Tuesday, September 30, 2003

My Vote In The New Weblog Showcase - Week Ending Oct 4

Here is my vote in The New Weblog Showcase:

More on Mylroie and Manufacturing Consent

Busier Than A One-Armed Paperhanger

Jeff at Alphecca wants Kim du Toit to update his blogroll and answer all his reader mail.

I wrote to President Nixon when I was ten and he didn't write back either. I suggested he do everything he could for peace, including dropping leaflet bombs, which I thought I had invented. I did get a nice note from his personal secretary, Rosemary Woods, (of the eighteen minute gap) though. Maybe when Kim gets his own personal secretary she can answer all his Reader mail. I figure that will be sometime after he's opened the "Du Toit Museum of Firearm History and Shooting Range".

Monday, September 29, 2003

Micheal Moore Is Just Another Joe

I know Rachel Lucas hates him, but Micheal Moore appears to be just another Joe in this video clip. He does admit that his films are 'op-ed' pieces, which explains their deceptive qualities. Even so, just because you believe someone is frequently wrong isn't a reason to demonize them. I believe I am frequently wrong, and I hope no one demonizes me.

Of course Micheal Moore does demonize George Bush and John Ashcroft. By my lights George Bush is a lot like Bill Clinton politically (although I like George's character better) and John Ashcroft is a lot like Janet Reno. None of them take the sort of principled stand for our Constitution that I'd like. Please, Mr. President, veto a popular law and say "I would have liked the law if I didn't think it was unconstitutional." Wouldn't that be refreshing?

Via Instapundit.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I Hope It's Not Spreading

Steven Den Beste may have been hacked. Urg. I hope he gets things cleared up.

Are Gun Rights Lawyers Worse At Strategy Than Saddam?

According to Dave Kopel, the answer is yes, most definitely yes. The first case, Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove, is over, and the damage is done. The second case, Silveira v. Lockyer, has already done considerable damage to gunrights and may yet do more.

All judges are human. All humans are political and biased. We want our judges to be above politics and beyond bias, indeed we expect our judges to be above politics and beyond bias, but we want our lawyers to know better. Sorry, the U.S. judicial system is a political system. So, here are some things to remember, organized in a fashion to be chanted:

The judicial system is political!
The judicial system is political!
The judicial system is political!

Choose your venue carefully!
Choose your venue carefully!
Choose your venue carefully!

Choose cases that will win!
Choose cases that will win!
Choose cases that will win!

Work from small to large!
Work from small to large!
Work from small to large!

Grandstanding beginners, looking to make a name for themselves, are right out!
Grandstanding beginners, looking to make a name for themselves, are right out!
Grandstanding beginners, looking to make a name for themselves, are right out!

Via the Volokh Conspiracy.

My Votes In The New Weblog Showcase - Week Ending 28 Sept

Here are my votes in The New Weblog Showcase:

Who Ate My Democracy?
I hate cruelty to animals
Caucasian Club

I seem to have got last weeks entries confused somehow. Hmmm.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

My Votes In The New Weblog Showcase

Here are my votes in The New Weblog Showcase:

Who Ate My Democracy?
Red Sox Nation
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Aftermath--The New World 9-12-01
The WTO disaster and the security threat within
Caucasian Club

Guns & Mothers on PBS

Have anyone seen Guns & Mothers on PBS? It is supposedly a balanced look between the Million Mom March and Second Amendment Sisters, but my wife said it wasn't balanced at all. (Next time, wake me up, dear!) They have a talkback section.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Is The California Recall Ruling A Symptom Of Constitutional Cancer?

Here is what James Lileks said on Wednesday about the Ninth Circuit ruling on the recall:
I wrote my weekly column about the California recall / 9th circuit thang, so I’m not going to write about it here. Except to say this: imagine you’ve been asked to complete the sentence “I’m pleased that that the courts have canceled the election before it took place, because . . .”

I wouldn’t know what to say. And I’m fascinated by those who leap to finish the sentence. They’re perfectly comfortable with the courts calling off a vote in advance. Wow: jaw, meet Mr. Floor.

04 is going to be bloody, and it’ll be bloodier still after that. This is the sort of stuff that infects the body politic to the point where people demand that we saw off a limb, because the smell is too horrid. This is the stuff that leads to Constitutional Conventions. I’m always slightly chilled when I read a paper from the Center of the American Experiment, because the name reminds you that this is, historically, just that. And as any scientist will tell you: experiments fail.
The best argument that I have heard against the ruling is that it falsely posits that the new voting machines will be more reliable than the old ones. I implement new systems for a living, and the new systems generally are more reliable than the old ones, but not the first time.

This attitude by judges that they can interpret the Constitution as they please without regard for its original meaning, because they are more modern and therefore know better has got to stop. It takes two-thirds of Congress and two-thirds of the state legislatures to overrule the Supreme Court when it decides to change the Constitution like this. Republicans should be against this because it violates the the principle of seperation of powers of the three branches of government. Democrats should be against it because it is rather autocratic, not Democratic at all. The people should be against it because it is tyranny.

I Hope We Win

Here are two facts. George Bush is the President of the United States. The United States is fighting a war on terror. Here is some common wisdom: If the electorate thinks the war on terror is going well, George Bush will be reelected. Below are three possible strategies, if you want a Democrat to be elected President.

The first is to hope the war goes badly. There are almost certainly a few Democrats who feel this way. I would conjecture, however, that if there were a machine which could reliably identify such Democrats that they would be kicked out of the party on a vote with a healthy majority.

The second is to believe this: The war is going badly, since Bush is known to be incompetent. Your belief might convince the electorate, or it might give you false hope. A simple comparison to Vietnam, Korea, WWII, WWI and the Civil War shows that the war on terror is going quite well, I think. So if you believe that it is going badly, please show me how, and remember the wars I'm comparing it to.

The third is to convince the electorate that the war is going badly even though it is not.

Like James Lileks, I hope we win. I am not happy with any of the three strategies above. If you are a Democrat please do not support those within your party who would embrace any of these three.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Is George Bush Like Honest Abe?

Our sacrifice in the war on terror has been nothing compared to the Civil War or WWII. We have already saved 15,000 Iraqis, based on the average rate at which the Husseins killed their countryman. Sure, it is an estimate, but I am truly convinced that many Iraqi lives have been saved. The American military, responding to criticisms about the way the Vietnam war was fought, has conducted and is still conducting itself in such a way as to minimize both American casualties and civilian causalties.

Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review Online places the Iraqi conflict in its proper perspective. Current Copperheads need not apply. Buck up, people. We are at the start of another long war like the Cold War, and for stakes that are just as great. If you don't like Bush, show me how you would win the war on terror and bring constitutional republics and the rule of law to the Middle East, or something just as good. Give me the grand Democratic (or Green, Libertarian, etc) vision for peace and freedom. Tell me how you think America and the Arabs can truly win, not just prop up the clearly destructive, despotic and tyrannical status quo in the Arabic world. America needs a strong, vibrant opposition party which will bring something wonderful to the table. I was born in Missouri, and I beg of you: Show me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A Groom's Story

Read this very funny day of the wedding story.


A Plea To All Democrats

The Democratic Party Leadership is not behind the war on terror the way they should be. This is World War IV, folks. (The Cold War was WWIII.) The Bush Administration is trying to win this war before we have the hugh loss of life that we had in WWII. Already we have saved the lives of 15,000 Iraqis by ending the Hussein reign of terror. I am not saying there should not be dissent or disagreement, but an anti-war Democrat should not even be a surprise winner in New Hampshire as McCarthey was in '68, much less be a front-runner like Dean. This war is going extremely well, not like Vietnam.

David Horowitz says this very well at FrontPage magazine.com. Money quote:
It is a dark day for Americans when one of their two ruling parties cannot be counted on to support the flag when it is committed in battle, and when the battle is America’s response to a bloodthirsty aggressor with access to biological, chemical and perhaps even nuclear weapons.
I know that the 'No WMD' response will be forthcoming, so I ask you: Were there anthrax attacks in the US? Did Al Queda try to obtain a crop duster here? Did Hussein gas the Kurds? Did you support the Clinton attack on the 'WMD' factory in Somalia? Do you want to wait until a WMD attack is unleashed here before you respond?

Here is my plea. Stop supporting the Democratic Presidential candidates who would let terrorists strike again and again without ever attempting to shut them down. Remember that Bill Clinton, your best political strategist, said that Bush was right to invade Iraq based on the intelligence we had. Support Lieberman and Edwards, now.

Via Mrs. du Toit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

State-Run Health Care Can Be Dangerous

This story about a woman in Britain whose son in Spain got to the hospital before her was a horrible case, but is still just an anecdote. This evidence against state medical care is equivalent to school shootings as evidence against gun rights. You are more likely to be killed by lightning than you are to be killed in a school shooting, and I suspect that you are even less likely to experience an eight-hour delay in ambulance service. The cold-blooded reaction of the ambulance service spokesman (at the end of the piece) is just as typical for a privately run service afraid of a lawsuit as it is for a government run one.

I say this because my Canadien friend still think their national health care is better based on his experience. (He lives in St. Louis for the music, not the health care.) We need something stronger than individual experience to make our case against socialism in health care. My position is that we should stop allowing employers to exempt health insurance costs from taxes, start allowing individuals to exempt them, and stop subsidizing other countries drugs. I am chagrined that I have no assistance beyond my meager opinions to offer, but you should be used to that by now.

Via Kim du Toit.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Now How Do I Establish Residency?

Missouri passed a concealed carry law. Here is the text of the law. The entire law is interesting. Here are some points:

1. Several kinds of irresponsible shooting are illegal.
2. No guns in churches, election precincts, government buildings, schools, school buses or 'any public assemblage of persons met for any lawful purpose'. That last bit could be pretty restrictive depending on the definition. Urg. Anyone know how to look it up?
3. Many goverment officials plus 'corporate security advisors' are exempt from most restrictions.
4. It allows anyone over twenty-one to conceal a gun in the passenger compartment of their car as long as they don't brandish it, and they can transport a student to school, too.
5. All other concealed cary licenses are reciprocated.
6. Concealed carry licenses shall be issued if the applicant:
a. Is at least twenty-three.
b. Is a resident for six months, or is a member of the armed forces or his spouse stationed in Missouri.
c. Is not a felon.
d. Is not a firearms violator.
e. Is not a fugitive.
f. 'Has not been discharged under dishonorable conditions from the United States armed forces'.
g. 'Has not engaged in a pattern of behavior, documented in public records, that causes the sheriff to have a reasonable belief that the applicant presents a danger to himself or others'.
h. 'Is not adjudged mentally incompetent' or 'committed to a mental health facility'.
i. Has completed firearm safety training.
j. Has paid $100.

So how do I establish residency?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

An Anniversary Story on 9/11

Kim du Toit is right. Your eyes will not be dry after you read this story.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

A Theory As To Why The Quality Of Political Debate Is So Poor

Human beings have good reasons to think badly, politically. Read this essay which describes why and how to combat it on a personal level. I suspect this theory can be tested scientifically. If it pans out, perhaps this essay should be taught in our schools and even in our businesses, since office politics probably works the same way. Maybe Francis Porretto at The Palace Of Reason knows some classical scholar who elucidated the whole theory before the birth of Christ. If any of you know of one, it would be cool to find out.

Via Tyler Cowen of The Volokh Conspiracy.

How Do We Improve The Candidates We Get?

Kevin at The Smallest Minority takes a cynical look at politics. There was a time when public service was considered a duty and some politicians served even though they didn't want to. We need to do something to make that happen more often. And figure out a way for voters to get the chance to elect honest men like Washington, Lincoln and Truman more often. Maybe we could select candidates for some offices randomly. Any ideas?

Monday, September 08, 2003

How The Third Republic Rotted From Within

I recommend Traitors Within Our Walls by Kim du Toit. It is worth noting that both parties harbor those who (though they often mean well) threaten this Republic (though they may not realize it). Rudi Guiliani, as much as I admire him, has never protected our right to bear arms, even though as a public official he is sworn to do so.