Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The US budget: How to make everyone mad.

Cut everything to 1946 levels. The levels where we had just finished a war. The levels before the cold war started. Well, with some inflation.

Everything. Parks. Social Security. Military.

Or: we could cut everything but the bare nececities of a nation. That being a military, and transportation networks. Everything else is secondary. FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.

The primary purpose of any government is to protect its citizens from physical harm. Such as an invasion. Nothing else is more important; if its citizens are dead, then there is no nation.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

An attack on Freedom

California, already one of the least free states of the Union, is rapidly becoming less free. A bill that is currently passing through the California legislature would enable the government of California to take away the tax exempt status of private groups with "discriminatory" policies.

I'm a more than a little pissed off about this, for several reasons.
  1. This bill is aimed directly at an organization that I am affiliated with, the Boy Scouts of America. While the BSA has decided to allow openly gay scouts, it still refuses to allow openly gay adult leaders. This is a blatant attempt to force the BSA, a private organization, to do what the government of California wants it to do.
  2. It isn't people's livelihood on the line here. Making laws to prevent discriminatory hiring practices in a business? Understandable. Making laws to prevent discriminatory entrance requirements in a non-profit volunteer organization? Reprehensible.
  3. If you don't like the entrance requirements for an organization, go start your own that does the exact same things, only with different entrance requirements. Don't like the BSA's stance on homosexual adult leaders? Go form your own organization and let homosexuals become adult leaders.
Honestly, I think that the BSA's response to this should be to stick to the current rules no matter what, even if tax exempt status is revoked.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reducing the laws for average citizens

Note: This is a draft of a constitutional amendment. I am not a lawyer.


Laws, regulations, and treaties shall be referred to as “legal material” in this document.
All legal material shall be readable and understandable to the average 10th grader or person who is 16 years old, whichever is younger, who shall hereby be called the “student”, and that average student shall be able to read and understand all of this government's legal material after spending 7 hours total learning and/or reading the legal material.

Also, legal material shall fit on 100 (one hundred) pages or less of 8 ½ by 11 inch paper using 12 pt Times New Roman font with 1 inch margins on each side, using the measurements as established on or before the year 2010.

Laws shall come before treaties which shall come before regulations, and any legal material that occurs after the 100th page shall not be enforced. Also, any part of any legal material that does occur after the 100th page shall be removed from the legal material until that section is able to fit within the 100 page limit.

Legal material shall be printed in the order they were passed, with the caveat that all regulations shall be printed after treaties which shall be printed after laws regardless of when the regulation or treaty came into force. In the event that legal material is amended, that legal material shall have the effective pass date of the date of amending.

In the case whereby legal material is passed which are after the 100th page, they shall exist for 12 (twelve) years before being purged from the record. In no case shall any legal material have effect until it is included in the 100 pages.

All external sources shall count towards the page limit, and may be republished as part of the US law regardless of who hold copyright.

The Constitution does not count toward the page limit.
There shall be no "footnotes" or "endnotes."


The intent of this proposed amendment is to enable all American Citizens to understand all US laws and regulations without becoming a lawyer. In other words, is this a potential federal crime or a state crime (I can guarantee that with today's federal laws, everyone is a criminal).[1]

 I wanted this to be as simple as possible.
But I didn't want lawyers to poke holes in it. They still will. But hopefully not too many and not too much.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Immoral Boycotting

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is trying to get people to boycott Florida because of the decision of the jury to rule that Zimmerman was guilty.
It is highly immoral to punish someone for something that they, personally have absolutely no control over - and by definition, the state has no control over any jury and its rulings. Nor can they change them.
I'm going to keep on buying Florida orange juice.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I won't Back Down

And neither should the Boy Scouts of America.
The newest uproar has to do with the BSA's Body Mas Index (BMI) restrictions for those attending the next National Scout Jamboree.

Boy Scouts' Jamboree should include those barred due to BMI restrictions, experts say

The Boy Scouts of America’s new fitness standards for participating in the organization’s annual Jamboree are so rigorous they would not just exclude chubby tenderfoots — they would even bar many NFL players.
All Scouts were required to have a physical exam in advance of the Jamboree and those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater were barred from participating at this year’s gathering, which features strenuous activities such as hiking, rock climbing, rappelling and biking. Scouts with BMIs between 32 and 39.9 had to provide additional health information to take on the 1,000-plus acre Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. But critics told excluding obese Boy Scouts goes against the spirit of the organization.
“Unfortunately it still does exclude children due to their weight, but I’m sure they’re looking at their health and potential negative health consequences,” she said. “But maybe they could walk [the course] or do what they can and not be excluded. Anything that the Boy Scouts could do to compensate for the stigma of being excluded would be great.”
The Council on Size & Weight Discrimination said it "deplores" the Boys Scouts decision, calling it  "an unfair and discriminatory policy."
"There are boy scouts who are heavier than average but extremely fit and capable of strenuous physical activity. At the same time, it is patently absurd to assume that just because a boy is thin, that means he is capable of a three-mile hike up a mountain," the group said in a statement.
The average NFL player would qualify for the 10-day competition, but by no means would the entire league. The average BMI for an NFL player for the 2012 season was 31.35, according to, well above the normal range of 18.5-24.9 as set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At 45.64, Michael Jasper of the New York Giants had the highest BMI last season, the website reported. The league’s average nose tackle – with a BMI of 40.50 – would also be ineligible for the Boy Scout’s Jamboree.
Obesity is not an epidemic - it is a personal choice. There is no one in the world who cannot change their diet, exercise more, and lose weight. There is a very low chance that any scout would be above a BMI of 40 and still be healthy - only a few of the top athletes in the NFL have a BMI above 40, and comparing teenaged boys to professional athletes makes very little sense.
Simply put, if a person is going to have a really high BMI and still be healthy, they are going to be a top athlete who practices a sport where weight and muscle can significantly affect a persons effectiveness.
No matter whether the BMI comes from fat, or muscle, losing the weight is quite simple, and relatively easy. There may be discrimination going on, but it is not the same as discrimination based upon something that another person has no say in - such as race. No one gets to choose their race. Everyone who can afford food chooses their weight, through a combination of diet and exercise. Weight is a choice, and thus, a valid form of discrimination. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A collections of Scandals

Someone went through the trouble of collecting the majority of the current administration's scandals in one place - along with a little commentary.

Well worth reading.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Uselessness of Gun Control

We already know that gun control cannot keep guns out of the hands of anyone who is willing to break a few laws, and now we have a study from the CDC showing that youth homicides are at their lowest in thirty years. Given the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, and the failure of recent federal gun control measures to pass, only the most stubborn of gun control advocates can continue to claim that less gun control means more homicides.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


There is a saying: There are friendly foreign governments, but there are no friendly foreign intelligence agencies.
Most nations in the world have at least one agency devoted to espionage and/or counter-espionage. How well those twin missions executed can have a major impact on how well a nation does, and if performed right can give a nation a major advantage over other nations. Thus, any nation without an intelligence agency of some sort is at a distinct disadvantage, and is either too poor or too incompetently led to be a serious threat to any nation with a more than token military.
Thus, when other countries steal our secrets I don't get mad at those countries. I just want the various intelligence agencies here in the US to work extra hard to prevent more secrets from being stolen and for the US to retaliate against whomever stole the secrets. And when we're the ones stealing secrets from other countries I want our government to do its best to avoid any serious repercussions. After all, when it comes to intelligence gathering, even among allies, it is not a case of "want". It is a case of "need". It is immoral for a nation to not gather intelligence, engage in counter-intelligence, attempt to reprise against those who steal it's secrets, and attempt to avoid reprisal when it is caught stealing secrets.
The problems come when intelligence agencies spy upon the citizens that they're supposed to protect.

The Devil You know...

Egypt's Army just got rid of Mohammed Morsi. After deposing Hosni Mubarak the Egyptians found that they didn't like his replacement either. They should be really careful about who they pick to become the next president, so that they don't end up with another de facto dictator - who might just be worse than his predecessors.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gitmo Prisoners are pampered and spoiled, not abused

When in the past, prisoners had gotten so plump on an "Islamically correct menu" that they were given a gym, they refused - because the equipment wasn't made by Muslims.
The only thing that the prisoners at Gitmo need is treatment on par with that received by prisoners of Al-Qaeda.

On Civil Disobedience

If your government is doing something wrong, then there is nothing wrong with engaging in public civil disobedience in protest, as long as the civil disobedience is nonviolent, does not betray a trust, and the individual accepts the consequences that goes with the violation (if you're going to violate a law, you need to be willing to take the punishment - if you're boycotting a company you need to be willing to do without any product by that company, including products and services already purchased). Note that when a person's actions endanger the lives of others they cannot be considered nonviolent. Violent protest on the other hand is immoral, because it endangers the lives of others.
There is are a few exceptions to the rule:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ending Rape in War

Angelina Jolie wants someone (namely the UN) to end rape in war. It would be wonderful if that could happen, but in order for someone to do that they would need two things. The military might and the ability to project it, to force warring groups to exercise tighter discipline over their troops, and the political will to use it. Economic sanctions and stern admonitions will just go ignored - there must be a credible threat backing up the request to enforce anti-rape laws.

The UN doesn't have either of those. There isn't anyone out there who could do it without ending up in a thousand little and not so little wars with half of the world, so there probably isn't anyone capable of doing the job, and there definitely isn't anyone willing to do the job. All that has been accomplished by the actress is to bring up an issue that isn't getting solved short of someone conquering the world - and probably not even then.

If someone comes up with a workable plan for ending rape in warzones where the laws of war are usually ignored, I will happily eat my words.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Oh look, a Five Year Plan!

The President has announced a five year plan to ensure that 99% of schools have high speed internet by 2018. Ignoring that I really doubt the need for high speed internet in schools, a five year plan? If this new plan works as well as some of the USSR's or PRC's plans we can expect the majority of schools to be without internet of any sort within five years.

Old shit is still shit

Just because the Patriot Act was ratified years ago (well before I became a voter), and the records of cell phone companies have been being seized ever since, does not mean that the whole steaming pile of shit isn't shit - it just means that no one has bothered to check back and take care of the problem, be that problem a law that arguably violates the fourth amendment, or your dog's shit in your living room.

I understand that the whole idea behind the Patriot Act is to keep us safe. I don't really care. Our Government should be concerned with our freedom first, our safety second, and our prosperity third.
To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, sacrificing freedom for safety will ensure that we don't have either of them.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

China and dubious territorial claims.

China is attacking Japan for their possession of the Senkaku islands, claiming that the islands in question are actually part of Taiwan - which China also claims, but doesn't control.

In addition, China is trying to pressure Japan by also claiming Okinawa.

Rather than achieving their goals, this incredibly dubious claim over an island that has been a Japanese possession since 1879, is inhabited not by Chinese, but by Japanese, and which was not actually ever controlled by China - the kingdom of the Ryukyus, while a Chinese vassal, was an independent country, has just made the Japanese even firmer than before.

Given how numerous Chinese territorial disputes with other countries are, and how much tension is generated over its unjustified claims, I'm thinking that someone is going to go to war with the PRC before too long.

The Middle East and Southeast Asia are the two biggest world hot spots at the moment. The middle east because of Iran and Syria, Southeast Asia because of China and North Korea. The next war that the US gets involved in is going to be in one of those four countries, barring an unforeseen change in the situation.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Speaking as a Coloradoan...

I really hope that the recall efforts against multiple anti-gun politicians in Colorado succeed. They gave us gun control, now we need to express that we really didn't want gun control in the most obvious way possible -voting them out of office.

Pueblo Freedom and Rights, the group that is spearheading the recalls, is collecting signatures, money, and volunteer hours.

Look what I found...

All of these pages are worth checking out.

ITAR and bloody dafties
From The Lawdog Files

Friday, May 10, 2013

"Game-Changing Weapons"

Hezbollah says that Syria is going to give it "Game-Changing weapons". I don't think that Hezbollah would enjoy changing the game in the way that I think they mean. While Israel likes to make it's possible possession of nuclear weapons ambiguous, it does most definitely have ICBMs, the Jericho III, and they must have something for the Jericho III to deliver.

On 3D Printed Firearms

At the order of the US Government, the design for the first completely 3D printed gun has been taken off of the internet, because it may violate arms-control regulations. Ignoring for the moment the sheer inanity of trying to get rid of something that has already been downloaded by more than 100,000 people, and which has already shown up on The Pirate Bay, let us consider:
Putting the design for a weapon on the internet, where anyone can download it, and can, with access to the right tools and materials make said weapon, is a violation of international arms-control regulations?
While those who buy The Handgun or The Do It Yourself Submachine Gun will need access to more expensive tools, a JACO Pistol can be made with tools that most Americans have in their garages.
While the tools are different, the 3D printer required for  the Liberator 3D printed gun is quite a bit more expensive than the tools required to make a JACO Pistol, which has pretty much the same function as the Liberator, being a single shot pistol.

The design for a firearm is not the same thing as a firearm - Defense Distributed wasn't making firearms, they were making firearms blueprints - and given how many other firearm designs exist on the internet, given that the Liberator is not an effective firearm (unless your goal is to get a reaction), and given that someone with a normal garage can build a firearm that is just as effective as the Liberator, and that someone with a well-equipped garage can make a fully or semi-automatic firearm with ease, the Federal Government's actions are just plain stupid.

Google Search on "make a zip gun"

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

He means it this time... Maybe

POTUS has just announced that GITMO needs to be closed.
Lets see if he can deliver on this one. After all, the first time he talked about closing GITMO the only thing that happened was rhetoric.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The unfortunate array of terrorist attacks

We have had the Sandy Hook shooting (December 2012) and the Boston Bombing (April 2013) recently.

So, what did they have in common?

All of the attackers did not legally posess some type of firearm (shooter 2, bombers) which they used.

They Run Towards Fire

Firefighters risk their lives by charging into burning buildings to save lives. Sometimes, this ends up costing them their lives.
No one deserves honor more than those who give their lives for the safety or freedom of another.

The Family Business...

It seems like the Bush family's business is politics. I agree completely with Mrs. Barbara Bush that we've had enough Bushes. I probably take it a bit further, since I think that the family should find something else to do besides politics - at any level.

Also, I really don't want to see the Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton match-up that Mrs. Laura Bush suggested for the next presidential election. I want to vote for a candidate because I want them in office and not because I really don't want their opponent to be elected.


On this day in 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli.
May they, and all others who chose and continue to chose to risk life and limb in the service of their country never be forgotten.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tyranny of the majority

The important bits of the new New York gun control law are taking effect today. The NRA's New York affiliate (among others) is going to be contesting the law in court.
And then I read Governor Cuomo's response.
"Yes, they are against it, but they are the extremists and the extremists shouldn't win, especially on this issue when it is so important to the majority," Cuomo said in a radio interview Wednesday. "In politics, we have to be willing to take on the extremists, otherwise you will see paralysis."
Just because you have a majority doesn't mean that your opponents are extremists, and even if they are extremists, that still doesn't mean that you can take away their rights. As James Bovard said, "Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."

I hope that the courts strike down this oppressive and asinine law.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Throwing money down the rathole

We're giving more money to the UN, while Sequester continues to hit the military hard. We should cut money from the dictators and incompetent/corrupt bureaucrats in UN before we cut money from the military.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

More Gun Control Madness

New York confiscated a man's guns on mental health reasons, then found that they'd confiscated the wrong guy's firearms.
I now have no intention of ever seeing a mental health professional ever again, unless I feel that the problem is worse than the possibility of having my property confiscated. I've been a user of firearms for over half of my (admittedly short) life, and I have every intention of continuing to use firearms, even if it means avoiding mental health professionals for the rest of my life.

Then we have the new Senate bill debate on another gun control bill - a bill that would increase the scope of background checks, while containing language to lure Republicans over.
It, like all gun control laws in the history of this nation, is blatantly unconstitutional. The wording of the second amendment is uncompromising, and allows for no wriggle room.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
 In the beginning of our nation, any free citizen could buy, own, use, and sell any weapon that they chose, without having to go to the government for permission. This included the Pennsylvania Long Rifle, which, though primarily a hunting weapon, was used to great effect in the American Revolution and the various conflicts with Native Americans, the Brown Bess Musket, which, though less accurate than a rifle had a much greater rate of fire and a bayonet lug, and was from start to finish a weapon with only one purpose, war. If one had the money, he could buy artillery, even warships.
In the modern era, while I can still buy standard hunting firearms, the various modern military firearms used worldwide are not available, except in reduced functionality models that function the exact same as the standard hunting weapons, albeit with a few extra features such as bayonet lugs - not that the lack of bayonet lugs would keep any sufficiently motivated person from mounting a bayonet. If I buy from someone who sells firearms for a living, I have to undergo a background check.
My right to keep and bear arms has already been infringed upon enough. I will not tolerate any further infringement upon that right, and I will vote against any politician who infringes or proposes to  infringe any further on that right, even if I agree with that politician on every other issue.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Scumbaggery or Foolishness

When people celebrate the death of an enemy leader (e.g. Bin Laden) who sought to destroy them, they're fools, for another, more capable leader may step forward and bring defeat to those who thought they'd won a great victory.
When people celebrate the death of one of their own leaders, no matter how much they disagreed with and despised the leader in question they're scumbags plain and simple, the only exception being when the leader has given them ample reason to celebrate their death - ample reason being the murder, manslaughter, or outright oppression of the citizenry. Maximilien Robespierre, Benito Mussolini, Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, and many others all provided ample reason for their people to celebrate their death. Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, was not one of those blood-soaked tyrants. Even those who hated and despised her the most do not have anywhere near enough reason to celebrate the death of one of freedom's shining lights.

Friday, April 5, 2013

One of the world's mad dogs

North Korean leadership have repeatedly demonstrated a propensity for provocative language towards a nation capable of turning their country into a smoking parking lot - without resorting to any sort of WMDs. They have continued to ramp up the rhetoric, even occasionally shooting live weapons into South Korean territory. They've managed to piss off their sole powerful and reliable ally, and have continued to act in a manner that, in any other time or place would result in a war of serious proportions. One day the leaders of North Korea will be put down, like the mad dogs they are.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gun Control Proponents don't know what they're talking about?

I'm not surprised that yet another gun control advocate has demonstrated a profound ignorance about firearms. It happens all the time, often enough that only the most obviously ignorant/stupid comments made by high level officials are worth noting (Carolyn "shoulder thing that goes up" McCarthy and Joe "Shotgun" Biden being the best known examples). Diana DeGette's definitely fall into the category of obviously ignorant/stupid.
I find the shenanigans amusing and painful. Amusing because they have no clue what it is that they seek to ban and/or regulate into oblivion, painful because, despite their ignorance, there is a substantial portion of the populace who want to see them succeed.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Its Easter Sunday, the single most important day in the Christian Tradition.
It is not the birth of Christ that is important to Christians like me. It is his death and Resurrection that are important. Let us all celebrate the resurrection.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
John 3:16

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I've been watching Netflix...

Specifically the TV Show "Deadliest Warrior" . I've noticed that they have a real problem with confusing soldiers and warriors.
A warrior fights as an individual.
A soldier fights as part of a group.
Some warriors/soldiers blur the lines and can/could fight as both individuals and groups. Others however, cannot/couldn't.
Warriors are individually better than soldiers, but it was soldiers who conquered the great empires, not warriors.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lasers are not Toys

A guy just got 30 (well deserved) months in prison for shining a laser at an aircraft.
Lasers and aircraft is a serious issue. Lasers can temporarily or permanently (depending upon laser strength) blind a person. A blind pilot cannot fly, so pointing lasers at aircraft is roughly equivalent to walking around with a loaded firearm and sweeping people with the safety off and your finger on the trigger - it is unsafe, malicious/negligent, and could easily lead to someone dying (it also violates every firearms safety rule ever). Pointing a laser at aircraft is either reckless endangerment or attempted murder.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fiscal Irresponsibility and Intellectual Dishonesty

CBS just pissed me off. In a recent article about a Republican Senator attacking the Democrat budget plan, they mentioned taxes that were raised on incomes over $400,000 at the beginning of the year, but conveniently forgot to mention that taxes went up for everyone.
I am no high income earner. My yearly income is a rather small fraction of $400,000. Yet my taxes went up too.
At the beginning of this year, I got a $30 raise (I'm assuming it was inflation based). My Social Security taxes went up along with my pay. I now pay 35 dollars more in Social Security taxes than I did before.
Last year I paid $247.22 in total taxes a month (Federal Income, Social Security, Medicare, and State Income).
In January of this year I paid $284.87 in total taxes.

Given that my pay also went up, the increase in taxation is hardly backbreaking, however, it indicates a clear dishonesty upon the part of CBS. The end of the "payroll tax holiday" is a tax increase on everyone.

And in the end, the federal government is just going to continue wasting the money.

North Korea and Human Rights

Apparently North Korea has condemned a human rights probe from the UN. Maybe its because North Korea is one of the biggest human rights offenders in the world and they don't want their dirty laundry getting exposed?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wars are Better than Certain Kinds of Peace

North Korea continually threatens South Korea and the US with nuclear war. Its makes propaganda videos about nuking Washington D.C. It has fired artillery into South Korean territory without provocation.
If North Korea was any other country, we'd already be in the process of uniting the Koreas. Unfortunately, North Korea's closest ally is China, with one of the largest armies in the world, and as the Chinese demonstrated in the Korean War, quantity does have  a quality all of its own.
However, despite the US's reservations about going to war on the PRC's front porch, the North Korean government seems bound and determined to end up in a war of some kind. Either the US and South Korea are going to attack in order to end the threat of North Korea, or China is going to intervene in order to prevent nuclear war.
The current "peace" is unstable, dangerous, and will probably not last much longer.


Being an American, a citizen of the US, is something that I'm very proud of. Yesterday was the anniversary of an event that, though sad, is yet another reason to be proud of the US. We didn't participate in the Al-Anfal Campaign (or Kurdish Genocide), nor did we have anything to do with the Halabja poison gas attack which occurred 25 years ago on March 16, and was part of the Al-Anfal Campaign.
 Instead, we deposed the mad dog who was ultimately responsible for those atrocities and brought him to justice. No matter your opinion on the US's former presence in Iraq, one must admit that the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein and Ba'ath party that he led.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The New Assault Weapons Ban

The new Assault Weapons Ban is one step closer to being ratified by the Senate.

Here's a question: If the Second Amendment to the Constitution says "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"(emphasis mine), how then is any law that regulates firearms in any way Constitutional?

Anyone with an answer, please feel free to post in the comments.

On CPAC and the Future of Conservatism

Apparently the leaders in the Republican party are debating about what they need to do in order to keep on as a party.

My suggestion is to stop nominating two types of candidates: The bigoted idiots who drive independents to the Democrats and the RINO's who fail to inspire, especially among the fiscally conservative and libertarian minded Republicans and independents, because their only commendation is "he'll grow government slower than his opponent" and "he's inoffensive".

First there was John McCain, famous for crossing the aisle, a well known moderate Republican, who lost to Barack Obama, a man then new on the political scene in Washington.
Then there was Mitt Romney, who signed Romneycare into law in Massachusetts, who lost to Barack Obama, a man who, by then, had a proven record of failure, with not one, but two failed "stimulus packages" which provoked enough of a backlash to put the House back into Republican hands.

The lesson from those two is that RINO's don't make good presidential candidates. There are plenty of other lessons from the several election years from 2008 to now, most of them having to do with candidates who need to keep their fat mouths shut.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Budget

Paul Ryan wants to reduce spending and simplify the tax code (leaving us with only two tax brackets) in order to balance the budget. His plan cuts spending by 4.6 trillion over the next ten years.
The Democrats want to raise a trillion in taxes by closing "tax loopholes" on the "country's highest income earners" and spending another hundred billion on "stimulus".

My taxes have already gone up once this year due to all the BS going on in Washington. If they go and muck around in the tax code I'm pretty certain that my taxes are going to go up again - and I'm not exactly a high income earner.

And for the stimulus... If stimulus was the solution to the economy's woes then we probably wouldn't have needed two stimuluses, and this third one would be entirely redundant. Since stimulus isn't the solution, it can only be taken as an excuse to spend more money.

The Democrat plan will just make us miserable while doing the government equivalent an individual setting a gold-covered Hummer filled with hundred dollar bills and napalm on fire, and then trying to put it out by throwing buckets of hundred dollar bills at it.

Let us all vote for fiscally responsible Representatives and Senators in the next election.

The budget battle: What the heck is going on in D.C.?
Senate Democrats release first budget in four years, includes $1 trillion in tax increases

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

North Korea leads...

In the unofficial contest to see which dictatorship is the biggest mad dog. War may not be far behind.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Foolishness in Syria

US-born former Army vet known as 'The American' fights alongside Al Qaeda

He's a U.S.-trained soldier turned Muslim warrior who moves between America and countries where the winds of the Arab spring blow, fighting alongside jihadists and America-hating terrorists while celebrating his bloody exploits on YouTube videos.
Darryl Harroun said his son is seen as an adventurer by friends and relatives, who call him "Arizona Jones."
"He just loves that part of the world," said Darryl Harroun, who said his family has been in the U.S. for several generations and is not Muslim. "We scratch our heads and wonder what the hell he's doing. I told him, 'You're never going to change those people's minds over there.' But he says they treat him like a hero.
"I know one day I'm going to get a message from over there, telling me my son is dead," he said.
He isn't  a "Muslim warrior", or "Arizona Jones", he's a terrorist, fighting in a conflict, not of black and white morality, but of black and black morality. The Syrian regime is totalitarian and corrupt, and the end result of the civil war will probably be to replace it with a regime that is also totalitarian and corrupt - if they're lucky, it'll be less totalitarian and corrupt, if not, they'll end up suffering at leas as bad as they have under their current regime.
Honestly, if I was his father I wouldn't "wonder what the hell he's doing" I'd disown him.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Nuclear Insanity

North Korea is starting to piss off its single close ally. They should realize that, while they can get away with pissing off the US so long as they have support from the PRC, the instant they lose that support the US will begin planning for Korean reunification.
They should also realize that if they piss off the PRC, the best that they can hope for is a short, bloody, destructive war that they'll lose, and which will be conducted entirely on their soil. Kim Jong-un and the rest of the North Korean leadership have drank deeply from the fountain of insanity.

Capture of Al Qaeda Spokesman makes Headlines

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith to be tried in New York
Osama bin Laden's son-in-law caught, brought to N.Y.
Fox News:
Bin Laden's son-in-law captured, charged in US with conspiring to kill Americans

Every single one of them is treating it like a victory. It isn't. Unless the enemy organization unravels without that leader, all you've done is leave an opening for someone. With Osama bin Laden's death, Al Qaeda has not gone away. As we take out Al Qaeda leaders, others will rise to take their places. The media needs to stop trumpeting their deaths/captures and let others do something constructive, such as killing all the terrorists, without obstruction, and without giving the enemy any media coverage at all. The enemy depends upon media coverage, take that away and they're just a bunch of murderers and bandits. Do the world a favor and ignore them entirely.

Also, we're trying this *sshole in a civilian court when we should be trying him for violations of the laws of war.

Monday, March 4, 2013

On Women in the Military

My military experience with women is rather limited, so I usually defer to those who have actually been with females in a combat zone when it comes to discussing females in, for example, the infantry.
I have little sympathy for those who continue to push to get women into those few places in the military where women have, until recently, not been allowed.
My lack of sympathy stems from the fact that there is a double standard concerning women in the military. The same people who want to open up every rating and MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) in the military to women want to keep the current PFA (Physical Fitness Assessment) standards as they open up the formerly closed ratings and MOSs. They say that women can do everything that men can do while at the same time having lower standards for women than they do for men.
They need to sh*t or get off the toilet. Either women are just as capable as men, and they should be held to the same PFA standards and allowed to do the same jobs, or they aren't as capable as men and shouldn't be held to the same PFA standards and allowed to do the same jobs. Pick one, stick with it, and stop dancing around the issue.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Something to Feel Good About

A Korean war veteran got one last visit to the ship he served upon, the USS Laffey. It brightens my day to learn that people are willing to help fulfill the wishes of dying veterans.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Just one member of Al Qaeda has died

When a high ranking member of any enemy organization, be it military or terrorist, dies, it should not be celebratory news. Celebration should be saved until the enemy has surrendered and troubles you no more. The Soviet Union survived the deaths of Lenin and Stalin. The People's Republic of China survived the death of Mao. The Macedonian Kingdom survived the death of Phillip II. Rome survived the death of Julius Caesar. Carthage survived the death of Hamilcar. The British Empire survived the death of Nelson. When Osama Bin Laden died, Al Qaeda continued on.
Sometimes, as in the case of the Macedonian Empire, the structure does not survive without the one who built it. Often however, all that has been done is to clear the way for another to take over. This other might be more or less capable than their predecessor (compare Phillip II to Alexander the Great), but you cannot count on the threat to end with the leader.
So don't tell me when Al Qaeda leaders are killed. I just want to know when they're no longer a threat. That is when I'll celebrate.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment protects my right to keep and bear arms. The exact same arms as those wielded by the military.
When the Second Amendment was written, the usual means of fighting was to stand in lines and shoot at each other. Some talk about how dumb this was, ask why rifles weren't used, but given the technology of the time, it was the only way to conduct war.
The rifles of the time worked well as a weapon of asymmetric war, ideal for sniping, ambushes, and hit and run attacks, but it failed as a weapon of regular war. This was because the only ammunition available to anyone of the time was the lead ball. It wasn't until 1847 that the first successful real bullet was introduced. Until then, the only way for rifles to be effective was to force a lead ball slightly larger than the bore of the rifle, to engage the rifling, making it impossible to load a rifle quickly, allowing early riflemen to be easily overran and slaughtered by cavalry or advancing musketeers should they try to hold a battlefield.
The musket, on the other hand, was specifically designed as a weapon of war. Because it was a smooth-bore firearm, it could be loaded quickly (although at the expense of accuracy). This made musketeers harder to overrun, while forcing them to engage at much shorter distances.

Food and Movies

Israeli cuisine is having a moment

 Israelis may have been hoping 2013 would bring recognition for their cinematic prowess, with two Oscar-nominated documentaries, but its turning out to be "The Year of the Cookbook."

Whatever the misgivings about their Oscar candidates -- two films sharply critical of Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands -- Israelis were sorely disappointed to awaken Monday morning to find themselves without a single gold statuette.
Had they averted their gazes from garish Los Angeles to that other glittering metropolis, Paris, they might have felt better.
This weekend at an elegant ceremony at the Louvre, in the French capital, an Israeli cookbook called "Seafoodpedia" won "Best in World" in its category at the renowned Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, which are dubbed "the Oscars of international cookbooks."
Were they really disappointed? I don't really give a rat's *ss about the Oscars, so I don't really know how much the people of Israel want an Israeli movie to win in the Oscars, but given that the CBS article didn't quote any polls, I doubt that any significant number of people cared. And as to cuisine, I really doubt that any significant portion of any population can be convinced to care. I'm really wondering why CBS considers this to be news.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

China's navy

China launches stealth frigate amid ocean tensions

 China has launched the first ship in a new class of stealth missile frigates, state media reported Tuesday, amid ongoing tensions with neighboring countries over Beijing's maritime claims.
The People's Liberation Army Navy is building a total of 20 Type 056 Jiangdao class frigates to replace older models and bolster its ability to conduct patrols and escort ships and submarines in waters it claims in the South China and East China seas.
There's no telling how stealthy this new frigate actually is, but given the description I really doubt that its all that stealthy:
 The helicopter-equipped ships feature a sleek design to reduce clutter and make them harder to spot by radar and are armed with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles.
From the description, the new frigate design doesn't actually incorporate stealth technology, it just has a somewhat reduced radar cross section - from reducing clutter aloft. In reality, making a naval vessel stealthy requires that one: Reduce noise as a precaution against passive SONAR, find a way to defeat or reduce the threat of active SONAR and radar, and finally reduce the wake to prevent detection by satellite or plane. As far as the article concerned, the Chinese have only reduced the radar threat, and there's no telling how well they've actually done that without having the US Navy check them out - and even if the USN did that, it would no doubt remain classified for a long time.
 Even so, China is gearing up to become a naval power, and given their past proclivities, current actions, and system of governance they bear a lot of watching, especially as our own military gears down.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sony breaks copyright law

The company known collectively as Sony (its a multinational conglomerate) may not be happy soon. It depends upon whether KDE (K Desktop Environment) and the Oxygen theme creators decide to sue Sony for breaking copyright law. Based off of the original source, it is also in the UEFI firmware that Sony has on (new) laptops.

Sony, by the way, is the company that put rootkits on their music CD's which would then install themselves on the vict... customer's computer. This was supposed to prevent piracy, which is against the law, by maliciously installing software on their customer's computers which is also against the law.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm starting to really dislike Biden

Time for some fisking to get a little steam out of my system. My comments in bold.

China once again mounts an attack upon human rights

The same country which has in the past sat upon the UN Human Rights Council and which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has once again attacked human rights.

China's Christians see mounting persecution in country's effort to disband churches, report finds

Christians and human rights advocates are alarmed over an aggressive crackdown on house churches in China, where the faithful are forced to call their gatherings "patriotic" assemblies or sent to prison where they can face torture, according to a new report.
Cases of the government persecuting Christians rose 42 percent last year, amid a three-phase plan by Beijing to eradicate the home-based churches, according to China Aid, a Texas-based human rights group. Experts say the Communist Party in China has long felt threatened by any movement that galvanizes a large sector of the population, fearing it could wield political clout. But the nation has become more systematically hostile to worshippers, according to Bob Fu, China Aid founder and president.
China doesn't fall into the depth of evil of the USSR, Nazi Germany, or the Kmer Rouge, but what they do is nonetheless evil, albeit, a soft, ignorable evil.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We're finally doing something about the UN

Its nice to see that someone is finally doing something to combat the UN's inefficiencies and corruption. 

US, other nations quietly maneuvering to rein in sprawling, inefficient UN system

Frustrated by the epic inefficiency, sprawling disorganization and free-spending of their money by the United Nations, a group of Western donor nations, including the U.S., has been meeting quietly to develop a strategy to rein in the world organization’s more than $20 billion a year in anti-poverty assistance – which even parts of the U.N. concede hasn’t done much to relieve poverty.

The U.N. organizations themselves — including such high-profile entities as the United Nations Development Program, UNICEF, the World Food Program, the World Health Organization and more than 30 others —are not invited to the meetings.
I doubt that they'll be able to do enough, but this might bring some sorely needed reform to the UN. Unfortunately, they aren't trying to clean house on, for example, the UN Human Rights council, which includes members who have a scant regard for human rights.
As I've said in the past, the UN is not a pro-freedom organization. When the UN does something, we really need to take that into account and consider what their real motives might be.

Monday, February 18, 2013

More gun control BS

On one side, the Chicago Police Superintendent is attacking the Second Amendment.

Chicago top cop says pro-Second Amendment pols hurt public safety

Facing a surging homicide rate and several headline-grabbing murders, Chicago’s top cop is taking aim at the Second Amendment, according to critics.
Appearing on a local Windy City Sunday morning talk show, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said gun owners who lobby politicians or donate money to pro-gun rights political campaigns are engaged in corruption that endangers public safety.
McCarthy, whose city – despite having some of the toughest gun laws in the nation - saw more than 500 homicides last year for the first time since 2008, also said the Second Amendment limits citizens to owning smooth-bore muskets.
Police Superintendent McCarthy should probably consider the fact that despite his city's oppressive stance on guns it has a horrendously high murder rate (15.9 per hundred thousand) - unless compared to Detroit (48.2 per hundred thousand) , another city that lives under incredibly strict gun control. Compare Phoenix, a city with a population greater than Detroit's, but less than Chicago's, and with a murder rate of 7.9 per hundred thousand. If one really looks at the statistics, all that one really learns is that gun control is at best ineffective. All it really does is force law abiding citizens to be either disarmed or inadequately armed. 

On the other side, we have states acting to keep the federal government out of local gun markets.

Push to keep feds out of state gun markets gains momentum

States across the country are trying to protect gun ownership from the long arm of Washington by proposing bills declaring that firearms made and kept within their borders are not subject to federal restrictions.
I don't know how well it'll end up working, but bravo for them! At least someone is trying to protect firearms rights.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

From CBS:
Report: '93 World Trade Center bomber sues to end solitary confinement

The article didn't say anything about how the solitary confinement was being challenged, but I'd assume that the challenge is being done with the 8th amendment to the US Constitution:
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
The only bit we're interested in is the last part - cruel and unusual punishment. That phrase is open to lots of interpretation and argument. There are many different opinions on just what constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" - in fact, the case which produced the first relevant Supreme Court ruling (Furman v. Georgia) so divided the SCOTUS that each justice wrote their own separate concurrence or dissent. Other cases, including some in recent years have continued to divide the SCOTUS. I'm going to add to the pile of opinions.

A cruel punishment is one that exceeds the crime in terms of severity or goes out of its way to be inhumane. Giving a life sentence to a petty thief would be cruel, as would applying crucifixion or impalement to any offense, even in cases where the offender tortured his victims to death. But the simple death penalty for occurrences of first degree murder is not cruel, nor is life in prison for any malicious act that results in the death of another. The punishment must be appropriate to the crime with sentences increasing in severity based upon the severity of the crime, and with those crimes where physical harm was committed or threatened automatically incurring a higher penalty than any crime where only financial harm was committed.
Unusual is when the punishment is only applied to a few of those who commit crimes of the same type and scale. If most convicted of one specific crime (auto theft, for example) got one sentence, but a select few convicts got a different punishment, that punishment would be unusual - no matter if it was more or less severe that the usual punishment.
Punishment must fit the crime, and the punishment must be applied the same to all convicted of crimes of the same type and severity (thus allowing for different punishments for different amounts of damage done).
This brings me to the death penalty. Many assert that the death penalty is cruel and unusual. While it is almost certainly unusual - most courts hesitate to apply an irreversible penalty, no matter the crime - is is not cruel when applied to those who commit first degree murder (premeditated). Still, due to its irreversible nature, in any case where there is any doubt as to the guilt of the convicted, other means of punishment should be applied, so that if new evidence is found demonstrating the innocence of the accused, they can be exonerated and released. However, in cases where, due to committing the crime in front of cameras/witnesses, taking of souvenirs (a la Ed Gein or Jeffrey Dahmer), confession, or other evidence that leaves no doubt as to the identity of the killer. When someone's life is on the line, there must be no doubt, no chance that someone else committed the crime, so that no one innocent of premeditated murder is executed.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

POTUS Forgot something...

The President gave a speech in Chicago recently. He acknowledged that Chicago's murder rates, even giving a couple of good quotes.
The president, speaking at the Hyde Park Academy in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood, lamented the losses in Newtown, Conn., in December, and remarked on the "profound and uniquely heartbreaking" fact that 20 of the victims were six years old.
But he also pointed out that "last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city, and 65 of those victims were 18 and under."
"That's an equivalent of a Newtown every four months," he said.
He acknowledged that the violence isn't "just" a gun issue.
"In too many neighborhoods today... it can feel like, for a lot of young people, the future only extends to the next street corner," he said. "There are entire neighborhoods where young people, they don't see an example of somebody succeeding. For a lot of young boys and young men in particular, they don't see examples of fathers and grandfathers... who are in a position to support families and be held up and respected."
"That means that this is not just a gun issue," he continued. "It's also an issue of the kinds of communities that we're building."
  But he forgot to mention that Chicago has the most oppressive gun control laws in the nation. Oops.

Colorado and Gun Control

Despite not currently residing in Colorado, I'm a Colorado citizen. I pay Colorado income taxes. I vote in Colorado elections. And I'm seriously considering Wyoming as an alternative to Colorado. Wyoming has no state income tax and is very supportive of firearms rights.
Colorado on the other hand, has an income tax of 4.63%, is constantly attempting to either find ways around TABOR, or otherwise render it ineffective, (the usual method is to call them "fees" rather than "taxes") and is currently attacking firearms rights without regard to Colorado jobs or rights (read section 13 of the Colorado Bill of Rights on page 5).

A Good Reason to Avoid online social networking

From BBC:
Facebook was targeted by 'sophisticated' hackers

With as many people who use Facebook, it is a prime target for cyber attacks. Even if no one's data was compromised be this attack, there will be attacks in the future - and eventually they'll succeed. 
Think about how much information you have about yourself on your Facebook account. Now think about a criminal gaining access to that information. Now think of ways to limit your exposure should Facebook face a successful attack that gains access to user information.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Water-bottle Gate"?

What sort of person compares a politician taking a sip of water to a politician abusing his power? Why is it that when someone mentions the name of "Nixon" everyone thinks of Watergate, but when the name "Ted Kennedy" is mentioned no one thinks of the Chappaquiddick? Unlike Nixon, someone actually died because of Ted Kennedy's misconduct. Why is it that when Bill Clinton is mentioned, the (relatively) benign thought is of Monica Lewinsky, rather than the political power abuse of Whitewater?

By comparing Marco Rubio's sip of water to Richard Nixon's abuse of power, CBS has demonstrated a clear and disgusting bias. Some in the media are questioning the insane and inane manner in which others are attacking Rubio. The only thing that is clear to me is the bias of the media.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More Firearms Idiocy

One from the Denver Post:
Colorado House Committee passes amended gun magazine limit
The most damning quotes from the article:

...State Rep. Mike McLachlan, D- Durango, who sits on the committee, offered the amendment to, he said, allow citizens to protect themselves.
"Fifteen is a reasonable number, and this is what I'm going to ask in my amendment," McLachlan said.
"It will keep killers from being killing machines," Chipman said.

Charles Robles traveled from Colorado Springs and said had it not been for a high-capacity magazine, he would not be alive.
"It helped me engage the three men who were shooting at me," said Robles in reference to a 2002 Memorial Day robbery at his small business. "I was shot five times, but I was able to save my life and fend off my attackers. "
Doug Smith, chief operating officer of the Colorado-based ammunition magazine manufacturer Magpul, said the measure would force his company to leave Colorado and take with it an estimated $85 million in potential spending this year.

State Rep. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, who chairs the committee, said he did not want Magpul to leave the state.
"I want to protect manufacturing in Colorado," Kagan said...

 Fifteen is only a reasonable number from the perspectives of politicians, who have multiple armed bodyguards, criminals,  who get to choose when, where, and how they attack, terrorists, who get to choose when, where, and how they attack, and mass killers, who get to choose when, where, and how they attack. Everyone else has to defend themselves with little to no preparation or warning. I applaud Magpul for having the guts to vote with their feet. Also - "keep killers from being killing machines"? Mass killers, criminals, and terrorists are not noted for obeying the law, and even if they do remain compliant with this one law, they still get to pick the time, place, and methods, which gives them an extreme advantage over regular citizens, and since they control the circumstances, they will have the extra magazines - and the regular citizen won't. All any "high capacity magazine" ban does is give the bad guys an even bigger advantage than they already have. Fortunately, this hasn't yet passed the full Colorado house.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Munich ditching Microsoft Products

Munich (as city in Germany) started a transition from Microsoft Windows NT 4 and Office 95 (the migration started in 2004, and is a slow, ongoing process).

Munich is slowly rolling out their own distribution of Linux, which means that they control what versions of what software they have.

They can easily update all machines with little work by the IT department (most Linux distributions come with a built-in update checker, which can often be configured for a set amount of time between check-ins).

They have lost (some) compatibility with some versions of Microsoft Word. But migrating to Office 2007 would have the same problems as migrating to OpenOffice/Libreoffice.

This post is about the recent study funded by Microsoft and conducted by HP.

"Spending problem" is a "False Argument"?

From Fox:
Pelosi: 'False argument' to say Washington has spending problem

When your deficit is equal to about half of your income, you have a spending problem. This spending problem is Congress' fault, as all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives. The President is, at worst, an enabler of this spending problem, and at best, can be overruled by a super majority of both houses of Congress. Check your the voting records of your congressmen and senators, so you know if they're part of the problem, or the solution.

Gun Control - The unslayable demon

I've decided that gun control is a demon. Those places with the most oppressive gun control experience the highest rates of violent crime, and whenever large numbers of people in areas without hefty gun control die, gun control legislation is brought up, and sometimes passes, which ultimately either has no effect on violent crime, or leads to more violent crime. Gun control is a demon that feeds on the blood of the innocent.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Stupidity of Cutting Military Spending

From Fox:
Foreign adversaries ramp up defense spending as Pentagon cuts back

..."Instead of being a first-rate power in the world, we'd turn into a second-rate power. That would be the result of sequester," Panetta said. Sequester is the name for the automatic cuts first passed into law in the summer of 2011 as part of the debt-ceiling deal...  
The world is a dangerous place. We cannot afford to "study war no more" or cut military spending, because if we do, we'll lose our place as the premier power in the world. Congress needs to get its act together.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Leave the Boy Scouts of America alone

BBC links to a poll which says that 55% of US voters want the BSA to end its ban on homosexual leaders.
The BSA is only answerable to US voters in the sense that its adult leaders and parents of scouts are US voters. It is answerable to its members and no one else. President Obama may be its honorary president, but he has no power to change the BSA's policy.
In fact, those with the power to change the policy have decided to delay rather than decide.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Going too far...

From Fox:
Colorado boy, 7, reportedly faces suspension for tossing imaginary grenade

Note that the "grenade" in question is completely imaginary - it does not exist - there wasn't even a dummy grenade involved. Note also that the boy wasn't threatening anyone.Yet the school's rules require his suspension. The school's rule on no weapons is apparently "absolute" and includes completely imaginary weapons. This is the sort of story I'd expect to read on the Onion, its that ridiculous.

Why most people in the know hate the DMCA

The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is an act that was supposed to make digital copyright piracy different from previous versions of piracy.

The basics of the DMCA is that there are "safe harbours" for businesses (they have to have a takedown process), and it is illegal to remove digital rights management (DRM for short). That, by the way, includes installing whatever you want on a computing device (if it is a locked down platform, the DMCA applies).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ron Paul is a Jack*ss

From Fox:
Ron Paul tweets controversial message on murdered Navy SEAL sniper

In response to the news, Paul tweeted: “Chris Kyle’s death seems to confirm that ‘he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.’ Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn’t make sense.”
I have always been a fan of Ron Paul's economic policies, but I do not support or respect the man, and stuff like this is why. Chris Kyle deserves respect. His friends and family deserve the right to mourn in peace. And Ron Paul deserves a clue by four to the head.

Let us all have a moment of silence for Chris Kyle.

No new taxes... That's funny

From CBS:
Obama says no to new taxes, yes to ending Boy Scouts' gay ban

My taxes have already gone up. Our Republican House, Democrat Senate, and Democrat President have together, already caused my taxes to go up. In December I paid $69.61 in Social Security taxes. Last month, I paid $104.62 in Social Security taxes. When the POTUS says he doesn't want to raise taxes anymore, I think of George H.W. Bush, who used "No New Taxes" as a campaign slogan - and who was hoist by his own petard when he reneged on that promise. I judge based upon performance, and based upon performance, I'm going to be voting for new senators in the next two elections (2014 and 2016), and against whomever the sitting POTUS supports for election in 2016.

RMS on too-big-to-fail-companies

Richard Stallman (RMS) is famous for the free software movement.

He is not a fan of Microsoft (neither am I, and its due to the absurdly large market share that they can abuse). RMS doesn't like Microsoft because they don't release the source code for the software.

So why is RMS saying anything about "too-big-to-fail" companies?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The BSA, gay leaders, and Obama

I admit to having a little grudge against our current president, in addition to opposing his policies. That the grudge and the opposition are completely unconnected. The opposition comes from the fact that I disagree completely with his policies - he isn't the problem (that prize goes to Congress), but he sure as heck doesn't do anything to alleviate the problem, and in fact, is an enabler for the worst excesses of Congress. The grudge comes from his actions concerning the Boy Scouts of America - a private organization that I hold dear to my heart, having earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Every four years, the BSA holds a National Scout Jamboree. The sitting President has always attended the Jamboree. Except for one. President Obama chose instead to show up on the View - a daily television show, and sent a recording to the Jamboree. Since I was a participant, I was more than a little pissed off.

Now the BSA is currently thinking of bowing to political pressure and revoking its blanket ban on gay leaders and scouts. Obama has come out in support of them revoking the ban. The BSA, no matter how much influence it has, is a private organization. Elected officials should only get involved with private organization when they're committing crimes - and the BSA as a whole does not commit crimes, and it ousts those of its members who do commit crimes.

I could care less...

About whether or not the POTUS actually shoots skeet.
CBS of course has an article about the POTUS and his recently released skeet shooting  photo. I don't care what the President does with his guns - I'm concerned about what the legislative and executive branches of government are, together, planning to doing to my ability to buy and own guns.
Fox has an article about the argument over universal background checks.

Did Prohibition stop alcoholism?
Has the current War on Drugs stopped substance abuse?
Did the Gun Free School Zones act stop school shootings?
Have the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the (expired) Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 done anything to reduce crime?
Have China and Russia, with some of the most oppressive gun control laws in the world, managed to stop firearms ownership, use, and crime?

The answer to all of these questions is no. If China and Russia, with their nonexistent respect for human rights, can't do it, what makes the fools in the Federal Government think that they can do it? It is simply impossible to effectively ban something that can be made easily in a well-equipped garage, and which manuals exist for the sole purpose of telling one how to do so. Our politicians either have no clue about such things, or have an ugly political agenda.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

France will Rebuild Mali

From BBC:
French President Hollande pledges to help rebuild Mali

It makes perfect sense for France to help rebuild Mali - after all, France may have "given up" its colonial empire, but it backs the currency of a large portion of that former empire, giving it a great deal of control and influence over those countries. They may have given up de jure control of their empire, but they still retain de facto control - and helping Mali rebuild will help with this.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gun Free Zones...

Don't work
From CBS:
Atlanta schools chief unsure how middle school shooter got past metal detector

 Even with metal detectors to enforce the gun free zone, the shooter still managed to sneak his gun in. Explain to me how, exactly, gun free zones are supposed to stop school shootings? Someone who is already going to commit multiple crimes isn't going to care all that much about one more - especially since most of them commit suicide rather than be arrested. Larry Correia's Opinion on Gun Control has been around for a bit over a month now. No one who has read it will be misinformed, or uninformed, about the consequences and effect of guns and gun control.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kicking the can down the road... again

From Fox:
Senate approves bill to suspend debt limit, sends to Obama
The legislation would temporarily suspend the $16.4 trillion limit on federal borrowing, which experts say would allow the government to borrow about $450 billion to meet interest payments and obligations like Social Security benefits and government salaries.
The deadline for Congress to act again to prevent default would likely not come until August, according to calculations by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank...
Rather than passing a fiscally responsible budget, Congress has voted to temporarily suspend the debt limit. I'm not terribly shocked - in fact, I expected it - but I really wish that Congress had done something to actually solve the problem.

Russia returning to dictatorship?

From BBC:
Russia's freedoms crackdown 'worst since USSR fall'

Amid accusations of electoral fraud, Putin cracks down on freedom. Opposition leaders face jail on charges that the opposition claims to be fraudulent. Russia might not return to communism, but it is well on its way back to totalitarianism. If things continue to get worse, Russian citizens will learn one of the few modern political absolutes as said best by Mao: "All political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Sanctions against Israel?

From CBS:
U.N. panel provides legal basis for sanctions against Israel over settlement expansion in Palestinian territory

Even assuming that Israel has actually done something deserving of action, what exactly, does the UN expect to accomplish here? Given their track records of sanctions with Iran and North Korea, you'd expect them to have given up on sanctions by now. I think that they like sanctions, because it makes it look like they're doing something, without actually doing something.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Israel stands up to UN human rights council

From BBC:
Israel boycotts UN rights council in unprecedented move

Israel is boycotting the UN human rights council's review of their country. 
In the past I've used the same human rights council that Israel is boycotting as the prime example of why the UN sucks. Israel is perfectly justified.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Canned fresh air?

From Fox:
Canned fresh air reportedly on sale in China amid flight-canceling smog

I don't get the "canned" bit. Is it canned along the lines of  Spaceballs "Perri-Air" or in something more similar to an SCBA

I honestly can't see the "Perri-Air" approach doing any good. There is no face-seal to keep toxins out. The SCBA approach wouldn't do much good either. The SCBA tanks I'm familiar with are capable of holding 45 minutes of air - which isn't that long of a time. There is no way that any useful amount of canned air is being bought by any single person. If you're really worried about the smog in China, wear a gas mask. At least it will do you some good.