Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Questioning the news


OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Charges are expected to be filed on Tuesday in the suspected killing of an Australian university student in Oklahoma by three "bored" teenagers who decided to kill someone for fun, according to prosecutors and police.
Christopher Lane, of Melbourne, was found dead of a gunshot wound Friday, according to police in Duncan, Oklahoma, located about 81 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Explain to me again why having easy access to firearms is a good thing.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) announced Monday evening that he will renounce his Canadian citizenship, less than 24 hours after a newspaper pointed out that the Canadian-born senator likely maintains dual citizenship.
Why does Ted Cruz hate Canada so much?


  1. Explain to me again why having easy access to firearms is a good thing.

    Explain to me again how gun laws stopped these kids having guns.

  2. They didn't, but as Australia's experience shows, eliminating rapidfire rifles with big magazines reduced mass slaughters from one a year to zero.

    So that's a start.

    The fundamental problem -- as my father tried to explain to me about safe driving when I was a teenager -- is attitudinal.

    Most people are not crazy and so they kill with guns only through stupidity. But the gun nuts are far more dangerous because they worship guns.

  3. Teenager arrested in beating death of WWII veteran

    Explain to me again why having easy access to fists is a good thing.

    Also, while you are at it, explain to me how to go about eliminating rapid fire rifles, and also explain to me, while you are at it, the proportion of premature deaths caused by guns.

    Because, after all, if you are to be at all consistent, rather than just engaging in meaningless axe-grinding, you would first and foremost advocate eliminating easy access to alcohol.

    Wait. What? Already done? Didn't work? You're kiddin' me.

    Reality bites.

  4. Working in Australia.

    I agree with you, it would be almost impossible to make it work here because of the fervor of the gun nuts. But that's not a reason not to make a beginning.

    Other countries besides Australia have reversed main causes of needless homicide. In Japan, for example, there are no longer men armed with swords who can cut down poor people as a personal right.

    Whatever the proportion of premature deaths caused by firearms, it is too high; and in absolute terms, millions. So, worth addressing.

  5. From today's Best of the Web:

    On Friday we made fun of Al Gore for asserting, in an interview with the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, that "the hurricane scale used to be 1-5 and now they're adding a 6." On Twitter we also mocked Klein for being gullible--for simply transcribing everything Gore said and not challenging him on this and other dubious assertions.

    It turns out that Klein did not even perform competently as a stenographer, according to Klein himself. On Friday Gore asserted that he had been misquoted--that what he actually said was "some are proposing we add category 6." The emphasis is ours, and the italicized qualification makes the claim accurate. As we noted Friday, "some" are indeed "proposing" the addition of a Category 6.

    Klein responded to the accusation Friday afternoon with a plea of nolo contendere. "I'm out-of-town and so away from my tape recorder," he wrote in a blog post, adding that Gore's version of the quote "doesn't offend my memory of the discussion and it's entirely possible I missed Gore's qualifying sentence while trying to keep up."

    Although we have to give Gore the benefit of the doubt, the explanation doesn't entirely ring true. If Klein really still uses a tape recorder, he must be quite a bit older than he looks.

    It turns out, meanwhile, that blogger Anthony Watts dealt last year with another of Gore's fanciful claims--namely that "amount of energy trapped by manmade global warming pollution each day in the earth's atmosphere is now equal to the energy that would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima bombs going off every 24 hours"--when NASA warmist James Hansen put it forth. A Watts commenter ran the numbers and showed them to be trivial (quoting verbatim):

    To convert Hansen's figures to a per-square-metre value, the global surface area is 5.11e+14 [511 quadrillion] square metres ... which means that Hansens dreaded 400,000 Hiroshima bombs per day works out to 0.6 watts per square metre ... in other words, Hansen wants us to be very afraid because of a claimed imbalance of six tenths of a watt per square metre in a system where the downwelling radiation is half a kilowatt per square metre … we cannot even measure the radiation to that kind of accuracy.
    Klein's sloppiness with quotes and Gore's sloppiness with facts are of a piece. Both powerfully rebut any notion that global warmism is a serious scientific endeavor.

    The mystery here is how you can be so skeptical of warmenism, yet so credulous when it comes to gunism.

    Here are Australia's homicide statistics. You won't be able to find (nor do they mention) when that gun ban came into being.

    Why? It made no measurable difference.

    Even ignoring, when it comes to the practicality of eliminating something that exists in the millions, how painfully reality bites, the benefit of confiscating something from those millions who are almost exclusively not killers would similarly be outside the realm of measurement.

    If ever there was ironclad proof that collectivists don't give a dam* for reason, this would be it.

  6. The Australian confiscation was the result of shock and outrage at a mass shooting. Mass shootings were frequent there.

    Since the confiscation, non-existent. Mission accomplished.

    It was a start.

    I did not follow the Hansen brouhaha, but a cumulative .6 watts/day against a background of 500 watts would give a significant imbalanc in a few months.

    Furthermore, the annual change required to bring on or stop an ice age is on the order of a thousandth of a degree/year, so even a vanishingly small daily increment should be enough.

  7. Mass shootings were frequent there.

    I'm calling shenanigans.

    Since the confiscation, non-existent. Mission accomplished.

    28 April 2012 – A man opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Robina on the Gold Coast shooting Bandidos bikie Jacques Teamo. A woman who was an innocent bystander was also injured from a shotgun blast to the leg. Neither of the victims died, but the incident highlighted the recent increase in gun crime across major Australian cities including Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

    It was a start.

    It was certainly a start at undermining liberty, but nothing else:

    In 2005 the head of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Don Weatherburn,[35] noted that the level of legal gun ownership in New South Wales increased in recent years, and that the 1996 legislation had had little to no effect on violence. Professor Simon Chapman, former co-convenor of the Coalition for Gun Control, complained that his words "will henceforth be cited by every gun-lusting lobby group throughout the world in their perverse efforts to stall reforms that could save thousands of lives".[36] Weatherburn responded, "The fact is that the introduction of those laws did not result in any acceleration of the downward trend in gun homicide. They may have reduced the risk of mass shootings but we cannot be sure because no one has done the rigorous statistical work required to verify this possibility. It is always unpleasant to acknowledge facts that are inconsistent with your own point of view. But I thought that was what distinguished science from popular prejudice.

    Not in your mind.

    Which is the problem. For progressives, their ideas are correct simply because they hold them. No need to consult evidence, or results, or consider knock-on effects. No need to ponder hypocrisy, or wild inconsistency. No need to bother themselves with wondering why the decision to massively de-institutionalize the mentally ill should land on law abiding gun owners.

    Just as their is no need in the warmenist mind to do any of those things, because as good progressives, warmenism is correct because progressives believe it.

    Its amazing that you can so quickly spot others' religion, but never your own.

  8. Probably Australia has as much liberty as it used to. For sure it has fewer (read 0) mass shootings.

    Some people might see that as a gain.

    And some people don't care who gets hurt.

  9. ... the incident highlighted the recent increase in gun crime ...

    The fact is that the introduction of those laws did not result in any acceleration of the downward trend in gun homicide.

    Australians who wanted to own guns have less liberty now than they did before, and the loss of their liberty has made no difference in gun homicides, or the suicide rate.

    It is, also noteworthy how you are standing on mass shootings. Extraordinarily rare to begin with, there might well have been none since then in any event. Just like a Progressive to claim a victory where none is deserved, while ignoring everything even remotely contradictory.

  10. Not as rare as you think, about one a year in Australia before the confiscation, 0 since.