Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Deep Thought for the Day

Would Batman be a better superhero if he was bitten by a radioactive bat and had bat-powers instead of just dressing up in a bat costume?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Early Memorial Day Weekend Open Thread

Most of the legal world around Columbia appears to have already bugged out for the three-day weekend.

I'm not going anywhere, so my plans include some shooting, some hammock time, and smoking some meat. I know that everyone (including me) is going to enjoy some time off from the normal routine of work on Monday. By all means, have fun. Enjoy yourself and enjoy the time with your family. But, even if it's just for a moment, stop for at least second to remember why we have this weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Waco Fight/The Brady Bunch

I made an observation that this photo kind of reminded me of the Brady bunch intro photo. Here, take a look:

See what I mean? How funny would it be if the bikers in the top were animated to look around at each other? Anyway, that got me thinking. We need a song for the whole Waco incident. you go.

"If the Obama Administration loses in the Supreme Court, the political pain will fall almost exclusively on the President and his Party. To paraphrase Colin Powell and the Pottery Barn rule, President Obama will have broken health care, so he owns it."

Jeffery Toobin invokes the Pottery Barn rule in writing about the King v. Burwell case and says that Obama will take the blame for the bad parts of the law.

I'm not so sure. If the Court finds in favor of the Plaintiffs, the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will push the idea that the Republicans must figure out how to fix the law.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday Midday Open Thread

Kind of slacking off today, as far as the blogging goes. I've got some posts that I need to write, but as I mentioned...I'm kind of slacking off.

Sorry about that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gear for Guys: The Gentleman's Sidearm

Your father's 1911. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a Glock; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times... before the polymer guns.

Developed over a hundred years ago, the 1911 pistol is still about as good as it gets when you're looking for good sidearm. Reliable, accurate, and well-made. If Arthurian knights lived today, they would carry a Colt 1911.

The next firearm I buy will very, very likely be a 1911 like this.

Friday, May 15, 2015

"Chlorine itself historically has not been listed as a chemical weapon."

Apparently, this scene from the Second Battle of Ypres does not show any chemical weapons in use.

Are you freakin' kidding me?

Someone needs to tell the Smartest President Ever to go read a book about WWI. German soldiers used 150 tons of deadly chlorine gas in The Second Battle of Ypres. I mean, not only is chlorine gas a chemical weapon, it was the first chemical weapon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread (Drink a Beer for Me)

Been hard at work today. There's still more in store, though, so have a beer for me.

Someone out there needs to have a little fun, right?

Monday, May 11, 2015

News Roundup 5/11/15

You don't need a cross guard, bro.

It was a busy Monday. Here's a few headlines:

1. The NFL suspended Tom Brady four games for cheating. In other words, the Patriots will go 12-4 and make the playoffs.

2. Mark Halperin conducted the dumbest interview ever. How dumb was it? Well, when even the folks at Think Progress call it "the most racist interview of 2016" you're doing something wrong. (Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton hasn't answered a question in 20 days. Good times.)

3. Bob Owens wrote a good piece in the LA Times about why Glocks might not be the best idea for duty pistols. If you've never shot a DA revolver, you probably have no idea what he's talking about.

4. Remember the cross-guard on the sith lord's lightsaber in the new Star Wars movie? (above) If you know what I'm talking about, watch this.

So there you go. Something sports, something politics a/k/a retarded, some gunny stuff, and a movie thing.

See you later, campers.

Friday, May 8, 2015

What to do with the jihadists? Stonewall Jackson has a solution.

Stonewall Jackson was outraged. His entire body shook in anger as he looked around him at what had been done to the city of Fredericksburg. He saw the pianos and the works of art and the crystal chandeliers smashed and ruined on the streets. He saw elegant furniture that had been wantonly vandalized and the remains of elegant, leather-bound books that had been burned for kindling. But it was the churches – the churches – that infuriated him most. Houses of God were pocked with bullet holes and charred by cannon shot. This was a crime against God – a despicable blasphemy – and it very nearly made him weep.

Dr. McGuire, who was seldom far from Jackson’s side, shook his head in revulsion. “What can we do about this kind of barbaric behavior?”

Jackson’s voice trembled. “Kill ‘em,” he said. “Kill ‘em all."

Eugene Volokh is telling you again...for the last time.

Eugene Volokh has a piece on his blog in the WaPo where he drops some knowledge on everyone about the the First Amendment and the erroneous idea of a "hate speech" exception. When you read his piece, it kind of has the tone of an exasperated father telling his child something again, and again.

I've told you before that you have to wash your hands before you eat. Again, for the last time, go wash your hands...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"You’re just not going to convince me that the right and true and 'courageous' way to stand up to terrorism is to go out of your way to offend hundreds of millions of Muslims who are NOT terrorists, and mean you no harm."

A couple of things. First, I think that Brad is more concerned about the tone and style than he should be. Now, that probably has to do with the fact that Brad is a really nice guy. He's a very polite person. 

If you met him in person and said something that he seriously disagreed with, he probably would just give you a polite smile and let the pitch go by. He wouldn't start big argument with you in a social setting, because it's considered impolite to start political arguments in social settings. He's right about that, too. For the most part, it's a good idea to try and get along with other people. I have that instinct, too, but probably not to the same extent.

For instance, it's probably not the most agreeable thing for a practicing lawyer to have a blog like this and take various positions that I take. I'm sure it makes some people around me (including my wife) uncomfortable at times.

I kind of vacillate between trying to the the go-along, get-along guy and the guy who doesn't care what you think of me. Part of me wants to be the Conventional Guy, with all the conventional thoughts, because that's what advances you in life - especially when you're a lawyer. People want their lawyers to be Buttoned Down People for the most part. They don't want bomb-throwers.

But the other part of me is the bomb-thrower that doesn't care what people think because that part of me isn't seeking the Blessing of Other People. Partly, I think that's me trying to stand independently, and partly, it's me not having respect for some of those Other People because I don't think they've earned the respect.

This go-along, get along mentality is certainly fine, and it has it's place. No one wants to be a social outcast. I don't argue politics at my son's friends three-year-old birthday parties. But there's also a point at which you have to actually stand up for something. If you live in fear of social stigma your entire life, you're going to be easily pushed around. This is why political correctness is actually a powerful force.

There are so many people who are afraid of being thought of as "the wrong class of people" that the Perpetually Offended Army can push them around by telling them things like If you say the word "thug" you're a racist. Someone who's a Conventional Guy doesn't want to be labeled a racist, because that's about the worst thing you can be in the year 2015. Accordingly, the Conventional Guy alters his behavior because he doesn't want to be thought of like that.

Note, it doesn't matter if he's actually a racist or not, and it doesn't matter if the use of the word is appropriate or not. All that matters is that the Perpetually Offended Army can push Conventional Guy around.

So now we have Pamela Gellar and her group who push the envelope of free speech beyond what is tasteful and beyond what is polite into a region that is....uncomfortable for Conventional Guy to support. So when the Perpetually Offended Army says that You can't support this kind of....hate speech! It's just not respectful of other people's religion, Conventional Guys like Brad don't want to be thought of as "the wrong class of people", so they focus on the impolite tone and style of Ms. Gellar's speech as offensive.

And that's the wrong place to focus. Here are the facts.

1. Ms. Gellar and her group of people drew cartoons and publicly displayed them.

2. Men shot at her for this public displaying of cartoons.

3. There is no third fact. That's it. There are no other facts. 

Do we really need to say that drawing cartoon is "inexcusable"? Nope! Because they don't need an excuse to draw cartoons. That's allowed. It may not be the way that Brad chooses to express himself, but Ms. Gellar doesn't need to apologize, explain herself, or have an excuse for anything. She's an American, on American soil, expressing her opinion about someone's religious beliefs and conduct.

And people shot at her for doing so. Shot. At. Her.

It's not hard to figure out which side you should be on. And spare me the "but". You're either for free speech or you're only for speech that doesn't make you uncomfortable. The latter makes you an unprincipled hack.

Do I like it when people burn the American flag to make a statement? No. I find burning the American flag to be distasteful and somewhat un-American. However, I think that attempting to ban flag burning is even more un-American than burning the flag. That's how America works.

Respectability is all fine and good, but at some point you have to decide that you are in favor of certain ideals and principles. If other people don't like your ideals and principles, then screw them. I'm reminded of a quote:
"Do you have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." -Winston Churchill
Maybe we should all be a little less afraid of making enemies these days.

12 Hours Left to Give to Midlands Gives!

If you're one of my Columbia area readers, you've probably seen a few messages from Midlands Gives. It's a great way to give to a community foundation that will directly affect the local quality of life.

There are so many local charities participating in this, you can either generally give, or you can select where you want your gift to be directed. Take a minute to look at all the charities who are participating in the sidebar of the link above. There's something for everyone!

Muscle Car Open Thread

I hope you're having an enjoyable Tuesday. We'll get to some content later.


Monday, May 4, 2015

The "War Between the States" is memorialized in Pickens County, SC

This is a late afternoon post due to the fact that I had to go all the way to Pickens this morning. Interesting little tidbit.

Outside the Pickens County Courthouse, they have a whole bunch of monument and plaques commemorating the citizens of Pickens County who died in every major conflict since the American Revolution. This one caught my eye:

I thought it was notable because although I hear the Civil War called by several different names, I don't see any variations on official monuments. It gives off a slightly different connotation, doesn't it?

After thinking about it a little, "War Between the States" strikes me as almost more precise.  Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Last Meeting of Lee and Jackson

Good Morning Campers, it's time to rise and shine.

"The Last Meeting" by Everett B.D.F. Julio - 1869

Today is Saturday, May 02, 2015. On this day in 1863, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after a reconnaissance patrol during the Battle of Chancellorsville.

He died of his wounds eight days later. A little known fact about this event is that he is buried in two places. Shortly following the incident, his left arm was amputated. It was buried at a cemetery at Elmwood Manor near Chancellorsville, VA. After he died, the rest of his body is buried on South Main Street in Lexington, VA. The painting you see above is the famous, romanticized image of Lee and Jackson's last meeting before Jackson is shot.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Afternoon Open Thread

I once asked this literary agent, uh, what kind of writing paid the best... he said, "Ransom notes."

Enjoy your weekend.

Six officers charged by the State's Attorney in connection with the death of Freddie Gray

State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby

The prosecutor filed a big set of charges today.

It looks like the driver of the van has been charged with second degree murder (I assume in relation to his "rough ride" driving of the van); two other officers were charged with involuntary manslaughter, and two others were charged with second degree assault.

Ok, then. Time to let the system play out. Judging from these charges, I would assume that the State's Attorney has more information that the general public does. Here's the part that I think is really interesting, and could be a big deal:
Mosby said Gray was improperly arrested because officers had no probable cause to detain him. Officers found a knife in Gray's pants, but it was not a switchblade, as police previously said, and was legal under Maryland law.
Wow. If that's true, then this story really takes a turn for the prosecution of these guys. If the police didn't even have cause to arrest Gray, then they are in big trouble. That's the kind of thing that is going to make a jury mad.