Quote of the day—John Robb

Looking for a safe asset class today, is like a Soviet bureaucrat in 1989, sensing trouble ahead, looking for the directorate with the safest job.

John Robb
August 30, 2011
JOURNAL: Where Should I Put My Money Before Things Collapse?
[I think there is some truth in the statement above but there are some flaws in the rest of the post. He seems to believe the problems are with capitalism rather than government interference in the free market.

What do I think are safe “asset classes”? The essentials of life: water, food, shelter, communication, health care, security, and the means to produce them. Which isn’t all that far off from what Robb advocates.—Joe]

Consequences for their actions

I’ve been listening to The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy by Thomas Sowell and something he said resonated with a theme Robb has been blogging about and the latest news in Fast and Furious (H//T to Rob for this last link). Governments (actually people in general but the present context is government) will not abide by the law (or contracts) unless there is some punishment they fear if they fail to comply with the terms. When people in government spent other peoples money (OPM: pronounced “opium”) they have virtually no incentive to spend it wisely.

Had the people responsible for Fast and Furious been handed over to the Mexican Government within a week of the request being made most of the gun community would have considered justice had been mostly served. But more importantly future excursions outside the law, such as the long gun reporting rule, would have been given much greater scrutiny before being implemented. As it is the message sent is that the worst that will happen is those responsible will be given boring jobs and the whistle blowers will be punished to the fullest extent possible without bending the law too far.

As Sowell expresses it the self-anointed implement government policies with OPM, other peoples lives, and no consequences for failed outcomes except those that are truly and obviously disastrous. The outcome is as you might expect. It’s no different than letting your children run wild and giving them whatever they ask for. They end up as spoiled brats who cause problems for everyone and are incapable of functioning in society. Only as government officials they are in a position to destroy society.

Most of our government officials have “qualified immunity” which protects them from breaking the law unless they clearly should have known better. IIRC the argument is that we need to give them this sort of immunity so that “good people” won’t be afraid to enter public service. This argument never held any water for me because there is no similar immunity granted to corporate officials or individuals who unknowingly break (there are some exceptions to this) laws. And you don’t hear people arguing that “good people” are scared to become corporate executives or individuals living their lives as if they in constant fear of arrest and punishment.

Government officials, more so than individuals, need to have consequences for breaking the law. It’s working in Florida and it would work everywhere.

Quote of the day—Sebastian

I don’t believe modern gun control advocates are fueled by racists and xenophobic fears, I think they are largely afraid of anyone with a firearm, but they have continually denied history, and denied its relevance. This has been a great advantage to our side in this debate, as it allows us to have one. The reason our opponents don’t want to debate, is because they can’t. They can’t because they’ve had no serious intellectual challenge to the case we’ve built against them.

Sebastian
August 30, 2011
Quote of the Day: Federal Farmer Edition
[Remember that last sentence, “…they’ve had no serious intellectual challenge to the case we’ve built against them”. Most of them do not have a process by which they can determine truth from falsity. Furthermore, many of them do not care that they cannot determine truth from falsity. It is irrelevant to them and their goals. They flat out admit they are intellectually bankrupt yet they continue with their advocacy and have people that support them.

What is incredibly depressing to me about this is that instead of the debate being completely over in about 50 weeks (it takes a while for a few monthly magazines cycles to be processed) it has taken us 50 years to gain the upper hand and we still have a lot of work left to do.—Joe]

Quote of the day—(REDACTED)

Please join us on Wednesday, August 31, at 9:30 a.m., in Conference Room B to celebrate the successful completion of the rifle multiple sale reporting program. Collaboration among many directorates made this program possible, and REDACTED and I want to recognize and thank all the employees who contributed to our success.

(REDACTED)
August 25, 2011
ATF invitation to celebrate successfully (so far) breaking the law.
[I would love to attend but it’s a little far away for me with my busy work schedule. Could I send the U.S. Marshalls with arrests warrants for everyone in my place?—Joe]

Boomershoot 2012 registration schedule

The registration software is in good enough shape for now.

This is the schedule:

  • Registration is currently open for staff
  • Registration opens for previous year participants 8/29/2011 6:00:00 PM Pacific Time.
  • Registration opens for everyone 9/1/2011 6:00:00 PM Pacific Time.

Go to http://entry.boomershoot.org/ to sign up.

Boomershoot 2012 slogan and image

I have finalized the image and slogan for Boomershoot 2012.

2012boomershootdraft2

Thanks to Caleb for the slogan, Rolf for the image, Ry for the fireball, and Xenia for the editing.

Entry for Boomershoot 2012 will be opening up soon. 2011 participants will probably be able to enter tomorrow night or the next. I expect it will be open for everyone by September 1 or 2.

Quote of the day—The Cruel Meatball of War

Note that there is no one that is trying to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. The left is only attempting to prevent guns falling into the hands of violent criminals and the mentally ill.

For some reason, Conservatives insist on the right of criminals and the mentally ill to have guns. I could not figure this out until it occurred to me that if the mentally ill cannot have guns, then the Conservatives could not have guns. Then I understood why they were so angry about that protection for the American people…

The Cruel Meatball of War
August 20, 2011
Answer to the question, “Guns, do we need more gun control or less?”
[The first paragraph is a lie. The Brady Campaign says the same thing (look in the FAQ under “Is Brady a "gun ban" organization?”), then in the next breath talks about the bans they approve of. That doesn’t even look at some of the more extreme organizations like the VPC who says, “handguns should be banned” and “A clear-cut plan to ban handguns should be developed and implemented soon.”

The second paragraph is the type of rhetoric used by the left throughout history before sending their opponents to mental hospitals, reeducation camps, gulags, and mass graves.

It’s no wonder he/she doesn’t use their real name.—Joe]

Awesome idea!

This is awesome!

I've looked at clouds from both sides now.

I think he has the left and right cameras reversed (I suppose it depends your view of the cameras) but other than that I’m thrilled with the idea. I want my ideal house equipped with movable cameras like that. And why not do the same sort of things with microphones?

Then expand the electromagnetic spectrum down to about 500 kHz (I would need to pick up all the AM band of course) and up through cosmic rays. One could either compress it all into the visible or else tune into just a couple octaves. Do the same sort of thing for the audible spectrum and it would be a toy I could play with for weeks. It would be like having the sight and hearing of a god.

This is what happens in places without guns—Case XXIV

From Mexico where private ownership of guns is almost completely banned:

Lorena Villareal Elizondo went to meet a friend at the Casino Royale, a popular low-cost lunch spot, when armed men burst through the door shouting: “Get out! Get out! We’re going to burn everything!”

It was only 19-year-old Carla Maria Espinoza Vega’s second day at work at the casino when the intruders sprinkled accelerant around the front door and set the building on fire.

Both died in the arson attack that killed 52 people, mostly women, in the casino this wealthy northern city.

With the arsonists in plain sight and without cover they would have been under almost immediate fire as soon as they opened their cans of accelerants. There might have still been a fire but it would have been much smaller and there would have been perpetrator bodies in the ashes.

This probably also qualifies for one of Weerd Beard’s Gun Death posts.

Off work for weeks

Yesterday Barb visited the doctor for a follow up after breaking her ankle/leg last week. They found a tibia fracture as well as the known fibula fracture and the damaged ligaments. She is not supposed to put weight on her leg for another six weeks and it may be 12 weeks before she can walk normally again. Being a physical therapist this means she will be off work for many weeks. Physical therapists do not have desk jobs.

It’s a good thing that she has something like 300 hours of sick leave available as well as disability insurance.

One might think of this as a paid vacation but vacations for her usually involve lots of travel, restaurants, and walking. In this case she can’t do much but hang around the Clock Tower and wait for me to come home. She is mostly stuck eating my cooking too. I’ll bet work never looked so good to her before.

WP_000164

Quote of the day—Marcia Capellan

#GunControl, por favor! Or just ban guns completely! What’s wrong with the world? #whereisthelove? [link]

@linoge_wotc Why should I respect ignorance and violence? I could never do that. #peaceonearth [link]

Just realized that I’ve done absolutely nothing to prepare for the hurricane. Oops! Hope Philly will be OK. #Irene [link]

Marcia Capellan
August 26, 2011
See also her follow up blog posting.
I also gave serious consideration to “Thank you, dear Twitter gods, for giving the willfully ignorant, narrow-minded, and bigoted a place to demonstrate their shortcomings freely and without limitations to the rest of the world.
[The irony is almost intolerable. In addition to her realization that she has done nothing to prepare her blog is titled “Clear Quiet Thoughts”. It’s easy to be clear and quiet when they are so ignorant.

Of course “Reasoned Discourse” has broken out at her place. See the continuing discussion someplace more free.—Joe]

Ron Paul Web Site Melt-Down

I’ve been met with pure emotion every time I question a Ron Paul supporter on RP’s foreign policy positions.  The aggregate response is; “What are you, stupid??!!!  Ron Paul is great!!!!” but in comments on his web site it is mostly smoke screen– pure distraction– Ignore and Redirect.

I went to the obvious source of Ron Paul positions– Ron Paul’s own web site, for clarification, and found none.  The best I could ascertain was that RP’s position on hostile enemies is; “Stop, or I’ll say Stop again!” or “Stop, or you’ll get a letter of condemnation on official letterhead!”

There are two ten minute videos there.  I got through one, with only more questions.  At one stage, where he’s making the point, “America negotiated with the Soviet Union and so therefore we can negotiate with Iran” he wraps it up saying that, after all, Iran is no bigger a threat than was the Soviet Union.  (oh boy)  No, see; the Soviet Union was a massively greater threat than Iran is today.  See.  Mutually Assured Destruction was well in place.  His reasoning is backwards.

In another segment of the same vid, he says he’s totally opposed to sanctions, on the notion that they’re an act of war.  OK.  I could agree with that, but then he slips in the idea of “putting pressure” on hostiles without giving any clue as what that could mean. Let’s see, maybe 12 years, seventeen UN resolutions against the Saddam regime in Iraq, followed by Saddam kicking out the UN inspectors?  “Pressure”, with nothing to back it up, will be met with laughter by our enemies.

As it went, we had not one, but two U.S. Congressional authorizations of force (official declarations of war) with Congresscritters falling all over each other to get in front of the cameras and make sure we all knew they favored military action.  A few weeks later and it was “Bush Lied, People Died!” and “9/11 Was An Inside Job!” and “No War For Oil!” and as far as I can tell Ron Paul agrees with the later attitudes, saying we’re illegally doing this and illegally doing that, and no wonder people hate us because we suck (no explanation of why the Russians and Chinese, among others, aren’t as hated as the U.S., after they’ve been ten times as “Imperialist” as anything the U.S. ever did).

My best assessment of Ron Paul’s foreign/military position is that it’s a conflation of Jane Fonda’s, John Kerry’s and Cindy Sheehan’s, i.e. pure emotion mixed with the belief that the U.S. is on balance a force of evil in the world, with some shameless pandering to the “Make Love, Not War!” constituency (which he must see as an important voting block) mixed in.  That and he apparently can’t afford a moderator for his web site.  Other than that, I like Ron Paul a lot.

It’s a start

I’ve often wondered if budget cuts would lead to less infringement upon our freedom. This is just a drop in the bucket and the effect will probably go completely unnoticed at our level. But it is a start:

The Transportation Security Administration is soon hoping to offer buyouts to about 3,000 administrative workers, one of dozens of federal agencies aiming to trim the payroll amid a budget crunch.

TSA is seeking authority from the Office of Personnel Management to offer buyouts to about 3,000 administrative and managerial workers based at its Northern Virginia headquarters and at regional offices nationwide, the agency said late Thursday.

Something that is more than a little telling about this organizations is the following from the same article:

The agency has offered voluntary early retirements to workers since December 2004 — about a year after the agency first opened.

It sounds to me like a major function of the agency is redistribution of wealth. When the budget crunch really hits I won’t have any probably advocating for the letting these guys and the politicians who enabled this sort of crap fend for themselves.

Quote of the day—Marlene

I am a trans woman. Because of that, I can reasonably expect the police to be as likely a danger to me in most of the United States as a source of protection from violence. The idea that the police should have the monopoly on the power to exert deadly force for my protection is completely ludicrous to me.

The scarcity model of gun control does not work for crime prevention, but does work to disarm social movements. If a person intends to murder or intimidate people as a means of support, a gun is of much greater value to that person than the cost increase caused by illegality. Most gun control legislation in recent history has been designed to induce price increases or difficulty of purchase, while having no impact on the operation of the illicit market. That has a greater impact on broad social movements, especially those by the poor.

Marlene
August 26, 2011
More About Guns
[There are two different and important points here.

The first is the clear example of the police not always being a force for good. At the current time I’m not too worried about the police, in general, being a direct threat to certain segments of society but it does happen. There are specific instances in this country where a few individual officers misbehave and some of those may even qualify for use of deadly force to defend against them. But those instance are very rare. Much more likely is that the police will “look the other way” or be slow to respond when individuals of certain social groups are attacked. I would expect situations like this to represent the vast majority of examples of the fallacy of a police monopoly on force. Regardless, Marlene is correct to state it is completely ludicrous for the police to have a monopoly on the power to use deadly force.

The second point is is the phrase, “The scarcity model of gun control”. I like that phrase a lot. It can be used when someone says something about “the easy availability of guns”. Names and concise accurate descriptions of things enables clear thought and understanding.

Thank you Marlene—Joe]

Choices

Jared Cano has been making some really bad choices for quite a while:

Tampa Police Maj. John Newman said that Cano had been on a list of juveniles who police checked on from time to time because of their brushes with the law.

“We’ve been very, very familiar with him,” Newman said.

Then on Tuesday, in his own words, “I jut [sic] did the dumbest thing ever”.

Here is a hint:

He now faces a variety of felony bomb and drug charges including threat to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device, possession of bomb making materials, cultivation of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

As Roger S. said in the email he sent me about this, “Why aren’t the lefties trying to ban PVC pipes, fuel, and ‘shrapnel’?”

He is correct in that they are far from consistent. Their answers may include:

  1. Guns are “different” from PVC pipe, fuel, and ‘shrapnel’.
  2. Some tools are just too dangerous and too tempting.
  3. Guns are only to kill.
  4. Individuals are not capable of making choices in the best interests of society and “bad choices” must be removed from the realm of possibility.

My answer is that lefties do not have principles. They have issues.

Quote of the day—phlcstgan

The fact that “gun blogs” are a thing makes me really worry about America.

phlcstgan
August 24, 2011
Comment to Gun Blogger Ignores NRA Undermining Gun Law Enforcement Measures
[The fact this person has such an aversion to our Bill of Rights makes me really certain they do not belong in the U.S.—Joe]

What could go wrong?

The most obvious problem with this it is that it’s part of the continuing degradation of our privacy:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is beginning real-world trials of cars equipped with prototype vehicle-to-vehicle technology, deploying a communication network where cars can talk with one another to increase overall road safety.

Starting in August, 2012, the agency will begin gathering data from 3,000 cars equipped with wireless communication technology. Known as The Safety Pilot, the trials will run for one year in Ann Arbor, Mich., to provide data for setting V2V standards and determining what data streams are most helpful.

Here’s how it works: Using existing, universally accessible technology such as GPS and on-board diagnostic data, cars broadcast what’s called a “Here I Am” message at 5.9 GHz. All V2V equipped vehicles will be able to communicate on this band, sharing data such as speed and location. On-board computers sense the presence of other nearby vehicles, calculate the risks they may pose and even taking action — such as hitting the brakes or warning the driver of an impending collision.

From a privacy point of view as long as the vehicles do not broadcast a unique ID I don’t have a problem with it. But if they broadcast an ID that can be traced to the individual car this fails my Jews in the Attic Test.

But what really looks bad to me is the potential to cause accidents with this. Imagine some jokester/terrorist/whatever turning on one of these ‘”Safety Pilots”, broadcasting a signal indicating a stopped (or going the wrong way) vehicle in the middle of a busy freeway with vehicles traveling 70 MPH. People could use them to block emergency vehicles. It could make escapes easier and delay firefighters and/or police to terrorist events.

It’s possible, I suppose, the creators thought of these sort of problems and successfully addressed them. But my guess is they did not.

People need to think of the not only the benefits but the problems created with new technology. Especially those associated with government mandates.

Quote of the day—The Washington Times

The arguments of the gun-control crowd are like an annoying barfly that needs to be sent home. Expanding the rights of lawful gun owners makes everyone safer.

The Washington Times
August 22, 2011
EDITORIAL: No gunfights at the saloon–Crime rate drops as concealed-carry restrictions are relaxed
[While an appropriate metaphor in the given context I think the Brady Campaign is more accurately viewed as a geriatric sports team. Former President Paul Helmke was never a strong player and there was evidence of Alzheimer's and/or profound stupidity. And this was the best and brightest the Brady Campaign was ever able to field on their team! With a “star” player that feeble it shouldn’t be too surprising that up and comer Colin Goddard hid under a desk at Virginia Tech waiting to be shot rather than attempting to fight back, and second stringer Dennis Henigan is an invalid who soils his own bed.—Joe]