In Other News . . .

By , January 22, 2013 12:28 pm

My hometown will be sending its trash to my Mom and Dad’s hometown at a savings of $12.00 per ton–I think. The stories are far from clear. What is clear is that Cody is not happy. Oh well.

What Happens in Las Vegas May Stay in Las Vegas . . .

By , January 21, 2013 5:26 pm

But if it happens elsewhere in the United States, expect it to make the front pages worldwide.

Barack Obama and Manti Te’o share the front page of Brazil’s



As Inauguration Speeches Go, That Was a Pretty Good State of the Union Speech

By , January 21, 2013 1:46 pm

Here’s the last good one, delivered by another guy from Illinois:

Note the Teleprompter (1.0).

Music for a Sunday Evening

By , January 20, 2013 8:58 pm

My Mormon friends will recognize this as the tune to If You Could Hie to Kolob. My non Mormon friends will wonder what the heck Kolob is. In either case, as you read up on those subjects at the links, listen to Ralph Vaughan Williams’s magestical Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus:

Here’s the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing If You Could Hie to Kolob. Unfortunately, the video has some problems:


1. If you could hie to Kolob
In the twinkling of an eye,
And then continue onward
With that same speed to fly,
Do you think that you could ever,
Through all eternity,
Find out the generation
Where Gods began to be?

2. Or see the grand beginning,
Where space did not extend?
Or view the last creation,
Where Gods and matter end?
Methinks the Spirit whispers,
“No man has found ‘pure space,’
Nor seen the outside curtains,
Where nothing has a place.”

3. The works of God continue,
And worlds and lives abound;
Improvement and progression
Have one eternal round.
There is no end to matter;
There is no end to space;
There is no end to spirit;
There is no end to race.

4. There is no end to virtue;
There is no end to might;
There is no end to wisdom;
There is no end to light.
There is no end to union;
There is no end to youth;
There is no end to priesthood;
There is no end to truth.

5. There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.
There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.

Text: William W. Phelps, 1792–1872

More on Assault Rifle Lingo

By , January 20, 2013 8:27 pm

I posted on assault rifles a few weeks ago. This post goes into much more detail. Whatever side of the gun control debate you’re on, being in possession of some facts is always good.

Key grafs:

The military defines an assault rifle as a lightweight, intermediate caliber select fire rifle. Quite the mouthful isn’t it. Broken down into everyday terms, it means you can carry it for a long time because it is light weight. Intermediate caliber refers to a cartridge between the full power rifle and the pistol, and you get more ammunition for the same weight compared to full power rifles.

. . .

The second correct definition of an assault rifle is based on cosmetic features set by politicians. These rifles are all semi-automatic, or self-loading in old school firearm terms. Every time you press the trigger, one round is fired, and one round only. The action cycles, replacing the now expended case with a fresh round from the magazine. While this can be accomplished very rapidly, it is still one shot per trigger press.

What makes one rifle an assault weapon, and a rifle that works exactly the same way and looks very much the same not an assault weapon? The politicians that set the cosmetic features of a rifle they deem to be an assault weapon. So this second definition is slippery and can be very broad, but boils down to some group of politicians decided that the rifles with X features are “scary”, and thus “assault weapons”. This also means that it varies by state. California has a very wide definition of what an assault rifle is with a list of specific firearms for good measure. Free markets being what they are, there have been many creative ways found to manufacture rifles that work exactly like, or very close to, the CA definition, without crossing those legal lines.

But what does this mean to the current hue and cry spewing forth from the likes of Piers Morgan and Senator Diane Feinstein? It means that through ignorance or malice, they are lying. The CT school massacre was an act of pure evil, and a Bushmaster rifle may have been used. It was NOT however, an “assault rifle” either in true (military) terms, nor in the made up terms of the CT assault weapons ban. (Sec. 53-202a. Assault weapons: Definition) The rifle was semi automatic, but lacked some cosmetic features deemed “scary” or “evil” by some know nothing politicians and wasn’t included in the specifically named list of weapons.

And here’s something I didn’t know (among many things, mind you): the AR in the name AR-15 stands for Armalite, the first manufacturer of such rifles, NOT “assault rifle.”

So Could This Be the 1,000th Cut?

By , January 12, 2013 10:29 am

David Gregory, possessor of a high capacity magazine in D.C. and the silver-haired talking head of Meet the Press, will not be prosecuted for possessing said high capacity magazine that he brandished in the face of NRA president Wayne LaPiere in a effort to make the point that said high capacity magazines should be illegal. Ironically, said high capacity magazine was in fact illegal to possess in Washington D.C., a fact Gregory knew because his office had contacted the D.C. Metro Police and inquired as to the legality of possessing said high capacity magazine and were told no, even Mr. Gregory could not legally possess said high capacity magazine despite the fact that he was a “trusted” journalist, was friends with the prosecutor, and would be interviewing President Obama soon thereafter about, among other things, the need to pass new gun laws, including the need to ban said high capacity magazines for the safety of the children and some sort of political advantage.

James Brinkley was not available for comment. Neither was the Rule of Law, having suffered possibly its 1,000th cut. Word is that the little people (as in “the law is for the”) have finally risen up and are marching to the nation’s capitol for a high-capacity magazine-light vigil, viz. the comments to this Ann Althouse post (apologies for the foul-word weary):


The More Things Change . . .

By , January 11, 2013 5:21 pm

The conduct of the republican [sic] party in this nomination is a remarkable indication of a small intellect, growing smaller.

Guess who wrote that and when?

The abuse continues:

[Rather than choose “statesmen and able men” as their candidate] They take up a fourth rate lecturer, who cannot speak good grammar [and whose speeches are] illiterate compositions . . . interlarded with coarse and clumsy jokes.

Nope, that was not The New York Times pining for Jon Huntsman to be the presidential candidate of the Republican Party. Nor was it any of those who routinely bashed George W. Bush as dumb and inarticulate or Ronald Reagan as just plain dumb.

No, according to Doris Kearns Goodwin, in her book Team of Rivals, that was the Democratic New York Hearald taking aim at newly nominated Abraham Lincoln, and, she says, that paper was not alone in ridiculing him and the new Republican Party–the party that opposed slavery by the way.

So campers, if it seems to you that the Republican Party can never field a candidate who is not stupid and inarticulate–according to the Democrats–take heart and give it a little time. One hundred and fifty three years later, they’ll be making Oscar-nominated movies about the alleged dunces.

Emily Litella: Act III

By , January 8, 2013 6:31 pm

Finding Little Evidence Of Foreclosure Fraud, Feds Give Up, reads the headline from an article in Forbes. And writer, Daniel Fisher asks,

Has there been a single case in the past five years of a homeowner who was current on his mortgage being foreclosed through fraud?

Emily Litella was available for comment.

Emily Litella: Act II

By , January 4, 2013 11:10 am

A leading environmentalist and opponent of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), Mark Lynas, has issued a blunt statement that he was wrong to oppose GMOs.

I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.

As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely.

So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist.

Emily Litella was available for comment.

Norman Borlaug would be pleased.


By , January 4, 2013 10:11 am

Wow. Will the jobs picture ever turn rosy? From Calculated Risk:

Jobs_Calculated Risk_2013-01-04_1007

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