Quote of the day—Anonymous Conservative

I see it in terms of political liberals, who respond to simple niceness with ever increasing demands for total capitulation and subservience under their brutal and capricious rule, and who respond to the cruelty and threat of groups like Islam with ever increasing groveling and ass-kissing. Morals, principle, it all means nothing.

Say you have no problem with men dressing as women and suddenly they demand you let those men be naked with your six year old daughter in a gym locker room. Say your religion requires those transgender men be thrown from buildings and murdered, and they will seek to import you into the country, provide you with free welfare, and give you victim status to get special privileges over real Americans. It is not logical.

Anonymous Conservative
May 25, 2016
On Violence, Amygdala, And Shifting Toward K
[While his claim about the transgender goals are less than accurate his point has a lot of truth to it. The liberal/progressives are all about tolerance and acceptance and want to politically suppress people who display a Confederate flag, deface bumper stickers of NRA members, and riot at assembles of their political opponents. All these people are, almost without exception, peaceful and law-abiding.

The progressives of the world are insistent that Muslims not be discriminated against, that refugees, consisting of a disproportionate number of warrior aged men with a demonstrated propensity for sexual violence, be allowed into their societies. Most terrorists events in the world are the work of Muslims. Nearly all armed conflicts in the world today involve Muslims on one or both sides. And drawing blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed will get you murdered.

So what gives? Anonymous Conservative proposed hypothesis is that these people have mental issues. I have to conclude either this or that, as frequently proposed by Lyle, these people recognize Muslims as the enemy of their political opponents and hence, after a fashion, they are their short term allies.

In any case it is not logical nor does it bode well for freedom.—Joe]

Windows phone just got killed

As if there was any doubt this should settle the issue:

Microsoft is bowing out of building its own phones for consumers. After dramatically scaling back its Lumia devices last year, Microsoft hammered the final nail in the coffin today with an additional $950 million write off and 1,850 more job losses. Microsoft’s Lumia devices still account for more than 95 percent of all Windows phones sold, but a lack of new devices means sales and Windows Phone market share have declined sharply over the past year. Windows Phone is dead, and phone makers aren’t interested in reviving it.

I need to start porting my apps (Field Ballistics and As the Crow Flies) to the iPhone or Android so when my current phone dies I’ll still be able to use them with my new phone.

Progressive violence in deeds and words

I find the topic of progressives and the use of force very interesting. I have been saying for years that it’s part of their nature. 

Here we have more evidence of progressives actively engaging in violence to to get their way or to protest not getting their way:

The Nevada State Democratic Party warned the Democratic National Committee Monday that supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have displayed a “penchant for … actual violence’ and could disrupt this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

And more recently we have the violent protestors against Trump:

Albuquerque attorney Doug Antoon said rocks were flying through the convention center windows as he was leaving Tuesday night. Glass was breaking and landing near his feet.

“This was not a protest, this was a riot. These are hate groups,” he said of the demonstrators.

Yet in Moscow Idaho which is the most progressive city in the state, when my children went to high school (this was sometime between 1999 and 2002) the school insisted all students sign this:

MhsViolenceDefintion

Isn’t that interesting? They redefined the word violence to include words, looks, and gestures that are offensive or hurts a person’s feelings. Not only is self defense against the rules, but a student could get in trouble for “threating” to exercise their First Amendment rights. They are changing the language to achieve their goal of repression of basic human rights under the guise of preventing and stopping “violence”.

It is abundantly clear these progressives need to be educated on the topic of tolerance and human rights.

Deception and lies

Yet another example of what the anti-gun people have to do to gain traction:

Watching the video, you hear Katie ask, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorist from walking into, say, a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?” The camera then shows the group members TOTALLY SILENT FOR EIGHT SECONDS. The camera zooms in on one member, who looks down.

The clear implication is that none of the group had an answer for that question and was being evasive and avoiding eye contact.

The truth is, and as you will hear in the audio, below, that the group responded to Katie immediately, with answers to her question! Yet the video shows no one responding. Clearly, when Katie didn’t get the answer(s) she wanted, she changed the group’s answers by replacing them with other video of the group sitting around quietly between questions.

It’s been an integral part of their culture for decades.

Quote of the day—Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

And now we arrive at a fourth and final group. This group is supremely rational, economically knowledgeable, and indispensable to economic stability. This group can override the foolish decisions of the others and keep the economy from falling into depressions or inflationary excess.

You probably won’t be shocked to learn that the far-seeing wizards who comprise Keynes’s fourth group are government officials.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
May 23, 2016
Keynes Must Die
[This reminds me of something I wrote almost four years ago:

The Communist Manifesto tells its readers that supporters of Communism are the intelligent people. They deserve, are destined to, and the good of all human kind depends on them, being in charge. That they “understand” the benefits of Communism to the bafflement of others is probably proof to them that they are the intellectual superiors of those that think Communism is, at best, prone to abuse.

And of course telling people in power they are the only ones who are “indispensable” and must “override the foolish decisions of the others” was a recipe for disaster. Henry David Thoreau wrote about that over 160 years ago.

We are now living the disaster of Keyne’s, narcissistic, economic folly.—Joe]

Float plane to Misty Fjords National Monument

After visiting Saxman Totem Park we wandered around Ketchikan for a while, we ate lunch on the ship, then waited for the bus to pick us up and take us to the float plane excursion to Misty Fjords National Monument.

The float plane trip was pleasant and although the scenery was pretty amazing we thought it was similar to that which we find close to home.

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Quote of the day—Richard Feldman

Barack Obama is single handily responsible for the sales of more guns and ammo than any human being in the history of the United States. Clinton could do better.

Richard Feldman
May 23, 2016
Hillary Clinton Could Topple Obama’s Record for Revving Gun Sales
[While there is more than a little truth to this, Chuck Schumer, Diane Feinstein, and numerous other evil politicians, as well as Bloomberg, Moms Demand, and The Brady Campaign contributed their fair share and will again contribute if our country is subjected to another President Clinton.

President Bill Clinton was a big part of the reason I became a gun owner and got into explosives. A President Hillary Clinton could be the reason millions more become gun owners.

You realize what this means, right? Anti-gun people should vote against Hillary to keep guns out of the hands of the American people.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Josh Barro ‏@jbarro

The NRA is backing Trump because it’s not a gun rights group, it’s a group for people who are insecure about their penises.

Josh Barro ‏@jbarro
Senior Editor at Business Insider. MSNBC contributor. Host of KCRW’s Left, Right & Center. Host of @hardpasspodcast.
Tweeted on May 20, 2016
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday!

We have SCOTUS decisions. The best a “senior editor” can come up with is childish insults.—Joe]

Departing Seattle

Friday the 13th we departed Seattle on the Celebrity Solstice for a seven day cruise to South East Alaska. We were told this was going to be the largest cruise ship in Alaska. It is quite large and even though we had one of the cheapest cabins it was, at least to us, luxurious. The glass elevators, the live tree suspended in the “courtyard”, the fountains, the lawn on the top deck, the hot tubs, the swimming pools, the food, the views, it was all amazing.

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Quote of the day—Chelsea Karthauser

I’ve been trained for bear encounters. So if we see a bear, what you need to do is, gather around in a circle with me in the very center.

Chelsea Karthauser
May 17, 2016
Guide for Gastineu Guiding in Juneau, Alaska.
[We went on a hike to see a glacier with Chelsea (her nickname is Whalebait, interesting story on how that came about).

If you ever get the chance ask her about the time she fell off the trail in the snow, lost almost everything, including her shoes, was saved by Devil’s Club, made her way around the mountain to the tram, where people took pictures of her but wouldn’t help her.

We enjoyed our hike but most of the time we could have easily mistaken the scenery for that which we could have found with ten miles from home. We could have seen the glacier with a ten minute hike instead of a three hour hike. Now, the people from Texas, Arizona, and Florida saw some things quite different from their home area.

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Thanks Chelsea.—Joe]

Use the known cure, not security theater

Via Bruce Schneier we have this extremely timely and fascinating article, The Evolving Challenges for Explosive Detection in the Aviation Sector and Beyond:

Another misnomer propagated largely in the press is that these type of explosives threats are not detectable with currently deployed technologies. This is false. The latest generation ETDs, when used in combination with the latest X-ray technologies, are generally excellent at detecting TNT, plasticized explosives such as C-4, PETN (Detasheet), and Semtex. This powerful combination of technologies should catch these explosives threats, even if it were concealed in the electronics of a laptop, because ETD swabs can detect minute amounts of residue.

Even an amateur chemist doesn’t have to think about this topic much to come up with explosives that are undetectable with the latest generation of explosive trace detection (ETD) equipment. As near as I can tell things I pointed out nearly nine years ago are still vulnerabilities.

The OIG also reported last summer that tests of the screening system showed that 95 percent of attempts to smuggle weapons through U.S. checkpoints were successful.

This has actually gotten worse since they started prohibiting weapons on board over 40 years ago. They should just give up on this and let passengers defend the cabin.

The reality of our current war on terrorism is that the costs are inversely correlated. Terrorists can use inexpensive but highly effective means to attack high-value and highly protected targets, forcing governments to take stricter and more costly measures to provide protection. Their model scales while ours becomes more difficult to sustain. Until we are successful in changing the paradigm in which cheap terrorism is effective terrorism, we need to be prepared to continue to invest in technologies and processes that make it more difficult for them to succeed.

Emphasis added. I agree with this. We must change the paradigm. We currently have nothing but security theater.

We are spending trillions of dollars and have nothing of substance to show for it. Those resources could, and should, have been spend in some serious elimination of terrorists rather than attempting to make it incrementally difficult for them at exponential costs to us. We have the resources and technology to make it exponentially expensive for them at incremental cost for us. We have a ruthless enemy who is willing to murder untold numbers of innocent people. We dealt with cultures like this in WWII and fundamentally changed their mindset to make the culture more tolerant to people who were different from them. These intolerant, evil, enemies are now tolerant, functional, members of a world society. It’s time to treat our current enemy with the known cure for evil.

Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

As Texas joins the rest of the nation in varying degrees of freedom to bear arms in public, I advise caution while the kinks are worked out, authorities get used to the new standards and procedures, social norms develop, shop keepers acclimatize, the public gets used to the new normal of open carry, some bad apples test the limits of endurance and civility (not recommended), and a few of you become test cases to clarify the gray areas. Even here in Arizona where I am, with free (paperless) open carry legal since statehood in 1912, there’s a little more to it than just putting on your boots.

Do your best to avoid being a test case. The anti-rights advocates out there and some authorities will be looking for the very worst examples to make into test cases, to hurt our rights, make gun owners look bad in public, and set precedents that limit exercise of the Second Amendment. They’ll be seeking to “prove” the BITS myth — blood in the streets — like they tried in vain when CHL passed. Don’t argue in public while armed.

Especially in the early days of open carry, watch out for each other and be on best behavior. We don’t live in the same wild west any longer. Belligerence or anything less than calm civilized behavior while you’re reasonably well dressed and carrying openly is an invitation for scrutiny and attention you would do best to avoid. I’m being nice about that (from a state that now enjoys full Constitutional Carry). Go slowly as you test the waters.

Open carry has advantages, especially the “inoculation effect” on the uninitiated, when they see reasonable people going about business politely armed.

Alan Korwin
January 28, 2016
Texas Open Carry Overview
[I think this is some good advice. Especially about being a test case. If we let our opposition chose the cases to take to court we stand a much greater chance of losing ground. We, closely supervised by experienced gun rights lawyers, must be the ones to carefully craft the cases to challenge the repressive gun laws in this country.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Asbury Park Press

Typically, as with any debate over gun rights, rational viewpoints are hard to find. Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, said the new standards could lead to “every cabdriver, every pizza delivery driver, and anyone else living or working in a high-crime neighborhood to qualify for a firearms permit.”

That sounds a little extreme, but is that any more hysterical than the gun-rights activists sounding alarms about government conspiracies and widespread gun confiscation every time government wants to ban an assault rifle or expand background checks?

In general terms, however, Weinberg’s warning should be heeded. The gun-rights crowd is trying to exploit the death of Carol Bowne, a Berlin Township woman allegedly stabbed to death by an ex-boyfriend while she was awaiting a permit to carry a gun for protection. Would Bowne’s life have been saved by an easier permitting process? We’ll never know. But as tragic as her death was, we can’t allow politicians to use the anger and grief over that death to advance an unnecessary and dangerous relaxation in the state’s gun controls.

Asbury Park Press
May 13, 2016
EDITORIAL: Don’t loosen grip on gun control
[This is almost material that could have come from The Onion.

The thought of people living or working in a high-crime area being allowed to defend themselves is considered “extreme” and “hysterical”? Wow!

They say, “We can’t allow politicians to use the anger and grief over that death…” Interesting. We should remember that the next time some activist wants to use anger and grief over the tragic death of someone murdered by a criminal with a gun. But of course that’s not how it works with these people. They have zero problem with their own hypocrisy.

Of course it may not be hypocrisy. It could be the sky is a different color in their universe.—Joe]

I’m skeptical of computer overlords

This is an interesting idea:

For too long we have watched as automation has cost us blue-collar jobs. Automating government, and getting rid of the politicians and lawyers is something I could really get behind. For a while, there would be an increase in embezzlement, ponzi schemes, cons, thefts, and other non-confrontational crime, as the politicians and lawyers sought out new employment consistent with their psychologies, but once they were all behind bars, the world would be a considerably better place.

But there are a lot of other things to consider as well. Government is power. And people with pay a lot to have access to that power. Detecting the existence of and finding the source of corruption in a computer system may be far more difficult than when you are dealing with people.

Open source and independently operated systems may mitigate the risks. I’ll have to think about this some more… A LOT more.

Quote of the day—Margaret Hamilton

Due to an error in the checklist manual, the rendezvous radar switch was placed in the wrong position. This caused it to send erroneous signals to the computer. The result was that the computer was being asked to perform all of its normal functions for landing while receiving an extra load of spurious data which used up 15% of its time. The computer (or rather the software in it) was smart enough to recognize that it was being asked to perform more tasks than it should be performing. It then sent out an alarm, which meant to the astronaut, “I’m overloaded with more tasks than I should be doing at this time and I’m going to keep only the more important tasks; i.e., the ones needed for landing.” …Actually, the computer was programmed to do more than recognize error conditions. A complete set of recovery programs was incorporated into the software. The software’s action, in this case, was to eliminate lower priority tasks and re-establish the more important ones…If the computer hadn’t recognized this problem and taken recovery action, I doubt if Apollo 11 would have been the successful moon landing it was.

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Margaret Hamilton
December 25, 2014
Margaret Hamilton, the Engineer Who Took the Apollo to the Moon
[H/T to Roberta X.

The quote above is just a small part of a great story about Hamilton. I like software, I like space exploration, I like smart women. I loved the story.

Thanks Roberta.—Joe]