My wife graduates PLDC (that's Primary Leader Development Course-basically, Sergeant School) today. I haven't seen her for two weeks. God, I've missed her.
More from Adopt A Sniper
The website has a list of equipment and other items you can send (or you can just send $$$). I took a look at the first part of the list and thought, "Well, my Christmas list is done."
Sage M14 stocks (Fulton Armory) Mention this project
Quick Disconnect Bi-Pod Adaptors - ARMS # 32 www.mountsplus.com
(Ask for Ned - Mention this project)
Heavy duty foregrips for M16s
Leupold scopes. Any of the tactical line or MK IV's - 1" or 30mm tubes
Leupold CQT - Close Quarter Target Scope
Decent quality mini binos and mini spotting scopes
Leica 1200 rangefinders
Aimpoint Comp M2s www.strategosstore.com
EOTech sights that run on AA Batteries - Night Vision compatible
ARMS M14 Scope Mounts
ARMS Scope Rings
Larue Scope Rings
Badger Ordnacne Scope Rings
MTM Ammo Wallets
MTN Ammo boxes for 20 rounds that will fit a BDU pocket - Brown or Camo
Garmin 12SL GPS
Kestrel 4000 Weather Meters (Any is better than none)
Mil dot masters www.mildot.com
Beretta 9mm pistol magazines (preferably factory mags) or Wolff-brand replacement magazine springs for same
Tactical Sling for DMR Rifle (M14)
CQB slings of all types
Oh, and they also have handy list of companies and groups that support them. Lots of good companies that make cool gear on that list. Good place to start that Christmas shopping.
There May Be Hope for Washington Yet...
No, the election for governor is not over yet...Republican Dino Rossi leads by 261 votes (out of over 2.5 million) after the first count, triggering an automatic recount. So maybe we'll get a new governor for Christmas.
But I found this buried in a Seattle Weekly article: (HT-Orbusmax)
Washington voters ages 18 to 29 made up 12 percent of Election Day poll voters. Again, the rule of thumb would be they would lean Democratic. But again, the rule of thumb would be wrong. These young voters supported Republicans for president (President Bush 49 percent, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry 48 percent), for U.S. Senate (U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt of Spokane 51 percent, incumbent Patty Murray 48 percent), and for governor (Rossi 57 percent, Gregoire 43 percent).
Give us 20 years. We'll make Washington as red as Texas.
On the Subject of Dr. Rice...
If you think the Left is getting insanely nasty (not to mention racist) now, when she's nominated as SecState, can you imagine how loony they would get if, as many (including me) hope, she runs for President in 2008?
The Real American Taliban
The Leftist Commentariat, or at least some of it, has made great noises ever since the election calling evangelical, born-again, and just plain devout Christian Americans, and for that matter any conservative Republican, "fundamentalists" and comparing them to the Taliban and the other Islamofascists.
But who are the real "holy warriors" involved in their own "jihad?" I would have to say it is actually those on the Left. (Put aside for the moment that fact that they seem to loathe religion.) Just take a look at how they behave. They lie shamelessly (Rathergate.) They make outrageous accusations with no basis in fact (i.e. Bush is Hitler.) And just look at the recent barrage of hate and outright racism directed at Condoleezza Rice since her nomination to become Secretary of State, while at the same time they Left accuses Republicans of being racist bigots.
Their behavior becomes very easy to understand when you look at it this way: they see their cause as a holy cause, and they see themselves as "holy warriors" in a "holy war" against the dark forces of the VRWC. In the service of the "god" that is their Cause, anything is excused, because it is for "the Cause."
So who's the real "American Taliban?"
Adopt A Sniper
Somebody needs to tell Kim du Toit about this.
Of course, Kim's already adopted a couple of his own. HT: Instapundit.
More Flat Tax Musings
This thought came to me, as many blinding flashes of the obvious do, while I was conducting nature's business on the can:
Why are many lawmakers (and not just Democrats and other Leftists) so opposed to a flat tax? We already have one. Actually two-the FICA twins, Social Security and Medicare. Everybody pays these at the same rate-about 15%, when you include the employer payroll tax component.
Many of those who favor the current income tax scheme say a flat tax wouldn't be 'progressive,' for some reason believing that to be a legitimate objection. Guess what, folks? The FICA taxes are about as 'regressive' at it gets-there's no personal exemptions or dependant deductions, so even to poorest job holder pays the tax from the very first dollar he earns. And, unlike the income tax, Social Security (I'm not sure about Medicare) taxes just plain stop at a certain level. I think it's around $85,000 this year. Income beyond that is not subject to Social Security taxes. So the higher your income goes, the lower the effective tax rate is. Real progressive, folks.
And yet the same people who oppose the flat rate income tax-which does have personal and dependant deductions, and which taxes all income-can't stand the thought of altering Social Security and Medicare in any way.
The real reason these politicians support the current income tax scheme is because it is a way to buy votes. Every deduction, exemption, and tax credit has an interest group somewhere who enjoy that tax break and don't want it to go away. Likewise, there's a massive lobbying industry whose job is to get ever more deductions, exemptions, and credits written intothat would be largely out of work in a flat tax world. That's the real reason they oppose changing the current system.
Land Use Regulation and 'Takings'
In my previous post Land Grabbing in the Evergreen State, I talked about rural land use laws passed by King and Pierce Counties in Washington state. In today's Seattle Times, columnist Bruce Ramsey discusses the law and the vast cultural divide between the urban (Seattle and Mercer Island) and rural parts (most of the rest of it) of King County.
Edwina Johnson is 71 and working as a substitute teacher in the Seattle Schools. She has no private pension. Her retirement nest egg is a half-interest in 30 acres at Preston, on the south side of I-90 — land that on Jan. 1 will become subject to King County's new Critical Areas Ordinances, under which 65 percent of it must remain undisturbed.
The property has two streams, each so small they run only in the spring. Under the ordinance, the land around these streams is to remain undisturbed.
Among environmental believers, the litany is that such sacrifices are in the public good, and that the heathens who resist them are motivated by "greed." But every piece of property is owned, most often by someone who worked for it. Johnson bought hers in 1977 at a moment of prosperity. She has been taking care of it, and paying taxes on it, ever since.
"They're taking my property for the benefit of the state," she says.
This is not an eminent domain seizure. But it is a seizure just the same-of the portion of the land that must be left as is. And this kind of taking (to use the legal term) is an extremely popular one among the
watermelons green-type Lefties. "It's for the environment."
A legal challenge to the law is being mounted, with the Pacific Legal Foundation litigating on behalf of King County property owners, in addition to three proposed referendums sponsored by the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights to overturn the Council's action. Ramsey goes on to note that there is Supreme Court precedent in this area. The most recent and relevant case is Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Commission. In Lucas case, the state changed the zoning on two lots from housing to wildlife habitat, and said the owner could not build. The Court held that the state had taken Lucas' land without compensation, in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, stated:
the Fifth Amendment is violated when land-use regulation "...denies an owner economically viable use of his land." Agins, supra (emphasis added by Scalia)
regulations that leave the owner of land without economically beneficial or productive options for its use—typically, as here, by requiring land to be left substantially in its natural state—carry with them a heightened risk that private property is being pressed into some form of public service under the guise of mitigating serious public harm.
It seems pretty obvious to me that King (and Pierce) County's law falls into the category as that in Lucas: people owned land, upon which they were allowed to do certain things. Then the County changes the rules, and now land that hadn't already been developed in some way, or at least a significant chunk of it, can't be touched. In effect, the County Council has taken that land away from the owners.
Hopefully, King County will get spanked in court quickly. Given the proclivities of Washington's state courts, and the governing Federal court (9th Circuit), that might not happen. But the precent is clear enough that I can hope.
Idiocy from Canuckistan
HT: LGF. Thomas Walkom of the Toronto Star opines:
When U.S. President George W. Bush arrives in Ottawa — probably later this year — should he be welcomed? Or should he be charged with war crimes?
It’s an interesting question. On the face of it, Bush seems a perfect candidate for prosecution under Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.
Little reminder for the Canuckistanis: I am a member of the 6th United States Infantry Regiment. The Regiment's first three campaign streamers all come from an invasion of Canada about 190 years ago.
Guess what guys? This time the British Army won't save your butts.
Yet another reason...
From Darth VOB:
Dear MoveOn member in Ohio,
Please call Senator Mike DeWine, and urge him to support Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) for chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Phone numbers of Dewine's office...
Do you really need a better reason to oppose him for chairman?
My Buddy Has His Own Personnal Blackhawk Down
'They weren't going to get this bird'
Big article in this weeks Army Times, although the incident actually happened a couple of months ago. Little to no mention in the MSM (probably because no Americans were killed, or am I just being cynical?) The article can be found here, although it's (paid) subscriber only,a nd I'm not one of those. I got the print version.
The gist of the story: an Army Kiowa Warrior scout helo was shot down in a place called Tall Afar. Scout platoon from 5-20 IN (Stryker) moves in to secure the site and comes under extremely heavy fire. Another Stryker unit, Bravo Company, 5-20 IN, is ordered in to reinforce. Bravo moves in under heavy fire, but they're still unable to get into a couple of key buildings to completely secure the site. F-16s on station drop 2,000 lb JDAMs on the bad guys, allowing Bravo company to secure the key buildings and the site. Troops cut up the downed chopper and load it on a HEMTT cargo truck, before all friendlies load up and move out.
*Our guys didn't just rescue the chopper's crew-they recovered the whole bird. they know the propaganda value of al-Jazeera showing a bunch of muj dancing around a downed US chopper.
*The local police station was broadcasting a call to "stop the infidels from descrating the [such and such] mosque" which was near the crash site.
*The fighting was so intense that troops securing the perimeter were having to run back to their Stryker vehicles to get more ammo-and the fight only lasted a couple of hours.
*The Stryker vehicles showed (again) that they can take a beating and still come home.
*One Bravo Co sniper killed 12 mujis in less than 30 minutes.
U.S. casualties: Zero killed, 5 wounded, plus several wounded Iraqi security troops
Muji casualties: 50-60 dead, unknown number wounded.
The company commander, Captain Mason, and I were platoon leaders together, six years ago, in Charlie Company, 1-6 IN in Germany, and were both assigned to 5-20 together before I got transferred to Ft Jackson. He and his company are back home at Ft Lewis, doing great, getting ready for some overdue leave time.
Geting Judges Confirmed
jack Kemp has an excellent column today, positing that Senate Republicans should make Senate Democrats put their moeny where their mouths, so far, aren't with regards to filibustering the President's judicial nominees.
Senate Republicans should forget procedural shenanigans, break out the cots and arrest a few senators, if necessary. There's no better way to show support for the president's nominees than to actually fight for them rather than staging an ersatz fight and letting them languish for years in political purgatory.
I agree with Mr. Kemp-except for one thing. Why should they wait? Go for it right now. Schedule every last one of those nominees for a vote, one after the other. And schedule the votes for, say, the day before Thanksgiving, or the day before Christmas recess. See how long they're willing to talk then.
Important Court Cases-Update
In my post below, I overlooked a few cases currently in the system which will be extremely important with regard to reigning in the power of government (at all levels), property rights, and the right to keep and bear arms. This was pointed out to me by Matt at TriggerFinger, so I'll talk about his cases first.
These are RKBA cases, but they're still at the Circuit Court level. First up is Seegars v. Ashcroft, due for oral argument any day now, closely followed by Parker v. DC. Both of these cases are challenges to Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban, and will be heard by the DC Circuit Court (which, by the way, is the court that two of President Bush's filibustered nominees-Miguel Estrada and Janice Rodgers Brown-were supposed to be working.) Matt has a superb ongoing summary of the cases here.
One thing to note with these cases, however, is that a victory for our side will not necessarily translate into an instant end to state and local handgun bans. That's because D.C. is Federal terriroty, not a state, and thus is bound directly by the Second Amendment. As of yet, no court has held that the States (and their local government subsidiaries) are bound by the Second Amendment through the Fourteenth, although they have held that for virtually all of the rest of the Bill of Rights. So We'll have to go after Chicago separately.
The other big case I missed (that I'm currently aware of; I'm sure there are others) is Kelo v. New London, an eminent domain case. Bascially, the case will decide whether the local government can take your property and give it to someone else if that someone else will do something with it that will generate more tax revenue for the local government. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case (petition for cert here). The plaintiffs case is being argued by attorneys from the Institute for Justice, which has a good record in cases of this type.
So, to review the bidding:
At SCOTUS for arguments: Kelo v. New London, Eminent Domain
Ashcroft v. Raich, Commerce Clause
DoJ petition for certiori: Stewart v. U.S., Commerce Clause (with RKBA overtones)
At Circuit Court for argument: Seegars v. Ashcroft and Parker v. D.C., Second Amendment
Still think getting good judges isn't important?
Now They're Calling It "Gun Safety"
Via Say Uncle!. Deep in the Blue stronghold of NYC, they continue to not get it on guns.
The City Council's Committee on Public Safety met Monday to discuss a package of gun safety legislation. Among the proposals are a bill that would limit New Yorkers to the purchase of only one shotgun or rifle every 90 days, and another bill which would create a code of responsible conduct for gun manufacturers.
How exactly does limiting the number of long guns a person can buy have anything to do with "gun safety?" Answer: Nothing. Whether I buy a rifle every day, or just one a year, there is no change in how safe or unsafe those rifles are. And furthermore, how exactly would this be enforced, anyway? NYC may have a lot of people, but geographically, it's a pretty small place. It's not hard to just drive outside the city to buy a gun. And then there's people like me, who have Type 01 FFLs and can get all the old guns we want delivered right to our homes. That measure is nothing but control, pure "we know better than the citizens what's good for them" Left Liberal elitism.
"This is the shame of it. The gun industry knows exactly what it needs to do to cut down on the number of illegal guns, and they’re not doing it," said Brooklyn Councilman David Yassky.
Councilman Yassky, what, exactly is an "illegal gun?" I know what the BATFE's definition is, and that's the definition I use, but I don't think that is the same definition you're using. By BATFE standard, an illegal gun is one whose physical form in some way violates the law. Examples would be a short barreled rifle or shotgun without an NFA tax stamp, or an imported semi-auto rifle with a pistol grip or folding stock that has too many imported parts. Those are illegal guns. A gun can be illegally possessed, as in a gun in the hands of a convicted felon, but the gun itself is not illegal. Gun manufacturers do not sell illegal guns, for the simple reason that if they did, the BATFE would shut them down. Also, gun manufacturers such as Remington and Glock don't sell their products on the retail market. They sell to wholesale distributors, who sell to retail dealers, who sell to the public, after the public has filled out a bunch of forms and gone through a background check. What is a "manufacturer's code of conduct" supposed to accomplish, other than to let you and your komrades on the NY City Council grandstand?
This entire package of proposals is nothing but an opportunity for the NY City Council to grandstand about how their trying to protect their poor defenseless citizens (who are made poor and defenseless largely by the work of the very same City Council) from evil guns.
Michael Moore Didn't Show Troops Like This
They're amazing, and this guy is not atypical. From Drudge.
Ryan Chapman, a 22-year-old Marine, was hit above the left eye by a sniper's bullet, but escaped with a fractured skull.
"People keep on telling me that I'm lucky," he said. "I don't mind being lucky."
Despite his brush with death, Chapman was keen to return to fight in Iraq.
"I want to go back. It kills me when I see the news, when I think of all my buddies back there."
In Support of the Flat Tax
Andrew Sullivan is slowly returning to sanity after the Masschusetts Supreme Court and the FMA sent him off the deep end. He's just posted a very good piece supporting the flat tax-both for the U.S. and England.
Of course, being Andrew, he can't resist getting in at least one dig about gay marriage (most of us aren't homophobes, Andrew; most of us just don't care), but it's still a good piece.
John Ross on Jane Smiley
I really wanted to avoid any more talking about the past election, and Democrat whining and narcicistic navel-gazing focused thereupon, but I found this article and thought it needed to be read. John Ross is the author of Unintended Consequences, and also, it turns out, Ms. Smiley's second cousin. His closing paragraph:
If you want to stop the Patriot Act or whatever other Republican efforts you believe infringe on your freedoms, work to clean up your own party's anti-freedom policies first. Your party is reeling right now. It is as ripe as it's ever been for being taken over by the Libertarian Party. If and when that happens, I'll become a Democrat again.
Now, I don't at all agree with the bit about the Dems bering taken over by the Libertarians-the Dems are far to invested in big governmet, high tax, nanny-statism. The Libertarian may be able to peel off the pro-drug legalization, pro-gun, and keep the .gov out of my sex life people, but they're not going to get the bulk of the party.
Read the whole thing.
America, F*ck Yeah!
The soldiers shared laughs during the more surreal moments, such as when a psychological-operations truck rolled through the city blaring the theme song to the movie "Team America: World Police."
HT: Tim Blair
Have You Done Your Part
At the gunshow on Sunday, I purchased the following grom Georgia Arms:
100 rounds, 185 gr JHP (Gold Dot) in .45 ACP
100 rounds, 180 gr FMJ in 10mm
50 rounds, 165 gr JHP (Rainier) in .40 S&W
I looked for some Hornady or Norma soft points in 7.5 Swiss, but didn't find any.
Blue States Declaration of Independence
I didn't write this, but it's funny. Orgin unknown, HT to Hillbilly at THR.
IN CONGRESS, November 3, 2004
The unanimous Declaration of the eighteen blue States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for the beautiful people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with fly over country and to assume among the powers of the earth, the high and exhalted station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God (Gaia, not the Christian or Jewish one) entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation and we will try to use small words so all the rest of you can understand us.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all sexually non-specific persons are created equal (just some more than others), that they are endowed by their Creator (if you believe in that sort of thing) with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, the pursuit of Happiness, privacy, abortion, same sex marriage, a living wage, and condoms for all but no guns, we don’t care what the Constitution says. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among sexually non-specific persons, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Judiciary, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends (i.e. the election of a smelly Republican), it is the Right of the Beautiful People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government with a couple of gorgeous throw rugs and window treatments that are to die for, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness at that given moment in time. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes such as national security, “family values” (gag) and anything that even resembles traditional, religious values; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations (read: elections that we lose), pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Blue States; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present President of the United States is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations (again read: elections we lose), all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to the UN.
He has refuted the Kyoto Treaty, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, such as an increase in the minimum wage, the meanie.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, like in the 2000 and 2004 elections where he stole the election and disenfrachised minority voters!! Don’t ask us for proof, we just know it happened.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from their mansions, yachts and country clubs, for the sole purpose of making us actually resolve issues rather than drag them out so as to keep them as a wedge issue in the next election. (see minimum wage).
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of the UN.
He has affected to render the Military fully trained and well equipped.
He has not combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws.
For passing NAFTA:
For cutting Taxes without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of having a bazillion Trial Lawyers suing to determine the outcome of the election:
For not transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences by the International Tribunal Treaty:
He has plundered Iraq’s seas, ravaged it’s Coasts burnt their towns, and destroyed the lives of their people so his buddies at Halliburton can grow rich and drive yucky SUVs.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of conservative Legislators and judges to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens to bear Arms for their Country, to become the executioners of terrorists or as we call them, “oppressed insurgents”.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us (again, elections we don’t win), and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Red-Neck Savages whose known rule of warfare, is to vote for the person who promises beer in every cooler and NASCAR on the TV 24/7.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms, if you overlook our cracks about the Red States being filled with “right wing, hate mongering, fascist, religious zealots”. We’re still not sure why you’re actually upset about that.
Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury (ibid; losing elections). A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Red State brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their “people” to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of our superior intellects. We have appealed to their inbred naivete and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity (reason, for those of you in Rio Linda). We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the Blue States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world (Kofi Anan) for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the Beautiful People, solemnly publish and declare, That these Blue States are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Red States of America, and that all political connection between them and the Red States of America, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War on Poverty, conclude Peace contract Alliances as long as the UN approves, establish Commerce so long as the unions approve, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. --And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Johnnie Cochran, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor so long as it is convenient for us.