Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Hits Just Keep Coming

People v. Webb. (Ill. 2019):
HOLDINGS: [1]-In a case involving two defendants who
were charged with violating 720 ILCS 5/24-1(a)(4)
(2016) after they were discovered carrying stun guns in
public, the Supreme Court concluded that the portion of
§ 24-1(a)(4) that prohibits the carriage or possession of
stun guns and tasers is facially unconstitutional under
the Second Amendment; [2]-Because § 24-1(a)(4)
constitutes a categorical ban on stun guns and tasers,
the provision necessarily cannot stand; [3]-The
Supreme Court rejected the State's argument that § 24-
1(a)(4) is merely a regulation of stun guns and tasers.
Rather, that provision sets forth a comprehensive ban
that categorically prohibits possession and carriage of
stun guns and tasers in public.
Yes in Illinois!  Unanimous decision of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Affirmative Action for the Rich and Powerful

3/25/19 Guardian prints an anonymous article:
What happens after rich kids bribe their way into college? I teach them
A professor at an elite US school says an influx of unskilled and entitled students is monopolizing faculty time: ‘They will eat you alive’
If you think corruption in elite US college admissions is bad, what happens once those students are in the classroom is even worse.
I know, because I teach at an elite American university – one of the oldest and best-known, which rejects about 90% of applicants each year for the small number of places it can offer to undergraduates.
In this setting, where teaching quality is at a premium and students expect faculty to give them extensive personal attention, the presence of unqualified students admitted through corrupt practices is an unmitigated disaster for education and research. While such students have long been present in the form of legacy admits, top sports recruits and the kids of multimillion-dollar donors, the latest scandal represents a new tier of Americans elbowing their way into elite universities: unqualified students from families too poor to fund new buildings, but rich enough to pay six-figure bribes to coaches and admissions advisers. This increase in the proportion of students who can’t do the work that elite universities expect of them has – at least to me and my colleagues – begun to create a palpable strain on the system, threatening the quality of education and research we are expected to deliver.
What is interesting is to discover that I attended an "elite" university, University of Southern California:
Exhibit A from the recent admissions corruption scandal is “social media celebrity” Olivia Jade Gianulli, whose parents bought her a place at the University of Southern California, and who announced last August to her huge YouTube following that “I don’t know how much of school I’m going to attend. But I do want the experience of, like, game days, partying … I don’t really care about school.” 
A longstanding criticism of affirmative action is that by admitting students who are not up to the university's standards, they are increasing the risk that those students will drop out, where they might have graduated from a school with a less demanding set of peers.  The example often used is UC Berkeley vs. San Jose State University.  Of course, that assumes a student who is trying but is simply less intelligent or a victim of the low-grade public schools in many poor neighborhoods.  But Olivia Jade Gianulli (who I have never heard of before) is admitting that she is not even going to try, wasting space for a poor kid with a fine high school education (like mine, Santa Monica High School). 

Monday, March 25, 2019

What A Great Day!

Full MSM meltdown and Michael Avenatti?  Who went after Kavanaugh and Trump?  3/25/19 Reuters:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles with U.S. President Donald Trump, was charged on Monday with what prosecutors said was an attempt to “shake down” Nike Inc for over $20 million.
Avenatti, who was also hit with separate embezzlement and fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, was arrested in New York.
He threatened to release information that would knock billions off their market valuation unless they paid him $20 million.  He was arrested in the office of Nike's lawyers shortly after Tweeting a threat.  His co-conspirator?  Smollet's attorney.  The left in full meltdown.  And Stormy Daniels?  From the 3/25/19 New York Post:
Porn star Stormy Daniels said Monday that she’s “saddened but not shocked” by the charges filed today against lawyer Michael Avenatti, who helped make her a household name over claims she had an affair with President Trump.
“I made the decision more than a month ago to terminate Michael’s services after discovering that he had dealt with me dishonestly and there will be more announcements to come,” she tweeted. 

Boston Herald Editorial

3/25/19 Boston Herald:
The Democrats have been saying that the truth must come to light for two years, now. Let us oblige them. The president has been dogged by this entire situation..
Was the “Russia Dossier” used to get the ball rolling? There is evidence to suggest it.
Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr and Peter Strzok should be at the center of a new probe to determine whether members of the United States intelligence services took part in an effort to compromise the duly elected president of the United States.
If the intelligence services of the outgoing Bush Administration had started spreading seemingly credible documents showing that Obama was born in Kenya or was secretly a Muslim, Democrats would have insisted on a complete investigation,

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Major Victory in Illinois

People v. Brown, circuit court decision ruled that requiring a Firearms Owner ID card (FOID) is unconstitutional because you have to pay a fee to enjoy a constitutional right.  More here.  There seems to be no accessible link that I can copy and paste, but there is a link to it here.

A Profoundly Depressing Account of the French Revolution's Excesses

At Quillette, an account that might have caused the National Socialist to respond to with horror.
Crusaders for Liberty were relatively sparing in their use of the bayonet. Men, women and children were more often shot, or burned alive in their houses. Some of the Crusading soldiers had the idea of lighting ovens, stoking them and baking Vendéen families in them. Babies were not spared; nor were toddlers or small children. The usual practice was to kill babies in front of their mothers, then kill the mothers. Young girls were often drowned, after first being raped. Widows were usually beaten, insulted and drowned. Though there was no established standard procedure.

The Good News

The Christchurch mass murderer had a firearms license
Based on the information available to us at this time, we have found that correct process was followed by staff involved in the firearms licence application.
The accused filed an application for a firearms licence in September 2017 in Dunedin.The vetting process was undertaken by a Police Firearms Vetting Officer in Dunedin, where the accused resided.
The accused initially listed a family member as one of his referees but that person did not reside in New Zealand.
Policy states that a referee must be a resident of New Zealand, therefore new referees were requested.
The accused provided two further referees who met the requirements of the process and were interviewed face to face by a Police Firearms Vetting Officer.
One of the steps to gaining a firearms licence is a home visit to meet the applicant in person and inspect the security of their property.
In October 2017 the accused was interviewed at his home address in Dunedin.A security inspection took place at the same time.
 I am reminded of the Dunblane mass murder, where the killer had a pistol license even though he was not in compliance with British law and the police had received complaints that he had an unhealthy interest in little boys.