Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Why oil prices are rising

By Donald Sensing

After the Brexit vote, spot-market oil prices dropped like a rock on Friday morning (curiously, though, only after spiking much higher at NYSE's open) along with the equities market. Prices continued to decline at a milder level Monday although they started to rise Monday afternoon.

A two day blip is all the Brexit wrought. Here is the reason that oil prices will trend consistently higher.



On the Asian side, demand growth has been steady and consistent for decades, tracking the rising development of the Asian tigers and the slow lumbering rise of China. While China is still not a first world nation, it’s not as poor as it was. At this stage, China is really a second world nation – between the first and third world; an appropriate moniker given it is the last major bastion of communism (which is what the term first/second world referred to).

There is still significant opportunity in Asian nations for additional development. India is extremely undeveloped, while smaller though still significant nations like Malaysia and Indonesia still have opportunities as well. All of this is merely to point out that despite the advancing technology in the West, the Asian nations are still extremely underdeveloped and have huge needs, creating massive upside potential for oil demand. After all, it’s a lot easier to build a gasoline vehicle that doesn’t rely on electricity, than it is to build an electric car without a reliable electric grid or universal indoor lighting.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hawaii to Add All Gun Owners to CRIMINAL Database

By Donald Sensing

Hawaii to Add All Gun Owners to CRIMINAL Database | PJ Media:

What could go wrong. Now exercising your Constitutional right makes the state treat you like a criminal.

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Tennessee Gun-Free Zone proprietors are now absolutely liable

By Donald Sensing


Starting July 1, posting this sign in Tennessee makes you financially liable for failure to protect the safety of persons who are authorized by law to carry arms in public. 

Effective July 1 in Tennessee, any location in the state that is presently authorized by law to exclude possession of weapons on the premises (does not include private homes) by persons authorized by law to possess them otherwise, will, by law, assume,
... absolute custodial responsibility for the safety and defense of the permit holder while on the posted property and while on any property the permit holder is required to traverse in order to travel to and from the location where the permit holder's firearm is stored
I am going to guess-predict that if challenged, the law will be struck down in some degree by state courts because it is overly broad. But the bulk of it shall stand, I would say. Here is the rest of the statute:
(c) The responsibility of the person or entity posting for the safety and defense of the permit holder shall extend to the conduct of other invitees, trespassers, employees of the person or entity, vicious animals, wild animals, and defensible man-made and natural hazards.

(d)
(1) Any handgun carry permit holder who is injured, suffers bodily injury or death, incurs economic loss or expense, property damage or any other compensable loss as the result of conduct occurring on property that is posted pursuant to § 39-17-1359, shall have a cause of action against the person or entity posting. In addition to damages, the person shall be entitled to reasonable attorney fees, expert witness costs, and other costs necessary to bring the cause of action.

(2) The statute of limitations for such an action shall be two (2) years from the date of the occurrence giving rise to the damages, loss, or injury.

(e) Any notice or signage that property is posted pursuant to § 39-17-1359 shall also contain language citing this section and stating that any permit holder on the posted property is under the custodial responsibility of the posting person or entity.

(f) To prevail in an action brought under this section, the plaintiff must show by a preponderance of the evidence that:
(1) The plaintiff was authorized to carry a handgun pursuant to § 39-17-1351 at the time of the incident giving rise to the action;
(2) The plaintiff was prohibited from carrying a firearm on the property where the incident occurred because it was posted pursuant to § 39-17-1359; and
(3) The property was not required to be posted by state or federal law but was posted by choice of the defendant.
(g) This section shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purpose. 
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016, the public welfare requiring it.
Update:

Courts will strike it down at least in part. It's overly broad and imprecise. For example, it holds the proprietor liable for "defensible natural hazards." What on earth does that mean? If a permit holder who had to leave his gun in the car is injured by high winds en route back to his car, he gets to recover damages? And if so here is the huge problem:

Why would non-permit holders be excluded? For what reason does a proprietor have special custodial liability for a permit holder that he does not have for a non-holder?

That apart, a police officer and two federal officers explained to me in a group discussion a few months ago, relating to my church's liability for criminal acts on the premises, the premises proprietor is going to get sued no matter what. So a permit holder would sue anyway. What this law does is make a permit holder a specially-protected class, and we conservatives have been railing against the Left for doing that with other identity-politics groups. Is that the tactic we are trying to do now?

Another update:

If this law holds a manager who posts that the premises are a gun free zone, and the manager thereby becomes legally obligated to protect the safety of unarmed permit holders on the premises, could the law conversely confer upon armed permit holders in non-posted premises the responsibility to protect unarmed, non-permit persons present, should the situation arise?

On non-posted premises on which a permit holder is injured, whether armed or not, does this confer all responsibility for personal safety upon the permit holder alone and simply absolve the business/entity from responsibility?

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Why is Mark Ruffalo still allowed to act or produce?

By Donald Sensing

Why has actor Mark Ruffalo not been arrested and charged with terrorism or terrorist conspiracy?

He misused the First Amendment and so should lose his First Amendment rights - and without due process to appeal.

Because if the Democrats want to revoke someone's Second Amendment rights by denying them the right to buy firearms because their names were secretly placed on a secret government lost, and remove the due process that would allow those persons to appeal, then should it not apply to all Constitutional rights, not just one?


Link.

Update: Apparently even The Telegraph can get rolled. Ruffalo says it is not true.

Or maybe - that's what he says now!

But of course, this post was never about Ruffalo anyway, so I'm leaving it up.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Bet they're sorry they asked

By Donald Sensing

MSNBC hosts an online poll asking, "Do you think that people should be allowed to carry guns in public?"

With more than 400,000 responses, here is the result.



You probably could not get that many people to agree that the sun rises in the east.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

"European tyranny-by-clerk"

By Donald Sensing

Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley on the Brexit:

The people have spoken. And the democratic spirit that inspired just over half the people of Britain to vote for national independence has its roots in the passionate devotion of the Founding Fathers of the United States to democracy. Our former colony showed us the way. Today, then, an even more heartfelt than usual “God bless America!”

All who have studied the Madison papers will grasp the greatness of the Founding Fathers’ vision. They were determined that no law and no tax should be inflicted upon any citizen except by the will of elected representatives of the people in Congress assembled.

They regarded this democratic principle as of such central importance that they wrote it down as Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States: “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Period. No ifs. No buts. No exceptions.

Except one. The Constitution establishes that foreign treaties ratified by a two-thirds majority of the Senate shall have the same force of law throughout the United States as enactments of Congress.

It is, therefore possible for any U.S. Government that can muster that Senate majority to ratify any treaty and thereby to thwart the central principle of Congressional democracy: that no Congress may bind its successors.

The Republicans, who are not always as lively in their understanding of the threat to democracy posed by supranational and global institutions such as the EU, the UN and its bloated climate bureaucracy, are too often snared or charmed by determined “Democrats” who fully understand and thirst to exercise the power to inflict perma-Socialism on their nation by bilateral, multilateral or global treaties.
Read the whole thing: Thank you, America!

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

EU to UK: Get out!

By Donald Sensing

THE European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has given Britain its marching orders after the British people voted to leave the European Union.

Talking from Brussels after an emergency meeting with EU leaders, Mr Juncker told Britain the other 27 member states wanted to negotiate its exit plan “as soon as possible, however painful this process will be”.
Sort of like this:

The EU Titanic, flaming falling ruin

By Donald Sensing






Brexit
Within 24 hours of the Brexit victory its disruptive effects made many argue it was a mistake; that it would not be long before a repentant Britain was pushing its face against the cold glass doors of the Euro cafe, wistfully eyeing the delicacies now out of its foolish reach.  Yet others have argued in the same breath it would be Europe with its face pressed against the glass, longing the other way round. For example Jamie Kirchick writes in the NY Daily News that an EU without Britain would be easy meat for Russia.
An E.U. without Britain is also more prone to appease Russia, which today poses a greater threat to European security than at any point since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Soon to be a body dominated by France and Germany, where voices demanding accommodation with a revanchist Moscow grow louder every day, the E.U. is increasingly likely to lift sanctions on Russia regardless of its behavior in Ukraine. Indeed, if there is one world leader of whose reaction to Brexit we can be confident, it is Vladimir Putin, unquestionably delighted that the largest military power in Europe, and its strongest proponent of democratic freedom in Europe’s east, has decided to call it quits.
Come back, Lord Shane!  Come back!
Kirchick is right about the EU's vulnerability as far as it goes.  It's a fair bet that there'll always be an England.  Less certain is whether there will always be an EU, a fact of which the public will be reminded when Putin's adventures, rising bond rates and refugee flows creep back into the news.   As soon as the focus returns to why the UK bailed in the first place the proper sympathy will shift from the poor Britons in a flimsy rowboat to Europeans still trapped on the Titanic.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Get ready for Frexit (or Franxit, maybe)

By Donald Sensing

The ripples from yesterday's Brexit vote are only now starting. The UK may break up itself, now.


The success of the Brexit vote has already caused Scotland's independence party to start talking again about that country's secession from the United Kingdom. A Scotland referendum two years ago to declare separation garnered 45 percent of the vote, so failed. (I remember reading then that a higher percentage of Englanders supported Scottish secession than Scots did!)

But why stop with Scotland? Today, some Londoners themselves are calling for breaking away from England and re-entering the EU as a small city-state. More than 46,000 Londoners have already signed a petition for a referendum to that effect.

What is unclear from reports is which London they refer to. London has never been a single political entity. What we think of a London actually consists of the City of London and Greater London, aka the London Metropolis.

The city of London dates to early in the region's Roman era and is also a county in itself. By ancient law and tradition, the British monarch may not enter the City of London without advance permission from the Lord Mayor of the City of London, an office separate from (and much older than) the Mayor of London. (BTW, the adjacent City of Westminster also holds equal city status with the City of London.)

"The City," as the City of London is called, is small, only 1.1 square miles, which is to say, a little more than 700 acres. Its population is about 7,000.

Despite its small size, it is the financial center of Metro London.

I am guessing that separatists are referring, though, to Metro London for two reasons:

1. Seven times more people have petitioned for a referendum than live in The City,

2. Metro London's Mayor Sadiq Khan has already been publicly asked whether he'd like to be President Khan.

The ripples go on from there throughout not just the UK, but the Commonwealth. The Brexit is likely to reignite the long-simmering dispute between Spain and Britain over Gibraltar. There is already a "Frexit" movement building across the channel in France. (And yes, I just made that word up and will take credit for it henceforth! Also "Franxit.")

As Bachman-Turner Overdrive once sang, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

This is almost certainly correct, too: "Brexit is an English nationalist revolution"
Make no mistake: this is an English nationalist revolution.

At its heart are all of the things the English used to see as the province of other, less rational, nations: identity, difference, the deep passions of belonging and resentment. It did not, in the end, matter that no one on the Brexit side could articulate a coherent economic case for leaving the EU. It did not even matter that those who will take over from David Cameron will be right-wing market fundamentalists whose policies will deepen the very inequalities and alienation that have driven working class voters towards Leave. It did not even matter that the very entity in whose name independence is being claimed — the United Kingdom — is surely doomed by Brexit.
Hardly covered by American media, a nationalist movement in England has been growing for many years.

See also: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/london-wants-independence-spain-wants-gibraltar-back-the-world-reacts-to-brexit

Update, humor break:


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

And now a break for something beautiful

By Donald Sensing

Courtesy American Digest:

If I ever worried that I’d run out of weird and wonderful new life to blog about, that fear has long been laid to rest. Take, for instance, this stunning jellyfish, discovered just four days ago by NOAA’s ship Okeanos Explorer and its ROV Deep Discoverer on the Enigma Seamount near the Mariana Trench 2.3 miles beneath the surface (3,700 meters). I recommend enlarging.



It almost looks photoshopped. But it’s real.

Scientists believe this animal belongs to the genus Crossota, a group of jellies that does not have a sessile polyp stage; all phases of their lives are ocean drifters. They also believe this animal is an ambush predator – note the posture it had assumed in the first half of the video: its bell motionless with its tentacles outstretched like the struts of a spider’s web, waiting for something to bumble into them. The red canals, they suggest, appear to connect the bright yellow objects, which may be gonads.

Okeanos Explorer and Deep Discoverer will be probing the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands over the next nine or so weeks, looking for new hydrothermal vents; mud volcanoes; deep-sea coral, sponges and fish; seamounts; subduction zones; and, of course, parts of the famous trench, the world’s deepest.
Read more.

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I rest my case

By Donald Sensing

My case:

My liberal colleagues don't know anything about guns. They do not know what the gun-crime rate is in America, what it's trendline is and they do not know that the most heavily gun-controlled cities in the country also have the highest murder rate. They do not know that one of those cities, Chicago, suffers an Orlando-equivalent every month. Every. Month. (And it's getting worse.)

They do try to assess whether their same old ideas about banning "assault rifles" would be workable. They do not know what the effect of the 1994-2004 ban was. They cannot define what an "assault rifle" is except to parrot Obama's latest bumper-sticker-slogan, "military-style weapons." They do not know that Obama himself has said that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to own firearms. They do not know that the US Supreme Court has ruled the same in multiple cases (and the few who do know simply dismiss the rulings as wrong).

They do not know because they do not care. They just want firearms to be outlawed for everyone, everywhere. That being so, actual knowledge about the difference between automatic and semi-automatic, between clip and magazine, between the No Fly List and the Terrorist Watchlist and the Democrats' desire to dispense with due process to forbid people from buying guns -- all such information is irrelevant and unimportant. They just want everyone to be disarmed.

That's why the gun-control debate in the country is over.

It's done. Each side knows full well what the other wants and where they stand. There is no more "dialog" or compromise to be had. The two sides are not reconcilable. Period. 
And why I rest it:

Senator Murphy: Not Fair To Judge Gun Control Based On Whether It Works
During the June 19 airing of ABC’s This Week, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) dodged questions regarding the impotency of his gun control proposal by suggesting it is not fair to judge gun control based on whether it works.

Murphy made the suggestion in an exchange with host Jon Karl, after Karl pointed out that Murphy’s push to expand background checks to gun shows had no relevance to the details of the Pulse Orlando attack. In fact, Karl said, “Your proposal would have done nothing in the case of Orlando, it would have done nothing to stop the killing in San Bernardino.”  
Karl added that Murphy’s push to expand background checks to gun shows would not have stopped the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary either. He then asked why Murphy was spending so much energy proposing legislation that has nothing to do with the “massacre” in Orlando?

... Murphy responded by saying:
So first of all, we can’t get into that trap. I disagree, I think if this proposal had been into effect it may have stopped the shooting. But we can’t get into the trap in which we are forced to defend our proposal simply because it didn’t stop the last tragedy.
In other words, Murphy is saying it is not fair to judge gun control based on whether it works.
So there you are.

Update: "America Is Awash In Guns, And Crime Is At Record Lows"
What about so-called “assault weapons?” The FBI divides firearms into handguns and rifles, with the rifles category covering everything from the little .22-caliber rifles kids shoot at summer camps to the dreaded AR-15. In last year’s “Uniform Crime Report,” the FBI listed the number of homicides committed with rifles since 2010. (A few thousand homicides each year are committed with firearms of undetermined type — most likely handguns. These are numbers for confirmed rifle deaths.) The numbers are: 367 in 2010; 332 in 2011; 298 in 2012; 285 in 2013; and 248 in 2014.

This decline in confirmed homicides by rifle coincided with a massive increase in the number of “assault rifles” Americans own. From 2010-2014, sales of semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 rose 28 percent per year, the Los Angeles Times reported on June 13. So while the number of rifles in circulation was increasing dramatically, the number of confirmed murders committed by someone using a rifle fell by almost one-third. During the same time, the number of homicides committed with handguns fell by 9 percent.

The data produce one inescapable conclusion: The entire premise for a new “assault weapons” ban — that the proliferation of “assault weapons” has led to unprecedented carnage — is completely untrue. 
Yep.

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Why the gun debates are over

By Donald Sensing

In Support Of A Total Ban on Civilians Owning Firearms

I support the argument that the United States should enact a total ban on civilians owning firearms.

Oh, I don't support the ban. I support the argument.

I support the argument because it's honest and specific. It doesn't hide the ball, it doesn't refuse to define terms, it doesn't tell rely on telling people they are paranoid or stupid in their concerns about the scope of the ban. The argument proposes a particular solution and will require the advocate to defend it openly.

That elevates it above most gun control dialogue.
Read the whole thing.

This essay is so dead on target that I wondered whether writer Ken White had been listening to conversations I've had with my liberal colleagues. Ken observes the "debate" in relation to what Leftists actually know about firearms (which is to say, almost nothing) and therefore how they dismiss any counter-claim for accuracy of terminology:
I want advocates to learn the difference so I can have some level of confidence that I know what kind of proposed government power we're debating. Right now the debate seems choked with people who don't know, are proud of not knowing, and think you're a redneck gun-nut asshole if you want them to know because they feel very strongly about this. I decline to take that seriously.
And so exactly in my own attempts are conversations: My liberal colleagues don't know anything about guns. They do not know what the gun-crime rate is in America, what it's trendline is and they do not know that the most heavily gun-controlled cities in the country also have the highest murder rate. They do not know that one of those cities, Chicago, suffers an Orlando-equivalent every month. Every. Month. (And it's getting worse.)

They do not try to assess whether their same old ideas about banning "assault rifles" would be workable. They do not know what the effect of the 1994-2004 ban was. They cannot define what an "assault rifle" is except to parrot Obama's latest bumper-sticker-slogan, "military-style weapons." They do not know that Obama himself has said that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to own firearms. They do not know that the US Supreme Court has ruled the same in multiple cases (and the few who do know simply dismiss the rulings as wrong).

They do not know because they do not care. They just want firearms to be outlawed for everyone, everywhere. That being so, actual knowledge about the difference between automatic and semi-automatic, between clip and magazine, between the No Fly List and the Terrorist Watchlist and the crushing implications of Democrats' unConstitutional desire to dispense with due process to forbid people from buying guns -- all such information is irrelevant and unimportant. They just want everyone to be disarmed.

That's why the gun-control debate in the country is over.

It's done. Each side knows full well what the other wants and where they stand. There is no more "dialog" or compromise to be had. The two sides are not reconcilable. Period. And as usual, the Left wants to demonize and lie about the motives of their opponents. That's why the Senate Dems voted down a R.-sponsored bill to prevent Watch-listed persons from buying firearms while protecting their due-process Constitutional rights, and then grandstanded when the Republicans voted down the Dems' bills that would have shot to pieces due process under the law.

The whole point of that kabuki dance was to give the Dems a chance to go before the cameras and talk shows and accuse the Republicans of literally murderous intent and of wishing to arm ISIS. Yes, they did that.

And the Dems had no other goal than that.

And Constitutional protections? Done with them:



Presumption of innocence of the accused? Burden of proof on the government? Done with that, too:



It was a nice freedom while we had it.

Update: Hot Air adds,
Not 24 hours ago, Senate Democrats had the chance to vote on a bill that would have given them the core of what they want, namely, DOJ power to block gun purchases by anyone on a terror watch list. All they had to do was make a simple concession to due process by requiring the feds to go to court and show their work, proving to a judge within three days of the attempted purchase that the person on the list was actually dangerous. Too many innocent people have been put on watch lists erroneously to grant the federal government power to strip them of their rights with no judicial safeguard. That was the Cornyn bill; it died in the Senate, 53/47, when Democrats refused to give it the 60 votes it needed for cloture. The left killed the bill only because it provided due process to gun owners. Even the ACLU is aghast:
Our nation’s watchlisting system is error-prone and unreliable because it uses vague and overbroad criteria and secret evidence to place individuals on blacklists without a meaningful process to correct government error and clear their names…
The government contends that it can place Americans on the No Fly List who have never been charged let alone convicted of a crime, on the basis of prediction that they nevertheless pose a threat (which is undefined) of conduct that the government concedes “may or may not occur.” Criteria like these guarantee a high risk of error and it is imperative that the watchlisting system include due process safeguards—which it does not. In the context of the No Fly List, for example, the government refuses to provide even Americans who know they are on the List with the full reasons for the placement, the basis for those reasons, and a hearing before a neutral decision-maker.
I explained in some detail the nature and implications of the No Fly List a year and a half ago. See here.

Meanwhile, in Washington DC:



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Eric Holder's gun-ban list of 'mental defectives' is mostly veterans

By Donald Sensing

Eric Holder's gun-ban list of 'mental defectives' is mostly veterans - Washington Times

Funny how the DOJ identifies as ineligible to own guns the largest group of people in the country who actually know how to use guns. As the great political analyst Yogi Berra said, "It's too coincidental to be a coincidence."

I am old enough to recall when Democrats would have all recoiled at the idea that someone's Constitutional rights could be denied just because their name got secretly put on a secret government list, without recourse by law. But apparently not any more.

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