Rare Video of the Best President in US History

This was the first film capture of a U.S. president with sound, and the message is definitely worth listening to. This is back when grown men presided over the Oval Office.

We need another Silent Cal.

Anonymous Political Speech Has Honored History

Unless you’re some kind of illiterate hack who hasn’t heard of Publius, Brutus and the other authors of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers.

In Print and Online: My Column on the UT Shooting

My column on the University of Texas incident is online now.6a00d83451b26169e201156f401601970c-300wi

You can read it here.

A good friend posted this to me, and she’s absolutely right.

Funny that most of the national coverage hearkened back to Va. Tech. Those of us whose blood runs burnt orange immediately flashed back to the history we were taught (or lived) about Whitman. It’s a big freshman lore experience to search fo r Whitman’s bullet holes, which are still pretty easy to find if you are told where to look.

When I was in school, the Tower observation deck was still closed. And at the time of Whitman’s rampage, there were no campus police, and no arms on campus. Civilians helped take Whitman out. They shot up at him (along with police), making him take cover and hampering his aim, which probably saved lives. An armed civilian was also part of the four-man team that eventually took him out at the top of the Tower.

I wanted to include these facts about the original campus killer, Charles Whitman, but I couldn’t fit it all in with a 600 word limit. Thanks Lesley.

And thank you to Sharon Grigsby and Mike Hashimoto for helping me bring this across the finish line yesterday.

Obama Accomplishes What the Bush Republicans Could Not

And he did it in less than two years.

Obama has driven Americans to start demanding a reduction in taxes, spending, regulation and government intervention.

Polls show that independents have moved right and are staying there,” she writes. “A recent one, conducted by VA - Laissez Faire LoungeDemocratic pollster Doug Schoen in late August for the conservative Independent Women’s Voice, calls it a “fundamental realignment” as independents now lean to the right by 2 to 1. The survey asked independents what they would like candidates to do. The list of answers is clear: ‘Decrease the size and scope of government, cut spending and taxes, balance the budget, reduce the federal debt, reduce the power of special interests and unions, repeal and replace the health care legislation, and decrease partisanship.’ Most Tea Partyers would agree with just about everything on that list. So would most Republicans. And they’d all agree with independents who said that they’re not getting those things from Washington.

Notice what’s not on that list: climate change, financial regulation, bank bailouts, auto bailouts, troop surges, lawsuits on immigration reform, and repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ (The only reason health care reform made the list is because independents want it scaled back.) Notice too that these are precisely what we have been getting from Washington.

Source with a hat/tip to Mike Hashimoto.

People want neither the leftist agenda of Obama nor the big government compassionate conservatism of George W. Bush.

For the most part, they want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Who would have thought?

Crime Continues Fall as Gun Sales Soar and Gun Control Withers

swissarmyOver the past 20 years, violent crime is down 43 percent (a 35 year low) and murder is down 49 percent (a 45 year low), according to the FBI stats.

During this same period, government has been doing away with gun control laws and making it easier for people to carry guns.

Less Gun Control: Over the last quarter-century, many federal, state and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive. The federal “assault weapon” ban, upon which gun control supporters claimed public safety hinged, expired in 2004 and the murder rate has since dropped 10 percent. The federal handgun waiting period, for years the centerpiece of gun control supporters’ agenda, expired in 1998, in favor of the NRA-supported national Instant Check, and the murder rate has since dropped 21 percent. Accordingly, some states have eliminated obsolete waiting periods and purchase permit requirements. There are now 40 Right-to-Carry states, an all-time high, up from 10 in 1987.

And all the while the number of privately owned guns in America has grown by 90 million.

There are well over 250 million privately-owned firearms in the U.S., including nearly 100 million handguns and tens of millions of “assault weapons”…and the number of firearms typically rises about 4 million per year.6 Annual numbers of new AR-15s, the most popular semi-automatic rifle that gun control supporters call an “assault weapon,” are soaring. In 2008, there were more than 337,000 new AR-15s configured for home defense, competition, training, recreational target practice and hunting.7 NRA-supported Instant Check firearm transactions have increased over 10 percent annually since 2006.8

So, where’s the pained hand-wringing about how “It will be like the Wild West if people carry guns” and “There will be shootouts in parking lots” now?

Any local members of the media who made such claims back when concealed carry was passed in Texas — ahem, you know who I’m looking at — care to ‘fess up?

(hat tip:  LR.com and Reason.com)

Alt Header: 1 in 4 ‘Murkans Should Wear A Helmet at All Times

GetTestedGood news is the long-term trend. Bad news is too many people get caught up in trendy waves when charismatic political messiahs (from left and right) arrive on the scene.

Turns out I’ll give old Butcher Abe credit for one thing he got right: You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of them all of the time. But in the long run they’re going to see through your BS. (I paraphrase, of course.)

Posted: September 14th, 2010 05:04 PM ET

Washington (CNN) – A new poll indicates that only one in four Americans say they trust the government to do what is right always or most of the time, one explanation for the anti-incumbent sentiment in the country today.

According to CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey released Tuesday, 25 percent of the public indicates that they trust the government in Washington to do what’s is right most or all of the time, with 66 percent saying they trust the government to do what’s right only some of the time and eight percent saying they never trust the government.

Full results [pdf]

“That lack of trust in government is not a recent phenomenon – except for a brief spike fueled by patriotism immediately after 9/11, a majority have not trusted the government since the early 1970s,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

But the recession appears to have made matters worse.

“Ten years ago, roughly four in ten said they trusted the government always or most of the time; that number dropped to the mid-to-low 30′s in the middle part of the decade, but then dropped to the 20s in 2008, where it has stayed ever since. The all-time low in CNN polls was in the summer of 1994 – just before Newt Gingrich led the GOP to take control on Capitol Hill – when only 17 percent said they trusted the government most or all of the time,” adds Holland.

Separated at Birth?

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How Team Left and Team Right Are Screwing Texas Education

Both the left and the right are guilty of manipulating standards, textbooks and curricula to favor their own narrow view of American history, world history, social studies and all the other malleable subjects not math and hard science.

Zombie turns an angry eye towards both the Tweedledees and Tweedledums.

Great read. First in a series.

Good News and Bad News

The good news is there’s one less thug in Dallas. (And you know it wasn’t his bike, either.)

The bad news is too many people at the Dallas Morning News still don’t understand the basics of guns and gun laws in Texas.

Hall then pulled out his licensed pistol and shot Lewis multiple times, according to police.

One more time: Guns are not licensed in Texas, nor are they registered. People can get a license to carry a concealed handgun.


Robin Hood: Not a Socialist, You Know

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I never understood why anyone thought Robin Hood was some kind of socialist. He robbed from the tax collectors and gave the money back to the people who earned it. But Cathy Young goes even further, saying the Ridley Scott libertarian Robin Hood is the closest thing to the original legend we’ve seen.

The Ridley Scott film Robin Hood has drawn some critics’ political ire. In The Village Voice, Karina Longworth laments that “instead of robbing from the rich to give to the poor, this Robin Hood preaches about ‘liberty’ and the rights of the individual” and battles against “government greed.” New York Times critic A.O. Scott strikes a similar note, mocking the movie as a “medieval tea party” and declaring: “You may have heard that Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but that was just liberal media propaganda. This Robin is…a manly libertarian rebel striking out against high taxes and a big government scheme to trample the ancient liberties of property owners and provincial nobles.”

Whatever you may think of Scott’s newest incarnation of the Robin Hood legend, it is more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speaking of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal. This is especially ironic since the Robin Hood of myth and folklore probably has much more in common with the “libertarian rebel” played by Russell Crowe than the medieval socialist of the “rob from the rich, give to the poor” cliché. At heart, the noble-outlaw legend that has captured the human imagination for centuries is about freedom, not redistribution, a fact that is reflected in many previous screen versions of the Robin Hood story.

The earliest Robin Hood ballads, which date back to the 13th or 14th century, contain no mention of robbing the rich to give to the poor. The one person Robin assists financially is a knight who is about to lose his lands to the machinations of greedy and unscrupulous monks at an abbey. (Corrupt clerics using the political power of the Church are among Robin Hood’s frequent targets in the ballads.) The Sheriff of Nottingham is Robin’s chief opponent; at the time, it was the sheriffs’ role as tax collectors in particular that made them objects of popular loathing. Robin Hood is also frequently shown helping men who face barbaric punishments for hunting in the royal forests, a pursuit that was permitted to English nobles but strictly forbidden to the lower classes. In other words, he opposes privilege bestowed by political power rather than earned wealth.

Read the rest here.