Elect the Great in 2008?

How about 2012? Via Instapundit comes this piece by the great James Lileks. Money quote:

It’s not the e-mail. It’s not the blog. It’s not the Web sites. It’s the computers, and the people behind them, connected like never before. They won’t control the buzz this year. But in 2008? Count on it.

We might be a wee bit early, but things change so fast in internet time.

Here’s the original table of candidates one more time:

The 2008 (Party Name TBD) Ticket!
Position Nominee(s)
President Glenn Reynolds
Vice President Rachel Lucas, Donald Sensing
Sec. of Agriculture Adam H., Julie Neidlinger, Bobby A-G
Sec. of Interior Say Uncle, Kevin Aylward
Sec. of Commerce Jane Galt, Brink Lindsey
Attorney General Eugene Volokh
Sec. of Defense WAR! Donald Sensing, Kim du Toit, Emperor Misha I
Sec. of Labor Mitch Berg
Sec. of Education Connie du Toit, Joanne Jacobs, Thomas Sowell
Sec. of State Steven Den Beste, Bill Whittle, Venomous Kate
Homeland Security Kim du Toit, Emperor Misha I, Charles Johnson
Sec. Energy Laurence Simon
Sec. of Transportation James Lileks, Gary Leff, Patrick Crozier
Sec. of the Treasury Mindles H. Dreck, Daniel W. Drezner
Sec. of Health & Human Svcs. James Lileks, Sydney Smith
Sec. of HUD Aaron the Liberal Slayer
Sec. of Veteran’s Affairs C. Dodd Harris IV
Sec. of EPA (Probably not needed)
Director of OMB Andrew Sullivan
Chief of Staff Bill Whittle,
Press Secretary Bill Quick, Scott Ott, Bill Hobbs, Ken Layne, Virginia Postrel
Director of the Office of Drug Policy (Probably not needed)
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Prather

Ambassadorial and Other Positions
Position Nominee(s)
Amb. to (screw with) the UN Sic Semper Tyrannosaurus
Amb. to France Frank J., Sean Hackbarth
Amb. to Iran (after the revolution) Pejman Yousefzadeh
Amb. to England Andrew Ian Dodge
Amb. to Saudi Arabia Charles Johnson
Amb. to Israel Laurence Simon
Amb. to Germany (or Belgium – he’s not picky) Sean Hackbarth
Amb. to Cuba (after Castro kicks) Steve H.
Amb. to Thailand Kathy Kinsley
Head of CIA/NSA Fred Pruit, Steven Den Beste
National Technology Advisor Eric Raymond
Head of NASA (disassembly of) Jay Manifold, Rand Simberg
Solicitor General Pejman Yousefzadeh
Sec. of Defeated Former Enemies’ Security Jay Manifold
Campaign Chairman/Chief Fundraiser Andrew Sullivan
Undersecretary of WAR! Austin Bay, LT Smash
Chairman, Joint Chiefs LT Smash
Whore Eager for Any Appointment Matt Margolis, Michele Catalano, Tim the Michigander
Director of the BATF Kim du Toit

Nominations are still open, people.

The Blogger Party primaries should be fascinating.

I Knew Most Brits were Gun-Fearing Wussies, but THIS is RIDICULOUS

According to the British paper The Daily Mirror:


Let the Fisking begin! MOST terrifying weapon? It’s a damned 9mm!

THE first fully automatic handgun to surface in the UK – capable of firing 1,100 rounds a minute – has been seized in a police raid.

It is a Glock 18, banned from sale in the US and described as a “monster of a weapon” that fires bullets with the intensity of a high- pressure water hose.

Ooookay. It’s a 9mm handgun (last seen in the 2nd installment of The Matrix trilogy, I believe). And it’s somehow more dangerous than Eastern-bloc AK-47’s that have hit the streets in England?

The ultra-light, Austrian-made gun was discovered in a swoop on the home of a suspected Yardie gangster. Scotland Yard has issued a nationwide alert as they try to find the owner and establish how the weapon got into Britain.

Um, it was smuggled? It’s a handgun. You know; small, concealable. It probably came across on a ferry or through the Chunnel in a box.

It’s not like it’s hard to do.

A Met firearms expert said: “It’s extremely worrying that such a weapon is here. I can’t stress enough just how dangerous this gun is.

Why? You’ve got thousands of other guns, up to and including real assault rifles running around. I’d be far more worried about them.

“If it was fired on the streets of London by someone unused to its immense firing capability, there could be a massacre.

With a 33-round magazine you’re looking at throwing three more rounds downrange than an AK could, and they’d be 9mm rounds, far less dangerous than 7.62×39. You know, the gun that was used to kill Charlene Ellis, 18, and Letisha Shakespeare, 17, on New Year’s day 2003 in London. I think you overestimate its capability.

“Why even a criminal would want to own such a gun is beyond me. It would probably bethe ultimate in gun status-symbols.” The Yard has warned front-line officers about the discovery, which followed a a raid on a residential address in Norwood, South East London.

WE HAVE A WINNER! Ever since they outlawed handguns, they’ve become criminal status-symbols – worn as “fashion accessories” by all the best-dressed thugs.

A force internal report said: “This is the first weapon of its kind to be seized in the UK. It is not issued to any agencies in the UK and is believed to have been imported from the US.”

Right. Got to be our fault, we’re gun-worshipping monsters.

The report said the Glock can fire “armour-piercing ammunition”. It has a compensation device to keep it straight during firing.

*SIGH* Sweet jebus. Armor-piercing ammo? What can’t fire “armor-piercing” ammo? But I suppose whoever smuggled the Glock 18 in also snuck a containerload of Black Rhino ammo, too? How much hysteria can one column generate?

SAS officers use the gun in combat with a 19-round magazine. Israeli security forces and Germany’s GSG-9 anti-terror unit also carry it.

What?!?!? You mean there’s a legitimate use for this engine of destruction?!?!?

British armed police use the semi-automatic Glock 17, also a favourite with criminals.

Pretty damned popular with police, citizens, and criminals here too. Very reliable, if you’re into tactical tupperware.

America banned its import in 1986. US arms expert Walt Rauch said: “Shooting the G18 full-auto is just like turning on a high-pressure hose,”

A high pressure hose that puts out for 1.0 second with a 19-round magazine. Now, reading this, do you assume that the U.S. banned this specific weapon? Or are you aware that in 1986 a law was passed making it illegal to import or manufacture domestically any full-auto weapon for civilian sales? (Employees of the .gov are exempted from this prohibition. They get all the neat toys.)

Det Insp Martin Ward said: “This is something of a monster of a weapon. We are appealing for anyone to come forward in the strictest confidence with information.”

The gun should have a serial number. If it does, you will know when it was manufactured, and where it was sold. If it was originally manufactured as a full-auto Glock 18, and it was sold in the U.S., there will be a paper-trail. If it was sold into Europe, there ought to be one.

What’s the problem? And why are your panties in such a bunch?

Edited to add: You want to see what I think is scary?

“Only Democrats and Dictators are Afraid of Elections”

So said James Hudnall a while back. To that you can now add Danish Liberals, apparently. According to this uncharacteristically short Steven Den Beste piece:

In her new book, Danish Liberal EU spokesperson Charlotte Antonsen questions the use of referenda as a useful way to build up European democracy.

The book – “Towards the European Constitution” warns that the EU could fall apart if the Danish practise of consulting the people in referenda over important EU treaties is copied by other member states.

“Referenda have a very conservative effect on development. If the other countries copy us, the EU will fall apart”, she writes.

Mrs Antonsen, a member of the Danish Parliament for the ruling Liberal party, argues that representative democracy is just as democratic as referenda.

“Referenda are in fact pure gambling. There is no guarantee of a positive outcome, unfortunately”.

Yeah, that’s about it. If they can’t guarantee the outcome then the proles shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

I’ve said a couple of times that the majority of the populace is too stupid to vote. I don’t think too many people disagree with that. BUT that’s the way the system has developed – and quite honestly, it works in spite of itself, because when given the chance the people say “NO!” more often than they say “Yes.” And this is what Ms. Antonsen objects to:

“Referenda have a very conservative effect on development.”

And this is a bad thing…. why?

Because it isn’t progressive, that liberal watchword that means “whatever we want to try this week.” In Liberal v. Conservative: Both are Necessary, my opponent “John Doe” wrote:

“Liberals have a fundamental faith in the ability of humans to better themselves and act appropriately when the situation calls for it.”

But as Ms. Antonsen illustrates, no, they don’t. If they did, they wouldn’t fear referenda and elections where they can’t guarantee the outcome.

It sounds like Ms. Antonsen and “John Doe” are two peas in a pod.

Something I’ve Thought About as Well

Work in Progress has a post up that expounds on thoughts I’ve had as well (Link here.) Snippets:

If I do not want to accept the government in place, I do not have any meaningful options for remaining where I am and avoiding it. If I fail to pay my property taxes, or violate federal, state, or local laws, I shall be imprisoned as surely as if I were a serf on any manor. We do not make a meaningful choice to accept our government in America or anywhere else.

It used to be that if you no longer could accept the situation you were living in, you could pack up your stuff, take a risk, and go where you would be less fettered. That time, I think, is over – and it raises interesting questions insofar as what happens now that there is no longer a safety valve for the disaffected? There are no more mountain men. There is no new frontier. We can’t hop a freighter to the Antares Maelstrom. Mos Eisley exists only on film. Everything and everywhere is regulated.

It is true that we are generally more free now in America than anyone else in the world ever was, though we are at the same time probably the most regulated people that ever was. It stems at least partially, I think, from having a far more complex society due to technology. Both aspects, I mean.

But one question I’ve never been able to shake. Is our modern freedom of speech really around because we believe in it, or because it generally doesn’t matter what anyone says any more. I cannot shake the notion that people used to be persecuted for what they said because it used to be thought that what they said mattered. Now no one cares what idiocy anyone espouses, but it seems like that’s largely because no one takes it seriously.

An excellent point – especially for us doing our (admittedly tiny) part here on the electronic soapbox.

Does what we say matter? Are we ignored because nobody takes it seriously?


Quote of the Day

An anonymous quickie:

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.


Busy as Hell, No Posting ‘Till Later

In the mean time, Alphecca has his weekly Gun Bias check up. The pro-gun side is way behind.

Sunday was Publicola’s blogoversary. Drop in and congratulate him.

If you have some spare time on your hands (I wish) the Feces Flinging Monkey links to this penguin-whacking game. My best (on Sunday) 325.1 meters. (Damn! The link’s down.)

The Geek with a .45 comments on my post,“Five Month Investigation, 10 Tracer Rounds, Two Felony Convictions.” He expands eloquently on the pont of my rant.

AlphaPatriot has good stuff. Start at the top and work down.

And, of course, there’s the list of “Best Posts” over there on the left to keep you busy. Remember, this is BlogSnot, so if clicking the link doesn’t take you right to the correct post, scroll up until you see the “Best Posts” list and click the link again. Second time ought to do it.

Thanks for visiting. I’ll try to have some new content up tonight.

Another Reason, I Absolutely, Positively, Will NOT Comply with Licensing or “Safe Storage” Laws

Because they lead to crap like this (from Australia, of course – “Million” Mom chant: “England can do it! Australia can do it! We can too!” – No you can’t, ladies. No you can’t.)

Sorry dad bites bullet

AN apologetic father has urged gun owners to make sure their weapons are properly secured — after his 10-year-old son took a bullet to school. (So?)

After a court hearing yesterday, Robert George Wilton, 38, said his son and other children took bullets to school during the deer-hunting season after teachers asked what they were doing at home. But on the school bus a student grabbed the bullet from the youngster’s bag — and an older student took it to the bus driver. (Again, SO?)

The bus driver’s report led to a visit by Constable Stephen Timmons to the Wilton home at Wilberville on Arthurs Lake in the Central Highlands.

And Robert Wilton ended up being convicted in the Hobart Magistrates Court of storage safety breaches.

And that’s the plan for here.

In the name of “gun SAFETY“.

The court heard Constable Timmons had asked to see where Wilton stored his rifles and ammunition and was shown a safe in the main bedroom.

Wilton took a key from a key ring hanging from a rack to open the safe which contained four rifles, including one belonging to a friend, the friend’s silencer and ammunition. (At least the Aussies get silencers without a rectal scan from the government.)

The prosecution based its case on the safe key being accessible from the key rack and the fact that the safe was in a visible place.

Want to cut down on the number of legally-owned firearms in the country? Keep changing the regulations – no changes in the law per se, just keep making it harder and more expensive to comply with the specifics of the regulation – and make sure you get some high-profile prosecutions of some poor schmucks who violate the regulation-of-the-week.

Worked real well in England.

Wilton was found guilty at yesterday’s hearing of failing to take all precautions to ensure the safekeeping of firearms and possessing a silencer. (Whoops! Apparently he didn’t have the right paperwork after all. And, you’ll note, the government gets to decide what “all precautions” means, not you.)

He pleaded guilty to failing to comply with firearms storage requirements and ammunition storage requirements for category A weapons.

Convicting Wilton, magistrate Sam Mollard said in his opinion it was a “basic obvious precaution to store a gun safe in a place where it can’t be seen”.

Like, say, at the bottom of a lake? Inside a block of cast concrete? Seen by whom, Mr. Mollard?

Mr Mollard said the same could be said for the safe’s key.


Wilton denied the safe could be seen from outside the house and said it could only be seen inside if the bedroom door was open.

He also said he kept the safe with his car keys and carried them with him all the time except when he hung them on the rack while at home.

Constable Timmons told the court that after speaking to Wilton’s son he was unable to say how the boy obtained the bullet found on the bus.

Mr Mollard said the offences were of “somewhat lesser seriousness than is typically the case” and fined Wilton $300 and ordered he pay levies and costs of $190.

And here’s the kicker:

Outside court, Wilton said the offences had cost him not only the fine but also $3000 worth of rifles, which were confiscated and would be destroyed.

The keen deer hunter said that was the hardest part of the case.

“Looks like it’s put me out of the deer season,” he said.

(Looks like they’ve disarmed you, but then defending yourself or your family with a firearm is already pretty much a no-no in Australia, isn’t it?)

He urged fellow gun owners to ensure they obtained gun safes and made sure they were not clearly visible and that the gun licence holder was the only person who knew where the key to the safe was.

Yes, be good little proles. Obey the (current) regulations, and wait for them change the rules again and try to trip you up. It’s for your own good, really. You’re not qualified.

Wilton will now have to provide a reason why his firearm licence should not be revoked and, if he wants to buy another rifle, police will have to inspect his storage facilities first.

Yes, he’s a good little prole, except for that nasty insistence on owning firearms – which should be restricted only to employees of the government. But they’re fixing that – one subject at a time.

Let’s review: Little Johnny took a round of ammo to school for show-and-tell. On the way home he was accosted by a bully who took said round from little Johnny’s knapsack and then it was carried up and shown to the bus driver. The bus driver, shocked and horrified to learn that something as evil as a round of live ammo was on his bus, then filed a report.

The police are contacted, and the cop in charge of investigating the “safe storage” of guns and ammunition makes a call to little Johnny’s house. Without a search warrant – ’cause they’re not necessary in Australia for this, having a gun license subjects you to warrantless search – the cop in question inspects the premises for compliance with the “safe storage” laws. Now, while he can’t say for sure just where little Johnny got the round in question, he does notice that Dad’s gun safe can actually be seen, and that Dad doesn’t keep the key in his jockey shorts or, preferably, STORED 12″ UP HIS RECTUM.

As a result of this, Dad gets fined $490 (Australian), and loses $3,000 worth of personal property which the state is going to destroy.

And all Dad has to say is “Looks like it’s put me out of deer season.”

Sweet bleeding Jebus.

I WILL NOT license. I WILL NOT register. Ever. Period.

Well, isn’t THIS Interesting?

Seems Muhammed and Malvo originally planned to use a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle, rather than the Bushmaster for their shooting-spree.

Prosecutor: Sniper Plot Hatched Here

SEATTLE — Beltway snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo set up a sniper nest in a Tacoma field more than a month before they began their killing spree, Virginia prosecutors have concluded.

Prosecutors said the pair were preparing or training to kill randomly with a rifle set up on a bipod when they were interrupted by a truck that cut through the field early on Aug. 17, 2002. They abandoned the weapon and fled into the bushes.

“I think it’s fair to say that we believe they were set up to shoot someone. We can’t say who or why,” said James Willett, deputy prosecuting attorney in Prince William County, Va. “Based on their subsequent actions, the random shootings of 10 people, it is a reasonable assumption that they were preparing and training there for what eventually happened here.”

The Seattle Times reported Friday that investigators have traced the Remington Model 700, a rifle commonly used by police sharpshooters, found in the field to a Tacoma man, Earl Lee Dancy Jr., who has admitted he illegally purchased it for Muhammad and then reported it stolen at Muhammad’s request after it was found.

A straw-purchase! Wait ’till you hear where he bought it.

Dancy is under investigation by federal agents for making that purchase. Muhammad, 43, could not legally possess a gun because he was the subject of a domestic-violence protective order. Dancy and Muhammad were friends and Muhammad and Malvo had stayed with him off and on.

Dancy also was the owner of a .45-caliber handgun used to kill Keenya Cook in Tacoma in February 2002. Malvo, 18, has told police and psychiatrists that Muhammad sent him to commit that killing as a test.

A federal law-enforcement source told The Times that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle is contemplating charging Dancy with making false statements on a federal firearms form. The crime is a felony that carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Yet they claim that the Brady Background Check has “stopped” 200k, 300k, 700k or more “prohibited persons” from buying guns. And how many prosecutions have there been for “making a false statement” on the 4473 form?

Don’t you think they’d at least run down the known violent felons they reject?

Dancy, contacted at his home in Tacoma, told the newspaper he was under a “gag order” and could not talk about the case.

Um, “gag orders” come from the bench. I’d understand it if he said “my lawyer told me not to say anything to the press,” but a “gag order”? That’s interesting.

In his testimony during Muhammad’s trial in Virginia last November, Dancy said Muhammad came to him in November 2001, said he needed a rifle and gave him $800 in cash. Dancy bought the gun at Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma.

Yep! It’s obviously the fault of that evil gun dealer!

Over the next several months, Dancy testified, he, Muhammad and Malvo went several times to an outdoor Tacoma shooting range to fire it.

“Did the defendant ever make any remarks to you about Mr. Malvo at the shooting range?” Prosecutor Paul Ebert asked.

“Yeah,” Dancy replied. “He showed me a target and we looked at the grouping and he said, ‘That’s a sniper,”‘ obviously impressed with Malvo’s skill.

When found in the Tacoma field, the gun was loaded with a .308-caliber bullet in the chamber and equipped with a telescopic sight and bipod, used to steady the weapon for more accurate shooting.

Yup, not the lowly .223 varmint round, but the .308 Winchester, a real deer cartridge. People were horrified by what the .223 did, but with the .308 I doubt there would have been a single survivor. Especially if Malvo had used soft-point hunting ammo.

Had they used this rifle, would we now be hearing cries to ban “sniper guns”?

The discovery of the rifle may partially answer one question for investigators, according to the Virginia prosecutors: why Malvo shoplifted a Bushmaster assault rifle, the weapon used in the Beltway shootings, from Bull’s Eye. According to Bull’s Eye employees, the Bushmaster was first noticed missing sometime in August or September 2002 — probably after the Remington was abandoned in the field.

The two guns are significantly different from each other.


The Remington, the weapon found in the field, is a 44-inch-long rifle that can be fired only after the shooter manually operates its bolt action, which ejects a spent casing and reloads the next round for firing. Its magazine carries five bullets. It can shoot accurately at distances of 500 yards or more.

The Bushmaster is roughly 35 inches long and fires a .223-caliber bullet. It is an assault-style weapon that can fire as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger and can be fed with a 30-round magazine. (They had to get that in.) While accurate at up to 250 yards or so, it is not commonly considered a sniper rifle.

The rapidity of fire is immaterial here. Malvo fired one shot at each person during each attack.

People Like This Don’t Care About the Brady Background Check

Or One-gun-a-month, or licensing and registration, or “safe-storage” or any of the “sensible gun laws” that are supposed to make us “safer.”

Raid leads to suspected drug dealer’s arrest – again

A big-time local drug dealer is behind bars again after narcotics investigators raided his Villa Avenue home and found crack cocaine worth thousands of dollars, police said.

Vineland police said they will ask the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to prosecute the suspect, Richard Ellis, on the federal level where penalties are more severe and defendants must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences. Ellis, 41, was being held on $250,000 bail at Cumberland County (New Jersey) Jail following his arrest Tuesday night by the police department’s Narcotics Unit.

“We want this individual put away for a long time,” Detective Stephen Cervini said. “He is a career criminal and a major drug dealer in the city. A search warrant was obtained because we developed information that the suspect was dealing drugs again from his home.”

Detectives said they seized more than 8 ounces of crack cocaine valued at $8,000 to $10,000 along with a small quantity of marijuana. Assisted by a Millville police K-9 team, police said, they found 4 ounces of crack stashed in the gasoline cap of a car registered to Ellis’ girlfriend in the back yard and another 4 ounces hidden under a nearby pile of leaves. More drugs were found in Ellis’ bedroom, police said.

The girlfriend, Janelle Johnson, 25, was released on a $5,000 bail bond on charges of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

The raid occurred while Ellis was out on a $5,000 bail bond following his arrest last March, for which he is awaiting trial on charges of possession of a handgun, a 9 mm assault weapon, two pounds of marijuana and 10 ounces of cocaine. At that time, detectives seized $7,000 and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the Villa Avenue house.

Ellis has a long history with the criminal justice system.

In March 1998, he was sentenced to five years in state prison for possession and distribution of drugs in Cumberland County and received a concurrent three-year term for a similar offense in Atlantic County. He was released from prison in May 2001.

In April 2002, he was charged with violating parole and served another six months behind bars, according to N.J. Department of Corrections records.

Multiple repeat offender, repeatedly let out of jail, still gets his hands on all the drugs and guns that he wants. (Which goes to show the War on (some) Drugsā„¢ works just as well as gun control does.)

Gun control will not disarm people like him, it merely disarms people like us, who are victims of the people this guy has as clients. I’m sure that (before he was arrested – again) he’d have made you a really good deal on a rock of crack and a gun.

No background check, no waiting period.

And no sales tax.