Category Archives: Political Commentary

Cue Wagner

The anti-globo morons have come up with some brilliant and practical ideas to deal with the G8’s choice of Sea Island for the next summit.

A posting by the group Food Not Bombs in Berkeley, Calif., said it may build a “a floating food warehouse and communal kitchen to serve delicious vegan meals to participants arriving at the island by kayak.”

Or perhaps protesters could take up a collection to buy one of Sea Island’s 500 “cottages,” which range in price from $1.3 million to $18 million.

“If ten-thousand people chipped in half a grand each, we could collectively own it, and then throw a REALLY BIG HOUSEWARMING PARTY,” wrote a messager using the name “mj,” who included a link to real estate listings on Sea Island’s Web site. “It’d have to be illegal to keep us off the island.”

But here’s my favorite:

One messager using the name “wispy” suggested trying to breach the island with flotilla of boats flying pirate flags and blaring composer Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”

I love the smell of salt-sprayed vegans in the morning.

Happy To Be Wrong

Yesterday, in a momentary fit of insanity, I defended Bill Clinton in an email to the Mickster.

Here’s what I wrote him:


You quoted Bill Clinton as saying “We need to be creating a world that we would like to live in when we’re not the biggest power on the block,” and implied that it was semantically equivalent to Howard Dean’s statement. Now, I’m normally the last person to defend Bill Clinton (or Chris “the weasel” Lehane), but I don’t see the two statements as equivalent. Like most of Mr. Clinton’s pronouncements, it is somewhat ambiguous and lawyerly.

He’s saying that we ought to build a world as though we weren’t the most powerful nation in it, even though we are. I don’t infer that he’s saying that we necessarily may not be in the future (or, of course, that he’s not saying that either–as I said, ambiguous). That is, he’s making a moral imprecation, not a practical recommendation. Sort of like the Golden Rule.

Dean’s statement was much more explicit, and therefore more attackable.

Mark this day–I’ll probably never defend Mr. Clinton again (and in fact, I don’t agree with his comment, or at least what he actually means by it, which is just more of the transnational gooiness that he and Ms. Albright gave us, and got us into this mess).

Happily, he set me straight. (Sorry, no permalink. It’s near the top now, but for archival purposes it’s the April 30 posting.)

When provided the full context, I agree that it’s clear that Mr. Clinton did mean exactly what Governor Dean said–that we will decline, and we should prepare for it. I’m relieved to know that on the rare occasion that I defend the ex-sinkmeister, that I’m wrong.

More Reefer Madness

A reader emails:

Regarding your section “Lies, Damned Lies And Statistics” on your weblog today, you quoted Bob Weiner as saying that THC was the second leading cause of car crashes. I did some quick research and this certainly appears to be false. In fact, the studies specifically find that THC is only statistically significant if used in combination with another drug.

See the following links:

Link 1

Link 2

The definitive review would appear to be this one, because it appeared in Epidemiologic Reviews:

Link 3

Unfortunately, this journal does not have full-text articles (or even abstracts) available on-line to that date.

What, a (former) government official lie about effects of illegal drugs? I’m shocked, shocked…

Keeping The Mindless Faith

Well, the people in Michigan have been allowed to exercise their Second-Amendment rights for a year now, and the handwringers are still waiting for blood to flow in the streets a la Dodge City.

But Michael Zagaroli, a Grand Rapids attorney who represented the state’s police chiefs in their fight against the law, said it’s too early to draw conclusions.

“I can’t sit here and say there’s been a huge problem that has cropped up, but it’s only been one year. What may happen over five years? I just have to believe that injecting so many tens of thousands of additional guns into the public realm is not going to lead to good things.”

“I have to believe, brother! Testify! Show us the power!”

To heck with rationality, or statistics, or empirical results, or…reality. He has to believe, thus demonstrating that anti-gun hysteria is irrational, and religious in nature (which we knew all along).

Here’s another man who remains true to his faith:

Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth expected the worst. He envisioned an armed populace “overreacting” and pulling guns to shoot purse snatchers. He was among 17 prosecutors across the state to quit their county’s gun boards in protest of the new law.

“You just can’t convince me that allowing everybody and anybody to carry a gun concealed on their person is going to make it a safer place to live,” Forsyth said at the time. He did not return calls for this report.

I particularly like that last sentence. Rather than speaking in tongues, his fervent worship has apparently struck him recently dumb. Errrrr…mute. Based on the above, it sounds like the dumbness has been a longer-term problem.

Oh, but wait!

Maybe this is the reason that Michiganians haven’t been perforated and desanguinated in record numbers over the past twelve months–they’ve been keeping the guns out of the hands of vicious criminals:

“Looking at your application, it shows you have a life- preserver violation,” said Ottawa County Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Babbitt, who ran the meeting.

Vitunskas sank in his chair as he recalled fishing for catfish on the Grand River in June 2001 with two buddies on his 10-foot, flat-bottom boat. He said he didn’t know it was a misdemeanor when he signed the DNR ticket for having two life jackets instead of three.

Sharp eyes, there, Mr. Prosecutor! That’s right, we all know that it starts with life preservers, and from there it’s straight down the steep and slippery slope to bank robberies.

But not all of the potential evildoers were so obvious:

A Grand Haven man was denied because he pruned a tree while deer hunting in a federal forest — a misdemeanor…

…Forrest Brown figured he’d breeze through. The 45-year-old Grand Haven man expected to walk out of Ottawa County’s May gun board meeting with a permit. His record is clean, except for the ticket he got from the state DNR in October 2000.

Brown said he didn’t know he was committing a misdemeanor when he trimmed branches of scrub oak in a national forest to create a shooting lane for his father, who recently had hip surgery.

Yes, it would never have occurred to me, but the authorities know better–it starts with trimming branches, then it moves on to felling whole trees, and the next thing you know the perp’s walking down Grand River Avenue plinking at baby carriages.

But alas–they’re not perfect. Here’s the one that slipped through the cracks, and really has me wiping sweat from my brow, as I contemplate the potential mayhem now that this fiend has gotten hold of a gun:

“There are still some holes in the system, some substantial holes,” she said. “This is very much a self-reporting system. It’s likely that if somebody wanted to represent themselves as having a clean record and had knowledge of how to do it, they may get away with it over a period of time.”

A hole became apparent at a recent Kent County gun board meeting as members considered an applicant named Jason. The board didn’t know about his misdemeanor criminal conviction for illegal use of a telephone in Montcalm County until he told them. A background check had turned up nothing.

They gave a gun to a…a…telephone user. And not just any telephone user, either. They gave it to an illegal telephone user. And I’ll bet it was a concealed phone, too.

This is a man who shouldn’t even be walking the streets, free to call people at will, perhaps telemarketing to them. But no, they not only let him roam free, but these incompetent ninnies give him a gun.

There’s no telling what nefarious activities he’s carrying out even as I type this, because of their malingering insouciance. He’s probably using one hand to sell long-distance service for 4.8 cents a minute, and gunning down innocents with the other.

Well, at least, as we start to get the first news reports from the Great Lake State of the great telephone and gun massacre (I’m sure it will happen any day now, if not any year), some peoples’ faith will be justified and renewed, and we’ll finally be able to overturn this insane law that allows people to protect themselves.

Gay/Liberal Intolerance

Instantman has been running several long posts on the Pink Pistols (a gay gun-rights group), and their interactions with the NRA. It’s interesting to read the whole story, but what struck me about it was the intolerance of the gay and liberal community.

From one of Glenn’s correspondents:

I would say there is a consistent bias in the media, both gay and straight but particularly gay, in the way that gun owners and their views on GLBT people are represented. But I don’t think it’s so much a reporting bias as an editorial bias. Now Steve writes an article on the NRA convention. It says what happened, calls out a speaker who was inappropriate, and talks about the Pink Pistols, giving fair coverage to the point that most gun owners are not homophobic. Steve has done his job. But PlanetOut has never before covered the Pink Pistols in any other context. We’ve been the fastest growing gay sporting organization in the country, probably the fastest growing gay group, and we’ve had a pitched legislative battle with a lesbian senator whose most notable achievement was to amend gun- control legislation to allow arbitrary discrimination against anyone, including gay people, and particularly women and the poor (and who was subsequently endorsed by HRC). During that time, news media from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Blade covered the Pink Pistols, but PlanetOut was nowhere to be seen. Hmm.

Continuing along that line, I note that I never read an article in the gay media like “Gay gun owners say NRA members pretty friendly to them”. We got positive coverage in Gun Week and Guns & Ammo. Does PlanetOut report that? “Gay gun group praised in Guns & Ammo” is just as important a headline as “At NRA gathering, speakers ridicule gays”, isn’t it? Everyone expects Schlussel to mouth off, so is that really bigger news than a gay-friendly gun group getting great coverage in gun media and being invited to speak at lots of pro-gun events, which many gay people claim is impossible?

I found it interesting (but no longer surprising, particularly after the Dr. Laura deal), that the gun rights people seem to be much more tolerant of gays, than the gay and liberal community is of gun activists. It really shatters the stereotypes, and further highlights the hypocrisy of their ongoing demands for “acceptance” and “tolerance.” Don’t expect to read about this in the mainstream press…