PowerLine – Gun That Resembles Cell Phone Sends Liberals Into Hysteria

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PowerLine – Gun That Resembles Cell Phone Sends Liberals Into Hysteria  

Gun That Resembles Cell Phone Sends Liberals Into Hysteria

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 03:13 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)A Minnesota entrepreneur named Kirk Kjellberg designed a gun–a two-shot .380 that more or less resembles a cell phone. Liberals got wind of the design and went ballistic:

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday came out strongly against a soon-to-be-released, double-barreled, .380-caliber handgun designed to look like a smartphone.

“I don’t know how we can legislate thoroughly against human idiocy. It just boggles the mind that somebody would invent something like this and then there’s a market for it,” the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor said Thursday.

Why, exactly, is this “idiocy”? Single and two-shot pistols of this sort are rather common and are all, as far as I know, designed for concealment. This is what the gun looks like:

Ideal-Conceal-Pistol

Dayton said he would write New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, who plans to ask the federal government to investigate and potentially stop sales of the iPhone-looking guns, about the subject.

“I think this requires a national prohibition,” Dayton said.

Banning it in Minnesota is not enough!

“This is about people’s responsibility. The second amendment is a right, and with that comes a responsibility.”

Actually, in Dayton’s eyes the Second Amendment isn’t much of a right, since he thinks this gun can be banned because of its appearance. Sort of like an “assault rifle.”

The gun’s inventor, who will market it under the company name Ideal Conceal, explains its genesis:

Kjellberg said he got the idea for the phone-like gun when he was in a restaurant last summer, his jacket caught on a handle, and a young boy spotted his weapon.

“He said, ‘That guy has a gun,’ really loud,” he said. “The whole restaurant stopped for a second. Then everyone went about their business.

“I thought, ‘There has to be a better way,’” he said. “Then I noticed a guy talking on his phone. My phone was sitting in front of me. I thought, ‘That is something that will blend in.’”

Chuck Schumer has already called for an investigation:

“Just like toys that too much look like handguns should not be sold, handguns that look too much like toys should not be sold,” said Schumer in a press conference Monday.

Schumer.wants_.to_.lower_.the_.boom_.on_.cell_.phone_.gun_-1

The New York Democrat feels the gun was designed to appeal to criminal elements, and is asking the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate Ideal Conceal’s handgun before it is allowed to be sold.

“It’s clearly being marketed for nefarious purposes — 4,000 people are ready to pull the trigger on this dangerous weapon,” Schumer said. “Why would we want to make it easier for criminals or terrorists like those who attacked Paris and Brussels to wreak havoc?”

This is mystifying. What is clearly nefarious about the Ideal Conceal pistol? Like all concealable single and double shot pistols, it is marketed for self-defense. How does this particular gun make it easier for terrorists to wreak havoc? It is hard to imagine a terrorist launching an attack with a two-shot pistol.

The inventor responded on Facebook:

The likely buyer would be somebody with a CCW and wants something he can conceal from the view of an attacker for self-defense. These types of guns aren’t exactly new, there are wallet holsters on the market where you can put a micro/sub-compact firearm in what looks like a wallet and shoot the gun without taking it from a wallet. These have been around for a long time, but I’ve never heard of people using them against law enforcement.

Offhand, I can’t think of any reason why it would be constitutional to ban this particular firearm. One possible concern is that someone–a child, perhaps–might mistake the gun for an actual cell phone and fire it accidentally. But in order to fire the gun, you first have to flip it open, in which case it can’t possibly be mistaken for a cell phone. Of course this firearm, like all others, should be kept in a secured manner, away from children.

Ideal Conceal’s gun won’t be available for sale for some months. At that point, the predictable result of attacks by the likes of Schumer and Dayton will be to send sales sky-high.

Enter Guccifer

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 01:48 PM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Did you know that the Romanian hacker Guccifer was extradited to the United States under federal indictment and that he appeared in court in Virginia yesterday for a detention hearing? I didn’t until I read the latest FOX News report by Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne.

In fact, Guccifer was indicted in June 2014. The FBI press release is posted here. The press release announcing his extradition and initial appearance in court this past Friday is here. The nine-count indictment is accessible online here.

If Herridge and Browne are on the scene, the mind-boggling Clinton email scandal can’t be far behind:

The extradition of Romanian hacker “Guccifer” to the U.S. at a critical point in the FBI’s criminal investigation of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s email use is “not a coincidence,” according to an intelligence source close to the case.

One of the notches on Guccifer’s cyber-crime belt was allegedly accessing the email account of Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, one of Clinton’s most prolific advice-givers when she was secretary of state. It was through that hack that Clinton’s use of a personal account — clintonemail.com — first came to light.

Former law enforcement and cyber security experts said the hacker, whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, could – now that he’s in the U.S. – help the FBI make the case that Clinton’s email server was compromised by a third party, one that did not have the formal backing and resources of a foreign intelligence service such as that of Russia, China or Iran.

“Because of the proximity to Sidney Blumenthal and the activity involving Hillary’s emails, [the timing] seems to be something beyond curious,” said Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division from 2012-2014.

Herridge and Browne report that a spokesman for the FBI’s Washington Field Office had no comment on the extradition, the timing, and any potential intersection with the Clinton email probe. And then there is this:

Cybersecurity and terrorism expert Morgan Wright told Fox News, “My question is, why now – why just these cases, and why was it so important to bring him [to the U.S.]? I go back to what’s in common, and that’s the exposure.”

The Romanian government told Fox News that the request to extradite Lazar came from the FBI, but when Fox News asked when the process began, a government spokesperson said they were not authorized to comment further.

Romanian media have reported the request came on or about Dec. 29, 2015. That would have been shortly after the intelligence community’s identification of emails beyond “top secret” on Clinton’s personal server, which became public in mid-January.

The Herridge and Browne report is necessarily speculative, intensely interesting and worth a look in its entirety.

No Gay Times for Gay Talese

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 11:25 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)I’ve often wondered why Margaret Thatcher isn’t a major feminist icon. Actually, I don’t wonder that for a second. We all know why. Back in the 1980s leading feminists called her (and Jeane Kirkpatrick, too) “female impersonators.” Of course, that term would today be banned as insensitive to transgender self-identifiers. (Heh.) But it confirmed the obvious, which is that “feminist” is just a synonym for “leftist.”

Gay Talese copyThis meditation was brought to mind by the fuss over a recent public appearance by Gay Talese, who unwittingly transgressed the current boundaries of leftist orthodoxy. First of all, how can a writer named “Gay” get in trouble in the first place? Second, hadn’t the New York Times ought to be more careful with this headline about the matter: “Gay Talese Goes Through the Twitter Wringer”? Safety tip: don’t try to say that headline aloud three times quickly, or after you’ve had two cocktails. It could go wrong.

Talese got in trouble when he rambled a bit incoherently in response to the question of what women writers influenced him. He mentioned George Eliot and Mary McCarthy, but he obviously didn’t know that you’re supposed to say “Toni Morrison.” He got pilloried on Twitter. Here’s one part of his explanation:

“I was up there on that stage in Boston and I couldn’t think of anybody,” he continued. “So I said, ‘None.’ I was giving an honest answer. I wasn’t going to be influenced by anybody at age 56 or 70 or 84. I’m not speaking about the writers of the feminist movement or the nonfiction writers for the 1970s or ’80s. I’m talking about my formative years. I’m talking about ancient history now, but it’s the only history I come out of.

Okay, if I had been asked that question, I’d have offered this list: Dorothy Sayers, Florence King, Joan Didion, Flannery O’Connor, Anne Dillard, Virginia Postrel, Hannah Arendt a little (though not for writing style certainly), Alice Munro, and of course Jane Austin and George Eliot go without saying. But you see the problem: no Toni Morrison. Many on my list are conservative writers, and therefore not true wymyn.

It’s starting to be fun to see how easy it is to upset leftists.

Ted Cruz and the GOP establishment: The New York Times’ take

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 09:21 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Yesterday, I linked to and discussed an article in the Washington Post that found Ted Cruz struggling to win over the Republican establishment. But the New York Times, in an article by Nicholas Confessore and Matt Flegenheimer, contends that GOP donors are “learning to love Ted Cruz.”

The two articles aren’t as inconsistent as one might suppose. The Post focused to a considerable extent on establishment politicians; the Times looks at big donors. In addition, the body of the Times article suggests that big donors are a mixed bag when it comes to Cruz, with few actually learning to love the Texas Senator.

According to the Times, many previously anti-Cruz donors now are taking Cruz’s calls. They are well-advised to do so, since the odds that Cruz will be the Republican nominee have improved considerably.

But taking the Senator’s calls and making large contributions are two different things. The Times makes it clear that, as to the latter act, Cruz still is not having an easy ride.

For one thing, and to state the obvious, there is a serious ideological disconnect between Cruz and many big Republican donors. As the Times puts it, “a wider embrace by donors has. . .been hampered in some quarters by genuine political disagreement between more middle-of-the-road potential donors and Mr. Cruz, a professed conservative purist on economic and social issues.” (Emphasis added)

The Times saw fit to call Cruz a “professed” purist. But its reporting suggests that Cruz is the real thing. For example, one donor was poised to make a big contribution if only Cruz would accept that the earth has warmed. Cruz didn’t bite.

As one would expect, Cruz is faring better with donors whose focus is on Israel, according to the Times. Fred Zeidman — a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition who previously backed Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush — is now supporting Cruz. He explained, “there is no more staunch and vocal supporter of the state of Israel than Ted Cruz has been, and it is the primary reason I felt I had to support him.”

The Times says that some big donors are put off by Cruz’s personality. They complain that even in private, he comes of as sanctimonious and unable to present a persona that’s appreciably warmer than what one sees on television.

I’ve heard the latter point raised by in Washington who are no less conservative than Cruz. It may be a valid insight. But at this juncture, it’s not a good reason to withhold support from the man who stands between the abominable Donald Trump and the Republican nomination.

As Mica Mosbacher, a Cruz fund-raiser and wife of the late Robert Mosbacher, Secretary of Commerce under George H.W. Bush, puts it, “[Cruz] might not be the most fun to have a drink at the bar with, but America needs a designated driver.”

The Princeton report — an alum’s view

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 08:26 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)John and I have written about the report issued by something called the Trustee Committee on Woodrow Wilson’s Legacy at Princeton. The committee was formed in response to the occupation of the Princeton president’s office by black students demanding, among other things, that Wilson’s name be purged from prominent Princeton institutions named after the former president. Based on recommendations in the report, Princeton refused to purge Wilson, choosing instead to make a few small concessions to the protesters.

A distinguished Princeton alumnus offers these thoughts about his alma mater’s Wilson saga:

1. The Invasion, Occupation, and Agreement. Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber and Princeton’s Board of Trustees selected the Committee in November 2015 after a group of student protesters invaded and occupied Mr. Eisgruber’s office and refused to leave until he agreed to demands that Princeton eliminate Woodrow Wilson’s name, develop race-based “affinity housing,” implement “cultural competency training,” and grant “amnesty” to the protesters. Mr. Eisgruber reached an agreement with the protesters about their demands after 32 hours.

It does not seem to have occurred to him or anyone else in his administration or the Board of Trustees that there was anything wrong with the invasion and occupation of Mr. Eisgruber’s office. As a result, Mr. Eisgruber and the protesters, known as the Black Justice League, have set a clear precedent: those who disagree with Princeton’s practices can initiate action by the President, the administration, and the Trustees if they take over the president’s office and present the president with a list of grievances.

Will Mr. Eisgruber condone the same kind of action taken by other groups? For example, Princeton’s faculty is almost entirely made up of leftists. If conservative students take over Mr. Eisgruber’s office and demand more balance on the faculty, will Mr. Eisgruber grant “amnesty” for the student takeover and then ask the Trustees to designate a committee to study the question and issue a report?

2. The Report. The Committee’s Report is just over 12 page in length. It mentions the word “diversity” and “inclusion” or similar words like “diverse” and “inclusive” more than 80 times. It’s as if the Committee concluded that it could show its good faith by invoking magical references to “diversity and inclusion” as much as possible.

The Report also reflects the fact that those who issued it believe the readers are not very bright. The Report contains not a single word about the Black Justice League’s demand for cultural competency training and the other demands. Rather, it focuses entirely on Mr. Wilson’s legacy and then makes obvious references to racism of the past and calls on the university to be “honest and forthcoming” about history, as if there has been some massive conspiracy to portray Woodrow Wilson as an angelic figure in all aspects of his life.

The Report describes its membership and the work of the committee. It notes that Woodrow Wilson made “some efforts to make Princeton more inclusive and diverse” and that he opposed admitting black students to Princeton. (Page 4). The Report also summarizes his eight-year presidency in two paragraphs and notes in passing that he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919.

The Report then discusses Mr. Wilson’s namesake, the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs and other uses of Mr. Wilson’s name by the university. The Report notes that the undergraduate student body is nearly 55% “American minorities” and international students, of whom 7.6% are African American. (Page 7.) Despite these numbers, the Report says that “much remains to be done” to “address[] bias, discrimination, and harassment,” among other things. (Page 7).

The Report then lists its recommendations: (1) “a renewed and expanded commitment to diversity and inclusion at Princeton” (page 8); (2) a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees that will focus on diversity and inclusion; (3) “efforts to increase diversity at the graduate student level” (page 9); (4) a modification of Princeton’s informal motto from “Princeton in the nation’s service and the Service of All Nations” to “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity” (pages 9-10); (5) various “education and transparency initiatives” (page 10); and (6) a “concerted effort to diversify campus artwork and iconography.” (Pages 10-11).

3. Hiring a diversity dean. The day after the Report issued, Princeton announced the creation of a new position, “dean of diversity and inclusion,” and the corresponding decision to hire a diversity professional from Washington University in St. Louis. Is the timing of this announcement a coincidence?

4. A strange outcome. The Report and the hiring of a diversity dean are not likely to change anything at Princeton. The university will remain what it has been for a long time: an institution that endorses a collective leftist groupthink that tolerates little dissent from leftist orthodoxy; repeats phrases like “diversity and inclusion” as much as possible; engages in racial preferences in admissions; creates special programs and campus centers for “previously excluded groups;” proudly populates its faculty with Marxists, radical feminists, leftists, and other counter-cultural and anti-American thinkers; and fancies itself as a bastion of right-thinking – that is, left-thinking – morally superior intellectuals.

If implemented, the Report’s six recommendations will accomplish nothing meaningful. There may be an effort to attract more minority graduate students, but why stop there? The fact that nearly 55% majority of the undergraduates are minority and international students masks the fact that only 7.6% of undergraduates are African American. (Report at page 7). The United States Census Bureau reports that 13.2% of Americans are African American, and this suggests that Princeton’s undergraduate population has a significant underrepresentation of African Americans.

Does the university plan to do anything about this underrepresentation or even acknowledge the point? Nothing in the Report mentions this issue. Instead, the recommended creation of new committees and programs, the display of more diverse artwork, and a modified motto suggest that the university will commit itself to largely meaningless symbolic gestures that will somehow appease the Black Justice League and not offend too many alumni.

The new motto, “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity,” is particularly odd. What does changing “nations” to “humanity” accomplish? The answer is: nothing. In fact, most people will ignore the new motto, as they should.

Finally, if the goal was at it appears – to appease the Black Justice League without offending too many alumni – it remains unclear whether the Report and its recommendations will accomplish anything.

The Black Justice League condemned the Report as filled with “largely meaningless platitudes,” which it is. It also accuses Princeton of a “seemingly intractable investment in white supremacy and its vestiges” and says that in comparison to Harvard, Princeton offers only “shallow words and hollow promises.” The Black Justice League does not say whether it will again invade President Eisgruber’s office or take other action.

As for the alumni body as a whole, Princeton need not be concerned. The Report will change nothing among the alumni body. Conservative alumni will recognize the Report as another attempt by the university to demonstrate its commitment to political correctness and leftism. A few will write letters of protest and the administration will ignore them. Other alumni will remain indifferent; a few will eagerly cheer Mr. Eisgruber and the Trustees; and many will donate a lot of money, for sentimental reasons or because they hope that big donations will help their children or grandchildren gain admission.

On balance, then, Princeton’s reaction is yet another sorry episode in the continued leftist drift of the university as a whole.

I agree with every point made by the Princeton alum.

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