Grizzlies to lose special status

US officials to lift Yellowstone grizzly bear protections

About time! There are now 700 grizzlies just in Yellowstone, who knows how many more there are. Until the 1980s grizzlies were pretty much only found in the back country of Yellowstone. Then a rancher from Jackson Hole obtained a federal grazing permit for lands at or near togwotee (toe-guh-tee) pass. See map at left, the tear drop marks togwotee pass. As you can see, grizzlies out of Yellowstone had no problem getting there. They could smell the aroma of an all-you-eat beef smorgasbord they probably thought was made just for them.

Running cattle in a remote area some of it above timberline with grizzly bears close by was not a good idea for the rancher. It also brought a profound change for the rest of Jackson Hole in that it brought grizzlies to the Tetons where they had not been not been present for decades.

Suddenly back country hiking in Jackson Hole was not the same. Hikers had to learn new tricks. It’s not that suddenly there were lots of maulings, there weren’t. It’s just that when a mauling does occur you sure want it to be somebody else.

Bear spray became mandatory, even if it doesn’t work. It doesn’t but unless you experience it for yourself I guess you will believe that it does. You could always put the matter to an easy test. Go outside when the wind is blowing, as it usually is on mountain trails, and let loose with a burst of the stuff and see what happens.

In a sudden bear attack you will want to know which way the wind is blowing. You could call King’s X while you hold up a wet finger, but the griz probably won’t play fair.

Only way to stop a griz determined to kill you is a great big hard cast lead bullet weighing at least 300 grains and going 1300 feet per second. It will go in a straight line [at least within bear attack distance] no matter which way the wind is blowing. You might need a little training before you try it though.

When they are hunted, which will happen eventually, I predict they will become better behaved around humans. That will be a better environment for both man and bear.

Democrat Fat Cat Cash Failed in Georgia 6

Democrat loser Jon Ossoff raised and spent $24 million, winner Karen Handel raised and spent $4.5 million. Handel rec’d more outside support ($18.2 million) to Ossoff’s $8 million. That still left Ossoff with a $10 million lead over Handel in money spent by his campaign and others. This Georgia 6 special election saw the most money spent by or on behalf of candidates in U.S. history. The one who spent the most lost.

Ossoff’s fat cat donors might actually have hurt him. Ossoff raised nine times more money from outside Georgia than from within the state.  The bulk of Ossoff’s outside money came from nine counties around the San Francisco Bay area.

This was a local election that became nationalized. Democrats think they can win elections by insulting voters. I hope they keep thinking that.

It’s a sweet and delicious moment, being able to write the above. I’m savoring it.

UPDATE:  Finishing most expensive House race ever, Ossoff calls for campaign finance reform

Long faces at CNN:

Street justice, natural justice, social justice, all in one shot

Burglar shot by partner in Macon, Georgia. They ran from a house they were burglarizing when the woman of house yelled at them.  As they ran one burglar fired a shot back toward the house, which hit and killed his partner in crime.

The dead burglar had just been released from prison. He won’t be going back, his recividism has been cured. Other burglar still on the run.

Stop mass shootings — get more guns into the hands of the right people

THE COPS ARE ONLY MINUTES AWAY WHEN SECONDS COUNT. Want to stop mass shootings? Let’s get more guns in the right hands by David Kopel and Joseph Greenlee.

The recent mass murders on London Bridge ended eight minutes after they began, when armed English police officers arrived and shot the killers. Other police officers, who had batons but not firearms, happened to be near the scene when the attack began. Some of them fled, according to an eyewitness account published in The Guardian. Another officer bravely used his baton against the multiple men with knives, incurring severe injury. Some people threw chairs at the assailants. One man heroically fought the terrorists with his bare hands, despite being stabbed repeatedly.

For defense against a murderous attack, batons and chairs are better than nothing, but not nearly as effective as a firearm. The fact of the matter is that more firearms in the right hands mean fewer deaths from mass attacks.

In the United States as in the United Kingdom, the casualty count often depends on the time it takes for the first armed defender to arrive. At London Bridge, that was eight minutes. In December 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, armed police entered the school in less than six minutes, by which time 26 students and teachers were dead.

One year later, at Arapahoe High School, in the Denver suburbs, a would-be mass-killer’s attack ended eighty seconds after it began. Fortunately, an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Deputy was already stationed at the school, and he immediately rushed into action. One student was killed, many fewer than the criminal had intended.

Mass killers often select targets because of the absence of armed defenders at the scene. The Aurora theater murderer selected a “gun-free” theater, which forbade licensed handgun carry by its patrons. He had chosen not to attack an airport because of “substantial security.” The Santa Barbara murderer decided against attempting a massacre at a public Halloween party because “there were too many cops” and “one gunshot from a cop will end everything.” The Charleston church murderer abandoned his original target, the College of Charleston, “because of the security.” The Los Angeles Jewish Community Center murderer passed on three other Jewish institutions because the “security was too tight.” In Detroit, a would-be ISIS murderer, who was stopped before he could execute his plan, targeted a large church since “people are not allowed to carry guns in church.”

So who are “the right people?” The right people are the ones already there before the shooting starts. They are law-abiding citizens with firearm training who may legally carry concealed firearms.  They are the true first responders. They should not be restricted by any foolishness such as “gun free” zones, which are simply magnets for crazed killers.

Finally…GOP will vote on Obamacare Repeal

Senate leaders plan to rush a health-care bill to a vote, and there’s nothing Democrats can do about it

The Washington Post is mad because the GOP plans to use reconciliation to pass it without any Democrat votes. Hey, that’s how Democrats passed Obamacare in the first place, have you forgotten Washington Post? You thought that was pretty cool then, right? Did you not think that the Democrats might have to live by their own rules someday?

The Senate Parliamentarian issued a ruling last week that Obamacare can be repealed by reconciliation because it was originally passed by reconciliation. Heh.

I hope I’m not being too generous to Republicans by calling the bill they plan to vote on as a repeal of Obamacare. With Republicans, we’ll have to read it carefully to see if it’s really a repeal or if it’s just monkeyshine that leaves most of Obamacare in place.

Of course the media is beside itself accusing Republicans of leading the most secretive health care bill ever. No, they aren’t guilty of that as a quick comparison to how the Democrats foisted Obamacare on us. As we have learned from the revelations of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber:

“You can’t do it political, you just literally cannot do it. Transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. Okay? So it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in, you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical to get for the thing to pass. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

Right, American voters are too stupid so we had to hoodwink ‘em.

Obama was in fact the leading liar with “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor — If you like your healthcare plan you can keep your plan — This bill will lower health insurance premiums by $2500.”

Suck it up, Democrats and media accomplices, you created this monster.

Robert Mueller should resign or be fired — Now

Special counsel Robert Mueller is compromised by a personal conflict of interest. He is too close to James Comey. That matters because Comey is a material witness in the obstruction of justice matter he claims to be investigating. If he doesn’t resign attorney general Sessions should fire him. Whatever Mueller does if he continues will result in either a “tainted investigation or a political explosion,” as Glenn Reynolds says today in his weekly column in USA Today.

Comey illegally leaked self-serving documents that he himself wrote with the express purpose of forcing the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel. It worked, and now we have Robert Mueller conducting a witch hunt.

Millions of people voted for Donald Trump. The witch hunt going on in Washington is not just about Trump. They’re out to get us as well as President Trump. The witch hunt is after Trump and it is after we who voted for Trump because he promised to drain the swamp in Washington. Now the swamp is erupting with hideous creatures from the black lagoon.

Green Reynolds, Either Robert Mueller should resign or we need two special counsels:

As Bill Otis wrote in these pages last week, Mueller is too close to Comey to be impartial, and that violates Justice Department conflict of interest rules.  As Otis noted, “Comey and Mueller have been friends for nearly 15 years. They were partners in the episode that defined Comey’s professional persona more than any other in his public service.

And yet, despite a clear requirement that Mueller be “disqualified” from this investigation, his dismissal by either Trump or Sessions on the heels of the president’s firing of Comey would create a political firestorm that the president — even if entirely innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever—might be unable to survive.

Yes, of course. It’s what they want. That might have been the plan all along.

[Mueller] has chosen lawyers whose records show have contributed substantially to Democratic campaigns. Indeed, two have given the maximum $2,700 donation to Hillary Clinton last year, while another worked for the Clinton Foundation. No one could accept them as impartial towards the man who defeated her.

Will Mueller step down, or will Sessions appoint another counsel? What happens next will tell us a lot about both men.


Lies, propaganda, fake news, popular delusions and scientific fraud

The idea that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton is a big lie hatched by Clinton and her gang shortly after she realized she had lost. The lie has become so entrenched that otherwise intelligent people apparently believe it. It’s not just a vicious lie it’s also an example of how the losers delude themselves and probably come to believe their own lies.

In addition to a myriad of political lies, America is now soaked in falsehoods and delusions from the global warming/climate change flapdoodle-scientific fraud to the false belief that gluten is bad for you even if you are not among the 1 in 100 people who have celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disease that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Even if you add to that the 1 in 250 people with a doctor-diagnosed wheat allergy, the anti-gluten mania is completely nuts.

None of this is harmless. The damage to a society done by lies, false notions and slick propaganda will eventually lead to a deep society-wide mental sickness. Those who use lies and propaganda to control other people will eventually end up living in the chaos they created. When the devil turns around on them there will be nothing they can control anymore. That’s a problem for the rest of us because it won’t be just the barbarians who created this mess that will feel the devil’s riding crop on their backs. Everyone is worse off in a world of unreality made by mass delusion and deception.

In this quote from William L. Shirer (1904-1993), The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, Mr. Shirer tells of the effect on a people over time from hearing and reading incessant lies and propaganda:

No class or group or party in Germany could escape its share of responsibility for the abandonment of the democratic Republic and the advent of Adolf Hitler. The cardinal error of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it.

I myself was to experience how easily one is taken in by a lying and censored press and radio in a totalitarian state. Though unlike most Germans I had daily access to foreign newspapers, especially those of London, Paris and Zurich, which arrived the day after publication, and though I listened regularly to the BBC and other foreign broadcasts, my job necessitated the spending of many hours a day in combing the German press, checking the German radio, conferring with Nazi officials and going to party meetings.

It was surprising and sometimes consternating to find that notwithstanding the opportunities I had to learn the facts and despite one’s inherent distrust of what one learned from Nazi sources, a steady diet over the years of falsifications and distortions made a certain impression on one’s mind and often misled it. [emphasis added] No one who has not lived for years in a totalitarian land can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime’s calculated and incessant propaganda.

Often in a German home or office or sometimes in a casual conversation with a stranger in a restaurant, a beer hall, a café, I would meet with the most outlandish assertions from seemingly educated and intelligent persons. It was obvious that they were parroting some piece of nonsense they had heard on the radio or read in the newspapers.

Sometimes one was tempted to say as much, but on such occasions one was met with such a stare of incredulity, such a shock of silence, as if one had blasphemed the Almighty, that one realized how useless it was even to try to make contact with a mind which had become warped and for whom the facts of life had become what Hitler and Goebbels, with their cynical disregard for truth, said they were.

Sound familiar?

It was Joseph Goebbels who said, “A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.”

Close call for home defense

A case history told by Massad Ayoob tells of a close call for the shooter in a home defense case.

Mitch Vilos, an experienced attorney in Utah who has handled about 100 self defense shooting cases, says: “There are three types of defense generally not prosecuted. Home defense against an uninvited stranger. Also, shooting an attempted mass murderer. The third least-likely type of shooting to be prosecuted is defending yourself against armed robbery.”

Massad Ayoob:

He [Mitch Vilos] had a case where his client was asked to go to the home of a felon who was married to his client’s sister. The sister wanted her brother to take a firearm out of the house, because it was illegal. When the client came to take the gun, an argument ensued and escalated, and he wound up having to kill his brother-in-law in self-defense. Mitch explained, “The felon said, ‘Get out of my home.’ The client said ‘Make me.’ The felon ran into the bedroom. The racking of a gun was heard. My client drew and shot the guy five times. The felon was found dead with a handgun in his lap. My client said only, ‘I had to defend myself.’”

The shooter retained Mitch. Mitch wrote a letter to the prosecutor telling him everything, subsequent to an agreement with the prosecutor, nothing Mitch said could be used against the client. The outcome? Said Mitch, “The prosecutor brought the family of the deceased into his office and told them it was justified. Under Utah law the felon having a firearm was a forcible felony. He decided not to prosecute.”

In the above case, it should be noted the potential defendant was on thin ice, having gone into another man’s home, even though he was invited by another member of the household. The ice got even thinner when the homeowner ordered him to leave and he answered, “Make me.” Mitch Vilos reminded the class it happened in gun-friendly Utah, where he estimates there are more guns than people.

Note that Mitch Vilos is careful to specify that prosecution is not likely in a case of home defense against an “uninvited stranger.” Both uninvited and stranger are important words here. While a person’s home is their castle and the place where they are given the most leeway to defend themselves with a firearm, the home is not an execution chamber.

In this case the person who came to the home was invited in and was the wife’s brother. In the home owner ’s favor was he had told the brother in law to “Get out of my house,” and the wife’s brother had refused with the words “Make me.” This could have been reasonably interpreted as “fighting words” justifying self defense in the home. As Massad says above, this put the brother on thin ice. I think I would have reconsidered my venture and left at that moment.

The fact that the wife’s husband was a felon and thus prohibited from having a firearm is irrelevant. Lots of cases, even in the U.S. 4th Circuit, have held that a felon does not lose his natural right of self defense, endowed upon him by his creator.

I hope the wife’s brother realizes that he dodged a bullet in this case even though the man he killed never got off a shot . I imagine his sister is not on good terms with him these days.


Teenager Who Urged Friend to Kill Himself Is Guilty of Manslaughter

TAUNTON, Mass. — A young woman who sent a barrage of text messages to another teenager urging him to kill himself was found guilty Friday of involuntary manslaughter in a case that many legal experts had expected to result in an acquittal.

The verdict, handed down by a judge in a nonjury trial, was a rare legal finding that, essentially, a person’s words alone can directly cause someone else’s suicide.

The judge, Lawrence Moniz, of Bristol County Juvenile Court in southeastern Massachusetts, said the conduct of the woman, Michelle Carter, toward Conrad Roy III was not only immoral but illegal. She faces up to 20 years in prison.

This is a travesty of justice and must be overturned by a higher court. This girl was mean, callous, and heartless but she is not responsible for her friend’s suicide. He alone placed the garden hose from the tail pipe of his car through a window and chose to sit in the car until he died of carbon monoxide poisoning. [actually, the hose came from a compression pump and not from his tail pipe, but that’s beside the point].

If you see a man on the ledge and you tell him to go ahead and jump, and then he does, you may be a horrible person but you are not guilty of homicide. Words alone are not a criminal act. The only exception is “fighting words” that cause a reasonable person to fear for their immediate safety. It’s likely a misdemeanor assault under relevant statutes. Maybe if you threatened to push him but didn’t and then he jumped, you could be guilty under a misdemeanor assault statute.

There was no evidence that the boyfriend was so mentally impaired and susceptible to suggestion (that she was aware of his condition) so that her words alone would make him would commit suicide. If that were the case, the prosecution might (might!) have had a case under misdemeanor assault statutes.

Instead the judge relied upon the fact that she new he was about to commit suicide and did nothing to stop him. That was not even relevant evidence in a trial for any sort of homicide. Nobody has a legal obligation to become a good samaritan. If you see someone drowning and decide to do nothing, not even to call for help, you may be a hard-hearted sonofabitch but you are not guilty of a crime.

The story at the New York Times suggests that perhaps the judge was trying to tell the legislature to enact a law against what this girl did. That would make this judge’s decision even worse. It is established law in America that judges cannot make up new crimes. Most if not all states have a statute which says nothing is a crime unless the act committed is made a crime by a statute in this state.

At common law judges made up new crimes all the time. That was how the criminal law advanced in those days. But not anymore, not in America. Only the legislative body in the state has the power to say what is a crime.  America is a country in which everything that is not expressly prohibited is permitted. In some countries, such as certain Arab regimes, everything that is not expressly permitted is prohibited.

This conviction must be overturned post haste.

Ms. Carter’s lawyers tried to throw out the indictment, but the state’s highest court allowed the case to proceed, citing two cases from the 1960s in which people were convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the self-inflicted deaths of other people. One case involved people who took part in a game of Russian roulette; another involved a man who helped his wife load a gun and offered tips on its use.

I bet any intelligent person can see that the two cases cited above by the appellate court are significantly different from Ms. Carter’s case. Taking part in Russian roulette exactly falls within the parameters of most manslaughter statutes. One player goes to the hospital or the morgue and the other players go to prison. The second case involved one person providing the means of death to another person. Any man on the street can see how these cases are not even close to Ms. Carter’s case. Seems odd that a judge can’t. These cases are clearly covered by the statutory definition of voluntary manslaughter.  Ms. Carter’s isn’t.

If the legal system has anything at all to do with this incident it can only be by way of a civil suit for damages.

Postscript: A long time ago a friend of mine died of a heart attack after his wife of over 30 years divorced him. She had carried on an affair with his adult son by his first wife during their marriage. She was much younger than he and had begun to berate him for what she referred to as his “geezer stuff.” He had made it possible for her to enjoy a lifestyle for over 30 years that she likely would never have attained otherwise. After he died I and others blamed her for his untimely death. We even told ourselves and each other that she had killed him. None of us ever thought for a moment that she had actually killed him.  We were just angry at her for the way she treated him and betrayed him. We did believe that she had caused him a great deal of anxiety that may have contributed to his heart attack. We never for a second believed the criminal law had anything to do with it.

Should Anyone Care That Lisa Murkowski Flunked The Bar Exam 4 Times?

This is a repost from October 27, 2010. Since Murkowski is a Trump hater who is trying to stall anything she thinks Trump might be in favor of, it seems relevant again.

From the Miami Herald on October 2, 2010:

It took Sen. Lisa Murkowski five attempts to pass the Alaska Bar Exam, a piece of her biography that’s gone unreported until now, when she faces a long-shot write-in bid for another term in her Senate seat.

Murkowski, who graduated in 1985 from Willamette University’s College of Law in Oregon, wasn’t admitted to the Alaska Bar until November 1987. She flunked the exam in July 1985, February 1986, July 1986 and again in February 1987. She passed on her fifth try in July 1987.

Murkowski said that although her failures on the exam aren’t something she talks about regularly, she’s never hidden them. It’s an example of how she “stayed in there,” Murkowski said, “and I did not quit.”

It’s a good thing she’s not from Wyoming where a “three strikes and you’re out” policy exists. Flunk the Wyoming Bar the third time and you’ll have to move to Alaska if you still want to be a lawyer. But what does it mean that someone had to take the Bar Exam five times before they passed it? Well, how would you feel if you found out the night before your surgery that your doctor flunked his medical boards four times? OK, she’s not going to perform surgery on anyone. But flunking the bar several times right out of law school does tell you something about that person.

You see, the Bar Exam is not particularly difficult. It’s just that one must do certain things that require a fair amount of effort in order to pass. First, one must at least stay awake in law school. Second, one must memorize a lot of Constitutional law and the common law of England from 300 years ago during the two months immediately preceding the date you sit for the Bar Exam. Third, one must learn a lot of basic things that are particular to the law of the state in which one takes the Bar.

All that’s not particularly taxing on the brain, but it does require one to make a fairly large effort of concentration and study. It’s safe to say that anyone who makes it through any decent law school and then flunks the bar 4 times in a row is simply refusing to do that work, or is not capable of deep concentration. Either way, that person probably won’t make a great lawyer nor should voters feel very good about sending that person to represent them in the United States Senate.

If she would not make the effort to prepare for the Bar Exam it’s a pretty good bet she’s not making much effort to understand the legislation she’s voting on in the Senate, and she should not be there. Sadly, the same could probably be said about at least half of the Senators who are there. Happily, there are also a few who shine, e.g., Barasso, Coburn, DeMint, Inhofe, Sessions, Shelby, Thune, and ….well, that’s about it. Maybe after Tuesday there’ll be a few more.

However, there is also some new evidence that Murkowski flunked the Bar so many times because she’s just dumb. In a interview with Rachel Maddow she said that thinking something is unconstitutional simply because it isn’t in the Constitution is “not mainstream.”