June 26, 2008

Couldn’t Help But Comment ….. (062608, Afternoon)

My reax to the 2nd Amendment decision by the Supremes today?

  • Duh — What about “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand?
  • 5-4? O,M,G. DC’s law was a ban on handgun ownership. It obviously violates the Second Amendment. It’s not debatable. I’m leaning towards a conclusion on the four dissenters that, in the interest of sobriety, must await reading their dissents.
  • Does anyone still think judicial nominations won’t be an important election issue? (see the first update)

Update, 3:15 p.m: I deliberately avoided reading blog reax until I put in my $.02 above. Now I see that Instapundit is linking to a CQpolitics post claiming that guns won’t be a big deal in the November Prez vote, and says that “Obama’s record of strong support for sweeping gun control would hurt him a lot more in a climate where gun owners felt more threatened.”

WHAT? Today’s decision shows that we’re one bad appointment away from losing the right that supports all of the others. Heck, we’re lucky that Anthony Kennedy got this one right.

The gun ownership issue is more important than ever. Obama is clinging to the wrong side of it (*), and I can guarantee you, despite the shows of pleasure at the decision, that the feeling is more of relief, and that gun-rights supporters feel as threatened as ever. Their worst fears about the desires of judicial activists to take away our fundamental rights have just been confirmed.

* – Oops, the Obama Waffle Iron is out. See 3:50 p.m. update.

Update, 3:45 p.m.: In fact, support for the Heller decision should be a litmus test for any US Senate candidate. Opposition to it should be a deal-breaker, period.

Update, 3:50 p.m.: If the decision is so irrelevant to the Prez vote, why is Obama already trying to spin his way out of his clear support for the DC ban seven months ago (last two sentences at this link)? This is yet another flip-flop Matt Hurley can add to his collection of over two dozen at Weapons of Mass Discussion. I think it’s perfectly clear, based on his track record, that Obama would take your gun in a heartbeat if he could.

Update, 3:55 p.m.: Which leads to another question — Why is that outspoken former Hillary Clinton supporter, Gun Guy Ted Strickland, now so gung-ho for Obama in the circumstances? When he says he’s giving his “whole-hearted and enthusiastic support” to Obama, doesn’t that make Ted’s cred on the Second Amendment suspect?

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Geez, I was going to predict that gun-grabbers would attempt registration as their next gambit, but decided to wait and see. Well, I didn’t have to wait long. According to this AP update at 2:12 p.m.:

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty responded with a plan to require residents of the nation’s capital to register their handguns.

WaPo confirms this, and also has the mayor claiming that “the city can still bar handguns from being carried outside of the home.” With all due respect (i.e., none): Bleep you, sir.

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An e-mailer suggests voting at this Internet poll about “what should happen next?” now that James Hansen has called for criminal prosecutions of energy executives “for high crimes against humanity and nature.” I’m not a big fan of these because they’re not scientifically done, but perhaps, given that the blogger doing the poll says that “the results will be submitted to a member of the U.S. Senate for distribution, NASA’s director, and will also be mailed to Dr. Hansen at NASA GISS,” it should be considered the equivalent of a petition. I voted.

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This story about war correspondent Lara Logan should surprise no one. I love the fact the FreeRepublic.com scooped everyone on the story — six months ago.

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Take that, Arnold — According to Survey USA, a majority supports expansion of off-shore oil drilling. That would be a majority of those polled in California, as well as in the whole USA.

Despite Recession (/sarc), Final 1Q08 GDP Growth Is +1.0%

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:28 am

The original announcement in late April was +0.6%. Late May’s revision was upward, to +0.9%.

Predictions:

Actual: It’s 1.0%.

As noted frequently over the past couple of months, this is not acceptable, but it also sure isn’t recessionary.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (062608, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 7:59 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Yeah, that’ll show him — “Mugabe, a Knight No Longer”
  • Ambrose Evan-Pritchard, in the wake of the Irish rejection of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty — “Henceforth, Brussels will struggle to retain powers already amassed. Functions will flow back to the nation states, the proper venue for authentic democracy.” One hopes he is correct.
  • Obama loses his Teflon sheen in a trifecta of gaffes, along with any illusion that he’s in the lead.
  • From Gateway Pundit — Two more provinces, including Anbar, will be under Iraqi control effective Saturday. Media silence is deafening.
  • Alan Greenspan is trying to talk down the economy again.
  • Bill Bennett has 10 concerns about Obama. He barely scratches the surface.
  • An e-mailer tipped me to a great column by Thomas Sowell (there is no other kind) about the folly of imitating Europe in most public-policy areas.
  • There appears to be little doubt, based on info through today at icasualties.org, that the May-June death toll of US soldiers in Iraq (45 thus far) will be by far the lowest two-month total ever. The previous two-month low was 60 in November and December 2007.
  • The children at the New York Times outed a CIA interrogator (accordingly, no linky-dink for them; HT The Point via NixGuy) for no other defensible reason besides the fact that they could. What will they do if someone kills the guy for no other reason besides revenge — and the fact that the Times gave them the ability?

Relating the Dots: Obama …. Soros …. Stewart …. CAIR-OH …. CCR …. and Al-Qaeda

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:15 am

On Tuesday, Matthew Vadum at NewsBusters exposed “Al-Qaeda’s law firm,” the so-called Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the group that argued the case that led to the “the U.S. Supreme Court’s lawless, nonsensical decision in Boumediene v. Bush” (yet another Supreme Court opinion that a president would be fully justified in defying in future similar situations in the absence of legislation ratifying the judges’ sentiment).

Vadum noted that:

CCR donors include the Ohio branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Safa Trust Inc., and the International Institute of Islamic Thought, all of which have been accused of connections to Islamist terror groups.

Patrick Poole took it from there concerning CAIR-OH (links are in Poole’s original):

No doubt some of that CAIR-Ohio money funding Al-Qaeda’s law firm came from the fundraiser featuring 1993 World Trade Center bombing unindicted co-conspirator Siraj Wahhaj, who helped raise $100,000 for CAIR-OH as the keynote speaker at their 2006 annual banquet; and the 2007 CAIR-OH annual banquet featuring Governor Ted Strickland.

As a reminder, Ohio’s media appeared to consciously choose not to report Strickland’s CAIR-OH banquet appearance in June 2007, even though (or was it because?) CAIR-OH’s controversial terror connections were already quite well-known.

CCR supported radical lawyer Lynne Stewart, who was convicted in 2005 by a jury of giving aid to Islamic terrorists and was sentenced to 30 years. Stewart was convicted of providing material support to terrorists by serving as a communications funnel between those inside and outside of jail; those communicating from jail were convicted of various terror-related crimes. A judge later inexplicably and outrageously reduced her sentence to 28 months (HT Stop the ACLU). Stewart, thank goodness, was at least disbarred as a result (HT Volokh).

Stewart’s defense was partially funded by (/surprise) Democratic Party go-to money guy George Soros (HT Captain Ed).

In mid-March 2007, per Ed Lasky at American Thinker, Soros called “for the Democratic Party to ‘liberate’ itself from the influence of the pro-Israel lobby and ….. (stated) that America should be dealing with Hamas, the terror group that is now the governing authority of the Palestinians. This was published in the influential New York Review of Books.” Soros has also laughably “equated the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”

Soros has been a money tree for the presidential candidate I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein ObambiObama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters) since early 2004.

Those are terror-supporting and/or terror-sympathetic relationships you can believe in.

ADDENDUM, 10:30 p.m.: Oh, and how could I forget this (“Video: Hannity on the Obama-Khalidi connection”)?

ADDENDUM II, 11:15 p.m.: You can tell that you’ve written a pertinent post when the people who don’t like what is presented just make stuff up about what you said. There will be no links to disinfo artists; many readers know who the usual suspects are.

ADDENDUM III, June 27, 6:00 a.m.: Good to see that this post made it to LexisNexis.

ADDENDUM IV, June 27, 6:15 a.m.: Patrick Poole’s FrontPageMag.com piece this morning documents the silence of CAIR-OH on the terror-related convictions of Christopher Paul and others. Read the whole thing.

CAIR-OH originally expended all kinds of energy defending Mr. Paul after he was arrested in April 2007, two months before Ted Strickland’s banquet appearance. That Mr. Paul was probably guilty as sin should have been pretty obvious at the time, and besides, governors and politicians usually don’t wait until guilty pleas to dissociate themselves from questionable characters and organizations.

CAIR-OH’s knee-jerk defense of those ultimately convicted of terror-related crimes is nothing new, as this excerpt from an AFP report indicates. The person referred to, Nuradin Abdi, was convicted in July 2007 of “conspiring to provide material support for terrorists,” and was given a 10-year sentence in November.

Are we really supposed to believe that Ted Strickland and his advisers, including Homeland Security types, somehow had no idea that CAIR-OH was, at best, defending the indefensible, or, at worst, attempting to protect fellow travelers, right under their noses in Columbus? Or that they attended the CAIR-OH despite knowing all of this? Either choice is pretty damning.

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UPDATE: Hmm — The link to the original report at CAIR’s national site about the June 2007 Ohio banquet no longer works. A search of the national org’s site for “Strickland” comes up empty of anything relating to Ted. That’s interesting, because a page-by-page slog through the site’s press releases shows that the original release is there, but its URL has moved. But even a Google search on the title of the press release, and a key phrase from it, can’t locate it. So are the CAIR site operators programming clods, or deliberately making finding stuff difficult?

Positivity: Predecessor of modern day computer celebrates 60th anniversary

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From London and Manchester, UK:

June 21, 2008

The predecessor of the modern day computer, known as the Small Scale Experimental Machine, has reached its 60th anniversary.

According to a report in New Scientist, the Small Scale Experimental Machine, better known as “Baby”, ran its first program at 11 am, 21 June 1948, at Manchester University in the UK.

Baby was the first “stored program computer”, meaning it ran programs by loading them into a temporary memory store, or random-access memory (RAM), just as computers do today.

….. Baby’s RAM was based on cathode ray tubes similar to those used in radar screens. A single tube could store 2048 bits of digital information, or 256 bytes. However, Baby only had a total of 1024 bits (128 bytes) of functional memory.

That new approach to computer memory was developed by Frederic Williams, who led (Geoff) Tootill (who helped design, build and test Baby) and Tom Kilburn on the project.

….. The first program Baby ran successfully – after several failed attempts – could find the highest factor of any given number. Initially only tested on small numbers, the machine was soon tackling more difficult calculations.

Running the program on the number 218 took about 2.1 million steps and 52 minutes. Reading the results required the decoding of digital output shown on another CRT tube.

Go here for the full story.