Tom Knighton

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Bloomberg Soda Ban Down the Drain

Soda ban

New York City statist supreme Michael Bloomberg’s crowning jewel of government, his law banning sodas of more than 16 ounces, is now just a fond memory thanks to a judge according to the Wall Street Journal:

A state judge on Monday stopped Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration from banning the sale of large sugary drinks at New York City restaurants and other venues, a major defeat for a mayor who has made public-health initiatives a cornerstone of his tenure.

The city is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” wrote New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling, blocking the rules one day before they would have taken effect. The city’s chief counsel, Michael Cardozo, pledged to quickly appeal the ruling.

In halting the drink rules, Judge Tingling noted that the incoming sugary drink regulations were “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences” that would be difficult to enforce with consistency “even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole.”

“The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule,” the judge wrote. (Read the full text of the ruling.)

Dianne Feinstein: PTSD is a New Phenomenon

Dianne Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wants to ban assault weapons.  That’s not surprise.  She also seems to be fine with retired police officers being exempted from the rule.  However, she opposes veterans being exempted due to the possibility of PTSD.  However, Real Clear Politics shared this little bit from the good senator [emphasis added by yours truly]:

The problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War, it’s not clear how the seller or transferrer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this.

Really?  A new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War?  PTSD, which means Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is hardly “new.”  In fact, it has a fairly long history.

Among the earliest diagnosis which would fit this criteria were soliders in the 19th century who were dianosed with “exhaustion.”  In World War I, the condition was referred to as being “shell shocked.”  In the Korean War, it was “battle fatigue.”  The term PTSD was coined in the 1970’s in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

In fact, most alive today are more familiar with the Vietnam era PTSD vets, as those are the ones that usually raised us.  How prevelant was the condition with that group of veterans?:

Teacher Requires Pro-Obama Efforts

A lot of people roll their eyes whenever someone makes a comment about liberal college professors indoctrinating our young people.  I understand it even, because I’ve known a lot people who were liberal in college but who change their positions once they get out into the great, wide world.

Unfortunately, professors like this give a lot of ammunition to those that think American colleges seem to be dedicated to indoctrinate rather educate.  From the Daily Caller:

If students want to pass John Banzhaf’s law class, they’ll have to fight for increased government regulation in the food and beverages industry.

Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University, will require his students to lobby state and local governments to ban sugary beverages, according to a press release. The release was put out by Banzhaf himself, who summarized the objective as “Undergrads Required to Lobby for Obama Policy.”

“Some 200 undergrads will be asked to contact legislators in their home cities, counties, or states asking them to adopt legislation similar to that already adopted in New York City … banning restaurants, delis, movie theaters and many other businesses from selling high-sugar drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces,” said the press release.

To appease students who may not wish to advocate the specific policy in place in New York City, Banzhaf supplied a list of substitute activities, which include:

McCain Should Take His Own Advice

John McCain

“If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about.” - Sen. John McCain

John McCain thinks that Rand Paul needs to know what he’s talking about.  Well, since he was asking a legitimate question in an effort to get an answer that the White House had danced around for weeks, we think he actually did know what he was talking about.  Of course, Sen. McCain might want to take his own advice to heart.

For example:

“My friends, we’ve got them just where we want them.”

That was in reference to the Obama campaign during the 2008 campaign.  How did that election turn out again?  Maybe he should have known what he was talking about and realized that it was far from a done deal.

That’s the same campaign he “suspended” to deal with the financial crisis.  He just “knew” what he was talking about when that backfired.

How about this gem, also from 2008:

“The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and, in my view, has betrayed the public’s trust. If I were president today, I would fire him.”

Of course, the president actually can’t fire the head of the SEC.  You see, the SEC is an independent regulatory body.  The President doesn’t get to make that call.  Of course, maybe he shouldn’t have known what he was talking about.

Then, there is McCain’s answer to being asked about inviting Jose Rodriguez Louis Zapatero to the White House:

Graham and McCain Missed the Point. Completely.

John McCain

Rand Paul’s epic filibuster was bound to draw some criticism.  I’m sure he didn’t expect it from his own side of the aisle though.  John McCain and Lindsey Graham took aim at the Kentucky Senator earlier today in what looks like a couple of peons scurrying for scraps from President Obama’s table.

Graham put up a poster that showed a body-count comparison of people killed on US soil — al-Qaeda: 2,958, as opposed to none killed by drones.  Of course, no one is arguing anything else.  In fact, I challenge Graham to provide a single instance of Rand Paul saying anyone in this country has been killed by a drone.

Rand Paul’s mission?  To keep it that way.

Former presidential candidate John McCain had the following to say against Sen. Paul:

“Calm down, Senator,” [John] McCain said, in an apostrophe to Paul. “The U.S. government cannot randomly target U.S. citizens.”
McCain, a staunch foreign policy hawk, said Thursday that Paul’s warnings that the U.S. could target “Jane Fonda” or “people in cafes” bring the debate into the “realm of the ridiculous.”

“If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids,” McCain said, adding: “I don’t think what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people.”

Well, allow me to tell you to “Calm down, Senator”!

You see, the problem isn’t that he believes President Obama will do such things.  It’s that President Obama doesn’t believe that he can’t do things like this.  Sens. Graham and McCain are clearly missing the point of what Sen. Paul did last night.

Are Sequester Cuts Designed to Make it Hurt?

Was the sequester made to hurt as much as possible?  There are a lot of people who thought so.  After all, how does a three percent cut across the board result in a 20 percent cut in the income of civilians with the Department of Defense?  Well, new information has surfaced that seems to confirm what a lot of people are thinking.

From the Washington Times:

The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.

Illinois Democrat Seeks to Disarm the Poorest People

Luis Gutierrez

There’s long been a prejudice against small, inexpensive handguns often called “Saturday Night Specials.”  This cheap guns aren’t generally bought by members of the NRA or other gun rights groups either, so they make wonderful targets of opportunity.

That’s just what an Illinois Democrat seems to be thinking with a bill he apparently intends to introduce.  From The Hill:

Although Washington’s gun-control debate has focused largely on more imposing weapons, like military-style assault rifles, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is going after the handguns that are used much more frequently by violent criminals, particularly in urban settings like his hometown, where shootings are a daily plague.

“I am concerned about the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But I am also concerned by the ‘slow-moving massacre’ that is occurring every day with handguns,” Gutierrez, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said Monday in Chicago while announcing his bill.
Gutierrez is quick to note that lower-profile shootings claim many more lives each year than the mass killings that generate broad media attention and that handguns — not assault rifles — are most often used in those murders. In 2011, for instance, 97 percent of Chicago’s 362 gun murders involved handguns. Not one of them spurred a congressional hearing.

For what it’s worth, Gutierrez is right about how a handgun is far more likely to be used in a murder than an assault weapon.  However, he’s missing out on a lot of important information about guns used in crimes, and about who purchases these so-called “Saturday Night Specials.”

Are Unions Really for the “Little Guy”?

Pro-union protesters

Unions like to present themselves as the protector of the worker from the big, bad employer.  Once upon a time, that was dead on right.  Those days have passed though, and now unions feel they need to do whatever is necessary to stay alive.

With Michigan’s new right to work law, unions took a big, big hit.  However, the teacher’s union in that state has gotten…let’s just say “creative” …with how to stay relevant despite the state no longer permitting mandatory union membership.

A school district is attempting to force teachers to pay union dues for the next 10 years, despite being located in Michigan, which is now a right-to-work state that specifically prohibits mandatory unionization.

Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state in December. But the law doesn’t take effect until March 28 — giving unions time to grandfather in their contracts if they can get them approved before the deadline. As part of this effort, the Taylor School District approved an entirely separate “union security agreement” that will force teachers to keep paying the union until 2023.

Under the security agreement, teachers’ only options will be to pay union dues, or pay an agency fee amounting to about $800 a year.


Zero Tolerance for Guns Gone Even More Stupid

Gun Free Zone

Schools throughout the nation adopted so-called “zero tolerance” rules dealing with guns in the wake of school shootings and gang violence back in the 1990’s.  They haven’t really accomplished a whole heck of a lot, but keep popping up in the news from time to time due to various idiotic points of the rule that will occasionally ban a kid for using his fingers as a gun, shaping his breakfast like a gun, or disciplining a child for wearing a t-shirt that has a picture of an American soldier on it.  However, the latest incident that, at least to me, appears to be related to these idiotic rules comes to us from Fort Myers, Florida.

This time, the incident actually did involve a gun, so there’s that.  However, the whole story is even more confounding:

A Florida high school student wrestled a loaded gun away from another teen on the bus ride home this week and was slapped with a suspension in return.

The 16-year-old Cypress Lake High student in Fort Myers, Fla. told WFTX-TV there was “no doubt” he saved a life after grappling for the loaded .22 caliber revolver being aimed point-blank at another student on Tuesday.

“I think he was really going to shoot him right then and there,” said the suspended student, not identified by WFTX because of safety concerns. “Not taking no pity.”

Gun Control Bill in Colorado Targets Shotguns

In addition to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapon Ban, we’ve seen proposals in states throughout the nation.  New York’s has gotten most of the press, because they’ve passed theirs, but Colorado has gotten a good bit of press as well.

Throughout all of this, proponents of the assault weapon bans have tried to lull sportmen into a false sense of safety by arguing that they don’t want to go after hunting weapons, just military pattern rifles that they don’t think belong out in the woods.  However, a glitch in the Colorado bill may ban one of the popular hunting arms out there, the 12 guage shotgun.

[Colorado State Sen. Greg] Brophy points to a section of the bill that defines a high-capacity magazine as one capable of accepting or — that can be readily converted — to accept more than 15 rounds or eight shotgun shells.

“This is where shotgun shells go inside this tube here,” Brophy showed Boyd, “You can screw this part off the top and screw on an extender to this tube to allow it to hold more than eight rounds. It is readily convertible, which by definition in the bill, makes the whole thing a high-capacity magazine.”

Now, this is a pretty significant hiccup, and Brophy makes an excellent point.  It’s a pretty simple fix to extend a shotgun’s tubular magazine, and these aren’t detachable mags we’re talking about here either.  These are relatively fixed magazines that are integral to the weapon itself.

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Tom Knighton

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Tom Knighton has been a blogger here at United Liberty since 2010. In 2011, he made history when he became the first blogger anywhere known to have purchased a newspaper when he purchased The Alba... Click here to read full bio

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