I’d venture to say: I WANT one!

While reading Instapundit tonight I clicked on the reference he wrote about the Automotive X-Prize, the contest to see who can make a production-level car with a 100 mile-per-gallon efficiency. The link takes you to a Popular Mechanics item to see a few of the contenders for the prize. Some look pretty bland, others look positively alien. But the one that caught my eye, my interest, and my total focus was the Venture Vehicles’ Venture One.

Go to Venture’s web site – titled provocatively “Fly The Road” – and have a look at this little darling. I gotta say right now: I want one! The “standard” hybrid model is projected for 100 mpg, 100+ miles-per-hour, and a 350 mile range. The all electric version will do 75 mph and give a 120 mile range. (Again, projected.) That’s perfect for a commuter headed into DC. And it’s maneuverable enough to fit into tight parking spaces and into older side streets.

Sign me up…

Herndon election results

Herndon isn’t in Loudoun County but it’s the nearest Fairfax city to eastern Loudoun so what goes on there is of interest to those of us here. In their last election, Herndon citizens tossed out nearly every incumbent and elected a slate of candidates who pledged to do something about the rampant illegal “immigrant” problem that city had developed. Prime on the list of motivators was the publicly-funded day-laborer center which the previous mayor and town council thought would be better run if they didn’t ask questions about the residency status of those people making use of the center. Herndon’s citizens didn’t like that at all and elected people who said they’d do something about that.

Do something, they did. The center closed completely and Herndon became one of the first towns in America to sign onto the ICE 287(g) program. The effects were nearly immediate and the benefits are being felt today. That’s a story for another post. The issue before the voters today was whether to re-elect the team who had performed this task or to turn it over to people who wouldn’t.

According to the State Board of Elections web site, Herndon has re-elected Mayor Steve DeBenedittis by a margin of 52.43%. (The other candidates were J. Harlon Reece [37.53%] and Jasbinder Singh [9.98%].) The voting for the council members came out like this (in descending order by vote total):

Connie Haines Hutchinson 1,468 11.78%
William B. “Bill” Tirrell 1,374 11.02%
David A. “Dave” Kirby 1,279 10.26%
Charlie D. Waddell 1,265 10.15%
Richard F. Downer 1,245 9.99%
Dennis D. Husch 1,237 9.92%
Arthur S. Nachman 1,227 9.84%
Sheila A. Olem 1,177 9.44%
Penny S. Halpern 1,083 8.69%
James A. Vickery 1,063 8.53%
Write In 42 0.33%

The top 6 vote getters are elected to the council. While I don’t know all of the incumbents, I do know that Hutchinson, Tirrell, Kirby, Wadell, and Husch were among them and they’re all back in. Looks good on ya, Herndon!

Florida teacher accused by idiot of “wizardry.”

You know, you just can’t make this stuff up. Most of us just aren’t this stupid.

Teacher Jim Piculas does a magic trick where a toothpick disappears and then reappears.

Piculas recently did the 30-second trick in front of a classroom at Rushe Middle School in Land ‘O Lakes.

Piculas said he then got a call from the supervisor of teachers, saying he’d been accused of wizardry.

Yes, that’s right: wizardry. And the imbecile who made the accusation is apparently quite serious! Piculas’ boss, the supervisor of substitute teachers, called him to tell him he couldn’t take on any more assignments and that this was “a huge issue.”

No, the huge issue is that someone who saw him perform a sleight-of-hand trick that’s been done by kid’s party magicians for something like a couple of centuries would seriously not understand that they were seeing a trick. That no “wizardry” was going on, here, at all. That this was anything other than a minor entertainment. Honestly, either the person who accepted the call on behalf of the supervisor put way, way too much weight on this or the person who made the call is just an ignorant idiot stuck in the dark ages, literally. The school district should inform the person making the complaint that they need to grow the hell up – immediately – and get with the 21st century, advise the supervisor in question that he need not panic should this occur again, and offer apologies to Piculas along with assurances that his toothpick trick won’t land him in any trouble.

Criminey, folks, we’ve got serious issues to deal with. Leave off on the idiocy about magic tricks…

DC sniper wants to halt his appeals Updated

I was under the distinct impression that a defense attorney was ethically bound to not take a particular action that was explicitly rejected by the client. What can one make, then, of the revelation that DC sniper John Muhammad has actually written a letter to Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell asking for his assistance in getting his defense team to stop appealing the decisions?

Convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad has written a letter to prosecutors seeking their assistance in putting an end to his legal appeals from death row.

In a letter made public Tuesday, Muhammad tells the Virginia Attorney General’s Office that he is waiving all rights to appeal his 2003 conviction and death sentence for the sniper killings in 2002 that terrorized the D.C. region.

Muhammad says in the letter that he has tried without success to stop efforts by his defense lawyers, and that he is counting on the attorney general to assist him.

I’m more than a little suspicious of the defense team’s motives, here. Considering Muhammad’s reported financial state, I’m guessing that they’re trying to either milk whomever is paying for this or are hoping for some kind of payoff from a book or movie deal.

If the situation weren’t so serious, I’d have to laugh at their sudden contention that their client is brain damaged and cannot make legal decisions on his own behalf. Funny that he’s not competent to say he doesn’t want to continue his appeals but this team was trying to convince us that he was more than OK to be acquitted and released. Attorney General McDonnell should grant Muhammad’s request and get this circus side-show stopped.

Update: Our local Fox station, WTTG Washington, DC, has gotten a copy of the letter and made it available. The earlier story didn’t make something about the letter clear. At the bottom of page 1 Muhammad writes, “So I’ve written to you’ll all because I know you’ll will make sure that this letter will get to the right people – so that you’ll can murder this innovent black man.” (Spelling and diction are his.)

First up, Muhammad’s not an innocent man, period. He was tried by a jury of his peers and the evidence was sufficient to render those 12 people sure he’d done the crimes he was accused of doing. Guilty, not innocent.

Second, his little outburst has rendered his entire letter a moot point. The Attorney General has no ethical recourse but to allow the appeals because Muhammad himself is saying he’s innocent. He’s not, of course. We all know that. But we can’t dismiss his lawyers from the case for the act of appealing the conviction when the defendant claims innocence of the crime.

Nice move, idiot.

However, for me this creates no major issue. He’s guilty, he’s been sentenced. Get on with it.