Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hayek and Keynes Battle at The Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering

Rapping economists!

See also:

Arizona at its Best

Joan posted this incredible video on Common Gunsense. Florida definitely holds the crown still but Arizona keeps a close second.

Crockett Keller, Concealed Carry Instructor of Mason Texas

Dan Zimmerman on TTAG said this video is "going viral." I guess he has his own definition for that.

The discussion over there is quite fascinating. The Armed Intelligentsia is divided between those who think this guy is a rare anomaly and we shouldn't post his video and those who think he's a rare anomaly and we should post his video. Spin doctors one and all. Here's what I said about it. much as you try to insist this guy has nothing to do with you and the gun-rights movement, I’m afraid it just ain’t so. He’s representative af a very large percentage of gun owners. You intelligent, non-biased guys may be in the minority yourselves.

What's your opinion? Is this guy an anomaly or a representative? Please leave a comment.

Death and Bloodshed, the Only Answer

via one of our Anonymous commenters.   I've said it myself - we need a guillotine down in Lower Manhattan.

One Good Reason for "May Issue"

The gun-rights folks keep saying that "may issue" programs for approving CCW permits are abused by the local police. In some cases this may be true, however the complainers always omit an obvious advantage to the "may issue" policy.

When a juvenile offender, like our most recent one in Washington, reaches the age of 21 and applies for a Concealed Carry permit he may very well qualify. Some of the worst, violent juvenile offenders have no convictions as an adult when applying for their permit. The local law enforcement is very familiar with these young people, who should be denied the permit for obvious reasons.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Washington 13-year-old Boy Shoots Dad

The teenage boy, who is accused of shooting his father Jimmy Asher in the back of the head with a .17-caliber bolt-action rifle, earlier told detectives the Sunday night shooting was an accident, police say.

But prosecutors say that doesn't match evidence that they are gathering.
At least they're charging the boy in juvenile court. Too bad he doesn't have the same lawyers as this lady.

Since hindsight is 20/20, it's easy to say the boy shouldn't have been allowed access to the gun, but how does that work as a general rule? Are 13-year-olds, generally speaking, not mature enough or responsible enough to handle guns safely?  Should safe storage at home be required by law?

Even some of the staunchest gun-rights supporters like Robert Farago say unless you have a gun on your person in the home, it should be locked up.  His motives are first to be able to fight off those
home invaders who might burst through the door at any moment, an idea which I love to make fun of, and only secondarily to keep guns out of the wrong hands.  But the truth is, I prefer his way to what many others do.

What's your opinion? Do you have any sympathy for the young shooter?  Wasn't the deck stacked against him, abusive dad, gun availability, society which teaches that gun violence is the answer?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Friday, October 28, 2011

South Carolina Shooting Shuts 10 Schools

One more example of why and how the access to firearms compromises the freedom and safety of others.

From the AP and

10 S.C. schools locked down after shots fired

Police search for gunman who fled traffic stop; no reports of injuries

updated 1 hour 8 minutes ago
A gunman fired on a police officer checking on a suspicious license plate Friday, causing 10 schools nearby to go on lockdown, though some began reopening their doors after a couple of hours.
The shooting happened around 10 a.m. at an apartment complex, police spokeswoman Alia Urps said. The officer returned fire and was not hit. It's unknown if the suspect was hit. She was unsure how many shots were fired.
The suspect was able to run into nearby woods and hasn't been seen since. Several dozen officers who happened to be in a training session nearby rushed to help search, authorities said.
"We're asking everyone in the area to stay inside until we determine the area is safe," Urps said.
She said an officer checking on tags in a hotel parking lot discovered that one tag was listed for a different vehicle. When she went inside the hotel to inquire about the driver, the suspect got in the vehicle and fled. The officer got back in her car and tried to pull the suspect over, but he sped up, and she abandoned pursuit, Urps said.
"We do not pursue for minor traffic violations," she said.
Another officer found the vehicle in an apartment parking lot, and as she approached, the suspect shot at her, she said.
Officers with the Greenville County Sheriff's office, the State Law Enforcement Division and highway patrol are also participating in the search, Urps said.
Four public schools, three private schools, two colleges and a special education center were placed on lockdown.
School were locked down in several different directions, because the suspect got away from officers and they weren't sure where he went
Officials said it was a precaution and none of the students or teachers appeared to be in danger. Schools began shifting to a partial lockdown, allowing some people into and out of the buildings after about two hours.
The shooting happened in a fairly densely populated area just south of Interstate 85.

Unregulated Business?

from blog:

the benefits of Unregulated Business (Communist style)

China, ironically, seems like a perfect case study of business behavior in an unregulated manufacturing environment. We keep getting contaminated goods... here's the Drywall Snafu:

The Hunters are among thousands of homeowners in 38 states who have been searching for alternate housing because of worries about drywall in their homes that emits sulfur fumes and, many believe, makes them sick.

Many of the homeowners have bought or rented a second home, an expense that has pushed some to the brink. Others have had no choice but to sell at a big loss. Still others have continued living in their homes with air-conditioners running full blast to hold down the rotten-egg odor.

“My property right now has no value — it’s toxic,” said Aiasha Johnson, 30, a school teacher who lives with her husband and two children in Deerfield Beach, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale. Besides running the air-conditioning, Ms. Johnson said she painted the walls frequently to mitigate the smell.

“I can’t sell it. I can’t do anything,” she said.

Complaints about the drywall, or wallboard, which was mostly made in China, first surfaced a few years ago, and hundreds of lawsuits have been filed in state and federal court to recover money to replace it. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 3,500 complaints about the drywall and says it believes thousands more have not reported the problem.

But so far the relief has been negligible. Most insurance companies have yet to pay a dime. Only a handful of home builders have stepped forward to replace the tainted drywall. Help offered by the government — like encouraging lenders to suspend mortgage payments and reducing property taxes on damaged homes — has not addressed the core problem of replacing the drywall. And Chinese manufacturers have argued that United States courts do not have jurisdiction over them.

I say, let the Tea Partiers move to China for a taste of what they want for America, if they think our country is so wrong. That's right, right wingers: This is America, love it or leave it, bud, and go to China where they think like you.

(I'm LMAO at that! Always wanted to turn that one around...)

Laci Sent Me This; It Seemed to Fit the Embrace of Ignorance Personified by Anonymous

Boondocks for 10/28/2011

An Implicit Repudiation by Occupy Atlanta of the AK47 Protester

The decision has been made, later than this video, to relocate the Occupy Atlanta protest to the federally owned and operated MLK site. I can't think of a better repudiation of carrying firearms to protest than this, with the late Reverend Martin Luther King being one ofthe foremost representatives of non-violent protest and civil disobedience in direct contrast to protest or resistance with any weapons.

Restorative Versus Retributive Justice?

Our recent discussion about the Torah/Talmud and Biblical texts reflects the difference between the religious retributive justice and our own U.S. premise of restorative justice, from the English common law tradition. It argues not only against a belief in any God given right regarding weapons, it argues against abuses of the judicial process like this.

What this boy did is horrible; what his mother did is, in my opinion far, far worse. I question the capacity for this boy to understand the right and wrong of what he was doign adequately to construe it as murder, and his capacity to have adequate intent to do so. It is a miscarriage of justice for him to be tried for murder.

On the other hand, while his mother did not commit the originating injury, she is the one responsible for it being a fatal injury, not her 12 year old son.

Useful idiot

I was curious about the etymology of this phrase, which is attributed to Saul Alinsky,

Yes, it's from Wikipedia

In political jargon, the term useful idiot was used to describe Soviet sympathizers in Western countries. The implication is that though the people in question naïvely thought themselves an ally of the Soviet Union, they were actually held in contempt and were being cynically used. The term has been extended to other people perceived as propagandists for a cause they do not understand.


The earliest known usage in Western media is in a 1948 article in the social-democratic Italian paper L'Umanita - as cited in a New York Times article on Italian politics of the same year. Despite often being attributed to Lenin, in 1987, Grant Harris, senior reference librarian at the Library of Congress, declared that "We have not been able to identify this phrase among [Lenin's] published works."

A similar term, "useful innocents", is used in Austrian-American economist Ludwig von Mises' "Planned Chaos". Von Mises claims the term was used by communists for liberals that von Mises describes as "confused and misguided sympathizers".

Modern usage

"Useful idiot" is often used as a pejorative term for those who are seen to unwittingly support a malignant cause through their 'naive' attempts to be a force for good. For example, the term has been used by some commentators to describe people the commentators believe are effectively supporting Islamic terrorism by favouring an approach based on appeasement. Anthony Browne wrote in the British newspaper, The Times:
“ Elements within the British establishment were notoriously sympathetic to Hitler. Today the Islamists enjoy similar support. In the 1930s it was Edward VIII, aristocrats and the Daily Mail; this time it is left-wing activists, The Guardian and sections of the BBC. They may not want a global theocracy, but they are like the West’s apologists for the Soviet Union — useful idiots. ”
A 2010 BBC radio documentary lists among useful idiots of Joseph Stalin several prominent British writers including H. G. Wells and Doris Lessing, the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw, and the American journalist Walter Duranty and the singer Paul Robeson.

Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First by Mona Charen was published in 2003.

Yee Haa!

Business as usual: top directors get 49 per cent pay rise

Stephen Foley

The Independent, Friday, 28 October 2011

The directors of Britain's largest companies were last night condemned as "elite greedy pigs" for pocketing a 49 per cent pay rise in the past year, while average workers failed even to keep up with inflation.

Unions exploded with fury after the publication of figures that showed how boardroom pay soared in the last financial year, thanks to rising salaries, bonuses and in particular the swelling value of directors' long-term share plans. The statistics, compiled by Incomes Data Services, provide an annual snapshot of executive remuneration, as reported in companies' most recent reports to shareholders, and show that the chief executives of the FTSE 100 largest companies earned an average of £3,855,172 last year. That is an average 43 per cent rise and, adding in other directors, total earnings rose by an average 49 per cent.

And from the USA

| Tue Oct. 25, 2011 3:54 PM PDT

The Congressional Budget Office is out with a timely new report on income inequality, which you can find here. Nickel version: The rich are getting richer, and the rest of us are just kind of drifting along.

The main summary chart is the one on the right. Since 1979, adjusted for inflation, incomes of the broad middle class (solid blue line labeled "21st to 80th percentiles") have increased about 40 percent, which comes to a sluggish 1 percent per year. During the same period, the incomes of the richest 1 percent have increased about 280 percent, or 7 percent per year. This is a pretty familiar chart by now, but one thing to note is that the incomes of the rich are pretty volatile: They drop a lot during recessions, but they also bounce back pretty quickly and regain their high growth rates as soon as the recession is over. This chart only goes through 2007, but the same dynamic has been at work in the aftermath of the Great Recession: a steep drop followed by an equally steep recovery.