Cruise ship security

Barb and I really enjoyed going on a cruise last February and have been talking to various people about where our next cruise should be. I’m not very happy about the government regulating transportation security even more than they already do:

The Coast Guard is considering new airport-like security procedures on cruise ships, the agency said Tuesday.

After consulting with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Coast Guard is proposing new pre-boarding screening requirements for passengers, crew members, and their luggage.

The pre-boarding requirements could resemble those seen at airports and would include a list of prohibited items.

The individual cruise lines and ships should be making these decisions. Not the government. What exactly does the government think it is going to prevent? Passengers have access to sharp knives, matches, lighters, and with a little bit of effort probably even fire axes and liquid fuels.

From reading part of the proposed rulemaking  it appears they want to standardize the procedures and the list of prohibited items. But “one size fits all” security procedures works as well as “one size fits all” clothes.

It’s clear these people view the lessons of the USSR Central Committee as a how-to manual rather than a dystopia.

Which is better?

This is a slight refinement from something son James and I discussed a few days ago.

When debating which is a better political system we can point to many instances where anti-freedom systems (communists/socialists/progressives/fascists/theocracies/kingdoms/dictatorships/etc.) have been implemented and review the outcomes of those experiments. A significant proportion of those experiments have resulted in a tragedies of epic proportions. A short list from the last 100 years includes USSR, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Nazi Germany, and Romania.

So what are the worst examples of a freedom based political system and how do those compare to the worst of the anti-freedom? I don’t know what my political opponents would give for examples. Would it be the United States? If so, then that little debate would be settled in two minutes or less. Why risk those tragedies when the worst you can do with a freedom based system is so much better?

Taking that tactic a little further we can also ask the question, “What are the best outcomes of a particular type of political system?” For a freedom advocate the United States surely would be near the top of the list with the probable additions of Canada, and many of the countries of Western Europe. I suspect the anti-freedom advocate will include many of the socialist leaning, but generally free countries, of Western Europe.

Rate each of the various countries on some scale from good to bad. This can be used to create a chart with upper and lower bounds of the outcomes. It might look something like this:


So, which system is the better choice? The answer is obvious.

This technique can be use to compare just about anything. In general compare the upper and lower bounds of the two (or more) proposals being debated.

Comparing gun control utopias to gun owner utopias will be left as an exercise for the reader.

Black lives matter

That is one of the communists’ protest lines. But of course they don’t mean it, and Glenn Beck proves it.

They did a great job this morning.

By their lack of response to, or even discussion of, the high crime and violence rates in some of our Democrat-controlled cities, Obama and Company, Van Jones and other mayors, and the left in general, reveal their true intentions. They don’t give a DAMN about black lives. In fact, they continue to push harder for more of the same garbage that helped to create the problem, and they will not stop. They can not stop, for to stop making things worse would require the abandonment of their entire narrative AND trillions of dollars in confiscation and re-distribution schemes.

They’re trapped, in a sense. Everything they’ve striven for in the last 100+ years is going to come crashing in on them. Some of them actually want that. Not one of them understands the implications.

Quote of the day—evilwhitemalempire

I personally wish the blue states (but only blue states) would legalize all the drugs.

Reason: You can’t straighten any of them out but you MIGHT be able to screw them up badly enough to render them useless as a voting bloc.

November 26, 2014
Comment to The Children’s Wing of the Libertarian Party
[I understand the desire to screw up the voting of the blue states but I don’t think drug legalization would have that effect any more than freely accessible alcohol and tobacco does now.

Yes, many of the drugs are much more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco but I think that in general the people who currently avoid them because of their danger would continue to do so. And the people that don’t recognize the danger will, as they currently do, run those risks.

Yes, I believe there will be some people that will use the drugs that wouldn’t have if they were illegal. But I also believe that some people will be more likely to get help and recover from the consequences of recreational drug abuse.

And more importantly, where do you or the government, with a limited set of powers that you posses, get the authority to make decisions about what sort of recreation others partake in? Society has a legitimate concern about driving while intoxicated, or even carrying a gun in public while intoxicated. But aside from a few cases like that it really should be a matter of freedom of choice.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Steve Dowson

We are keen to raise awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime and to reduce the number of families affected so we have decided to keep the knife bins indefinitely.

While projects encouraging the surrender of knives are not a single solution to violence, they have an important role to play in inspiring communities to get behind education and preventative measures.

Such campaigns show a desire to address local concerns and Lancashire Police is keen to throw our weight behind them in support.

We’ve been delighted with the response so far, but our communities have told us that they want an end to knife crime and that they want to work with us to make that happen.

Steve Dowson
Detective Chief Inspector
Lancashire, England
August 10, 2014
Save a Life – Surrender Your Knife
[Via a Tweet from Chris Knox.

No. This is not satire. Here is another link to marvel at.

Read carefully. Notice how they measure success in terms of symbolism and good intentions? Measuring success in terms of crime rates is not even hinted at. No mention of the futility.

This is a culture that has some serious mental problems. They apparently cannot distinguish between their fantasy of good intentions and the reality of criminal behavior. Do they also believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Great Pumpkin?

This would be our future if we were to surrender to the anti-Second Amendment people.—Joe]

It’s all in the interpretation

We often pick on authoritarians for being hypocrites and liars, which of course they are, that is, in the big picture or from the standpoint of principles. We must be careful though in interpreting their words. When Obama said this a while back, he was being perfectly honest and consistent;

“The biggest problems we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I am president of the United States of America.” — Senator Barak Obama, March 31, 2008

I say he was laying his intentions right out in the open, for all to see. T-ball. George Bush was trying to bring more and more power into the executive, and Obama intended to reverse that by instead doing it himself.

You just have to understand it from their perspective as competing, or fellow, authoritarians. One professional boxer may very well intend to beat the snot out of another professional boxer, but that does NOT mean he’s opposed to boxing. Look at it this from the perspective of rival gangs;

“The biggest problems we’re facing right now have to do with The Eastside Gang trying to exercise more and more power in this town, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I become Leader of the West Side Gang.”

It’s not that the prospective leader of The Westside Gang is saying he’s anti-gang, is it? But the inattentive, or the wishful thinker, may see it that way if he chooses. Our prospective gang leader’s fellow gangsters on both sides of town know exactly what he’s saying, though the words are chosen to appeal to a broader audience consisting of largely distracted and de-moralized victims of gang intimidation.

Likewise, in W.W. II in Europe there were three competing gangs: Italian Fascists, German National Socialists and Russian communists. Then, American Democratic Socialist (or progressive communist, i.e. Progressive) FDR got the U.S. into the fray. It was not at all a war of opposing ideologies, but one of competing authoritarian systems and separate gang interests competing for turf. Same goes for Democrats and Republicans, on a “good” day. On a bad day (which is more common now) they all work together against their common enemies, which are reason, human dignity, independence, justice and liberty.

Understand all of that and the whole world makes a lot more sense, and you’ll rarely if ever be left wondering what the hell just happened.

Hat tip; Tam

First 594 casualty

I-594 has claimed its first casualty, even though it doesn’t go into effect until December. A museum in Lynden, WA, is returning some WW II rifles it was loaned, loans which would become problematic once the law is in effect. So, people going to the museum will not be able to see the parts of history they once could. I’m sure you feel much safer now.

The push to marginalize guns and gun owners, to make them seem “other,” different, freakish, and strange continues.

Quote of the day—tdave

Between attempts at disarmament, invasions of privacy, regulation of assembly and apparent attempts to dilute the vote by including illegals and dead voters. It becomes difficult to impute benign intentions.

November 2, 2014
Forum post on the topic Have people taken the issue of gun control OUT of control?
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Veterans Day

It’s here again. Thanks, all you servicemen, current and former.

Google at least sort of recognized it this year, though they had to give it their PC twist by having the female in uniform standing out front saluting, even though men make up ~85% of the US military.

My kid’s school is starting a new tradition, the “wall of honor,” giving a small paper “brick” for each relative the student has who has worn the uniform. It was interesting looking them over, and seeing a number of name clusters where it’s obviously a family tradition. It also makes you realize how small a percentage it represents.

Looking at my own history, I served in the Army Reserve.
My dad and his brother both served in the Army (drafted in the 50s).
My brother-in-law and another uncle on my mom’s side were career AF.
My grandfather served in the cavalry in the 30s, and the Coast Guard in WW II.
A great uncle served. Another great (great?) uncle was even in the Spanish-American War. A great aunt was in the WAAC in WW II. Considering how few people I know anything about in my family history, an awful lot of them spent at least one enlistment in uniform. No spectacular war stories, just a lot of “been there, done that, did my part, moved on.”

Again, thanks to all those who have done their part in serving this great nation.

Not just anti-gun, anti-freedom

The CalGuns Foundation, SAF, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees filed a lawsuit based on infringement of the First Amendment by the state of California against gun dealers:

Tracy Rifle and Pistol, a firearm retailer and indoor shooting range located in San Joaquin County, was recently cited by Harris’ Department of Justice for having pictures of three handguns in window signs that can be seen outside the store. California Penal Code section 26820, first enacted in 1923, bans gun stores from putting up signs advertising the sale of handguns — but not shotguns or rifles. An adjacent window image at Tracy Rifle, which shows a photograph of an AR-15 rifle, was not cited by the DOJ.

From SAF’s news release:

The lawsuit alleges that the California Penal Code violates the First Amendment rights of the plaintiffs by prohibiting them from displaying images of handguns or even the word “handguns” where they would be visible to passersby. However, anti-gun protesters are still allowed to appear with signs that use the words or images, constituting what the lawsuit calls “viewpoint discriminatory.”

What could make it more clear these people are not just anti-gun but they are anti-freedom? This shouldn’t just be a civil action. They should be prosecuted as the criminals they are.

Quote of the day—Christopher Cantwell

You give us absolutely no option for escaping this violence. We are forced to choose between the violence of you, or the violence of someone else. You tell us “Love it or leave it!” or “Move to Somalia!” like I don’t have any right to be left in peace in my own home. The fact of the matter is, if you give us a choice of violence or violence, eventually we’re going to give some violence back to you, and making fun of you on twitter will become the least of your concerns.

Christopher Cantwell
April 8, 2014
Top 10 Reasons Libertarians Aren’t Nice To You
[H/T to Say Uncle.—Joe]

Quote of the day—TS

Democracy allows for criminal code to be passed this way? Not to mention the very abhorrent idea that 51% of the people can lock up the other 49% if they want via ballot initiative.

November 6, 2014
Comment to More on the I-594 Loss
[Direct democracy also allows 50+% to impose oppressive taxes on the 50-% as well. This is why we have the concepts of enumerated powers and inalienable rights written into our constitutions.

The I-594 people do not recognize these concepts.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Midwest Carry Academy

In the city that was originally built to house a government derived from the consent of the governed comes a plan to distribute a constitutionally guaranteed right unto only those people whom the government deems “suitable.”  Which is, in the mayor’s opinion, no one.  Fancy that.

Midwest Carry Academy
October 29, 2014
Via email from Nick
[With all that power concentrated in one place what do you expect? Abuse of power is inevitable. Which is why the government was created with only enumerated powers. It’s long past time to trim its powers back to the proper legal limits.

The election today is projected to slow down the rush to tyranny but no one has realistic hopes of one election or even ten stopping it. Dreams of reversing it are better characterized as bloody nightmares.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Anonymous Conservative

That desire to get two people fighting and then hide is a very deeply imbued urge. It is borne of an attempt to make something which stimulates the leftist’s amygdala stimulate their enemy’s amygdala, combined with sheer cowardice making direct confrontation not an option. As with every other leftist tactic, the goal is an outcome which would terrify the leftist, were positions reversed, namely manly men coming to kill them.

From simple social out-grouping, to calling cops to a store in such a way that they might shoot a conservative, to out-right swatting, to deploying various other government agencies to harass and intimidate conservatives, leftists have a burning, innate desire to get K-strategists fighting each other, especially as things get crazy. It is not a coincidence and it is not an accident – it is a long-evolved strategy, and we should all expect to see a lot more of it in the next two decades. The obvious solution is to not fall for it, and instead focus on the leftist themselves as the source of the problem. Very quickly leftists would abandon that strategy.

Anonymous Conservative
October 14, 2014
Amygdalae in the News
[If you want to understand the psychology of our political opponents and strategies for defeating them and just as important how they attempt to defeat us, you must read Anonymous Conservative’s work. He has a book, The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics: How Conservatism and Liberalism Evolved Within Humans, which is sometimes available free on Kindle.

One of the more important insights I have gotten from reading him is that, in general, the police are our natural friends. They enforce the rule of law and only enforce the whims of some ruler because the ruler had the authority to make law. Our state and federal constitutions, being higher law than those that would be our unconstrained rulers, gives them authority and license to oppose those rules. See, for example, the opposition to many of the gun laws such as in New York, Colorado, and in Washington State (I-594). At some level our political opponents recognize this and attempt to get us to fight each other, to the death.

Recognizing this we can adopt a much better strategy of encouraging and supporting the police to respect our guaranteed rights and deal with those that would infringe upon our rights in an appropriate manner.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Angela Davis

I am totally in favor of gun control, of removing guns not only from civilians but also from police.

I talked about the fact that my father had guns when I was growing up; our families needed to protect themselves from the Ku Klux Klan.

Angela Davis
May 6, 2014
Angela Y. Davis on what’s radical in the 21st century
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take away your guns.

After reading the article I breathed a heavy sigh. Barb asked what was wrong. I answered, “I just don’t know what to do with this. How do you respond to this?”

At some level Davis understands why gun ownership is important but she also wants to take guns from all private hands.

I guess it comes with the territory of being so crazy that you advocate for communism.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Brandon Smith

Acts of nature are not things that the common man can easily rebel against. People rebel against governments and corrupt despots all the time, but not the plague. If a viral pandemic strikes, nearly everything a government does after the fact, no matter how corrupt or destructive, can be rationalized as necessary for the greater good of the greater number. If anyone does rebel, they will be labeled as pure evil, for they are now disrupting the government’s ability to stop the pandemic from spreading, and thus, are partly responsible for the mass deaths that follow.

During a viral outbreak, government becomes mother, father, nurse and protector. No matter how abusive they are, most people will still look to them for safety and guidance, primarily because they have no knowledge of disease. What they do not understand, they will fear, and fear always drives the ignorant into the arms of tyrants.

Brandon Smith
October 8, 2014
An Ebola Outbreak Would Be Advantageous For Globalists
[While the article has a fair amount of tin foil hat material in it I think the above is probably true.

I was talking to son James the other evening about our government’s response to Ebola and he said the one good thing that is coming out is that it makes it more clear just how incompetent our government is. My counter to that was to many people that will just mean the government needs still more power. To far too many people the answer to every government failure is to give them more power or to put “the right people” in charge.

And if we wanted to venture into the land of the tin foil hat we could hypothesize that Ebola is a crisis our government is not going to let go to waste.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

The GPU (secret police) exposed von Meck, and he was shot: His objective had been to wear out rails and roadbeds, freight cars and locomotives, so as to leave the Republic without railroads in case of foreign military intervention!

When, not long afterward, the new People’s Commissar of Railroads, Comrade Kaganovich, ordered that average loads should be increased, and even doubled and tripled them (and for this discovery received the Order of Lenin along with others of our leaders) the malicious engineers who protested became know as limiters.

They raised the outcry that this was too much, and would result in the breakdown of the rolling stock, and they were rightly shot for their lack of faith in the possibilities of socialist transport.

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One) page 45.
[I was talking about this with son James last night so I thought I would post it too. Basically the lesson is that progressives have a burning desire to eliminate those that point out reality to them. Some of the most visible battles in our country today are the battle over Obamacare and the right to keep and bear arms. They refuse to recognize the realities of economics and human nature and are willing to have us imprisoned and/or killed when we attempt to explain reality to them.

But it is much more widespread than those. Look at the war against Islamic terrorism. Progressives insisted that we are to blame for our conflict despite the very clear words from the terrorists themselves that they will only be peaceful after all people have submitted to Sharia Law. Or look at how they insisted that stand your ground laws were a factor in the George Zimmerman case. Progressives have beliefs which contradict reality and if they have the power they become very dangerous when reality is forced upon them.

The constant conflict between reality and their beliefs is why the book Nineteen Eighty Four resonates so strongly. It brings to light the inherent conflict of the struggle we are facing. It is a battle between reality and their ever changing beliefs.

They insist that if we would acquiesce to their demands of a complete gun ban or a completely “free” government run health care system the world would be a better place. And they call us obstructionist because we insist what they demand cannot succeed. Today they call us obstructionists instead of limiters. I sometimes wonder if that is deliberate because some of them know the Soviet baggage associated with the word “limiters”.

I don’t wonder what they would do to those that insist upon maintaining a close connection to reality. If only they had the political power to deal with us as they wished our fate would be clear. That path has made countless history books of the most unpleasant nature.—Joe]

A Southerner Repents

Fred’s confession.
Good point, and if I may be so bold, it is right along the lines of what Cliven Bundy tried to say, but stumbled in his inability to articulate and was then pounced upon by all sides. Thomas Sowell said it too, as have many others who never got accused of racism for it.

The truth is a hot-button issue. You have to know what you’re doing when speaking it. It’s not for everyone. Fred can handle it fine.