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]

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—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—Anonymous Conservative

Liberalism is a totally different thought process. Inherent to it is a drive to ignore reality and shift mental focus toward metrics that are, to any sane individual, totally irrelevant to the questions at hand.

Anonymous Conservative
October 11, 2015
Liberals are Socially Focused on Group Dynamics
[This reminds me of a conversation I had with an admitted Marxist after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He said the U.S. shouldn’t have invaded because we didn’t have the support of “our friends” France and Germany. I was confused. Why should this matter? And it was known at the time that France and Germany had been selling Iraq supplies for building WMDs which the U.N. was trying to find and being stymied by Iraq. As far as I was concern France and Germany were aiding an enemy and even if they weren’t, since when does the determination of right and wrong depend on whether your “friends” agree with you or not? He insisted it did but could not explain further than “it just does”.

The “progressive” mind is an example of mental defect.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ilya Shapiro

Roberts essentially told would-be Trumpistas not to bother the courts with important issues, that if you want to beat Obama you have to get your own strongman—complete with pen, phone, and contempt for the Constitution. So they did.

Ilya Shapiro
May 5, 2016
How John Roberts Begat Donald Trump
[H/T to Glenn Reynolds.

As others have said, the political left created Trump. Roberts isn’t generally considered a leftist, but he let stand a clearly unconstitutional law which was only supported by the political left.—Joe]

Deception and trickery

From Firearms Policy Coalition in California:

Earlier this morning, Senate and Assembly Democrats “gutted and amended” 4 bills that were stalled and changed them into 4 brand new, ANTI-GUN measures.

“Gutting and amending” is the controversial practice of stripping out a measure’s contents and replacing it with entirely new language, for a new issue, well into the legislative process.

Here is a list of the new bills and what they will do:

  • AB 156: Formerly dealt with global warming, but now places restrictions on ammunition and will be authored by Asm. Kevin McCarty and Sen. Kevin deLeón.
  • AB 857: Formerly addressed greenhouse gasses, but now restricts curios, relics, and home-built firearms. It will be authored my Asm. Jim Cooper and Sen. Kevin de Leon.
  • AB 1135: Formerly centered around creating the Kings River East Groundwater Sustainability Agency, but is now a broad gun ban. This will now be authored by Assemblymembers Marc Levine and Phil Ting.
  • AB 1511: Formerly dealt with energy conservation, but now criminalizes loaning firearms. It is now authored by Asm. Miguel Santiago.

In doing this, they have totally skirted the legislative process. It is shameful that elitist politicians would invoke such secretive procedures in an effort to shove even more gun control down our throats.

But it is not surprising.

Correct. This sort of thing is what we have come to expect. I watched with shock and incredible anger as the Speaker of the House keep the voting open for an extra 10 or 15 minutes past the vote expiration time to get enough votes for the Federal “Assault Weapon” ban in 1994. The Hughes Amendment, banning new sales of machine guns, was “passed” on a voice vote in the early morning hours despite requests for a recorded vote. The anti-gun people have a long and sordid history lies and deception. It is just how they do business.

I can overlook the ignorance of the average “person on the street” who is anti-gun. But I know the politician and anti-gun groups continuously engage in deception and trickery to get their way. I do not forgive them. They should be prosecuted.

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.

Quote of the day—Jay Caruso

Harriet Tubman was an American hero. A gun-toting, no nonsense, devout Christian spy who fought during her retirement to obtain better treatment for African-American soldiers. She was a remarkable woman and totally deserves a place on our currency.

Jay Caruso
April 22, 2016
What You Might Not Know About Harriet Tubman, Gun-Toting Slave Liberator
[I’m good with Tubman replacing Jackson on the $20. I would have rather it been Ayn Rand and dumping Hamilton, but Rand isn’t going to get serious consideration anytime soon. And I’m not a huge fan of Jackson either.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Emmett Rensin

The wages of smug is Trump.

Nothing is more confounding to the smug style than the fact that the average Republican is better educated and has a higher IQ than the average Democrat. That for every overpowered study finding superior liberal open-mindedness and intellect and knowledge, there is one to suggest that Republicans have the better of these qualities.

Most damning, perhaps, to the fancy liberal self-conception: Republicans score higher in susceptibility to persuasion. They are willing to change their minds more often.

The Republican coalition tends toward the center: educated enough, smart enough, informed enough.

Emmett Rensin
Deputy First Person editor at Vox
April 21, 2016
The smug style in American liberalism
[This is from Vox!

H/T Kevin Baker.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

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]

Quote of the day—Tyler Durden

King Obama sees political trends he doesn’t like, knows that Congress can’t do anything about it because the public doesn’t want it to, so he does it by himself by executive decree.

Tyler Durden
January 9, 2016
Americans’ Positive Perception Of NRA Soars As Obama Escalates Gun-Control Agenda
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

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—Grimaldi and Ballhaus

All told, the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates have collected donations and pledges from all sources of more than $1.6 billion, according to their tax returns.

James V. Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus
February 19, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s Complex Corporate Ties
[Via President Killary and Hillary Clinton Exposed Part 1 – How She Aggressively Lobbied for Mega Corporations as Secretary of State.

$21.6 million in “speaking fees” from from Goldman-Sachs, and other Wall Street firms and special interest groups during 2013-2015. As well as over a billion and a half dollars in corporate donations to her foundation. That explains how she “reflects common people’s concerns and problems” and yet I’ve been told I can’t possibly relate to other people because I’m a privileged white male.

I’m glad I finally have that figured out.—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—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—Carry Sword in France

Because-as society evolves, governments can no longer deal effectively with violence ever-present in our streets. Because-all citizens should have the right to defend itself, to ensure its security when the forces of order are absent or impotent. We French of all backgrounds, faiths and political tendencies united in this petition are asking the legitimate right to carry a firearm.

Carry Sword in France.
We ask the government to order the establishment of a decree authorizing all citizens to be entitled to carry a firearm in France

[I’m not sure about the organization, the date, and the translation in general, but the sentiment is fairly clear.

As Paul Koning said, “If that petition succeeds, the French will have a concealed carry system about as friendly as that of California. I suppose it’s a start.”

H/T to Andrew Benghazi.—Joe]