Government humor

Say you got laid (no future pun on this intended) off.  You are receiving unemployment benefits.  You get a job offer from a different field that pays well, better than your previous job, but you decide to turn it down.  Would the state be justified in cutting off your benefits?  At first thought I would say, “Yes“, with the qualification that the state shouldn’t be in the business of employment insurance to begin with.  Germans have a new wrinkle in this area of their law since they made prostitution legal two years ago.

Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit.

The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.

When the waitress looked into suing the job centre, she found out that it had not broken the law. Job centres that refuse to penalise people who turn down a job by cutting their benefits face legal action from the potential employer.

“There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the sex industry,” said Merchthild Garweg, a lawyer from Hamburg who specialises in such cases. “The new regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits.”

Miss Garweg said that women who had worked in call centres had been offered jobs on telephone sex lines. At one job centre in the city of Gotha, a 23-year-old woman was told that she had to attend an interview as a “nude model”, and should report back on the meeting. Employers in the sex industry can also advertise in job centres, a move that came into force this month. A job centre that refuses to accept the advertisement can be sued.

I’m so amused.  This is what you get for government to have a monopoly on employment insurance.

Thanks to Claire for posting the link on her blog.

Update: Be sure to read the comments to this post.

Update 2: See this link for more (or less) about the story.

Random link to Boomershoot

As frequent readers know I watch the log file on boomershoot.org pretty close.  Today I saw this scroll by:

62.252.96.7 – – [31/Jan/2005:14:47:34 +0000] “GET /2003/Kim.avi HTTP/1.0″ 200 1703936 “http://pwnstar.proboards44.com/index.cgi?board=wtf&action=display&num=1105866135” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)”

Following the referral URL I found some things I had to share:

these dudes are mad they mix explosives and shit up and shoot it with a rifle
http://www.boomershoot.org/2003/Kim.avi

HOLY SHIT! BOOOOOOOOM! hell yes!

girls should not be given a loaded weapon

omfg! i wanna do that!!! holy b’jesus that was cool!

Barb, hearing about girls and weapons, says, “You shouldn’t say that about our girl!”

I would logon to the forum and invite them to attend but it looks like they are probably just kids and probably are in Europe.  Not likely for them to be able to attend.

Quote of the day–Violence Policy Center

 … model legislation, “The Firearms Safety and Violence Prevention Act,” designed to expand the powers of the Secretary of Treasury to include regulation of the manufacture, distribution and sale of firearms and ammunition and to expand the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department to include firearm products and non-powder firearms. In addition to granting the Treasury health and safety powers (such as standard-setting and recall capability), it also includes: a ban on assault weapons; a ban on weapons regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) such as silencers, hand grenades, and land mines; and a handgun phase-out–the future manufacture and sale of new handguns would be prohibited. Currently possessed handguns would be required to be surrendered upon the owner’s death.

Violence Policy Center
From http://www.vpc.org/fact_sht/ceasefs.htm
(as of 11/10/98 and 01/31/05)

Boomershoot PR

Stephanie Sailor has been sending me Boomershoot PR stuff all day to review, edit, and add to the website.  I think I am finally all caught up.  Check out the following stuff:

Send me an email if you see something messed up, inaccurate, whatever.

I also updated the Boomershoot 2005 web page with the number of referrals from various bloggers.  I discovered I had forgotten to add Jeff Soyer (Alphecca) to the list of bloggers that have mentioned Boomershoot.  That is now corrected.

I’m done on the computer for a while.  Time to modify some more 8” targets.

Quote of the day–Gerald M. Weinberg

We stand at the brink of a new age, an age made possible by the revolution that is embodied in the computer. Standing on the brink, we could totter either way to a golden age of liberty or a dark age of tyranny, either of which would surpass anything the world has ever known. Perhaps no individual’s efforts will make any difference in the result, but we must never cease trying, for then the result is sure to be tyranny.

Gerald M. Weinberg
The Psychology of Computer Programming
1971

Iraq election, WW III, etc.

I’ve been reading and listening and without doing 2+2=4 type of calculations just getting a gut feel for what is happening and what will happen I have a prediction to make.  Prophecy is always tough to get right and it’s easy to end up looking like an idiot.  But my guess is that 10 years from now the war we are fighting against the Muslim Jihad warriors will be over and election day, January 30, 2005, in Iraq will be the equivalent of the battle of Gettysburg in the U.S. civil war.  The turning point in the war.  Although there will still need to be a lot of fighting, deaths, and there will be lots of screaming and wailing by the losers (including the Democrats in our country), the end will known to anyone that studies the problem.  There could be something bad things happen, we could still get some nukes detonated in a few of our cities, but the days of the Muslim extremists will be numbered and we will be counting them down.

Generator received and tested, boxes ordered, misc other stuff

More Boomershoot 2005 completed preparation this week.

Today I picked up the 3500W (peak) generator I ordered a few days ago.  Ry and his son Alan helped me unpack it, I filled it with oil and gas (with some Stabil), and gave the rope a pull.  Nothing.  Oh, turn on the gas, you idiot, choke it, and try again.  It started on the first pull.  I can’t tell you how happy that made me.  I’ve spent 20 minutes cranking on the old one before it would start sometimes.  I measured the voltage, put a load on it, everything works good.

I also ordered boxes (4“x4“x2“) to use as replacement 4“ targets.  I didn’t have enough of the ones we used last year and decided to try something different.  They are cheaper, pack tighter, and should be less labor intensive.  They hold slightly more explosives but that shouldn’t be a problem.

I sent email to the caterer telling them the dates and expected number of people.

I looked at the spreadsheet for chemicals and it looks like I already have all I need for this year with the possible except of something I can get locally at Wal-Mart.

Two more entries came in this week.  I’ll update the Boomershoot status page later this evening.

Movie website is up now

I posted yesterday about the movie Boomershoot (Ry and I) will be providing some special effects for.  Ry reports they have their website up now.  Lots of stuff still under construction, but the skeleton is up.  They have cast and crew calls out now if you want to get involved.  I’m virtually certain all the positions are unpaid, but heh, if you want to be in a movie…

Quote of the day–Claire Wolfe

There is not a group on this planet worthy of your respect.  Only individuals.  Respect or disrespect them case-by-case, based on what they do, not what categories they belong to.

It’s possible that your greatest ally could be a DEA or BATF agent becoming disillusioned with the agency’s practices.  It’s possible your worst enemy could be a friend about to rat on you to save his or her own butt.  It’s possible that the smartest person you’ll ever meet will be a member of a racial group you always believed was stupid.  It’s possible that the most venal person you’ll ever meet belongs to a group otherwise known for its honor.

Claire Wolfe
From 101 Things To Do ‘Til The Revolution

Boomershoot to provide special effects for a movie

So I got this email today…

It’s just a couple of college kids making a movie and they need a car blown up.  There were some emails exchanged and then we ended up chatting online for hours (until just a few minutes ago).  Ry and I, being nerds, wanted to encourage reality based stuff.  Such as no fireballs unless there really is excess fuel in the explosion.  And the sound arrives significantly AFTER the explosion occurs (at 700 yards, boomershoot range, it’s about 2 seconds).  Only if the camera is right in the middle of the explosion would it happen at the same time.  They probably aren’t going to go for it.  They want Hollywood reality, not physical reality.    Okay.  We can do that.  The first couple of emails follow.  We’ll be blogging about the project as we know more.  They should have a website and trailer up before long.

From: Gideon Oakes
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 10:17 AM
To: joeh@boomershoot.org
Subject: Filming at Boomershot 2005

Hi Joe,
 
My name is Gideon Oakes. My buddy and I are students down here at BYU-Idaho, and we’re putting together a feature-length action movie called “The Moment.” In the film, there is a scene in which a car is supposed to blow up. I’ve visited your website and looked at everything, especially Project Fireball, with my eyes wide open. That kind of a fireball is exactly what we want. We’re not looking to demolish the car, but we want to have a spectacular fireball blow through the windows and up into the air.
 
I’ve been trying to figure out how we could do this on our own, but the prospect of experimenting on blowing a car up (with no prior pyrotechnical knowledge) is somewhat of a frightening thing to me. So that’s why I started looking for people who already knew how to do this kind of thing. When I came upon your site, I was first thrilled to see someone doing what you do. You guys are definitely my kind of people. I’m from South Dakota, where we too take our 2nd Amendment rights very seriously. Then when I saw that you did this all in Idaho, I nearly fell out of my chair. Of all 50 states, you’re in the same state as us.
 
So, I guess what I would like to know is, what would it take for you guys to put a titanium powder firebomb in a gutted out car and blast it at Boomershoot 05? We don’t know how far our movie is going to go, but we know that having this kind of special effect would definitely help its prospects out. Not to mention, it would be a heck of a lot of fun to do. :-)
 
Please let me know if you’re interested, so we can begin working on coordinating this project.
 
Thanks,
Gideon Oakes
BRP Digital Media
 

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 10:40 AM
To: Gideon Oakes
Cc: Ry Jones
Subject: Re: Filming at Boomershot 2005

Rather than doing it at Boomershoot 2005 when my crew and I are very, very busy I would recommend some other time. Some weekend with a couple weeks notice would be probably work for us. Some of the issues I see are:

Do you have a car? If it wasn’t scrap before, it will be afterwards.

Cleanup. Unless you film it where you can just leave it the car and any pieces that fall off will have to be cleaned up.

Cost. If you can travel to us we can be had very cheaply–perhaps free if you give us credit in your movie. If we have to travel there then we would expect some compensation.

If we travel there do you have a place where this sort of activity will not upset the neighbors? Houses may shake a couple miles away. You might be able to mitigate this by inviting them to watch…

We will detonate it with rifle fire. If we travel to you we will need a safe place to shoot a high powered rifle.

Equipment risk. Depending on how close your camera(s) must be there is some risk of them getting hit by something. We can discuss this in more detail to give you some idea but if you decide to put them inside of the radius we give you (probably about 200 yards) then you take the liability.

Looking forward to hearing more about your project.

Oh, one more thing… we don’t do ‘bombs’ or ‘firebombs’. We do “reactive targets”–some of which happen to create fireballs. Talking about ‘bombs’ will get you turned over to the ATF, the FBI, and/or various intelligence agencies.

-joe-
—-
http://www.boomershoot.org
http://www.modernballistics.com

Quote of the day–Fritz Sands

I thought the whole idea of “zero-tolerance” was to show that the problem was so serious that intelligence and common sense would not be allowed in the implementation of policy.  This serves to give a valuable lesson to students — when something is really serious, you must make sure not to think.

Fritz Sands
4/15/99 2:36 PM
Microsoft Gun Club Public Folder
Regarding zero tolerance gun policies at schools resulting in suspending kids for tiny toy guns.

Firearms on airplane stories

This post reminds me it’s time to mention my web page on airline travel with firearms.  I used to travel on a plane about twice a week and I always traveled with one or more firearms in my checked baggage.  As result I ended up with a fair number of stories (see my web page).  I have a few more that aren’t on the net too, but most of them are better told one-on-one so I can deny them later if necessary.

Be sure and read what the TSA has to say about air travel with a firearm and check out your airline for tolerance before getting on the plane for Boomershoot 2005.

Alan Korwin seeks to add hoplophobia to DSM

I don’t know how many people have had the pleasure of meeting Alan Korwin in person but he ranks right up there with Robin Williams in terms of energy and ability to make you laugh.  His writing can’t fully communicate his energy but it’s funny and right on in terms of gun rights and how to deal with the gun haters.  His latest paper is titled The Last Refuge for Hate: Gun Hate.  Here is an excerpt:

… since the bulk of resistance to the American right to arms has its roots in a medical condition, no amount of history, legal analysis, precedent, logic or argument will resolve the issue.

People who are terrified of and hate guns — hoplophobes — don’t care about anything rational, and we waste our time on such arguments. They want guns to go away. They don’t trust guns. They don’t trust people who have guns, and especially people who like guns. The only exception is “official” people with guns, meaning, they’re from the government, a source of relief.

I know, I know, that’s irrational. But that’s the nature of the disease, and it will not be fixed by DOJ reports.

Hate is a terrible thing.

It must be confronted vigorously, righteously, and in a forthright manner. Logic and law do not confront hate, or help lessen it. We must learn not to tolerate gun hate, anywhere we find it.

Hoplophobic behavior in government, schools, and all facets of public life must be recognized for what it is, exposed, and rooted out or treated. Seemingly utopian pacifists are free to profess their love of a weapon-free world, but they must start by disarming the evil, criminal and tyrannical. Disarming the general public is a vent for their twisted fear and hatred, a grotesque affront to freedom, and unacceptable.

Guns save lives. Guns stop crime. Guns are why America is still free. The history of freedom is inextricably tied to the development of weapons (an interesting study, by the way, if you have the time to examine it). Good people need guns. Efforts to end that are immoral and unjust, and when done by government, is a direct failure to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” That’s a violation of the oath of office, which should lead to removal from office and possibly even criminal charges.

The people we elect or hire for public service should be screened for latent or overt gun hatred, and disqualified if such hatred is found, before it can do any more harm to our nation and its values.

It is well past the time when the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the catalog of recognized mental infirmities, includes “hoplophobia,” in all its forms, and serious medical research is conducted to identify and treat this pernicious condition that threatens us all. The doctors among you should begin raising this issue. If you’re not a doctor but have one or two, ask them about it.

There’s a lot more.  Go read it for yourself and buy some of his books while you are there.

So why do we have the 4th amendment?

Say Uncle asks:

So, why do we have the fourth amendment again? I mean, I’m just asking since it seems like we don’t really use it.

The same question could be asked of virtually all the protections against excessive government in the entire constitution.  I recognize the sarcasm and know Say Uncle doesn’t literally mean that but in a sense it is a valid question.  If our government isn’t going to follow the rules then why not just draw up a new set of rules and try to enforce the government from crossing the new restrictions?  I say, “No”.  I take that back.  That should be, “Hell no!”  Even though we are nearly constantly reminded of government excursions into areas they are forbidden we are reminded by the existence of those violated restrictions.  It gives us something to “hang our hats on”, it gives us the moral high ground, it gives us a goal to strive for, and it reminds us why we need to hold onto our guns. 

How is that?  How does it remind us why we need to hold onto our guns?  Because rules aren’t worth the paper they are written on without a means to enforce them.  I’ve gotten into debates on a Universal Biometric ID card and had a lawyer tell me we just needed to put “substantive rules“ in place prevent it’s abuse.  As I told him:

If you believe “substantive rules … will continue to be administered” will assure me the database will not be abused then you haven’t been listening. The “substantive rules” that I would required to be put in place in order to believe the contents of the database would not abused would cause the most enthusiastic Auschwitz guard to cringe at my creativity in punishment methods, violate numerous protections of the Bill of Rights, and probably inspire several additions to it.

Government cannot be trusted to follow the rules–constant reminders of that are a good thing.

My good deeds this week

Usually I just end up jousting with windmills (and here).  But this time maybe I may have made some progress.  At least I got reasonable responses.  First this story:

Nine out of 10 Richmond-area residents support a proposed law that would close the so-called “gun-show loophole,” a newly released crime-and-safety survey shows. 

The loophole allows unlicensed gun dealers to sell firearms at Virginia gun shows without making background checks of purchasers.

The survey also shows that residents in the region overwhelmingly rank crime as the biggest threat to their quality of life and that most believe the crime rate is tied to the availability of guns.

Voters are also willing to support stricter gun-control legislation and hold elected officials accountable on the issue.

You know how the story goes, almost for certain the survey wording was biased, the “gun-show loophole” is just a phrase invented by the freedom haters to further restrict sales of firearms, etc., etc.  Rather than explain all this to the reporter I sent a much simplier email and got a decent reply:

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 12:44 AM
To: ‘jnolan@timesdispatch.com’
Subject: Re: Closing gun-show loophole backed

Before implementing yet another gun control law people should look at the results of gun control laws world wide.  For example check out the recent report from the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.suntimes.com/output/otherviews/cst-edt-ref08x.html).

Then ask yourself just one question:

Can you demonstrate just one time, one place, throughout all of human history, where restricting the access of handheld weapons to the average person made them safer?

See this for background: http://blog.joehuffman.org/2004/12/14/

-joe-
—-
http://blog.joehuffman.org
http://www.modernballistics.com
http://www.boomershoot.org

From: jnolan@timesdispatch.com
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 8:52 AM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: RE: Closing gun-show loophole backed

Thanks, Joe. I’ll check it out.

Then there was the editorial from someone already on our side:

Each year, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence publishes a “report card” rating each state in the country according to their “gun violence prevention laws.” They must not be very pleased with the direction of this country, as the national average was halfway between a “C” and a “D.” (“A” being the highest grade.) In order to understand the Brady Campaign’s perspective, one must examine the relationships between state legislative environments and the Brady grading system.

It’s okay to make baseless claims as long as they support Brady Campaign beliefs. The Brady Campaign revises the truth and capitalizes upon people’s pain and suffering to promote a political goal: banning civilian firearms. They roll out the “for the children” refrain in an attempt to grab moral high ground and portray those who disagree as too self-absorbed with guns to care about the death of innocents, even though statistical fact indicates that it is the Brady Campaign that prefers demagoguery to reality.

I sent him the following email and got a reply:

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 8:29 AM
To: ‘hnemerov@netvista.net’
Subject: Brady grades.

Thanks for writing the nice article.

See also “Brady 2004 Report Card versus crime rates”:

http://blog.joehuffman.org/2005/01/17/

-joe-
—-
http://blog.joehuffman.org
http://www.modernballistics.com
http://www.boomershoot.org

From: Howard Nemerov
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2005 9:25 AM
To: ‘Joe Huffman’
Subject: RE: Brady grades.

That’s pretty much what I found for rates per 100,000 population; not much difference between CCW and non-CCW states. Your spreadsheet is very good. Maybe send a copy to John Lott? The 2004 Brady report card was only slightly different from 2003, so it’s still valid to do what you did. I discussed the slight variations to try to regress the report card to 2003 for a straight comparison. Thanks for reading my paper.

Howard Nemerov

I sent Mr. Lott a link to my blog on the correlation between Brady grades and violent crime.  No response yet, but it was just a few minutes ago so it’s way to early to know if he will have an interest or not.