URLs du Jour


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I'm under the weather, thanks (I think) to the pneumonia shot I got at the doctor's yesterday. So, a low-volume day.

  • At Reason, Jacob Sullum analyzes the latest proposed legislation from California's senior senator: Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Parts That Make 'Assault Weapons' Legal Again.

    This week Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced the latest version of her "assault weapon" ban. "Americans across the nation are asking Congress to reinstate the federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines," she claims. "If we're going to put a stop to mass shootings and protect our children, we need to get these weapons of war off our streets."

    Feinstein has not posted the text of her bill yet, but it sounds a lot like the 2017 version. The 2019 bill, like the previous one, bans "205 military-style assault weapons by name," along with any firearm that "accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics," such as "a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock." It also "exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes," which is supposed to show us how generous Feinstein is being. But this list, which consumed nearly 100 pages of the 2017 bill, is completely gratuitous, since any gun that's not banned by name and does not fit the general definition would remain legal regardless of whether the bill said so explicitly.

    It's not really, by the rules of ordinary English usage, a "ban", since current owners of the scary weaponry would be able to keep them.

    For now. That's the understood context.

  • I am pretty sure I would be considered a "right wing extremist", advocating, as I do, drastically limited government, fiscal sanity, traditional morality, …

    And at least, the government should stop subsidizing abortion.

    At NR, Kevin D. Williamson describes the current usage rules: Jill Filipovic Calls Knights of Columbus ‘Right-Wing Extremist’ Group.

    >We have been hearing for some years now how domestic political pressure has hamstrung needful actions against “far-right extremist groups,” which, we are also told, represent a larger and more serious terrorism threat than do the various jihadist groups with which we have become too familiar over the past — can you believe it has been that long? — 18 years.

    Inevitably, this invites the question: “What’s a right-wing extremist group?” From lawyer Jill Filipovic, a fellow at the New America Foundation, we have an answer: the Knights of Columbus. That the Knights of Columbus is a right-wing extremist group is not an idea from the fringe: Filipovic’s New America colleagues include Anne-Marie Slaughter and David Brooks, which is not to say that she speaks for them, but she isn’t some person wandering the street with a sandwich board, either. In the Senate, Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono have proceeded in accord with Filipovic’s view, suggesting that a federal judiciary nominee should be disqualified from the bench because of his membership in the Catholic philanthropic group.

    Crazy, right? Someone with cross-examination skills at least on a par with Senators Kamala/Mazie should demand a straight answer to the question: Shoud membership in the Knights of Columbus be a red-flag disqualification for Federal judicial appointments?

  • I do not know how credible the "insider" source is, but the details seem all too credible: Insider Describes How Google 'Screwed Over' James Damore. (Article at PJMedia by Debra Heine.)

    A Reddit user who claims to be a Google insider involved in firing former Google engineer James Damore on Tuesday spilled his guts about the internal decisions that led to Damore's termination.

    Damore was let go in August 2017 after internally publishing a memo criticizing the company's "ideological echo chamber" and outlining his views on how gender differences affect females in STEM fields.

    Damore says (and I quote): "Whoah, this would explain a lot." The alleged insider seems to have a lot of knowledge you would expect an insider to have.