Saturday, October 5, 2013

Unintended Consequences

From the word processing software of Vin Suprynowicz.

In the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty’s father fails to follow the common-sense course — sending soldiers to arrest the evil fairy, warning her that if any harm comes to his daughter through that malevolent curse concerning sewing needles, said fairy would have her wings plucked and find herself locked up in a dark place for a long time.

Instead, the king attempts to ban all sewing needles from his kingdom. Brilliant. We all know how that worked out.

Yet today’s politicians continue attempting to solve their problems — an unwillingness or inability to identify, treat, or lock up dangerous lunatics; a generation of spoiled, jobless, quasi-literate youth who amuse themselves playing endless blow-off-their-heads video games in dark basements — by attempting to ban various sorts of firearms, a 500-year-old technology now so well developed that cheap automatic rifles are widely stamped out in Third World countries in factories originally designed to produce typewriters and license plates.

They might as well try to ban people from using telescopes to look at the planets.

Read the rest here.

Vin is too radical for many people (go ahead, ask him the dreaded nuclear weapon question) but he understands the gun control issue and is unafraid to call it what it is.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Bill Seeks to Criminalize Gun Owners (again)

State Senator Rod Wright (D-Inglewood) introduced a bill (SB363) which will expand the so-called "safe-storage" law "to those who know or should know they are living with someone who is not allowed to possess a firearm.

Bill would expand state's gun-storage requirement

This is another of those proposals that sound reasonable on the surface. However, there is a catch:

The state's list of people who cannot legally own weapons includes those who have a felony or violent misdemeanor conviction; a determination that they are mentally unstable; or a domestic violence restraining order. The list is confidential and used for law-enforcement purposes.

So, in practice, a gun owner can be prosecuted for living with a prohibited person but the database with the information on who is prohibited is confidential. Sounds more like a blatant attempt at entrapment.

In a way this is a good thing. Not the law itself -- it's stupid squared -- but what such a desperate, underhanded attempt means. The antis are losing and they know it. I look for more laws trying to entrap peaceable gun owners using pathetic strategies like storage requirements and ammunition restrictions. Heller and MacDonald decisions took gun bans off the table. Now the wannabe fascists with their "guns for me but not for thee" fantasies ware trying get as many licks in as they can before the courts finally slap them down. They are hoping that if they throw enough shit against the wall and some of the stink will soak in and stay there.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Assault Bible

Here is something you don't see everyday.

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police say a northwest Ohio man hit a gas station clerk in the head with a Bible numerous times forcing the employee back into the store and then demanded cash

Read the rest at "Police: Alleged Ohio Robber Hit Clerk With Bible"

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The I-Zombie Apocalypse is Nigh.

Lifted this one off of Facebook

Just about sums up my perceptions.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Disorderly Conduct" strikes again.

Men with rifles charged in 'open carry' demonstration at Starbucks

I know there are gun owners who believe it is wrong to carry a gun to make a political point -- even if it is legal. Then there are guys like the above who get arrested because they won't stay in the closet. The San Antonio Police are justifying it by claiming "disorderly conduct".

However, San Antonio police Chief William McManus explained that the gun holder can still be charged with disorderly conduct if anyone, at any point, feels threatened.

So, if anyone feels threatened by a gay couple will the SAPD arrest them? How about a woman who "feel threatened" by anti-abortion protesters? Not likely in either case. This really just looks like like the police are using the "disorderly conduct" loophole to discourage people they disapprove of.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Arm the Citizen; Disarm the Police?

This is some interesting information. By itself it doesn't prove anything but it is evidence that armed citizens are a better deterrent to crime than a police force.

Despite the decline [in number of police officers], you have never been safer in Michigan from serious crimes in a decade.

People don’t get robbed as much, or assaulted, or raped. Cars thefts are rarer by half. Your wallets and purses are less likely to be taken. At the same time, there are fewer police in your neighborhood.

It is an enigma for cops, who hope more officers mean less crime.

The MLive investigation analyzed a decade of police manpower and crime statistics in the state since 2003. The analysis covered more than 500 departments, and 2.3 million reported crimes.

The conclusion was surprising. Even as communities bemoan the loss of sworn officers, serious crimes continue to drop in most places across the state.

Fewer cops, less crime: MLive investigation finds Michigan safer even as police numbers decline

This might also explain some of the hostility that more than a few cops exhibit towards "civilians" carrying firearms outside the home. Perhaps they intuitively understand that more armed citizens means less crime and that threatens their jobs.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The first rule of the Police State...

is you do not talk about the Police State.

FBI interrogated man after comment about American “Police State” on Facebook

Maybe his comment was little excessive but I know more than a few people who share the sentiment. There is a pervasive belief in the United States that law enforcement has grown too zealous at enforcing increasingly arbitrary laws. Billy Beck's famous quote is sounding more-and-more like a prophecy.

Cooper said that he was told that without “defusing the situation” by complying with the interview, his house might have been raided.

That may have just bravado an posturing from the Feebs. On the other hand, the government does have the power to make a person disappear.

The irony of the situation is that Cooper’s concerns of the USA becoming a police state were actually validated by the fact that the federal government launched an investigation over his frustrated Facebook comment, showing up with detailed records on his family and their internet activity.
Irony indeed.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

'Try God' Billboard Vandalized

Article is here

Normally I don't bother with this kind of stuff but this part tickled me

He did admit he wasn't sure what the "the other white MEAT" meant.
  • Catholic radio station.
  • Transubstantiation.
  • I get it

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Man of Fail

Some good commentary from Kyle Smith at the New York Post Writing about Men on Strike by Helen Smith

It may be true that without women, men would have no reason to be civilized. It is equally true that without men civilization will only last until the oil needs changing. Maybe civilization is being reminded of that.

Friday, June 14, 2013

How to Survive a Mass Shooting

Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training has an article up entitled How to Survive a Mass Shooting . In it he debunks a few of the egregious errors that the so-called "experts" offer us hoi polloi on the subject.

Read it. The life you save may be you own.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Why Temple, Texas is Important

Mike Vanderboegh posts the transcript of his speech at Temple TX on June 1, 2013.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sparkly Zombies

In the novel Dracula, Bram Stoker redefined the mythological vampire. What was originally a fundamentally vicious and predatory monster became a sophisticated if slightly odd gentleman of the European nobility. Given that, the wealthy, urbane vampires of Twilight make a little sense. However, the Twilight series went too far, IMO, when Meyers made her vampires sensitive. Predictably, there is now a "thinking person's Walking Dead" which introduces a new kind of undead: The pathetic, angst-ridden zombie.

BBC?s In the Flesh Is the Thinking Person?s Walking Dead

The high concept for In the Flesh is that being a zombie isn't a permanent condition. Or, rather, it is, but thanks to a combination of drugs, therapy and cosmetics, zombies, or those with "Partially Deceased Syndrome," in the socially acceptable doublespeak of the show, they can be rehabilitated and placed back into society. The central character in the show is Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry), a PDS sufferer who returns to his hometown after committing suicide and then being resurrected as one of the undead. He's not happy to be back, and his conflicted feelings are reflected by both his family, who are simultaneously afraid of him and scared of losing him again, and his community, which is torn apart by bigotry against recovering PDS sufferers and bitterness over the deaths they caused before their cure.

The premise of the show does not create a "thinking person’s Walking Dead" unless the person doing the thinking has a death wish. If zombies -- or vampires for that matter -- really existed, the thinking person would be contemplating ways to exterminate them.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Engine Steams Ahead in the Zimmerman Railroad

First the judge ruled that evidence for Trayvon Martin's less than angelic behavior cannot be presented in opening statements. At least for now.

A judge on Tuesday ruled that Zimmerman’s lawyers won’t be allowed to present in opening statements Trayvon’s tough-talking text messages and social media posts, nor any discussion of his marijuana use — part of a defense strategy to shred the character of the Miami Gardens teen slain last year in Sanford.

Judge won’t delay Zimmerman trial, limits evidence of Trayvon's past

Now it looks like the prosecution actually withheld evidence from the defense.

A court employee who retrieved photos and deleted text messages from Trayvon Martin's cellphone has been placed on administrative leave after an attorney testified that prosecutors didn't properly turn over the evidence to the defense, an attorney said Wednesday.

Former prosecutor Wesley White said he was ethically obligated to reveal that Fourth Judicial Circuit Information Technology Director Ben Kruidbos retrieved the data that weren't turned over.

Lawyer: Zimmerman prosecutor withheld evidence

I am not a lawyer, much less one practicing in Florida, so it is hard to predict for sure what the impact will be on the trial. However, this is clearly prosecutorial misconduct and, at the the least, a grand jury should be convened to investigate. If any intentional deception is disciverd then someone must be indicted.

The system only works because people believe it works. If the system does not correct its own errors then that belief is challenged. Too many such derelictions and the system will collapse. A justice system cannot survive without a tacit acknowledgment of legitimacy from the public.

Right now, it is looking more and more like there is a fix in the works and Florida wants Zimmerman on a railroad to a cell and the people in charge are unafraid to do illegal things to make that happen.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Free Market Medicine?

Three years ago my doctor switched to a so-called concierge service and no longer accepted insurance payments. I admit I was a bit skeptical but, so far, it has worked out well for me. Franky l am glad to see this trend in medical care. I think the evidence clearly indicates is that the HMO/PPO model has inflated prices for basic medical care beyond what a free market would charge.

South Portland doctor stops accepting insurance, posts prices online

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Dr. Michael Ciampi took a step this spring that many of his fellow physicians would describe as radical.

The family physician stopped accepting all forms of health insurance. In early 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored. Given that he was now asking patients to pay for his services out of pocket, he posted his prices on the practice’s website.

The change took effect April 1.

Read the rest here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

And The Truth will set You -- uh, well.

According to the Daily Herald of the Batavia, Illinois, the local school board proposes to discipline a teacher named John Dryden.

His offense? He told his students the truth about their rights under the US Constitution.

Dryden, a social studies teacher, told some of his students April 18 that they had a 5th Amendment right to not incriminate themselves by answering questions on the survey, which had each student's name printed on it.

The survey, reportedly had questions regarding alcohol and drug use and each survey was traceable to the student who filled it out. This led to Dryden telling his students that they have the right to not incriminate themselves. What he said is absolutely true. The fact the school district is even considering disciplining him for it make me wonder what are the teaching kids these days? It certainly isn't respect for the truth.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Government Revenue Agent Strikes in Sweden.

This image and the surrounding incidents is iconic of the fundamental uselessness of government. The Stockholm Police Department didn't even try to stop the rioters from torching the cars but the next day a "meter maid" shows up to ticket them.

Related article: Parking Tickets Issued on Wrecks while Stockholm Burns

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Will They have Atheists in Heaven?

Pope Francis suggests that it is possible.

But the pope, in a morning Mass on Wednesday, suggested that belief and faith weren’t the biggest factors. He said, CNN reported: "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ — all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone. 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone. We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist.' But do good: We will meet one another there."

This is sure to spark a wildfire of outrage. The idea that good works can earn salvation really pisses off some Christians. Grace is presented as necessary and sufficient for salvation. In less extreme sects that grace comes as the result of a choice the individual makes to be saved. In its more extreme forms -- Calvinism for example -- the saved were selected at the creation of the world and how each lives his life doesn't matter. At neither extreme, nor in the middle can grace be earned by action. It is a gift from the Christian God and character or conduct have nothing whatsoever to do with the salvation of the soul.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Making Sudafed from Meth?

Organic chemistry was not my best subject so I don't know for sure the following will work. Also "The Journal of Apocryphal Chemistry" sounds more tongue-in-cheek than serious. However, if true, it does represent a unique reaction to the silliness of drugged war.

A Simple and Convenient Synthesis of Pseudoephedrine From N-Methylamphetamine (PDF)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lesbian Couple Cannot Cohabiate in Texas.

Interesting intersection between a "morality clause" in a divorce and a state's refusal to accept gay marriages. I get that the divorce agreement prohibits any romantic partner from staying overnight unless it's a spouse. However, Texas law forbids lesbians from getting married. Kind of hard to claim this does not discriminate against gay pairings.

A judge has ruled that a North Texas lesbian couple can't cohabitate — live together — because of a morality clause in one of the women's divorce papers.

Read the rest here

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Create a chroot sftp account with logging

System: CentOS 5/6

Prerequisites: openssh >5.2

chroot sftp user home directory is /usr/sftp/i-sftp

  1. make sure the entire chroot path is owned by root
    ls -ld /usr
    ls -ld /usr/sftp
    ls -ld /usr/sftp/i-sftp

  2. Add to /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    Match User i-sftp
        ChrootDirectory %h
        ForceCommand internal-sftp -l INFO
        GSSAPIAuthentication no
        PasswordAuthentication no (yes if using password auth)
        PubkeyAuthentication yes (no if keys not allowed)
        AllowTcpForwarding no
        Banner none

  3. For key-based authentication add a .ssh directory and create the authorized_keys file. This must also be owned by root:root
    sudo mkdir -m 0555 /usr/sftp/i-sftp/.ssh
    sudo touch /usr/sftp/i-sftp/.ssh/authorized_keys
    sudo chmod 0444 /usr/sftp/i-sftp/.ssh/authorized_keys

  4. Add the necessary public keys to the authorized_keys file

  5. Create a directory for the log socket
    sudo mkdir -m 0755 /usr/sftp/i-sftp/dev

  6. Add to /etc/rsyslog.conf
    $AddUnixListenSocket /usr/sftp/i-sftp/dev/log
    if $programname == 'sshd' then /var/log/sshd.log
    if $programname == 'sshd' then ~
    if $programname == 'internal-sftp' then /var/log/sshd.log
    if $programname == 'internal-sftp' then ~

  7. restart rsyslog
    sudo service rsyslog restart

Now all sshd and internal-sftp messages will go to /var/log/sshd.log

Don't forget to add sshd.log to logrotate.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Government Theft 201

From The Fleecing of California's Gun Purchasers

This week, the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee will be considering a measure that demonstrates the absolute worst in government incompetence and thievery. SB 140 (Leno) outright steals money from a fund entirely paid for (and supposedly dedicated to) law-abiding gun owners to fund the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) failed firearms enforcement program.

When originally imposed on California citizens, the DROS fee was mandated to "...be no more than is necessary..." for the California DOJ to perform the specific duties of background checks and registration. However,

For years, the Department has unlawfully over-collected DROS fees from law-abiding gun owners -- gun owners who spent money and time to comply with the law and submit to the background check process. Where the DROS fees should have been lowered years ago to account for the massive surplus (basically, unconstitutionally assessed taxed), the DOJ has stubbornly refused to lower the fees in spite of substantial evidence of their bad faith accounting.

The man who steal with a gun risks being injured by his victim and is usually branded a criminal and outlaw. The man who steals with a pen risks little: He has the power of the state on his side and is often rewarded with public office. The latter is clearly the case here. When the government starts raiding funds it collected in contravention of the law, it becomes an example of exactly why we Americans have guns in the first place.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I see Stupid People.

Lets get this straight.

A couple of DeeJays in Florida pulled an April Fools joke by telling thier listeners that a chemical called "dihydrogen monoxide" was coming out of their taps. The more common name for "dihydrogen monoxide" is H2O or just plain water.

Some of the listeners panicked.

Florida country radio morning-show hosts Val St. John and Scott Fish are currently serving indefinite suspensions and possibly worse over a successful April Fools' Day prank. They told their listeners that "dihydrogen monoxide" was coming out of the taps throughout the Fort Myers area. Dihydrogen monoxide is water.

The popular deejays are mainly in all this trouble (potentially of a felony level) because their listeners panicked so much — about the molecular makeup of their drinking water, however unwittingly — that Lee County utility officials had to issue a county-wide statement calming the fears of chemistry challenged Floridians.

Two lesson here. First, the folks listening to that show must have an average IQ somewhere between dumb and dumber. Second, the DA must either be equally stupid or simply evil if he or she even considered pressing charges against the two for telling the truth. Since when is it a crime to tell the truth?

Apparently the two are back on the air and charges are unlikely. That does not absolve the dummies of their stupidity.

Florida DJs May Face Felony for April Fools' Water Joke Worse Than Rubio's

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Duck Fathers Chicken!

Well, we were warned that if we started down the road of gay marriage, things like this would happen.

Next, the Turducken: Scientists Say a Duck Has Fathered a Chicken

Seriously, this is a little creepy but still a pretty neat application of genetic engineering. In addition I learned a new thing: I'd never even heard of a "turducken" before.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let Them Eat Shit.

This self-absorbed bitch illustrates just how out of touch DC is with reality.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Sequester nearly starving staffers

Automatic federal cuts are bringing staffers to the brink of starvation, suggested Debbie Wasserman Schultz, at a recent House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.

Restaurants on the House side of Congress are increasing in cost so much that aides are being “priced out” of a good meal, she said, as Fox News reported. The comments came by way of a discussion about the impacts of the sequester on lawmakers’ office budgets. Rep. Jim Moran said he may be forced to lay off a staffer — and then Ms. Wasserman Schultz weighed in with her tale of hard times.

Just to clarify: An 8-ounce bowl of Ham and Bean soup at the Cannon Office Building’s carry-out cafĂ© costs $2. A gourmet wrap or sliced bread sandwich sells for about $5. And in the Longworth Building’s sit-down cafeteria, a serving of stuffed chicken, asparagus and mashed potatoes sells for about $7, Fox News finds.

Meanwhile, Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s staffers earn between $60,000 and $160,000 per year, Fox News reports.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Here is Something a Little Weird

I came across a forum post on a obscure Russian made revolver called by the uninspired name of the "AEK 906". Out of curiosity I searched a bit more and found this page briefly describing the gun in both its 9x18mm and 9x19mm variants. What makes is unusual is, as you can see from the image below, it fires from the bottom chamber rather from the top like a conventional revolver.

Sound familiar?

The weird part in all this is that the AEK 906 was also known as the "Nosorog" which is Russian for "rhinoceros"! I wonder if the folks at Chiappa Firearms knew about that when they named their new revolver the "Rhino".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Will no one rid us of this meddling zombie?

New Gun Laws in Colorado

Earlier this month, Colorado Sheriff John Cooke said he would not enforce new state gun laws.

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke won’t enforce new state gun measures expected to be signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, arguing the proposed firearms restrictions give a "false sense of security."

Yesterday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bills into law. Looks like it is nut up or shut up time in Colorado.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Thin Blue Whine

A picture truly worth a thousand words.

A three-year investigation into the police’s habit of fixing traffic and parking tickets in the Bronx ended in the unsealing of indictments on Friday and a stunning display of vitriol by hundreds of off-duty officers, who converged on the courthouse to applaud their accused colleagues and denounce their prosecution.

As 16 police officers were arraigned at State Supreme Court in the Bronx, incensed colleagues organized by their union cursed and taunted prosecutors and investigators, chanting "Down with the D.A." and "Ray Kelly, hypocrite."

Read the rest here.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dumbass Gun Owner Award

Dumbass Gun Owner Award

And the nominee is:

Cops: Pa. guard shot finger trying to remove ring

Excerpt:

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal prison guard has been charged with shooting his own finger in a drunken attempt to remove his wedding ring during an argument with his wife at their northwestern Pennsylvania home, police said.

A criminal complaint said Bradford police were called just before 9 p.m. March 2 and were met by Alfredo Malespini III, 31, who told officers he was "trying to get rid of his wedding ring" and decided to "shoot it off." The Bradford Era first reported the shooting on Friday.

The gunshot badly mangled Malespini's finger, but didn't remove the ring, police said.

All I can say about this is, "Stupid has consequences."

Friday, March 8, 2013

End the Public Library?

As I read a recent article from Fast Company entitled Best-selling Author: "Public Libraries Deprive Writers Of Royalties" I was reminded of a line from the movie Good Will Hunting:

See, the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you're gonna start doing some thinking on your own and you're gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One, don't do that. and, two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fucking education you could've got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.

How many of the self made men of the past got their education from borrowed books and the reading room of a public library? Abraham Lincoln is, arguably, the American icon of such achievement. Frederic Douglas, Thomas Jefferson and Lysander Spooner also come to mind as mostly self taught men.

I know some -- maybe most -- publishers would like to do away with the lending of books and even eliminate the used book market. My anarcho-libertarian sympathies are on the side of letting them try. However, beginning in 1656 when a Boston merchant named Robert Keayne willed his collection of books to the town of Boston, the publicly accessible library has worked pretty well to help spread knowledge in this country. Hence, my conservative inclination is to preserve the institution even if I question the wisdom of supporting it through taxation.

H/T to Grant Cunningham and The Revolver Liberation Alliance

The Continuing Failure of the Tax-Supported School System

Officials: Most NYC High School Grads Need Remedial Help Before Entering CUNY Community Colleges

Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system.

The above quote sums up the problem. Tax-supported education is failing the very people is was created to help. Despite the bleating of the Teachers Unions, a system that fail eight out of ten times is not generating a net benefit. It is a disastrous drag on the culture.

When future historians write about the history of 20th and Early 21st Century America, the tax-supported education system will likely be recorded as the single greatest mistake we made. That is if that horribly dysfunctional educational system we created leaves us a future that can afford the luxury of historians.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tales of the Assault Pop-Tart

Just when I think the hoplophobes have scraped the cultural bottom, they discover new depths of depravity and dumbness to plumb.

School Offers Counseling to Kids "Troubled" by Gun-Shaped Pastry

Amanda Collins at HB 1226 Hearing

In the following video you can see that Sen. Hudek clearly deserves a nomination for Most Egregiously Stupid Comment in a Committee Hearing. Ms. Collins, OTOH, deserve a award for telling the idiot masquerading as a Senator that the right to effective self defense trumps any touchy-feely horseshit about teachers feeling comfortable.

Frankly, if a teacher is uncomfortable with any of his students carrying a gun -- openly or concealed -- he needs to find a different line of work. Fast food service would be appropriate.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Risk Assessment

I'm always being asked about computer and data security. My answer is always some variation on the same theme. Employees will get serious about security when management proves it is serious about security.

Brice Schneier has an excellent short essay from 2009 on how people evaluate risk and some implications for securing corporate computer systems and data.

It is not enough to just publish a policy. If an employee perceives the risk from violating the policy are less than the risk of completing a job assignment late, he will circumvent security in favor of the assignment.

It seems to me that his co-workers understand the risks better than he does. They know what the real risks are at work, and that they all revolve around not getting the job done. Those risks are real and tangible, and employees feel them all the time. The risks of not following security procedures are much less real. Maybe the employee will get caught, but probably not. And even if he does get caught, the penalties aren't serious.

Given this accurate risk analysis, any rational employee will regularly circumvent security to get his or her job done. That's what the company rewards, and that's what the company actually wants.

Related but not mentioned explicitly in the essay is a requirement that my experience in systems security indicates is equally important: Management must live with its own rules. If an employee believes that managers are avoiding the security rules then he will conclude that management is not really serious about it. Sure the manager can fire the employee for a transgression but then other employees will see the situation as fundamentally unfair and morale will suffer

People Understand Risks -- But Do Security Staff Understand People?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Another Idiot Politician Speaks

I do not recall anyone ever asking me to pay taxes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Price of Freedom

The price of freedom is often too high for those who claim to want it. They need to understand that it only works if freedom extends to peaceable actions they disagree with and may not even like. Michael Z. Williamson does pretty good job of summarizing that in The Post in Which I Piss Off EVERYBODY.

He is right. Those who claim to want freedom have to prove it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tide as a Black Market Currency?

According to this article, the detergent Tide has become a currency in the illegal drug trade. That is really only a small part of the reasons for it being a popular target for theft but it does illustrate the creativity of the people in the selling end of the illegal drug trade.

Suds for Drugs

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Queen James Bible

Buy it at Amazon

James 1 of England is, perhaps, best known for the version of the Christian Bible that bears his name. In 1604, he commissioned a transation from Latin to English to correct perceived probems in earlier translations. This effort certainly helped the spread of Protestantism and, arguably, enabled the further division of Christianity.

When James 1 was crowned king of England in 1603, a common joke amongst the populace was, "Elizabeth was King, now James is Queen!" This was a reference to his personal life which involved several extramarital homosexual affairs. It is ironic then that a new translation of his iconic Bible should appear "...edited to prevent homophobic misinterpretation."

In all, the editors only changed eight verses and they are explained here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Americans With No Abilities Act

Too good to pass up:

President Barack Obama and the Democratic Senate are considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said California Sen. Barbara Boxer. "We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability (POI) to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing."

In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons with No Ability (63 percent).

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million mid-level positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability (POI) into middle-management positions, and give a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the Americans With No Abilities Act contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, "Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?"

"As a non-abled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them," said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Mich., due to her inability to remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. "This new law should be real good for people like me. I'll finally have job security." With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Said Sen. Dick Durbin: "As a senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so."

Found at "The View From Chaos Manor" by Jerry E. Pournelle


H/T to The Libertarian Enterprise

Another Day in a Gun Free Paradise.

Flash Mob Mayhem: Violent Groups Of Teens Leave NYC Businesses In Ruins.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Violent, thieving mobs have been making headlines across the country for the past few years, and now they have hit New York City.

And Maurice Dubois reported in this CBS 2 investigation, the teen mobs have left neighborhoods worried as businesses take matters into their own hands.

Read the rest here.

At the end, the author ask the question, "What do you think needs to be done to stop the teenage mobs?"

I suggest shotguns and buckshot

Monday, February 4, 2013

What I Need to Excercise a Right.

Grant Cunningham raises a good point in his recent essay, The concept of 'need'.

If a prohibitionist asks why we "need" something, he is presupposing that the exercise of a fundamental right is contingent upon showing good reason to exercise that right. The idea that humans have rights simply because they exist is completely bypassed, and the concept that rights are something a government confers upon subjects is cemented in the very structure of the question. By answering, in any form or manner, the question of need we tacitly accept their premise that rights do not exist beyond what someone else is willing to allow. Even entertaining the question plays into their trap.

I agree that letting the antis frame any part of the debate is a bad idea. Do not let your opponent talk about "need" until he or she first agrees there is a fundamental right to effective self defense. Emphasize that "effective" in this case means that the victim will have an equal or better chance than the criminal of escaping the encounter unharmed.

Frankly, I don't think the anti's even care about what you "need" because they don't believe you have any right to resist criminal attacks. That is why they always argue, "Just give them what they want." The "need" argument is just a rhetorical trick to move the debate to a place where we can be attacked. Concentrating first on the civil rights issue gives you more leverage. The anti's don't want to talk about rights because, deep down inside their scabby little souls, they just hate guns and the culture that guns are a part of. I am convinced they seek the deliberate and systematic destruction of the entire unique "gun culture".

Another part of the "need" debate that, I think, works against us is the assertion by some gunnies that a percentage of bullets fired by a defender in a typical self defense scenario will miss their intended target. That may be true and the figure I see tossed around a lot is 70% to 80%. That means, on average, seven or eight of every ten bullets fired will miss.

Now look at that a from an anti-gun point of view.

"Oh My God! You need high capacity magazines so you can miss seven times out of ten? Do you think those bullet are just going to disappear? No, they are going to hit something or someone else. You must be some kind of irresponsible idiot to be willing to endanger innocent bystanders just so you can feeeeel safer."

Unfortunately there have been some recent high profile police shootings where bystanders were injured by stray bullets. These help reinforce the anti-gunners' perception that gun owners are irresponsible loons so be careful.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A double-barrel, bolt-action rifle

In .416 Rigby.

It was reportedly created after the designer was charged by three elephants at once.

Awesomeness +2

Monday, January 14, 2013

Who didn't see this coming?

Fears expressed about potential dangers of an anti-gun newspaper publishing detailed maps revealing who owns guns have evidently materialized, New York State Senator Greg Ball stated today in a press release.

Read the rest at Gun burglary attempt tied to Journal News gun owner map.

The underlying problem is that the damn list even exists. There is no rational reason that an peaceable resident of this country should need a permission slip to own a gun. There is even less reason that he needs to beg for that permission from some parasite in the bureaucracy.