Tom Knighton

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Australia looking to supress free speech

free speech

Freedom of speech is one of the most important factors of a free society.  The ability to say unpopular things is essential.  After all, abolition was once an unpopular thing to talk about.  So was civil rights.  Questioning the government regarding the Vietnam War wasn’t always a popular thing either.

In the realm of ideas, you typically have a free market.  Good ideas will grown, while bad ideas die a horrible, painful death given enough time.  Not always (see communism, for example), but this is how it works most of the time. Most free nations understand that.  However, Australia has apparently forgotten that little tidbit:

Australian MPs have started to call for legislative powers to compel social networks to swiftly remove offensive content, after Facebook failed to act decisively to remove a page containing numerous racist stereotypes of Australian aboriginals.

Facebook initially did nothing about the page, which disappeared briefly and then resurfaced marked as “controversial humour”.

The Social Network TM made some noises about freedom of speech, which apparently allows controversial humour even if it includes hate speech. At this point in the saga Australia’s Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said he felt the page was inappropriate and should be removed.

Facebook seems to have finally done so as it became apparent the page contravened Australia’s racial discrimination laws. Controversy over the page also exploded into mainstream media. Australia’s media regulator and Racial Discrimination Commissioner are both looking into the incident.

Still more tolerance from the left

Corey Cogdell

When one talks about the left, it’s important to note that the left is a large group and not everyone on the left is in lockstep on every issue.  However, there are a large number of people on the left that have the ideological consistency of a turnip…and I apologize to any turnips that are insulted at the comparison.

The most recent example stems from Team USA shooter Corey Cogdell, an Olympic trap shooter who is in London right now representing the US.  Cogdell, like a lot of competitive shooters, is also a hunter.  Recently, she shared some photographs of animals she’s taken while in the field.

With me so far?  Good, because a report over a Twitchy.com shows how “tolerant” some on the left can be with regard to hunting. Screenshots after screenshots of individuals wishing Cogdell would “shoot [herself] in the knees” and declaring her a “waste of oxygen and an embarassment to the human race.”

One particularly stood out to me:

What a f***ing waste! WTFIs wrong with ppl?cruel!! These ppl need to be shot deheaded and posted on a wall

Now, I can understand that not everyone shares my views of hunting.  For the record, I am a hunter as well.  I understand Cogdell’s love of hunting, I really do.  The vast majority of hunters either eat the game they take, or they donate it to programs like Hunters For The Hungry which uses wild game to feed needy families.  While I have little doubt that they exist, I don’t know a single hunter - trophy hunter or otherwise - that doesn’t eat what they kill.

Lautenberg seeks to ban online ammo sales

bullets

Most who follow gun laws know that Frank Lautenberg isn’t exactly a friend of the Second Amendment.  For those who don’t know this, let this little tidbit educate you on Lautenberg and his latest efforts:

Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg on Monday continued his lead role in advancing gun control legislation in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. mass shooting by introducing a bill to ban the online sale of ammunition.

“If someone wants to purchase deadly ammunition, they should have to come face-to-face with the seller,” Lautenberg stated in his announcement. ”It’s one thing to buy a pair of shoes online, but it should take more than a click of the mouse to amass thousands of rounds of ammunition.”

“The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act” asserts the following: ammunition will only be sold by licensed dealers; buyers who are not licensed dealers will be required to present photo identification; and licensed dealers must maintain records of ammunition sales and report to officials the sale of more than 1,000 rounds to an unlicensed person. Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York, whose husband was killed and son severely injured in the 1993 Long Island Rail Road mass shooting, has signed on to publicly support the bill.

Lautenberg’s office noted Monday that the shooter who killed 12 and injured 58 in the July 20 attack at the Colorado movie theater purchased upwards of 6,000 rounds of ammunition “anonymously on the internet.”

The facts of life on high capacity magazines

Second Amendment

James Holmes is an evil man.  Sick?  Quite possibly, but evil none the less.  The same can be said of Jared Loughner who is responsible for the Tuscon shooting.  The two men, and the events they started, also have something else in common.  Both sparked the debate regarding high capacity magazines.

First, let’s clarify something for the non-gun folks who may be reading.  Most semi-automatic weapons are designed around specific magazines.  For an AR-15 or an AK-47, that is a 30 round magazine.  For a 9 mm pistol, it’s usually in the neighborhood of 15 rounds.  Those are properly considered standard capacity magazines, not high capacity.

Now that the bit of nomenclature is out of the way, I know that opponents of guns don’t see any reason why someone needs so many rounds in their magazine.  Well, let me touch on that one.  I probably don’t.  On that note though, neither do the vast majority of police officers in this country who could legally secure these so-called “hi capacity” magazines during the Assault Weapon Ban.  Law enforcement was exempt from the ban, yet how many officers legally discharge their firearms during the course of their career, not counting range time?  Very, very few.

Despite what the movies tell us, police officers find themselves needing to discharge their weapons remarkably few times.  Most police officers go their entire careers and never fire their weapons. The same is true for most private gun owners as well.

Bloomberg off the deep end

Michael Bloomberg

As if his last comments weren’t bad enough, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently gone off the deep end completely.  Despite Bloomberg being pro-choice, and the motto for pro-choice tends to be some variation of “my body, my choice”, he has apparently decided that government has at least some say in what a woman does with her body.

Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed.

Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.

Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

While breast-feeding activists applaud the move, bottle-feeding moms are bristling at the latest lactation lecture.

Maybe it’s just me, but this really makes me bristle.  You see, I’m a father of two.  My wife was unable to breast feed our first child because her body just didn’t make enough milk.  With our second, we didn’t want to take the chance.  It was a choice, and we made it.

Obama calls for more gun control

Barack Obama

After a tragedy, there are things that happen.  Friends and families of the deceased try to come to terms with the event, journalists try to learn what they can about the event and the people affected by it, and if the tragedy involved a madman with a gun then a politician will scream for gun control.

This time, we have none other than President Obama calling for the gun control:

“A lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals,” Mr. Obama said at the annual National Urban League convention in New Orleans. “They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

“Every day, the number of young people we lose to violence is about the same as the number of people we lost in that movie theater,” Mr. Obama said. “For every Columbine or Virginia Tech,there are dozens gunned down on the streets of Chicago or Atlanta, here in New Orleans. Violence plagues the biggest cities, but it also plagues the smallest towns.”

I guess he thinks he can get it passed now?  After all, four years ago he said he wouldn’t try to pass gun control legislation because he didn’t figure he had the votes.  Now, he has lost control of one chamber of Congress, with a lot of politicians still battling to keep their seats.  Gun control is usually a loser issue for Democrats.

However, Obama clearly believes that the Aurora massacre will swing things his way.  He’s using the word “gun owners” to convey the idea that the very people who will be regulated share his belief that an “AK-47” belongs in a soldier’s hands.  Well, that may be true in a few places, but I haven’t met too many of those gun owners.

The tolerance of the left

Chick-Fil-A

Progressives are big on tolerance.  They want people to be tolerant of other for a variety of reasons.  They often cite religion as one.  Hey, I’m a libertarian.  Who am I to argue?  We’re all about tolerance too.

However, following the comments by Chic-Fil-A’s CEO last week regarding gay marriage, the left has responded quickly with calls to boycott. Jason touched on that last week, and I have nothing to add to that front except that while I think the boycott to be ultimately useless, it’s certainly their right to do it.

Things have gotten a little more intense since then however.  A couple of days ago, the mayor of Boston decided to block a franchise there:

The people of Boston will have to purchase their chicken sandwiches elsewhere: Mayor Thomas M. Menino has sworn that the franchise will have to fight city hall to bring its fast-food empire to Boston after Chick-fil-A’s president, Dan Cathy, said gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.” The Atlanta-based chain is hoping to open a restaurant in a popular tourist spot near the Freedom Trail — a rather ironic choice in Menino’s eyes.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Menino told the Boston Herald on Thursday. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against the population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

Bloomberg: Cops should strike until guns are gone

Nanny Bloomberg

New York Mayor Michael “Ban the Big Gulp” Bloomberg is at it again.  This time, he’s voicing some ideas that are, quite frankly, beyond the idiocy he routinely spouts off.  This time, he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he thinks police officers should go on strike until guns are outlawed.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNN’s Piers Morgan last night that he doesn’t “understand why police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say we’re going to go on strike, we’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”

First, Bloomberg is actually asking law enforcement officers - you know, the people who can actually arrest criminals, take them to jail, and all that - to go on strike to affect political change in this country?  Really? That’s just downright terrifying…if any police officers were willing to actually do it.

The reason that it’s scary is that many people obey laws simply because of a fear of going to prison.  If there are no police due to a strike, then that deterent is no longer there.  Welcome to downright anarchy.  Bloomberg isn’t a complete idiot, despite his comments.  He knows this.  What he’s basically asking is that police use extortion techniques on the American people to affect change in gun laws.  Extortion happens to be a crime that police arrest people for!

But I’m sure Mayor Bloomberg won’t let that stop him.

Want to stop jobs from going overseas?

Outsourcing

It seems a day doesn’t go by that I don’t see or hear someone complaining about jobs going overseas.  They invariably want the government to do something to keep jobs on American shores.  They blame “greedy corporations” for seeking profit and not looking out for the interests of Americans who desperately need jobs.

Well, those Americans really do need jobs, so here are some helpful tips to help bring those jobs back to American shores.

1. End the unions

Unions are a large chunk of the reason many companies have looked overseas for labor.  Unions, which once existed as a way to deal with abusive management, now seek to line pockets.  Not just theirs, but those of their members.  Through collective bargaining, they have jacked up wages for what are often unskilled positions to a point that borders on the ridiculous.  In some cases, that border is crossed.  Reports of auto workers with high school educations making six figure incomes while not filling any kind of management role are a prime example.

The thing is, non-union shops in the same industries often pay comperable wages.  They simply expect more work out of their employees, minimizing the number of people required.  Companies want the best workers they can get, and even without unions you won’t see wages plummet.  The best and brightest want to be compensated, and they will be.

However, if unions continue to push for more and more, then more and more companies will seek to move their operations overseas.

2. End the EPA

Free Market fights CO2 levels

Global Warming #PANIC

The left loves to label free market types as enemies of Mother Earth.  However, I’ve said for a while that the left should probably start looking at how the free market can actually help them attain their goals with regard to the environment.  For example, many companies have adopted so-called “green” practices, not so much because of a social conscious, but because it allows them to position themselves as if they have a social conscious.

According to some data that isn’t exactly burning up the mainstream media, it looks like the free market is having a more direct impact on the environment, particularly with regard to CO2:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) June energy report says that energy-related carbon dioxide fell to 5,473 million metric tons (MMT) in 2011.

That’s down from a high of 6,020 MMT in 2007, and only a little above 1995’s level of 5,314 MMT.

Better yet, emissions in the first quarter of 2012 fell at an even faster rate — down 7.5% from the first quarter of 2011 and 8.5% from the same time in 2010. If the rest of 2012 follows its first-quarter trend, we may see total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions drop to early-1990s levels.

Awesome for the left, right?  I mean, surely that means some of their efforts are starting to show results. Well, I wouldn’t be so sure.  You see, Investors.com has another bit of data that should be considered:

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Tom Knighton

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Tom Knighton has been a blogger here at United Liberty since 2010. In 2011, he made history when he became the first blogger anywhere known to have purchased a newspaper when he purchased The Alba... Click here to read full bio

 


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