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Jan 13, 2013:

"At one time, I was asked to write a check to my country for up to and including my life. Do I need to do it again?"

Dangerous Old Men, by Ebben Raves. Interesting read.

Gun-free zones? This petition suggests the White House go first.

Confused about what's an "assault weapon"? Here's a nice clear presentation.

Jan 12, 2013:

Response to supercilious psychs spouting off
about the calls to ban SSRI drugs:

"Part of the problem I have with this theory is that it doesn't account for
all of the people on these meds who don't become violent..."

Oh, but. We've banned the sale of baby cribs that have slats exceeding 2 3/8 inches -- without accounting for all of the babies who slept perfectly safely and well in them. And we've banned a whole lot more products with far, far lower rates of "side effects" and wrongful deaths. There's ample research and a government black box warning on this crap. It doesn't matter "all the people who don't become violent". We can't predict. And that we even have the evidence, a lot more than mere correlation, is phenomenal, considering you're not going to get err-on-the-side-of-caution accuracy from Big Pharma's billion-dollar, grant-funded, publication-biased studies. The marketing emanating from these corporations (who are constantly losing lawsuits -- albeit belatedly and then they move on to the next cost of doing business, like funding election campaigns) is akin to tobacco industry machinations -- or worse. Do you believe that the "theory" doesn't have viability because -- unlike the bullshit promotion for ineffective gun control -- you won't see this issue "debated" in the economically strained mainstream media desperate to keep their Big Pharma advertising dollars? Don't be an idiot.

Jan 11, 2013:

Women's rights?

When did they transmogrify into paying taxes so that some people can have free sex lives?

Jan 10, 2013:

We need to regulate cars.

From "I keep hearing people say they want to regulate guns the way we regulate cars... What they mean is they want to make it acceptable to find more ways to intrude on the right to keep and bear arms. I propose instead, we regulate cars the way we regulate guns. Let's start..."

Reason TV:

Jan 10, 2013:

One more time: "a well-regulated militia"

The Second Amendment says:

"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

"Translated" from 18th Century English, that means:

"Given that it's necessary to the security of a free country for all persons who would be able to take up arms to fight for that freedom to have ample supplies of weapons readily available and plenty of opportunity to practice with them, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."
What is a "reasonable" (constitutional) law with respect to the Second Amendment (i.e. not an "infringement") must be interpreted in narrow concordance with this purpose. Thus a person who has demonstrated himself to be antagonistic to the welfare and safety of other people, or mentally unfit and dangerous to himself or other people, is not someone who would be taking up arms for the purpose of the freedom of others, and can be restricted.

Similarly, a law against shouting fire in a crowded theater (when there is no fire, and for a nefarious purpose) would be analogous only to a law prohibiting the discharge of a weapon in a crowded theater (when there is no emergency need to do so, and for a nefarious purpose.) A private theater owner's rule that the management may eject a person who shouts and annoys other patrons would be analogous to a private theater owner's rule that it will not permit weapons on its premises. Negligently leaving a weapon where it could be got to by a felon or incompetent or child (or giving one of these persons a weapon) could be made illegal. Banning a weapon that is unreasonably dangerous (i.e. defective product that poses harm to the operator, or a substance or machine that on its own is unstable or poisonous or subject to unintentionally and unexpectedly exploding) would be constitutional. But a blanket ban on any weapon that in the absence of an operator would be inert and of no threat to anyone should be recognized as unconstitutional.

Jan 07, 2013:

Forbes list of "death-spiral" states: more takers than producers.

death spiral states, link to article

Jan 03, 2013:

Hold the Journal News responsible.

Dec 28, 2012:

On gun control: webpage On Gun Control. Newest addition, link to the self-defense map at Also worth a read: lectlaw on the Second Amendment, Brian T. Halonen on the meaning of well-regulated", and Volokh's Sources on the Second Amendment.

Dec 27, 2012:

What's wrong with (some of) America's children? Pervasive violent media (operant conditioning), and the suicidal trigger of SSRI and other psych drugs. (Re "gun-free zones" -- there have been no mass shootings at gun shows.)

The media industry is not going to diss itself for the negative effects of violence in television, movies, music and video games, which (according to LTC Grossman, military expert on how to train soldiers to kill) are brutalizing young children and overcoming their natural revulsion against killing same-species. Given the widespread poisoning of growing brains with ill-researched drugs for the most frivolous of reasons, the addition of a little "depression medication" in the teenage years creates one heck of a trigger for violence. (The media also is not going to diss one of its most important advertisers -- Big Pharma.) Easier to pretend the problem is the tool, not the individual wielding it. The highest murder rates in the world are in African and South American countries, many of which have strict anti-gun laws. (Demographic variances in criminal assault and death rates in the U.S. also bear a rough correlation with violence in countries of origin, but it's not PC to say this, so pretend that I didn't.)

The Journal News thought it was a good idea to invade the privacy of gun owners by publishing an interactive map of their home locations. See the map of the homes of Journal News employees (entire article is worth a read).

Dec 25, 2012:

Men buying babies. Merry Christmas.

Somehow this is to be celebrated, whereas children being raised by their mothers -- the parent nature intended -- is decried as a social abomination. Those claiming "discrimination" are showing no appropriate concern for the egg donor, the gestational mother, or the child.

Dec 23, 2012:

Ban SSRI Pharmaceuticals!

SSRI Stories: "...Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), of which Prozac (fluoxetine) was the first. Other SSRIs are Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine) (known in the UK as Seroxat), Celexa (citalopam), Lexapro (escitalopram), and Luvox (fluvoxamine). Other newer antidepressants included in this list are Remeron (mirtazapine), Anafranil (clomipramine) and the SNRIs Effexor (venlafaxine), Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) as well as the dopamine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant Wellbutrin (bupropion) (also marketed as Zyban)... Before the introduction of Prozac in Dec. 1987, less than one percent of the population in the U.S. was diagnosed with bipolar disorder -- also known as manic depression... The subsequent harm from this prescribing can be seen in these 4,800+ stories. Now, with the widespread prescribing of antidepressants, the percent of the population in the United States that is diagnosed with bipolar disorder (swing from depression to mania or vice versa) has risen to 4.4%..." Look at the stats at this website on thousands of violent criminal cases, including mass shootings and 66 school shootings.

Regarding the misplaced focus on firearms (most school shootings have been handguns or hunting rifles, not "assault weapons" -- and, by the way, most have been "interpersonal disputes", a majority of those being separation-triggered violence), see "We Know How to Stop School Shootings", by Ann Coulter.

UPDATE Jan 08, 2013: Although the title of this post was partly a response to the calls to "ban assault weapons" and similar, in the interests of airing both sides, this from Of course, we can find lots of people who swear by all kinds of things as life-improving, from prayer to multifarious diet or vitamin regimens, and other stuff (including placebo therapies), and are convinced that's what they must have. The problem with these drugs, though, is that even if they are claimed to benefit a small number of people, they won't be manufactured unless they are commercially successful -- and that means making and increasing a market for these drugs, which in turn means propagandizing, as well as using financial and lobbying clout to avoid strict regulations. So "live and let live" will not work so well for drugs pushed by Big Pharma (which also has an interest in keeping stuff like pot illegal.) Abuses will be rampant. Therefore, as long as we can outlaw false advertising and fraud, and ban defective products of all kinds (some of which some people might like very much and have no problems with), SSRI drugs should be one of them. (By the way, this would be akin to banning a defective make of firearm, that say, injured the operator when being used correctly and in a manner consistent with its marketing, not a "ban on guns".) More.

Dec 18, 2012:

What's wrong with America's children -- school?

Articles by Lynn Stuter worth a read: Crocodile Tears for the Cameras (12/18/12, Newtown Connecticut school shooting). How to Create a Monster (07/30/12, Aurora movie theater). Loughner: Mentally Unstable or a product of Systems Education (01/10/11). But cf education index page (multiple factors impacting child development and academic achievement).

Dec 14, 2012:

Psych drugs aren't protected by the Second Amendment.
(Stupidity kills again.)

Another school shooting. How about we start wising up, and stop poisoning children with psychotropic "medications".

Dec 12, 2012:

Entitlement abuses:

In the social security disability program.

"...parents here in Appalachian hill country pulling their children out of literacy classes... if kids learn to read, they are less likely to qualify for a monthly check for having an intellectual disability... a $698 monthly check per child from the Supplemental Security Income program goes a long way -- and those checks continue until the child turns 18..."
Or this -- "Why Our Country is Going Down the Drain":

Dec 05, 2012:

Journalism "ethics"?

A must read: Joel Engel's piece today at Legal Insurrection: NY Post photo of subway death incites phony outrage. "Monday in New York a mentally ill man pushed another man in front of an oncoming subway train. A third man, instead of helping the fallen man, photographed his death and sold the images to the New York Post. His name is R. Umar Abbasi, and many people are upset with his priorities..." Here's the NYPost item.

Dec 03, 2012:

Divorce court travesty: the Wade v. Wade case.

SiovaughnWade.wma or SiovaughnWade.mp3 . Siovaughn Wade, law student and ex-wife of Miami Heat's Dwayne Wade, talks on The Justice Hour radio show about losing custody of her young children in another family court example of how money, power, fame and a possible pay-off trumps justice. Utterly corrupt judge.

Dec 02, 2012:

Video about "Islamaphobia".

Dec 01, 2012:

2012 Election Infographic Maps:

2012 election infographic voting maps.

Nov 30, 2012:

Soldier suicides on the rise?

Stop giving depressed or traumatized soldiers the goddamn psych drugs. How dense do people have to be not to see the connection already. Sick of it. See "Stupidity kills", below.

Nov 29, 2012:

Speaking of which...

U.S. Per Person Debt Now 35 Percent Higher than that of Greece. UPDATE Dec 01: Iceland isn't having such a problem. Instead of bailing out their bankers, they threw them into jail and forgave people's mortgages. Iceland's economy is now booming.

Nov 28, 2012:

Stupidity kills.

The evidence accumulates constantly. Irish doctors who wouldn't abort to save the life of a mother even though Irish law allowed them to do that. Custody evaluator opinions and bad court decisions giving "rights" to dangerous men (who none of these people ever would let babysit their own children), resulting in the injuries and deaths of children. Idiotic decisions by child protection workers to remove children from safe parents, while not removing other children from truly abusive situations. And on and on. Stupidity also manifests regularly in less-lethal but still flawed decision-making by government officials, consumers and voters who are swayed by self-interest, specious rhetoric and propaganda -- usually because they hold false romantic or fantasical notions. In your ordinary day-to-day life, in all kinds of little ways, the stupidity and incompetence of others is as likely (or more likely) to cause you harm and inconvenience as is anyone's purposeful or selfish act.

How do we fix the inability of so many to gather accurate information, engage in critical thinking, correctly prioritize, and exercise discretion? Let's start by not tolerating stupidity. Opinions are not all created equal. There is no reason to "respect" those that are not grounded in complete facts (not others' opinions) and unflawed logic. The first word of the adage "reasonable people can differ" is "reasonable". Stupid is not "reasonable". Appreciating difference -- others' opinions based on transparent but differing values and assumptions -- or recognizing that predictions and strategies reasonably can differ when all the facts are unavailable, is not the same as tolerating and rewarding stupidity. In the end, good intentions don't count. Only results do.

Nov 27, 2012:

Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. IVF, surrogacy, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, and the much of the reproductive tech thing. Harming young women for commercial profit: ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and other maladies from egg harvesting.

Read Jennifer Lahls Eggsploitation on Kindle at Embryonic stem cell research requires the massive harvesting of eggs from women. Never mind the issues involving the embryos. This has been proved dangerous to young women -- an unpleasant fact largely ignored in the "regenerative medical science" research just as in the also-profit-motivated burgeoning IVF and surrogacy industries. Video clips at Obfuscation, euphemisms, outright lies. "Therapeutic cloning"? "Get educated"? Yeah. Do that. See the research at the liz library surrogacy page. No difference to the women being used as egg factories whether it's for "therapeutic" or "reproductive" harvesting.

Listen to the Justice Hour Radio Show on this subject: Lahl.wma or Lahl.mp3 Jennifer Lahl, founder and President of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, discusses ova "donation" and the exploitation of women. Plaudits also to Kathy Sloan, who is one of the very few feminists in national organizations working to expose these issues, which have become "untouchables" because of their relationship on the edges to the abortion debates as well as gay men's demands for reproductive "rights".

Nov 26, 2012:

"Jane, you ignorant slut..." (Israel's "impossible" Iron Dome, Magic Wand
missile defense systems obviated the need for a ground invasion of Gaza.)

(Almost as good as her indignant yapping
OBO Anthony Weiner before he admitted
to tweeting his weiner.)

(We also need a shrill-shill defense system.)

Nov 24, 2012:

Mothers Against the Odds.

New documentary on symphisiotomy. This barbaric operation, in which doctors break the woman's pelvis in childbirth, was carried out in Ireland without consent on as many as 1,500 women from the 1940s into the 1990s. It's still used in third world countries where C-sections aren't available. More: women's pelvises sawed in half during labor. Torture and permanent damage. This is "pro-life"? Fathers are "equal parents"?

The State broke their bodies: "...a painful procedure that involves... severing the area known as the symphysis pubis... Side-effects include chronic pain and incontinence... a State darkened by ignorance... primarily driven by the ethos of the Catholic Church... since a mother who had a C-section was restricted to four children... "

Nov 21, 2012:

Hamas versus Israel. About those civilian casualties:

Nov 18, 2012:

Why I now believe in prayer pretending to believe in prayer.

I've been stupid. I have come to see the error of my ways. It's so much more pleasant, quicker, easier, cheaper and invariably more appreciated by the recipient to respond "I'll pray for you" than to expend time, thought, effort, energy, advice or money on his or her behalf. [Updated subject line necessitated by people who misunderstood original and wrote to congratulate me. This is useful too: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men...]

Nov 15, 2012:

Because male and female "gender" behaviors and differences are purely social constructs, whereas homosexuality is in-born and immutable?

New York Times: "At an ocher-color preschool along a lane in Stockholms Old Town, the teachers avoid the pronouns him and her, instead calling their 115 toddlers simply 'friends'. Masculine and feminine references are taboo, often replaced by the pronoun hen, an artificial and genderless word that most Swedes avoid but is popular in some gay and feminist circles..." (I thought we established decades ago that this accomplishes nothing.)

In other news, Dana c. Brown, a male batterers' "counselor", has been arrested for providing false attendance records to courts. (Not that this crap -- aka "therapeutic jurisprudence" -- works anyway...)

Nov 14, 2012:

Why the religious-based anti-abortion position fails politically.
Why women aren't heartened by "exceptions for the life or health of the mother".

"This is a Catholic country", her husband was told, when he pleaded with medical staff to terminate his wife's pregnancy. The Irish Times reports that she was admitted to the hospital 17 weeks pregnant having an inevitable miscarriage. For three days, her body struggled in agony to expel the fetus that clearly could not be saved, while doctors refused to medically abort for religious reasons -- the fetal heartbeat still could be detected. By the time they were willing to operate, it was too late. She died -- completely unnecessarily -- of septicemia. This is not a "pro-life" position. It's a primitive and irrational religious-based position. PDF. For what could go wrong in a pregnancy, see The Effects of Pregnancy.

In light of the recent election and the defeat of Republicans notwithstanding urgent economic issues, it's time for the Republican party to ditch the big government social meddling. [UPDATE Nov 21: Jimmy Carter campaign organizer and Obama voter Susan Estrich doesn't want her taxes raised. As the person who forwarded this bit to me commented, "That splashing sound you're hearing is my eyeballs dropping out of my head."]

Nov 10, 2012:

The Grave of the Hundred Head
by Rudyard Kipling

There's a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There's a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun;
And there's Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.

A Snider squibbed in the jungle --
Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
Picked up their Subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
And the back blown out of his head.

Subadar Prag Tewarri and
Jemadar Hira Lal,
Took command of the party,
Twenty rifles in all,
Marched them down to the river
As the day was beginning to fall.

They buried the boy by the river,
A blanket over his face --
They wept for their dead Lieutenant,
The men of an alien race -- and
They made a samadh in his honour,
A mark for his resting-place.

For they swore by the Holy Water,
They swore by the salt they ate,
That the soul of Lieutenant Eshmitt Sahib
Should go to his God in state,
With fifty file of Burmans
To open him Heaven's Gate.

The men of the First Shikaris
Marched till the break of day,
Till they came to the rebel village
The village of Pabengmay --
A jingal covered the clearing, and
Caltrops hampered the way.
Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Biddin them load with ball,
Halted a dozen rifles
Under the village wall;
Sent out a flanking-party
With Jemadar Hira Lal.

The men of the First Shikaris
Shouted and smote and slew,
Turning the grinning jingal
On to the howling crew while
The Jemadar's flanking-party
Butchered the folk who flew.

Long was the morn of slaughter,
Long was the list of slain,
Five score heads were taken,
Five score heads and twain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back to their grave again,

Each man bearing a basket
Red as his palms that day,
Red as the blazing village --
The village of Pabengmay
And the "drip-drip-drip" from the baskets
Reddened the grass by the way.

They made a pile of their trophies
High as a tall man's chin,
Head upon head distorted,
Set in a sightless grin,
Anger and pain and terror
Stamped on the smoke-scorched skin.

Subadar Prag Tewarri
Put the head of the Boh
On the top of the mound of triumph,
The head of his son below --
With the sword and the peacock banner
That the world might behold and know.
Thus the samadh was perfect,
Thus was the lesson plain
Of the wrath of the First Shikaris --
The price of white man slain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back into camp again.

Then a silence came to the river,
A hush fell over the shore,
And Bohs that were brave departed,
And Sniders squibbed no more;
For the Burmans said
That a white man's head
Must be paid for with heads five-score.

There's a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There's a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun;
And there's Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.

Nov 09, 2012:

Uh...mmm... Benghazi.

Alumni Symposium 2012 Paula Broadwell.
"There was a failure in the system... Political..." Go to 34.42:

Nov 08, 2012:

Women ruled?

According to Amy Siskind. Or maybe she meant gay politics. Either way, it's like thrilling over the drapes one just bought for the living room while there's no money to pay the mortgage (and it remains unpaid). Women are being chained to the soil on which they gave birth. Women are being exploited as reproductive parts. Over the past twenty years, women have lost ground in the family courts. A formal "gender equality" is more important than individual women's -- and particularly mothers' -- rights and well-being. Women look silly. Gullible. Moved by emotion and fear instead of reason. In some countries, they put silly people into bags and take away their decision-making over financial and political matters. (Whose balls are YOU boosting?)

Nov 07, 2012:

Let's just all be, like, California.

Brave New World.


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