Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Roger Clemens, call your office

Must be nice to get $20 mil to pitch on 10 day rest.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Travolta Haiku

Travolta, compare
His springtime with his autumn.
Thin dancer, now fat.

Monday, September 24, 2007

To Glenn Reynolds

In the spirit of the pre-mortem combined with an alternate history, I wonder if you would comment on what the world and the law would look like if the Supreme Court sided with the numerous amicus briefs in Parker v. District of Columbia and decided that the right to keep and bear arms was literally only found in the context of a well regulated militia? In other words, if the Supreme Court comes back and says that absent explicit regulations promulgated by congress, there is no inalienable individual right to bear arms, but instead there is only a collective right; what comes next? Would a Democrat congress fall all over itself to draft militia regulations that essentially preserved the status quo? Would western and southern states rush to ensure gun rights? Would northern cities move to confiscate guns? And, hypothetically, if the Supreme Court comes in decisively on the other side of a professor’s lifetime of legal scholarship, would that repudiate the professor’s work? Or do things not work that way?

Just curious.

And just so you know where I am coming from, I have a Bersa Thunder 45 Ultra Compact and I am a 6 time pistol expert in the Marine Corps. I firmly believe that there should be an explicit right to keep and bear arms, independent of a well regulated militia. I think the drafters of the constitution let us down in not being more explicit in the Bill of Rights. The Founder’s unwarranted verbosity in the Second Amendment has let lawyers and legislators perpetrate mischief on us ever since. But then, I guess unwarranted verbosity and mischief is pretty much the stock in trade for legislators and lawyers, but that is a separate issue.

Front sight press.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"My heart abounds in love to thee"

My heart hurts for Minneapolis. First, the bridge collapse and then the young father beaten to death while riding his bike. I know people who live very near to both events, and I am extremely worried about them. I have been praying in earnest that they be kept safe.

I have been working on a post based on the idea that everything that happens in life is a blessing, based on Paul’s idea that “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” If we know that all things work together for good, then we know that all things, even atrocities, must be blessings, even if we can’t see that while we are in the midst of a tragedy. The events in Minneapolis certainly challenge that idea, but I am going to cling faithfully to the belief that there are blessings there, even if I am challenged now to find them.

“Feel the reach of my love in thy heart, and be thou broken and tendered in the sense thereof, even of the heart-breaking love of God in which my heart abounds in love to thee with breathings to God that we may be kept living to him, through all our various exercises, that so we may daily learn with the blessed and wise apostle, in all conditions to be content, and that patience may have its perfect work in us.” John Banks, 4 Apr 1668

Johnny Dollar Explication

I was listening to “Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar,” a radio drama from the 50’s on XM last night. Johnny Dollar is an insurance investigator, like the Fred MacMurray character in “Double Indemnity” only, Johnny Dollar is straight up, see? The plot of this episode involved Johnny investigating the murder of a farm wife in a small town in Vermont. She had no enemies and she was a invalid, but someone had shot her through the window of her home and killed her. The murder had gone unsolved for a month, and the insurance company was about to pay out until someone sent an anonymous letter saying that the husband was to blame. So, the insurance company sent Johnny Dollar to investigate

For a woman with no enemies in a town of 1000, there were plenty of suspicious characters. The retarded kid with a taste for petty theft who helped out around the farm and was a crack shot with a rifle. The beleaguered, indebted husband on the verge of bankruptcy for paying for all the wife’s surgery who could get out from under with the proceeds of her insurance policy who may or may not have been stepping out with the waitress in the town’s only restaurant. The waitress, who had been acquitted of murdering the woman who had hired her to be a nanny in Chicago and who had moved to Vermont for a fresh start. The next door neighbor woman, who secretly loved the murdered woman’s husband since they were all children, and who had sent the anonymous letter. The town sheriff, who couldn’t bear the sight of his favorite niece in pain. And the husband to the pining woman, who held the mortgage on the murdered woman’s farm that had suddenly lost most of its value when the state changed the location of the new expressway.

I will save you from the need to listen to all 75 minutes of the program. The man who held the mortgage killed the other man’s wife so that the husband could get the insurance money and pay off the mortgage. The show ended with the man confessing the murder to Johnny Dollar, and asking if he could get his hat for the ride into town. Left unanswered were a couple of questions: Since the murder was committed in order to gain the money, even if the husband was in no way involved, would the insurance company still pay? If the insurance company paid, would the husband still have to pay off the mortgage to the man who murdered his wife? I know that many states passed “Son of Sam” laws to keep murderers from making money off their crimes, but in the ‘50’s there were no such laws, so I wonder what the resolution of all that was going to be. The fact that the their was no resolution to the story tells me that the writers did not want to deal with the troubling implications of their whodunnit.

I suspect that the mortgage would still be in force, and would still have to be paid, if not to the man then to his widow as sole heir once Vermont executed the mortgage holder. Although the Shadow claims that “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit, crime does not pay;” it looks like in this case, it does.

Senators Behaving Badly

If I were to blog about Vitter and Craig, I would lump them in with the tottering geriatrics like Byrd and the alcoholics like Kennedy and say why are we subjected to these ego maniacs with their manifest unfitness for office, who hang on and somehow think that America is better with them having "Senator" in front of their name, all with the support of all the fellow party members? I would rather be governed by 535 citizens chosen at random from the US than the current crop of gay sex cruisers, klansmen, drunks, morons, 
brain damaged midwesterners, and former president's wives in the pocket of the Chinese and Harry Reid.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Once again, Marine Corps Intelligence steps in it

“I’ll take Iraq War for 100, Alex.”

“A carefully considered statement based on the finest intelligence minds in the Marine Corps looking at all available reports filtered through level headed analysis.”

“What is a wild ass guess?”


 9 April 2007 we were treated to this headline in the Washington Post: "Anbar is lost politically!" Marine analyst Col Pete Devlin says. Based on the good Colonel’s extensive experience, keen acumen and supposed level headedness, he came to a conclusion that was instantly hailed by half the blogosphere. Read the apocalyptic language: "We haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically -- and that's where wars are won and lost." “Not only are military operations facing a stalemate, unable to extend and sustain security beyond the perimeters of their bases, but also local governments in the province have collapsed and the weak central government has almost no presence.”

But it turns out, the assessment of the intel weenie was not shared by the operators and decision makers or, for that matter, by the terrorists. It is one thing when the Commandant of the Marine Corps says your analysis is wrong. When asked about Col Devlin’s assessment that Anbar was lost, the Commandant said a couple of days later: "I think Colonel Devlin was wrong."

It is another thing when the Commander in Chief calls you out. Listen to the President on Labor Day from Anbar: “Anbar is a huge province. It was once written off as lost. It is now one of the safest places in Iraq.” Who wrote it off? Marine Intelligence, personified by Col Devlin. Who ignored the “intel” and won in Anbar? Marines. Kind of makes you wonder why Marine intel is in the business of making big sweeping geopolitical pronouncements. And kind of makes you wonder why some still have their jobs.