Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why Gun Control is Doomed to Failure

I leave the paranoid ranting to the other twin. I'm just going to tell you why gun control will be stupider than the old Prohibition and the new War on Drugs.
Alcohol and drugs are both consumables. Firearms aren't - and there are already over 300,000,000 of them in country. Those firearms aren't going to be drank or snorted, they can be used multiple times, and the only limitation is ammunition (which is consumable, but easily obtained, and still would be, under an absolute ban).
Should we want more firearms, assuming a total gun ban and a willingness to break the law on the part of the citizen, there are two options - smuggle guns in, pretty much the same way that drugs are now, and that alcohol was during the prohibition, or make them ourselves. The most primitive of early firearms, the hand cannon, dates from the 1300s (although firearms didn't become a major military weapon until much later). One of the simplest modern firearms, the AK-47, has eight moving parts, and its original variant is capable of fully automatic fire. Given the modern tools that are available to everyone producing a firearm shouldn't be too hard. In fact, there's more than one manual for making firearms on your own, perhaps in your garage (if you have one). Given this, a complete ban on guns is laughable, even stupid, and doomed to failure.

Monday, December 17, 2012

On the Sandy Hook Shooter (expanding upon previous post)

The mentality of the attacker was:
  1. Loner
  2. Geek
This is very similar to other mass shooters.

Should we execute all loners and geeks, just to be on the safe side?

Or just imprison them like the Japanese during WWII or the Jews during the Holocaust?

But, if we execute the loners and the geeks, then we lose something.

Something precious, our innovation, our innovators, and the future. Should we kill the future engineers and scientists that will create new computer hardware, new cars, new houses?

Massacre at Sandy Hook

The attacker did not have his weapons legally. Let's get that out there. He murdered his mother with her own guns, which he then took to kill a bunch of elementary school children who could not shoot back (schools are gun free zones, last I checked).

Laws cannot and will not deter criminals, while over-broad gun control legislation will force some groups to sue based off of the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution.

Criminals do not,  by definition, care about laws. There are some things that most criminals will not do, but that does not include theft, smuggling, etc.

Criminals, therefore, will have access to guns so long as guns are made. There will always be third parties willing to smuggle guns into the US in order to make a profit.

Smuggling is already illegal.

Murdering someone is already illegal.

Owning a weapon is not illegal. There is a reason for this. Guns don't murder people. People murder people, sometimes with guns, sometimes with baseball bats.

Yet no one wants to make baseball bats illegal (except on planes).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Communications Security

From CNN:
Google: 'Government surveillance is on the rise'

In 90% of all requests by the government to access a personal email account Google agreed.
This is why it's a good idea to encrypt your emails. I can't do it universally, due to not everyone whom I email having encryption software (or in some cases not knowing how to use the encryption software that others installed for them), but I can do it for those with whom I most want to keep a secure email link.

The government can almost certainly "brute-force" its way past an encryption with ease, but it does prevent them, or anyone else, be they criminals, or even even the email provider, from casually reading your emails, absent an unknown security exploit.

My personal suggestion is GPG (link is for the windows version).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

OS Comparison: Part 5, Gaming

The game I used are Minecraft.

The game is cross-platform (as in, it runs in both Windows and Linux).

Minecraft's F3 button reporting of FPS will be used

The games will be the only additional software running on the system when I make the measurements. The measurements will occur after the game has rendered the game-space.

Gentoo: 30-40
Fedora 18: 30-40
Ubuntu 12.10: 30-40
Windows 7: 15-25
Windows 8: Not yet tested

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

US Elections

Prediction: By the end of this week, people will be calling shenanigans in the polls.

They will use one of several (interesting) points, one of which is how each swing state voted.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

OS Comparison: Part 4, Updates

This is a highly variable test: Results may vary.
Steps to Reproduce: Install the operating system, then run its update manager (if it has one).

Gentoo: As this system compiles all software from source, it loses handily (it takes 2-3 hours to update Firefox/Thunderbird, most of it compiling the software). It can take longer than three hours, but that is rare.
Fedora 18: ~15 minutes
Ubuntu 12.10: ~15 minutes
Windows 7: 3 hours (the reboot process added considerably to this process)
Windows 8: N/A (but not expected to be all that long -- yet).

Fedora and Ubuntu take this one away, since they both do not compile all of their binaries from source on the machine they are to be installed on, which Gentoo does. They are both internet-speed related times, hence the ~. Times will vary, based off of internet connections.

Windows 8 cannot be judged yet, as it is not yet available to me.

Windows 7 comes in third, in part due to the length of time it spent configuring updates.

It is important to note that this is somewhat of an apples-to-oranges comparison: Windows only updates the core system files whereas Gentoo/Fedora/Ubuntu update all of the software on a computer.

In update ease of use, Fedora and Ubuntu come in a dead heat (one command, "sudo yum update -y" or "sudo apt-get upgrade -y" although Ubuntu does need an additional command to update the repository information.

Gentoo is slightly more difficult, in that some software cannot be installed at the same time due to conflicts (and the update process will find those, even if they were successfully installed), and it can take awhile to start the update as well.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 will not update non-OS software (although Windows 8 will update software through the Microsoft Store, which most applications are not in).

Therefore if ease of update or update times are important to you, do not use Gentoo, Windows 7, or Windows 8. Again, Windows shouldn't be used in this case becuase every piece of software has to be updated individually whereas Gentoo/Fedora/Ubuntu update all installed software automatically. Gentoo should not be used becuase it takes a long time to compile the binaries for the updates.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hyphenated Americans

There is no such thing as an African-American, Antartican-American, Asian-American, Australian-American, or European-American.

There are only Americans and non-Americans.

What does African-American mean? Does it mean that he/she has citizenship in an African country and an American country? Or does it mean that they are descended from both Africans and Americans?

How about Asian-Americans, or English-Americans?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On Political and Religious Discussion...

Or any sort of controversial subject. There are two types of people whom it is a waste of time to have these sorts of conversations with. Those whom you agree completely with - you spend half a day saying "yeah, that's right" to one another and get nothing done. The other is those whom you completely disagree with on everything related to the subject of the conversation, as you will spend hours explaining that the sky is blue, and they will hear "The sky is purple", and they'll do the same thing to you.
The best type of person to have these conversations with is someone whom you disagree with on some issues, but agree with on others. Even if neither of you changes your mind, you'll have both given the other some food for though.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

OS Comparison: Part 3, Power off times

Measurements: Upon hitting the Shutdown button (Windows) or typing in "sudo poweroff" (Gentoo/Fedora/Ubunt), I hit start on the stop watch.
 When the system is totally powered off, I hit the stop button on the stop watch.

Margin of error: 1 second, either way (but more likely higher than lower).

Gentoo: 8 seconds
Fedora 18: 11 seconds
Ubuntu 12.10: 12 seconds
Windows 7: 22 seconds
Windows 8: N/A (Not available for me, yet)

Gentoo wins the shutdown race. This is probably due to the fact that it only runs what I need it to run, whereas Fedora and Ubuntu come with various error reporting tools (that may not be what adds 3-4 seconds).

Fedora and Ubuntu are tied, as 1 second is my error margin.

Windows 7 comes in last, at 22 seconds. This may be due to the "drivers" and "software" that were installed by the Fujitsu DeskUpdate tool, but that does get me close(r) to the OEM state.

Windows 8 is unknown, as I do not have access to the RTM version yet (maybe my school will upload it to their network software servers soonish?).

Just an FYI, my university is breaking any agreements (that I know of) when they upload Windows installation media to their servers, as they make every student purchase an Undergraduate bundle which includes access to the "latest" Microsoft software (specifically Office and Windows).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Why I hate the UN

The UN is a hotbed of despotism, anti-semitism, cronyism, and deception.
The UN Human Rights council includes Cuba, China, many other countries where human rights are a low priority, and until recently, Libya.  This Council has recommended a boycott on American companies that do business in Israel and the areas of "Palestine" that Israel occupies.

Their officials decry our free speech, speak out against one of our candidates, and send election observers here - some of whom come from countries where Stalin's famous quote "Its not those who vote who count, but those who count the votes" is the reality.

The UN is not our friend or ally. They are not an institution which believes in human freedom. At the beginning the UN included the Soviet Union as a permanent member of the security council, with full veto power. While the US is also a permanent member of the security council, and thus enjoys that same veto power, it must be realized that whatever the UN did before the fall of the USSR had to meet the approval of the Soviet Politburo, or they would veto it. Communist China, the People's Republic of China, is also a permanent member of the UN security council. The USSR is gone, but the PRC remains. We must not allow the UN to push us around. Let us stop funding the UN and begin to use our own veto power too prevent it from doing anything harmful to our republic, just as the Soviets once did, and the Communist Chinese still do.
Why don't we take the money that we send to the UN, which fails more than it succeeds at keeping the peace (As the Tutsi can attest) and give it to our military, which actually does something useful - protecting us from those who would take our freedom. Let us stop caring what the "International Community" thinks about our candidates for higher office. Romney and Obama aren't running for President of the World. They're running for President of the US, and the freedom, safety, and prosperity (in that order) of their constituency should be all they care about.

U.N. Official Warns: Electing Mitt Romney Means ‘Democratic Mandate for Torture’

Monday, October 22, 2012

OS Comparison: Part 2, Startup Times

I have three separate Linux operating systems and Windows 7 installed on my computer.

But I have always wanted to know, which is the fastest to start up?
Is it Gentoo? Windows? Fedora? Or Ubuntu?

I took a stopwatch to find out (and used built-in methods where possible).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

OS Comparison: Part 1

I use Linux.
I use Linux every day -- I try to avoid Microsoft Windows, believe it or not.
But, there is always that one application that prevents me from leaving Windows forever. On the other hand, I managed to do quite well without Windows for 8 months.
Today, I installed Windows. And let me tell you, it was an adventure.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Birthday

To the World's Greatest Navy: Happy Birthday

May she continue to dominate the seas for many years to come.

Deadliness of Cars vs. Deadliness of Guns (repost with sources)

A theoretical one metric ton (2679.23 lbs, about 320 pounds lighter than my Chevy S10) vehicle traveling at ten meters a second (about 22 mph) has 50,000 joules of energy. I’ll admit that I used this theoretical vehicle because I wanted a nice round number.
A 180 grain 30-06 rifle (Hornady 30-06 Springfield 180 gr. InterLock® SP) bullet traveling at 822.96 mps (2700 feet per second) has 3948.44 joules of energy.
A 240 grain 44. Magnum (Black Hills Ammunition, 44 Magnum 240 gr. JHP) pistol bullet traveling at 384.05 mps (1260 fps) has 1146.77 joules of energy.
Why then, can I buy and drive a car at 16, but have to wait until I turn 18 to buy a rifle, and until I turn 21 to buy a pistol?
For those who wish to quote death statistics, I’ve got a few from the CDC.
According to CDC’s WISQARS site, unintentional motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of accidental death in 2009 with 34,485 deaths, while firearms are the number 16 cause of accidental death with 554 fatalities.
Even with firearm suicides (18,735) and homicides (11,493) added to the firearm accidents, the total comes to 30,785, 3700 less than car accidents alone. No matter how you look at it, firearms are less deadly than cars.

Al Qaeda Wants Holy War over Free Speech

I've just read the same article, on Fox News, and CBS about Al Qaeda's reaction to "demonstrators" killing three members of the State Department in Benghazi.
Here is my proposal for handling future embassy problems:

  1. In the event that "demonstrators", storm any US embassy - official or not - and kill the ambassador and staff we respond by completely destroying the city through saturation bombing.
  2. In the event that a US embassy is held hostage, all traffic in and out of the city will be cut off by US air power, and the US will drop one MOAB or TLAM-D on the city for every American or allied hostage killed.
  3. Should a nation's regular armed forces storm a US embassy, the US will saturation bomb the capital of said nation, in addition to performing a campaign of extermination against that nation's leadership.
A little draconian you say? Mean? Destructive?
Its better than  following Genghis Khan's example and destroying entire countries/empires in order to make the point that messing with ambassadors is a bad idea.

What about this proposed holy war on our free speech? Is that draconian? Mean? Destructive?
We face enemies who are ruthless, cruel, and who don't give a sh*t about any laws, especially the laws of war.

Personally, I'm waiting to see how the radical Muslim community reacts to this.

Update: Fox News has added some has added some significant information and commentary of its own to the original AP article that they posted. CBS' version is still unchanged.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


From CBS News:
Maine drivers warned of zombie danger

A construction sign got changed by somebody to read "Warning Zombies Ahead!"
Is it wrong of me to think that this is really cool?

City spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said the signs are a safety precaution and changing it could have led to driver distraction.

She told The Portland Press Herald that tampering with a safety device is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I'm pretty certain that a sign about zombies is a thousand times cooler than "Night work 8 pm-6 am. Expect delays." At least the zombie sign would allow me to enjoy the delay.

Monday, October 8, 2012

You're doing it Wrong...

Let us have a thought exercise shall we?
Imagine that you live in a place with no law enforcement with your family
Imagine that your family has some major problems. Imagine that your next door neighbor might be inclined to intervene if things get too bad. Imagine that the next door neighbor is a Black Belt in a serious combat oriented martial art. Pretend that rather than telling him to stay out of your business, you beat up his daughter in front of him to send the message.

That's essentially what's going on between Syria and Turkey.

From Fox News:
Syria's cross-border salvos send a message to Turkey, West to keep away

Syria's cross-border attacks on Turkey in the past week look increasingly like they could be an intentional escalation meant to send a clear message to Ankara and beyond, that the crisis is simply too explosive to risk foreign military intervention.
With Turkey eager to defuse the crisis, the spillover of fighting is giving new life to a longshot political solution, with the Turks floating the idea of making President Bashar Assad's longtime vice president, Farouk al-Sharaa, interim leader if the president steps aside.
The most recent flare-up between Syria and Turkey started Wednesday, when a shell fired from Syria slammed into a house in the Turkish border village of Akcakale, killing two women and three children. That set off the most serious and prolonged eruption of violence along the frontier since the uprising began nearly 19 months ago.
Although it was not clear whether Wednesday's shelling was intentional, Turkey responded swiftly by firing back and convening parliament for a vote that authorized further cross-border military operations if necessary.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cautioned Damascus not to test Turkey's "limits and determination." But the Syrian shelling has continued every day — leading many observers to conclude the acts are intentional provocation.
"It's not an accident. You can't send shells across the border by mistake five days in a row," said Mustafa Alani, a Middle East analyst of the Geneva-based Gulf Research Center, just hours before Syrian shelling struck Turkey for a sixth day.
According to Alani, escalating the crisis serves as a reminder to NATO, Turkey and the West that Syria's civil war can inflame the region with lightning speed. The threat of a spillover is likely to pressure Western powers into drafting a political solution, part of which could involve Assad's exit from power, rather than his being toppled by force.

The apparent "logic" behind the attacks is that Turkey doesn't want a war. Just because they don't want a war doesn't mean that they won't start one to protect their citizens. Just because the hypothetical Black Belt neighbor doesn't want to kill anyone won't prevent him from kill you if you start beating up on his daughter right in front of him.

We'll see how Turkey responds to this, but if given the Syrian response to their attempts to resolve this peacefully, this is looking like it could flare into a real war.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi scoffed at Davutoglu's proposal, saying it reflects "obvious political and diplomatic confusion and blundering."
"Turkey isn't the Ottoman Sultanate; the Turkish Foreign Ministry doesn't name custodians in Damascus, Mecca, Cairo and Jerusalem," al-Zoubi said Monday.
al-Zoubi should count himself lucky that he isn't dealing with the Ottoman Empire - the only person who outmatched them for ruthlessness during their time was Vlad the Impaler of Wallachia - because they'd probably find something creative to do with him and the government he represents. As it is, if the modern Turks decide to go to war, they'll probably settle for a 5.56 mm hemorrhage.

It is not those Who Vote...

It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.
Joseph Stalin

Many Venezuelans living here in the US - mostly in Florida - are shocked about Chavez' win, some of them claiming that Chavez engaged in a little creative vote counting. Given Chavez' choice of ideology such actions shouldn't be unexpected. Chavez has created a cult of personality in his goal to create a socialist system in Venezuela. I don't see this ending well for anyone, especially not the Venezuelan people.


Privatization of the Space Race

From CBS News:
SpaceX Dragon capsule blasts off for space station

An unmanned cargo ship loaded with spare parts, science equipment and crew supplies -- including ice cream treats -- rocketed into orbit Sunday and set off after the International Space Station, kicking off a new era of commercial resupply flights intended to restore a U.S. supply chain that was crippled by the shuttle's retirement.
The Dragon capsule and its Falcon 9 rocket, both built by Space Exploration Technologies, roared to life with a rush of fiery exhaust at 8:35:07 p.m. EDT, quickly climbing away from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Making its first operational flight under a $1.6 billion NASA contract, the 157-foot-tall Falcon 9 arced away on a northeasterly trajectory paralleling the East Coast of the United States, putting on a spectacular evening sky show for area residents and tourists.

Unlike Russian, European and Japanese cargo craft that routinely visit the station, the SpaceX Dragon capsule was designed to make round trips to and from the lab complex, giving it the ability to bring major components and experiment samples back to Earth for the first time since shuttles stopped flying last year.

 Its nice to see that America is back in space - and that our capabilities go further than those of other space capable nations. Its even nicer to see private companies doing the job. Setbacks to NASA's space abilities are no longer as serious - because there are others in America with their own space abilities. I'd suggest reading the entire article, because this is an important and interesting subject.

The Air Force and FLA (Funny Looking Aircraft)

The Air Force has a history of FLAs, from the F-117 to the B-2. Now Fox News has an article about declassified plans for Air Force aircraft that looks like a flying saucer. I've always figured that any actual "UFO" sightings in the US were really prototypes of various military aircraft being tested. I doubt that these "Flying saucers" were ever built, but this article just reinforces my belief that most UFO sightings are hoaxes or test aircraft. This doesn't mean that Aliens aren't out there (for a serious, well thought out discussion of Aliens and possible invasion may I suggest Alien Invasion by Travis S. Taylor and Bob Boan), but I don't think they've made contact... yet.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Conflict Throughout the World

From Fox News:
Panetta warns clashes between Syria and Turkey may escalate

The continued exchange of artillery fire between Syria and Turkey raises additional concerns that the conflict may escalate and spread to neighboring countries, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Saturday.
Panetta said the U.S. is using its diplomatic channels to relay worries about the fighting in the hopes that it will not broaden.
His comments came on the heels of warnings from Turkey's prime minister that his country is not far from war with Syria.

I have no idea why Syria is antagonizing Turkey. According to Wikipedia (admittedly not the most reliable source in the world) Turkey's active duty personnel outnumber Syria's active duty and reserve formations together, in addition to the fact that Turkey spends almost ten times as much on its military.
It seems to me that antagonizing someone who can kick your ass, especially when you don't have much in the way of friends, is more than a little stupid.

The Fox News article continued on to discuss Iran and the economic sanctions that are damaging its economy - sanctions which exist because of other countries' not unreasonable feelings that Iran with a nuclear weapon would make a bad neighbor.

There was more in the article, mostly concerning negotiations with Peru, but still somewhat interesting reading.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

We Have Moved to a New Domain!

Our new domain is

Change your bookmarks. All new content will be posted there.

Also, don't DDOS the server.

EDIT: We will be redirecting from the old URL.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gabe Newell and Windows 8

Gabe Newell's problem with Windows 8 and its Metro store are twofold.
First, it directly competes with Steam.
Second, it comes bundled with Windows.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Constitutional Amendment Explanation

This is my attempt to explain what the goal of each point in my proposal is.
We start by looking at the beginning and finishing at the end.

The original text is non-italic while my comments are in italic.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is no longer actively developed by the Mozilla Corporation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Some treaties are so bad, that it would be almost impossible to get out of them. So how do you get out of them (if they are ratified in the future)?
With an amendment that makes it possible to get out of any treaty no matter what, that's how.
Anyway, on to what I would like to see in an amendment to the constitution (I even made it readable, I hope).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fedora 17 and Windows 8

A few months ago, I decided to put Fedora 17 on my computer.

Unfortunately, it wanted the disk to be GPT partitioned (I don't know why, so don't ask). With Fedora 16, when I had tried to have GPT partitions with that, it failed and would not boot. In retrospect, I think it may have been because I didn't have a partition for the EFI stuff.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare

Our boastful and arrogant president has gotten himself in a real pickle. In 2008, when President Obama was elected, he ran on the premise of no new taxes on the middle-class and poor along with the promise of health-care reform. He managed to get his health-care reform done, but recently it has only been upheld under the ability of the government to tax. In other words, the "penalty" is now legally a "tax." It is kind of like having a jug of milk and a bottle of juice, and calling both milk. A penalty is not a tax, as juice is not milk. (Whether the structure of this “tax” even actually conforms with the economic definition of “tax” is another question.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

GPG on Windows

This post is for people who are wondering why I have an unreadable block of text in most of my messages.

Also, as fair warning to everyone who may want to contact me later, starting on 7 July, 2012, I will no longer be reading emails that were not signed/encrypted with GPG/PGP. Unless they are from a very specific set of senders. Such as VT's email system for the online class systems (Scholar).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hate Crime and Moral Turpitute

I just read an article on Fox News that amazed and astounded me - and not in a good way. A Dharun Ravi purposely invaded the privacy of another man during a homosexual romantic encounter and could be deported. The victim committed suicide. Ravi apparently doesn't like gay people, making this a "hate crime". In order to be deported, the crime needs to have been a "a crime of moral turpitude or an aggravated felony"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Ex-Patriot Act"

Democratic Senators Chuck Shumer and Bob Casey have put forth a bill that would subject high earning emigrants to a nasty capital gains tax. What needs to happen is that the capital gains tax needs to be cut, so that entrepreneurs will be drawn to the US, rather than chased away from it.

Whining about Voter ID Laws

Democrats are whining about Voter ID laws. Really though, its their fault, with stuff like the ACORN scandals being linked to their party. With all that has happened to link their party to voter fraud, they are in the same position as a counterfeiter whining about new, harder to counterfeit, currency.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Privatization of the American Space Program

Another private company has plans on putting astronauts in orbit. This can only be good for the American Space Program.

Space veterans announce Liberty rocket, target 2015 launch

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Occutards vs. Tea Baggers: The Stupidity of Name-calling

I dislike any sort of name-calling in the political arena on general principal. The reasoning is simple. When a political opponent is referred to in a derogatory manner, the focus is taken off of the opponent's political ideals (the reason for opposing him/her/them in the first place). Referring to members of the Occupy movement as "Occutards" may be accurate, but it moves the focus onto their intelligence rather than their Marxist ideals or criminal behavior and it predisposes any mildly liberal or moderate person to ignore your points. Calling a Tea Partier a "Tea Bagger" (in addition to being inaccurate) has the same effect upon people of moderate or mildly conservative bents. In other words, derogatory terminology moves the focus off of your opponents philosophy and onto them and it turns off the people whom you are trying to convince.

Political name-calling also tends to show a severe lack of imagination. "Occutards", "Tea Baggers", "Nazi". Really the most overused of these is "Nazi". A few points of the National Socialist platform are:
  • Total confiscation of war profits
  • Profit-Sharing in large enterprises
  • Large scale old age pension schemes
  • Nationalization of major corporations
  • Education and Healthcare reform to increase the state's power
  • Duty of the state to provide employment
  • All with an overdose of nationalism.
The Nazi platform includes 25 points available for review here.
A brief skimming of the platform is all you need to see that calling any American elected official a Nazi is base libel. Socialist might fit some of them, Nationalist might fit others, but Nazi doesn't fit any that I know of.

I'm down off of my high horse. I had a run in with another student, who while generally smart, is politically blinkered, and has a bad habit of referring to Republicans as Nazis and Tea Partiers as "Tea Baggers".

The Slightly Eviler Twin Comes Home

Taylor comes home from college tomorrow. Evil abounds.

Note: The opinion upon which twin is eviler is just that - an opinion - and the other twin disagrees about which of us is the eviler.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mad Mike For World Dictator!

I'm going to vote for Michael Z. Williamson (aka Mad Mike) in 2012.

Here are my reasons:
His platform is basically a blood-fest of gratuitous violence against stupid people, and once the stupid people are all gone, he plans to abdicate to a, and I quote, "hot-looking redhead in leather and heels."

His efforts to kill all of the stupid people would lower unemployment, as he would need to hire people to run the wood-chippers. Also, those stupid people who are unemployed would be killed, and those stupid people with jobs would be killed, thus lowering the number of unemployed, and creating jobs for them.

At the end of his term, no one will want "Government Run Healthcare" because by then it will be synonymous with death.

There will be no gun control.

It will be entertaining.

One of his FAQs is "This seems like the work of some egomaniacal, gun toting sociopath."
His answer? "Thank You"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

People Eating Tasty Animals (Specifically Horses)

PETA is unhappy. Their attempts to stop the horse slaughtering industry in the US have met with failure. This is in part because when the slaughter was put to a stop, the horses were simply transported across the border, and then slaughtered. So now, the slaughter of horses for food is back.Congress is currently working on legislation to stop the slaughter, and prevent the simple expedient of transporting the horses across the border for slaughter.
All this raises a question: Do PETA and Congress want the smuggling of illegal horse meat to become a problem?

I wonder what horse meat tastes like...

Source: Fox News: Horse Slaughtering Resumes In US as Legislation Languishes in Congress

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why the UN Small Arms Treaty Sucks

The UN Small arms treaty is aimed at preventing or at least alleviating the problem of various terrorist, criminal, and insurgent groups getting their hands upon small arms, in order to help prevent crime and human rights violations. Or at least, that's what the UN would have you believe.

1. It won't work.
The UN is an international joke for several reasons. One of them is their complete inability to enforce anything without target country permission. Iran, "rogue state" is perhaps the best example of this. If a country doesn't want to enforce the provisions of the treaty, even if they've signed the treaty, the UN will be powerless.

2. This treaty isn't about preventing crime and human rights violations. If the UN actually cared about human rights, the People's Republic of China (PRC) wouldn't be on the UN's Human Rights Council. Keeping the terrorists and criminals from getting weapons would be wonderful, but this treaty is more likely to affect the very people whom it claims to help.

3. They talk of tracing the firearms back to their last legitimate owner, and "holding them accountable". The problem comes when the last legitimate owner was a government, or a citizen of a country that is not a signatory of the treaty, or that chooses to violate the treaty. Then the UN is stuck, impotent.

4. Tracing the firearms to the last legitimate owner would require gun registration, something that is seen as being a precursor to confiscation of firearms, and rightfully so, as the previous examples of Hitler and other totalitarian human rights violators have shown.

I'm not comparing the UN to the Nazis, as the UN doesn't fit that label (they fall under the label of "power-hungry kleptocrats", not "psychopathic sadistic bastards"), but whenever they say that they're doing something to prevent human rights violations, remember that their Human Rights Council includes the PRC, Cuba, and Djibouti, all "single party republics", which is another way of saying "totalitarian dictatorship". It also includes various other countries where human rights are not respected. This is why I consider it to be a sick joke whenever the UN references human rights.

Fox News: Proposed U.N. Treaty To Regulate Global Firearms Trade Raising Concerns For U.S. Gun Owners

Human Rights Council: Membership of the Human Rights Council

United Nations Disarmament: Small Arms and Light Weapons

Deadliness of Cars vs. Deadliness of Guns

A theoretical one metric ton (2679.23 lbs, about 320 pounds lighter than my Chevy S10) vehicle traveling at ten meters a second (about 22 mph) has 50,000 joules of energy. I’ll admit that I used this theoretical vehicle because I wanted a nice round number.
A 180 grain 30-06 rifle (Hornady 30-06 Springfield 180 gr. InterLock® SP) bullet traveling at 822.96 mps (2700 feet per second) has 3948.44 joules of energy.
A 240 grain 44. Magnum (Black Hills Ammunition, 44 Magnum 240 gr. JHP) pistol bullet traveling at 384.05 mps (1260 fps) has 1146.77 joules of energy.
Why then, can I buy and drive a car at 16, but have to wait until I turn 18 to buy a rifle, and until I turn 21 to buy a pistol?
For those who wish to quote death statistics, I’ve got a few from the CDC.
According to CDC’s WISQARS site, unintentional motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of accidental death in 2009 with 34,485 deaths, while firearms are the number 16 cause of accidental death with 554 fatalities.
Even with firearm suicides (18,735) and homicides (11,493) added to the firearm accidents, the total comes to 30,785, 3700 less than car accidents alone. No matter how you look at it, firearms are less deadly than cars.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


After considering the language in SOPA/PIPA (specifically SOPA, but PIPA is also a concern), I have decided that it would be a very bad law.

I'll start with a summary of what I have heard and read on the internet. First, if a site has user-generated content, it is at extreme risk. Second, if a site facilitates reaching a restricted site, it too becomes restricted. Third, SOPA/PIPA does not provide an easy method to fight back against the accuser.

Now for my thoughts. Tor, a service designed to help people behind the Great Chinese Firewall would be blocked in the U.S. It is a software designed expressly to get around firewalls and make the users anonymous en masse; you can tell if someone is using it BUT you cannot filter where they go OR tell where they go. Tor, in and of itself, is a very useful tool for whistle-blowers, journalists, and other people who want to remain anonymous when posting online (due to legal concerns or personal concerns). I will say this much about SOPA's hope of preventing access to Tor; look at China (PRC), have they blocked Tor completely?

Also, if the interpretation of this law becomes broad enough (or loose enough; look at the second amendment for example) then sites who have dealt with sites whose sole purpose is to get around firewall's/pirate content/etc. could find themselves at risk.

I'm going to take everyone's favorite (or least favorite) browser. Mozilla Firefox has a massive addon ecosystem with user generated content. So someone who did not like Mozilla or was competing with Mozilla could, conceivably, put copyrighted content in a user review of an addon, or upload an addon that enables others to get around DNS blocking/firewalls/etc., and then Mozilla Firefox is effectively out of business.

Sites that serve as places to upload reviews of products would also be hard hit, since instead of going through a legally arduous process to get a bad review removed, a company could just upload copyrighted content (anonymously) to the website and get it pulled down for that.

Here is something else to consider; I could write a book, self-publish it, and then use the forums of EA to completely (or partially) kill EA's online presence.

By the same token, some smart cracker/hacker (cracker is more accurate) somewhere will crack into the government's website and post copyrighted material there, which would make the government liable (the government probably won't care--they wrote the law, so they could modify to give exemptions to certain parties, but then some people are more equal in the view of the law then others. Just like 1984).

Has anyone out there given any thought to the potential for crackers to take down legitimate sites that had no intention of violating copyright law, but did violate copyright because it got cracked/hacked?

I have no problem with IP laws; it is only how it is enacted, and I think that SOPA/PIPA along with the DMCA go a little to far. I want to own what I purchase, and be able to resell it later.

SOPA and PIPA are just disasters waiting to happen; if you cannot enforce the law, especially one like this, then you have no business passing the law in the first place.

For those in congress:
Oh, and about Tor? Some people already have it. It is open source, anyone can get the source, anyone can build it, anyone can improve upon it. Again, look at how effective it is in places that have essentially the same type of blocking.
Also, don't trust the lobbyists; they have been known to lie to further their interests.

For everyone else:
Join us, get Tor today for tomorrow.

Also, I see .onion domains popping up all over the place. Those are sites only accessible via Tor, and no one can track them back to the originator easily.

BTW, I do not condone or engage in piracy, so please don't say that I'm against it because you think I engage in "piracy."

Also, for those wanting to quote me out of context, please do so after SOPA/PIPA pass. I'll use it on YOU. If you are going to quote me, get the context; if you don't, ask. I'm specifically thinking of the previous paragraph.