Saturday, February 24, 2018

Literary And Literally

In Poul Anderson's War Of The Gods there's a tale about a king's hoardkeeper. Allow me to summarize (but do indulge in Anderson's book as it's a decent read):

Glum was an old man, and had been a warrior in his youth. He was appointed hoardkeeper under Haddings father, stayed in the post through the next king, and so Hadding decided to keep him on when he ascended the throne. He was housed in rooms at the front of the king's storehouse, and was given food, drink, clothes, and a servant and was treated with honor. 

One day King Hadding visited the storehouse to take some of his treasure, intending them as gifts for some of his allies and servants. After Glum opened the door to the storeroom (as only he had a key) Hadding discovered thieves had been in and did some plundering. Glum protested his innocence and Hadding discovered the thieves had tunneled in some time in the preceding month or so. He agreed that Glum had been no thief, but charged he was negligent, in that he should have checked on the treasures himself from time to time, or not been so drunk as to not hear the noise of thieves tunneling into the building he dwelt in. 

Hadding had Glum before his court and related what had happened, concluding with the charge that Glum was negligent, having allowed thieves to make off with things under his care. He pronounced that Glum should die and asked Glum if he had anything to say. Glum admitted he was negligent, said that he was too old to do the job properly and the king should have appointed a younger man to the post, but the king could do with him as he wished; just leave his honor intact. Hadding, in concession, agreed and ordered that Glum die on the gallows (which was a more honorable death than the other options) to which Glum consented that it was good.

Robert A. Heinlein has told a story on numerous occasions of an accident that occurred when he was a child. If you'll pardon me I'll paraphrase it:

A lady and her husband were walking through town. when crossing over a railroad track the lady's foot got stuck. The husband started trying to free her with no luck. Then a man - presumed a hobo - happened along and joined the husband in his efforts. A train was approaching and they worked steadily trying to free the lady's foot. They were still engaged at that task when the train hit all three of them. The lady and the hobo were killed instantly, and the husband lived just long enough to tell what happened. The lady was stuck; she had no choice in the matter. The husband did have a choice and he chose to do what a husband should do. The hobo - if indeed that's all he was - had a choice as well. He could have jumped aside at any moment and no blame or shame would have been incurred. Yet he stayed, helping with his last mortal efforts a lady whom he did not know; a couple whom may not have accepted him socially or sat down with him for lunch. He stayed and whatever fear he felt was quelled by something inside him that told him saving a lady whom he had no bond with or connection to was worth his very life.  This is how a man dies, and this is how a man lives.

Heinlein does a much better job of telling the story, but I think I got all the important points. Now contrast those two tales with this:

Four Sheriff's Deputies Hid During Florida School Shooting

Friday, February 23, 2018

CNN's Town Hell

I'm going to - well I guess I can't say live blog since I'm watching a recording - watch the CNN Townhall on the Parkland, Fla. mass murder (so you don't have to) and type about it as it goes.

Regular font will be what I'm seeing happening, my thoughts will be in italics.

Muh Narrative

There was an earlobe malfunction at the FBI's tip line that caused swift inaction when someone saw something and said something. Earlier the FBI investigated a tip from a youtuber but were stumped when confronted with someone that clandestinely used his legal name on teh internetz. (also see End The 9/11 Syndrome At The FBI: Terrible Things Happen, And There's Little Accountability, and What Do We Do About The Biased And Incompetent FBI?,  and last but not least Fire The FBI Chief)

To paraphrase a tweet I saw a few days ago :

A loose group of bored kids in their mom's basement used flight data from web cams to track down a flag hidden someplace in the u.S. in their spare time.
Paid professionals at the FBI couldn't track down someone that threatened to shoot up a school even though he signed his real name.

The local school board had reason to believe the student was troubled and dangerous. A few years back the school board implemented a policy to downplay the seriousness of student incidents because the arrest statistics from previous years were not helpful to their identity politics.

The Broward County Sheriff's office (Headed by gunowner control advocate Sheriff Scott Israel, for now) had received from 18 to 39 calls since 2010 concerning the murderer's address (depending on the source). The Deputy that was the school resource officer bravely stayed outside when the murders were going on inside. (He was suspended, but then retired.) ( Aside: why did they ask him to turn in his weapon? Clearly there was no danger of him actually using the thing.) Brave Sir Deputy also refused to share info with Social services about a visit to the murderer's home back in '16. Two other deputies were suspended amidst concerns that they did not follow protocol during some of the contacts they had with the murderer prior to the murders. (Also, no need to worry; Brave Sir Deputy is receiving a protective detail while he eases into his retirement.)

So of course, the media responsibly pushes for more gunowner control, as lax firearms laws is the only thing that could've led to this mass murder.

Not being content at demonstrating why Socrates won't return their calls, the fine folks in authorized media decided to use teenagers as human shields in their attempt to push for more restriction on Rights, because ratings. CNN is arguably the worst offender, but if you've looked around the last week or so you'll note that other MSM groups have followed their lead. The teenage survivors efforts at promoting gunowner control are organized enough that to some it smacks of astroturf. In short, the MSM is using these kids to push the MSM's agenda, and it's detrimental to those kids.

Miss Althouse asks what effect the coverage is likely to have on anyone thinking of becoming a mass murderer. I'd venture that "encouragement" is an understated response to her query.

CNN held what they called a Town Hall, because Show Trial, Anti-Gunowner PSA, or 2x53 Minute Hate seemed too obvious as titles, or perhaps too honest. Amidst calling a pro-gunowner lady a murderer, booing a story of a rape survivor wishing she'd had a gun, cheering at the thought of a complete semi-auto ban, and generally equating gun owners and the NRA as child murderers, they might have provoked a result opposite what they intended (though in an unsurprise move, the event mattered, according to the Atlantic). Oh did I mention the Antigunowner witch hunt was moderated by the ever neutral journalist Jake Tapper? I guess that makes things even since CNN never mentioned Tapper used to work for Handgun Control, Inc as a spokesman. There's also some debate over whether or not CNN scripted the questions for the ritual sacrifice. Sheriff Israel, whose deputy courageously sought cover outside while the murderer was murdering inside, accused the NRA (read that as "every gunowner everywhere, except cops) of not caring about the children. But as with the Atlantic piece linked above, the MSM is declaring a victory in the alleged televised conversation, getting heady with the notion of this being a path forward in the Children's March for Gunowner Control.

Sadly their efforts are gaining some momentum, which I'll try cover in another post.

Edited: 2-24-18 1:30 MST fixed a few typos, added 3 word to a sentence that somehow got deleted without my notice.

What Do You Call Fuddites On Skis?

 The u.S. Olympic Biathlon team, sadly enough.

Over at National Progressive Radio I found this piece from early February on the plight of the poor, underfunded u.S. Biathlon team. If you got a little miffed at miss Dunklee's comments towards the end of the article, get ready to hold their beers:

One of America's Best Marksmen on Gun Control: "There's just no reason for assault rifles to be in the hands of ordinary citizens"

 The quote in the headline was from Lowell Bailey, who is the u.S.'s first world cup champion. Here's the full quote:

“We’re a sport that uses a .22-caliber rifle,' Bailey said. 'A .22-caliber rifle that shoots a single round is a much different thing than an AR-15. In my opinion, there’s just no reason for assault rifles to be in the hands of ordinary citizens.'
Bailey said he does not own an AR-15 and has no desire to get one.
'I have no interest in owning a weapon that can kill another human being – that’s designed to kill another human being,' he said. 'And to do it in an expeditious way. Why is that allowed? It’s maddening.”

Not content with turning his back on fellow gun owners, Bailey asks us to hold his beer while we're still holding his beer:

“There was a time in our country when the means to defend yourself against an oppressive government was an appropriate justification,' Bailey said. 'That time has passed.'
He paused for a second before continuing: 'That’s a debate. But I think there needs to be a respectful dialogue, an open dialogue without special interests involved. It’s time our politicians sat down and made some tough choices. What’s more important? Owning an AR-15 or having innocent school children get killed?” (emphasis added, stupidity as in original)

I'll go ahead and point out the obvious - if a person wants a respectful dialogue then perhaps they shouldn't imply that you owning a rifle causes the death of youngins. It tends to insinuate that the person one wants to have a conversation with is a child murderer, which is usually not taken well. It also leads to the conclusion that the asker not only failed in basic logic, but his parents were remiss in the use of a hickory switch to instill basic manners.

Any sympathy I had for their funding plight has evaporated, along with any desire to watch them or support them in any way. 


I'll omit yet another trillion word rant on the importance of preserving principle, or not being afraid to fight even if there's a chance of losing, or by making bad laws "better" it hurts us in the long run. Instead, I'll simply pose a question.

If you were a lawyer and wanted to win a case - any case - which of the following would you choose:

A challenge to a regulation that narrowly banned bump stocks, arguing it's unconstitutional

A challenge to a law banning bump stocks and trigger cranks that also criminalized lightened strikers, firing pins, and hammers; extra strength trigger springs, hammers springs and recoil springs; any lubricant with more viscosity than the heavy preservative grease slathered on at the factory by the manufacturer.


Fudd Me? No; Fudd You!

And Another Things

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Kant Even

Another Youtuber (name of Roaming Millennial) has a nice little piece on the concept of Rights, and does a decent job of providing a secular justification for Natural Rights. It's worth the 10-ish minutes or so, so give it a watch when ya can.