Thursday, September 27, 2012

Range Report: Passing

You may remember that in my last post I guessed that my sling wasn’t actually helping my marksmanship as it was intended to.  The military issues simple slings with the M16 and M4 for carry purposes, but I at least was never trained to use it for stabilizing the rifle.  The Appleseed Project admits that the two don’t seem to go as well together as the sling does with other rifles.

Here are my results without the sling.

Aguilar 55gr.:

Aguilar 55gr

Not sure where that 5th bullet went.  My daughter sharing the bench with me using her 22LR, so she probably jostled the bench at the wrong moment.

Lake City 55gr.:

Lake City FMJ1F 55gr

I am really starting to like that Lake City.  It’s performance seems to be holding up, and at less than half the cost of my match grade PMC.

PMC Bronze FMJBT 55gr.:

PMC Bronze FMJBT 55gr

PMC Bronze was the very first .223 ammo I ever used.  I was disappointed, but my shooting seems to have improved since then.

PMC Precision BTHP 75gr.:

PMC Precision BTHP 75gr

The expensive stuff.  Still getting the job done.

Moving out to 100m:

Lake City:

Lake City 55gr 100m

PMC Precision:

PMC Precision 75gr 100m

It’s easy to see either of these loads, with the sights properly adjusted, staying inside the black, which is all I really expected out of an AR-15 at 100m.

It’s interesting to observe that the impact points are actually higher on the target at 100m than they are at 50m.  Simple ballistics would predict the opposite, but on reflection I can imagine a geometry where the bullets are still on an upward path at 50m relative to the point of aim, and that this upward path is still continuing at 100m.

Once again, we see the importance of having the sights aligned, not just for the ammo, but for the distance as well.  I wonder at what distance infantrymen sight in, and how they adapt their point of aim to differently ranged targets dynamically.

UPDATE: I took a little closer look at the bag that the "Lake City" ammo came in. Here is what it says:

.223 55gr. FMJ1F
Once Fired Factory Primed Lake City Brass, Tx.
Manufactured by Dallas Reloading Services Dallas

My order form says:

1 x 100rds - .223 DRS 55gr. FMJBT Ammo Once Fired Brass

If I'm reading this correctly, DRS obtained some spent brass originating at the Lake City plant in Independence, Missouri, and reloaded them. (I'm not sure if this means the primers were reinstalled in Lake City as well.) Unfortunately, my usual supplier isn't presently carrying any DRS FMJ reloads, and Federal Lake City doesn't have any loads called either FMJ1F or FMJBT. So it's hard to tell exactly what I was shooting. On the other hand, since they make ammunition for the military, maybe it's all the same?

UPDATE: More optics trouble. Grrr . . . One of the advantages of a holographic sight as opposed to a traditional scope is the ability to keep both eyes open and focused on the target, with one eye behind the sight. The shooter can only do this when not using a magnifier, so it was only last weekend that I discovered that my sight was distorting the view such that it was impossible to focus on the target with both eyes open. In other words, instead of seeing one target in the distance, I saw two. Which is kinda bad, since I will have to think about which target to aim at. I hadn't noticed it at first because I was only using it with the magnifier.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Range Report: Slings

Walking around the local show awhile back, I came across a vendor demoing an optics configuration identical to mine:  a Sightmark holographic sight with a 5x magnifier.  Except the demo had none of the smearing that mine had; the reticle was in perfect focus.  That was all the motivation I needed to call Sightmark and gently insist that they repair either or both of the optics, as needed.

They did, and I was quite happy with the result:


Now that’s the sight picture I wanted.

So, it was back to the range.  But I made another change in my technique.  I started using a sling, specifically using a “hasty sling” to help brace the rifle.  I also had some new ammunition to try out.

Lake City FMJ1F 55gr.:

Lake City 55gr with sling

This is the tightest group I’ve ever shot.  Unfortunately, I was unable to repeat it:

Lake City 2 with sling

This group was somewhat later.  My theory is that as the barrel of the rifle heats up, the pressure of the sling on the front of the hand guards starts to throw off the precision.  The alternative possibility is that the sling just adds another variable that I have to struggle with to keep consistent.

Aguilar 55gr.:

Aguilar 50m with sling

Not the worst ammo I’ve ever shot, but not the best either.  I took it out to 100m:

Aguilar 100m with sling

As bad as this is, it’s the best I’ve ever done at 100m.  What I don’t understand is how a 2 inch group at 50m became a 10 inch group at 100m.  I would think that simple geometry would give me a 4 inch group.  I’m going to try without the sling next time and see what happens.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Range Report: New Optics

Another day at the range, this time with a new toy:


That’s a Sightmark 5x slide-to-side magnifier to go with my Sightmark holographic sight.

A magnifier, like any scope, has a quality called “eye relief”.  Position your eye too far away from the lense, and the result looks like this:


Get too close, and you see this:


Positioned correctly, you see this:


That’s the front sight post partially obscuring the view.  One of the disadvantages of this arrangement.

The second disadvantage is, this isn’t actually what I see when I look through the magnifier.  When I actually put my eye to it instead of the camera, the red holograph in the center is distorted.  I don’t mean the fairly mild lens flare seen here.  I mean the dot looks like somebody smeared it upward with his thumb.

The third disadvantage is that my shooting was actually worse than when I shot without it.


Crap!  Out of 30 shots fired, five to each target, I can’t even swear I hit the board more than 10 times at 100m, let alone put my shots on the target at which I was actually shooting! 

I need to bring this back in to 50m and see what happens.

American Eagle XM855F 62Gr FMJ-BT Ball:

American Eagle XM855

Please ignore the .45ACP you’ll see scattered around the targets

Black Hills 55Gr FMJ “Remanufactured Seconds”:

Black Hills 55Gr Seconds

Don’t pay attention to the XM856 in the upper left corner.  I did fire that ammo at this target, but it didn’t hit it, nor did it hit anywhere else on the board.  So I tried again with the Black Hills.

Black Hills 60Gr. Soft Point:

Black Hills 60Gr Soft Point

Again, pay no attention to the “Fiocchi” in the upper right.  I ran out of that ammo trying to hit the board at 100m.

PMC Precision 75Gr. Match:

PMC Precision 75Gr

Reliably the tightest group, but the zero is way off from where it was previously.  Could the quick-detach be catching up to me?  Could the magnifier be moving the zero?

Sellier & Bellot 55Gr. SP:

Sellier & Bellot 55Gr SP

I seem to be missing one (the whole in the right not belonging to me).

Tul Ammo 55Gr. FMJ:

Tul Ammo 55Gr FMJ

With the exception of the shot that went wide on the left, this wasn’t a bad group.  I actually haven’t been disappointed with the performance of the ultra-cheap Russian ammo.  Too bad the steel cases are so hard on the rifle.

Okay, let’s do a side-by-side comparison.  Picture sizes have been approximately adjusted to match target sizes.


American Eagle XM855[Federal%2520American%2520Eagle%2520XM855F%252062gr.%2520Penetrator%255B3%255D.jpg]

Black Hills Seconds:

Black Hills 55Gr Seconds[Black%2520Hills%252055gr.%2520Remanufactured%2520Seconds%2520FMJ%255B3%255D.jpg]

Black Hills SP:

Black Hills 60Gr Soft Point[Black%2520Hills%2520Soft%2520Point%252060gr_hilite%255B5%255D.jpg]

Tul Ammo:

Tul Ammo 55Gr FMJ[Tula%252055gr.%2520FMJ%255B4%255D.jpg]

PMC Precision:

PMC Precision 75Gr[PMC%2520Precision%252075gr.%2520BTHP%2520Match%255B3%255D.jpg]

Sellier & Bellot:

Sellier & Bellot 55Gr SP[Sellier%2520%2526%2520Bellot%252055gr.%2520SP%255B3%255D.jpg]

My off-hand estimation is that the magnifier has made me slightly more consistent at 50m, although that could be a marginal improvement in technique or just day-to-day variation.  But dagnabit, I bought a magnifier to make me more consistent at 100m! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Personnel is Policy: Gun-grabbers Edition

In the summer of 2000, I was employed by a large government agency in, um, central Maryland.  The employees of this agency had for a long time operated a “trading post”, originally nothing more than a bulletin board in the building where people could post 3x5 cards advertising personally owned stuff they were trying to unload.  At some point, this bulletin board went “online” – this agency was a significant early adopter of Ethernet technology, although at that time it was still mostly confined to the classified network it shared with its affiliates.  The employees ran the bulletin board on this network.  I personally used it to sell a car.

As internet access and usage spread throughout the government, however, government rules began to follow, and the specific authority by which the bulletin board was operated came into question.  The bulletin board operation was briefly suspended, but came back under the auspices of the Civilian Welfare Fund.  Here is the email we all received about its return:

(U) Trading@N$A came up at about 0930 Thursday morning, and one minute later the first ads were being posted.  So this is not news to many; but for anyone who hasn’t cotton the word, Trading is back, under the sponsorship of your Civilian Welfare Fund.  It’s at: . . . .*

Because Trading is now a nonappropriated fund activity, we are allowed a little more leeway in what we may advertise . . . .  The rules are posted; please read and abide by them.  We’ve already received many challenges to the rules from folks who disagree with one or more of them.  It became obvious within the first few minutes that we will not have the resources to answer every complaint.  The rules were developed in cooperation with Agency ethics people and senior management.  They were not developed capriciously, and they ware as liberal as we could make them and stay within the boundaries of propriety and government policy.  Unfortunately, we simply will not have time to justify each rule and engage in an ongoing e-mail dialog with each person who questions it.  A number of people have voluntarily invested, and will continue to invest, their time in bringing back trading.  We hope that this service will contribute in some way to the morale of our N$A family.

Wow!  What rule could generate such opposition as to provoke this kind of preemptive go-to-hell from management at the get-go?

I want to put this issue in the larger context.  The 1990s were pretty rough on firearm ownership.  The decade began with the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban; large retailers like Wal-Mart and SportsTown began closing their extensive handgun departments.  The internet was still in puberty, and firearms retailers had not yet established much of a presence.  So the prohibition on firearms advertising on a general interest bulletin board was a bigger deal than it would come to seem later.

The decision to ban firearm advertising from the bulletin board was traced to Randi Elizabeth Dufresne, the “Designated Agency Ethics Official”, with the job of making sure that policies followed government ethics rules.  Here was her eventual contribution to the debate:

DAEO Statement:

Trading@N$A is a privilege not an entitlement.  The policies for its use are at the sole discretion of Agency leadership.  Although it is possible for Agency leadership to change these policies, there is no appeal process once a decision has been made.  Although an explanation of the reasons behind the policy against the sale of weapons of Trading@n$a follows, there will not be an extended debate over the merits of these reasons as such debate will make the privilege too administratively costly to continue and Trading@n$a will be shut down again. 

Policy against sales weapons:

“no firearms or other weapons (including non-0functioning) may be sold, rented, or traded through Trading@N$A.”

Reasons for this policy:

1)Firearms or other weapons are distinguishable from other items potentially for sale because they are inherently dangerous when used as intended (an automobile could be dangerous but is not inherently dangerous if used as intended).  The potential liability to the Agency could be greater for such items than for other items.

2) The controversy raging over firearms and other weapons in this country is one in which this Agency does not wish to engage.  Allowing the sale of such items via Trading@N$A would embroil the Agency in that controversy.

3) Firearms and other weapons are not allowed on the Agency installation for legitimate security reasons.  By allowing users of Trading@N$A to post sales of those items some users might infer that the rule against bringing these items on the installation could be ignored in order to effect a transaction begun via Trading@N$A.  The potential danger of this happening even one time greatly outweighs the benefits of allowing such postings.

4) State laws on the sale of firearms are complex and ever changing.  The potential for Trading@N$A to be involved in an illegal transaction is higher for firearms than for other items

Randi Elizabeth DuFresne
Designated Agency Ethics Official
N$A Standards of Conduct Office
Office of General Counsel

My readers will recognize most of this as a tired rehash of long-standing gun-control nonsense.  I am prepared to concede half a point to number 1:  in 2000, it may have been ambiguous in the law whether the internet created some kind new liability for open forums when they were used to facilitate the sale of legal products that were then misused.   But this threat obviously never materialized, and the rest of the arguments were just post-hoc rationalizing with a sprinkle of executive bullying and wrapped in threats to shut down the bulletin board if anyone argued with her.

We argued nonetheless; indeed, we took our case first to the OIG and then to the director.  I even went so far as to file a FOIA request, but was told that it would cost me, personally, $550 or so just to get an answer, with no guarantee that they would give me any information anyway.  (FOIA laws have been weakened further yet; now agencies are permitted to simply lie about having the information people request.)

One thing about this case is worth noting:  even a minor functionary, well-placed, can be tremendously important.  Notwithstanding her slight notoriety as a pseudonymous author of trashy romance novels, Dufresne’s government career apparently went nowhere.  Indeed, as an ethics lawyer, she didn’t even have formal jurisdiction over the areas of the law (e.g., liability) she opined on.  But once she demanded the prohibition, it became very difficult for anyone responsible for the decision to go against her.  This agency’s employees were vetted especially well, as you can imagine, and were extremely unlikely to commit felony murder with a weapon purchased over the electronic bulletin board.  But where was the professional upside for anyone personally taking responsibility for assuming even that infinitesimal risk?  That reasoning applied even to the director, who referred us back to the General Counsel in a one-line response to our entreaty.

* The trading post is, as near as I can figure, still on the classified network.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On Hating the South

I don’t like the South.

There.  I said it.

I was born in the South and lived in a succession of Southern states before heading off to South America for high school.  I went to college in the South, and my first job was in the Southwest.  So my not-liking-the-South is based on extensive first-hand experience.

I will refrain from making any generalizations here about the Southern character.  I do this to forestall its partisans insisting Not-All-Southerners-Are-Like-That.  Whatever.  My not-liking is based on an unassailable observation:  after years of trying, I failed utterly to make its social system work for me in a constructive way.

Yes, this might have been true anywhere.  Whatever.  We only get one life to live, and this one’s mine.  I saw a fair amount of the social landscape, and it didn’t matter whether it was high or low.

I got married in the first non-Southern state in which I had the opportunity to live.  To a Yankee.  “My Southern boy,” she calls me.  I guess I make an okay Southerner as long as I’m not actually living there.

We are now settled happily in the upper Midwest, and as of this month, I have lived here longer than any other single place.  The vicissitudes of employment being what they are, perhaps work will require me to return some day.  That said, I can think of no reason why I would otherwise choose to live there.

However . . .

I do not hate the South, or Southerners as a class.  I especially have no truck with that brand of sectional hatred for which the Southern history is an occasion for moral preening.  I am in that respect the exact opposite of the Southerners surrounding, say, National Review, writers bearing some cultural affinity for the South yet quickly denouncing it for its sins, real and imagined.

Let there be no mistake:  hindsight being 20/20, with the war and occupation fully in view, the Southern secession was mistaken.  Mistaken, too, was its pre-war political agenda almost perfectly calculated to antagonize the North (the Fugitive Slave Act, the Dred Scott decision).  My only point is that I can think of no legal or moral obligation requiring the South to continue to be governed by Washington if it chose not to be so, nor a moral or legal right on the part of the North to attempt to govern it against its expressed will.

In hindsight, of course, the trans-Atlantic slave trade was desperately wrong-headed, and may yet be our undoing.  Had there not been black slaves, there would be no black Americans.  No black crime.  No black intergenerational entitlements.  No black riots.  No affirmative action or disparate impact lawsuits.  No hollowed-out inner cities or ruined schools.  There would be no Trayvon Martin, and perhaps no George Zimmerman.

And most importantly, there probably would not be the Civil Rights paradigm where an ever longer list of aggrieved groups receive special legal immunities at the expense of the white majority.  There might still be a Barack Obama and Eric Holder, but they would never have been given the power they presently wield.  So . . . yeah, slavery was bad.

What slavery is not, however, is some special moral stain on the South, or America as a whole.  It was a long-standing worldwide practice that would have required extraordinary effort to keep away from our shores.

For me, not-liking-the-South means not wanting to live there.  That’s the long and short of it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

No Dominance, Please, We're President

More evidence that President Obama and I are much alike.

I don’t think he doesn’t like people. I know he doesn’t like people. He’s not an extrovert; he’s an introvert. I’ve known the guy since 1988. He’s not someone who has a wide circle of friends. He’s not a backslapper and he’s not an arm-twister. He’s a more or less solitary figure who has extraordinary communicative capacities. He’s incredibly intelligent, but he’s not a guy who’s ever had a Bill Clinton-like network around him.

Steve writes:

Eisenhower played [golf] with big shots to forge personal ties. Obama almost always plays with junior staffers. 

Which I kind of get. Who wants to spend his "me" time with people whose lives revolve around dominating others? Better to play with people who will presumptively defer to you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Product Review: Motorola Droid X2

My Palm Pre Plus went on the fritz again. The microphone wasn't working. I called tech support, who walked me through an update . . . after which the earpiece wasn't working either. It wasn't a huge deal; the speakerphone and bluetooth still worked, so it wasn't unusable. But when Verizon offered me a free Droid X2, on account of them having run out of replacement Palms, I took the opportunity. It meant giving up my free tethering, for which I must now pay an additional $30 per month on top of the $30 I pay for having a smartphone, but at least my unlimited data plan is grandfathered.

Google owns the phone; the rest of us are just visiting. You must have or create a Google account to use the phone, although it is possible to use other Google accounts not registered in the operating system in a web browser. For some reason, this makes me just a little nervous. I have two Google accounts: one under my real name, the other under my blogging persona. I'm not going to pretend that Google couldn't figure out that these two are one and the same, but somehow this process just makes it a little too obvious.

Processor: The X2 has a dual core 1GHz processor, which makes everything a lot snappier than the Palm or Touch 2G. It's probably on par with the iPad or iPhone 4S.

Screen: The screen is big, and advertises a 500x800 resolution or so. But the actual video quality is, as of this writing, inferior to my 2G Touch, as well to the Palm as near as I remember. I'm getting ugly compression artifacts, and skin tones especially have a reddish splotchy appearance. All the reviews of the X2 raved about the quality of its graphics, so maybe something is wrong with mine. On the other hand, I visited a Verizon store and their display model had exactly the same problem.

Interface: Not at all intuitive. The iPhone and iPod have a single button + power button. The Palm has only a power button (not counting the physical keypad). The X2 has four buttons across the bottom, plus a power button. I believe this is the standard Android interface. The button on the far left brings up the options for whatever application you happen to be using. Unfortunately, it means that you have to use it to get to simple functions that on other devices are already on the screen, so what on other devices is a one-press operation becomes a two-press operation, like "delete" for emails.

Applications:Speaking of email: Hotmail (Microsoft Live) Exchange isn't suppported. On the X2, a Microsoft Exchange account is called "corporate sync" (which took some figuring out). And you can add a Hotmail account, and the phone will tell you you've been successful. But then . . . nothing. Attempts to send or receive emails generate error messages, and contacts and calendar contents do not appear in the calendar and contacts applications. To use Hotmail Exchange on the X2, you must download and install a separate Hotmail application from "Windows + SEVEN" (which took a long time to figure out), and it must be installed from the "Google Play Store", not the Verizon store. The Play store is merely called "Play" on its icon in the apps directory, which I also had to spend time figuring out; do you see how all the counterintuition starts to add up?

The operation of the hotmail handler is, again, not especially intuitive, but it must be used in lieu of the native application. It does seem to do everything I need it to do, but I found myself having to google (hey!) the instructions for doing several things, like saving attachments separately from an incoming email, that ought to be intuitive. (To save an attachment, open the email and then press and hold the grey bar next to the attachment until the option to save it pops up. Who knew?)

Once the hotmail application is installed, MS Live calendars and contacts then become available to their respective Android applications. Weirdly, however, the user is not permitted to add contacts to his Hotmail contact list. Or rather, he can add a name, but (and I'm not making this up) only a name field is available: no email, no telephone number, nothing.

GPS: GPS works! At least it works outdoors. This may sound like a low bar, but it mostly didn't work at all on my Palm. And I should say here that it didn't work on the X2 right out of the box, but Verizon tech support told me to take the battery out with the phone still on (he was very specific about this), put them back in and turn it on. After that it worked. It seems accurate too, as accurate as the iPhone, which in my experience was the only phone whose GPS actually seemed to work. (The iPhone GPS also seems to work indoors.)

DHLA: This technology allows the user to stream video from another device in the same network, like a laptop or network drive. So I can access my entire video collection from my phone. The technology is available on other platforms, too, but I hadn't heard of it until using the Android, and so far it's the only platform on which I've actually managed to make it work.

Google Apps: Since Google owns the phone, they may a lot of applications for it that aren't available on other platforms. Some of these are pretty worthless -- the Google Reader app, for instance, isn't even as functional as the Google Reader mobile website, let alone Feeddler (alas, apparently not available for Android) -- but other are better. For instance, Google Navigator gives turn-by-turn driving directions in real time, not unlike VZ Navigator, except Google Navigator is a free download whereas VZ Navigator costs $10/month I think.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Another Window Closes

From Wikipedia:

Starting in 1965, Canada became a choice haven for American draft dodgers and deserters. Because they were not formally classified as refugees but were admitted as immigrants, there is no official estimate of how many draft dodgers and deserters were admitted to Canada during the Vietnam War. One informed estimate puts their number between 30,000 and 40,000.[7] Whether or not this estimate is accurate, the fact remains that emigration from the United States was high as long as America was involved militarily in the war and maintained compulsory military service; in 1971 and 1972 Canada received more immigrants from the United States than from any other country.[7]

Today, from the AP via

TORONTO - The first female soldier to flee the U.S. military for Canada to avoid the war in Iraq has been ordered deported.

Michelle Robidoux, a spokeswoman for the War Resisters Support Campaign, said Thursday that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has ordered Kimberly Rivera to leave the country by Sept. 20.

The 30-year-old Army private served in Iraq in 2006. She said she became disillusioned with the mission. She crossed the border into Canada while on leave in February 2007 after she was ordered to serve another tour there.

She lives in Toronto with her husband and three children. The youngest was born in Canada.

Discuss among yourselves.

The History of Reform in One Easy Lesson

Following links from Steve, I started reading the blog Education Realist, by a public school teacher who sees what education reform, both liberal and "conservative", looks like at ground level. I especially found useful this piece on the history of federal education mandates.

First up, of course, was the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s Title I, designed to improve educational outcomes for the poor. More money would help the poor and close the achievement gap, so the thinking went–and still goes, although the Coleman Report, issued a year later, established that school spending had far less to do with student outcomes than student SES and background. But the expectation was set into law—all outcomes should be equal. No research, no science, no school has ever proven this out. It was just the sort of blithe expectation we had during the civil rights era that certainly seemed to be true.

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Back-scratching, Texas-style

This lengthy Joe Hagan piece in Texas Monthly (HT:  Kathy Shaidle) is a gripping read, not for what it says about Bush’s National Guard service (about which I cared little in 2004 and care nothing today), but for what it reveals about our bi-factional political elites’ penchant for treating public moneys and institutions as private play-things.  Is government in the public interest too much to ask of our republic?  Japan, Switzerland, Iceland . . . these countries seem to govern themselves pretty competently.  Why can’t we?

Monday, September 03, 2012

Core Values

Jonathan last, writing about the liberal non-response to the assassination of Al-Alwaki and, collaterally, his son, complains:

The bigger question posed by Moe Lane’s vivisection is why more liberals haven’t turned away from Obama. There’s a small cadre of liberals, like Glenn Greenwald and Junod, who have criticized Obama on principle. And that’s great–God bless ‘em. But you don’t see–or at least I haven’t seen–liberals publicly turning their backs on Obama and jumping ship. And I wonder why that is. There were plenty of Republican types whom Bush drove out of the party. (Andrew Sullivan, Kathleen Parker, Andy Bacevich, Jim Webb, etc.–the list is actually pretty long.) Why haven’t any lefty Dems done the same? As Lane points out, if you’re a liberal and you fell a-over-t for Obama and now you realize that he’s elevated cold-blooded murder to the level of routine executive prerogative, why haven’t you clapped your hands together, stepped away from the table, and said, “I’m out”?

Okay, but the Republican examples he gives – Sullivan, Parker, et al. – were more liberal than Bush on several key issues, and were thus able to find more natural allies in the Democrat party.  Liberals tempted to bolt from the Democrats over Al-Alwaki, in contrast, would turn . . . where?  Labels of Left and Right get a little muddier in this case, but if Romney’s Republicans have any reservations about Al-Alwaki, then I sure haven’t heard about it.

An obvious rejoinder is that they had plenty of opportunity to throw their support to Ron Paul.  They didn’t, of course, and the reason is pretty straightforward:  whatever their protestations, the conduct of foreign wars does not, in and of itself, engage their core values.  That’s not to say that their stated opinions on assassination are in bad faith, only that compared to their opinions on Sodomy, Abortion, and Diversity (SAD), they do not actually make decisions based on them.

Sadly (hey!), this goes for their opinions on a range of issues.  Take, for instance, the rule of law.  Obama has abrogated any number of laws during his reign, without a peep of protest from his Leftist allies, whose only question about them is “who, whom?”  As long as the right people are benefitting at the expense of the wrong people, then all the “concern” for the rule of law just disappears.

I am not unsympathetic.  Al-Alwaki’s assassination troubles me on procedural grounds, but substantively he’s going to be a hard guy to miss, and I couldn’t see supporting a candidate over it.  I’d like to think I’m a little more attached to the rule of law – indeed, I spoke up about one of Obama’s early abuses even when I agreed on the policy.  But were I suddenly transported to the Bizarro World where a president Romney was likely to implement by executive fiat policies I approved?  When the precedent had been set by the Democrats?  I, too, would be hard pressed to abandon him.