07/29/2012 archive

“Go Ahead, Make My Day”

The infamous line that was uttered by Clint Eastwood ‘s character, Harry Callahan from the 1983 film Sudden Impact.

This morning Associate Justice Antonin Scalia made the day of every  weapons of mass destruction lover’s day. During an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, Wallace asked the Supreme Court Justice about gun control, and whether the Second Amendment allows for any limitations to gun rights. In Scalia’s opinion, under his principle of “originalism”, if the weapon can be “hand held” it probably still falls under the right to “bear arms”:

Referring to the recent shooting in Aurora, CO, host Chris Wallace asked the Supreme Court Justice about gun control, and whether the Second Amendment allows for any limitations to gun rights. Scalia admitted there could be, such as “frighting” (carrying a big ax just to scare people), but they would still have to be determined with an 18th-Century perspective in mind. According to his originalism, if a weapon can be hand-held, though, it probably still falls under the right o “bear arms”:

   WALLACE: What about… a weapon that can fire a hundred shots in a minute?

   SCALIA: We’ll see. Obviously the Amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried – it’s to keep and “bear,” so it doesn’t apply to cannons – but I suppose here are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes, that will have to be decided.

   WALLACE: How do you decide that if you’re a textualist?

   SCALIA: Very carefully.

Law Professor Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago observed in a guest opinion at Jonathan Turly’s blog:

Maybe Justice Scalia needs to see the photos of the carnage a semi-automatic weapon or a shoulder fired rocket launcher can create. Under this thinking, RPG’s might be legal for all citizens to own and carry.  Grenades can be hand-held and therefore under Justice Scalia’s warped sense of thinking, they too might be legal for citizens to carry.  Do we draw the limit at briefcase nukes that can be carried in one’s hand?

Obviously the theory that Justice Scalia is promoting can be carried to extreme and hilarious lengths.  The real scary part is that Justice Scalia doesn’t understand how hilarious and dangerous his concepts are in the real world. [..]

Since Justice Scalia thinks that these kind of weapons may be legal, is it too far-fetched to wonder if the current crop of right-wing Militia’s are free to purchase these kind of weapons, even if they hope to use them against the government?

Justice Scalia was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan with a Republican held Senate and the unanimous blessings of the Democrats. Al Qaeda must be thrilled.

N.B.: For more about Justice Scalia and his concept of “orginaliasm” read this article at Huffington Post written in 2011 by Prof. Stone: Justice Scalia, Originalism and the First Amendment

Rant of the Week: Lewis Black

Back in Black – Campaign Fibs

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns lie to Lewis Black, but it’s fine just so long as they’re not misrepresenting Nutella.

The campaigns have finally arrived in the 21st century. They can produce bulls$%t as fast as an actual bulls.

So to be clear, running a business is something you do all by yourself; running the four minute mile takes a village.

On This Day In History July 29

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

July 29 is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 155 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1858, the Harris Treaty was signed between the United States and Japan was signed at the Ryosen-ji in Shimoda.  Also known as the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, it opened the ports of  Edo and four other Japanese cities to American trade and granted extraterritoriality to foreigners, among other stipulations.

The treaty followed the 1854 Convention of Kanagawa, which granted coaling rights for U.S. ships and allowed for a U.S. Consul in Shimoda. Although Commodore Matthew Perry secured fuel for U.S. ships and protection, he left the important matter of trading rights to Townsend Harris, another U.S. envoy who negotiated with the Tokugawa Shogunate; the treaty is therefore often referred to as the Harris Treaty. It took two years to break down Japanese resistance, but with the threat of looming British demands for similar privileges, the Tokugawa government eventually capitulated.

Treaties of Amity and Commerce between Japan and Holland, England, France, Russia and the United States, 1858.

The most important points were:

   * exchange of diplomatic agents

   * Edo, Kobe, Nagasaki, Niigata, and Yokohama‘s opening to foreign trade as ports

   * ability of United States citizens to live and trade in those ports

   * a system of phttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraterritoriality extraterritoriality] that provided for the subjugation of foreign residents to the laws of their own consular courts instead of the Japanese law system

   * fixed low import-export duties, subject to international control

The agreement served as a model for similar treaties signed by Japan with other foreign countries in the ensuing weeks. These Unequal Treaties curtailed Japanese sovereignty for the first time in its history; more importantly, it revealed Japan’s growing weakness, and was seen by the West as a pretext for possible colonisation of Japan. The recovery of national status and strength became an overarching priority for the Japanese, with the treaty’s domestic consequences being the end of Bakufu (Shogun) control and the establishment of a new imperial government.

F1 2012: Hungaroring

So after all the teams burned up their good rubber on yesterday’s Qualifying today catches everybody on the wrong foot with car setups and tire management.

It will be dry.

This is good news for the pole sitters actually since their setups have already proven successful and the only hope for the back markers is that their fewer laps will be able to keep them on track enough longer to offset their demonstrated speed disadvantage.  We’ll be seeing the same Mediums (Prime) and Softs (Option) that we’ve seen most of the season.

The commentators are convinced that Red Bull has been hamstrung by the decision outlawing their engine torque mapping system, but I look at the results of Qualifying and I’m not persuaded yet.  Sure Webber is out in Q2, but Vettel puts the same car in 3rd.  Rosberg and Schumacher are mild disappointments for Mercedes fans, but the team has had good and bad weeks all season.

Why the big deal about Qualifying?  The Hungaroring has a reputation for driving like Monaco.  What people mean by this is that despite being a lot faster on lap times, it’s a horrible place to pass and cars tend to end up in the same grid they started unless they blow up or park in a wall.

Summarizing the season at the August break my impressions are that Alonso has an unassailable lead in the drivers’ standings because his rivals are inconsistent in their results in addition to his being an improved driver in an improved car (for proof look at Massa).

Red Bull would be in trouble except for the reliability issue.  Until their opponents can consistently put 2 drivers in the points no one can catch them.  McLaren engineering is quite good, but their race management sucks.  Ferrari deserves praise for producing a better car, or at least one Alonso is comfortable in.

The main points if interest will be whether any teams from mid-pack will be able to really effect a race or not and which ones will they be.  Renault and Mercedes are candidates, but there won’t be any improvements.

They’re on vacation damnit.

Pretty tables below.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Chris Hayes: Up with Chris Hayes is preempted for the coverage of the XXX  Olympiad

This Week with George Stephanopolis: This Sunday, Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs squares off with Romney campaign senior adviser Kevin Madden in an exclusive “This Week” debate on the latest in the 2012 presidential contest.

The roundtable debates all the week’s politics, with ABC News’ George Will; Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile; Yahoo! News Washington bureau chief David Chalian, radio host and Brietbart.com contributing editor Dana Loesch, and Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus.

ABC News senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl speaks exclusively to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Joining Mr. Schieffer are former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discussing her thoughts on today’s Supreme Court; and DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz talks about Campaign 2012 latest.

The Chris Matthews Show: The Chris Matthews Show is preempted for coverage of the XXX Olympiad

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Meet the Press is preempted for the coverage of the XXX  Olympiad

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests this Sunday are Romney campaign surrogate Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL);  Ken Goldstein, President of Kantar Media/CMAG, Ron Brownstein, CNN’s Senior Political Analyst and Michael Scherer of Time Magazine.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Syria: Opposition in call to arm rebel fighters

γ€€The head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) has called for foreign states to arm rebel fighters.

The BBC   29 July 2012

Abdulbaset Sayda was speaking as Syrian forces continued their assault on rebel-held areas of the city of Aleppo.

Mr Sayda also said that President Bashar al-Assad should be tried for “massacres” rather than be offered asylum.

Western nations have warned of a potential bloodbath in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city.

“We want weapons that would stop tanks and jet fighters. That is what we want,” AFP quoted Mr Sayda as saying at a news conference in Abu Dhabi.

He urged Arab “brothers and friends to support the Free [Syrian] Army”.

Rebels have so far not received any overt foreign military support.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Syrian war of lies and hypocrisy

Pussy Riot, Russia’s prosecuted girl punk band, says: ‘Putin is scared of us’

Plea to end ethnic clashes

Hunger soars in Zimbabwe

Developing countries lead the way in deploying mobile technology

XXX Olympiad- Day 5

Broadcast Schedule

Time Network Sport Competitors
6 am Vs. Men’s Basketball BRA v AUS
7 am NBC Cycling (Medal) all
7 am MS Men’s Volleyball RUS v GER
7 am Bravo Tennis all
8 am Vs. Men’s Beach Volleyball BRA v AST
8 am MS Men’s Handball CRO v KOR
8:30 am CNBC Boxing (Light, Welter) elimination
9 am Vs. Women’s Table Tennis (singles) USA v LUX
9:30 am Vs. Men’s Basketball USA v FRA
10 am MS Men’s Football BRA v BLR
11 am NBC Swimming (preliminaries, 6 events) all
11:30 am Vs. Men’s Basketball ESP v CHN
11:30 am MS Archery (Medal) all
1 pm MS Men’s Football SEN v URU
1:30 pm NBC Swimming (Qualifying) all
1:30 pm Vs. Badminton (Men’s Doubles) USA v MLY
2 pm NBC Women’s Gymnastics BRA, AUS, ITA
2 pm MS Men’s Water Polo HUN v SRB
2 pm Vs. Equestrian (Dressage) all
2:30 pm NBC Men’s Water Polo USA v MNE
2:30 pm MS Men’s Football GBR v UAE
3 pm Vs Women’s Beach Volleyball BRA v NTH
3:30 pm CNBC Boxing (Light and Welterweights) elimination
3:30 pm NBC Rowing (7 events) all
3:30 pm Vs. Men’s Weightlifting(Medal) all
4 pm NBC Men’s & Women’s Beach Volleyball USA Teams
4 pm Vs. Women’s Field Hockey USA v GER
4:30 pm MS Men’s Volleyball ITA v POL
5:30 pm Vs. Men’s Basketball ARG v LTU
7 pm NBC Primetime (Swimming (Men’s 4x100m Free), Diving (Women’s Synchronized Springboard)(Medal), Women’s gymastics (team Qualifying)) USA
12:30 am NBC NBC Late Night (Women’s Team Gymnastics, Canoe/Kayak Whitewater) all
1:30 am NBC Primetime (repeat) all
3 am CNBC Boxing all
4 am Vs. Men’s Field Hockey NZL v KOR
5 am Vs. Women’s Beach Volley Ball CHN v SUI

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!