When Sony introduced a format upgrade to the MiniDisc format in 2004, the NH1 was the flagship unit. I missed the chance to get one at the time, and they've been hard to find as of late. I lucked into one only recently.
Senator Schumer plans to submit a proposal after Congress reconvenes early next year, but that will be a different bill. Rep. Steve Israel will likely be pushing it in the House, so he's the guy to watch.
Israel started pushing the issue when 3D printing became a big deal last year. His statement was somewhat ironic:
In 1988, when we passed the Undetectable Firearms Act, the notion of a 3D-printed plastic firearm slipped through metal detectors, onto our planes in secure environments was a matter of science fiction. The problem is that today it is a reality…so we have to act now.
Yep. Despite being a "matter of science fiction," it still got passed, reauthorized, and renewed as of today. Go figure.
Yep, it was 1993. Sarah Brady is making a big deal of the anniversary. Dianne Feinstein has an op-ed running today in which she takes credit for everything short of rescuing puppies from a burning orphanage. It's a shame it's full of half-truths and outright lies.
Let's take them one by one.
Background checks on gun purchases work. The law has stopped more than 2 million convicted felons, domestic abusers and individuals with serious mental illnesses from purchasing firearms.
A cursory review of the data shows that one has to do real violence to the numbers to even imply such a thing. The rate of erroneous denials is 94%. Furthermore, the few that might have merit are almost never referred for prosecution. Either the Brady Act is hopelessly broken in its implementation, or someone is lying.
Colorado voters successfully recalled state Senators Morse and Giron back in September (bonus sad clown tears here). While there were other pressing issues, their support for gun control was the most glaring to their constituents.
Despite outspending the NRA and local groups by a wide margin, Michael Bloomberg was unable to protect either of them. His promises (and threats) that gun control was a safe vote suddenly rang very hollow. Following those recalls, Governor Hickenloper meekly asked gun control groups to stay out of Colorado.
Rather than face a recall election, Hudak has voluntarily resigned. From her letter:
Most Coloradans believe that the convenience of high-capacity ammunition magazines is less important than saving lives in tragedies like Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine. That’s why I sponsored SB 13-197, a bill that takes guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. (…) By resigning, I am protecting these important new laws.
She doesn't bother to claim that she was outspent by "outside interests" since local unions outspent recall petitioners by a 2:1 ratio. Her problem is her arrogance and blindness to the wants of her constituents.
Her resignation before the recall means her party can appoint an interim successor, rather than risking an election. As such, the Colorado Senate keeps its Democratic majority. Nonetheless, this is a win for gun rights.
The Connecticut State's Attorney has released their report on the Sandy Hook shooting [pdf]. The case has been declared closed at this point.
There aren't any substantial revelations about Lanza's motives. He was not found to be taking medication, nor was he under the influence of drugs at the time. He does not appear to have told anyone his intentions in advance.
Regarding the search of his home, other weapons were found. All of them were registered to his mother in accordance with state and federal laws. A computer was found in Lanza's bedroom, but he appears to have damaged it to make the contents unreadable.
(…) investigators found a computer hard drive that appeared to have been intentionally damaged. To date, because of the extensive damage, forensic experts have not yet been able to recover any information from that hard drive.
In a typical criminal case, the investigation would remain open when potentially important evidence was still being examined. Given the improbability of any information being recovered from the damaged hard drive, this outstanding piece of evidence is not preventing the closure of this case now.
He had a GPS with routes to and from other local schools in the area. The report also lists video games found in the house, which included titles like Call of Duty and Doom. He was also apparently a fan of Dance Dance Revolution, so the argument that video games were contributors to his behavior becomes more than a bit strained.
He did reading on the Amish school shooting and the Northern Illinois University incident, and "photocopied newspaper articles from 1891 pertaining to the shooting of school children" were found among his effects. He seems to have researched the Columbine shooting extensively, and there were photos on a hard drive (presumably a different one) in which Lanza held handguns and rifles to his own head. This is similar to some of Seung-Hui Cho's behavior and interests.
Unlike Cho, however, he left behind no writings to indicate motive. He appears to exhibited many of the classic facets of autism and was unemotional towards others, but his history shows no prior inclination to violence.
At the end of it, we have a collection of facts, but we're still no closer to knowing why he did this. Despite the morbid politics and finger-pointing, we've yet to see the national conversation we were promised about mental illness. Until that happens, we will have no way of preventing such tragedies in the future.
The 9th Circuit has ruled that §922(g)(9), also known as the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, does not violate the 2nd Amendment. Furthermore, they found that it continues to bar firearms ownership, even after all other civil rights have been restored.
The upshot is this:
- Despite restoration of other civil rights, the lifetime ban on firearms ownership is constitutional
- Intermediate scrutiny applies to 2nd Amendment challenges
- The "core" right acknowledged by Heller applies to “law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home."
- Mr. Clovan's misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence forever exempts him from that category.
Daniel Chovan was convicted of corporal injury on a spouse in 1996. In 2009, he attempted to buy a gun and was denied. Upon further investigation, the FBI found videos Mr. Chovan posted on YouTube in which he carried firearms while participating in improvised border patrols and fired guns across the border into Mexico.
So, yeah, this guy's a winner. He's certainly not the ideal plaintiff for such a constitutional challenge. Should that matter? No. Does it matter? Yes.
George Zimmerman was just an upstanding law-abiding sort of guy who was minding his own business when he was attacked without provocation. At least that's the story his supporters would have us believe.
I've never really bought that, and there's evidence to the contrary. As far back as 2005, he was ordered to take anger management classes. Since his acquittal earlier this year, he's taken few pains to stay off the radar. In September, he and his estranged wife had a falling-out involving the police, and today he was arrested on domestic violence charges involving his current girlfriend.
Somebody explain again how this guy is a poster child for gun owners in any shape or fashion.
I must have missed the memo. Back in February, Sony announced that they were shipping the last of their MiniDisc-based home stereo systems. The media proceeded to claim, yet again, that this was the death knell for the format.
Let's see, when have we heard this before?
- 2011, when Sony stopped producing portable units
- 2007, when they dumped the SonicStage software
- 2004, when Sharp and Aiwa stopped producing units
- 1998, when Sony cut prices by 2/3 to entice the American market
Nobody's accusing MiniDisc of commercial viability anymore, but that doesn't mean it's dead. It's still active in the Japanese market, and among radio producers stateside. A healthy supply of blank media and replacement batteries remains available. Despite the lack of software support from Sony, there's an open-source initiative that's already working.
Guns & Ammo is feeling the backlash from Dick Metcalf's editorial last week. Metcalf has been terminated effective immediately, and Editor Jim Bequette will be stepping down in advance of his January 1st retirement.
From the announcement:
I made a mistake by publishing the column. I thought it would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights. I miscalculated, pure and simple. I was wrong, and ask for your forgiveness.
And for what? Are we so thin-skinned and hypersensitive as a culture that we can't brook a little disagreement now and then?
Yes, Metcalf stepped in it. Yes, his article was rife with errors and bordered on incoherence. Yes, it was a little offensive. Does that justify calling him a traitor, or a communist, or other unprintable things? The sheer childishness and incivility borders on the surreal.
Yes, the Brady Campaign made a big deal of it. No, it's not giving them any succor they didn't already have.
I disagree vehemently with what Metcalf wrote (at least the part I could make out), but I don't live on such a hair trigger that I see the need to demand his scalp for it.
Edit: Metcalf has posted his reaction to the firing here.
Ken Cuccinelli had all the answers the Tea Party wanted to hear, but he couldn't win the governor's spot in Virginia. The why of it is something the Republican party has to grasp if they hope to retain any relevancy.
The first mistake? Relying on NRA ratings. Democratic opponent McAuliffe has an F grade from the organization and he doesn't care. In a debate at Virginia Tech two weeks ago, he said he was "fine" with it, adding “I’m not running to be president of the NRA. I’m running to be governor of Virginia." The takeaway? That isn't enough to tank a candidate in a swing state like Virginia.
The second was overestimating voter anger at the Affordable Care Act. The traditional math says that everybody hates it, but they don't seem to hate it enough at the ballot box. Republicans seem intent on running against the ACA as a strategy, but that's only going to be a relevant issue for next year's midterms. After that, they have to forge a vision that isn't based on running against the Obama administration.
The third and most glaring mistake was the choice of Cuccinelli as a candidate in the first place. Yes, he checked all the right answers on the conservative scorecard. He's pro-life, he doesn't like the gays, and he's big on family values. In fact, his running mate believes that yoga opens the soul up to Satan. In short, that's a platform that's conservative enough to appease the ideological base, but it scares the living bejeezus out of moderates.
If the Republican party is to survive, they need to move closer to the center and starve off the Tea Party. As Chris Christie said in an interview with Jake Trapper:
Sometimes, I feel like our party cares more about winning the argument than they care about winning elections. And if you don't win elections, you can't govern.
That's from a guy who actually won an election. In fact, he won by 22 points as a Republican in a staunchly blue state. Folks might want to listen, because he's going to be the guy running against Clinton in 2016. The last few years of flag-waving were quaint and all, but conservatives need to put away the tri-corner hats, swallow their pride, and support someone who actually has a chance of getting nominated.
It's been nearly a decade since Uwe Zahn's last record. In a field that demands constant innovation, that's a timespan of geological proportions. Most electronic artists would feel compelled to reinvent themselves to conform with current trends, but Zahn hasn't.
And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. When you're this good, you don't have to settle for being a revolutionary.
Zahn has an odd but satisfying way of playing fragmentary melodies and rhythms against each other, but he never sinks to the rigors of the avant garde. His arrangements are marked by an ear for craftsmanship, and even the most unexpected elements come together in a satisfying way.
The sound design rivals Robert Henke in its attention to detail. The title track and "Gniddt" stand out particularly well in this regard. I'm tempted to say "C ll lt" recalls Lusine, but it's really the other way around.
If I have one complaint, it's that the sequencing is a bit haphazard, making this feel like a collection of singles rather than a unified album. Nonetheless, the quality of Zahn's material is such that ten years hasn't diminished its relevance one bit.
Ve Palor is being distributed by n5MD records.