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The Making of a Dictator

It’s been interesting to watch what’s been going on in Venezuela. It’s not often we get to see a socialist dictatorship emerge right before our own eyes. Today, Hugo Chavez was given the power to make laws unilaterally, so that he may “impose the dictatorship of a true democracy.” That is, a socialist “democracy”.

Just to give you an example of why I will never be elected president, I don’t see why the proper response to this isn’t to just say nothing, but to frame the noose that Saddam was hung with, and send it to Hugo, with a note attached saying:

Comrade Chavez,

Congratulations on your newfound power. I hope will will take this gift as congratulations, and as a reminder that I really do not like dictators, and those who have decided to cause trouble for us often find their lifespans severly shortened. But seriously, congratulations, destroying five decades of democratic rule in Venezuela is quite an accomplishment. Rest assured that the US stands ready to offer assistance to your country after you destroy its economy, and we’re forced to remove you from power.

Sincerely,

El Diablo

I mean, how could you resist that. Especially when you read stuff like this:

The law also allows Chavez to dictate unspecified measures to transform state institutions; reform banking, tax, insurance and financial regulations; decide on security and defense matters such as gun regulations and military organization; and “adapt” legislation to ensure “the equal distribution of wealth” as part of a new “social and economic model.”

I’ll bet Comrade Chavez is going to be making healthy use of that particular power. Remember folks, you have to disarm people before you can subjugate them. Let’s not help make it happen here too. Oh, but it gets better:

Chavez plans to reorganize regional territories and carry out reforms aimed at bringing “power to the people” through thousands of newly formed Communal Councils designed to give Venezuelans a say on spending an increasing flow of state money on projects in their neighborhoods, from public housing to potholes.

It’s good to see that Chavez has been reading his Lenin. You know what the Russian word for council is? That’s right, Soviet. If the Venezuelans know what’s good for them, they’ll put a bullet in this commie rat’s head before he can do too much damage.

Quote of the Day

From Jerry Shores in Pinellas Park, Florida, in response to the St. Petersburg Times tirade about Florida’s gun licensing system:

Finally, and again using your reported numbers, there are 408,250 law-abiding, concealed carrying Floridians who have the means to defend themselves and their loved ones (and perhaps you and your loved ones as well) from an attack by an armed criminal. Frankly, I’m much more comforted by that thought than I am by the prospect that all I have to answer a criminal’s armed assault is your paper’s righteous indignation.

Zing! Good comeback.

h/t: Dave Hardy

Add John Rafferty to the List

John Rafferty can now be added to the list of people who can officially kiss my ass. Why? This is why:

The new chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, PJ Stapleton, says the LCB has already approved the transfer of a liquor license to one grocery store that offers in-store dining and will now sell beer, and he says several applications are pending.

Buying beer in grocery stores? Now there’s something I can get behind! In states like Iowa, California, and many many others, you can buy a fifth of rye at you corner grocery store, not just beer. I’m happy Mr. Stapleton is moving Pennsylvania in line with most of the other states in the union. But wait:

But that chairman of the Law and Justice Committee, suburban Republican John Rafferty, says he’s concerned about the number of teenagers who work in grocery stores, and for that and other reasons he’s working on legislation that would close what he believes is a loophole in state liquor law.

Thanks John, for looking out after us, and getting this dangerous loophole that allows beer to be sold in supermarkets, which is clearly turning every other state that does it into a giant drunken frat party. It’s all about the children, after all.

And we wonder why young people are leaving Pennsylvania in droves once they get out of college?

Knox Gets a Boost

Tom Knox it seems has come from way behind to take the number two polling spot in the Philadelphia mayoral race. This is good news, because it pushes Nutty Nutter out of the number two spot and replaces him with a slightly more sane candidate. Tom Knox is also cooler because he has a blog. Bob Brady, the City’s top Democrat, has thrown in officially now too, but he’s still polling dead last, behind Fattah, Knox, Nutty, and Evans.

A Good C&R Carry Gun?

Ahab of WWJWD asks an interesting question about C&R carry guns:

After my recent experiment with the Hi-point pistol and the sundry disappointment that followed, I started thinking about “what if someone carried a C&R?” I ruminated on it for a while; and I did have a couple of germane thoughts. A lot of these older guns are military pieces, designed to ridden hard and put up wet. Apart from the abysmal sights on a good percentage of them, you could do a lot worse for a carry gun that packing a Star Model B (or whatever). Again, I’d say wait a month and buy a used GP100 for $300, but if all you’ve got is a surplus CZ50 (.32 ACP) and you can shoot it, it beats a pointy stick.

Makarovs are pretty good carry guns. I carry a Bulgarian Mak loaded with Corbon Pow’rball ammo in 9x18mm in my front coat pocket, or on a belt holster from time to time, as a backup gun, or in situations where I can’t carry my Glock. Most Maks, including the Bulgarian, aren’t C&R eligible, but Soviet Military Maks are. There are some out there on the market. They cost a bit more, because they are more collectible, but you can get it delivered to your door by the brown truck of happiness, just like anything else on the C&R list. You’ll feel like you just joined the KGB!

Pennsylvania Should Wait

Bruce’s post about Flutiecare in Massachusetts is a big reason why I’m not sanguine about the prospect of Ed Rendell boldly moving Pennsylvania into attempting to outdo all the other states to show how much we care about our citizen’s health care. We need to see how this works out in other states before we try to one up anyone.

I also notice that Rendell’s health plan includes a state-wide public smoking ban. Ed, you can totally kiss my ass. Remember kids, when the government pays for your health care, suddenly your bad health habits become everyone else’s business. No thanks! Call me a wacky libertarian, but government provided health care has always seemed to be to be the short line to the government controlling way too many aspects of life than any reasonable human being should be comfortable with.

I need a refresher course in exactly how it is I need to vote for Democrats because the Republicans are too busy stomping on civil liberties. Maybe it’s just the wacky libertarian talking again, but as far as I’m concerned, both parties seem to be equally good at trying to run my life, and as far as I’m concerned they can both go to hell.

The Media Assault

It definitely seems the media is currently engaged in a full court press against gun rights. But Why? And what does it mean? Believe it or not, I don’t think this necessarily is bad news for gun owners, but that doesn’t mean we can relax and stop being vigilant. It’s times like this that are important, but not because it’s a sign we’re about to start losing.

The main reason we’re seeing this media blitz is because of the Democrats taking over the legislative branch and generally gaining power. The anti-gun groups will be doing everything they can to get the gun issue back into the spotlight, so expect a lot of press releases, deception, and lying. And we must be aggressive about calling them out for it, and not let them an inch of breathing room.

This is an act of desperation, not an act of strength. The anti-gun groups know that if the Democrats actually abandon their issue, they are dead politically for the foreseeable future. I am not optimistic that we have won over the Democrats enough that they will actively work for us, but I think we have scared them enough that they are afraid to work against us, and that’s a tremendous accomplishment. But we have to keep them scared.

Keeping up the fight will mean writing letters to the editor challenging anti-gun editorials, and biased and inaccurate reporting. It will mean writing letters to politicians and your represenatives and making sure they are aware of your opinion on these issues. Probably most importantly, and I know a lot of people don’t like to hear this, it means making sure your NRA membership is current, and if it’s not, joining. Keep up your membership in the other groups if you like (I do) but the NRA is who the politicians in Washington and the state houses pay attention to, and how much attention the politicians pay is directly proportional to how many votes they bring to the table. Who knows, if we’re effective enough, we may even be able to get the Democrats to figure out they have more to gain by working with us than against us. Imagine how demoralized that would make you feel if you were a Brady supporter?

Global Warming

The traffic whore in me is noticing that you seem to be able to get a lot of attention by denying global warming. So I’ll offer a bit of my perspective. I work in a business where we attempt to model very complex systems. We don’t do it very well, but it’s enough that billions of dollars are chasing after ideas which look really good when presented to outsiders who don’t know science as well. Climate is a very complex system, and a lot of the claims that climatologists make do not pass the smell test as far as I’m concerned. I will remain very skeptical of many claims regarding global warming.

I should point out that I think global warming is probably happening, and that we’re probably contributing something to it. The evidence here seems pretty solid. But I don’t find the science convincing enough to start shaping public policy around it, because I don’t think we can really know enough to do it. How much CO2 to we need to stop emitting to make a difference? How much exactly are we contributing vs. natural contributions? How much can we expect sea level to rise? Temperature to go up? I don’t believe anyone who claims they can answer these questions with any accuracy.

I’ve seen way too many scientists claim to be able to model complex systems, who turn out to be wrong or misleading, to lend too much credence to wild claims. And if you don’t think scientists chase after grant money, you haven’t been around them enough. Don’t get me wrong, we need to keep the process going, keep learning, and keep trying to understand. But let’s not get all chicken little just yet. If we can do easy things to reduce our carbon footprint, let’s do it, but let’s not start talking about restructuring civilization just yet.

Random Obama Dreams

Jym: I had a dream last night that i was hanging out with Obama, and Osama kidnapped us with a van full of terrorists
Jym: And that i then single handedly killed them all, including Osama, to save Obama
Sebastian: What did Obama do?
Jym: Just kinda sat there
Jym: I had to do all the work
Jym: Goddamn Democrats
Sebastian: It’s shit like that which makes me feel I just could never support him

Rail Gun Porn

While we’re talking about futuristic weapons, how about some rail gun porn? Hat tip to powerlabs.org.

YouTube Preview Image
This is a 15 Kilojoule shot at target. You can see the plasma arc coming out of the gun. On their site, they say a lot of the energy got wasted because of the metal vaporization. Sad.YouTube Preview Image
8.3KJ shot with aluminium/teflon projectile. Apparently sending the projectile supersonic.
Take a trip over to powerlabs to get the details. You could build one of these yourself if you wanted to.

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