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Thursday links

  • At The Zelman Partisans, Nicki lauds the young Pakistani professor who used his firearm to protect his students from a terrorist attack.
  • Killing the golden goose of capitalism.
  • And speaking (as we were earlier this week and above) about the way bad law and regulation ultimagely discourage everyone and everything, NHTSA regulators are trying to destroy the Elio before it even goes into production. (H/T jed)
  • Okay. I’m sure this is humorous.
  • Now, this, on the other hand I’m not so certain about. (Both links courtesy of Y.B.)
  • No wonder college students are so eager to destroy free speech and create segregated “safe spaces.” They’re taught beans about history or civics. Be sure to check out the stats beginning on page 4, if you do nothing else.
  • Gun buyers have broken NICS. The FBI is responding by refusing to consider appeals of wrongful denials. Since 90-some percent of denials are wrongful, this is a big deal. (It would be a big constitutional deal even if one denial was wrongful and could not be appealed; but since NICS itself is anti-constitutional, that’s a nitpick.) There will be lawsuits. But this just goes to show you (not that anyone here needed showing) how easy it is for the fedgov, having pushed “law-abiding” people into getting its prior permission, to forbid exercise of an individual right.
  • The headline proclaims a big-deal “new” feature on an upcoming washing machine from Samsung. Which turns out to be a feature that has actually existed on the vast majority of washing machines since Great-Granny’s day. Until “new, improved!” washers with government-mandated energy features and mega-electronic controls broke it. Bet the “new” machine from Samsung will be a heck of a lot more pricy than Granny’s washer, too. And thanks to fedgov rules, It won’t wash as well as Granny’s did, either.


  1. Laird
    Laird January 21, 2016 8:38 am

    Loved the article on the USS Gabrielle Giffords. Priceless!

    Re the lack of history/civics knowledge among young adults: It’s all too true, and depressing. My son considered himself a “history buff” in high school, and actually minored in history at college. He can expound at length upon the Pelopennesian War and career of Scippio Africanus, and can recite famous generals (on both sides) in the Civil War. Yet his knowledge of 20th century history is abysmal. He doesn’t seem to know the difference between World Wars 1 and 2 (granted, in a sense #2 was a continuation of #1, but he doesn’t even know that), and Korea and Vietnam are vague blurs to him. It seems to me that whatever history is being taught these days is limited to periods and events so long ago that no one considers them”relevant” to the modern era. In other words, “safe” history that can’t really impact what our rulers want to do. The Roman Empire is not really any different than the Galactic Empire in Star Wars; both are “long ago and far away”, and probably fictional anyway.

    Certainly a lack of knowledge of civics and the Constitution is very helpful to our rulers, who desire nothing more than the be left alone to pursue their dreams of power and empire.

    And in regard to that, you should also read the estimable Fred Reed’s screed on US military policy. Fred is always entertaining, and usually correct.

  2. Claire
    Claire January 21, 2016 9:08 am

    Fred Reed is always worth reading, but that’s one of his best. Thanks, Laird.

  3. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner January 21, 2016 9:13 am

    The piece on the USS Giffords is funny as there have been few warships more useless than the Littoral Combat Ships. The existing vessels have been plagued by structural and mechanical failures, and with their lack of armor and poor armament it’s expected that these ships can defend themselves in any kind of combat just long enough for the crew to abandon ship.

  4. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack January 21, 2016 9:28 am

    Positively appalling. A degree in history with no American History requirement. I always knew UW-Madison was close to Berkeley in stupid. They may be trying for first place.

  5. Bear
    Bear January 21, 2016 9:48 am

    I thought naming a Zumwalt-class ship for Giffords would have been more appropriate.

    NICS: According to a 2009 study, the false positive rate is over 94%. No word on false negatives (other than individual reported cases like the Charleston psycho).

  6. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 21, 2016 10:23 am

    I went to grammar school during the 50s and 60s. My sons went from the early 70s to early 90s. My mother made sure that I learned actual world and American history, along with a lot of other things. I made sure my sons learned the same things. I learned early to keep my mouth shut and not challenge the “teachers” – and so did my sons. We’d have been happier and better off never to go to government schools, but that wasn’t an option then – at least not on our budget. And yes, sadly, few private schools teach anything different.

  7. Claire
    Claire January 21, 2016 10:30 am

    “Positively appalling. A degree in history with no American History requirement.”

    And don’t you just know that if they did have an American History requirement, the course would be entirely about how dead white males oppressed blacks and women, while taking credit for inventions, ideas, and acts that were really the work of indigenous peoples?

  8. Tom
    Tom January 21, 2016 11:47 am

    I have a BA in History. It required classes on several aspects of history. However anything after 1900 (regardless of what aspect of history it was) was generally considered too recent to be property interpreted in historical context. So I can easily see how one might get a degree without knowing much about WWI vs WWII. Plus if you’re like me and don’t care much about history after Augustus Caesar, even if you learned it you’ll probably forget it.

    Also as someone alluded to here in the comments even if they teach it, it could easily be misinterpreted. My main American history professor was a bow-tie wearing almost Conservative or maybe even a Libertarian. I had him for most of the American History classes covering 1492-1914. He was great.

    However I had this one professor for the “History of American Welfare” that was clearly a stark raving Communist. I quickly figured out all my papers had to clearly praise the growth of the state and that any critique had to be in the form of this program didn’t go far enough or this reform didn’t spread “benefits” wide enough. Needless to say I was really glad that semester ended (I would have dropped the class but no other class was open that would fulfill the degree requirement) .

    Oh in Commie’s class you couldn’t question the definition of poverty being the lower 25% no matter how much things improved for them. That really is the thing, how many people have access to cheap food, clean water, temperature controlled housing, not to mention your Obama phone and other modern day conveniences. Some of the poorest people now have access to such plenty that even Kings couldn’t dream of.

    Anyway, I much preferred Ancient Greece and Rome where the influence of such professors were much less.

  9. LarryA
    LarryA January 21, 2016 12:41 pm

    Wait. What? The “small and shrinking minority of old white males” broke NICS?

    I’m teaching a Buying Your First Handgun class tonight. Eight students, of which (judging from names) are women.
    I do a weekly Teacher Feature for the newspaper. Of the three (young, female, two public school and one Catholic school, junior high math/kindergarten/second grade) teachers I’ve interviewed this year one enjoys target shooting and the other two hunt.

  10. LarryA
    LarryA January 21, 2016 12:51 pm

    Also we bought a new washer/dryer more than a year ago with a “Pause” feature. It also plays a little chime tune when it’s finished.

    Most importantly, the dryer filter provides more than enough lint for fire starters.

    My English major, history minor BA required two semesters of U.S. History. I still remember the essay question on the second final. “For each presidential election since the Civil War list the candidates, their parties, and the major issues.”

    But that was back in the dark ages, 1960s.

  11. Claire
    Claire January 21, 2016 1:16 pm

    Wait. What? The “small and shrinking minority of old white males” broke NICS?

    Shocking, isn’t it? That 100k or so of nearly dead old hillbilly guys must be buying one hell of a lot of firearms.

    Yep, the antis are definitely fighting a rising tide of reality, much of it female, minority, and young.

  12. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair January 22, 2016 4:32 am

    I’ve been following the Elio for quite a few years now. Seems that Paul Eilo took too long to get to market, as the feds are about to force his car into years more development and thousands more sticker price. Damn them to the lowest pit of hell.

    The place for comments on the Fall 2015 proposals is!documentDetail;D=DOT-OST-2015-0240-0001 . Unfortunately, the comment period is closed, with 0 comments received. The RIN (rule identification number?) is 2127-AL15, titled “Amend Definition of 3-Wheeled Vehicles”.

    I love how they say it has no unfunded mandates. Well, none except hundreds of millions of dollars of research funding, much of it crowd-sourced.

  13. TXCOMT
    TXCOMT January 24, 2016 8:04 pm

    In Texas, and probably other states, I’d bet, residents who have their Lone Star State-issued carry permit can bypass NICS…yeah, yeah, I know, being on THAT list can create a whole other set of problems, but there’s at least one advantage!


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