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Posted by Jeff Soyer on 21 Aug 2014 05:10 am

I’m not sure that this is a good thing. From the Sidney Morning Herald:

Find yourself thinking that the spider living in your garden is the biggest you’ve ever seen? You could be right.

New research shows some spiders are getting larger and even doing better in cities than in their natural habitats.

In a study published today in PLOS ONE, we show that city living is leading to bigger spiders that have the potential to produce more young.

Here are real photographs taken with actual cameras using genuine film:

(Yes, I like my old cars.)

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 21 Aug 2014 04:58 am

Pro-gun group sends out surveys to all Minnesota politicians. In a phone call follow-up, one Democrat threatens violence:

When contacted, the individual answering the phone identified himself as Ron Erhardt. Your affiant identified himself and reminded Rep. Erhardt of the approaching questionnaire deadline. Rep. Erhardt indicated that he did not intend to complete the survey. Your affiant, following the procedure used with each candidate, reminded Mr. Erhardt that GOCRA’s policy was to give a special “F*” grade to candidates with no voting record or survey, as set out in the “How will this information be used?” section of the introduction…

Rep. Erhardt responded, yelling, “Give me a double F! No more surveys! You come near me, and I’ll blow your head off!” Rep. Erhardt then disconnected the phone call. The call’s duration was 78 seconds.

It must be that new civility the left keeps asking for.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 20 Aug 2014 05:32 am

I guess $400 million doesn’t get you very much in the way of a secure website:

A healthcare system spanning 29 states announced on Monday that cybercriminals operating from China stole information on approximately 4.5 million patients, including names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.

Community Health Systems, which comprises 206 facilities in the southern and western states, announced the incident in an 8-K filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The data breach likely stems from compromises in April and June of this year, involved sophisticated malware, and is apparently connected to China, the company stated.

The country’s in the best of hands.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 20 Aug 2014 04:54 am

Guy forgets he has a gun in his carry-on bag as he goes through TSA security at Burlington Airport. The TSA will fine him, as they do everyone caught with a gun. But, From the Times Argus:

But Burlington police said it’s unlikely the man will be criminally charged.

Police were convinced that it was “complete, embarrassing error” when the 46-year-old man, whom he declined to name, approached the security checkpoint with a bag containing the gun, Deputy Police Chief Bruce Bovat said.

[ . . . ]

Burlington Police will hold the man’s gun until he returns to Vermont from Florida, Bovat said. The incident did not cause the man to miss his flight, he said.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Aug 2014 06:30 am

Guess which states prefer kale (excuse me while I wretch) and which prefer bacon (excuse me while I swoon)? From Business Week:

Make no mistake: Bacon states tend to skew heavily Republican and kale states, Democratic. Seventeen of the top 23 kale states voted for Barack Obama in 2012, while 11 of the top 13 bacon states voted for Mitt Romney. The moderate states on the kale/bacon spectrum were also the most balanced politically, splitting equally between Obama and Romney in 2012.

I’m living in the wrong state.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Aug 2014 05:07 am

From NJ.com:

The Rutgers-Eagleton survey shows 49 percent of residents in the Garden State — which traditionally leans Democratic — support the Republican governor’s move, while 42 percent say he should have signed the measure and 9 percent are unsure.

“Most gun control measures we have asked about in the past garner large majorities in support,” said David Redlawsk, the poll’s director and a political science professor at Rutgers University. “This one is different, with residents slightly more in favor of the veto than opposed, perhaps because the change seems only incremental and did not strike gun opponents as significant.”

New Jersey currently limits ammunition magazines to 15-rounds. The bill Christie signed would have lowered that limit to 10-rounds and did not include a “grandfather” clause in it.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Aug 2014 04:47 am

They did so in a letter, stating that they simply follow or allow what local and state law allows. I really do believe that concealed carry is the way to go. Not everyone agrees with me, and for them:

So far, Kroger seems to being doing right by its customers. They have yet to cave to Bloomy’s intimidation tactics. Kroger has done exactly what a non-partisan business should do: They told a bunch of activist liberals that if guns are that big of a problem, the appropriate action should be taken with the city council, state legislature, or federal lawmakers. Not their local purveyor of milk and produce.

The key there is, “so far,” since we’ve seen other large chains cave after a time.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Aug 2014 04:33 am

From the Register Guard:

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has donated $500,000 to a campaign seeking to expand background checks on gun sales in Washington state.

His Aug. 11 donation to Initiative 594 was made public when it was posted on the state’s Public Disclosure Commission website Monday afternoon. Campaign manager Zach Silk said the campaign is grateful for Allen’s support.

Other big names have made large donations to the campaign, including former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, who have given $580,000, and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, who has given nearly $400,000 and has pledged an additional $530,000.

Initiative 594 would require an NICS instant background check be performed for any sale or transfer of a firearm except between family members.

I’m not against requiring background checks per se, but there needs to be some other exceptions to laws such as this. For instance, if friends are at the range, or are hunting, and one wants to tryout another’s gun, it’s ludicrous to require that they stop by a gun store or police station and (besides paying money) undergo a background check. Further, there ought to be a “known to me” exemption for sales between friends. I guess it all depends on how these proposed laws define the word, “transfer.”

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 18 Aug 2014 05:02 am

From a surprisingly even-handed piece from NBC News, the jury is still out:

With new groups, a revamped strategy, more money and unprecedented collaboration, the gun control movement has made headway. Organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety, the group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, say they are moving the needle.

“Now, for the first time in our country’s history, there is a well-financed and formidable force positioned to take on the Washington gun lobby,” said Shannon Watts, founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, speaking at an Everytown event on Capitol Hill in May.

Whether that is possible remains to be seen.

In 2012, according to the article, pro-gun groups raised $285 million dollars more than anti-gun groups. Now, with cash infusions from the likes of former NYC Mayor Michael Blowhard, as well as Gabby Gifford’s PAC, that disparity is shrinking.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 17 Aug 2014 05:57 am

The only businesses not being looted or worse in Ferguson are the ones with armed employees and owners:

Society has broken down in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s not the Zombie Apocalypse but a toxic stew has left law-abiding American citizens helpless. Thank God and the American Constitution some of those citizens own guns.

The gentlemen pictured above reportedly guarded their business establishment during last night’s rioting. This morning they still have a business. Others weren’t so lucky.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 17 Aug 2014 05:48 am

A handy interactive map of what counties in the U.S. are receiving surplus military equipment. You can filter it by “type” with the icons above it.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 15 Aug 2014 02:32 am

From Vermont Watchdog:

A gun-control group committed to universal background checks was the third-largest spender on lobbyists at the Vermont statehouse this quarter, outspending many of the biggest corporate interests in the Green Mountain State.

Gun Sense Vermont, a recently formed group that bills itself as an “independent, grass-roots organization started by Vermonters,” spent $39,000 for lobbyists for the quarter ending July 25, according to records kept by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Not bad for a group claiming only 200 or so members. Obviously the money is coming from Bloomberg or someone like him. Oh, and — of course — Gun Sense Vermont is headed by a flatlander from Connecticut.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 15 Aug 2014 02:09 am

This happened at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. Guy has a Georgia carry permit. Georgia has a new “guns everywhere” law. Guy first checks website of the museum — nothing on it about weapons being prohibited. Guy and his wife go to museum. He’s open carrying. No “guns prohibited” sign on the door. Guy finds himself surrounded by security guards. From 11 Alive TV:

Ariemma says they took his gun from him, took it apart, escorted him outside, watched him place the pieces inside the trunk of his car, then escorted him back to his wife, inside.

At one point, he says, one of the security officers said something about the museum’s policy on guns. “They said, ‘We’re sorry, we should have had it posted on the door, we should have had it on the website.’ I said, look I’m sorry, but it wasn’t posted or I would have gladly abided by the rules, and I would have put the gun back in the car.

Video at the link. Incidentally, later that same day, suddenly there was a notice on the museum’s website stating that guns are not allowed.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 14 Aug 2014 11:36 pm

The Blaze interviews Frank Miniter about his new book.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 14 Aug 2014 05:02 am

From Ars Technica:

The case decided Tuesday by the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals concerns a woman murdered in 2011 with a .40-caliber handgun that a Seattle man advertised on Armslist for $400. A Canadian man bought the weapon.

Demetry Smirnov, the gun purchaser, murdered Jitka Vesel in Chicago with that weapon after an online romance soured. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. The man who sold him the gun, Benedict Ladera, was handed a year in jail for illegally selling the firearm, as federal regulations prohibit the transfer of weapons to people in another state or country, the appeals court said.

The slain woman’s brother, Alex, sued the website for damages, among other things, alleging negligence.

The court has dismissed the case. You can read the summary here.

Here are the essential bits:

But simply enabling consumers to use a legal service is far removed from encouraging them to commit an illegal act.

[ . . . ]

Armslist permitted Ladera to place an advertisement on its website and nothing more. It did not invite Ladera or Smirnov to break the law. Alex’s allegations fall short of alleging any cognizable negligence claim for which Armslist could be held responsible for Smirnov’s acts.

More at the Wall Street Journal.

I think that all newspapers and online sites should welcome this decision. It would be no different than someone responding to a classified ad in a newspaper for a used car, buying that car, and then killing someone while drunk driving with it. You can’t hold the newspaper liable.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 14 Aug 2014 04:16 am

Much to the dismay of Phoenix officials, and no doubt the Arizona Republic, an Arizona appeals court has ruled that the city was inconsistent in applying its ordinance. Granted, this case was more complicated than that.

The judges said Phoenix’s claim that its rules ban ads that include speech beyond a commercial message is inconsistent with its written standards, which require only that a “commercial transaction be proposed and must be adequately displayed.”

That led the court to rule that the city’s standards allow for “blended” ads that propose a commercial transaction and include political or ideological speech. In Korwin’s case, he promotes a firearms-training website while extolling the virtues of gun ownership.

A whole lot more at the link. Incidentally, you might actually BE shocked that the ACLU joined in defending the “Guns Save Lives” poster ads.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 14 Aug 2014 03:57 am

You can watch the video, but I found that the transcript is easier to follow. And funnier!

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 13 Aug 2014 07:38 am

Rest in peace, Lauren Bacall.

Damn she was sexy!

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 13 Aug 2014 06:48 am

No surprise. From TH Online:

A federal judge on Tuesday upheld a Maryland ban on 45 assault weapons and a limit on gun magazines to 10 rounds, two key parts of a sweeping gun-control law that were challenged shortly before the law went into effect last year.

[ . . . ]

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake concluded in a 47-page ruling that the law serves the government’s interest in protecting public safety without significantly burdening what the Supreme Court has explained is the core Second Amendment right of “law abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”

“In summary, the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, which represents the considered judgment of this state’s legislature and its governor, seeks to address a serious risk of harm to law enforcement officers and the public from the greater power to injure and kill presented by assault weapons and large capacity magazines,” Blake wrote in her ruling.

In other words, just the act of owning an AR-15 turns a person into a killer.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 13 Aug 2014 06:21 am

Ah yes, these elitist ‘progressives’ must look in the mirror and exclaim, “My God, it’s God!” … Or whatever the atheist equivalent to that is. From the Washington Free Beacon:

In an email thread on Gamechanger Salon—a closed Google group of progressive organizers, reporters, and campaign apparatchiks—Guy Saperstein, a major Democratic donor and part owner of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, said he would support the South seceding.

“For more than 100 years, the South has been dumbing down national politics, tilting the country in a conservative direction, supporting militarism, all while demanding huge financial subsidies from blue states,” Guy Saperstein wrote in the emails. “It would be 100% fine with me if the South was a separate nation, pursuing its own priorities and destiny.”

Regarding secession, I’m sure that the South would, if they could. And, I’d be packing a U-Haul and heading that way.

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