Quote of the day—Bob Livingston

Yes, there are winners and losers in capitalism. The winners are those who are honest, industrious, thoughtful, prudent, frugal, responsible, disciplined, and efficient. The losers are those who are shiftless, lazy, imprudent, extravagant, negligent, impractical, and inefficient.

Bob Livingston
May 9, 2016
Socialism is an immoral system
[There are also cases in capitalism where people just get lucky (both bad and good luck). These bad luck situations are what the critics of capitalism typically focus on but bad luck happens in any system. And the “bad luck” examples of socialism are far worse (see Venezuela) than the capitalist examples.

A system with free markets and free minds (capitalism) is not only the most moral system but also has the best overall results. Even with the evidence on display from the last 7+ years of a socialist president that we have openly and thinly veiled socialist candidates for public office let alone serious candidates for U.S. President is mindboggling to me.

I’ve been stockpiling food and precious metals (steel, copper, and lead) in preparation for the end game which I have done all I could to avoid. I’m pretty much all set as best I can now. I think I just need to add some popcorn to my food stores.—Joe]

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]

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 topics of tolerance and human rights.

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—Sebastian

I’m becoming more convinced that free people need a frontier, because without one, eventually, the meddlers, swindlers, and sycophants of the world catch-up to us.

Sebastian
April 25, 2016
Science Nerd Post: Reactionless Drive
[I’m in general agreement but things will have to get a lot worse here before living on a distant rock under a dome with a huge portion of your economic output consumed just to stay alive. And without an industrial base to produce medicine, electronics, vehicles, buildings, I can’t see it being able to be independent and have anything approaching the quality of life we have here.

If there were a terraformed planet with a population of a million or more with incredibly accessible natural resources I could see it being plausible. But it becomes a chicken and egg problem. Terraforming and industry building robots might be the answer. I remain a skeptic for now and believe the better, at least short-term, option is to fix things on our existing rock.—Joe]

The political currency of the left

As everyone expects May 1st is a day of violence in Seattle:

Hurling rocks, bricks and even Molotov cocktails, anti-capitalist protesters clashed with police in downtown Seattle Sunday, as May Day mayhem erupted again following a peaceful march.

By 10:30 p.m., at least five officers had been injured and at least nine people had been arrested, Seattle police reported. One injured officer suffered a gash to his head when he was struck by a rock.

Police said Monday that all five officers were at home recovering from their injuries.

The city unleashed a massive deployment of police officers in riot gear — on foot, on bicycles, on horseback and in vehicles — to control the crowd of dozens of masked-protesters who began massing in Westlake Park for the unpermitted march shortly after 5 p.m.

This is across the street from where I used to work. I’m glad I don’t work there anymore.

As soon as they started lighting up the Molotov cocktails I would have given the green light to the snipers. But this is Seattle and they like communists.

Notice they call them “anti-capitalists”? They want to avoid associating lawless, violent, behavior with their political leanings.

These people can’t win a debate with ideas. The can’t demonstrate a better way of life in the places their ideas have been implemented. What do they have left? Violence. It’s the political currency of the left. And it’s why we need our guns.

Of course you can trust the government

From David Hardy on the Waco investigation:

The House Committee on Government Reform hired Carlos to examine the tapes. Unfortunately, he died from a heart attack (a weakness that ran in his family). The Committee thereupon issued statements that he’d never given them a report, that they were about to fire him, and essentially disavowing everything to do with him.

There was one problem with that story. Carlos had faxed me the report right after he gave it to the committee and briefed its staff. He found there were indeed gunshots. In fact, he pieced together an encounter. A Davidian appeared to throw something at an armored vehicle, and the something went off with a quick burst of heat. The hatches on the vehicle opened, some people dismounted, and fired in the direction of the fleeing Davidian. The battle went on from there. Carlos told me that as he played and paused the video for the congressional staffers, explaining what they were seeing, they looked like they were sucking on lemons.

Reading David’s series of posts on Waco is bringing back some very unpleasant memories and way too much adrenaline:

What the government did to Randy Weaver and his family and what they did at Waco are a why I purchased my first gun, why I’m involved in the gun rights movement and why there is Boomershoot.

Never again.

Quote of the day—Glenn Reynolds

Fracking: Helping Middle America at the expense of dictators. No wonder lefties hate it.

Glenn Reynolds
January 15, 2016
FRACKING: IMPOVERISHING THE SAUDIS AND RUSSIANS AND IRANIANS WHILE PUTTING MONEY IN AMERICAN POCKETS.
[I could add more reasons but I can see this being a significant component. Of course they wouldn’t put it in terms of “expense of dictators”. <sarcasm> The dictators are really representatives of the people in an utopian seeking country and U.S. capitalists are harming “the people” to satisfy corporate greed. </sarcasm>—Joe]

Constitutional Sheriffs in the news

Via Drudge, we get this piece from Progressive Rag, The Washington Post.

The elitist, fear-mongering editorializing in the piece only makes it better, kind of like John Boehner calling Ted Cruz the living embodiment of Lucifer– It’s something of a ringing endorsement, considering who’s saying it. So much so in fact that you’d think he should understand that and keep his mouth shut.

Continue reading

Quote of the day—Lily Tang Williams

If you believe more gun control by your government is going to save lives, you are being naïve. The champion of all the mass killings in this world is always a tyrannical government.

Where I came from, China had killed thousands of the students by its own government during the massacre of Tian An Men square in 1989. I surely wish my fellow Chinese citizens back then had guns like this one I am holding in the picture.

I am a Chinese immigrant and an American citizen by choice. I once was a slave before and I will never be one again.

I will always stand with my AR, no matter what my President signs with his pen.

LilyTangWilliams20160105

Lily Tang Williams
Facebook post on January 5, 2016

Quote of the day—Thomas Jefferson

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions indeed generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

Thomas Jefferson
James Madison, Paris
January 30, 1787
From Monticello.org A little rebellion
[Yeah. Like that is going to happen. President Lincoln and his close followers were reasonably mild in their punishment of the rebellion of the southern states. But he was a Republican and an unusual one at that.

We do not currently have a government in “sound health”. These days I imagine a rebellion would most likely occur under a President Hillary Clinton. I would expect the rebellion would either succeed or the rebels genetic material would be wiped from the planet, their property turned to ash, and their lands salted so heavily plants could not grow for a 100 years.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Noah Rothman

Owen took his vision to Indiana where he pursued a radical new experiment in social organization. In 1824, he purchased an existing settlement and founded the town of New Harmony. This was a truly socialistic society in which private property itself was done away with. The fate that befell New Harmony is a familiar one. The idealists who were attracted to this communal society were intellectuals and experts, and not the workers whose lots he had so hoped to better. Productivity collapsed. Industries that had once thrived under Johann Georg Rapp – a German philosopher and leader of a religious sect called Harmonists who initially founded the settlement – withered or collapsed entirely. Within two years, and following a substantial amount of instability and tumult, the experiment failed. To account for this disaster, Owen did what all revolutionary socialists have done ever since in order to exculpate themselves for failure: he blamed the ignoble character of the participants in his great experiment.

Noah Rothman
April 14, 2016
The Character of a Socialist
[And as we have seen in dozens of other places like Cambodia, USSR, and Communist China when the intellectuals try to remake the character of man or eliminate the “limiters”, all in the name of doing good, to make progress, the death toll rises into the tens of millions.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Scott H. Greenfield

So make your case. Advocate your position. Persuade everyone you see that your position is right, that the demise of humanity is imminent and that we must act immediately to stem climate change.  Yes, go for it.

But never by silencing critics, no matter how wrong you are certain they are.  This subpoena cannot stand, no matter how strongly, how passionately, you disagree with CEI.  There is a line that cannot be crossed, no matter what, and that line has been crossed. Prevail because your ideas are better than theirs, but not because government has the means to bludgeon ideas with which it, and you, disagree.

Scott H. Greenfield
April 8, 2016
The CEI Subpoena Cannot Stand
[H/T to Alan Gura on April 8th for the retweet of Greenfield’s tweet.—Joe]

Quote of the day—M.E.

Perhaps this is almost too obvious/tautological/stupid to say, but although widespread change must eventually reach the majority, it does not often start there. Writer Rebecca Solnit put it this way:

Ideas at first considered outrageous or ridiculous or extreme gradually become what people think they’ve always believed. How the transformation happened is rarely remembered, in part because it’s compromising: it recalls the mainstream when the mainstream was, say, rabidly homophobic or racist in a way it no longer is; and it recalls that power comes from the shadows and the margins, that our hope is in the dark around the edges, not the limelight of center stage. Our hope and often our power.

I understand this, but thing that has always bothered the sociopath in me is the collective amnesia that everyone experiences. No one admits, I used to be homophobic but then I realized I was wrong. Instead there is rampant hypocrisy. There is no humility. There is no healthy skepticism of their feelings of moral certainty. The moral certainty just shifts beliefs, from anti to pro or vice versa.

M.E.
April 1, 2016
Changing our minds
[I read M.E. because of the insights she has into the population at large and to a certain extent her self analysis. She, in essence, has no empathy for other people and tries to make rational sense of their actions. Because of her somewhat unique viewpoint she sees the nonsensical behavior and can generalize more quickly than I do. I find it fascinating to catch a glimpse of the world through her eyes.

The shifting of moral certainty applies to so many things. Gun ownership, religion, freedom of speech, due process, enumerated powers of the government, recreational drug use, equal rights for women, global cooling/warming/climate-change etc. People, in general, do not know and/or care to distinguish truth from falsity or right from wrong. They “just know”.

Politicians take advantage of this and claim political positions which they believe will yield the most votes. Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Chavez, and many others in all countries were extremely popular in the beginning and in hindsight extraordinarily disastrous. It shouldn’t have taken hindsight. And with so many examples in history it shouldn’t take hindsight to see the errors being made today. But yet it appears to be the case.

Why is this? I think there are only three relatively easy to discern conditions necessary to predict the worst of, but of course not all, disasters.

  1. Many political options can be eliminated as “a bad idea” with very little analysis. But they are not eliminated because they are the same political options that are among the most powerful vote getters in a population that is unable to distinguish truth from falsity.
  2. A government which has essentially no limits on power.
  3. High social and/or economic stress.

When such a government is directed by people who either have no interest and/or ability to distinguish truth from falsity then disaster is nearly inevitable. It can easily become a powerful monster with an agenda of destruction with absolute moral certainty.

Welcome to the current political world of the United States.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Richard Feldman

Someone ought to present both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with the joint “Salesmen Award of the Decade.”

They have collectively achieved what advertisers could only dream about. Their ill-informed, uninformed and intentionally misinformed, anti-gun rhetoric is a caustic shot directly across our bow. If it’s political jihad that they want to wage on this, the most quintessential of all American domestic issues, then it’s political jihad they shall receive.

Richard Feldman
March 23, 2016
Richard Feldman: Obama’s Gun Issue Misfires on Hillary
[In related news:

Political jihad over guns in November? Only if Hillary isn’t in shackles by then.—Joe]

Hypotheses to test

It’s not a scientific study by any means, but this article from the New York Times could be used to generate a good hypothesis worthy of being tested:

“Our cities are facing a huge problem, maybe the largest since World War II,” Mr. Goldstein said. “How is it that people who were born here in Brussels, in Paris, can call heroes the people who commit violence and terror? That is the real question we’re facing.”

Friends who teach the equivalent of high school seniors in the predominantly Muslim districts of Molenbeek and Schaerbeek told him that “90 percent of their students, 17, 18 years old, called them heroes,” he said.

Mr. Goldstein, 38, grew up in Schaerbeek, the child of Jewish refugees from Nazism. Now a councilman from Schaerbeek, he is also chief of staff for the minister-president of the Brussels Capital Region.

I could see the hypothesis worthy of test being something like:

  • Most Muslims in Europe are peaceful and tolerant
  • Those who commit terrorism and violence do not represent Islam in Europe

I could also see the politically correct crowd insisting that it is racist and Islamophobic to even test such a hypothesis while simultaneously insisting the quote above is proof Jews are racists.

My take on things is that there is a huge problem in Europe that to a greater or lesser degree extends over the entire globe and there are no good solutions. There are only painful remedies and pragmatic tradeoffs which will challenge our principles to their core.

Quote of the day—Jan Koum

I think this is politicians, in some ways, using these terrible acts to advance their agendas. If the White House thinks that Twitter can solve their ISIS problem, they’ve got (a lot of problems).

Jan Koum
April 4, 2016
Forget Apple vs. the FBI: WhatsApp Just Switched on Encryption for a Billion People
[Yes. And the same is true of gun control, a lot of banking laws, tax law, and probably 1000 or more other things. WhatsApp is just exploiting a small chink in the armor.

Government back doors to communications violates The Jews in the Attic Test. WhatsApp intent is to keep communication private. This is no small task. I’m certain it is private from your local police force, snoopy neighbors, and most employers. But if a billion people use it that is a very juicy target for nation states. Such a high value target will justify an enormous expenditure of resources to break it. I expect it is only a matter of time before it is broken. But that doesn’t mean that it will stay broken or that gaining access to each conversation isn’t very expensive and cost prohibitive except in extremely important situations.

That said, I have WhatsApp installed on my phone.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Paul Craig Roberts

An attack on abortion rights, for example, produces a far greater outcry and resistance than the successful attack on habeas corpus and due process. President Obama was able to declare his power to execute citizens by executive branch decision alone without due process and conviction in court, and it produced barely audible protest.

Historically, a government that can, without due process, throw a citizen into a dungeon or summarily execute him is considered to be a tyranny, not a democracy.  By any historical definition, the United States today is a tyranny.

Paul Craig Roberts
Does The United States Still Exist?
An address delivered to the Libertarian Party of Florida on March 23, 2016 in Destin, Florida
[Interesting points.

Remember: Why Boomershoot? Insurance against tyranny.—Joe]