Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can Anything be Salvaged?

Walter E. Williams ask Can Our Nation Be Saved? It's a short read which sums up the central problem of the modern state: You either at the table or you are on the menu.

Billy Beck calls it the Cannibal Pot (See here, too). That's as good name as any and I hope it conjures in your mind a clear image. Western Civilization is hurtling towards a dog-eat-dog reality and voting is not going to get any of us out of it.

The Future ain't What it Used to Be

My comment left at The Adventures of Roberta X to her commentary on Mass Murder Courtesy of the NRA by Frederick Pohl.

With the qualified exception of the HeeChee stories, I never cared much for Frederick Pohl's writing. If Science Fiction is a magic mirror we can look into and see the possiblities of the future, then Frederick Pohl reflected a future where the unique branch of civilization born in America was headed nowhere but an increasingly opressive police state. His apparent vision was of a kinder, gentler fascism than those of the past but it was no less fascist.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Astroturfing in Pink

Rob Reed the Detroit Gun Rights Examiner writes about an NPR (tax supported radio) show where the "high capacity" magazines were debated. As expected the anti-liberty extremists were well represented but even that advantage was not enough for them. The show offered up Tracee Larsen as a “gun rights advocate and logger.” but, as it turns out, she is nothing of the kind.

Her blog, The Well-Heeled Shooter, appears to be only a few days old. She claims it was stared in 2009 but the earliest activity was from Jan 8, 2011. Sebastion over at Snowflakes in Hell used his google-fu to discover that she was on the Advisory Board for the American Hunter and Shooter Association (website is currently offline*) which many gun rights advocates will remember as a false flag operation that promoted "reasonable" regulation of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Near the end of its days, it tried to portray Barack Obama as friendly to gun owners.

I certainly hope the anti-liberty extremists continue to underestimate the intelligence and perseverance of their opponents.

H/T to David Codrea and the The War on Guns

* The Wayback Machine archive of the AHSA website is available here

Gov Bently Apologizes

Fox News report's that Robert Bently, incoming Governor of Alabama, said in a speech on Jan 17 at the Dexter Avenue Memorial Baptist Church that those who "...haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, they are not his brother or his sister.." Two days later, he apologized for that remark.

Embrace your Brothers and Sisters in Christ on Monday; Apologize for it on Wednesday. That sounds like politics as usual

It is only natural for a Christian politician to pander to other Christians.  Ever since Constantine co-opted Christianity to the service of the state, Christianity has been a source of political power.  The influence of any one sect was greatly reduced by the fragmentation of the Reformation but, locally, organized Chrstianity is still a reliable and important source of power. Politics and politicians are all about power so never forget that Bently is a politician. That means if his lips are moving the smart money is betting he is lying.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

California AB962 Declared Unconsitutional

For what it's worth, AB962 -- one piece of California stupidity -- has been struck down as unconstitutionally vague. This is a battle won, but the war goes on. The state may appeal the ruling or the legislature may try to pass a new bill with a better chance to pass constitutional muster. However, to make either work the anti-liberty extremists are going to need advice from someone who actually understands guns.

I'm sure as Sin not going to help them.

In a dramatic ruling giving gun owners a win in an National Rifle Association / California Rifle and Pistol (CRPA) Foundation lawsuit, this morning Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton ruled that AB 962, the hotly contested statute that would have banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so called “handgun ammunition” to be registered, was unconstitutionally vague on its face. The Court enjoined enforcement of the statute, so mail order ammunition sales to California can continue unabated, and ammunition sales need not be registered under the law.

The lawsuit was prompted in part by the many objections and questions raised by confused police, ammunition purchasers, and sellers about what ammunition is covered by the new laws created by AB 962. In a highly unusual move that reflects growing law enforcement opposition to ineffective gun control laws, Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Other plaintiffs include the CRPA Foundation, Herb Bauer Sporting Goods, ammunition shipper Able’s Ammo, collectible ammunition shipper RTG Sporting Collectibles, and individual Steven Stonecipher. Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman also supported the lawsuit.

The ruling comes just days before the portion of the law that bans mail order sales of so called “handgun ammunition” was set to take effect on February 1, 2011. The lawsuit, Parker v. California is funded exclusively by the NRA and the CRPA Foundation. If it had gone into effect, AB 962 would have imposed burdensome and ill conceived restrictions on the sales of ammunition. AB 962 required that “handgun ammunition” be stored out of the reach of customers, that ammunition vendors collect ammunition sales registration information and thumb-prints from purchasers, and conduct transactions face-to-face for all deliveries and transfers of “handgun ammunition.” The lawsuit successfully sought the declaration from the Court that the statute was unconstitutional, and successfully sought the injunctive relief prohibiting law enforcement from enforcing the new laws.

The lawsuit alleged, and the Court agreed, that AB 962 is unconstitutionally vague on its face because it fails to provide sufficient legal notice of what ammunition cartridges are “principally for use in a handgun,” and thus is considered “handgun ammunition” that is regulated under AB 962. It is practically impossible, both for those subject to the law and for those who must enforce it, to determine whether any of the thousands of different types of ammunition cartridges that can be used in handguns are actually “principally for use in” or used more often in, a handgun. The proportional usage of any given cartridge is impossible to determine, and in any event changes with market demands. In fact, the legislature itself is well aware of the vagueness problem with AB 962's definition of "handgun ammunition" and tried to redefine it via AB 2358 in 2010. AB 2358 failed in the face of opposition from the NRA and CRPA based on the proposal’s many other nonsensical infringements on ammunition sales to law abiding citizens.

Constitutional vagueness challenges to state laws are extremely difficult to win, particularly in California firearms litigation so this success is particularly noteworthy. Even so, an appeal by the State is likely, but the Court’s Order enjoining enforcement of the law is effective – February 1, 2011 – immediately regardless.

Despite this win for common sense over ill-conceived and counter productive gun laws, additional legislation on this and related subjects will no doubt be proposed in Sacramento this legislative session. It is absolutely critical that those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms stay informed and make their voices heard in Sacramento. When AB 962 passed there was loud outcry from law abiding gun owners impacted by the new law. Those voices must be heard during the legislative session and before a proposed law passes, not after a law is signed. To help, sign up for legislative alerts at and and respond when called upon.

Seventeen years ago the NRA and CRPA joined forces to fight local gun bans being written and pushed in California by the gun ban lobby. Their coordinated efforts became the NRA/CRPA "Local Ordinance Project" (LOP) - a statewide campaign to fight ill conceived local efforts at gun control and educate politicians about available programs that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The NRA/CRPA LOP has had tremendous success in beating back most of these anti-self-defense proposals.

In addition to fighting local gun bans, for decades the NRA has been litigating dozens of cases in California courts to promote the right to self-defense and the 2nd Amendment. In the post Heller and McDonaldlegal environment, NRA and CRPA Foundation have formed the NRA/CRPA Foundation Legal Action Project (LAP), a joint venture to pro-actively strike down ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances and advance the rights of firearms owners, specifically in California. Sometimes, success is more likely when LAP's litigation efforts are kept low profile, so the details of every lawsuit are not always released. To see a partial list of the LAP’s recent accomplishments, or to contribute to the NRA or to the NRA / CRPAF LAP and support this and similar Second Amendment cases, visit and
Tracy Rifle and Pistol
2726 Naglee Rd
Tracy Ca 95304
209 833-9100

Demonstrating Absurdity

By being absurd.

Few activists generate as many absurd and outrageous claims as the anti-liberty extremists in the VD(?) movement. One of the most recent of those is the characterization of the Glock pistol as a "Killing Machine". Personally, I have little use for a Glock even if does appeal to my "Mall Ninja Bump". However, for reasons I think that are both good and bad, it is undeniably a popular gun and I think the negative publicity it gets is part of it. So, in the spirit of no publicity being bad publicity I offer my inspirational parody of Business Week and BMW:

Disobey an Unjust Law

The extortions and oppressions of government will go on so long as such bare fraudulence deceives and disarms the victims – so long as they are ready to swallow the immemorial official theory that protesting against the stealings of the archbishop’s secretary’s nephew’s mistress’ illegitimate son is a sin against the Holy Ghost.
-- HL Mencken

A day late and a dollar short but...

Garry Reed, Libertarian News Examiner suggests that we honer the memory of Martin Luther King by disobeying an unjust law on the day designated in his honor.  That doesn't mean unintentionally breaking a law you don't know exists.  With literally million of pages of laws and regulations with the force of law everyone living in America does that everyday.  The purpose of this exercises is to intentionally disobey a law you do know exists.

We are conditioned almost from birth to obey the law.  Where laws criminalize those actions sane people know are wrong anyways that is probably a good thing.  However, the law has metastasized to encompass behavior that harms no one but the actor.  In many cases it only barely conceals that it is a revenue generating tool for the state.  In that case, it will be even better if you can keep up lawbreaking for the other 364 days of the year.

So start now to break the habit of obedience.  Set off a firecracker, mix some plastic cups in with the grass clipping on trash day, drive over the speed limit, import a standard capacity magazine into California, don't stop at the red light on the freeway on-ramp.  There are so many silly and stupid laws that if you are not breaking at least two a day you are just not living right.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Licenses and Registration

The Advice Goddess posts about a NJ politician's proposed law requiring license plates for bicycles. The bill has since been withdrawn. Maybe there are some things too silly even for a politician to do.

The comments are a mix of typically inane statist justifications, naive pragmatism and libertarian sentiment. One that caught my attention was Amy Alkon, the blog owner, writing,
MarkD is right. Also, I think you ought to be able to ride your bike without showing up in a police database.
I agree. In fact, Amy, I think I should be able to drive a car without showing up in a police database.

While I'm on the subject, what is with driver's licensing? Even if I accept that licenses are really are a good idea why do I have to renew it every two to five years (California)? I was awarded a High School Diploma in 1970 and it still as good as the day I got it. I've never once been told I have to send money to have it renewed nor have I ever been required to report my current address and get a new copy. Since High School I've manage to earn BSc degrees in Engineering and Telecommunications. I've never had to renew those either.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Holy Hot Toddy, Batman!

Japanese doctor turns hot toddy into superconductor catalyst

I love to read or hear about this kind of stuff. When I was a kid I took things apart and (tried to) put them back together. No reason except I was curious. When I grew up I earned a piece of paper saying I was an real live Engineer and it was always the experimental side that fascinated me. I have nothing against being methodical and careful but there were times I just wanted to shout, "Would you damned scientists get away from that rocket so we can launch it!"

I guess I never quite put aside all my childish things.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another good Meme

From Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars
Here's a question: If they can call us "anti-government extremists" why can't we call them "anti-liberty extremists?"

Just saying. And ours would have the advantage of being true.

Spread the Meme.

Billy Beck on Tuscon

When I make my rounds of the blogs, Billy Beck is almost always my first stop. It should be yours, too.

His post on the recent shooting in Tuscon is quoted in its entirety for truth.

So, Sue had written...

"This has always been a violent culture from day one, a little common sense (short supply) and pause a beat before saying something isn't asking too much is it?"

And I told her:

@ Sue: Throughout their history, Americans were the most commonly sensible people in the world. A central problem now is that great and important swathes of the language no longer refer to reality. (This is what language is supposed to do: to raise the cognitive output of the human mind to a perceptual level -- writing or speaking -- for transmission of concepts.)

How and why this has happened is a long story, but it's important to understand two crucial aspects of it:
  1. Although it's been going on for at least a century, this decay was drastically accelerated in the irrationality of the 1960's and its wake. (I am personally convinced that this condition is actually symptomatic of a deeper epistemic problem: the ability to think; to integrate concepts from the sensory material of reality, is disappearing, and the language reflects that. There are also, I think, elements of feedback in this dynamic, in which a decadent language must have certain implications for cognitive proficiency, especially among the young.) 
  2. A general long-run result of all this must be that more and more people just don't know what to say anymore, and don't mean anything when they say anything at all. (Interesting question: how much of a margin is there between those today with that condition of confusion and flat-out psycho-loonsters of the sorts that have existed forever?) When the language is corrupt, then the transmissive and receptive elements of reason itself are destroyed: there is no way to talk to anyone about anything, including matters with direct bearing on life and death.
Violence sublimated in political metaphors has always run through the public conversation in various rivers, nevermind the fact that the nation was born in violent revolution. What you called "common sense" was once, in part, a clear-eyed ability to perceive reality and act up to it. Now, I wasn't the first to mention the Tucson murders in a political context: just exactly that is what's been on nearly everyone's mind when the subject comes up. I will point out, however, that attempting to attribute this monster's behavior to ideology at all is only barely worse than observing the rush to do it. More important: if we're going to talk about the dreadful effects of every sort of hate speech in the political sphere, then I -- for one -- don't mind starting with every sort of metaphorical "war" that some commissariat announces with bloody sickening regularity since (in my lifetime) Johnson's "War on Poverty" and Nixon's "War on Drugs".

Wanna know why?

It's because words mean things, and crazy people think they're taking reality seriously when words don't mean things anymore.

I contend: the most dominant and rising element of irrational force in American culture is government, and more and more people are starting to live down to it.

The spoken language, the written word and mathematics are the most powerful tools mankind has yet invented for understanding the reality around us. Equally important is that the above tools allow mortal humans to transmit that knowledge to others even after death. The discoveries of Isaac Newton in Physics and Mathematics may have been made before but because he wrote them down in the Principia, they became part of a common pool of knowledge future humans could draw on.

They are not, however, magical tools.

I think that, of the three, it is pretty obvious that mathematics best embodies clear and logical thinking. Because of that it can also provides good examples of how a lack of a shared context leads to misunderstanding.

For example if I ask you what is the sum of 360 + 1 you will probably say "361". That is good answer but in a polar coordinate system the answer "1" may be equally correct. If I ask you what is the results of adding 3 to 11 I expect you will say "14". However looking at a clock face, you will (hopefully) see that, in that particular counting system, the answer "2" is also correct.

Circular number systems are very useful in the real world (ask any programmer about the modulo operator) but that fact stresses the importance that each side in a conversation be aware of the underlying assumptions. Obviously it would be a disaster if the architect designing a building used 11 + 3 = 2. It would also not be very pretty if a navigation program returned your longitude as 361° 92' 75".

Clarity is good; vagueness is bad. That is, I think, the thrust of Billy's argument above. When a word is used without a shared meaning in context, the results are unpredictable.

In the case of those who seek power over others, there is a benefit to promoting vagueness. Words are the tools we humans use to communicate ideas to each other. Corrupt the language and you corrupt that process. It would be as if the words and symbols in the Principia were replaced with gibberish before anyone had a chance to read and understand it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chastity Belts for Men


I tried really hard to come up with some appropriate commentary on The Chastity Belt for Men but my poor wordsmithing skills failed me.

I am humbled

H/T to The Advice Goddess

Monday, January 10, 2011

That didn't take long.

One thing you can say about the Fascists is they are always ready to move against their favorite betê noire.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) is proposing a new gun control bill.
One of the fiercest gun control advocates in Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson, Ariz., Sunday, promising to introduce legislation as soon as Monday targeting the high-capacity ammunition clip the gunman used.

It not just guns either. From the same article:
Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady, a Democrat from Philadelphia, told CNN that he also plans to take legislative action. He will introduce a bill that would make it a crime for anyone to use language or symbols that could be seen as threatening or violent against a federal official, including a member of Congress.

Further crippling the Second and the First Amendments are in their sights. Again.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

VD Strikes Again

Looks like Victim Disarmament has claimed another two victims. This time at a school in Omaha
The Millard South High student who shot his principal and an assistant principal Wednesday and then killed himself posted a farewell message on Facebook.

Robert Butler Jr., 17, was found dead in a car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at about 1:30 p.m.

About 40 minutes earlier, he shot Principal Curtis Case and Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar inside the school. He did not shoot any students.

Case was listed early this evening in serious but stable condition at Creighton University Medical Center. Kaspar was in critical condition at Creighton.

The shooter was the son of a Police Detective and it appears he used his father's gun. Whether it was the cop's duty weapon or a personal firearm was unclear in the article. I don't know if the shooter specifically sought out the two victims or if they were targets of opportunity. I'm betting on the former but it's just a an intuitive feeling.

The news media will be analyzing this for the next few days or two or until the next big story comes along. The sense of these crimes eludes people so they search for clues to a motive which they will then mistake for a reason. I don't think it is that hard. This was an impulsive act by a disturbed boy. He didn't plan this. He simply acted on a primal urge. That is not an excuse but it may be a hint of the reason.

Every human being has a capacity for violence. No where is this more evident than adolescent males. One of the characteristics of a robust and moral civilization is that it can channel that capacity into behaviors that will not harm the uninvolved.

Denying that the capacity exists is a dead end strategy. Repression simply will not work in the long run. Or even the middle run. We human are what evolution has made us and no amount of zero tolerance policies or psychotropic drugs will change that. At least not without a a few thousand generations to work with. The Victorians tried something similar with sex and that didn't work either. The human urges still surfaced but without the training a more enlightened society would provide.

Zero Tolerance has become the modern Puritanism.

Violence is a perfectly natural capacity. It, along with sexuality, is linked with the individuals ability to pass on his or her genes. A morality of non-violence only serves evil by making its potential victims helpless. Natural selection will not be denied; the only way to create a less violent society is to face the phenomenon honestly and openly.

That said, I can speculate on how long it will take the Brady Bunch to pull on their dancing shoes now that they have fresh blood to revel in.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Roberta X, tongue firmly planted in cheek, is trying to generate some traffic by bashing Glocks on the anniversary of the 1911.

Personally my preferences in the 45 ACP caliber run to something like a S&W 625 or a Ruger Blackhawk depending on the place and nature of the crime. I also have a couple of 1911's and a P220. However, most of the time I just carry a S&W 686+ and/or a 442.

The only Glock I ever had was a G17 I bought circa 1989(?) and sold about a year later. I never could get used to the size of the grip and I didn't like the finger grooves. I once had a Fanboy tell me that the Glocks were such a superior gun that it didn't matter whether it fit me or not: I should just adapt myself to it. Either that or or spend about $300 to $400 and have the grip modified to fit my hand.

Maybe they really are that good. I just don't think so.