Quote of the day—Richard Feldman

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

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

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

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

Quote of the day—Josh Barro ‏@jbarro

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

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

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

Departing Seattle

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

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Quote of the day—Chelsea Karthauser

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

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

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

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

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Thanks Chelsea.—Joe]

Use the known cure, not security theater

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the day—Asbury Park Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m skeptical of computer overlords

This is an interesting idea:

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

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

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

Quote of the day—Margaret Hamilton

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

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

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

Thanks Roberta.—Joe]

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—Rob Perkins

If you don’t have explicit material displayed full-screen on your monitor, that’s how we know you’re not working.

Rob Perkins
May 12, 2016
Psssst: This Website Is Guaranteed to Make You Better at Sex
[Hmmm… Helping more women have more orgasms. And here I thought my current job was just about as good as it gets.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Basepaul Season @paulbensonsucks

@SPQRzilla @TL671 @JoeHuffman @GunFreeZone president Hillary will ban guns and well finally be free of white terrorists.

Basepaul Season @paulbensonsucks
Tweeted on April 13, 2016
[This is what they think of you. And this is how they think things will go down in such a scenario.

Delusions are often functional.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Mark Kelly

More people in Washington die each year from gun shot wounds than in automobile accidents. And 30 percent of them are kids … All of them were robbed — robbed of the chance to grow up.

Mark Kelly
May 11, 2016
Wounded ex-member of Congress appeals for new Washington gun safety law
[H/T to Andrew Benghazi.

Washington State reports that in 2013 (most recent year with data), firearms were involved in 10 deaths by accident, 476 by suicide, and 114 by homicide (total of 600). Motor vehicle accidents, including pedestrians, motorcycles, etc. accounted for 412 deaths.

So in order for the first sentence to be true Kelly had to include suicides. And what “gun safety law” does he think will reduce suicides? He knows better than to claim such a thing exists and doesn’t make such a claim. He implies his proposed law does this in order to further his cause. This is a deliberate deception.

The 30 percent number is a blatant lie. If you assume “kids” includes ages 0 to 17 there were three unintentional deaths, five suicides, and four homicides for a total of 12 firearms related deaths. If you include up to ages 19 (not really “kids”) you can add another 22 for a total of 34. Which, of course, still doesn’t add up to 30 percent of the number of deaths.

He claims they are set on “doing this in a way that does not infringe on the rights of gun owners.” But as Benghazi points out the proposed law is all about confiscating firearms. And Brian Judy (NRA) and Alan Gottlieb (SAF) both point out the proposed confiscation is without due process. So we have here still another lie.

Deception and blatant lies. It’s the best they have to offer. It is an integral part of the anti-gun culture.—Joe]