So Much For Background Checks

Like everyone here I was saddened to read of the mass shooting that happened in Illinois last week.  Dude got laid off, pulled a gun and started shooting, killing six and wounding several more, including cops.  I was expecting to have ILGov Fatboi Pritzker immediately start calling for more stringent gun control laws etc., and was wondering what was taking him so long.  Here’s probably why the delay:

The chief also released new details about Martin’s criminal background and the weapon in the shooting.
Martin should have been legally barred from purchasing a gun due to his felony record. He had a 1995 conviction for aggravated assault for stabbing a woman in Marshall County, Mississippi.
However, in January 2014, Martin applied for and was issued an Illinois Firearm Owners Identification (FOI) card, which is required to own or purchase a gun in Illinois.
On March 6 2014, Martin applied to purchase a handgun at a licensed dealer in Aurora. Five days later, he took possession of a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber revolver, the same type of gun described as the weapon in Sunday’s shooting.
On March 16 2014, Martin applied for a Concealed Carry permit in an unknown location. He was fingerprinted during the background check, and his prior felony conviction came to light during the background check.
At the discovery, Martin’s CCW application was rejected, and his FOI card was revoked. He apparently retained possession of the handgun, however.
Ziman was unable to explain why the felony conviction did not prevent Martin from obtaining a FOI card in the first place, merely saying it was possible that it would not have been discovered until the more rigorous CCW check.

So much for the much-vaunted background checks we’re always hearing about.  Illinois screwed up, and six people died because of it.  I would hope that the murdered people’s families initiate a class-action lawsuit for negligence against the state, because a law unenforced isn’t a law.  Of course, Illinois is bankrupt because they’re paying off (or not even paying) excessively-high entitlements to former government workers, so the lawsuit might be a waste of time.  And needless to say, the gnomes at the IL State Police (representing “police power”, see below) won’t be fired for negligence because unions.

One last thing about the choirboy’s gun:  S&W doesn’t make a revolver chambered in .40 S&W, so it must have been a semi-automatic pistol  (Clueless Journalism 101).


State of Illinois constitution, Article I, Section 22:
“Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Danger On The Loose

…that would be the man known to young girls and women all over as “Carlos Danger”, of course.

Yes, The Weiner has been sprung from jail:

The former Democratic congressman from New York had faced up to 27 months in jail after his guilty plea to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor.
Prosecutors said he broke the law by having illicit contact with a 15-year-old girl using Skype and Snapchat.
Weiner’s sexting habit destroyed his career in congress, his campaign for mayor and his marriage to Huma Abedin, a former aide to Mrs Clinton.

That was three bullets dodged (although terrorsymp and Hillary lickspittle-in-chief Huma Abedin probably deserved all she got — or didn’t get — from the little weasel).

No doubt the shameless cockroach will soon announce that he’ll be in the POTUS race for 2020… although the more I think about it, he’s really not much worse than many of the current  Socialist wannabes.

Tragedy

As Longtime Readers may know, one of my favorite stops when I’m in Britishland is Patisserie Valerie, which makes some of the best pastries I’ve ever tasted (along with outstanding croissants at breakfast time).  Apparently, quality merchandise hasn’t been enough:

Patisserie Holdings plc announces today that, as a direct result of the significant fraud referred to in previous announcements, it has been unable to renew its bank facilities, and therefore regrettably the business does not have sufficient funding to meet its liabilities as they fall due.
As a consequence, the directors have appointed partners at KPMG as administrators to the company and its various subsidiaries.
The Chairman Luke Johnson has personally extended an unsecured, interest-free loan to help ensure that the January wages are paid to all staff working in the ongoing business.
This Loan will also assist the administrators in trading as many profitable stores as possible while a sale process is undertaken.

Needless to say, stores will be closed and people will lose their jobs.

This after one of its senior executives siphoned money out of the place to support his jet-set lifestyle.  And if I could get hold of the asshole, his legal and financial problems would be the least of his problems.

Yes, I take my pastries that  seriously.

Buh-Bye

Apparently, these cars are going to disappear (or at least cease production) in 2019, and I can’t say I’m going to miss any of them.  The only one I’d accept as a gift would be the VW Touareg (unkindly nicknamed “Toe-rag” by the Top Gear morons):

…and that only because the Touareg is essentially a larger version of the Tiguan.

…and as any fule kno, I’m a longtime VW devotee (nine VWs in my life so far, and counting).

My current Tiguan is my second, and unless something unforeseen happens before then, I’ll just replace it with a similar model when the time comes.

When you have a winning formula, why mess with it?

I CAN’T HEAR YOU

Somebody note the date:  I agree almost completely with The Atlantic magazine, at least as far as this article is concerned (thankee, Insty), and I urge you to read it all, if you have the time:

Restaurants are so loud because architects don’t design them to be quiet.  Much of this shift in design boils down to changing conceptions of what makes a space seem upscale or luxurious, as well as evolving trends in food service.  Right now, high-end surfaces connote luxury, such as the slate and wood of restaurants including The Osprey in Brooklyn or Atomix in Manhattan.
This trend is not limited to New York.  According to Architectural Digest, mid-century modern and minimalism are both here to stay.  That means sparse, modern decor;  high, exposed ceilings; and almost no soft goods, such as curtains, upholstery, or carpets.  These [minimalist] design features are a feast for the eyes, but a nightmare for the ears.  No soft goods and tall ceilings mean nothing is absorbing sound energy, and a room full of hard surfaces serves as a big sonic mirror, reflecting sound around the room.

Now add over-loud “background” music to the clamor as well as noisy patronss (Americans are a loud-spoken bunch at the best of times), and it’s enough to make me order soup just so I can drink it through a straw while holding my hands over my ears.

I’ve bitched about this trend in the past, but mostly to complain about the music selection (tinny pop pablum or bass-heavy rap/R&B).  But last week I had breakfast with Doc Russia in some new (and overpriced) breakfast place, and in a room which contained maybe six paying customers (out of over fifty seats), the noise was so bad (hard surfaces plus loud music) that I longed for my shooting lids.

Come to think of it, I think I’ll start carrying my ear protection with me when I go out from now on, and put them on if the place is too noisy.  My lids are noise-sensitive (with the little volume adjustment thingies on the side) so they are perfectly adequate for conversation.  I will, however, shout loudly at the waiter when ordering my food;  what the fuck, the restaurant clearly doesn’t mind excessive noise, right?

I’m sounding a little flippant about this, but I’m not joking at all.  As it is, my tinnitus makes hearing occasionally difficult, but impossibly-so in a loud environment.

Don’t get me started on “mid-century modern and minimalism; sparse, modern decor; high, exposed ceilings; stainless-steel tabletops, slate-tile floors, and exposed ductwork; and sparse and sleek [decor], with hardwood floors and colorful Danish chairs with tapered legs seated beside long, light-colored wood tables”.  A less inviting scenario for a meal I can’t even begin to imagine.  And please:  don’t give me that crap about how hard surfaces are easier to clean and to keep clean:  that’s putting the needs of the business ahead of those of its customers, which mistake should cause the business to fail quickly — but sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case here, I suspect because we’ve just become accustomed to the clamor.

The article has it right:

The result is a loud space that renders speech unintelligible.  Now that it’s so commonplace, the din of a loud restaurant is unavoidable.  That’s bad for your health—and worse for the staff who works there.  But it also degrades the thing that eating out is meant to [engender]:  a shared social experience that rejuvenates, rather than harms, its participants.

Considering that I go out to eat with friends or family where the primary motivation is social — conversation and companionship — and the food (no matter how fine) a distant second, it should come as no surprise that over time, I have become less and less likely to eat out.

In fact, strike the above thought about taking hearing protection when going out.  In future, I’ll walk into the restaurant and if the clamor is overpowering, I’ll just tell the restaurateur:   “Sorry, but your place is too noisy.  I’m going somewhere quieter.”  And please note that I’m not talking about a restaurant full of people having a good time:  that’s a different situation altogether.  But if the place is noisy because everyone has to scream to make themselves heard over the cacophonous ambiance, then it’s elsewhere I’ll be going.

If enough people follow my example, then maybe — just maybe — we can reverse this bullshit trend whereby function doesn’t just follow form;  it throws it to the floor and suffocates it, noisily.

And by the way:  fuck “mid-century” and “minimalism”.