Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A hundred years.

Exactly a hundred years ago the US Army adopted Browning's 1911 handgun.

Chris Byne has more.

And the gun's still going strong.

It will be interesting to see which other weapons stand that long. There's already several revolvers and the Browning Hi-Power his doing well (1935 introduction) if not as popular as the 1911.

I'm sure the Glock (nearly 30 years) and many of it's contemporaries will be around in the decades to come.


Sometimes Scott Adams really hits the nail on the head.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Special Laws for Special People

Via Sebastian there's an interesting bit on Germany's gun laws.

It's basically divided into Sport, Hunting, and Collecting. It's full of horrendous legal hoops (the hunting exams are prohibitively expensive and complicated, reporting rules are grueling, and there's may issue style stabling blocks everywhere).

And then there's this bit:

In general, a legal gun owner may not receive a Concealed Carry (CC) permit. The government only grants a CC is to people in serious danger of bodily harm of kidnapping, regardless of their status as hunters, sport shooters, collectors or none of the above. Needless to say, politicians at state level are automaticly allowed a CC permit.

Yes, needless to say, politicians are special.

Sounds familiar though?

A California state Senate committee will consider a
bill next week that grants legislators permission to carry concealed firearms. The measure highlights the growing rift between the bureaucratic class and taxpayers who don’t have the luxury of exempting themselves from bad laws.

Special laws for special people.
Via Jay G in another state that's ruled by oh so special pols.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Libya, Obama, and the Rubes.

Let's start with Tam:

Do you know what this is? This is the Last Hurrah of the Vietnam-protesting Baby Boomers. Those poor gray-haired bastards pulled their dusty love beads and tie-dyed banners out of the closet for one last charge into the breach to get Barack Obama elected and here we are, not three years later, lobbing cruise missiles at wogs. If irony had calories, I wouldn't need solid food for the next three months...


"But... but... he told us he was different. That when he promised us everything that he really meant it!"

And Frank J. is back with a new In My World on the same subject.

“Would you like me to repeat everything I just said about March Madness?” [Obama asked]

“No; the question is about Libya.” [the reporter said.]

“Oh, well there is not really much to say about that. Qdaffy is a terrible dictator, so we’re going to use military force to take him out.”

“And do you see any hypocrisy after all your opposition to the war in Iraq?”

Obama looked confused. “I didn’t think anyone took that seriously.”

“It was kind of a big deal,” the reporter said. “People criticized Bush endlessly for years and quite vehemently. It was your party’s — and your own — main objection to him. There were huge protests constantly. He was called one of the worst president’s ever because of it, and some on the left even called him a war criminal.”

“Oh. I think I see the confusion.” Obama nodded. “Let me explain it this way: I’m a left-winger, so pretty much everything out of my mouth is just partisan nonsense.”

And it just gets better.

That's at least one upside to things going off the rails. The wailing of many of the rubes that acutally trusted the gommers they put in charge.

"But but... things would work this time."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Union Power

Rand Simberg has a roundup of Public Union actions

Destruction of petitions, invasion of committee hearings, and blatant death threats (complete with stalking locaions) against people who dare to record union activity.

Rand ends with:
And you know what’s ironic? To the degree that these children think about it at all, they probably think that we’re the fascists.

And speaking of death threats Glen Reynolds links to some uncomfortable questions.

1. Do you think of Republicans and the Tea Party as dangerous, violent extremists?
2. Do you think the Wisconsin protests over GOP Governor Scott Walker’s move to strip public sector employees of collective bargaining were peaceful?
3. Do you scoff at the right wing notion that mainstream media like the New York Times, the TV networks and NPR have a liberal media bias against the conservatives?

If you answered ‘yes’ to all three of those questions, then let me ask you one more…

Why isn’t the mainstream media talking about the death threats against Republican politicians in Wisconsin?

For what it's worth it was asked at the Huffpo

And more Leftist voilence from Reynolds here, here, here, and here.

But it's those crazy Tea Partiers you have to watch out for.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why no Risk Management?

Watch this ep of Trifecta, and stay to the very end.

Watch for some perspective, and for some scale.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What real layers and layers of oversight mean.

Fukushuma explained.

I will try to summarize the main facts. The earthquake that hit Japan was 7 times more powerful than the worst earthquake the nuclear power plant was built for (the Richter scale works logarithmically; the difference between the 8.2 that the plants were built for and the 8.9 that happened is 7 times, not 0.7). So the first hooray for Japanese engineering, everything held up.

When the earthquake hit with 8.9, the nuclear reactors all went into automatic shutdown. Within seconds after the earthquake started, the control rods had been inserted into the core and nuclear chain reaction of the uranium stopped. Now, the cooling system has to carry away the residual heat. The residual heat load is about 3% of the heat load under normal operating conditions.


When designing a nuclear power plant, engineers follow a philosophy called “Defense of Depth”. That means that you first build everything to withstand the worst catastrophe you can imagine, and then design the plant in such a way that it can still handle one system failure (that you thought could never happen) after the other.

Go to the link to read the chain of events.

There's some good lessons learnt from this (like compatability of emergency backup generators, main backup generator locating, and steam venting).

Unfortunatly, this event has a major chance of killing nuclear development (at least in the West). Which has the irony of keeping the older plants around longer than if they were replaced by the newer, more robust, plants.

Via Rand.

And similar thoughts and comments from Glen Reynolds.

JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE CAUSING antinuclear folks to get frisky. I’d say that members of Congress should take a time-out — and maybe, you know, pass a budget — before they start trying to pass new laws on nukes. They should also explain where the energy is going to come from if we can’t drill for oil, can’t burn coal, can’t dam streams, can’t put windmills where they might spoil a Kennedy’s view, and can’t build nukes. Vague allusions to “green power” don’t count.

But math is hard!

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Andrew Medina says we’re lucky to face nuclear-plant problems, because if the tsunami had hit a solar farm instead, “10,000’s of Lbs of lead and cadmium telluride would have been swept into the Sea of Japan poisoning just about everything.”

Green. Power.

And then there's this.

And another explosion but worse?

Well, power has to come from somewhere, and unicorns and feelings don't count.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Bryan Preston has them.

Remember when ObamaCare passed, and Tea Partiers went nuts, stormed the hill, took over the building and handcuffed themselves inside? Yeah, me neither, because the Tea Partiers are civilized and didn’t do any of that. Wisconsin’s leftist union thugs, not so much.

Different standards. Though long term...

The real danger coming from Madison.

It's now about whether we are to have an orderly democracy or legislative and executive anarchy, whether elections can be delegitimized and even overturned by the daily plebiscites of the polls, by the flouting of sacred oaths of office and by the trampling on the laws of the state.

It must stop. As President Obama liked to remind the GOP during the first two years of his administration, elections have consequences. From the Republican point of view, there was plenty not to like about Obama's program, including the stimulus and the health-care bill, but
they voted anyway and took their lumps like grownups.

What the Democrats are doing in Wisconsin is more than just a disgrace. It's a danger to our republican form of government, a formula for permanent, no-holds-barred combat long after the polls have closed and the people have spoken.
Vai Insty

Who adds:
As I said before, they’re setting precedents here, but they’re as myopic politically as they are fiscally.

UPDATE: Dana Loesch on Facebook: “Right now heads collectively exploding in newsrooms across the country as media grapples with the fact that the mostly-white crowd in Madison breaking things isn’t the tea party.”

Althouse looks at the mob earlier today.
"This is what democracy looks like" — that's the chant we've heard for 3 weeks. How do you like this new democracy, that has a mob storming the Capitol and, with the aid of the minority party, blocking the access of the majority party into their offices and into the legislative chamber? It looks more like anarchy to me.

From a comment at Althouse's:

I want to know...

Only six weeks or so ago, we were discussing how the presence of one nasty sign completely disqualified the Tea Party from participation in the political process.

Why isn't this same standard applied to these bastards?

And speaking of the New Civility.  Such classy, sensitive folks.

Ramming speed?
It’s a Stage Five political cliche to say of your opponents that they “rammed through” a piece of legislation. But in this case it’s especially stupid. “Ramming” implies resistence, like a running back taking the ball up the gut and into a defensive line. But you can’t ram it through a defense that’s not even in the stadium. If anything, the Republicans floated the bill through. Positively waltzed it.

Facts don't matter to these folks.

And Passed.
Once Walker signs in the suits can start.  Because it's not over.  Not by a long shot.

Added: Want to know what Obama thinks?

Here's a taste from Allahpundit: "After three weeks of death threats and mob intimidation, we need some sort of perfect ironic closure. Bingo."

To repeat a point made earlier today, Wisconsin public employees still have more collective bargaining rights than federal employees under Obama do, notwithstanding the fact that Democrats recently had control of both chambers of Congress and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. If scaling back CB on the benefits side for PEUs makes Walker guilty of assault, what’s Obama guilty of by not moving more forcefully on bargaining rights for federal workers? Criminally negligent homicide?
And fore more irony look to the cause that Obama can get behind and make a dramatic stand on: School Bullying.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Well the WI senate passed the bill and... just go to the links.

In short the mob doesn't like a legal vote that passed (albeit under different quorum rules) and decided to occupy the building.

And, from the comments: “They intend to physically keep the legislature from assembling tomorrow to vote. Mob rule… ”

Also: “I guess that this means the new civility bullshit is officially over?”

And, noting the DNC’s involvement in these protests: “Barack Obama paid for, organized, and is putting on this riot.”

There's more here

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Something less depressing.

Here's something nice.

The Fallen Empire(s).

See what it takes to get Richard Fernandez to say this:

Come to think of it, Jesse Jackson Junior’s speech is sober, thoughtful and considered in comparison to the savants who now guide our world.

Hint, it's related to the United Kingdom's slow descent from Empire to Third World Nation.

Because being green means abandoning such uncouth ideas as 24-7 power, but don't worry instead of being a sign of failure blackouts will become a "feature."

Yes, that's what Peter Holliday head of the UK's power monopoly called it:

Holliday has for several years been predicting that blackouts could become a feature of power systems that replace reliable coal plants with wind turbines in order to meet greenhouse gas targets. Wind-based power systems are necessary to meet the government’s targets, he has explained, but they will require lifestyle changes.

But don't worry, important industries and other locations will get priority power. No chance for abuse there. Well... unless you happen to know your history.

It's like watching someone bleed out in the bathtub.

Not that the US is doing so hot either.

And that's not counting Rep Jackson's bright idea tht the  First Amendment gives the Federal gov the authority  to create jobs for everyone.

Well... if you've already got mandatory health insurance why not?

As Drew M says:

It's fun to mock an idiot like Jackson, Jr. but let's be honest, his "understanding" of what rights are and how the economy works is shared by a lot of people.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Gadhafi's... not doing too well.
The rebellion against him is pretty well equipped.

Right, they have jets and stuff too, from defecting air force pilots. The plucky, ragged renegade rebellion has artillery and jets.

He really does not enjoy any of the advantages of your usual tyrant. He fails at evil.

Strategypage has more info on why the Libyan army was so ready to fragment and have mass defections to the rebels. In short Gadhafi feared a coup from the military (similar to how he seized power) and kept the military impoverished and demoralized, even by Third-world tyrant standards.

And here's more info on what makes Lybia's uprising different from Tunisia's or Egypt's.

Well, at least it'll be hard to have a new regime there that's more evil than Gadhafi's (the man already enslaved Libya into a Stalinist-Islamist state, exported terrorism worldwide and had his own nuclear program), conversely it'll be hard to have one that's more incompetent.

Alternatively why does there have to be a new regime? Why not Somalia on the med?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Buy War Bonds... Or Else.

uAce looks into government actions of the past and wonders why things have gotten... easier.

Those claiming ObamaCare is constitutional claim that health care is so important that it springs into life a new power, never before utilized by Congress in the past, or, alternately, a power Congress has always had, but hasn't used before, because it has not come across a situation of such importance that it felt justified the use of the always-available but never-used power.

Well, my answer to that is Hitler's Nazi Invasion of the World. It seems to me that defeating Hitler was also a very important goal -- one might say it was almost as important as ObamaCare, even! -- and yet Congress did not use this allegedly always-available power then.

If this power always existed, why did they forget to use it? Why did they simply encourage people to buy war bonds rather than mandating that they did?

This was also at the height of the New Deal so price controls and wartime industiral mandates, in addition to the mass draft.

But you see... Obamacare is different.