Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ninth Circuit: Sea Shepard's Actions are "Piracy"

Have you heard of the TV show Whale Wars? If not, it's a reality show on the Animal Planet channel that follows a group of hard-line environmentalists who are engaged in stopping whaling. These environmentalists have a ship called the "Sea Shepherd" and they go around making life difficult for Japanese whaling vessels.

When I say "making life difficult", I mean: they ram the whaler's ships with their own ship, they throw nets in front of the whalers to ensnare/damage their propellers, and they throw glass jars of acid at the whalers. You gotta admit, that's some pretty serious stuff.

So, obviously, the Japanese whalers aren't exactly thrilled with what's going on. Accordingly, the Japanese folks have sued the Sea Shepherd folks in federal district court, claiming that the acts of the Sea Shepherd and its crew amount to piracy, and are seeking an injunction.

The district court dismissed the piracy claim, and the Japanese appealed to the Ninth Circuit, who reversed the trial court. Here's how Judge Kozinski begins his opinion:
You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.
You can read the full opinion here. I love it, and he's exactly right. Just because you believe that you're acting in a principled manner and that you're on the side of the angels doesn't mean you get to throw acid at other ships and ram them. There's no exception for subjectively believing you have good intentions. If you do these thinigs, you're a pirate. Maybe you're not a very hard-core pirate, but you're still attacking another ship on the high seas.

Also, you know what didn't help the Sea Shepherd's lawyer? It's kind of hard to argue that your client isn't a pirate when this is their flag:

Seriously, counselor? That's your client's flag? And you're gonna sit there and tell me that your client isn't a pirate? Right.

Here's the thing: if you're going to go to the point where you throw acid at other ships, ram them, and intentionally try to damage their propulsion and steering capabilities with nets, why not go all in? If you're going to be a pirate - own it. Get some cannons, some torpedoes, and be serious about it. Or don't do it at all.

The only thing worse than a pirate is a half-assed pirate.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sasha Volokh to Speak in Greenville Tomorrow

If you're in Greenville, SC tomorrow (and you're a law-dork), you should go check out Sasha Volokh, who will be speaking at the local Federalist Society Chapter. The event will be at Womble Carlyle's office in Greenville. Sasha is smart as a whip. You should definitely get to hear him speak if you can.

He'll be discussing Minneci v. Pollard and constitutional torts.

Jon Stewart Mocks the Sequester DOOM!

If Obama has lost Jon Stewart, he's in trouble.

Understanding the Sequester (Pie Chart)
You know, to hear some people tell you about the sequester, we're DOOMED! March 1 will be here soon. What do you think will happen?

I think this pie chart really puts the cuts in perspective. They're not really that big. To put it another way, this year, the cuts are $85 billion, leaving the government with a nearly $3.6 trillion budget.

In fact, under the sequester the government will spend about $60 billion more than it did in 2008 just on what are called domestic discretionary programs — like education, law enforcement, highways and the environment. That's an increase of more than 10%.

I understand that the sequester is going to cut across the board. Good programs that don't waste money will lose funding along with the wasteful, useless, bloated programs. But the government will spend more the year after. The spending is set to increase at the same rate as always. We're just having a one-time cut, then we'll continue to spend more each year.

We're driving towards a cliff, and instead of accelerating at full speed, we're just going to tap the brakes for a second, then accelerate at full speed again. Maybe we are DOOMED. Just not the way people are saying.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meat, Murder, and Morrissey

I kind of vaguely remember Morrissey from back in the day, but I'm not really sure I can think of any of his songs. In any event, this guy Morrissey is upset that he has to share the world with people who have different views from his.

Life is tough when you're an aging rock star that no one really remembers, and you don't eat meat. So, after bering invited on the Jimmy Kimmel, Morrissey decides that he can't agree to go on the show until his demands are met. These demands? Oh nothing, just disinvite some of the other scheduled guests.

The former Smiths frontman and outspoken vegetarian/animal-rights activist has announced that he won't be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel LIve on Tuesday because he doesn't want to share the stage with the animal-stalking crew of the reality TV series "Duck Dynasty."
In explaining his decision, Morrissey, never one to withhold an opinion, referred to the show's stars as "animal serial killers."
"As far as my reputation is concerned, I can't take the risk of being on a show alongside people who, in effect, amount to animal serial killers," the singer said in a statement posted online. "If Jimmy cannot dump 'Duck Dynasty,' then we must step away."
Wait, what? The guys from Duck Dynasty are so evil that a rock star can't be on stage in the same show with them? These guys make duck calls and go duck hunting. That's it. They're not part of Hitler's lost SS Battalion, they aren't in a Satanic cult, and they aren't lawyers.

They're just country folks who hunt. Really. That's it. And they're "animal serial killers". Well, I guess I'm in the "serial killer" club as well. I guess everyone who's in Ducks Unlimited, hunts deer, or even fishes, is now part of the ol' serial killer club. Do we get any perks? Are there any badges or anything?

These militant vegans are seriously crazy. The funny part is that they are the most intolerant people you'll meet. I used to know one. In college, a militant vegan was housemates with a friend of mine. This militant vegan was extreme, which is her choice. The odd part was that her cats (yes she had animal companions) were forced to partake in her vegan lifestyle. Whenever I would visit, I would ultimately end up getting in debates about eating meat and such. I'm sure you'll be shocked to know that we never really ended up convincing the other person. Basically, I was the antithesis of everything good to her - a white, southern male who killed animals and ate meat. Yep, an animal serial killer.

I noticed that whenever I would come over that her cats would always come into the kitchen when I would cook, as I was cooking meat, and they were forced to eat seaweed or something equally icky and vegan. I knew that because she disliked all my meat eating, if I could get her cats to love me, it would really annoy her.

It's amazing how rubbing a little chicken grease on your shoelaces keeps cats sitting at your feet and licking your shoes your all night long.

Remember to Get Your Rest

No blog from me today. There's not much going on in the world worth discussing. Get your rest.

People are counting on you.

Monday, February 25, 2013

How Republicans Can Be Cool

Is this possible? The drinking age is an interesting idea. I think that returning drug policy to the state level would be a better idea.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Best Pimento Cheeseburger in Columbia

Have no fear, the intrepid writers at Garden and Gun have done all the tough research for you, and they've come up with the list of the best places in Columbia, SC to get a pimento cheeseburger. For what it's worth, Permanent Press officially endorses the Kingsman and its pimento cheeseburger when you're looking to slip into dreamlike a food coma on a Friday afternoon.

Now, if you want to do hard work of checking each spot out...I won't try to talk you out of it.

2-21-13 Morning Thread

Good morning, campers....this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby. There's not much news today, but here you go:

WHY CALIFORNIA IS GOING BROKE: Last year, 572 San Francisco city workers made more than the Governor of California.

DALLAS TEACHER SAYS WRITE ABOUT ANYTHING YOU WANT: Unless you write about something she don't personally like. In that case, you'll fail.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Downton Abbey Raises Money for PBS

Courtesy of , who brought this to my attention, it has finally been revealed how PBS intends on making money even if the federal funding is eliminated.
Yes, I'll admit it. I'm watching.

News Roundup 2-20-13

  1. Alan Wilson Has a Good Idea: Whenever someone is adjudicated mentally ill by an SC Court, SLED is put in the loop on that. Ummmm...we weren't doing that before?
  2. Gas Prices are Going Up: The price of gasoline is going up, and The State is blaming "speculators".
  3. Columbia City Water Prices Going up 8%: So water will cost more. Funny, I wonder why they aren't blaming the evil "water speculators". Also, it doesn't appear that we'll be getting 8% more water.
I'm not in an especially charitable mood today, so this is your blog for the day. If you have any problem with that: Judge Smails has my response.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My CWP Class Experience

On Saturday, I sat through my CWP (concealed weapons permit) instruction. The instruction is required to be a minimum of eight hours, which includes both classroom time and range time.

There were eight total people in the class, which made it an average-sized class, according to Paul Peters, the instructor. If you pay attention to South Carolina gun law news, Paul Peters recently was in the news, for his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the issue of modifying the concealed carry laws to allow for concealed carry into establishments that serve alcohol for on-premises consumption. Here's a photo of Paul from the classroom portion:

Paul Peters is grading our tests at this point.
Paul has a great background for teaching the CWP class. He’s a former police officer, former Lexington County Councilman, and he helped write the existing CWP law. In addition to being a certified instructor for the CWP class, he’s also a certified instructor for teaching other instructors.

The day was broken into three segments: a classroom portion, a range portion (actual shooting), and then further classroom time. Finally, we took a written exam. After the exam, Paul gave us the added service of fingerprinting us. He didn’t have to do that, but since he is a former police officer, he knows how to do it, and has all the equipment. That saved everyone a trip to the police station.

After taking the class I have a couple of thoughts. [NONE OF THIS IS LEGAL ADVICE] First, it is absolutely necessary to take the CWP course given the amount of laws regulating where you can carry, the practicalities you need to consider, the problems you will encounter, and specifically, when you can use deadly force, and how you go about it.
Going into the class, one of the main questions I wanted to discuss was how to handle a traffic stop while legally carrying. For the most part, I observe the speed limit, but I have been known from time to time to daydream while driving, and when that happens I end up going a little faster than the posted speed limit. I wanted to know what I should do in the situation I end up confronted by John Q. Law in a routine traffic stop.

Paul went into that scenario in detail, and he had the advantage of discussing the situation from both the points of view. For the police officer, a traffic stop is a dangerous part of the job. You’re approaching a person that you don’t know anything about, it could be dark, it could in an isolated place. They could be a normal person who happened to be speeding, or they could be a drug dealer who has a bunch of drugs in the trunk. As the officer, you don’t know who you’re dealing with.

As the person stopped, you don’t know what kind of police officer has just stopped you. It could be an old veteran who is wise and knows how to handle things, or it could be a scared young rookie making his first solo traffic stop, and he’s a little jittery.

As the person who has been stopped, it is your goal to put the officer at ease. You don’t want to do anything that will make him nervous, or afraid, because that’s how you end up getting shot. If it’s daytime, you will want to pull over somewhere safe, and if it’s nighttime, you will want to pull over somewhere as well-lit as possible. That way everyone can see. If you’re still in a dark place, put your dome light on. That way the police officer can see you more clearly. Remember, he doesn’t know what you’re doing in the car.
You should roll down the windows, put the car in park, turn it off, and then sit there calmly with your hands on the wheel. Don’t start reaching for your license; don’t start looking in the glove box for your registration and proof of insurance. Just sit there. The officer hasn’t asked for those yet. He will, but this isn’t the time to anticipate his questions. Just sit there quietly.

When the officer gets to your car, you’ll get the ol’ “Do you know why I pulled you over?’ question. How you answer that is up to you. The part that concealed carry folks want to remember is that when the officer asks for your driver’s license, you have to give him your CWP license, and inform him that you are legally carrying at that time. Don’t start reaching for your gun, don’t do anything else. As soon as you tell the officer this, you’re going to be entering territory where the officer realizes there is another firearm (other than his) present.

Personally, I’m going to handle the situation as follows:
Police Officer:           May I see your license and registration?
Me: [Hands SCDL, registration, and CWP license to officer] Officer, I am a CWP holder, and I am currently carrying a concealed weapon on my person. How would you like to proceed?

This has put the officer on notice that I have a gun. I’m not reaching for it, I’m keeping my hands on the wheel, and I’m not doing anything that could threaten him. If he’s a veteran cop, he may just do nothing and proceed with the traffic stop. If he wants to remove the gun from me for the duration of the traffic stop, I would tell him that I would prefer not to handle my gun in his presence, and I would prefer that I step out of the car, and he can remove it from me himself. That way, there is no way that I am doing anything that could threaten him.

Going through that scenario in the class was only a fraction of what we learned. I’m sure everyone is familiar with these signs:

Did you know that for that sign to be legally enforceable, it has to be an exact size? (8" x 12") If it’s smaller, it’s of no legal effect. If it’s larger it’s of no legal effect. That blows my mind. It has to be posted between 40" and 60" high, and it has to be a certain proximity from the door. (Side note, the signs at Regal Cinemas are at the ticket box office, not the door. So guess what? They're not legally enforceable.) Also, if the sign has to be posted at every entrance to the building, or the building isn’t covered. Here’s another one: if the words “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED” aren’t in ALL CAPS, it’s not a legal sign. If you start looking at most places, the signs aren’t in compliance. Interesting huh?

Paul also let us know that this course was not the time for us to learn to shoot our guns, and this course was not the sum total of the training we should receive. He told us that we should continue to train and shoot at least once a month to stay proficient. He also recommended several other defensive handgun courses.

Over the whole course, Paul was the consummate professional, and he is extremely knowledgeable. He answered all of our questions in a discussion type format. With only eight students, it was very much like an upper level college course at my college. He asked us questions about hypothetical situations and we discussed them at length. We went through how handguns work in detail. We exhaustively went through handgun safety. During the entire class, safety was paramount. In fact, Paul started the class by saying “I don’t care if all you flunk this class, but we’re going to be safe today.”

Overall, the course was absolutely necessary. I cannot imagine the State of South Carolina just saying Go ahead and carry – good luck with figuring everything out.

For instance, let’s say you have a handgun in your car (you’re not a CWP holder, just a regular joe). In South Carolina, it’s perfectly legal to do that. However, in South Carolina you have to have it in the glove box, the center console, or the luggage compartment. If you get stopped by the police, it has to be in one of those three places. But then let’s assume you’re driving to Charlotte to go to the mall. As soon as you cross into North Carolina, the law changes. If you get stopped by the police in North Carolina the handgun has to be in plain view. That means you need to take the handgun out of the glove box and put it on the seat next to you before the officer approaches the car. Personally, I think that is a horrible law, but that’s the North Carolina law.

The sheer intricacies of the law are one thing; the sheer logistics are another; and the decision on when to use lethal force is another idea that needs time to be considered and developed. Paul made it clear that when you are carrying lethal force with you, you need to have planned ahead for situations, so you’re not trying to make important decisions under pressure. Safety, planning, training, and thoughtfulness were the hallmarks of his class.

If you’re looking to take a CWP class, I could not recommend him any more highly. If you’re against carrying concealed, I would recommend you take his class to educate yourself on the mindset of the people on the other side of the debate. There’s no requirement that you carry concealed after taking the class. Heck, you don’t have to even apply to SLED for the permit. It’s simply a great education on the laws in South Carolina.

I enjoyed the range time. We had a nice little bit of a break in between the rain for the shooting portion. Here's all eight of our targets before the shooting.

One target for each student.
Here's my target after the shooting, which has been scored 100 out of 100.

My target after Paul graded it. As you can see, a perfect score, but certainly room for improvement.
Here's Paul scoring anther student's target. As you can see, he went through each target with a little piece of chalk and made sure of each student's score personally.

Paul verifying a shooter's score.
After completing the written test, I received my certificate. I did not receive a perfect score. Paul took off .5 of a point because he didn't like the exact way I worded one of my answers to the written portion. So I ended up with 99.5% on the written test. However, a double 100% would sure look nice on the certificate.

Police Dog in UK Writes Report

The best thing I saw over the weekend (while on my deathbed with a stomach flu) was the police report filled out by a police K-9 named "PC Peach".

My favorite part of the report is "He tasty". Apparently, though, the higher-ups at the police department don't have a sense of humor. They're actually conducting an investigation into this matter. I actually think it's an excellent report. No fluff, no unnecessary background stuff. Just the facts. Sergeant Joe Friday would be proud.

Friday, February 15, 2013

CWP Class Tomorrow

Sorry for the no-blog today. I was stuck in a deposition. Tomorrow is a big day for me, as I'll be taking a CWP class out at Mid-Carolina Rifle Club. Hopefully, the weather will not be too cold.

I've been shooting off and on since I was about 14, but I've never gotten my CWP (concealed weapons permit). I've been meaning to get my CWP for some time now, but I've always been putting it off for one reason or another. Well, no more. Finally doing the CWP course was one of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions. Tomorrow, I'll cross it off the list.

I'll try to get a few pictures, and maybe I'll do a blog post on the class for all y'all who are on the fence about getting your CWP.

Hey, did any of y'all see this story about the disabled cruise ship? This makes me never want to take a cruise. Ever.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day to Mrs. Permanent Press!

Thanks for being the the best wife ever!
Also, don't worry about dinner tonight; I've got it covered.

SC Senate Proposes Common Sense Gun Laws

Currently, a CWP holder is not allowed to legally carry into a business that sells alcoholic liquors, beers or wines for on premises consumption (SC Code 16-23-465). However, a bill is pending in the SC Senate to remove that restriction
Concealed weapons permit holders would be allowed to carry firearms into restaurants and bars if a state Senate bill that advanced Wednesday becomes law.
So there's the removal of the restriction. However, you can't drink while carrying, and the proposed new law would allow any business serving alcohol to ban possession of firearms.
However, permit holders would not be allowed to drink alcohol while carrying their guns, and bar and restaurant owners could choose to prohibit firearms by posting signs that ban them. They also could ask anyone carrying a firearm to leave the premises.
This makes perfect sense to me. Currently, you can't even go into an Olive Garden if your legally carrying with your CWP, even if you're not drinking. That makes no sense. If the business is OK with people having concealed weapons, and the people with the concealed weapons are required to abstain, then I don't see a problem.

Who could argue with these "common sense" gun restrictions?

Read more here:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

If you're down in Charleston this weekend, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (or SEWE) is a must-see for any good Southerner.

Still looking for perfect Valentine's Day plans? Tomorrow night (Valentine's Day) they will be having their preview Gala with a live auction. What better way to have some Southern romance?

It will be in Charleston this weekend (February 15-17) and will have everything from duck decoys, to art, to  conservation programs, to sporting dog competitions. Yes, that's right, you can watch dogs compete in an olympic-style long jump competition into a tank of water. That's worth the price of admission right there.

Westminster Dog Show? Forget that. We have flying dogs.
If you're in Charleston this weekend, I highly encourage you to attend.

SC Attorney General Contemplates Fee Changes for Attorneys

Interesting article (or is it a column?) in today's State, if you're a big-time Plaintiff's lawyer. I'm certainly not a big-time anything, but I find it interesting nonetheless.

No time for a detailed analysis, I have to head to the Court of Appeals for oral arguments later.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

State of the Union History

Tonight, the President will deliver his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress. And although it seems like the State of the Union speech is one of our oldest traditions, that's not entirely true.

You would think that since Article II, Section 3 of the US Constitution requires the President to "from time to time give the Congress Information of the State of the Union" that US Presidents have been giving speeches to Congress since George Washington. Well...not exactly.

Although George Washington did give the State of the Union as a Speech, Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of giving the report as a live speech, because he felt that it seemed too much like a king addressing the country. Consequently, Thomas Jefferson simply delivered the State of the Union to Congress as a written document and had a clerk read it. Thereafter, US Presidents followed Jefferson's example and had the message delivered to Congress in written form only until 1912. Think about that. Just to name a few Presidents who never gave the State of the Union Speech: Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt.

In 1912, Woodrow Wilson revived the live speech, and since then, the state of the union has pretty much always been a live speech. With the media world we live in now, it would almost be unthinkable for the President to pass up an opportunity to get over an hour of exposure on television, so I don't imagine that any President will ever revive the Jeffersonian practice, but it would be a nice throwback.

I agree with Jefferson in that there is something "Kingly" about the nature of the President's entry and reception into the House. Although it will never happen, I'd like to see a President invoke Jefferson and just mail it in.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Pope Is Quitting (Good for him)

The Pope has announced that he's quitting. Frankly, I don't really blame him. He's 85 years old, and being the Pope probably doesn't allow you to just relax. All that traveling can really wear you out.

Maybe the Cardinals should think about getting a really young guy (maybe mid 50s) to be Pope. It's a big job, an important job, and if you're not feeling up to it, then you probably have an obligation to step aside.

Let's all cut the Pope some slack.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How To Drink Like a Southerner

To drink like a Southerner one must drink with relish, rather than drab connoisseurship; with a sense of semi-forbidden delight, as when breaking curfew for the first time; with garrulous abandon...

Southern Foods May Raise Stroke Risk

Shocking news from the world of medicine and health: Eating tons of fried and fatty foods may be bad for you. In related news, I'm getting late breaking report that water is wet.

Moderation is the key.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Finally Got My Springfield XD(s)

It took a little while to get here (and I was delayed one day because I had to work late) but I finally took possession of my brand-new Springfield Armory XD(s). Range review eventually forthcoming. Until then, you'll just have to enjoy the still photo.

I can't wait to put some rounds downrange.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monopoly Game To Lose a Token

Apparently, the guys in charge of Monopoly have been sitting around thinking of something to do. They have a classic board game, and they've decided that being classic and traditional sucks. I guess the marketing guys are trying to figure out a way to justify their salaries.

They're going to be new, edgy, and give up a traditional token in favor of a new token. And they want your vote! Swine. This is classic marketing/advertising crap.
Hasbro came up with a list of potential replacements, conducted an internal vote and narrowed the field to five finalists: a robot, diamond ring, cat, helicopter and guitar. The classic token with the fewest number of votes will be replaced by the new token with the highest number. The winner is to be announced on Wednesday.
A robot, a diamond ring, a cat, a helicopter, and a guitar? What the hell? Why not have a little iPad  token while you're at it? Maybe we could change all the tax rates while we're at it. Income tax of 15%? We should be so freaking lucky. One of the best parts of Monopoly is the fact that it hasn't changed. The same game that my parents played, is the same game that I played, but that's it. Now they're going to get rid of part of the original game. Awesome idea y'all. Find a great product that people want and then change it. Oh, and if you go to their website, part of the marketing is Buy a game now before we change it!


Monday, February 4, 2013

My Post Super Bowl Thoughts

So the SuperBowl was yesterday. I hear that it was a blowout at the beginning, Beyonce was awesome in the middle, energy efficient in the third quarter, and close at the end. I didn't actually watch one moment of the game. Yeah, I know, it's The Superbowl! You gotta watch it. I didn't. Wasn't interested. Not even a little.  Don't worry, I'm not one of those smug jerks who loves to show off how out of the mainstream they are. I wasn't reading Jack Kerouac.

I watched a marathon of Game of Thrones because I had never seen it. It's awesome, by the way.

The thing is, I only have so much sports in me, and I really follow the college football season and baseball closely. If I started watching NFL football, it would be like a late-night booty call. I just show up for the playoffs after not having watched a game? That feels kind of cheap and trashy to me.

Mrs. Permanent Press likes to say that the time from the end of the college football season until the beginning of baseball is "the romance time". Ever seen Fever Pitch? Conveniently, Valentine's Day falls at just the right time.

However, the Superbowl is one of those shared experiences that everyone has. Reading through my Twitter feed (from last night) during lunch today, I felt a twinge of remorse for not being "part of it" and enjoying the same thing the rest of my friends (and most of the world) was enjoying. That wouldn't have really been possible just a few years ago. Social media has brought us together for these shared experiences in a new way.

I did see most of the big commercials, courtesy of YouTube, and I have to say that I wasn't that impressed by most. The Budweiser Clydesdales was probably the best, because it's almost a traditional commercial now. Check out this link; it's got some great old Bud commercials.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Joe Biden Accidentally Tells the Truth

God love 'em.
“Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what we’re at now”. -Joe Biden
But remember, something must be done. For the children.

Unemployment Up .1%


Hey, don't complain. This is what y'all voted for. I'm sure the President is focused on jobs though.