar shot a home invader in the Gun Free Zone of Wilmette, IL. This makes it nearly impossible for police to charge people violating the gun ban if the gun/s are discovered after a self-defense incident.

ILLINOIS LAW:

(720 ILCS 5/24-10)

Sec. 24-10. Municipal ordinance regulating firearms; affirmative defense to a violation. It is an affirmative defense to a violation of a municipal ordinance that prohibits, regulates, or restricts the private ownership of firearms if the individual who is charged with the violation used the firearm in an act of self-defense or defense of another as defined in Sections 7-1 and 7-2 of this Code when on his or her land or in his or her abode or fixed place of business.

Hunting Grounds for Psychopaths

Kurt Hofmann in the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner asks the right question concerning Great Britain: how much more restrictive can its gun laws get?

In a land with the most draconian gun control laws, where the populace is virtually disarmed and at the mercy of thugs and loonies, where the people are actively discouraged by force of law from defending themselves, to propose any new "gun control measures" is absolutely ludicrous. I think the UK's new PM David Cameron might actually understand that.

A few years ago Massad Ayoob said "So-called gun-free zones are nothing but hunting preserves for psychopaths that hunt humans." The tragedy in Cumbria, England proves him right yet again.

Let Them Eat Cake - Haitian Style

From NRO's The Corner:

Four months after a devastating earthquake ripped apart their country, the people of Haiti are still suffering, so you’d think a multi-million-dollar donation of vegetable seeds would be welcome news. But two Haitian groups, backed by the activist group Grassroots International, are urging farmers to do the unthinkable: burn the donated seeds.

Go here to read the full story.

I am a big supporter of heirloom seeds but this is ridiculous. Hybrid seeds have a place and this certainly is one of them.

Explosion Rocks Nosler Ammo Plant

From KTVZ-TV in Bend, Oregon:

Investigators Seek Cause of Bend Bullet Plant Blast

Other reports indicate that there were no injuries to employees at the plant.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Way to Honor Our Veterans

Yesterday on Memorial Day, I was listening to a podcast that discussed recording interviews with family members who have served in the military. They thought it was an excellent way to honor the vet's service and to preserve these memories for later generations. I agree wholeheartedly!

It is estimated that World War II veterans are now dying at the rate of 1,000 a day. Some have estimated that by 2020 - only ten years from now - less than 2% of the 14.5 million vets of that war will still be alive. In my own family, my Dad, who was drafted into the Army in October 1940, died in 1981 and my Uncle John, a Navy vet who enlisted on December 8, 1941, passed away in 2008.

While my Dad served 28 years on active duty in the Army, he did it in two distinct segments. The first segment was from 1940 until 1945 during WWII and the second was from 1953 until his retirement in 1972. In between these segments, he served in the North Carolina National Guard while going back to college. Dad spoke of his memories of his second segment of service but never of WWII. He served a good part of WWII in the Caribbean Command - one of the least publicized theaters of the war. Thus, I don't have thousands of books written on his theater of the war to reference about his service unlike those with relatives who served in the Pacific or Europe.

For those of us who have lost of fathers or grandfathers and didn't get to really talk to them about their memories, it is still possible to find out about their service. The military records of all US veterans are available from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. The next of kin of deceased veterans are eligible to request a copy of their records. You either fill out a DoD Standard Form 180 or you can just do it online through eVetRecs.  I did this for my Dad back in 2004 and got his full military records AND his replacement medals and campaign ribbons. Having his Bronze Star earned during his service in Vietnam is something I'll always treasure.

In the past, many of this generation of vets came home, got a job (or went to college), raised a family, and never spoke of their military experiences. They just wanted to move on with their lives. Fortunately, the passage of time has given many of these men and women the distance they needed so they can talk about it now.

When you consider that the youngest vets of Desert Storm are now almost 40 and the youngest Vietnam vets are now in their mid 50s, time is of the essence. So sit down with your relatives who served in the military and record or write down their memories now. You may not have tomorrow to do it.

UPDATE: Welcome to the listeners of the GunDudes podcast. I hope you'll take some time and read some of the other blog posts.

ROFLMAO

The Washington Post reports today that the Service Employees International Union's NC affiliate, SEAC, has failed to get the 85,000 signatures needed to qualify their "party" for the November elections.

SEANC (State Employees Association of North Carolina) was mad at certain Blue Dog Democrat such as Congressmen Heath Shuler (D-11), Larry Kissell (D-8), and Mike McIntyre (D-7) who voted against Obama's health care "reform" bill. To punish them, they planned on starting a third party called North Carolina First to elect a "real" Democrat instead of a more conservative Blue Dog.

They say they have recruited a candidate by the name of Wendell Fant to run in the 8th District against Rep. Larry Kissell. Democrats are afraid this might split the vote for Kissell, a first-term Congressman, and give the seat to the Republicans. And this is in the face of some brutal intercine warfare between the Republicans in the 8th District. I'm sure whomever the Republicans do select in the run-off primary is jumping up and down with joy at the prospect.

The Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, commented on their failure saying "Remember, this isn’t a union made up of tough, disciplined coal miners. It’s a union made up of DMV clerks..." I'd go a step further and remind folks that SEANC is forbidden by law from striking and from engaging in collective bargaining. They are the ultimate Paper Tiger.

Read the Fine Print

When it comes to credit card offers, it pays to read the fine print. If you don't, you may find yourself saddled with fees, charges, and other penalties that seem to come from nowhere.

Sandra Block in today's USA Today has an excellent article on how to read the fine print and where to find it.

For example, some card issuers are now charging up to 5% to transfer your balance to another card. Others are withholding rewards on your rewards-based credit card if you are late in your payments or are charging you to get them reinstated.

Last week, the Federal Reserve launched an on-line, searchable database of the "fine print" from over 300 credit card issuers. You can find the database at federalreserve.gov/creditcardagreements/

Do your research!

On this Memorial Day...

Bruce McQuinn asks, "What Price Freedom?". I think his photo says it all.