The Lies of Las Vegas

One would think that Journalists either haven’t been introduced to the concept of Google, or are willfully and maliciously proffering lies in the service of an agenda. People’s exhibit A, MSNBC’s Steve Schmidt:

On Friday night, the panel on HBO’s Real Time discussed gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.
MSNBC political analyst Steve Schmidt told Bill Maher that the Founding Fathers “could no more conceive the idea of an AK-47” when writing the Second Amendment than they “could’ve conceived a spaceship.”
“These weapons were not conceived of, were not understood, were not imagined in the context of the time when the amendment was authored,” Schmidt elaborated, “and we ought to have a real debate in this country about whether we want military weapons… weapons of war in the hand of every Joe who wants to go in and buy 30 of them.”
He then declared that it is “harder to buy cough medicine than it is to buy an AK-47 or 50 of them.”
Mediaite

Well now…it doesn’t take much to conclude that Schmidt has no idea what he’s talking about. Leaving aside the multi-shot projectile weaponry of the early Chinese and Italians [to just name the heavies], and focusing on rifles or man-portable ‘rapid fire’ firearms…we have some distinct examples of Schmidt’s perfidy:

“could no more conceive the idea of an AK-47”

The Ribauldequin
The ribauldequin was the earliest attempt at a volley gun. Also known as an “infernal machine” or an “organ gun” (because its barrels resembled the pipes of a church organ), ribauldequins were made up of many small caliber cannons laid side by side on a flat platform. When the gun was fired, it would spread a volley of cannon shot across the battlefield, chewing up everything in its path. The ribauldequin made its battlefield debut with the armies of Edward the III of England during the Hundred Years War. This first model, which appeared in 1339, featured 12 barrels. In subsequent decades, other versions of the ribauldequin with more barrels were used by medieval armies in Italy as well as in the War of the Roses.

The Puckle Gun
The Puckle gun was invented by a London based lawyer named James Puckle, who had an interest in firearm design. He received a patent for his design in 1718. This was a flintlock firearm fitted with a multishot cylinder, much like a revolver. The cylinders were designed to hold 11 shots at a time. Unlike revolvers, there was a manual crank attached to the back to bring each chamber of the cylinder to the firing position. It was mounted on a tripod and the barrel was about 3 feet (0.91 meters) long. The caliber of this weapon was 1.25 inches (32 mm.). Typical of the era, the firearm came with bullet molds to cast bullets for it.

The Girandoni Air Rifle
The Girardoni air rifle was in service with the Austrian army from 1780 to around 1815. The advantages of a high rate of fire, no smoke from propellants, and low muzzle report granted it initial acceptance, but it was eventually removed from service for several reasons. While the detachable air reservoir was capable of around 30 shots it took nearly 1,500 strokes of a hand pump to fill those reservoirs. Later, a wagon-mounted pump was provided. The reservoirs, made from hammered sheet iron held together with rivets and sealed by brazing, proved very difficult to manufacture using the techniques of the period and were always in short supply.
In addition, the weapon was very delicate and a small break in the reservoir could make it inoperable. Finally, it was very different from any other weapon of the time and any soldier using it needed to be highly trained.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition used the rifle in the demonstrations that they performed for nearly every Native American tribe they encountered on the expedition.

The Ferguson Rifle
The Ferguson rifle was one of the first breech-loading rifles to be put into service by the British military. It fired a standard British carbine ball of .615″ calibre and was used by the British Army in the American War of Independence at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, and possibly at the Siege of Charleston in 1780.[1]
Its superior firepower was unappreciated at the time because it was too expensive and took longer to produce – the four gunsmiths making Ferguson’s Ordnance Rifle could not make 100 in 6 months at four times the cost per arm of a musket.

Nock Gun
While more of a volley weapon than a machine gun, Britain’s Royal Navy hoped the multi-barreled Nock gun would be a serious force multiplier in ship-to-ship boarding actions. The weapon featured seven rifled barrels, each with a tiny vent that led to the priming pan. The barrels would be loaded with standard paper musket cartridges. When the main charge was ignited, sparks would shoot through the vents and set off each of the cartridges at almost the same instant. Developers imagined the Nock would be particularly deadly when used against groups of tightly packed enemy sailors on the deck of a warship.

The Founding Fathers were nothing if not intellectually curious and well-read in regards to philosophy, religion, politic, agriculture, animal husbandry, military affairs…….and scientific inventions. The Founders knew well of the weaponry illustrated above.
Now that his first canard has disabused, let’s move on to the next:

“weapons of war in the hand of every Joe who wants to go in and buy 30 of them.”

Well now…..”weapons of war” Sounds scary doesn’t it kids? Let’s use some intellect and consider what type of weaponry was not designed, intended or and utilized as a “weapon of war”? Grandpappies bolt action rifle? Yep…“weapon of war”. The shotgun over the fireplace mantle? Yep….“weapon of war”. The pistol or revolver you’ve been eyeing at the local gun counter? Good guess!.…“weapon of war”. Do we really need to go on?

And finally,

“harder to buy cough medicine than it is to buy an AK-47 or 50 of them.”

It must either be blissful or maddening to live with this level of stupid. I’ve purchased Sudafed recently, and was required to hand over my driver’s license while the Pharmacist ran my name and address against a database. Done. Walked out pills in hand. To purchase a firearm, one must fill out an ATF Form 4473.
For the uninitiated:

 
A Firearms Transaction Record, or Form 4473, is a form promulgated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in the United States Department of Justice that is filled out when a person purchases a firearm from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder (such as a gun shop).

 
The Form 4473 contains name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, and a short affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. It contains make, model, or serial number on page three of the six page form. Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison in addition to fines, even if the transaction is simply denied by the NICS. Prosecutions are rare in the absence of another felony committed with the gun purchased. Of 556,496 denied transactions between FY 2008 and FY 2015, federal prosecutors prosecuted an average of under 32 cases per year, including 24 in FY 2013, 15 in FY 2014 and 20 in FY 2015.

 
The dealer also records all information from the Form 4473 into a required “bound-book” called an “Acquisition and Disposition Log.[5] A dealer must keep this on file at least 20 years, and is required to surrender the log to the ATF upon retirement from the firearms business. The ATF is allowed to inspect, as well as request a copy of, the Form 4473 from the dealer during the course of a criminal investigation. In addition, the sale of two or more handguns to a person in a five-day period must be reported to ATF on Form 3310.4. – Wiki

 
Of course, we who own and purchases firearms, know well that the “instant” in National Instant Criminal Background Check System is anything but. And sadly, his kindergarten commentary avoids the salient question in his last lie…..why do we allow the State to burden the Citizen in buying Sudafed?

 

Some final factoids regarding the gun control cults tenuous grasp of truth:
If, as they proffer, the 2A had never been interpreted to protect the Citizens right to Keep and Bear Arms, until the Heller decision….why was the first unified effort at gun control not until 1934?
It’s not just media sock puppets who blatantly lie either:
In 2005, Congress passed the deceptively named Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act or PLCAA to provide unique immunity to gun sellers and manufacturers. Unlike virtually every other manufacturer of consumer products, this law means the gun industry cannot be sued by consumers who are harmed by their products. – Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT

 

*Apologies for the weird line spacing. Not sure what’s causing it.

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Is Trump ultimately harming Christianity?

Conservative Christian Rod Dreher [who’s written extensively about the “Benedict Option”] opines in the NYT:

Is there anything Donald Trump can do to alienate evangelicals and other conservative Christians who support him? By now, it’s hard to think of what that might be. These are people who would never let men with the morals and the mouths of Mr. Trump and Mr. Scaramucci date their own daughters. And yet, Team Trump has no more slavishly loyal constituency.

This is not only wrong, but tragically so. The most pressing problem Christianity faces is not in politics. It’s in parishes. It’s with the pastors. Most of all, it’s among an increasingly faithless people.

The truth is, Christianity is declining in the United States. As a theologically conservative believer, I take no pleasure in saying that. In fact, the waning of Christianity will be not only a catastrophe for the church but also a calamity for civil society in ways secular Americans do not appreciate.

Is Dreher correct? Though Trump garnered Evangelical support, does his Administration bode well for Christian dominion [no pun intended] over the religious landscape of America?

 

 

On Charlie Gard

This is what happens when we allow the CITIZEN to be related to a caste lower than the State. I have almost no words for how tyrannical this is.

I had to get my thoughts together to try and figure out the best way to write about this tragic little boy, who was sentenced to die by the European Court of Human rights. The court ruled that Charlie, who was born with a rare genetic condition called infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, will be allowed to “die with dignity” regardless of the wishes of his parents, who wanted to take him to the United States for one last attempt to save him with a highly experimental therapy.

His care, their trip over to the United States, and the experimental therapy would have cost British taxpayers nothing. So why did this court assert its authority over this family?

There’s a larger issue here than Charlie’s life. It’s about parental rights. It’s about a group of black-robed jerks wielding their authority over parents. It’s about a court preventing parents from doing everything possible to save their child.

Let’s put the issue of the sanctity of life aside for a moment. Let’s set aside the court’s lack of respect for the life of a little boy. Let’s put aside the fact that this court literally decided to force these parents to stand by and do nothing while their child is killed.

What bothers me is this court’s “authority” to sentence this child to die despite the wishes of his parents.

What bothers me is the hospital’s claim that it somehow has the authority to prevent Charlie’s parents from taking him not just to the United States for one last shot at life, but home to die.

How can a hospital claim that right, and how can a court that claims to be a court of justice affirm it?

This decision literally have the state greater authority over the life of a child than his parents.

This decision took away the right of Chris Gard and Connie Yates to act in their son’s best interest and to fight for his life.

Source: On Charlie Gard

Please read the rest at The Liberty Zone……

Updated – Peeling back the Trump-Russia Onion

A long read, posted at Just Security……but worth it, to get at the multiple ties and circumstances of Trump financial dealings with Russian entities. Ties that must be taken into consideration given the House, Senate and FBI investigations of potential Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

While names like Carter Page, Roger Stone and Michael Flynn dominate headlines amidst allegations of possible collusion with Russia, there’s another angle to Donald Trump’s connections to the former Soviet Union that’s only beginning to receive the attention it deserves. This is the series of murky financial dealings that often make little business sense. Taken on their own, many of these transactions appear perfectly legal. Viewed together, they show patterns suspicious enough that they should qualify for investigation under U.S. laws aimed at combatting money laundering, tax evasion, and other hard to track financial misdeeds. One particularly good example of this pattern involves Trump’s billionaire Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, and his former role as vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus. His case is just one piece of the puzzle that may be reflective of other dealings that warrant much closer scrutiny.

Read the rest here: https://www.justsecurity.org/39409/money-russia-cyprus-trump-teams-odd-business-dealings/

Another article speaking to the same set of issues, at War is Boring: https://warisboring.com/trump-aides-and-russian-mobsters-pulled-strings-in-putins-massive-ukraine-gas-scheme-2ec3e6cef803

Before Donald Trump was president or a candidate, and when he was hurting for investors as Wall Street had all but shut down loaning operations to him, his businesses established extensive ties to Russian oligarchs, including some allegedly affiliated with organized crime.

At the same time, associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian government and future associates of Trump — most notably Paul Manafort, his future campaign chairman — were allegedly involved in a massive Eurasian natural gas and money laundering scheme worth billions of dollars, and part of Putin’s grand plan to control Ukraine.

At best, Trump may have had no knowledge of this scheme and these ties, but even this scenario highlights serious deficiencies in Trump’s judgment in terms of who he did business and politics with — and it is of urgent interest to the American people as Trump manages the nation as president.

 

Kellyanne whines….

Trump surrogate/advisor took to the Sunday talk show circuit and ironically called for her bosses dismissal……she just did’t realize it.

“Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go,” Conway said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I’m too polite to mention their names, but they know who they are, and they are all wondering who will be the first to go. The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go.”

She added that the networks should be “cleaning house,” firing “these people who said things that just weren’t true.”

So……lying should get one fired, right? I’ll welcome President Pence then.

Creepy Patriotism

From Reason:

Politicians have no business directing or defining patriotism, especially when their rhetoric sounds like 1950s-era Soviet sloganeering.

It was creepy when former President Barack Obama declared his first Inauguration Day as “National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation” and called upon us to find “common purpose of remaking this nation for our new century.” And it’s creepy when President Donald Trump declares his Inauguration Day as “National Day of Patriotic Devotion,” one in which “a new national pride stirs the American soul and inspires the American heart.”

This kind of self-aggrandizement is what you see under cults of personality, not American republicanism. Far be it from me to lecture anyone on how to love their country, but if your devotion to America is contingent upon the party or the person in office, you’re probably not doing it quite like the Founding Fathers envisioned. It’s bad enough that these inaugurations are treated as coronations. It can’t be patriotic to treat politicians like quasi-religious figures. Moreover, this kind of devotional ties patriotism—either implicitly or in some cases rather explicitly—to a preferred set of policy initiatives or a political office.

Each major party treats it candidate/nominee like a combination of pop star/life coach/spiritual mentor. I don’t get it. POTUS gets interviewed [in an excruciatingly long and costly process] to be hired to manage the nation, in the People’s name. Why do we pledge such salivating fealty to a man [or woman]….who is in almost every case….nothing more than a facade of the ideals they espouse during their campaign?

Now, to be fair…Trump probably breaks this mold….being every bit as petulant in office as was a candidate….though there have been some marked improvements in policy since his inauguration, so far.

This cult of personality wouldn’t be quite as creepy, were it not for the rank hypocrisy exhibited by their supporters and surrogates when one Administration switches to another.

Is it that difficult to be better than this???

 

 

Our National Honor

It’s no surprise to any who know me, that I don’t care for Trump’s character, demeanor or rhetoric….and I don’t hold much hope for the sanctity of our Constitution, given Trump’s very own narrative and apparent ignorance of our civil liberties.

That said, I hope his assembled team can keep him blissfully distracted with trite and meaningless trivia…allowing Pence and the other adults the latitude to manage the nations affairs as they should be.

On this Inauguration Day, I’m reminded [thanks to War on the Rocks] of James Monroe’s inauguration speech, where he eloquently states: We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties. A people who fail to do it can scarcely be said to hold a place among independent nations. National honor is national property of the highest value. The sentiment in the mind of every citizen is national strength. It ought therefore to be cherished.

My Leftist Governor unintentionally supports the 2A

From Reason Magazine:

Four months later, the governor grandly announced that he was restoring the voting rights of 206,000 felons. Republican heads exploded, and the ensuing debate eventually had to be settled by the Virginia Supreme Court, which struck down McAuliffe’s order, requiring him to continue making restorations on a case-by-case basis.

In the meantime, though, a question arose: What about gun rights? Although McAuliffe’s order stipulated that “nothing in this Order restores the right to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms,” the governor’s order made it much easier for a felon to get his gun rights back. Formerly, an offender first had to petition for restoration of his civil rights, and once they were restored, go to court to retrieve his gun rights. McAuliffe’s order eliminated the first step.

That was purely unintentional. “My actions were about giving you the right to vote, to serve on a jury and run for political office,” McAuliffe admitted. “My action, I didn’t think it had anything to do with gun rights. I stayed away from that.”

Since the Supreme Court decision, the governor has continued to restore felons’ rights on an individual basis; he’s up to 140,000 now. And lawmakers are introducing bills to make the process automatic. Along similar lines, Republican Del. Greg Habeeb has introduced a measure to automatically restore gun rights to nonviolent felons.

Anybody who supports restoring voting rights will be hard-pressed to produce a persuasive argument against Habeeb’s bill. Both voting and gun ownership are constitutionally protected, fundamental rights. The rationales that support restoring voting rights (e.g., the offender has paid his debt in full, African-Americans are disproportionately affected, the restriction has a sordid racial history, and so forth) apply with equal force to restoring gun rights.

Politicians of all stripes appear to have a deficit in foreseeing 2nd and 3rd order effects of their legislation. This time at least, the deficit is in favor of the Citizen.

Self Congratulatory, Political Masturbation

The interwebz are awash in virtual high-fives, chest bumps and back-slapping on the right…..and bemoaning, wailing and confused sobbing on the left.

While the bedwetting Statists who placed their hopes and dreams in Hillary are protesting, threatening to march and wearing safety pins [to hold up their diapers?]…….Republicans are trafficking the usual internet memes and lists…that purportedly detail the myriad of reasons that Conservatism triumphed over Statism.

Except.

Much of these ill-conceived lists don’t point to Conservative values at all, or aren’t a solely a hallmark of Liberalism whatsoever, or just don’t make any damn sense.

One of Trump’s first policy remarks since winning the Electoral vote last Tuesday,  referred to keeping much of the ACA [“Obamacare”], rather than repealing it, as he promised. Regardless of what the Roberts court surmised….there is no enumerated power in the Constitution, allowing the Federal government to administer a mandated, national healthcare program, with fees and fines. None.

The post-election rhetoric that most people engage in, serves to assuage their ego’s, or console their emotional state…..but it’s theater. It’s a shame we’re no better than that. This is why we neither still have a Republic [in practice]…..nor do we deserve one.

Irony at the DNC

The most prolific nanny-stater on the Left utters the following incredulous words at the Democratic national Circus”

“We can only solve our biggest problems if we come together and embrace the freedoms that our Founding Fathers established right here in Philadelphia,” – Michael Bloomberg