A Bexar County (San Antonio) Sheriff’s deputy was stopped at a red light on the East Side when someone ambushed him — an attack so sudden he was unable to reach for his weapon or call for help. He died before emergency responders could get him to a hospital. The murder occurred at 2:12 A.M. Sunday in San Antonio. As of yesterday police have no suspects.
This immediately brought to mind the murder of Aurora, Colorado police detective and 24-year veteran Michael Thomas on September 19, 2006. That case is similar because Detective Thomas was sitting in his car stopped at a red light when he was gunned down. However, Officer Thomas was not in uniform or in a marked police car so it was not apparent whether the murderer knew he was a police officer. It was later determined that the shooter did know Thomas was a police officer and that was the motive for the shooting.
Brian Allen Washington, age 27, of Denver, was soon arrested for the shooting. He didn’t run away after the shooting and was found at the scene and identified by witnesses. He was convicted of second degree murder in April, 2010 and sentenced to 80 years in prison.
I don’t know how many similar shootings of police officers may have occurred in the same time frame between the Thomas murder and the Bexar deputy killing, but the shooting of 4 officers in a Seattle coffee shop by Maurice Clemmons on November 29, 2009 was also a random shooting of police officers motivated by the mere fact they were police officers.
Police officer shootings seem to have taken a sudden spike upward in recent years and this a vexing situation. One wonders what in the hell is going on. The extremely violent criminal who will shoot it out with police, sometimes over a matter as minor as shoplifting, is bad enough. A random killer who kills people he doesn’t know and with whom he has no previous connection or involvement, targeting his victims merely for their status as police officers, is a paroxysm of hatred that threatens the liberty and peace of mind of every citizen.
Michael Barone says:
“I’m confident that any comparison of economic coverage in the Bush years and the coverage now would show far fewer variants of the word “unexpectedly” in stories suggesting economic doldrums.
“It’s obviously going to be hard to achieve the unacknowledged goal of many mainstream journalists — the president’s re-election — if the economic slump continues. So they characterize economic setbacks as unexpected, with the implication that there’s still every reason to believe that, in Herbert Hoover’s phrase, prosperity is just around the corner.”
Note on the link above: This link takes you to Michael Barone’s column at the Washington Examiner. This website contains obnoxious video ads that autoplay (with audio) when you go to the site. I’ve tried to provide a link that avoids this, but if it doesn’t work just hit the mute button on your computer to get rid of the dreadful audio so you can read the column in peaceful quiet. Barone’s column is worth reading in its entirety, but you have to outsmart the webmaster at the Washington Examiner site trying to spoil it for you.
Below are the opening and concluding paragraphs from “In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire”, a speech delivered by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. at Keene, New Hampshire on Memorial Day, May 30, 1884. He spoke of the meaning of memorial day, 19 years after the end of the Civil War in which 620,000 Americans were killed. The entire speech is available here.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., May 30, 1884, at Keene, NH:
Not long ago I heard a young man ask why people still kept up Memorial Day, and it set me thinking of the answer. Not the answer that you and I should give to each other-not the expression of those feelings that, so long as you live, will make this day sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth–but an answer which should command the assent of those who do not share our memories, and in which we of the North and our brethren of the South could join in perfect accord.
* * *
I have spoken of some of the men who were near to me among others very near and dear, not because their lives have become historic, but because their lives are the type of what every soldier has known and seen in his own company. In the great democracy of self-devotion private and general stand side by side. Unmarshalled save by their own deeds, the army of the dead sweep before us, “wearing their wounds like stars.” It is not because the men I have mentioned were my friends that I have spoken of them, but, I repeat, because they are types. I speak of those whom I have seen. But you all have known such; you, too, remember!
It is not of the dead alone that we think on this day. There are those still living whose sex forbade them to offer their lives, but who gave instead their happiness. Which of us has not been lifted above himself by the sight of one of those lovely, lonely women, around whom the wand of sorrow has traced its excluding circle–set apart, even when surrounded by loving friends who would fain bring back joy to their lives? I think of one whom the poor of a great city know as their benefactress and friend. I think of one who has lived not less greatly in the midst of her children, to whom she has taught such lessons as may not be heard elsewhere from mortal lips. The story of these and her sisters we must pass in reverent silence. All that may be said has been said by one of their own sex —
[from R. Alcona to J. Brenzaida (March 3, 1845), by Emily Bronte, — TeeJaw]
But when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even despair was powerless to destroy,
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.
Then did I check the tears of useless passion,
weaned my young soul from yearning after thine
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
Comrades, some of the associations of this day are not only triumphant, but joyful. Not all of those with whom we once stood shoulder to shoulder–not all of those whom we once loved and revered–are gone. On this day we still meet our companions in the freezing winter bivouacs and in those dreadful summer marches where every faculty of the soul seemed to depart one after another, leaving only a dumb animal power to set the teeth and to persist– a blind belief that somewhere and at last there was bread and water. On this day, at least, we still meet and rejoice in the closest tie which is possible between men– a tie which suffering has made indissoluble for better, for worse.
When we meet thus, when we do honor to the dead in terms that must sometimes embrace the living, we do not deceive ourselves. We attribute no special merit to a man for having served when all were serving. We know that, if the armies of our war did anything worth remembering, the credit belongs not mainly to the individuals who did it, but to average human nature. We also know very well that we cannot live in associations with the past alone, and we admit that, if we would be worthy of the past, we must find new fields for action or thought, and make for ourselves new careers.
But, nevertheless, the generation that carried on the war has been set apart by its experience. Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. While we are permitted to scorn nothing but indifference, and do not pretend to undervalue the worldly rewards of ambition, we have seen with our own eyes, beyond and above the gold fields, the snowy heights of honor, and it is for us to bear the report to those who come after us. But, above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.
Such hearts–ah me, how many!–were stilled twenty years ago; and to us who remain behind is left this day of memories. Every year–in the full tide of spring, at the height of the symphony of flowers and love and life–there comes a pause, and through the silence we hear the lonely pipe of death. Year after year lovers wandering under the apple trees and through the clover and deep grass are surprised with sudden tears as they see black veiled figures stealing through the morning to a soldier’s grave. Year after year the comrades of the dead follow, with public honor, procession and commemorative flags and funeral march–honor and grief from us who stand almost alone, and have seen the best and noblest of our generation pass away.
But grief is not the end of all. I seem to hear the funeral march become a paean. I see beyond the forest the moving banners of a hidden column. Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death–of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen , the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.
Overall violent crime is down across the U.S., according to the latest FBI stats. This is remarkable because most people think crime increases during a recession. Even if generally true it doesn’t seem to be true right now. Also, and this may surprise you, in spite of the sensational crimes that characterized the 1930s, the overall crime rate declined during the Great Depression.
A list of the ten most violent cities in American is set forth in this story at Yahoo News. I’d bet dollars to donut holes that if you make up your own list based on your expectations, you’ll be off the mark. Some of the cities on the list are not what you’d expect. The list is compiled using the FBI’s preliminary uniform crime report for 2010. While crimes rates are usually expressed as the number of crimes per 100,000 of population, this story relies on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 of population. The violent crime rates range from a high of 22 per 1,000 (Flint, Michigan) to the lowest on the list of 13.8 per 1,000 (Stockton, California). These are all astoundingly high numbers given that the national violent crime rate for 2009 was 429 per 100,000, or 4.29 per 1,000. It was a bit lower for 2010, but getting the exact number from the FBI’s preliminary report involves more calculations that a sane person has time for. Just know it is a little bit lower for 2010.
Using the customary number per 100,000 instead of per 1,000 population expresses the violent crime rates of the ten worst cities to range from a high of 2,200 to a low of 1,380. The national average violent crime rate for the entire nation in 2009 was 429 per 100,000, or 4.29 per 1,000. This shows how violent these cities are compared to the country as a whole.
The referenced report does not show the murder rate in the ten most violent cities but does show the population and the total number of murders. From these numbers one can calculate the murder rate using the following formula:
Murder rate per 100,000 = (total murders x 100,000) ÷ population
Thus the murder rate in 2010 for New Haven, Connecticut is 22 multiplied by 100,000, then divided by 124,856 = 17.62 per 100,000 population. The national average murder rate is 4.96 per 100,000 population in 2009, slightly less in 2010. In 1991 the murder rate in America was 9.8 per 100,000. There’s more than one reason for the recent declines in the overall crime rate but a huge factor is the aging of the population. The 15-29 age group is where the criminals are and the percentage number in that group has declined.
The whole story at Yahoo News is worth your time except for one part of it. The writers repeat the worn out mantra that poverty causes crime. The evidence for that is thin. It also flies in the face of decreasing crime during the current economic downturn and the overall decrease in crime during the Great Depression as America was thrown into poverty on an unprecedented level. With intelligence guided by experience we know the truth is just the opposite. Poverty does not cause crime, but crime surely does cause poverty.
Oh, one more thing. I can say for sure that 8 of the 10 cities on the list are run by liberal Democrats. [The only ones in which I can’t say for sure are Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee.]
Maybe all these cities being run by Democrats is just a coincidence. On the other hand, I don’t believe in coincidences.
Whatever kind of ride you do it will probably be considered leisurely compared to this ride in Valparaiso, Chile. This one is a little insane…¡un poco peligroso! Y tenga cuidado del perro. [A little dangerous! Watch out for the dog.]
In a nutshell, here’s what happened. Some politicians, almost all of them Democrats, decided that banks were not making enough home loans to poor people. Banks were demanding what banks have always demanded of borrowers — proof that the borrowers will have the ability to make the payments on the loan. So how to get the banks to make loans to borrowers who can’t make that showing? A judicious combination of stick and carrot. One piece of the stick involved accusations of racism, that old standby that Democrats use anytime someone is reluctant to go along with what they want. Another piece were threats of investigations by Janet Reno’s Justice Department and refusals of approval for bank mergers. The carrot became cozy relationships between regulators and the private sector banks fostered by Christopher Dodd in the Senate and Barney Frank in the House. The biggest carrot was the relationship between regulators and members of Congress and Fannie Mae and the Federal Reserve. The Fed pumped up the money supply, and Fannie Mae took over the junk paper the private sector banks were generating with sub-prime loans.
So you’re a bank and the government wants you to loan money to borrowers you know can never repay the loan. But the government says if you don’t you’ll be sorry, and besides you don’t need to worry, we have this thing called Fannie Mae that will purchase those junk loans from you and package them up into mortgage-backed securities and sell them to sucker investors.
Lots of details are left out of that, but hey I said it was a nutshell. That’s the gist of it. My nutshell explanation is contrary to the conventional wisdom which lays all of the blame on greedy Wall Street tycoons. There are greedy Wall Street tycoons, but that’s nothing new. There always have been and always will be. It must be understood, however, that like the Mafia, they cannot conduct their nefarious activities without government complicity and assistance. Just as the mere presence of organized crime in a big city tells you for sure that the local police department is corrupt, the mere happening of something like the sub-prime banking crisis tells you without the slightest doubt that there are some rotten apples in the government lending a hand in exchange for some huge payoffs from the greedy tycoons. These payoffs are not in the form of easy to trace and prove suitcases of cash; they are more likely lucrative jobs for friends and relatives, campaign contributions, and other perks that have the appearance of legitimacy making them plausibly defendable.
Now there is a book that fills in the details left out of that simple but not simplistic nutshell. Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon exposes how government regulators and members of Congress (think Democrats. Republicans and the Bush Administration were raising alarms) who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that led to the economic and banking meltdown.
John Taylor, professor of economics at Stanford University and senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, reviews the book in the Washington Post:
“In ‘Reckless Endangerment,’Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner argue that cozy connections between government and the financial industry were the primary cause of the financial crisis. In a series of clearly written narratives with many names, dates and figures, they show that government officials took actions that benefited well-connected individuals, who in turn helped the government officials. This mutual support system thwarted good economic policies and encouraged reckless ones. It thereby brought on the crisis, sending the economy into a tailspin.”
The conventional wisdom is pushed back in this book. Good thing, maybe it won’t take 75 years to correct the record as it did with the Great Depression. In that case we lived with the false notion that the New Deal saved the country from the worst of the depression and WW II finally ended it. Several decades ago the idea that the 1929 Wall Street crash caused the depression was put to rest, revealing the true cause to have been the tight money policies of the Federal Reserve, the Hoover Administration’s tax increases, the Smoot-Hawley tariff, and the collapse of foreign trade that resulted as other countries adopted retaliatory tariffs of their own. But only now are economists beginning to understand that the New Deal made the depression much worse than it would otherwise have been, in fact turned what would have been a recession into a depression. And WW II ended the depression only in the sense that it stopped the New Deal.
You think that’s a radical statement? No, it’s not. Here is the definitive proof:
That’s right. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is spending $500 million of your money to teach 5-year olds to “sit still” in a kindergarten classroom.
“You really need to look at the range of issues, because if a 5-year-old can’t sit still, it is unlikely that they can do well in a kindergarten class, and it has to be the whole range of issues that go into healthy child development,” Sebelius said during a telephone news conference.
$500 Million. Down a rat hole. To do the impossible. Get a 5-year old to sit still. That is, without the slightest doubt…Stupid. No other word for it. Just STUPID.
Here is what Rob Long says about this:
And that’s really the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives, right? Liberals think that if they spend enough money, or fine tune the right social program, they can teach five year-olds how to sit still. And conservatives know that no amount of money or social engineering or child counseling will ever be able to make a five year-old sit still.
Yeah, we conservatives know something liberals are too stupid to comprehend. Reality is not optional. It trumps wishful thinking every time.
UPDATE: Liberals only make themselves look stupid. Actually, the $500 Million to be spent here will mostly go to fund make-work jobs for Democrat party hacks and to recycle money from taxpayers into the campaign coffers of Democrat politicians. Every thing that looks this dumb is likely to be a disguised money laundering scheme to create a slush fund for Democrats, at taxpayer expense. The liberals that vote for these sorts of politicians are the real stupid ones.
Envy of what others have created, manifested as an “entitlement attitude” has to be the most destructive force on earth. It not only destroys what others have created but also the hopes and dreams of those who covet what they have not produced. They who insist that others pay for their stuff by providing them with “affordable housing” or “benefits” in the form of endless unemployment checks, food stamps, and welfare without end, destroy their own happiness in the process. A mooch unwittingly denies himself the satisfaction of personal achievement, without which he cannot flourish.
People who have made a success of their lives are the most generous. They are willing to help others in need, in fact gain personal gratification from doing it. When its voluntary it helps both parties to the transaction. When it’s forced by the government it wreaks havoc on both and wrecks the social bonds that would otherwise exist. Walter E. Williams says, “While it is admirable to reach into one’s own pocket to help someone in need, it is despicable to reach into someone’s else’s pocket to help a needy person, and deserves condemnation.”
Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less, end even hug their children more than liberals
A little know book by Alexis de Tocqueville, written in 1845, explains how private charity helps those in need without destroying their personal ethics or tearing down the world others have created.
Ronald Reagan said, “So there be no misunderstanding. I don’t intend to get rid of government, only to make it work for the people. To make it a government that stands by our side, and not riding on our backs.”
Washington is now in the hands of people who prefer riding on our backs to standing by our side. I hope you first watch the 2-minute video below, then take a look at Boomtown USA.
Doing nothing, as Democrats, RINOS and the media seem to prefer, is not an option. Medicare will blow up their faces because it’s going broke faster than they thought. Were they actually thinking or was it just hope and no change?
The Democrats intend to base their 2012 campaign on Medicare demagoguery, also known as “mediscare.” See Storm Brewing On Medicare.
When the letter from the Dean of the University of Denver College of Law arrived in 1973 informing me that I’d been accepted to law school, I was ecstatic. The letter began, “Welcome to the Denver legal community.” I sensed that my life was about to change to something entirely new, that I was being given an opportunity to become a member of a profession dedicated to something I deeply believed in — that all people are created equal with the God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rights that are inherent in all human beings and guaranteed by the Rule of Law. The legal profession, I thought, was the watchdog and the guarantor of the Rule of Law, that thing which any decent society must have for liberty to exist.
Youthful naivete and idealism will always give way to time and experience. With a few years of law practice under my belt I faced the reality that activist judges don’t really care about the Rule of Law because if they did it would prevent them from making up new rules by personal whim. The Rule of Law embodies the principle that everyone stands equal before the law. It means that you cannot park next to a No Parking sign even if you have friends on the City Council. Perhaps the most important principle of the Rule of Law is that government, whether by politicians or judges, cannot make up new rules to punish its enemies and reward its cronies. Government must follow due process of law and new legislation must be enacted by the people’s representatives in elected legislatures.
Because The Rule of Law imposes restraints some judges and ensconced bureaucrats view it is not as something to be revered but as a hinderance they must find a way around.
Even in my youthful exuberance I never trusted politicians. I always new that for the most part few politicians care a whit for any such thing as a rule of law. Before Obama I didn’t view that as a threat to liberty because the legal profession, or at least the judicial branch of it, was there to right the wrongs, curb the political excesses and slap down the political miscreants who crossed the line. Obama changes all that. The terrible knowledge that the entrusted watchdogs have joined with Obama to use their position for assistance to a gangster government rather than to uphold the law, is a game changer.
“Gangster government,” is a term first coined by Michael Barone in a May, 2009 Washington Examiner column,after Obama engineered the Chrysler bailout which cheated bondholders out of their investment in order to reward the Untied Auto Workers Union. Mr. Barone detailed the transaction that screwed bondholders and concluded this way: “We have just seen an episode of Gangster Government. It is likely to be part of a continuing series.”
Barone’s prediction was right on the mark. He has detailed the continuing series is subsequent articles in the Washington Examiner, all collected here.
The latest, Obama Skirts Rule of Law to Reward Pals, Punish Foes, concerns Obama’s granting of waivers, through his lackey Kathleen Sibelius, from enforcement of the provisions of Obamacare. Mr. Barone concludes this way:
In a Univision radio interview during the 2010 election cycle, Barack Obama urged Latinos not “to sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.’ “
Punishing enemies and rewarding friends — politics Chicago style — seems to be the unifying principle that helps explain the Obamacare waivers, the NLRB action against Boeing and the IRS’ gift-tax assault on 501(c)(4) donors.
They look like examples of crony capitalism, bailout favoritism and gangster government.
One thing they don’t look like is the rule of law.
David Freddoso borrows the term gangster government for the title of his excellent new book detailing episode after episode of Obama’s habit of using his presidency to reward friends and punish enemies. In the foreword of this book Michael Barone stated two reasons why he predicted at the end of his May, 2009 column that gangster government would become a continuing series. The first is the unprecedented appetite for crony capitalism in the Obama administration. The second reason, Barone writes:
…that this administration seems unusually inclined toward gangster government is the philosophy of its leader. When asked what he looked for when choosing a nominee for the Supreme Court, Barack Obama said he wanted “someone who understands justice is not just about some abstract legal theory, “ but someone who has “empathy.” In other works, judges should decide cases so that the right people win, not according to the rule of law.
We now have Chicago style politics firmly enstablished in the White House. We can only hope that in 2012 the American people will say they don’t want another four years of it.
46 minutes but well worth your time. A true statesmen who knows what he believes and believes what he knows speaks eloquently.
The dark side of the stimulus…well, that’s a funny thing to say. There was never any side of the stimulus that was not dark. Some may believe the Stimulus was feckless but benign. It wasn’t. It did actual harm by destroying job creation. See this post at Powerline showing how job creation 22 months after the official end of the recession is the lowest in history. The graph constructed there from U.S. Labor statistics shows that new job creation and stimulus spending were inversely related.
Now we find out from the Government Accountability Office that many companies that received Stimulus money were tax cheats, owing millions in unpaid taxes. Did they use Stimulus money to pay their taxes? Well, money is fungible so if they paid their taxes after receiving money from the Government it is no different than having the Government forgive their delinquent tax liability. Good work if you can get it, and it appears many did. No doubt some just took the money and still didn’t pay their taxes. Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the investigations subcommittee that will be holding hearings, said it’s been known for years that a few federal contractors and grantees don’t pay their taxes. So, the Government gave them Stimulus money anyway? Yeah, and apparently it was not just a “few.”
Quoting from the GAO report the Associated Press states:
Thousands of companies that cashed in on President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package owed the government millions in unpaid taxes, congressional investigators have found.
The Government Accountability Office, in a report being released Tuesday, said at least 3,700 government contractors and nonprofit organizations that received more than $24 billion from the stimulus effort owed $757 million in back taxes as of Sept. 30, 2009, the end of the budget year.
The report said the tax delinquents accounted for nearly 6 percent of the 63,000 contractors and grantees examined and cautioned that the real number might be higher because the known tax debt does not measure such factors as income underreporting.
Some of the corporations receiving Stimulus money are said to have owed unpaid payroll taxes for past years. If so, it’s a mystery they were still in business. There is no worse company killer than when managers fail to turn over to the IRS money withheld from employee paychecks. Any lawyer and most accountants will advise a client to pay that first, before any other creditor. The IRS saves its strong horse for collection of those taxes.
Stimulus, porkulus, job destruction, crony capitalism, Keynesian crapola — it’s the kind of mess Government uniquely creates.
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled recently that citizens do not have the right to resist unlawful entry into their homes by police, contrary to the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution, and even the Magna Carta (1215). See Reconciling The Irreconcilable in Indiana.
Today there is good news — The Indiana Attorney General wants the court to reconsider that ruling. He agrees with the other side — the ruling went far beyond anything that was asked for in the case.
Do judges consider themselves part of the citizenry of the country? Some of them seem to think they are in a special class apart from everyone else so they will never have to personally experience the consequences of their rulings.
Part I here.
Home burglaries are the major source of guns for criminals, according to Florida State University professor Gary Kleck writing in the Wall Street Journal today. Burglaries net thieves 400,000 to 600,000 guns per year. The media, the ATF, and liberal politicians want us to believe that people buy large volumes of guns from licensed gun dealers in states with “lax gun laws” (i.e., states that uphold liberty, personal dignity, the right of self defense, and the United States Constitution) and re-sell them in tough gun law states at a huge markup. Kleck says that’s a myth. Less than 1% of guns in the hands of criminals are obtained from high-volume traffickers (250 guns or more) and these traffickers don’t buy guns from gun stores. The typical trafficker deals in less than a dozen guns at a time. Unless they have the connections to conduct illegal importation of guns from outside the U.S. (and why would any criminal do that with all the money to be made in illegal drugs?), traffickers stock their inventories by buying guns one at a time from burglars who steal them one at a time.
Kleck and his colleague Kevin Wang gathered data and reached their conclusions by examining federal crime data and the findings of law enforcement authorities.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that strategies aimed at reducing gun trafficking are unlikely to have any measurable effect on gun violence in the U.S. or Mexico. Criminals have plenty of other ways to get guns.
One thing that might reduce guns in the hands of criminals would be to persuade gun owners who don’t already own a gun safe to buy one. Some who need a gun for personal protection can barely afford the gun so asking them to buy a gun safe is not a realistic option. Their gun is probably “on duty” as a defense tool most of the time anyway. It’s also a fact that criminal ingenuity means that whenever one source is foreclosed a new source is going to be found.
It’s not mentioned by Kleck, but another way criminals get guns, aside from residential burglaries, is that every year law enforcement agencies manage to lose a lot of guns that are never recovered. Many or most of these will inevitably end up in the hands of criminals. See Part I above.
Reading all of Kleck’s article is well worth your while.
UPDATE: The blatant lie that Mexican drug lords are getting their guns from licensed gun stores in the United States lives on because a lie can be half way around the world before the truth can get its pants on in the morning. See, Dear Bono, Get Your Facts Straight.
Slate calls it “Extraordinary Hypocrisy” yesterday when Republicans finally played tit-for-tat with Democrats and filibustered one of Obama’s judicial nominees. It’s more accurately said to be “about time” Republicans found a little backbone. Slate’s charge of hypocrisy is nonsense. The bully on the playground always cries for his mama when given a dose of his own medicine.
The blocked nominee is Berkley law professor Goodwin Liu, nominated by Obama to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The vote to end the filibuster was 52-43, falling short of the necessary 60 to end the filibuster. All Republicans except Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against Liu and all Democrats except Ben Nelson of Nebraska for Liu. Nelson is facing a tough re-election next year after angering his cornhusker constituents with his Christmas Eve 2009 vote for Obamacare. Murkowski shows herself as a solid liberal with this vote and no where near the conservative she claims to be. Goodwin Liu is likely the most left-wing judicial nominee Obama has sent up yet, so much so that even Snowe and Collins of Maine voted against him. Liu’s many radical positions have been well documented. He has no experience as a judge and has never practiced law. Liu would reinforce on the 9th Circuit an already disgusting use of politically-correct psychobabble designed to hide judicial activism. The “living Constitution” is even now the dominant view on a court that holds the honor of having more of its decisions overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court than any other court in the Federal system.
This is the first time Republicans have ever blocked a judicial nominee by filibuster. No less than ten (10) of George Bush’s nominees were blocked by Democrat filibusters. In another one of his very excellent columns in The Washington Examiner Byron York says, “Once Democrats crossed the line to filibuster those Bush nominees, you could bet Republicans would strike back. And now they have.” I’d say it was never a sure bet the Republicans would respond in kind given their past history of timidness and lack of conviction. It’s damned refreshing they did it right this time. Now if they’ll just keep it up.
This story says Target is actually cheaper on most items than Walmart. Especially with the 5% discount you get on everything you buy with your Target Red Card.
I say they’re wrong. “Tar-zhay” will never be cheaper than Walmart because the two companies have completely different business plans. Walmart’s is simple and straight forward — low prices every day. Tar-zhay’s is sneaky and complex. It will beat Walmart’s prices only on items in its weekly sale flyer. Smart Tar-zhay shoppers have known for years that you should watch for great deals in that weekend flyer but never buy anything else because it will be too expensive. The business plan is to lure you into the store with great deals on sale items in hopes you’ll buy more pricey stuff on which the store enjoys a large markup. They’re gambling that the great deal they gave you on the sale item will lower your resistance to the higher price on the non-sale item. It’s not bait and switch, it’s just bait. It’s not loss leader either, the price on the sale item isn’t that low.
The 5% discount for using their Red Card could be a new twist in the business plan which I haven’t figured out yet, but I suspect that it’s a variation on the old one. If you shop Tar-zhay because of the Red Card that may also make you less price conscious and lure you into buying items that are more costly than Walmart even after the discount.
Mrs. TeeJaw sees a flaw in my reasoning. Compared to Walmart, Tar-zhay is fashionable, snazzy, stylish, spiffy and chic, she says.