Thursday, July 31, 2014

Women on "The View" Have Clarity on Guns and a Woman's Self-Defense

Take a look at this ad. Then read the rest of this post below the jump. Lots to unpack here.

Done? Ok, go below the jump.

Same Sex Couples Apply For Marriage License in Greenville County

Remember my post about the 4th Circuit's decision that overturned Virginia's same-sex marriage ban? If you don't you can see it here.

Well, it didn't take long for same-sex couples in South Carolina to read the tea-leaves. Yesterday, couples lined up for marriage licences in Greenville County. My guess is that they know they'll be denied, and this will form the basis for their suit, which would likely be successful.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Two Recent Civil Rights Victories and Implications for South Carolina

Last Thursday, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia struck down what was essentially a blanket ban on carrying a handgun in DC. [Opinion here]

Basically, DC let you have a handgun in your home for self-defense, but DC had a longstanding ban on possession of a handgun outside of your home. The relevant part of the opinion is here:
In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.

Frankly, I'm not sure if this means you can openly carry in DC or not. The ruling doesn't say what an individual can do - it only says that the District cannot enforce it's existing laws until the District sets up a Constitutional licensing system. I think to be safe, you would probably not want to carry openly. To me, that's just asking for unnecessary heat.

Also, note: this opinion doesn't touch the specific bans on carrying into specific places like the Capitol grounds, government buildings, etc. Those prohibitions are still legal.  Finally, this ruling prohibits the District from applying the law to non-residents based solely on the fact that they are non-residents. Once a licensing system is set up, I think this will change.

In an update, the District is asking for a stay of this ruling while they either appeal to the next level and/or work to put together a licencing system.


Yesterday, a three judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld (2-1) the trial court's decision to strike down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. [Opinion here]

This is important because the 4th Circuit covers South Carolina. That means there is now established precedent in our federal circuit for invalidating state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. I would be very surprised if Plaintiffs from South Carolina are not already in the process of bringing an action. Based on this ruling, I would be surprised if South Carolina's law survives.

To sum up, same-sex marriage advocates and gun-rights advocates both had good days in court, while governments seeking to abridge the rights of citizens had bad days in court.

More freedom is a good thing. As Instapundit says, "in my ideal world, happily married gay couples would have closets full of assault weapons."

With these two decisions, we're one or two steps closer to that now.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rise and Grind - Obama's Personalized Golf Balls

Happy Monday. Rise and grind.

After the birth of our daughter, I took the rest of the week off from blogging. However, I can't stay on permanent vacation, so I'll be back to at least one post a day here. I'll start out with something simple and light, and we'll work up to some more meaty topics as time goes by.

Apparently, a guy fond one of President Obama's lost golf balls and put a picture up of it. It's cool that President Obama has some personalized golf balls [picture at link], but it isn't that surprising.

All the same, it makes me wonder if other Presidents did the same. I'd love to see a collection. Ike played a lot of golf. I wonder if he personalized his golf balls.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Announcing Margaret "Molly" Lamb Caskey!

Normally, I try to avoid the "This is what I did today" type of blog posts, because I know that no one really cares about what I personally did today. However, I am breaking my own rule because (1) it's my blog, I can do whatever I want; and (2) I am proud to celebrate the birth of my second child, Margaret "Molly" Lamb Caskey!

Molly was born this afternoon and is happy, healthy, and perfect. My lovely wife is doing splendidly, and our two year old son is thrilled to be a big brother.

Left to Right: Henry, Mary, Molly

Pretty big day 'round these parts.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Federal Appellate Court Rules Most ACA Subsides are Illegal.

Basically what happened here is the law says subsidies can only be paid to policies written on state exchanges. Obama then rewrote the law to include the federal exchange because...he wanted to.

This Court said ruling said such subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange

Expect some shrieking from the left in 3....2....1...

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Hey Jude" by Wilson Pickett and Duane Allman

Friday afternoon open thread.

Relax and unwind.

h/t Rock N Roll Breakfast

Uber Comes to South Carolina, Bringing Controversy

Uber is here in South Carolina, but state regulators aren't on board.

I'm a free-market guy, so I'm in favor of letting people engage in commerce without the state getting involved. I'm not 100% sure how the liability insurance works, but if it's a good product people will use it. If it's not, people won't use it. If you're not worried about Uber being "regulated" by the State of South Carolina, should you be free to use them? Is that a crime?

Also, how much of this controversy is simply disguised protectionism of the taxi industry?

I'm content to let the market sort it out. Anyone out there strongly for or against regulating Uber drivers?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Commercial Airliner Shot Down In Ukraine

Not good. It sounds like people are pointing fingers at Ukrainian separatists (the pro-Russian folks) within Ukraine. However, there's going to be some finger-pointing for a little while.

However, I expect Putin to come out and say that he's now compelled to go into Ukraine and stop all of this, since Kiev clearly cannot control their own people.

I just hope there wasn't an Austrian Archduke on that airplane.

"A 27-year-old medical professional named Shaneen Allen drove peacefully out of her home state of Pennsylvania and into neighboring New Jersey. Today, she faces the prospect of three years in prison."

Like I always say, be careful when you leave America.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

“So far, Russia has failed to take any of the steps that I have mentioned. In fact, Russia’s support for the separatists and violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty has continued.”

So, President Obama is gonna up the sanctions. Get real tough, so to speak. I guess a few travel restrictions didn't really get their attention, huh? I'm sure that this new sanction will be super-duper, tough.

NEW SANCTION: "The new measures will severely restrict access to American debt markets for the targeted companies."

Ooooooh, snap! We won't loan some Russian companies some money.

That's the kind of tough sanction that's sure to cripple the Russian Bear, because nothing says you're serious like refusing to finance your adversary. Hey, you! Quit beating up on that small kid, or I'll...I'll refuse to loan you money.

Yup. I'm sure that this set of sanctions will work. Seriously, you guys.

Is This a Thing?

Is this a thing? It could be. Or is it just a stunt?

I don't know Todd Kincannon, other than what I've seen on Twitter. He certainly pushes the limits of propriety in his political speech. But not everything has to be everyone's cup of tea. He seems to relish political confrontation.

However, filing a complaint in federal court isn't something you just do for kicks or as a stunt.

Before forming any sort of opinion at all, I'll be interested to see what the defendants' response is to the complaint.

via Insty

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rolling Stone Confirms That They Don't Know Jack About Guns

The magazine that is the authoritative source about firearms has a new piece out about the "The 5 Most Dangerous Guns in America".

No, it's not Guns & Ammo. It's Rolling Stone. I mean, when you think of expert analysis on firearms, you automatically (or at least semi-automatically) think of Rolling Stone. Or am I alone here?

Anyway, the firearm experts over at Rolling Stone have come up with a list of the most dangerous types of firearms. I'm sure this was published after extensive research and serious thought. You ready? They're about to drop some knowledge on you. Seriously, they're about to tell you "These firearms are causing the most harm." You ready? There is a lot of knowledge (and some music) below the jump.

Spurrier Interviews at SEC Media Days 2014

Here you go.


Monday, July 14, 2014

"I didn't care if people stole the newspaper. I just wanted them to read it."

That was Brad Warthen's best line from his interview on the radio last night.

He was discussing what motivated him while at The State, and he had this line to make the point that he didn't care if his opinions pleased the newspaper's advertisers or not. He didn't write things or take positions to try and sell newspapers. He just wanted to be read. (I can relate to that in a way.)

I thought that was the best line of the program.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Federal Judge Continues Blogging

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

Good for him. We could use more men who aren't afraid to step into the light.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

This Will Get You Ready For Some Football

If this doesn't get you up for some college football, you don't have a pulse.

New York Lefty Is Exposed to Guns and Finds He Kind of Digs Them

This post is for people who don't like guns. This post is for people who think that gun owners are idiots or hicks. This post is for people who think that gun owners are absolutely wacko.

Lots of y'all who read this blog are gun people. I'm not making this post for you. Go find another webpage. For instance, you gun folks might like this. (I did.)
I may be a New York lefty—with all the experiences, prejudices and attitudes that one would expect to come along with that, but I do NOT believe that we will reduce gun violence—or reach any kind of consensus—by shrieking at each other. Gun owners—the vast majority of them I have met—are NOT idiots. They are NOT psychos. They are not even necessarily Republican (New Mexico, by the way, is a Blue State). They are not hicks, right wing “nuts” or necessarily violent by nature. And if “we” have any hope of ever changing anything in this country in the cause of reason—and the safety of our children—we should stop talking about a significant part of our population as if they were lesser, stupider or crazier than we are.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SC Supreme Court Issues Opinion In Harrell vs. Attorney General

REVERSED! You can read the opinion here. I'll have comments later.

Why the President Isn't Visiting the Border

In case you were living under a rock the last week or so, you might have noticed that we have a bit shall I put this? We have a weapons-grade disaster on the US/Mexican border.

And people are calling on President Obama to visit the border. I guess this is because they want President Obama to take some sort of action, come up with a plan, or somehow lead. But he's not really interested in going...and I'll tell you why.

He's voting present.

The President chilled in Denver playing pool yesterday. No big deal, it's not like he's got a busy job or anything.

If President Obama goes to the border, his base is going to expect him to declare that the illegal immigrant children aren't going to be deported. They want him to make some sort of executive pronouncement that these children are here to stay, and everyone in America is just going to have to deal with it. That's what the President's base expects.

But he can't really do that because the rest of America wants the President to close the damn border. The rest of America understands that we need to be compassionate to children, but the border has to be closed. And he doesn't want to do that.

So he's stuck between choices of either crossing his base or crossing the rest of America. Neither of those are palatable. So, he's doing neither. He's voting present.

So...the crisis will continue.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Some Thoughts on Hobby Lobby and Why Liberals Fail at America

Now that the long holiday weekend is over, it's back to work. That meant I had a full day today, so no time for blogging until now. I haven't blogged much here on the Hobby Lobby case.

If you go over to Brad's post on that case,I probably wrote more over there than I have over here. In any event, I've covered the legal aspects of the case over there, and I don't really care to rehash that aspect. What I've been mulling over the weekend was the absolute freakout that the left had over the decision. Frankly, it doesn't seem that earth-shattering to me. What really puzzled me was all the hair-pulling, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I saw all that and thought....really? Um, ok.

It puzzled me that people are aghast to discover a law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects religious freedom. The whole reason you pass a law like this is to protect religious freedom and give them accommodations. That's the whole point. But then, this upcoming point was made on Ace's podcast, and it bears repeating here, on this much less frequented corner of the internet, because it clarifies the issue.

The whole point of RFRA is to make special provisions, and to make accommodations with different beliefs. Because normally, the majority of a group finds it annoying to have to make these accommodations.

Accordingly, we passed a law about it - the RFRA. For instance: If a guy at your job site is a Muslim, then he may have to take a break three times a day to pray to Mecca. Obviously, not everyone gets this break. The rest of you guys have to keep digging the ditch. But to get along with the Muslim guy and be tolerant, we've decided, with RFRA, that we are going to respect that this guy has a belief system that isn't what everyone else's belief system is. Therefore, we're going to cut him some slack from the general rule that you don't get three breaks a day to pray in the direction of Mecca.

And for the most part, liberals are seeming fine with some of these special exceptions. But as soon as you have just one special exception that goes against their belief system, they want to crush people and impose their will on them. And then when you point out that the law also protects this religious group, all the liberals start yelling: "What the hell!, Now we're making laws for EVERY SINGLE RELIGIOUS GROUP?? It's going to be like ANARCHY here!" Well....that's kind of what the law says. What did you think the law said?

And that goes into the main point: One of the things that most people think was a good quality in liberals is that they wanted to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. I did. I kind of thought that it was a good thing that liberals at least thought about that problem a lot. They always seemed worried about a small group getting steamrolled by the conventions of the larger group. turns out that liberals don't really think about that. They don't really care about small groups having their own little exceptions if it the small group isn't part of their voting coalition. It was never about principle for liberals. For them, it's purely a transactional process for members of their voting coalition. LIberals are not fighting about the principle of the minority, because when it gets extended to a Christian, they're aghast, and they want to overturn the RFRA. They don't believe in the principle of protecting this religious minority. This whole thing has been very revealing for me.

I've seen liberals basically say that they don't support pluralism of viewpoints in general. They support specific exceptions and accommodations for people in their voting coalition - and that's it. It's not that liberals are principled and good people, they've just decided to do favors for people who vote like them.

And I hear these liberals say, If only these trouble-making Hobby Lobby Christians could be could be forced, somehow coerced by the government, to behave properly, then we wouldn't have these problems!

They fail at America.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Unbroken to the End

Louis Zamperini, an Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, has died. He was 97.

How To Celebrate Independence Day In Columbia

If you're a South Carolinian, you're probably getting ready to celebrate our nation's birthday tomorrow, since South Carolina is the "most patriotic state in the country". Here's what you need to know if you're not sure how to celebrate in the "Famously Hot" southern-style.

MEAT: The Ole Timey Meat Market is where you should be going to get your whatever you'll be grilling or smoking this weekend. Did you know they have bacon wrapped sirloin steaks? This is where I always buy my brisket and pork butts. If you're looking for some of the harder to find cuts of meat, this is the first place to go.

FIREWORKS: Since you're already over on Rosewood for your meat, you're already right next to Casey's Fireworks, which is the best place to get fireworks in Columbia. They've been around since 1949, and they have something for everyone. Everything from sparklers to mortar shells. This is the only place you need to go for things that go bang.

SIDES: For all your other sides, (if you don't want to make them yourself) The Gourmet Shop has you covered. You can get everything from chicken salad to cheese, to wine, to cigars there.

Enjoy your Fourth of July weekend!

New York Health Insurers Request 20% Rate HIke

A 20% increase over last year. I thought Obamacare was supposed to stop this. It's almost like this law wasn't really well thought out.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Kennedy's Concurring Opinion Explained In a One-Act Play

While waiting on hold (with a government office) I had time to compose this short play, which I call: Kennedy’s Concurring Opinion. I hope you all like it.

HHS: Welcome to our office here at HHS. Here, drink some coffee.
Hobby Lobby: I only drink decaf coffee, but I see you have some of that. Since you have that available, I’ll take that.
HHS: Decaf coffee is for other people, not you! Drink this regular coffee! Do it!
Hobby Lobby: Look, you’ve got plenty of decaf coffee for everyone. It’s right there. Can I just have some decaf?
HHS: We get to decide what kind of coffee you get. Now drink this regular coffee!
Hobby Lobby: Hey…I didn’t come here to argue. If this is going to be a problem, I’ll just leave.
HHS: No. You’re not going anywhere. You’re going to sit here and drink some coffee, and it’s going to be regular!
Hobby Lobby: Ummmm….can I speak to your supervisor or something?

Supervisor Kennedy: What’s the problem here?
HHS: This person won’t drink the regular coffee. They’re demanding decaf!
Supervisor Kennedy: What’s this marked “Decaf" right here?
HHS: That’s decaf coffee.
Supervisor Kennedy: Looks like you have plenty of decaf. And didn’t I just see you give decaf coffee to the last person?
HHS: Yeah, but the last person was wearing a suit, and this guy is sitting here wearing a t-shirt!
Supervisor Kennedy: Seems kind of arbitrary if you ask me. You’re telling me that you made all this coffee, and made both decaf and regular, so as to give it to people who came to your office, but you don’t want to accommodate this particular guy’s choice?
HHS: Yes.
Supervisor Kennedy: Give this guy some decaf.


My Latest Fig Post - Farm to Table at City Roots

You can read the whole thing here.