Vice Embeds With The Islamic State

August 20th, 2014

Whoa. Edgy site Vice News managed to place an embed with the Islamic State (AKA ISIS). That’s sort of like Playboy managing to embed a reporter with the Viet Cong in 1968.

Here are the five video segments, which I’m still working my way through:

It appears to be legit, but I’d still take it with a few (or more) grains of salt.

Hat tip: Michael Totten.)

Morning Tweet Roundup

August 20th, 2014

I’m back from vacation. Have some Low Calorie Content Substitute:

Adventures in Badly Targeted Ads

August 19th, 2014

I hit Instapundit this morning, and guess who the banner ad was attacking?

Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 8.11.56 AM

That’s right: An anti-Greg Abbott, pro-Wendy Davis ad on Instapundit! That’s some mighty fine use of targeted advertising, Wendy Davis campaign!

Next up: A Jewish Defense League fundraising appeal on Al Jazerra…

Perry Indictment Slammed as Ridiculous On Both Left and Right

August 18th, 2014

More and more commentators, on all sides of the political spectrum, have weighed in on the risible nature of the Rick Perry indictment:

  • Respectable lefty attorney Alan Derschowitz (who has maintained an admirably consistent commitment to civil liberties throughout his career) condemns the Perry indictment: “Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment.”
  • Patterico provides extensive legal analysis and notes: “Words truly fail to describe what an outrageous and unsupportable abuse of prosecutorial power this is.”
  • “’You can’t pay me enough to vote for Rick Perry, but this indictment is a totally corrupt use of criminal law,’ said David Berg, a Houston attorney and contributor to Democratic candidates. ‘It is clearly political, vindictive and unsupportable.’”
  • Sarah Palin notes that frivolous lawsuits to derail a Republican’s national electoral chances are now standard operating procedure for Democrats.
  • Lefty journalist Jonathan Chait says:

    They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry…The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves.

  • Even MSNBC says that “it’s hard to imagine sending a governor to jail for talking about why he issued a veto.”
  • In other news, check out the #IStumbleWithRosemaryLehmberg tag…

    Rick Perry Indicted for Acting Like a Governor

    August 16th, 2014

    Friday Rick Perry was indicted for using his constitutionally enumerated veto powers, namely carrying through on his threat to veto $7.5 million funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit last year unless Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned over her DWI.

    To call it weak sauce is to give the false impression that there’s any sauce there whatsoever. This is pure political hackery by a Democratic prosecutor looking to “get Perry,” since Democrats have been completely unable to do so at the ballot box. As Powerline notes:

    The Travis County district attorney’s office has long been a cesspool of corruption. It was that office, controlled by the Democratic Party machine, that infamously indicted Tom DeLay for nothing. It took years before DeLay could finally clear his name, and his career was ruined.

    Conservatives should respond to this indictment by rallying around Perry. The indictment is a bad joke, intended simply to generate negative publicity. As with the bogus DeLay indictment from the same source, years may go by before it is finally proved baseless. In the meantime, conservatives should stand behind Perry and denounce the politically-motivated machinations of Texas Democrats.

    Eugene Volokh notes that in a previous case (Wurtz vs. Risley) the court ruled that “Coercion of a lawful act by a threat of lawful action is protected free expression.”

    Even Think Progress think the Perry indictment is weak. Another sign of that weakness is the fact they released the indictment late Friday, the traditional “bury the story” dumping ground.

    I suspect Rick Perry will come out of this just fine. The real loser will be Lehmberg, when a whole new national audience gets to see her drunkenly scream “Call Greg!” all over again…

    Pat Condell on the European Union

    August 15th, 2014

    Have another Pat Condell rant, this one on why Europe needs a revolution against the anti-democratic EU:

    Texas Election News Update for August 14, 2014

    August 14th, 2014

    With all Obama’s manifest incompetence at the national and international level, it’s easy to neglect Texas election news, so here’s a small update to tide you over.

  • Even liberal MSM fossil Paul Burka says that the governor’s race is over and Wendy Davis has already lost. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell her national liberal donors! Let them keep tossing dollars down the hole…
  • Abbott wants to reform Texas occupational licensing schemes, noting that an EMT only requires 33 days of training, but cosmetologists and barbers require 350 days of training.
  • Lt. Governor candidates Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte will be having debate in September.
  • Brandon Creighton wins special election for state senate.
  • In the Texas House District 136 race (my district), Democratic challenger John Bucy claims to have raised more money than Republican incumbent Tony Dale. But that’s only true by counting Bucy’ spersonal political expenditures as contributions, contrary to state law, counting his volunteer campaign manager’s non-existent $22,018.70 “salary” as a contribution, and counting a bunch of other in-kind contributions.
  • Why Would You Even Loot a Shoe Carnival or Radio Shack?

    August 13th, 2014

    Another shooting of a black man by police leads to a night of looting by members of the local black community.

    Specifically they looted a Shoe Carnival and a Radio Shack.

    You have to wonder what sort of cost-benefit analysis goes through the mind of a looter. “I’m so mad I’m going to commit a felony! Who should I target? I know! My rage can only be assuaged by stealing plastic shoe and obsolete, off-brand consumer electronics!”

    With Radio Shack in bankruptcy, they might earn more from the insurance than they could from selling clock radios and old diodes…

    Pictures from the Bovington Tank Museum: German Tanks

    August 12th, 2014

    I hope you like tanks.

    Here’s the first batch of pictures taken at the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, which I visited on Saturday as a gift to my inner 12-year old. (There are few prospects more pleasing to the preadolescent male mind than being encased in a 30 ton metal killing machine.) The first batch is all German tanks and tank destroyers from World War II. Let’s face it, the Germans had far and away the best tanks, and shortly after the allies managed to catch up, Germany would be about ready to introduce something better. Germany’s problem (as compared to America or the Soviet Union) was an inability to manufacture enough of them. (Good thing for us.) They had an enormous array of German tanks, and probably the best collection outside Germany’s own tank museum in Munster.

    The first picture of the first of two King Tigers (AKA Tiger II, AKA Königstiger, Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B) they had on display. The mosty powerful tank Germany produced during the war, its 88mm main gun could destroy any tank on the battlefield. It didn’t get on the battlefield until 1944, and Germany produced less than 500 of them.

    The other Tiger II they had there.

    Here you can see the Zimmerite anti-magnetic mine coating the Germans used.

    Selfie, with tank.

    The first of several tank destroyers.

    This is a German tank destroyer that ended up in Finland. Stalin thought he could walk all over Finand, but the Finns tore the Soviets nine different new assholes in the Winter War, though this tank destroyer obviously post-dates 1940.

    Alternate barrel used for the Sturmtiger close assault variant.

    Here’s an early Panzer Mark I command tank. It’s amazing to realize that the initial German blitzkrieg was carried out with relatively slow, under-armed, and underpowered Mark I and Mark IIs, that, with Heinz Guderian’s new tactics of mechanized warfare, were simply Good Enough.

    A Mark II.

    I think this is the Mark III, would would be the mainstay of the Wehrmacht armored divisions through the end of the war.

    A muzzle-eye view.

    Armoured car.

    An 88mm field canon.

    TABC Rule Change Could Torpedo Some NRA Events

    August 11th, 2014

    NRA-ILA just sent out an alert stating that a proposed TABC rule change, ostensibly to liberalize rules regarding the presence of lawful firearms in venues that sell alcohol, could ironically have the opposite effect:

    Under the proposed changes in regulations, FONRA dinners and similar events with firearms displayed for auction or raffle could no longer be held in private venues such as hotel ballrooms if the property owner has been issued a TABC license – even if the events were dry! And if event organizers wanted to sell or serve alcohol and display firearms as prizes, they would be limited to locations “owned or leased by a governmental entity or non-profit civic, religious, charitable, fraternal, or veterans’ organization.” Governmental entities such as Travis County have recently considered banning gun shows from public facilities entirely. It’s not hard to imagine local officials using their authority or terms of contracts to limit the ability of pro-Second Amendment or pro-sportsmen’s organizations to hold fundraising events where alcohol and firearms are present – even if the event organizers signed written agreements to adhere to the new conditions and limitations being proposed by TABC.

    NRA_ILA further notes:

    even though, as mentioned earlier, these new regulations were ostensibly drafted to allow alcohol sales at gun shows, they could actually end these events as we know them – even if the promoter had NO plans to sell alcohol on-premises. In the proposed rule language, the mere fact that the event is taking place at TABC-licensed premises triggers the new restrictions, NOT whether alcohol would be sold and served during the show. Gun shows could no longer be held in a private venue that has a TABC license, period.

    Insert the usual I Am Not A Lawyer disclaimer here, but the NRA can certainly afford some of the best lawyers focused exclusively on gun rights issues, so I would take their warnings seriously. It’s probably a good time to contact your state representatives to make them aware of the issue…