Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Well... Sh*t

I guess the Supreme Court simply doesn't want to hear second amendment cases, for better or worse. Having lived in California (and recently) I can say that this is distressing. Depending on where you live in CA, getting a concealed carry permit can be as easy as any shall issue state, or the next best thing to impossible. Given that California bans open carry, many residents of California are facing a de facto ban on bearing arms, a clear infringement of the second amendment. I fully endorse the dissent voiced by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, who called the decision "indefensible".

EDIT: And I thought that they were doing, a perhaps not great job, but an acceptable one. This is rather disappointing, especially since the court still has the same number of conservatives, liberals, and swing votes as it did for the McDonald and Heller decisions.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Well, It's a Start

Today the Supreme Court denied an appeal concerning non-violent misdemeanor offenses and gun rights, letting a lower courts decision stand. This makes it so that you can't be denied your gun rights for a non-violent misdemeanor. I don't support having any misdemeanor turn someone into a prohibited person - if a person's crime is so bad that they shouldn't be allowed to own firearms, it should be a felony - and I'm ambivalent about prohibiting felons, particularly non-violent felons, for a variety of reasons, ranging from the massive number of felony laws on the book, so many in fact, that no one even knows how many there are, let alone how to avoid committing one, to the fact that a reformed felon is just as prohibited as an unrepentant felon, and the unrepentant one won't have any issues with using the black market or other illegal means (i.e. theft) to obtain a firearm.

So the fact that the crimes that can lead to becoming a prohibited person have been significantly reduced makes me more than a little happy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

US in no condition to Lecture Communist Cuba on human rights?

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA... Oh wait... They're actually serious. Whatever the US's problems (and we have a few) the communist shithole of Cuba is not a state in any position to criticize us. Not to mention that most of their criticisms are complete bullshit:
"We have deep concerns by the respect and the guaranties of the human rights in that country, where there is a large number of cases of murder, brutality and police abuse, particularly against the African Americans; the right to live is violated as a result of deaths by firearms," the statement read.
It went on to list a litany of concerns: racial discrimination, salary inequality between genders, the marginalization of immigrants and refugees from Islamic and other countries, Trump's proposed wall on the southern border, his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, the imprisonment of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, the killing of US and foreign citizens in drone attacks, the preface for and conduct of the wars in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, and estimates that the Republican health care bill would cause 23 million people to lose medical insurance.
Yeah...
  1. It's not unheard of for cops to be complete shitbags. However, it's also uncommon, and unless they get protected by their department and/or attorney general they'll face the consequences for it, and when they do get protection of that sort, it sets of a lot of bad press. It's also worth noting that the levels of corruption among US cops are quite a bit lower than most of the rest of the world. Casual bribery of cops is a part of life in most of the world, but not in the US.
  2. Right to live violated as a result of deaths by firearms? I hate to break it, but taking away guns doesn't get rid of violence and murder. It often makes the violence worse.
  3. Racial discrimination? There are race issues, but they generally get blown out of proportion.
  4. Salary inequality is a nonissue. The causes of it are as follows; many women take significant time off to have children, delaying their careers, and resulting in lower average salaries. Amplifying the problem is that women tend to pick lower paying (in fact, often worthless) degrees. It has nothing to do with sexism.
  5. Marginalization of refugees? Trump says some stupid shit. That doesn't mean that his rhetoric is entirely unjustified. The countries on his travel ban are all failed states without the ability to vet their passports, and with heavy terrorist influences in country. Illegal immigration is a major issue.
  6. The Paris climate accord is a scam to steal money from poor and middle class people in rich countries, and give it to rich people in poor countries.
  7. Killing US citizens with drones? Yeah that's an issue both legal and moral, if it's done on purpose. And if they're not acting as part of a terrorist group. Killing non-US citizens? If they're not terrorists, and it's done on purpose, again it's a moral issue (but not really a legal issue, since our government shouldn't have too much obligation to foreign nationals.
  8. I'm not going to go all over the Iraq and Afghan wars right now. I don't really have the time to do it justice, and I want to go to bed sometime. Suffice to say, we had our reasons. And they were good, even if we messed up the execution.
  9. Health care? Our system of healthcare works. In fact, the more government has gotten involved in it, the less well it's worked. Moreover, if you want to see what US government ran healthcare would look like, check out the VA. Yeah, all those people with socialized healthcare? They've basically got the VA, but for everyone. 
Cuba, if your country works so great, why were there ever balseros? Why was the "Wet feet, dry feet" policy such a big deal? Stop moralizing.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

So, when exactly did you get turned into a Eunuch?

Apparently it's a requirement that British men get their balls cut off.
Who knew.
I mean, who knew that lock-back knives were scary? Or that a (max) 3-inch knife was "girthy-as-fuck". The only reason I can think of for someone to hold those opinions it a lack of balls.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

On Trump and Russia.

For the record (and as is fairly evident from reading past posts) I'm not a terribly big fan of Donald Trump. As far as I'm concerned, he was the third worst option last election cycle, running against the worst option.
Based off of his past views as expressed in his (mostly former at this point) associations and written words, he is one of three things:
  1. Newly conservative, at a time when most people are quite settled in their ways, and having been a Democrat for the majority of his life
  2. A liberal pretending to be a republican (based off of his actions since becoming president, this one is now the least likely scenario, unless he's playing a far deeper game than any US politician has played in decades).
  3. A populist with no truly personal political views. I favor this theory, because he's changed political affiliations a total of seven times over the course of his life.
Whatever the case may be, the fact that he's turned out to not be Hillary Clinton with better taste in clothes is not a ringing endorsement.

With that in mind, I have a few things to say to liberals when it comes to Trump.
  • This is your fault just as much as it is the conservatives. Trump won the primary, not despite the bad press, but because of it. When you turned Mitt Romney, perhaps the squishiest and most liberal Republican in the party, into the next thing to Hitler, and earlier, John McCain, who is probably the biggest swing vote in the Senate, into the reincarnation of Goebbels, you destroyed your credibility. So when Trump came along, and he actually was an asshole, no one believed you, and a significant portion of the electorate voted for him BECAUSE you said he was an asshole. Then you compounded the issue by running Hillary Clinton against him. You picked the one candidate capable of getting libertarians of any stripe to vote for Trump. You could have ran Jim Webb, who probably could have stolen a good chunk of conservatives from Trump. You could have ran Bernie Sanders, who despite being a batshit crazy socialist could've drawn a significant number of new voters, and basically all current leftist voters. Instead, you ran the absolute worst candidate you could've ran, one who alienated not just conservatives, but a good chunk of middle, and who failed to draw in any new voters to make up for the way she alienated the more conservative portion of the middle.
  • Remember the birther controversy? A lot of your recent ideas about getting rid of Trump are just as foolish. The whole "Russia" debacle? Not doing you any favors. If you don't have the conclusive ability to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, you probably shouldn't be making a big deal out of it. Otherwise, just like the birthers, when you can't prove it, you look completely retarded and help out your opposition.
  • Even should you manage to oust Trump, you'll get Mike Pence. You don't want Mike Pence. Hillary doesn't even get another shot until 2020, at which point in time you should probably pick another candidate. You're not getting any other democrat, because you'd need to impeach and remove from office 5 people before you got to someone who isn't a Republican. And, not only is he not a democrat, I doubt that you'd enjoy President "Mad Dog" Mattis. This assumes of course that you impeach people faster than replacements can be nominated, which is itself extremely unlikely.
That's it for now. Enjoy your free advice.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Well...

Trump hasn't been as bad as I feared he might be. I'd still rather have Ted Cruz or even Gary Johnson as president, but Trump has managed to meet the standard for "mediocre", not a standard I ever thought he'd reach. Of course, mediocre isn't exactly a desirable state of affairs, but he's at least managed to avoid being Hillary Clinton with a comb over. Of course some people would probably prefer him that way.

If somehow they choose to run Hillary Clinton again in 2020, I'll probably die of laughter. Clinton was perhaps the only possible presidential choice that he could have won against initially, and so long as he fulfills a few campaign promises and manages to refrain from putting anyone into death camps, he'll have a solid advantage against Hillary in 2020.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Week and a Half

That's how long it is until election day. I already voted for Johnson. I fully expect several of my family members to give me grief about that choice, but when it comes down to it, even if my vote is the tiebreaker that gives Hillary the nomination, I'll  have no regrets.

Donald Trump is, at best, a populist with no real values of his own, changing to match the winds of popular opinion. At worst, he's a democrat in republican's clothing, seeking to undermine the opposition from within. Either way, he's a shitty choice for president, made semi-palatable only by the fact that the other major option is Hillary Clinton, and the possibility that he's actually changed his colors.

Honestly, If you don't want tyranny, don't vote for either of them. Hillary definitely WILL increase the oppressive scope and power of the federal government. Trump is a gamble, a bet that he's actually become semi-conservative and won't be Hillary with better taste in clothing, or a populist president who introduces us to "Tyranny of the Majority".

While I disagree heavily with some of Johnson's views, he's not a tinpot dictator waiting to happen, nor is he a populist demagogue who'll fuck us over with the "tyranny of the majority". He has a record and established values. They're not perfect, nor are they even optimal, but he's not someone I'm worried about. The other two? I don't gamble, nor am I willing to just give over my freedom.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Incompetent or Dishonest- Pick One

Well, this is an infuriating gem.

Money Quote:
In one note from the documents, the FBI writes that Clinton said she did not know what the marking (C) — used to denote classified information deemed "confidential" — meant. When presented with an email chain using the (C) mark, Clinton "speculated it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order," according to the report.
Everyone who handles classified information - that would be most of the military and a fair percentage of the Federal workforce - receives training on how to recognize classified material. The lowliest Seaman/Private/Airman is expected to know how this as part of their job. For Clinton, a woman who is a former First Lady, a former US Senator, and who was, at the time the Secretary of State, this is either inexcusable incompetence or blatantly dishonest. Dealing with classified information correctly is one of the BASIC job requirements of being SECSTATE, and something that she should have known how to do from her time as a Senator, and have gotten exposure to during her time as First Lady. This is roughly equivalent to your electrician not knowing that what DC and AC stand for.
Either she's too incompetent to be a good president, or too dishonest. Pick one, because there is no third option for her.

Friday, June 24, 2016

What do I have against the European Union?

Why do I think that Brexit is such a good thing? Here's why.
  1. The EU has a horrible policy concerning the Syrian refugee crisis, and they've shown no compunctions about trying to force that policy down the throats of their member nations.
  2. Many member nations of the EU have a tendency to rely upon the rest of the EU and their NATO allies for military protection. With the resurgent Russia, the rise of China as a world power, the continued activity of major Islamic terror groups, and the proof that the major republican and democratic world powers can't be depended upon past the next election, it is crucial that individual nations be tough enough to deter attack, or failing that, give any invader a bloody enough nose to retain most, if not all, of their territory and sovereignty. 
  3. The EU's laws, rules, and regulations don't come from it's elected parliament, but rather the European Commission, appointed officials who swear an oath to the European Court of Justice. And there are a metric shit ton of regulations
Those are just a few of the reasons why I'm not a big fan of the EU. There are more of course, but if I went in depth, I'd be here all day, and I've got better things to do.

Fuck Tranzis - My take on "Brexit"

Great Britain just voted to leave the EU. Good for them. They've stood up for their national sovereignty, and given the Tranzis in Europe a bloody nose. The EU may continue for a while, but with the precedent set by this, and the shenanigans that the EU and some of it's member nations engage in, it is unlikely to continue for much longer. Just as the League of Nations could not survive long without the US, so to is it unlikely that the EU will be able to continue for long without Great Britain.
Britain was the second largest economy in the EU (both nominal and PPP) and has a significantly larger defense budget than France or Germany, the now second and first largest economies in the EU. In fact, Britain is one of only four countries in NATO that come close to matching their defense spending pledges - the others being the US, Poland, and Estonia.
The loss of such a large economy and military has profound implications for the EU. British funds will no longer pay for EU boondoggles. British troops and nuclear deterrent are now allied assets, only willing to help if someone else starts the war.
Great Britain has freed themselves of a parasite.