Monday, March 28, 2016


latest uproar in Israel/Palestine.
"Amateur video appearing to show an Israeli soldier killing an already wounded Palestinian attacker sparked uproar in Israel on Sunday, reflecting the deep divisions in the country following six months of violence.
As the Israeli military pressed on with an investigation, nationalistic politicians accused the army of abandoning the soldier, while political doves bemoaned the erosion of the nation's morals. Palestinians, meanwhile, said the shooting proved their claims that Israel is guilty of using excessive force and carrying out extrajudicial killings.
The shooting took place last Thursday in Hebron, the volatile West Bank city that has been a focal point of the latest wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence. The military said two Palestinians stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier before troops shot and killed the pair.

In a video released by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, one of the attackers appears to still be alive after the initial shooting. The video, taken by a Palestinian volunteer for the group, shows the wounded attacker lying on the ground, slowly moving his head. About a minute later, a soldier raises his rifle, cocks the weapon and fires. Blood is then seen streaming from the Palestinian's head.
The Israeli military quickly arrested the soldier and opened an investigation into what it said appeared to be a "grave breach" of its values. A military court has ordered the soldier to remain held until Tuesday while the investigation continues.
Military officials also have cast doubt on the soldier's claim that he believed the Palestinian was carrying explosives.
On Sunday night, B'Tselem released a second video it says shows the same soldier at the scene shaking hands with Baruch Marzel, a well-known ultranationalist, after the shooting.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said a preliminary investigation found the soldier arrived on the scene some six minutes after the initial incident, and that the second shooting occurred several minutes after that. "There was no apparent threat from the Palestinian that was incapacitated," Lerner said.
He said that commanders had already reported the shooting to their superiors before the video emerged. "There was already a military police investigation. We already knew the behavior was not in line with the code of conduct and ethics," he said.
The Israeli media, citing military officials, quoted the soldier as saying the Palestinian "deserved to die."
Lerner said three officers at the scene were reprimanded for not giving medical attention to the wounded Palestinian, as is required under military policy."

Israel appears to be even more politically divided than the U.S.  In Israel, some view unjustified violence against Palestinians as something to be applauded.  Others are appalled by such conduct and want Israel to withdraw from occupied territories.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Many observers have come to feel uneasy about the possible overruling of the U.S. Supreme Court's Second Amendent decision in D.C. v. Heller.  This was amplified by the death of J. Scalia and the vacancy on the Court.  Although it may not be much, the Supreme Court recently issued an unsigned opinion that suggests that the current justices MAY still be supporting the Heller decision.  I have my doubts. FWIW
See the Supreme Court's opinion here.
This was a per curiam (unsigned opinion) there were no dissents.  See esp. the concurring opinion below the Court's opinion.

Friday, March 18, 2016


Ever wonder about the apparently irrationality of voters, and people talking politics and theory?  Turns out we aren't quite the rational species we think we are. Evolutionary psychology, the neurosciences and other researchers are increasing revealing the true nature of human thought and behavior.

In the political realm, this was explored in a great book reviewed earlier here called Our Political Nature by Avi Tuschman.  A more recent book in this same vein, but more focused specifically on politics, is Rick Shenkman's  Political Animals  How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics.  I strongly recommend this book if you are interested in this topic.  It is very readable and interesting but it does seem to wander a little at times.  Rather than re-invent the wheel, see this review from Kirkus.

Much of our political theory, including libertarianism, anarchism and laissez-faire economics, relies heavily on the rationality of human beings.  Homo econimus may not be a good representation of our species.


"On Tuesday night, two major Midwestern prosecutors lost their jobs after provoking nationwide rage with their handling of cases in which police officers killed unarmed young black people. In Illinois, the loser was Cook County state’s attorney Anita Alvarez, who waited 13 months to bring charges against the Chicago police officer who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. In Ohio, it was Cuyahoga County district attorney Tim McGinty, who oversaw grand jury proceedings that led to no charges being filed against the officers responsible for the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice."

Many see this as a convincing victory for the Black Lives Matter movement.


We need to be sure not to lose sight of the real dangers of policing.  Not all officers are killed by suspects.  Although relatively rare, this officer was accidentally killed by gun fire from other officers.  RIP

Black off-duty cop kills Hispanic teen, officer charged with murder

"ADDISON, Texas (AP) Authorities say a suburban Dallas police officer who was arrested in an off-duty shooting that left a teenager dead and another boy wounded posted bond Thursday and was released from jail.
Officer Ken Johnson. (Farmers Branch Police Dept. photo)
Dallas County sheriff's spokeswoman Melinda Urbina says Farmers Branch officer Ken Johnson, 35, posted $150,000 bond and left jail early Thursday.
Johnson was arrested Wednesday night on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
Officials say after Johnson saw a vehicle being burglarized in his apartment complex parking lot, he gave chase when the suspects fled.
After the suspects' vehicle spun out about a half-mile away in Addison, an altercation led to the shooting.
Johnson's attorney has said he feared for his life.
Addison police Chief Paul Spencer said in a statement Wednesday that there was "probable cause" to arrest Johnson but that the investigation will likely take several more weeks.
Johnson shot and killed Jose Raul Cruz, 16, sometime after 7 p.m. Sunday.
The shooting occurred at a Shell gas station in Addison, another Dallas suburb adjacent to Farmers Branch."

Texas, unlike most states, sometimes allows deadly force to protect or recover property. Scroll down to sec. 9.42. It appear that it was still daylight out when the incident occurred.  The statute refers to 'nighttime".  There may also be other reasons why the statute does not apply.

Video suggests the officer rammed the suspects car and caused it to crash.  There apparently was no evidence that the suspects were armed. 

Quick action by authorities in this and other cases suggests that officials are making changes due to the Black Lives Matter movement, the presence of video evidence and public concerns.

This case adds an interesting twist.  The officer was black and the victims Hispanic. Does the Hispanic community need a "Hispanic Lives Matter" movement.

Finally, as bad as this case looks at this point, don't forget the presumption of innocence. That's why we have trials.
Addison spokesman Dan Reed declined to say whether Cruz or the other suspect was armed.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office said Cruz died at the scene.
The other person wounded was taken to a Dallas hospital.
Johnson was placed on paid administrative leave pending investigations by Farmers Branch and Addison police.



The nomination of Judge Merrick Garland for the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court is a controversial issue.  Much of the media and Democrats are labelling him a "moderate" or "centrist."  Apparently they feel that because many Republican Senators supported his nomination to a U.S. Court of Appeals position that he is a moderate.  This appears to be the only basis for such a label as a thorough analysis of his decisions and opinions has not been done.  This is a very slim reed and rather disingenuous.  I don't know if those holding this position are ignorant or just being misleading. They should have consulted some of the experts of judicial attitudes/ideology such as Prof. Lee Epstein.  Here's  an article from the left-leaning NY Times that helps set the record straight.

“In the face of Republican opposition to a Supreme Court nomination, President Obama needed a candidate who had support from Republicans in the past but who would still move the court in a progressive direction.

Merrick B. Garland, who was on President Obama’s shortlist for previous Supreme Court nominations, was confirmed 76 to 23 as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997.

He Could Shift the Court to Be More Liberal

If Judge Garland is confirmed, he could tip the ideological balance to create the most liberal Supreme Court in 50 years. Measures of ideology by four political scientists show where the justices stand in relation to one another. Judge Garland’s score is based on the score of his appointing president, Bill Clinton. This methodology is considered to be a “reasonably good predictor of voting on the Supreme Court,” says Prof. Lee Epstein of Washington University.”

The ratings by Epstein et al. place Garland to the left of liberal justices Kagan and Breyer but not quite as liberal as the two most liberal justice Ginsburg and Sotomayor. Garland is not anywhere near the center of the ideological spectrum.   Kennedy is the closest.
Moving the Court to the left endangers individual Second Amendment rights, constitutional limits on executive power in pursuit of liberal goals, First Amendment and other rights.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


The Crisis of Zionism is a critical look at Israeli policy on the West Bank by Peter Beinart. He also focuses on American politicians and Jews. His criticisms have not pleased many Israelis and American supporters of Israel and book reviewers.  However, the land-grabbing and other violation of rights by Israelis have been papered over for too long.  IMHO this is one the most realistic views of the situation.  Beinart does not excuse Palestinian violence, but he tells it like it is in spirt of being a Jew himself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Presidential Candidates on guns and the Second Amendment.

Presidential candidates on gun and the Second Amendment.

Presidential candidates on the issues

Do you rely too much on the media for your political opinions?  You won't find much about where they stand on various issues.  There are a number of webistes that present the candidates' view.  This is one of the best

Monday, March 14, 2016


In the news is a “federal civil rights complaint charging Harvard University with discrimination against Asian-American applicants. The complaint documents a pattern of bias, at Harvard and other Ivy League colleges, that, in its methods and its impact, closely parallels the imposition of de facto Jewish quotas at these schools in the 1920s. By spotlighting how racial preferences for other minorities have ironically contributed to this reprise of Harvard’s bigoted past, with Asians playing the role of modern-day Jews, the plaintiffs hope to prompt the Supreme Court to overturn Bakke v. Regents of the University of California, its 1978 decision allowing the use of such preferences in college admissions. For, as the complaint starkly illustrates, whatever merit affirmative action may once have had, it is a policy relic of an essentially biracial society of the 1970s that has become ludicrous in the multiracial America of 2016.
The Harvard case and a companion case against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were brought by Students for Fair Admissions (SFA), an advocacy group representing Asian-American and other students rejected by top colleges that employ racial preferences. {snip}

The Harvard lawsuit, with an eye on eventual Supreme Court review, urges the justices to go a step further and overturn Bakke. Laying out a damning indictment that, in using race-based preferences rather than race-neutral alternatives to increase African-American and Latino enrollment, Harvard and the other Ivies have established quotas limiting Asian enrollment, the complaint asserts: “Given what is occurring at Harvard and at other schools, the proper response is the outright prohibition of racial preferences in university admissions–period.” 
Asians, of course, have often been termed the “New Jews” in reference to their focus on academic achievement. But as Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Golden observed in a chapter with that title in his 2006 book The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges–and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates, this status has also meant “inheriting the mantle of the most disenfranchised group in college admissions."
Policies in the Ivy League and many other places mean that most non-affluent whites and Asians have little chance of gaining admission, no matter how high their scores and grades. There aren't enough spaces left when the kids of big donors and affluent prior graduates and those selected to enhance "diversity" are admitted.   The U.S. Supreme Court needs to intervene in the case of state schools and straighten out this mess.  Equal protection of the law should protect everyone equally.  Why is that so hard to swallow for some people?  Private schools do not have to abide by the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law.


Reviews of 2 books on the international drug trade

The NYT Book Review covers Gangster Warlords by Grillo and Narconomics by Wainwright.  Both argue for drug law reform.


The split between neo-confederate and cosmotarian libertarians.

There is no place in the libertarian movement for any covert white supremacists.


See this article on research by Criminologist Dr. Gary Kleck.


As you may know we are in the Sesquicentennial years of American Reconstruction.  What lessons can we learn from this part of our history?

George Santayana’s most famous quote is probably “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Yet, the history of our species tends to show the same mistakes and atrocities in a never-ending stream.  However, the problem is no just failure to remember, it included twisting history to justify whatever the person believes.  In prior posts I have explored the “Lost Cause” delusions about race, slavery and the Civil War.  These distortions have been rejected by most and all of the leading Civil War historians.  These delusions include the arguments that the slaves weren’t really as  bad off as the abolitionists contended, that the South didn’t want to fight but was tricked into it by a blood-thirsty Lincoln, that the Civil War was really about state’s rights and nothing at all to do about and slavery, etc.  For more on this see E. H. Bonekemper’s The Myth of the Lost Cause, and/or William C Davis’ “The Lost Cause,” or this article on Wikipedia,

I have lived in Texas most of my adult life (with stints in Ark and Tenn.) and still hear this hogwash from people today.  Another delusion I thought had perished was the twisting of the history of Reconstruction, one of the most violent and repressive periods in American history.
I came across a New York Times article about a woman from Texas who is running for a seat on the State Board of Education.  Her views are far-far right, but the focus here is only on her views of Reconstruction.  Although she condemned the Ku Klux Klan in one posting, she wrote positively of its roots, writing that it started “as citizens trying to fight back against a corrupt government when there were corrupt officials or no officials at all to keep law and order in the rural areas.”

Where did that delusion come from?  Eric Foner, is one of the most highly regarded historians who has written on the Civil War and Reconstruction.  His book Reconstruction, touches on this issue.  This is the main, but not only source for the commentary below.

In the Preface to his book he notes the white-supremacist view of Reconstruction found in many books.    Foner focuses mainly on the works of Professors William Dunning, John W. Burgess, and their students. According to those authors,  when the Civil War ended the white south accepted the immorality of slavery and stood ready to do justice to, and integrate blacks into society. The main problem was that blacks were not fit for the political rights that the North had forced the South to grant them (e.g. 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments).  Blacks were viewed as child-like and incapable of understanding and being educated.  Ignorant and corrupt blacks allied with carpetbaggers and n-lovers oppressed honest whites who were forced to fight back.   Whites were subjected to “savage tyranny” (p.609). The Klan helped protect whites from blacks who were vicious animals and would rape and impregnate white women, mongrelizing the superior white race.

On p. 609 Fonder writes that a small group of historians in the early 20th Century (Dunning and Burgess) and their students began twisting the history of Reconstruction based on the thesis of white supremacy and black unfitness.  Foner calls this the “everlasting shame” of the “nation’s fraternity of professional historians”.  One of these historians called black suffrage “the greatest political crime ever perpetrated by any people.”
Another historian commented on the impact of this twisted history, arguing that it “froze themind of the white south” against outside pressures for reform, eliminating segregation and restoring the vote to blacks. Many also appear to have been frozen in the theory of white supremacy.
One need only look at Southern resistance to integrating schools and universities to see that mentality in action.

Although there were abuses by all sides during Reconstruction, there is little doubt that the Klan (aided by white law-enforcement), during this period was primarily a terrorist organization using violence, including murder against blacks and their white supporters to enforce white supremacy (See Foner, pp. 119-24, 203-4,  425-444).  The Klan and their allies used every opportunity to disarm blacks and their white allies either by force or by gun prohibitions in the Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws.  In his book Gunfight, Prof. Adam Winkler wrote: ( 

It was a constant pressure among white racists to keep guns out of the hands of African-Americans, because they would rise up and revolt.” he said. “The KKK began as a gun-control organization. Before the Civil War, blacks were never allowed to own guns. During the Civil War, blacks kept guns for the first time – either they served in the Union army and they were allowed to keep their guns, or they buy guns on the open market where for the first time there’s hundreds of thousands of guns flooding the marketplace after the war ends. So they arm up because they know who they’re dealing with in the South. White racists do things like pass laws to disarm them, but that’s not really going to work. So they form these racist posses all over the South to go out at night in large groups to terrorize blacks and take those guns away. If blacks were disarmed, they couldn’t fight back.”
 Lynchings and massacres were not unusual events. This is the reality of the Klan during Reconstruction.


















There is growing evidence that mass shootings, like suicide are "contagious." Backgrounds of mass murderers and their social media and data suggest that it is.  Perhaps we should be focusing on mental health and prevention, including predictive policing, rather than gun controls which effect law-abiding gun owners (e.g. confiscation of all assault rifles including those currently owned lawfully)
Millions of people are depressed, socially isolated or at their wit’s end. But only a minuscule portion of them commit rampages, which, depending on what definition is used, number anywhere from a handful to two dozen a year.
“It’s a big country,” Slutkin said. “Who knows who will pick it up or who won’t?”
Slutkin’s program, Cure Violence, employs “violence interrupters” in the United States and abroad who try to disrupt shootings and other acts of violence before they happen, stopping retaliations by mediating and diverting high-risk people to counseling, drug treatment or job opportunities. Local law enforcement agencies and the FBI are trying to do something similar for mass shootings.
The FBI opened the Behavioral Threat Assessment Center in 2010, using a multidisciplinary approach, including psychiatrists, to help identify and disrupt targeted violence. The center works with local law enforcement agencies following tips about suspicious behavior from families, friends and schools.
The center, working in coordination with other government agencies, has helped address hundreds of cases. FBI Deputy Assistant Director Timothy Slater said research is ongoing “to identify behaviors that might indicate that a person is heading toward committing targeted violence. We hope this will help educate people to see the warning signs.”
Others are looking to the news media for help, part of a new twist on an old idea."


Technology has made it possible to reasonable try to predict where and when crime will occur and thus perhaps prevent it.

Gypsy cops and the National Decertification Index

"The mandate [to Ferguson PD] to  consult the National Decertification Index received little notice in the government's proposed agreement to reform the police and court systems in the St. Louis suburb. But the measure's inclusion suggests to some observers that federal authorities could finally be seeking to put the index into wider use after years of resisting the idea.
The database contains the names of about 20,000 former officers who were pushed out of law enforcement. The index has been used inconsistently, and many officers who are stripped of their badges in one jurisdiction are free to move to another.

Criminal justice advocates have long called for the creation of a clearinghouse of information on bad cops similar to the National Practitioner Data Bank, which tracks malpractice lawsuits and complaints against doctors. Those calls have been rejected by Congress and opposed by some law-enforcement groups, particularly police unions worried about creating a blacklist."

As usual, tea partiers and police unions are standing in the way of this much-needed reform. A similar proposal was defeated in Texas a few years ago, despite the fact Gypsy cops are a real problem, esp. in Texas.
Why do agencies not give bad references for their problem cops who want to leave? The main reason is that the agencies, esp. smaller ones, are threatened with lawsuits by the cop if they fire him or her and fail to give them a good reference.  They cave in.  Large agencies are frequently threatened with lawsuits by police unions. There is a similar problem with jail personnel.  The same things happens in academe, where departments want to get rid of faculty but tenure or the threat of lawsuits get in the way.  The only way to get rid of the problem is to help the teacher get a new job somewhere else.

Sunday, March 06, 2016


Power corrupts" and law enforcement agencies and officer have lots of it.  Not all abuse it, but there's no doubt that abuse is widespread.
Disquieting article on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (aka Border Patrol) agency from the NYT.  One case involves the complex legalities of when officers in the U.S. fire their weapons recklessly and/or unlawfully and hit an innocent person on the Mexican side.

Saturday, March 05, 2016


“A senior Justice Department official is arguing that 3- and 4-year-olds can learn immigration law well enough to represent themselves in court, staking out an unconventional position in a growing debate over whether immigrant children facing deportation are entitled to taxpayer-funded attorneys.

Jack Weil, a longtime immigration judge who is responsible for training other judges, made the assertion in sworn testimony in a deposition in federal court in Seattle. His comments highlighted the plight of thousands of juveniles who are forced to defend themselves each year in immigration court amid the surge of children crossing the southwest border from Central America. “I’ve taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds,’’ Weil said. “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done.’’

He repeated his claim twice in the deposition, also saying, “I’ve told you I have trained 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds in immigration law,’’ according to a transcript. “You can do a fair hearing. It’s going to take you a lot of time.’’

Legal and child psychology experts ridiculed Weil’s assertions, noting that key milestones for 3- and 4-year-olds include cooperating with other children, saying simple sentences and building towers of blocks.”
Guess who are the morons paying this judge's salary.


"ATLANTA — A white police officer in Montgomery, Alabama, has been charged with murder in the shooting death last week of Gregory Gunn, a 58-year-old black man, officials said Wednesday.
Investigators would not discuss what led them to file the murder charge against the officer, Aaron Smith. But city officials Wednesday afternoon appeared to back away from their initial assertions that Gunn, whose father was among the city’s first black police officers, had been carrying a stick or another object that could have been perceived as a weapon."

A lawyer for Smith, Mickey McDermott, criticized the arrest as “political” and said he believed the authorities charged the officer in an effort to prevent civil unrest.
“They have a duty to protect the public from itself sometimes,” McDermott said. “They, I believe, thought this would be the mechanism to show the public that they are trying to be honest and fair to both sides.”
The announcement of Smith’s arrest came only six days after his fatal encounter with Gunn, who worked in a grocery. Montgomery officials initially said that Smith had stopped Gunn, who was walking home after a late night of work and playing cards, believing him to be suspicious. It was after 3 a.m., and the two became involved in a struggle. At some point, officials said, Smith opened fire."

In prior years, it is unthinkable that an officer would be arrested in only 6 days.  In many states, the D.A. would have sent it to the grand jury and some would have made sure it died there.  As Bob Dylan sang "The times they are a-changing."

However, the defense attorney makes a point that is at least worth considering and we must not forget about the presumption of innocence.   Let a jury of his peers judge this officer is fair trial


Serious gun crimes get lots of media attention.  Serious use of guns for lawful self-defense gets little.  Why do you think that is?  Here's a case where a Muslim business owner shot a man who had murdered one of his customers on the premises. The offender came there to kill Muslims.  How many people would have been killed if the owner did not have a gun, and wasn't afraid to use it lawfully

Supreme Court Justices as Celebrities

Decades ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justices were a low-profile group. They were dignified and respected. Today they are celebrities who appear on talk shows, interviews, etc.  Part of the problem is the media which tracks them, part of the problem is the Justices themselves who seem to enjoy and seek celebrity status.  IMRHO, The worst offenders are former Justice John Paul Stevens, current Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonya Sotomayor, and the late Justice Scalia.


According to Wikipedia
"The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is a United States law which protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. However, both manufacturers and dealers can still be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible in much the same manner that any U.S. based manufacturer of consumer products are held responsible. They may also be held liable for negligence when they have reason to know a gun is intended for use in a crime.
The PLCAA is codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901-7903."

A NYT editorial urges that this so-called "Gun industry shield law" be repealed and that gun manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers should face liability is someone commits a crime with a weapon they manufactured, etc.  This is a back-door move to try to  put American gun manufacturers out of business.  The issue arises regarding the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle (AR-15 copy) used in the Sandy Hook School mass murders

"This is the eminently reasonable point that the parents of the 6- and 7-year-old students cut down at the school are now pressing in Connecticut state court. They are attempting to sue the gun manufacturer, Remington; the wholesaler; and a local retailer for recklessness in providing the weapon to the consumer marketplace “with no conceivable use for it other than the mass killing of other human beings.” [This is obviously a lie.  Go to any rifle range on a busy day and you will see lots of people target shooting such rifles.  They are lawful for hunting in most states, and are used for hunting.]

The question of whether the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed is at issue because Congress, prodded by the gun lobby, in 2005 foolishly granted the gun industry nearly complete immunity from legal claims and damages from the criminal use of guns.
The Sandy Hook parents argue that their suit should continue because that law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, allows claims against companies — gun shop dealers, for example — if they knew or should have known that the weapons they sold were likely to risk injury to others. The parents contend that the maker of the Bushmaster is no less culpable because it knowingly marketed a risky war weapon to civilians."
"The Sandy Hook parents argue that their suit should continue because that law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, allows claims against companies — gun shop dealers, for example — if they knew or should have known that the weapons they sold were likely to risk injury to others. The parents contend that the maker of the Bushmaster is no less culpable because it knowingly marketed a risky war weapon to civilians."
This logic, of course can be applied to any weapon, rifle or pistol, that can take a large-capacity magazine.  Does it then apply to all handguns next?
Then where does it stop?  It doesn't stop for the ideologues who want to ban all firearms.
Gun manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers don't kill people--People kill people.

As the quote indicates, the Act is not a complete shield.  I believe it is a fair way to deal with the issue.  The statute does not authorize liability in the Sandy Hook case.  It should not be repealed.  Note that Clinton and Sanders are urging repeal.

Friday, March 04, 2016


I know many of you don't think these kinds of folks, pro-slavery, white macist, radcial neo-confederate, lost cause delusionists, etc., don't exist.  and that some of my posts are jousting with non-existent windmills.  Here's a contemporary guy who argues that slavery in the U.S. was not inherently immoral--it is based on firm scriptural grounds. The problem was only that it wasn't always conducted according to Christian rules. The only problem is when it isn't conducted according to Christian rules."

“When we turn to individuals and families, [who owned slaves, as opposed    to  un-chrisitan laws on slavery (e.g. unlawful to teach  slaves to read] the
situation is very different. The abolitionists maintained that slave-owning was inherently immoral under any circumstance. But in this matter, the Christians who owned slaves in the South were on firm scriptural ground. May a Christian own slaves, even when this makes him a part of a larger pagan system which is not fully scriptural, or perhaps not scriptural at all? Provided he owns them in conformity to Christ's laws for such situations, the Bible is clear that Christians may own slaves.”

Tuesday, March 01, 2016


NYT Op-Ed argues for registration of all firearms, including those already owned.  The authors feel it would be constitutional.  I'm not sure.


According to the NYT:
"Though that trip [during which he died] has brought new attention to the justice’s penchant for travel, it was in addition to the 258 subsidized trips that he took from 2004 to 2014. Justice Scalia went on at least 23 privately funded trips in 2014 alone to places like Hawaii, Ireland and Switzerland, giving speeches, participating in moot court events or teaching classes. A few weeks before his death, he was in Singapore and Hong Kong.


A female officer was murdered in the line of duty on her first shift. RIP
Let's not let our criticism of   bad cops and cops in general blind us to these kinds of tragedies.