Quote of the day—H.L. Mencken

Most people want security in this world, not liberty.

H.L. Mencken
Minority Report, 1956
[Also note that security comes in two flavors. You can feel secure and you can actually be secure. Liberty has a strong tendency to make people feel less secure at the expense of true security. For example you can feel secure that the government will provide you with food and housing but your property will not be secure from government takings for redistribution. You can feel secure that the government will be able to find and extract a confession from criminals but the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures may be infringed or you may be compelled to testify against yourself or not have due process.

The vast majority of people have a strong preference for feeling secure. Hence there is a strong tendency to give up liberty for imagined safety and get neither.

I was reminded of this by this video (via Alan and Ry who also points out this relates to Brady Campaign board member Joan Peterson) from Bruce Schneier:

Schneier points out that even when there is lots of data available, such as with cigarette smoking, it takes a long time to get people to change their behavior. It should come as no surprise it has taken us decades to make progress on the gun rights front.--Joe]

Quote of the day—Dave Workman

The clock is ticking down and this election is very much in play. Those who resign themselves to thinking otherwise are their own worst enemies.

Here it is in simple terms: A vote for someone other than Rossi is a vote for Murray. A vote for Murray is a vote for Schumer.

Any questions?

Dave Workman
October 29, 2010
High stakes for gun owners in Tuesday’s Senate election
[Polls put Murray and Rossi very, very close:

Indeed, Republicans got a good poll in Washington tonight, although it comes with some qualifications. The survey, from Rasmussen Reports, gave Dino Rossi a 1-point lead over Patty Murray, the Democrat. Rasmussen’s previous survey of the state had given Ms. Murray a 3-point lead.

Now for the qualifications: Rasmussen has had a rather different impression of the state than other pollsters. Since Labor Day, Rasmussen and its subsidiary Pulse Opinion Research has polled the state seven times; four of their polls put Mr. Rossi ahead. By contrast, there have been nine polls of the state by companies other that Rasmussen. All nine of them gave Ms. Murray a lead, although usually by small margins.

Murray has never seen a gun control bill she didn't like. Rossi is a good guy on guns and good on the economic issues as well.

If you are eligible to vote in Washington state please vote for Rossi. Remember how things went for Rossi in his last election. He needs enough votes to make another election theft improbable.—Joe]

Second Amendment Foundation links

In case you didn’t get the message someplace else…

Even if you don’t have money to donate you can put links on your websites to help the major player in the gun rights legal movement. The Second Amendment Foundation brought you the McDonald decision and is working on many more projects. Some you know about and some are still under wraps. Do what you can to push the anti-gun forces into political and legal oblivion.

Via email (slightly edited for better formatting on this blog):

Fri 10/29/2010 10:56 AM

To all gun-rights bloggers and website managers:

Dear Friends,

The Second Amendment Foundation needs your help. As someone intimately involved in the gun culture, I’m asking for a personal favor. Will you link to our site from yours?

We’re seeking to build our presence on the web. A larger web presence can increase our donor base and help us keep up with the big budgets of the anti-gunners. We rely primarily on grassroots donations to fund our gun rights lawsuits. This project is crucial to our continued success. We’ve been making a lot of progress lately and we want to keep our momentum. 
  
Below are some images with associated html code we have produced for you to use on your site.

Sincerely yours, 
 image
Alan M. Gottlieb
Founder
Second Amendment Foundation


http://www.saf.org”>http://www.saf.org/img/Logo_big.jpg”/>   


http://www.saf.org”>http://www.saf.org/img/Banner_big.jpg” />


http://www.saf.org”>http://www.saf.org/img/Logo_med.jpg” />


http://www.saf.org”>http://www.saf.org/img/Banner_med.jpg” />


http://www.saf.org”>http://www.saf.org/img/Logo_sm.jpg” />


http://www.saf.org”>http://www.saf.org/img/Banner_sm.jpg” />

________________________________________
< Please e-mail, distribute, and circulate to friends and family >
Copyright © 2010 Second Amendment Foundation, All Rights Reserved.
Second Amendment Foundation
James Madison Building
12500 N.E. Tenth Place
Bellevue, WA 98005    Voice: 425-454-7012
Toll Free: 800-426-4302
FAX: 425-451-3959
email: InformationRequest@saf.org

Quote of the day—Lyle @ UltiMAK

Where’s the First Amendment map– one that tells us where in the U.S. we may and may not practice free speech? The First and Second are actual parts of the constitution, but the abortion map is blue all over (to protect the children I guess) and you don’t need a permit.

Lyle @ UltiMAK
October 28, 2010
Comment to My CCW map.
[I like the way he thinks. I wish I had thought of that.

As gun owners are so accustom to tolerating the infringements that we sometimes forget what it would be like to have our specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms respected instead of infringed. We still have a lot more work to do.—Joe]

What people are really interested in

In one recent 24 hour period this blog has received the following search engine queries and counts related to Windows Phone 7.


You would think that of all the questions that might be asked about Window Phone 7 there would be a greater diversity of search engine queries instead of this narrow theme*:



Who is the woman in lingerie in the windows phone advert (www.google.co.uk) : 6
woman from windows phone advert (www.google.co.uk) : 3
lingerie woman in new microsoft window phone 7 commercial (www.google.com) : 3
windows 7 phone lingerie (www.google.com) : 3
lingerie windows phone commercial (www.google.com) : 2
who is the woman lingerie in the windows phone 7 ad (www.google.de) : 2
who is the woman in the lingerie windows phone commercial (www.google.com) : 2
windows phone advert lingerie (www.google.co.uk) : 1
woman in windows phone advert (www.google.co.uk) : 1
woman in lingerie window’s phone 7 (www.google.com) : 1
windows 7 phone ad really lingerie (www.google.com) : 1
lingerie woman windows phone (www.google.com) : 1
microsoft windows phone 7 commercial lingerie (www.google.com) : 1
who is the woman of the windows phone advert (www.google.co.uk) : 1
windows phone 7 advert lingerie (www.google.co.uk) : 1
who is the woman on the windows phone advert (www.google.co.uk) : 1
“windows phone advert” lingerie (www.google.co.uk) : 1
windows phone lingerie woman (www.google.co.uk) : 1
windows phone 7 lingerie women (www.google.co.uk) : 1
windows phone advert woman in lingerie (www.google.co.uk) : 1
windows phone 7 lingerie woman (www.google.co.uk) : 1
microsoft phone advert lingerie (www.google.co.uk) : 1
windows phone 7 commercial lingerie (www.google.com) : 1


As wife Barbara said, “It just shows what people are really interested in.”



*This, almost for certain, isn’t true. It most likely is an artifact of the Google search engine giving a high ranking to my blog post for queries that combine “woman” or “lingerie” and “windows phone 7”. For queries without “woman or “lingerie” my blog ranks very low. Hence the queries above represent a very biased sample of the total number of queries  related to WP7. As further evidence of this hypothesis note that there were no other search engines that sent WP7 queries my direction. It almost has to be an artifact of the Google ranking algorithm.

Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

Government should stay out of the way of businesses trying to make it in these tough economic times, or in any times. Instead, government has become one of the biggest obstacles we face. It’s bad enough Phoenix has attacked our free speech, but now they’re messing with our Second Amendment rights, and right before an election too. People who support this ought to be removed from office and punished for such malfeasance.

Alan Korwin
October 27, 2010
Phoenix Censors “Gun Safety for Kids”
[There is a lot more information on this event that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Korwin has been in contact with Assistant Phoenix city attorney Ted Mariscal to try and clarify what changes need to be made to the message. Mariscal says it needs to be changed to meet his satisfaction but won’t say what would satisfy him.

As Tam said, “So, where do I go vote... for whoever's gonna fire you?”—Joe]

Guns versus ideas

The Washington Post has a very interesting article about the ATF and the tracing of guns. But I couldn’t help but think how the entire tone of the article would come across to most people if one were to substitute “book” for “gun” with the ATF becoming the ATB for Alcohol, Tobacco and Books.

The Washington Post just doesn’t get it. The possession of firearms is a specific enumerated right and the government should no more tracking down the tools used to commit a crime than tracking down where someone got the idea to commit a crime. The same goes for people who think a previous gun owner should have some responsibility for what happens to their gun after it leaves their possession. If people and corporations aren’t responsible for the ideas they communicate (except in certain extreme cases) then why should anyone be responsible for tools they used to own?

Neighbors

My son and a neighbor kid got into some trouble last Spring.  A minor property crime against the local grange– a stupid, boyish stunt.  That’s the first big mistake in this series.


John Law got involved and came down HARD on the two kids.  Really serious shit, as if they were career, hard-core gang leaders or something.  Second big mistake.  No one’s really responsible either– things go largely according to a pre-ordained plan in a largely manditory system.  I would have thought this could be settled better, more efficiently and with more focus on restitution and correction, by neighbors talking to neighbors, but John Law has to get his piece of the action or he feels all left out and stuff.  Instead, my first news of this came after the kids had been arrested.  Watching the excitement on Hawaii 5-O and hardly ever even getting to slap the cuffs on some kids in a small town can be a bitch I guess.  Maybe we’re all bitches now.  Some people seem to think so, or wish it were so.


Fast-forward several months.  My son’s “partner in crime” from last Spring was found dead this Saturday morning.  Someone spotted his body near a bridge a few blocks away and made an anonymous call (who does that?) to 911.  I still don’t know the cause of death and it would be irresponsible to speculate.  All we know right now is; it has been reported that foul play is not suspected.


While making a huge pot of soup from our garden vegetables, duck eggs and yearling elk heart (which is tender and wonderful– thank you, Chris) this weekend, I thought back to 1977 which is when my sister and niece were killed.  Some of our neighbors brought over prepared food for us, and it was very well received.  It’s so simple, yet it makes a lot of sense.  When you’re tragedy-struck, you probably have less, or no, appetite and you sure don’t want to fix meals or go shopping when you have all the aftermath to deal with, and the grief.  But you have to eat, so I thought of bringing the parents and surviving son some of the soup and some other things this last Sunday.


Then the doubt kicked in.  Third big mistake.  “I don’t even really know these people, and for all I know they might hate the very idea of elk heart (Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies offering ‘possum-n-grits, chicken fried skunk, or some such, comes to mind), they might be offended, or maybe they’d blame my son for what happened or something.  Maybe they don’t eat meat or these other things.”  All this stupid, inane garbage prevented me from going down there straight away.  The wife was out of town at a rehearsal, the kids need to stay on their homework—all the regular stuff adds up too.


An offer of help can always be refused, but at least you’re giving them the option and asking nothing, which is the whole point.  Isn’t it?  I’ve gone stupid and wobbly in my old age.  Yakkity yacking more and doing less, maybe.


A few days later I finally got around to going over there with some home-made sweet cider and some fresh duck eggs.  The grandmother answered the door, and I spoke to her and the mother.  They were extremely gracious, appreciative and talkative, almost fawning, but that’s not the point.  I’d decided in advance that if they slammed the door in my face I’d be OK with that.  They informed me that the kids’ father is now in the hospital in intensive care for, among other things, not eating. (sigh)


If you think someone might need a little gesture of help, and even if you think your offer is dumb, maybe you should just offer the damn help.  Git ‘er done.  But I’m not finished here;


A community social network of some kind can be a precious thing, and whether you’re an atheist, agnostic, or haven’t thought much about it, your local church organizations can and do offer that sort of network.  So long as they don’t go all hell-fire and brimstone on people, they are potentially a great value to society.  I’ve harshly questioned organized religion, and I think with good reason.  Some of them are downright evil, some have fallen in with the Tides Foundation or other global leftist organizations, but the argument isn’t all one-sided.


Time was when churches, the Rotary Club, Elks, Moose Lodge, Eagles, Granges and so on were THE centers of local community action.  Now it’s a coercive, increasingly centralized government in concert with what can only be described as communist agitators and punks (such that now even the very term “community action” connotes leftist agitation).  Which would you rather?

You know it’s bad when Europe is telling you to stop

Via email from Barron (who supplied the post title) we have Europe telling the US our Security Theater is too much:



European air officials accused the United States of imposing useless and overly intrusive travel security measures, calling Wednesday for the Obama administration to reexamine policies ranging from online security checks to X-raying shoes.


British Airways’ chairman made the first in a wave of complaints, saying in a speech to airport operators that removing shoes and taking laptops out of bags were “completely redundant” measures demanded by the U.S.


He was joined less than 24 hours later by British pilots, the owner of Heathrow airport, other European airlines, and the European Union. The EU submitted formal objections to a program that requires U.S.-bound travelers from 35 nations to complete online security clearance before departure. It called the system burdensome and said it could violate travelers’ privacy.


Even though I agree with them on the excesses I doubt they would agree with me on the appropriate solution—allow small personal weapons on planes.

I am a direct descendent of God

Sometimes when Barbara disagrees with me over something I remind her that I am a direct descendent of God and she should not be questioning my wisdom. Yeah. That goes over about as well as you think it would.

So what is the justification for my claim?

My Great Great Grandfather (on my mothers, mothers side) was William W. Davies. Read the article.

What isn’t in the article is that his two sons (reincarnated Jesus Christ and God the Father) were very, very bright and could quote large portions of the Bible verbatim. Also W. W. believed himself to be “The Holy Spirit”. Together they were The Trinity.

Hence my claim of being a direct descendent of God isn’t totally baseless and often serves as a tension breaker.

I bring this up because of a discussion in the comments here. Also of possible interest is that a portion of W. W.’s cabin is on display in a museum in Walla Walla Washington.

Quote of the day—Robert J. McCracken

We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.


Robert J. McCracken
[This ignores the Vikings who probably were looking for plunder rather than liberty. The American Indians probably crossed the Bearing Strait instead of the Atlantic and my guess is they were looking for happy hunting grounds instead of liberty. But still he has a valid point.


We are mostly descendants of people who desired to be free from rulers in Europe. Sometimes they wanted to create new rules which stifled liberty such as the Puritans and the Mormons but there was plenty of space where they could pretty much leave each other alone. The First Amendment insists they leave each other alone and lubricates the interactions sufficiently that for the most part things move along fairly smoothly.


When newcomers or mutants come along and start creating new rulers in this new land it creates friction, resentment, and resistance at a subconscious level. It’s in our genes. This is particularly true in the west. Most of the people who moved to the western part of this continent in the 1800s were twice filtered for freedom. Once with the migration of their ancestors from Europe and then again with the migration across the plains and the Rockies.


Those in Washington D.C. who aspire to be our rulers should never forget our minds do not think the same as those who remained in Europe or even on the east coast. We are like a domestic animal bred and selected for a particular personality. They would be well advised to think of us as irritable sheep dogs rather than as sheep. We can feed and take care of ourselves if needed. And most importantly we have a vicious bite when treated like sheep to be shorn or butchered.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Sebastian

Thank you, Erik Dilan, for calling it a “fine.” You’re making the inevitable multi-million dollar lawsuit against your city that much easier.

Sebastian
October 26, 2010
Bloomberg Looking to Avoid a Lawsuit
[A New York City Councilman says that you need to pay a fine to own a firearm. That is just so awesome! It is like (H/T to Rob B. who sent me an email)  when the gun store opened in Sunnyvale California and the nearby residents said things like, ““I feel as if having [a gun store] in close proximity to many schools is a danger.”

These people just don’t get it. What if you had to pay a fine to be a practicing Jew, Muslim, or Christian? What if the neighbors wanted zoning to keep Jewish Delis and the residences of homosexuals more than one mile from all schools? Feelings are only loosely correlated with reality.

To put these people in their place it’s going to take the same sort of slap down by the courts that it took to put people in their place who said things like, “God damn, God damn, what is this God damn country coming to that the niggers have got guns, the niggers are armed and the police can’t even arrest them!”—Joe]

That idea has potential

Hover your mouse over the image to get the best part of the joke.

And according to my sources it isn’t all that difficult to build a program which can read a few conversation threads on a topic then make short comments that are indistinguishable from a live person on a similar thread. I would write something to do that and haunt the comment sections of the anti-gun websites but they disable comments or we outnumber them about 100 to 1 already. Hence human labor ends up being “cheaper” than automating the task.

It would be even easier to automate the task of responding as an anti-gun person to all the pro-gun websites—so I did:

namespace AntiGunComment
{
    using System;

    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string[] commentCollection =
            {
                “ban armor piercing ammo”,
                “ban assault weapons”,
                “ban cop killer bullets”,
                “ban plastic guns”,
                “ban Saturday Night Specials”,
                “ban sniper rifles”,
                “ban the shoulder thing that goes up”,
                “close the gun show loophole”,
                “get illegal guns off the streets”,
                “keep guns out of the hands of children”,
                “license gun owners”,
                “reduce gun availability”,
                “register all guns”,
                “require an arsenal license”,
            };
            const string commentFormat = “We need to {0}. It’s just COMMON SENSE!”;
            Random randomNumberGenerator = new Random();
            int index = randomNumberGenerator.Next(commentCollection.Length);

            Console.Write(string.Format(commentFormat, commentCollection[index]));
        }
    }
}

In case the source code is a little too obscure here is an executable for up to date Windows machines.

It’s a little scary to think someone could be replaced with such a small number of lines of code. With a little more work the capabilities could be enhanced such that it could respond to Bing News alerts by making a blog post. This could replace most of the anti-gun bloggers out there (hmm… maybe I could do that next weekend). I wonder what Joan Peterson and MikeB302000 would think of that… but then, maybe they already have been replaced. That would explain some things.

Quote of the day—Alexis Levinson

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia took fellow Justice Elena Kagan out for a lesson in skeet shooting at his shooting club in Virginia last week.

Alexis Levinson
October 25, 2010
Scalia takes Kagan to gun range, sources say
[As Say Uncle said, “Awesome”.

I wonder how I would go about inviting the entire Supreme Court to Boomershoot. Of course the end of April is a very busy time for them. Maybe I would need to do a private party sometime during the summer.

The ideal would be to follow up the next week with the Brady Campaign Board of directors and tell them all the stories of the great fun the SC had.

Hmmm… I just realized I know someone who could get the attention of and invite the SC. I’ll have to run this idea past him sometime…—Joe]

Quote of the day—Thirdpower

As their public support continues to wane and mergers of the groups continue, it appears they’re having a harder time finding enough people to run even these reduced organizations. It also shows that their agendas are just as similar as we’ve claimed all along. While the Brady Bunch filed a ‘neutral’ brief in McDonald and claimed ‘handgun bans are off the table, all the Joyce groups opposed the ownership of handguns. We’ve seen the Brady’s pick up the ‘insurrectionist’ meme championed by Josh Horwitz.

Gun control advocates like to rant on about the NRA and how they control the opinions and messages of all these blogs and other pro-gun groups. The reality is that there is much more diversity in opinion and leadership among firearm advocates that what is left of the gun control movement.

They are one and the same and we’ll continue to see their extremist viewpoints shrink along w/ their support and budgets.

Thirdpower
October 24, 2010
One and the Same
[This observation also explains the presence of people with obvious mental defects, such as Joan Peterson, on the board of anti-gun groups. They have both a shortage of money and qualified people. This also explains the success of Mary McFate (or Mary Lou Sapone). Sebastian (in a private email) deserves credit for this last observation. And this problem they have can and should be exploited to the maximum possible. We need to press them as fast as we can on as many fronts as we can. We outnumber them at least 100 to one and have ten times (or more) as much disposable money.

Lets crush them and drive them into political extinction.—Joe]

Boomershoot 2011 prep

Two weeks ago some friends and I moved some dirt to improve the shooting berm and cleared some brush to make room for more parking near the Taj Mahal. Today I went back out and with the help of my two brothers planted the torn up dirt to grass.

I have now successfully completed all the Boomershoot tasks required before winter. I’ll probably go back out at least one more time to blow up some pumpkins after Halloween. If things go really well I’ll have some chemicals and target boxes to deliver to the site at the same time but that may have to wait until next spring.

Quote of the day–Harry Emerson Fosdick

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.

Harry Emerson Fosdick
[I don’t think most people understand this. They see the little hazards of liberty and freedom like accidental gun shoot wounds and the occasional mass shootings and overlook the genocide enabled by prohibitions against the private ownership of firearms.—Joe]

Gaining traction

Via Say Uncle and Greg.

“Bigots” is used in the MSM to describe those opposed to guns in public:

Despite Florida’s reputation as a gun-crazy state, we actually are like some socialist European country when it comes to bearing our arms. We make people get permits and hide their heat under jackets and coats, lest they offend the sissy gun bigots.

It’s pretty amazing to think how much has changed in the last 10 years. And don’t forget it could have changed that much or more in the other direction. Think of the change in recreational drug use/tolerance from the early 70’s to the 80s’. Think of naked pictures of airplane passengers now versus 10 years ago. Think of Jews in Germany in 1930 versus 1940.

When people say something “could never happen here” tell them to read their history. Attitudes can change very, very fast.

We have gained a lot of traction on the gun rights agenda in the last 10 years. We need to keep the “pedal to the metal” and push the bigots as close to political extermination as we can.

Quote of the day—Kevin Baker

I, for one, do not welcome our Neocortical Overlords.

Kevin Baker
October 21, 2010
Our Neocortical Overlords
[Make that two. I’ve worked on too many government projects with people that said things like “See this badge? This means the law doesn’t apply to us” or seen the results of spending billions on some of the most stupid and wasteful things.

Oh! It’s least four (via both Alan and Kevin):

And when you people with obvious mental defects (such as Peterson Syndrome or other problems) an inability to read and comprehend, or an inability to determine truth from falsity insisting they should be making the rules then we have an even bigger problem of people with the mental capabilities of a two year old “thinking” they are our superiors. That should convince even the most skeptical this is a real problem and must not be allowed to continue or ever happen again.--Joe]