Save Us From Allies Like These

October 5th, 2017

So there’s this guy named Bret Stephens. Apparently he used to write for the Wall Street Journal, and now he’s employed by the New York Times. And let me note, not for the first time, that there’s something in the water coolers on W. 43rd Street.

I’m not going to link directly to the Times because one of you might suffer a temporary loss of control and reward those cretins with a click. Instead, I’ll link to a rebuttal:

https://thefederalist.com/2017/10/05/come-take-them-bret-stephens/

The idea that gun-control advocates don’t want to confiscate your weapons is, of course, laughable. They can’t confiscate your weapons, so they support whatever feasible incremental steps inch further towards that goal. Some folks are more considerate and get right to the point.

“I have never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment,” writes The New York Times’ new-ish conservative columnist Bret Stephens today. Referring as a fetish to an inalienable right that has a longer and deeper history among English-speaking people than the right to free speech or the right to freedom of religion is an excellent indicator that someone probably hasn’t given the issue serious thought. Or maybe he’s just looking for hits. (Congrats.)

Do go over there and enjoy the whole thing. I’ll leave it at just the quoted excerpt because my point is that one, this guy is supposed to be on our side, and two, just like so many of our erstwhile “allies”, he’s willing to sell us down the river at the drop of a hat. No more friends like these, please.

A Drop of Sanity in Mordor

October 5th, 2017

https://wtop.com/dc/2017/10/report-dc-wont-take-concealed-carry-fight-supreme-court/

WASHINGTON — D.C. officials will not fight an appeals court ruling that blocks the District’s own restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in public.

(…)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is expected to
issue an order that strikes down the D.C. law that requires applicants who want
a conceal-carry permit to prove they have “good reason” to carry a firearm in
public. Under the law, reasons to get a concealed carry license might include a
personal threat, or a job that requires a person to carry or protect cash or
valuables.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that “because f*** you, that’s why” wouldn’t make the grade.

It’s good to see that the George Orwell School of Government Speaking has produced another fine graduate:

Newsham said the decision won’t drastically change the process of applying for a
gun permit.

“We will tweak our process” Newsham said. “All we do is eliminate the ‘good
reason’ provision in the application process. All the other stringent
requirements that we have in the District of Columbia to obtain a carry permit
will remain intact.”

Translation: we’ll figure out some other obstacle to keep the mundanes disarmed.

Newsham said 123 people in D.C. have a license that allows them to carry a
firearm. Newsham adds that there have been 668 applications to carry a firearm,
with 444 denied because they didn’t meet the “good reason” standard.

Class action lawsuit time!

Mind you, this isn’t the DC Gummint suddenly realizing their errors. As Jeffersonian refers to them, it took a panel of “unstable freaks in black robes” to force DC towards the light. An enlightenment that they’re sure to fight, kicking and screaming every step of the way.

Risk vs. Reward

October 5th, 2017

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/10/google-pixel-buds-are-wireless-earbuds-that-translate-conversations-in-real-time/

SAN FRANCISCO—To accompany the new Pixel smartphones announced Wednesday, Google debuted new wireless earbuds, dubbed “Pixel Buds.” These are Google’s first wireless earbuds that are built to be used with Pixel smartphones, but they also give users access to Google Translate so they can have conversations with people who speak a different language.

(…)

But the most intriguing feature of the Pixel Buds is the integrated Google Translate feature. Demoed on stage at Google’s event today, this feature lets two Pixel Bud wearers chat in their native languages by translating conversations in real time. In the demo, a native English speaker and a native Swedish speaker had a conversation with each other, both using their native languages. Google Translate translated the languages for each user. There was barely any lag time in between the speaker saying a phrase and the Buds’ hearing those words and translating them into the appropriate language.

That sounds pretty cool. Actually, that sounds really cool. Then I realize that it’s Google. You know, the company that bends over backwards to cooperate with the Feds. The company that delists viewpoints with which it disagrees. The company that fired an engineer because he dared to question the Orthodoxy.

I’m not sure the benefits of this new tech outweighs the risk of dealing with the “don’t be evil” folks.

As The Darkness Looms

October 4th, 2017

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/09/40-years-too-late-bill-gates-says-ctrl-alt-delete-should-have-been-one-button.html

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says if he could go back in time, there’d be something more intuitive than the two-handed Ctrl-Alt-Delete command to interrupt a process.

In 2013 Gates said it was “mistake” requiring the three keys before logging in to Windows, and also blamed IBM engineers who “didn’t wanna give us our single button”. The three-key function was created by IBM engineer David Bradley who intended for it to be shortcut to rebooting an IBM PC.

A “mistake”? Then what, pray tell, Mr. Gates would you call Windows 95? Windows 98 before you released 98SE? Windows Me?

I guess Bill Gates is willing to be more reflective as he gets closer to his personal Blue Screen of death.

BGS (Bill Gates sucks)

The Most Remarkable Thing You’ll Read This Week

October 3rd, 2017

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-used-to-think-gun-control-was-the-answer-my-research-told-me-otherwise/2017/10/03/d33edca6-a851-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html

I normally wouldn’t send you to the odious Washington Post. After all, I read a lot of garbage so you don’t have to, but this is exceptional. So it is with reluctance that I suggest you reward these mopes with a click through.

It’ll be worth your time. The comments, as you would expect, are a hoot. I’m pretty sure an online mob has already formed to drive the author out into the wilderness.

Today’s Lesson

October 3rd, 2017

So, the Las Vegas shooting. There really isn’t anything I could say that others haven’t already, so I won’t waste your time. Not to mention the part about how the story keeps changing, so any sort of observation on my part would have an extremely short shelf life.

What I will talk about are the ghouls who are dancing in the still-warm blood of the victims, demanding yet more gun control. Normally, I’d make a few sarcastic comments about how making something that’s already illegal even more so will totally solve the problem. But, as I’ve just said, others have already covered that one, and beyond expressing my contempt, I’m just wasting your time.

If you should be unlucky enough to run into one of these mopes, here’s a handy phrase you can use:

third-party indemnification

That boils down to mean that neither you nor I can be held liable for the bad actions of others. A very direct definition of this was provided by Tamara Keel some years ago:

None of my guns murdered anybody last night, so piss off.

(This is from memory, so it might not be an exact quote, but it’s certainly close enough.)

You and I can (and should) be held to account for whatever any of us might do. Punishing people who aren’t responsible for the Las Vegas shooting is a non-starter, and verbally slapping around some idiot who thinks that is a fine idea deserves everything they get.

So ends today’s lesson.

Doing the Jobs Americans Won’t Do, Eh?

September 29th, 2017

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/09/28/doj-files-suit-against-company-for-allegedly-not-hiring-americans.html

The Department of Justice announced Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against a Colorado corporation for allegedly discriminating against U.S. workers.

The complaint alleges that in 2016, Crop Production discriminated against at least three United States citizens by refusing to employ them as seasonal technicians in El Campo, Texas, because Crop Production preferred to hire temporary foreign workers under the H-2A visa program.

Unpossible! We’ve been told for years that foreign workers (regardless of immigration status) were necessary to “do the jobs Americans won’t do”. In the tech area, it’s been shown repeatedly that companies have been outsourcing their operations to other countries, which is bad enough. Worse still, the people whose heads are on the chopping block have been forced to train their replacements.

This is the first complaint filed stemming from the “Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative,” which was launched on March 1.

A Civil Rights Division official told Fox News that since the initiative’s launch, the division has opened 29 investigations of “potential discrimination against U.S. workers based on a hiring preference for foreign visa workers.”

More of this, please.

Change?

September 27th, 2017

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/09/man_who_threw_flare_into_cop_c.html

A 23-year-old man who threw burning flares into a Portland police cruiser and the downtown Target store during May 1 protests that overran downtown Portland admitted guilt Monday and will be sentenced to five years in prison.

A local TV station aired live footage of Damion Zachary Feller hurling a flare through a shattered picture window at Target, prompting employees to run with fire extinguishers to put out a burning section of carpet. TV and cellphone cameras also caught Feller throwing a flare through the shattered window of a battered police SUV parked across the street from Target, at Southwest 10th Avenue and Morrison.

That’s different. It wasn’t very long ago that these sorts of shenanigans in Granolaville would’ve passed unremarked, much less with a fairly substantial felony conviction and sentence. I’ve been reading about how the somewhat-less-insane Left has been distancing itself from the true nut jobs. Considering that the media is strongly left-leaning, to say that I was somewhat skeptical risks massive understatement.

And do note that Portland is one of the most liberal cities in America, to say nothing of the Northwest.

And although I applaud that people are being held accountable for their misdeeds, I cannot help but wonder if Johnny Jailbird had limited himself to torching Target, would he be facing prison? Would the police have been so keen to bag this guy if he hadn’t set a police SUV on fire?

Ha, ha, trick question: we all know the answer to that one.

Making Everything Worse Forever, UK Edition

September 26th, 2017

Just so you know, I really don’t care about this. So long as you don’t get sh*t-faced enough to think that hurling a rock through one of my windows is a splendid idea, you can go and drink yourself silly.

https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2017/09/uk-govt-alcohol-advice-is-dead-in-the-water-say-drinkers-voice/

The UK government’s alcohol guidelines have been branded as ‘dead in the water’ by new consumer group Drinkers’ Voice, following criticism from health specialists and industry groups.

(…)

The guidelines were reduced from 21 units a week to 14 units for all drinkers last year. The chief medical officers, who are responsible for the guidelines, have also said that there is ‘no safe level’ of alcohol.

Typical. “No safe level”, huh? It must be nice to know more than the combined human experience which, at this point, stretches some 11,000 years.

The group believes that the industry’s decision to remove the guidelines from labels “reflects a general mistrust” of the government’s advice.

“People just don’t want to listen to the government when it comes to alcohol advice anymore,” said Drinkers’ Voice director Byron Davies.

“We are opposed to the guidelines, not least because they are among the lowest in Europe. There is little scientific evidence behind them and they have been discredited by many as being based on biased opinion and distorted statistics.

Ya think?

Keep in mind that this is just an example, albeit a British one. Don’t forget that our own precious Gummint has spent the better part of a half-century going on about salt, fat, and carbohydrates, all of which has turned out to be wrong. All those people who suffered with bland food? And the folks whose weight ballooned by chowing down on the carbs? Ignore them, because the Government always knows best. Go ahead, pull the other finger; you’re gonna love it.

P*ssing Off All the Right People

September 26th, 2017

https://legalinsurrection.com/2017/09/kurdish-independence-referendum-over-80-turnout/

Last week, we blogged about today’s Kuridsh Independence referendum. Yesterday’s Kurdish independence rally attracted an enormous crowd, perhaps foreshadowing nearly 80% of the reported 3.9 million registered voters turning out at the polls today.

Jubilant Kurds described today as “the best day of their life” and some even took to flying the Brazilian flag because there were no Kurdish ones left.

Embedded in the cited post are links to both The Guardian and the execrable New York Times. Enough is quoted so you don’t need to reward either with a click-through.

Anyway, the Kurds are far from perfect, even by Middle Eastern standards. But a declaration of independence will thoroughly p*ss off the Turks and Iranians, and to a lesser extent, the Iraqis. And that right there is enough to wish them well.

UPDATE: The Iraqis are not amused:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-kurds-referendum-trans/iraq-gives-kurdistan-till-friday-to-hand-over-control-of-airports-to-avoid-embargo-idUSKCN1C12BP

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The Iraqi government gave the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) until Friday 3:00 p.m (1200 GMT) to hand over control of its airports in order to avoid an international air embargo, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, according to state TV.

The measure is meant as a retaliation against the independence referendum held by the KRG in northern Iraq on Monday.

Domestic flights are not involved in the ultimatum and in the worst case, international travel to and from the KRG will be re-routed through Baghdad and other Iraqi airports.

Baghdad last week asked foreign countries to stop direct flights to the international airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniya, in KRG territory, but only Iran declared such an air embargo, halting direct flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Humanitarian and “emergency” flights are exempted, provided they are pre-approved by Baghdad, Abadi said.

Them’s fighting words. No matter where the borders end up being drawn, Kurdistan will be landlocked and airports will be the only real way to travel to and from there. And do notice the players here: the Iraqis made the demand and Iran signed onto it. As I wrote earlier in this piece, an independent Kurdish state absolutely p*sses off the right people.