Obama is not trying to stop Iran's nuclear program
That would explain why they still have a nuclear program, rather than a couple very large smoking holes in the ground. The problem is, I don't trust Iran -- whose leaders still regularly lead chants of "Death to America" and threaten to annihilate Israel -- with any nuclear technology whatsoever.
All the guns that accept a detachable magazine, anyway, because once you can accept the external magazine the gun's mechanism doesn't care how many rounds are in the magazine. Plus shotguns that can accept a magazine extension. Plus tube-fed .22 rifles.
My comment now is the same as before. Banning any firearm that can accept a detachable magazine is unacceptable; it is not a rational policy response, it is an attempt to destroy the healthy gun culture.
I think Publicola has properly identified a problem within the current gun rights camp. Some people in our camp support universal background checks; others are willing to compromise on them in order to try to keep things from getting worse. The problem is, this division weakens the opposition to such measures.
Kerr notes that NSA support is highest among those under 30, which isn't particularly surprising as those people have grown up basically expecting constant surveillance. What I found more interesting, though, is the partisan split over support for the NSA.
Generally, Republicans are considered the party that emphasizes national security and the threat of terrorism. By that yardstick, you would expect Republicans to support the NSA's activities more than Democrats. Instead the margin of support for the NSA is much larger among Democrats (17 points) than Republicans (5 points).
Is it because support for Obama and the Democrats tends youthful, and the Obama administration is identified with the NSA since he is in power?
Is it because Republicans fear Obama and the Democrats will abuse the NSA's surveillance authority for political purposes, as they believe the IRS and other agencies has been abused?
Will support and opposition flip back if the White House changes parties?
Joe has an excellent guest post on the division between people who advocate gun rights politely and people who advocate gun rights rudely. It's worth reading whether you have manners or not. Go ahead, I'll be here when you're done.
Now, that said... I tend to fall somewhere in between those two groups. Both have value.
There are times when "no compromise" is important, and there are times when bargaining can mitigate a loss.
There are almost no times when storming into a legislator's office or workplace open-carrying rifles held at the ready and apparently loaded is going to advance the cause.
Negotiations are useful.
Civil disobedience is useful.
Uncivil and threatening behavior is also useful... to the other side.
I can sort of understand people being disturbed by targets made from photographs of real people, particularly when those people are women and children rather than the classic depiction of an armed thug. But basic black silhouettes should be entirely inoffensive to anyone who accepts the right of self-defense against criminal attack. So why try to ban them?
Somehow, I suspect self-defense is the problem here, at least in the mind of this one legislator. But that doesn't explain why some ranges don't allow silhouette targets, surely?
I don't know of any ranges local to me (Texas) that forbid silhouettes. I have heard that some frown upon photorealistic targets. Others openly sell pictures of bin Laden to shoot at.
I hope this will not become a wedge issue dividing gun owners, which is probably the intent. Even if the law passes, I suspect that First Amendment protection would apply to any government attempts to ban such targets.
Politics of brand destruction trump policy agreements
This is interesting, but not surprising; the Democrat dominance in the media has basically poisoned the Republican brand with core Democrat constituencies, even before any actual arguments are made. I'm not sure how we can beat that and made inroads, but I am sure it has to be done, somehow.
Intended consequences of Holder's asset seizure move...
An excellent point. Local police are not going to just stop using asset forfeiture and lose their jobs. They are going to ask what the new policy is, and what changes they need to make in how they do things in order to continue using asset forfeiture. And the answer appears to be simple: bring in a federal agent of some kind on whatever operation they want to seize.
Illinois law purports to grant authority to access student's social media
It's in Illinois, and they are claiming that they can demand a student provide their social media password (given how broadly "social media" can be defined, in practice that means any password to anything on the internet) if the school has "reasonable cause" to believe the student has violated a school's policy. Any violation. Like maybe he forgot to bring a handout home for his parents to read.
Schools are actively training students to believe they have no privacy from the authorities, and that that state of affairs is both normal and acceptable.
But the best part is the end:
Exactly what I would recommend. Sure, they'll punish you for not complying, but they'll punish you if they look and find anything anyway, and some demands are so outrageous that the proper response is "Fuck you."
He's got operatives posting guns for sale and running background checks on people expressing interest. His crude methods suggested perhaps 5% of the people he checked were prohibited; even that number is likely high, as there can be many people with similar names in a "geographic area" and actual background checks have to collect a lot more information to discriminate between surface matches and actual criminals.
Let's bear in mind, too, that even in the existing background check system, criminals seeking to buy guys and failing their background check are basically never prosecuted. Why add more checks when the government isn't prosecuting those who try to buy guns illegally now?
Frankly, I think that the default position of the journalism profession on guns alone is more than sufficient to dictate a result amenable to Bloomberg. But to his credit, the director of the program did invite a pro-gun speaker. I suggest that other pro-gun speakers ask for similar invitations, and see if they are carried through.
Police now have radar that can see you breathing through a wall
It seems to me that the government is conducting an open technological arms race on the 4th Amendment. Note that using this device without a warrant likely violates that amendment based on the court's rulings about thermo-imaging devices, but it hasn't stopped the police from buying them. And at $6.000 each, if they are buying them they are probably using them.
Can we fundamentally transform ourselves.... back?
No matter how much money Britain's National Health Service gets, it's never enough -- and their patients have a disturbing habit of dying in hospitals of dehydration because the medical staff can't be bothered to give them water and there are bonuses for patients who die on the Liverpool Care Pathway -- a euphemism for doctors withholding treatment.
Is this really what we want for our healthcare system?
Almost certainly yes, depending on the definition of "we". Sebastian notes that we could have a case under deprivation of rights laws. Although I'm not a lawyer, I can imagine a lot of torts arising from intentional interference with business and contracts. There are a number of problems to overcome before any actual suit can be filed, though. The first problem is that the DoJ and other government agencies are the ones doing the interfering, and the second problem is that the financial industry has so far been reluctant to point the finger with any specific details. The third problem, though, is who files the suit.
Remember, the law that put Obamacare in place also funded it for the first two years or so. After that, Republicans took the House but continued to fund Obamacare. However, the implementation of Obamacare went so far over budget -- even just the website portion -- that the Obama administration was desperate for more funds to finish it. And the Republicans might not be willing to defund it, but they were certainly not going to throw a lot more money at the problem.
So, all sorts of juicy little side deals to sell our personal data to advertisers is probably where they got the money to finish the website.
I am writing today to point you to a review of the matter of no-go zones by the Gatestone Institute, courtesy of Power Line:
Of particular relevance to my earlier post, which described those no-go zones as the 4GW version of seizing and holding territory, are these quotes:
Large quantities of military weapons (illegal in France, of course); calls to send in the army; citizens claiming those areas are no longer part of their country; the government claiming it needs to reconquer territory... yes, that sounds like a military invasion to me.
This is a classic case of the elite getting away with stuff that the ordinary folks go to jail for, and it's offensive to the rule of law. Not only was the violation quite blatant and deliberately recorded and broadcast to a wide audience, NBC was warned that what they wanted to do would violate the law and they went ahead and did it anyway.
Defying the law en mass in a public, but anonymous, demonstration is one thing. Doing it individually in a way that the state can easily track and follow up strikes me as more likely to have personal consequences.
It might work out for you if your local law enforcement officer is encouraging it, but he's retiring in 2015.
Worth keeping an eye on things to see what happens.