Citizen Justice

Good to see that my future home state of Nevada has a few responsible citizens in its public places.

...Villagomez entered the bar and at some point began firing multiple rounds. At least two of these rounds struck and killed the other two decedents, Jose Torres age, 20 and his brother Margarito Torres, age 19 both of Winnemucca. At some point during his shooting spree Villagomez allegedly stopped and according to witnesses reloaded his high capacity handgun and began shooting again. It was at this point that the second shooter, the Reno resident, produced a concealed handgun and proceeded to fire upon Villagomez who succumbed to his wounds. The Reno resident was in possession of a valid Concealed Carry Permit issued through the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

But of course it's stupid and irresponsible for a non-criminal to carry a gun...all I can say is scratch one bad guy.

O Fortuna

I am so sorry, Fortuna, that I have declared war on you. I surrender! I recognize your power over me is like that of Poseidon's over the fisherman. Skill can only guide me along your waters, not overpower you. I will sacrifice to you every day. In every session, I will make a donkey call with crap like the 10-7 that hit the gut shot on the turn against me in no limit last night. I most humbly renounce the title of this blog and submit to your divine will.

There's a hole in your game, dear Liza

Note to self: if there are more than 20 bets in the pot, do NOT fold top pair on the river regardless of what the board looks like.

Still, broke the crazy hi/lo game out in Three Forks last night. Today is the crazy Korner Klub Omaha hi/lo game. Apparently, you buy in for $300 and the house gives you $100. Then you can only buy back in for $80 bucks at a time. The word is that every pot is capped preflop with at least five callers. Barely sounds like poker! I guess the key is to play one hand a day and hope for the best...maybe I should bring a good book.

Congressional Legion?

In my post last week about structural changes I'd make to the government, I said:

2. Expand the number of congress critters to 10,000, abolish congressional pay and staffs. Maybe allow for a small travel stipend, but if they need an assistant, it comes out of pocket. Votes and committee meetings can take place electronically. Most politically active people will know their representatives personally, and if those reps get too far out of line the people will know where they live.

There's a basic rationale for it right there in the post, but I'll expand on it a bit for your contemplation. For one thing, it's not nearly as much of a deviation from our original government as you might think. In the first congress, there were 65 representatives for a population of just under four million, which works out to roughly one rep for every 60,000 people. Today, we have 435 reps and a population of 281 million (legals), which is one rep for every 650,000 people. Simply maintaining the proportion of representatives to the population would imply a congress of more than 4,500 members.

Also, it would eliminate the professional role that the modern congressmen play. If the House were set up like this, most of the members would be local politicos and community leaders, curmudgeonly old retirees, and the like. It would be more of a truly representative body (which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on your point of view). More importantly, it would lessen the influence of the infernal bureaucracy that currently controls the bill-writing process.

I don't think it would change the general stupidity of congress, nor would it lessen the influence of lobbying groups (although it would disperse them quite a bit). I don't know if it would affect the two-party system one way or the other, but as I put in the original post, the reps would be a lot more accountable to their constituency.

That's it -- enuff policy wonk nerdness. Back to guns, girls, and cards!

Raising Arizona


Off to my brother's wedding, so no posting probably until next week. Be nice!

Temporary Dictator

Via Rachel and Marko comes this meme:
What are 10 laws you would pass/repeal or government programs you would create/tear down? (Assume that you are in office for however long it would take to do these things and that any changes you make will remain in place after you leave office.)

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. I'll approach this one from the Roman perspective, and imagine that I'm open to prosecution for abuse after I step down from the dictatorship. Therefore, I won't put people up against the wall, even if they probably deserve it (hello, Diane Feinstein!). Still the few changes I'd make would, in my opinion, restore the Republic but will never happen in the real world without a dictatorship. First, the big structural changes to create a more federalist system:

1. Repeal the 17th Amendment, which would restore the balance of power by returning the election of senators to the state governments (something I've harped on before.)
2. Expand the number of congress critters to 10,000, abolish congressional pay and staffs. Maybe allow for a small travel stipend, but if they need an assistant, it comes out of pocket. Votes and committee meetings can take place electronically. Most politically active people will know their representatives personally, and if those reps get too far out of line the people will know where they live.
3. Remove the stupid government-expanding precedents that plague our lives, like Wickard v. Fillburn and other rulings that effectively destroy the limitations on the Federal power. OK, maybe I will put a few lawyers up against the wall after all...
4. Transfer all Federal programs, bureaucracies, rules, whatevers that aren't specifically mandated by the Constitution to the state governments. Rather than repealing it all, let the states deal with it.
5. Write out the 16th Amendment, which would abolish the Federal income tax. Let it be paid for by the states!

The next round of changes are more one-off legal/cultural impositions:
6. Remove police exemptions from gun laws. If the cops can drive a frickin' tank down the streets, then so can you! The militarization of the police has been one of the worst legacies of the Reagan revolution.
7. Work for the government? Then you waive your right to vote during your employment.
8. Close all foreign military bases, end foreign aid, and withdraw from all collective security agreements, including the UN and NATO. Offer $100 billion to the first company that comes up with a working continental anti-missile defense. Reduce the number of carrier groups to two, replacing them with destroyers armed with railguns. Leave the Air Force and Marines pretty much unchanged, but disband the heavy infantry divisions in the Army.
9. Reinstitute poll taxes and civics tests for voting, but make sure they're fairly applied.
10. Repeal all federal drug laws. Blanket amnesty for all "victimless crime" felons.

That's about it before I resign and go back to the farm (chanelling Cincinnatus, who was pretty much the definition of a benevolent dictator).

Culture Shock?

Or is the water just cold?

Do they sell this kind of stuff over here? Would people buy it -- we are super neat freaks in the USA nowadays...

Views from the porch

South, east, north:

I love Montana!

twee old movie song that i love

I'm off the deep end today getting more and more pissed off at the government. It's like having a seizure -- I go through these episodes where it's not funny and they last for a half day or so before I regain my sense of humor about it all. Anyway, here's the song I picked up from some comment on this blog.

The Republic Is Dead part 6546546541

Watch this video about the Cory Maye case from -- featuring Drew Carey!

Radley Balko has been doing some important work on this and other cases illustrating the abuses of power fostered by the insane war on drugs. For my Republican friends who think that the spirit of Reagan is the only thing standing between us and communism, take a minute and ponder how much liberty has been lost in this multigenerational madness.

Taking the 5th

This is a very entertaining and useful lecture from a Regent University law prof about dealing with the cops. In a word -- STFU!

I can't remember who on my reading list originally linked this, so hat tip to Tam, Marko, Xavier, Kim and that should probably cover it. If I'm wrong I'm sorry I'm too lazy to look it up.

Mountain to Mohammed

I'm going to try to go an entire week without making any exclamations that involve religion, blasphemous or otherwise. No Damnits, no JFCs, no holy craps and no oh, gods.

UPDATE: Well that lasted until about 10 PM when my pocket Kings found pocket Aces in somebody else's hands. The poker gods were kickin' my ass so bad, it was like a Crips initiation. Ah well. I guess I'll modify that to cut out the Christian references. And if I ever say frak in public just gun me down immediately, please.


Keven DePew's Five Things You Need to Know is one of the funniest columns on the Web. I don't know how he can shovel that much snark every market day. Today's opener:

Fannie Mae this morning reported a wider loss than many analysts estimated, cut its dividend to 25 cents a share and said it will raise $6 billion in capital before it eventually burns to the ground while the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight plays a fiddle.

Guess that about sums it up...

Party like it's 1999?

Here's an excellent primer from a monetarist perspective on why the economy is such a mess. Now with visual aids! So you can see how screwed we are! Thanks for playing!

Sig Sauer Mosquito

When I realized that the price of ammo going up for the foreseeable future, I got in the market for a new .22 pistol to train with. The problem with the standard Buckmark or Mark III is that the pistols are so different from what I actually carry that there is a limit to what kind of training I could do with them. Enter the new Sig Mohito: which bears a reasonable relationship to the plastic Glocky-lookin thing I wear on my hip most days.

The Germanic engineering makes the pistol feel extremely competent, which it most assuredly is. A couple of people at the range came over and asked to handle it, and they were also impressed with the feel of it. Here's an illustrative target I shot at 10 yards from the first time I took it out to the range:

And before you all harrass me about the loosey-goosey grouping, keep a few points in mind:

1. I already know I suck, FYVM
2. This was my first time shooting the pistol,
3. with my weak hand.

What I like about this group is how you can see the travel in my aim as the magazine empties. If nothing else, it illustrates that this pistol is way more accurate than I am. At the price (around $300 new), this was a terrific addition to the armory.