Monthly Archives: May 2010

This just in: trying to penetrate a military blockade may get you killed

Activists: You two are big and mean and the poor Gazans are suffering! We’re going to sail in!

Israel and Egypt: Um, you know there’s a blockade here, right?

Activists: We don’t care, you oppressive imperialist warmongers!

Israel and Egypt: Um, you realize that if you try to circumvent a military blockade, then we can take action against you, right?

Activists: Just you try, Fascist pigs! We’re coming in!

Egypt: You wanna take ’em, or should I?

Israel: I got this one.

Activists: OMG why are you attacking us?

Israel: Um, because you’re illegally trying to circumvent our blockade?

Where’s the beef? Some civilian vessels get intercepted while trying to run a military blockade and loss of life results. How can anyone possibly be surprised by this? What did they think was going to happen when they sailed their passenger ships towards a location blockaded by the military forces of two powerful nations? Tea and crumpets? A stern reprimand? Time out?


In Soviet Russia, president snipes YOU!

Oh wait, he really does:

tmp dropzone 0050 big tm tfb Sniping in a suit photo.jpeg


Yearning for a superhero

I read a Huffington Post editorial about Obama and the oil spill today imploring him to do something, anything, to be more a part of the cleanup process. It’s full of choice nuggets:

There’s not necessarily anything Obama can do that BP isn’t doing already. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other compelling steps he could announce


Obama should still try to seize the moment to rally public support


Granted, none of the experts interviewed by the Huffington Post were able to come up with satisfactory solutions to the basic problem that don’t involve time machines.

If none of the experts could come up with better solutions, why are they demanding Obama throw himself into the breech? Does he have special knowledge they lack? No, and the writer even admits as such. What they’re really calling on him to do is make noise. Appear relevant. Capture the moment to deliver speeches. Lecture the parties involved. Announce new laws. Have an opinion. Appear to be helping. Anything!

But none of this is actually leadership. Real, actual leadership is when you take control and ownership of a crisis and publicly steer it back to calmer waters — the one thing Obama can’t do since his administration has no competence in plugging oil wells! Merely making noise about the situation and inserting himself into the recovery process wouldn’t make him seem like a leader, it would smack of being an attention whore.

I’m reminded by an editorial written by Peggy Noonan five years ago that feels if anything even more relevant today then it was at the time:

I refer to the sheer scope, speed and urgency of the issues that go to a president’s desk, to the impossibility of bureaucracy, to the array of impeding and antagonistic forces (the 50-50 nation, the mass media, the senators owned by the groups), to the need to have a fully informed understanding of and stand on the most exotic issues, from Avian flu to the domestic realities of Zimbabwe.


The range, depth, and complexity of these problems, the crucial nature of each of them, the speed with which they bombard the Oval Office, and the psychic and practical impossibility of meeting and answering even the most urgent of them, is overwhelming. And that doesn’t even get us to Korea. And Russia. And China, and the Mideast. You say we don’t understand Africa? We don’t even understand Canada!


It’s beyond, “The president is overwhelmed.” The presidency is overwhelmed. The whole government is. And people sense when an institution is overwhelmed. Citizens know. If we had a major terrorist event tomorrow half the country–more than half–would not trust the federal government to do what it has to do, would not trust it to tell the truth, would not trust it, period.


Why do we demand so much from our president? He’s just a man. We become so bedazzled by stars, celebrities, and larger-than-life action heroes that I think we have a tendency to include the presidency with the aforementioned. As much as we would like it to happen, he’s not going to swoop in and save the day.

News flash

it turns out that if you’re a state government, when you raise taxes, clamp down on personal freedom, over-regulate business, amass a frightening amount of debt, and have to release prisoners early, your citizens flee to better states.

Economy and Finance.gif

Who’da thunk it?

Make sure to have your chiropractor on speed dial, though

Another drool-worthy set of shots by Oleg Volk. Here’s one:


It’s a Saiga-12 semi-automatic shotgun with a drum magazine. Droooooool.

But I thought liberals liked habeas corpus

D.C. Circuit Court upholds Obama’s policy of no habeas corpus rights at Bagram air base, which was the Bush policy too.

Hope! Change! Hope! Change!

BradyWatch: culture and circumstances don’t matter; guns are the cause of all problems in the world, really!

I just don’t get it. The Brady Campaign’s Dennis Henigan is once again beating the assault weapons ban drum following the whole Mexican gun canard coming up again. Unlike Paul Helmke, though, I get the sense that Henigan is a more measured, rational man, and I sense great intelligence in his posts. So why can’t he tell that the assault weapons ban is a sham? And wasn’t he listening when these very same claims were debunked last year?

I mean, a ten year-old would be able to figure it out; the issues involved are actually really simple and straightforward. People talk about these “high-powered, high-caliber” guns and imply that they are especially suitable for long-range murder or indiscriminate slaughter, and are more akin to machine guns than hunting rifles.

I’ve gone over these claims before, but I’ll do it again because I’m a firm believer in the power of knowledge and education to banish falsehood and fear. Anyway, there are a number of problems with these specious arguments, because the assault weapons ban…

  1. …did not mention caliber and thus did not ban the most powerful weapons, such as those used for hunting.
  2. …did not mention scopes or sights and thus did not ban the guns with the capability for long-range precision shooting, such as those used for hunting.
  3. …banned guns based on cosmetic and ergonomic features, not their internal mechanisms or how rapidly they can fire. A semiautomatic weapon with a pistol grip and a flash hider would be illegal and banned, while the same gun without those features would be just fine.
  4. …did not mention machine guns at all and thus had no effect on their legal status.

This video illustrates just how simple the issue really is:

You can see pretty clearly that guns branded “assault weapons” receive that moniker because of their menacing appearance, not any actual difference in operational characteristics.

And then there’s one final ridiculous claim:

President Calderon told Congress that Mexico has seized 75,000 assault weapons and other guns and over 80% of those traced originated with American gun shops. He said the escalation in Mexican drug violence “coincides with the lifting of the assault weapons ban in 2004,”

You’ll notice he says “80% of those traced” and not “80% of all guns recovered”. The truth is that only a fraction of guns were ever submitted to the ATF for tracing at all, because most were obviously not from the U.S; when Mexican police confiscate a gun with Mexican markings or Spanish written on it, or a fully-automatic assault rifle that’s the standard armament of the Mexican military, there’s no need to ask the ATF where it came from because the answer is totally obvious.

Is Henigan really trying to convince us that an upward tick in drug gang violence in Mexico is because of the ability of Americans to legally put pistol grips and flash hiders on their semiautomatic rifles at the same time? Might it instead be due to powerful cultural and legal issues in Mexico relating to corruption, poverty, and diplomatic pressure, or Philippe Calderon trying to prove his muscle after a contested election by escalating the battle against drug trafficking? Nah. It has to be guns. Booga booga!