Thursday, October 8, 2015

Battle of Lepanto

For John, BLUFA turning point.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I missed this yesterday, but it was the 444 years ago that the West won the Battle of Lepanto.  Against the Ottoman Empire.

The last major battle between fleets propelled by oars (galleys).

Per Wikipedia, RAND expert Dr Paul K. Davis noted:

This Turkish defeat stopped Ottomans' expansion into the Mediterranean, thus maintaining western dominance, and confidence grew in the west that Turks, previously unstoppable, could be beaten.
Regards  —  Cliff

  The breakup of the Ottoman Empire is still ongoing.  Most recently as a result of World War One.

Medal of Honor 97 Years Ago, Today

For John, BLUFStarted out as a pacifist.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Thanks to Doctrine Man for reminding us that today is the day, in 1918, that Corporal Alvin C York attacked the Germans and killed 20 and captured 132.  Worth a Medal of Honor.

There was a movie.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, October 5, 2015

Why Gun Control Efforts Fail

For John, BLUFTrust issues.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In a bit of self-promotion, Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds plugs his short item in The Old Gray Lady.  I shamelessly copy his whole blog post at the InstaPundit
IN THE NEW YORK TIMES’ “ROOM FOR DEBATE” SECTION, I explain why the “Gun Lobby” remains invincible.  Basically, it’s because politicians always lie about gun control, and people don’t trust the police to protect them.  The ironic way in which lefty anti-police activism conflicts with lefty gun-control messaging is also mentioned.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monsignor Asks for Dismissal

For John, BLUF"Don't poke the bear."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reuters, via The New York Times, "Priest Dismissed by Vatican After Saying He Is Gay".

Dismissed as in dismissed from his day job, at the Vatican (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).  He also lost his other job, as a teacher of theology at pontifical universities in Rome.

Saying he was gay in public, with his partner by his side.  And gave an interview to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

I would say the Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa was looking for a fight.  And a different Catholic Church.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Proposing Gun Control

For John, BLUFI don't think the Anti-Second Amendment types see any righteousness in the gun owners' positions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the The Atlantic"Why Conservatives Mistrust Even Modest Efforts at Gun Control".  The sub-headline is "Liberals tend to blame the gun lobby for blocking new regulations, but they dismiss firearm owners’ fear of government at their own political peril."

Here are the two paragraphs Professor Glenn Reynolds pulled in his blog post:

While Obama has repeatedly called for new gun controls, those attempts have hit a wall in Congress. Furthermore, of the gun laws enacted at the state level since the Newtown massacre, more have actually loosened restrictions than tightened them. Firearm production and sales have also increased since Obama took office.

The common liberal explanation for why this has happened is the entrenched power of the gun lobby—the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers. This isn’t wrong. The NRA’s power is considerable and it is carefully and effectively wielded. But focusing exclusively on the lobbying angle overlooks the very real fear and distrust with which many gun owners regard the government that drives much of the opposition to gun laws. Many of them simply don’t believe that enhanced background checks—or whatever other modest changes are proposed—are what they appear to be.

The way I would describe it is that gun owners don't trust Progressives to not keep asking for more.  If the Congress passes a nationwide background check, will they then ask for more, until they have progressed to gun confiscation.

Is there a way to assuage those concerns?  I would think that affirmation of the Second Amendment would help.  However, the proposal by former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens to add five words to the Amendment (when serving in the Militia), is not the kind of thing that builds confidence.  The Amendment as it reads now:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
And as proposed:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.
What does this do?  Does it mean that I can tell the Platoon Sergeant that "Yes I can keep a pistol under my pillow, since I have been called up"?  Does that even make sense?

I think another thing that might build confidence is adoption of what I call "The Windy City Test".  How will this change in the law impact the number of gun discharges (shootings) and gun deaths in Chicago, IL?

The Comments to Professor Reynolds' blog post are here. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


Friday, October 2, 2015

The Place The Donald Fills

For John, BLUFMr Trump as a cleaning agent.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Two weeks again New York Magazine had a piece by Mr Frank Rich, "THE IMPORTANCE OF DONALD TRUMP".  The sub-headline sums it up:  "Far from destroying our democracy, he’s exposing all its phoniness and corruption in ways as serious as he is not.  And changing it in the process."

I thought this was a key paragraph:

In the short time since Trump declared his candidacy, he has performed a public service by exposing, however crudely and at times inadvertently, the posturings of both the Republicans and the Democrats and the foolishness and obsolescence of much of the political culture they share.  He is, as many say, making a mockery of the entire political process with his bull-in-a-china-shop antics.  But the mockery in this case may be overdue, highly warranted, and ultimately a spur to reform rather than the crime against civic order that has scandalized those who see him, in the words of the former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, as “dangerous to democracy.”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFHow can it be science is politicians can shut it down if they disagree with it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Gleichschaltung is the word Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds uses to describe this incident, report in The Hill.  Fairly appropriate.

Here is part of what Professor Reynolds extracted from the article.

Five top Democratic economists are criticizing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the left-leaning Brookings Institution for forcing one of its nonresident economic fellows to resign.

Warren raised concerns earlier this week that Robert Litan, a nonresident and unpaid economics fellow at the think tank, was using Brookings to peddle an industry-backed study that was critical of a financial advice regulatory pitch championed by Warren and the White House.

In a letter to Brookings earlier this week, Warren questioned the independence of the study, which Litan openly notes in the text “was supported by the Capital Group, one of the largest mutual fund asset managers in the United States.”

Hours later, Litan was forced to resign.

The Democratic economists say they’re “concerned” about Litan’s treatment.

They said Warren’s approach and Brookings’ “complicity with it threatens ad hominem attack on any author who may be associated with an industry or interest whose views are contrary to hers.”

Well, Senator E Warren is a US Senator, and she should be free to question a study.  The really embarrassing thing is that Brookings Institution caved and caved so quickly.  On the other hand, Ms Warren should be concerned that Brookings rolled over so easily.  Is she abusing her position?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff