Times Sq Gunman

The Difference Between A "Gunman" and a "Gunfighter":


Times Sq. gunman held weapon like rapper

A Times Square bloodbath was narrowly avoided because the machine-pistol-toting thug who fired at a cop flipped the gun on its side like a character out of a rap video, causing the weapon to jam after two shots, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

When scam artist Raymond "Ready" Martinez held the MAC-10-style gun parallel to the ground, it caused the ejecting shells to "stovepipe," or get caught vertically in the chamber, the sources said. The gun is designed to be fired only in a vertical position.

If he had fired the weapon -- which had another 27 rounds in the clip -- properly, Martinez, 25, could have killed the hero cop pursuing him and countless others walking through the swarming tourist mecca Thursday morning.

Instead, Sgt. Christopher Newsom was able to return fire -- killing Martinez with four shots before anyone was hurt.

Get some, sergeant.

Seriously, though... what a maroon.
Some Further Thoughts on Just War:

National Review meditates:

In fact, however, the classic just-war tradition began, not with a presumption against war, but with a passion for justice: The just prince is obliged to secure the “tranquility of order,” or peace, for those for whom he accepts political responsibility, and that peace, to repeat, is composed of justice, security, and freedom. There are many ways for the just prince (or prime minister, or president) to do this; one of them is armed force.
The whole essay bears consideration.
Congratulations, Navy.

Oh well, there's always next year.

Ode to Sawdust

Ode to Sawdust:

Where a poplar fell
Now stretches, most precisely,
A white angel.

Philosophy @ Lowes

On the Mighty Chainsaw:

Since we bought the new place, I've been cutting and splitting a lot of wood. There are downed trees all across the property which need to be cleared, and which of course can be used to heat my house next year -- some of the wood has been down long enough to burn this year, even.

For that reason, I'm thinking of buying a more powerful chainsaw to handle the things that are just too tough for my little lightweight Mac-Cat. Doing some comparison shopping tonight, I ran across Lowes' "Guide to Buying a Chainsaw." It begins as follows.

A chainsaw is one of those tools that can be described thusly: When you need one, nothing else will really do.
That's quite true. Nothing else really will.

Malth. Mad

Malthusian Madness:

Is there something in the water that is making all these people long for Chinese-style authoritarianism? First it was Mr. Thomas Freidman of the New York Times, and now this piece from the Financial Post.

China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet.
First of all, those claims about the living conditions in China are absolute nonsense. Its middle class grows, yes -- on the east coast, while the vast majority of China is one of the poorest countries on earth. "All its citizens" certainly do not have housing: I saw people living in utter rubble. "All its citizens" certainly do not get health care in any fashion we in the West would recognize as such. Food and education are available (today! Remember the Great Leap Forward and the Hundred Flowers Period, respectively), but education is strictly rationed by an examination system or connection to powerful families.

Furthermore, it's not really proper to describe Chinese nationals as "citizens." They are subjects, with very limited freedom of movement even within China, and the requirement to petition their government for lawful changes of address, let alone to visit other nations.

But at least the lady is open to a rational debate on her proposal.
For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.
Right, well, I suppose we should just hop on the first plane to Tyranny, then. In case, you know, some of those things might otherwise happen. Obviously there's nothing else we might be able to do to increase our ability to feed populations.

By the way, do you know what will be happening to China's "growing middle class" once the current generation begins to need to retire, and the far-smaller "one child" generation has to take over the shop while caring for their aging parents and grandparents? And here I thought the Green movement was supposed to be about "sustainability."

Women & Shopping

Darwin Rides Again:

...this time, to the mall!

Prof Kruger said on the other hand in prehistoric times men had to hunt for specific items which meant they had to be clinical in their approach like they are now with shopping.

"Men often have a specific item in mind and want to get in, get it and get out," he said.

"It's critical to get meat home as quickly as possible. Taking young children isn't safe in a hunt and would likely hinder progress...."

"[G]uys, myself included, have been puzzled by why women shop the way they do."

Oddity of the Nobel

The Nobel Speech:

Today's speech underlines just how odd this whole Peace Prize award to the President really is.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who've received this prize Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight. And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women -- some known, some obscure to all but those they help -- to be far more deserving of this honor than I.

But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the commander-in-chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars.
It's true that he has done little, he states. By comparison with those who have won the prize in the past, he has "slight" accomplishments.

He hasn't sacrificed anything for peace, unlike those beaten or jailed. Others who have are "far more deserving."

And, you know, he's leading two wars, including one he's chosen to double down on in just the last week.

It's abundantly clear that the Nobel Peace Prize committee just tossed out its standards entirely this year. What they were thinking in making this selection is unclear, because none of the markers that would normally point to a candidate are present.

It's always good to hear the President invoke Just War theory, though, and his remarks on Holy Wars are consistent with the doctrine evolved by Michael Walzer (Just and Unjust Wars). As an advocate of Just War theory myself, I agree that we should use it as our guiding principle. Justice in war is a noble thing -- but it's not "peace," and this made for an odd occasion to explore the topic.

Down in Flames

Down In Flames:

Significant content warning, but Eric's old friend Dennis the Peasant has hit bonaza dirt on at least that first video.

Dear Cassandra will love it, though.

Gotta Rec This One

Gotta Recommend This One:

Our very good friend Greyhawk points out this article, about battlefield screwups that were hilarious (until people died, of course).


"This Is Not A Baby"

Joe's post on the subject of religion as adaptation meriting, as it does, future consideration and a fuller consideration of the argument, I'd like to add that I do have one particularly firm belief at the moment. It is that there will, someday and in some fashion, be a reckoning for the words spoken here:

That is a religious belief. I simply cannot believe otherwise, though there is no empirical data to support it, and the belief has not been tested by scientific methods. I am as sure of the reckoning to come as I am of the sun rising tomorrow. It is an interesting question, whether it is a false belief that arises merely from adaptation, or the influence of the image of God that we have heard was written in us.

Whichever, I fear for the speakers. It seems to me that they have placed themselves in a terrible peril, and ought to tremble in fear of what they have done.

State Dept

State Department Writings:

I have two pieces on the State Department at BLACKFIVE: The Good, and The Bad and The Ugly.

Good point from TH

Good Point from TigerHawk:

"Just when you think 'they can't keep making it harder'..."

Regulatory risk from the federal government is now -- by a longshot -- the biggest barrier to increasing private sector employment. Neither looser money nor string-pushing "stimulus" can overcome that in the long run.

Already our economy is struggling against health care "reform," massive new regulation and/or taxation on any business that emits carbon, the proposed "Employee Free Choice Act," new regulation in financial services, new corporate "governance" requirements, fiscal catastrophes in all the large states controlled by the Democrats, and huge new tax increases for the people who actually decide to hire people (whether they are corporate tools or individual entrepreneurs). Do we really need "an array of 90 rules and regulations" from the Labor Department on top of all that?
No, obviously we do not.
The Cloisters:

This proves to be a beautiful place in a beautiful park, reachable by footpath through a wood that runs atop a cliff overlooking the Hudson river. After a time, you come to a ridgetop and look across to the next, where the bell-tower of the monastery-shaped museum rises from the oaks.

I'm not sure that New York City has anything else that could hold my interest or suit me so well; but it has at least one thing that can.

Femina Sapiens

Femina Sapiens:

Our friends at City Journal have another thought provoking article.