COMIC BOOK CLOSE UP
B A T G I R L
Detective Comics #497 (Dec. 1980)
Art by Jose Delbo (pencils), Joe Giella (inks) & Gene D’Angelo (colors)
Yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed House Bill 2103 into law. Introduced by state Representative Kelly Townsend (R-16), HB 2103 would allow an individual of at least nineteen years of age to obtain a concealed weapon permit if the person is currently in military service or has been honorably discharged. This legislation is a good way to thank our military for their service and will benefit law-abiding gun owners in Arizona. HB 2103 passed in the state Senate by a 20 to 10 vote on Wednesday and in the House by a 39 to 18 vote on March 10.
Also yesterday, House Bill 2535 was reported in the Senate by the Committee of the Whole as “Do Pass.” Introduced by state Representative John Kavanagh (R-23), HB 2535 requires that certification by a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO), when a signoff is required for the transfer of a firearm or other item regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), be provided within sixty days as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm or other item. HB 2535 would prevent an arbitrary personal bias from determining Arizona firearm policy and ensure that qualified, law-abiding Arizonans would not be denied their ability to legally possess NFA items. The reforms in HB 2535 would benefit law-abiding Arizona Second Amendment supporters by ensuring that the process to obtain NFA items already legal in Arizona remains consistent, fact-based and objective. Additionally, HB 2535 would provide an individual who has been denied certification by a CLEO with a written explanation for the denial. HB 2535 now goes to the Senate floor where it will be considered as early as next week.
Charles Krauthammer said President Obama’s approach to foreign policy shows that his view of human nature is lacking.
“He has trouble understanding that other countries have national interests,” he said. “And they do want to dominate other countries. He said that’s not how people act in this century. It is how people act in this century, and every century back to the Stone Age.”
For Breitbart.com, Mike Flynn writes: In even a neutral political environment, the 2014 midterms were going to be a challenge for Senate Democrats. They are defending 21 seats to the GOP’s 15, with only two of the Republican seats at any kind of risk of flipping to the Democrats. Moreover, Democrats were defending many freshman Senators who first won office in in Republican states in Obama’s wave election in 2008.
This isn’t a neutral political environment, however. Obama’s low approval ratings, the continued fallout over ObamaCare, current Democrat happy-talk notwithstanding, and the sluggish economy have provided Republicans with an enthusiasm and turnout advantage that could match 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
For MIT Technology Review, Mike Orcutt writes: Sales of electric vehicles in China, the world’s largest auto market, have beenminuscule despite government incentives meant to put five million of the cars on the nation’s roads by 2020. Tesla Motors hopes to begin changing that as it makes its first deliveries of Model S sedans to customers in China this month. But while having more EVs might help China reach its transportation goals, it probably won’t improve the environment, given the country’s reliance on coal for more than 70 percent of its electricity. Making matters worse, coal in China is often dirtier than it is elsewhere, and many power plants don’t employ modern emission-control technologies.
Because China relies so heavily on coal for power, electric vehicles aren’t necessarily an improvement over gasoline-powered cars.
Recent research led by Christopher Cherry, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Tennessee, has shown that in much of the country, an electric vehicle the size of a Nissan Leaf accounts for roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide per mile driven as a comparable gasoline-powered car. On top of that, EVs in China account for a larger amount of dangerous particulate emissions than conventional cars. Read the rest of this entry »
Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards, said the technology to avoid disaster from electromagnetic pulses exists, and upgrading the nation’s electrical grid is financially viable.
“The problem is not the technology,” Pry said. “We know how to protect against it. It’s not the money, it doesn’t cost that much. The problem is the politics. It always seems to be the politics that gets in the way.”
He said the more officials plan, the lower the estimated cost gets.
“If you do a smart plan — the Congressional EMP Commission estimated that you could protect the whole country for about $2 billion,” Pry told Watchdog.org. “That’s what we give away in foreign aid to Pakistan every year.”
In the first few minutes of an EMP, nearly half a million people would die. That’s the worst-case scenario that author William R. Forstchen estimated in 2011 would be the result of an EMP on the electric grid — whether by an act of God, or a nuclear missile detonating in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic energy strong enough to disable, and even destroy, nearby electronic devices.
The scenario sounds like something in a Hollywood film, but the U.S. military has been preparing its electronic systems for such an event since the Cold War. The protective measures taken to harden facilities against a nuclear attack also help in some cases to protect against EMPs.
The civilian world is another story. Read the rest of this entry »
Obama Administration Wants to Require Companies to Give Workers’ Numbers, Addresses to Unions Before Labor ElectionsPosted: April 21, 2014
For The Daily Caller, Patrick Howley reports: The Obama administration is poised to change regulations to allow for union “ambush elections” in which workers have less time to decide whether or not to join a union — and in which workers’ phone numbers and home addresses are provided to unions.
The administration’s National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) proposed rules would allow for union elections — in which workers at a company vote whether or not to unionize — to be held 10 days after a petition is filed. And what, exactly, would be happening to the unions during those 10 days? The new rules require employers to disclose workers’ personal information, including phone numbers, home addresses, and information about when they work their shifts.
Insiders close to the situation believe the new rules will almost certainly go into effect with few or no fundamental changes. Read the rest of this entry »
“Lenin, whose spirit still infuses the government of Russia had a name for people like Mr. Snowden – ‘useful idiots,’ he said, idealists so-called who served the interests of Lenin’s country,” Will said. “We don’t need to listen to Snowden anymore giving us lectures about the virtues of an open society when he chooses to go to earth in Putin’s Russia…”
It’s not going to happen.
Even so, American ground troops are being deployed there as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. This is the West telling him STOP. He’s not going to invade a European Union or NATO state either way, but we’d end up sending a crazy-weak signal if all we did was collectively shrug.
“Even an unspoken threat of invasion, occupation, and annexation is enough to make Ukraine act with tremendous caution toward Moscow, but if Putin pulls the trigger, Kiev would have nothing left to lose.”
Ukraine still isn’t in NATO, however, and probably never will be, so it’s still vulnerable. Putin can slice it and dice it all over again. The US won’t physically stop him for the same reason he won’t invade Poland. Nobody wants to blow up the world, especially not over this.
So Ukraine’s vulnerable. Pro-Russian militiamen are occupying dozens of government buildings, city halls, and police stations in the eastern part of the country where many ethnic Russians live. It’s hard to say for sure if Putin is egging these people on or if they’re acting on their own, envious of their cousins in Crimea who got to go “home” without moving. Either way, they’re serving Putin’s agenda.
By annexing Crimea, he proved to the world that he’s willing to mutilate Ukraine when it displeases him, which it very much did when it cast off his vassal, Viktor Yanukovych, in February. Read the rest of this entry »
(AFP) — Tokyo warned Monday that the seizure of a Japanese ship in Shanghai over pre-war debts threatened ties with China and could undermine the very basis of their diplomatic relationship.
Authorities in Shanghai seized the large freight vessel in a dispute over what the Chinese side says are unpaid bills relating to the 1930s, when Japan occupied large swathes of China.
The move is the latest to illustrate the bitter enmity at the heart of Tokyo-Beijing ties, with the two sides embroiled in a dispute over the ownership of a small archipelago and snapping at each other over differing interpretations of history.
Shanghai Maritime Court said Saturday it had seized “the vessel Baosteel Emotion owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines… for enforcement of an effective judgement” made in December 2007.
“The arrested vessel will be dealt with by the law if Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. still refuses to perform its obligations,” the court said.
Chinese and Hong Kong media said the seizure was related to a verdict by a court in Shanghai that said Mitsui must pay about 2.9 billion yen ($28 million) in relation to the leasing of two ships nearly 80 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Federalist, M.G. Oprea writes: Harvard student Sandra Y.L. Korn recently proposed in The Harvard Crimson that academics should be stopped if their research is deemed oppressive. Arguing that “academic justice” should replace “academic freedom,” she writes:
“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom’?”
In other words, Korn would have the university cease to be a forum for open debate and free inquiry in the name of justice, as defined by mainstream liberal academia.
“This does not mean that westerners are excluded from writing about the Middle East and Islam .A westerner can do so successfully so long as their research is void of criticism. Write anything else and you will find yourself labeled an orientalist and no graduate course will touch your work with a ten-foot pole.”
Unfortunately, this is already a reality in most universities across America, where academics and university administrators alike are trying, often successfully, to discredit and prohibit certain ideas and ways of thinking. Particularly in the humanities, many ideas are no longer considered legitimate, and debate over them is de facto non-existent. In order to delegitimize researchers who are out of line, academics brand them with one of several terms that have emerged from social science theory.
She had just come back from the park where two mothers were discussing a recent vacation to a resort in Puerto Rico. One told the other that there, for the first time, her toddler was given Jif peanut butter. He loved it. Prior to that he had only had Whole Foods peanut butter, which (one might guess) pales in comparison for a 3-year-old palate.
When the boy came home and asked for more Jif, his mother told him it wasn’t available — that it was “Puerto Rican peanut butter.”
Wrapped up in that phrase is all of the arrogance and class snobbery of the organic-food mafia. If these moms haven’t come to your neighborhood yet, just wait.
Another mom, a class parent at a preschool in Westchester, told me she was being harassed by one of the other mothers to issue a new rule: Only organic snacks would be allowed in the classroom.
A mom in Washington tells me that she was unable to participate in a number of nanny-share agreements she looked into because the other parents were so crazy about not having their children come into contact with anything non-organic. One mother she met was convinced her child’s ADD became worse when he was exposed to non-organic food. A stray Goldfish or Cheerio might set him off.
But sometimes these parents are not even worried about their own child’s well-being.
They’re worried about yours. The organic foodies are not satisfied with controlling their own family’s dietary habits, they want to “evangelize,” says Julie Gunlock, author of “From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.”
The pressure on parents to use only organic food is, she says, an “outgrowth of helicopter parenting. People need to be in control of everything when it comes to their kids — even the way food is grown and treated.”
“Moms feel guilty,” Gunlock adds. They can allow themselves to think that even if they’re not perfect at something else, at least they feed their kids the best food out there.
The organic-food industry is thrilled by this attitude. But let’s be clear. Organic food does not necessarily mean better. It’s a term that’s been co-opted and manipulated into a billion-dollar industry by some of the biggest food companies in America. Read the rest of this entry »
1989 Raw Video: Man vs. Chinese tank Tiananmen square
On this day in 1989, students began protesting in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the symbolic central space of China. Several weeks later, when the government sent in the army to end the demonstrations, the citizens of Beijing poured into the streets in support of the students.
The demonstrations ended in a massacre on the night of June 3-4, when the government sent the troops into the city with orders to clear Tiananmen Square.
One day later, a single, unarmed young man stood his ground before a column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace. Captured on film and video by Western journalists, this extraordinary confrontation became an icon of the struggle for freedom around the world.
ALL Jewish people should leave Ukraine at once, a Holocaust survivor warned last night, after anti-Semitic leaflets were handed out in the country.
Marco Giannangeli writes: The pamphlets and posters, distributed in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk, demanded that the Jewish population register, pay a new tax or leave.
They are a terrifying echo of the anti-Jewish atrocities carried out by Ukrainians under Nazi occupation during the Second World War.
“Jews have no place in Ukraine, because nothing has changed.”
The leaflets, apparently signed by pro-Russian group the People’s Republic of Donetsk, have enraged the world.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said last week: “After all of the miles travelled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it is grotesque.”Sam Pivnik, 86, was only 14 when his family were rounded up in Bedzin, western Poland, and sent to the death camp at Auschwitz.
After his parents, brothers and a sister were chosen “with the flick of a glove” for extermination by “Angel of Death” Dr Josef Mengele, the teenager, tattooed with a prisoner number, was left to survive alone. Mr Pivnik, who now lives in Golders Green, north London, said he was not surprised by the literature’s anti-Semitism.
“Jews have no place in Ukraine, because nothing has changed,” he said last night, “and as long as Jews remain there, nothing will change. They had no business staying in that country after the atrocities of 1939-1945. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted on China Daily Mail:
Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the air force to adopt an integrated air and space defence capability, in what state media on Tuesday called a response to the increasing military use of space by the United States and others.
While Beijing insists its space programme is for peaceful purposes, a Pentagon report last year highlighted China’s increasing space capabilities and said Beijing was pursuing a variety of activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis.
Fears of a space arms race with the United States and other powers mounted after China blew up one of its own weather satellites with a ground-based missile in January 2007.
A detailed analysis of satellite imagery published in March provided additional evidence that a Chinese…
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“…I think that’s what should be the rule, that it should be legislatures rather than judges who draw the line on what is permissible.”
For National Review Online, Tim Cavanaugh writes: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens supports gutting the Second Amendment in order to remove any limit on government infringements on the right of self-defense.
In his new book Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, Stevens — who generally favored maximum government power during his 35-year tenure on the high court — proposes, among other things, changing the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so that the amendment would read, “ . . . the right of the people to keep and bear arms [when serving in the militia] shall not be infringed.”
[Order Justice John Paul Stevens's book Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution from Amazon]