Thursday, July 15, 2004

Gratuitous Atomic Cannon Post

When I was looking for a nuclear weapons photo for a previous post, I immediately thought of the only live firing of an atomic cannon (in the US, that is). So I hunted up the famous photo of Shot Grable 10 (isn't the Net convenient?) and found that most of the images were poor scans. Finally I "borrowed" a good one and thought I'd actually post so you don't have to follow a link to see it. This is an actual photo of an actual atomic cannon firing an actual atomic shell. No editing or fakery involved.

Operation Upshot Knothole
Shot Grable 10
Frenchman's Flat, Nevada 25 May 1953
Mark 9 Gun Weapon - 280mm
Range 7 miles

Stop and Identify Statutes

Thanks to those dedicated Supreme Court Clerks, we have a list from page 3 of the Supreme Court's decision in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., Humboldt Cty of those states that have "Stop and Identify" statutes that punish those who undergo a police Terry Stop and refuse to identify themselves.

They are: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin.

If you're not in those 20 states, the newly drafted Hiibel Rule doesn't apply to you. Of course, more states may enact such statutes now that the Supremes have OK'd them.

Remember too that Mr. Hiibel only had to pay a $250 fine for violation of the statute so one could just think of it as a privacy tax.

Here are the cites to the specific statutes:

Ala. Code §15?5?30 (West 2003); Ark. Code Ann. §5?71?213(a)(1) (2004); Colo. Rev. Stat. §16?3?103(1) (2003); Del. Code Ann., Tit. 11, §§1902(a), 1321(6) (2003); Fla. Stat. §856.021(2) (2003); Ga. Code Ann. §16?11?36(b) (2003); Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 725, §5/107?14 (2004); Kan. Stat. Ann. §22?2402(1) (2003); La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann., Art. 215.1(A) (West 2004); Mo. Rev. Stat. §84.710(2) (2003); Mont. Code Ann. §46?5?401(2)(a) (2003); Neb. Rev. Stat. §29?829 (2003); N. H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§594:2 and 644:6 (Lexis 2003); N. M. Stat. Ann. §30?22?3 (2004); N. Y. Crim. Proc. Law §140.50(1) (West 2004); N. D. Cent. Code §29?29?21 (2003); R. I. Gen. Laws §12?7?1 (2003); Utah Code Ann. §77?7?15 (2003); Vt. Stat. Ann., Tit. 24, §1983 (Supp. 2003); Wis. Stat. §968.24 (2003)

Monday, July 12, 2004

If Bush Were Hitler...

You may have heard that George W. Bush is Adolf Hitler and the US is Nazi Germany and "The Most Dangerous Nation" on Earth.

No one's said this to me in person but an obvious retort would be, "If Bush were Hitler, we'd be busy shoveling your corpse into a pit right about now. Since I observe that we are not, Bush must not be Hitler."

But what if I'm wrong? What if Bush magically became Hitler and the US magically became Nazi Germany? What would happen?

1) Canada is toast. The Pentagon dusts off the old Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan--Red from the 1920s and the amphibious assault on Halifax and the armored columns pouring north from New York towards Toronto and Montreal would make quick work of the Canadian Defense Forces.

2) One carrier battle group (out of our 12) would sail out of Hampton Roads to challenge the combined naval forces of the EU (assuming they are capable of combining). Fifteen minutes later...

3) The marine guards from the US Embassy in Paris (assisted by infiltrated crewcut "tourists" who flew in on Air France from Dulles) capture the Elysee Palace. Similar seizures occur in Brussels and Berlin.

4) Unconditional surrender demands are received by the national governments of some 192 countries backed up by nuclear targeting of some of the more significant capital cities of those countries. Beijing is accidentally incinerated. Offers of surrender pour in.

5) The heretofore secret FEMA civil disorder control squads fan out in Seattle, Portland, the Bay Area, the West Side of LA, Boston, certain islands off the Massachusetts coast, and Manhattan to offer mental health services to various actors, filmmakers, commentators, and academics. These mental health services which had been sadly neglected in the "bad old days", became available under the recently enacted Secret Emergency Order 2004-23432-2345 establishing a single-payer National Health Care System.

6) Reflecting the Great Leader's famed concern for the natural environment, the EPA issues strict regulations concerning the handling and disposal of human and animal remains. Previous high-pollution methods such as incineration are replaced with modern irradiation and conversion into compost for use in agriculture and in the National Parks.

7) Under the guidance of the Great Leader, Christianity experiences an unprecedented flowering as His careful study of other faiths causes Him to adopt some of their techniques of proselytizing. He borrows conversion by the sword from Islam which serves to swell the ranks of believers.

8) Medina and Mecca are accidentally destroyed in a tragic B2 training accident. The Great Leader in compensation agrees to accept from Islam the burden of ruling the Christian Holy Cities of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Istanbul (now Constantinople) conquered so long ago.

9) The Great Leader, showing his concern for the confusions inherent in the many Christian denominations, guides The Faith to a new form of Methodism that is reconciled with its Anglican roots. The Great Leader sacrifices Himself for the spiritual needs of His people and becomes Head of the Church and Defender of the Faith.

Contractions of Rights by Amendments

In a discussion of the Federal Marriage Amendment, Instapundit Glenn Reynolds writes:

It's true that the Constitution has been amended to do other things besides expand rights, for example, but the only contraction of rights -- Prohibition -- was swiftly repealed. Other amendments have either been on unrelated topics, or have expanded rights.

What about:

13th Amendment - Reduced the rights of slave owners.

16th Amendment - Reduced the rights of those earning income to be free from unequal taxation. [The 16th Amendment in particular was a very significant rights deprivation. I find it hard to believe that Glenn and Andrew Sullivan have ignored it as a counterexample. It certainly made massive monetary exactions possible.]

17th Amendment - Reduced the rights of State Legislators [to elect Senators].

18th Amendment - Reduced the rights of drinkers [as you noted].

19th Amendment - Reduced the rights of male voters [by dilution].

22nd Amendment - Reduced the rights of Presidents to run for more than 2 terms.

23rd, 24th, & 26th Amendments - Reduced the rights of non-DC, financially comfortable, and older voters respectively [by dilution].

Some of the other Amendments probably reduced rights as well but I'm too lazy to do the analysis. For example -- I might prefer that the President and Congress not be sworn in until March but the 20th Amendment deprived me of same.