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Tuesday links

  • People. Possessed by computers. We have seen the future and it is weird and icky. (H/T MJR)
  • No more Mohammed cartoons, says Charlie Hebdo’s editor. The barbarians are inside the gates.
  • A “lite” one from Bovard: “Cops and Donuts Don’t Mix.”
  • A Silicon Valley billionaire revives the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
  • Six state governments grow a brain and arm their National Guard members following the Chattanooga jihad attacks.
  • You will be shocked, I’m sure, to learn that the Bloombergians are against it. And hey, check out the “do not link” link! Great way to read an article on Bloomberg’s The Trace. Until it fails or Bloomy gets bored and defunds it, that new site is going to have some important articles on it — important not because they’re good but because they’ll look like serious, balanced journalism to those who don’t understand the issues while being covertly filled with codswallop.
  • Also lite: the good news about that quake that’s going to destroy the Northwest. 🙂


  1. Joel
    Joel July 21, 2015 5:58 am

    Everything Bloombergian depresses me too much to ever complete. Lies, damn lies, and things written by gun-grabbers.

    I didn’t know about, though. That’s pretty cool, and will probably get some use.

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 21, 2015 7:28 am

    With Bloomberg, et al… the only real goal is control. They want to do things to us that we will never allow as long as we have guns…

  3. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard July 21, 2015 8:20 am

    Thanks, Claire! I always feared that donuts would be my downfall.

  4. Laird
    Laird July 21, 2015 8:40 am

    Donotlink (which obviously is entirely different from “doughnut link”!) does look like a good idea. But I’m probably too lazy to use it consistently. What they really need to do is incorporate it into Startpage or DuckDuckGo or one of the other search anonymizers to make it seamless (and eliminate that nuisance requirement of actual thought!).

    As to the Bloomberg article, I’m like Joel: I can’t finish it; the idiocies are too overwhelming. But I do have one suggestion: since the federal government doesn’t trust its own troops to be armed, how about they also disarm all the civilian federal employees they’ve been arming to the teeth these last few years? I can see why field agents in a law-enforcement role (FBI, etc.) would be armed, but Social Security officials? IRS agents? Departments of Education and Energy? Really? They’re certainly less trained than military personnel (even those in ‘”support” roles). And think of all the money we’d save by not buying them guns or ammunition. When all those desk jockeys have been disarmed I’ll be ready to talk about disarming trained soldiers.

  5. MJR
    MJR July 21, 2015 9:47 am

    The Bloomberg folks are a perfect example of the adage “There are no facts, there is no truth; there is simply data to be manipulated.” If they really believe the troops don’t have the training to deal with active shooters then there is a simple solution, give them the training and amend the the Posse Comitatus Act to give the soldiers the right of self defense.

    BTW love the site.

  6. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 21, 2015 12:47 pm

    [They will decide if these things are on the streets as police officers, so a huge amount of work needs to be done to see how we relate to it.]

    Robocop, without the human parts. Now THERE’s something to look forward to.

    The Charlie Hebdo thing is more about what people do in response to an attack, than about free speech. Needless to say, a typical magazine editor has limits in that direction.

    [I’d be damned if I’d submit to a warrantless search.]

    It’s amazing what great store people put into a piece of paper.

    [The U.S. military on Monday confirmed to Fox News it directed recruiting centers across the country to step up security measures in the wake of the deadly rampage at two Tennessee installations that claimed the lives of four U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor.]

    Too bad they didn’t respond by getting rid of recruiting centers.

    [Most service members — 99 percent of airmen, 88 percent of sailors, and about two-thirds of soldiers and Marines — are not in direct combat roles, but instead are technical workers whose specialties support those “tip of the spear” troops.]

    For what it’s worth, all Marines know how to handle a rifle. Even the cooks. As to the rest of it, I tend toward the view that the commanders should decide on their own about arming troops. In my day I saw a lot of drunken and stoned Marines in the squad bays…

    [You know who’s going to get it worse than Seattle? Portland! We’re glad to see the tectonic plates agree with us that our annoyingly precious sister city is getting too big for her Etsy britches and needs to get sent back to the dark ages.]

    Etsy? What is that? As to Portland, those Seattlites are just envious of our naked bicycle runs. Hell, the very best thing about Portland, is that it is not Seattle.

  7. M
    M July 21, 2015 1:03 pm

    “Lite,” yet with a quote that’s SO DAMNED GOOD.

    “[…] America continues moving towards a two-tier society: those whom the law fails to restrain, and those whom the law fails to protect.”

    Bravo, Mr. Bovard. That one hits especially hard.

  8. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard July 21, 2015 6:27 pm

    Thanks, M! I appreciate you letting me know that line hit home.

  9. Shel
    Shel July 21, 2015 6:54 pm

    While there are always things that can be found wrong, I’d like to express the (perhaps unpopular in this blog) opinion that police often do things right. A retired LEO friend from another agency, whom I’ve known for a long time is very familiar with the Fairfax County Police and unequivocally describes them as “well trained, dedicated, and professional.” These are people who are just trying to do a very difficult job in a very difficult situation, and as Jim Bovard honestly noted, the officer wasn’t on a power trip.

    Northern Virginia has changed greatly from the ’70’s, when I used to live there. It’s now crime-ridden and has the additional benefit of illegal alien gang warfare. In recent years, one died in a machete murder inside a Dale City movie theater during a show. One of the local beneficiaries of Obama’s sentence commuting policy is a “non-violent” criminal strictly speaking in the legal sense, but that simply means it’s the only thing he has been convicted of; he’ll surely be a trustworthy Obama supporter for life now. If he’s really lucky (very possibly), he could end up being part of the civilian police force armed equally with the military that Obama publicly desired before his first presidential election. In the situation of the Fairfax County Police find themselves in now, failing to wear body armor or failing to approach a vehicle cautiously could understatedly be described as foolhardy at best.

  10. LarryA
    LarryA July 21, 2015 10:57 pm

    Indeed, the military has fairly liberal guidelines empowering its commanders to arm members to defend themselves.

    Um hum:
    1. Company commander Jones: “We have an active killer on base. Per written SOP #6438* First Platoon report to the arms room for the half-hour process of drawing weapons. Meanwhile, I’ll try to talk Brigade out of some ammo.”
    2. Brigade commander Smith: “You want ammo for what? Did you clear it with LeftCom? You are relieved of command.”
    * Yeah, made that document up.

    The upshot is that your average service member is more qualified than most civilians to handle guns, but no more qualified to neutralize an active shooter than the average professional mechanic is to race the Daytona 500.

    Police get “extensive” training for active killer situations because they typically start from off-site. They have to approach the building, gear up from the equipment in their cruiser, communicate and coordinate with other officers, and tactically enter and search the venue.

    None of that is my job. I’m most likely to encounter such when the killer enters the room and starts shooting. Therefore, civilian (or most military) training for such events includes:
    1. If I see someone killing unarmed people, pull out my concealed handgun and shoot him until he stops.
    2. Don’t shoot anyone else.
    3. When officers approach and tell me to put my gun down, do so.

    IOW I really need to know* about as much as the recent Uber driver.
    * But more training is always preferable.

    Dating back to 1994, there had been 20 shootings on or around military installations before the Chattanooga tragedy. All of them were committed by disgruntled uniformed or civilian military workers.

    Wait! What? But how did all those “disgruntled workers” shoot people in gun-free zones?

    Beyond the practical concerns about an increase in accidents and criminal killings, military planners have another reason to be sanguine about arming service members en masse: It poses an inherent risk to civil liberties in the United States. Since the late 1800s, the Posse Comitatus Act has limited the federal government’s ability to use military members to carry out domestic law enforcement duties.

    Oh yeah. I’m sure Weinstein, Bloomberg, and other PTB are real concerned about using military force on civilians. Or giving law enforcement equivalent equipment.

    That said, allowing service members to carry handguns for self-defense hardly compares to Waco.

    Recruiting offices — the workplaces of a small percentage of total military personnel — are by design located mostly in open suburban locales like shopping malls and retail strips where they can lure more foot traffic from potential enlistees.

    Except no recruiter was injured. The dead marines and sailor were in a unit armory, behind a closed gate, “protected” by DOD and civilian law enforcement which was minutes away.

    But arming all military workers everywhere is not one of those sensible new measures.

    Aaaaaand there’s the strawman. Instead of “all military workers everywhere” how about we take Weinstein’s own suggestion of “ordering one or more of the service members assigned to staff to be trained to carry and use firearms under existing policies”

    Say a military shall-issue CHL with reciprocity for us civilians.


  11. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 22, 2015 11:18 am

    [In the situation of the Fairfax County Police find themselves in now, failing to wear body armor or failing to approach a vehicle cautiously could understatedly be described as foolhardy at best.]

    Maybe it would be better for all concerned if cops would simply stop “approaching vehicles”, since the reason for almost all such approaches amounts to government-sanctioned highway robbery. It doesn’t make me happy to see someone pulled over by a cop. I hope the poor unfortunates survive the encounter. Maybe ordinary drivers should start wearing body armor too.

  12. LarryA
    LarryA July 22, 2015 2:18 pm

    *I* think there’s something to this. Anyone have an opinion as to why the stopped Slate clock isn’t right on this?

    He’s right.

    However, most people in the U.S. (see the comments) don’t understand the connection between we go kill their soldiers, and they come kill ours. War is something the government sends other people’s kids to do somewhere over there, not something that might happen in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    The fact that our soldiers were unarmed isn’t something the enemy is responsible for, it’s just a benefit to them. Just as the fact that the killer didn’t formally enlist, get training, wear a uniform, have better equipment, or be part of a unit is to our benefit.

    And neither Saletin nor I are saying we’re okay with the soldiers getting killed. But the answer to an asymmetric act of war is better defense, not handwringing and wondering why it happened.

  13. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau July 23, 2015 8:12 am

    [But the answer to an asymmetric act of war is better defense]

    I thought you were going to say, “the answer to an asymmetric act of war is to stop invading and occupying other countries”. 🙂

  14. Laird
    Laird July 23, 2015 9:55 am

    I agree with LarryA. Military personnel (and/em> political leaders) are legitimate targets during wartime (which in the modern US, is continuously). This was not terrorism. In fact, since all of the targets (those who survived as well as those who died) were uniformed military personnel, it wasn’t even a war crime. By so carefully limiting his targets, Abdulazeez’s actions were really quite circumspect.

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