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Posted by Jeff Soyer on 01 Oct 2014 04:17 am

Now, someone’s blaming it for ISIS:

As the Obama administration undertakes a highly public, multilateral campaign to degrade and destroy the militant jihadists known as ISIS, ISIL and the Islamic State, many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria’s extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad’s government. Rage at the regime’s callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising.

Because, you know, it was just a couple decades ago that the Middle East was a veritable rain forest.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 01 Oct 2014 04:10 am

Seriously, there might be one:

A film adaptation of the classic ‘80s video game “Tetris” will be falling into theaters sometime in the near future.

Threshold Entertainment has teamed up with the Tetris Company to develop a live-action film based on the game. While no directors or cast are attached to the film yet, there is a story in place.

“It’s a very big, epic sci-fi movie,” Threshold’s CEO Larry Kasanoff tells Speakeasy exclusively. “This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes.”


Somehow, I think the Warcraft movie is going to be a bit more interesting.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 30 Sep 2014 01:29 am

Ten percent of any group ruins it for the other 90%. That said, I disagree with this action:

Jan Morgan, a popular conservative writer who owns the Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Arkansas, has declared her business a “Muslim-Free Zone,” Truth Revolt reported Monday. Citing concerns over the safety of her customers who buy, rent and shoot firearms at her business, Morgan said she has banned Muslims from her business.

“This is not a coffee and donut shop,” she wrote, explaining that she runs a live-fire indoor shooting range. Customers, she added, shoot firearms in close proximity to each other, so, she explained, “my patrons depend on me and my discretion regarding who I allow to shoot beside them.”

Whenever there’s a gun murder, gun control activists are quick to demand the disarming of America, ignoring the fact that 70 million gun owners did not go out and kill someone that same day.

The same logic applies — or should apply — here. The fact is that 2.6 million Muslims living in the United States did not behead someone last week. They want nothing more than to go about their lives, raise their families, and enjoy the same freedoms the rest of us do. And, some might enjoy the freedom to buy a gun and practice with it at the local range, just as you and I do.

Further, if someone (Muslim, Christian, whatever) were to snap and start shooting people at a range, I’d think that there are enough other armed people there to end it pretty quickly.

I think Morgan is being an ass about this.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 29 Sep 2014 08:51 pm

Goddard College is a small, liberal, irrelevant school in Vermont. To demonstrate just how diseased the brains of some of the students attending it are…. From WPTZ TV:

Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer, was selected to be the commencement speaker Sunday at Goddard College’s fall graduation.

[ . . . ]

“As a reflection of Goddard’s individualized and transformational educational model, our commencements are intimate affairs where each student serves as her or his own valedictorian, and each class chooses its own speaker,” said Bob Kenny, interim president of Goddard College. “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”

Uh-huh. Abu-Jamal is serving a life without parole sentence. His “speech” will be delivered via a prerecorded video. His invitation came from the 20 students graduating from the college’s bachelor of arts program.

Incidentally, the article points out that the cop killer graduated from the college in 1996. While in jail. Goddard must have some pretty stringent admission policies.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 28 Sep 2014 10:37 am

Seriously, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times is an idiot. His cell phone goes missing. He’s able to locate it and goes to the address to retrieve it. Here’s what happened next:

The lights were on, so I rang again and knocked hard. I spent five minutes ringing the doorbell and pounding on the door. Finally, a man emerged.

“I think you have my phone,” I explained tautly.

“Your phone?” he asked.


“Oh,” he said, “your phone.” He pulled it out, still with my name, email address and office phone number pasted on it, and meekly handed it over.

I left, no questions asked.

From THAT, he concludes that there are too many guns in the U.S. Why? Because he posted about the incident on his Facebook page and comments to it told him he was crazy to have gone to that house and demanded his cellphone back. He could have been shot! The fact that he wasn’t is of no concern. All that matters is that because the peanut gallery says he’s nuts, that’s a good enough reason to demand more gun control.

He writes:

Put aside the question of whether I was a knucklehead. Isn’t there a larger question of why we tolerate a society so bristling with guns that such a quest may be perilous? Aren’t we all knuckleheads for tolerating such a threat?

First of all, he is a knucklehead for banging on the door of a presumed criminal. Secondly, you can ban or regulate guns all you like, but criminals aren’t likely to fall into compliance. Just the opposite; they’ll be emboldened to increase their illegal activities, knowing that their potential victims will less likely be armed and offer resistance.

Lastly, this isn’t a case of him being carjacked, or someone smashing in the rear door of his home — where seconds count. Any “quest” such as his should have been carried out by the police. Supposedly that is what they’re there for.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 27 Sep 2014 03:02 am

First of all, regarding the gruesome beheading in OKC, I saw this excellent Tweet:

And just in the last 24-hours, three other stories in similar vein:

From the Baxter Bulletin (wherever that is):

A parolee found himself in the wrong house and at the wrong end of a gun this morning. Bryan Keith Sutterfield, 31, of Mountain Home, is back behind bars thanks to a man who caught him allegedly burglarizing a house, according to Sheriff John Montgomery.

Cpl. Kristofer Savino responded to a 911 call about 9:45 a.m. on County Road 69 near Maple Hollow Lane. The caller reported he had caught a man burglarizing his mother’s home and was holding him at gunpoint in the front yard. According to the sheriff, the caller had caught the interloper inside the house carrying a box of jewelry and detained him as he called 911.

Meanwhile, in California… From the Turlock City News:

Around 10 p.m., a victim was standing outside of her home on the 2500 block of Crowell Road when she was approached by a male subject.

The suspect allegedly pulled the victim’s hair and held a gun to the back of her head, said Turlock police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.

She was ordered to go into her home to retrieve her purse for the suspect, but instead reached for protection.

According to Lewis, the victim acted as though she was unlocking a safe with her purse in it, but opened a gun safe and pulled a handgun on the suspect.

The suspect immediately fled out of the front door, said Lewis.

Meanwhile, at a store in Virginia… From the Suffolk News-Herald:

He came in the door with a handgun and demanded money, Simmons said. He then raised the gun up as if about to fire.

“I didn’t think that was real cute,” Simmons said.

Simmons drew his own weapon and chased the robber out the door with four rounds, he said.

“I inspired him to get out of town,” he said.

I understand that criminals are becoming the largest donators to gun control groups.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 25 Sep 2014 06:38 pm

You know what? I’m getting a bit tired of open-carry folks making us all look like jerks. From WSMV TV:

He’s been arrested or detained numerous times for walking around town with guns. His charges were all eventually dismissed, which may explain why he wasn’t arrested on Wednesday as he paraded up and down the sidewalk in front of Hillsboro High School.

Video at the link. Dude, do us all a favor and stay the fuck home. Sit in your living room, reading your prepper novels, clutching your AR-15, and forgetting what enjoying life is all about.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 25 Sep 2014 10:42 am

The full title of this layman’s guide to understanding the theory of relativity is What is Relativity?: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein’s Ideas, and Why They Matter. Published by Columbia University Press, author Jeffrey Bennett uses his young adult, classroom lectures to aid in understanding the profound equations and theories that revolutionized our picture of how the Universe works. I’d like to write that this is a welcome addition to the field. I can’t.

There’s nothing especially wrong, or inaccurate, about this volume, just that there’s nothing new or original about it. The gold standard of books explaining Einstein’s theories of relativity has — at least for me — been The Universe, and Dr. Einstein, by Lincoln Barnett, first published in 1948, and revised in 1950. Long out of print, but used editions readily available on eBay and other sources, it clearly made relativity accessible to the average reader.

While Einstein (and Barnett, in explaining Einstein’s work) use railroad trains as illustrative examples, Bennett has updated that by using rocket ships, instead. Other than that, the book adds nothing new to the discussion. On the plus side, he does give an original view of black holes, and what could happen if a spaceship ventured too close to one. On the minus side, he does little to illuminate the conflicts between the theory of relativity and the quantum theories. Barnett’s book touches on that, a bit.

Bennett’s writing style is okay, though not exciting, and the illustrations are nothing special.

Although Barnett’s book is out of print, might I instead recommend to you, Einstein’s Cosmos, by Michio Kaku, which does a much better job of presenting — at a ‘consumer level’ — both theories plus Kaku’s typically interesting speculations.


Posted by Jeff Soyer on 25 Sep 2014 06:10 am

Pardon my french, but this is fucking outrageous:

The U.S. Forest Service is finalizing plans to fine photographers who shoot on federal wild lands without a permit.

Under the measure, still photography and commercial filming in Congress-designated wilderness areas would require a permit, and shoots would also have to be approved and meet certain criteria like not advertising any product or service and being educational.

Permits would cost up to $1,500, even if someone was taking photos or video with their phone, and fines for shooting without a permit could be as high as $1,000, according to the Oregonian.

[I’ll take the fine. — ed.]

Excuse me, but federal lands are OWNED by the public. It’s our taxes that bought them, maintain them, and pay the salaries at the U.S. Forest Service. Once again, a government agency is of the opinion that the American people are mere serfs with no rights due them by their lords.

You can submit comments to them here.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 24 Sep 2014 09:05 am

And this from a liberal newspaper… From the Washington Post:

Journalists who cover the White House say Obama’s press aides have demanded — and received — changes in press-pool reports before the reports have been disseminated to other journalists. They say the White House has used its unusual role as the distributor of the reports as leverage to steer coverage in a more favorable direction.

The disputed episodes involve mostly trivial issues and minor matters of fact. But that the White House has become involved at all represents a troubling trend for journalists and has prompted their main representative, the White House Correspondents’ Association, to consider revising its approach to pool reporting.

Before praising WaPo, I’d like to point out that they buried this story in the “Lifestyle” section of the paper.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 23 Sep 2014 02:16 pm

This happened in Keene, N.H. From WMUR:

Keene police said Joshua Drinnon, 21, broke into the home of a teenager he knows and forced his way into a bedroom. He picked up a safe that was in the room and began to leave the home, but he was confronted by the father of the teen, police said.

Police said Drinnon dropped the safe but then grabbed a pitchfork and threatened to hurt the father. Drinnon then fled and was later arrested by police, investigators said.

Anything stand out about that? Such as, oh, I don’t know…like who keeps a pitchfork in their house? They couldn’t afford a coat rack so they stood a pitchfork up on its handle in the hallway?

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 23 Sep 2014 06:36 am

Journalists, heal thyself. From the American Spectator:

Lo and behold, it seems that the media itself has a domestic violence problem. Ten cases discovered at first Google. Which is twice as many, to be specific, as the five cases that have had the media in such a frenzy over domestic violence in the National Football League.

Where are these ten cases to be found? Two cases at ESPN, with the rest spread out over affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and, yes, the New York Times. And there are others for television stations not affiliated with the major networks. With all this massive focus on what the Wall Street Journal calls “moral preening” in the media about domestic violence in the NFL — isn’t it a tad curious that the same “moral preening” is absent, that the camera never swings around to the media itself?

Much more at the link.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 22 Sep 2014 07:07 am

In Maryland, one county sheriff is joining others from around the country:

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis’s views about how to enforce the stringent gun laws Maryland passed last year have gone viral.

In a video and print interview with a student journalist, published to YouTube on Aug. 21, Lewis says he’s no fan of government intervention in limiting the constitutionally-protected right to possess firearms.

“As long as I’m the sheriff in this county,” he says in the video, “I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it.”

He says that, regarding the draconian gun control laws passed by Maryland last year, he and his deputies will “use discretion.”

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 20 Sep 2014 06:37 am

This is being orchestrated by the Brady Bunch. From the Knoxville News:

A Knoxville-based corporation is one of four firms being sued by the parents of a victim of the 2012 movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo.

Luckygunner LLC, is the parent firm of www.bulkammo.com, which runs a website through which mass killer James Holmes ordered than 4,000 rounds of ammunition shipped to him from an Atlanta warehouse with no questions asked, the lawsuit states.

The case was filed earlier this week in a Colorado court by Sandy and Lonnie Phillips of San Antonio, Texas, whose daughter Jessica Ghawi was one of 12 people shot to death inside the suburban Denver theater as a film began showing. Defendants are firms from which Holmes acquired ammunition and other equipment used in his onslaught.

[ . . . ]

The Phillipses’ lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, but demands a change in some of the business practices of the defendant companies.

Changing laws by litigation. Always a favorite tactic of the left. The three lawyers representing the plaintiffs all work for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Sep 2014 09:56 am

Well, it’s also for “violent” video games. From Ars Technica:

While many jurisdictions have tried (and failed) to put legal barriers in place to prevent children from buying or playing violent video games, Calfornia’s Marin County is taking a different tack, asking families to voluntarily trade in their violent video games for ice cream and raffle tickets.

The Marin Independent Journal has a report on the county’s efforts for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which include weekly opportunities to trade in violent video games or toy guns.

Yeah, but according to Michelle Obama, ice cream is bad for kids and leads to obesity. So I guess Marin County would prefer that kids not run around in the backyard with toy guns playing cops and robbers, and losing weight and staying active in the process. Better that they sit on their lard butts eating ice cream.

Yes, I’m feeling snarky today…

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Sep 2014 08:16 am

That would be from WLNS News 6:

Man Robs Store With Banana, Peels Away On Bicycle

We’ve got to ban assault bananas:

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 19 Sep 2014 08:04 am

Well now, here’s a POS candidate for father of the year:

Deputies were initially called to the home on Alligator Lake Road on Tuesday after Yatsko allegedly slammed the boy’s [his 13-year old son’s] head on a table.

The next day, deputies were back at the home after they said Yatsko told his son he didn’t love him and wanted him to live with his ex-wife, the boy’s mother.

When the teen said he wanted to kill himself, Yatsko allegedly went into the boy’s bedroom, threw the handgun on the bed and told him, “Do it. Kill yourself. I don’t really care.”

I’m guessing that with a mutant father like that, it’s no wonder the kid has issues.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 18 Sep 2014 07:55 am

Mayors against gun violence. Moms against gun violence. French Poodles against gun violence. The list is endless. Nope, not quite:

A New York City district attorney has founded a coalition of 23 prosecutors from around the country aimed at combating gun violence nationwide.

The group, Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, is a non-partisan and independent coalition that will work on policy and prosecutorial solutions to gun violence.

And, of course, it always makes it seem (to the media) as if there are groups that support gun violence. Actually, there are; street gangs. But they’re the ones least likely to do serious jail time.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 18 Sep 2014 07:45 am

First, a brief history. From WaPo:

D.C. gun owners could begin applying to carry concealed weapons within weeks under emergency legislation announced Wednesday in response to a federal judge’s ruling in July that the city’s firearms law was unconstitutional.

[ . . . ]

The bill, modeled on laws enacted in New York, New Jersey and Maryland, will allow District residents who own registered handguns and nonresidents who have state-issued gun-carrying licenses to apply to D.C. police for permits.

The wearing of a holstered weapon in public view would not be allowed under the proposed law, Mendelson said.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier would issue permits to carry weapons under the new regulations, and applicants would have to demonstrate that they require a firearm because of a specific danger.

Just being in D.C. is a specific danger.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 18 Sep 2014 07:32 am

I’m surprised that Time would even report on this:

Police said they thwarted a plot to carry out beheadings in Australia by supporters of the radical Islamic State group by detaining 15 people and raiding more than a dozen properties across Sydney on Thursday.

The raids involving 800 federal and state police officers — the largest in the country’s history — came in response to intelligence that an Islamic State group leader in the Middle East was calling on Australian supporters to kill, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

If they’re there, they’re also here in the U.S.

That alone is a good reason for every law abiding citizen to CCW whenever they leave their home.

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