Monday, December 31, 2012

Regulating the Militia

Source: National Review

There is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny. Consider the words of Supreme Court justice Joseph Story — who was, it bears noting, appointed to the Court by the guy who wrote the Constitution:

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

“Usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers” —not Bambi, not burglars.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Man-made tornadoes may produce green energy

Source: Russia Today

A Canadian firm is developing the technology to use the tornadoes to produce electricity – and assures it would be safe.

FFRF sues IRS over preferential treatment of chirches

Source: Freedom From Religion Foundation

The IRS requires non-church tax-exempt non-profits to file “detailed, intrusive, and expensive annual reports to maintain tax-exempt status, but such reports are not required for churches and certain other affiliated religious organizations,” the complaint notes.

“Why should churches be exempt from basic financial reporting requirements? Equally important, why would churches not wish to be accountable?” asks Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “Having tax-exempt status is a great privilege, and in exchange for that privilege, all other groups must file a detailed report annually to the IRS and the public on how we spend donations.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pot farms take dirty toll

I guess most users aren't very interested in natural or organically grown weed and it's obviously taking quite a toll on the environment.

Source: Los Angeles Times

There is a litany of pollutants seeping into the watershed from pot farms: fertilizers, soil amendments, miticides, rodenticides, fungicides, plant hormones, diesel fuel, human waste.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gaps in F.B.I Data Undercut Background Checks For Guns

Source: New York Times

Nearly two decades after lawmakers began requiring background checks for gun buyers, significant gaps in the F.B.I.'s database of criminal and mental health records allow thousands of people to buy firearms every year who should be barred from doing so.

The database is incomplete because many states have not provided federal authorities with comprehensive records of people involuntarily committed or otherwise ruled mentally ill. Records are also spotty for several other categories of prohibited buyers, including those who have tested positive for illegal drugs or have a history of domestic violence.

The gaps exist because the system is voluntary; the Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that the federal government cannot force state officials to participate in the federal background check system. As a result, when a gun dealer asks the F.B.I. to check a buyer's history, the bureau sometimes allows the sale to proceed, even though the purchaser should have been prohibited from acquiring a weapon, because its database is missing the relevant records.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Three Habitable Zone Planets Discovered Around One Red Dwarf

Source: MIT Technology Review

Gliese 667 is a triple star system about 22 light years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius. Two of these stars--Gliese 667 A and B--are Sun-like and orbit each other relatively closely.

The third is much more interesting.
Gliese 667C a red dwarf that is about a third of the mass of our Sun and only about 1 per cent as bright. It orbits the other two stars at a much greater distance: some 200 astronomical units or about 30 billion kilometres.

Today, Philip Gregory at the University of British Columbia in Canada says that Gliese 667Chas three planets sitting squarely in the middle of its habitable zone.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Many Americans see hint of Apocalypse in extreme weather

Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.

Source: The Raw Story

A third of Americans believe the intensity of recent natural disasters is linked to the Apocalypse described in the New Testament, according to a poll released Thursday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kucinich Building Bipartisan Support for Drone Oversight

A House Resolution demands explanation of the Constitutional grounds for Obama's drone assassinations without due process of law.

Source: Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich

This resolution will likely come to a vote in the House tomorrow and was submitted by Dennis Kucinich and cosponsored by Ron Paul (R-TX), Rush Holt Jr. (D-NJ), Justin Amash (R-MI), James p. McGovern (D-MA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA).

“Thus far, the Administration has refused to release the memo or any documents, despite multiple requests from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Intelligence operations that have virtually no transparency, accountability or oversight raise serious legal questions, particularly when such programs may constitute possible violations of international law or the Constitution of the United States,” said Kucinich.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Newly Released Drone Records Reveal Extensive Military Flights in US

Click through to EFF's article for a summary of their findings from the FOIA lawsuit. There is a link to a map of police, government agencies and colleges that have been granted licenses to operate drones over US air space.

Source EFF

EFF posted several thousand pages of new drone license records and a new map that tracks the location of drone flights across the United States.
These records, received as a result of EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), come from state and local law enforcement agencies, universities and—for the first time—three branches of the U.S. military: the Air Force, Marine Corps, and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

... the Air Force presents some statistics on actual incidents and the potential for crashes in New Mexico in a document titled "Operational Risk Analysis of Predator/Reaper Flight Operations in a Corridor between Cannon AFB and Melrose Range (R-5104A)." This document notes that "8 incidents [involving Predators] occurred over a period of 79,177 flying hours." (p. 8). A risk analysis table from the report is below.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Extraterrestrials and Their Flickering Stars

What if ET is communicating with us by flickering his planet?

Source: TIME

"If we see ‘SOS, send water,’ in Morse code, that would be great.”

BP oil spill cleanup toxic to key species

Source: CBC News

Using oil-dispersing chemicals during the massive 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico likely did far more damage than good to a crucial aquatic animal, according to new research that wades into the hotly contested question of whether and when to use the chemicals following an oil spill.

The dispersant used by oil company BP, when mixed with crude oil, was found to be 52 times more toxic than oil alone to some microscopic plankton-like organisms called rotifers.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dollar's Decline Catches Up With U.S. Mint

This article ought to make you think about the value of our fiat currency.

Source: Dollar's Decline Catches Up With U.S. Mint

It costs the mint nearly 5 cents to make each penny while it costs more than 16 cents to make a nickel. A $1 coin typically costs about 30 cents for the U.S. Mint to produce.