Friday, September 23, 2005

The Fate of our Sun

No need to up the insurance: it isn't likely to happen for 5 billion years.

Kinda purty, tho.

Prints of the Renaissance

Some of them are pretty neat. If you are in NYC this fall, this show is likely worth some time:
A case in point is a big woodcut, "The Large Village Fair," made in 1539 by the German engraver and miniaturist Hans Sebald Beham. This very elaborate production shows in great detail the period architecture of a small village crowded with revelers on a peasants' holiday, depicting incidents like a man vomiting after maybe too much beer and an open-air dentist treating a patient as his assistant slyly reaches into the victim's purse.
I suppose one might wonder whether the pickpocket/cutpurse was intended literally or figuratively.

Grace Glueck reviews the show in the NYTimes.
"Paper Museums: The Reproductive Print in Europe, 1500-1800" and "Room With a View: Paintings by Andrea Facco" are at the Grey Art Gallery of New York University, 100 Washington Square East, Greenwich Village, through Dec. 3.

Victory for SAF and NRA in New Orleans gun confiscations

At least for now:

BELLEVUE, WA – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana this afternoon issued a temporary restraining order on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and National Rifle Association (NRA), bringing an end to firearm seizures from citizens living in and around New Orleans.

District Judge Jay Zaney issued the restraining order against all parties named in a lawsuit filed Thursday by SAF and NRA. Defendants in the lawsuit include New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Chief Edwin Compass III.

“This is a great victory, not just for the NRA and SAF, but primarily for law-abiding gun owners everywhere,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “We are proud to have joined forces with the NRA to put an end to what has amounted to a warrantless gun grab by authorities in New Orleans and surrounding jurisdictions.

“Over the past three weeks,” he continued, “residents who had lost virtually everything in the devastation following Hurricane Katrina had also essentially been stripped of something even more precious, their civil rights, and their right of self-defense, because of these gun seizures.

“SAF and NRA had no alternative but to take action,” Gottlieb added. “If these gun confiscations had been allowed to continue without challenge, it would have set a dangerous precedent that would have encouraged authorities in other jurisdictions to believe they also could suspend the civil rights of citizens in the event of some other emergency.

“What must happen now, and quickly,” said Gottlieb, “is for authorities in the New Orleans area to explain how they will return all of those firearms to their rightful owners, and do it promptly. What this ruling affirms is that even in the face of great natural disasters, governments cannot arbitrarily deprive citizens of their rights. Thanks to some great teamwork between SAF and the NRA, this sort of thing will hopefully never happen again.”

PS Click here to make a contribution to help fund this lawsuit.

Please e-mail, distribute, and circulate to friends and family

Copyright © 2005 Second Amendment Foundation, All Rights Reserved.

Second Amendment Foundation
James Madison Building
12500 N.E. Tenth Place
Bellevue, WA 98005 Voice: 425-454-7012
Toll Free: 800-426-4302
FAX: 425-451-3959

Maybe it wasn't global warming after all.


Scott Stevens, a weatherman in Pocatello, has quit his job to promote his weather theories:
Stevens has been in newspapers across the country where he was quoted in an Associated Press story as saying the Yakuza Mafia used a Russian-made electromagnetic generator to cause Hurricane Katrina in a bid to avenge the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima.
Jana Peterson has the story in the Pocatello Idaho State Journal

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I suppose it's better than rubber doormats

The Chinese are being respectful: Company Names Condoms After Clinton, Lewinsky
Liu said the company had chosen to use the Clinton name because consumers viewed the former president as a responsible person, who would want to stress safe sex as an effective way to prevent the spread of the HIV virus.
So responsible that he has sex only with his wife?

I don't suppose the Republicans will flood the country with these when Hillary runs for President. Nah. Couldn't happen. Wouldn't even occur to them. But I bet Hillary is pleased as punch with the honor given Bill.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA go to court over New Orleans gun confiscations

Good for them:

BATON ROUGE, LA (Sept. 22) – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and National Rifle Association (NRA) joined with individual gun owners in Louisiana Thursday morning, filing a motion in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana seeking a temporary restraining order to stop authorities in and around the City of New Orleans from seizing firearms from private citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Click here to make a contribution to help fund this lawsuit.

Arbitrary gun seizures, without warrant or probable cause, have been reported during the past three weeks since the Crescent City was devastated by the hurricane. In cases reported to SAF, police refused to give citizens receipts for their seized firearms. Earlier, SAF insisted that police account for all seized firearms, disclose their whereabouts, and explain how they will be returned to their rightful owners. Authorities have not responded.

Gun confiscations have been highly publicized since the New York Times quoted New Orleans Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass III, who said, "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," and ABC News quoted Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley stating, "No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons."

For example, a San Francisco, CA camera crew from KTVU filmed one incident in which visiting California Highway Patrol officers tackled an elderly woman identified as Patricia Konie, to seize her pistol and forcibly remove her from her home. An ABC news crew accompanying an Oklahoma National Guard unit filmed another incident in which homeowners were handcuffed and disarmed, then released but without their firearms.

"We are delighted to work jointly with the NRA in an effort to bring these outrageous gun seizures to a halt," said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. "Our inquiries about these confiscations were cavalierly ignored, as were our demands for a public explanation from the police and city officials about why citizens were being unlawfully disarmed, leaving them defenseless against lingering bands of looters and thugs.

"New Orleans officials left us with no recourse," Gottlieb observed. "It was bad enough that Big Easy residents were victims of the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. That they would be subsequently victimized by their own local government, taking their personal property without warrant, is unconscionable. These illegal gun seizures must be stopped, now."

PS Click here to make a contribution to help fund this lawsuit.

Copyright © 2005 Second Amendment Foundation, All Rights Reserved.

Second Amendment Foundation
James Madison Building
12500 N.E. Tenth Place
Bellevue, WA 98005 Voice: 425-454-7012
Toll Free: 800-426-4302
FAX: 425-451-3959
Paragraph three is pretty interesting: no receipts, no accounting? How many New Orleans cops now have some new and untracable personal weapons?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Kinda purty

Well, at least I think so.

You are welcome to disagree.

It's a Cool Space Pic of the Day.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Alvin Parker's .40 air rifles

You use a 3000 psi scuba tank to charge these little fellas .

Parker claims half minute of angle accuracy at 100 yards with a 185 gr bullet at 935 feet per second. Just the thing for watermelons and deer.

Or mebbe you prefer a 1007 grain 20mm at 300 yards...

Turn the sound on. It runs a trifle over 7 minutes.

Clik the above or copy and paste:

Thanks to EmmaGeeMan for the tip.

Christopher Hitchens addresses George Galloway...

...far too kindly:
In point of fact, having quoted Mr Galloway's recent speech in Damascus ("The Syrian people are fortunate in having Bashar al-Assad as their leader")...I was given a full answer by being told that I had metamorphosed back from a butterfly into a slug, with a consequent trail of slime in my wake. I did not have the lepidopteral presence of mind to point out, at that moment, that butterflies pupate from sturdy and furry caterpillars.

I reiterated my point that the Syrian people have no say in their own good fortune...What I should have done, I now realise, is to say that George Galloway knows all about slime because he's so far inside the posterior passage of a murderous dictator that one can barely glimpse his Gucci buckles. That would have won me golden opinions. I suppose it would also have re-defined the old term "slug-fest".
The Telegraph has the column. Also "• Edited highlights of the debate, broadcast last night on Radio 4, can be accessed at"

Edvard Munch

You have to admire a guy who paints a bloody scene of Marat murdered by Charlotte Corday (Click here and scroll down), and uses himself as Marat, with his former lover as Charlotte.
In 1902, an affair he had been having for the previous four years with a well-off young woman named Tulla Larsen blew apart. Larsen wanted to marry him; being almost comically shy of marriage...Munch would not commit. She threatened to kill herself. Munch, not to be trumped, shot himself instead. But instead of blowing his head off with his pistol, he less convincingly shot off the tip of the middle finger of his left hand.
Well, it was still his blood shed. Possibly he had unaddressed issues.

The above was occasioned by an exhibit which ought to be well worth a gander if you happen to be in London this fall:
Edvard Munch By Himself is at the Royal Academy of Arts, London W1, from October 1 to December 11. Details: 020-7300 8000,
Robert Hughes has the story in the Guardian, second link above.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I blame Hollywood. And Karl Rove, of course.

All three of the paintings stolen from the Swedish National Museum in 2000 have been found. But yikes:
The (Rembrandt self-portrait), as well as two masterworks by Renoir, were stolen when an armed gang entered the museum on Stockholm's waterfront just before closing time in December 2000. While one man brandished a submachine gun in the lobby, two others seized the paintings from the second floor. As they escaped, scattering spikes on the road to delay pursuers, two cars exploded nearby, creating a diversion. The men then made off in a small boat, which was later recovered.
Laura Vinha has the story via Reuters.

Thanks to ArtsJournal for the tip.