Thursday, June 10, 2021

Living In A Changing World, or Time For A New Atlas?

When I was a kid, I was taught there were certain constants, like there being Nine Planets in our Solar System, and there were Four Oceans on our planet.   

Well, Pluto got demoted, and I have to consciously remember there are only 8 planets in the solar system along with scores and scores of dwarf planets - and that while planetary moons can be satellites, our moon is not a satellite of earth.  There is some argument that the Earth and Moon actually are a binary planet system  because the same rule that demoted Pluto, actually established that the Moon meets the 3 criteria to be a Planet! (So technically we may be back to nine planets).  

If that all were not confusing enough,  according to National Geographic, we now have 5 Oceans instead of 4.   National Geographic will now update its Atlases and maps to show the Southern Ocean - which surrounds the continent of Antarctica.  

We lost a planet (maybe) but gained an Ocean.  

Now I have to buy a new National Geographic Atlas .  ok, to be fair, the old atlas shows a big country that crosses from Europe into Asia- The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics- and of all the countries in Europe I had to memorize the names and locations of for a test, probably less than half still exist- of course they are all still in that atlas - so maybe I am due for a new one anyway!


Sunday, June 6, 2021

A GOOD Ruling from A California Court

I must again praise US District Judge Roger Benitez of the District Court of Southern California.  This praise is for his opinion in Miller v Bonta which was released on Friday.   At issue is the so called “Assault Weapons” Ban imposed by the People’s Republic of California.  Not only did Judge Benitez, in no uncertain terms, strike down the ban; he also addressed in the introduction of his ruling, the misconception that AR-15’s (etc) are used in a high percentage of homicides. 

From the introduction:
“One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter. Federal Bureau of Investigation murder statistics do not track assault rifles, but they do show that killing by knife attack is far more common than murder by any kind of rifle. In California, murder by knife occurs seven times more often than murder by rifle. For example, according to F.B.I. statistics for 2019, California saw 252 people murdered with a knife, while 34 people were killed with some type of rifle – not necessarily an AR-15.2 A Californian is three times more likely to be murdered by an attacker’s bare hands, fists, or feet, than by his rifle.3 In 2018, the statistics were even more lopsided as California saw only 24 murders by some type of rifle.4 The same pattern can be observed across the nation.”
Unfortunately, although Judge Benitez imposed a permanent injunction upon California enforcement of the ban, the State of California will appeal, and that appeal will go to the 9th Circuit.   If historical precedent holds, a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit will hear the case.  If the three judge panel agrees with Judge Benitez (they have previously on 2nd Amendment cases such as Duncan v Becerra) - the case will be heard by the ENTIRE 9th Circuit- which will of course strike down any case that holds in favor of the 2nd Amendment as a matter of course, just as they did in Peruta v San Diego and 
Young v Hawaii