Libertarian Candidate Silliness
Sometimes I don't know what the Libertarians are thinking when they run for office. It's like their running just to run, without really planning on winning.
Case in point: the Libertarian candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Washington, Jocelyn Langlois. The campaign site is pretty vauge, but I think the central theme of her candidacy is the abolition of the office she's running for.
Stupid things like this are one of the reasons I consider myself a small 'l' libertarian, but don't formally register as a big 'L' Libertarian. If you don't plan on winning, why bother playing? The libertarian philosophy as well as the Libertarian Party would be much better served by using the resources to support candidates for office who plan on winning and doing something with the office when they do.
Another Reason Not to Vote for Him
Kerry Named Enemy of Property Rights
John Kerry managed to score ZERO for each of the last five years on the Private Property Congressional Vote Index.
Doesn't respect gun rights. Doesn't respect property rights. Pretty much doesn't respect the people of this country, unless he needs them to vote for him.
Counting on People Not Paying Attention
So ABC News has produced a report that purports to show that the unaccounted for explosives being ranted about by John Kerry and his campaign adjuncts in the MSM were there after U.S. troops took control of the site, and not merely after they passed through on their way to other objectives in Baghdad.
I've seen the video, showing our troops poking through various bunkers and large stacks of crates and barrels bearing the orange "EXPLOSIVE 1.1D" labels. Being a military guy, and having been in munitions dumps (or, in Army parlance, Ammo Supply Points, or ASPs) I've seen such things before. Just about everything the Army uses that goes boom falls into the 1.1D category-det cord, grenades, mortar and artillery shells, rockets, etc. (The other big category that I've experienced is 1.4, small arms ammo.) And we already know that this was a large munitions stockpile. Jim Geraghty at NRO's Kerry Spot goes into a good bit of detail on why this video probably doesn't really prove anything.
But Geraghty misses one thing: the explosives in question, the ones whose 'disappearance' was leaked by Mr. Al Baradei, head of the IAEA, are not just any explosives. They are specific lots of explosives, that had been inventoried and tagged by the IAEA because they were potentially useful in building the detonation systems for nuclear weapons (most conventional military and civilian explosives are not usuable for this application). Whether it was 3 tons or 377, it had all been tallied by the IAEA at some point, and recorded as being at al Qaqaa. These specific explosives were not in the depot when our troops got there.
And nothing in the video, at least from what I've seen, shows that they were. I didn't see a single crate or drum bearing any kind of IAEA or UN marking.
But ABC and the MSM are counting on Joe
Indecisive Undecided Voter not to have been paying attention past the "missing explosives" part of the story. And the sad part is, they're probably right.
Land Grabbing in the Evergreen State
Say Uncle has posted a bunch of great stuff on eminent domain abuse. But governments don't have to actually take your property away from you to steal it. King County and Pierce County in Washington (home to Seattle and Tacoma, respectively), the two largest (by population) counties in the state, both recently passed land use ordinances which deny rural landowners property rights.
From the Seattle Times:
Early this morning [King County] council members passed the clearing-and-grading ordinance — the most controversial part of the package. The ordinance will allow rural landowners to clear only 35 to 50 percent of their land, depending on the parcel size.
Yesterday's action came six days after the Pierce County Council became the first in the state to adopt a tough clearing rule that requires rural residential landowners to keep 65 percent of their land in native vegetation.
So, basically, if you own a chunk of undeveloped land in either of those counties and you want to build something one it, like, say, a golf course or a shopping center, or even just some barns, you'd better not use more of your land than the county says. Local TV commentator Ken Schram, whom I have given a couple of nasty fisking over his position on guns, sums the situation up quite well:
With these new ordinances, up to 65% of rurally zoned property can't be touched.
You may own it, but the county controls it.
It's one thing to take care with the environment, quite another to basically steal someone's property.
The quote alludes to the counties' reasoning for their land grab: to protect 'the environment,' specifically, salmon. These two governments have basically given a bunch of fish ownership of people's land.
Landowners have promised legal challenges to both laws. I'm not sure of what precendent say on this specific issue, but I'm sure the New London case now before the Supreme Court will effect any challenge. Hopefully these two pinko counties get the spanking they deserve.
Terrorists Want You to Vote for Kerry
From the Washington Times via Best of the Web:
"If the U.S. Army suffered numerous humiliating losses, [Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John] Kerry would emerge as the superman of the American people," said Mohammad Amin Bashar, a leader of the Muslim Scholars Association, a hard-line clerical group that vocally supports the resistance.
"American elections and Iraq are linked tightly together," he told a Fallujah-based Iraqi reporter. "We've got to work to change the election, and we've done so. With our strikes, we've dragged Bush into the mud."
Among the MSM, only the Washington Times picked up this story.
Question in Search of an Answer
Was flipping through channels last night and saw a question, I think as part of a promo for Sean Hannity's interview with President Bush, the question: How can we best work to bring about peace in the Middle East?"
My first thought was, "Nuke everything that isn't Israel."
But that's not very politically correct.
On Order, Hang a Blue Star in the Window
I knew this would come sooner or later, and had the post title picked out a long time ago. It's finally here. My wife has been battle rostered by her Reserve unit (her MOS is 38A, Civil Affairs) for mobilization in March and subsequent deployment to Iraq. She'll be spending a full year in country, total mobilization time of 14-15 months.
As a husband and Infantry officer, my feelings about this are tremendously mixed. I want her to be able to do whatever makes her happy, and she is truly excited about going on an operational deployment. As a soldier, she wants to be part of the fight. I can't very well argue with that since I do as well.
But I'm also scared shitless about the whole thing. As an Infantry officer, my job is to defend my country, putting my ass on the line is expected. As a husband a father, my job is to protect my family. Now one of the two most important people in my life will be going where I can't do a damn thing to protect her. As part of a Civil Affairs team, she'll be doing one of the most exposed jobs in one of the most dangerous places to be an American (not to mention an American woman) soldier in the world. And I can't preotect her. And that terrifies me.
One of the referrals to my blog came from a search for "Cameron+Diaz+Oprah+voting+for+rape"
Less Taxes for Me! More Money for Guns!
President Bush on Friday signed the corporate tax "reform" bill-it's not really reform, it just adjusts the tax code to bring it into compliance with the WTO. Among the provisions of the bill is a clause that will reinstate the sales tax deduction on federal income taxes for residents of states that do no have a state income tax.
Since I am a legal resident of one of those states, Washington, presumably this will net me a bigger tax refund at the end of the year. Which means more money for guns and gun related stuff. How much money remains to be seen. Another complication is the fact that, while I'm legally a resident of Washington, where the sales tax in my home county is 8%, thanks to the Army I physically reside in South Carolina, where the sales tax is 5%. I can't wait to spend endless hours trying to get straight answers out of the clods on the IRS help line.
Now, my takes on the Good News/Bad News parts of this:
Good News: Every penny less going to the Feds is good news.
Bad News 1: This is the kind of money that you only get back at the end of the year. Which means that you're giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan for part of the year.
Bad News 2: It expires at the end of 2005.
Bad News 3: It's yet another addition to the federal tax code, which is already more bloated than Michael Moore.
Just because I see more bad points than good ones doesn't mean I'm not going to take full advantage of this while I can, though.
The NRA Weighs In
It looks like the Senate race here in South Carolina is going to be closer than it probably should be (or even would have been, if Jim DeMint hadn't said a couple of importune things). So I guess the NRA has decided that spending some money here is prudent.
The spot, as would be expected, on Second Amendment rights, but not on gun rights/control legislation. The spot focused instead on judges, or, more spcifically, Supreme Court Justices. Certain Democrats (Schumer and Kennedy were named) have stated that they will oppose any SCOTUS nominee who supports an individual rights interpretation of the Second Amendment. And any Democrat elected to the Senate, regardless of their stated position on firearm rights, will probably side with them.
In my opinion, this is an issue that hasn't received enough attention, especially in Senate races in pro-gun states where even the Democrat candidates are more supportive of gun rights than some GOP senators from, say, Illinois, Connecticut, or Maine. I really wish, in one of the candidate debates here, that someone would have asked Inez Tenenbaum if she would support the continuing filibusters of many Bush judicial appointees, and whether they would apply any Second Amendement litmus test to any potential SCOTUS nominees, as if so, in what direction. The same applies to Democrat candidates in states like Oklahoma and Louisiana. The courts are the last refuge of the Left, and I fully expect them to defend it like the Red Army defending Stalingrad. All the more reason we need overwhleming numbers in the Senate.
Am I a Bad Person?
I watched a bit of The History Channel's group of shows on the Battle of the Atlantic last night, specifically the show about the sinking of the Bismark.
Everytime I see a show about that ship, I can't help but wish that, just once, the Bismark would win. I know, she was a Nazi ship, and Nazis are one of the worst things to come out of the 20th century (coming in, in my book, a distant second to Global Communism). But she was a beautiful ship nonetheless, one of the last great expressions of the big gun battleship.
However, even if she hadn't suffered the fateful torpedo hit to her steering gear and had made port in France, she probably never would have returned to the Atlantic, and would have been sunk at her moorings like her sister, the Tirpitz.
For as much money as was spent on them, and how much they were feared, the Dreadnaught style big gun ships really weren't a major influence on naval warfare, from what I can tell. Jutland, the Bismark, and the Imperial Japanese Navy's last major offensive in the Philippines are the only major sea battles they fought that I can think of. Of those, only the last was really decisive in any way. Their biggest contribution was in the shore bombardment role, at which they excelled.
But back to my original point: wanting the Bismark to win doesn't amke me a bad person, does it?