Free Markets, Free People

Freedom and Liberty

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Tell me again why we “need” gun control legislation?

I assume you may have seen this:

The FBI’s study showed 64 “mass killing” incidents from 2000 to 2013. The gunmen in these cases murdered 418 people.

Breitbart News reports:

The 418 people who were killed over a 14-year period works out to an average of 29.8 persons a year.
To be clear, no one wants to see even one life lost to tragedy, but the mainstream media’s focus on “mass shootings” to the detriment of other news where hundreds or even thousands more lives were lost is telling.For example, the CDC bicycle-related injury report for 2010 shows that almost twice as many people died on bicycles in that one year than were killed in “mass shootings” during the 14 years studied by the FBI. Thus, while there were 418 deaths in “mass shootings” from 2000 to 2013, there were 800 deaths by bicycle in 2010 alone.
Moreover, there “were an estimated 515,000 emergency department visits” due to bicycle accidents.

And CDC death statistics for 2010 show there were 26,009 deaths from “falling” for that year alone. That’s right–26,009 deaths in one year from falls from ladders, counters, roofs, mountains, etc.

To summarize there were an average of 29.8 deaths a year for 14 years from “mass shootings” versus 800 bicycle related deaths and 515,000 bicycle related trips to the emergency room. Plus an additional 26,009 deaths from falling.

Now this isn’t news to anyone who has been following this debate for any length of time and has been interested in the facts, not the ideological take or spin.

In a nation of 300 million plus with about the same number of guns among the population, the loss of life in mass shootings is … that’s right, statistically insignificant.  That doesn’t mean we should like them or condone them or not feel grief and outrage about the deaths.  What it means is that there is no crisis, no significant problem, no reason to concern ourselves about draconian gun restrictions because of “mass shootings”.  Oh sure they give the 24 hour news channels plenty to shout about and of course it gives the politicians what they feel is an easy mark to “solve” the problem.  But just as the 26,009 deaths from falling are statistically insignificant (hey, I know, let’s outlaw falling .. or should we outlaw stairs and ladders?), so are the mass shooting statistics.

“Assault weapons” are not a problem (they’re semi-automatic weapons … period) and mass shootings, while a tragedy are certainly not a crisis that requires more laws, regulations and rights violations.  The gun control laws in place now have never stopped a mass shooter from doing his thing.  What has stopped them though are other armed and law abiding citizens.

That’s the lesson that should be taken away from these tragedies.  Not the guns. The statistics do not support any further gun control because of “mass shootings”.

Period.

~McQ

The tantrum in the House

Sigh.  I guess the old maxim “you get the government your deserve” certainly rings true today.  House Democrats are staging a sit in because the Speaker of the House won’t call a bill to the floor that violates the Constitution and denies due process to people who are placed on its secret no-fly and terrorism lists.

They’d like you to believe it is a “gun control” bill.  In fact, it is a “due process denial” bill, and we ought to refer to it that way.  Their claim is expanding government’s authority to defy the guarantees of the Constitution will help curb gun violence.

Really?  How?  Will it stop someone who ends up on the list and still wants to buy a gun from getting one?  Certainly not as just about any criminal can tell you (and as study I linked a few posts back revealed).  Again, that “Human Nature 101” thing seems to stump these deep thinkers.

And the irony is that one of those leading the charge for violating the Constitution and denying due process – civil rights icon John Lewis (okay, it’s a bit of double irony) – was once placed on a no-fly list without due process.

So what has been the result of not getting their way and denying you due process protection?  They’ve been reduced to throwing a collective tantrum and harkening back to the good old days when they were protesting Vietnam or whatever.  They even come up with a clever chant – “No Bill. No Break”.  You see they’re supposed to take a legislative break and now, apparently, the desire to deny you your rights is so strong they feel called to pretend they are Social Justice Warriors and act accordingly.

Where’s “Black Lives Matter” when you need them.  Now here is a perfect protest for them to hijack and they’re nowhere in sight.

~McQ

I can’t wait until we can “omit” this administration

 

omitted

Not that I necessarily believe there’s anything better coming along behind it, but this one is just blatant with its disregard for both the law and our traditions.

To say I was aghast at the decision to censor the 911 call from the Orlando murderer (even though what was said was widely known) would be an understatement.

I immediately asked “why”?  Now, I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all so I don’t subscribe to much of what some are saying out there.  To me it speaks of three things, in this order – 1) politics, 2) fear and 3) arrogance.

One … If they acknowledge that fact that this was a terrorist attack by a representative of a sworn enemy that the administration (and by extension, the leading Democratic contender for President) has badly mismanaged to the point that they are regularly striking random targets here – well, that reflects pretty badly on the “home” team.  So let’s pretend it’s something else and let’s divert attention to things like guns, Christians and the NRA.

Two … They’re afraid of ISIS and what ISIS can and will do.  So they handle that fear by ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist and hoping it will go away, or at least leave us alone.  If they call it’s name (i.e. Islamic terrorism) and acknowledge its existence, they’ll be called upon to do something.  They haven’t a clue about how to do that.  So again they divert.  The US Attorney General, in attempting excuse the “omitting” of parts of the transcript of the 911 call talked about her ‘greatest fear’ – and it ain’t ISIS or attacks on Americans:

Speaking to the audience at the Muslim Advocates’ 10th anniversary dinner Thursday, Lynch said her “greatest fear” is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric” in America and vowed to prosecute any guilty of what she deemed violence-inspiring speech.

“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence,”she said.

Three … pure arrogance.  While other examples of censored releases were blamed on “glitches” (French President’s remarks, State Department briefing), they didn’t even try on this one.  It’s rather hard to blame “glitches” when actual words are replaced with the word “omitted” or actual words are changed to other words (Allah/God). The administration isn’t even playing the game anymore. No more blaming it on glitches, just pure and plain censorship because the words said by the killer don’t help support the narrative this fearful administration has been trying to push on the people for almost 8 years.

And now, the Attorney General of the United States says her greatest fear is “rhetoric” against Muslims?  Really?

Pitiful.

Speaking of rhetoric, “the most transparent administration” ever has forever made it clear that transparency is campaign rhetoric for consumption of the rubes in flyover country only.  They won – they’re your rulers.  They can do whatever they want.

Suck it up, buttercup.

~McQ

A nation gone mad

I’m still sitting here shaking my head as I watch and listen to the left react to the Orlando massacre.

If you simply read their screeds you’d have concluded by now that it was the work of a right-wing Christian (or just a plain old “toxic male”) with an AR-15 instead of a Sig wielding Muslim who had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call prior to the massacre and was a registered Democrat.

In fact, the AR-15 meme has taken on a life of its own with such luminaries of the left as lyin’ Michael Moore and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and some wimpy NYT metrosexual calling for its ban.  On what grounds one wonders, but hey, they’re leftists – fantasy is their business if it helps them move their agenda one inch further to fruition. Ignore the facts, full speed ahead.  Moore even made up stuff about the round(s) the AR-15 fires claiming they are banned by the Geneva Conventions.  Uh, no.  Not even close.  Pure fiction.

Sally Kohn, a CNN contributor, went on a bigoted anti-Christian rant that attempted, in however a tortured manner, to make a moral equivalence between Christian disapproval of homosexuality and Islam’s death sentence for homosexuals.

Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing gay activist, explains the difference for those who lack the ability to discern it:

There are eleven Muslim countries in which I could be killed for being a homosexual. The state penalty is death. One hundred million people live in country where the penalty for homosexuality is death. This is not radical Islam. This is mainstream Muslim society.

And this isn’t some hazy made-up claim like Michael Moore’s, it’s their law.  Guess who is taking political donations from those countries?

Instead of facing the truth of Orlando, the left, as usual, has chosen to divert and pretend the problem is on the right.  That way, their agenda remains viable and they don’t have to confront nasty little ideological conflicts they’re trying so damn hard to avoid:

“Look what’s happening in Sweden. Look what’s happening anywhere in Germany, anywhere there are large influxes of a Muslim population. Things don’t end well for women and gays. The left has got to make a decision. Either they want female emancipation and it wants gay rights or it wants Islam. It’s got to pick.”

But, at this point, it refuses to do so.  It is more afraid of being called Islamaphobic than it is of condemning a religion/ideology that throws gays off of buildings, burns them or hangs them and treats women as chattel.

That’s what the Sally Kohns, Michael Moores and Bill Ayers of the left should be doing.  Instead they’re after a weapon that wasn’t even used in the massacre and a Constitutional amendment that gives us the freedom to defend ourselves.

Mad.

~McQ

Former McDonald’s CEO goes one for two

Ed Rensi is the former CEO of McDonalds and he commented on the reality of a $15 minimum wage and how most businesses will handle it:

I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries — it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe.”

He continues, “It’s not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. And the more you push this it’s going to happen faster.”

That’s the one he got right.  Here’s the one he got wrong:

I think we ought to have a multi-faceted wage program in this country. If you’re a high school kid, you ought to have a student wage. If you’re an entry level worker you ought to have a separate wage. The states ought to manage this because they know more [about] what’s going on the ground than anybody in Washington D.C.

Good grief, Mr. Rensi, why not let the market handle it?  You know, supply and demand?  What the heck is wrong with you?  You wouldn’t even be discussing this if government hadn’t intruded and decided unilaterally that you should pay your employees a certain amount of money for their labor.  It is because of government you’re even discussing automation above.  And now you think government – even state government (you know like California or New York?) – would be the solution?

Really?

And you were a CEO of a major corporation?

Wow.

~McQ

Windpower: Danes out while US has new plans to extend endangered species kill license for 30 years

Denmark is abandoning wind power.  Up till now, Danes had been paying very high energy bills, 66% of the bill being “green taxes” and only 15% going to energy generation.  Under pressure from Danes, who enjoy the highest energy prices in Europe, Danish politicians are abandoning wind power as “too expensive”:

Denmark’s government abandoned plans to build five offshore wind power farms Friday amid fears the electricity produced there would become too expensive for Danish consumers.

“Since 2012 when we reached the political agreement, the cost of our renewable policy has increased dramatically,” said Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt, a Liberal Party politician representing the country’s minority government, according to Reuters.

The government would have had to pay $10.63 billion to buy electricity from the five wind farms — a price deemed too expensive for consumers who already face the highest electricity prices in Europe.

“We can’t accept this, as the private sector and households are paying far too much. Denmark’s renewable policy has turned out to be too expensive,” Lilleholt said.

Imagine that.  The fact that “renewable energy” forms have been installed doesn’t equal “cheap energy” (much like ObamaCare doesn’t mean “cheap insurance”, even though you were led to believe it would).  And all of them have required some sort of subsidy to survive – which means they’re obviously not self-sufficient (that meaning that they can’t produce a product at a price that consumers are willing to pay and make enough profit to ensure their continued production).  In fact, I’m having a very rough time finding any “renewable” source of energy that is self-sufficient.

Of course, the reason for the emergence of “green” and “renewable” energy sources is the “global warming” scam.  That scam allows the environmental extremist agenda full run with your money.  And this, so far, has been the result (don’t forget Spain).

Meanwhile, in the US, we’re apparently going to continue with the fiasco and while we’re at it, kill more endangered species by extending the license to kill them that wind farms already have to 30 years:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency charged with protecting bald and golden eagles, is once again trying to make it easier for the wind industry to kill those birds.

Two weeks ago the agency opened public comment on “proposed improvements” to its eagle conservation program. It wants to extend the length of permits for accidental eagle kills from the current five years to 30 years. The changes would allow wind-energy producers to kill or injure as many as 4,200 bald eagles every year. That’s a lot. The agency estimates there are now about 72,434 bald eagles in the continental U.S.

And the media, which will make sure to run the picture of an oil soaked bird above the fold on page one and in the lead on newscasts, is not interested in this story at all.  As for the enviros? Well, much like the so-called feminists were willing to remain silent about Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse of women, they must also have malleable principles that allow them to sanction at least 4,200 chopped up bald eagles a year for the sake of “green energy”.

~McQ

The Alarmists try RICO, the “deniers” counter with SLAPP

I’m sure you’ve been following this bizarre story about the left’s attempt, through various blue Attorney’s General, to use the RICO statute to persecute prosecute so-called “climate deniers”.  One of the targets was the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  CEI wasn’t going to take it lying down and punched back:

A libertarian nonprofit group is seeking damages from the U.S. Virgin Islands’ chief law enforcement officer, alleging a politically motivated legal campaign designed to stifle the group’s policy advocacy activities.

Attorneys representing the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a motion in a Washington, D.C. court on Monday alleging that Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker violated a D.C. law designed to prevent frivolous legal actions targeting policy groups’ rights to free speech and government redress.

The motion is the latest chapter in a developing legal battle between conservative and industry groups that oppose Democratic attorneys general in 17 states who are pursuing racketeering charges against oil giant Exxon Mobil.

Walker subpoenaed CEI last month as part of the anti-Exxon campaign. He demanded a decade’s worth of internal documents and communications about the group’s work on energy and environmental policy.

CEI told Walker to stuff it and shot back:

Andrew Grossman, a BakerHostetler attorney representing CEI, called the subpoena “offensive,” “unlawful,” and “un-American” in an April reply. He vowed to fight the subpoena, which was filed in D.C., where CEI is headquartered.

An attorney representing a group of AGs, including Walker, in their Exxon probe replied on Friday, telling CEI that it is abandoning its subpoena but reserving the right to restart the effort at any point in the future.In response, Grossman and his BakerHostetler colleague David Rivkin filed a motion to vacate the subpoena entirely. They are also asking the court to reimburse CEI for its legal fees and levy additional penalties on Walker’s office as a means of discouraging abuses of the D.C. legal system.

Walker’s “bad faith purpose in wielding this Court’s power to subpoena … warrants sanctions,” the attorneys wrote in a Monday motion. “Sanctions are necessary here ‘to punish abuses of the judicial process and to deter future abuses,’” they wrote, quoting a prior case involving D.C.’s anti-SLAPP statute.

The acronym SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” and refers to efforts to shut down an opposing party’s speech or political advocacy through frivolous lawsuits.

This is what has to be done to stop this foolishness.  All it costs the AG is your tax money.  So, in reality, it cost them nothing.  But the people or organizations they target actually end up having to reach deeply into their own pockets to defend themselves from these frivolous lawsuits.

Here’s hoping CEI is able to whack this nonsense in the head quickly.  As their attorney said, it’s “offensive”, “unlawful” and “un-American.”  It is also an obnoxious and obvious abuse of power.  Time to reel this bunch ideological hitmen back in and do quickly.  And it wouldn’t hurt at all if the lawsuit found some of the AG’s personally responsible and made them pay fines out of their own fund for the abuse of their office (not that it will happen … I understand that, but I guy can wish).  Short of that, running them out of office will suffice.

~McQ

Venezuela: How bad is it?

It’s bad:

Despite breathless coverage of Venezuela’s vanishing supply of condomstoilet paper, and beer, perhaps the country’s most debilitating shortage has been that of food, which appears to be a motivating factor for growing antigovernment sentiment.

“I want the recall because I don’t have food,” one woman told the Venezuelan commentary site Contrapunto, referring to a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro that has so far reportedly drawn more than a million signatures in support.

“We want out of this agony — there is too much need in the streets,” another woman told Contrapunto. “We have much pressure because there is no food and every day we have to ask ourselves what we are going to eat.”

Many families have been reduced to one meal a day.  In a verdant and rich country, this is what socialism has brought them too.

And the idiocracy in charge?  Well, they’re reduced to abjectly stupid moves like this in an attempt to forestall the inevitable:

To try to shore up wages, Maduro on Sunday announced a 30% minimum-wage increase, which comes after a 25% hike on March 1 and is the 33rd wage boost since 1999. Beginning this month, workers and pensioners will earn 15,051 bolivars a month — only about $13, based on the black-market conversion rate, according to El País.

That amount may become even more paltry. Venezuela’s inflation rate in 2015 was 180.9%, according to the central bank, and the International Monetary Fund expects inflation in the country to reach 720% this year.

The acquisition of food has become the primary function of Venezuelans:

“I have to leave the house at 5 a.m., facing the risk of being killed, to stand in line all day and only buy two or three products,” Jhonny Mendez said.

Do yourself a favor and look through the pictures of the amount of food several families have in their house in a day that accompany the above article..  

What has happened in Venezuela is criminal … there’s no other word for it.  Chavez was a criminal and his henchman now in charge is also a criminal.  What they’ve done to that country is unforgivable.  And it was all predictable … in fact, it was predicted.  I also have a feeling it isn’t going to end well:

Meanwhile, the return El Niño, a cyclical weather phenomenon, leads to widespread power outages across the country as the authorities’ incompetence and corruption are laid bare. 76 percent of Venezuelans have fallen into poverty and 13 percent eat only twice a day. Maduro’s government is rejected by 85 percent of the population.

Looting last week was contained but the Governor of Lara, Henri Falcón, a former Chavista, noted that “this is a thousand times worse than the reasons that led to the ‘Caracazo.’” He added that, at any moment, the political, social and economic crisis may lead to a conflict of incalculable consequences.

~McQ

“Pawternity” leave the next goal of the entitled generation

It seems, this week, that I’m all about proving Shark’s point that “every time I think we’ve reached peak stupid, something new comes along to prove me wrong.”  Well here you go, Shark, the shot:

Bringing my adopted cat, Jameson, home with me in 2014 was one of the happiest days of my life.

Having to go back to work two days later was one of the worst.

While the rest of the country is hung up on the necessity of maternity leave — or even the newly coined “meternity” — one group continues to be overlooked when it comes to paid time off from work: new pet owners.

“Paw-ternity” leave is already a reality in the UK — the US pet-insurance provider Petplan found that nearly 5 percent of new pet owners in the UK were offered time off to care for their four-legged kids. (Not surprisingly, the UK is also light-years ahead of the US when it comes to maternity leave, offering up to 39 weeks of paid leave for new mothers.)

It’s time for the US to hop aboard the “paw-ternity” train. It’s not just because I want to stay home and cuddle on the couch with my new feline (which I do). When I adopted Jameson, he was 6 years old and had spent the previous year of his life in an animal shelter. He was suffering from several health problems after being neglected by his previous owner — and was skittish, nervous and uncertain about why he was suddenly being transported to a strange new home.

And the chaser:

Many pet experts agree that new pet owners should try their best to clear their schedule for the first few days following a new animal’s arrival. Not only can pets benefit from the comfort of being cared for by a loving parent after spending time in an animal shelter, but they require attention to be properly housebroken and trained so they don’t become a public nuisance.

Dear silly young woman who seems to think her choices should be paid for by others.  If you want to stay home with your new pet, companies have a thing called “vacation days.” You might have heard of them.  That’s right, you’re paid and everything.  And it isn’t like you can’t plan this sort of thing out.  You know, “hey, I have 10 days of vacation saved and I want a new pet – perfect, I’ll take vacation and stay home with it”.   Then you can housebreak the little nipper and prevent it from becoming a public nuisance at the same time.  See how that works?

What doesn’t work is this sort of demand that others take up the slack and pay your for time off just because you’ve made a choice that has absolutely nothing to do with them or your work.

But we all know the real bottom line here.  The equating of pets with children gives the entrée into demanding the same sort of treatment that new mothers get.  Because, you know, going to the pet store and pointing to a cat in a cage is just the same as carrying a baby for 9 months and then bearing the child.  So let’s face the truth.  You want time with your pet but you don’t want to spend your vacation days to do that.

What does that make you?  Well mostly a spoiled and entitled child who will one day live in a ramshackle house with 100 cats, living on a pittance of Social Security (because you had difficulty holding on to work) and rail against the world for not giving you the time you demanded when you only had one.

~McQ

Guns rob attackers of their “right to a fair trial”. No. Really.

Yesterday, the Shark said: “Every time I think we’ve reached peak stupid, something new comes along to prove me wrong.”  Well, to prove Shark’s point, I found this:

The Second Amendment is highly contested. There is no doubt that people do have the right to carry and have a stockpile of guns (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms”) and a state has the right to organize a well-regulated Militia. But, the main issue is on the right to self-defend with a firearm.

The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights.

To say this is probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read would be an  understatement.  It is certainly an indicator of how far the left will go in it’s “reasoning” to deny you the use of a gun and your basic right to self-defense.  I said “basic” but self-defense is indeed an inherent right.  You need no one’s permission to exercise it because you own your life and without protecting it, you would obviously cease to exist.

That apparently is lost on this statist rube.  Let’s lay this out a little differently.  This Huffington Post writer is attempting to persuade you that a civil right (an actual societal construct applicable only to a particular society) is somehow superior to an inherent right (a right that is yours without anyone or anything granting it.   It is your existence and its requirements for survival that “grant” it.  The right is applicable to all mankind without exception. It can be violated, but it can’t be taken away.).  We have an idiot here who claims that if you defend yourself your action “imposes on justice”?

Wtf?  Your action, especially if you successfully defend yourself, IS justice!  And how you do it or with what is irrelevant!  Gun?  Knife?  Crowbar?  Throat punch?  Each and every one of those may “impose on justice”, as he defines it and is your right.  But this dolt tries to sell that as a primary reason to restrict the ownership of guns.  Only cops should have guns and you should defer your “self-defense” to them!

This is a person that has no concept of inherent rights, what they mean and why they’re necessary.  So he writes slop like this!  And it gets worse as his “reasoning” stays in the ditch and hits a concrete culvert several times.  No airbags deployed because his ideas weren’t worth spit to begin with and certainly not worth saving.

So Shark … suck it up bud.  We’re not even close to “peak” stupidity.  The stupid machine keeps on churning and the manure keeps on plopping out.

~McQ

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