Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in Review

Here at Windypundit, 2012 was the year in which:

See you in the nNew Year!

Libertarian Society/Socialist Society

Over at Popehat, Patrick is asking readers to come up with a response to this:


Patrick’s own response is pretty good:

Libertarian Society Socialist Society1

Popehat readers have stepped up in the comments and offered other suggestions, and this one from Erbo is pretty good:

Firefly Logan's Run

(For you young kids, the bottom one is a scene from Logan’s Run.)

For my own entry, I figured why go Sci-Fi? We have some examples right here on this planet:

Hong Kong Benxi


Huckabee’s Nonsense

I wasn’t planning to write anything about the shootings in Newton, Connecticut. It touches on a variety of issues that are of interest to me, but it just feels a little too soon for sober discussion.

But then I came across this nonsense:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) weighed in on the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, saying the crime was no surprise because we have “systematically removed God” from public schools.

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said on Fox News. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

Marc Randazza’s response is not exactly a well-reasoned counter-argument, but I can’t fault the sentiment:

Fuck you, Mike Huckabee. Fuck you in your ass with a cactus.

In the comments, however, my Nobody’s Business co-blogger Rogier steps up and fills in some of the argument:

What claptrap. The heavily secularized nations of Western Europe have never tolerated God in public schools, not in recent times anyway, and they have nowhere near the homicide rate of the U.S.

HuffPo also quotes Huckabee from earlier this summer, talking about a different shooting:

“We don’t have a crime problem, a gun problem or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem,” Huckabee said on Fox News. “And since we’ve ordered God out of our schools, and communities, the military and public conversations, you know we really shouldn’t act so surprised … when all hell breaks loose.”

One big problem for Huckabee’s argument is that, despite yesterday’s horrors, all hell is not breaking loose. The national homicide rate has been declining for almost two decades and is currently (as of the latest data from 2009) just barely above the low that began the 1960’s:

U.S.Homicide Rate Trend 1960 - 2009
U.S.Homicide Rate Trend 1960 – 2009

(Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, murder and negligent manslaughter rates.)

So the good news is that — despite godlessness, gun ownership, video games, and internet porn — we’re actually safer from violence than at any time in the last 40 years. This was a bad moment in an otherwise pretty good time.

In Which Someone Mistakes Me For a Successful Business

This seems to have been the week for bashing marketers who send silly email messages in the legal blogosphere (although Brian and Scott don’t really need a special week for that), and I need to exercise my brain on the new blogging software, so I think I’ll do a little bashing of my own.

I received an interestingly self-refuting email a few days ago from a salesman named James:

Hi Mark,  I am inquiring about a full time sales position covering California. My 10 years of experience selling software and consulting services in Western US could generate two or three million dollars in new revenue in 2013.

He goes on to make his pitch:

Independent lead generation has enabled me to develop a sales funnel rapidly.  I offer a demonstrated track record of success selling to decision makers and early adopters. I live in San Francisco. My monthly salary requirement is $9,900 per month for the first three months and $5,800 per month thereafter.

Furthermore, he attached his resume, and it describes him as an

Accomplished sales executive offering a reputation as an unrelenting force in demand generation, and a proven track record identifying paying customers and closing deals. Sought-after for strong research skills and an ability to efficiently engage the top prospects across a broad geographic territory.

Tell me, James, if you’re so good at generating leads and identifying paying customers, why are you trying to sell to me? My consulting business is mostly a one-man operation. Why would I possibly need a salesman for $10K/month?

Furthermore, I shut that business down and returned to full-time employment over a year ago, which James could have discovered with his “strong research skills” by checking public records to see that my state registration has expired, or checking my company web page, or even — God help us — glancing at my LinkedIn profile.

Anytime this week or next week works for me if you wish to have a 30 minute phone conversation. Thanks for your consideration.

James _____ (xxx) xxx-xxxx [email protected]

Despite the silliness of sending this to me, I’ve decided not to embarrass James by publishing his full name. As far as I can tell, he’s not making any kinds of unethical claims, nor is he an internet marketing douchebag. He’s offering to do the hard work of selling product in a territory. If he has a web site or Facebook marketing page or even a LinkedIn page, I can’t find it. Also, note the charmingly quaint AOL address.

Actually, it seems likely he is himself the victim of some internet marketing douchebag who sold him a list of email addresses of “owners of tech companies in the midwest who are hiring sales people.” I emailed him to ask how he picked me, but he never responded, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

The right to keep and bear arms may be coming to Illinois

My home state of Illinois is apparently the last state that still does not provide any way for ordinary citizens to carry concealed weapons. But that may be about to end:

In a 2-1 decision that is a major victory for the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the state’s ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional.

“We are disinclined to engage in another round of historical analysis to determine whether eighteenth-century America understood the Second Amendment to include a right to bear guns outside the home. The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside,” the judges ruled.

“The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden.

This doesn’t mean Illinois residents can start packing heat. The current law will remain in effect for at least 180 days, during which the Illinois legislature will have to come up with a way to allow law abiding citizens to carry guns.

I think there are probably some concealed carry classes in my future.

in Guns

Catch-22 in D.C. Police Encounters?

According to Jamison Koehler, the rule on police stops in D.C. just got trickier, and it now goes something like this:

  1. If you consent to a search or conversation with police, your consent waives your rights to object to what they find or figure out.
  2. Without your consent, the police need a specific reason to detain you.
  3. If you could legally walk away from an encounter with police, then your continued participation in the encounter constitutes consent.
  4. Walking away from the police constitutes unprovoked flight, which gives police a specific reason to detain you.

So when a cop says he wants to talk to you, both staying to talk and walking away will result in you losing your rights? I guess you could simply stay and remain silent until he dismisses you, but how is that not the same as being detained?

I suspect I’m oversimplify and missing some important legal angles, so you should probably read the whole thing.