Showing posts with label Small victories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Small victories. Show all posts

Jun 11, 2014

Won One

No matter how potentially evil a thing,  by itself  it is a neuter.  So next time you're in your head shop and feel like getting a glass pipe to blow bubbles with or something, y'all just go right ahead in these parts.

Keep the idea of your gun in the back of your head while you digest this. Some Des Moines cops decided to bust a store and confiscate glass pipes as drug paraphernalia. The owner sued to get them back, lost in district court, but won at the Iowa Court of Appeals.

The report from Radio Iowa says: "The Appeals Court ruling says the law requires the pipes to be used to ingest drugs to be considered illegal. The court says no drugs were found in the store and there was no evidence to conclude the pipes had been used."

There you go. Drugs are evil but glass pipes for smoking them are not, so...

Hold it Jim!

Yes, stupid of me to lose the distinction, even momentarily.

Drugs and pipes share no moral qualities. They are ethical castrati at least unless some mysterious happenstance empowers a smoky hemp plant to vote in congress.  (Tempting as it is, I won't go further in that direction today.)

People who use them are possibly evil and  probably stupid to begin with; certainly they become dumber by the puff.  Or the guzzle in the case of ethanol based drugs.

Now, about all those "illegal" guns the politicians and journos keep yakking about:  Wouldn't it be nice if a senior court hearing an appeal from an innocuous, law-abiding fellow charged only with possession of a weapon heard about the Iowa pipe case and got to thinking along the same lines?

Jul 18, 2012

Espresso Justice

And yet another tale of what may happen when impetuous young men meet a wise old philosopher.

"Don't none of you [expletives] move," one of the teens reportedly yelled at the cafe patrons. One "teen" was swinging a gun, the other a bat.

One of the (expletives) in the internet cafe was Sam Williams, 71, philosophically armed with a .380 handgun. He chose to move despite the instructions to the contrary.  When he and his pistol quit moving, the 19-year-olds were chastened, not to mention bleeding.

Local officials say they probably won't charge Sam with a crime for protecting himself and other (expletives) people in the cafe. That's good as far as it goes, but I see no mention of either a gold medal or compensating Sam for the expended rounds.

May 18, 2012

Things Ron Paul wouldn't say or do, even in Minnesota

He wouldn't walk down the street eating lutefisk on a stick. He wouldn't say he loved lefska. He wouldn't promise to name an aircraft carrier the USS Uffdah.

Still, our libertarian Minnesota political whizzes love him, and they're about to prove it by sending a disporportionate number of Paul supporters to the national convention and by ensuring that his ideas carry weight at the state-party level.

On day two of the convention, Ron Paul supporters really get a chance to flex their muscle as the 2,000-plus delegates elect a slate to represent Minnesota at the national Republican convention in Tampa. Paul delegates have already claimed 20 of the 24 delegates elected from the state’s congressional districts. Three delegate slots automatically go to party officers. Another 13 national delegates are chosen on Saturday. With the force behind them, it’s possible -- maybe probable -- that 33 of the state’s 40 delegates will be pledged to nominate Ron Paul.

It parallels the libertarian/Paul movement in Iowa and several other states, and the immediate upshot is that his ideas will not be totally ignored in Tampa. The time beyond the convention is fuzzier, but  it can't hurt the liberty cause to have a young cadre of smart operatives pulling the strings in the middle levels of the GOP bureaucracy.


I've attended political conventions for decades as a reporter, paid operative, and delegate. An outstanding feature is the blatent cluelessness of of many party officials and most delegates. They think the purpose is to bloviate on issues. The nearest comparison would be a mechanic who thinks his job is to expound this theories of automotive design while you're paying him to grind your valves.

The Minnesota Paulites illustrate the usefulness of highly skilled tinkering after learning the party rules and mores inside and out. When you've mastered the technical aspects,  then the time comes for using the machine to get to where you want to go, in this case from a higher level of statism to a a lower one. It's incremental and tedious, but it stands a better chance of reinstating our Constitution than loading up our M4geries.

May 9, 2012

Losing Lugar

We may need to supply mouth guards to every liberal and neocon (as though they really are two separate snake balls) in America. Indiana fomented a national tragedy by tarring and feathering  Senator Richard Lugar in yesterday's GOP primary. Already the establishment politicians have ground their teeth down to nubs.

Without Lugar the Senate is doomed to deadlock. Worse,  the era of "collegiality" and  "bipartisanship" is in danger of doing a do-do.



Senator Lugar: I'm getting bored with this, Ted. You let me push my wars in Afghanistan and Iran and I'll support your $2 billion to hire more cops and teachers. Okay?

Senator Kennedy: We're getting close,  but you get one war or the other, not both. C'mon, I got Harvard AND Williams to worry about.

Okay, Afghanistan, then. But  I also want that $250 million for Wabash River beautification. Hell, we're borrowing it all from the Chinese, anyway.

Kennedy: Done! Let's go to the Monicle in a bipartisan manner and find a lobbyist to pay and drink martinis and be collegial together. 

Mar 8, 2012

Texas Good Guys

Why don't  y'all turn your head toward Klleen, Texas, down there by the gate to Fort Hood in the flat middle of Lone Star? Flip a little salute toward the local junk yard, CenTex Scrap and Metal.

The owner has decided on  an act of public service. He'll pay for the CCW course for his employees who want a carry permit.


One problem.The teevee  station  doesn't even mention that the CenTex policy  will lead to more crazed cowboys packing heat, ridin' in on Sattiday night, gettin' all boozie,  shootin' up the town, and skeerin' the womenfolk.

Somebody ought to caution KWTX that one more error like that and Mr. Obama' s FCC is probably gonna jerk your license.

Mar 5, 2012

A Maryland win for gun rights, and -- for that matter -- all the others

Maryland cops were looking for an excuse  to refuse a gun permit to Raymond Woollard.  He got one in 2002 after a home invasion. Seven years later the masters denied him a renewal . They decreed that he couldn't prove he still had a need to exercise a Constitutional right. 

Now, Federal District Judge Benson Everett Legg has a birthday coming up, on June 8, and we should send him a nice card.  He told the regulators to stand near  a rope, unzip, and aim high. 

Needless to say, the Bradyites didn't bother to unzip before wetting, but in due course they whipped out their lawyer who said, " “The Supreme Court has recognized the right to have guns in homes, but there is no right in public places,”

Uhh,  Lawyer Lowy, you don't get to make binding judgements like that. Courts do.  And Judge Legg did.

Our friend Alan Jura again led the attack, and we suppose he'll still be with us when the case hits the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A cursory Bing of the 4th doesn't give much fodder for speculating about how it views self-defense rights lately, but there's a small clue in US v. William Chester, Jr., (4th Cir. 2010).  (That's a long and complicated opinion, but, effectively, it questions government power to deny Second Amendment rights on the sole basis of a misdemeanor domestic violence  conviction.) 

Feb 2, 2012

A merry stop to the Terry stop

The hits just keep on comin'.

A vigilent cop stood tall in defending the safety of Council Bluffs citizens with a righteous but, he figured, dangerous bust of a guy riding his unlighted bicylcle after dark.

Officer safety being paramount, he patted the Lance down because "it was dark and people in the neighborhood were known to have weapons."  Yep, a smidgeon of reefer and a ride to jail in defense of law-abiding  citizens everywhere.

The Iowa Court of Appeals told Officer Friendly he was full of it and vacated the pot-possession conviction.

It's almost like the Fourth Amendment followed us home for cuddling and warm milk.

Lo, the poor eaglet

I'm getting pretty damned tired of complimenting our semi-elected masters in the Iowa House of Representatives. I was comfortable in the days when truth required only occasional reporting that our solons personally didn't steal much compared to, say, the legislators of Illinois.

But this morning  --a day afer advancing a stand-you-ground bill  --- our guys struck another blow for liberty by saying it's okay to shoot at doves with lead shot.  That created another giggle as a horrified, but maladroit, Des Moines Register reporter tied himself in verbal granny knots to get the upcoming environmental Armageddon in his lede.

"A type of ammunition used in hunting that leaves lead remains in the environment and is linked in some studies to deaths in Eagles (sic) and other animals was approved this morning in a House vote."

Oh the egality!


There's a background here that leads a fellow to suspect the lead ban debate doesn't have much to do with doves, eagles, or lead-poisoned children growing up to be important politicians.

Iowa got its first dove season in something like a century last year. The debate made the abortion controversy look like a polite chat in the Harvard faculty lounge. When it passed  the rivers rose with tears of  PETA-type anguish. 

The Iowa DNR was especially petatrified and, by administrative fiat, said hunters had to use high-price non-lead shells, making dove-hunting a sport of relative lairds and economically difficult to impossible for the peasantry.

Peasant voices yelled in lawmaker ears. The message was transmitted to lawmaker brains and processed into the takeaway, "Hot damn, but I got an election coming up in nine months." (Well, one or two of the more astute might have added, "Besides, where do a bunch of appointed DNR bureaucrats get off making a law of general applicability. That's what our General Assembly is for."

I know nothing of the alleged science behind the lead-shot scare, but I know something of  droop-ass bureaucrats anxious to wonk policy via end runs around constitutions (nodding to  Sir Winston). 

Anyway, I'll be checking the craws of all the dead baby eagles I run across, and if I find a bunch of cold-rolled No. 7 1/2s, I'll let you know.

Jan 31, 2012

Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground

A House committee this afternoon approved House File 573.  Oversimplified, it embraces the sensible notion that your right to defend yourself against violence is well-nigh universal and that you have no legal duty to retreat from threat, in your home or on the streets.

I like to think of it as putting the fear of God into violent criminals, one thug at a time, any time, anywhere.

The antis will resume their snide characterization of a "shoot your neighbor law."

That is their understanding of reasoned discourse, and they will not admit to being persuaded that (a) little, if any, additional gun play will occur as a result of HF573 and (b )the value of the policy is in making thugs think twice before they sneak into your bedroom or grab your wife's purse (or something) as you stroll home from the movies.


The politics of the thing is iffy. Conventional wisdom has it passing the GOP-controlled house but faltering in a Senate laden with Democrats and some Republican metrocons.

While that may be a smart-money bet this early in the legislative goat rope, it's also the same conventional thinking that was dead wrong on shall-issue in 2010. Liberals that year eyeballed an upcoming election and scurried to the camp of most Iowa voters, a peaceable lot who really hate shooting other folks but reserve the right to do so when there's no time to summon a cop or even a government-trained crisis counsellor.

Jan 26, 2012

Traffic-cam extortion

The story lead is a warm fuzzy for the libertarian soul.

"The classic democratic tension between liberty and security was tested once again Wednesday in a debate on legislation to ban traffic-enforcement cameras on Iowa roads..."  

Even better, liberty won the first of the warmup bouts, 3-0, in subcommittee.

The report doesn't mention any great debate about raping the Constitution.* Irritated citizens sat on one side of the table and the usual authoritarians -- cops, city taxing authorities, etc. -- on the other. "It's for your own good, your safety," blatted the former. The citizens carried the day with a highly accurate response: "Boooll sheet, you greedy creeps."

It's early in the sausage-making process, but at least it's a hopeful development.


*Amendments Five and Fourteen are clear enough in telling government it can not screw around with your "life, liberty, or property" without "due process of law."  It seems damned doubtful the Founders would have deemed a dun from a company of IT geeks in Snottsdale to constitute due process of law. Even if they are part of that sacred public/private partnership congregation.


(Does this argument get us thinking about the general concept of "administrative forfeiture?" Ought to.)

Jan 6, 2012

Jury Frees Grass Granny; Notorious Drug Lord Walks

A little more than a year ago a little old lady in Connellsville,  Pennsylvania was pottering about in her garden when a kindly,  bearded stranger in a pointy hat handed her some seeds.  She tossed them in her garden and shortly, fee-fie-fo-fum.

No. Wait.

And shortly they grew into seven beautiful marijuana plants, lovingly nurtured by Grandma who just thought they looked nice next to her tomatoes. Didn't know what they were, she said.

That didn't stop a nosy neighbor from squealing, nor did it stay the bold crime-fighters of southwest Pennsylvania. "On the ground, Gramma, You're busted. Do it now!"

And that high-priority law enforcement mission won her a year in the system until this week when a jury cleared her of drug possession and manufacturing charges.


At 67, Granny was born about 1945 and achieved maturity in the Age of Aquarius, or the Stoned Age, so I'm adding a pinch of salt to her story about not recognizing a pot plant, not to mention the pointy-capped stranger.

So what?

Two beautiful words: Jury Nullification.


H/T to Phyllis in Kalinky, my faithful Appalachia correspondent

Jan 4, 2012

Blam. From the Mother of the Year

Mrs. McKinley is 18, a mother, and a widow since Christmas. New Year's found her with a phone to 911 in one hand and a 12-gauge double in the other as two hoodlums tried to break into her house.

The 911 call turned out to be as useful as a letter to her congressman.  She was kept on the line 21 minutes. No cop appeared to help. The shotgun worked better.

The 911 dispatcher confirmed with McKinley that the doors to her home were locked as  she asked again if it was okay to shoot the intruder if he were to come through her door.

"I can't tell you that you can do that but you do what you have to do to protect your baby," the dispatcher told her. McKinley was on the phone with 911 for a total of 21 minutes.

Mrs. McKinley, you do not need Big Brother's permission to keep breathing when a guy with a knife kicks in your door. Or, for that matter, without a knife.

Nitpicking the news story: There was a lot of emphasis on the lady protecting her infant. That may make the cheese more binding, but our heroine had exactly the same right to protect only herself. And the post facto teevee tape was  tacky even by the standards of that tasteless industry.

Well done, Young Lady.


Somewhere in the land a sensitive soul wails,  "Horrific!!! Why didn't she just shoot the knife out of his hand?"


h/t To ASM at Random Acts of Patriotism

(link fixed)

Jan 2, 2012

Armed Iowa, one year later

Happy Birthday. One year ago yesterday, "shall-issue" became Iowa law. You've read of  the resultant carnage, so there's no need to repeat it here.

Our largest newspaper -- the anti-gun Des Moines Register* --  decided it needed a year-end retrospective and produced what was presumably the most horrifying summary it could print without generating a collective horse laugh from the Mississippi to the Missouri. It headlined the "Unbelievable" number of new ccw permits in 2011.

Turns out the unbelievability head is based on this quotation:

“ 'It’s unbelievable,' (Cerro Gordo Sheriff Kenneth Pals) said. 'It hasn’t slowed. The permits used to be one-year permits. Now they are good for five years'.”

But try as it might, the Register couldn't dredge up enough to cite even one case of a CCW holder misusing a weapon. (I found one early in the year. Some CCW guy got  tight and waved his piece around in a bar. He's now, rightfully, a former CCW holder. That's all the mayhem I could find, so I suppose shall-issue hasn't  stacked corpses in our schools, orphanages, and  Burger Chef's.)


And then there's the nation's Capital where they store, but rarely read, the Constitution, where gore was to clog the sewers after the Heller decision a little more than two years ago. Err, the  Washington murder rate is down.

If you decide to read that report you may savor the reasons given by Mayor Gray and Police Chief Lanier. They explain that homicides fell because of the excellent work of Mayor Gray and Police Chief Lanier. I'm sure that's true because there is no possibility that armed thugs might think twice about  throwing down on a victim who might shoot back.


*I rag on the Register quite often, sometimes unairly so.  I found its coverage of the shall-issue debate last year pretty objective, and I can find little to fault in its news coverage of the Ron Paul campaign

Dec 3, 2011

What a zillion dollars worth of Pentagon small arms experts couldn't do:

They couldn't keep the Mk-48 machine gun firing  without ammo bearers on hand. When it ran dry in combat the gunner had to stop and laboriously reload. When that happened the enemy got pretty arrogant about shooting you.

If you're Bill Gates you solve problems like that by having a couple-three good ol' country boys around. You let them kumshaw some old ammo cans, parts of a junked MOLLE system, and a few other odds and ends of scrap metal. Quicker than you can say "lemme use your welder," you have the "Ironman Pack Ammunition System."

It works, so the Army gives the lads a ceremony and a little attaboy award.

Then, a few hours later, unless thngs have changed since my  day, some shave-ass second looie notices the rustic inventors and tells them their  fingernails are ragged and sideburns a quarter-inch over regulation and shape up or ship out.

The lieutenant's career will prosper and, in due course, he will be the Army's general in charge of small-arms design.

Nov 29, 2011

Citizen of the month award

In lieu of a handy cop,  a guy can always try direct action.

Dennis Giehl was pulling up to his house. He saw a couple of strangers backing his other car out of his drive. He chased the apprentice criminals down. He took the car away from them. He whipped them both when they decided to contest his decisions.

Police finally arrived and the 47-year-old Dennis was pleased to turn the thuglets, 14 and 15, over to official gummint control. 

(When the parents get around to suing you for effing with their children's self- esteem, drop a note. We'll try to put together a little legal defense fund. Meanwhile please accept a "well-done," Sir.)

Nov 1, 2011

The sheriff pimps the Judge

Over in South Carolina, Sheriff Chuck Wright tells his people -- particularly his women -- "Get  a CCW. Get a gun."

Welcome aboard, Sheriff.

This will produce a zillion internet words, of course, but some folks will have missed his interview by an especially clueless* MSNBC head. The head asked the sheriff, "What kind of gun?"

"A .45 caliber handgun," he replied. " ... it shoots a .45 bullet or a shotgun shell ... you don't have to be accurate, just in the general vicinity."

Have at it, gang. However, we may want to quickly buy some Taurus stock before we start psyching ourselves up for the mother of all  ballistics rants.

At least he's planted the seed and, in fact, a .410 scatter load shares a virtue with the .22 short: it's better than nothing when some perv demands nonconsensual relations.


*Sample, the teevee head says we're paying for cops so why should we get guns. The sheriff, slowly and carefully, as though to very slow child, says, "We can't be everywhere."

Toro. Buy a Toro

A couple of posts down I reported a Toro leaf blower kaput and said I planned a desultory repair effort even though it's already survived years of use, abuse, and neglect beyond any reasonable expectations.  I now report success and urge you to  buy Toro.

1. The thing is logically constructed.  Somewhere in Minnesota (Toro Country) lives an engineer whose brilliance includes this thought. "Y' know, the guy who owns this might have to fix it some day, so let's build it so he can." May he live a prosperous thousand years and people the land with his offspring.

2. Meaning the screws come out cleanly. The case pops apart without releasing springs and other small parts all over your shop. Everything that makes it go is visible and reachable.

3. Reassembly is aided by logically place guide pins and slots. And most importantly, by room for the wires! I know of no Toro competitor offering this feature. They find it amusing to design their gizmos so that reassembly places wiring in immovable positions between what should be mated surfaces of the plastic covers.

4. The problem was simple enough. A safety interlock went bad. Now, a less responsible citizen than myself would have simply bypassed the device, a three-minute chore requiring six inches of fine wire, four inches of electrical tape and a pair of pliers. I would never do such a thing. I just put it back together and somehow, like magic, it started blowing leaves again. Then I sent email to the CPSC reporting what a good boy I am.

In case I forgot to mention it, you should buy Toro stuff. (FTC disclaimer pending.)

Oct 28, 2011

Say, is that ol' 4th Amendment starting to breathe again?

I told you Iowa was still free soil, more or less. Free-ish, anyway.

A cop stops you for some piddling offense. He resolves that and wonders, "Now, you don't mind if I go fishing take a quick look in your car do you Sir?"

You nod "okay" because Officer Friendly, what with his big pistol and creaky leather, club, Mace, and all can look pretty intimidating. And he seems nice enough. He asked nicely and called you "sir," didn't he?

Then he found that pinch of pot you must have forgotten to take out of the pickup. You're busted, cuffed, and in for a ride to town because you didn't say, "No thanks, Officer." After you think about it in the tank for a while you realize you  were flim-flammed and decide to take it all the way to the the state supreme court. You did, and

Justices in a 5-1 decision stopped just short of instituting new rules for Iowa law enforcement agents but strongly signaled their view that traffic stops on the side of public highways are “inherently coercive” and therefore can give rise to improper pressure on motorists to agree to vehicle searches.

They ruled the search illegal and the "evidence" therefore inadmissible. They said:

Iowa police officers would do well – but are not yet required – to warn motorists that they don’t have to let authorities search their vehicles during minor traffic stops, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled this morning.

The dissenting justice said:

(a) He didn't want to handicap the police. (He's apparently fine with handicapping the Constitution and the citizens whom it was created to protect -- from the police, among others).

(b) His view is closer to the federal government's opinion.  (Good God, man, you consider that a virtue?)


Note to the motorist involved here: Glad you won it. Now get off the pot. Stoners tend to screw up their lives at a higher rate than folks who can handle reality.

Aug 29, 2011

Illinois concealed carry -- changing the debate

No, we didn't actually lose everything when Illinois lawmakers turned down a CCW bill, and Don at  Push the Pull Door explains it.

The essence is that forcing the argument into a framework of individual freedom and responsibility is an important incremental  victory*, but Don's piece handles it in sharp and cogent detail.  I suggest reading the whole thing even though it's  an older post I just ran across. He is now on the TMR blog roll.


*Remind anyone else of Ron Paul' progress?

Aug 3, 2011

By Royal Command

Two identical envelopes arrived in the morning post. Two commands from the halls of the mighty. In large block letters I am directed to OPEN IMMEDIATELY.

Go to Hell.

They contain demands for my annual tribute for permission to own my vehicles and trailers.  Today is August 3. The licenses expire September 30. A statutory grace period delays actual delinquency and penalty until October 31.

My masters are getting cash-flow savvy.  If they can cow me into paying 88 days early, they collect interest and I lose it. Tough luck, citizen.

I know. We're taking about maybe 17 cents cash management advantage, but principle, man, principle. Also entertainment value.

I'll put the still-sealed envelopes into the tickler file. About Oct. 28 I'll stop by the court house and submit in person. I like making the tax collector get her upholstered butt out of her  upholstered chair and actually deal with one of the proles who paid for them.

Gee, it's not even lunch time and I've already committed an act of wanton disrespect to a bureaucrat. Feels quite good, actually.