Life During Wartime, continued
What Constitutionally-enumerated powers were used to outlaw, disarm, or even identify the Ku Klux Klan?

What was used for probable cause to go after them (or was probable cause the "thirteenth floor" then, like the Second Amendment has been since NFA '36)? Is there anything here that would be of use to us in a Constitutionally permissible pursuit of islamists in the United States?

Update: The KKK wasn't outlawed or disarmed, was it? Maybe this line of inquiry is a non-starter. Don't worry, I can't quit my day job. Literally. Can't.
What took him so long?
Eric Raymond took the red pill.
. . . in the forests of the Night . . .
Vanessa Williams, not Halle Berry, must play Robin Wednesbury, purely as a matter of taste. Nominations are open for Presteign and Dagenham. No Baldwins need apply.

And I will not let John Woo anywhere near this script. MI2 was intolerable.
Synchronicity? Kismet? Karma?
My blog is not the only one to have used the word orc. This was discovered by browsing the brothers Volokh, Evgeniy of whom I had just emailed about a different post on this here blog.

I don't believe in coincidence.


Khowst, or California?
The Hayman fire is close enough to my house that I'm a little nervous myself. Still, I'd rather have A-10's delivering fire in Afghanistan than putting fires out, even in Colorado.

It is inexcusable that "[T]he end of the Cold War mothballed over 200 of these aircraft " (I almost said "inconceivable," but that does not mean what I think it means).
Life During Wartime
Though Eugene Volokh has established that the United States can be at war without Congress declaring war, I firmly believe that this war should be declared.

Full disclosure: such a declaration would be disastrous to me personally, and to a lot of people I know. I guess it just sucks to be me in this case.

Most nations would have no compunction about suspending civil rights throughout their lands during a time of war. Those nations often neglect to restore those rights when the war is over. That is one of the fundamental differences (I hope) between us and the orcs arrayed against us. But EV has more than once expressed concerns that this difference, enshrined in our Constitution, can cost us this war. There are no Constitutionally-carved exceptions that would allow us to bring our full force to bear against non-state actors who have open hostility towards our state. Rather than start carving, or handing the knife to the Executive Branch and surely ending up with nasty scars, let's explore the legal and historical terrain and find what we have done in the past and how it withstood judicial scrutiny.

Warning: This may require the unsavory task of sifting through the legal justifications offered for our own less honorable acts during wartime, such as the racial internment of Americans during World War II. Now is not the time to be squeamish.

For example: What is the Constitutionality of arbitrarily expelling the nationals of countries (or members of non-state organizations) with whom we are at war? Put aside investigating them or putting them under surveillance, what about just kicking them out? Would this tool be useful enough to justify all of the other exertions that come with declaring a war---rather than merely having "decided, for war, formally or informally, expressly or by implication, in advance or by subsequent ratification, by legislation or resolution, [or] merely by appropriating funds for the conduct of war"?


Seven Days in May?
Courtesy Military.com, an article from Proceedings about the reasons for political neutrality among the ranks of our armed services:
If our military surrenders its political neutrality, we risk compromising our public credibility and our mission cohesiveness, two attributes that could be difficult to recover.

What about provoking Americans' visceral suspicions of martial law or coup?


The Al-Muhajir Problem
Am working on a position regarding military tribunals and the laws of evidence to be presented in them, riffing off Eugene Volokh's many posts.

No, I ain't a lawyer either. Lawyers, for example, tend not to say ain't.
Working on that. The rest of the shop is watching Hannibal. Can't get a damned thing done while the TV is on.


Been there, Done that, got the T-shirt
I see T-shirts silkscreened with "Operation Enduring Freedom---Anti-Terrorism Strike Force." Sounds a little puffed-up to me. The real anti-terrorism strike force people are caffeinated spook guys with no markings on their uniforms except blood type, who sit together to eat UGRs silently in a crowded and noisy chow hall, who were ordered to grow a beard. They don't wear T-shirts bragging about it.

The "enduring freedom" part is smarmy too, and as poor a choice as "infinite justice". Who comes up with these names?

Should we turn our cannon towards Iraq, we should jettison "Enduring Freedom" and open up a new operation, setting its tone with a more forceful name.

My candidate:

Operation Fateful Lightning

How better to unhinge Islamofascists and Islamapologists than the Battle Hymn of the Republic?

This'll impress Shania Twain
And the country & western video for Battle Hymn will practically make itself. As if one were needed.

Just finished Cassini Division. Was hoping that the bureaucrat-babe from Sky Road would reappear in it. Does David Reid pop up in everything MacLeod writes, like Heinlein's Lazarus Long?
Abandonment of intellectual property

Eq Quillen stirred the neurons recently with a suggestion that copyrights be terminated if one could claim that the holder of the copyright has abandoned his interest in the property. Quillen's real-world example was a record album less than 15 years old but no longer in print. He had to get a friend to make a copy, in violation of the copyright.

He proposes a Federal agency to administer the termination of copyrights. I'd rather keep the onus on the prior copyright holder. Make him look after his intellectual property interests by, first and foremost, keeping that property in play, trying to make money from it, with fair warning that if he lets that play slip, he risks a dramatic extension of the public's fair use rights, if not outright loss of his interest in the property.
Start your own blog, kid, you bother me

One reason I started this blog is that I found myself asking other bloggers to do my blogging for me, as it were. My rants have been sighted at InstaPundit and I've commented at Sgt Stryker and Matthew Edgar.

But just like letters to the editor, the rants intermittently make it to print. Sometimes I regret when they do, because something doesn't sound quite as witty as it did when I fired it off. Rather than become the blogosphere's equivalent of a pathetic groupie or a creepy stalker, hounding other bloggers to post my fevered thoughts, I had better start my own.
Doubly sweet if the hoplophobes stop flying First Class

David Kopel had already cleared this point up: frangible bullets are not necessary for armed airline pilots, in fact they may be useless in that role if the new cockpit doors are stronger.

Reasonably intelligent armed pilots will strive to nail the hijackers before the cockpit is compromised, which necessitates shooting through the material of the closed hatch. Frangibles won't do that, they are engineered not to.

I trust Dave, and he says a puncture of the pressurized cabin will not, repeat will not cause the fuselage to explode, splooing burst corpses into the tropopause, if the bullet overpenetrates a hijacking orc and leaves the aircraft. Thus our discussion returns to pistols, cartridges, and loadings that are optimized for stopping orcs, proven for that purpose on the ground, which requires what is called "permanent wound channel," which in turn requires penetration of clothing, skin, and muscle to some depth to damage vital organs.

A cartridge and load that deliver this performance for a large or muscular orc will go fully through a slightly-built one, or through a limb of the big one, so overpenetration is a real risk, but to individual passengers, not the entire planeload. Therefore, it's not a technical question but a policy or moral one. We are back in the realm of risking just one innocent life, not hundreds, aboard to spare thousands on the ground below.

Hell, I'll take one for the flight deck. Give me the aisle bulkhead seat up front, please, right in the line of that potential fire, rather than emergency-exit row on any commercial flight where only the orcs and the marshals are armed. My spare tire would probably stop a 230-grain FMJ/FP anyway, after it's decelerated by a reinforced cockpit door, a hijacker's thorax, and two issues of Wired. So cut it out already with the frangible ammunition bullshit.

And gimme back my Gerber E-Z Out.

Update: I wrote this post in mid-April of 2002, while I was still gathering up enough testosterone to launch this blog. Between then and now, the Blogosphere has dealt with the pointlessness of frangible ammunition. I posted this anyway, because I wanted to see the word splooing in print, and because I did the [meager] research for it back in October. Neener neener. And the issue of arming pilots is still germane---it still hasn't been done and no further arguments have been advanced by those who resist it.

Tygre! Tygre! Burning bright . . .
Wouldn't Bruce Willis play an awesome Gulliver Foyle?
"I kill you, Vorga T-1339. I kill you filthy."


OK, so it's been a decade at least since Desert Storm and Desert Shield. We've gotten desert uniforms with desert rank insignia, desert combat boots, yada yada.

However, two items essential to the soldier's life have not been updated for today's Desert Fun, to my knowledge, in spite of Uncle Sugar having had plenty of time to do so:
1) sand-colored "550" nylon parachute cord
2) sand-colored 200-mile-an-hour tape

For believers in the free market, this is an opportunity. Do you have any idea how much 200-mph tape the US military goes through?


First, a note in the form of an apology in advance: I will not be posting to this blog with anything of the regularity or the frequency of Glenn Reynolds. Someday, perhaps. But I will claim him as my blogparent (he is of course free to disown me as a blogchild). Sorry, when I get back to the States and access Blogger through bandwidth that I buy and pay for, I'll catch up.

Second, I prefer to remain anonymous for now, much like Sergeant Stryker used to.

But I will share some biographical info with you:
Military part-timer, have been called up since the WTC/Pentagon attacks (I refuse to abbreviate that event as "9/11").
Gun-rights advocate.
I know somebody who knows Coyote.
My home town is somewhere between Vodkapundit and Geekpress, much closer to the latter. I used to drive past Sedalia, Colorado every day.
Was raised and spent most of my life back East, transplanted to Colorado.

Friday 2002-08-09 06:17:32 Walter in Denver colorado.blogspot.com 1st Comment! Dibs on the front seat!

Friday 2002-08-09 16:59:37 Fuze Walter, that means you have to hold my beer while I drive.