archives

facts

This tag is associated with 22 posts

The Pending Ice Age, Or Warming, Or Something?

(courtesy of Old NFO)

Seems like ‘most’ of the things in the ‘news’ or what passes for it lately is either a hoax, an outright lie, or projections on the part of the MSM to ‘convince’ us of something…

I’m just hunkering down and writing this weekend, and piss on the media.

Thank you, Jim!

‘projections on the part of the MSM to ‘convince’ us of something…’

THAT wins the Internets!

Cutting To The Chase On This Rights Thing

One of the neatest things about getting to know folks through this Internet thing (and sometimes, if one is lucky, meeting them in meatspace!) is finding folks who are one’s intellectual superior – from whom one may learn.

I’m a pretty bright guy.  Despite the fact I squandered my education and made some poor life choices.  Things are as they are.  I do appreciate the higher-educated, more erudite folks I’ve been fortunate to befriend on the Internet.  Sometimes (as in the cases of Tam, Borepatch, Brigid, Peter and others) I learn something!

This is from the magnificent Kevin Baker (of The Smallest Minority) (with whom I have been lucky enough to meet and shoot!), in part:

So I’ve cut way back posting here, but I’m still occasionally answering stuff over at Quora.  Seems a waste to let this one vanish in their bit-buckets, so here’s a question-n-answer with an associated comment thread I did recently.

The question was:

Why are guns a right in the US, meanwhile education and healthcare are not?
The question is not about whether or not the government will prevent you from having an education/healthcare. My question is about why education and healthcare aren’t considered in the constitution.

I stumbled onto it fairly early, so there weren’t many answers, but most of them talked about how the Constitution conferred rights on citizens, etc. Here’s my answer:

Oy vey. After reading the current answers (there are eight not downvoted enough to be hidden) it becomes blindingly obvious that our free “education” system has failed pretty dramatically. As one student stated “I Was Never Taught That Knowledge.”

The fundamental question is “What is a ‘Right’?”

Several people here state that education is a right, or that healthcare is a right.

No, they’re not.

While I’m not an Objectivist, I think Ayn Rand was correct when she stated:

A ‘right’ is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life.

As others have stated, “guns” aren’t a right, the right to self-defense – protection of one’s own life – is. The right to keep and bear arms is its corollary, for if denied the tools of that defense, the right is essentially stripped.

Education? You have the right to study anything you wish. What you don’t have is the right to make someone teach you. Health care? Same thing. You have the right to take care of yourself, but not force others to care for you.

Because forcing others violates their rights.

So why is the right to arms listed in the Bill of Rights, but education and healthcare are not? Because the Constitution is a legal document that establishes the limits of power of a governing body. If the Constitution were a document that said only what government could not do, it would be infinitely long. Instead, the body of the Constitution itself lists the powers that the Federal government has, and the mechanism under which those powers are established, maintained and exercised. The Bill of Rights is a (limited) list of things that government is warned explicitly not to trifle with, and a warning that there are other such rights not so listed.

The Tenth Amendment, too, is a limit that basically says “Only powers defined here belong to the Federal Government. Everything else is a power reserved to the States or The People. Hands off.”

So of course that’s the first one that got folded, spindled, mutilated and incinerated.

So what do we gather from this? That EDUCATION and HEALTHCARE are not in the purview of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. It’s not the job of the Federal Government to provide these things, subsidize these things, or regulate these things except as they affect interstate commerce. (A clause that has been stretched to obscene lengths ever since Wickard v. Filburn.)

It doesn’t matter if they seem to be good ideas. Those powers were not given to the Federal Government by the Constitution. They’re (as you observed) not mentioned in that document. They’re among the “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” And they’re not rights.

But they are most definitely powers.

You should really visit Kevin’s blog, and read the whole post (The Smallest Minority-link)

He doesn’t post often, but when he does, it’s GOLD!

 

 

This Is NONE Of Your Falcon Business!!

I was reminded of the book The Falcon and the Snowman, wherein a spy was caught (according to the official FBI story) by someone determining the suspect liked falconry (hence his clever nickname), so agents lay-in-wait for him in Coos Bay, Oregon (a big falconry place), and captured him!

Truth was (as is so often the case), is one of his friends gave him up!

(from TFB)

Brownells Expands into Tactical Falconry

First they started selling ammunition, then they opened a retail gun store, then they started selling guns online and now the logical conclusion: tactical falconry. They are also manufacturing the first ever Falcon Night Hunter Owl Conversion Kit …

Brownells, known for its incredible selection of firearms and firearm accessories, proudly announced today it has become the internet’s largest tactical falconry dealer. Brownells’ new Birds of Prey product line features hundreds of items dedicated to enabling private citizens, law enforcement officers and military personnel to engage in the ancient art of falconry for the purposes of self-defense, hunting and homeland protection.

The new line features well-trained tactical birds ranging in size from the sub-sub-compact Black-Legged Falconet up to the full-size Steller’s Sea Eagle – an offensive raptor designed for maritime operations.

For customers in arctic conditions, the Birds of Prey line offers Gyrfalcons in traditional Snowy Tundra camo as well as a special Ghostly White Limited Edition, exclusive to Brownells.

Also available are a full line of tactical bird accessories, gear and supplies.

Some of the notable, cutting edge tactical falconry products include:

  • Miniature Tactical Falcon Pants
  • Falcon Action Camera Mounts
  • PreyVision™ Falcon Spotting Scopes
  • Falcon Handler First Aid & Suture Kits
  • Tactical Falcon Treats
  • Widening Gyre® Tactical Falcon Signal Whistles
  • TalonHone® File & Pedicure Kit
  • Falcon Night Hunter Owl Conversion Kit

“Housing the falcons has been the biggest challenge for us,” said Chad Martin, Brownells COO. “Well trained as they may be, we’ve noticed they tend to get nervous around lift trucks.”

Some of the newest tactical falconry products in the line come from the innovative company Critical OperRaptor Dynamics. Miniature Adhesive Falcon OperRaptor Beards are available in several colors and sizes and are guaranteed to resist bloodstains and not jettison during flight.

Also from Critical OperRaptor Dynamicsis a large assortment of Picatinny-Compatible Falcon Perch Rails to let the tactical falconry practitioner park his bird on his favorite AR-15 handguard, scope rail or ballistic helmet interface

Yes, this an April Fools joke. No falcons were harmed in this ridiculous hijinks. Actually, we’ve never even seen a real falcon.

FALC!  Wouldn’t that have been cool?!

How The Bad Guys Get Guns

(from TFB, in part)

Over 100 Ruger Pistols Stolen From Chicago Train Yard

It appears that over 100 Ruger pistols were stolen from a Chicago train yard by gangs in a one-time heist. Apparently, this is becoming a large problem in a city that prides itself on its strict gun control measures with over 150 firearms reported stolen from Chicago train yards since 2013. City leadership seems rather clueless about the root cause of the problem, one alderwomen was quoted as saying “How in the world are these kids getting these guns? I see them on Facebook. Everybody got guns. They can’t go purchase a gun, so where are they getting them from?”

It appears that train cars containing firearms are being specifically targeted somehow and is being looked into by the Chicago Police Department. The only way a firearm can be shipped by rail is through the United States Postal Service, most likely by Federal Firearms License holders due to shipping regulations.

You can read more about the theft over at the Fox News website where they covered it in much greater detail (with a political slant as you might imagine.) Even though the story smacks of political overtones, it is interesting to see what happens when a larger problem goes unnoticed while blaming the tool for actions.

Obviously, ‘they’ are ignoring the fact that they are purchasing guns through FFL-licensed dealers (after they obtain their Illinois FOIA card), and that the only way to curtail these purchases is further, more intrusive background checks!/(snark)MAROONS!

A Fender Bender?

…or scratches?

So my roomie J and I travel together ‘across town’ yesterday from the suburbs to Central Phoenix, to the hospital where she is scheduled for rotator cuff surgery on March 21.  This is her preop visit, blood work and X-rays.  And, of course, paperwork.

And after an hour or so of that nonsense, we traveled farther West to (Jack Wheeler’s) Original Hamburger Works for a late lunch.  (We add the prefix Jack Wheeler, proudly.  He was the office manager of Tom Ezell’s Investigations and Polygraph.  We did pre-employment polys for Hamburger Works (when it was legal to do so).  And, if we said we were going out for lunch to Hamburger Works, he always emphatically corrected us, adding the ORIGINAL to the name, in that great, bass voice he was known for!

Sadly, Jack passed in 1985.  Pre-employment polygraphs stopped in 1986, except for police, etc.

After a yummy lunner (a late lunch), we headed back home.

J had a prescription she wanted to drop off at her Walgreens, so I headed there before home.  I was driving (as she had alcohol, I had not), and driving her Honda Element remains slightly foreign to me. (no pun intended)  But all was well.

Until I made the turn into the Walgreens’ parking lot, circling the building to the drive-through pharmacy window (the building used to be a bank).

As I made the turn, some fool in a pickup truck backed out.  As I was driving behind him!  I sped up (as best I could in a small lot) and performed an evasive maneuver.

But, he clipped us!

I pulled forward out of the path of parking lot traffic, and he pulled back into his space.  I exited to inspect the damage.  Best I could tell was a couple of scratches on the plastic part just below the fuel opening.  No serious damage, but noticeable.

I turned to greet the other driver and exchange information.  HE had hit US on private property.

And he had backed out again and left!

(I’m reminded that over 10% of Arizona’s motorists are uninsured!)

I had not taken a cell phone picture or recorded his license plate number, because it appeared he was stopping.

And we have more pressing financial issues currently than the $500 deductible for scratches.

Sigh.

(FTC – Neither Original Hamburger Works, Honda or Walgreens gave us anything!  Tom Ezell’s no longer exists, as far as I know – Tom passed a couple years ago.)

REBUTTAL: Washington Post On Suppressors

(from The Firearm Blog, in part)

REBUTTAL: Washington Post On Suppressors

Washington Post

Robert J. Spitzer, author of Guns Across America, penned an opinion piece about silencers in the Washington Post this week. Like much of what we are accustomed to reading about firearms in today’s media, Spitzer is disingenuous in his arguments against the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) – a bill that proposes suppressors be removed from the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. He begins:

Gunfire — loud, sharp, rude, abrupt — is an important safety feature of any firearm. From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger. Yet gun advocates insist there is a greater danger: hearing loss by gun owners.

I am sure Spitzer is not the first gun control advocate to suggest that the report of a firearm is actually an “important safety feature”, however it is the first time I’ve heard it used in this context. A common misconception about silencers that has been repeated numerous times, is that a suppressed weapon can be used as a “silent killer”. Just two weeks prior, the author’s same publication addressed the Hollywood perception of silencers, confirming they are anything but silent.

Proponents of the deregulation of silencers, such as myself, will repeat this one fact over and over: legally referred to as silencers, these devices do not silence a firearm. In the majority of cases, additional hearing protection, such as ear plugs, must be worn even when a suppressor is used while shooting. So the author’s argument that silencers remove a “safety feature” (loud noises) from a discharged firearm is already crumbling. Honestly, for a professor, I’d expect at least some research followed by fact-based arguments.

But don’t take my word for it, Knox Williams, President of the American Suppressor Association (ASA) introduced me to Dr. Micheal Stewart, Director of Audiology at the Department of Communication Disorders at Central Michigan University. I asked Dr. Stewart “Is it possible to damage a persons hearing when using muffs or plugs alone?” He writes:

Yes, it is possible, especially if individuals are shooting numerous rounds of large caliber firearms with hearing protection devices (HPDs) that are not properly applied. For instance, the famous yellow plug has a high noise reduction rating (NRR), but it must be inserted properly. Also, it is not well suited for small, curvy ear canals so there is not a good acoustic seal and thus individual do not achieve the tabled attenuation values. In fact, NIOSH has de-rated formable plugs 50%, muffs 25%, and most other plugs 70%. The real world attenuation values may be significantly lower than the attenuation values obtained in the laboratory. Additionally, our research at CMU has consistently found that most hunters do not wear HPDs during hunting activities and many target shooters do not wear HPDs on a consistent basis.

He continues:

As hearing conservationist, we are interested in the science regarding suppressors, not the politics. There is no doubt that suppressors (often incorrectly referred to as silencers) are effective in reducing auditory risk, however, HPDs should be used in conjunction with suppressors to further reduce risk. Depending on the type of firearm, caliber of firearm, and the acoustic environment, recreational firearm users may be able to wear HPDs with lower NRR values that still allow them to hear while protecting their hearing when shooting firearms equipped with suppressors.

Hearing Conservation, Not Politics’. Sounds familiar…

But there is a deeper concern with Spitzer’s Washington Post editorial, Spitzer makes claims regarding the HPA that need to be addressed. He writes:

The NRA is renewing with gusto its misbegotten push, begun in the last Congress, to make gun silencers easier to acquire by swiping a page from the public health community’s long-standing efforts to warn of the dangers of firearms. The Hearing Protection Act, which would remove federal registration and identification requirements for those seeking gun silencers…

First off, suppressors will only be “easier to acquire” because of the disappearance of abnormally long wait times to possess silencers which are fueled by bureaucracy and not due to a lack of background checks. The HPA proposes that the purchase of silencers be treated the same as long arms, which means that prospective buyers will still need to undergo a background check and follow all state and federal firearms laws. Let’s not forget that sound suppressors are nothing more than hollow tubes – they can’t fire any ammunition on their own.

Which leads me to another point: basic firearm silencers can be constructed from materials found in two isles of a hardware store for less than $20. If would-be criminals were so inclined, in a few hours time they could fashion a firearm suppressor that performs on par with commercially manufactured suppressors. Of course, in the process they would be violating several federal laws, punishable with a minimum of ten years in prison. But everyone knows that criminals check to see which laws not to break, on their way to break several other laws.

Since silencers don’t actually silence firearms and add up to a foot of length to any weapon, an overwhelming majority of criminals give no thought to attaching a muffler to their instruments of criminality. We are talking about statistically insignificant percentages of suppressors being used to commit crimes.

Go on, Professor, you were saying:

Absent some kind of cataclysmic hearing-loss crisis by America’s tens of millions of gun owners, this political push should be recognized for what it is: an effort to provide an extremely small benefit to gun owners that willfully ignores what can happen to others once a bullet leaves a gun barrel. The lifesaving safety benefits of gun noise should weigh far more in the silencer debate. Just ask anyone caught in the vicinity of a shooting.

Since when do shooters “willfully ignore” what happens when a bullet leaves a barrel? And yes, most suffer from some form of hearing loss; no it’s not an “extremely small benefit”. In a recent post by the ASA, they reference a 2011 report completed by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) after a noise and lead analysis at a range in California. On page five the authors conclude:

The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’ noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel. However, some states do not permit civilians to use suppressors on firearms.

It’s journalism like this column in the Post, masked as news analysis, that makes much of America wary of what they read in papers today. The Washington Post touted your opinion piece as being written by an expert, and yet you willfully ignore facts, data and evidence to push an agenda.

For shame, Professor. A man with your educational background should understand that fact-based arguments outweigh emotional rhetoric. Almost every aspect of your opinion piece is invalid and rooted in common misconceptions.

The HPA removes unnecessary barriers to lawful suppressor ownership through deregulation. Sure, they will no longer be listed on the NFA registry (a glorified national list of tubes), but each buyer must still pass the same background check used for every other gun purchased in the United States. And remember, silencers cannot fire a single bullet on their own.

This is the part of the article where I am supposed to offer you the chance to come over and shoot a few suppressed firearms in an attempt to “win you over”. No thanks; after reading your borderline slanderous opinion piece, I’m certain there is no empirical evidence that will help you come to an informed decision.

Ironic that we are talking about silencers since it is pretty clear that you are stuck in your own echo chamber.

 

The Genius and Necessity of the Electoral College

(from Free North Carolina)

Via Dan

  • Benjamin Rush“A simple democracy . . . is one of the greatest of evils.”  ~Benjamin Rush, Letter to John Adams, July 21, 1789
  • James Madison“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”  ~James Madison, Federalist Paper 10
  • Alexander Hamilton“It has been observed, by an honorable gentleman, that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position in politics is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny . . .”  ~Alexander Hamilton, The Debates in the Several State Conventions, 1787, p. 253
  • John AdamsDemocracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”  ~John Adams letter to John Taylor, April 15, 1814

Were it not for the Electoral College, small densely populated, mostly urban areas on the east and west coasts would have elected Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump. The votes of the inhabitants living in the vast central land mass of the USA would have essentially been of no value, and the needs, opinions, and desires of those citizens would have been ignored by a President who owed them no loyalty. In fact, it would be possible for a candidate to win the election by campaigning only in those highly populated east and west coast areas without setting foot anywhere in between. That egregious lack of equality would lead to a dissolution of the country with unfortunate and disastrous results.

*************************
Many might be surprised to learn that the word “Democracy” does not appear in the Bill or Rights or the US Constitution.  Nor does it appear in the Constitutions of the 50 States.  A Democracy is “mob rule,” a dictatorship of the majority in which 51% of the citizenry rule the other 49%.  Our freedoms and liberties are guaranteed to us because the framers of our Constitution, through past experience and careful consideration, gave us a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy . . .  A governmental system based on the rule of law and not the rule of the majority.
After the War of Independence and the failure of the Articles of Confederation, when our Constitution was being conceived and written, the total population of the thirteen colonies was estimated to be 2,628,400. The thirteen colonies were not equal in terms of number of inhabitants, with Delaware being the smallest at 45,400 residents and Virginia the largest with 538,000 residents.

Fun Fact!

Fun Fact Of The Day: Trump Received Twice As Many Muslim Votes Than Mitt Romney…

Via AOL:

Donald Trump doubled the Muslim Vote from Mitt Romney in 2012.

Despite campaign rhetoric some called, Islamophobic and calls for a complete ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S., an exit poll of 2,000 voters conducted by the Council for American Islamic Relations found that 13% of Muslim voters backed Trump.

That is double the Muslim vote that Republican Mitt Romney received in 2012. Hillary Clinton got 74% of the vote.

A spokesperson for CAIR said that while 15% of Muslims do identify as Republican.

“It might not necessarily have been as much a vote of confidence for Trump as an expression of no confidence in Clinton.”

(in part from Weasel Zippers)

Now, I’ve no idea if that last statement defines the results.

But, it could…

PS – I’d no idea AOL still existed!  😛

 

Things That Make One Go “Hmmm”.

(As posted on The Grey Enigma)

Some Pacific Islanders Have DNA Not Linked To Any Known Human Ancestor – All That Is Interesting

Children from the village of Hanuabada play cricket in the streets on February 24, 2012 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Most everyone knows that the islands of the South Pacific are some of the most remote and unique places on Earth, but a new study reveals just how unique they really are.According to a report from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, researchers have found traces of a previously unknown extinct hominid species in the DNA of the Melanesians, a group living in an area northeast of Australia that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the surrounding islands.A computer analysis suggests that the unidentified ancestral hominid species found in Melanesian DNA is unlikely to be either Neanderthal or Denisovan, the two known predecessors of humankind to this point.

Source: Some Pacific Islanders Have DNA Not Linked To Any Known Human Ancestor – All That Is Interesting

View original post

An addendum to that whole ‘the science is settled’ thing.

We thought we knew about the origins of mankind.

Obviously not.

April Fool’s In September

Charlotte Officials To Rioters – Anyone Caught Looting Will Have Welfare And Food Stamps Revoked For Life

According to the local affiliate WBTC, the punishment also applies to minors who might be participating in the ongoing melee. Parents of underage individuals who are captured while engaging in criminal activities related to the rioting will be held fully accountable, and could risk losing state benefits, as well as the custody of their child.

“Parents are responsible for their children. If they are allowing them to engage in lawless behaviors there will be consequences for them as parents.” Charlotte City Official, Wilson Stewart, told reporters during the 30 minute press conference. “Many of the individuals we have detained are high school students. We urge parents out there to know where their children are at all times until tensions are quelled. Have them adhere to the mandatory curfew. Make them aware that participation in looting, destruction of property, and violently demonstrating on any level will come with severe penalties.”

If ONLY this were true (and the city had the power…)
from comments on Brock Townsend’s blog:
I don’t usually support more power for government, but this time it did seem appropriate.  Sigh.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…