Well, Limbaugh Got What he Wanted

A while back, Rush Limbaugh was excoriated for saying “I hope Obama fails.”

Looks like he got it:

Singer Harry Belafonte, subject of an upcoming HBO documentary about his political activism, was asked what he would say to the White House and Congress about the gamesmanship in which they are engaged over the national debt.

“My question would be, to Congress and the president: What happened to moral truth? What happened to moral courage?” Belafonte said.

He’d also like to tell them: “Politics without moral purpose, really more often than not, winds up as tyranny.”

“Barack Obama and his mission has failed because it lacked a certain kind of moral courage, a kind of moral vision . . . a kind of courage we are in need of,” said the King of Calypso.

When you’ve lost Harry Belafonte . . . .

Quote of the Day – Thomas Sowell Edition

All the overheated political rhetoric about needing to tax “millionaires and billionaires” is not about bringing in more revenue to the government. It is about bringing in more votes for politicians who stir up class warfare with rhetoric.Ideals Versus Realities, Townhall

For the first time I don’t agree with Sowell’s conclusions, but on this he’s still correct.  Incomplete, but correct.  It’s also about “fairness” as defined by President Obama – in other words, “redistribution of wealth.”  Bringing in more votes is the byproduct, not the goal.

A Repeat

This is all I’ve got to say about the current budget / debt ceiling debate, and it was already said in February.  Remember this?

Well, Chris Muir took the the meme and ran with it:

Really, it’s not an unreasonable question: If Obama actually was intent on the destruction of the Republic, how could you tell the difference?

I’m wondering if I should cash in my 401(k) that has finally recovered to what it was in 2001 before that crash.  The kleptocrats in Washington will be coming after that pot-o’cash soon, I’m sure.  You know, in the interest of “fairness.”

Here We Go Again

So earlier this week I write my post Defending the Weak, and it drew a link from my old friend James Kelly at Scot Goes Pop. Apparently I offended his sense of propriety. So, in my usual style, I left a comment which has inspired yet another post by Mr. Kelly.

As I’ve noted before, we don’t have discussions. Our worldviews are so divergent we simply talk past each other.

Now, James has commented on my emphasis on statistics and their meaning before, yet I note that this time James goes straight to statistics which, I am forced to assume, he believes proves his point. You see, in Scotland, they don’t kill each other as often as we here in Arizona do. And when they do, they hardly ever do it with firearms, whereas here firearms are the preferred method.

I think what you’re supposed to gather from this (remember, I’ve been doing this sort of thing for years now, so I have experience at it) is that, since they don’t have guns, they can’t kill each other as much.

And this is based on one year’s data – 2009.

The logic is staggering.

His source states that in 2009 there were 79 homicides in Scotland, versus 324 in Arizona. Scotland and Arizona have roughly equivalent populations. I believe we’ve danced this dance before, however.

Once again, here’s a graph of Scotland’s homicide statistics from 1945 through 1997:

And here’s a homicide rate comparison table (in deaths per 100,000 population) I worked up using that data, along with data for the entire U.S. and also England & Wales (a separate single political entity):

Year US England & Wales Scotland
1946 6.4 0.81 0.72
1947 6.1 0.86 0.59
1948 6.1 0.78 0.66
1949 5.4 0.68 0.47
1950 5.3 0.79 0.68
1951 4.9 0.75 0.41
1952 5.2 0.91 0.53
1953 4.8 0.74 0.80
1954 4.8 0.70 0.63
1955 4.5 0.63 0.68
1956 4.6 0.71 0.57
1957 4.5 0.71 0.51
1958 4.5 0.58 0.82
1959 4.6 0.59 0.66
1960 4.7 0.62 0.68
1961 4.7 0.57 0.71
1962 4.8 0.64 1.12
1963 4.9 0.65 0.88
1964 5.1 0.63 0.98
1965 5.5 0.68 1.21
1966 5.9 0.76 1.65
1967 6.8 0.86 1.35
1968 7.3 0.87 1.40
1969 7.7 0.81 1.57
1970 8.3 0.81 1.59
1971 9.1 0.93 1.38
1972 9.4 0.97 1.62
1973 9.7 0.94 1.47
1974 10.1 1.21 1.49
1975 9.9 1.03 1.49
1976 9.0 1.14 2.03
1977 9.1 0.98 2.03
1978 9.2 1.08 1.59
1979 10.0 1.27 1.56
1980 10.7 1.25 1.73
1981 10.3 1.12 1.70
1982 9.6 1.25 1.70
1983 8.6 1.32 1.86
1984 8.4 1.37 1.77
1985 8.4 1.28 1.64
1986 9.0 1.24 1.62
1987 8.7 1.31 2.08
1988 9.0 1.42 1.73
1989 9.3 1.33 1.98
1990 10.0 1.31 1.68
1991 10.5 1.42 1.72
1992 10.0 1.33 2.68
1993 10.1 1.31 2.22
1994 9.6 1.41 2.18
1995 8.7 1.45 2.67
1996 7.9 1.31 2.30
1997 7.4 1.41 1.72

You can go to the old post and get the later data, I’m not really interested in reproducing all that here, nor in updating it, really, but the point I want to make – again, since James seems incapable of understanding it – is that as far back as 1945, when neither country had much in the way of firearms laws, the homicide rate in the U.S. was 8.8 times the rate in Scotland.  As time has progressed, and the UK has instituted stricter and stricter laws against firearm possession (promoted in every case to make the UK “safer”), the homicide rate trend has been converging

James likes to point out that the U.S. – with all of its privately possessed firearms, spreading “right to carry” laws and all – has a homicide rate that is – let me find his number, oh yes – “more than two-and-a-half times greater” than Scotland’s. But sixty-five years ago, it was eight point eight times greater. Scotland’s homicide rate in 2009 was 1.52/100,000, (down from 1.9 in 2008). The U.S. homicide rate that year was 5.0/100,000. The ratio was therefore 3.2 to 1.

Now, I ask you – what does a trend from 8.8:1 to 3.2:1 indicate to you? Especially bearing in mind that gun laws here are “lax” and in the UK are “the strictest in the world” by their own admission?

But hey!  At least they’re not killing each other with GUNS!  Because somehow that makes a difference.

And lastly, there’s this:  Scotland has been called “the most violent country in the developed world.” The UN said it in 2005, and yes, that includes the U.S. They might not kill each other at anywhere near our rates, but they violently victimize each other far more often. In 2010 the Scottish Labour party bemoaned the fact that the violent crime rate in Scotland is “four times the rate of England and Wales.” That polity ranks #2 in the world.

And remember, the crime statistics in the UK aren’t exactly reliable.

Back when I wrote What We Got Here is … Failure to Communicate, I noted that Thomas Sowell pointed out one major difference between those who believe humans are perfectible and those like me who believe human nature doesn’t change.  Those who believe in human perfectibility believe in solutions.  Those like me see trade-offs.  James believes the solution is to disarm everyone.  I believe otherwise.

Hey, maybe he’s right.  Maybe if the Scots had guns they would kill each other at astronomical rates.  Given their obviously hyper-violent culture ….

Then again, there might be a few more deaths but a lot fewer Glasgow smiles.  And if the potential victims are armed ….

It’s an Honor Just to be Nominated

I knew my NRA Patron membership would be good for something!

Sean Sorrentino suggests that perhaps the NRA needs another “Cincinnati revolution” where the hoary old-guard is thrown out in favor of more fire-breathing rights-defenders. He lists 14 possible nominees, of which I am one. I had to laugh out loud at his description of me:

Kevin will be prepared at any time to drop 100,000 words of extensively footnoted explanations on one of two subjects. How gun control is racist, sexist, immoral, and fattening. And how American schooling is designed by socialists to teach conformism and government control to kids in an effort to demoralize future generations and make them less likely to try to control their own destiny.

Yeah, that about covers it.

The others are just as amusing.

More Panem et Circenses

I received an email yesterday.  Season three of Top Shot (aka:  As the Cartridge Turns) will premiere on August 9. 

The new season of Sons of Guns has already started.

Look, I’m a gun-nut. I like the fact that television has discovered that guns are fun and the people who like them are not all knuckle-dragging neanderthals with the IQ of a rotting rutabaga. I get the fact that those of us who collect guns and/or shoot a (relatively) lot are a pretty small minority of the total national population. (There very well may be 80+ million gun owners in America, but I’m willing to bet that 70 million of them don’t take their rifle or shotgun out of the closet more than twice a year, if that.) I just wish Top Shot focused more on shooting than on drama-llamas. And I wish Sons of Guns didn’t have a cast of rutabagas.

OK, that’s not fair. They’re not really that bad, but as representatives of the “gun culture” I enthusiastically belong to, I can and do wish they were better than The Discovery Channel portrays them.

So a new season of gun-centric television is starting up. Hooray for the re-normalization of the good “gun culture.”


Oh, and BTW, here’s a link for the new cast for Top Shot.

“We could try liberty.”

Jerry Pournelle points out what we all know:

Budget Cuts: we will increase spending, but we will reduce the rate of increase. We just spent $9 Trillion we didn’t have, but we will make a $1.1 Trillion cut – over ten years. Which is to say we will cut $100 Billion a year, having spent $9 Trillion. The deficit will continue to grow. So the only choice is to raise taxes or the nation is finished, the elderly will not get their Social Security checks, the Veterans will not get their benefits. Inspectors in the Department of Agriculture will continue to get “cost of living” raises and step increases in their civil service ratings. Department of Education SWAT teams will get their raises including full health and pensions. The deficit will grow, and there will be another financial crisis. The EPA will continue to impose regulations, the courts will continue to accept lawsuits to harass anyone who intends to open a mine, drill an oil well, or create a business.

The only remedy will be to raise taxes. We must have shared sacrifices so that the Washington elites can go about business as usual. Washington public schools will continue to deteriorate but none of the elites will send their children to those public schools so that won’t be a problem.

In other words, the Dance goes on, and we are being played.

The Geek with a .45 said it best some time back:

“Entire Societies Can and Have Gone Stark Raving Batshit Fucking Insane.”

The raving hasn’t really started yet, but it’s coming.  The wheels are coming off the trolley, and the trolley off the tracks, and We the People are powerless to stop it.

Where’s my soma?

Monster Hunter: Alpha

I finished Larry Correia‘s latest, Monster Hunter: Alpha last night about 10:20.  I picked it up from Barnes & Noble on my way home from work Monday evening.  I read from the time I got home until about 10:45, taking just enough time out to post yesterday’s car/gun porn.  I dog-eared the book at Chapter 14, page 223 (do you think he planned that?) and went to sleep.  When I got home last night, I picked it up again and read until it was finished.

Larry’s Best.  Book.  Yet.

Non-stop action, great characters, rollicking storyline . . . just, DAMN!

No spoilers, but I will say one line from the book had me laughing until I hurt: 

“Love what you’ve done with the place.  Very industrial.”

You have to read it to understand.

And yes, I’m a sick puppy.

Two thumbs WAY up.  Go get it.  Today.

Smedley, Bring Me My Four-Bore

OK, I haven’t seen this elsewhere on the gunblogs, and it’s kinda unique for Wired, but how would you like to own your very own Rolls-Royce set up for hunting tiger and elephant?

A vintage Rolls-Royce festooned with weaponry and upfitted for off-roading to hunt tigers and elephants may be the definition of automotive grandiosity, but it also could be yours for a mere $1 million.

This preposterous 1925 New Phantom was built as a dedicated hunting car by Rolls-Royce with coachwork by Barker & Company in 1925 at the request of Umed Singh II, Maharaja of Kotah. Apparently Raj-era Kotah was similar to modern day Wasilla, overrun with both wild animals and politicians who like to shoot them from moving vehicles.

On board is enough firepower to blow away the Bronx Zoo including a double-barrel howdah pistol and a mountable Lantaka cannon used for hunting elephants. There’s also a rifle stand in the rear seat and, especially for Bengal tigers, a machine gun that can be trailered from the rear of the car. Rifles and bird guns are stored in the rear of the car.

Here’s the towed machinegun:

And here’s the auction video:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcml4EgOuPg?rel=0]

I don’t think it has air-conditioning, though.

And I see that Sean Sorrentino beat me to it.

Now I’m going back to reading Monster Hunter Alpha.