Democrats’ call for immediate gun control rejected
Republicans have rejected Democrats’ call for immediate gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas mass murder — and rightly so. Legislation passed on impulse after a major news event is almost invariably ill-conceived. Although concealed gun carry, for example, would not have helped in the case of the Las Vegas killings, it has stopped cold a number of other would-be mass killings. And in any case, the Las Vegas killings were not by gun but by rifle.
The killings may have been magnified, however, by the use of bump stocks, which are legal in Nevada but can adapt a semi-automatic rifle to nearly automatic rates of fire.
What Republicans and Democrats should be able to unite on, not through legislation but rather public agreement, is that statements inciting murderous hatred of opponents is not acceptable. CBS did the right thing in firing one of its executives who did just that in a Facebook post.
Is “playing the race card” by Democrats a blood libel?
Six U.S. citizens win Nobel Prizes, one an immigrant
Three U.S. physicists were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics today for their work in confirming the existence of gravitational waves. This creates a whole new way to observe the universe besides light and more exotic portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. One of the three, Rainer Weiss, came to the U.S. in 1939 as a refugee from Nazi Germany. In press conferences, the three scientists emphasized that thousands of scientists and engineers had contributed to the discoveries for which they were being honored. The collaborative nature of work in the contemporary sciences could renew debate over Charles Murray’s thesis in Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 that contemporary science is a falling-off relative to 19th and early 20th century achievements by individual geniuses. Or not, given Albert Einstein’s role in first predicting gravity waves.
Yesterday, three other U.S. scientists received the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine for their work on the circadian (daily clock) cycles found in almost all living species, including humans.
Flu shot time
Most living creatures are also influenced by seasonal cycles, and flu season is coming up soon. October is probably the ideal month to get the flu shots the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends for almost everyone.
Tax reform advice from supporters
The Cato Institute advises President Trump and Republicans to stop promising middle-class tax cuts as the tax reform program is being rolled out — but rather the reform’s fostering of greater economic growth. One of the contributors to the present tax program, Stephen Moore, emphasizes the importance of repudiating the perennially flawed forecasts of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Tax Committee (JTC).
Space travel update
The huge asteroid now hurtling toward Earth won’t hit our home planet, but it does get rather close. This should be one more motivation, besides curiosity, for aggressively pursuing space colonization as a form of species life insurance. A new propulsion technology that would use physics rather than chemistry for launching cargoes and humans into space, StarTram, could be of assistance.