Monday, June 30, 2008

A Reminder

This is why the ACLU doesn't get any of my money:
In Heller, the Court reinterpreted the Second Amendment as a source of individual rights. Washington D.C.'s gun control law, which bans the private possession of handguns and was widely considered the most restrictive such law in the country, became a victim of that reinterpretation.

The Court was careful to note that the right to bear arms is not absolute and can be subject to reasonable regulation. Yet, by concluding that D.C.'s gun control law was unreasonable and thus invalid, the Court placed a constitutional limit on gun control legislation that had not existed prior to its decision in Heller. It is too early to know how much of a constitutional straitjacket the new rule will create.
Yes, God forbid we apply the Constitution to reduce the power of the State or even the states. The collective rights interpretation the ACLU supports is bankrupt. It allows the State to uphold the right of "the people" while effectively preventing the exercise of that right from all individual persons. Except those who actively support the State of course.

The Scripture Mangler

From Paul Smith, Obama uses the Sermon on the Mount to advance the idea that Jesus would have supported Gay Marriage. I guess he missed some major parts of the Sermon like:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
So Barack Obama - the least of these?

You Might Not Know Anything about the Gun Industry If...

From Charles Austin via Instapundit:
What if Colt made a big show of offering Senator Obama a custom engraved 1911 to celebrate Heller? If he accepts it, his base is up in arms, no pun intended. If he declines it, well, let's just say that 5-4 vote will look a little more frightening to everyone not in his base. Seem like a win-win to me.
Why won't Colt do this? The answer is that they're on Obama's side politically. Colt's ownership is murky but has included groups like the UAW and the State of Connecticut. Not example pro-gun groups. The current chairman is Donald Zilkha, a New York financier who generally support Democrats like Chuck Schumer. Chuck Schumer! If you want someone to give Obama a fancy 1911, try Kimber or a Springfield Armory Custom instead.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gun Cams, Not Just For WWII Pilots Anymore

My lovely wife sent me a link to the PistolCam. It's a small camera that fits on pistol accessory rails and works like to a tactical light, taking pictures of whatever the gun is pointed at once it leaves the holster.

Frankly, I'd really like to see this sort of technology applied more widely to police work. I cannot think of any reason why SWAT teams can't have a small video camera on their helmets and microphones mounted to their gear. The equipment could be put together cheaply (<$1000), could be lightweight, and would provide invaluable evidence if anything goes wrong in a raid. It would exonerate the good cops and condemn the bad ones. Just what citizens want.

Heller Wins!

In a 5-4 opinion, the Supreme Court struck down the D.C. gun ban and affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms. Scotusblog is hosting a copy of the decision pdf. I'm sure the legal blogs will have a lot to take about soon, although they seem to be groaning under the weight of their traffic at the moment.

The 5-4 opinion is disappointing, but depending on the specifics, I suppose it is understandable.

UPDATE: This is a narrow decision in that the SC did not address incorporation to the states because DC is a federal district so they had no standing to do so. The NRA is already moving to test incorporation to the states with challenges of the handgun bans in NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco. I may have to renew my membership soon.

Monday, June 23, 2008


This is an interesting (if a bit disgusting) idea: bacon flavored dental floss. I guess if you hate the mint flavored ones.

With my luck, I'd come home to find the cat amid of slobbery pile of bacon floss on the living room floor. Via Amybear.

And Perhaps a Cat Owner

George Carlin died unexpectedly. I was never a huge fan. Sure he had that screw the establishment attitude and some interesting ideas about wordplay, but neither of those really float my boat. This Youtube video (some profanity of course) makes me wonder if he had pets though:

All very true. Cats are cute when they kill (especially since most cat games are kill training). They have some absurd sort of dignity. And yes they stick their fuzzy butts in your face in the early AM.

Lol Humor


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Prayer Grunt

I haven't linked to Stuff Christians Like lately and his recent post on the Prayer Grunt of Affirmation reminded me of long ago small group days:
It's probably not good that I measure the quality of my group prayers by the number of grunts of affirmation I get. What are those? A grunt of affirmation is when you pray in a group and someone near you says, "Mhm" or "Unh" or some other grunt like statement that means, "I'm down with that."
While not everyone uses the prayer grunt, I remember the leader of my bible study during my senior year had that habit and I often found myself looking to make a good prayer at the end of a study in order to get that "warm manly." I think I may have subconsciously adopted it myself for a while when I was a small group leader.

Is it a little idolatrous? I don't know, but I suggest you avoid memorizing his prayer grunt score sheet just in case.

Getting in Shape

Amy and I picked up recumbent exercise bike yesterday. Both Amy and I fit on it, it was solid, and it had a heart rate monitor. That hit all the boxes on our check list.

We actually picked it up ourselves. Literally as a fair bit of carrying was involved. The store we purchased it from is within walking distance of our house. It seemed kind of stupid to pay a $100 install fee to move a piece of equipment less than a mile, especially when it broke down into fairly light weight parts. They took it apart, we got the pieces in our cars, drove home, moved it in, and put it back together. Seems to work great so far and we have a heft warranty if it doesn't.

Now we just need to rearrange our basement so we can watch the TV, use the bike and the treadmill, and still be able to put her parents down there on the hide-a-bed when they visit. That should provide a pretty decent workout when I'm off on Friday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Amy and I had a lot of trouble coming up with wedding/reception themes. We thought about doing an around the world theme, with each table being a different country. This isn't because we're well traveled, but because we could use it as an excuse to have a wide variety of ethnic appetizers, dishes, and deserts. We quickly gave up on it and went generic. It was just too much effort.

These people went with a video game theme and it seems to work for them in a very nerdy way. I wonder if you can tell the age of the guest by the table they're seated at. If the parents are at Pac-man, do the grandparents wind up at Pong?

Too Much USB?

Via my lovely bride, the USB greenhouse. Yeah, someone ought to tell people that USB is not a substitute for actual power sources. Or for that matter that if you're growing plants inside your climate controlled house, you probably don't need a greenhouse pod in the first place.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Now Where Did I Put My Time Machine...


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

UPDATE: I'd imagine Amybear would fill mine out a little differently, but I really didn't pad my old school husband resume very much. Amybear doesn't make for a very good 1930s wife according to the test, but she thinks that's because she does unconscionable things like work outside the home and manage her own finances. She even deigns to give me advice without my prior solicitation. I agree. While the role of husband and father hasn't changed much in the last 70 or 80 years, the wife's role has changed a lot.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Let the Gloating Commence

From the Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke:
We've lost the battle on what the Second Amendment means. Seventy-five percent of the public thinks it's an individual right. Why are we arguing a theory anymore? We are concerned about what we can do practically."
This doesn't mean they've actually learned their lesson though (or even think they were wrong in the first place), from Brady Campaign Attorney Dennis Henigan:
Universal background checks don't affect the right of self-defense in the home. Banning a super dangerous class of weapons, like assault weapons, also would not adversely affect the right of self-defense in the home. Curbing large volume sales doesn't affect self-defense in the home.
With strategies like that, I look forward to future legal battles with the Brady Campaign and other Joyce Foundation funded programs. They do have a few points:
But given that McCain stood by his support for closing "the gun-show loophole" during a recent speech to the N.R.A., the Brady Campaign president hopes that new gun restrictions can make headway regardless of who wins in November.
McCain is not a stalwart conservative with regards to gun control. He never has been. On the other hand, Barack Obama was one the Board of the Joyce Foundation for 8 years. The Joyce Foundation is the answer to the question "Where do all these gun control groups get their funding from?" When you look at the vast left-wing gun control "conspiracy," Barack Obama was one of the people holding its purse strings. Almost anyone else would be better in comparison.

For further gloating see Armed and Safe, Say Uncle, Days of Our Trailers, Snowflakes in Hell.

Things George Bush Will Never Get Credit For

The obsolescence of the embryonic stem cell controversy continues unabated. This time it's an Australian researchers who have used adult stem cells develop a potential treatment for Parkinson's Disease. Trying this with embryonic cells results in brain tumors. Keep in mind this was in Australia so anything George Bush did or didn't do had no effect on this new treatment.

Via The Anchoress and the Thinklings.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Microsoft Miscorrections

At work we use and refer to a collection of software called JWES. A coworker told me that his copy of Word autocorrects this acronym to "JEWS." I'd imagine that could be a problem if you're highly critical of JWES and sloppy about proofreading your documentation.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Open Carry in the News

Instapundit brought up a Chicago Tribune piece about open carry and related activism in Utah. For those interested in the legalities of open carry in Delaware, there's now a dedicated forum for that along with one operated by

"Imagine" Obama's Presidency

I'm not a fan of John Lennon's Imagine, but NRAhab's rewording of this hymn to secular humanism to fit the Leftwing Messiah's campaign message is hilarious. Frank J.'s chope-hange piece also bursts the whole hopey-changey balloon.

Via View from the Porch

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Politics and Economic Planning

Steve Lamp has this to say about Barack Obama:
I like Barrack Obama. The problem is I disagree with his position on a wide range of issues. One of the biggest is Social Security. Like most Democrats, Obama is against privatization. In fact, he adamantly opposes it.
Steve goes on to briefly discuss the state of Social Security (as assessed by the Social Security Administration) and how Obama's solution to it amounts to sticking his finger in his ears and humming loudly.

What is most sad about the coming election is that we really need a candidate that wants to put the Federal Government's finances in order. Bush started doing this early in his first term by reducing the rate of government growth, but completely failed to follow up after 9/11. Neither Obama nor McCain have any record of slowing government growth or solving problems outside of massive government spending. Both of these are practically mandatory at this point.

The US government really needs to have our finances together by 2017. After that the SSA is going to start cashing in it's treasury securities. Which means money essentially comes out of the general fund to pay for social security instead of coming in from surplus SS taxes. That's a big deal.

Left Wing Hypocrisy

I can smell it rolling in. From Bruce Prescott's blog post opposing illegal immigration reforms which crack down on employers:
"It drives up the wages of this particular group. As these wages go up, it essentially makes Oklahoma production less competitive relative to our neighbors and suppresses Oklahoma production. So as Oklahoma firms produce less, as they slow the rate of expansion, not only do they require fewer workers, they require fewer high-skill workers."
Funny how he completely rejected this argument two years ago when he was crusading for a hike in the minimum wage. Now the effects of that policy are coming home with sudden unemployment spikes caused by cheap student labor that is unemployable.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Thinks I Should Have Known By Now

Max Brooks, of Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z fame, is the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft. He's also done voice work on Batman Beyond and the Justice League TV shows. If I get home and this is written on the author blurb on the back of those books, I'll be annoyed.

The Death of Free Speech

The results (pdf) of the Alberta Human Rights Commission trial of a Canadian Pastor has the blogosphere in a buzz. Samizdata has comments and QandO has commentary. Novelist John C. Wright chimes in.

The lesson for us is twofold. Firstly, speech must be protected broadly and any exceptions must be defined narrowly. Secondly, we cannot allow entities like the Alberta HRC to come into being. The AHRC takes cases at it's discretion in which it acts as judge, jury, and prosecutor and it's decisions act with the full force of law. Disgusting.

Story of My Life


Amy and I are looking at health equipment. We have a treadmill which works well for walking, but not for much else. It really isn't up to the load a 185 lbs. jogger like myself puts on it. Seriously, the lights in the basement dim in time with my stride and the load I put on its motor.

I started looking at ellipticals because of this. Unfortunately I've since discovered by doing the department store rounds that cheap ellipticals are garbage. Getting a good one means putting out over a grand. Not the price range I want. This has me looking at exercise bikes. The recumbent ones, because the standard bicycle layout gets darned uncomfortable during a workout of any significant duration. Decent ones seem to be available at around $300.

The problem? Amy hated ellipticals and didn't care what I bought. Amy wants to use the exercise bike though. This means we need one with a pretty wide range of seat adjustment because I'm almost a foot taller than my wife. So far no luck with that. Ah well the search goes on.

Facial Expressions

Something about the look on this Dog's face is hilarious. Although I am hoping he's yawning and not about to eat the little girl's head.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Free Books that Don't Suck

SFSignal is offering up a free electronic version of John C. Wright's Orphan's of Chaos. It is an excellent book and a limited time offer.

Deaths in the Family

Melody Byrne's mother just died at the age of 61. I'm sure Melody is devastated, but after posts like this, I'm pretty sure that her father is going to have a harder time of it. They were married for 41 years and it is pretty clear that he depended on his wife for a lot.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Candy From the Old Country

While the Brits have crunchy frog the Scots have this.

UPDATE: Amybear (who originally sent me that link) has more fun links over at her blog. She even found someone who sells gargantuan lego bricks.

Where Will They Get the Guns?

Hube found this gem on Newsbusters:
I think we need to take right-wing nut jobs outside line them up on a wall and shoot them. It will make everyone happy and the world a better place.
Tell me Johnny Gungrabber, where are you going to get the heaters you need to do that? I have mine, but where will you get yours? More importantly, who is the nutjob, me with my politics or you with your suggestions of mass murder "for the greater good."

Housing Codes

Kim du Toit deals with someone who uses the oft-repeated logic of "it's my land isn't it?"

The answer to this is that it is, but it won't always be. Building codes protect no just the current owner from huckster contractors, but also the future owner and his neighbors. You can't replace them with home inspections, because home inspections don't include looking inside the walls at plumbing, wiring, structure, and weather stripping. Which means the state takes over and does these things for us. That doesn't mean they do it well, lots of inspectors are incompetent or, worse, petty bureaucrats. But they do it and they need to do it.

It isn't a coincidence that earliest written codes like Ur-Nammu or Hammurabi involve laws about land drainage. For that matter Deuteronomy has a law about safety railings. This is basic and important stuff.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How Considerate of Her

It appears that Hillary Clinton will concede based on the results of the final primaries that show Barack Obama clinching the nomination. Some stories are spinning this as a magnanimous gesture on her part, which is laughable. Conceding when you are losing so that you go out with grace is noble. Conceding when you have lost, after this conclusion was obvious months ago, is not.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Interdicting Iran

The Iraqis are moving against Iranian smuggling points in southern Iraq near Basrah. This is a good thing.

For those not in the know, who are listening to all the leftward listing pundits talk about how the US is going to go to war with Iran, we already are. Iran has been running guns, explosives, money, and members of their military into Iraq with the expressed purpose of killing members of the US military. They have done this for years. The quest is not whether we at war with Iran. By any reasonable measure, we are. The question is whether we turn this Cold War with Iran into a Hot War.

The answer to that is preferably not. The Iranian government isn't free, it is a theocratic oligarchy. About half the political positions in the national government report not to the people of Iran through elections, but to the Supreme Leader who is appointed by the Assembly of Experts (86 Islamic scholars and priests). This includes half of the Guardian Council which decides who can run for nationwide offices. The national media, the army, etc. also report to the Supreme Leader. This is causing some friction in Iran, especially with the numerous young Iranians. Best to sit back and watch things fester and, hopefully, fall apart when the young Iranians and young Iraqis compare notes in a few years.