So Winslow is having a nice lie-down. But, the new topper is also a Homer, as in Homer Dodge Martin’s A North Woods Lake, painted in 1867.
That would be over at Wired: How These 5 Dirtbags Radically Advanced Your Digital Rights. They’re thugs, criminals, what-have-you, but their crimes led to greater protections of your rights.
And, they like it. One of the guys at work carries an XD-45 and likes it a lot.
The 1st District Court of Appeals has ruled that Florida’s state universities cannot ban students from keeping firearms in the trunks of their cars. From NBC Miami:
In a lengthy decision that prompted a strong dissent as well as multiple concurring opinions, the appeals court ruled that the Florida Legislature has pre-empted the regulation of guns by local governments and state agencies.
The court decided the state’s 12 public universities are covered by this 2011 law. The ruling notes that while universities have the power to restrict lawful conduct â€” like drinking or smoking on campus â€” that power does not extend to regulating guns.
Well, I’m sure there’s no drinking or smoking pot on any university campuses.
On Saturday, Gun Sense Vermont will host 26 vigils across the state to mark the anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, that left 20 children and six adults dead.
â€śWe want to show the families in Newtown that we havenâ€™t forgotten them,â€ť said Brattleboro resident Ann Braden, founder and lead organizer of Gun Sense Vermont.
*Yawn* These “events” are staged by gun control groups pushing an agenda. Again, not one gun control bill proposed at either the state or national level this past year would have prevented the Newtown tragedy; only the mutant’s mother could have prevented it, and she didn’t.
I’m proud to say that Vermont remains in F Troop. Look for newspapers in MD, CT, NY, CO, etc., to tout their state’s improvement in the gun-grabber’s juvenile ratings.
So, let’s say that the universe we live in had a place where all the space-emergent species, from all the scattered worlds in it, belonged to a structure run by an organization that was a cross between the United Nations and Las Vegas. And, Earth’s humans are the newbies. Welcome to the second novel in the Grand Central Arena series. Spheres of Influence, by Ryk E. Spoor, (Amazon link) is a joyous romp in an unusually clever sci-fi fantasy story that you and your kids can enjoy.
Firstly, I strongly recommend that you read the first book in the series, Grand Central Arena because while there is a summary in Spheres of Influence, it’s not quite enough to explain all that goes on, including the description of The Arena and Nexus Arena, where all of the aliens — species from different worlds, including Earth — interact, and work out their problems.
It’s the 24th century and Humankind is at peace with itself. Robots and AI’s do all the heavy lifting. Finally, an interstellar drive is invented and a daring few “jump” outside the solar system, only to be stopped in their tracks, as it were, and they discover The Arena. Each solar system is represented in a sphere at the Arena. When they arrive, they are granted “an embassy” within Nexus Arena, where they can interact with other aliens (species from other solar systems) and do trade, scheme, engage in intrigue and settle grudges. Wars can be fought outside, in the “real universe” but in the Arena, it comes down to “challenges” where a small few participants from each species duel in various ways (and other species can bet on the outcome) and the winner can demand everything from fuel to worlds. This is a simplification that is much expanded and explained in the story. For those of you who have read the first book, I’m not giving any spoilers. Let’s just say that some of the “factions” aren’t happy to have the newbie Humans around, and that some of the Humans on Earth aren’t happy that Captain Ariane Austin was designated the leader of the Human Faction.
Let me try to shorten this review. Ryk E. Spoor has created a wonderfully thought out plot mechanism that is sure to ensure many more novels in this series. Spheres of Influence is an addicting, fun, rated-”G” story that science fiction enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy. But wait; there’s more!
Spheres of Influence introduces what just might be the most enjoyable, likable, scene-stealing character I’ve ever read in a science fiction novel; a genetically engineered hybrid of a human, monkey, cat . . . I’m not exactly sure. But, Sun Wu Kung, the Monkey King, is absolutely a perfectly wonderful creation from author Spoor’s fertile imagination. A lovable warrior! He’s worth the price of admission all by himself and he’s the hero of an epic space battle.
Spheres of Influence is fun, mind provoking, and a terrific read. It’s an easy read, since science doesn’t get much in the way of the narrative. Sci-fi purists might fault me for that, but I like to get carried away by a story and not worry too much about whether the physics equations work out or not. Again, read the first book, and then savor Spheres of Influence. And, as I am, wait for the next installment!
I wasn’t even aware that Washington registered handguns. From KHQ:
Washington residents are buying handguns too fast for police to keep up.
The state’s firearms database is months behind. The Department of Licensing began November with a backlog of about 106,000 pistol transfers to enter into the database used by city, county and state authorities to find owners of handguns that turn up during investigations.
According to the article, they’re still entering transfers from last March.
The one thing that made 3D printed guns tolerable to the non-gun-owning community was that they were made of plastic, because metal 3D printers were costly. Now, a bunch of scientists from Michigan Tech are showing off a cheap 3D printer that fabricates in metal.
Metal 3D printing isn’t new, but it’s been expensive until now. The open-source Michigan project, here, offers a bill of materials costing just under $1,200 to build the 3D printer, controlled by a Linux computer.
More at the link, including other links.
The gun nuts are going nuts, and itâ€™s delicious.
In 2010, New York City banned possession in the five boroughs of rifles and shotguns with ammunition-feeding devices that can hold more than five rounds. Think assault rifles with high-capacity magazines.
If they were intent on banning so-called “assault rifles” then they should have been specific. Instead, they banned anything that held more than 5-rounds. The original story details how one man is being forced to turn in a Marlin 25N — a .22 caliber, bolt-action rifle that comes with a 7-round magazine. Hardly — by any definition except for the NY Daily News’ — an “assault weapon.”
The editorial goes on:
Now, the NYPD has sent letters to 500 registered long-gun owners asking them to modify the weapons, move them out of the city or turn them in at a police station. Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, sees an abuse of power when, actually, the cops went easy. They could have arrested some of these â€ślaw-abidingâ€ť New Yorkers.
Notice they put law abiding in quotes, as I do with “assault weapons.” The implication is that the citizens are not law abiding. I suppose not, although they were, just three years ago, before the law went into effect.
First they came for the _______ , but I wasn’t, didn’t have etc. It’s called the slippery slope.
A former Newton County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to a federal firearms charge.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta says Darrell Mathis pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Prosecutors say Mathis, who lives in Lithonia, sold marijuana to a confidential law enforcement source and to an undercover agent on multiple occasions between May and September.
Prosecutors say that on at least two occasions the 41-year-old sold the drug from his marked patrol vehicle while wearing his sheriff’s office uniform and at least once brought a gun to a drug sale.
By the way, and this is not to try to excuse away committing a crime, but while big city cops are generally well paid and have awesome pensions — reflective of the added risks they face — many small town police and county sheriffs are not. I can tell you that here in Vermont and New Hampshire, most rural cops only make $20-28K per year. It’s tough to support a family on that, and I imagine that the lure of crime, from an ‘inside perspective,’ can be difficult to resist. Fortunately, 99% do resist.
It’s tough trying to make sense at 4:30 in the morning. . . .
Wondering what to get your wife or girlfriend for Christmas? How about Gunpowder Rose Fragrance? From the description:
The English Rose, celebrated in art and literature for centuries, has finally been captured in this hymn to high summer. Rose oils and extracts from Lincolnshire and the Stour Valley distil the scented velvet-softness of the petals and zesty-green stems of this romantic and exalted bloom. In a dramatic twist, the delicate flowers dance over spicy embers of charcoal and the piquant fizz of sulfur - the thunderstorm notes of gunpowder! The approaching torrent is tempered by a heart of Lovage, harvested in Hampshire, Meadowsweet and Violet Leaf from Herefordshire and juicy Blackcurrant from Kent, which balance fresh summer greenness with energizing bite. Finally, Union’s own Oak Moss from Dorset and Oak Bark from Nottinghamshire provide the earthy forest floor on which this highly charged fragrance rests. Explosive.
*Whew* Some copywriter certainly earned his pay that day. Anyway, a shot of the stuff (100ml) will set you back $185. Or, you could just take your lady to the range for some plinking and then ask her not to shower for the rest of the day.
For more over-the-top hyperbole, you can read about the perfume here.
You’ll be seeing an ad on cable TV pushing for gun control. From USA Today:
The commercial features a ticking clock and people bowing their heads to observe a moment of silence for the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last year on Dec. 14. Halfway through the spot, a presumed shooter carrying a bulky duffel bag approaches a building and the door shuts.
“But with 26 more school shootings since that day,” the narrator says, “Ask yourself: Is silence what America needs right now?”
The ad is sponsored by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, groups that have pushed Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence.
Not one piece of legislation proposed in Congress would have prevented the Newtown shooting. The sad fact is that the guns were legally owned by a woman who knew that her son was mentally ill and yet left the guns where he could access them. I’m sorry that she also lost her life, but how do you legislate against stupid?
Though these notices were not sent out as a direct result of the SAFE Act, New York State Assemblyman James Tedisco said the new law may embolden city police forces to send out similar letters.
Tedisco, who voted against the SAFE Act, said New York City had the five-round law in the books for about 20 years, but this is the first time he has heard complaints about the notices being sent out to gun owners.
“These letters appear to be another example of the Nanny State,” Tedisco said. “Hypothetically, it can start with a letter, and then that can lead to someone knocking on your door saying, ‘I want to see your gun.’”
In another part of the article, it says the NYC law has been on the books since 2010. So, there’s some confusion, at least in the Fox newsroom.
BTW, this is another case of “amateurs” leading the “professionals” in discovering and correctly identifying a new invasive species. If you live in Texas, my sympathies. Lengthy but interesting article here.
As memories fade from last December’s horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, a new national poll indicates that support for stricter gun control laws appears to be fading, too.
According to a new CNN/ORC International survey, 49% of Americans say they support stricter gun control laws, with 50% opposed. The 49% support is down six percentage points from the 55% who said they backed stricter gun control in CNN polling from January, just a few weeks after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a lone gunman killed 20 young students and six adults before killing himself, in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
I’m sure the liberal MSM will be working overtime a couple weekends from now to “correct” this awful trend.
The gun deer season is in full force this week, and Athens city officials are hoping that it helps alleviate some problems connected to the overabundance of deer roaming backyards and gardens this fall.
[ . . . ]
Smith from the [Ohio Department of Natural Resources] said Tuesday that he gave the city a variety of options for addressing the problem, from encouraging hunting to promoting fencing.
About whether the hunting season could have an impact, Smith said, “It could.”
“There is surely the potential for that but I think it comes down to how many deer are killed here in the county,” he said. “That could have a direct correlation to how many deer are in the city.”
You’ve got three days left in rifle season. Hurry on over . . .
A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shows that while gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009, crime fellâ€”and fell sharply.
According to the report, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993. Following the exponential growth in the number of guns, that rate fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000.
And keep in mind that — aside from the 10-years when the so-called “assault weapons” ban was in effect — a whole lot of states loosened their gun laws to allow (shall issue) CCW, among other things.
That’s the allegation made made by the one “no” vote:
The House of Representatives today voted to extend the â€śUndetectable Firearms Act,â€ť originally enacted in 1988 and set to expire on December 8, with Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky tweeting that his was the only vote in opposition.
â€śThe plastic gun ban (Undetectable Firearms Act) just passed the house on voice vote with 10 reps present,â€ť Massie told his followers. â€śI was the only no vote.â€ť
Isn’t there some sort of minimum, a quorum, required?