...continued from page 1
Greensboro would have never spent $20 million on a luxurious new bus maintenance facility, except it was free money. The same goes for the Galyon bus and train station. It was done because it was free for the city, and for that reason the city spent far more than it would have ever considered spending.
, , ,
Banning assault weapons because of the tragedy at Sandy Hook is like banning sports cars because a drunk while driving a sports car lost control and ran into a school bus.
But if sports cars were to be outlawed, the first question to ask is – what is a sports car? This is the same question that has to be answered in the assault weapons case. A sports car has no set definition, but sports cars do have common features. Assault weapons are called assault weapons because they look like assault rifles, not because of the way they perform.
Just as you can argue that nobody needs a 30 round magazine, you can argue that in a state where the top speed limit is 70 mph, nobody needs a car that will go 150 mph.
But people want fast cars and people want guns. Far more people die in this country from automobile accidents than from gunshot wounds. Automobile deaths could be drastically reduced by reducing the size of motors, increasing the size of cars and requiring far more safety features. The government could require each driver to be outfitted like a NASCAR driver with the helmet, gloves, jumpsuit and head restraints. It would make running to the grocery store for a gallon a milk a much longer procedure, and far more expensive, but it would greatly reduce deaths.
A nationwide speed limit of 20 mph would also greatly reduce deaths, except there might be an increase in deaths from road rage.
, , ,
The fact that Alex Jones of Infowars was detained by the TSA can be interpreted a couple of ways.
Jones is a loud-mouthed conspiracy theorist who has made a good living being a loud-mouthed conspiracy theorist. But in this country, being a loud-mouthed conspiracy theorist is a perfectly legal and somewhat respected way to make a living.
It is not hard to set off the TSA guards. They are for the most part poorly educated and poorly trained. Their response all to often is to detain people, make them believe they are in big trouble and intimidate them into submission.
This technique is the opposite of what is needed with someone like Jones.
He may have instigated the confrontation, which has no doubt enhanced his reputation with his followers. But maybe he didn't instigate it. Maybe it was instigated by the TSA because they knew who he was and wanted to make a point. It is certainly a possibility and if it is true then things are getting pretty scary.
Sen. Rand Paul, who has been highly critical of the TSA, has also been stopped by TSA personnel. Rand was detained on his way to the Senate, which seems to violate the constitutional protection that members of Congress have, but nobody seemed concerned about that.
If the TSA is targeting people who are critical of the organization then the entire government is in bigger trouble than anything the fiscal cliff or deficit has to offer.
, , ,
It would appear that President Obama likes a fight. Why else would he nominate former Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense? Hagel is one of those individuals who has the ability to make everyone mad.
It appears that he shares Obama's feelings toward Israel, which are not warm. Obama does everything he can to shun Israel, but puts a smile on his face and pretends that he supports our country's most important ally in the Middle East.
Republicans dislike Hagel because he not only opposed military strategies like the surge in Iraq, but said it was "The most dangerous foreign policy blunder since Vietnam."
He has complained about the "Jewish lobby," which doesn't endear him to many in the Jewish community.
Obama has been pretty successful at getting what he wants through the Senate, and the Democrats do have a majority, but Hagel should be an interesting battle because the conservative Republicans oppose him and the liberal Democrats seem to love him.
It is astounding that Hagel is a Republican. If you read the editorials supporting him it is like a who's who of the left. His supporters consist of folks like New York Times editorial writer Thomas Friedman.
The Senate has produced some weird anomalies like Hagel, who is nominally a Republican but supported Obama in 2008 and supports Obama's policies toward the Defense Department, which is to dismantle it.
, , ,
I realize that I'm fighting a losing battle here, but if the government is going to ban some kinds of guns at least we should be able to talk about what is being banned in sensible terms.
No one is talking about banning "assault rifles." although you will read that in every publication from the lofty New York Times to the lowly News & Record. Most journalists don't know the barrel of a gun from the trigger, so for them writing about banning firearms is like a Neanderthal writing about banning cars with automatic transmissions.
Assault rifles are fully automatic and have been effectively banned in the United States since 1934. They were banned back when the big national issue was Prohibition, and no one is talking seriously about legalizing them.
What some people want to do is ban "assault weapons."
The term assault weapon was more or less invented by the Clinton administration when it wanted to ban guns that look scary.
Take the plastic stock off most of the assault weapons that were banned by Clinton and replace them with a walnut stock and you no longer have an "assault weapon." The gun will fire exactly the same, but it theoretically wouldn't look as scary so it would not be banned.
To talk about banning assault weapons first someone has to define what an assault weapon is. Then it would be helpful if they could give some reason why those guns should be banned when rifles that perform the same functions, but look more like hunting rifles, are not.