A Courtroom Win

Today, Firearms Policy Coalition announced a major legal victory in its Mock v. Garland lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s “pistol brace” ban rule issued by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In the decision, United States District Court Judge Reed O’Connor granted summary judgment in favor of FPC and its co-plaintiffs and issued a final judgment and order vacating the ATF’s rule
Congratulations to the FPC's team of young, energetic lawyers. 

The Biden administration has been inclined to wide-reaching, unconstitutional 'rule changes' that are attempts at actual legislation without the bother of consulting Congress. They are being effectively challenged by FPC, Gun Owners of America, and sometimes the NRA.

As they point out in the full press release, the Biden ATF just transformed millions of Americans into felons without consulting their constitutional representatives. This one (of several similar maneuvers) is dead for now. The government can appeal, of course, if they want to transform this into a SCOTUS ruling instead of a circuit court one.

UPDATE: Another one, this time from SCOTUS itself. This one was the 'bump stock' ban; the other one was the 'pistol brace' ban. 

Both of them turn on the same basic logic, which is that an administrative rule change can't fundamentally alter the law: they have to go through Congress to legislate. That's good news. 

In spite of the similarity of the technologies, both being attachments to the stocks of firearms, they're quite different in character. I wouldn't necessarily oppose a bump stock regulation enacted in a reasonable way. They're not good technology, making the rifle less accurate and unstable. I don't think it meets any the tests SCOTUS has set up for this: it's not a weapon that serves a viable military use suitable for militia service (US v. Miller), nor is it in common use for lawful purposes (it's uncommon), nor is it part of any sort of historical or traditional understanding of the right to bear arms (it's a gimmick mostly used to play on the range). I could see adding it to the National Firearms Act, so that Americans who wanted one could have one but only with the additional steps (and costs) involved.

The pistol brace, by contrast, helps especially disabled Americans to use a militia-quality firearm in a more stable and accurate way. It should enjoy protection even under Miller's logic, which is the most restrictive. 

However, the court is quite right to prevent the bureaucracy from just rewriting the law as if it were a representative, legislative authority.

UPDATE: Ironically, the abortion pill win is also a victory on similar grounds of restraining the government's dictatorial authority: here the court actually restrained its own, which is an impressive feat. Clarence Thomas often notes that the court rarely asks if it has the legitimate authority to do a thing; it just assumes it does. This time they didn't do that, and even though the subject is the tragedy of abortion on demand, it's good to see the court recognizing that even it has proper limits it should not transgress. 

All these Flags are False

We should all be delighted at the successful stopping of a planned mass murder in Atlanta, not just because the murders were prevented but because the information operation the murders were intended to effect was stopped also.
Officials say their investigation began when Prieto told a man at a gun show that he wanted "to incite a race war prior to the 2024 United States Presidential Election."...

As reported by the indictment, Prieto said he wanted to target a rap concert because "there would be a high concentration of African Americans" and planned to leave confederate flags after the violence and to shout phrases like "KKK all the way."

I'm struck by how no one in this story is who they claim to be. A man using a fake name who isn't a Klansman intended to pose as one, enlisting the aid of a man who was an undercover Federal spy -- a 'confidential human source' who spies on gun shows for the Feds. The CHS carried on these conversations with him "over several years," growing increasingly alarmed at the murderous wishes he expressed. So he introduced him to an actual undercover agent, who actually got him to confess to the murderous plans and try to enlist them to participate in the fake Klan attack.

“The reason I say Atlanta. Why, why is Georgia such a f*****-up state now? When I was a kid that was one of the most conservative states in the country. Why is it not now?"

When this 58 year old man was a kid, Jimmy Carter was the governor of Georgia, so that probably isn't as true as he believes it to be. Not that he sounds like a man of good judgment or clear reason.

Not a great judge of guns, either. 

PRIETO stated he preferred to use two rifles and a bolt-action sniper rifle because it was more accurate. PRIETO suggested the CHS and UC should use an AK-platform weapon, as AR variant rifles were less reliable.

That hasn't been true since the Vietnam era.

In any case, I'm happy that this kind of attack was stopped from happening. 

I'm also happy that the Klan is so weak these days that people have to fake them because there's not much of a real one left. Once upon a time if you wanted the Klan to stage an attack you'd start  by joining the Klan; these days you couldn't find a branch of them to join. 

That's a genuine improvement we should try to build upon. Fortunately starting a race war is probably out of the question; just another bit of bad judgment in his tangled mind. 

Life can turn on a dime

War Never Changes

Technically these are unregulated, even by the Biden administration.

"200 Shells"

The counterargument they like to make is that firearms are so obviously dangerous that you don't need to understand them to know that we need fewer of them and with more regulations. Still, the refusal to learn even the most basic facts about them before calling for regulations is a commitment to ignorance that is sometimes stunning to behold.

Hold the Phone

What a concept!
This oppressed majority has, finally, found an ally in the form of a bar in Idaho called Old State Saloon, which recently went viral for celebrating “Heterosexual Awesomeness Month”. On Mondays in June, “any heterosexual male dressed like a heterosexual male will receive a free draft beer”…

Idaho is a long way off, but I was there last year… 

Using hostages as a pretext for rescue

"Some things are so stupid, you have to be a UN official to say them."

Banana Republic

Chiquita held responsible for killings by the guerrilla groups that they bankrolled. If this keeps up, we will all end up paying for our crimes. 

Monday Night Music

Merle tells a funny story about Chet Atkins at the beginning of this.

Of course the Tennessee Ernie Ford version is great, but this next one is good as well. The thing's over at about 3:30 or so. I don't know why whoever posted this on YouTube left 2 minutes of nothing on the end.

The girl in the back playing bass, looking like she's tickled to be playing on stage with her dad or something, is actually Tal Wilkenfeld out of Australia who's recorded with a lot of big names (Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Toto, Todd Rundgren, Macy Gray, Dr. John, Trevor Rabin, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Rod Stewart, John Mayer, Sting, Ben Harper, David Gilmour, Pharrell, Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Lee Ritenour, Hiram Bullock, Susan Tedeschi, and Hans Zimmer, according to Wikipedia). I had no idea who she was.

Do any of you remember when TV stations went off the air around midnight and the last thing they'd play was the national anthem?

Bonds at home

I've been unusually ill, just when my husband has been down and out as well. I have also been lifted up in the most extraordinary way by my community.

Greg injured his back, then suffered first-onset a-fib problems, perhaps by coincidence, perhaps in reaction to oral steroids. A hospital stay with him later, I came back home with a bug. Apparently just as I was most clogged up with garden-variety bronchitis, I got a lungful of nasty garage-cleanup dust in connection with our plans to build out a ground-floor apartment in the garage under our house-on-stilts. Though I don't normally suffer from asthma, I suspect my airways were shrunk down to a point where the dust was the exact size to trigger spasm. Weeks later, I've only just now managed to open up my spasmed airways.

Meanwhile there are all these rescue dogs! And Greg really needs to limit movement and therefore to be waited on hand and foot. I had a dog-walker who unfortunately has a day job that got crazy busy, and in addition she fell ill. I advertised for more help, though, and not only did I snag some great workers, but several people insisted on helping out gratis. One I'd never even met before, but she knows something of my rescue work and does a great deal of it herself. On the whole it has been a profoundly heartwarming experience.

Today I am feeling very nearly normal, but still taking it easy until I'm sure my airways won't seize up again.

All the recent dogs rescued in extremis continue to do well, also an enormous boost to the spirits. There is a great deal to be grateful for.


“The blood of your children is mixed with ours. This is an unbreakable bond.”
Am Yisrael Chai.

World's Fair 1982

Lileks is on about the World's Fair today.
It’s been decades since a World’s Fair last made a mark on the American imagination. Knoxville held one in 1982, and while a few may remember its landmark symbol—the Sunsphere—most Americans would look at a picture of the thing and think it was a failed Vegas attraction. The ’82 World’s Fair was a “specialized Expo,” dedicated to a particular theme—in this case, energy. 

I attended that fair! I don't remember it the same way because I was still a child; for me, the most memorable thing beside the Sunsphere was a WWI-fighter themed ride, which I loved because of Snoopy and the Red Baron. The fighters were done up as Sopwith Camels and Fokker Triplanes, in a series that allowed them to be dogfighting each other, strongly suggesting that the architect had the same vision that my youthful self had as well.

Many years later I met my wife under the Sunsphere for the first time. We had 'met' online earlier in a Tolkien appreciation group, long before meeting someone you had first encountered online was considered a safe thing to do. Unfortunately for me the local security was not clear on why I'd be standing around below the landmark, and tried to warn her off that some scary guy was hanging around with no better explanation of why he was there than that he was going to meet some woman he'd 'met online.' 

We'll be 25 years married later this month. 

Gandalf Bewildered

Hot Air quotes "Gandalf" -- actually the actor who played him -- as criticizing Trump's rhetorical skills. I understand exactly where he goes wrong because I did it myself.
 'Trump is an absolute bewilderment. I haven't seen him live. But he's one of the worst public speakers there has ever been. Whether he’s reading a script or not, it’s so patent what he is.”

I've always read transcripts of speeches rather than listening to them live because I wanted to understand the arguments being made, without being affected by the rhetorical flourishes. If you read the transcript of a Trump speech, it's almost incoherent. If that's what "Gandalf" is doing, I completely understand where he's coming from.

Yet the first time I heard Trump speak in 2016, at an airport where I couldn't get away from the monitors, I realized that he was definitely going to win. At the time the polls said he was 95% certain to lose. Nevertheless, I was sure about it. 

The style transposes as incoherent because he's in dialogue with the audience. He constantly stops, interrupts himself, begins a new line of inquiry based on the feedback he is getting. As a transcript you can't understand what he even thinks he is talking about. As a member of the audience, it's obvious. 

He is in fact an excellent rhetorician just because he's not on a script. He talks with people rather than to them. It's so different from ordinary politics that it just doesn't make sense until you immerse yourself in it once, and then it is clear why and how it works.

Another Song


[UPDATE: Some of the visuals in this YouTube version of the song are erotic and may be unwelcome to some viewers. I didn't realize that when I posted it; I was just looking for the song.]

Naturally “king” and “mountain” together produce other sentiments in me.