URLs du Jour

2021-11-29

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  • Oh no! Even less safe? My local newspaper recently gave column space to a fear-mongering state representative, Katherine Rogers of Concord. She writes on a proposed legislation: Kyle's law would make the people of NH less safe.

    Her opening is unpromising:

    Despite rising public pressure to decrease gun violence and institute smart, common-sense reforms around ownership, the last several years have seen a relaxation of regulations regarding guns in our society. It is a right and a privilege, but we can all agree that it carries with it clear responsibilities as well. Bottom line is this: none of us wants to live in a country where we should worry about being victims of random gunfire in public places like grocery stores, malls and movie theaters.

    Yet, that’s exactly where we are today.

    Yes, she utters the usual question-begging adjectives ("smart" and "common-sense") about "reforms" she advocates. Because, as we know, would-be criminals are very scrupulous about obeying gun laws.

    Never mind that, though: she claims we "should worry about being victims of random gunfire in public places like grocery stores, malls and movie theaters."

    Almost needless to say: such worries are totally out of touch with reality. Especially in New Hampshire, which has the second-lowest rate of violent crime in the US.

    And I am pretty sure actual worries are negligible. I find it difficult to believe that Katherine Rogers herself worries about being the "victim of random gunfire" as she claims we "should".

    But anyway: her column is not to argue in favor of more gun law, but to argue against proposed legislation popularly called "Kyle's Law", after Kyle Rittenhouse.

    If this proposal were to become law in New Hampshire, it would effectively ensure that anyone claiming self-defense will have a protective barrier around them against anyone questioning whether, in fact, the claim is valid.

    Would it though? Or would it require a prosecutor to prove that? For more on that…


  • Counterpoint. It's provided by Andrew Branca writing at Legal Insurrection: How To Stop Abusive Politically-Motivated Prosecutions In Self-Defense Cases. Here's his case:

    It’s time to compel prosecutors to have skin in the game, to have something to lose if they bring a laughably weak, yet horribly destructive, felony prosecution in a clear case of self-defense, like happened to Kyle Rittenhouse.

    We’ve seen this happen in the George Zimmerman trial in Florida a decade ago, in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial just completed in Kenosha WI, and in plenty of cases in between.

    These are cases where there is little or no evidence inconsistent with self-defense, such that there can be no good-faith reason for a prosecutor to drag that defender to trial. The only motivation of the prosecutor is personal aggrandizement and political capital.

    The real problem here is that these trials are a win-win for these rogue, politically motivated prosecutors. If the trial ends in a conviction, they won the legal case.

    And he responds directly to Rep. Rogers' allegation above:

    Kyle’s Law would not prevent anybody from questioning anyone about any use-of-force event. Indeed, I would encourage prosecutors to investigate any use-of-force event involving deadly force of any type.

    All Kyle’s Law says is that before a prosecutor drags a person with an arguable claim of self-defense into a trial where they’ll be required to disprove self-defense beyond any reasonable doubt, they ought first be confident that they can at least show disproof of self-defense by at least a preponderance of the evidence.

    Any prosecutor not confident that he has 51% proof in hand has no business dragging someone into a costly and dangerous trial where the standard for guilt is more like 90%. That’s rather the whole point.

    Much much more at the link. I think Branca has the better argument here. (Although I'm not sure how many politically-motivated prosecutions of self-defenders there are in NH. )


  • My Canadian girlfriend du jour is… called out amusingly by Jazz Shaw at Hot Air: The Canadian Elizabeth Warren?

    If you thought this was a uniquely American phenomenon, you may want to think again. Most of the social media chatter about Elizabeth Warren’s false claims to indigenous heritage eventually died down, but now a fresh and potentially more egregious example comes to us from Canada. Carrie Bourassa is a medical researcher with the University of Toronto and someone who became known as a “top voice on indigenous health issues.” She also has a government position with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health. Actually, I should have used the past tense for both of those titles because she was recently ousted from both of her positions at the university and with the government. That happened when it was discovered the celebrated First People’s scientist was not of indigenous heritage at all. In fact, she was about as European as one can be. (NY Post)

    Fun fact: "She gave a TEDx talk in 2019 where she dressed in 'full tribal regalia,' complete with a feather in her partially braided hair." That is some massive bravado.


  • And he probably thought he was woke enough for the students. Foster's Daily Democrat had the story on its front page this morn: UNH President Dean seeks apology from students fighting sex assault.

    The student-run Sexual Violence Action Committee is missing one important player: the school president.

    UNH President James W. Dean Jr. wants students in the group, formed in response to sex assault allegations on campus, to apologize for the way they treated him and other administrators at a protest last month. And he won't meet with them until they apologize, according to two school officials.

    President Dean attended a protest outside his on-campus home Oct. 25, held amid mounting frustration among students who felt UNH wasn't doing enough in response to alleged sexual violence.

    At issue is the University's handling of a sexual assault case involving a Male Athletic Person of Color. The "respectable" media (including this blog) aren't publishing his name, but anyone with a little Googling skill (including this blogger) can figure it out pretty quickly.

    I like that one of the issues President Dean encountered was "ridicule of his name". I bet they called him "Jimmy".


  • How many times do we have to say it? Chris Stirewalt on what should be a no-brainer: Don’t Subsidize Local News.

    One of the missing ingredients that’s keeping the American system from functioning well is sufficient local news consumption. This is no revelation to anyone who has watched with even passing interest as the American news media consolidated and nationalized over the past two decades. The deficiency is indeed so obvious there is growing bipartisan agreement on the existence of the problem and a raft of proposals in Congress to address it. But it certainly bears reminding ourselves of the reasons why we need Americans to be better informed on local issues.

    We live in a union of states, not a monolithic nation state. Our system is designed for disputes to be resolved and policies to be introduced at the most local level possible. If the town council can’t handle it, the county commission may have to come in. The state may eventually have to get involved if the costs or consequences become too great. Only the biggest or most confounding problems, though, should make it to the federal government. But that’s not what one would discern from looking at Americans’ media consumption. It is very easy to get national news—almost impossible to avoid, really—and very hard to find robust local news. The clear message to Americans is that the remote national capital is more important to their lives than their statehouse or city hall, when the opposite is—or at least should be—true.

    Our local paper does a pretty lousy job of covering news. Subsidies won't improve it.

Red Notice

[4.0 stars] [IMDB Link] [Red Notice]

I went into this Netflix free-to-me streamer with low expectations. My attitude: "No matter how bad it is, at least Gal Gadot is in it." I was pleasantly surprised.

It's the story of an expert art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) and his (apparent) FBI nemesis John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson). As the movie opens, Hartley is teaming up with Interpol cop Urvashi Das (Ritu Arya) to thwart Booth's expected filching of one of Cleopatra's three eggs, priceless antiquities from Egypt. As it turns out, Booth has already grabbed the egg before Booth and Das arrive on the scene, but he's still hanging around, which sets off a fanciful action-packed chase scene.

And things just get more manic from there. It turns out there's a buyer willing to may an exorbitant sum for all three eggs. This brings "The Bishop" (Ms. Gadot) into the plot as well, trying to outwit and outmaneuver Booth, while Hartley wants (apparently) to put both in jail.

It's a half-comedy, playing off Reynolds' unmatched skills at banter. The Rock does a pretty good job as straight man. And Ms. Gadot is pretty good too, getting off some zingers on her own.

It seems remarkably high-budget for a Netflix flick. It was released in theaters a week before it showed up for streaming. According to the Wikipedia page, it had a $200 million budget and made "well north" of $2 million in theaters. Wikipedia also claims it got "generally unfavorable reviews", but don't listen to those guys.


Last Modified 2021-11-30 6:58 AM EST