Quote of the day—Bruce Schneier

The market can’t fix this. Markets work because buyers choose between sellers, and sellers compete for buyers. In case you didn’t notice, you’re not Equifax’s customer. You’re its product.

Bruce Schneier
September 13, 2017
On the Equifax Data Breach
[I agree with his astute observation but not his conclusion (government legislation is required).

If someone is harmed by the carelessness of another the careless person can, and rightly so, be sued for damages. How is this any different?—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ryan Born

When conservatives appeal to “free speech,” it is actually a calculated political move, designed to open up avenues of political discourse while shaming others from moving in active political opposition. I argue that when conservatives resort to this move, they can be safely ignored, as they are appealing to a right that does not exist. In my belief, when conservative ideas are opposed, there is no right that is being infringed.

Ryan Born
September 25, 2017
Speech is free
[At first I though Born was setting up a straw man with “it is actually a calculated political move….”. But that hypothesis was blow away in the following sentence.

Born needs to retake a junior high class on U.S. government and receive a passing grade before attempting to have a conversation with adults. In the mean time don’t ever forget this is what many people on the political left think of specific enumerated rights.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Leonard Pitts

A 2014 Pew Research Center study found that the percentage of Democrats and Republicans holding extremely negative views of the opposite party has more than doubled since 1994; Pew also found that, while 64 percent of Republicans in ’94 held opinions that were to the right of the average Democrat, these days 92 percent do. And 94 percent of Democrats are now to the left of the GOP median.

So the right is moving further right, the left, further left and the center, as the poet Yeats observed, “cannot hold.”

What other option, then, do Democrats have but to move left, exploiting the anger, energy and enthusiasm to be found there?

Leonard Pitts
October 16, 2017
Democrats need to move left
[Yes. That should work nicely. Advocating for the policies of Venezuela and Cuba will play so well in the GOP advertisements.

I find it very telling that the option of liberty and adherence to the constitutional limits of government doesn’t even cross his mind. Laws and principles are for suckers. The only thing of importance is restoring power to “his people”.—Joe]

What is AgitProp?

It’s short for “agitation propaganda”, sure, but what does that mean?

For a good definition, this should be in textbooks.

All such assertions (in this case the assertion is “We’re jittery and dysfunctional, so we need more gun restrictions”) depend on one false premise, which says, in effect;

Human rights are subject to revision based on circumstance.

If that premise is true, then we should yield to the moment, we appease and give in. “There there, you can have what you want if you’ll only STOP CRYING…”

If the premise is false then we STAND for what we know is right, not for the moment but for all time. We prevent the emotion-driven from making mistakes harmful to themselves and others. We do them the favor of correcting them. It’s what adults do when confronted with irrational behavior.

You all know, even you leftists know, that the premise is a false one. Human rights are not altered by circumstance, statistics, emotions of the moment, nor by the way, are right affected by weather.

Rather than argue circumstances then, we must learn to reject the premise that rights are subject to circumstances, bring some very needed reason into play, assert rights, name their origin and stand up, faithfully and consistently to defend rights for all time. Do it for the children (to play on an authoritarian mind trick*).

Do it for future generations. Otherwise we fall down that rat hole wherein someone’s implanted, overwhelming emotions have the power, all by themselves, to force you to relinquish your rights and appease the sleaze. (Hey, that’s a slogan; “Relinquish Your Rights and Appease the Sleaze….”)

That’s the end game for the Dark Side, and it almost always works.

Will it work this time? How many of you, within a matter of hours or days, started, in your minds, bargaining away bump stocks, for example? Then one after another, like robots…”Bargain away bump stocks, bargain away bump stocks…” It was like a plague that spread via the airwaves, from coast to coast, in a matter of hours.

Who really needs a bump stock, after all, right? Not me, but that’s not the point.

At all.

Don’t participate in the insanity of the appeasement of the insane. That’s how they get you, and you even end up thinking yourself smarter for it. How deliciously evil is that? You’re smarter than those confounded “extremists”;
“Why, if it weren’t for them, this thing could be handled delicately and properly, and we could deal, and everyone would win…”
You’ve heard it all before. Eventually you’ll be saying it more and more.

Here’s an idea; the crazy people, no matter how frightened or offended they on the left act, no matter how they kick and scream and hold their collective breath until they turn blue, and no matter how they threaten or accuse, they aren’t your masters. They’re just sad, angry, confused people with nothing else to offer but more sadness, anger and confusion. Don’t feed the trolls.

Offer reason to the irrational. It’s the only possible way to help them. Don’t be that parent at the supermarket who’s giving in to the three-year-old just to make him SHUT UP. You idiots.

Who’s in control, the parent or the three-year-old? It can go either way, and you’ve all seen it.

Don’t pretend like their crazy assertions (“I’m so scared…we need a gun law to make me feel better– You bastards!”) have any validity, or guess what? You just put the crazy people in control, and you’d have to be crazy to do that. But you do it anyway, then you bitch and carry on about how the inmates are running the asylum. Well no shit Sherlock; you put them in charge.

It happens in your personal life. That’s where it starts. You start out walking on eggshells at home, or at school, and you end up walking on eggshells politically, then before you know it you’re trying to make other people walk on eggshells. Same causes, same effects. The Progressives know when they’ve got to you, just like a shark smells the chum-of-appeasement you’re throwing in the water, just like a dog knows when he has you upset.

AgitProp. That’s what it means. That which arouses emotion in you owns you.

*“Nothing is too good for the children”, we are told. Like most everything the left touches however, the definition of that phrase, when uttered by a leftist, is its own opposite. It means;

“Nothing is too bad for the children.”

For the left, rights deprivation isn’t too bad for the children. Abortion isn’t too bad for the children (except in the sense, “Too bad, children!”), nor is grabbing power from the People, nor graft, nor violating the constitution, nor are coercion and wholesale confiscation too bad for the children. None of the horrible things done by communist regimes, past or present, have been too bad for the children, and if that’s the case (and the left has always had love affairs with communist regimes), then truly, nothing is too bad for the children.

I thought you should know that. Carry on.

Quote of the day—Derek Hunter

Imagine there has been a horrible case of child abuse in your neighborhood. A large family with 10 children had parents who brutally beat their kids, and two died. In reacting to that horrendous news, there’s a knock at your door. It’s your mayor and police chief.

“I understand you have two children in this house. Is that correct?” the mayor asks.

“Yes, that’s true. Why?” you reply.

“We’re going to need to see them, to inspect them to make sure they haven’t been subjected to abuse by you,” the chief says.

“Wait, what? You’re not going to inspect my children,” you respond.

“We are going to. And we’re going to monitor your kids from here on out, stopping by periodically to check on them, inspect their bodies for bruises and have them talk to a psychologist to make sure they aren’t being emotionally abused either,” the chief shoots back.

“What the hell gives you the right to do that?” you ask.

“After the horrible abuse that took place a few blocks away, we decided that we had to insert ourselves into the lives of all parents to prevent that from happening ever again,” the mayor says. “So we’ve passed a new law that says we can curtail parental rights for the greater good. Now go get your children.”

Derek Hunter
October 5, 2017
After Las Vegas, Democrats Send In The Clowns
[The sad/scary part of this is this that public education is a significant step in this direction and there are policies which show we are on this path.—Joe]

Comic Revival

I remember reading comics when I was a kid. In high school a friend of mine was very into the X-Men, and some other similar comics. I enjoyed them. Decent stories, cool graphics, etc. Most of the modern super hero movies are based on those old properties, and are pretty watchable. The most recent ones, though, are not. All the good stuff has been used up and wrung out, or dismissed by the leadership as “problematic”*. Continue reading

Quote of the day—Kurt Schlichter

In recent years we’ve seen a remarkable antipathy for the fact that normal Americans even have rights among those on the left. We should have this conversation to clear the air before leftists push too far and the air gets filled with smoke. But we really don’t need to have a conversation about our rights to keep and bear arms. They’re rights. There’s nothing to talk about.

Kurt Schlichter
October 5, 2017
Nothing Makes Liberals Angrier Than Us Normals Insisting On Our Rights
[This should be enough “conversation” but Schlichter extends the conversation with examples and more saying “No.”—Joe]

Quote of the day—EricNM

The country is awash in 300 million guns. Until that number actually reduces, rather than grows as the NRA wishes, our nation’s gun death rate will always be the highest of any developed nation. The only way to accomplish that is with some sort of gun buy-back and destruction program.

EricNM
October 2, 2017
Comment to Preventing Future Mass Shootings Like Las Vegas
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.

EricNM is delusional. It addition to “buy-backs” presuming facts not in evident (the government can’t “buy-back” some they never owned to begin with), there may be as many as 660 million guns in the hands of private citizens, voluntary “buy-backs” have been found to be ineffectual in our country every time they have been tried, and even if it were politically possible legislate mandatory confiscation the most likely result would be for the police and military to, at best, ignore such laws to infringe upon the inalienable right of the people to keep and bear arms.

There would also be a significant chance the surviving politicians would find themselves arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. But don’t expect delusional people break out of their alternate reality no matter what the evidence.—Joe]

That didn’t take long

Early this morning The New York Times posted an editorial by Nicholas Kristof titled “Preventing Future Mass Shootings Like Las Vegas” and described infringements upon the right to keep and bear arms which would have done absolutely nothing to have prevented the mass shooting:

After the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, the impulse of politicians will be to lower flags, offer moments of silence, and lead a national mourning. Yet what we need most of all isn’t mourning, but action to lower the toll of guns in America.

Here is what this liar said, “that would, collectively, make a difference”:

  1. Impose universal background checks for anyone buying a gun.
  2. Impose a minimum age limit of 21 on gun purchases.
  3. Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order.
  4. Limit gun purchases by any one person to no more than, say, two a month
  5. Tighten rules on straw purchasers who buy for criminals.
  6. Make serial numbers harder to remove.
  7. Adopt microstamping of cartridges so that they can be traced to the gun that fired them, useful for solving gun crimes.
  8. Invest in “smart gun” purchases by police departments or the U.S. military, to promote their use.
  9. Require safe storage, to reduce theft, suicide and accidents by children.
  10. Invest in research to see what interventions will be more effective in reducing gun deaths.

The intentional deception continues with comparison to regulations on ladders in the workplace and automobile accidents. This deception conflates accidental deaths with intentional deaths. If he were being honest here he would have compared accidental deaths by falls off of ladders or automobile accidents to firearm accidental deaths. Or the use of automobiles in violent crime such as bank robberies, kidnapping, and terrorist attacks. That would be fair. But it’s obvious Kristof is not interested in fair or honest.

Lets do an “apples to apples” type comparison with accidental firearm deaths and see how gun ownership stacks up. I’ve reported the accidental death by firearm numbers before, but here is it again with slight editing to make it consistent with this blog post.

Here is the data I downloaded from the CDC on accidental firearm deaths.

From 1985 to 2015 the total number deaths dropped from 1649 to 489. A decrease of over 70%. And if we look at the death rate instead of total deaths it went from 0.69 to 0.15 per 100,000. That’s a drop of over 78%. And that’s without a government program.

I can’t say that it is cause and effect but the NRA Eddie Eagle program (gun safety for children of any age from pre-school through third grade) was developed in 1988. And there was a big push for more NRA firearms instructors in the mid 1990s.

AccidentalDeathByFirearm1981-2015

AccidentalDeathRateByFirearm1981-2015

But don’t expect Kristof or any other anti-gun person to talk about the successes of the private sector or gun organizations. It’s not about safety. It’s about government control.

Quote of the day—Dana Milbank

Consider Title XV of the sportsmen’s bill, also known as the “Hearing Protection Act,” which makes it easier for gun owners to buy silencers for their weapons. The uninformed might suspect that silencers are used by people who want to fire weapons without being caught by cops or observed by witnesses. But more and more hunters are finding that conventional earplugs and muffs are not adequate for today’s weapons — for example, quail hunting with an M777 howitzer or grouse hunting with an FIM-92 Stinger missile launcher.

Dana Milbank
September 11, 2017
The NRA’s idea of recreation: Assault rifles, armor-piercing bullets and silencers
[One might guess Milbank is so out of touch with reality that he believes the right to keep and bear arms is about recreation. And one also has to wonder what part of “shall not be infringed” he doesn’t understand.

But, just as likely is that Milbank does have at least a passing grasp of reality and knows he can’t put up a valid argument so he just goes straight to mocking.

We can make most of the stuff Milbank is “concerned” about in our garages with cheap metal working equipment and a trip to the local hardware store. These changes in the law are a mere recognition of reality. The existing law did nothing to improve public safety and made life more hazardous for good and gentle people who just want to be left alone. But to be left alone is asking too much from authoritarians like Milbank. So, I won’t be asking. I’m telling.

Molṑn labé, Dana.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Jacobus

My Baba said the Nazi’s were better than the communist.

Coming from a woman who earned a few years of slave labor and a tattoo number from the Nazi’s, makes you wonder how socialism/ communism has such a good PR program on our higher education campuses.

Michael Jacobus
September 24, 2017
Comment to We Still Need To Kill Commies For Mommy, And For The Children.
[I could speculate I don’t think that would be as productive as making more ammunition and more practice.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Michael Z. Williamson

It is the triumph of Western democracy that philosophies are allowed to exist and propagate even if they are ultimate evil. It is the failure of Western democracy that we support this to a fault, of allowing Communists to breathe air needed by human beings.

Then we can get back to killing National Socialists and regular Socialists as well, since their difference is only one of path, not destination.

Michael Z. Williamson
September 21, 2017
We Still Need To Kill Commies For Mommy, And For The Children.
[I’m going to need more ammo.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Sir Robert Peel

Sir Robert Peel’s Principles of Law Enforcement 1829

  1. The basic mission for which police exist is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. The police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain public respect.
  4. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes, proportionately, to the necessity for the use of physical force and compulsion in achieving police objectives.
  5. The police seek and preserve public favor, not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws; by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of society without regard to their race or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. The police should use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to achieve police objectives; and police should use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the intent of the community welfare.
  8. The police should always direct their actions toward their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary by avenging individuals or the state, or authoritatively judging guilt or punishing the guilty.
  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

Sir Robert Peel
1829

[H/T Windy Wilson.

Kevin Baker has been a big proponent of Peel as well.—Joe]

Dystopia idea became a blueprint

I hate it when governments take some dystopian concept and use it as a blueprint rather than a warning:

It is a CCTV clip showing current surveillance in China. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), facial recognition technology, GPS tracking and 20 million CCTV cameras, China’s sadly named “Sky Net” system demonstrates just how creepy real-time surveillance can be.

According to a documentary that ran on China Central Television, the security cameras use facial recognition to identify each person and then overlay a popup of personal information on the screen by the person. Descriptions include details such as age, gender, and other features such as clothing color. This happens in real time.

If you saw the TV series Person of Interest, this is the implementation of it under the control of the Chinese government. The show was pretty good. But a tool like that in the hands of any government is really bad news.

Current Chinese Surveillance System are something out a sci-fi film

H/T Josh J. via email.

Quote of the day—John Robb

Facebook just declared war against “disruptive” information.  In addition to hundreds of new human censors, they are training AI censors capable of identifying and deleting ‘unacceptable’ information found in the discussions of all two billion members in real time. This development highlights what the real danger posed by a socially networked world actually is.

The REAL danger facing a world interconnected by social networking isn’t disruption.  As we have seen on numerous occasions, the danger posed by disruptive information and events is fleeting. Disruption, although potentially painful in the short term, doesn’t last, nor is it truly damaging over the long term. In fact, the true danger posed by an internetworked world is just the opposite of disruption.

John Robb
Friday, 22 September 2017
The Long Night Ahead
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Sunsara Taylor

It’s the right of the people to shut down speakers.

Sunsara Taylor
Co-founder of Refuse Fascism
September 13, 2017
UC Berkeley free speech in spotlight over super-tight security plans
[No. It is not a “the right of the people”. It is a conspiracy to infringe the of rights others and it is a felony which under some conditions, some plausible in the current context, are punishable by death. It is my hope that any such crimes are vigorously prosecuted, and severely punished.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dennis Pratt

I want to admit upfront that gun ownership can not be a universal human ethic. A universal human ethic is true for all time in all cultures in all situations for all humans. And guns have been around only for 650 years or so. So, by definition, there can be no universal human ethic to “own guns”. Stating it as though there is (which unfortunately is done by both sides of the debate) is a straw-man, making the American position even harder for other cultures to understand.

Gun ownership is not a fundamental human ethic, but a derived right from a universal human ethic — the right of self-ownership.

Dennis Pratt
August 27, 2017
Why does the U.S. think gun ownership is an inalienable right given that literally all of the developed world doesn’t feel the same way?
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Stephen Gutowski

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 1,200 adults found 48 percent of Americans said they or somebody else in their household owned a gun. That’s 3 percentage points higher than when the same question was asked last year. It’s 9 percentage points higher than when the question was asked in 2011, the low point of the poll’s findings for self-reported gun ownership.

The United States Census Bureau estimates there are 249,454,440 adults currently living in America. If the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey is accurate, that equates to 119,738,131 Americans with a gun in their home.

Stephen Gutowski
September 12, 2017
Poll: More Americans Have a Gun in Home Than Ever Before
Nearly 120 million Americans have a firearm in the home

[H/T SayUncle.

This is almost for certain a lower bound on the estimate. As the NRA says in regard to the same poll:

Polling data on gun ownership rates is inherently suspect. Gun ownership is a personal decision, and given the politically-charged nature of the topic and government efforts to restrict gun rights, some gun owners are reluctant to share this personal information with strangers. This could result in polling that underreports gun ownership. Other research further suggests that female spouses living in gun-owning households tend to underreport firearm ownership.

We are winning the war on guns. Keep taking new shooters to the range.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ronald Radosh

Antifa members should read historians of Nazi Germany, like Laurie Marhoefer of the University of Washington, who writes that anti-fascist street fighters who greeted a Nazi rally with violence thought that they had won by disrupting a rally and fighting its speakers back in 1927. They sent a message that “Fascism was not welcome.” But instead, “events like the rally in Wedding [a Berlin district] helped the Nazis build a dictatorship.” The Reds got media attention, but it led to escalating street violence, all of which helped the Nazis, who painted themselves “as the victims of a pugnacious, lawless left.”

Leftist violence in the 1930s in Germany led many to support the Nazis in the hope they would put an end to the continuing street brawls and violence. Today, the antifa left may even help to get Donald Trump reelected in 2020.

Ronald Radosh
September 11, 2017
‘Emergency Brake’ Antifa Says It’s Fighting Fascists. It Just Might Be Helping to Re-Elect Donald Trump.
[The political left is violent by nature.

This prediction is consistent with what I have said before.—Joe]